Archive for the ‘ Adoptive Families ’ Category

Holidays are Stressful for Waiting Adoptive Parents

Friday, November 30th, 2012

domestic adoption of an older childMy family began searching for a younger sibling to add to our biological son Sam, who is six. My beautiful, sensitive, social smart kid began begging for a little sister when he was four years old and caused our family to reconsider only child status. I only ever wanted one kid because I love my work and travel to exotic places.

I married later in life and felt too independent to be tied down every single night with more than one child. Sam is easy and fun now at six years old — but it gets sort of boring too, doesn’t it? Parenting, I mean?

Anyway, at four years, Sam craved a sister and my husband agreed 100 percent and was never shy about his emotional need for a daughter; he thinks children should grow up with sibs and his friends are his sister and brother.

I only wanted Sam–he is perfect — why jinx it? At 45-ish, I don’t have an overwhelming urge to be pregnant again, although I loved every moment the first time around.

We began wanting another child for Sam, which is a pretty inappropriate reason — right? Have a kid for your kid? Bad reasoning, I know, I know.

But then a year rolled around of searching for international agencies we wanted to work with and plunk down an initial fee of about $15,000 for an international adoption of a toddler female. We were quickly ruled out of China and several Asian countries because we are too old. Then, we began narrowing our country search and learning about the Hague Convention and wanting to engage only with a country that has protective rules in place to safeguard against child trafficking.

And then, the recession hit.

Attention, parents: Sam no longer wants or needs a sister at all. In fact, Sam can’t stand the thought of girl toys and girlie pink clothes in his closet; the two would have to  share a room.

Now, only a new boy will do. Changes everything. Darrin’s not as ecstatic about another boy, he already has one of those. But a tiny little girl to call his own hmmm, that changes things for us.

Stop. My kid who wants a kid now will only accept a little brother into our family. I wonder if we look flaky to a potential adoption agency because we’ve begun reconsidering the most basic move into adoption: a boy or girl!

During the holidays as we re-think past decisions and make plans for the future, what direction do you want to take toward adoption? Will you adopt this year? One slow step forward and… ?

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Celebrating Thanksgiving During National Adoption Month

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

domestic adoption of older childrenI found this great heartwarming local story from the East Coast about adopting on Thanksgiving, and it warms the cockles of my heart. Share with your own family this weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving.

The Rhode Island Family Court finalized the adoptions during a special ceremony held Saturday in Providence. More than 250 people attended the event presided over by Chief Judge Haiganush Bedrosian. He noted that the adoptions occurred Thanksgiving week and told adopting parents that is a perfect time to give thanks for their love for and commitment to the children they adopted.

Highlights from the ceremony include three siblings who were reunited as members of one family. Rhode Island performs about 500 adoptions a year, but about 300 children are still waiting for permanent homes. Teens, sibling groups and children with special needs are the hardest to place. Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Suttell also participated in Saturday’s celebration.

And then… More Fantastic Adoption News:

One hundred Orange County, Calif., foster care children were legally adopted just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Even better, many were older kids, transracial teens and sibling groups which are typically much more difficult to place.

Currently, there are 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families. Please share your happy Thanksgiving adoption stories with me here.

And then, even More Good Adoption News from Haiti:

In previous posts, I groused about being too old and cut out of the international adoption process in the country of Haiti, which was frustrating to my whole family. I received a supportive email from Diana Boni, the Haiti Program Coordinator of All Blessings International, where she told me to keep an open mind. She said, “We cannot change Haitian law regarding adoptive parent eligibility and age or length of marriage, but we will always accept families based upon their ability to parent, not their religious affiliation.

“There are a great many changes occurring in Haitian adoptions right now, but we believe that these changes will lead to a safer, more protected adoption process for the children of Haiti.”

Diana Boni
Haiti Program Coordinator
All Blessings International

Happy Thanksgiving.

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

100 Adopted Kids Find New Homes this Thanksgiving Season

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

domestic adoption thanksgvingCurrently, there are 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Children’s Bureau has a highly-regarded foster care and adoption program that helps more than 500 foster children find safe, nurturing homes and facilitates more than 100 foster-to-adoptions each year. They are the good guys!

