Adoption Education is Like Sticky Spaghetti

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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.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot about the process of education over the past dozen years.  First and foremost, I’ve come to understand that education is more than just giving good information.  It is a craft and for the best teachers, it is a craft combined with their innate talent to teach.

Unfortunately, it is a craft that has not been widely used in adoption circles.  There is a whole lot of spaghetti slinging going on out there. You know, throw it out there with the hope that something sticks.

So, just this once, I am going to break one of the cardinal rules of Heart of the Matter Seminars and am going to leave you hanging without information about “what to do about it”.   But not for long!  Keep an eye out for a new white paper that really delves into this topic of “The Fix for Adoption Education”.

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One Response to “Adoption Education is Like Sticky Spaghetti”

  1. Julie Myers Says:

    Going through an adoption process is stressful enough. I couldn’t help but wonder at the time why we were required to go through some education classes. Why should it be any different than if we were able to have our own child? Today, I can honestly say that I am so thankful we did.

    Just a few quick sound bytes. My husband was able to be a stay-at-home dad and work part-time in the evenings so that he could be the primary caregiver. (I love the photos we have of our son sleeping on daddy’s chest.) It also helped to step back and think about his real age vs chronological age – were we pushing or expecting too much of him before he was ready. One story we heard was about “time in” with mom instead of “time out” in another room. I’ve tried to do something similar where it’s been sit with mom or be with mom. In another class we heard: “Encourage dependence in order to enable independence.” This phrase has stuck with me and rings true for my son.

    Those classes helped us be better (hopefully!) parents. The one thing I am most thankful for is hearing some basic info about sensory processing disorders. After some very frustrating behaviors and his preschool teachers thinking it was all “bad” behavior, I remembered some of this. We got him evaluated and the OT that has been working with him is absolutely fabulous. Still it has taken me plenty of time to really get a handle on what it’s like for him. Kindergarten has been a struggle this year. But I can honestly say that today I’m able to see some of that “bad” behavior (not all of it mind you!) for what it really is – auditory processing mixed with proprieceptive needs. We’re both better equipped to help him manage this as he grows up and educate others – family, friends, teachers. So, a heartfelt thank you to both Katie, Julie and Heart of the Matters Seminars for teaching us what we never knew we would eventually need to know.

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