If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve set through the presentation where the flight attendant explains the emergency protocol. At a certain point in the presentation, the attendant shows you the oxygen mask you are to use and tells you how to put it on. The steps for the putting on the oxygen masks vary slightly depending on whether or not you are traveling with a child. If you have a child, you put the mask on first and then put the mask on the child. Why? Well, if you run out of air, then there is nothing you can do to ensure the safety of the child you are traveling with. You need oxygen first so you can keep them safe.
Isn’t’ it ironic that life philosophy only seems to be honored in the air and is often overlooked once the plane has landed? Case in point, as adoptive parents there are resources out there for your child particularly if he or she is classified as a “special needs” adoption. For example, there is monthly financial assistance to be applied to their care, counseling, support groups, adoption celebration days where adopted kids can get together, scholarship programs, etc. But what resources are out there specifically for the adoptive parent to help them breathe? There are a few, but literally only a few. One great resource is a program called Respite Care. It is a program that allows you to leave your child at a designated facility for a limited time so you have some time to yourself for personal renewal. Both you and the child benefit from that parenting “down time”, but it is not open to all families. There are strict qualifications that you must meet to be able to participate.
Your Oxygen Mask?
So what does your oxygen mask look like? How do you breathe Mr. or Mrs. Adoptive Parent? Or have you even taken a breath since that day when you took your oath and brought your bundle of joy home? Listed below are a few links to resources that may help you. Some of these are resources I have used, some are resources I would have used, and some are resources that I believe could be very helpful to any adoptive family.
Bethany Christian Services – provides
general adoptive support
North American Council on Adoptive Children – provides specific adoptive resources: https://www.nacac.org/resource/respite-care/
Child Welfare Information Gateway – provides assistance in finding state-specific resources: https://www.childwelfare.gov/to…/adoption/adopt-assistance/…
Bethany Christian Services is the leading agency for social services with children and families