Their programs help children newborn to 18 years of age. Homes are needed for infants, sibling sets of brothers and sisters, older children and children of all ethnicities, especially African American children. Our foster and adoptive parents are given the support, resources and tools they need to help these fragile children to trust, love and feel much more confident about their place in the world.

Wyatt Lemaster was a newly adopted fifth grader who kept looking around in wonder, according to local Los Angeles news reports. “It means never getting taken away again,” the fifth-grader said softly during a  moment of reflection at the the fifth-floor reception area of the Edmund D. Edleman Children’s Courthouse last week.

Adopted Families Give Thanks This Year

As we wait for another child, most likely a foster child like one of the kids here, we give thanks at home for all that we already have. Such abundance.

Take a few moments to revel in gratitude for all of the joys you have, for the way your body moves, for love and family and the sunshine in your life. Happy Thanksgiving holidays, and tell me your adoption story here:

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

5 Tips to Help Adoptive Parents Better Enjoy the Holiday Season

Monday, November 19th, 2012

holiday adoptionsThe entire holiday season can be especially tough for families who struggle with issues like adoption, waiting for an international adoption, and also  fertility issues. Dr. Jeffrey D. Fisch,  Medical Director at the Sher Fertility Institute Las Vegas, offers his stress-reducing methods for all members of the waiting family.

He said, “So much of the season centers around family and children. It can be hard for waiting couples to be around other people’s kids when they are having trouble starting their own family.”

Here are five simple steps to help make the holiday season a time of anticipation and joy instead of anxiety and sadness:

1. Be proactive. Take charge of your own plans for the holidays–don’t overbook but don’t leave time to dwell on an empty nest, either. If you are having trouble conceiving on your own, speak to your physician or to a fertility specialist. If already in the process of adopting, but not yet successful, make a plan for the future to give you the strength to face the challenges of the season.

2. Keep busy. The less time you have to obsess about why it hasn’t worked yet, the better you will feel. Too much time online might not be a good thing. Get outside and be active. Increasing exercise and optimal health practices (ie: get enough sleep, do yoga for stress relief, etc) and eat healthfully.

3. Volunteer. This time of year many organizations need help. A small contribution of your time can help you feel useful and help to brighten someone else’s holiday. Thinking of others will take your mind and energy off of worrying about your own unfulfilled dream. Think “karma,” because if you do good things for others, good things will come to you, says Dr. Fisch.

4. Pamper yourself. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. At this time of year, remember that you deserve to be happy even if you are not pregnant yet. Treat yourself to a massage or to something special. Travel with your partner while you can; it gets harder once you have children.

5. Enjoy what  you have. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time focused on the good things in our lives and on those close to us.

Give thanks for the friendships and family you do sustain all year long. Tell us in the comments below how you’re doing with your adoption this holiday season.

 

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

A Drug-Free America for all Children

Friday, November 16th, 2012

If you’ve tuned in for the last few months, you know that there’s a much higher rate of alcohol abuse and drug use among foster children in America. It makes a prospective adoptive parents reconsider how old a child they are willing to bring into the home, for istance. When you begin foster-care training to adopt a domestic kid out of foster care, part of your scary training is how to handle the emotional tribulations with a drug-addled baby. How sad.

To celebrate a drug-free American and help more kids get adopted out of foster care: The National Family Partnership® (NFP)  is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. In 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent, parents, youth and teachers in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs.

This year, families got involved by entering a contest to promote awareness in their neighborhoods and win a drug prevention grant for their schools.

Ten lucky winners from regions across the U.S. will be announced at events at their winning schools in December.  Students bring the Red Ribbon Week® message home by working alongside parents to decorate their front doors, mailboxes, fence, etc. with this year’s theme “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”

Do you ever talk to your young kids about drugs? And if you are a foster parents with experience fostering kids with problems, contact me here, and tell me your story!

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff