Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween! Beware the internal alarm!

October 30, 2010
Pull Close Parenting Halloween Style!

Pull Close Parenting Halloween Style!

Happy Halloween! For many of us the scary part is our kids’ reactions…


quiet does not always equal content
wound-up and excited does not always equal fun.

Beware their internal alarms and be ready to pull them close if need be!


Keep International Adoption an Option

October 28, 2010

I just read an article titled Ethiopian Adoptions Rise, Bucking Global Trend.  The article discusses changes in international adoptions from a global perspective and highlights the fact that although many children are currently being adopted from Ethiopia, most other countries that used to allow international adoptions have either shut down or have dramatically slowed in international placements.

I worked at an international adoption agency during the time Romania shut down in 2003.   (more…)

Talking About Race with Children

October 25, 2010

As we were leaving dance class, my five year old pointed to a classmate walking away with her mom and said, “She’s a black and white girl”.   This little girl happens to be a child of color and her mom happens to be white.  Given what I do for a living, maybe it’s not too surprising that my first thoughts were about race and that I wondered what questions or thoughts Olivia was going to present to me about race.  Fortunately, I took a moment to clarify:

Me:  What do you mean by black and white girl?

Olivia:  I mean she has a black and white bag.  It’s really cool and she likes black and white.  I’m more of a pink girl or a rainbow girl because really like my pink bag and things with lots of colors.

I had to laugh at myself a bit for jumping to conclusions, even in my own head, but I think it’s a good reminder that we can’t always assume that we know what our kids are thinking, asking or talking about!   It’s important to follow their lead so that we don’t miss opportunities to talk about important issues or conversely, start dispensing information they are not ready to understand or hear.

Doing the “right” thing as a parent

October 22, 2010

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time…. how do we know what is the “right” thing to do as a parent, but I never seem to get my thoughts down here.  Either I don’t have time or some other topic seems more pressing.

This morning I ran across a blog post on the Attachment Parenting Blog by dad Dave Taylor.   I think this   blog post does a beautiful job of articulating some of his thoughts about doing the “right” thing.

One of his key points is that doing the “right” thing is more than just applying a  set of rules, no matter how well thought through and sensible those rules seem.   (more…)

From Our Inbox: Adoption and Attachment…Are we making enough progress?

October 14, 2010

Signs and symptoms of attachment strain or disorder can look different at particular ages and stages of development and  with different degree of issue.   This can make assessing progress tricky.   We recently  received an interesting email question relating to assessing attachment in a toddler.  Read the email and our response below.

From our inbox:

Hi –

I’m currently completing the Because They Waited course.  I’m wondering if you would help me think through how to evaluate my daughter’s behavior.  She has been home with us for 13 months.   She arrived home at the age of 6 months (on paper);  we feel she was probably closer to 8 to 9 months when we brought her home.  She has always been very interactive, social and very observant of her surroundings.  (To the point that others will comment on those qualities.)  I wondered initially if her behavior was a way of coping with stress, anxiety, her situation (orphanage care setting), overstimulation, etc.  We were very conscious of our parenting and pulled her close.  I’m a SAHM and she has had very infrequent childcare other than her parents and always for short periods of time in our home.

Two to three months after arriving home, she began to become “clingy” and to show a preference for Mom.  I spent the better part of a couple of months holding her or carrying her during that time.   She was cautious of strangers visiting and would refuse to go to family members at family gatherings, in preference of Mom.  She seemed to go through periods of stranger or separation anxiety at about 12  and 18 months.

Now – after 13 months home – she is a very social and outgoing toddler.  She will initiate social contact (more…)

Doctors and Adoptive Families: Establishing and maintaining positive relationships with your child’s physician

October 6, 2010

A brief (and thankfully resolved) medical emergency with my son last week has reminded me how very important it is for all parents to have a strong working relationship with their child’s doctor.  It also reminded me of how difficult it can be for adoptive parents  to find a doctor who is not only a good match for their family but also someone with  knowledge of the unique medical needs sometimes presented by children who have spent time in less than optimal care.  Here are some things to consider when looking for and working with your child’s doctor. (more…)

Balancing Parenting with Self

October 1, 2010

Take Care of YourselfOkay, unless you’ve been on another planet, you’ve heard other parents, talking heads on TV, parenting experts and inept parenting experts say again and again that as parents we have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children.   Yeah, yeah, yeah… we’ve all heard it, may even believe it so why don’t more of us do it or at least do it well? (more…)

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