• 07 Sep 2016 8:28 AM | Molly Connelly (Administrator)

    www.coalitionofadoptivefamilies.org

    Fall Series
    Growing Up Adopted From Childhood to the Teens

    All Discussion Groups meet from 7:00 – 9:00pm at 1550 Old Henderson Rd Suite N162, Columbus OH, 43220

    This year COFAF discussion groups will be presented in teams of adoption specialists and adult adoptees.
    A suggested donation of $5.00 per person is requested.

    9/15/16 “The Seven Core Issues of Adoption and Why They Matter

    The seven core issues of adoption: loss, rejection, guilt/shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and control permeate all aspects of a child’s development from attachment and trust to self- concept and identity. Learn to identify the underlying drivers of your child’s behavior and how they connect to their adoption story. Presenters: Betsy Smalley and Marni Hall

    10/20/16 Teenage Years

    “Adoption’s Core Issues on Steroids: The

    The core issues of adoption intensify, as your child becomes a teenager and grapples with identity formation, as well as feelings of loss. Issues of trust, relationships with friends, and dating are that much more complex; depression/anxiety that much more

    common. Learn what to look for and what can help.
    Presenters: Paula Andree and Angela 

    Christensen.

    11/17/16 “Tackling the Core Issues: A Mini-Fair of Adoption Services”

    Understanding what may be driving your child and teen’s behavior may be job one but figuring out what to do is equally important. Come to a mini-fair of adoption services and learn what are some of the available programs in our community including: neuro-feedback, educational therapists, in-home therapy, camps, and more! 

    http://coalitionofadoptivefamilies.org/events/


  • 09 Apr 2016 3:35 PM | Molly Connelly (Administrator)
    If you are looking for family events this Spring, here are a few suggestions with a Chinese/ Asian theme:


    Spring Celebration 2016 - April 17
    Cultural & Arts Institute, Harrisburg, PA
    http://www.chineseculturalartsinstitute.org/performances/spring-celebration/Chinese

    Chinese Lantern Festival - April 22  through June 12
    Franklin Square Park, Philadelphia, PA
    http://www.uwishunu.com/2016/01/chinese-lantern-festival-at-franklin-square/

    Dragon Boat Race
    http://www.asian-festival.org/dragonboat/

    Asian Festival - May 28-29
    http://www.asian-festival.org/

  • 19 May 2015 9:05 AM | Anonymous

    "forever family" and other things I want to promise


    12TuesdayMay 2015

    Posted by wymsel in adoption related seriousness

    ≈ 3 Comments

    I dropped Youngest off at a playcare center yesterday for a few hours. Oldest was at school and it was my husband’s birthday so he and I were doing a lunch date. Something we haven’t done since, well something we’ve never done since Oldest came home.

    Youngest was excited to play with the trains, the slide, and all the other goodies they have to entice children away from their parents. But he also wasn’t keen to leave me. I talked to him on the way in and sang our little goodbye song that talks about how I’ll come back. (Sidenote: thank you Daniel Tiger for your parenting wisdom.) Then I signed him in and handed him over to the worker. She sensed his nervousness and said, as many care-workers do, “It’s okay. Mommies always come back.”

    Except they don’t.

    I have that whisper in my head anytime I hear myself promise forever, promise for always, promise there are no more big changes now. Sometimes mommies don’t come back. Death, mental or physical illness, relinquishment, abandonment, there are a myriad of reasons why sometimes, tragically, mommies don’t come back. There are foster mamas who love our children, care for them, ARE their mothers for a time and while we as adults know what happened, on a gut level I think for some children it feels like they are just one more mommy who didn’t come back.

    I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t think there is one. Children are meant to be with their mothers. Sometimes that doesn’t work out. And sometimes they gain another mother. But don’t get me wrong, I think being that “other mother” is a beautiful treasured privilege. I am their Mama. Their adoptive mother. I am theirs completely. I am not second rate or counterfeit. No mother ever is.

    But while we talk so much about these children coming “home” and use phrases like “forever family” I think we need to be brutally honest with ourselves. This kind of parenting requires having some extra empathy. We, as adoptive parents, have to remember that we are asking them to believe in something that our very existence in their lives calls into question. The promise of a forever family. If family was truly forever they wouldn’t have us.

