Over the course of this year, COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Virtually no corner of the world that will be left untouched by this experience. Yet, its impact varies dramatically, even in our own country. The coronavirus has highlighted inequalities across the U.S. Disenfranchised communities often struggle to deal with the consequences of the virus both physically and economically. Among these hard hit groups are our children currently in the foster care system. The coronavirus has drastically slowed down the process of transitioning children out of foster care and into forever families. The modification of certain aspects of the foster/adoption process including homestudies, family visits, and traveling across state has caused huge delays. A shutdown of government offices and facilities has left many children waiting in limbo. Although not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt at this time, there are still a number of
Fostering is a tough decision to make; it brings with it joys and trials like any kind of parenting holds. While vastly rewarding, it holds certain challenges. The following are seven resources every foster parent should have.A Fostering MentorWhen you know someone who has already journeyed the path of fostering and/or adoption, that person can be an amazing resource for foster parents. Parenting, in and of itself, is a challenge. For new parents, knowing whether or not a behavior or quirk in personality is normal can be tricky. This is particularly true in foster parenting. Attachment in fostering can appear quite different than in those traditional parenting scenarios. When experiencing these differences, they can be worrisome or confusing. Having a mentor in your life, someone of whom you can make queries known or to whom you can voice concerns is vastly helpful. A mentor can assuage your fears and reassure
The Lost DaughtersLost Daughters is written by a wide variety of adopted women who are 20-60 years old and share their unique adoption experiences and upbringings. Since Amanda started the project in 2011, Lost Daughters has become a safe space for adoptees to contribute their stories and find a strong community of women to relate to.The Adopted LifeAngela Tucker started The Adopted Life as a personal blog in 2009. In 2013, her adoption story was featured in Closure, a documentary spanning two years of her life while she searched for her biological parents and family. Today, Angela works at Amara where she is the Director of Post-Adoption Services, is creating an adoptee mentorship program, and writes for Lost Daughters. She is an advocate for adoptee rights and leader of transracial adoption.I Am AdoptedJessenia Arias created I Am Adopted as an outlet for adoptees to share their adoption stories. It has
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
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.
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
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
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
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:@theluckyfewofficialFollow 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 the adoption process, the birth
While it would be amazing if everyone could foster or adopt children, that just isn’t possible. But just because you cannot personally take in a child, it does not mean that you are powerless to help children in foster care. There are many opportunities for you to get involved. Here are a few to get you started: 1.Become a CASA volunteer Court-appointed special advocates represent foster care children in court after getting to know them. They help ensure that the child’s needs are met and that they are placed in the best possible homes. To learn more about how you can fill this very important role, visit the CASA website. 2. Volunteer with AFFEC AFFEC has a variety of volunteer positions in event planning, marketing, fundraising, mentoring and more. Volunteers can be local or remote and volunteer regularly or on an as-needed basis. If you are interested, apply here. 3.