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The 3-5-7 Model
Feburary 2014


This is the month of Valentine's Day, when we celebrate the special relationships in our lives.  While many people associate romantic relationships with the holiday, in many countries Valentine's Day is just as much about celebrating friendships and other important relationships.  We hope this issue will help you honor and celebrate the many important relationships in the lives of our children, youth and families.


Happy Valentine's Day!




Check out this blog post: An Adoptee's Perspective: 10 Things Adoptive Parents Should Know was written by Christina Romo.  Christina was adopted from South Korea at age two. Her insights are beneficial for both adoptive and foster parents, and for those of us working with them.  


Many years ago, there was an effort in the adoption community referred to as "Positive Adoption Language".  The idea was to be more intentional with the words we used to accurately convey our values and beliefs about adoption related concepts.  An example was to encourage moving away from "real parents" and toward "birth parents" because "real" implies that adoption is not a reality or that it is unnatural and the term "birth parents" describes the life-giving roles these persons play in the child's life.  


We can make a similar impact by changing the language used to describe the behaviors we see in the youth and families we work with everyday.  Consider this:  During a child's move to an adoptive family, have you ever heard someone describe a foster parent as "sabotaging" the placement? In our experience, it is often more accurate to describe these behaviors as the foster parent's grief expression.  How would it impact our response if we made this change in language?




The Invisible String, written by Patrice Karst and illustrated by Geoff Stevenson


Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love, to bind, connect and comfort us through those inevitable times when life challenges us! (Description credit: amazon.com)




Key Concept: Working with Life Events and Belonging to Families

Primary Questions: Who Am I? 

 What Happened to Me?  

         Where Am I Going?


Name of Activity:  Creating a Valentine Just for Me! 


Purpose:  This activity provides the child/youth with an opportunity to reflect on their own personal qualities or to explore relationships with those who have loved and cared for them in the past and present. 


Materials Needed: 

Red, white, pink, and purple construction paper

Paper doilies


Glue sticks


Heart shaped and other valentine's themed stickers


Getting Started:  Talk with the youth about the importance of doing something nice for ourselves.  One way to do that is to create a valentine that is all about the youth.  Ask the youth to think about and write down the things about themselves that they really love and that make them happy.  Invite the youth to take use these ideas to create a Valentine's Day card just for themselves!


A variation on this activity is to ask youth to think about the people in their lives who love them.  Using hearts made out of construction paper, decorate the hearts with the names of loved ones.  Consider pink hearts

to represent those who have loved youth in the past, red hearts to represent those who love the youth now, and white hearts to represent those family members or others who the youth loves and cares about. Glue the hearts onto a piece of construction paper folded into the shape of a card, or paste the hearts onto a page in the youth's Lifebook.  


Tips and techniques to making the activity meaningful:  While working on the card, listen to the youth's stories and affirm their expression of feelings throughout the process.  


Credit to http://www.arttherapyblog.com/ for inspiring this activity idea!


Photo credit: www.about.com


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2014 Darla L. Henry & Associates
P.O. Box 4847 Harrisburg, Pa 17111-0847
dhenry@darlahenry.org   |   717-919-6286