Foster care

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Extreme parenting: Be a safe and predictable harbour

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the "fast and furious learning" that she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child.

The ugly truth is that I thought I was going to lose my mind in the first six months after Ethan joined our family.

"Perfect" parents for teens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Parents who are willing to wait for personal gratification.
Attachment with teens can take longer and may look very different than attachment with younger children.

Someone with a great sense of humour, patience, tolerance, and adaptability.
Self explanatory if you know teens.

People who can see beyond the rebellious teen to the blossoming young adult that they are becoming.
Are you able to quietly nurture the child that is still crying out for love and attention?

Aging out: Tough road for teens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?

You’re 19, officially an adult. Happy birthday. Now get out of the house.

As parents, few of us would take such a brutal approach. Yet in our role as citizens that is exactly the style we adopt toward teenagers “in care” of the Crown -- for whom the government is, institutionally speaking, their legal “parent.”

Whinny the horse

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My three-year-old son Callum had his first horseback ride today. He’s always been drawn to horses, and spends a  large amount of his play time trying to “ride” almost anything he can straddle. So we knew he needed to ride a horse. But we were surprised to see the ease with which he rode, holding the horse’s mane in one hand and my hand in the other, as the horse (named Whinny) was led around the pasture by her owner: Callum’s birth mother, Lisa.*

Fostercare and the stigma of mental illness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.

I am not a negative statistic

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Despite being in 10 different foster homes in five years, how did I manage to not let instability take over my life?

The stereotype of foster children is that they will age out of care and enter a life filled with poverty, unstable relationships, and overall instability. I did not - well poverty maybe - but what student who supports herself doesn’t carry the label “starving student?”

Attaching to Alex takes all Mom's skills

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoptive mom Carol Bolton describes how she struggled but succeeded in developing an attachment relationship with one of her newly-adopted sons.

Last year, we adopted our two sons. Though siblings, the boys had been placed in different foster homes and barely knew each other.

David, aged two, was placed five days after birth with foster parents who were very experienced and knew how to transition a child to a new family. David moved in with us first and the process went very smoothly.

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