Whether it's moving to a new foster home, an adoptive home, back with birth family, or agingin out at 19, it's something all youth in care will experience at one point or another. Sometimes those transitions are smooth and expected; other times they're scary and happen without warning. What was a positive experience for one youth could have been super stressful for another.
In this five-part series from 2006, we present the diary of Mary Ella, an intercountry adoptive mom. She shares the journey she and her husband, Wayne, took to Korea to meet their long-awaited daughter, Leelee.
Claire’s 10-year-old son, Adam, was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her second son, Ethan, joined their family from foster care at age 7. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the “fast and furious learning” she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child. This series ran from 2013 to 2016.
There are few things more life- or soul-destroying than clinging to the feeling that you are a victim of your life experiences, and that the world owes you something for the pain it caused you. And there are even fewer things more life- or soul-destroying than not allowing yourself the space to really feel your loss, fear, and longing.
Growing up in foster care, I had great difficulties trusting others because it seemed that everyone was leaving me and often times fear and ignorance prevent trust.
Transitioning can be different for every person. For my brother and I it was a different experience for the both of us...
I was not completely ready for the transition and had run away for a few days to, in a way, help clear my mind. My brother on the other hand went easily. Once we were at the house everything went well. The first summer went really well; we had lots of fun and had got to know each other well. Once school started there were a few challenges.
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.
For many internationally adopted children, a part of adjusting to their new home will include learning to hear the sounds of English. They will then need to learn how to move their lips, tongue, and jaw to produce these sounds, and then put words together.
Encourage language learning by creating fun activities like Peek-a-Boo, singing songs, or other age-appropriate games.
Growing up you see your parents' "mistakes" in raising you, and you swear never to be like them. Then you become a parent.
Suddenly you no longer see your parents as having made mistakes; rather, they were surviving in the forever challenging world of parenthood.
These stories illustrate the power of the elemental need to parent, the ability to mourn but not blame, the uniqueness of every adoption, and what an agonizing decision adoption can be for birth parents.
In BC, birth mothers have 30 days form the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child. Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the adoptive parents can breathe a sigh of relief. For others, it's not quite so simple.