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Marks of permanence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As long as there have been tattoos there have been symbolic homages to family.

Early Egyptian mummies indicate that tattooing was exclusively a female ritual intended to honour and protect women during pregnancy and childbirth. Tattoos have enjoyed a renaissance of late and, not surprisingly, the tattoo trend has given opportunity for ink-art representations of the complexity of family in the adoption community, too.

Understanding the impacts of your child's early experiences on learning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The degree of stress your child experienced prior to adoption may significantly impact how his or her brain develops.

As an adoptive parent and a therapist, I am keenly interested in how my child’s early experiences impact her classroom performance and ability to learn. A recent experience at my daughter’s school reinforced how critical it is for teachers and parents to have information that will help educate them in a practical way to respond to children who have had significant early stress or trauma and are struggling to adapt to the school environment.

My big, beautiful, adoptive family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

One day, Mom gave my sister an African-American Cabbage Patch Kid. I was given India Barbie. We didn’t know it at the time, but my sister and I were being prepared for our future.

My parents had decided that six kids by birth wasn’t enough so, when I was six years old, we welcomed through adoption my twin brothers Greg and Nicholas. I remember how proud I was to have them as my little brothers. It didn’t seem overly difficult or challenging for them to claim their places in our family. Our Irish and German family tree simply sprouted two new branches.

Handling culture shock and intercountry adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Over the years, psychologist Dr Peter Hotz has worked with scores of adoptive families. He tells me that he has seen adoption from every angle. I’m at his Vancouver office to talk about international, cross-cultural adoptions. Dr Hotz has worked with several AFABC families. I can tell immediately that he has synthesized all that experience into some fundamental messages for parents considering adopting a child cross-culturally.

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.    

Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom #5

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the fifth, and last of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, adjusting to finally having their little daughter in their charge.

Day 6, continued

I had asked Mrs. Kang if the children have a tough time adjusting. She told me it was true sometimes, but she thought that Hee Young would be okay and that if we had any problems we could call her day or night. I sensed she might be wrong on her assessment, having witnessed a bond so strong between this foster mother and child.

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

Mom says, "Go the distance in adoption"

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Cathy Gilbert, mom of fifteeen kids, four by birth, eleven by adoption, compares adopting a challenging child with running an Ice Marathon—the preparation and the race may test your limits but, like completing a marathon, the rewards come later.

My son, grandson, and daughter-in-law were here for dinner today. This is the son who was adopted at 12 and whose profile description most people would run a mile from.

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.

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. 

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