Predictors of Adoption Disruption and Dissolution
by our friends at the National Council For Adoption
At Hope’s Promise, we are committed to educating and assessing our families well pre-placement, and supporting them well post-placement and post-adoption, to minimize the risks of adoption disruptions and dissolutions. As a staff we are committed to understanding the current research in this new NCFA article, and allowing this to inform our practice with foster and adoptive parents!
While an overwhelming percentage of adoptions are successful, it’s important to be educated on adoption disruption and dissolution because the more our social work staff and families are prepared for the better the outcome.
Read more here:
Be a Family Champion
Child Sponsorship Re-imagined by Hope’s Promise
Hope’s Promise worked hard in 2022 to identify a new model of partnership designed specifically for the needs of an orphaned child’s heart. Early in the year, we asked current child sponsors to imagine a new kind of “sponsorship” that stays behind the scenes, invisible to the child but nonetheless essential to the family’s success.
We asked partners to consider with us global orphan care research that reveals a child’s greatest need when he or she loses one or both parents – God’s love expressed through a new caregiver and family. We asked partners to consider that sometimes a relationship with someone far away, especially someone who is known to support them financially, can distract a child from trusting and attaching to their family.
And we asked for feedback. Overwhelmingly, partners responded that they want what is best for the kids. The one concern we heard expressed is that our partners want to maintain connection. They want to pray for families and kids by name. They want to know that your generosity is impacting real people in real ways.
So, imagine becoming a “Family Champion,” someone who upholds, advocates, supports, and speaks up for orphaned and vulnerable children. Although Hope’s Promise children may never know the names of Hope’s Promise’s “Family Champions,” our partners are no less a catalyst for transformation than when we called them a “Child Sponsor.”
As we transition to the “Family Champion” model:
- We are committed to funding the kids in our program, so even without a child sponsorship program, we will never cut a child due to lack of funding without first letting all our ministry partners know about the situation and inviting intervention.
- Every donor is considered a “Family Champion.”
- Family Champions choose a specific country to give to, with the option of “following” a specific family.
- “Following a family” means Family Champions receive an initial information packet about a specific family in the country they choose and at least one update per year. We will tag current child sponsors to follow the family of their sponsored child.
- Family Champions will receive at least two “Impact Reports” per year, highlighting kids and families in the country where they choose to partner. Family Champion “followers” will also receive at least one report per year about the specific family they follow.
- We will continue to offer opportunities to send special gifts with teams to deliver to families.
- Family Champions can still write a note of encouragement to the families they “follow” or to a family in general to be chosen by the Country Coordinator. We forward emails to in-country staff for delivery.
The big change is that the kids won’t know Family Champions are sending money for their benefit. Instead, they will credit their caregivers and families for taking care of them by partnering with their country’s Hope’s Promise ministry. Family Champions will strengthen Hope’s Promise kids’ trust and attachment with the people God has first and foremost appointed to express His love to them. Family Champions will give orphaned and vulnerable children what they need most.
Learn more here: https://www.hopespromise.com/become-a-family-champion/
Adoption Tax Credit
URGENT—TAKE ACTION NOW!
from our friends at the National Council For Adoption
Join us in asking Congress to include the Adoption Tax Refundability Act in Year-End Legislation
It’s quick and easy to send a clear message to your Senators and Representative asking them to do two things:
1. Cosponsor the bill (S.1156/H.R.3031) if they haven’t yet.
2. Convey to their tax committee and caucus leadership the importance of including the bill in their priority list for tax provisions in any year-end legislation considered in December.
Visit adoptiontaxcredit.org/take-action/contact-congress to send a prewritten message to Congress in just a few minutes.
A Q&A with Hope’s Promise Founder and author, Paula Freeman, on her new book, Learning to Be Me Without You.
What is your new book about?
Learning to Be Me Without You is a love story about a diagnosis, one last adventure, a crisis of faith that erupts on the threshold of death, and a transformed life. Two weeks after my husband, Ray, and I moved to coastal North Carolina he died, leaving me alone with my two greatest fears: How can I survive the grief of his loss, and will God be enough. It serves up hope, with a pinch of humor, and the wonder of discovering the presence of God in the wilderness of widowhood.
What inspired you to write this book?
It began with my need to unpack how the presence of God met me in my grief in unprecedented ways after Ray died, and I fell in love with a gentler and kinder Jesus. I have journaled for most of my life. So, when Ray was diagnosed with a terminal disease for which there was no cure or effective treatment, I created a separate journal for that experience. I journaled through his disease, our move to the beach where he could breathe better at sea level, his last hospitalization and death, and then through my first year of widowhood. I wanted to record my experience in real time—the events, the pain, the questions, the graces, and the healing. And I sensed a sustained movement of the Holy Spirit to “Write, therefore, what you have seen…” (Rev. 1: 19). This verse offered perspective from which to write and guided my internal conversation: Write what you have seen. Don’t preach. Don’t compare. Don’t worry about what others might think. Go ahead and name the hard stuff. Just tell the story of what Jesus did for you.
