The Indiana Adoption Program Blog
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!
How much do you really know about autism? Maybe what you know is based on prime-time dramas, a news article here or there, or some posts from a Facebook group. But how can you be sure that what you know is accurate? If you’re contemplating whether your family could be a good fit for a child with autism, don’t let uncertainty scare you away. This blog will go over the basics of what to expect when parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder.
Ask anyone who’s raised children through the teenage years, and they’ll tell you, parenting a teen is not for the faint of heart! Maybe you have a pre-adoptive placement who has just entered adolescence and you’re finding it challenging to connect with them. Or maybe you’ve just been matched with a teenager who is about to move into your home and you’re panicking about how to relate to them. You are not alone! We’ve put together some tips on how to make the teen years a little more enjoyable (or at least a little less daunting) for everyone involved.