Category - Support Services


Getting Your Child to Ride in Their Car Seat

Most young children simply do not like their car seats at first. Especially when they are a toddler and mobile, they love the freedom that being unattached to Mom and Dad can bring. They are unrestrained and unencumbered and can do whatever they want. Confinement in a car seat takes away all of that newfound freedom …


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 …


Facing the Bathroom Blues

Every parent seems to have questions about potty training, and new adoptive parents often wonder if their child’s behavior is “normal” or not. Recently, a parent contacted me about her child who had just arrived in the US. She was definitely experiencing the “bathroom blues” with her toddler- see if this sounds familiar: “Potty training has …


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 …


Meeting Your Child for the First Time

After a long and exhausting process, the most anticipated moment of your adoption is when you meet your child for the first time. This is an exciting, and probably nerve-wracking moment, and parents rarely know what to expect. Managing these emotions, as well as your expectations, are key to making this joyous meeting a smooth one …


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 …


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 …


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 …


What’s the Big Deal About Birth Order?

As a budding young psychology student in the ‘70s, I remember reading The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman and thinking “Wow, that explains so much!” As the oldest child in a large Catholic family, I now had an excuse for being an over-achieving, conscientious, cautious, perfectionistic, …


Adopting a Sibling Group

Many families, when contemplating their adoption journey, may decide to adopt siblings. Each family seeking to adopt a sibling group will have their own reasons for making that decision. Some reasons might include the perception that it is easier to complete your family all at one time (adding a second child can be less expensive …


Ten Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

In the spring, I traveled to Congo on an escort trip. Since I’m not yet a parent, traveling internationally with two toddlers back to the United States required some planning and some mental preparation. I had no idea what to expect, and thankfully my co-workers prepared me well. Here are some tips that I found …


When Can My Child Stay Home Alone?

The children are back in school now, and Johnny comes home and asks, “Why can’t I come home after school like Bobby does, instead of going to the babysitter?” Regardless of the answer you give, his response will likely be “That’s not fair,” but it is up to you—the adult—to make this all-important decision for your …


What Can I Do with my Host Child?

You’re about to have an exciting time with your host child from Ukraine! They will be on their first overseas trip, and will be visiting a new country. You will be bringing a child into your home as you decide if international adoption is for you. You both will be building a new relational bridge …


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! …


First Experiences With Your Child

When you bring your child home to the United States, you will experience a world of “firsts” with your child: first time in an airplane, first time in a car seat, first time at the mall, first time in a church, etc. The list is endless! It is important, however, to remember that these moments …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Preparing Your Anxious Child for the Start of School

Is it that time already? With summer winding down and teachers prepping their classrooms, you can almost hear the schoolyard noises starting to rise to a level of chaotic excitement. Sometimes, however, you may see that your child is not excited, but anxious and fearful over the start of school. School anxiety is common among …


Markers and Mandalas and Coloring Books, Oh My!

If you have gone into any bookstore or big box craft shop lately or looked on Pinterest, you have seen them: the rows and rows of adult coloring books, in all shapes and sizes, with geometric stained glass windows and Hindu mandala designs, all begging for your individual time and attention. There are even themed …


So You’re Thinking About Adopting An Older Child…

Older child adoption is available through MLJ Adoptions, a Hague-Accredited agency working with several intercountry adoption programs. We work with foreign countries where adopting an older child is an option because there are no adoptive homes for them in their home country. Because the term “older child” can mean any child 4 years of age …

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