The Adopt Salon Support Group

The Adopt Salon Support Group

A monthly open support group free for all members of the Adoption Constellation: First Birthparents, Adoptees, Former Foster Youth, Foster, and Adoptive Parents. A place for the Adoption & Foster Care community to come together to share stories, thoughts, feelings, and ideas, receive psycho-education, process grief/loss, and build strong bonds and connections. The group is facilitated by Adoptions/Foster Care Psychotherapist, Adult Adoptee Jeanette Yoffe, MFT and a co-facilitator guest of the constellation each month. Read More…

Adopt Salon Conference 2014

Adopt Salon Conference 2014

Facing Trauma With Truth Conference at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles 2014

This conference took place on Friday, November 7th, 2014. Celia Center sponsored this conference and there were 250 attended. The Mayor awarded Celia Center with a Certificate of Appreciation. Friday, November 7, 2014.

Full Conference details HERE

Facing Trauma with Truth Conference Welcome with Trish Lay • Jeanette Yoffe

Sarah Culberson – Opening Keynote

On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery Laura Dotson • Ruth Beaglehole
A Vision For Adoption in the 21st Century with Adam Pertman
Setting the Record Straight: 5 Myths of Domestic Adoption with Carra Greenberg
Healing the Wound: A Body-Mind Approach with Noah Rothschild
Foster Care Alumni Panel – Hear our Voices, Listen with Your Heart- NEW! Jeanette Yoffe

Lunch Buffet

Acknowledging Guilt and Shame as the Doorway to Connection and Love with Sophie Bain • Sandi Stuart
Infant Massage and Attachment with Hillary Wilson
The Challenge of Responsible and Attuned Adoption Revelation: New Thinking & Understanding with Anne Brodzinksy
“Birthmother” One-Woman Play with Deanna Ross
Unfolding the Open Adoption Process with Jeanette Yoffe

Coffee/Brownie/Cookie Break LIMITED

2:45 pm
Disrupted Adoptions, Contributing Factors & Intervention Strategies with Adam Pertman
Light and Shadows: Exploring Adoption Through the Arts with Anne Brodzinksy • Laura Callen • Daniel Barash
Inside Transracial Adoption: Breaking the Racial Sound Barrier with Beth Hall
Forgiveness: The Final Frontier with Dee Dee Mascarenas
Recovering the Child: Resolving Developmental Trauma Disorder with Neurological Reorganization with Bette Lamont

4:15 pm
Adopted: For the Life of Me with Trish Lay
Limit Setting through Connection with Darlynn Childress
Identity Challenges of an International Adoption with Susan Smiley
Permanency, Loss, Trauma & Attachment – Role of Mental Health in the Healing Process with Dr. Greg Manning
Male Adoptee Panel with Brian Stanton, Ridghaus Nin, Noah Rothschild

Closing Healing Ritual and Energy Wolfdog from Wolf Connection with Jeanette Yoffe • Trish Lay • Wolf Connection • Red Spirit Fusion

Watch Video HERE

Sad Bag – Child Grief Help

Sad Bag

For more information on adoption visit


Intervention to Help Children process Grief & Loss 



photo of cloth bag upon which is written my sad bag 

AGE RANGE: 3-12 suggested  

GOAL: To get child to utilize coping skills when he/she feels sad emotionally suffering from grief and loss in order to learn how to problem solve and regulate themselves on their own.    

THERAPEUTIC for:  Child and Family. 

SYMPTOM REDUCTION: Feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless.  

SYMPTOM INCREASE: Self-awareness, self-esteem, self-regulation, and self-control.  


1 Bag with Handles (Link to order your own Canvas Bags)

Tear Pillow

Magical Wish Journal

 Paper to draw with crayons

Small Photo Album

1 pack of Guatemalan Worry Dolls or Popsicle Sticks & Yarn


8 Index Cards for Sad Busters




Introduce the task by explaining to the child that he/she is going to help child manage their “sad” feelings with the use of a special bag they will explore and create together. Continue to explain that within the bag there will be special skills for him/her to do when they have these feelings and don’t know how to express them. Order is not important.  

