Category - Support Services

27
Jul

“I’M READY” for Adoption

While driving, I have a tendency to read the signs posted at churches and businesses. You know, the ones that give a small bit of life advice and awareness. This morning I saw one that said, “Life Begins When You Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone.” How true that statement is for those who decide ...
15
Jul

My Advice to Adoptive Families

International Program Director, Lydia Tarr, has personally adopted four children from Ukraine and professionally she has assisted in placing over 200 children. Focus on getting ready for your child, instead of on which day they will arrive. Children who have come from a background of trauma, neglect or abuse will oftentimes require a different approach ...
29
Jun

Lessons From the Kitchen Table

I recently attended a family event in Tennessee, my home state, where I got to visit with many extended family members and old friends, people I unfortunately get to see entirely too seldom. We spent time at my aunt’s home, my sister’s house and my in-laws’ home and much of that time was spent chatting ...
8
Jun

Siblings: The Ties that Bind

International adoption can sometimes cause siblings to be separated when they are unable to be placed together.  For many children, the relationship a child has with his or her sibling(s) is the longest sustained relationship they have had in their life, often beyond that with their biological parents.  Therefore, being separated from this important person ...
13
May

Helping Your Adopted Child Learn to Trust

Time is your ally in helping your child build a trusting relationship with you. Most of us are aware of the negative effects that abuse, neglect and abandonment have on a child’s developing brain. Any of these unpleasant life experiences can alter the child’s ability to function in society, socially relate to other people and ...
4
May

Successfully Adopting as a Single Requires Plan for Support

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. This African proverb is true of raising all children but it is even more crucial for single parents raising children. Parenting is hard. It is often a juggling act and it can be very isolating. As any parent can tell you, parenting is stressful, exhausting, demanding, overwhelming, ...
13
Apr

Survival Behaviors: Lying and Stealing

When prospective adoptive parents talk about how they hope that others will describe their children, “honesty, respect, and trustworthiness” are usually pretty high on the characteristics list. Since these characteristics are so highly valued, behaviors such as lying and stealing can be very difficult and discouraging for parents to handle because parents may feel like ...
18
Mar

8 Tips for Parenting a Parentified Child

When adopting multiple children in a sibling group, often the oldest child—usually a female—appears to have assumed the role as the caregiver for the other children, especially if they have previously been placed together in an orphanage or foster home. Perhaps you have heard the term “parentification.” This occurs when a child is forced, either ...
10
Mar

International Adoption Clinics are a Vital Resource to Adoptive Families

International Adoption Clinics can perhaps be one of the most helpful services to both pre- and post- adoptive parents. Given the many developmental issues, special needs and medical problems an internationally adopted child can potentially exhibit, the staff found in these clinics are well educated, experienced and prepared to help assist you in understanding your ...
26
Feb

Struggle Over Control for Adoptive Children

Kids like to be in control. But, unfortunately, so many things are chosen for a child that they can often feel out of control of their own lives. Children don’t get to choose whether or not they go to school, where they live, or with whom they live. I remember when I was a child ...
23
Feb

Meeting Your Adoptive Child for the First Time

Meeting your adoptive child for the first time might be a magical moment, but it also could be traumatic or disappointing for either or both you and your child. Adoptive parents look forward to this day with intense anticipation, but this anticipation may lead to unrealistic expectations. You are excited, nervous and scared. Remember, your ...
28
Jan

Five Things to Consider When Adopting Multiples

The numbers of children waiting to be adopted internationally are high. In 2011, UNICEF estimated there were 153 million orphans. Many of these children are older or are part of sibling groups which can often create barriers to them being adopted into loving homes capable of providing the love, structure, guidance, and nurturing that they ...
26
Jan

Communicating Through the Language Barrier

When adopting a child internationally parents often struggle in the beginning with how to communicate with their children when they don’t speak their language. The language barrier definitely makes parents think outside the box when it comes to how to communicate with their children, but a language barrier can actually be a positive thing in ...
17
Dec

How to Help Your Child Through the Holidays

Holidays, while a time to be joyful and celebrate, can be an emotionally difficult time for children who have been adopted. Nora Sharp of A Family for Every Child provides some suggestions for helping your child get through the holiday season. First and foremost, try and understand your child’s feelings. This may be difficult especially if ...
11
Dec

S-T-R-E-S-S: THE UNWANTED HOLIDAY GIFT

The December holiday season is always described as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Certainly, the beauty of glittering decorations, festively adorned Christmas trees, brightly lit Menorahs, and the harmonious sound of holiday carols can bring a smile to the most fearsome Scrooge. But sometimes, underneath the gilded décor and cheerfully wrapped gifts, holiday ...
10
Nov

How to Share Thanksgiving With Your Adoptive Child

Thanksgiving is almost here!  It has always been one of my favorite holidays due to the time honored traditions, celebrating with family and, of course, the amazing meal. Thanksgiving is also an opportune time to “welcome” your internationally adopted child(ren) to our American customs surrounding this special day in November by  teaching them a bit ...
27
Oct

Post Adoption Services for Your Family

It is very common for adoptive families to need supportive services after an adoption is finalized. Often, when a child is adopted, they may have some identified needs but more often, unidentified or unknown needs can develop later in the adoption process which require specialized skills and services to adequately address. Post Adoption Services (PAS)  ...
14
Oct

MLJ Adoptions Welcomes New Director of Social Services

MLJ Adoptions is thrilled to announce the arrival of our new Director of Social Services, Karlene Edgemon! Karlene’s large and vibrant family instilled in her an enthusiasm for helping all families become successful and healthy. She attended the University of Tennessee where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, also studying Sociology and ...
29
Sep

What to Expect During Your Home Study Process

Whether adoptive parents are seeking to adopt a child internationally or domestically, families must complete a home study. The home study process can seem daunting but, in fact, it is nothing to fear. A home study is needed in adoption, whether you are adopting internationally or domestically and is a snapshot of you, your spouse ...
17
Sep

Why Spanking is Not Effective for an Adopted Child

The topic of spanking has been debated for decades, with arguments surfacing such as, “I was spanked and turned out just fine” and the ever popular “but if I spank him the first time, he’ll know not to do it again.” Spanking is a physical means to address inappropriate behavior and it may actually stop ...
2
Sep

How to Handle Your Adoptive Child’s Indiscriminate Affection

Adoptive parents sometimes struggle with their adoptive child acting too familiar or even affectionate with strangers. While many children who have a secure attachment have a good sense of boundaries and take social cues from their parents, children raised in institutions may have no sense of personal space and show affection indiscriminately. Indiscriminate affection describes ...
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