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Hi,
I have a 14 year daughter who is struggling with some adoption issues. Wondering if there is anyone else on this site with same who can give me some advice / share their experience. Post adoption services at the agencies we used (another adopted child) become non-existent once the child is about 3. .... Thanks!
SST

Replies

If you do Facebook, two Facebook groups that I have found helpful are “Parenting with Connection” and “Transracial Adoption”.

“Parenting with Connection” is for parents who are interested in a parenting approach informed by Trauma-Based Relational Intervention—basically, parenting that is strong on empathy and connection.  Most people who stick with the group end up getting acquainted with the work of Heather Forbes and Brian Post (“Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control”) and Karen Purvis, so if any of that is familiar, you’ve got a leg up.

“Transracial Adoption” is explicitly different from support groups for adoptive parents in that it encourages the active participation of birth family members, adult adoptees, and allies who are dedicated to helping families who have adopted a child of a different race navigate racial and/or adoptive issues.  The learning curve can be steep for white adoptive parents who enter with little racial awareness, but for those who are willing to broaden their thinking, hearing the perspectives of adoptees, allies in anti-racism work (who may be non-white but not adopted), and birth family members is invaluable.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Holland
(full disclosure:  I am on the administrative team for the Transracial Adoption group)

Posted by caroh on Aug 01, 2015 at 11:20pm

I wrote a series of workbooks which might help her with feelings. They have same characters in each book, the characters talk about adoption etc then the child has a chance to write in the book. Also can color pictures. They also can do a little project.

for reviews etc on amazon go there and type in Regina Kupecky

how old was she when adopted?

Posted by Regina on Aug 02, 2015 at 2:25am

Hi,
I guess what I’m looking for are resources to help her work through the not-knowing about her birth family issue. The not-knowing is exacerbated by the open adoption of her older sister and a birth mom who is seen frequently (which simply stirs the not-knowing feelings). For my daughter, it is way less race and way more just a desire to know more about her Guatemalan roots.
We’ve done Latin American Heritage Camp at Winter Park, CO two times. This at least exposed her to about 200 other kids adopted from Latin America. We’re doing counseling. I’m going to email Amma B (above)—maybe there would be a possible connection there for our two daughters. Also, I’m thinking about doing one of those trips to Guatemala through Adoptive Family Travel and their Ties program—I heard about them at the Winter Park camps. Thanks for your input. Thoughts? SST

Posted by SST on Aug 03, 2015 at 3:37am

All the children I have worked with from Guatemala had a picture of their birth mother. Does she?

Posted by Regina on Aug 03, 2015 at 1:45pm

Hi Regina,
No, we never had a picture of her birth mother or father.
We did meet and get photos of her foster-mom (birth to 5 months as I understood it).
That’s really a nice thing for other agencies to have provided a photo of one of the birth parents ... I wish I had this.
Thanks for asking.

Posted by SST on Aug 10, 2015 at 1:39am

Hi…

I have a 13 year old daughter adopted from Guatemala. We have been through alot with her as well.  Currently receiving counseling to help work through numerous issues…

We are talkng about doing the TIES Program in 2016.

Email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  My daughter’s name is Josephine…but some days prefers informs me she wishes to be called “Camila”, the name she was given at birth in Guatemala.  We are in Arizona.  It is very hard to find other teenage girls with similar issues.  Please email..would love for my daughter to have someone to connect with on these issues.

Posted by Kosmo on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:58am

SST:

There’s a remote chance that there’s a picture of the birthmother in the sealed envelope you received at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City and turned over to the U.S. immigration authority at the airport where you went through Customs and Immigration in the U.S.  You can file, at no charge, a request for a return of the envelope by downloading the G-884 and instructions from the USCIS website, completing it, and sending it in as directed.

In many cases, alas, all you will get are copies of your child’s Guatemalan documents, such as her birth certificate and the protocol, plus possibly the report of the medical exam she had in Guatemala.  But some families with children from Guatemala have also been surprised to find photos of the birthmother—possibly from when the birthmother was tested to be sure that she was actually the mother of the child, or from one of the interviews where she was asked to reaffirm that she was relinquishing voluntarily.

My suggestion is that you not mention that you are filing the G-884 to your daughter, lest she feel bad if nothing new is received.  But if you find any more information about her birthmother in the documents you receive, it will certainly be a pleasant surprise for her.

You might also want to get in touch with whatever Guatemalan attorney your agency used, to see if he/she has any records about your child’s birthmother that he/she is willing to share with you.  In addition, you might want to check with the foster Mom, if you are in touch with her, to see if she ever met the birthmother.  Long shot, but it’s worth the effort.

Depending where in the U.S. you are located, there may be an organization that does post-adoption counseling, and that is independent of any agency.  In Maryland, for example, there’s an organization called the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE), which works with kids of all ages, and also with adoptive parents.  They also do programs for schools and courts.

