Catherine is the co-founder of the non-profit organization We Are Adopted/Adoptees Association. In this article she draws on her personal experience as an adoptee and an adoptive mother as well as her professional experience as a registered clinical counsellor to explain why shame and adoption are so intertwined.
This article was originally published on the Adoption Council of Ontario’s blog for Bell Let’s Talk day (a social media campaign that encourages Canadians to talk openly about mental health). We were inspired by Kathy’s insight into the connection between early trauma and mental illness in adoptees, and by her ideas on how to help hurt kids heal.
The Lohse family first appeared in the April/May 1998 issue of Focus on Adoption magazine, where Annette told the story of adopting Mikayla. Today we catch up with them and hear about the following 18 years from three perspectives: adoptive mom Annette, adoptee Mikayla, and birth mom Lisa.
In part two, we hear Mikayla's perspective.
Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.
Trauma: adoption’s shadow
Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.
An adoptee reflects on black diversity in Canada and the importance of a global Black Lives Matter movement.
Racism: a Canadian reality
Here in Canada, anti-black racism is usually denied, ignored, and played down. The classic response from non-black Canadians to mentions of systemic anti-black racism and injustice is “well, there is more racism in the US than there is here”. This irks me to my core because it shuts down conversation and dismisses our experiences.
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.
Open adoptions can be tricky, but they're the most realistic choice for adopted children, says an adult adoptee.
The question of a lifetime
The complexity of my adoption story makes it a challenge to tell, but telling it is, I think, essential. It’s a way to preserve memories of the living and dead, to lend their lives some meaning, and to give thanks for the good fortune of having been raised by loving parents. Here are the bare bones, which will give some context for the poem that follows.
In the eight of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. After a couple of months having the children home, our mom finally admits she's overwhelmed and needs help.
No, I am not writing this from the psych ward. However, there are times when that is a definite possibility. Although things have improved since April, there is still such a long way to go.
I’m a mom of four children, all adopted at different ages and stages. My first child was born in the US in 1997 and adopted as a newborn. In 2006 I adopted three more children from Liberia in West Africa. They were 2, 4, and 13 years old (though the 13 year old wouldn’t actually join our family until he was nearly 19).
In 2006, Liberia was a country in turmoil, it was just a few years after the civil war had ended, the infant and child mortality rates were incredibly high, and the adoptions were being processed relatively quickly.