Counseling Support for Families joined by Adoption
Parenting can feel kind of lonely and overwhelming. Parenting an adopted child can be more challenging and you will need more even more support. Chances are that the Mommy and Me classes don’t have other mothers with adopted babies. Your child’s classroom this year doesn’t have another adopted child to connect with. The neighbors have children but they aren’t adopted. Your sister’s kids aren’t adopted and your parents never raised an adopted child.
- How do I talk to my child about their adoption?
- Why does my child seem so sweet one minute and then totally lose it when they don’t get their way?
- Why does my child seem to be so independent and resourceful for somethings but so immature in other ways?
- It has been years now since we brought our child home why does my child still _________.
- How do I know whether my child’s behaviors are adoption related?
- Why does my child have difficulties connecting with peers?
- My child lies constantly, manipulates others and seem not to care when they get a consequence.
- I feel like I have done everything I can for this child but they still don’t feel loved.
Behavior-based techniques with adopted children are not successful and often leave parents more frustrated. This is because they do not get to the root of the issue, children with adoption trauma need to feel belonging, connection to feel safe.
So where do you go for support specific to parenting an adopted child?
I am here for you. Adoption is my passion, both professionally and personally. Adoption has always been in my heart. When it came time to grow my family, my husband and I embarked on our journey to adoption. We now have 2 beautiful children who have transformed my life. They have taught me so much about love and patience. As a mother, I understand.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Registered Play Therapist and trained in attachment and adoption-related trauma, I can help your family.
I am EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) trained and use Theraplay informed interventions to help parents and their children build and strengthen their attachment and relationship. I engage families in playful and nurturing interactive activities that create bonding, practice regulating behavior and give the child a sense of love and security. Children who truly feel loved, safe and nurtured no longer need to be on survival mode, which means they no longer “act out”.
- I will help you understand why your child acts the way they do.
- I will give you tools on how to regulate your child’s emotions and behavior so that they don’t spin out of control.
- I can also advocate for your child in school and educate their teacher on how to provide the appropriate support for your child.
- I will guide you in the process of telling your child about their adoption in a way that is developmentally appropriate so that they can understand.
- Your child will process their thoughts and feelings related to their adoption, through play therapy.
- Your child will heal attachment-related trauma in order to be able to truly feel safe and loved by you.
“However motherhood comes to you, is a miracle” – Valerie Harper
I know you waited for this child to be yours for what seemed like forever. Throughout the adoption process, you experienced a rollercoaster of emotions.
There were so many steps and endless amounts of paperwork. Social workers checked out your home and psychologists asked you some pretty invasive questions. Family and friends might have been less than supportive, even making hurtful ignorant comments at times. Regardless, you stuck with it, because you wanted to adopt a child, to give them a loving family and home.
Then you got the call, the voice on the other end telling you, that you were “matched”. You were ecstatic and terrified at the same time.
Finally meeting and holding your child whether they were a baby, toddler or older child was pretty amazing. You might have been clueless about how you were going to raise this child. Maybe you had some ideas and hoped they would work out. If you raised biological children, your plan was to do the same that you did with your other children. If this was your first child, you planned to shower them with all the love humanly possible.
Most adoption agencies require that prospective parents take some kind of training in parenting adopted children. You might have even read some books on adoption and attachment.
The reality is that adoption itself is traumatic, regardless of the circumstances. Adopted children have experienced abandonment in some form.
Research says that what happens in the first two years of life has a significant impact on attachment style and quality of future relationships. When children endure some form of abuse and neglect, they learn that caregivers are unreliable and that the word is unsafe. They learn that they have to fend for themselves to survive. These traumatic experiences no matter how long ago they occurred, causing them to act in ways that sometimes make them hard to love. However, these are the very children that need the most love.
You never imagined that the struggles of those parents in the books and trainings would be your struggles. You don’t have to struggle alone it is okay to ask for help. One of my greatest joys is to help families created through adoption.