Important Things To Consider Before Adopting An Older Child From Foster Care

Important Things To Consider Before Adopting An Older Child From Foster Care
Questions for pre-adoptive parents to ask themselves.

One of the biggest challenges of adopting from foster care is the unknown. There are countless variables that affect children who have experienced trauma. Even with a thorough history, there is no way to predict the behaviors and challenges that the child, and the family, may face in the future.

This is especially true of older children. Unfortunately, in most cases, the longer a child has been in the foster care system, the more trauma they have experienced. These wounded children do not deserve the reputation that they have as “bad kids.” They are children whose short lives have been filled with pain, instability, and uncertainty.

As a foster parent who has loved and cared for children with severe emotional impairments and special needs, the most important piece of advice I can give to those considering foster care or adoption is this: Know yourself.

“The most important piece of advice I can give to those considering foster care or adoption is this: Know yourself.”

I’ve compiled a list of questions for pre-adoptive parents to ask themselves. These questions are not meant to frighten or discourage those considering foster care or adoption and there are no “right” answers. Rather, they are meant to assist potential foster and adoptive parents in recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, help them consider the realities of living with and parenting a child with a difficult past… read more.

This article was published by adoption.com.

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The Lifelong Effects of Trauma in Childhood

The Lifelong Effects of Trauma in Childhood
In a recent TED talk, Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explained how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.

Before becoming foster parents, my husband and I took a class on trauma and how it affects the brain. We learned that trauma is an extremely disturbing experience, which the brain interprets as life-threatening, and engages the instinctive fight or flight response. It doesn’t matter if the threat is real, perceived, or imagined, only that the brain interprets it as such and reacts accordingly.

Our natural fight-or-flight response is a good thing. It can make us faster, stronger, and more decisive in a dangerous situation. It helps us avoid injury or death. I’m sure you’ve heard unbelievable but true stories of people lifting cars, running quickly while carrying another person, or thwarting disaster in seemingly impossible circumstances. Those heroes can thank their bodies’ incredible fight-or-flight response for their ability to stay alive and help others… read more.

This article was published by adoption.com.