The Indiana Adoption Program Blog
We previously wrote about things to consider when you’re transitioning a child to your home as a pre-adoptive placement. But, there’s also another perspective on transitions – when you’re transitioning a child from your home into what will be their adoptive family. That process can bring with it as many questions as if you’re bringing a child into your family, but sometimes, the families who have been fostering the child don’t get as much attention or support because they’re “just” foster parents.
The transition from summer to school isn’t easy for most kids (who really wants to say goodbye to summer?!), but for children who have experienced trauma, this transition can be especially fraught. As a parent, you’ve probably got some anxieties about your child’s ability to transition back into a school setting. We’d like to offer some tools to navigate this transition and advocate for adoption sensitivity.
When Jacqueline and Jake Cline first considered adopting, they explored all the options – international, private, independent, and public. After a lot of research, they decided on private adoption for their first child. Fast-forward 5 years, and the Clines decided that they were ready to add to their family again. This time, they decided to become licensed foster parents, with the intention of eventually adopting an older child. After fostering several children, they learned of Renesmee, the girl with the sunshine smile.
National Reunification Month may not seem like a perfect fit for a program that’s designed to find adoptive families for children who can’t be reunified with their birth parents. But foster care, adoption, kinship care, reunification…they all have the same end goal: to ensure that children grow up in safe, loving, stable families. The specifics of how we reach that end goal might vary a little, but we’re all heading in the same direction.
Reading child summaries can be daunting: they outline every difficult thing that has happened to a foster child, and sometimes it can feel as though the child’s challenges and needs outweigh the strengths and positives. While the summary does include the child’s strengths, likes and dislikes, what they hope for in a family, and so on, reading those words isn’t the same as experiencing the child in person. After all, humans are too complex to be summed up by words on a page.
You’ve completed your home study, aced that training, and been matched with a child! You can’t wait to shower your new family member with love, gifts, and attention. And since that child has been waiting for a family, they will readily embrace all your affection and voila! Instant family, right? Of course not. Although families are often eager to speed through transition periods, kids may have mixed emotions that they don’t know how to process. Embracing change can take time, which is why a transition plan is key.
If you follow our blog, then earlier this month you already learned about what autism is and how it can be different for each person. Even if you don’t feel like an expert yet, that’s okay! You don’t need to know the ins and outs of the neurological disorder to be a good parent. You just need to know how to advocate for your child and find the best resources for them. And in case you don’t have an arsenal of resources yet, we put some together for you!
Remember being 20-something and thinking that you had control of how your life would turn out? So did Sarah! She thought about adoption, but assumed that she’d be married first. Which is why being a mom was nowhere on her radar when she met 8-year-old Liam. Little did Sarah know, that within the next year, life as she knew it would be changed forever!