Blog

The Importance of Belonging: Using Photos to Cement Memories

As of 2017, there were 123,437 kids waiting for adoption in the U.S., as confirmed in a report by the Children’s Bureau. A lot of these children have a history with foster care and come from difficult backgrounds – increasing their need for people with open hearts to take them in. Parents, in general, only ever want the best for the children that they welcome into their lives, no matter if they are birthed, adopted or fostered. Parenting is always challenging, and when new parents want their adopted kids to feel settled, it can be challenging to know what to do. Yet, what they may not realize is that something as simple as a photo can help bridge the gap their new child may feel in belonging.Photos and BelongingTo cultivate the security that children need to feel, you can tap into the power of cameras and a well-made picture collage. Kids can acclimatize better

Is There Truly One Right Way To Parent?

Parenting By The Infinite NumbersThere are 250 babies born every minute. That means each year there are at least 150 million new parents trying to decipher how to best raise theirs. Move in close to any group of new moms and dads, and you are sure to hear lots of advice being shared and criticism of “other parents”. It’s true that new parents tend to rigorously study trends and research on how best to raise kids, and that’s a good thing. But it’s also important to acknowledge that, although you believe in your approach to proper parenting, it doesn’t mean the way someone else handles their kids is necessarily wrong. A parenting expert on every cornerThere are so many experts categorizing parenting styles and giving advice on how to raise kids, it can be dizzying. And they are often contradictory. The authoritarian parent, one of the four types of parents as defined by

Foster Care and Social Security Disability Benefits

Becoming a foster parent is one of the biggest and most rewarding decisions you can ever make in life. While you do receive supplemental income from fostering children, your family may be eligible for additional benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for people with serious illnesses, or dependent family members of those with disabilities. There are a few ways children in foster care could be eligible for aid. If Your Foster Child Has a Disability Social Security disability benefits are available to people of all ages. Children will qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits. SSI is only awarded to families in severe financial need, so if you or your spouse has a moderate income, your foster child will not be eligible for SSI benefits. For example, a single parent cannot earn more than $38,000 per year before taxes while having a child qualify for SSI.

Thank you Volunteers!

We at AFFEC are honored to work with many families and even more amazing volunteers. Please take a moment to check out our latest video highlighting a few of these amazing people. We could not do what we do without each of you! Thank-you!

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