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3 Types of Media Every Foster and Adoptive Home Must Have

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We are increasingly surrounded by all types of media in our world. Finding media that is beneficial (or simply not harmful) can be challenging. Our major goal is to make locating media that can help your family connect, grow, and bond without causing harmful side effects. There are three types of media resources that we have learned every foster and adoptive home must have.


1. For the Parents

Extra responsibility accompanies the titles of foster or adoptive parents. A willingness to learn and adjust to meet a child’s needs is vital to parenting a foster or an adopted child. It is essential that parents be ever finding resources that help them understand their child and meet the child’s needs. We have several searchable lists for parents where they can find media about all topics related to parenting: Books by Adoptees, Books for Adults (everything from attachment to school success to specific disabilities and more!), Memoirs, Fiction, Movies for Grown Ups, Songs, Blogs Lists.

2. About Foster Care, Adoption, or Other Related Topics with Children as the Target Audience

Foster children and adopted children often do not experience books or movies to which they can truly relate. They often feel abnormal and alone. Media with themes of foster care or adoption can help normalize the experiences of foster and adopted children, give them characters to relate, start healthy conversations, and help them not to feel alone. Not all media with foster care or adoption themes is beneficial. Some can be triggering, and some can be harmful if an adult is not on duty to help a child process or understand the media. Our 10 Questions for Discovering Media Triggers Which Harm Foster and Adoptive Kids may be helpful in considering which media you need to skip as a family. Check out these lists of media for your kids: General Kids’ Books, Foster Care Children’s Books, Foster Care Adoption Children’s Books, Domestic Adoption Children’s Books, Transracial and International Adoption Children’s Books. NOTE: We have not had a chance to review all the media on these lists, and it is important that you evaluate if a piece of media could be detrimental to your child’s specific situation.

3. For Fun and Connection

Reading, listening to music, and watching movies with family provides shared experiences with which to bond and connect. Media provides a great starting point for healthy conversations. And quite honestly, as foster and adoptive families we are often dealing with “tough stuff” in our daily lives, and we all need to decompress and just chill out. Sometimes we need to just have a side-by-side shared experience without having to think or communicate.


Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What impact has media had on your foster or adoptive family?
  2. Is there any media that you would absolutely recommend?
  3. Is there any media which you have found harmful that you would absolutely discourage against?

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Autism on the Seas: Vacationing with a Family Member with Special Needs

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It was our first family vacation as foster parents…our first vacation as parents at all for that matter! We arrived at our destination after about a six hour drive, the vacation hadn’t even really started yet, and already we were feeling pretty devastated. We were convulsing with the stress of the drive with our van full of little people. We had used all the strategies our parents had used and that we had heard other parents use for taking trips with kids. Why didn’t it work?! The vacation did not get any better. We had some fun times, but they were overwhelmingly overshadowed by challenging behaviors, drama, and stress. We felt doomed that we would never be able to take another vacation again!

We frequently hear from parents who have given up on dreams of family vacations due to their children’s special needs. Over the years we learned how to parent our children differently, and part of this was learning to vacation differently. We have become very passionate about helping others learn from our past mistakes and also about connecting caregivers to resources to help them bond, connect, and make memories with children in their care.


Autism On The Seas

One such resource we recently learned of is provided by an organization called Autism on the Seas. Autism on the Seas develops cruise and resort vacation services to accommodate adults and families living with children with special needs, including, but not limited to, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and all Cognitive, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Their services include:

Staff Assisted Cruises and Resort Stays

The AotS Staff cruises with you to provide and coordinate all of the Activities, Respite and Services described below.
– Each cruise is staffed with a minimum ratio of 1 AotS Staff Member for every 3 Guest with Special Needs.
– Each Staff Member is Fully Insured.
– Full Background Checks are conducted (criminal and sex offender) for each Staff Member.
– Each Staff Member holds a degree, or is working towards a degree, in majors of child development, special education, sociology, psychology, social work, behavior therapy, etc.
– Each Staff Member has experience in caring for children and/or adults with developmental disabilities.

Cruise Assistance Package

This package is for Cruises without [AotS] Staff, where you choose your own departure port, itinerary, cruise line & dates. No extra charges from the Cruise Line Prices. Available on Royal Caribbean, Disney, Carnival, NCL, Princess and Celebrity.

AotS website explains so many services beyond these. Staff provide several strategies and resources prior to travel in order to prepare those traveling with them (which can include extended family and friends). These strategies include communication with the cruise Group Leader for the cruise, increased understanding of the elements of a cruise in relation to the family’s unique challenges, modeling, simulation, progressive exposure, desensitization and coping techniques, social stories, countdown calendars, PECS, assistance in maintaining therapy plans (ABA, Behavioral, etc.), and more. Families can tour cruise ships for free to become acclimated, alleviate some fears, learn more about AotS, and so on. The AotS website includes testimonials and information about private message boards and Facebook groups with previous clients. There are also financial assistance programs and fundraising information on the site.


Excited To See A Program Like This

Transfiguring Adoption has often discussed providing services like this for foster and adoptive families in the future, and we were so excited to see a program like this exists for families with special needs. Visit www.AutismontheSeas.com for pricing, availability and additional information or call 800-516-5247.


GET $25 ONBOARD CREDIT:

Use Discount Code: ND-219

Autism on the Seas will make a donation on your behalf to Transfiguring Adoption
(Applies to New Guests of AotS only)

[Learn More]


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Fixing the Fates – Adoption Book Review

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From the Cover of Fixing the Fates: An Adoptee’s Story of Truth and Lies by Diane Dewey:

“Diane Dewey, surrendered in a German orphanage at age one, was adopted and raised by loving parents near Philadelphia who withheld information about her origins, seemingly to protect her. Then the axis shifted. When Diane’s Swiss biological father contacted her by letter after forty-six years, her sense of truth was upended. In the months and years that followed, she sifted through competing versions of the story of her birth and adoption, and discovered disturbing secrets about her true fate. She was in the midst of attempting to substantiate–or refute– these finding through resonant family reunions when another mysterious letter appeared. One part forensic investigation, one part self-discovery, Fixing the Fates is an unflinching saga of facing deception and resetting the compass to live one’s truth.”


Grade:

5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]


What I Thought:

Diane Dewey’s descriptive and enrapturing writing in Fixing the Fates transports the reader to various moments and places throughout her life. Her descriptions of her feelings, thoughts, and perceptions are vulnerable and vivid. I found myself sneaking any spare moments during the day to read this book as it is one of those “couldn’t put it down” stories. The universal themes Diane explores in her memoir are empathy, context, self-acceptance, intuition, and grace (releasing and not harboring anger).

I highly recommend this book to adults in the adoption triad, but especially to adoptive parents as this is the angle from which I read the book. Diane not only shares her thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and experiences as an adoptee, but she discusses universal themes and best practices in adoption and mentions other important works, such as The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier and Adoption Nation by Adam Pertman. Listening to the experiences of adoptees is one of the most effective ways for foster and adoptive parents to become more informed about how to best parent their children and empathize with them. Reading Fixing the Fates makes these concepts and themes accessible to readers by bringing them into the mind and experiences of an adoptee who expresses her experiences so vividly.


Buy From Our Links and Support Transfiguring Adoption:


It’s Your Turn:

    1. What insights did you gain from Diane’s book?
    2. If you are an adoptive parent, has reading Fixing the Fates led you to make any changes to your parenting?
    3. Has the book changed your perceptions of birth family search and reunion?

NOTE: JKS Communications provided an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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