Why end foster care?

Let’s play a game.

It’s a game you’ve played before.

It’s called “pretend.”

It’s a fun game where you can make all kinds of assumptions, wild arguments and create fantastical outcomes.

Let’s pretend the following…

You’re 13.  You’re in middle school,  seventh grade.  Your best friend is clearly having a bad day.  After lots and lots of annoying nagging from you she finally opens up – and breaks down.

Turns out, your best friend has been molested by her father for the last three years.  Her mother doesn’t know.  Her priest, priestess or minister or doesn’t know.  Nobody knows – except you and her.

What do you do?
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Understanding Adoptee Behavior

The overwhelming number of adoptees, 85%, adjusts in ways that society regards as successful. (Kadushin, A.1980). The remaining 15% require intervention by therapists and counselors. Those that adjust successfully may still have serious concerns resulting from the adoption process that are in need of a resolution. The absence of a disorder or dysfunction is not an indicator of one who is achieving optimum development. Since creating the best developmental setting for children is the goal of parenting I am going to explore the causes and goals of adoptee behaviors. I believe that understanding why adoptees behave is the key to creating the best opportunity for them to develop. It also leads the way to effective therapy.

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Parenting the Adopted Child

There can be no more difficult a task in classic parenting than raising an adopted child. Unlike a child one has given birth to an adopted child comes with additional trepidations that few parents are prepared for or even aware of.

An adopted child comes to the family with memories of grief, a fear of attachment, and a feeling of indistinct loss. The first years often appear to be normal lulling the parents into a false sense of security. Then when the child reaches the age of approximately six years a more a complex self-exploration process begins. This is when the child notices that he doesn’t resemble his family while his peers look like theirs. This is also when the “who is my real mommy question” arises.
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Inspiring Women Interview with Lara B. Sharp

Anj Handa is the Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers. She teaches women how to speak up: for themselves, for others and for social issues. Recently she interviewed Lara B. Sharp, a writer and contributor to Surviving Foster Care. With permission we have republished most of the original interview found at Inspiring Women Changemakers

Anj: What prompted you to start sharing your experiences?

Lara: I’m writing a memoir about my childhood called ‘Do the Hustle’. I grew up in NYC, with an extremely eccentric, but oddly feminist mother, who had a drink and drugs problem. She also suffered from mental illness.
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Implicit Memory and Adoption

Adopted children have implicit memory resulting from the adoption process. Placement in foster homes can add to these memories. Implicit memories are created by experiences that have enough emotional intensity to shape the child’s beliefs, expectations, behaviors and feelings about a specific event in their current lives. “How the child responds to a situation is not caused by circumstances but by viewing current circumstances through the lens of unconscious implicit memories. The projection of the past into the present.”( Ecker, 2011). The adopted child’s view of the adoptive family today is seen through the experience of implicit memory from the past.
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