The Importance of Belonging: Using Photos to Cement Memories

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

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

Their Stories: Two Adoptees Reflect on How Adoption Changed Their Lives

By Aurora
We asked adults who were adopted as children from foster care the question, “How has being adopted changed your life for the better?” Here is what two incredible individuals had to say: Ashli Carnicelli “I was adopted from the foster care system in the state of Massachusetts. I was placed with my parents in November of 1983 and my adoption was finalized on October 18, 1984 when I was almost 2 years old. To say that being adopted has changed my life for the better is an understatement. My parents were only 2 weeks into their classes and their dossier and they were on the list for an older child (up to 6 years old). My social worker wanted to find the perfect home for me, and she pulled their file. She said, “Sometimes you have to throw away the paperwork and go with your gut- this baby was meant

From Fostering to Adopting: Mallory Williams’ Journey

By Aurora
Photo courtesy of Mallory Williams We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mallory Williams, who runs the Instagram account @five_2_and_under, and is a mom to Chase and Dylan, who she fostered before adopting, and triplets Avery. Emery, and Bradley. AFFEC: What influenced your decision to become a foster parent?  MW: Since my husband and I got together we’ve always had the dream of adopting. As a drug & alcohol therapist in a correctional setting, I witnessed firsthand some of the hardships that these children have to go through. We also thought it would be great to help the children in our immediate area, giving them the best life that they could have. AFFEC: What are some challenges/rewards of being a foster parent? MW: Some of the challenges we faced included the altering of our schedules on a whim, the unknown and the difficulties with the court

One Photo Can Make A Difference. So Can You

By Aurora
For today’s blog post, I want to talk about the Heart Gallery. The thing that started it all in 2006. The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibition of photos.  The children in these pictures live across the nation, and they are all looking for their forever families. The Heart Gallery is a bridge between these children and their forever families.  It is one thing to simply read about child, but it is another thing entirely to see that child, and to see their energy and their excitement.  The child becomes real, the need becomes real, and people are spurred into action! The Heart Gallery brings people to us.  Those who want to adopt, those who want to mentor, those who want to volunteer, and those who want to help, but don’t know what they can offer, they come because they saw a child in the Heart Gallery, and it sparked something inside