Extreme parenting: Slow and steady

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

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

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.


Parenting your adopted teen

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.

An adoptee's bill of rights

Focus on Adoption magazine

I have a right to feel confused.
Who wouldn’t? After all, I have two sets of parents, one of which was shrouded in mystery.

I have a right to fear abandonment and rejection.
After all I was abandoned by the one I was most intimate with.

I have the right to acknowledge pain.
After all, I lost my closest relative at the youngest age possible.

I have the right to grieve.
After all, everyone else in society acknowledges strong emotions.

I have a right to express my emotions.
After all, they have been shut down since adoption day.


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