Life Lessons to Teach Your Foster Child

Life Lessons to Teach Your Foster Child

Whether you are fostering or adopting a child, once of the biggest questions you will undoubtedly ask yourself is: what life skills and values  you would like to instill in them? While it is true that all children have their own talents, interests, and outlooks on life, there are important lessons that nearly everyone can take with them in their adulthood. Take time to think about the things that matter to you and the extent to which specific skills or behaviors have helped you, and try to synthesize this into a small but valuable list. If you need a little inspiration, perhaps the following life lessons can be of help.Being a Team PlayerWhile independence and learning to stand on your own two feet are crucial for your health and happiness, most scenarios in your child’s life will involve working in a team – including school sports, friendship groups, and work settings. Even being in a relationship

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

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 KnewIn 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 ProfessionalsThrough 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 parenting guide.4. You Can Adopt Without

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

Advice from Adoptive Parents: What They Wish They Knew Before Adopting

By Aurora
You can read every book on adoption out there, but when it comes to your actual adoption, you may be blindsided by some things that no book or Internet article could have prepared you for. We asked some adoptive parents what they wish they had known before adopting and asked them to mention any advice they would give to families looking to adopt. Betty and Melinda Potts-Cerio adopted two sisters they had fostered through Community Based Care of Central Florida. They said,”Our best advice is to learn everything you can! Most importantly, educate yourself about the effects of trauma on kids.  Seek out and know your resources then use them!  Self-care is so important as well. Take care of yourselves so you can take care of your kids.  These kids are counting on you, go make a difference!” Annette Marie Griffin, whose debut children’s book What Is A Family will be released next year,

8 Misconceptions About Adoption That May Be Keeping You From Taking the Leap

By Aurora
Before you actually begin the process of adopting a child, there may be a lot you don’t know. Your only knowledge of adoption may come from media coverage of celebrity adoptions or memoirs written by adoptive parents. Many people have preconceived assumptions about adoption because of the way adoption is portrayed in pop culture.  These (often negative) assumptions might make you fret over whether or not adoption is really right for you. But before you rule out adoption because of misconceptions, get the facts by asking your agency as many questions as you can think of and doing your homework. To start, read on as we dispel some of the most common myths about adoption. 1. Only the wealthy can afford adoption. While adoptions range in costs and not everyone will have the money upfront, it isn’t always expensive. There are also many resources available to help ensure that adoption