Transfiguring Adoption (TA) provides supportive services to foster and adoptive families. Transfiguring Adoption assists caregivers by filling gaps in resources and training so that they can in turn help the children in their care.
TA helps create ways for parents to engage with kids in their care and start healing conversations about difficult situations through media and activities. Books, movies, songs, and other media are a great way for people to relate to one another and understand each other's feelings. Children can discuss a fictional character's trauma and emotions and work through their own feelings without having to discuss them out loud if they are not ready. TA reviews media and creates extensive, searchable lists so that parents are able to find and assess the quality of media that is available to them. TA's book lists are broken into 5 children's book categories: foster care, foster care adoption, international or transracial adoption, infant adoption, and general children's books. The lists provide book title, author, topic, age range, and purchase information. The book list for grownups offers an extensive and broad range of topics and book genres to assist caregivers, educators, family, friends, and professionals in assisting children in foster care or who have been adopted. The program staff also create discussion questions to assist parents in starting healing conversations as they view media with their child.
TA not only uses existing media, but creates powerful media to help parents. TA has developed a unique curriculum based on the Harry Potter books. As an adopted child who faced many unspeakable fears, Harry Potter stories relate well to many foster/adoptive children and the curriculum helps families create discussions about the events occurring in their own households.
Experts and professionals also relay tips, advice and discussion with parents through such areas as our online blogs, ebooks, online discussion panels (which families utilize for foster parent training credit hours), and online interviews to help families cope with the unique aspects of being part of these special families. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the services provided to empower these families. New initiatives include curriculum development to train educators on how to properly educate traumatized children in their classrooms.
TA creates foster parent kits, referred to as First Foster Placement Survival Kits, that contain tools and resources to empower newly licensed caregivers. These kits include a gift card for dinner so the parents can concentrate on settling children into the home, purchasing needed items, enrolling a child in school or daycare if needed, completing necessary paperwork, and so on without the added worry of cooking dinner. The kit also contains a DVD by experts that effectively explains attachment theory, brain changes caused by trauma, behaviors a child from traumatic beginnings may exhibit, and strategies to help children feel safe and how to deal with problematic behaviors in traumatized children. Items provided to help the children include a flashlight or nightlight to help them feel safe, a wooden fidget toy for stressed or busy hands, a pamphlet describing on children's terms what foster care is and who all the people are, a children's book dealing with foster care, and a gift card for the caregivers to take the child to buy supplies and provide a bonding experience with the new caregivers. Finally, a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone along with the first two chapters of TA's discussion and activity guide to accompany the book is included as well. Transfiguring Adoption coordinates with agencies who place foster children to distribute the first foster placement survival kits, which have historically been funded through donations of individuals, clubs and organizations, and ad and merchandise sales. Local agencies include their support group and mentoring information in the kits as well. While the kits are referred to as “first placement” kits, the majority of the resources will remain in their homes to help them through all future placements, helping hundreds of children in the future.