How does your book connect us to your work as founder and former executive director of Hope’s Promise?
Beyond the facts that we all have known pain and loss, and probably know someone who has been widowed, it connects in two very specific ways. First, one chapter includes quite a bit of Hope’s Promise history I think clients, staff and board members would enjoy: the research, the decision to begin the organization, the impact it had on our family, and my difficult, yet wise decision to pass the baton to Beth Woods, whom I love and wholeheartedly support. And the book deals with grief and loss—issues that undergird the adoption process for all members of the triad, and ones that I addressed in my first book for adoptive moms, A Place I Didn’t Belong: Hope for Adoptive Moms. I pray that each of these books inspires grace for the hard stuff and hope for the journey by pointing us to Jesus, no matter the flavor of our loss.
Tell us about the title.
Learning to Be Me Without You describes my challenge as a new widow, and one most widows encounter when their spouse dies. Responsibilities, rhythms of life, and relationships all change and become unscripted territory for us to navigate.
What would you like the reader to discover from reading your book?
My prayer throughout the writing of this book has been Lord, help me show the essence of how you worked in my life, so others might see You in theirs. I want readers to discover Jesus in their story and to say “Yes!” to His invitation to follow Him on a further journey, whatever that next step may be.
How can people contact you?
They can visit my website at www.paulasfreeman.com or email me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from Hope’sPromise families and friends. My heart remains with all of you!
How can I buy Learning To Be Me Without You?
Amazon link: click here
Back to School!
It’s that time of year again! Back to school! Back to school can be a daunting time, for parents and children alike. We love these tips from our friends at Raise the Future. These apply to all children and can be especially helpful reminders if you are parenting a foster child.
By Darby Baldwin, an employee of Raise the Future
Back-to-school time is here! We wanted to share a few reminders of how to prepare, support, and advocate for your kiddos as they go back to the school routine.
Look for/Be aware of these things:
Felt Safety—Is your child going to a new school? Do they have new teachers, a new classroom, new classmates, new experiences? All of these things can be hard for kids; even if they are in the same school, there are always new things each year. Look for ways to help your child feel more secure and safe in the new environment. Be proactive and talk about the new thing, whatever it may be. Meet with teachers, if possible, to help your child become familiar with them before school starts. Ask your child how they are feeling about going back to school. Ask some “I wonder” questions to encourage the conversation. Relate to them by sharing feelings you have when experiencing new situations. Encourage them to use their voice and talk about things. And, of course, be there to encourage and help along the way.
Structure and Routine—Implement a regular routine and structure around your day. In addition to the schedule of what to do in the morning to get out the door for school each day, implement a schedule/routine around what to do after school each day.
- Make opportunities for your kids to use their voice and talk about their day. Ask questions: What was good, what was challenging, what did they experience that they didn’t expect? etc. Allow time for connecting through conversation about what happened in their day when you weren’t with them, and LISTEN.
- PLAY with your kids! Make opportunities for play and schedule some downtime before starting homework.
- Provide structure around homework time. Look for the sensory needs that your child might have around completing homework. Be flexible.
Transition—Think of Dr. Dan Siegel’s “name it to frame it.” Talk about what is going to happen. Talk about when it’s going to happen. Talk about how you can help them with what is coming next. Transitions can be big triggers for kids; help them to be prepared for the next thing. If necessary, make a visual chart or transition cards to help with what comes next.
Regulation—Remind your kids about their upstairs brain and their downstairs brain. What can they do to self-regulate when the need arises? Practice strategies they can use in the classroom, on the bus, on the playground, etc. (fidgets, ask for help, breathe)
Snacks and Water—Be sure to have snacks and water available for kiddos at school and after school. If necessary, talk to teachers about allowing your child to have a snack at school. When a child’s blood sugar and hydration levels are where they should be, they are better able to learn and regulate. Have a snack and water available in the car when you pick them up from school or as soon as they arrive home on the bus.
Sensory Behaviors—Behavior is an expression of regulation…With this in mind, help your child regulate. Give ideas on what they can do to manage their behavior. Look for things that your child seeks or avoids with regard to their senses. Meet the sensory needs before the behavior becomes too challenging.
ADVOCATE!—Be your kid’s BIGGEST advocate. Talk to teachers and staff about what your kiddo needs to learn and be successful in their day. Older kids can be their own advocate with the right support, encouragement, and understanding of their own needs.
HAVE A FANTASTIC SCHOOL YEAR!