Pre-Teen - Xpress Yourself
Pre-teen

With our experience of more than 11,000 international adoptions, CCAI has seen first-hand the positive, life-changing effect adoption can have on a child and their new forever family. However, we also recognize that your child will grow and change from orphan you first met in China. We are well aware that internationally adopted children process many emotions throughout their lives, but particularly during the formative, pre-teen years.

CCAI can provide additional support to your child, should he or she need a place to express their fears, questions, or frustrations together with other internationally adopted children. Since 2007 CCAI has hosted Xpress Yourself programs for international adoptees, ages 7 to 9 and 9 to 12 years old.

Through a combination of art and play therapy activities, Xpress Yourself allows your child to address the often difficult concerns all internationally adopted children face on some level. These activities are designed to be fun and creative. In fact, they don’t really feel like "therapy" at all. The core topics addressed in the Xpress Yourself program include:

  • coping with the questions that come from looking different;
  • responding to prejudice, racism, and teasing;
  • processing grief and loss issues related to birth culture and birth parents;
  • weaving their personal adoption story into their identity in a healthy and positive way; and
  • having fun with other adoptees that have had similar experiences.

CCAI Support & Resources

Whether or not your child feels comfortable opening up to you about his or her experiences, wouldn’t it be nice to know they have a place to go where they fit right in? The Xpress Yourself program allows your child to be in the company of others who also have had to answer well-meaning, but sometimes hurtful questions about their adoptions stories. The other participants will help your child see that he or she is not alone in wondering about their birth family or the circumstances of their adoption. Together, they can feel proud to call this unique experience their own.

Taking place over two Saturdays, your child will have the opportunity to develop friendships with and find support from peers who know exactly what it feels like to grow up as an international adoptee. Each session is limited to eight participants.

Please click here for the upcoming Xpress Yourself programs and registrations.

Please contact CCAI with any questions you may have. We can be reached at 303-850-9998 or mail@ccaifamily.org.

About Our Facilitator - Susan Merten, MA, has a Masters degree in Child, Family, and School Psychology and has been leading Xpress Yourself groups since the program's inception five years ago. A CCAI social worker, Susan has experience working with both adoptive parents and young adoptees between the ages of seven and thirteen years. She had the opportunity to present the Xpress Yourself curriculum and train social workers in Georgia, so adoptees in other parts of the country can benefit from the program’s success. In her personal life, she and her husband, himself an adoptee, are the parents of a vibrant and very active daughter.