December 27, 2011

Protecting our Children From Sexual Predators!

This article outlines how to protect your children from predators who engage in "grooming," which refers to deliberate actions aimed at befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child. Check it out here to learn how to protect your child.

December 20, 2011

December 13, 2011

Overuse of Psychiatric Drugs for US Foster Children

ABC News has conducted a study regarding the use of psychiatric drugs for children in the US foster care system. In the five states that they studied they found that more than one-fourth of foster children were prescribed at least one psychiatric drug. Foster children were also more than nine times more likely than non-foster children to be prescribed drugs for which there was no FDA-recommended dose for their age. Check out the article here for more information on this study.

December 6, 2011

Talking Matters

Here is another article regarding talking to your child about adoption. It covers the importance of talking about adoption, when to talk about it, how to start the conversation, and many other tips. Check it out here!

November 29, 2011

Adoptive Families' 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?? Adoptive Families magazine has complied a list of online stores that sell adoption memorabilia including Lifebooks, jewelry, children's books and a whole host of other gifts. Check out the link here and find some great holiday gift ideas for the adoptive families in your life!

November 22, 2011

Keeping the Peace

Holidays can be extremely stressful for every one of us! They can be especially challenging for many adopted children due to difficulties with emotional regulation. Check out this article for advice on how to minimize meltdowns and stress for your child this holiday season.

November 15, 2011

Surviving a Winding Road

The process of adoption is full of ups and downs and has its fair share of challenges. This article discusses how to survive the long process of becoming an adoptive parent. Check it out here.

November 8, 2011

Labeling Kids - How Much To Share And With Whom

Adoptive and foster parents are often faced with the question, "how much of my child's story do I share and with whom?" It's a hard question that is going to vary from child to child. Dawn at Creating a Family has some interesting insight regarding how much to share. Check out her story here and some additional insight here. What do you think? What has your experience been with sharing your child's story?

November 1, 2011

National Adoption Month!!

November is National Adoption Month!! Give an adoptive parent a hug today! :)

October 27, 2011

Laughter, Bonding and Adopting Older Children

Here is an excerpt from an article by Pat O'Brien about bonding with the older adopted child:

"Young people simply assume at placement that it is a matter of time before they will be rejected yet again and ultimately kicked out of this new household. The newly placed youth usually proceeds cautiously to protect him or herself from the expected rejection he or she believes will occur soon by staying somewhat detached from the new family and by resisting getting close to the new family.

How can adoptive parents of teens and pre-teens prove they are worth bonding to? Well, having been involved in nearly a thousand placements of children during my 20-year career I can think of no better answer than shared laughter."

To learn more about how laughter can help with attachment and bonding, check out the article here.

October 25, 2011

Making Peace with Missing Information

Many times parents do not have all of the answers that our children might have about their adoption, birth parents, and history. This article discusses how to handle the questions that you don't have answers for and how to make peace with the absence of information yourself. You can find the article here.

October 20, 2011

How to Help Your Child

Check out this video series called "How to Help Your Child" by Bryan Post. He discusses the best way to help your adopted or foster child who is struggling with emotional and behavioral problems.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

October 18, 2011

Helping Children Grieve

Children who are in foster care or who have been adopted have all experienced many losses. Loss of birth parents and siblings, loss of friends, schools, pets, toys, stability, control, etc. Because they have experienced many losses, they must go through the grieving process in order to heal. This article talks about how to help your child that is grieving. It is not written specifically about children in foster care or adoption, but it has some great suggestions to help you understand what your child is experiencing and how to help them heal. Check it out here.

October 14, 2011

APAC offers opportunities for families and professionals to increase their knowledge of permanency related subjects. Educational Training services are available to all adoptive families, all foster families, all professionals serving adoptive and foster families, kinship care families, and DHR waiting families.

To schedule a presentation for your group or organization, complete our training contact form.