    I hear so much about the hard work that adoptive parents do. There are conferences for them. Books. The phrase “parenting kids from hard places” gets used a lot. All those things aren’t bad or even untrue. But the bigger truth is we are asking these tiny souls to believe something that goes against their experience.

    Parenting is hard, adoptive parenting is hard. But choosing to love again, choosing to trust that mommy will come back when another didn’t has to be the hardest thing of all. And we, as their parents, have to honor and respect that.

    These children are the ones who hold no power in the adoptive process but who have the most to risk. I think the adoption community needs to gain some perspective on what, exactly, hard is. We need to stop asking “how the kids fit in” and more “how is your family adapting to what they need?” Because we are the grownups here. We are the ones who asked to have them in our lives. We are the ones who have the pure honor of parenting their hearts and their minds.

    We need to respect them. Respect their histories. Respect their realities. Respect how amazing it is that a heart dealt a horrible blow can learn to love again. No matter how slowly, no matter how painful the process is for us as adoptive parents, their hearts are the ones who matter. Have to matter. Do matter. Because this whole parenting thing is about their hearts in the first place. And their bravery should be applauded.

    DSC_0559e



  • 03 Mar 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    What Parents Need to Know: Teen Stress

    Eleventh grade felt like the 7th circle of Hell, a place so sinister and drained of joy that I despaired of my kids or I ever emerging from it. Although frankly, I may have felt their teen stress more acutely than they did, I worried about my boys. They are young, and while I had learned coping mechanisms for stress, they were still finding their way.

    What parents need to know about teen stress: 10 ideas to help your child manage stress during the high school and college years.

    Soon I came to see that my job was two-fold. As one of the two people who loved them most in this world, I wanted to help ease them through this period with little things I could do to help. But far more importantly, I needed to show them what I had learned about coping with stress in the years since I walked in their shoes. Research shows the teens feel even more stress than their parents so it is crucial that teaching them to cope is a major part of parenting adolescents.

    You can read the remainder of this article on GrownandFlown.com


  • 27 Feb 2015 2:06 PM | Anonymous


    Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

    Pediatrician
    Nadine Burke Harris’ healthcare practice focuses on a little-understood, yet very common factor in childhood that can profoundly impact adult-onset disease: trauma. Full bio



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  • 27 Feb 2015 8:59 AM | Anonymous

    No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives


     February 25, 2015 by Anni Liu

    Young person looking serious 

    Source: Huffington Post

    Have you ever experienced someone insulting you in a way that felt a little bit racist, but you couldn’t quite figure out why? 

    Were you worried about “reading too much into it,” “being too sensitive,” or taking offense when none was intended?

    When this happened, did you let the other person know you were hurt, only for them to become distressed or defensive? Have you been reluctant to say something when you felt this way because your opinions have been silenced or ignored in the past?

    Like many other people of color (POC) living the US, I’ve felt all of these things. For some of us, feeling this way is the norm and, without realizing, we put up a wall to protect ourselves from the damage that comes with it. These uneasy, uncertain feelings can be the result of what Chester M. Pierce, a psychiatrist and professor, coined racial microaggressions – originally defined as the racist insults directed at Black people from non-Black Americans. 

    Dr. Derald Wing Sue, who also writes about racial microaggressions, explains them as the “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.”

    Microaggressions are “micro” because they often happen in small, private situations, yet their effects often impact us in massive and dangerous ways.  Over time, being on the receiving end of these everyday (yet often unrecognizable) attacks can lead to depression, social isolation, and lowered confidence. Because we’ve been conditioned to question ourselves and not the perpetrators or the situations, we begin to wonder if our own feelings and experiences are legitimate.  

    Sometimes, without understanding what we’re doing, we even internalize those aggressions and use them to police both our loved ones and ourselves.  

    As a kid, I often corrected my mother’s pronunciation of English words. Though she did have a Chinese accent, she didn’t need me to tell her how to speak English – she’d taught English as a second language for more than a decade.

