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Category - Support Services

15
May

One Million Words

I recently read an article by Psychcentral which stated that “Young children who are reading five books a day from birth will begin kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to…”. Re-read that sentence again.  Let that information sink in. OVER ONE MILLION WORDS DIFFERENCE!! Crazy, huh?  And ...
8
May

Mindfullness

You’ve likely heard the buzz surrounding mindfulness practices in recent years. Maybe you’ve even taken a yoga class or two in order to get in touch with your inner self. But what is all the hype about, and does it actually work? To get a better idea of what Mindfulness is I asked a Nicole ...
1
May

Needs of Children Adopted Internationally

In International adoption, the term “special needs” encapsulates a wide variety of characteristics and diagnoses. Special needs not only includes those in wheelchairs, with missing limbs, etc.; it also includes those with learning difficulties or emotional and behavioral difficulties. Most children who join their family through adoption have some sort of special need, or at ...
3
Apr

What to Expect on your Home Visit

If you’re anything like me, you clean your house from top to bottom when you’re expecting company. So naturally, when my husband and I adopted, and we had our home study visit with our social worker I did the same thing. Even though I knew exactly what to expect (since this is my job!). I ...
20
Feb

Grocery Store Chaos and How to Avoid it

I recently stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work as apparently so many other locals decided to do as well. The warnings of a polar vortex coming our way sent the masses to “hunt and gather” for the remaining cartons of milk, loaves of bread and toilet paper. For me, just ...
4
Feb

The Importance of Telling Your Child “I Love You”

“The best advice I could give any parent would be to never pass up a chance to tell your kids that you love them. Touch them, cuddle and hug them often. Never part without saying ‘I love you.’”                                                                                 —Andy Quinones, parent February, that special month of valentines, love, affection, and caring, is tailor-made for parents ...
23
Jan

ENTERING YOUR ADOPTION JOURNEY AWARE AND INVOLVED

Some prospective parents enter the adoption process with very definite ideas about the child they want to adopt.  When they first call or email, they provide very specific information on the child they want and ask what the process is to obtain such a child.  While well meaning and likely based on previous thought and ...
21
Jan

Journey to the Fatherless – Book Review

Lawrence E. Bergeron states that the purpose for his book, Journey to the Fatherless, is to “help the Church both awaken and prepare her people for the journey to the fatherless.” Being awakened to a need- any need- does not prepare one to meet that need, and this author is well-equipped to prepare other families for ...
16
Jan

Taking Care of You

The adoption journey is not an easy one. Is it exciting? Yes. Is it focused on love? Yes. Is it joyful? Yes. Is it stress-free and relaxed? No. As an adoptive parent-in-waiting, you will experience a myriad of emotions. As a parent whose child has arrived home, you will experience even more emotional reactions—some pleasant ...
7
Jan

The ABC’s of Preparing Our Children for Temporary Separation

Whether for pleasure, business, or some urgent necessity, there are times you may need to travel while your child remains at home or with an alternate caregiver. Your absence could lead to stress in the heart of your child which will translate into fear. Most of our adopted children live in a constant state of ...
3
Jan

Can We Talk About Childhood Trauma?

Recently someone approached me trying to understand why my child’s past traumatic experiences cause her to act out like she does. This person had also experienced trauma as a child, but did not have the emotional instability and behaviors that my child exhibits so he didn’t buy into my explanation about how trauma permanently alters ...
27
Sep

Journaling as a Tool in Healing

The other day my daughter announced that she was “doing her own therapy.” When I asked her what this meant she said that she was journaling and writing down her feelings. I’ll admit that this made my social worker heart proud. At the top of her page she wrote her own journal prompt and asked ...
27
Aug

What Immigration Approvals Do I Utilize During the Adoption Process?

The adoption process is one that can be extremely confusing, to say the least. That is why MLJ is here to help and provide you with guidance and resources that will help ease some of the confusion. Being able to differentiate between the Orphan and Convention processes is the first step in discovering what path ...
20
Aug

What Are Some Specific Ways to Prepare a Child for School?

There are so many ways to prepare your child to head back to school!  Parents know their child best so individual methods of preparation should always be considered.  However, in general, there are some basic suggestions: Discuss the child with their teacher. Explain the challenges he/she often has, behaviors, stage of development, special needs, preferences, ...
28
Jul

Unspoken Gratitude

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of seeing the 1947 holiday film Miracle on 34th Street at a local “retro” theatre. Finally, I got to see one of my favorite Christmas movies on the big screen. Yes, it was in glorious black and white! The author, Valentine Davis, got the idea for the story while struggling ...
23
Jul

Resources for Families Considering International Adoption

Many families begin scrambling for adoption resources as soon as they make the commitment to pursue an adoption. They begin asking questions of their friends, family, adoption agency, and other adoptive families. They begin researching over the internet or in local libraries for information on processes, countries, child behaviors, USCIS requirements for immigration, and grants. ...
5
Jul

Self-Care in Adoption

Adoption is a stressful process. On the surface, it is portrayed as an act of altruism and a way to expand your family, it is also seen by many as a helping hand for children in need of forever families. There’s no doubt that all these statements are true, but what about all the arduous ...
25
Jun

My Lessons Learned About International Adoption

During my time here at MLJ Adoptions I’ve grown significantly both professionally and personally. I’ve learned more than I can put into words or fit into one blog, but I do want to highlight a few of the most important lessons I have learned. Trauma All children who join their family through adoption have experienced some ...
24
May

We Can Do Hard Things!

A good friend and colleague of mine has a sign in her office that says, “We can do hard things.” During the last year I have found myself reminding myself of this phrase often, mostly in reference to my personal adoptive parenting journey. I’m sure I’ve said it many times that adoptive parenting isn’t easy, ...
23
May

Ten Tips for Making Family Road Trips Bearable!

“Are we there yet?!” “How much longer?!” “I’m bored!” Road trips can sometimes feel like they’re never going to end! With summer break just around the corner, you and your family may have road trips planned. To some, long car rides can be stressful and boring. Your children might be over the road trip after ...
16
May

A Cry Like No Other

I was reading Shaoey and Dot by Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman one day during the time I was waiting to adopt my two Ukrainian daughters, and the words in the book shook me to my core. I was so devastated I had to stop reading the book and get myself together before finishing ...
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