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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. 

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.

The homestudy explained

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Carol Blake demystifies what can seem to be a nerve wracking and intrusive process--the adoption homestudy.

Quick! Vacuum the rug, dust the furniture, alphabetize the spice rack, the social worker is coming over!

The language of hurt kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption—it is called inducement.

Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we have to understand why children act the way they do.

What’s in a name? Waiting to be called Mom and Dad

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Tracy and Scott Hill adopted two older children, realizing that it’s not always easy for kids to make the adjustment to a new family, they decided to let the girls take the lead in what they should call their new parents. It took a while, but eventually those magical words “Mom” and “Dad”—that so many parents take for granted—started to come naturally. Here’s their story.

My child wants to look like me

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Question

I recently found my seven-year-old African-Canadian daughter scrubbing her skin with a nail brush. She told me she wanted to be white like me. We have read books that portray people from other races in a positive light, and I have always talked very positively about her colour. She also has black friends at school. I am upset by her desire to change colour and I am not sure how to deal with this. Can you advise me?

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