6 Reasons to Come to MLJ's Cultural Events


Quick – what are some reasons you can think of for attending MLJ’s cultural events this year?

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Here are my thoughts:

  1. Who doesn’t love a party?
  2. Meeting other families who adopted from the same country and through MLJ
  3. Really good food – our potluck contributions are fantastic!
  4. Hanging out with foreign staff
  5. The Arch has beautiful event space!
  6. Psychosocial benefits for your adopted child

Did I lose you at #6? Let me explain.

‘Psychosocial’ is one of my favorite buzzwords from my field. Why? Because it includes the two main aspects that make us human: our mind and our social relationships. Both are absolutely fundamental to what it means to be human. As parents we need to work on helping our children develop in both these areas. Balanced growth in both pretty much guarantees independent, moral and effective adults.

The social aspect comes into play whenever we are around other people. As in all the time. As human beings, we are wired to learn how to act, talk, walk and behave by watching and copying others. We all look to people who are similar to us for clues. Those of you who already have children probably realize that your daughters tend to most closely watch and mirror mom’s behavior and your sons closely follow dads. This tendency to mimic those who appear to be most ‘like us’ appears across all types of difference: social class, ethnicity, race, culture, religion, etc. As parents, we can heavily influence how our children develop by being intentional about what role models we expose them to.

MLJ Cultural Events are one more opportunity to expose your adopted child to culturally relevant role models, as well as other adopted kids. Adoption in Indianapolis is growing, and our metro area is more diverse than it might seem. Opportunities like these events are one time where that diversity is more easily experienced and embraced. You might find you create social connections that extend well beyond the event itself. For families outside the Indianapolis area, particularly adopting in rural areas, the events are an accessible way to broaden your adopted child’s social horizon.

By interacting with a variety of adults and children that share their background, adopted kids gain psychological benefits as well. I bet nearly all of us have had something happen in our lives that left us feeling totally alone, like no one else had been through it. Then we meet someone who has gone through something similar. Remember the psychological relief of learning it’s not ‘just me’? By increasing our adopted kids’ cultural knowledge, we limit how often they feel alone in their adoption journey. And this benefit is there for adopting parents as well. Getting connected to the adoption network in Indiana and across the country will enhance your adoption journey too!

One cultural event that is coming up in February is the Celebrating Africa Party, but it is not just a three hour event, it is a whole weekend event! On Friday February 22, we will have Marie here to meet with clients (more info coming), Initial Seminars for those who want more information and education classes. On Saturday February 23rd, we will have education classes, one of which is with an Occupational Therapist teaching about Sensory Play Techniques (space is limited!), then the festivities will begin with our Celebrating Africa Party! Join us for our weekend long event in Indianapolis, Indiana!

We look forward to seeing you this year! Click here for the calendar of events.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.