How to Get Ready to Adopt

With all my heart, I truly believe that just as a child is conceived physically, an adopted child is conceived in the hearts of a mom and dad.

As an adoptive grandma (alias, Mimi), I witnessed that event in the hearts of my daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, John, who adopted our precious grand daughter, Megan Grace, seven years ago. It so happened that I knew the birth mother and our daughter, Lisa, knew of her also.

Adoption Conception

When I told Lisa that this young woman was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, she began weeping. Not sure, what was troubling her, I asked. She said she felt so burdened for the baby and for the birth mother. Gradually, she realized that those were the tears of motherhood. What a gift! I call this adoption conception!

Listen to another mother describe her adoption conception: “If I had to pick just one moment of absolute, unadulterated joy it would be the moment I saw her photo pop up on my computer screen. I kept saying, [Read more…]

How to Help Your Child Deal with Big Feelings

Loss? My child hasn’t experienced loss! This is what many adoptive parents want so badly to believe. However, it is a reality of adoptive family living. Connie Dawson, Ph.D, an adoptee, author and speaker, and attachment specialist says, “Understanding how grief and loss affects adoptive relationships is an inoculation geared to prevent later problems.”

It’s one thing to understand that your child has experienced loss, but it’s another thing to know how to help him grieve it successfully.

An Adoption Project

This tool can be used with children, ages seven and up. It can be used as a family project, as a parent/child project, or a counselor/client project. Here are the steps:

1. Tell him that you are going to work on an adoption project together.

2. Find a box that can hold several items—possibly 12 X 16 and 6 inches tall.

3. Make a “Sad List”——about his birth family, about the failed reunification, etc. [Read more…]

How to Respond to Your Adopted Child’s Anger

Many moms of adopted children can’t figure out what they’ve done wrong, what makes their children reject them, even though they have literally poured their very souls into their children. This anger may manifest in shouting matches, temper tantrums, refusing to let you hold her hand when walking through the parking lot, or refusing to go for a walk with you on Mother’s Day.

It’s downright hard for a mom not to take this rejection personally, but it is absolutely necessary that you don’t—both for the welfare of your child and your own sanity.

If you understand the core reason why your child is rejecting you, it will be easier for you to detach from an emotional response and help your child comprehend the source of her anger and deal effectively with it. [Read more…]