Claire's 10-year-old son was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her other son, Ethan, joined their family just over a year ago, when he was seven. Ethan was born in Canada and entered government care at age two. All names are pseudonyms. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the "fast and furious learning" that she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child.
V is for Victor... or is it?
It was a sparkling May bursting with new life, and we were going to be parents in two months. We didn’t have a crib, bottles, formula, diapers or onesies, but my husband Kevin and I had a name. Our son would be named Victor.
What a difference three years can make.
We recently attended an interracial adoptive families get together. It is a valuable resource for all of us. Our daughter gets to see other families that look like ours, and my wife and I get to hear other experiences that help us realize we’re not doing that badly.
Colleen and her husband of 17 years, Jussi, live on Vancouver Island. Colleen, a former foster parent for over 20 years, also has three grown children and three grandkids. Her oldest daughter was a neighborhood kid that came for the weekend and stayed for 28 years, according to Colleen. “We have no legal paperwork, but she’s not any less ours,” she adds.
Claire's 10-year-old son was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her other son, Ethan, joined their family just over a year ago, when he was 7. Ethan was born in Canada and at the age of 2 was taken into government care, where he remembers at least three sets of foster parents over five years and acquired two behavioural designations – reactive attachment disorder and severe adjustment disorder. Read on for Claire’s lessons in extreme parenting.
As a mother of two adopted adult children, I had been going to the Forget Me Not Family Society (FMNFS) meetings in Cloverdale for over a year, and I thought I knew about Moms (birthmoms) and adoptees. My sister Bernadette was forced to give her baby to what society told her was a “better family” because she was given no support to keep her precious little newborn.
Mom Tanya describes how her family lost its privacy when she and her husband adopted transracially.
Before we became a transracial family, we were accustomed to a certain degree of privacy; now, all that’s changed.
When a new child joins your family, it means that all the family members need to adjust and adapt to the new arrival so that he or she develops a sense of belonging.
This transformation has to occur not only the first time a family adopts, but each time a child arrives. If the members of the family system don’t make the shift to include the new child, then the child will be stuck in the outer limits of the family, never really belonging.
A child welfare expert, and adoptive mom to 12 children, explains how retracing developmental stages helps older adoptees heal.
During college I studied Erik Erikson, a Pulitzer prize-winning psychologist known for his work in the mid-1900s on identity and psychosocial development. Decades later, I noticed remarkable connections between his theories and parenting older adopted children. The key part of Erikson’s theory is that until a person completes one developmental stage, they cannot go on to the next stage.
Since Harriet Fancott adopted a baby last year, she's had time to reflect on what, despite all her preparation, she wasn't prepared for.