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Moving from survival to success

Kelly DiBenedetto wrote “Adoption is a lifelong journey. It means different things to me at different times. Sometimes it is just a part of who I am. Other times it is something I am actively going through.”

”Is it adoption related or not?” is the most common question asked during the first counseling session. It is normal to have questions and to seek counseling to help you make sense of what you are experiencing. Most families wait at least one year before seeking help. During that year families often think, “This will pass and we will go back to the way we used to be.” The sad truth is that in the cases of many of these families, the situations often became worse. However, they did seek help and things changed for the better.

What do you want your life to look like?

Counseling will help you:

  • Explore thoughts and behaviors that produce or sustain problems.

  • Learn new ways of coping

  • Regain a sense of “normalcy” in life, even if it is a new normal.

  • Find solutions to problems.

  • Discover the strengths and positive qualities of you and your family.

True or False about Counseling?

  • Counseling is only for people with serious mental or emotional problems.

  • If I want counseling it means I am weak.

  • I have adoption education. Counseling won’t add anything to what I already know.

All are false. Strength is needed to seek out help. Adoption education is helpful, but it does not provide the same tools as counseling.

Some Areas to Explore Through Counseling

  • Stress management

  • Coping with grief and loss that came with making an adoption plan

  • Understanding the needs and behaviors of teens and pre- teens

  • Sharing difficult information with children

  • Adjusting to college life

  • Trust and attachment related issues

  • Identity formation

  • Sibling issues

  • Behavioral and emotional difficulties

  • Challenges at school

Dillon International Counseling Services

We provide a free 15 minute telephone conversation for everyone. Counseling is provided in the Tulsa office, however, referrals to other adoption competent counselors will be given to those unable to travel to Tulsa.

Counselors providing face to face counseling are available to help with those areas where you want help. The sessions are confidential. If Dillon was your placing agency, the session will not be in your adoption records. None of the information discussed is shared with the adoption staff. Counseling sessions take place in Suite 210 and not in the adoption offices located at 204. Counseling is your time in a safe place with a trustworthy, adoption competent counselor.

"I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m tell you it’s going to be worth it.”

Art Williams

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This article is a great reminder that seeking help and support, even from those we may not know well, can be a sign of strength rather than weakness. Counseling can provide a safe space to explore the unique challenges that come with adoption and family life. While it's important to be cautious when you talk to strangers, reaching out to adoption-competent professionals can make a meaningful difference in one's journey.

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