    I didn’t realize that by doing that, I was communicating that her foreign accent not only made her English different, it made it wrong. And like so many others, I had no idea I was regurgitating racist ideology (practicing internalized racism). While small acts of internalized racism like mine go unnoticed all the time, there are too many occasions where the victim is just too shocked to say anything in the moment.

    Whatever the reason, it amounts to letting racism off the hook. When we allow these small incidences to keep happening, we are allowing racism, in general, to remain a part of our culture. 

    As Dr. Sue goes on to state, the perpetrators of microaggressions are often unaware of how they may be offending or hurting others.

    It’s important for us to remember that just because a perpetrator of racism is clueless (or in denial) about the impact of their words doesn’t mean that their actions were any less violent or that the impact of that violence is changed.

    When it comes down to it, intention is irrelevant.

    If we only focus on intention, we continue to center and prioritize the perpetrator. And let’s face it: The perpetrator is always a more privileged person who is used to getting their opinions and feelings validated.

    We are trained to believe people with social power. 

    But if ever we hope to truly put an end to racism (or any other injustice for that matter), we, as people who encounter so much marginalization, must also validate our own feelings and opinions. We re-center our attention to our needs and experiences by focusing on impact, not intent.  

    By not reacting to microaggressions, we can lose our sense of being true to ourselves. We risk bottling up the toxic feelings brought on by unending racism. But if we react angrily, we are often faced with defensiveness and criticism from our perpetrators.

    But, alas, there is a middle ground, and that is to engage the perpetrator in a thoughtful manner. Vlogger Jay Smooth has a great video about it here.

    The Three Types of Microaggressions 

    Dr. Sue and others at Teachers College of Columbia University have identified three basic forms of microaggressions:

    1. Microassaults

    Microassaults, the most conscious and intentional form of microaggressions,  best resemble what we are accustomed to thinking of as “old-fashioned” racism. 

    Some common examples are using racial epithets (or abusive, derogatory language or names), displaying confederate flags or swastikas, mocking another language, telling racist jokes, and serving White customers first.

    What they all have in common is their explicitness. Whether verbal or nonverbal, microassaults are fairly direct forms of prejudice and discrimination.

    The following two forms of microaggressions are less direct and intentional on the part of the perpetrator.

    2. Microinsults

    Microinsults communicate rudeness and insensitivity towards someone based on their racial identity or heritage. These acts take away a person’s dignity or sense of self-worth, but they do so indirectly.

    Some microinsults can seem like compliments to the person saying them.

    Growing up, I was repeatedly told by White boys that I was “cute for an Asian.” This always made me feel incredibly shameful even though I had done nothing wrong. It led me to believe that being Asian meant being undesirable. It also taught me that White boys would never see me as an individual but as a race.

    Other examples of microinsults are being told that “You are a credit to your race” or “You are so articulate.”

    These statements assume that intelligence or role model behavior is tied with Whiteness because they reveal surprise at the POC’s excellence in what they do.And even more examples (because racism is so frustratingly relentless) are a White person crossing to the other side of the street at the approach of a Black or Latino man, or a storeowner carefully watching or following a customer of color.

    This conveys the message that these people deserve to be feared and are likely to steal or hurt, but this fear is based on racist stereotypes hyped by the White media.

    While some data makes it looks like Blacks and Latinxs are more likely to steal or hurt others, it is based on a racist system (the prison industrial complex) that targets people from those communities.

    3. Microinvalidations

    Microinvalidations exclude or negate the experiences, feelings, and experiential reality of a POC. 

    A common microinvalidation is the notion of “color blindness” or the assertion that we now live in “post-racial” times. It is also invalidating to downplay occurrences of racism, or to tell a POC, “Stop being so sensitive” or “Not everything’s about race!”

    These phrases, perhaps meant to smooth over the perpetrators discomfort of the situation, completely dismiss the racialized experiences of POC.  

    What lies at the heart of most microinvalidations is the norm of Whiteness and White experiences.

    Dismissing the racialized experiences of POC is oppressive and continues to give credence only to the White experience. Along with that, colorblind thinking dismisses the reality of white privilege and white supremacy, and allows them to keep doing what they do. 

    An example of this is asking a person of color, “Where are you from?” or “How do you say ____ in your language?”

