Category Archives: Adopted Teens


When working with parents who have adopted, part of what I offer are “tools.” These tools are for the parents and their kids, helping them navigate comments and questions about adoption. The tools are extremely useful in advocating for themselves within the parameters that they have set. I have used these tools for years to help me and my kids deal with intrusive questions and comments.

We will not always be with our kids. And so it was that I was not with mine an exchange happened.

Holden and Josi were refereeing over the weekend. During a break, Holden and Josi were horsing around the way they typically do. Laughing the entire time. Their activity escalated to, as it often does, with Holden throwing Josi over his shoulder and spinning her.

As they fell in a heap laughing, a young man, who did not know either one of them, said, “You should stop.”

Holden answered, “Cool it. She’s my sister.”

The young man said, “You don’t look like a brother and sister.”

With that, Josi, (according to Holden, in a “Duh?” voice) said, “I’m adopted.”

At which this young man said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

My kids more or less dismissed him, bantering back and forth between themselves (about him, I might add).

I heard about this from Holden, who was proud of Josi for the way she handled herself, “She was great mom! No big deal.”

When I checked in with Josi she said the same. The fact that she found the apology amusing (I thought it nice) underscored that.

And me? How would I have handled it if I were there? Probably not any differently. This is what I’ve been working towards.  I want my kids to feel confident and comfortable with who they are. I want my kids to embrace each other unconditionally, an interwoven cohesive family where love, respect, and grace are the ties that bind.


Filed under Adopted Teens, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Advocacy, Claiming, Classes with Judy, Family, Growing Tweens & Teens, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Parenting Your Adopted Child, The International Mom

Parenting Your Adopted Child: Tweens, Teens & Beyond Begins Tomorrow!

Spring has arrived and that means that my April class for adoptive parents of tweens and teens begins! I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when we get the ball “rolling.”  

So, what is the class about? In a nutshell, Parenting Your Adopted Child is a six-week e-mail course that focuses on helping adoptive parents support adopted tweens and teens as the entire family navigates the sometimes-tumultuous inner and outer terrain of growing up. The class offers a safe space in which parents can explore, reflect on and discuss the process and other layers of parenting the adopted tween and teen.

By the time adoptive parents are done with the course, they will learn:

  • How to process the losses that are inherent in the adoption process
  • How to openly discuss the topic of adoption with their child
  • How to help their child become emotionally unstuck, if and when this happens
  • How to manage feelings of rejection, guilt and shame
  • How to support their child’s quest for identity and self-esteem 

Now is the time to sign up, if you’ve been thinking about taking the class. There is still room. You can get more information and registration here.

Hope to “see you” in class!


Filed under Adopted Teens, Adoption Issues, Advocacy, Classes with Judy, Growing Tweens & Teens, Identity, Parenting Your Adopted Child

Parenting Adopted Tweens and Teens

Our family is blended—biological and adopted; white, Asian, and Hispanic. Adoption is a family affair, involving and affecting every family member.

Adoption and its issues are life-long. That said, every adoptee and adoptive parent approaches these issues differently.

The adoptive parent needs to be cognizant of these truths as they raise their adopted child.

The most primal emotions can surface when important life events take place—birthdays, Mother’s Day, graduations, marriage, the birth of a child. Within the adoption community these events are known as triggers. I have come to know this through experience. Although we are simply “just a family” the fact that we adopted impacts us. Although we take it in stride, we realize that issues inherent in adoption need to be talked about; worked through.

Parenting Your Adopted Child is a six-week long e-mail class I developed because I saw the need for adoptive parents to have a vehicle to safely explore, reflect on and discuss the other layers of parenting the adopted tween and teen.

Please join me in class, starting on February 10th. You can find out more and register here.


Filed under Adopted Teens, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Classes with Judy, Parenting Your Adopted Child