Transitioning

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Finally on the way to forever

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Maya and John Benson adopted a sibling group almost three years ago. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their traumatized children—especially their oldest son. Being a forever family quickly seemed an impossible fantasy.

Some parents who have adopted older kids or sibling groups will understand what I'm going to say next; others will think I'm an awful parent.

Trust takes times for older adopted children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption therapist Brenda McCreight explains to an impatient father that it will take much longer than he expects for his 7-year-old daughter, adopted from an orphanage, to learn to trust her new parents.

Recently, an adoptive father asked me for suggestions on how he could develop a trust-based relationship with his 7-year-old daughter, adopted internationally from an orphanage two years previously.

The language of hurt kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption—it is called inducement.

Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we have to understand why children act the way they do.

Triple Trauma Sends Family Into Chaos

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In 2005, Jordan and Kelly Brinton adopted three children from foster care: Jinny, James, and Ron. The couple also have two other children, Steve, 8, and Heidi, 9, adopted at birth. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their severely traumatized children. Each child exhibited different symptoms of trauma, abuse, and neglect; but it was their oldest son who proved the biggest challenge. Here, Kelly shares her story.

What’s in a name? Waiting to be called Mom and Dad

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Tracy and Scott Hill adopted two older children, realizing that it’s not always easy for kids to make the adjustment to a new family, they decided to let the girls take the lead in what they should call their new parents. It took a while, but eventually those magical words “Mom” and “Dad”—that so many parents take for granted—started to come naturally. Here’s their story.

Foster mom puts kids first in adoption preparation

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Two years ago, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Leah Elliott adopted a set of siblings aged four and five years old. These children joined the sibling group of three who had joined Leah’s family earlier. Leah wrote to Focus about the wonderful job Vickie, the children’s foster mom, did in preparing the children for this momentous move. Though each adoption is different, much of this foster mom’s painstaking and unselfish work serves as a blueprint for successful older child adoption preparation.

Grandmother struggles with parenting second time around

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.

Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.

Recognizing and coping with post-adoption depression

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Like new biological parents, some adoptive parents can become blue or even experience some depression once a baby or child comes home. This can occur for several reasons. It's nothing to be ashamed about, but you do need to recognize it and get some help.

I remember walking down the streets of East Vancouver pushing my newborn baby’s stroller and sobbing. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, trying to care for a baby—something I knew precious little about—and from loneliness. I felt that I had thrown away my season ticket to freedom, and I longed to go back to my previous life.

Cause of trauma key to treatment of attachment issues

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Renee Friedman attended the 2003 NACAC workshop presented by Ronald Frederici and Lisa Locke on  “The Neuro-developmental and Attachment Related Disorders.” Here’s what she learned.

Despite its lofty title this workshop proved informative. Dr Frederici, an adoptive parent and ex-worker at an international orphanage, made the assertion that if a child has been institutionalized for two years or more, it is probable that he or she will display neuro-cognitive deficits. In other words, the child’s brain will have developed differently than if trauma had not occurred.

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