Adoption Update — 2 Adoptions from Mexico, 1 Domestic!

Dear Families and Friends,

What a wonderful couple weeks!  Sorry for the delay getting this out but we have been busy.  Two adoptions from Mexico completed!  One baby adopted from Arizona thru our ABC adoption program!  Busy, busy!  Thank you Ricardo and Tracy for all of your efforts.

We’ve had some encouraging news from Kyrgyzstan, too.  Nothing definite (is anything ever definite in adoption?) but there is movement.  Nothing yet from Kazakhstan.  I have heard some other agencies moving forward successfully with Haiti adoptions.

It seems a little brighter out there than it did six months ago.  There’s a conference for adoptive families and adoption professionals in Austin in October hosted by Great Wall & Children of All Nations.  Check it out!  Two well-known keynote speakers: Dr. Todd Ochs & Craig Juntunen and many other adoptions experts — psychologists, social workers, and presentations by representatives of several foreign countries.  Link –http://www.emwconference.org/sessions

I want to share a little info about the influence of trauma on learning and behavior.  Stress hormones reduce
and can damage the brain’s capoacity for learning.  Children who’ve been abused and traumatized are difficult to teach.  Why?  Because they lack the receptivity necessary to take in new information.  Their systems are set at orange alert — call hyper-vigilance.  One might observe they lack concentration or focus, are inflexible or reactionary, and “grouchy” with other kids.  Sometimes traumatized kids mentally “check-out” for a couple hours, and miss the entire lesson.  Efforts to gain their attention may result in resistance or aggression.  Teachers unaccustomed to recognizing symptoms may casually diagnose ADHD.  What the child actually has is very different — Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome accompanied by very real learning disabilities.

Traumatized children have trouble sequencing, memory and following instructions.  Mood regulation is poor
and sustaining friendships is difficult.  Children who’ve been traumatized may show a lack of empathy, indifference to pain, and may try to compensate for feeling inferior or “different” by acting out, being provocative or combative.

Helping children let go of hyper-vigilance and develop trust is a longgggggg endeavor. Not weeks or months. Years. As children grow older they can develop more insight and self regulation. But throughout their transition to “normal” both parents and teachers need to stay consistent and calm and coach children in small doses to develop social skills. I cannot emphasize enough the benefit of having a skilled counselor help with this. Every day that goes by without skilled intervention is another day lost to make a small step toward trust, to practice a new behavior, to promote a new insight. It is true that the mind more plastic and receptive when young; thus, the earlier the intervention the more likely a successful outcome. What is a successful outcome? A son or daughter who is capable of learning, having healthy relationships with adults and peers, and a capacity for happiness.

For parents of children who present issues such as these, find a psychologist or social worker with experience treating traumatized children.

Your love is the foundation for your child to grow up with confidence and happiness, but success also relies on knowledge and specific skills and tools. Don’t hesitate to call for help.