When Ellen and her husband adopted a child from foster care, they were blindsided by the challenges. Now, Ellen is the happy mother of a successful adult daughter. She hopes her story encourages other parents to hold on to hope.
There are hundreds of teenagers in foster care who need permanent homes. In this interview Paula*, a mom who’s adopted four youth, shares her journey.
*all names have been changed to protect the family's privacy.
Tell me about your family.
I live in a small, coastal town. I’m a single mom. I have seven children: Naomi (27), Tessa (25), Jack (24), Rob (23), Cameron (21), Justin (18), and Blake (17).
Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.
Trauma: adoption’s shadow
Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.
There’s no better time than the present for adoptive families to get reacquainted with Mother Nature. Angela Krueger, an Ontario PRIDE trainer, parent facilitator, freeelance writer, and adoptive mom, explains how getting outside can facilitate attachment for adoptive families, and shares practical tips to help you make it happen.
Take a walk
“Again?” my preteen asks, rolling her eyes, when I say it’s time for a walk around the block.
I’m a mom of four children, all adopted at different ages and stages. My first child was born in the US in 1997 and adopted as a newborn. In 2006 I adopted three more children from Liberia in West Africa. They were 2, 4, and 13 years old (though the 13 year old wouldn’t actually join our family until he was nearly 19).
In 2006, Liberia was a country in turmoil, it was just a few years after the civil war had ended, the infant and child mortality rates were incredibly high, and the adoptions were being processed relatively quickly.
In February of 2010 our social worker told my brother and I about a couple who wanted to adopt us. We began working with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) for our transition. In June, we moved in with our new family. The first year with them was hard for me. I'd moved to a new town and had to start all over.
Now we have a good relationship, but learning to trust and love them was really tough. Of course, with two teenagers in the house, there will always be arguments; but my family is always there for us.
To whom it may concern,
In the ninth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. This time, mom loses confidence that she can cope.
The past ten days have been an absolute nightmare. The foster parents came for a visit last weekend. We'd planned this a month ago, and we all through it would be good for Grant and Lynn to see Susan and Mike. We believed this would help cement the concept of foster parents always being part of their adoption story.
Joseph is now 11 years old. He was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. In his first few years, he tragically lost his birth family and ended up in a refugee camp and then an orphanage. After a three-year search and a two-year adoption process, he came to Canada to join his new family in Coquitlam. It has been an incredible journey for this young boy.
In the tenth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. The behaviourist, Roz, who has come in to help the struggling family is teaching Mom how actions speak louder than words.
Roz has been observing the kids for a while now and although she still hasn't come up with a magical word to make it all better, I think we're making progress.