Upcoming Statewide Trainings
How To Create Healing for Adopted Children
APAC is proud to present this free one-day training for professionals serving adopted children. The dynamic practice of love-based therapy and parenting diminishes behaviors, prevents disruptions, and builds strong, lasting adoption placements.

Training Highlights:
- Impact of stress and trauma on the developing brain.
- Combatting challenges of adoption.
- Preventing adoption disruption.
- Helping children take responsibility.
- Family-centered treatment with attachment challenged children.
- Creating a therapeutic environment for children who have experienced early life trauma.
- Assimilating connections to trauma for all family members.

Continuing Education Credits
5.5 CEUs for LPC and Social Workers

8:30am: Registration
9am-4pm: Training
lunch on your own

•Monday, November 7
Weatherly Heights Baptist Church
1306 Cannstatt Drive
Huntsville, AL 35803

•Tuesday, November 8
Church at Brook Hills Student Center
3145 Brook Highland Parkway
Birmingham AL, 35242

•Wednesday, November 9
Alabama Public Library Service
6030 Monticello Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

•Thursday, November 10
Mobile County Department of Human Resources
3103 Airport Blvd, Room 601
Mobile, AL 36633

To Register, go to

October 13, 2011

Talking With Children About Adoption

The Center For Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) is offering a webinar again on "Talking With Children About Adoption". "Parents often lack confidence when it comes to discussing adoption with their children. This webinar teaches parents what children think and feel about adoption at different developmental stages and how to share their child's adoption story. Ms. Singer will address participants' specific concerns and questions regarding "what, when and how" to share difficult/sensitive information as well as how to respond to children's questions. Participants will learn how to initiate comfortable communication with children who do not ask questions. Learn about 52 Ways to Talk about Adoption, a new game C.A.S.E. created to facilitate family discussion of adoption."

Check out the link here for more information and to sign up.

October 11, 2011

The 2011 Adoption Guide

Here is a link to the 2011 Adoption Guide. It is a great resource for families that are just getting started in the adoption process. You can download the entire resource for free through this website!

October 6, 2011

My Forever Family

Song written by Tommy Byrd and Ande Rasmussen

In my life I've
Never known
Where it is
That I belong
Maybe you could
Be that place for me
This I wish
This I pray
This I hope
And dream some day
I will find my forever

Take a look at me
There's so much to see
Who I am and all I can be
You can't change the world
But you can change mine for me
Take a look in your heart and see
If there's a place there for me
Could we be a forever family
Could we be a forever family

A day becomes
A week so fast
And Soon another
Year has passed
And I'm still here
Waiting hopefully
Someday soon
I just know
Like the dream
I can't let go
I will find my forever

Chorus Repeats

In my life I've
Never known
Where it is
That I belong
Maybe you could
Be that place for me
This I wish
This I pray
This I hope
And dream some day
I will find my forever
Forever Family

Check out this website to listen to the song and this website to read more about the song.

October 4, 2011

Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch

This is a really neat article about how friendly touch can help build feelings of trust and form connections with other people. A word of caution though, do be aware of what YOUR child considers friendly touch. Some children who have been abused do not like being touched in any way. Know what YOUR child needs. Check it out here.

September 29, 2011

Improving your Child's Behavior...Permanently

This is an easy parenting technique from the Complete Connection Parenting website to help improve children's listening skills. Check it out here.

September 28, 2011

Helping Parents Comprehend Potential for Suicide

The following Webinar is provided by Well Aware:

GUIDING LIGHT: Helping parents comprehend potential for suicide in their children

An experienced elementary-level teacher with a master’s degree in education and "tons of psychology courses," Wisconsin educator Lynda Larson was still unable to recognize early signs of mental illness in her fifth-grade son Adam, the eldest of her three children. "I remember the principal in my elementary school had a whole lot of background on troubled adolescents," recalls Lynda, with the clarity of hindsight. "He spoke to me about Adam and the signs he saw for potential trouble later. He even put an EAP (employee assistance program) slip in my mailbox at school." Lynda saw her former boss nine years later, after her son had dropped out of high school and endured years of substance abuse. He ended his own life on April 22, 1992, at age 20. "I told my former principal, ‘You saw this coming a long time ago, didn’t you?’ But as parents, we didn’t accept it at the time. He was our first child. We didn’t accept the message right away."

