On A Mission To Help Adoptive Families Overcome Crisis
Barbara DiGangi and Meredith Silversmith, the founders of Project Bond, are on a mission to help adoptive families overcome crisis and thrive. As they say, "Everyone deserves a peaceful home."
Many adoptive families face emotional ups and downs and commonly experience adoption-related issues such as: post-adoption depression, difficulty attaching to the new child, identifying as a parent to dealing with outsiders and racism. Additionally, depending on the age of adoption, some children experience extreme behavioral issues at home to the classroom.
While these are a list of general issues, both Barbara and Meredith can recount stories of challenging behaviors of adopted children such as being aggressive or skipping school, and in some extreme cases, they have seen children who have been "illegally 'rehomed' or institutionalized due to the severity of their needs." -Project Bond
Barbara, who is a Licensed Master Social Worker, and Meredith, who is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, have witnessed that adoptive families don't have access to effective resources resulting in damaging effects of misinformation and misdiagnosis. Because of these unsettling truths, thus emerged their vision and mission to help adoptive families thrive.
Why is this important to you? Because you can help, and it begins with knowledge.
Also, Project Bond will launch a column on consciousmagazine.co to continue the conversation on the challenges parents face and ways to support families through crisis. Read on and consider how you can be a light in your own family and community.
Q | TELL US ABOUT PROJECT BOND
Both: Project Bond was created to help adoptive families thrive. We both spent years working with families whose children were hospitalized, medicated, and misunderstood. We saw the lack of effective supports and resources for these families and decided to do something about it. Children who have been adopted have unique needs and often identify a high number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), such as abuse, neglect, and traumatic separations. These needs are often not considered by professionals treating these children and their families - leaving them in crisis and at risk. We educate adoptive parents and the professional community through our blog and podcast, as well as our our Taking Control Without Losing Control Online Workshop, parent coaching, and educational advocacy services We also connect adoptive families with therapists who are well-versed in their unique needs.
Q | AT CONSCIOUS MAGAZINE, WE'RE ABOUT CHANGING THE CONVERSATION, WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Both: Changing the conversation is crucial because conversation fuels and directs awareness and intervention.
It’s important that we change the conversation around parenting children who have been adopted. Behavior is like an iceberg - we can look at the surface, but there’s a lot going on underneath. We believe in the power of the parent-child relationship to strengthen a child's security, emotional health, and overall wellness.
According to the National Survey of Children's Health, almost half of all children (almost 35 million children) have experienced at least one adverse experience. This results in more social costs, mental health issues in adulthood and families in crisis. There must be more attention paid to the need for trauma-informed care.
Q | YOU ARE ABOUT TO LAUNCH A COLUMN ON CONSCIOUSMAGAZINE.CO FOCUSING ON CHALLENGES PARENTS FACE WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND WAYS TO SUPPORT FAMILIES IN CRISIS - WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR OUR READERS?
Both: At Project Bond we believe everyone deserves a peaceful home. Kids who are in crisis and their families are extremely vulnerable and in need of effective supports sooner rather than later. Adoptive families often face significant challenges which can push parents to their limits. Children have been illegally "rehomed" or institutionalized due to the severity of their needs. Until we change the conversation, these children and their families will remain at-risk.
Q | WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE OUR MOM AND DAD READERS TODAY IN ADDRESSING FAMILY CHALLENGES?
Both: Don’t go it alone because you're not alone in this. There are families out there having similar experiences. Reach out and build a supportive network of families and professionals who "get it." Make sure you have a team that's on board and addressing your unique needs.
Many parents are hard on themselves when going through a difficult time. Try not to beat yourself up. Open yourself to the possibility that your child has unique needs that have not yet been met and educate yourself. We're here for you!
At Conscious, we commend the great work Project Bond is doing as they set out to help families with adoptive children who have been either hospitalized or misdiagnosed. To solve this great issue, Project Bond has 5 objectives:
- To provide the right information to those they serve through Monday Blog posts
- Share information and resources
- Provide access to a supportive network of parents and professionals
- Create partnerships with local entities impacting children
- Provide psychoeducation and advocacy
FROM THE EDITOR
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