And there’s no harm in calling a local agency, other than the one you used and found not helpful in terms of older children’s issues, to see what programs they have for children of your daughter’s age.  Many will be happy to let children adopted through other agencies attend their programs.

Counseling by an adoption-sensitive therapist may also be helpful, if your daughter is willing to attend.  I believe that my daughter, now 20, who was adopted from China and has unknown birthparents, has a good deal of repressed anger and other feelings about her abandonment, but she has been unwilling to pursue counseling.  She says she’s fine, but there is an undercurrent of sadness and anger that affects her moods and relationships, at times.  I hope that, someday, she will decide to explore her feelings in therapy.

Sharon

Posted by sak9645 on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:13pm

SST:

There’s a remote chance that there’s a picture of the birthmother in the sealed envelope you received at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City and turned over to the U.S. immigration authority at the airport where you went through Customs and Immigration in the U.S.  You can file, at no charge, a request for a return of the envelope by downloading the G-884 and instructions from the USCIS website, completing it, and sending it in as directed.

In many cases, alas, all you will get are copies of your child’s Guatemalan documents, such as her birth certificate and the protocol, plus possibly the report of the medical exam she had in Guatemala.  But some families with children from Guatemala have also been surprised to find photos of the birthmother—possibly from when the birthmother was tested to be sure that she was actually the mother of the child, or from one of the interviews where she was asked to reaffirm that she was relinquishing voluntarily.

My suggestion is that you not mention that you are filing the G-884 to your daughter, lest she feel bad if nothing new is received.  But if you find any more information about her birthmother in the documents you receive, it will certainly be a pleasant surprise for her.

You might also want to get in touch with whatever Guatemalan attorney your agency used, to see if he/she has any records about your child’s birthmother that he/she is willing to share with you.  In addition, you might want to check with the foster Mom, if you are in touch with her, to see if she ever met the birthmother.  Long shot, but it’s worth the effort.

Depending where in the U.S. you are located, there may be an organization that does post-adoption counseling, and that is independent of any agency.  In Maryland, for example, there’s an organization called the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE), which works with kids of all ages, and also with adoptive parents.  They also do programs for schools and courts.

And there’s no harm in calling a local agency, other than the one you used and found not helpful in terms of older children’s issues, to see what programs they have for children of your daughter’s age.  Many will be happy to let children adopted through other agencies attend their programs.

Counseling by an adoption-sensitive therapist may also be helpful, if your daughter is willing to attend.  I believe that my daughter, now 20, who was adopted from China and has unknown birthparents, has a good deal of repressed anger and other feelings about her abandonment, but she has been unwilling to pursue counseling.  She says she’s fine, but there is an undercurrent of sadness and anger that affects her moods and relationships, at times.  I hope that, someday, she will decide to explore her feelings in therapy.

Sharon

Posted by sak9645 on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:14pm

Hi SST, new member here

I can’t offer advice as I am knee deep in this situation too. It does seem rather common the more I read about it. We are trying different counselors with mixed luck. I feel your pain, and wish you the best.

Taking one day at a time in MI.

Posted by Fendermon on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:46am

Hi all, thanks so much for the feedback. I posted in August and here is what we’ve done—I set her up with a counselor she really likes and so she is seeing her 3 times a month, or so, and this is helping. Also, I’ve set her up with some org / study skills people to help her manage school stuff. What I’m finding is when she feels ‘control’ or mastery of a situation, she gains confidence. When she is feeling confident of things, whichever part of her life, the anger and ‘darkness’ really seem to recede. She is taking Spanish 1 too, and we’ve signed her up for a 2 week ‘immersion’ trip to Costa Rica this summer. I’ve told her to really work on her language skills in CR this summer so maybe next summer we can return to Guatemala and she could actually have some ‘control’ over the language while she is there…. Little things, I guess, but this is what we’ve done. Kids are just awesome. It just saddens me when these tweens/teens are struggling and are so lost. Thanks for your help!

Posted by SST on Nov 26, 2015 at 2:14pm

Hi there,

I hope this falls within the parameters of posting, as I am an adoptee sharing a resource. I started a group called Next Generation Guatemala as a resource for and run by adoptees. Our initiatives include a meetup program in the US, Canada and Ireland, herman@s program for the younger adoptees, and soon scholarship aid for adoptees who would like to search.

We have a discussion group on facebook for adoptees:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/nextgenguate/

The community page:
https://www.facebook.com/NextGenGuate/

And the main website here:
http://nextgenguate.wix.com/home

Sometimes its nice to talk with someone who’s been there, and we operate a skype for those one on ones: nextgenguate

Best,
Gemma

Posted by NextGenGuate on Dec 13, 2015 at 5:23am

Thanks very much for the links Gemma these could be very helpful indeed.

SST: I’m glad you found some ways to move the ball down the court and help your daughter gain some advantage. Little things matter. Our daughter is set to see a new counselor this month. Hopefully this one’s a keeper.

Best of luck, Dale

Posted by Fendermon on Dec 29, 2015 at 6:07am

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