It’s among the most horrific thoughts a parent can have—their own child dying by suicide. So it’s no wonder that parents of at-risk youth may have trouble accepting that their son or daughter may have the capacity to kill themselves.

While teachers, relatives or clergy members may recognize risk for suicide in a child, parents may be unable to see this. “The parents are in denial” may be how others see it, but from a parent’s perspective, facing the fact that your child could be suicidal is more than many parents can emotionally bear.

“We know psychiatric illness runs in families. There’s also a lot of resistance to addressing it, to treatment within the general population,” says the esteemed David Shaffer, M.D., professor psychiatry and pediatrics at Columbia University and an international expert in youth suicide prevention. “A parent may think, ‘I haven’t seen it with my own eyes’.”

There are many reasons parents may be unable to comprehend potential for suicide in their children. And others—teachers, pediatricians, police officers, community members—need to understand these barriers parents face in order to help at-risk children.

In this groundbreaking webinar, we are pleased to present Donna Holland Barnes, Ph.D., suicidology researcher, educator, author, parent and suicide loss survivor. 

Also joining Dr. Barnes is Raymond Zablotny, M.D., physician, psychiatrist—and father of a son who died by suicide. Together, Dr. Barnes and Dr. Zablotny bring their unique perspectives to consider how others can help parents “hear” that their child might be at risk for suicide.

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 2011

2-3:30 PM Central

Click here to register.

September 27, 2011

Helping Your Child Say Goodbye

Here is another great article on how to help your child transition into your adoptive home. This article contains suggestions on how to maintain connections with your child's past, including with their foster and/or birth parents, how to discuss with your child the confusing emotions they are probably feeling, and many other helpful suggestions. Check it out here.

September 21, 2011

Talking With Teachers

School has already been back in session for over a month now!! This time of year all families are faced with challenges as their children head back to school and adoptive families can be faced with additional challenges. Adoptive families have to decide how much they want to tell the teacher about their child's adoption and children are being faced with questions from peers about their adoptions. This is a great article that talks about what should be discussed in a parent teacher meeting regarding adoption. Check it out here.

September 19, 2011

The Great Back-to-School Kit

Here is an article from Adoptive Families with "17 simple and effective ways to bring adoption into the classroom." Check it out here!

September 14, 2011

Is It An Adoption Thing?

I get asked the question a lot, "Is this an adoption thing or is it a typically developing child thing?" It is hard for parents to know what challenging behaviors are developmentally appropriate and what behaviors are related to their child's adoption history. "Is It An Adoption Thing", a webinar offered by Adoption Learning Partners, will discuss common challenging behaviors adopted children may exhibit at each developmental stage, offer real life examples and suggestions for handling these behaviors and examine effective and ineffective parenting tools. For more information or to register go to Adoption Learning Partners.

August 31, 2011

Free Webinar!!

The Post Institute is offering a free webinar for all foster and adoptive parents called "Stress Model 101". It will be offered on three different dates next week.

This webinar will provide you with the understanding and guidance to change your family dynamics and to help your life go from chaos to peace and healing.

If you are involved in the life of a child with a diagnosis and/or behaviors such as these listed below, this webinar is for you!

School Challenges
Social Problems
Sibling Rivilry
Disturbed Sleep

For more information or to register, click on the link here!

August 24, 2011

Helping Your Foster Child Transition to Your Adopted Child

This is a great article with great suggestions about how to help a child in foster care understand the transition to an adoptive home. Check it out here!

August 1, 2011

Exciting Photography Resource for Adoptive Families!

S. Stephens Photography is dedicated to helping new adoptive families in the Wiregrass area capture moments together as a family. She offers a FREE photography session within the first 30 days after bringing your child home. Here is an excerpt from her website...

