Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Year of First

Regardless of what age you child is at the time of adoption; infant, toddler or teen, the first year home with your child is a just the beginning of first with your child. You will have a first birthday party, first hug, first Christmas and so forth.
   During that first year, it is a learning curve. You will learn your child’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weakness. Days may be filled with nesting, and bonding and attachment. There will be doctors appointments and evaluations, or learning to walk, talk, or read.
 Your child may be easy to put to bed, or want to stay up all night. You may pull clothes out of the dryer to find crayons left in pockets or realize your humming the Barney song even when your child is nowhere around.
   You will experience great joy, exhaustion, and maybe even some frustration, but as the end of the first twelve months approaches, you think to yourself; “Wow, I can’t believe the year went so fast.” And many of you will realize; “Hey, I’ve got this parenting thing down, let’s do this again!”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pre-Adoption Education

Adoption requires certain educational, cultural, developmental and medical awareness in order to best prepare for the arrival of your child.  Proper preparation is essential to the success of the placement and we believe it is vital for adoptive parents to develop an understanding of the complex issues of adoption.

Because you are your child’s best advocate, a critical part of the adoption process is preparation.  Preadoption education and training help you prepare for your child’s needs. In addition to pre-adoption workshops, webinars and consultations which are designed to help families learn about the different types of adoption, parents in progress also should taking additional parenting classes, when possible.

At Beacon House international adoptive families are required to take a minimum of 10 training hours of Hague approved training. Domestic Adoptive families may take courses in Infant and Child CPR, baby care, parenting an adopted child, Transracial adoption, and more.

At Beacon House we offer FREE Parent in Progress (PIP) classes/webinars designed specifically, for our adoptive families. These webinars have recently been updated and are offered exclusively to our families most months throughout the year. 

Please join us for Parents in Progress: Choosing A Pediatrician
Fri, July 25, 9pm EST, 8pm CST

To register for this event, contact

For a complete calendar of events see: 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Cajun Stork

In may of this year, we unexpectedly lost our Cajun Stork, Domestic Adoption Coordinator Margie Mathis, after a valiant battle with an extended illness.
Ms Margie started at Beacon House when her mother- in-law; who assisted Birthmothers, asked her to help “take care of her girls while she was on vacation.” She often joked that her Mother- in-law “lied” when she told her it was a part- time job. That was more than 20 years ago and part time hours were replaced by overtime. 

Her favorite part of the job was building families but she also believed that in her role as Domestic Coordinator that she also had the “opportunity to meet and get to know the most wonderful people.” “Especially the Birthmothers,” She was passionate about her work with birthmother. Describing them as “ the most dear and unselfish women you could ever meet.”  “They love their babies and are unselfishly doing this for their child.”    

It was clear when speaking to Ms. Margie that she loved her Birthmothers and Birthmothers loved her compassionate, and understanding.

Steve Jobs said that "the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Ms Margie exemplified this trait: loving what she did, passionate about her work, and committed to helping others. During her tenure with Beacon House, she assisted hundreds of birthmothers and families on their adoption journey.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It’s a Boy Thing

            “It’s just a boy thing” is a phrase I have often heard over the years. It’s often in reference to a multitude of parental concerns including injury at play, high activity level, impulsivity, organizational skills, and more. At the same time I have vehemently denied that gender is an excuse to justify behavior.  I’ve heard the phrase tossed around to placate frustrated parents and normalize questionable behavior that would be considered unacceptable in girls. 
            We’ve went from active toddler, to active pre-teen, to teen. But things change after puberty. The voice deepens, renewed interest in girls, too lazy to bathe, dirty clothes, or lack of hygiene, etc. Everyone warns you about the trials of tribulations of puberty, but not about they wake up on the other side into their early teens (14-17). The attitude, (or badtitude as I like to call it) shifts and poof your beautiful baby boy is now a sloth.
            The slow motion walk form the couch to the kitchen is almost painful to watch. It’s a paradox to my son’s 6 pack abs and shoulder twice the size of his waist. I shout “Run, I need you to hurry, run don’t walk.” His speed changes from that of a snail to a turtle. As a cornerback on his High school football team, he can not only run, but run fast.

