Lifeline’s current list

Lifeline’s current list, with many new children, has just been posted over on the Children Who Wait page. Lifeline has 30 little ones on their list, contact karla@lifelineadoption.org if you’d like any more info :)

Shared list

A new list of children was released last night on the shared listing!

Whatever Wednesdays

Each Wednesday we post links from the previous week that touch on special needs adoption. Our hope is that these small snapshots provide you with a glimpse of life after adopting through China’s waiting child program… both the long-term blessings and the challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs. We also hope to raise awareness about a variety of special needs.

First Day of Schooladoptive momma (Ethiopia) Carey at The Real Drew Carey Show… her daughter’s first day of school (the fourth grade), less than a month after adoption

looking for spring
adoptive momma (Taiwan) Sarah at Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire… a little about treatment options for her daughter’s hemangiomas

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day adoptive momma (China) Cheri at Infinite Love… basic facts about cerebral palsy on its awareness day, from a momma whose daughter has mild cerebral palsy due to an in utero stroke

Home From Surgery!adoptive momma (China) Jenn at Love Like Crazy!!!… about her daughter’s recent eyelid surgery

Special Needsmomma Kate, who regularly blogs at The Big Piece of Cake, featured at Blog Nosh Magazine… describing her son, who has sensory-seeking sensory processing disorder

Our red thread journey adoptive momma (China) Nicole at The Baker’s Sweets… one family’s journey from sponsorship to the adoption of a little girl with congenital nevus

Bringing Katelynn Home
adoptive momma (China) Chelsea at Gour Family Adoption … their and their travel group’s experiences with older child adoption

Links and Resources by Tracyadoptive momma (China) Tracy at the group blog An-Ya… a list of links for attachment and adoptive parenting

nurturing attachment

I recently was referred to this article by Deborah Gray and found it very helpful as we adjust to life with our newly adopted toddler.

Top Ten Tips For the First Year Of Placement

For those who are adopting an older child (2+ years), Susan Ward has also offered ten suggestions to assist you during the adjustment period with your child:

1. Reduce Sensory Overload

Usually, we’re so excited to have our child, our dream fulfilled, that we want to do all the things we’ve imagined. To the park, out to dinner, to visit grandparents, to birthday parties, to the neighborhood barbecue.

STOP!

Just being in your home is sensory overload for your child. New food, new smells, new rules, and if they’re from another country – new language, new customs. Keep their lives boring for the first few weeks, if not months.

2. Create Structure and Routine

Your child needs to wake up each day and know that certain things happen every day: mom wakes me up with a song, breakfast is at 6:30, we read books before bed. And they need to know that there are weekly regular activities: we have dinner at Grandma’s on Tuesday, we eat pizza and watch a video every Friday night.

3. Assume Your Child is Younger Than They Are

Until you know your child, assume they are several years younger than they are. Limit their choices, restrict their freedoms, play little kid games. Whether they came from foster care or an orphanage, there may be developmental, social, and psychological “steps” that they missed. By treating them a few years younger for a time, you reduce any pressures they’re feeling and allow them to live and learn from the stages they missed.

4. Re-Parent

You and your new child have missed out on the baby and toddler interactions that occur between parent and child. To help facilitate bonding, and to allow your child to enjoy these phases, re-parent your child. Rock them, sing lullabies, read nursery rhymes, feed them baby food, and give them a bottle. Even much older children often have a need to pass through these stages with their new parents.

5. Assume Your Child Has Attachment Issues

Attachment issues can be connected to in-utero issues, disruptions in caregiving, or multiple placements. Until you know otherwise, treat your child as if they have some level of attachment issues. Read Daniel Hughes’ book, Building the Bonds of Attachment, and implement his strategies. In the end, if your child does not have attachment issues, you still will have facilitated a smooth integration into your home, and have secured a tight attachment between the two of you.

6. Give Your Child Chores

Within a few days of being home, give your child appropriate regular chores. This helps them to feel needed, gives you something to compliment them on, helps them to learn that everyone in a family has responsibilities, and adds to the structure in their daily lives.

7. Implement Consequences For Their Actions

Depending on your child’s personality, temperament, and background, they will test you a little or a lot. It’s their way of learning where the boundaries are, as well as confirming that your commitment is real. Teach them the rules and the related consequences, and be consistent about implementation. Whether you use timeout, removal of privileges, or extra chores as consequences, stick to them for each and every infraction.