"I have a heart for adoption and love to meet families who have been united through adoption. It is an honor to see children and families united through adoption. My husband and I have adopted twice and both times were unique and so special. Because of this, I offer 2 complimentary sessions. A Coming Home Session and a Welcome Home Session.

{COMING HOME} I will meet you and your family at the airport or home and document your child(ren)'s arrival home. Airport arrivals are often so special as you are greeted with family and friends who wait anxiously to welcome your child home. If your family is waiting for you at home, I will be glad to meet you there as well. You tell me where to go and I will be there. It is such an honor be involved in these homecomings! Simply contact me with your arrival date and details and I will meet you there! If your arrival date is unknown, like our second adoption, simply let me know the situation and keep me updated.

{WELCOME HOME} This session is your choice...can be the child alone, with siblings or family. This is a one hour session, on location and must be scheduled within your child's first 30 days home."

For more information or to schedule a photography session, check out her website here!

June 9, 2011

Houston County Book Bag Drive

The following message was passed on to me and I wanted to share with anyone who is interested in helping in the Dothan area...

"Houston County Book Bag Drive! This is our eighth year organizing and collecting NEW book bags for school age children in foster care in Houston County. We are in need of your help! Between now and June 30th we need to collect 100 book bags for elementary, middle school, and high school ages. Book bags collected will be given to Houston County DHR and social workers will distribute to the foster families and children. Children don't get to choose the world into which they are born. If it's a world filled with poverty, neglect and or abuse of any kind it is the children who suffer. Feeling poorly about themselves they have little or no confidence and self esteem. We want to help these 100 children to feel good about themselves by providing new book bags! It is proven that when children are even with their peers they make better grades and do better in class. Drop off your book bags at Cake in A Cup and receive a free cupcake per donated book bag. Cake in A Cup is located on Hwy 52 on your left behind Lowes. If you need someone to pick up book bags call Rare Quality Models & Talent 671-2200. Thank you!"

June 1, 2011

And the Winner Is...

The winner of our "Happy Foster Care Awareness Month" drawing is...Shannon and Eddie Staggs!

Shannon says, "My favorite part of being a foster parent is planting a seed within each child that comes to us, to know they are loved and created for a purpose by an awesome God. To work with the birth families toward reunification and know that you can be a resource to them even after the family is reunited!"

You have won our drawing for a $25 Outback gift certificate!

**Winner was chosen by assigning numbers to each entry, in order of entry and choosing a random number with Randomizer.**

May 20, 2011

Adopted Teen Bowling Event

Teen Bowling Extravaganza
For Adopted Teens

Ages 14-18

Drop off your teen for a night of food, socialization, and bowling! Your teen will be able to interact with other adoptees while engaging in social skills games and bowling!

Wednesday, June 15


Brunswick Woodmere Lanes, Montgomery AL

RSVP by June 10 to or call 334-409-9477

May 10, 2011

The Flagship Theatre Summer Theatre Scholarship

This opportunity is available for families located in the Dothan area...

"The Flagship Theatre is offering scholarships to children associated with Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections. One scholarship will be awarded for each of the 8 camps for Summer 2011. Children ages 4-18 years old are encouraged to participate.

You can see the camps for your age group listed on The Flagship Theatre website. Only those serious about theatre need apply.

The scholarship will be awarded on a first come first served basis. So call right away for more details.

I look forward to seeing your children on stage this Summer. We will be doing the country version of Cinderella called Cinderelly!"

Thank you,
Sharon Lewis-Saliba
Artistic Director of
The Flagship Theatre
965 Woodland Drive
Dothan, AL 36301
334 699-FLAG 3524 or 701-5449

May 5, 2011

Scholarship Opportunity

Below is information about a college scholarship opportunity.

