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Have A Wonderful Long Weekend

Hello!

How was your Thanksgiving? Wonderful, we hope. We also hope you’re spending the rest of the weekend relaxing, digesting, and enjoying time with family before December madness sets in.

Enjoy some of our favorite reads from around the web this week, and take care of yourself.

See you next week. <3

Looking to create a new holiday tradition? Check out this week’s blog post to see how you can bring adoption gratitude into the holidays. 

The Hamer family grew by TWELVE this National Adoption Day! 

Adoption: A Holy Disruption.

What is second-parent adoption and who does it affect? 

Do Marie Kondo’s tidying strategies “spark joy” for children? 

Jillana Goble is a seasoned foster parent. Her new book offers the bitter and sweet experiences of foster parenting. 

The Cotton family says the system failed the one person they were supposed to protect: their foster son. 

What is gender-affirming parenting? 

Is homework actually helpful to kids? 

Raise brilliant kids: play games with your family. 

 

 

Adoption and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving about bringing families together, but it has a special place in our hearts because it takes place during National Adoption Month. If you’re an adoptive family, or one-in-waiting, there are so many special ways you can incorporate adoption into your Thanksgiving traditions. 

Thanksgiving is of course about gratitude, and giving thanks. This is the perfect time to engage your family, both immediate and extended, and to share how growing your family through adoption changed your lives. You could have everyone go around the table before dinner and share a short story highlighting their experience and feelings throughout the adoption journey. Children and young adults can really benefit from hearing the positive impact their presence has had on everyone’s life. It’s a beautiful emotional thing you’ve done, or are endeavoring to do, and this is a meaningful way to bring adoption into the fold of your family. 

If you’re looking for a more interactive way to celebrate Thanksgiving and adoption, literally lay it all out on the table! Many families are turning to personalized tablecloths to celebrate adoption during special occasions and holidays. Grab a tablecloth and some wash-resistant pens or markers. Have everyone in your family write what they are thankful for or what makes them feel happy or safe. Pass out pieces of paper, or little cards, and have everyone write something that they’re grateful for about family or adoption, and then share them with the group. 

In addition to celebrating your own adoption journey, consider volunteering to help other families find joy this holiday season. Mentor a family going through the adoption journey, or visit a foster home or shelter where children have yet to find their forever home. Supply local food shelters or foster care centers with items for Thanksgiving dinner, or volunteer to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to individuals in need. The holidays can be a time of grieving for those who don’t have support, and this is an incredible opportunity to give back and contribute to the broader community of foster care and adoption.

Above all—we are grateful for YOU, and could not be more thankful to have you as part of our community. May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving, and thank you for the bounty of joy and inspiration you bring to our lives every day. 

 

Are you a prospective adoptive parent who is looking for a meaningful way to celebrate adoption this holiday? Bring together your entire family to write letters to your future child. Not only will this help build positivity and inclusion among family members, you can also start laying the framework for your own traditions. 

 

However you choose to celebrate; remember to choose gratitude. This is the perfect time to step back and take an inventory of all the blessings you have in your life – even if you are still on your journey. Savor these moments! 

Have A Fabulous Weekend

Happy weekend, friends. We hope you’re gearing up for a restorative Thanksgiving, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s Chinese takeout in front of a favorite film, or a table full of friends and family and an overflowing feast, you deserve what makes you feel happiest.

We’re sharing something that makes us pretty happy: our favorite adoption and parenting reads from around the web.

Enjoy! We’ll see you next week.

Holidays can be tough for families who are waiting on their forever family. This week on our blog, we shared some advice for families in this situation. 

Did your child have a bad day? Here are some thoughtful ways to help them

Misha Collins reflects on how family meals kept her nomadic childhood grounded. 

Are you multitasking to the point where you explode on your children? Slow down. 

Adoption can change everything

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo! Why do our kids love annoying music

Ever wonder how celebrities parent? Here are Jessica Simpson’s ten parenting rules

The holiday season is nigh!. Cup of Jo released its 2019 must-have gift guide

The Chance program in South Florida is changing the lives of trafficked youth. 

Helping Americans Find Help has a brilliant holiday guide. Check it out, and see where you can find assistance gifts in your state. 

 

Surviving The Holidays While Waiting To Adopt

While holidays are usually presented as a time of fun and laughter, it’s not the case for everyone. For those struggling, or in limbo, the holidays can elicit feelings of grief, sadness, and stress. Families waiting to adopt may experience a particular sense of loss as they negotiate the holiday and their pending adoption. If you and your family find yourself struggling this holiday season, you’re not alone. There are ways to celebrate while honoring your journey. 

