Ten years ago, I adopted a little girl from Russia.
Our relationship and interactions were a mess from the moment we walked out of the orphanage. She clearly had total disdain for me as her adoptive mother. It was an extremely challenging experience for me, and I am aware that today, many adoptive parents experience similar challenges.
I was inexperienced but I was determined to fix things between me and my adopted daughter. I sought help from professionals such as my adoption agency, and child therapists and counselors so I could improve our relationship. We both struggled as we navigated through the difficult times.
Eventually, after a lot of trial and error, and with a deep desire to create a loving and peaceful connection, I finally discovered what works best for us.
When I retired from a 37-year career in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, I knew deep down what I wanted to do next; to become a life coach and help other adoptive parents.
My adopted daughter provided her full support for the idea, that out of our own painful experience, an opportunity to help others was available; and at that moment, Beyond Adoptions was born.
My research revealed that many adoptive parents don’t have ready access to the support and information that can help them create peaceful and connected relationships with their adopted children. Our Parent-to-Parent™ coaching services, webinars and training programs provide the perfect opportunity to share the different strategies and nonviolent communication techniques I’ve learned over the years that are proven to reduce conflict and provide the connection that addresses the unmet needs of adopted children. We give value and ease the path for others by providing empathetic support, encouragement and practical, effective strategies.
“I started Beyond Adoptions as a way to make it as easy as possible for parents to find help, ideas, information, strategies, etc., when they are preparing for adoption, and especially after the adoption is final and they are in the midst of dealing with the reality of the challenges presented by their child.”Becky Walker
The Basic Communication Technique
Used by Beyond Adoptions®
Beyond Adoptions uses a well-known communication process called “Nonviolent Communication”. This process was developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., founder and educational director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), and has been used extensively throughout the world to resolve highly charged conflict situations since the 1960’s.
“Here you will find steps you can take for the healing or reconciliation of any conflicted relationship, whether at work, at home, at school, or in your community. It will…give you a sense of the energy of empathy: the compassion and the heartfelt “presence” necessary for healing to take place. Nonviolent Communication skills empower you to make lasting peace…”Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Author of 'Getting Past the Pain Between Us'
All adopted children have some form of trauma in their background because they have experienced separation from their immediate birth family. Many adopted children have experienced additional forms of trauma. In numerous instances, these children develop coping behaviors that can be very disruptive in their adoptive home, family and school life. At Beyond Adoptions™, parents are guided to develop the practice of observing the behaviors of their children, and using the nonviolent communication process to identify the “feeling” and “needs” that are behind the behaviors. This requires the ability to set judgment aside, and with compassion and empathy, follow a course of curiosity and discovery to understand what makes their child tick.
Beyond Adoptions® professionals help clients learn, practice and apply this communication process while at the same time choosing language that will resonate effectively with their child, and understanding the impact that their beliefs and experiences, and those of their child, have on their interactions.
Learning these techniques does not eliminate all upsets and issues. However, it provides an opportunity for connecting in the moment that increases understanding, feels compassionate, reduces emotional reactions, and opens the pathway to a peaceful dialog that nurtures the relationship.
Adopted children are often delayed in the development of emotional maturity. This is not because there is a problem with them; but because they often have not lived in the safe, nurturing, consistent type of environment essential to the development of age-appropriate emotional maturity. Recognizing that the emotional needs of a child may be lagging behind their age is essential to taking the steps which can help that child get those needs met.
“Past trauma is healed one present moment at a time. ”Becky Walker
To meet the needs of a child, and to help the child learn to meet their own needs when appropriate, a parent must be able to discern the needs with which they need help. Humans are very good at providing clues to their unmet needs. Parents can assist their adopted children by using the techniques that identify the needs, and with empathy and compassione, take steps to get those needs met. This is done every day, in every interaction….it happens in the present moment.
There is a personal benefit for the parent, also. Why? Because this communication process, which focuses on needs, can provide the opportunity for both the child’s and the parent’s needs to be considered and met through a peaceful resolution.