“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.
Anne Melcombe and Kirsty Stormer are adoption recruitment workers for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids.A North America-wide program, WWK was started by the Dave Thomas Foundation to find homes for waiting children and is administered in BC by AFABC. Anne and Kirsty do child-specific adoption recruitment; they match families to the needs of specific waiting children.
Galya was adopted from Russia at age 11. Her new parents quickly learned ways to help their child with this momentous transition. They also fought the school system, which so often fails to acknowledge the challenges faced by an internationally adopted child.
Galya was almost 12 years old when we brought her home from Novosibirsk. It was just three weeks before a new school year began.
Adoptive mom Carol Bolton describes how she struggled but succeeded in developing an attachment relationship with one of her newly-adopted sons.
Last year, we adopted our two sons. Though siblings, the boys had been placed in different foster homes and barely knew each other.
David, aged two, was placed five days after birth with foster parents who were very experienced and knew how to transition a child to a new family. David moved in with us first and the process went very smoothly.
We are pleased to share with you some information on adoption. We hope it will help us all to celebrate the adoption in our family and to welcome our new arrival.
We must never forget that moving a child into a new family is a life-altering event for the child. Focus on Adoption magazine asked social worker Judy Archer for her top three recommendations for transitioning children into a new family.
It is almost impossible to narrow down my recommendations to just three.
When a new child joins your family, it means that all the family members need to adjust and adapt to the new arrival so that he or she develops a sense of belonging.
This transformation has to occur not only the first time a family adopts, but each time a child arrives. If the members of the family system don’t make the shift to include the new child, then the child will be stuck in the outer limits of the family, never really belonging.
A child welfare expert, and adoptive mom to 12 children, explains how retracing developmental stages helps older adoptees heal.
During college I studied Erik Erikson, a Pulitzer prize-winning psychologist known for his work in the mid-1900s on identity and psychosocial development. Decades later, I noticed remarkable connections between his theories and parenting older adopted children. The key part of Erikson’s theory is that until a person completes one developmental stage, they cannot go on to the next stage.
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.
Social worker Kathryn Grant offers some thoughts for parents who are axious about handling openness with birth family.
Many parents are apprehensive about managing openness relationships that they fear could be harmful for the child or disruptive to their family.
The key to success lies in two strategies: putting yourself in the child’s shoes so that you can understand the strength of their need to keep connected with those they love, and developing confidence that you can deal with tricky situations.