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16
May

The Benefits of a Post-Adoption Visit

The concept of a post-adoption visit can be overwhelming for families. Like the home study process, it is intimidating to have a social worker come into your home and evaluate your family. The goal of a home study is to approve your family to adopt. It’s important to share as much information as possible with …

8
Mar

What are Post Adoption/Post Placement Reports?

After your child joins your family through adoption, you will likely still have an obligation to complete post adoption or post placement reports with your agency. Post placement reports can be required for a domestic adoption after the child has been placed in the family’s home, but prior to the final court date. If the …

25
Jan

Four Reasons to Attend “Empowered to Connect”

Whether you’re in the process of adopting, have already adopted, are considering adoption, work with children from hard places, or maybe just read The Connected Child book and still don’t completely understand how it works, the Empowered to Connect Conference is for you! This conference provides an introduction to research-based interventions for at-risk children, presented by …

11
Jan

Finding Help for Your Adopted Child through EMDR

Imagine that you’ve finally completed your adoption process and your child has joined your family. It has been a long, hard adoption journey; you’ve seen your child grow up in pictures, and now she is finally home. You’re so excited, but you also know that you’re about to begin the difficult work of parenting a …

6
Dec

Rocking Your Way to Closer Attachment

In preparation for adopting, I read many books and blogs, and attended training sessions and webinars to learn how to form an attachment with my child once she finally joined our family. I knew that attachment wasn’t going to be easy, and that it would take a lot of work and time to form. Attachment …

30
Nov

Dealing- and Playing- with Sensory Processing Disorder

If your kids are anything like mine they like to run, jump, climb and play HARD. We have sports equipment for nearly every sport (even lacrosse!), bikes, roller blades, pogo sticks, skateboards, hula hoops, a swing set, exercise balls and a gymnastics mat, and sometimes that’s still not enough to keep my kids busy and …

21
Nov

Imus, Umus and Other Ways to Incorporate Birth Culture

While attending a luau in Hawaii, I heard a friend say, “If you go over there, you can smell our dinner cooking underground.” I was very confused by his statement; little did I know that I was about to witness the unearthing of our dinner for the evening. I had never heard of an “earth …

26
Sep

Ten Tips for Surviving the “Trenches” in Adoption

After about a year, I feel like my family is finally out of the adoption “trenches.” Sure, there are days when we’ve fallen back in, but for the most part we feel like we’ve made it up and out. There will continue to be many ups and downs, but my family survived, and so can yours! …

8
Sep

How Snapchat Saved Our Summer

Most of you have probably heard of Snapchat. If not, you’ve been missing out! I was skeptical at first, thinking it was just some crazy fad that all the teenagers were into. But I was wrong! This smart phone app literally puts a smile on my face every time I open it. Many times that …

29
Aug

Mantras for Connected Parenting

One thing I’ve learned in parenting is that yelling is not effective. Yelling at my children creates fear and sends them into fight-or-flight mode. However, staying calm and not yelling when you walk into your daughter’s room after she’s poured lotion all over the carpet can be very difficult! Or when she’s flushed a hand …

10
Aug

Back-to-School Tips for Adoptive Parents

As I prepare to send my kids back to school, I’m mentally making a list of tasks that I need to get done as the new school year approaches. If you’re a parent of a child through adoption, your list likely has additional tasks other than just buying school supplies, books, and clothes for the new …

4
Apr

R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Resources for Developing Respect in your Child

My daughter once told a teacher at school that the hardest rule to follow in our house was showing respect. As a parent, I want my children to be kind and considerate and think of other people’s feelings, so I give them frequent reminders to show respect to others. However, learning to say “please” and …

28
Mar

Tips for Effective Re-Do’s

I am a frequent user of the “Undo” (Ctrl + Z) and “Re-do” (Ctrl + Y) functions on a computer. When typing I don’t always get it right the first time and have to try it again when I make mistakes. Sometimes I wish that there was a short cut like Ctrl + Z in …

10
Mar

Say “Yes”, Turn “No” into “Yes” and Teach Your Child to Accept “No”

During the first couple months of becoming an adoptive mom, there were many times I said “yes” to my daughter when I ordinarily wouldn’t have done so. For example, I said yes to: taking a bath in leggings, taking a bath with socks on, taking a bath fully clothed (luckily this stage passed fairly quickly!), …

10
Feb

Splish-Splash! My Kid Won’t Take a Bath!

In our house, bath time can sometimes be a struggle. A few nights ago my daughter refused to take a bath. I eventually figured out that she wanted me to bathe her. I’m not sure about you, but around 7:30pm, after being sick and working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was …

13
Jan

What is a Home Study?

Over the past several years at MLJ Adoptions I’ve completed many home studies and met many different families hoping to adopt. Each family is different and has their own story to tell. My favorite parts about completing home studies are talking with families and learning what brought them to adoption and providing them with support …

23
Dec

Lifebooks are an Important Tool

This week I was talking with a friend of mine who has a teenager who was adopted from Latin America 13 years ago. Since her daughter is now a teenager she is at a critical time where she is defining her identity and how she fits in the world. According to Erik Erikson, adolescents search …

11
Nov

How Can I Teach My Child to be Gentle and Kind?

How does your child’s engine run? If your child is like mine her engine runs on high most of the time. We are constantly saying “slow down,” “be careful,” “be safe,” “be gentle,” and “be kind.” Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Getting her to slow down and be aware of her surroundings and …

4
Nov

Spelling Words: Thinking Outside the Pen and Paper

If you have an elementary aged child, then like me, you probably dread the weekly spelling test. My daughter’s first language is not English so, for her, spelling is hard and studying for spelling tests is even harder. The English language is especially hard because not all words are spelled like they sound or sound …

21
Oct

What Can We Do to Prepare for our Host Child’s Arrival?

When preparing to host a child from another country there are more ways to prepare than simply getting your host child’s room ready. Here are some other ways to prepare your home and family in advance for orphan hosting. Educate yourself. Pay close attention to the host parent training material, take notes and highlight important …

20
Oct

How I Prepared My Sons for their Newly Adopted Sister

My husband and I took many steps to prepare our sons in advance for when we would add to our family through adoption. However, we still experienced many unknowns and surprises that we had not anticipated. We had been talking about international adoption for the past couple of years. Our kids knew what adoption means …

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