            And finally after commiserating with other Mom’s of boys, about the angst of teenage boys, I finally get it. It’s a boy thing afterall……

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fostering Cultural Diversity

One of the great things that make our country so unique is our cultural diversity. Without it, we would not be who we are as Americans.  Nowhere is our legacy of blending race and culture, more evident than in Trans-racial adoptive families. These families highlight our nation’s ability to overcome religious and racial differences and not just peacefully coexist, but too thrive.    
     Whether families adopt domestically or internationally, most trans-racial adoptive families consist of Caucasian parents who adopt a child of a different race. Adoptive parent’s opinions, attitudes, and perception will build the foundation for positive cultural identity in their child.  Acknowledge differences in the two cultures, adding too, rather than taking away from one to give to another.
      The celebration and acknowledgment of cultural differences will help enhance and empower your child as an individual. Learning specific skills such as language, important holidays, or childhood rites of passage are less likely to be beneficial to your child than the overall day to day, attitude towards people who are of the same race as your child.
     Adoptive parents must nurture their child’s cultural heritage and recognize the importance of their family history or birth country. For children adopted internationally, who have no birthparent history this is especially important, even if the adopted child is not of a different race. The Birth country becomes in a sense a “surrogate” birthmother.
     Just as you can not change race, your child can not become Caucasian.  It is important for children’s adjustment and personal identity to identify with both cultures. Cultural competency is almost impossible without your child being was raised within the environment, but you can raise her with a strong personal identity, who possesses knowledge of her heritage, beliefs and values.

Ways to support your child’s heritage
  • Help him connect with other children, who are of the same race.
  • Look at the demographics and diversity of your child’s school/church.
  • Start or join an adoption support group.
  • Find a role model for your child, teacher coach, family friend.
  • Incorporate it into day to day life.
  • Make learning the language a game.
  • Don’t force it; follow your child’s lead.
  • Keep it balanced. Too much, too fast may not be a good thing.
  • Keep it in perspective.
  • Do related arts and crafts.
  • Listen to folk music or ethnic.
  • Start a new family tradition, incorporating the best of both worlds.
  • Take a homeland trip.
  • Play dress up with costumes.
  • Learn hair care and style techniques.
  • Attend a cultural festival
  • Find a Pen Pal

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Are you ready to Adopt?

At some point, couples experiencing infertility who want to move forward towards having a family will have to bridge the gap from infertility to adoption by acknowledging and accepting infertility.  Couples will have to confront the grief and loss associated with infertility. Resolution prior to adoption is necessary. It provides a strong foundation for couples to become emotionally and physically healthier and ready to bond and attach to a child. 

That may not be an easy process, and will necessitate a change in the thinking process: moving from the means to an end.  This requires couples to move away from the idea of having a biological child as the way to become parents to focusing on the end result; which is still being a parent, but by the use of a different means: by adoption.

Indicators that a couple may be ready to move forward with adoption:
  • Have exhausted viable, medical options without success.
  • No longer have the desire to pursue medical assistance.
  • Feelings of relief when discontinuing or thinking about stopping attempts to conceive.
  • The realization that actually being a parent is more important than how they became parents.
  • Spending more time talking about adoption.
  • Noticing more or seeking out adoptive families.
  • The belief that God is calling them to adopt.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stress Reduction

Infertility, adoption, finances, these are all areas that can produce stress, but any form of physical activity can help you unwind and can become an important part of your approach to easing stress. A regular exercise routine not only helps mange stress but it can also help you get ready to carry around your new baby or chase and active toddler.  

How does exercise reduce stress?
  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, other activity can also contribute to this same feeling.
  • It's meditation in movement. After exercising you may find that you've forgotten the day's dilemmas and irritations because you are concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. This can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
  • It has social benefits. Most often physical activity involves others and gives you a double dose of stress-relief with the combined benefits of exercise and fun with friends.