Archive for the ‘
For Dads ’ Category
Friday, March 16th, 2012
Teddy Bass is one of the best-known trainers in the world, living the good life traveling with jet-setters and known for super-sculpting famous bodies like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.
“At 38 I began yearning for a child, which makes sense because I come from a large and loving family,” says Bass. “I’m a proud uncle to 11 amazing nieces and nephews!”
After calling and interviewing several international adoption agencies, Bass decided to adopt through the Southern California foster system because they had fewer “limitations.”
Bass says, “I was older, single and gay and many gay friends were already using surrogates to have children. But I knew I wanted to adopt and save a child.”
After Bass’s free 3-hour orientation lecture, he immediately signed up for mandatory 6-week training sessions, where prospective parents meet with counselors and social workers for three hours each week to literally be trained in parenting, communication skills and healing.
“If every adult had to take nearly 20 hours of parent training, like all foster parents do, there would be more responsible and capable parenting in the world,” says Bass.
He paid a $2,000 fee and went through training via the Southern California Foster and Family Agency.
“This agency was recommended to me and I found the process efficient, pleasant and supportive every step of the way.” Bass finished the six weeks of training and began a series of Home Study interviews where social workers and county representatives inspected his home and life, grilled a dozen references and narrowed his search to a 20 – 24 month-old male child of any race with no physical limitations.
The Home Study sessions lasted just under 6 weeks, and then only six months into the process, Teddy got The Call.
His son, David, arrived right before Christmas, nearly 2.5 years ago. “I so wanted to be a good father. In some way, as a gay male, I wanted to help raise a male child in the healthiest and most balanced way possible:
“I wanted to pass on the grace.”
David showed signs of fetal alcohol syndrome at birth. Bass says, “He would writhe and scream with the worst tantrums for hours at the beginning… but he grew out of it.”
This summer, delicious David (who I know from preschool in Hollywood!!) is enrolled in a Spanish Language Summer Camp to connect more deeply to his Mexican roots. “We have so much fun,” says Bass. “We travel a lot and we’re going to visit all the cousins in North Carolina next month.”
He urges other gay parents to take the adoption route. Without delay. ”It’s a lot of work, but it’s the best! This is what life is all about,” says Bass with a laugh.
Tell me your happy or controversial adoption story!
Photo Credit: Celeb trainer Teddy Bass and adopted son, David.
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Friday, March 2nd, 2012
On Wednesday, Marni and Joe from Philadelphia told us how they adopted Remy in Ethiopia, and how it took about two years too long.
Marni and Joe had spent some time in Africa and always felt an emotional tie to that continent, and that swayed their decision to adopt their daughter from Ethiopia.
After 26 months of immigration paperwork, home study, check written, Marni said the family got to meet her once briefly. “The most challenging time was after our file was submitted to the US Embassy for final approval and clearance,” Marni said. “We had already met and fallen in love with Remy on our first trip to Ethiopia, and she was deemed to be our daughter through the court system and government of Ethiopia.
The final clearance process included some obstacles and extra steps and bigger hurdles, which was extremely frustrating: We felt like we were being kept apart from our daughter!
“We missed the entire first year of our daughter’s life. No fair.”
International Adoption: Missing Your Child’s Childhood
Marni said, “A few weeks or months doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of time, but we missed the first year of our daughter’s life, and we were very anxious to have her home with us.
We felt very helpless during the final weeks before clearance, and we hope that the process is streamlined so that adoptions can move along as ethically and smoothly as possible and the orphaned children of Ethiopia can get the wonderful homes they all deserve.”
Elijah had to wait over two years to meet his own sister! She said of her daughter, “Remy is so sweet and easygoing; we are lucky that she has been so patient with her big brother during his transition from being an only child.
We have our new family traditions and routines, like reading in bed together in the morning and taking the dog out for walks, which helped form the bond. We love that our kids will always have another little person to play with.”
Thanks for sharing Marni.
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Monday, February 27th, 2012
Up until husband Darrin and I completed our 3-hour “Resource Parent” Foster family application and orientation, I did not realize that you can be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent at the same time when you register with the county and pass their 24 hours of training. You can foster a child and apply to adopt that child simultaneously; it’s a great way to make triple-sure you are the best match for that child!
These are great definitions to keep in mind if you’re looking to adopt domestically:
- A foster parent provides a loving but temporary stable home for a child and helps them reunite with broth parents or family members.
- An adoptive parent provides a permanent stable home once it has been determined that the child cannot live safely with their birth parent or birth family.
