The benefits of summer camp
- Children who join their family through adoption, especially older children or children with special needs, often feel different from their peers at school.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a hectic summer, and I have to admit some of our activities were just a tad on the crazy side.
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.”
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.
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?”
“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.
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.