"Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."
May 2017
MAYDAY! Its Mother's Day! Another mother's day has come and gone,
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We are excited to have a newly updated website. Take a moment to check it out! adoptive.org. In addition to a new look and updated resources, we have included family fundraising profiles to share on social media and to link donors with our sponsorship families. Also, watch for a networking database to connect families from all over the country experiencing the same types of challenges. This directory will include webinars just for our families regarding how to navigate insurance, medicaid, social security disability and school districts.  Suggestions on what else would benefit your family? Send us an email!
413,000 U.S. youth 18 and under need permanent loving families.

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Most of us have been affected by trauma at some point in our lives. How each of us responds is vastly different. Understanding trauma and its affects can be difficult but important for the process toward healing.  

What is trauma?
Trauma is defined by ANY negative life event that occurs in a position of relative helplessness. (Robert Scaer, MD) 

This month:  The Brain

To understand how our brain is impacted by trauma, we first need to understand these three regions of the brain: 
  • Reptilian Complex 
  • Limbic System 
  • Neocortex 

The base of our brain, referred to as the reptilian complex, is the most primitive region responsible for basic life functions: reflexive behavior, muscle control, heart beat, breathing, digestion.

The limbic system or mammalian brain is what helps us to survive. It evaluates everything as agreeable (pleasure) or disagreeable (pain/distress) (MacLean) This part of the brain contains the amygdala and hippocampus and is responsible for flight, fight or freeze. 

The Neocortex is the thinking and rational part of the brain. It is responsible for the understanding of language, processing, reasoning and conscious thought.

When something traumatic happens, the body is flooded with adrenaline and the event is embedded in the amygdala. The amygdala holds on to the emotional impact of the event. After trauma the brain can be easily triggered by sensory input and misinterpret a normal situation as dangerous.

This can lead to a persistent fear response (fight, flight, or freeze), hyper-arousal, increased internalizing symptoms, diminished executive functioning, impulsive behaviors, delayed developmental milestones, weakened response to positive feedback and complicated social interactions.  

(Next: Risk Factors)
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