Health

Ask the Experts: How to communicate difficult information to birth parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A conversation with Lee Crawford and Brenda McCreight on everyday challenges.

How should adoptive parents approach their child’s birthparents about difficulties they are having with their child?

Brenda: The birthparents and grandparents having some limited, continued contact is very appropriate. But that doesn’t mean [birth parents] have a responsibility or access to what’s going on in your family, and I think that it is really important to not be over-sharing. They’re not entitled to know everything that’s going on.

Hair and skin care for kids: A guide for parents of black and bi-racial children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Kelly Martin brought home her 21-month-old daughter, Kendall, there were all the common new-parent concerns: “How will I ever cut such tiny nails?” laughs Kelly. But Kendall is Haitian, and caring for black skin and hair was to be an additional learning experience for Kelly. Undaunted, she says, “I knew it was something I would have to learn.”

Breastfeeding is a choice for adoptive moms too

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Many people assume that breastfeeding is not an option in adoption. P’nina Shames interviewed two Kootenay- based adoptive moms, Carol and Sherri, who were successful. Here they share some of their secrets.

Why did you breastfeed?

Carol: I wanted to create the same bond with my adopted child that I have with my biological child. Besides being good for the baby, studies show that it helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.

How hereditary can intelligence be?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Researchers have long overestimated the role our genes play in determining intelligence. As it turns out, cognitive skills do not depend on ethnicity, and are far more malleable than once thought. Targeted encouragement can help children from socially challenged families make better use of their potential.

Birth mothers find support and healing online

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Several studies have documented the persistent, negative effects birthmothers have experienced after placing a child for adoption. Grief may manifest itself in physiological changes, emotions of sorrow, distress or guilt, socially through family and other interpersonal relationships, and maladaptive coping strategies such as substance use and self harm.

First steps into North Korea

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Kelly Spicer visited numerous orphanages in North Korea (DPRK) in November 2010 with First Steps, a Vancouver-based non-profit, whose mission is to prevent childhood malnutrition. While there, she captured the hope and suffering she encountered in a diary of her experiences.

Nov. 23: What am I doing in North Korea? I still can’t even believe that I am here!

Understanding the impacts of your child's early experiences on learning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The degree of stress your child experienced prior to adoption may significantly impact how his or her brain develops.

As an adoptive parent and a therapist, I am keenly interested in how my child’s early experiences impact her classroom performance and ability to learn. A recent experience at my daughter’s school reinforced how critical it is for teachers and parents to have information that will help educate them in a practical way to respond to children who have had significant early stress or trauma and are struggling to adapt to the school environment.

Tending troubled transplants

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

How to handle the tough job of parenting a child who has never experienced proper parenting.

When Ethan’s foster mom, Julie, found a knife under his pillow she was extremely alarmed and immediately put in an urgent call to his caseworker

The reason 10-year-old Ethan went to bed accompanied by a knife, rather than a teddy bear, was because he’d lived in a birth family where drug deals, violence, and abuse were the order of the day. Ethan hadn’t been able to rely on his parents to protect him, so he had learned to protect himself.

Neurofeedback helped my internationally adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.

When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.    

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