Your questions answered
Sometimes families with kids from trauma have questions that they don't even know where to start to look for answers. Here are some of those questions (and answers!)
"My child is having a really hard time and I don't even know where to start"
Even the best prepared foster and adoptive parents can struggle with what direction to go to best help their kid(s). A good starting point is assessment.
"I feel so lost/overwhelmed/alone"
Those of us who have been on this journey for a long time will tell you our lifeline has been finding our "tribe"; others who have been through foster/adoption and know what that journey can bring. Here is a good starting place for finding a community here in the Sacramento area.
"My child is really struggling in school. What can I do?"
Often kids from trauma have been through so much, their brains just can't deal with the overwhelming stimulation from school. Also, pre-natal exposure to drugs, early childhood neglect and poor nutrition, and other mental health issues can often be roadblocks to education. Many schools are not aware of the extent of these "hidden disabilities". Here is a good place for help:
"I need help connecting to my child. I want to love them but it seems like they are always pushing me away, both with their words and their behaviors"
Kids who have experienced the loss of multiple caregivers often have a really hard time trusting you, their most recent caregiver. They spend a lot of time wondering if this is going to fall apart too; and so even when things are going great (or especially when things are going great) they can turn around and push you away. This can be so hard for a parent, especially a parent who is working so hard to love and care for a child. Processing trauma, getting support with the different parenting techniques these kids need, and learning to connect as a family is needed and help can be found here:
"I just don't think I can do this anymore. I'm falling apart!"
Some of the "big behaviors" that come from severe trauma/neglect of children can exhaust even super-hero parents. A kid waking up all night in terror, then raging all day can cause non-stop stress in a parent. Often parents don't want to find a babysitter or can't use daycare because of the severity of the behaviors. But to be the very best parent you can be for your kids, respite care is a MUST. Look here for excellent resources: