Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Communicate with your Baby

As your baby is growing and learning, the ways in which you can communicate with each other are rapidly increasing. This makes understanding one another so much easier. 

"Babies don’t always understand words. But you can still communicate with your baby using tone of voice, touch and body language."

Here are a couple of ideas on how you can communicate with your growing baby:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ten Easy Steps to Building your Family.

Ten easy steps to building your family through adoption.  

  1. Research Adoption Programs
  2. Choose an agency 
  3. Submit the application
  4. Execute the Contract
  5. Gather required documents
  6. Complete your home study 
  7. Create a Portfolio or Dossier
  8. Complete your Pre-adoption education
  9. Wait to be matched
  10. Bring Your Baby Home 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2 Mom's and an IEP

   Two Moms are walking into IEP meetings.  One resents the fact that she has to go to an IEP for her child. She had to take time off from work, the meetings are always the same, nothing really helps and she is angry and frustrated. This is not what she bargained for. 

The other Mom is nervous, but excited. Finally, she may be able to get some help for her struggling child. All the pieces to the puzzle are coming together and she believes these much needed services will benefit her child. It was a lot of work to get this point, but she’ll do whatever it takes to help her child.

Two parents: two different outlooks. Sadly, it is easy to predict two different outcomes for the children involved. Parents are their child’s best advocate. No one knows their child better than they do. Parents who are better able to advocate for their children and utilize the resources that are available will have children with an overall greater success story.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Are we there yet?

Chances are, that even if you didn't plan a Spring Break getaway, you are planing a summer vacation. Vacations are supposed to be fun, but traveling with a young child can also present many challenges. One of those is boredom or I should say boredom initiated, irritability: are we there yet, she’s touching me, he’s on my side of the car, I’m hot, I‘m hungry, or I need to go to the bathroom.

Keeping active brains inspired, may take a little preplanning. Each of our children put together a Mom proofed backpack of toys and things to do in the car or when they arrive. We often assist our children in how they use their time in the car. We break it down depending on destination and planned stops.

Activities include reading, workbooks, playing with the toys, and engaging in family activities like Counting Cows, I Spy, or the Alphabet Game, which only requires using the things that we can see from the car window. We ration out and limit electronic devices like Ipods, cell phones, tablets, etc. players. We only bring out the big guns like a DVD player on trips longer than 5 hours.  


Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Showers

From time to time, I hear people ask whether it is appropriate to throw a shower for an adopted child. That answer is a resounding YES! It is a perfectly acceptable practice to throw a shower for an adopted child.

While pregnancy is an exciting time for a mother-to-be, it is equally exciting or perhaps even more so for adoptive parents because they may have undergone- sometimes years of watching their friends and coworkers announce their pregnancies. When it’s finally their turn, no one deserves it more.

The hardest part of planning a shower for adoptive parents is trying to choose the date. There can be unexpected delays or the outside chance that an adoption could fall through before or after the shower has been given. Even considering these unique situations, there are many creative ways to throw a shower for adoptive parents.

A Secret Shower: This shower is perfect for people who have little notice and have done little or no preparation. They may need everything. The items are delivered to the couple’s home with a single card form the group.

A One-Month or Coming-Out Shower: This shower is thrown a few weeks or a month after the child arrives. It’s a great way to introduce friends to the new addition, and it gives both parents and child an adjustment period.

The Traditional Shower: Although this type of shower can actually be the most helpful in preparing for a new child, it can also be the trickiest as parents may have limited notice regarding the new arrival.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sensory Integration

Children with Sensory Integration may have under or over developed sensory systems.  Disruption of one or more of the senses prevents information from being smoothly and properly transmitted to and from the brain. They may have difficulties with:

  • Tactile – touch
  • Auditory - hearing
  • Oral - speech
  • Olfactory –smell
  • Visual – sight
  • Vestibular – sense of movement

Do any of these look familiar?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Helping your Child through Grief

    For adopted children, grief may come in waves; changing over time, in small and large doses. There is no one answer as each child, and the circumstances of his adoption are different. It is our job as parents to help our child thought the grieving process. Here are a few ideas: 

Healthy Activity- Dance, Sports, Hobbies, Youth Groups, Clubs, etc.

Lifebooks- Create a Lifebook for your child. Work on it together. Use it as a tool to tell his life story and open up the lines of communication

Put it on Paper- Encourage your child to use a journal to write down his thoughts, if she is too young, have her draw a picture.

Make a Memory Box- Keep treasures relating to adoption, birth family, culture, etc.

Start a New Family Tradition- use your child’s input; make it center around him.

Listen to your Child
When your child does talk about his birth family, it is important to answer questions honestly and gently, as is age appropriate. Empathize and validate his feelings. Don’t be judgmental or invalidate feelings. Don’t lay blame or take anything he has personally.

Be Supportive and Seek Help when Needed
Find a grief support group
Adoptive children group
Find a therapist with adoption experience