One of the Best Gifts You Can Give Your Child: a Lifebook

A “lifebook” in the adoption community has similarities to a scrapbook, a baby book and a storybook. However, its main purpose is to provide the adopted child with a sense of continuity and a way to make sense of the past. Most adoptive parents have plenty of photos dating from their child’s arrival. But some adopted children have been known to believe that they were not born as other children are born, that they literally came from an airplane or an agency or sprang into existence as preschoolers. Others are old enough to realize they had a prior existence. While … Continue reading

My Journey Continued When I Married an Adopted Boy

Continued from, When Uncle Eddie Took Care of His Birth Mother. Makala, it seems like my whole life has been all about becoming your mommy–and Jeremiah’s mommy too. I have learned so many things along the way that have made me a strong mother, who is willing to learn what I need to help you grow up and become the mommy you hope to be. With Uncle Eddie, and all the children I knew in my life I learned a lot about being adopted. Not that anyone who wasn’t adopted could ever understand everything. When I was just 18-years old … Continue reading

Our Lives in Pictures

The entirety of my kitchen, half of my daughter’s room and all over my office, on my computer screen, in my husband’s screen saver and more are all family pictures, particularly focusing on our daughter. We have pictures of most of the major moments in her life, including holidays and more. We capture these moments in our life and in our child’s life in pictures. We can look back at them and see their first hour after their birth. We can see their first ride in the car when we took them home. We can see their first Christmas. We … Continue reading

Glossary of Special Needs Adoption-Related Terms “J-K-L”

Special Needs and Adoption-Related Terms: Adoption terms and special needs words may vary from agency to agency.The terms used in this Special Needs Adoption-Related Glossary may be slightly different from one State to another. A | B | C | D | E-F | G-H-I | J-K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S | T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z Kinship care: Full-time care of a child by someone related to the child biologically or by a prior family relationship, fictive kin. L Learning disabilities (LD): One or more impairments in reading, mathematics and/or written expression skills which interfere with academic … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #9 Toddler Adoption

The “toddler” years are a well defined and distinct stage of development however, most of the adoption information parents find is about newborns and older children. The lack of information about adopting a toddler often leads adoptive parents assume that a toddler is not much different from an infant. Some parents feel a toddler has no real conscious memory of birth parents or foster parents and are not affected from neglect or abuse. Adoptive parents may hope toddler adoption means they will skip the demanding baby stage, or a toddler will become an instant playmate for other children in the … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #8 From Foster Child to Forever In The Same Home.

When a foster families chooses to adopt the child or children in their care, there are a few ways to help children make the emotional transition from being “a ward of the State or the Court” to being “a son or daughter.” Parents may not have any problem seeing or feelings the difference in the child’s role within their family. But, children may not clearly comprehend the difference between being a foster child and being an adopted child when they continue to live in the same family. When talking to children about the changes adoption means to their lives, parents … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #7 From Orphanage or Institution to Home.

When a child has lived life in an orphanage or institution, the child has no real understanding of what family means. Children live a daily routine and most children in orphanages or institutions have no reference point for what family really means. One day the child is introduction to these people who are their new Mom and Dad. Anything the child has been told, about adoption, made no sense to them at the time. Cognitively, most children don’t understand they are getting a new family until the child finds themselves in the middle of transition. Don’t be surprised if your … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #6 Our Adoption Transition of Siblings

We ended up having a rather traumatic and stressful transition for Makala and Jeremiah. There was a combination of things that added to the stress we felt. Our children were matched with us during November and our state committee met the third week in December. We found out one week before Christmas that we were parents and our children were living in a foster home, over 300 miles away. The cards were dealt and we had a terrible hand. Everyone involved had to agree, given the seven-day waiting period, we would not be able to start the transition until after … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #5 When Travel is Required.

Traveling with a newly placed adoptive child who has never been away from his or her neighborhood, or been outside of the orphanage–let alone the state or country–is stressful for any child or person. Parents adopting a child internationally, or even a child from another state or part of the state, face an added obstacle during transition. Travel and relocation is stressful for adults and children no matter the circumstances, but when it includes building, a new family the situation can be nearly unbearable for everyone. When adoptive parents have to travel to transition their child, all the same issues … Continue reading

Adoption Transitions #4 Planning For Transition.

Whenever possible, plan an easy and gradual transition for your baby or child. Moving slow during the transition from one life and becoming part of a new family helps children resolve grief. A slow and systematic transition allows for transference of attachment with the adoptive parents. Transitions for newborns are typically as simple as bringing home any new baby. If you are adopting a child who has been in a foster home, or had primary care in an orphanage, institution, or hospital, transition is a very important step because your child has learned how his or her needs are met. … Continue reading