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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.    

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

Your child's ages and stages in adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Though, of course, children are all different, research has shown that children who join their family through adoption tend to go through specific stages in their understanding of their family and their place in it. Here we summarize one of the best descriptions of these “ages and stages,” which can be found in Lois Ruskai Melina’s book Raising Adopted Children.

Recognizing and coping with post-adoption depression

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Like new biological parents, some adoptive parents can become blue or even experience some depression once a baby or child comes home. This can occur for several reasons. It's nothing to be ashamed about, but you do need to recognize it and get some help.

I remember walking down the streets of East Vancouver pushing my newborn baby’s stroller and sobbing. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, trying to care for a baby—something I knew precious little about—and from loneliness. I felt that I had thrown away my season ticket to freedom, and I longed to go back to my previous life.

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