It was a few years ago when our family collectively decided to take a giant step and become a foster family. Our four children were leaving elementary school, and we all wanted to open our home to children who needed it. We were able to foster many children and care for them in their time of need. It was through this process our family adopted two more girls. During this time, we were noticing not only behavioral challenges with our little ones, but also our middle schoolers. We thought it may have been the adjustment of adding to the family, but there seemed to be more to it. We tried traditional parenting methods, but they seemed to make matters worse. Our family was literally beginning to fall apart.
Desperate for help and keeping our family unit intact, we sought help from professionals. Unfortunately, this added zero benefit for our struggling teens. We were left with multiple diagnoses, and a referral to therapy, which seemed to help in the beginning, but truly did not...
In honor of World Trafficking Against Persons Day, July 30, I want to discuss the intersectionality of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Human Trafficking. I have been a passionate advocate for human trafficking for years, but one of the reasons that it was easy for me to be passionate about FASD was that I saw this link.
Human trafficking is a complex series of people grooming children and adults in order to exploit them. Let's look at what steps these take. Many professionals reference the AMP Model which stands for Action Means Purpose.
The AMP Model is widely accepted as how to identify the existence of trafficking, but it is important to note that children cannot consent and do not require means.
I was formally adopted at 2 years of age and told I was adopted when I was approximately 8. I kept asking why I was darker than everyone else, why were my features different. I felt peculiar and separate and the time came where my adoptive mom couldn’t keep it from me any longer. The fact she told me I was adopted never changed my profound sense of not belonging, no matter how much she told me she loved me. I felt every single dissonant nuance of connection and communication between those in the adoptive family and me and anyone who knew I was adopted. It was like a nightmare. It wasn’t made any easier by the abuse and my extreme emotional breaks (now diagnosed FASD). In every practical sense, I was deduced to a troubled child, a troubled teenager and a troubled adult.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, lemme tell ya. I’m sure we adoptees could all write a book! So when asked about the...