November - A Special Month

November is a special month. Almost exactly a year ago, I was spending evenings on my laptop putting together this site. My wife and I had the idea that we wanted to give back and contribute to the community that we are part of - the fostadopt community. We felt like there were few dedicated resources for parents of Children of Trauma to share and support one another online. I work in Web Development and this seemed to be a good way to help out. My good friends at Brownrice Internet agreed to provide hosting so over a matter of two weeks in the evenings and weekends we knocked it out.

So one reason that November is special to me is because it is the anniversary of On November 1, we will be one year old! It really doesn't seem that long.

The launch was planned for November 1. It wasn't an abitrary date. November is officially (in the United States) National Adoption Month.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner is a film that parents of Children of Trauma will deeply empathize with. It represents, at its core, many of the things we need to help our children work through. It tells a story of horrific abuse - physical, emotional, and sexual. It explores the shame that comes with rape--and not just the emotions of the person who was abused. It weaves a narrative around loss of parents and loved ones. But it also tells a story of unabiding hope for the future.

Working With Your Child's Teacher

One of the challenges of being a parent to a Child of Trauma is developing a team that can work together to serve the child's best interests. There is often the tendency to want to hide problems before they become problems in the interest that an issue may not arise. I would suggest that this is a bad course of action that will ultimately be problematic. This is especially true when you are dealing with the classroom.

Secondary Trauma

Secondary Trauma is a phenomenon where a person or persons who have not experienced the trauma themselves show symptoms of the trauma. In the case of the Child of Trauma it is most often the care giver (foster or adoptive parent) who experiences this kind of trauma.

Why Adopt? Why Social Services?

Walking Around Copenhagen

My wife and I always knew that we wanted to have a kid or two. We also were pretty certain that we didn't want to increase the surface population. We knew that there were lots of kids both here in the United States and abroad who were without parents for one reason or another.

Happy Birthday America!

Celebrations like Independence Day are great opportunities to bond with your kiddos. In our family, there is a giant family reunion each year at this time. While many of the faces (especially for those who have married into the family) are unfamiliar, I think it helps all children - not just those of Trauma - to understand and really feel that they are part of something larger.

Gatherings of this kind can be overwhelming for children who have come from abusive backgrounds.

Remember to make sure:

It's That Time of Year Again

This post is re-published with kind permission from Joanne at Forever Parents.

Tomorrow, June 5th, is my daughter’s 14th birthday, but we won’t be celebrating.

Let me explain….

When we adopted her, she was eight years old (We also adopted her two siblings at the same time). For the first couple of years, the week leading up to her birthday was always a time of turmoil for us. Moodiness, nastiness and sadness would fill her up and hurt anyone in her path, usually us, her family. Some years it was all I could go to even talk to her during that week….one year I threw her cake into the garbage out of total frustration and another year I cancelled her party a few days before.

Genius is Eternal Patience

Rarely do I find a fortune cookie message that is this perfect.

Genius and Patience

How ideal is this statement for the fostadopt community?

Healing for the Attachment Challenged, Angry, and Defiant Child

Today we attended a Bryan Post seminar on Attachment. Bryan Post is a well known attachment therapist based out of Virginia. From the Post Institute homepage, he is described:

B. Bryan Post is America’s Foremost Child Behavior Expert. Founder and CEO of the Post Institute for Family-Centered Therapy based in Virginia Beach, VA. The Post Institute specializes in working with adults, children and families who struggle with issues related to early life trauma and the impact of trauma on the development of the mind body system. A renowned clinician, lecturer, and author of several books, video, and audio programs, Bryan has traveled throughout the world providing expert treatment and consultation to a variety of groups. An internationally recognized specialist in the treatment of emotional and behavioral disturbance in adults, children and families, he specializes in a holistic family-based treatment approach that addresses the underlying interactive dynamics of the entire family, a neurophysiologic process he refers to as, “The secret life of the family.” Post contends that these same dynamics become obvious and are visibly apparent in every relationship.

Playful Bonding

Snowman in 60f/16c weatherKids really want to have a connection with the adults that are their caretakers.  These people can be parents, older siblings, grandparents, foster parents, and adoptive parents.

With Children of Trauma, there is a deep seated “need” to push those who are the closest away.  They misbehave to make the ones who protect them want to go away.  They spend time isolating themselves and trying to care for themselves.  They spend time yelling, screaming, and breaking things. 

Despite this, we need to spend time with our kids allowing them to bond.  They need to feel valued and special.  They need to know that everything they have been taught about being of no value, simply isn’t true.  So, what can we do?  do things together.  Make the mundane special.