Category - Support Services

8
Jan

Why Must I Take Pre-Adoption Education?

I always know when I send a new international adoption family their Individual Education Plan, that there are probably some grunts and groans as they read the list of requirements. I get that. Yes, education is part of the process, possibly not only from the State you live in, but definitely from The Hague Convention ...
3
Jan

Helping Your Child Overcome A Fear of Dogs

One question I always ask parents who have pets in their home during their home study visit is, “What will you do if your child has a fear of dogs?” For many, this is a question they haven’t quite thought about, but I generally get a response similar to the following: “We will do what ...
18
Dec

Post Adoption Services are for Everyone

Let’s face it, the adoption journey can be hard! Really hard. It can be stressful, confusing, frustrating, and expensive. During this process, you have family and friends rallying around you, other adoptive parents encouraging you, and your adoption agency staff supporting you. Their help and guidance make the difference. Then, your precious child comes home. ...
4
Dec

Self-Soothing Behaviors

In orphanages or foster care, many children learn self-soothing behaviors such as rocking, head banging, or sucking their thumbs to comfort themselves. These behaviors are learned due to neglect, limited social interaction, and a lack of loving caregivers who consistently meet their needs. When raised in these environments, children learn how to take care of ...
27
Nov

Empowering your Child to Answer Tough Questions about Adoption

“Why don’t you look like your mom and dad?” “Where are your REAL parents?” “Where are you from?” “Why didn’t your parents want you?” “You’re lucky to be adopted!” “I wish I was adopted.” These are all questions or comments that adoptees hear from classmates, friends, and even adults. Even though most people don’t mean ...
20
Nov

Separation Anxiety in your Child: Normal Behavior or Problematic?

When my daughter recently started her 2-year-old in day care, the phone calls increased to me during that first week—“She’s so upset, crying and clinging to me the minute we enter the parking lot. I hate leaving her!” Of course, my own memories of waiting outside the day care front door listening to her and ...
13
Nov

Helping Your Child with Self-Hurting Behaviors

Self-hurting in children is often seen as a coping mechanism when difficult feelings arise. Some of these difficult feelings that your child may be unable to express can include but are not limited to: guilt, sadness, anxiety, frustration, low self-worth, and self-blame. When a child goes through a life-changing transition like adoption, they may not ...
7
Nov

How Does MLJ Support Me During the Dossier Process?

The paperwork required during the adoption process can be overwhelming. There are applications, surveys, letters and endless forms to complete. First, families must complete a home study, and gather and fill out the numerous documents that go with it. When the home study is finished, it is time to compile the dossier, a collection of ...
23
Oct

Car Seat Troubles

“Don’t unbuckle your seatbelt!” “Stay in your car seat!” “Stop screaming, Mommy is trying to drive!” Do these sound familiar? It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to be driving down the road while their child is screaming and/or climbing out of their car seat. Children who have been adopted from another country have often spent a ...
16
Oct

Alternatives to Traditional Discipline

Traditional parenting techniques are not always effective when parenting a child with a history of trauma. Traditional parenting techniques include time-outs, behavior charts and removing privileges due to poor behavior. Sending a child away to a corner or to their room can cause them to feel rejected, afraid, unworthy, unlovable and alone. Before your child joined ...
20
Sep

Why is Back to School Especially Difficult for Children from Hard Places?

Back to school season can be difficult for all children, but especially for children from hard places. Before we officially dive into the “why,” it’s helpful to define the “who.” For the purposes of this topic, we will be talking about children from hard places. “Children from hard places” is a term coined by Dr. ...
13
Sep

Moving Past Traditional Parenting Methods: A Book Review on Beyond Consequences

It’s far from light summer reading, and probably not what you want to tote with you to the beach, but Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control, Vol. 2 is a worthwhile read for every parent to a child from a hard place. Often orphaned and vulnerable children have spent the early years of their lives in ...
21
Aug

Adoption & Education: Specific Tips for Collaborating with a Teacher

With the school year starting soon or recently started, it’s back to navigating how to help your child flourish even when they’re not with you. Sending your child off to school can be difficult, especially if you’re nervous about how she will interact with her classmates, teachers and school administrators. But, if you prepare and ...
2
Aug

How Do You Define Family?

It’s amazing how times have changed since I was a child. Not only technology, advances in medicine and science, and education, but in the definition or understanding of “family.” It’s a good change, I think, because as a society we have become more accepting, diverse in our thinking, and willing to understand that “family” can ...
31
Jul

Summer Activities for Kids Promoting Cultural Awareness

Through my work in international adoption, I have had the absolute privilege to travel and experience parts of the world that I otherwise would have never seen. These experiences have certainly had a positive and lasting impact on my life and the way I view our world. I hope one day, my children will also ...
12
Jul

Qualities of a Successful Adoptive Parent

When considering adoption, parents generally take time to consider whether they meet certain qualifications, like age requirements or length of marriage, to adopt from a particular country. For example, to adopt from Ukraine, couples must be married and both must be at least 25 years old. But to adopt from Burkina Faso, couples must be ...
28
Jun

Playing Games to Strengthen Attachment

Our family enjoys playing games together! We have even dubbed Friday evenings as “Family Game Night.” It’s so beloved by my children that it does not go over well when this has to be changed, even though we play games together as a family many other days throughout the week as well. Some of our ...
26
Jun

Minding Their Manners

I just spent a week caring for my 22 month-old granddaughter while her parents took a much needed anniversary trip. As her Mumzi, I was thrilled to do this because I simply cannot contain my joy when I am with her. However, this week of being her one-and-only caregiver has also given me a much ...
31
May

Traveling with Children: What Was I Thinking?

Ahh…the dreams of a big happy family riding blissfully over hill and dale in the packed-to-the-brim SUV, with each child melodically singing Disney songs together, and Mom and Dad glancing affectionately at their lovely travelers, knowing the beach vacation is not far away.  WAIT! STOP THE PRESSES! This NEVER happens in real life! True, but ...
17
May

Why Your Agency Harps on Post-Adoption Reporting Requirements

Post-adoption reporting requirements can be frustrating for families for several reasons. Post-adoption reports require planning and scheduling, have a cost involved, and can feel intrusive. The adoption process and the transition home can be overwhelming and stressful, you may not want to think about yet another thing to do. It can also feel intrusive to ...
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 ...
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