Tear Pillow: Provide child with a blank pillow case and permanent markers, supervised of course. Explain that the tear pillow is used to help a child express their sadness verbally and to be used for self comfort and care. The child can write on the pillow “My Sad Pillow” and draw whatever they need to. Some children have made “a big cloud with a rainbow, with tear drops in it” and the child can rests their head on the cloud to “help hold their tears.” The parent/therapist/social worker can demonstrate first by placing their face in the middle of the pillow and start by making sounds of sadness i.e. sighing, boo-hoo-ing, modeling crying, all the while encouraging the child to express their feelings. Then as the child begins to feel more comfortable he/she can say words such as “I am sad” or “It’s not fair” or “I am hurt” or “I feel sad.” Child can keep the pillow on their bed to comfort them.

Magical Wish Journal: Provide child with a journal or note pad. The journal is used as a diary to express sad feelings. The child is told that the Magical journal can bring magic into their life when they write down their wishes. Whenever they write their wishes into their journal amazing things will happen, the angels will hear them and angels can only listen to Magic Wish journals. Sometimes so many angels hear them and their wishes come true. If the child wishes for a loved one to return, reassure the child “the angels will let them know how much they love them and miss them. And they will ask the angels to watch over them to keep them safe.”

Paper to Draw: Provide child with a drawing pad and crayons. Write on the front of the book PAPER TO DRAW MY SAD FEELINGS. The child is told the “Paper to Draw” is used to draw pictures about their sad feelings. The child can draw pictures of the person and event and/or write words which express his/her grief, loss and pain. 

Small Photo Album: Provide child with a small photo album and photos or clippings of beautiful/soothing photos i.e. beautiful flowers, animals, children hugging, smiling faces etc. The photo album is used for the child to put pictures of people and/or things that make him/her happy. This can be “real” pictures of loved ones in their life or pictures of persons/places/things from magazines i.e. cartoon characters, flowers, funny pictures. The child can title the album i.e. “Things that make me smile” “The people who love me in my life.” “I am always loved.” “I can be happy.” 

1 pack of Guatemalan Worry Dolls or make your own with Popsicle Sticks and Yarn: Provide child with worry dolls or popsicle sticks that they can draw faces on and wrap yarn around. Explain to that these “worry dolls” can be used to express their concerns, worries and fears. I like to introduce the dolls as “powerful Friends,” who can help us with our feelings but we have to tell them what we are upset about one by one so that they can discuss it that evening. The “powerful friends” must be placed under their pillow while they are sleeping and if they listen really hard they can hear them talking their sadness away and when they wake up in the morning they will feel better. 

Bubbles Blow-away-disappear technique: Provide child with the bubbles. Explain that the bubbles are used for blowing their feelings “out of their body that they have been holding onto.” The child is instructed to sit down in a chair while performing this task. He/she is going to imagine seeing the stressful/sad feelings enter the bubble and then disappear when it pops. Encourage the child to focus, feel the lightness of the bubble gliding within their control. Each bubble he/she blows they watch until it pops, so that the child begins to regain focus and internalize a sense of calm and peace. 

Sad Busters: Provide child with 10 index cards. Explain to the child that with the help of their parent/therapist/social worker they will create 3-8 “sad busters” which will help them manage their sad feelings. They will write or draw a picture of a “sad buster” on each card. These are stored in the bag and the child is told he/she can reach in the bag and pick one out at anytime and they will tell him/her what to do with their feelings. 

 Examples of Sad Busters are: 

 1. CROSS my ARMS around my body and give myself a big, BIG HUG!!!

2. SAY the TONGUE twister: “Silly sally, sang dilly dallies sitting on a swing.” OUT LOUD 10 times!!!

3. CRY on my Tear Pillow and let the RAINBOW catch my TEARS for me!!!

 4. TAKE 5 deep breathes SLOWLY.

 5. DRAW or WRITE my SAD feelings in my JOURNAL.

6. ASK my parent for a HUG!!!

 7. GO to MY mirror and make a funny face REALLY BIG!!!

8. GO get my BUBBLES and BLOW 3 wishes into the air!!!


At the end all of the items are placed back in the bag and the child or parent/therapist/social worker writes on the outside of the bag “Things to do when I feel sad to make my broken heart feel glad!” The child keeps the bag within reach hanging on a door knob or hook in his/her room.