Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Jersey's "Let's Talk Adoption" Conference

New Jersey's
"Let's Talk Adoption"


November 3, 2007
Rutgers University, Busch Campus
Piscataway, New Jersey

Some of the listed workshops are triggering, but there are some that look interesting. In the first one, I'm not sure if they are laying the negativity on the front steps of the school experience, but teachers are a powerful force. I had teachers who were amazing in their adoption knowledge, and some that were true monsters. But definitely I do have memories of early school years, and yeah, there's some negative there. I don't blame the school though. Entering school just coincides with an increase in awareness.

Many parents report that their child’s first negative feelings about adoption happen when they enter school. This presentation is designed to assist school guidance counselors and social workers in navigating the potential additional complications adoption may bring to school interactions. Issues such as negative remarks from classmates, making school assignments more inclusive, language issues, and understanding how separation, loss, attachment, identity & transracial issues can have an impact on the adopted child all will be addressed. The presenter has done extensive training for guidance counselors and teachers throughout NY and NJ. She has over 20 years experience working in the educational and the foster care systems and is currently the director of post adoption services for Spence-Chapin. Rita Taddonio, LCSW.

Adopted adults (both domestic & international) share reflections on adoption related conversations in their families – those they had and those that would have been helpful. Moderated by Pam Hasegawa.

The presenter will share her personal story as an adoptee – her childhood feelings as well as her search and reunion, and becoming a mother herself – with all the issues that arose during pregnancy, birth & parenting. Included will be her research with other adoptee mothers. Zara Phillips, author of “Chasing Away the Shadows: An Adoptee’s Journey to Motherhood.”

There's also this:

The challenges for many foster and adoptive children are worsened by negative relationships at school. In this workshop, Dr. Kunstal will look at the personality, behavior & relationship issues of school bullies, outcasts & loners. Ways to help children change their roles, lose their reputations & get along better with teachers and peers will be examined. Frank Kunstal, Ed.D, PC, keynote speaker.

I was talking about this earlier tonight. A few years ago, my husband had a foster child in his class who had one of those adoption profiles on the web. Some of the other girls in the class had found it and printed it out. They wrote nasty things on it, and then even worse, took her picture from the web and made a fake myspace profile about it. Kids can be very cruel to children who are fostered or adopted, even in this day and age.

Speaking as a former bullied kid, bullying hurts any child. But bullying an adopted or foster kid, especially about being adopted or fostered, that's it's own special kind of hell.

4 complaints from ingrates:

Unknown September 21, 2007 at 1:13 AM  

thank you for this post. it is a topic that is not talked about nearly enough.

as a former foster child, i experienced the same brand of animosity and criticism.people naturally assumed that because i was a foster kid i mustve done something bad to have been there.

it hurts to the core when bullying happens to anyone. but kicking the most vulnerable when theyre down is just plain sub human.

Ungrateful Little Bastard September 21, 2007 at 6:00 AM  

Bullying is brutal. The girls in my 7th grade class decided they couldn't hang with me because I was illegitimate.

It continued on. My senior year of high school, a group of girls left a sign on my locker: YOUR MOTHER DIDN'T WANT YOU, AND NEITHER DO WE

suz September 21, 2007 at 9:41 AM  

hmph. interesting. i like zara. met her in new york. read her book. glad to see her still speaking and talking.

guh on the printing out of foster kid info online and bullying. sickening. one of the many many reasons I despise advertising our children, profiles, adopt-a-kid of the week, etc. yuck yuck yuck.

Ungrateful Little Bastard September 21, 2007 at 4:37 PM  

Yes I met her briefly last month; she seems really kind.

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