Do you know any parents of adoptive kids who are approaching their teens? If you do, I hope you will introduce them to Judy M. Miller because the work she does with adoptive parents can make all the difference.
Judy works as an adoptive parent support specialist, equipping parents with new techniques and information and encouraging and empowering adoptive families.
In addition to teaching a six-week class, Parenting Your Adopted Child: Tweens, Teens & Beyond, Judy coordinates and teaches parent preparation education and transracial parenting to parents who are in the midst of the adoption process.
For busy parents who don’t have time to take a class or even read an entire book from cover to cover, Judy is offering a helpful, informative, and affordable e-guide, What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween.
Judy is the Adoption Pro for Parenting Squad’s ProSquad and a columnist for the adoption network, Grown In My Heart. Since 2008, her articles and essays have been appearing regularly in adoption and parenting magazines.
So, Judy, before we start talking about adoptive parenting, you are a working mom and the mother of four kids—what’s a typical day like?
Similar to most moms my typical day is extremely busy. My day begins before my kids wake and ends long after they’ve gone to bed. I work while my kids are at school. I am often scrambling to finish “catching-up” or getting a jump on the next day late into the evening, after I’ve had some time with my husband.
You have been writing for many years now. What was it that made you decide to write about adoptive parenting in particular?
I’ve learned writing comes easier from a place of knowledge and heart. I parent. Three of my four were adopted.
Once you began writing about adoptive parenting, you honed in on parenting teens and tweens as a specialty topic, why these ages in particular?
I’d say that it was happenstance—wrapped up in the package of my oldest son. He was into his teens when I began writing so I naturally “went” there and the topic has evolved.
Parenting tweens and teens can be challenging. Parenting tweens and teens who have been adopted can be more challenging because these kids often have emotional issues tied to adoption. Adoptive parents need to provide guidance, support and understanding of what can be complex layers.
Do you think adoptive parents might hesitate to reach out for help when they find their families confronted by challenges related to their adopted kids?
Yes. As wonderful as being a parent is I believe that parenting is the hardest job any adult will ever have.
Most parents are emotionally invested in their children. They want to be able to understand and support what is going on with their child. Sometimes they can’t and that’s when they need to ask for help.
Asking for help doesn’t imply that parents are failing; it often means they and/or their children need assistance—perhaps with new or different parenting tools or a different lens though which they can observe what is happening.
You also teach and do other things related to adoptive parenting. Can you tell us a little bit about what else you do?
I teach a six-week on-line class, Parenting Your Adopted Child: Tweens, Teens & Beyond. I work with parents who are waiting to adopt, covering topics of preparation, adjustment, transracial adoption, fertility, advocacy, culture, racism, etc. I also work as a support specialist, assisting parents and their children with information and techniques to equip and empower them during challenging times.
Of all the many things that you do, which part or parts of your many jobs bring you the most joy?
I love working with parents face-to-face, knowing that I am able to share some of my “in-the-trenches” adoptive parenting experience. I am looking forward to speaking at two adoption conferences this fall, one in Richmond, VA and another in Indianapolis, IN.
Thanks for helping me support Judy’s e-book launch. Please spread the word!