It is easy to become consumed by the adoption process, but everyone needs a break. Shake things up and get back into activities that bring you joy and self-care. Make a conscious effort to shift your attention to things and people that make you feel restored and happy. You are more than your adoption journey, and you deserve a full life, too. When you take care of yourself, you are supporting a happier, healthier outlook on life, and a more grounded presence for your adoption experience. 

Connect with others who are having similar experiences, share your story, and enjoy the healing effects of community. Not only does this help combat loneliness, but you can receive valuable advice and guidance from other families about how they are navigating their experience. Be vocal about your feelings, let people know when you need their support. It’s okay to feel sad or anxious, and it’s okay to lean on people for camaraderie. 

Giving back always feels good, and there are so many ways to do this during the holiday season. You can adopt a family by providing Christmas gifts or a nice meal, donate toys to a shelter or church, or volunteer for an organization that means something to you. Doing something kind for others is one of the best ways to make yourself feel better. If you don’t have the time or resources to make a big gesture or a financial investment, even a smile or helping hand can go a long way. 

Take inventory of everything in your life that makes you happy. This is all a part of your journey towards creating your forever family. Don’t lose sight of yourself in this process. A new year will bring all new possibilities. 

Have A Cozy Weekend

Winter came…early. We talked to one parent this week whose kids thought that the snow meant Santa would be there the next morning. You can imagine their surprise when they were told they still had 50 days to wait!

In any event, we hope you’re staying cozy and warm, snuggled and safe. Thanks for being here, and enjoy some of our favorite reads from around the web this week.

This week on the blog we discussed identity and how to let your child explore theirs with your support. 

Hiedi Anderson shares her story about how fostering and adoption changed her life

Are you a stay-at-home parent looking to make some friend connections? Start your own group

Alabama is at it again! They set yet another record number of adoptions in the past quarter. 

Adoption from foster care is a true “instant family.” 

Parent in the present!

Sue Kerr, a foster parent recruiter and trainer, talks about the importance of fostering tolerance within the adoption and fostering process. 

Ashley and Jared set out to foster and ended up welcoming three siblings into their home—they couldn’t be happier. 

Is there sibling rivalry in your home? Conflict resolution helps. 

KTTV 11 Los Angeles’s “Wednesday Child” segment has resulted in 455 adoptions.

Supporting Your Child’s Identity

There are many types of support you can offer to shape your child’s life positively and responsibly. In addition to providing loving and gentle guidance, it’s also your responsibility to set boundaries and provide a structure that will lead into adulthood. This requires being able to distinguish between your child’s behavior and how it provides critical clues about their development and identity.

The Family Acceptance Project released a study that shows the effects and recourse familial rejection can have on a child as they are discovering their own identity, including LGBTQ and transgender youth. Some of these negative consequences include, but are not limited to:

  • Risky behavior that puts a young adult’s health at risk
  • Development of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues
  • In worst-case scenarios, rejection can lead to homelessness or suicide

Family support creates a safe space for children who are being bullied or are suffering from alienation in a school or social setting. Offering support to a child struggling to identify and express themselves has an immeasurable impact, including helping them build their confidence and self-esteem. It unquestionably enhances and elevates their physical and mental health.

There are many ways to support your child as they navigate intense feelings and questions regarding gender and sexual identity. There is a vast amount of information available for families on this exact path. Gender Spectrum does an excellent job of diving into the deep emotions that arise throughout this process. The Human Rights Campaign is also an incredible resource, helping families achieve “safety, permanency, and well-being” by improving their interactions, understanding, and reactions. 

It is essential to educate yourself on what your child may be going through. When you do, you’re able to approach them from a place of compassion and initiate a conversation that demonstrates you are aware of their confused and challenging feelings. An excellent way to start opening this door for your child is discussing their preferred pronouns, names, or other identifying language. Be your child’s advocate. Understand the challenges and obstacles that LGBTQ and transgender youth face daily in their lives, and if this is your child or a child you love, help them build a path that will make them happy, healthy, and successful. 

Image via ACLU.org

Have A Wonderful Weekend

Happy fall weekend! Did you recover from Daylight Savings Time? It’s only 60 minutes, but it sure does shake things up!

We hope you’re staying cozy and happy this weekend. Take good care, and thanks for being a part of our community. Enjoy our favorite adoption, parenting, and family reads from around the internet this week!

This week on our blog we discussed the importance of adopting from foster care

Chicago Now has begun its annual National Adoption Month celebration with the launch of 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days! We were moved by YooMee’s story. 

Is this Georgia community reminiscent of Mister Roger’s neighborhood? 

This true story reads like a piece of fiction. Beyond The Third Door is one of our personal favorites this week. 

Joanna Goddard started a compelling conversation when she asked, “what age gap do your kids have?” 

Empathy is vital for expressing kindness and compassion. We love these tips for instilling empathy in your children. 

Casey Wilson gets real about her terrifying parenting journey that uncovered a surprising diagnosis. 

