Learning More During National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month, and the entire adoption process can be a confusing one for those unfamiliar with it. That makes this a great time to learn more about how the system works and how to support those families involved. Being a complicated system, the adoption process can come with some misconceptions for those on the outside looking in. One of the biggest things that impacts adopted families is the misconception that the child wants to be there. People sometimes think children and teens going through the adoption or foster process are grateful or happy for the experience, and that’s not often the case.
Support systems are important, whether they’re for the birth parents or adoptive parents. Support is just a crucial ingredient through and beyond the entire process. When it comes to medical consultation and dental visits for adopted children, one of the hardest things to deal with is trauma. Trauma is very misunderstood in American culture. Fortunately, Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics is good at being understanding when a non-neurotypical child arrives at the office, and special care is needed. Mothers are often given a lot of grace, and staff understand some extra patience is necessary.
It’s important for businesses to be trauma informed. Staff having trauma awareness and being trained can make all the difference for a parent coming in with a child that might have a few more needs for healthcare. Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics actually goes through trauma training once a year for its staff. PDAO understands not every child is the same, and not every family is the same. But everyone, for the most part, has teeth. Things may have happened in life preventing oral hygiene habits from being kept up, but the staff at PDAO won’t judge. Staff will do whatever is necessary for a patient if asked. And the clinic won’t push any treatments or processes on a child.
As community members look for ways to support local adoptive families, it’s important to remember not to leave those families alone. Because these families often feel alone. People don’t want to get in the way, or they don’t know how to help, so they just slowly back away, and that can be cruel. So just be there for adoptive families. Providing meals, groceries, and logistics like carpooling can all help.
It’s also important to believe and listen to adoptive families. Kids going through trauma act one way to strangers and another way at home. So when parents say not to do something, believe them.
Put simply, be kind, be there, and be a friend to adoptive families. For those looking for ways to help their local adoptive families, The Call is fantastic. They have plenty of volunteer opportunities and offer the same adoption training as the Department of Human Services. Post adoption/foster care support is huge. People can drop off meals at The Call, and it goes in the freezer. There’s also a closet to donate clothes. Then when families need one or the other, they just come get them. Rubbermaid storage containers are great for donation. Kids are often coming into the system with their belongings in trash bags. Rubbermaid bins can help hold their luggage, clothes, and other items. Another solid option for those looking to help out is Shared Beginnings. It’s an adoptive agency, but they focus on the birth mom. They have tons of volunteer opportunities to help mothers before and after the adoption.
For more information on National Adoption Month, click here.