Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wonder #7: Divided Loyalties

Wonder #7: Divided Loyalties
"I wonder if I should remain loyal to my birth mother or if I should allow myself to love and be loved by my foster/adoptive mother."

Behaviors associated with this issue:
  • Acting out during the holidays or near Mother's Day
  • Refusal to attach to the foster/adoptive parents
  • Modeling after birth parent or fantasy of birth parent

We hope you have enjoyed this series, "The Seven Wonders of Adoption," by Betsy Keefer-Smalley. Please leave a comment and let us know if you were helped in any way.

A special thanks goes to FosterParentCollege.com for allowing us to reprint the "wonders."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wonder #6: Control

Wonder #6: Control
" I wonder why everyone else makes decisions about my family, how much information I get, how old I have to be to meet my siblings or birth parents. When do I get to make important decisions about my life."

Behaviors associated with this issue:
  • Constant control battles with authority figures
  • Lying, even with the lie does not seem to benefit the child
  • Stealing
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior (list-making, unusual orderliness)
  • Lack of flexibility

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final wonder in this great series...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wonder #5: Identity

Wonder #5: Identity
"I wonder who my people are and if I will be like them."

Behaviors associated with this issue:
  • Looking and behaving in ways that are very different from the foster/adoptive family
  • Changing identities frequently in a search for one that is like the birth family
  • Recurring episodes of running away from the foster/adoptive home

Stay tuned tomorrow for Wonder #6...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wonder #4: Trust

Wonder #4: Trust
"I wonder if I can believe what these people are telling me."

Behaviors associated with this issue:
  • Refusal to attach
  • Distancing from nurturing caregivers
  • Stealing
  • Caring for own needs and desires because child has not learned that others will meet his or her needs
  • Lack of interest in pleasing others

Stay tuned for Wonder #5...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wonder #3: Guilt and Shame

Wonder #3: Guilt and Shame
"I wonder what I did to make my own parents throw me away."

Behaviors associated with this issue:

  • Magical thinking: belief he or she caused the separation from the birth family
  • Low self-esteem
  • Expectation of failure and future rejections

Stay tuned for Wonder #4...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wonder #2: Rejection/Abandonment

Wonder #2: Rejection/Abandonment
"I wonder if these people are really going to keep me."

Behaviors associated with this issue:

  • Approach/avoidance conflicts in relationships, especially with parents, but occurring also in relationships with peers
  • Rejecting others before they can be rejected ("I will 'quit' before I get fired)
  • Negative behavior to speed anticipated rejection and test commitment of others
  • Attempts to be "perfect" to avoid rejection

Stay tuned tomorrow for Wonder #3...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wonder #1: Loss and Grief

FosterParentCollege.com recently outlined seven commonly identified adoption issues, reframed from the child's point of view as "wonders," as researched by Betsy Keefer-Smalley, the director of foster care and adoption training at the Institute for Human Services in Ohio.

NFPA has gained permission to reprint these "wonders," along with some possible behaviors displayed by a child experiencing feelings associated with each of the issues.

Wonder #1: Loss and Grief
"I wonder why I lose everyone and everything that is important to me. What is the matter with me?"

Behaviors associated with this issue:

  • Overreactions to real or perceived losses (death of a pet or grandparent, a friend moving away, school transitions, etc.)
  • Difficulty with separations from foster or adoptive parents (school or day care, camp, sleepovers, parents' getaway or business trips, hospitalizations)
  • Difficulty emancipating from the foster/adoptive home; attempts to delay emancipation through self-induced failure

Stay tuned tomorrow for Wonder #2...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Foster Parenting Toolbox to be released March 1

The Foster Parenting Toolbox is 464 pages of helpful information to foster parents in the trenches and any other professional who is part of the child's team.

Chapters include:

  • Why Foster
  • Perspectives
  • Transitions
  • Teamwork
  • Birth Family Connections
  • Loss, Grief and Anger
  • Attachment and Trust
  • Parenting Teens
  • Allegations
  • Respite and Support
  • And many other issues...

Read more about the book here.

Publication date is March 1, 2012. EMK Press is offering a prepublication special of $10 off the cover price of $29.95. Use the coupon code FP10OFF on the EMK Press site by March 1.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NFPA joins the friendly skies

NFPA president Irene Clements recently had the opportunity to promote foster care and NFPA with Altitude Media. Listen to the podcast that will be played on US Airways flights and major airports in May and June.