Izabella Arndt has a heart the size of the backpacks she fills for children in the foster system. 

Who are the real heroes of the foster system? 

When it comes to car travel with your child, safety first

<3

 

What Do You Know About Adopting From Foster Care?

Percentages of adoptions from foster cost have climbed over the last few years, but there are still nearly half-million children and young adults in the foster care system, according to Children’s Rights. Almost 6% of children have been in the foster system for at least five years, without a family to call their own. It’s not usually what people first think of when they consider embarking on their adoption journey, but adopting from foster care can be easier and more affordable, and it does serve a particular and vital need. 

While each state has its adoption laws, the general process for adopting from foster care remains the same. Adopting from foster care is often a more economical option, and prospective parents are screened to ensure they can provide a stable home for the child’s emotional, physical, and mental health, and educational and basic needs. 

Families that adopt from a public agency often incur no costs. If you decide to adopt through a private agency, you will incur expenses set by that agency. You can plan to spend about nine to eighteen months completing the entire process: orientation, preparation, and home study requirements. According to Adoptive Families, in 2014, children spent about 12 months in foster care, from the termination of parental rights to the finalization of the adoption. Many families opt to recoup some of their expenses via the federal adoption tax credit

One type of adoption is not considered potentially more successful than the other. All adoption plans endeavor to provide a home and family for a child in need, and it’s crucial to secure post-adoption support as part of your adoption process. If you’re choosing to adopt from the foster care system, connect with other local parents who’ve done the same. There are nuances to every type of adoption process, and part of being prepared is ensuring that you have a community around you who can make you feel safe and cared for, and who understands what you and your family are going through.

Finding support for your child is essential, as well. It’s an emotional and monumental experience to find a new family as an older child or teenager, and there are no guidebooks for this transition. The more they are surrounded with support, empathy, and guidance, the better.  

 

Have A Wonderful Weekend

Happy Weekend! Halloween is over, and basically overnight, all things Thanksgiving have magically emerged. Settle in friends, here come it comes.

Take a moment to restore with our favorite adoption and parenting reads of the week. Thank you for visiting us!

This week on our blog we discussed the effects of poverty on parenting

The Human Rights Campaign is focusing more of their efforts on LGBTQ youth. 

Wisconsin tribes and disability advocates are teaming up to address concerning issues in adoption legislation. 

Are you in a slump when it comes to cooking weeknight dinners for your family? Bon Appetit has your back! 

Reader’s Digest highlights eight stories of older children finding their forever home. 

Slate.com has an awesome parenting advice column. We love the advice they gave to parents who chose not to tell their daughter she was adopted. 

The Guardian asks: could you be an adoptive parent? 

It’s 2019. Are time outs harmful to kids? 

Ready to be a foster parent? Awesome

Adoption changes lives in ways people cannot anticipate. 

 

<3

 

Parenting in Poverty

Parenting is stressful—there’s no argument there. However, parenting in poverty takes that stress to another level. What may be inconvenient for a parent of medium-income and wealth could be crippling, both emotionally and financially, for a parent and family living in poverty. Many factors contribute to the cycle of family poverty: unemployment, social group or socioeconomic status, location, underemployment, and more. 

When a family experiences stress, financially or otherwise, that puts a strain on spousal or parenting relationships. This stress between parents or partners can put stress on parents, causing them to give less attention or guidance to your children. This can lead to negative behaviors in your child such as acting out, lack of warmth, withdrawal, or displaying aggression and hostility. 

According to a 2000 McClelland study, there are three identifiable impacts that poverty can have on parents and children: 

  • Hardship and stress
  • Isolation and exclusion 
  • Long-term impacts into adulthood 

People with insufficient income struggle to purchase or obtain basic needs such as housing, food, healthcare, utilities, and more. The impact of this manifests in a household of stress where juggling finances becomes the most important task. While you’re trying to make it work, you and your family’s emotional health is being neglected. 

Homelessness is one of the most extreme manifestations of isolation and stress. Homelessness does not just refer to not having a home, it translates to a mental state as well. If someone is feeling neglected by their parent or partner, the feeling of isolation only deepens. Families with a low income are less likely to live in a clean and safe neighborhood, have access to transportation and living wage employment, be involved in extracurricular activities such as music or sports, or go on vacations. 

Poverty can lead to long-term impacts such as low school and job performance, therefore, making it more difficult to earn a living wage. This then creates a cycle that can last for generations. 

Systems are often designed in a way that does not encourage success. However, there are options that you can use to empower yourself and your family. Enrolling in a parenting class or financial literacy course could significantly impact your perspective on your finances. Having a professional help you with a budget can help put you on track to higher credit and income. By empowering yourself and your finances, you set your family, and your children, up for success.

For more information on poverty resources visit PublicHealth.org.