Adoption of children: support for adoptive parents with a writing course

The first autobiographical writing workshop for parents involved in the adoption or fostering of children is born in Milan. Adoptive parents meet many “figures” on their way: judges, psychologists, social workers. It is the first time they have been offered the opportunity to compare themselves in a non-judgmental but “equal” context through the pilot course. An autobiographical writing workshop is functional to process the “grieving” of failed parenting, which can turn into pride in a bold choice.

The first virtual autobiographical writing course for adoptive parents

Rita Cavigioli, already a professor at an American university, is an expert in conducting autobiographical workshops. She was the first in Italy to design and organize a course aimed at those approaching the adoption experience. She herself is the adoptive mother of a Chinese girl, now a college student. In the interview, he describes the innovative program supported by the FARIS center (International School of Family Relations), a training center established by the Ai.Bi Foundation. (Amici dei Bambini), which deals with international adoptions.

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In the autobiographical writing course, the adoptive parent reflects on the experience of adoptive parenting, guided by the host’s suggestions. The purpose of the laboratory is to “support” by reflecting and comparing feelings, emotions and fears experienced by adoptive parents.

Dr. Rita Cavigioli, an adoptive mother and teacher of an autobiographical writing course for adoptive parents, meets her daughter for the first time at the Changsha Orphanage.

“The workshop is aimed at families who are preparing for adoption – explains Rita Cavigioli – will be followed by another workshop aimed at post-adoptive parents. Course objective to appreciate them the process of awareness through emotion processing (unconditional enthusiasm, curiosity, fear of not being prepared, frustration of long waiting, etc.). Interacting with other adoptive parents is essential to learn from other experiences and perspectives so that we can support and be supported by people on a similar journey.”

Means of Expressing Adoption Emotions

Scientific studies have shown that autobiographical writing is a valid therapeutic tool for externalizing and metabolizing strong emotions. This is one of the goals of the workshop: based on the experience gained by the presenter, we go to the roots of the desire for motherhood and fatherhood. Participants will be invited to drive adoption with clarity and awareness and by comparing experiences, develop new perspectives and achieve a greater awareness of one’s family and social role.

“You are not required to chronicle the events that happened— concludes Dr. Cavigioli – how much to reflect on the present, to return to memories, to ask about roots and connections (own and adopted child) and heritage, i.e. what we want to pass on to the child and what to learn from him. Issues such as racism and bullying are also addressed the desire to find a biological mother. The course is structured into six sessions. The form of writing is free (story, poem, dialogue, letter) and individual, although there is also writing in pairs or groups. Writings are shared and commented on without judgment, but with respectful and responsive listening. Movies, photos, short readings, objects and drawings also support writing. The parents thus compare themselves with a new experience that will give them the strength to face the challenges and joys of adoption».

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