adoption, Adoptive parents, Author Deborah Beasley, Book Release, Child welfare, cross-cultural adoption, Deborah Beasley, foster care, LinkedIn, State Adoption, Successful Foster Care Adoption, transracial adoption, trauma
Successful Foster Care Adoption – Emotional Journey, Uncommon Love
“Imagine yourself traveling far from home on an epic adventure that will change your future and the future of a child waiting to become part of your life. Filled with hope and anticipation you know only the general direction in which to go and are not certain of your final destination. Your confidence comes from knowing you have a competent guide, and that your GPS is charged and leading you in the right direction and soon you will arrive safely home as a family with child in tow. Welcome to your adoption journey.” – Successful Foster Care Adoption Emotional Journey, Uncommon Love
This is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate state adoption and parent your adopted children. If you, or someone you know, are considering foster care adoption you need this book to guide you with success into your new roll as a forever parent ! Here is what others are already saying about this book:
“As a child protective services worker, we are not privy to the day to day emotions foster parents go through on their journey toward adoption. This book is insightful and moving. A definite read for anyone considering adoption or becoming a foster parent.” Daneisha A. Ballard, New Jersey
“This is a powerful, beautifully written and deeply felt book! This book should be mandatory reading in every state for any parent considering foster care and adoption!” Dr. Minette Riordan, Publisher of North Texas Kids Magazine
“This book is a very accurate description of the challenges faced by those considering state adoptions, and filled with practical advice and wisdom. Deborah tackles tough issues like childhood trauma, trust, and transracial adoption in a sensitive and realistic manner. This book fills a long-standing need and will help parents and the children they adopt develop the bonds that will contribute to the bulding blocks of an emotionally healthy relationship.” David Handleman, ED.D., Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Reagional Enrichment and Learning Center of New Jersey
Look for this book on Amazon.com soon. Pre orders are being accepted NOW, and I will sign the first 50 online copies sold!
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BRAIDS BEADS and BALLIES
The Glory of Black Hair
© 2011 by Deborah A. Beasley ACPI CCPF
If you are Caucasian parents raising African American children, like I am, learning proper care of your child’s hair can become a slippery process. The daily confrontation with thick curly hair, tangles, tears, and intricate styling methods can leave even the most adventurous parent feeling like she’s all thumbs! Well, grab the detangler and a towel ‘cause things are about to get messy!
Black hair is lathered with products that sound as though they belong in the kitchen. Products like carrot and olive oil, coconut and soy oil, and, yes, even castor oil. It is dressed with pomade, pudding, and something called Hair Food! These gel-like, oil-based products come in strange colors of black, dark green, and blue. They typically carry warnings that say: “Highly flammable! Keep hair away from open flame!”
All of this is enough to make a white woman tremble with the prospect of having to do their child’s hair! Relax! Before you are through you will be able to section straight parts and bead braids with the best of them!
Invest, Organize and Get Comfortable
Every woman knows there are certain things a well coifed doo can’t do without. All that hair a top those little brown heads will need special care to stay looking and behaving well. There is always a cost to looking beautiful and keeping up with your child’s curly locks is no exception.
Here are some ideas to help you begin:
- Consider finding a well stocked beauty supply shop. Better yet find one that serves the African American community. You will save money on the many items you need at a beauty supplier and benefit from built in advice and mentoring available from employees or shop owners. (Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. They already know we don’t know what we’re doing!)
- Gather a few cute baskets or other containers for storing essential hair accoutrements. I have girls, so ‘pretty’, ‘cute’ and colorful is what they like. Boys will need the basics. How many containers you use will depend on your child’s hair styles and how fancy you wish to get.
- Give thought to where you will store your ‘mini mobile hair salon’. You will likely want to have items easily accessible and tote able. Where will you be fixing your child’s hair most often?
Investment, organization and a comfortable working space are logistically important considerations. It takes some time to twist and plait hair, and it will go more smoothly when you have everything you need at your well oiled fingertips.
Well Dressed Hair
Many adoptive parents struggle when it comes to the actual execution of caring for their child’s hair. Below is a list of essential items you need for your child to have well dressed hair at any age.
- Combs – The following adaptation from a famous medieval playwright does NOT apply in this case. ‘A comb by any other name is still a comb’.
Ethnic hair textures vary greatly from fine and soft to very thick and course with varying combinations in between. Using the right comb (and brush) for the particular hair texture your child has is important.
Generally, you need a fine tooth comb, a detangler comb, and an extra large wide tooth comb. For brushes, I highly recommend the wooden style with medium to stiff bristles. Boys will like the wooden oval palm brushes.
- Shampoo and Conditioner – Babies hair is usually very soft whether thick or fine. The ‘no tears’ baby shampoos will be everything you need for a while. After that, ramp up the moisture building products. Look for products with key words like: rich, conditioning shampoo, oil, moisturizing, cream shampoo, or cream conditioner.
