Category - Support Services

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 ...
7
May

Protecting Adoptive Children’s Privacy While Fundraising

I recently saw a picture of a young child and his prospective international adoptive parents on the front page of a local paper. To my surprise, the picture showed them at their child’s orphanage, listed his name and age, identified his particular special medical needs, as well as stated the particular country they were visiting! ...
30
Apr

Using All Five Senses to Calm Down

If you’re a parent or have been around children often, you’ve likely witnessed a child (or more!) melting down or throwing a temper tantrum. Children can sometimes have difficulty regulating their emotions, especially if developmentally they have not yet reached that milestone.  Parents need to have tools to help their children regulate their emotions when ...
4
Apr

Can I Adopt Internationally if I have a Mental Health Disorder?

Having a mental health disorder may not automatically disqualify someone from adopting internationally. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis to determine eligibility. Prospective adoptive parents must be approved to adopt at several different stages in their journey. When a prospective adoptive parent first initiates a conversation with their adoption agency they will discuss ...
26
Mar

Raising Your Child to Embrace Multiculturalism

Appreciating, understanding and thriving in our multicultural world seems like an obvious goal for families who have adopted internationally. After all, you agreed to support your child’s interest in and ties to their home country and you purchased some toys and books for them while you were in country. You even prepare country-familiar foods for ...
31
Jan

What Country and Child-Specific Information Does MLJ Provide to Families?

Communication is always key to developing relationships. In adoption, we’ve found that whenever we can share information specifically regarding a family’s country program or about their referred child, that is the most helpful and appreciated communication. For this reason, we are always working to provide more and better country specific and child specific information. This ...
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 ...
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