Counselling Therapist Geoff Ayi-Bonte, registered clinical counsellor, answers your questions on adoption, family dynamics, and transracial families.
When Maya Benson took her four children to Jane Brown’s Adoption Playshops, she thought it would be the kids that would do all the learning! How wrong she was.
Earlier this year, I decided it would be a great idea to take my kids to one of Jane Brown’s Adoption Playshops when she visited the Lower Mainland. I thought our children could discuss their experiences with other kids who were also adopted.
In the eighteenth of our series, we present the, until now, secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, mom celebrates the imminent finalization of the children’s adoption, and gains some valuable information.
I can’t believe it! The social worker just phoned and said she is preparing the court package to finalize our adoptions! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever. After the last visit, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.
In the sixteenth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids: Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, a camping trip tests Diary Mom’s patience, and she prepares for a new school year.
It’s been a hectic summer, and I have to admit some of our activities were just a tad on the crazy side.
Your adopted child’s early life experiences may have caused a delay in their emotional development. Child and family counsellor and behaviourist, Carol Olafson, explains how paying attention to emotional development can help you and your child.
Emotional development is thought to be one of the most important factors in individuals being able to function well in the world. In fact, researchers have coined the term “emotional intelligence” to refer to how well a person uses both his or her cognitive and emotional development to succeed as adults.
Lisa Gunderson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who focuses on multicultural issues. She is an award winning educator and inclusivity consultant for educational and organizational institutions. During her PhD in clinical psychology, she specialized in issues for minoritized youth, including ethnic identity. We asked Dr Gunderson your questions about identity.
I am raising an adopted child of a different race in a community that is not very racially diverse. How do I help my child to be confident and form a strong racial identity?
My kids matter, but I’m in charge
I want my kids to know that what they like and what they think matters to me. My predisposition is to say yes to all possibilities. I only say “no” after some consideration. However, my kids were starting to get the impression that it was OK to disrespect the decisions I made and the boundaries I set for them.
Last week I got an email from a woman whose friend’s family is struggling after their recent adoption.
Her heartfelt note asked what she could do to help this family. The line that grabbed me was, “The mom looks sad and frustrated all of the time.” Most likely, the entire family is fueled by fear and sadness.
She closed her email with, “What can I do to help? What can our church family do to help?”
In less than a second, Google can produce 12,900,000 results for the phrase “anger and adoption.”
This confirms my hunch that for many adoptees the pain of relinquishment is not erased when adoption papers are signed. Without the proper tools, unexpressed grief and loss may burst forth as anger. Expressed outwardly, it causes pain for others; expressed inwardly, it can manifest as illness or self-harm. When channeled effectively, however, it is an incredible force of energy and a potent agent for change.
I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.