Category - Support Services

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 ...
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 ...
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