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Holiday joy!

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Holidays can be tough for adoptive families. Here are our best tips for enjoying the season.

Keep things simple, and celebrate differently (or early, or late!) if you need to. The holidays may be full of warm memories for many, but they can also be triggering and a sad reminder of losses for our kids (and their parents!)
—Sarah, AFABC Team Lead/Community Engager and adoptive mom

Sweet solutions for hard behaviours

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Being a parent is never easy. Add in the complexities of adoption, trauma, and special needs, and you’re likely to discover that tactics like time outs and star charts are useless at best. What does that leave you with? Amanda Preston’s surprising suggestions may be just the tricks you need.

Rethinking bad behaviour

You’re standing in your kitchen washing dishes when suddenly your 10-year-old child walks in. He asks if he can have an ice cream sandwich. Dinner is in 5 minutes so you calmly let him know not right now, but after dinner.

Parental leave for guardians One woman’s battle for benefits

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When a child joins a new family, everyone needs time to adjust and attach. That’s why parental leave and benefits exist. Unfortunately, not all new parents qualify for these benefits. In this article, Willow Yamauchi shares her experience and explains what needs to change so families like hers aren’t excluded in their times of need.

Mindfulness for youth: A modern take on meditation

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Why mindfulness?

Mindfulness has become a buzzword that’s as likely to be heard in the business world as in a yoga studio, but what is it? Simply put, mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being present in the moment without judgement, regardless of what is happening. Mindfulness meditation comes from Buddhist teachings but can be practiced by anyone.

Not perfect, just present: Everyday trauma-informed parenting

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In our summer issue, we explored how difficult but important it is to share our not-so-perfect moments. In this piece, Caroline shares one of hers. We hope it encourages you.

“Mom, when did Mamoo see me for the first time?” My child asked this question completely out of the blue. (By the way, Mamoo is my mom.)

I turned to my child and explained that Mamoo came the very next day after my child arrived at our home.

“Did she hold me like this? How did I act to her? Show me how I was held.”

The teenage brain: Its mystery and its magic

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

How our brains grow

We’re each born with as many brain cells as the Milky Way has stars—approximately 100 billion of them. These brain cells cells, known as neurons, form connections that are called synapses. They divide and multiply like wildfire, creating new cells and and forming even more connections. In a positive, healthy environment, the brain explodes with growth until around age 3.5.This frenzy of growth slows and levels off after that, but it doesn’t stop. By mid- to late childhood, a typical brain contains twice as many synapses as it did at birth.

The journey of a lifetime: Why adoptive families need support throughout the years

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When potential adoptive parents begin their journey, they're buoyed by the enthusiasm and support of others. Once they bring their child or children home and make it through the first few months, though, that support tends to dissolve. In this article, an experienced adoptive mom explains why adoptive families need support throughout their entire journey, not just at the beginning.

What motherhood means to me: A daughter's tribute

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Janet Weinreich-Keall was abandoned [her preferred term - Ed.] at birth in Prince Rupert and adopted into a loving Vancouver family four decades ago. In this column, she reflects on the power of her adoptive mother's love, and how her complicated experience of abandonment and adoption shaped what Mother's Day and motherhood mean to her.

Preparing to adopt: Sharing the news

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

You’ve decided to adopt, and you’re ready to discuss it with the significant people in your life. Like any big life news, it can be both exciting and scary to talk about it.

Prepare yourself for the inevitable barrage of questions such as “Why would you adopt?” or “Aren’t there more health and behavioral problems with adoptive kids?”

You’ll probably hear a lot of adoption myths and some horror stories as well as personal opinions. You might also get a negative reaction.

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