International Adoption Info

Newsletter #77 for Internationally Adopting Parents
December 6, 2007
PAL Center Inc.



2nd Annual Commonwealth Adoption Conference

Facing a New Frontier:
Post-Adoption Educational and Developmental Issues in International Adoptees

January 12, 2008
Phoenix, AZ

Questions & Answers
Q. It has been seven months since my husband and I adopted our now 3 years old daughter. She seems attached to me but not to my husband. She is very fickle minded about showing affection to her Dad. At first encounter, she had no problem dealing with my husband. We were all surprised because at the orphanage, there were no male caregivers. Now that we are home, she seems to have progressed a lot in attaching to me. But with my husband, it is on and off, specially when I am around. She rarely will go to her Daddy for anything. If I ask her to go to Daddy, more than half the time, she would refuse and fight. When I get mad at her, she turns to Daddy. When I am not around, she is fine with Daddy. We can't figure what is causing it.
A. The situation with your daughter's preferences is not so rear and in the majority of cases will disappear eventually if you 1) work on it and 2) do not take it personally. Your child is only 7 month with you and never experienced a father figure in her life before adoption. Given the fact that even biological children have some sort of preferences with the parents (and during their growth these preferences often change), it's not a surprise that your daughter displays such behaviors. Orphanage children learn to manipulate their environment very early (their life depends on it!), and it looks like your daughter exhibits such behavior when she does well with her father in your absence. Behaviors change slowly and the children need practice to learn new patterns. Keep working on closer ties without forcing the child into anything, rather "provide" her with the appropriate situations when she does not have a choice between parents, stays with the father and experiences positive emotions in the process. For ex.: when she does something with her Daddy, she gets a present from him for something she did well (like using potty, etc. - not for agreeing to be with him).
Let the father employ the activities listed in the article Activities to Promote Healthy Development, and the activities described in SmartStart: Home-Based Cognitive and Language Remediation Program for Internationally Adopted Children. These activities are designed to promote bonding and attachment along with cognitive development of a child.
Dr. B. Gindis

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Latest Articles
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International Adoption Articles Directory

New Articles

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Understanding is not enough
When children misbehave, some parents opt to clarify the expectation of appropriate behavior and seek to hold the child accountable. If the child misbehaves again, the child may receive a consequence such as time out, loss of a privilege, early bedtime or the like. The kid gets the point and behavior settles down. Is this enough?

Rcon Franchesca
What your kids feel about divorce
When married couples agree to pursue a divorce, the decision is oftentimes based on their emotions and not by logical thinking: they are not taking into consideration the effects of their decision, especially upon their children.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Forget harmony, settle for peace
In high conflict divorce parents frequently evoke the phrase, “The best interests of the children”. However, their own efforts at self-protection through retribution and retaliation undermine any real understanding of the child’s best interest. The child’s best interest is superseded and fused with the self-interest of the parent.

Harvey D. Ong
A Child's Web Of Sleep
Recent studies show that children are just as likely to have problems getting to sleep as adults are, though the reasons are not quite the same. What's worse is that this lack of sleep may bring about a problem more serious than being sleepy in class: obesity.

Audrey Lynn
Insomnia in children - how to help your child to fall asleep
Insomnia in children is not uncommon. Many children have sleeping problems some time in their lives. Children who won't fall asleep or have irregular sleeping patterns can give much frustration to their tired parents. The most common sleep problems with infants, toddlers and preschoolers is sleep onset association disorder sometimes caused by the habit of parents and children sleeping together.

Internet News Digest

Trying to Make Sense of Adoption

We hate when people tell us that we saved AJ…that we did such a wonderful thing for him. When we tell people that AJ is adopted (because it really is not obvious if you see us together) they automatically tell us what a wonderful thing we did for him…wow, what would his life be like if you left him there?

Like he would rot? He would live. He would most likely still be living in the orphanage. He would probably be in the special needs orphanage because he would be considered handicapped by their standards and when he reached age he would then go live on the streets or be institutionalized. In the best case scenario they would have discovered his food issues and addressed them but I doubt it, as they have too many children to care for.

But, we did not do a wonderful thing. We adopted because we wanted a family and it was the only way we could have one. We adopted because we wanted to, not because we wanted to give a needy child a home.

Does that make me a horrible person? No. But, don’t tell me I saved him. Did you ever think that perhaps I saved myself?

Posted by Marcie on November 7th, 2007
on A Child Chosen Blog

Jeff Conrad
When do children really understand what "Adoption" means?
Parents should inform their adopted children as soon as possible about their status. The issue should thereafter be discussed more often at various points in time to give the children a chance to grasp their special status and the opportunity to ask questions. Only an early introduction to the subject will give parents and children a chance to develop an open and trusting relationship between each other.

Mary Owlhaven
Adopted and Biological children: the melting pot
Our kids laughed in delight right along with me when we tore open our referral packet and saw their new brother's face for the first time.

Nona Martin Stuck
An Adopted Child Is a Riddle. Now I Have a Clue


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