"Opportunity for two possible scholarships through UMPS Care Charities! Mr. Lee Ross along with the Dave Thomas Foundation is leading this effort and has indicated the desire to identify an Alabama youth for one of the scholarships. The scholarships may be used for either undergraduate or graduate education and are for one- or two-year institutions will range from $2,000 - $5,000 and scholarships for four-year institutions will total $10,000. The criteria for apply includes a child in or who has been in the foster care system and who is over the age of 12 years old. The application is relatively easy to complete.

Click here for the application.

All applications must be post marked by May 10th to be included in considerations. Because of the short turnaround time, completed applications may be emailed to Mr. Lee Ross via email at

Please assist and encourage your college bound youth to make an application as this is a very generous offer."

May 2, 2011

Happy Foster Care Awareness Month!!

May is Foster Care Awareness Month and we want to thank all of our foster parents out there!

To show our appreciation to all of Alabama's foster families, APAC encourages you to leave a comment about your favorite part of being a foster parent! If you leave a comment, you will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 Gift Certificate to Outback Steakhouse.

We appreciate each of you and love working with the adoptive and foster families in Alabama!

Jill, Lisa, Kai, Michael and Jennifer
Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections

April 13, 2011

When Your Child Gets Teased

The following information is from Love and Logic Institute, Inc...

Does teasing end when kids graduate from elementary school? Does it stop when they move on from middle to high school? Does it magically disappear when we become adults? Or is it sadly true that most of us will encounter bullies throughout our lifetimes?

Because we can't ensure that the world will always be sweet and kind to our kids, common sense tells us that we ought to equip them with skills that allow them to cope with this sometimes less-than-considerate world. Listed below are some quick tips:

- Teach them that bullies get their power from our negative emotions. The more upset we get when picked on, the more powerful mean kids feel.

- Show your child how to trick bullies by pretending to be calm. If our children can learn to act calm when bullies hassle them, they become far less attractive targets.

- Teach your child to confuse or bewilder bullies by responding to verbal taunts with replies like, "Thanks for noticing" or "I appreciate the feedback."

Help your child develop great social skills so that they are liked, accepted, and protected by positive peers. Kids who don't know how to relate in healthy ways often find themselves gravitating toward peers who treat them poorly.

Dr. Charles Fay

**For more resources on how to teach your child to cope with Bullying, contact your regional APAC office!

April 11, 2011


Below are the links to two scholarship venues for older youth adopted from foster care, supported by the Dave Thomas Foundation – the first is in partnership with Capital One and Children’s Action Network, and the second is in partnership with SlateXP and Umps Care Charities. Neither is deep with funding, so scholarships are limited, but they are at least additional opportunities for these youth!

Capital One Fostering a Future, a scholarship opportunity sponsored by Children’s Action Network and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Click here for more information.

Umps Care Charities All-Star Scholarship, sponsored by Umps Care Charities, Slate XP and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Click here for more information.

April 4, 2011

Adoptive Family Easter Egg Hunt!!

It's time for our 4th Annual Adoptive Family Egg Hunt! Bring your family and have a hopping good time! Come mix and mingle with adoptive families, while the children enjoy hunting for candy filled eggs, Easter games, crafts and snacks!

Meeting this Saturday, April 9!

Join us in Montgomery at Lagoon Park, Pavillions 4 & 5, 2635 Gunter Park, Montgomery, AL 36114, (next to Pete Peterson Park) from 10:00AM until 11:30AM

or Join us in Auburn at Parkway Baptist Church, 766 East University Drive, Auburn, AL 36830, from 2:00PM until 3:30PM

RSVP before April 7 by calling 334.409.9477 or emailing

March 28, 2011

How to End Lying, Stealing and Defiance Across the Ages

Here is information on a free webinar hosted by The Post Institute that you might be interested in...

"Are you dealing with a child or teen displaying these behaviors?
Find yourself frustrated and/or losing HOPE or know someone who is?
Then pass this email on and/or join us and let this 2 part webinar series, renew your hope! There is hope and there are answers!

