The Importance of Sleep to Your Child’s Learning and Growth

The Importance of Sleep to Your Child’s Learning and Growth

By Aurora
By Ellie Porter We all need sleep. There’s no arguing that. For children, sleep plays a vital role in their proper physical and mental growth and development. However, many foster and adoptive children have trouble falling and staying asleep. In their experience, nighttime has often been a scary time that’s full of unknowns. With sleep as a priority, you’ll be setting your child up for better long-term health and happiness. Proper Growth Your child does most of his growing while he sleeps. The body goes through five sleep stages throughout the night, and it’s during the first of the deep sleep stages that the body releases human growth hormone. It’s released regularly throughout the night to stimulate bone, muscle, and organ growth. When your child doesn’t get enough sleep, he’s also getting less growth hormone, which, over a long period of time, can interfere with normal growth. Successful Social Relationships

Adoption Day Videos (cue the happy tears!)

By Aurora
Looking for some adorable Adoption Day Videos? Look no further! Here are some incredible adoption day inspiration videos! Princess Adoption: https://vimeo.com/170197246 Toddler Adoption:   https://vimeo.com/92103937   Teen Adoption: https://vimeo.com/289576850   Adoption Day: https://vimeo.com/61983506

Shop to Support Adoption and Foster Care

By Aurora
We all have the power to help children in foster care and families hoping to adopt, and it starts with our wallets. Giving back to foster care and adoption-related causes can be extra rewarding when you do so by shopping at these small businesses: Feather Refuge When you purchase a shirt from this adoptive parent’s shop, you can help fund the building of an orphanage and foster care and adoption services at Beech Acres parenting center Natalie Brenner Shop Adoptive mom Natalie Brenner’s shirts and prints support A Family for Every Child, Together We Rise, and Embrace Oregon. She has also funded some of her own adoptions with her shop sales. Just Really Joseph When she couldn’t find a relatable story about international adoption, Kayla Craig took matters into her own hands and turned her son Joseph’s adoption journey into a children’s book. Every penny of the proceeds from Just

The 7 Best Books for Parents Considering Adoption

By Aurora
The best way to make the adoption process go smoothly is to do your homework! Read everything you can and seek out answers to all of your burning questions.  To get you started, here are some recommended books for parents considering adoption: 1. 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew In 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, an adoptee offers insight into the unique emotional challenges adopted children face by sharing case studies.  2. Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids – A Guide for Parents and Professionals Through this book, you can learn from other parents who have helped their adopted children heal from emotional trauma. 3. Confessions of an Adoptive Parent: Hope and Help from the Trenches of Foster Care and Adoption  Mike Berry has fostered and adopted children of his own and offers his insider’s perspective in this faith-based

Bedtime tricks for your new children

By Aurora
As a foster and adoptive mother, we are no strangers to bedtime and the art of navigating it with new placements. Here are a few tips and tricks we have learned over the years that make bedtime with your new family member just a little bit easier. #1 Lower your expectations This may seem like common sense, but I’m amazed at how many people expect their new children to be able to fall right into a bedtime routine. If your child is coming straight from a home where they may have experienced neglect or trauma, they may have never even gone through a bedtime routine before. When our youngest son came to us as a toddler, the first few days the bedtime process took 3+ hours a night. I would just be prepared to spend a lot of time at the beginning investing into your new child and building trust

Seven Great Adoption Books For Kids

By Aurora
7 Great Adoption Books for Kids Hi there! My name is Sara. I’m a foster mother to many and an adoptive mother to my two sons, ages 6 and 13. Throughout the years we have found that one of the easiest ways to explain foster care and adoption to the kids who come through our home is through reading bedtime stories. Here are 7 of my favorite kids books that explain adoption.   A Mother for Choco By Keiko Kasza We LOVE Choco in our house. This is a great story that explains that mothers aren’t mothers based on if they look similar to their children, but instead what role they play in their child’s life. Choco’s mother and siblings look nothing like him, but they are family. This book is a very fun twist on the classic “Are you my Mother?” storybook. Great book that shows adoption as a

Why you should consider teen adoption.

By Aurora
When my husband and I started fostering 3 years ago, I was 23 and he was 27. We were so excited to have a cute toddler or baby come stay with us for an extended period of time. During our licensing process, we bought car seats and cribs and onesies and strollers- the list goes on and on. Throughout the last 3 years, we have fostered a fair amount of babies and toddlers. And it has been wonderful. But last week, at 26 years old, I had the privilege of adopting my 13 year old son. This was not in our plan. There is only a 13 year age difference between us. We had no experience with teenagers. How would we know what to do? The thing is we don’t. But it really doesn’t matter. Every day we’re trying our best. And to say our son is amazing is the

Adoption Advocate Influencers You Should Be Following on Instagram

By Aurora
Instagram can be a wonderful place to find an adoption community and individuals whose stories resonate with you. It’s easy to get lost while scrolling through the endless stream of cute baby photos, but your scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless- it can help you find the advice and support you need from parents who have been in your shoes! Here are the adoption advocates who keep it real and warm our hearts on the ‘gram: @theluckyfewofficial Follow Heather (mom to Macey, Truly, and August) as she advocates for adoption and shares the joys and struggles of parenting children with Down Syndrome. Heather knows firsthand that parenthood isn’t all giggles and playtime- her Instagram is a relatable mix of tantrums and her kids’ hilarious shenanigans.   @fromanothamotha Adoption coordinator and birth mother Kelsey, who is a part of an open adoption, stands up for those who are often forgotten in

My Success Story – by Claire Stamley

By Aurora
“My name is Claire Stamey. I live in N.C, and I got pregnant by one of my best friends in 2007 at the age of 38.  I am white and he is black.  This was my 3rd baby.  The birth father and I decided to look for biracial couples to adopt her.  We ended up finding what turned out to be the perfect couple, Chris and Ruth Traylor in California.  The adoptive Dad and I have similar interests and talents.  We all decided on an open adoption Zoe was born 3 weeks or so premature.  She is nothing short of a miracle.  Chris and Ruth often sent me pics, and we all kept in touch on Facebook and the phone. Sadly, Ruth passed away-in December,2016 from complications of Lupus.  Chris is now a single Dad raising Zoe himself and doing a wonderful job.  Chris and Zoe keep in touch with

Why I Volunteer for AFFEC

By Aurora
This week, my internship as the blog coordinator for AFFEC will come to a close.  Although I only just discovered AFFEC a few weeks before my internship began,  the past twelve weeks have been several years in the making. When I was around six years old, a neighborhood boy of about eight or nine began visiting every day after school. He was my sister’s age and frankly, I remember being more annoyed by his constant presence than anything. He was always eager to join in whatever game my best friend from across the street and I were playing. He would come over for snacks, help with homework, swimming, and Jamba Juice outings. I never quite knew why he was always around; it wasn’t as if my sister was best friends with him.  For some reason,  trips to Jamba Juice are what stand out the most. Overall, my memories of him