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Trauma matters

A girl of African descent is seated on a windowsill. She's holding her legs.

Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth. Trauma: adoption’s shadow Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to […]

Our journey

It’s been hard to see my things destroyed, my personal space obliterated and my patience shattered. It’s been an adjustment to keep up with multiple appointments, lack of information and countless phone calls. It’s been a struggle to not ask too much, push too hard or back off too far. We’ve been through nightmares, perfect […]

Love me, feed me: part one

Blond boy holding a blue bowl in front of his face.

Feeding and attachment The attachment cycle is fulfilled by meeting a child’s physical and emotional needs — feeling hunger, needing attention, being wet or cold — over and over again. Feeding is one of the most reliable and obvious opportunities to help a child feel safe and cared for, and to build trust, whether you […]

Romanian adoption research

Three children sit on a wooden log, backs turned, legs dangling.

These are the findings of Dr. Elinor Ames’ research on the Development of Romanian Children Adopted to Canada. In 1990, Dr. Ames, an adoptive parent and professor of developmental psychology at BC’s Simon Fraser University, began her research on the effects of institutionalization on children adopted to BC from Romanian orphanages. That same year, 1013 […]

Casey worth the five year wait

A couple smiling looks at the newborn. Mom holds the baby, while dad places his hands on mom's shoulders.

The decision Celine and husband Dan Green live in a small town nestled in the BC mountains. Like many, they could not produce children biologically and found the intercountry adoption option too costly. However, they were sure about one thing: They wanted children. As independent business people well connected to their small community, said Celine,”we […]

Helping children cope with and understand abandonment

A young boy with brown hair gazes out the window, appearing lonely and sad.

We know that the stress of  growing within a mother who is considering whether she will be able to raise the child she is carrying affects the developing brain of the fetus. Primed to connect on an unmistakably profound level at birth, the newborn or older baby or child, regardless of the excellence of the care […]

Developing brains: Building attachment in adopted children

Parent and child holding hands up close

Trauma and brain development The brain develops from the inside out. A newborn’s brain has about 100 billion cells. At birth, the primitive brain, called the brainstem, is sufficiently developed to insure that vital functions can be maintained independently for a short period. Baby can breathe, the heart beats, the body temperature self-regulates, reflexes are […]