Archive for May, 2010

Valuable Resource on Brain Development

May 27, 2010

I  stumbled onto a great brain development resource and I’m so excited to share it!

Those of you who have completed the Because They Waited™ system for adoptive parents and professionals know how important we believe it is for all parents (but especially foster care and adoptive parents) to have an understanding of brain development and to learn ways to positively impact a child’s brain development.

We’re always telling parents that “brain development is not rocket science” and trying to get them to understand the everyday simple things that they can do to optimize their child’s experiences in terms of brain development.

Well I’ve found someone who shares our passion!  Deborah  McNelis is the creator/owner of braininsights® and also the author of a great blog that gives daily brain facts with the hope of educating and inspiring parents about brain development.  I love how much you can learn and how many great ideas you can get by simply reading these daily facts.

Check it out!   http://braininsights.blogspot.com/

more on the “real” word, talking about adoption

May 20, 2010

I recently had a reminder of how powerful societal messages are in shaping our children’s perceptions when my 4-year-old daughter (through birth) asked where her 15-year-old brother’s “real mom” is.   As you might imagine, I was floored.   Here I am, an adoption educator and my own child asks this question about my other own child!!!! (more…)

Adoption Education is Like Sticky Spaghetti

May 17, 2010

Does this resemble some "adoption education" you're familiar with?

Julie and I have been in the realm of adoption education for about 12 years now.  From the start, Julie’s background as an educator and her innate “teacher-self” shaped what we did.  She insisted that we spend a lot of time creating what she calls “rhythm” and in building a framework.

By nature, I am more the type to jump in and get it done (some would call it haphazard, but I prefer to think of myself as a do-er).  At times, her insistence on sculpting our first programs made me crazy!  We had important information that parents needed NOW!  Let’s get the show on the road!

My approach (then) was to throw good information out there with the belief (hope) that something would stick. (more…)

Attachment Strain and Control: My Epiphany

May 13, 2010

I was at mass this past Sunday listening to my priest’s homily when I decided that I myself might have attachment strain.  I’m not kidding.  Mind you I was raised in a beautifully loving family that met all my needs.  Remember also that I know a lot about attachment both from raising my own three children (one adopted at the age of 6 from a Russian orphanage) and also from researching the topic extensively in order to educate adoptive parents in the Because They Waited program. (more…)

Mother’s Day, Infertility and Other Waiting Mothers

May 7, 2010

Mother’s Day was once the most painful day of the year for me. There was a time when I struggled with infertility and then that one horrible year when my baby boy was waiting in a Russian orphanage.

Julie and I have talked about this often and she may chime in on this with her own perspective… but even now with 14 years worth of Mother’s Days as an active mom with kids in my home, I still find it to be a bittersweet day.

On Mother’s Day, many of us in the adoption community think of the women who actually mothered their child–birth mothers, foster mothers, orphanage staff workers… or even the child’s birth giver if she didn’t actually “mother” after the child was born.

It’s not that I don’t think of those “mothers” but my heart is really with the women who are longing to be mothers but who are confronted with a roadblock of some sort. (more…)

Working on Socialization at Play

May 5, 2010

Kids Socializing in the Neighborhood

I love where we live.   I know the suburbs aren’t for everyone and I’ve lived in the country (not in an urban area yet) but I really feel like we have the best of most worlds.  We’re about 20 minutes or so away from “the city”.  Our street kind of makes a horseshoe shape so there’s not much traffic, but the two things that really sold us on buying this house about 7 years ago were:

1.  That there were kids all over the place.
2.  That there is a big field, small “woods” and a little creek right behind our house and about 7 others.

The other night (like most nights) the kids in the neighborhood were outside playing.  The night this picture was taken, the big kids (about 5th grade) were teaching the little kids (as young as 4 years old) how to play kickball.   Here is what they really learned: (more…)


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