Pre-Teen - Xpress Yourself
With our experience of more than 10,000 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,
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
- having fun with other adoptees that have had similar experiences.
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
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