- Detangler Spray – Conditioning Detangler spray is you and your child’s best friend in the whole picture of hair care. You may notice that curly hair coils around itself creating painful tangles and mats in the hair. Detangler sprays and cream leave-in conditioners help relax the coiled hair and mats so they can be combed out.
- Beads, Ballies, Bows, Elastic Bands and Clips – These accessories you can acquire over time as needed and depending upon the type of styling preferred. Be aware that elastic bands are a consumable item and these things need frequent replacing.
The Glory of Black Hair
In the black community hair is an important part of ethnic identity! It is braided and coifed, twisted and knotted, shaved and carved. The glory that is black hair is made into dreads, adorned with extensions, and corn rowed into elaborate designs.
Learning how to care for your child’s hair is an essential piece in blending the multicultural elements of your family. Now that you have a head start, stop trembling! You are a white women in the know! Now, wash the hair gel off your hands and go play with your beautiful kids!
Look for my next article on this topic: TACKLING TROUBLESOME TANGLES!
If you would like to explore your questions about issues related to cross-cultural adoption, contact me as DeborahBeasley20@yahoo.com, or 609-970-1100.
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MULTIPLE TRANSITIONS: A YOUNG CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW ABOUT FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION
This video was written and Produced by Michael Trout, Director of the Infant-Parent Institute in Champaign, Ill. (c) 1997.
It provides a real, I mean really real, look into the experience of a child in foster care, and insight into what such a child thinks being adopted is all about. It opens the foster adoptive parents to how the child views her or his world. This powerful video illustrates profoundly the content of many of the articles on this site. I hope it will have the added impact to create new prospectives in the understanding and handling of foster children everywhere.
Foster care as it exists today is psychologically and emotionally damaging. It will never be okay for a child to be in foster care. But radical improvements throughout the system can make it safer for children in state care. Fewer moves and long term care with better trained, screened, and monitored caregivers is a start.
This video is powerful and emotional. Settle in, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride… Deb
After you view the video below click the back button to return to How Does Your Child Grow and leave a comment.
Written by Toni Hoy, Illinois adoptive parent
ASFA-3 Goals/5 Principals: Defeated through unmet clinical need
1. Safety The child is a danger to himself and others
2. Permanency Disrupted or dissolved
3. Well Being Increased emotional trauma
1. Safety is the paramount concern that must guide all child welfare services.
Adoption creates unsafe living conditions for adoptive family without safety net.
2. Foster care is temporary.
Adoption is temporary.
3. Permanency efforts should begin as soon as the child enters care.
Adoption preservation efforts should begin as soon as the severity of the child’s mental
health needs become known. Parents have access and funding.
4. The child welfare system should focus on results and accountability.
Results show that permanency through adoption is at risk. No state departments are
currently accountable. There is no synergy between state departments.
5. Innovative approaches are needed to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being.
Safety, permanency, and well-being are addressed prior to adoption, but not after.
Federal Incentive Payments
FACT: Illinois receives $4000 for every finalized adoption and $6000 for every special needs adoption.
FACT: Illinois received $236,000 additional federal funding in 2009 for finalized adoptions.
While the generation of ASFA children grow up, the same government that put families together is forcing them apart.
FACT: Illinois receives NOTHING for Adoption Preservation for families subject to disruption or dissolution because of pre-adoptive neglect, abuse, and trauma.
FACT: Families tried to resolve this issue in years passed with the Keeping Families Together Act, which failed to pass Congress is two consecutive sessions
THE BOTTOM LINE
The state of Illinois needs federal funding
for intensive in-home, community based, and residential treatment
for children who are at risk
of re-entering the system
for a subsequent time
due to adoptive parent’s inability
to access appropriate clinical services.
ADOPTION and SAFE FAMILIES ACT of 1997
ASFS – Adoptions Increase (1996 to 2000 Increased 78%) – Child Unstable (Pre-Adoptive trauma and substance abuse effect) with 70% behavioral disorders and 1/3 severe emotional disorders – No Access intensive community based or residential treatment (denied funding from ICG, ISBE, DCFS, and Medicaid) – Child relinquished for the sake of treatment (Abandoned for the second time).
Slide 12 (Resources)
“ASFA Goals: Safety, Permanency, Well Being.” National Center for State Courts, 08 Feb. 2008. Web. 30 July 2010. .
Ashby, Cornelia M. “Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice.” General Accounting Office. Washington D.C. 11 Aug. 2003. Web. 2 Aug. 2010.
“Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.” Adoption. Department of Children and Family Services, 2007. Web. 02 Aug. 2010. .
“Practice Areas: Child Mental Health: Facts and Figures.” Child Welfare League of America. Web. 03 Aug. 2010. .