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Practice gratitude with the whole family

by Dillon Murray, MSW & Annie Fox, Intern
Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation program

Did you know that the most common form of adoption is that of a step-parent adopting a step-child?

  • A famous member of this group is former President Bill Clinton. President Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III. After losing his father at a young age, his mother eventually remarried to Roger Clinton, who would in turn adopt the future President Clinton.

Another common form of adoption is that of a family such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

  • This was the case for rapper and actor Ice T. At the age of 8 Ice T lost both of his parents to heart disease; he was later adopted and raised by his aunt. Ice T started out as a rapper and later branched out into acting in the long running crime drama Law & Order: SVU. He has also taken to activism providing support to his SVU co-star, Mariska Hargitay, and her Joyful Heart Foundation providing support to victims of assault.
  • A recent adoptee who’s been in the news is Simone Biles, who was adopted by her grandmother. Simone is considered the most accomplished gymnast of all time, earning the most gold medals at age 25! She is an activist, speaking out and showing support to victims of assault, recently to the Senate.

  • Another member of this club is Colin Kaepernick, who played as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback for six seasons! He is also an activist, particularly speaking out for civil rights, and is a spokesperson for Nike.
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs was adopted in 1955, shortly after his birth. Steve was a brilliant inventor who founded his groundbreaking company in a garage with his best friend.

The list of adopted children who have gone on to do great things continues on and on! Members of this club can be found in all paths of life going on to do amazing things and the link that connects all of your families to them is that you started this journey together.

You all have potential to be whatever you want and perform great feats. We are excited to see where your roads lead!

Gratitude Tips for Parents

Life is hectic and it takes a lot of work to keep a family and household operating smoothly! It’s easy to let days and weeks go by without slowing down to reflect on the things we’re grateful for.

In this season of thanks, there are some fun and simple ways you can practice gratitude as a family all month.

  • When everyone is together in the evening, take turns sharing one happy thing about your day. Share these happy moments any time; in the car, at dinner time, or before bed.
  • Ask each family member to name three things they love about the others.
  • Make a gratitude jar. Write what you’re thankful for on slips of paper and keep them in a jar everyone can contribute to and see.
  • A house gratitude journal is another easy idea – get a notebook and write in it as a family. Or, give each person their own journal and share prompts to help them think about what they’re thankful for.
  • Send thank you notes! Create a box with supplies to make simple cards – markers, stickers, paper, crayons, etc. Encourage your child to write notes of gratitude, not just for receiving gifts, but to express appreciation to others: to teachers, coaches, friends, or other members of the household.
  • Be a good role model! Say thank you. Model gratitude and generosity so your children may follow your lead.

A study from earlier this year found those who focused on what they were grateful for, versus focusing on sources of frustration, over a ten-week period had better physical health. Another found that couples who practiced expressing gratitude to one another felt more positive emotions towards their partner and were more comfortable communicating openly about concerns.

Gratitude isn’t about pretending life is perfect, it’s about embracing the positivity and love that’s right there in middle of the chaos of the present moment.