April 30th, 2007
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Categories: How to...

Turtle Sleeping on Head

If anyone asks I can paint a wonderful picture about Ukrainian adoption. I will say that we all have amazing kids. We were meant to parent these kids. Our children’s issues aren’t that bad. They just have challenges to overcome.

The issues are manageable.

I would leave out my fear, anger and sadness. People want to hear happy stories. Stories full of pain aren’t easy to listen to… aren’t easy to understand.

Or maybe you catch me on a bad day. I can paint a negative picture about Ukrainian adoption. I would discuss the violence and aggression that my newly adopted 3-year old daughter displayed. Or maybe I would mention that she tried to involve the police in a public meltdown.

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(Natasha is 10 years old now and is doing very well emotionally and mentally. )

I spent a year education myself on adopting a post-institutionalized child prior to adopting my darling Natasha. Orphanages damage children emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically.

I would read articles like When Adopted Toddlers Reject Their Parents or Raising the Post-Institutionalized Child Risks, Challenges and Innovative Treatment and get scared.

Then I would read someone’s adoption story. And the issues seemed manageable again.

The emotional ups and downs were not very helpful for me. My self-education wasn’t progressing forward. I was going in circles. I needed material that was practical rather then theoretical.

I started looking and found Terri Doolittle’s Practical Attachment web site. I read the entire site many times. What hooked me was Terri’s sense of humor and common sense approach.

You should be looking for advise from adoptive parents who have been there and back, and have survived the long term.

There are way too many new “experts” out there. Everyone thinks they should be educating you… consider the source, and use your common sense.

From: You Need A Toolbox for Fixer-Upper Kids

Then I found Susan Ward’s Older Child Adoption. Susan adopted a 6 year old girl from a Russian orphanage. Her advise and thoughts were practical.

I found the Love and Logic books. The examples were so concrete and clear. When Natasha came home I couldn’t use Love and Logic at first. She had no concept of cause and effect.

And I found Attachment Parenting. It isn’t an adoption book but rather focused on parenting.

My advise on how to prepare for adopting a child with common post-institutional issues like development delay…. Or issues like ADHD, SID, PTSD, RAD, Speech and Language Disorders, autism, FAS, abandonment, CAPD, etc…

Don’t be asleep like the turtle pictured above. Don’t depend on 1 source for education and information. Seek out pratical information. Met adoptive families and their children.

Want to communication with me? Post a comment or email me at adoptukraineblog@adoptionmail.com.

One Response to “How To Prepare For Post-Institutional Issues”

  1. Jan Baker says:

    Great post, Angela! Your advice is great for preparing for any new experience.

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