Three cultures plus infinite love equals one unique family!
There’s no better time than the present for adoptive families to get reacquainted with Mother Nature. Angela Krueger, an Ontario PRIDE trainer, parent facilitator, freeelance writer, and adoptive mom, explains how getting outside can facilitate attachment for adoptive families, and shares practical tips to help you make it happen.
Take a walk
“Again?” my preteen asks, rolling her eyes, when I say it’s time for a walk around the block.
If you're adopted or in care, it can be difficult to make and keep friends. So many things are always going on in your life. There might be attachment anxieties, loss and grief, and issues with separating from what you were once comfortable with. Change is really hard because you're trying to figure out "why" all the time.
I grew up in care from the time I was two years old until I turned 18. I don't really remember a lot of my first foster home or much of my childhood. I was abused by my mom and ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was also diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
I do remember moving into my grandparents' house at the age of four. I lived there until I was 12. It was then that my disabilities began to show. I wasn't sure how to express myself or my feelings in a respectful and mature way, and it was getting hard for my grandparents to take care of me.
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.
Interview with a youth services provider.
Who are you?
My name is Ki Speer.
What do you do?
I am a Youth and Development worker at Purpose Society. I provide one-on-one support with youth ages 13 to 18, as well as their parents. I provide counselling, basic needs, and life skills for kids living independently.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been doing this for seven years.
To whom it may concern,
I remember the noise the most. Car engines idled noxious gasses into the air; heavy footsteps snapped across well-worn concrete. The delicious yet unfamiliar smells of Asian street food filled my nostrils. I stood close to my parents, at the edge of a street corner. Together, we gazed across the road to a building. Above its doorway was a sign filled with undecipherable Chinese lettering. Despite the language barrier, we all knew it what it said. Hospital.
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.
Everyone in the adoption constellation has a story to tell from his or her particular point of view. We weave our sense of self into the story and reveal our personalities. The process of storytelling helps us, the storyteller, clearly see our own motivations and values. It also helps others understand adoption from the inside out.
The value of taking the time to write out our stories instead of simply talking about them is that writing allows us to slow down our thinking and ponder what we want to explore. T