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Journey to recovery

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This powerful story was the keynote speech at Growing Together: a retreat for parents of persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in January 2010.

Hi, my name is Nicolas. First of all, I’d like to thank the organizers of this retreat for asking me here to share with you. I’d also like to thank and welcome all the parents and families for being here today.

Finally on the way to forever

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Maya and John Benson adopted a sibling group almost three years ago. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their traumatized children—especially their oldest son. Being a forever family quickly seemed an impossible fantasy.

Some parents who have adopted older kids or sibling groups will understand what I'm going to say next; others will think I'm an awful parent.

Reclaiming youth at risk

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A Lakota Sioux and Anglican minister, Dr Martin Brokenleg has developed an acclaimed program for “reclaiming kids and youth.” The Circle of Courage is a philosophy that promotes four nurturing experiences necessary for children—belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

Early European anthropologists described Native American children as radiantly happy, highly respectful, and courageous.

Adoptee finds a nest of her own

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When, at the age of 16, April O’Neil’s social worker told her she’d like to adopt her, April’s world was turned upside down. Here, April movingly describes her immediate emotions moments after she was told.

It was clear to me that I was standing in one spot—so it must have been the room that was spinning. I was in the principal’s office standing face to face with a woman who, with very few words, wanted to shake up my whole world. 

A vote for orphanages - Until...

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Would teens who move from foster home to foster home be better off in an orphanage?

There's a "new" debate going on about building orphanages for foster kids. There's even a group in Minnesota that's proposing orphanages for younger children. When asked at a public hearing what ages of children they would place in their orphanages, they noted "60% of the children will be 8 or 9 to 15 year olds with the rest being older or younger." So we know that at least one group out there is advocating for children even younger than 8-year-old.

Most teens do want to be adopted

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Anne Melcombe is a big believer in teen adoption. Why? Because she knows that teens want families and that there are families who want to adopt teens. In this article, we meet some of those parents and the kids they will adopt.

Anne Melcombe once asked a group of former foster kids if they would have liked to have been adopted. One man, 23 years old, 280 lbs, and covered in tattoos, held up his hand and said, “You bet your ass I would have liked a family. I still would!”

Trust takes times for older adopted children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption therapist Brenda McCreight explains to an impatient father that it will take much longer than he expects for his 7-year-old daughter, adopted from an orphanage, to learn to trust her new parents.

Recently, an adoptive father asked me for suggestions on how he could develop a trust-based relationship with his 7-year-old daughter, adopted internationally from an orphanage two years previously.

The language of hurt kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption—it is called inducement.

Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we have to understand why children act the way they do.

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.

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