The Power of Being Someone’s “Biggest Fan”
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
9M ago
Recently, my 12-month-old niece said her first word and our entire family lost their minds — heaping on praise, applauding her, showering her with compliments and even labeling her a “genius baby.” It made me think about the young adults in our Don’t Go Alone mentoring program who did not have someone to make them feel special or celebrated when they accomplished things. Brandi Laperriere is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia area, and she recently spoke with our mentors and reminded them that their job is simply to “be happy to be here.” It is simply to delight in the ..read more
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Compassion in Action
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
10M ago
Written by Backyard Orphans and originally posted here! Church is a place you behave! At least that’s what I grew up understanding. Acting out was not optional. Misbehaving was inappropriate. You sat still in the chair while the preacher taught the Word and that was final! My friends followed these same rules because they were like I was: “church kids” who came with our two-parent birth families (many of whom also grew up in church). Because most of us shared the same background and worldview, I didn’t know any different. I assumed all kids knew how to “do kids church.” Without realizing it ..read more
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Words of Advice from a Foster and Adoptive Mom
Project Belong VA Blog
by Rachel Sorkness
1y ago
Do you want to learn more about adoption and the foster care system? Are you on the fence about fostering or adopting? Hear from Amber Cooper, Winchester County foster and adoptive mom. Amber tells the story of what led her to adoption and foster care. She has words of encouragement to share for those who may be thinking about it themselves. Thanks, Amber! Amber Cooper is Project Belong’s County Director for Clarke, Frederick, & Winchester. To learn more about our staff or get in contact with them, please visit projectbelongva.org/about ..read more
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"Hard things are worth doing..."
Project Belong VA Blog
by Morgan Grant
1y ago
Hear from a friend of Project Belong who chose to create belonging for an older young man. They're a kinship family who worked with a therapeutic foster agency called United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). Kinship Care is when a family member or close family friend steps in to care for a child. This is a great 30 minute interview that shines a light on what blending a family and working with an older child is like ..read more
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10 Things People Say About Reactive Attachment Disorder That Aren't True (and Hurt Families)
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
1y ago
This article was originally posted at RAD Advocates, a nonprofit organization that educates and advocates to equip families, communities, and professionals to effectively support children with reactive attachment disorder. Consider visiting their website to learn more about RAD or find support as a parent or caregiver of a child with RAD. As parents of children with reactive attachment disorder – a developmental trauma disorder – we hear a lot of advice and opinions from our friends, family, professionals, and the general public. When people who have not raised a child with reactive attachmen ..read more
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Care Communities in Action: Wrapping around mom of 7 in Purcellville, VA
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
1y ago
Creating a healthy community is vital while you're fostering or planning to adopt. Sometimes as a foster or adoptive parent, it is hard to ask people to step in. Perhaps, you aren’t sure what help to ask for, or the thought of coordinating that help can be totally overwhelming. That’s why we train the church to form Care Communities. These are small teams of about 5-10 volunteers from the local church who are trained and ready to mobilize when a family caring for vulnerable children needs help. They commit to providing practical wrap-around support such as meal deliveries, childcare, help with ..read more
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The call to foster care
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
1y ago
We were humbled to share this platform with Jedd Medefind, President of Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO), to discuss the church's call to foster care on WORLD Radio. Listen below or click here to check out the original article from WORLD ..read more
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Self-Care Tips (That Actually Work) From A Foster Parent
Project Belong VA Blog
by Jaoni Wood
1y ago
Self-care is a word we hear a lot these days that doesn’t come with a clear definition or instructions on how to practice it. When I started practicing what I thought was self-care, I only became more frustrated because having a “Mom’s Night Out” periodically wasn’t working the magic I had hoped it would. “If we want to help our kids heal and show them what a healthy person and life look like, we have to model it for them by the way we take care of ourselves too.” Then suddenly I reached a breaking point. I came down a minor cold, which led to an infection, which led to shingles, which led to ..read more
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When it comes to foster care, the parenting is different
Project Belong VA Blog
by Chris Seaton
1y ago
Written by Shelly Radic of Project 1.27 As you support foster and adoptive families around you, you might begin to pick up on parenting differences. Maybe they are handling challenging situations in unfamiliar ways. You may hear more talk about connection than correction and something called TBRI. TBRI stands for Trust Based Relational Intervention. It is an attachment-based, trauma-informed parenting style designed to meet the special needs of children, especially those who may have been through hard times. Children who have experienced hard circumstances, like being separated from their fam ..read more
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Why a “trauma-informed” lens is helpful for us all.
Project Belong VA Blog
by Rachel Sorkness
1y ago
For many stepping into the world of foster care for the first time, they may encounter difficult behaviors in children that seem shocking.  Understanding trauma is an important way that foster parents, care givers, child welfare professionals, or any adult in the child’s life can better understand these behaviors, and thus work toward building stronger, more stable relationships with children from vulnerable places. This month, Project Belong sat down with Heidi Ivey, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Winchester, Virginia to talk about what it means to be “trauma-informed.” Heid ..read more
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