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Photolisting: Now is the perfect time to raise foster and adoption awareness. If you have your own blog or website, consider adding our Photo Listing Widget to help raise awareness of foster children nationwide.
Would you like to help more children from your agency get adopted faster? Click here for a form to add children to our photolisting. This service is FREE to all states and includes a team of technical support and customer service staff to maintain the Photolisting.
Don't see any children from your state? Please contact your local officials to let them know you would like to see children from your state.
Blogging: Interested in Blogging? This is the perfect month to share your story. We're currently looking for guest bloggers for the following categories: Adoptive Parenting and Sibling Adoption.
If you're adopting internationally, you may adopt a child that was cared for in an orphanage. Because there are more children than adoptive or foster homes in some countries, orphanages are an only option. While the meaning and purpose behind orphanages is good, kind, and helpful, sometimes it can have a negative emotional impact on children. And that emotional impact may affect your child for many years to come, maybe even for his or her entire life.
While there are numerous physical impacts on orphans, perhaps the most alarming and debilitating impact is how that experience can limit your child's emotional growth and maturity. You may find that your child is emotionally stuck at one level, and it may seem insurmountable. But it's not. The first step to overcoming such an obstacle is to truly understand the emotional impact of orphanages.
Self-Soothing - In many foreign countries, there are simply not enough trained workers to care for every child in every orphanage. Because of this, many children are left without contact or care for days, weeks, or even months. This may cause a child to self-soothe, which could present itself by your child rocking back and forth, extreme and regular thumb sucking, and arms being wrapped around the body. Even though you're with them now and they are loved and cared for and interacted with on a regular basis, they will still persist with the self-soothing behavior. It's a learned behavior that stems from being physically and emotionally neglected.
Bingeing or Hoarding - Because of the lack of funds for many orphanages, most times there isn't enough food for all the children, at least enough to keep their bellies full for a decent amount of time. As a result, your child may binge or hoard at the dinner table or even on their own when no one is watching. They will either make themselves sick from eating too much too quickly or they will hide the gathered food in a special spot, usually their bedrooms.This can show itself in many forms, namely unable to form emotional bonds with anyone, not being able to understand others' emotions and feelings, and not worrying about how their actions will affect the lives of others.
Lack of Communication - Many children in orphanages understand that when they voice their needs, they most likely won't be answered or acknowledged. This learned behavior from early-on will carry throughout their lives. So, you may discover that your child will never tell you when s/he needs something, whether the need is clothes that fit, a snack, or help with homework.
While life in an orphanage can be traumatic for your child, all the negative effects can eventually be overcome. It will take a lot of work, patience, and dedication, but you'll slowly start making progress. Work with a therapist or counselor who specializes in these types of issues and reach out to others who have had similar experiences. You're not alone, and neither is your child.
I donít think Iím going to be talking about our parenting techniques anymore. Even my closest friends, who are by no means unkind, seem to draw back in horror... more
A good friend of mine, Jessica, adopted a child from China about ten years ago. When Jessicaís daughter was around four...more
Consider signing up your child for a culture/heritage camp or workshop. It can be a great way for your child and your entire family to bond.
Have a question? Comment? In Your Words is your way to reach out to the adoption community and get tips from others and share important information.
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