Time for Bonding

March 6th, 2011

bondingBonding and attachments are topics in adoption that get a lot of press—and I understand why.  Lately, I have been reflecting on the process of coming together with my children.  I have three kids who have all been adopted at different ages, and I know that connecting with them was different for each. I was in the delivery room when my son was born.  Someone put him in my arms and that was it.  I was there—invested completely—at an emotional, physical, cognitive, and psychic level.  No effort was required.  No thought processes activated.  It was magic. My two daughters were adopted internationally and were older when they came home.  One was seventeen months old and the other seven years.  With the “baby” it was… [more]

Life Books – Part 2

July 21st, 2009

In my last post, I wrote about what Life Books are and how they can be used in an adoptive family. This time I want to talk about how to make a Life Book. As I stated before you can be really creative and fancy or just use the basics, the important thing is that you have a Life Book for your child to use. Any one who knows me, knows that I am not crafty at all. I have the imagination, just not the talent to make what my head pictures. When I was in Ethiopia I bought beautiful fabrics to make Life Book covers. I imagined beautifully done Life Books rich in color, texture and words. I soon… [more]

Life Books – Part 1

July 19th, 2009

If you are new to the adoption world you may have questions about Life books or you may not have heard of a Life Book just yet. There are a few different kinds of Life Books. One is a book that a prospective adoptive parent or parents make about there family to have agencies or lawyers show to mothers thinking of making an adoption plan. There are many ways to make one of these. I have seen wonderfully intricate made scrapbooks and basic letters with a nice picture on it. These types of Life Books are generally seen in domestic infant adoptions. As this was not our adoption route, I don't have a lot of experience with them. If you have… [more]

“Things” And Your Older Child

February 25th, 2009

When bringing a new child into the home our first reaction seems to be - Buy! We want to get nice, new clothes, toys, bedspreads and bath towels with cartoons on them. None of these things are inherently bad, but we must consider what is best for our kids. Most of our older kids have had very little of their own and may have never had anything brand new at all. Like toddlers it takes time for them to learn how to take care of things. Start small with a couple outfits in the closet, some socks and underwear in the drawers and a doll or Mp3 player depending on the age of your child. A few books on a shelf and… [more]

Bonding With Your Older Child – Part 2

February 1st, 2009

In continuing with yesterday's theme, here are another five ways we have worked on bonding and attachment in our house. 1) Feed them. While I don't do this daily, I have at times given them bites off my fork or spoon and it reminds me of feeding my homegrown kiddos when they were babies. It does create a special moment. I have read of some parents giving there older kids bottles or sippy cups while rocking them as well. 2) Hair care. Brushing, braiding, twisting and beading makes for great together time. I have four girls so this works well for us! I’m not sure if boys would like getting their hair combed or not! 3) Be a primary caregiver or make sure your child has a consistent caregiver… [more]

Bonding With Your Older Child – Part 1

February 1st, 2009

Breastfeeding, skin-to-skin [contact], bathing, holding the child close in a sling and fulfilling their needs in a quick effective manner are a few ways that I bonded and got to know my bio daughters. In the same way hubby would lay on the couch watching TV with Meg or Elle laying on his chest or have them in a carrier and take them for hikes. When preparing for Mita and Enu I tried to take the basic principles from the above actions and come up with ways to bond with my six and eight year old. The following is a list of five active ways to help with attachment and bonding that work for us. Another five ideas will be in tomorrow's post. 1) Touch. The… [more]

How To Be Emotionally Strong When Constantly Challenged

May 11th, 2007

How can anyone live under the pressure of 39 children, 38 of them adopted as older children? Many of my children have difficult emotional issues, some are severely disturbed, and some appear quite normal to the outside world, saving their rages and breakdowns for us as it is safe and secure here to fall apart. People would point at them if they acted like that in public. Every single day presents many challenges. Challenges that would bring a racing stallion to its knees, complications that befuddle us all, events that make me temporarily bonkers and constant tests of my soul, commitment and intelligence. There are always incredible trials on a daily basis. There’s one single factor that holds me together… [more]

How To Deal With The Anger in Older Adopted Children

May 9th, 2007

I apologize if I sound like a pompous know-it-all at times. I don’t even know all that much, I just feel that I bring a great deal of experience to the party. Sharing these experiences, and how we overcame our difficulties, is the only way I know how to encourage others to keep on keeping on. I certainly understand your frustrations and despair. Billy Ray Cyrus, getting kicked off Dancing With The Stars, stated, “What I lack in talent, I’ve made up for in effort,” which describes how I feel as well. It wasn’t until I’d spent years in the adoption world that I learned that many of the books I’d read about happy, large adoptive families weren’t that close… [more]

How to Teach a Child to Talk

March 25th, 2007
Categories: How to...

Teaching a child to talk can be fun. Here are some great suggestions on how to begin teaching your baby how to turn sound into words. 1.) Visual Identification: Show your child an object. Slowly make the sounds putting emphasis on the yowl sounds and in a pleasing voice say what the object is. You may have to do this several times before your baby even tries to repeat after you. But this is an awesome way to teach word association with objects. Your local book store should have "1001 baby's first words" or different books to help you do visual identification with your child. 2.) Always repeat the word you are trying to teach your child in a… [more]

Community Action Programs Helping Families

March 18th, 2007
Categories: How to...

One of the best programs by far is the Federally Funded Program that crosses the states of America to help families and children in numerous ways. This Mission Statement is: "The mission of EightCAP, Inc. is to advocate and promote the health, education, and welfare of the residents in the service area. To that end, the corporation will design, administer, and deliver programs that address the causes of poverty, alleviate its effects on our citizens, and teach self-sufficiency including the habilitation/rehabilitation, social development, and employment of mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially disabled persons." Some of the wonderful programs they offer range from: Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. Weatherization Programs For Low Income Housing. Foster/Grandparent Programs. Job Training Programs. Displaced Worker Programs. Threshold Academy Programs. Community Services. Food Pantries. Rental and… [more]