Diary of an adoptive mom #16

Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

When emotional development is delayed

Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

Ask the expert: Identity matters (part two)

Focus on Adoption magazine

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?

Dear birth parents

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A letter from an adoptee

For most of my life, I hadn’t thought about my birth parents: where I came from, who they were, or why they had chosen to give me up. For me, the only thing that mattered was that I had parents who loved me and who chose to be my parents.

When I met my biological father just over three years ago, I was overwhelmed by his reaction to reconnecting with me. He spoke as though he had known me and loved me for my entire life—this “stranger” who hadn’t crossed my mind even once as I had transitioned through childhood and into my adult years.

One mom's method

Focus on Adoption magazine

Every September, I speak to my daughters’ teachers about adoption. I always bring a copy of AFABC’s “Positive Adoption Language” with me, and I set privacy boundaries for the teachers around publicly discussing our daughters’ circumstances. This visit also gives me an opportunity to find out about any family-related assignments that might impact the girls. I’m careful to point out to teachers that the adoption language sheet will help them when discussing family circumstances with same-sex families, single-parent families, and separated, divorced or blended families.

Extreme parenting: Taking charge with love

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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.

Practical help for struggling families

Focus on Adoption magazine

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?”

What's your family fit?

Focus on Adoption magazine

Take this quiz, developed by Speak-Out Youth members April and Courtney, to see what kind of family is the right fit for you!

Question 1

You’ve just come from a long day at school. What would you like to come home to?

a) Lots of brothers and sisters jumping off the walls and inviting you to play.
b) Your mom and dad waiting for you, ready to go on a bike ride.
c) Your mom, cooking dinner, ready to hear all about your day.
d) An after-school snack of homemade cookies while you do your homework with your siblings and wait for your dad to come home.

Hero for Everlong

Speak-Out Youth Newsletter

I believe that permanency is very important.
When I was at my all time low
I just wanted to fly away like a blackbird.
I was creeping death,
I needed a Courtesy Call.
I knew that someday I'll be on the Stairway to
Soon I will find a person, they will say,
"Oh starlight, don't you cry. We're going to find
A place where we belong"
They will be my Saviour, I'll know that
Nothing else matters, and I'll be living in
Paradise City.
So Open your eyes, and see that If
Everyone Cared, and they gave a

Our journey

Focus on Adoption magazine

It’s been hard to see my things destroyed, my personal space obliterated and my patience shattered.

It’s been an adjustment to keep up with multiple appointments, lack of information and countless phone calls.

It’s been a struggle to not ask too much, push too hard or back off too far.

We’ve been through nightmares, perfect days and everything in between.

I’ve loved being able to snuggle you, tickle you and tuck you in every night – even though you’re not so little.

I’m amazed at how you’ve grown in such a short time – so much more than just height.


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