Adoptees

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Mom says, "Go the distance in adoption"

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Cathy Gilbert, mom of fifteeen kids, four by birth, eleven by adoption, compares adopting a challenging child with running an Ice Marathon—the preparation and the race may test your limits but, like completing a marathon, the rewards come later.

My son, grandson, and daughter-in-law were here for dinner today. This is the son who was adopted at 12 and whose profile description most people would run a mile from.

Making a lifebook

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A lifebook isn’t a baby book, a scrapbook, or a photo album. A lifebook is a detailed account of a child’s life that helps that child make sense of the past and prepare for a successful future. If you haven’t started one for your child, here are some tips to help you get started.

Making a lifebook may seem a daunting task, but it can be fun, and you’ll never regret it.

Finally on the way to forever

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Maya and John Benson adopted a sibling group almost three years ago. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their traumatized children—especially their oldest son. Being a forever family quickly seemed an impossible fantasy.

Some parents who have adopted older kids or sibling groups will understand what I'm going to say next; others will think I'm an awful parent.

Help your child: Focus on strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Tara Webber, Registered Clinical Counsellor and adoptive mom, provides her tips on building a struggling child’s self-esteem.

If you ask children what they do well, there is usually a long pause as they search for an answer. Ask them what they don’t do well, and they have an instant list. When I was working as a counsellor in an inner city elementary school, I focused on helping many children build self-esteem. One particular grade five girl, Zoe, who was in foster care, is a good example of how difficult it is for some children to feel good about themselves.

Solutions in strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Taking a child's strengths as the starting point to solving their problems, and involving family and community, can work wonders.

Chris Mundy sees his job as a combination of detective and anthropologist. After our interview, it’s easy to see why.

Reclaiming youth at risk

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A Lakota Sioux and Anglican minister, Dr Martin Brokenleg has developed an acclaimed program for “reclaiming kids and youth.” The Circle of Courage is a philosophy that promotes four nurturing experiences necessary for children—belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

Early European anthropologists described Native American children as radiantly happy, highly respectful, and courageous.

Adoptee finds a nest of her own

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When, at the age of 16, April O’Neil’s social worker told her she’d like to adopt her, April’s world was turned upside down. Here, April movingly describes her immediate emotions moments after she was told.

It was clear to me that I was standing in one spot—so it must have been the room that was spinning. I was in the principal’s office standing face to face with a woman who, with very few words, wanted to shake up my whole world. 

Your adoption dilemmas addressed

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Here are two responses to a difficult dilemma that one family is facing.

"We are the proud parents of two children, a girl and a boy, both under the age of 5. The children’s biological parents are parenting two other children. Though we would like it, the birth parents are emphatic that they don’t want an open adoption. Despite this, we leave photos and letters with our agency. Our adoption agency has told us that the birth parents have not told their children about their adopted siblings.

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