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School 101: For adoptive parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Starting school for the first time, or a new school year, can present challenges for adoptive parents and their children. We have prepared this brief guide to help ready you and your child for the school experience and, to, circumvent some of the problems you may encounter.

New school, new name

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Amelia moved in with her adoptive family, changed her name, and changed schools this past November.

In the middle of Grade 9, Amelia found herself in a new school, with new friends, a new adoptive family and a new last name. Change is common for youth in care, so this was not the first time she found herself in a new school or home, but, of course, this time it was much different.

Marks of permanence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As long as there have been tattoos there have been symbolic homages to family.

Early Egyptian mummies indicate that tattooing was exclusively a female ritual intended to honour and protect women during pregnancy and childbirth. Tattoos have enjoyed a renaissance of late and, not surprisingly, the tattoo trend has given opportunity for ink-art representations of the complexity of family in the adoption community, too.

Journey to recovery

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This powerful story was the keynote speech at Growing Together: a retreat for parents of persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in January 2010.

Hi, my name is Nicolas. First of all, I’d like to thank the organizers of this retreat for asking me here to share with you. I’d also like to thank and welcome all the parents and families for being here today.

The siblings are here!

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Having more sisters and brothers means more love and sometimes having to hide all your nailpolish.

Kendra is 15 years old and a big sister to six siblings. Mary Caros interviewed Kendra about her experience with being the oldest sister in a family that chooses to adopt more children.

Tell me a bit about your siblings.

Family matters: Race and beauty

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am the mom of a 13-year-old girl adopted from the US. She is African-American, we are Caucasian. Some of her friends (it’s a predominantly “white” school) are attracting the interest of boys. My daughter says nobody seems interested in her, and she thinks it’s because of her colour. How do we respond to this in a way that helps?

Surely you will want her to feel valuable, attractive, and wanted. It may be more difficult for your daughter as peer-relationships, womanhood, racial identity, and self-esteem are likely involved in this for her.

Reclaiming youth at risk

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A Lakota Sioux and Anglican minister, Dr Martin Brokenleg has developed an acclaimed program for “reclaiming kids and youth.” The Circle of Courage is a philosophy that promotes four nurturing experiences necessary for children—belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

Early European anthropologists described Native American children as radiantly happy, highly respectful, and courageous.

Adoptee finds a nest of her own

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When, at the age of 16, April O’Neil’s social worker told her she’d like to adopt her, April’s world was turned upside down. Here, April movingly describes her immediate emotions moments after she was told.

It was clear to me that I was standing in one spot—so it must have been the room that was spinning. I was in the principal’s office standing face to face with a woman who, with very few words, wanted to shake up my whole world. 

A vote for orphanages - Until...

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Would teens who move from foster home to foster home be better off in an orphanage?

There's a "new" debate going on about building orphanages for foster kids. There's even a group in Minnesota that's proposing orphanages for younger children. When asked at a public hearing what ages of children they would place in their orphanages, they noted "60% of the children will be 8 or 9 to 15 year olds with the rest being older or younger." So we know that at least one group out there is advocating for children even younger than 8-year-old.

Most teens do want to be adopted

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Anne Melcombe is a big believer in teen adoption. Why? Because she knows that teens want families and that there are families who want to adopt teens. In this article, we meet some of those parents and the kids they will adopt.

Anne Melcombe once asked a group of former foster kids if they would have liked to have been adopted. One man, 23 years old, 280 lbs, and covered in tattoos, held up his hand and said, “You bet your ass I would have liked a family. I still would!”

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