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Adopted voice: Finding silver linings

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Sticks and stones

Remember that rhyme you learned as a child? “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Obviously words can’t cause physical harm, but I’ve learned they definitely can cause emotional pain, the kind you hold in your heart and wear on your sleeve. The kind that leaves scars that never really go away.

Extreme parenting: The little things

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Lose your expectations

When Ethan came into our family, he was very angry. My family and friends wondered what he had to be angry about. All they could see was that he was part of a loving family. They thought he should be grateful. It was interesting to me that these usually empathetic folks couldn’t immediately see the loss suffered by this child. Before I could understand what was going on, I had to abandon my expectations of them--and of Ethan.

Sharing our hearts

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption is only the beginning

In the spring of 2013, my husband and I completed our first adoption--a process that we found gruelling,  confusing, and bewildering. We didn’t know much about the ins and outs of adoption through foster care when we asked if we could adopt our precious foster daughter, who had been with us since birth. We didn’t even know what “CCO” (continuing custody order) meant. All we knew was that we loved her and wanted her to be part of our family forever. When the adoption went through, we were over the moon, but it was only the beginning.

Q&A: FASD and adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Allison Pooley is the Program Director at the Asante Centre. She assists individuals, family members, and service providers in understanding the diagnostic process as well as the implications for providing integrated post-assessment supports and services. Allison has been involved in FASD prevention and intervention efforts for numerous years both in northern B.C. and the Lower Mainland, including work in early childhood education, the public school system, the criminal justice system, and adult support settings.

Extreme parenting: Slow and steady

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’ve learned that learning itself takes time

These lessons are all starting to dovetail, and my stories are becoming self-referential. That’s fitting, though, because I’ve learned that learning itself takes time. Change up any part of the original lesson and the learning seems to disappear. Often, we have to come at the same problem a few different ways until there’s evidence of a pattern. That’s when it sticks.

Many doors, no master key

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Brandan’s story – and mine

As the adoptive parent of 10 children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, I know how difficult it can be to access services and develop a support network for people with FASDs. I regularly give presentations about FASD to groups, using the story of my son Brandan’s life (with his full permission) to illustrate these difficulties. I’ll share a condensed version of his story in this article.

Breaking the language barrier

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For many internationally adopted children, a part of adjusting to their new home will include learning to hear the sounds of English. They will then need to learn how to move their lips, tongue, and jaw to produce these sounds, and then put words together.

Language learning

Encourage language learning by creating fun  activities like Peek-a-Boo, singing songs, or other age-appropriate games.

Toddlers

Parenting your adopted teen

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption adds complexity to the life of adopted teens, even those adopted as newborns.

All teens struggle with the question, "Who am I?" Finding the answer usually involves figuring out how they are similar to, and different from their parents--a task that can be particularly complicated for children who have both birth and adoptive parents. Unknown or missing information, or having a different ethnicity from parents, can make piecing an identity puzzle together especially difficult for adoptees.

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