Independence

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5 things I wish I knew then

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #2

Hello all, I decided to write this article in the hopes to help those young people who are currently in the process of aging out or who will be aging out fairly soon. Aging out for me was a daunting process as I didn't have a lot of help and I feel as though this advice could have saved me a lot of trouble and tears.

Choosing adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For years, I tried to avoid even considering adoption. The idea of being put with people I didn’t know anything about and hadn’t even seen before was a little scary. I’d mostly lived with my great-grandma my whole life. That felt like home to me, and I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, my grandma’s age and health problems were getting bad and she wasn’t able to continue taking care of me. I had nowhere to turn. Adoption became the best option for me. Deciding on adoption was very scary, and I felt like I was risking my future.

Parenting your adopted teen

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption adds complexity to the life of adopted teens, even those adopted as newborns.

All teens struggle with the question, "Who am I?" Finding the answer usually involves figuring out how they are similar to, and different from their parents--a task that can be particularly complicated for children who have both birth and adoptive parents. Unknown or missing information, or having a different ethnicity from parents, can make piecing an identity puzzle together especially difficult for adoptees.

Diary of an adoptive mom #16

Source: 
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.

Aging out: Tough road for teens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?

You’re 19, officially an adult. Happy birthday. Now get out of the house.

As parents, few of us would take such a brutal approach. Yet in our role as citizens that is exactly the style we adopt toward teenagers “in care” of the Crown -- for whom the government is, institutionally speaking, their legal “parent.”

Planning for independence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Can we predict which of our kids (or kids waiting to be adopted) will be able to live on their own, in whatever manner we think people should as adults?

When I talk to adoptive parents who are considering adopting from the foster care system, they often say they will only consider a child who will be able to live independently as an adult.

I think that was one of our criteria the first time we applied to adopt, too.

I am not a negative statistic

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Despite being in 10 different foster homes in five years, how did I manage to not let instability take over my life?

The stereotype of foster children is that they will age out of care and enter a life filled with poverty, unstable relationships, and overall instability. I did not - well poverty maybe - but what student who supports herself doesn’t carry the label “starving student?”

Why we embraced our kids' regression

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

“Daaaddyyy... I reddy for waaaiipe...!” My recently adopted child yelled out. “Coming!” I sang back. I look back now, years later, to those daily routines of officially being a bum wiper for my children as precious moments. They were opportunities for each of my children to know that I am dependable and committed, and that I love each one. In our adoption journey, those days of behavioural regression manifested by our adopted children were truly blessings in disguise which needed to be seized as the ticket to trust, bonding, and relationship building.

Teens and driving: A personal perspective

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When a young adult has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or other challenges that might affect his or her ability to drive a vehicle safely, what should parents do to protect their child, other pedestrians and drivers?

Even a typical teen takes quite a while to develop the skills needed to be a safe driver. When the situation is complicated by the fact that the teen or young person has ADHD or FASD, driving becomes even more complicated.

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