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Swim Day for Cambodia Foster Care

Every quarter, the children in our Cambodia foster care program head to the swimming pool for a much-anticipated Swim Day. The children in our foster care programs, who range in age from 1 to 14 years old, have known true hardship. All of the children in this program have sadly experienced trauma, and we know the importance of physical activity to benefit mental health. Swim Day allows the children to be with siblings, friends and foster families in a safe and fun environment, and get to play as kids should.

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Wisdom Wednesday: Post-Adoption Adjustment for Older Children

For a child who is no longer a baby, the post-adoption journey can look quite different. Today in international adoption, many children who are adopted are considered “older” and are often school-age. These children have a significant history, developed language, friends, and connections to their culture.

Girl Chinese dress Grandma

Upon joining a family abroad through adoption, they lose nearly all of this. Adoption professional and author Regina Kupecky once mentioned a helpful ratio that may help parents prepare and begin to understand their new child’s perspective on becoming part of their family. Read more.

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Realistic Expectations: Attachment

Probably the most common post-adoption question I get from new parents is, “Do you know anyone who specializes in attachment?”  Attachment is one of our biggest worries as adoptive parents, isn’t it?  We all want our children to be able to form deep and lasting bonds with us.  I will admit that I didn’t know a lot about attachment when I adopted my first child from China until I came home and realized I was now the mother to a “Velcro baby.”  My daughter Anna would scream bloody murder if I was ever out of her sight for even a second, and so I learned how to cook, clean, and even shower with a baby cemented permanently on my hip.

Now, of course, our LWB team talks continually about attachment, as we often move babies from orphanages to hospitals, into foster care, and then back to the orphanage if a province requires the child to return pre-adoption.  We agonize over every move and new caregiver, as we have all become so much more knowledgeable on the all-important bonding cycle. Read more.

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Creating Healthy Attachment in Adopted Toddlers

Adopting a toddler is a profoundly rewarding experience. But it’s also one that can be gravely misunderstood. Even though toddlers may still seem as though they are too young to have been affected by the world around them, the truth is that by the time they’re toddlers they’ve already developed some of the personality and mental health issues that could hurt their development. This issue is exacerbated by the language barrier, as language alone may not be enough to help form attachments.

You may or may not know what their attachment styles were like in the past, but if they suffered from any type of neglect or hardships, there is a high likelihood that building attachment can be difficult. Consider the following strategies to boost healthy attachment. Read more.

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