The Adoptive Families Association of BC is proud to be one of the partner sites for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. In this article, Rita Soronen, the Foundation’s president & CEO, explains the program’s evidence-based and highly successful approach to finding families for some of North America’s children and youth who wait the longest.
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.
Being adopted isn't easy. It can be a very scary process. That is normal for most people. I was very scared going through the whole process of adoption. It's okay to be scared because being adopted is a very big change that will affect your whole life.
I got over my fear of being adopted by talking to friends and family about my feelings. I talked to people who I knew have been adopted to help me get over the fear of adoption.
There are hundreds of teenagers in foster care who need permanent homes. In this interview Paula*, a mom who’s adopted four youth, shares her journey.
*all names have been changed to protect the family's privacy.
Tell me about your family.
I live in a small, coastal town. I’m a single mom. I have seven children: Naomi (27), Tessa (25), Jack (24), Rob (23), Cameron (21), Justin (18), and Blake (17).
Their lives, their words, their voices: why we should listen and what we can do
Online adoption education is the way of the future. Here’s how to get the most out of it.
Last year, my husband and I explored the possibility of adopting a teenager. It was something we’d been discussing for years, and we thought we were finally ready to move forward. AFABC’s Adopting Teens and Tweens course was the obvious next step. My husband took it in person several years ago, when our life was much less demanding. Now, with two young daughters and both parents working, our family schedule simply couldn’t accommodate an in-person course.
In February of 2010 our social worker told my brother and I about a couple who wanted to adopt us. We began working with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) for our transition. In June, we moved in with our new family. The first year with them was hard for me. I'd moved to a new town and had to start all over.
Now we have a good relationship, but learning to trust and love them was really tough. Of course, with two teenagers in the house, there will always be arguments; but my family is always there for us.
Whether it's moving to a new foster home, an adoptive home, back with birth family, or agingin out at 19, it's something all youth in care will experience at one point or another. Sometimes those transitions are smooth and expected; other times they're scary and happen without warning. What was a positive experience for one youth could have been super stressful for another.
Claire’s 10-year-old son, Adam, was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her second son, Ethan, joined their family from foster care at age 7. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the “fast and furious learning” she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child.
Growing up in foster care, I had great difficulties trusting others because it seemed that everyone was leaving me and often times fear and ignorance prevent trust.