AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life

Posts Tagged ‘family

Top tips for a tip top festive season!

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winter landscapeI’ve just finished a teleseminar discussing some things to think about over the festive season.

You can listen to the replay on the event page and here’s a quick run through of what was covered…

Things to think about:

  • Expectations: ours’, children’s, family & friends’
  • Excitement and anticipation
  • Overwhelm
  • ‘if you’re good…’ or ‘if you don’t behave…’ messages
  • Birth family:  memories, contact
  • Triggers

Some of the things that can help include managing expectations, not aiming for glossy mag perfection; using calendars, planners, albums and visual cues to help build a sense of what’s coming next

and the Top tips:

  • keep it simple
  • talk about what’s happening next
  • stick to the plan/routine if you can
  • look behind the behaviour, think about what’s driving it
  • aim for fun, not perfection…

Essentially, it’s all about understanding the potential triggers and things going on behind the scenes, and finding ways to manage expectations and feelings. Leave a comment with your survival tips for Christmas…

PS as mentioned on the call, here’s the link to the bbc news video where an adoptee discusses his feelings on his birthday…

Written by adoptresources

December 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

teleseminar debut…

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I’ve just finished my first teleseminar and, although not the slickest of presentations, I managed to negotiate technology and do an OK job! Have a listen in to the replay if you’re at the thinking about stage and want to know more… (the sound doesn’t start straight away, don’t adjust your screens!).

Next one tomorrow, on top tips for Christmas – hope to see you there…

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December 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm

School’s out…

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pulling sledgeIn my part of the world there’s been a lot more snow than usual for this time of year and our schools have been closed since Monday, with decisions made daily on whether they would re-open or not… I’m not sure the shutdown is entirely necessary but that’s a topic for a different kind of blog…

At the start of the week, I enjoyed the reprieve from the Monday to Friday school routine and treated it like a long weekend. Now, four days in, I’m getting a bit stir crazy and want to shake off the in limbo feeling and get back on with things.

For the kids, it’s been a whole lot more exciting and school has not been missed! Initially, there was great excitement about sledging* but now the excuses not to sledge have started to be invented… wrong kind of snow, it’s a bit cold etc etc.

Our days have been filled with a bit more negotiation, discussion, sibling relations and chill out time. We’ve not had to resort to homework yet, but it’s there if I need it!

Have you been affected by the snow? What’s kept you sane?

*PS big thanks to @adoptionali for prompt to get sledges early this year, allowing me to feel like a domestic goddess/supermum when the first few flakes started to fall…

Related posts
Surviving the summer holidays…

Written by adoptresources

December 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Posted in adoption, school

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Making memories

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black and white photosSometimes in adoption, our attention is drawn to the gaps in our shared history, to the times when we were not together as a family instead of to the memories we are creating all the time. Albums and photos focussing on the early experiences are important to help children build a sense of who they are and to keep hold of some of the important people in their lives. But to help children and families grow together, this reflection also needs to include looking forward and to laying down new memories.

Here’s a few things that can help you and your family build your shared history:

Parallel journey chat about what happened before you became a family, what age you were when they were born, where you worked what you were doing and so on. Look at photos and albums. This helps join bits of your lives together without keeping things in separate worlds. A little PS to this one, don’t expect a captive audience, just gently trickle the information in…

Reminisce chat about things that you’ve done together, what they were like when they were younger, talk about feelings around things that happened – the funny moments, positive times, even sad times. The focus of day to day stuff can often be on difficulties so a reminder of the good old days/moments can help give a bit of a boost…

Commemorate take photos, mementoes, scrapbooks, postcards etc… these help build tangible memories of the things that you’ve done together and helps children not able to hold memories well to have a physical reminder to hold onto…

Celebrate in your way, create memories to look back on and your own family traditions. Choose the events that mean something to your family, these may be adoption related, they may not. Be sensitive to the fact that for some children Adoption Days can be a reminder of loss.

All of these things help build security in families and help us to feel like we belong. I’d love to hear your comments…

This post was published in my Autumn newsletter sign up to receive the next one…

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November 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Coming soon…

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…to a living room near you – a teleseminar on an adoption topic of your choice…

laptop and coffeeI recently discovered teleseminars and am a big fan. I like the fact that I can learn something from the comfort of my own living room, no childcare to sort out, just an hour of my time with a cup of tea. So, I’m hosting two free teleseminars in December: the first one is on 7th December and will answer lots of questions about the adoption process, the second one is on the 8th December and will focus on finding answers to some of the challenges post placement.

