Category - Support Services

4
Oct

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 ...
26
Sep

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! ...
14
Sep

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 ...
8
Sep

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 ...
29
Aug

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 ...
10
Aug

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 ...
3
Aug

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 ...
2
Aug

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 ...
20
Jul

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 ...
13
Jul

The Pros of the Process

We all know how tedious the adoption process can be. When all you want is to bring your child into your arms once and for all, it’s difficult not to crumble under the frustrations of paperwork and in-country turmoil. Lucky for you, I thrive on optimism. While there are certainly frustrations throughout, I am here ...
6
Jul

What Should I Consider When Adopting An Older Child?

Every adoption has both its challenges and rewards, and this is especially true when adopting an older child. Parents who choose to adopt an older child should have certain characteristics. While the desire to adopt and become a parent is, of course, the primary characteristic needed, there are some traits that seem to stand out in parents who ...
29
Jun

Summer Sensory Play

Children who have experienced trauma may develop sensory seeking behaviors. These behaviors happen because the child’s brain may not function as it should, and cannot access all of the information coming in from the body, especially from the vestibular system, which handles balance and spatial orientation. As a result, the brain and the body do ...
22
Jun

Simple Tasks Can Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Adoption Attachment

One simple step towards building an attachment with your older adopted child is letting him or her decorate their own bedroom. As unimportant as this may seem in this lengthy and often complicated process of adoption, it is actually vital to developing their sense of belonging in your home! Imagine that you have been moved, ...
13
Jun

The Beauty of Giving Voice

I am a new grandmother; well, seven incredible months into it. As Mumzi, which I am going to be called by my granddaughter, Fiona, I spend entirely too much time gazing at her pictures, re-watching her videos, and constantly being amazed at every point in her development. But really, isn’t that what a Mumzi is ...
2
Jun

Changing Bedtime from Chaos to Calm

Few children like to go to bed in the evenings. After all, they might miss something exciting if they go to sleep or they won’t get continuous one-on-one attention from you. Some children, if new to your home, can be fearful of going to sleep in their new environment, be afraid of the dark, have ...
12
May

Four Activities to Promote Attachment with Your Adopted Child

One of the most common things that parents worry about prior to bringing home their child is whether or not their child will attach well and bond to them. One of the things that you can do is prepare some activities which can assist the child with bonding. Attachment-based activities are activities that enhance the ...
20
Apr

Meeting Your Adoptive Child for the First Time

Meeting your adoptive child for the first time is no doubt a moment which you have been imagining for a long time. The thought of this first meeting may be both exciting and intimidating. To make this first meeting as positive as is possible, set your expectations low. What to expect from your child It ...
11
Apr

Is This Referral a Good Match for Our Family?

In the very beginning stages, when you decided you wanted to adopt a child, you may recall filling out a characteristics checklist that listed the potential medical conditions, special needs, developmental stages, the number of children you want to adopt, the gender of the child you prefer, and the ethnicity of the child. Based on ...
4
Apr

R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Resources for Developing Respect in your Child

My daughter once told a teacher at school that the hardest rule to follow in our house was showing respect. As a parent, I want my children to be kind and considerate and think of other people’s feelings, so I give them frequent reminders to show respect to others. However, learning to say “please” and ...
21
Mar

What Does “Children from Hard Places” Mean?

“Children from hard places” is a phrase used by Dr. Karyn Purvis and others in the field of child welfare to describe children who have experienced a difficult early upbringing. This language more accurately describes children in need of foster placement or adoption than some other terms or phases focused on the child’s behaviors only. ...
10
Mar

Say “Yes”, Turn “No” into “Yes” and Teach Your Child to Accept “No”

During the first couple months of becoming an adoptive mom, there were many times I said “yes” to my daughter when I ordinarily wouldn’t have done so. For example, I said yes to: taking a bath in leggings, taking a bath with socks on, taking a bath fully clothed (luckily this stage passed fairly quickly!), ...
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