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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.

Help your child: Focus on strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Tara Webber, Registered Clinical Counsellor and adoptive mom, provides her tips on building a struggling child’s self-esteem.

If you ask children what they do well, there is usually a long pause as they search for an answer. Ask them what they don’t do well, and they have an instant list. When I was working as a counsellor in an inner city elementary school, I focused on helping many children build self-esteem. One particular grade five girl, Zoe, who was in foster care, is a good example of how difficult it is for some children to feel good about themselves.

When that sibling call comes

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Have you discussed the possibility of being asked to adopt one of your child's siblings?

As an adoptive parent, there is a chance that one day you will be asked if you would like to adopt one of your child’s siblings—maybe a newborn, perhaps a teen.

That phone call will probably send you into instant emotional turmoil, and you’ll probably be asked to make your decision fairly quickly. In this article, we hear from adoptive parents, all of whom received one of those calls. As you will see, each reacted differently to the news and made their decision in different ways.

Fostering connections makes adoption easier

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Although some people questioned her decision to keep her children connected to their loving foster parents, Tara Webber knew it was the right thing to do. After all, why end a relationship that had been so good? Don’t children need as many loving people in their lives as possible?

If I thought solely of the best interest of my girls, I had no reason to break the bond between their foster family and every reason to do what I could do to encourage that relationship.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #27

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 27th of our series, our mom of three kids, Emily, Grant and Lynn, feels isolated and different from the other moms waiting in the schoolyard for their kids. Then she spots her youngest daughter, Lynn, who has been standing completely still, all alone in the busy playground.

I just don’t fit in with any of the mom groups that surround the playground after school. I really have nothing to contribute to their labour pain and episiotomy stories.

Why all adopted kids need lifebooks

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A lifebook isn’t a baby book, a scrap book, or a photo album. A lifebook is a detailed account of a child’s life that helps that child make sense of the past and prepare for a successful future.

Preparing a lifebook for your child is part of the job of being a foster or adoptive parent.

Racial identity: Hair is an adoption issue

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For white parents of black children (full or biracial), doing your child’s hair is totally different from doing your own. It’s something most white people never had an opportunity to learn about.

It is essential to your children’s sense of identity and self-esteem that they are given the opportunity to look like they are well-cared for and groomed; this is particularly true for transracial families already subjected to unusual social scrutiny by others who aren’t quite sure you are really a family. How your children look can shape the conclusions outsiders draw.

China dolls and violin virtuosos

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Do adoptive parents' conceptions of race and racial identity change after adoption?

Raising a child of a different race than yours probably means that you’ve discussed comeback lines for all those unwanted grocery store comments with other adoptive parents.

If you’re like us, you’ve probably felt at a loss for words at times and worried how some of these misconceptions and misguided views might affect your children who are often standing next to you. 

Trust takes times for older adopted children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption therapist Brenda McCreight explains to an impatient father that it will take much longer than he expects for his 7-year-old daughter, adopted from an orphanage, to learn to trust her new parents.

Recently, an adoptive father asked me for suggestions on how he could develop a trust-based relationship with his 7-year-old daughter, adopted internationally from an orphanage two years previously.

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