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Calm your nervous system

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

Nicole Gfeller is a counsellor, an art therapist, and an adoptee. For as long as she can remember, she struggled with an overactive nervous system. She’s not alone: regulating the nervous system is a major challenge for many adoptees. In this article, she helps adoptees understand this challenge so they can develop healthy, fulfilling, and happy lives.

Shame and the adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

Catherine is the co-founder of the non-profit organization We Are Adopted/Adoptees Association. In this article she draws on her personal experience as an adoptee and an adoptive mother as well as her professional experience as a registered clinical counsellor to explain why shame and adoption are so intertwined.

Early adversity and mental health

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This article was originally published on the Adoption Council of Ontario’s blog for Bell Let’s Talk day (a social media campaign that encourages Canadians to talk openly about mental health). We were inspired by Kathy’s insight into the connection between early trauma and mental illness in adoptees, and by her ideas on how to help hurt kids heal.

Relationships

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #3

If you're adopted or in care, it can be difficult to make and keep friends. So many things are always going on in your life. There might be attachment anxieties, loss and grief, and issues with separating from what you were once comfortable with. Change is really hard because you're trying to figure out "why" all the time.

Q&A: Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is BC’s first Representative for Children and Youth. She was appointed in 2006, and was re-appointed for a second five-year term in 2011. A judge on leave from the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, she holds a doctorate of law from Harvard and has worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, with an emphasis on developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system. She lives in Victoria with her family. We asked Ms.

Finding my abilities

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #3

I grew up in care from the time I was two years old until I turned 18. I don't really remember a lot of my first foster home or much of my childhood. I was abused by my mom and ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was also diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

I do remember moving into my grandparents' house at the age of four. I lived there until I was 12. It was then that my disabilities began to show. I wasn't sure how to express myself or my feelings in a respectful and mature way, and it was getting hard for my grandparents to take care of me.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #8

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the eight of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. After a couple of months having the children home, our mom finally admits she's overwhelmed and needs help.

No, I am not writing this from the psych ward. However, there are times when that is a definite possibility. Although things have improved since April, there is still such a long way to go.

My adoption story

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #3

In February of 2010 our social worker told my brother and I about a couple who wanted to adopt us. We began working with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) for our transition. In June, we moved in with our new family. The first year with them was hard for me. I'd moved to a new town and had to start all over.

Now we have a good relationship, but learning to trust and love them was really tough. Of course, with two teenagers in the house, there will always be arguments; but my family is always there for us.

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