    This question is often directed at Asian and Latinx Americans – whether immigrants skilled in other languages or not – out of simple curiosity. But the message is that even if they consider America their home, they will never truly belong.

    Another example is “I’m not racist – I have a ____ friend!”

    Racism is culturally pervasive, which means that it’s part of almost everyone in this society. Whether or not we believe ourselves to be racist, our words and actions often conform to what our racist culture has taught us – and having a Black friend does not change that fact.

    Also: “If you work hard enough, you will succeed.”

    This is called the “myth of meritocracy” – the idea that through determination and hard work, alone, we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps (for a classic example, read the story of Horatio Alger).

    This is what leads us to believe the racist, classist stereotype that we, POC (and people in general) who don’t succeed, are lazy, stupid, or incompetent – that they deserve what they have or don’t have.

    But the experience for many, though not all, of us is more complicated.

    Factors such as institutional racism, education level of family members, and access to fewer resources that help us succeed means that many of our paths to personal success is challenging in more ways than our White counterparts.

    The truth is, privilege — due to race or class — is what helps you succeed in an unjust society. (POC benefit from class privilege, too.

    This is why Affirmative Action exists, though it cannot and will not ever make the playing field entirely even.

    There is a last kind of microaggression that doesn’t take place between individuals. Instead, environmental microaggressions are felt in our everyday surroundings or through our social “climate.”

    For example, a Latina woman waiting for a job interview sees pictures of the other employees, all of them white men. Even if the company is not racist, its office is telling her that she does not belong there and is less likely to be hired than a white man.

    The way that abortion rights and Planned Parenthood funding is debated can be seen as a sexist environmental microaggression because it invalidates the healthcare needs and decision-making abilities of women, especially those with lower incomes.

    ***

    As POC, we are often silenced or stunned by microaggressions. But just as there are positive ways to deal with stress, there are empowering ways to address microaggressions.

    How I deal with microaggressions depends on the situation. There is no one way to cope.

    And just as the answer for me differs from case to case, what I find helpful may not apply to you. But the first step is always the same, and that is to acknowledge your sense of discomfort, hurt, or anger. 

    There is a lot we can do for ourselves to minimize the impact of such events. Journaling, meditation, or movement (zumba or yoga, anyone?) are all forms of self-love that can restore our well-being and give our emotions a safe outlet. 

    Reaching out to friends and other trusted confidantes can be a great way to validate our feelings. Sometimes when something happens that makes our skin crawl with anger or disappointment, all we need is someone to feel it with us. While we don’t have to engage the aggressor, opening a dialogue with them is one way to come to terms with what happened.

    Before starting that conversation, ask yourself what you want to gain from the conversation. How you approach them will differ depending on whether you’re trying to change their behavior or solely desiring to verbalize your feelings.

    I am often reluctant to engage with the perpetrator myself, but it can be especially important to do so if the person who microaggressed you is someone you encounter frequently, much less someone you care about.

    The last (and maybe most important) thing is to eventually let it go. By this, I don’t mean forgive or forget. I mean taking care not to give them, or the microaggressor themselves, more power over you in the process.

    This might happen naturally once you’ve processed the event, but sometimes we need a little reminding that microaggressions should be addressed, but they are not worth dwelling upon and reliving.

    Living in constant anticipation of mistreatment is not only draining and stressful, it can even prevent us from experiencing joy or letting wonderful people into our lives. This is the biggest challenge: to strengthen ourselves without becoming hardened against vulnerability.

    True strength resides in the reed that bends with the wind but does not fall down. It is rooted. It turns towards the sun. However you choose to handle it when someone micoraggresses you, remember that you are not alone. Your opinion counts. Your feelings matter. And you deserve sunshine.


    Anni Liu is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. She’s a writer, musician, and Chinese DREAMer. Anni is currently working with emotionally and behaviorally challenged kids at an alternative school. She lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with her partner and his son and hopes to make the acquaintance of a moose. Read her articles here.


  • 27 Feb 2015 8:53 AM | Anonymous
    From Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc., here is an article by Julie Beem, regarding borderline personality disorder.  This is part 3 of a three part article.


