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In my opinion: Mentally ill youth left behind

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoptive mom says there's nowhere to turn for adoptive families with mentally ill youth. She also describes the services she'd like to see.

It’s estimated that 10 to 20% of Canadian youth have a mental illness or severe behaviour disorder.

You can bet that these youth are highly represented in the adoption population where mental health concerns are often combined with FASD, ADHD, and the brain damage caused by early abuse and neglect.

Return to Romania

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An adoption reunion can answer many questions. It can also change an adoptee's life in unexpected ways.

When she packed her birth certificate, some cherished photographs, and set off, Sevdin MacDonald hoped they might provide valuable clues that would lead to her lost family in Romania.

Birth dad let our daughter down

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Openness doesn't always go smoothly--especially when a child was appreehended because of abuse or neglect.

Openness between the birth and adoptive parents of children who were in foster care because of neglect or abuse has become the norm. This sort of openness relationship can be very different to that between adoptive parents and healthy birth parents who made adoption plans for their children.

Mail brings unexpected connection

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When Chelsea was adopted, her young birthmom gave a letter, photo, bracelet, and blanket to her daughter. At first, her adoptive parents sent letters and photos via their social worker. Then each family moved and contact was lost—until now.

When I was a little girl, I used to love to jump out of the car when my dad stopped by the mailbox because I wanted to see if I got anything. Eventually the excitement wore off because I rarely did, but it was still my job to check the mail.

Back up so your child can move forward

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

Teen finds being loved isn't always easy

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adopted at 16, April O'Neil explains that accepting the love and involvement of a new mom isn't an automatic or smooth process.

Because of the support of my mom, and our choice to go forward with adoption, my life has changed in ways I never would have imagined.

In the last few years, I have graduated from high school, got through my first year at Simon Fraser University and, somehow, managed to convince ICBC to give me a driver’s license.

Out of time

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A youth speaks his mind about aging out of care without an adoptive family

We spoke with Chris Tait, a young man who recently aged out of care, about his thoughts on permanency for waiting children and teen adoption.

How do you feel about aging out of care without having found a forever family?

Life and lunacy in my large adoptive family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Learning to live with kids more tech-savvy than yourself

My father remembered a horse and cart delivering milk to his door as a child; indeed his father wondered if they would ever put a man on the moon. It’s hard to believe, that for some of us computers are relatively new --that we (some of us I mean) began life without them and actually remember a time when you couldn’t just find what you were looking for on the internet.

Yes, things have changed.

Bethany goes back to her Chinese roots—Mom goes too

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Last spring my daughter, Bethany, was 15 years old and loving “all things Asian.” It seemed a good time to visit her birth family in China. Armed with a powerful appetite for dim sum, and a shopping list of Anime titles (Japanese animation) she hoped to find in Hong Kong, Bethany joined me on her first visit back in 10 years.

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