Once, I grieved the loss of a biological child. Nineteen years later, as I watch my son leap and soar (literally) into adulthood, I am at peace with my role of nurturing the many gifts built into his nature.
“She’s Leaving Home”
As parents, our goal is to raise independent, self-sufficient human beings. But, truth be told, it hurts like a %$#* when you realize you’ve done your job.
“…and Letting It Be” – My Son’s Transition to College
When I adopted my two sons eight years ago, they couldn’t separate themselves fast enough from their “old” life in Brazil. As I prepared to visit my oldest son two months into his “new” college life—a lifetime for any freshman—I wondered to what extent he might have compartmentalized his now “old” family life.
Never Too Old for Family
Today in the United States, more than 123,000 children in foster care are waiting for a permanent home through adoption. Nearly 45 percent of these children are ages eight or older—and desperately need the stability, guidance, and love that only a family can provide. Learn more of the myths and realities surrounding older child adoption.
“The Fine Line Between Letting Go and Being Let Go”
I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?
“Home Safe Every Night”
Isaac is 14 years old, but he’s six feet tall and almost two hundred pounds. He’s also black. He hasn’t been a discipline problem since the day he came home, but someone who doesn’t know him could see him as a threat. So what was I to do on a recent evening when he asked to bike home alone in the dark?
Handling Teenage Meltdowns
Your child may see you as less understanding than his birth parents might be. Here’s how to cope with teenage temper tantrums.
Ask AF: How to Help Our Teen Through Depression?
“Our 17-year-old is experiencing depression and has been smoking pot. She told us she sees her depression as connected to adoption, which surprised us, because we’ve always talked openly about adoption. How can we help her?”
Just Say “Yes” to Positive Parenting
If you’re parenting an oppositional child or teen, you probably say “no” a lot. You may say it so often that it’s become your default response, or you may be stuck in the perception that “no” is the healthier option. How can you bring positivity back into your parent-child relationship?
How to Support Your Teen’s Developing Racial Identity
Embracing your child’s racial identity means embracing his friends, too.
Talking with Your Teen
Stumped by your teen’s silences and questions? Here’s how to tackle them.
Your Job as Consultant and Coach
By talking through possible actions and consequences, you can help your child develop decision-making and long-range thinking skills.
“This Is For Real”
An unexpected emergency tests the strength of a mother-daughter bond.
3 Tasks for College-Bound Adoptees
“Going to college provides the time and distance for young adult adoptees to experiment with and sort out their own interests and self-expectations.”
Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption
Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.
Why Race Matters for Teens
Teens need their parents’ guidance in forming their racial identity.
Making the Connection with Birth Parents in Adolescence
When teens establish contact with their birth families, they face risks, as well as rewards.
“Is It Just a Phase?”
Teens may try on different identities as they seek to determine who they are.
The Wrong Crowd?
An adolescent’s peers may tell you something about their inner life.
Journaling for Teens
Writing a journal is a great way to build a stronger sense of self.