Archive for the ‘ Fostering ’ Category

Looking Toward Foster Care Training to Adopt Locally

Monday, December 10th, 2012

domestic adoption and child abuseWhile my family waits and sorts through some ambivalent feelings about how shifting our adoption interests from a toddler Indian little girl to a local little boy from the Los Angeles’ County foster care system has actually set us back some months, the real news is we are suddenly very clear on wanting a sibling for Sam.

Adoption preconception is taking our family a really long time.

Because of my investigations into local adoption, I found this alarming statistic from the county. I urge you to think about this stat during the holiday season as you purchase bountiful gifts for your spoiled kids, take family vacations, and play with new toys all month. So many children have no such circumstances. It kills me around this time of year.

International Adoption: Last month during National Adoption Month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last 10 years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries. They have given vulnerable children the opportunity to thrive. Families who adopt are enriched by the love of their new children, and the heritage they bring from their birth countries. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.”

Domestic Adoption: According to national adoption research, in the United States, there are 3,000 children abused each day and four of them will die. (Forty percent of these children were under the age of six.) The age group with the highest abuse rate is 0-3 years.

Nationally, the highest form of abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse. Some of these reasons make me yearn to adopt a troubled child, and yet I don’t have enough fortitude for it, I’m not that kind of mom. I like things easy…

In stats I found from last year, there were 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Where are you within your adoption journey? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Celebrating National Adoption Month with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

national adoption month for toddlersThis past month of November, America celebrated National Adoption Month with feel-good stories each week, and I have another one for you below. However, before you read another installation of a new Adoption Diary, check out what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as she opened legislation at the top of the month. Her words are inspiring for parents everywhere.

Announcing her support for National Adoption Month, Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last ten years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries. They have given vulnerable children the opportunity to thrive. Families who adopt are enriched by the love of their new children, and the heritage they bring from their birth countries. This November, we celebrate National Adoption Month and join with groups across the nation to recognize these special families. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.” — Hillary Clinton 2012

Here’s the happy new adoption story. Tammy Gilmore decided to do her part in it this Thanksgiving Day with a second adoption.

Only a year earlier, Gilmore adopted a 3-year-old boy named Alexander. Gilmore is a single mother who works for an attorney who has experience working with adoptive families in the Iowa area. She adopted Alexander and was then driven to adopt his little brother as well. Gilmore went through IowaKids.net, which is a website where many agencies collaborate in order to help people who want to foster and adopt children. There are several agencies in cooperation in this partnership.

The agencies that are in partnership attempt to find homes for the over 700 children eligible for adoption and the 6,000 that are in foster care. There are over 1000,000 kids in the United States waiting to be adopted.

Learn more about foster care and adoption here. Tell me your story below in the comments.

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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.

 

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Domestic Adoption: Open vs. Closed

Monday, November 12th, 2012

When I disclosed that my small perfect Los Angeles family would prefer to adopt internationally, many of you weighed in with Comments about domestic adoption instead: it’s cheaper, takes a shorter amount of time and allows your adopted child to know its birth parents. But… what if I don’t want my new kid to know her own birth parents? What if they are awful people?

Controversy ensued.

Than, a brilliant letter from author Lori Holden, who just finished writing “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” (available from Rowman & Littlefield 2013). She allows us to read excerpts below or on her site. And she discusses the pros and cons of open adoption far better than I ever could — she just went through a successful domestic, open adoption. With love and care.

Part 1 and Adoption Letter from Lori. I’ll add Part 2 from Lori on Friday — stay tuned to The Adoption Diaries.

“In listening to people from all walks of adoption (adoptive parents, first parents, adult adoptees) while researching and writing my book, the prime fear I hear from adopting parents is that they’ll never be considered the ‘real’ parent. That they feel like as much distance as possible needs to be put between their newly-formed family and the not-so-convenient spare parent out there ready and wanting to rapaciously take over.

This fear is at the root of much dysfunctional thinking and acting in open adoption relationships. But though simple awareness of that fear, it can be examined and resolved.

Often, such fear causes people to come from a place of Either/Or thinking. Either WE are the “real” parents or THEY are. Either we can legitimately claim the child or they can. In the old days of closed adoption, the child could scarcely even think about his other parents without it feeling like a betrayal. US?….or THEM??? (Cue ominous and sinister music.)

But this type of thinking is like splitting the baby. Remember that Solomon tale? The wise king knew how to tease out the “real” mother when two women came to him claiming the same baby. When his “solution” was to split the baby in half, thereby sharing it with both claimants, the “real” mother would be the one to do whatever it takes to keep the baby whole and well, even if it meant loss to her.

Tune in on Friday for Part 2: An Adoption Letter from Lori.

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Losing Patience with International Adoption

Monday, October 8th, 2012

We’ve occasionally dragged our heels, especially when my husband and I would disagree about adoption basics: international versus domestic adoption. Open adoption versus closed adoption.

We’ve filled out some paperwork, held up on finances, my husband has a bankruptcy in his past. Compound that with a very present danger: We are running out of time to adopt a baby. We are over 45 years old and considered, in many countries abroad, simply too old to adopt.

Maybe we could adopt an older sibling group but I don’t want to do that. Way too much work. And a new kid would have to share a room with Sam, which now that he’s age six years old, hmmm, not as fun as when we started out search.

My husband called my bluff last weekend when he urged me to put up-for-sale my bio son Sam’s (amazing little boy)  newborn clothes. “If you don’t want that second baby, throw out all the clothes you’ve been saving for your un-adopted child for the last five years,” he told me in frustration.

You see,  holding Sam’s baby clothes brings me to my knees. I spent a fortune for black rock T-shirts on my baby blue boy and long-legged onesies. He was styling, totally cherubic. If that crocodile tee-shirt touched Sam’s skin, I cannot give them it up today. Give all the clothes up if you really want to forget about adoption, just forget about adopting a second child for all of us, especially for Sam,” my husband meant.

Honestly, I’ve been saving these beloved, very gently used toddler duds (the flags, and the super heroes, the indignant animals and Elmo) for my next adopted baby who has not yet arrived.

Our neighbors were having a yard sale, several families also set up in front and I called his bluff. I am so over this adoption thing, I told him over a cold cup of coffee the morning of the yard sale. I can get rid of 90 percent of all these baby clothes and begin healing from not having kid number two.

OK, let’s sell them all. All the pretty boy clothes clothes laid out on my neighbor’s sunny lawn. And then my sad-momma moment happened.

At the garage sale last Saturday, a diminutive stranger was fondling Sam’s first baby apron he wore at his first birthday party, and I sprinted over to her and whipped the brown-checkered apron out of her hand. “Sorry not for sale,” I huffed madly at the abuela sympatica. “Mine, mine, mine. For my next adopted baby. Dammit.”

Then I sat in the driveway and sobbed. For, like 50 minutes.

The potential shopper understood immediately, and walked away. One of my girlfriends came and slung an arm over my shoulder and totally understood. Patted my back. Another mom made me my first Bloody Mary of the day.

Tell me your adopted kid story here:

 

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