Bonding and New Family Dynamics After Older Child Adoption


When you adopt an older child, it will take time to help her adjust to life in a new family. Find expert advice on older child attachment and read families’ personal stories.

The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

[Book Review] The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

AF's editors review The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself, a story to help teach adoptive children that it's OK to let their defenses down and trust.

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Register for the Parenting the Hurt Child Webinar with Regina Kupecky on 3/9/16

Webinar Replay – Parenting the Hurt Child

View the replay of the “Parenting the Hurt Child” webinar. Regina M. Kupecky, LSW, guides parents in understanding a newly adopted older child’s behavior and discuss what will work (and what to avoid) to help him heal and attach.

foster reunification

“Our Love Stayed with Him”

As foster parents, you hope that the love and security you offer will stay in a child’s heart. When we reconnected with a boy we fostered through two reunifications 14 years ago, we found that it had.

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A family in court on their 10-year-old son's adoption day from foster care.

“My 10-Year-Old Nephew’s Adoption Day”

Seventeen of us crowded into the court as witnesses to my nephew’s finalization, bringing an end to 10 years spent in foster care—10 years of waiting for this day.

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Two happy brothers, after the adjustment period of older child adoption

Older Child Adoption — Becoming a Family

In this collection, adoptive parents share their experiences of parenting older children they've adopted and offer wisdom on that initial adjustment period.

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Blended family

“Bonding with My Daughters Over Pink Nail Polish”

My first 19 years of parenting were spent learning the scientific names of dinosaurs and organizing a bug collection. Was I ready to parent preteen girls?

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Summer camp in New Mexico, where an adopted girl could spend time recovering from trauma

“Pocket Rocks”

A mother shares the story of her daughter's growth (who was once deemed "too small to fight for her needs") at summer camp.

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The Wells family, after the boys recovered from malnutrition

“Overcoming Malnutrition with Pizza, Pasta, and ‘Dabo'”

How a cooking-impaired mom managed a happy Thanksgiving.

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How one family decided to adopt older siblings from foster care

“Deciding to Adopt Older Siblings from Foster Care”

At first, we envisioned welcoming a baby into our home. But we soon discovered that adopting older children was right for us.

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One teen's adoptee story of her fears on adoption day.

“Three Little Words on My Adoption Day”

A decade of disappointing foster care placements made me doubt the two people who had taken me into their hearts.

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A child eating and overcoming food insecurity

Healing from Food Insecurity

If your child is prone to overeating or hoarding food, help her move past her food insecurity with these tips.

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Adopting from foster care

“Helping Our Tumbleweed Feel at Home”

How do you convince a child who's lived in eight different homes to put down roots in yours?

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