In fact, with domestic adoption, you can be single, married, divorced or living with a partner. There is no mandated minimum income but you must be able to show how you support both yourself and a foster child. And I found out, gladly, that I can be a different race, culture or even sexual orientation that my foster or adopted child through the county process.
My worst-case scenario is hosting a foster child, applying to adopt that beloved foster child over a period of months… and then having the birth partners want her back. No way! If I had to knowingly return a child to a questionable family who might hurt her or negate all the stable love we’d provided a child for months, I might end up in jail.
I might do all kinds of crazy things to keep her. My husband Darrin wants us to write in our application that we’re open to a sibling group but I don’t think I can handle that, either.
Since “returning the foster-child scenario” is one of my biggest fears, a cold dread stops me from signing up for the 24 hours of domestic adoption training, I need to hear a successful adoption story from parents out there who actually fostered a child and then went on to adopt that child!
I’m begging adoptive parents to out there to send me your success story with fostering, and I will print it!
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
I rarely hear from males who have been adopted and that’s one of the reasons this letter is so special: Corey wrote the letter below to thank his adopted parents for saving his life and showing him a bright future.
He said, “I am a 39-year-old male that was born to a physically abusive father and a mother on drugs; I don’t remember much of the abuse because I was so young, a baby. I do remember once my dad went into a bar to drink and left me in the car for hours and hours.
One time, my father was arrested with me in the car and I was put in the jail cell with him until my mother picked us up.
Another time, my sister (she was one year older) and I arrived home from school and our parents were not home. We wandered around the neighborhood for hours, finally asking our neighbor for food because we were hungry. Our parents returned around one in the morning.
Soon after that one, we came home from school again and they never came home. My sister and I walked to a friend’s house, walked in their back door and began helping ourselves to milk and food in their refrigerator. Their mother quietly called the police and the officer picked us up and we were placed in an orphanage.
I’m not sure how long we were there but I soon learned to hate powdered milk and I also learned how cruel kids can be. Sometime later, my sister and I were placed in separate foster homes.
“My foster parents were loving and kind.”
Even my foster bothers were cool! I remember my biological parents having visitations but they were few and far between. I was eventually adopted into a family with my biological sister and we grew up there. Our adopted family pushed us to do well in school, to be honest and loving, and we thrived. My sister eventually went into the navy and I joined the army.
I was gifted with a better life and was made into a better person than I would have been otherwise. I am married with two amazing children. I thank my adoptive parents in my heart every day! I dream of adopting myself and giving another child the helping hand I was given. Thank you for listening!”
If you have an inspiring story, please Comment below.
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Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Jessy from Northglenn, Colo., recently found us at “The Adoption Diaries” and shot me this unbelievable email:
“I recently found your blog and was moved by the stories. I am an incredibly blessed adoptive mom who never thought I would be so lucky. Every night when we put our little girl to bed I have to tell her, ‘The story of the baby me’ as she calls it. I have told her this story every night for almost two years now about how her biological mother found us literally on our own doorstep. That day started the most incredible journey of our lives.”
Here it is! Jesse and Dave married in 2002 and became pregnant right away. Jessy was petrified because she’d had an ectopic pregnancy before and knew there was a chance it might happen again and her fears became horrible reality with yet another dangerous and painful ectopic pregnancy.
Jesse said, “My husband who had children from previous relationships was upset by the loss, but I think what affected him more was my pain. The physical pain was hard but the emotional was more then anyone should have to endure. We tried for a couple more years and at 28, I needed a hysterectomy. Devastating. I had four ectopic pregnancies, and two nearly killed me.”
Jesse also had great support. “My best friend Amy talked to her sister-in-law Denise about me because Denise and her husband were having similar difficulties. One day Denise called and asked if we were be interested in adoption. Denise explained that her cousin was pregnant and couldn’t keep the baby and was looking for a family to adopt. I was speechless and when I hung up the phone.”
Less then a week later, the pregnant and jobless mother literally appeared on their doorstep.
“She already had one very young baby cradled in her arms and was nervous and shaking. The bio-mom explained that with the baby she was carrying she knew she couldn’t keep both, and wanted to avoid an abortion. We talked and she asked if we wanted to adopt her baby. Dave and I looked at each other and without any hesitation or discussion and said YES!”
At the time, the bio mom was 22 years old and three months pregnant with a very tough life and zero family support and one very young baby, to boot. Jesse was almost 32 and Dave was 35. Their lives were about to unfold dramatically!
Tune in on Friday to go through the tumultuous back and forth as the bio-mom comes to terms with giving up her unborn baby.
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