I am Helene Messina-Timpone, LCSW an internationally recognized therapist, speaker and coach as well as an adoptive parent. After creating transformation and peace in my home I have been honored in assisting many other families obtain the same in their homes. For a fresh perspective I have invited a very special guest Gail White MD, who will share her own recent and personal struggles, experiences and successes as a mom dealing with these same behaviors with her internationally adopted child.

Together we will explore and discover why this behavior occurs and how to heal what is beneath these behaviors. Best of all you will learn clear step by step strategies for eliminating lying, stealing and defiance. Also, included are the 3 most effective strategies that assist your child in healing what exists beneath the surface.

Certificates and/or CEU's will be available upon request by emailing you must attend both sessions and will need to allow 2 weeks for receipt of the information

This Webinar is held on the following dates:
Mar 30, 2011 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT
Apr 13, 2011 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM EDT

Register Now at:"

March 21, 2011

Impact of Adoption on Adoptive Parents

Most of the articles that we post on here deal with the adoptive child but this article talks specifically about the issues that adoptive parents face. Check it out here!

March 17, 2011

Discipline in Older-Child Adoption

This is a great article with specific and concrete ways to discipline a child to help build a trusting relationship with the adoptive parents. Check it out here!

March 4, 2011

What you need to know about child traumatic stress and how the stages of child development make a difference in dealing with it.

February 2, 2011

When Senses Don't Make Sense

"Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder have trouble interpreting touch, sound, smell, and other sensory input. What's a parent to do when a trip to the supermarket, a day at the playground--even a meal or a bedtime cuddle--overloads your child's senses?" This article from Adoptive Families discusses Sensory Processing Disorder and how it effects many of our children. I encourage you to check it out here.

Arguing with Kids is Like Trying to Talk Sense into an Angry Dog

Taken from an email from Love and Logic Parenting:

Have you ever had a successful debate with a rabid dog? I tried it once. It didn't go very well:

Fido [biting my leg]: Grrrr

Me: Now Fido, if you keep this up, there will be serious conseq - ow!

Fido [sinking teeth deeper]: Grrrr

Me: Don't you take that tone with me, mister! You are only hurting yourself with these bad choices you're making…

As humans, our miraculous brains can outperform Fido's before our first birthday. Our brains can do things dogs can't - such as complex reasoning and making wise decisions - as long as we are calm.

Unfortunately, when we are very upset, our brains switch to the part that is not much better at thinking than Fido's dog brain.

So, when we try to lecture or reason with an angry kid, we'll probably be as successful as we'd be with a rabid canine. Like Fido, upset kids are unlikely to stop mid-rage and suddenly be swayed by our wise and compelling words.

Wise adults take better care of themselves by waiting for more calm and happy times to talk with kids. They find that when the storm of emotion has passed over, thinking and logic have a better chance. Calm brains may actually be able to hear and understand what the adults are trying to communicate.

Best of all, kids tend to be more fun to talk to when they aren’t growling and foaming at the mouth. For plenty of practical strategies for responding to your kids when they’re foaming at the mouth, read Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless.

Dr. Charles Fay

January 13, 2011

Camp APAC Information

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC), a collaborative program of Children's Aid Society and Alabama DHR, would like to invite your family to be a part of our 8th Annual Camp APAC.

Check out the latest info about Camp APAC 2011 (June 21-24) including how your adopted child & siblings can apply to attend!

January 4, 2011


Here is a simple parenting technique that is often forgotten in the heat of the moment...Redirection! Watch this short video clip to remind yourself how effective it really can be!

January 3, 2011

Is It Adoption or Is It Life?

Parents often wonder when their adopted children are having a tough time, "Is this an adoption issue? Or is it just a normal part of development?" This article addresses this common issue of adoption and tells us what we need to know to support our adopted children. Check it out here.

Being Matched With a Child

This article from AdoptUSKids outlines what you need to know and what you need to do while you are waiting to be matched with a child for adoption. Check it out here!