“Adopted Voice” is our response to the #FlipTheScript campaign, which promotes the importance of making space for and listening to the voices of adopted people. If you’re an adoptee of any age who’s interested in writing a column for “Adopted Voice,” we’d love to hear from you! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve learned that learning itself takes time
These lessons are all starting to dovetail, and my stories are becoming self-referential. That’s fitting, though, because I’ve learned that learning itself takes time. Change up any part of the original lesson and the learning seems to disappear. Often, we have to come at the same problem a few different ways until there’s evidence of a pattern. That’s when it sticks.
Brandan’s story – and mine
As the adoptive parent of 10 children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, I know how difficult it can be to access services and develop a support network for people with FASDs. I regularly give presentations about FASD to groups, using the story of my son Brandan’s life (with his full permission) to illustrate these difficulties. I’ll share a condensed version of his story in this article.
I attended the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference in Los Angles in July 2015 with the intention of checking facts for my new book on adoptive parenting, discovering new ideas, and meeting wonderful people. I accomplished all three goals and found the whole experience exhilarating. There is amazing energy when more than 900 dedicated people meet and exchange ideas. The conference was full of inspiring sessions.
Just over 650 people took part in BC's first adoption satisfaction survey. TWI Surveys, a Canada-wide, independent research and strategy development company, designed and hosted the survey which was conducted in September 2009.
Overall, the results were positive, but improvements can be made.
Because of the large number of responses to our survey, the results are extremely reliable. As well as areas for improvement, there is lots of good news.
My first encounter with the idea of children in care who needed families was during a church service as a little girl.
The speaker shared unsettling statistics about kids who age out of care and end up incarcerated, homeless, or worse; kids who are separated from their siblings; and young adults who have no place to spend the holidays or summer vacation. I suppose it all resonated with me because I came from a family of five siblings, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. At that church service I made up my mind that I wanted to adopt older kids one day.
For many internationally adopted children, a part of adjusting to their new home will include learning to hear the sounds of English. They will then need to learn how to move their lips, tongue, and jaw to produce these sounds, and then put words together.
Encourage language learning by creating fun activities like Peek-a-Boo, singing songs, or other age-appropriate games.
The importance of cultural connections
In a previous article, I wrote about the Exceptions Committee in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The article was prompted by a list of questions that the Adoptive Families Association of BC had gathered from their membership. There were additional questions related to Aboriginal adoption in BC that I will endeavor to answer in this follow-up article.
Adoption adds complexity to the life of adopted teens, even those adopted as newborns.
All teens struggle with the question, "Who am I?" Finding the answer usually involves figuring out how they are similar to, and different from their parents--a task that can be particularly complicated for children who have both birth and adoptive parents. Unknown or missing information, or having a different ethnicity from parents, can make piecing an identity puzzle together especially difficult for adoptees.
Adoptive parent and therapist, Brenda McCreight, wrote this letter for parents to give to teachers. Download a longer version, which includes website recommendations for teachers, at www.adoptioncounselor.com.