There are few things more life- or soul-destroying than clinging to the feeling that you are a victim of your life experiences, and that the world owes you something for the pain it caused you. And there are even fewer things more life- or soul-destroying than not allowing yourself the space to really feel your loss, fear, and longing.
A ritual, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.” Rituals take place on occasions like Hanukkah, Easter, the Lunar New Year, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. They don’t have to be religious in nature; baking Christmas cookies with your mom and sister is as much a ritual as attending Mass. The simple daily things you do can be can be rituals, too.
Transitioning can be different for every person. For my brother and I it was a different experience for the both of us...
I was not completely ready for the transition and had run away for a few days to, in a way, help clear my mind. My brother on the other hand went easily. Once we were at the house everything went well. The first summer went really well; we had lots of fun and had got to know each other well. Once school started there were a few challenges.
Adoption across the Rockies
At any given time last year, there were about 5,300 children and youth in permanent government care in Alberta. In the same year, 449 of these children found a loving and permanent home. Alberta children are almost always placed with Alberta families in order to keep them connected to extended family, culture, community, and resources.
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.
Growing up you see your parents' "mistakes" in raising you, and you swear never to be like them. Then you become a parent.
Suddenly you no longer see your parents as having made mistakes; rather, they were surviving in the forever challenging world of parenthood.
There are a lot of birthdays around here, not to mention the anniversaries of when our kids arrived in our home to stay. This day last summer was the adoption placement date for our youngest son. I remember it well. I often tell adoptive parents (all parents, actually) to keep a journal. It's a great way to keep track of memories, and good for all sorts of recrod-keeping of familiy activities, too. And, in the case of children who are adopted as older children, it can really remind you of where you've come from.
A story of two unconventional adoptions
This is the story of an adoption that seemed like it would never happen, but that worked out almost miraculously in the end.
I was adopted twice. In the first year of my life my adoptive mother and I were united in an unconventional way. At the age of five, I was adopted by her and my first adoptive father. Sixteen years later, I was adopted again by my stepfather, who had become my primary father figure.
Take this quiz, developed by Speak-Out Youth members April and Courtney, to see what kind of family is the right fit for you!
You’ve just come from a long day at school. What would you like to come home to?
a) Lots of brothers and sisters jumping off the walls and inviting you to play.
b) Your mom and dad waiting for you, ready to go on a bike ride.
c) Your mom, cooking dinner, ready to hear all about your day.
d) An after-school snack of homemade cookies while you do your homework with your siblings and wait for your dad to come home.
I'm a youth who was in foster care. I know what it's like to meet with social workers and have conversations about my future. I think that planning permanency and adoption is a good thing because it gives youth a sense of stability and belonging. Permanency is important because it sets the ground work for the youth's future; it sets up a permanent family life and also might help to make sure that positive outcomes are possible for the youth in the long run. Here are some suggestions I have for people who work with youth in care or adoptees!