    The Borderline in My Daughter’s Personality – Part 3

    This is the final installment in a three-part series that ran earlier this week.  The first installment can be found here, and the second here.

    by:  Julie Beem

    dreamstimemedium_28453804“Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind
    You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline…” Madonna

    As I read further into thisarticle, I saw even more of my daughter’s symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder:

    Unstable Relationships. If, by now, you hadn’t correlated Reactive Attachment Disorder to BPD, you would at this symptom. My daughter’s relationships are stable because WE work hard to keep them that way – after all, she has a relationship disorder. Her developmental problems (also impacted by neglect, abuse, malnutrition) have actually made it easier in some ways to “keep her world small”. But if she wasn’t with us in the tightly structured and consistent environment we’ve created, we know that her relationships would be a mess. That push away/pull close behavior many parents of children with RAD describe is still evident for my daughter. “You’re the best mom ever” and “I hate you” often occur in the same day.

    Poor Self-Image. For my daughter, she’s either the best or the worst (there’s that dichotomous thinking again). And she’s constantly putting herself down – “I’m just a stupid baby.” It has been said in front of her so many times that she now says it like an excuse for her behavior – “well, I have poor self-esteem…” “Yes, dear, but who controls the thoughts in your brain…you do.” This has been a tough issue to deal with all along as accepting any positive feedback from us (especially praise) is hard for her. Too much and she then starts bragging and elevating herself as the “best” – expecting the royal treatment. Throughout her whole life this has manifested itself in so many ways – self-harming, lack of hygiene, no concern about her appearance, depression…

    Substance Abuse. This is the symptom that I thank God we haven’t had to deal with yet…remember, we’re keeping her world really small. But I can see the likelihood of this happening – substance abuse or some other addiction – something that numbs the pain of being who she is.

    But is it all hopeless?

    No. The article cites DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, as the gold standard therapy for BPB.

    DBT includes four sets of behavioral skills.
    · Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
    · Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
    · Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
    · Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change

    While I have firmly come to believe that many behavior-based therapies are not the most effective for those with trauma backgrounds, DBT seems to span the gap between general cognitive behaviorists and those who focus on affect regulation, and trauma-sensitive strategies. The challenge for our children with meet BPD criteria (unresolved RAD) is the same challenge they faced when younger, the ability/willingness to do the hard work it takes to address their pain and change their reaction.

    So, around here, we’re going to continue doing the same things we have for years– therapeutic parenting strategies and guiding her toward self-regulation (mindfulness, yoga, exercise for example). And I will continue to remind myself that this is a disorder and not really the person underneath – the one I firmly believe who wants to connect with us and experience the family love and relationship we offer.

    Borderline Personality Disorder Resources

    http://bpdcentral.com/
    http://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/


  • 27 Feb 2015 8:51 AM | Anonymous
    From Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc., here is an article by Julie Beem, regarding borderline personality disorder.  This is part 2 of a three part article.


    The Borderline in My Daughter’s Personality – Part 2

    This post is the second entry in a three-part blog.  The third part will run tomorrow.  The first part ran yesterday; you can read it here.

    by:  Julie Beem

    dreamstime_m_“Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind
    You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline…”
    Madonna

    As I read further into thisarticle, I saw even more of my daughter’s symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder:

    Feeling of Emptiness. The article points out that emptiness isn’t the same as boredom. Although I think my daughter can be bored at times, she is most often empty –feeling so unimportant that she almost doesn’t even exist. An example of this has been our quest for finding things she likes to do. Her brain doesn’t think in terms of what she “likes” to do or what makes her feel “comfortable”. Those are foreign feelings to her. When children are young, parents look for ways to keep them occupied and those ways get internalized and then become ways the individual keeps themselves busy when waiting or relaxing. Most of us do it almost automatically – reading, watching TV, knitting, crosswords, video games. Whether healthy for us or not, we all have leisure activities we like to do. My daughter does not – she struggles with being able to squelch the feelings of “nothingness” if not actively engaged by others, or involved in an organized activity. I now recognize this as part of the vast emptiness she feels.

