Blog Archives

Rehoming: Who’s to Blame?

The story

By now you may have read the headlines such as “YouTuber Myka Stauffer Reveals Adoption Dissolution 2 Years After Welcoming Son Home from China.” You may have even viewed the original adoptive parents’ tearful YouTube video about the “rehoming” of their son,

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Being a CASA: Another Way to Help Kids

My kids are grown, and while my spouse and I have agreed to be done parenting, we still want to help kids, so I became a CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. In some places, they call this person GAL, Guardian Ad Litem. I, along with my husband,

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When My Son Cries for His Birth Mom

My son’s behavior has been improving. It’s really quite incredible when I think about the progress he has made in such a short amount of time. There has been no hitting. No biting. No long-lasting rages. Very little swearing. Still. When my adopted child cries for his birth mom,

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Instant Family

The morning after watching Instant Family, I sent this text: “as much as I liked it, it has messed with my head some. I’m a little stabby today.”

Reading online reviews did not help with the stabbiness (let’s be honest–do online reviews ever help?).

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Expectation vs. Reality

Have you seen those funny memes that use photos to demonstrate the difference between how we might expect an activity or career to look and the reality? I have laughed at many. When we adopt, however, I think the contrast is sometimes not so funny. I also think that we make it worse.

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The Greatest Christmas Gift

A few years ago, my parents flew out from Wisconsin to visit for Christmas. Because they only make it out to California to see us twice a year, and we make it to Wisconsin to visit them even less, it was a pretty big deal.

Holidays were hard

When we adopted our daughter through foster care eight years ago,

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ACEs and Toxic Stress: How We Can Heal Children’s Brains

As a trauma and emotion-centered psychotherapist, I am relieved that children are now being screened for toxic stress. Thinking about mental health as a byproduct of a child’s environment is an important addition to current thinking on how to improve children’s wellbeing. Rushing to diagnose a child with a potentially stigmatizing label,

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Stopping a Bully: How Learning About Attachment and Emotions Can Help

Richard, a former patient of mine,* used to bully kids when he was in high school. When I asked him to share what bullying felt like, he told me intimidating kids was the only time he felt powerful and strong. His father beat him. He showed the world his tough side,

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What Therapists Want Parents to Do

–by Susan Ward, LPC

Note from the blog manager: this is the promised and long-overdue follow-up to Susan’s popular post, What Therapists Want Parents to Know. Thank you to both Susan and our readers for your patience!

 

As the parent of a child with trauma and attachment issues,

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Trauma-Informed Parenting: What Adoptive & Foster Parents Can Teach About ACEs

[original version published on Parenting with ACEs on June 5, 2016]

There are many adults with low ACE scores who parent children with high ACE scores. These parents are often feisty and fierce advocates who tirelessly seek out support, strategies and solutions to make the lives of their children easier and better. 

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