We must be aware of the implications of this "Breaking News" upon the lives of our children. We must find the language to speak with them about what they saw, what they heard, or what they may have read. One mother said to her 11 year old son, "We don't know what happened, but this mother did not ask for and get the help she needed to parent this little boy. She had other choices and what she did sounds heartless. I am sure you feel bad for Artyem, just as I do. I believe he will find a family who will know how to take care of him. It must have been hard living in orphanage and then coming to a strange country, not knowing how to speak English, not knowing anyone and missing the orphanage and the other children who lived there. He must have been really scared."I like the idea of reviewing the W.I.S.E. Up book with my kids since now is a time they might get some uncomfortable comments or questions about adoption.
Just as my colleagues at C.A.S.E and I received countless questions this week, it is possible that your children/teens may have been or will be faced with comments and questions as well. Many of you have reached out to C.A.S.E,and embraced our WISE-Up Program for your children. Now is the time to revisit the tool that helped your children respond to difficult, intrusive questions pertaining to foster care and adoption. For those of you, who may not be familiar with this tool, please visit our website at www.adoptionsupport.org to learn more about the WISE Up Program.
While we cannot change what happened to Artyem no matter how much we would
like to, we can protect and support our children, and reassure them that they are safe, loved and guided by adults who will be there forever. In times of a tragedy, we think about what we can do. My answer is tonight, hug your sons and daughters, open lines of communication regarding this sad story and send them into the world tomorrow with the tools to handle whatever questions may come their way. And remember, you're not alone; C.A.S.E is here to help support you and your children in your journey as an adoptive family.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Talking to Kids When Adoption is "Breaking News"
I received the March/April 2010 e-Newsletter from Center for Adoption Support & Education (C.A.S.E.) today; it isn't on their website yet, but you should be able to find it on this list soon. One topic addressed -- not surprisingly -- was Artyom being returned, unwanted, to Russia by his adoptive mother,, and talking to kids about that "Breaking News:"