Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ABCs of Adoption: C is for Counseling

Counseling can be a critical part of adoption for the parents and the child.  Counseling can help children deal with trauma and loss, it can help parents and children attach and it can give parents a safe outlet to talk about their anxieties and fears.

At one point during the adoption process we were working with three counselors - one for the whole family, one for junior, and one for us.   This may seem like a lot but each three served different purposes and helped us in different ways.  After travel time to and from appointments was factored in we were spending between 7-8 hours a week in therapy.
Finding a therapist that specializes in adoption and attachment is not an easy task.  Trying to find one that takes Medicaid is even harder.   Medicaid is a benefit that some adoptees are eligible for, while in foster care all children receive Medicaid.  To me it would make sense that therapists with adoption and foster care specialties would accept Medicaid but that is not the case.  In the end it was more important for us to have counselors with the specialization than to have one that took Medicaid.
When we moved, one of the first tasks on my to-do list was to get junior set up with a new counselor.  This included countless phone calls to organizations looking for referrals.  I felt like I was being given the run around  or hitting a dead end.   I don't even remember what agencies I called and how I ended up getting the referral to our current therapist.    What I do know is that I am thankful that we found her.   She has been able to provide us with referrals to support groups and a pediatrician that specializes in adoption.

We fully expect to continue seeing counselors for years.  It may not be continuous, we may only need to check in on a monthly or quarterly basis but through the years there will be different issues that get raised which need to be addressed.

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