Grief and loss

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Have you found me a family yet?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Four years ago, Focus on Adoption profiled Colleen, an 11-year-old girl who desperately wanted to be adopted. The staff at AFABC were touched by this child’s clear-eyed vision of what her future could and should be. Since then, we’ve kept in touch with Colleen’s progress—as you know, each year that a child waits for a family reduces his or her chances of being adopted. We were thrilled that last year Colleen and her new family’s dreams came true. Here her social worker explains how it finally happened.

I first met Colleen when she was only eight years old.

The Basics on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Source: 
Special Needs Database

All children and adolescents experience stressful events which can affect them both emotionally and physically. Their reactions to stress are usually brief, and they recover without further problems. A child or adolescent who experiences a catastrophic event, or events that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, may develop ongoing difficulties known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stressful or traumatic event involves a situation in which someone’s life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred.

Coming full circle: Adoptee decides to adopt

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

“I’m not your real Mom. You are adopted.” Those may not have been the exact words, but at age two-and-a-half that’s what I remember hearing. From that moment on, my life changed. Although my mother’s intentions were good, she could not have known how this would impact me.

At the same time as making this comment, she also told me that I would accompany my parents the next morning to bring home a new sister. I was told that we would take a ferry and drive through tunnels to get her- a curious place to get a baby sister, I thought!

Helping children cope with and understand abandonment

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

We know that the stress of  growing within a mother who is considering whether she will be able to raise the child she is carrying affects the developing brain of the fetus. Primed to connect on an unmistakably profound level at birth, the newborn or older baby or child, regardless of the excellence of the care provided afterward, experiences biological as well as psychological loss when separated from his original mother—although quality care does mitigate the damage. Subsequent moves to foster care and then into an adoptive home leave their mark on the child’s psyche.

Understanding and Relating to Birth Mothers

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Birth mothers come from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds, are varying ages and come with a diversity of expectations and needs concerning adoption. Whatever their backgrounds or their expectations, one thing remains common to all of them: they love their children deeply and want to choose the best family for their child. They never forget their children. It is very helpful for adoptive parents, and for their families and friends, to understand the birth mother, the issues she is facing and the difficult decisions she must make.

Finding a forever family: Better late than never

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Deborah Bailey and her husband Edward, first met their then three-and-a-half-year old daughter, Ola, in a Russian orphanage, her first words to them were, “You’re late.”

They immediately realized that this little preschooler was a force to be reckoned with. Deborah says that at the same time as Ola was being so forthright, she had a single tear in her eye. This was an early indication of Ola’s desperate need for belonging and her intense fear of it.

When Birth Parents Change Their Minds

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Though they are rare, and most adoptions go through seamlessly, revocations by birth parents happen.

In BC, birth parents have 30 days from the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child.

Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the parents can breathe a sigh of relief. For others, it’s not quite so simple.

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