Playing to Connect and Heal

May 11, 2017 rachelmiley
When I ask families how they are adjusting at home with their new child, they will often state, almost as an apology, “All we do is play; we are just playing.” When I hear this answer I want to shout from the rooftops “Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! They are engaging in play!” Play is the most
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10 Practical Ways to Help Your Child Heal

February 1, 2017 international
When children come into our care from hard places, whether as a newborn or an older child, they have experienced trauma. Our privilege as a parent is to walk with them through the healing that their hearts need. Is it easy? Absolutely not. However, shepherding a child in this process can be one of the
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Equipped to Love: How the Church Can Support Adoptive and Foster Families

January 10, 2017 international
When God’s people respond to His command to care for vulnerable children, our churches will become faith families to parents, children, and siblings who are navigating the journeys of fostering and adoption. Children who have experienced neglect, abuse, and trauma often require a unique mindset when dealing with behavioral challenges and even in everyday interactions.
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Holiday Tips for Waiting Families

November 8, 2016 international
As the holidays roll in, you may find yourself in a time of longing and waiting—waiting for your family to be complete; waiting for your child; and waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing. One friend of Lifeline said, “My younger sister was adopted, and I remember my parents . . . being so consumed with
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Trauma in the Classroom

October 14, 2016 international
What is the difference between willful defiance and a trauma reaction? Children who have experienced relational or circumstantial trauma can express themselves in ways that are typically regarded as defiant misbehavior. Their minds, however, are often reacting to how their bodies have been programmed to deal with unpleasant situations, particularly responding out of fear. In
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Three Times Adoptive Families Need Resources

August 16, 2016 lifeline
Lifeline understands the beauty of adoption, but we also understand the loss from which it arises and the trauma surrounding the hearts of vulnerable children and their new families. Individuals who are familiar with adoption often say, “Adoption is not for the faint of heart.” Knowing the needs of families and children who come through
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Connect Guide

May 5, 2016 rachelmiley
Connecting with other adoptive and foster parents allow space to build relationships, offer advice, and share the adoption and foster care journey. We've learned that newer connection groups benefit from structure and short outlines.
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Talking with a Child About His/Her Adoption

February 26, 2016 Rick Singleton
From the moment your child is placed with you, you can begin bringing up adoption, your child’s birth country and how God brought him/her into your family.  As your child learns to trust you and as your child has questions or feelings to process about adoption, he/she will be more likely to come to you
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Post Adoption Depression Syndrome

February 26, 2016 Rick Singleton
The symptoms of PADS and the symptoms of post-partum depression are quite similar: Feeling depressed or particularly irritable for most of the day. Diminished interest in activities that used to be enjoyable. Significant weight loss or gain, and/or a change in appetite. Changes in sleep pattern. Noticeable increase or decrease in motor activity (others notice
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Grieving as Parents

February 26, 2016 lifeline
Many times people assume children will grieve their losses in a fostering or adoption situation; however, it is not always assumed that the parents might grieve as well.  Foster or adoptive parents can sometimes grieve certain things they miss about their lives before their new child came home, even if they are thrilled to have
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Stranger Anxiety in Adoption

February 26, 2016 austinhardison
The process of development of stranger anxiety will occur over time and at different stages.  Think of newborn babies who do not have any fear of people; over time they develop a bond with mom and dad and the desire to stay with them rather than be passed around or left with a stranger.  This
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Bonding & Attachment for Newly Adopted Children

February 26, 2016 lifeline
The bonding and attachment process is referring to building trust, mutual affection, love, and security.  It is important to see that connecting with your child will affect all aspects of daily life and is the most important factor in positive adjustment for the adopted child and family overall.  These are some reminders that might help:
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Siblings

February 26, 2016 lifeline
The fostering and/or adoption process can be challenging for siblings already in the home as well as for the child new to the home.  All relationships are going through transitions. Here are some things to remember: Expect there to be jealousy between sibling relationships with the amount of attention the new child is receiving and
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Transitions

February 26, 2016 lifeline
Due to a child’s life being very chaotic or overly structured before adoption, he/she may have a difficult time managing transitions or change. The smallest change in their environment may be overwhelming. Making the child’s life more predictable and alerting the child of upcoming events/ changes/transitions will help him/her feel more comfortable. If language is
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Challenging Behaviors

February 26, 2016 lifeline
Remember where your child is coming from and to expect many challenging behaviors. Remember your child’s chronological age versus the developmental age. Discipline: Use positive scripting to verbalize what you want to see out of your child’s behaviors rather than using negative language regarding what you do not want to see. Limit using the word
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Food/Eating Issues

February 26, 2016 lifeline
Children may come to our homes with many challenges surrounding food. Children may have spent time wondering when they would get to eat their next meal or may have fought other children for food. These are some helpful reminders that might help: Have consistent meal times. Make meal times calm experiences, not hasty. Remember that
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Recommended Medical Tests Once A Child Comes Home

February 25, 2016 Rick Singleton
The following medical tests are recommended for your child upon arrival in the U.S. after an international adoption.  The completion of these tests is not required by Lifeline, but for some countries a physical exam may be required.  You may wish to check with your health insurance provider before completing the tests, as some insurance
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Sleep Issues

February 25, 2016 Rick Singleton
Sleep disturbances are one of the most common challenges for families adopting internationally. It is important to remember your child’s traumatic history and how this can inhibit your child’s sleeping abilities. Night time can be scary. These are some reminders that might help: Remember to NOT let your child “cry it out” at night Have
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Suggested Reading Resources

February 26, 2016 lifeline
Our staff would like to share with you the following books and resources. We have reviewed each of these and believe they would be helpful. However, not all of these are written from a Christian perspective so some opinions of the authors may not reflect the position of Lifeline Children’s Services. Parenting: Adoption Parenting by
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Recommended Children's Books

February 26, 2016 lifeline
  A Blessing from Above by Patti Henderson and Elizabeth Edge A Koala for Katie by Jonathan London and Cynthia Jabar A Mother for Chaco by Keiko Kasza A Sister for Matthew by Pamela Kennedy Chinese Eyes by Marjorie Ann Waybill God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant I Don’t
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