    Unstable Mood. The article points out that unlike Bipolar, where moods change over weeks or months, BPD can cause mood changes within the day or hourly. Now I know some of you raising youngsters with diagnoses of bipolar might disagree, but my daughter does not have bipolar and her mood can flip on a dime. Parents of traumatized children/those with RAD often refer to this as the “roller coaster” – and believe me, even with all of my daughter’s healing, we still have to work not to get on that roller coaster with her.

    Impulsive Behavior. Ding. Ding. Ding. Impulsivity is her middle name. Not really, but itcould have been. Before the neuropsychologist gave her the diagnosis of ADHD he spent way too long explaining how unusual she was during his in-depth testing for that disorder. She showed very little distractibility or hyperactivity, but was off the charts in every measure of impulsivity. She always has been. She acts first, then sometimes thinks afterwards. It is a dangerous way to live. And contributes to her feelings of shame from her impulsive actions. Every thought that forms in her head comes out her lips. People describe her as having “no filter” – she also has no brake. (And she wonders why we won’t help her learn to drive a car.) The roller coaster just rolls on…


  • 27 Feb 2015 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    From Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc., here is an article by Julie Beem, regarding borderline personality disorder.  This is part 1 of a three part article.

    The Borderline in My Daughter’s Personality – Part 1

    Today’s post is the first in a series of three blogs about Julie’s daughter and borderline personality disorder.  Parts 2 and 3 will run Thursday and Friday.

    by:  Julie Beem

    dreamstime_m_“Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind

    You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline…”  Madonna

    We’ve been at this whole trauma/attachment gig for a really long time. Coming home to us at 19 months from an overseas orphanage, our daughter turned 18 in September. Her issues, caused by severe neglect and malnutrition, and likely abuse, have made for huge developmental, neurological, emotional challenges. We’ve had therapists diagnose her with everything (except schizophrenia and bipolar) with some saying “not quite RAD” and some saying “so much more than RAD” – whatever those diagnoses mean?!?! She has healed a great deal in the 16+ years we’ve been working at this and trying all types of trauma, attachment and neurological interventions.

    So when a neuropsych pointed out on his evaluation that he saw “emerging” borderline personality disorder, I questioned whether instead he didn’t just see “resolving” RAD, since we’d been told by several attachment/trauma professionals that unhealed attachment problems get diagnosed as personality disorders (borderline, anti-social, narcissistic). But a recent article made me really examine what I was seeing as my daughter is becoming a young adult, and I realize that the most frustrating, lingering issues (the ones I find the hardest to live with and to help her address) are the ones that fit a borderline personality disorder diagnosis, not the ones that look like developmental delay. Symptoms such as:

    Fear of abandonment. Oh yeah that’s huge for her – she can’t even use the restroom at a store without shooting out the door like her hair’s on fire calling for me when she’s through. She is sure I’m going to leave her. It’s also hard for her when I travel for work, and she’s pinpointed the anxiety to her belief that I’m either going to die in an airplane crash or decide not to come back because I like where I’ve traveled to better than being with her.

    Splitting. The article describes this as “black and white” or dichotomous thinking”. Wow- this one nails her too. She views herself as the best or worst at everything – and judges the rest of the world the same way. No gray areas for her. I’m still working on not letting this symptom trigger me. She often talks negative about others in very bigoted ways. This drives me crazy because it’s such the antithesis of the way I feel, and my husband feels, and the values we’ve hoped to teach our children. I have to remind myself that this is a manifestation of her issues (even though I do call her on it nearly every time – we call it “stinkin’ thinkin’”). I think it’s so triggering for me because society assumes that people learn bigotry, racism, negative opinions about others from their parents. She also has very rigid religious beliefs. I was told recently that she “must have gotten those ideas from your church”. Well…no…our church family does not preach it that way – it is her own black and white thinking taken to the extreme.

    Anger.  Unexpected rages, or inappropriate anger, have been the symptom of my daughter’s issues that causes us the most concern. In her earlier, more physical, days we were sure she was going to severely injure or kill someone.But as she matures her anger response is more verbal. Yet…it is still explosive and “over the top” compared to what triggered it. Even the slightest disappointment or criticism triggers fear and shame…and anger.



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