8. Have Fun

If everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to have fun with your child. If, however, they’re over-stimulated, acting horribly, refusing to follow the rules, and have attachment issues, it’s hard to like your child, let alone have fun with them. Do everything possible to find moments to laugh together, share a giggle, or play a game. It will remind you of your child’s great qualities, and help your child to understand that life is a blending of varying emotions and different activities.

9. Time For You

We forget. We’re excited to spend time with our new child. Their behavior is so horrible we can’t leave them with a babysitter. Remind yourself that you have to have time to yourself. If you’re not rested, positive, and strong, it’s impossible to be a good parent. Take a walk. Soak in the tub. Go out to dinner. Spend the night in a hotel. Just do it!

10. Time

Your adjustment period with your child may last a month, six months, or a couple of years. Unfortunately, many things relating to becoming a new family just take time. Your child arrived with years of experiences, good and bad, before they entered your life. And you joined your child after years of your own experiences, again good and bad. It takes time to blend and mesh your personalities, interests, and expectations. Be patient!


© 1999, Susan M. Ward

Inspiration for Parents

This video spoke a lot to me, despite its slight cheese factor. I found the message extremely moving, especially as the momma of a child with unexpected special needs. I feel it will mean a lot to those parents who – like me – found themselves on an unexpected road, but I suspect this video will also touch those who willingly chose to take this life path.

A HAT TIP to CC of If Only I Had Super Powers for first posting the video.

Whatever Wednesdays

Each Wednesday we post links from the previous week that touch on special needs adoption. Our hope is that these small snapshots provide you with a glimpse of life after adopting through China’s waiting child program… both the long-term blessings and the challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs. We also hope to raise awareness about a variety of special needs.

New Arrivals foster parents (China) Jacob and Carrie at Signs of Hope… three children with moderate to severe special needs join their foster family

Siblings… Unusual Concerns and Exceptional Blessings
adoptive momma (domestic) Julie Martindale at Not Just An Ordinary Life… about the siblings of children who have special needs – sometimes forgotten by society, never forgotten by their families

The Noggin Speaks Good NewsHeather, momma to a child with hydrocephalus, at The Extraordinary Ordinary… an update three months after her son Asher’s shunt surgery

Can she hear me now? adoptive momma (China) Andrea at Adoption Road… describing her daughter’s microtia/ aural atresia

medical update — adoptive momma (China) Deb at the invisible red threadher son Jack’s chromosomal tests came back normal!

It’s been a crazy week... — adoptive momma (China) Donna at loving lauren… about her daughter’s MRSA infection and toddler medicine challenges

A Very Big Day!adoptive momma (China) The Gang’s Momma at The Gang’s All Here!… about upcoming tests her daughter will undergo to learn more about her microtia and atresia

another one of Those Conversationsadoptive momma (China) mama d at zarfing sunshine… touching on older child adoption and albinism

Tip from the OT #1an adoptive momma (China) at Mei Mei Journal II… a tip from her daughter’s occupational therapist designed for sensory seekers

Pictures!!!! and Anybody Got a Toothpick? *FOR MY EYELIDS*adoptive momma (China) Leslie at Room for at least One More… an update with photos after her daughter’s cleft surgery

Whatever Wednesdays

Each Wednesday we post links from the previous week that touch on special needs adoption. Our hope is that these small snapshots provide you with a glimpse of life after adopting through China’s waiting child program… both the long-term blessings and the challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs. We also hope to raise awareness about a variety of special needs.

Let the healing beginadoptive momma (China) Maia at The Wanderer’s Daughter… a powerful post about the unique blessings and challenges of adopting a child with special needs

Saying Noadoptive momma (domestic) Julie Martindale at Not just an Ordinary Life… knowing your family limits when it comes to special needs

Love’s Unlimited Potentialguest post by an unnamed Chinese foster momma from the New Day Foster Home at Love Grows Here… her experiences fostering two children with severe special needs

baby loveadoptive momma (China) Stefanie at Ni Hao Y’all… explaining her thoughts and emotions about the unknowns after they received LOA

The beauty in imperfection
adoptive momma (China) Gail and Aging with Grace and Strong Will… a recent playground conversation about her son’s repaired cleft lip

Our Hearts Belong to Maiyaadoptive momma (China) Susan at The Miracle of Maiya… explaining how her daughter’s medical condition is more serious than they originally thought

Preparing For A Medical Emergency With A Medically Fragile Childpharmacist turned stay-at-home mom Michelle at 5 Minutes for Special Needs, but who regularly blogs at In The Life Of A Child… a list of fourteen tasks that just might save your child’s life

Orthodontic Molds
foster momma (China) Amanda, founder of Starfish Children’s Services at the Throwing Starfish, the blog for the new Starfish Cleft Home… four things cleft molds do

Whatever Wednesdays

Each Wednesday we post links from the previous week that touch on special needs adoption. Our hope is that these small snapshots provide you with a glimpse of life after adopting through China’s waiting child program… both the long-term blessings and the challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs. We also hope to raise awareness about a variety of special needs.