I’ll tweet and post details nearer the time. Let me know the questions you’d like answers to…

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November 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Be my guest…

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laptop on a beachI’ve added a new section to feature guest blogs. Posts can be related to any aspect of adoption, it could be something you’ve already featured on your own blog, it can be anonymous or not. The first guest blog is an amazing story of adoption from Greg. Let me know if you’ve got a story you’d like to share…

Written by adoptresources

October 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Support for Dads…

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people standing on the earth - 3d illustrationIn all aspects of life there can be differences in how women and men experience situations. The same is true for adoption, especially in relation to how we deal with behaviour and our roles in day to day routines, childcare, work and school. I was contacted recently by an adoptive Dad who has set up a website and forum to offer informal, peer support to other Dads who have adopted. I think this is a great idea and will be encouraging my ‘significant other’ to have a look and leave a post…

For any Dads reading this, have a look at and join in the discussion…

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October 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Facebook: friend or foe…

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social network laptopSocial media networks have opened up opportunities to connect with people anywhere in the world, making it easier to get in touch with long lost friends; keep in touch with family and friends and make new business and social connections. On the whole, the impact of social media is positive (you only need to look at my twitterstream to see that I’m a convert!) but there can be some negative or unwelcome intrusions.

Facebook in particular has opened up a network where birth families can trace and be traced by adopted relatives. Tracing in itself offers a chance at a better understanding of the circumstances of adoption and the possibility of building new relationships. However, it is best done with the right support, and any contact made with the permission of those being traced. The openness of social media takes away the sensitivity and understanding needed to make reunions as positive for all concerned.

When we were working our way through the adoption process, I read a book called A Good Likeness, all about an adult adoptee tracing his birth parents. Through this and other books, I could see that a lot of search and reunion is about understanding yourself, making sense of what adoption is for you and why it happened. This made it easier for me as an adoptive parent to understand it. I can also see in my children a need to connect with this parallel universe.

So I’m watching and listening to stories of facebook reunions and gleaning what I can from them. I don’t think the answer is to stop using facebook or other social networks of choice. Learning how to be safe online and putting the right supports in place for adoption search and reunion seems a sensible place to start.

So, right now, my aim is to keep online and offline lines of communication open, have conversations about keeping yourself safe online and to get to know facebook as well as I know twitter (uphill battle!!)…

Do you have any tips? Is this something you’ve had to deal with?

Book list:
A Good Likeness by Paul Arnott
Blue-Eyed Son: The Story of an Adoption by Nicky Campbell
Facing Up to Facebook: A Survival Guide for Adoptive Families  A guide on Facebook for adoptive families that covers important aspects of keeping safe online – published by BAAF

Written by adoptresources

October 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Support for learning

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LearningThe summary of a recent  report  concluded that children were being “wrongly labelled as having special educational needs”. This sparked a debate about the pros and cons of diagnoses and labels of special educational needs. Some parents felt that the right diagnosis meant that children received additional support, others that it limited expectations of children or that additional support was not always provided.

My own experience is that some children would do better with additional support in school but, without a formal recognition of need, the provision of additional support is dependent on individual teachers and resources.

In adoption, early trauma and neglect impact on a child’s development and can lead to the need for additional support with learning. Areas like language processing affect how well children understand instruction and can cause problems in all subject areas, even in games and P.E. Poor concentration, low self esteem and problems with social relationships all have a knock on effect on learning

What are your views… has your child had support for learning, has it helped? Do you think labels are helpful?

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September 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Adoption blog carnival…

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I came across the idea of a blog carnival on a few other blogging networks and decided that I’d like to host an Adoption Blog Carnival for National Adoption Week…

And what is a blogging carnival, I hear you ask. Well, it’s just a way of linking together different posts on one topic. You email me details of a post you’ve written in relation to adoption and I write a carnival post and include links to the posts selected for the carnival…

I’m hoping to get posts from all perspectives in adoption – adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, prospective adopter, relative through adoption… and from all viewpoints-good/bad/indifferent…

If you’d like to contribute, email details of your post to by October 25th. You don’t have to write a post specifically for the carnival and it doesn’t have to be recent. If you’d like to submit something but don’t want to post it on your usual blog, email me the post and I can include it as a guest blog.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Written by adoptresources

September 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm