As 2015 comes to a close, I love all the “wrap up” posts that start popping up. The year’s best books, best movies, most influential people. So why not join in with a list of the year’s best articles for adoptive families? Here are my picks:
One of the most important things that adoptive parents need to educate themselves about is the impact of early trauma on every aspect of a child’s life. Even children adopted in infancy may have indicators of early trauma (difficult pregnancy, difficult birth) that have a long-lasting impact on their health and behavior. This article and the TED talk that it mentions are a great introduction to (or refresher on) how early trauma can impact children and families.
Post-adoption depression is real. And it is WAY more common than many adoptive parents (and hopeful adoptive parents) are led to believe. Yes, you worked very hard and jumped through lots of hoops to become a parent. Yes, it took a long time and lots of paperwork and convincing many professionals that you would be a great parent. That doesn’t mean it will be easy. All parenting is hard. Adoptive parenting has its own special challenges (and joys). This article gives a great list of symptoms that may indicate a need for help. If you are facing post-adoption depression, you are not alone. Seek the help that you need—for yourself and for your family.
I love books. Reading together is a great way to bond as a family—whether your child is an infant or a teenager. I treasure moments spent snuggling with my toddler and turning the pages of a board book (for the two minutes that he will sit still!) and listening to my third grader read aloud from the “funny parts” of her library books. Stories are also a great way to begin conversations about adoption in a non-threatening way. Here is a great round-up of stories with adoption themes you won’t want to miss.
As my daughter gets older, her questions about adoption get more complex and nuanced. I am so glad that she feels comfortable asking me these difficult questions and having the hard conversations that go along with them. As adoptive parents, we certainly want to keep the lines of communication open with our children, and this article gives some good suggestions of ways to handle these tricky conversations with both grace and truth.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with our parenting peers. Certainly, there is value in discussing parenting challenges and joys with friends whose children are the ages of our own kids. There is also great value in hearing the voices of those further along in the journey than we are. These seasoned parents have a hard-earned wisdom that can only come with years of experience. This article is a breath of fresh air to those of use with little kids. Take a minute and gain a perspective that is deeper and wider than your own.
What did I miss? Feel free to post links to other great articles for adoptive parents in the comments below.