Heart Catheterization Update
adoptive daddy (China) Aaron at Praying for YouYou… a description of his daughter’s recent heart catheterization – the whys and hows of it all (SN: heart condition – VSD)

Lucy’s GI Visitadoptive momma (China) Jill at The Hutchinson Family… a recent check-up (SN: HepB+)

H Pylori, The Second Time Around; More Prevalent Than You May Thinkadoptive momma (Russia and Guatemala) Marcie at A Child Chosen… describing both of her son’s H Pylori infections

Scared? adoptive momma (China) snowflowers mum at Growing Snowflowers… her reaction to the British public’s reaction to a children’s TV host who has a limb difference

The different schools of attachment therapy
adoptive momma (Haiti) Christine at welcome to my brain… her thoughts as she navigates the confusing world of attachment therapies (SN: two children diagnosed with RAD)

Cleft Home Three Weeks Later
Amanda, founder of Starfish Children’s Services at Starfish Cleft Home… a progress report on the nine children who just joined the Starfish foster family (SN: cleft lip/ cleft palate)

Hey baby, what’s your sign?
Early Childhood Educator JVS at Standing Tall Through Everything… describing her personal struggles to label children as special needs when she herself does not want to label others, since she’s been on the receiving end all too often

We Are Home!!!adoptive momma (China) Sally at Bryson Makes 8!… discussing her son’s recent surgery and release from the hospital (SN: club foot)

On A Rollfoster momma (China) Carrie at Love Grows Here: The New Day Foster Home Blog… little Phillip, getting around in his wheelchair (SN: severe hydrocephalus and spina bifida)

61/365adoptive momma (Vietnam) Kelly at Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds… a description of her daughter’s visit with the occupational therapist (gross motor delays typical of an international adoptee)

I’ll Take a Double… NOT!adoptive momma (China) Ohilda at A Bouquet of Blessings… an ear infection becomes more challenging when you have certain special needs (SN: velopharyngeal insufficiency or VPI)

New List

Twelve kiddos posted to AHH’s private list! To read all about it, go to the Children Who Wait page.

Whatever Wednesdays

Each Wednesday we post links from the previous week that touch on special needs adoption. Our hope is that these small snapshots provide you with a glimpse of life after adopting through China’s waiting child program… both the long-term blessings and the challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs. We also hope to raise awareness about a variety of special needs.

First, I ask that y’all pray for the family of Lydia Miyashita, who passed away yesterday after a tough battle with AML, a form of leukemia. Lydia’s parents adopted her from China several years ago through the non-special needs program. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, church community and friends.

Medical ID Bracelet
adoptive momma Cheri at Infinite Love… a beautiful new option for those children who wear Medical ID bracelets

C-L-A-I-R-Eadoptive momma Chelsea at Gour Family Adventures… it’s amazing what a year can do!

on adopting our older childadoptive momma Mama D at zarfing sunshine… a post written while in China, several days after meeting one another for the first time

Therapy Thursday: Noise Induced Hearing Loss and a Giveaway
adoptive momma (Korea) and speech therapist CC at If Only I Had Super Powers… a great post explaining noise-induced hearing loss and a give-away of IHearSafe headphones (ends 2/28)

The Power of Tender Loving Carea staff member of Love Without Boundaries… describing recent feeding challenges faced by the staff at the LWB Anhui Cleft Healing Home

Transforming PT into Playtime parent of a special needs child Michelle at 5 Minutes for Special Needs… ideas to turn physical therapy into productive, yet FUN play times

University of Chicago Dermatology for the Win
adoptive momma Mary Dell at Torrefaction… a thank you to a pediatric dermatologist – for one happy AND NAPPING baby

Monday Morning Confessional: I used to make fun of a kid with handicapsmomma of a child who has special needs (infant strokes) Ellen at To The Max… a heart-felt post involving her childhood memories of teasing a child with special needs

The Big Cheerio adoptive momma Andrea at Adoption Road… a detailed description of her daughter’s recent CT scan