How to Celebrate National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. Our Expert Mommy and Adoption Coach, Sherrie Eldridge shares her thoughts on celebrating this month!

SLAM! OWEEEEE! GRANDMA! GRANDMAAAAA!

Dropping everything and running to the second story of her home, Leah Cook lifted the old-fashioned wooden-framed window that was pinning her seven-year-old granddaughter’s fingers to the sliver-filled sill.

“Now, now,” Leah whispered as she swooped up her granddaughter into her bountiful arms, rocking and nestling her granddaughter until the sobbing stopped. Leah’s granddaughter had no idea of the eternal impact those arms that were holding her had on so many families. She didn’t know that Grandma’s house was really an orphanage, The Clinton County Children’s Home, where abused and abandoned kids found unconditional love, and safety. She didn’t know that her buddies who ate Wonder Bread with margarine and sugar sprinkles were really orphans. She didn’t know that Leah worked with county physicians, attorneys, judges, birth mothers, and parents wanting to adopt. She didn’t understand that the same grandma whose obituary would someday call her “the mother of many” was the mother of her dad and mom, Retha and Mike Cook.

To the little girl, now grown and a grandma herself, Leah was an angel in disguise, [Read more…]

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…]

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the_red_thread“There’s an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all who are destined to be together.”

This quote begins a most touching story on adoption by Grace Lin called The Red Thread. I happened upon it at my daughter’s school library this weekend. I was quite literally moved to tears. This is yet another kind of love. A love that takes a couple across many miles, through many challenges to be with a baby who tugs on on their hearts, whose absence creates a pain that nothing but being together will sate.

You don’t have to be adoptive parents to feel that red thread, right? I feel it when I see my boy’s face light up as he first spots me in the carpool line. I feel it when it’s a “Daddy night” and they are not sleeping in my bed. I feel it I see a white puffy cloud and wonder what my daughter would say it looks like… that little tug on my heart that reminds me that we are connected. Always.

The Red Thread. A must read… for every family.

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Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.