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Family matters: Telling about birth siblings

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A few months ago, we told our 6-year-old son that he has two older birth siblings who live with his birthmom. He doesn’t want to see photos of his siblings, or talk about it. How can we help?

At this age, kids are just beginning to understand the idea of adoption and where babies come from. They are also beginning to visualize their birth families, crave more details, and ask more concrete questions. Sometimes, we hold on to details we don’t think our kids are ready for. When critical information is omitted, it can feel like a betrayal to the child.

Tending troubled transplants

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

How to handle the tough job of parenting a child who has never experienced proper parenting.

When Ethan’s foster mom, Julie, found a knife under his pillow she was extremely alarmed and immediately put in an urgent call to his caseworker

The reason 10-year-old Ethan went to bed accompanied by a knife, rather than a teddy bear, was because he’d lived in a birth family where drug deals, violence, and abuse were the order of the day. Ethan hadn’t been able to rely on his parents to protect him, so he had learned to protect himself.

Race: Social fact, biological fiction

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Andrew Martindale, an adoptive parent, and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, explains that the concept of race is man-made and, though it holds enormous power, has no biological basis.

The history of race relations makes transracial adoptions deeply personal, and, at times, very public statements of reconciliation. What do we say to our children, ourselves and others about the nature and significance of racial difference within our families?

Neurofeedback helped my internationally adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.

When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.    

Solutions in strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Taking a child's strengths as the starting point to solving their problems, and involving family and community, can work wonders.

Chris Mundy sees his job as a combination of detective and anthropologist. After our interview, it’s easy to see why.

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.

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 homestudy explained

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Carol Blake demystifies what can seem to be a nerve wracking and intrusive process--the adoption homestudy.

Quick! Vacuum the rug, dust the furniture, alphabetize the spice rack, the social worker is coming over!

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.

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