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What is family?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Family means many things. It can mean biological, foster, adoptive, and/or honorary.

The Vanier Institute of the Family defines family as “any combination of two or more persons who are bound  together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth and/or adoption or placement and who, together, assume responsibilities for the functions of the family.”

Tree of life

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My son Gabriel has been talking about tattoos since he was about 14 or 15. He has always talked about wanting the tattoos to have some meaning for him, as opposed to just being a picture he likes. His first tattoo, which he got at age 18, was of the Liberty bell. It was representative of where he was born (Philadelphia) and says “circa 1993,” which is his birth year.

"Perfect" parents for teens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Parents who are willing to wait for personal gratification.
Attachment with teens can take longer and may look very different than attachment with younger children.

Someone with a great sense of humour, patience, tolerance, and adaptability.
Self explanatory if you know teens.

People who can see beyond the rebellious teen to the blossoming young adult that they are becoming.
Are you able to quietly nurture the child that is still crying out for love and attention?

Wanted: Imperfect families

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As awareness and recruitment around teen adoption grows, hope is on the rise for youth who were once considered  "unadoptable." We talked with Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter Anne Melcombe about how she looks outside the box to find families for the unique kids on her caseload.

Aging out: Tough road for teens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?

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.”

Fathers and daughters

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

What is it about fathers and daughters? Why is it that fathers are supposed to worry so much about their daughters, their future, their behaviour, their friends? No real reason anymore, in this day and age, at least, no more than they should worry about a son. But still we make jokes about it, still we tend to be more strict with our girls, and tend to worry that little bit extra.

Extreme parenting: Love is a decision

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Claire's 10-year-old son was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her other son, Ethan, joined their family just over a year ago, when he was 7. Ethan was born in Canada and at the age of 2 was taken into government care, where he remembers at least three sets of foster parents over five years and acquired two behavioural designations – reactive attachment disorder and severe adjustment disorder. Read on for Claire’s lessons in extreme parenting.

Fostercare and the stigma of mental illness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.

I am not a negative statistic

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Despite being in 10 different foster homes in five years, how did I manage to not let instability take over my life?

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?”

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