by:  Julie Beem Even after therapeutically parenting for at least 100 years (ok, more like 17), I still love to get a new tool. This tool came to me over the weekend while I was listening in on a Nancy …

Toolbox Tuesday – Meet WALTER Read more »

by:  Craig Peterson What on earth is the amygdala? Most people have no idea. Even less can say it correctly. Let’s start with the pronunciation. Amygdala contains four syllables with the accent on the second one. Just remember to say …

The Amygdala – Stopping Flight or Fight at its Source Read more »

By: Craig Peterson

Craig Peterson’s ChildrenI had the best of intentions. I never would have imagined my misstep – the precedent I was setting. After all, I was simply trying to be kind to my two newest sons.

They came to me after a decade of extreme neglect and severe abuse at the hands of their birthmother’s boyfriend. Both endured more than 20 out-of-home placements after being stuck in the revolving door of family reunification.

Having a healthy attachment to the primary caregiver as a young infant profoundly influences the child’s overall emotional health. When the infant has a need, expresses the need and the need is met by a loving caregiver over and over again, …

How Trauma Disrupts Attachment Read more »

Healthy attachment starts neurochemically in the womb. An expectant mother, happy about her coming child, takes good care of her health and nutrition, isn’t under chronic stress and stays away from harmful toxins (like drugs and alcohol). So the baby’s …

What is healthy attachment? Read more »

by: Julie Beem

“I’m so strong that I could destroy this whole house.” His declaration was matter-of-fact, not launched as a threat but to gauge my response. “Really?” I responded, “why would you want to destroy my house?” “Because I’m powerful enough.”

ATN is delighted to include another post from Carol Lozier. Carol, a member of ATN’s Board of Directors, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Her website,, offers a blog, free downloadable tools for families, an excerpt of her book, and a supportive community of adoptive and foster parents.

By: Carol Lozier

Have you ever noticed that adopted and foster kids are especially cute? Their beautiful eyes, cute noses, and charming smiles often call attention to them and to their family. In the midst of this attention, adoptive and foster parents often hear remarks of how their parenting could be more effective, or possibly that they are expecting too much or too little from their child. Understandably, parents are caught off guard as they are hit with a critical comment, and sometimes are not sure how to address them.
I wrote the following letter, found on page 63 of The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide, to help families express their needs and requests to their family, friends, church, after school caregivers, teachers, physicians, and others. Parents, please copy and use this letter; share it with your adoptive and fostering friends. Send the letter to any person(s) in your life who may gain a new understanding of how to help you and your family.