Archive for the ‘
Leads and Developments ’ Category
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
As I watch children form a friendly circle around our local fireworks, I imagine all the kids that don’t have a neighborhood, or a happy home in which to celebrate today.
I think of these kids in foster care all the time now, and know how lucky I was growing up. Realize how lucky how my own biological son Sam is every single day.
Families in local foster care situations are trained for both foster care and adoption, and potential adoptive parents work closely with agency staff during the process. An adoption social worker is assigned to each parent; the social worker conducts home studies and offers emotional support and assistance through the process.
If we go the foster care route but then fall madly in love with the kid and have to return her to the family that once neglected her? Hmmm, fat chance I say. Then again, if she’s a real terror, has behavioral problems I can’t handle, or if she in any way upsets or harms my biological child, Sam, then what happens?
Can I give my foster care toddler back to the foster-to-adopt agency? Is that horrible to admit? There’s a lot going on in the news lately about returned children and foster care.
Happy July 4th to kids everywhere, and be careful with those firecrackers already. Tell me your adoption story in Comments below, and I may feature you in an upcoming post.
Monday, June 25th, 2012
As news of child trafficking in China and Guatemala make headlines, rumors explode about international adoptions in these countries, and how big a role child trafficking plays in poor countries where newborns may be stolen for adoption to wealthier and more stable countries.
Countries that have placed limits, sometimes closed or partially closed because of concerns over coercion of birthparents or “illegal adoption” include Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Guatemala, and Romania. China, reputedly, is working to contain corroborated trafficking within its orphanage system.
Faced with such accounts of trafficking, parents of course have an instinctive reaction of shock or guilt or even disbelief. By adopting, could you have fueled this trade?
Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?
If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.
Tell me what you think about international adoption from a country that gives you doubts?
While we’re on controversial adoption subjects, do you think that Hollywood A-list celebs who adopt children get an easier time of it because they can likely afford an international adoption?
Friday, June 15th, 2012
Part 2: On Wednesday, I introduced you to reader Jenn, a spirited and dynamic mom who suffered eight miscarriages before she and husband Travis adopted son Isaac. Pictured at right, you’ll see a joyful Jenn, Travis and baby Isaac together at last.
Jenn’s career air force husband Travis, now 31, was then transferred south to a army base in southwest Missouri and they started life anew. Doctors discovered Jenn has a clotting disorder when she miscarried once again in Missouri.
Jenn said, “We had three more positive pregnancy tests. On the final one, in January 2010, my husband was in the kitchen getting ready for work while I took another pregnancy test. Years of mood swings and injectable fertility drugs, the monitoring appointments, the scheduled sex, rising betas, falling betas, and the pain of the miscarriages and procedures.
The Story of Isaac (the best Father’s Day gift of all)
On Wednesday, we tuned into Jenn’s amazing faith and fortitude and love for her military husband as they battled for a baby of their own.
Jenn herself is adopted, and so is her little brother. That is generations of healthy adoptions at work.
After eight miscarriages, a family of broken hearts and the physical abuse of painful miscarriages, Jenn and Travis spoke with fertility experts and decided to stop trying. Jenn said, “He encouraged us to take time off, pursue adoption and get our joy back somehow. We spent months grieving the little things.”
After several months, the dynamic and upbeat couple began researching adoption agencies. Jenn said, “I’m so grateful that my husband was willing to pursue adoption with me. I know several couples who have done fertility treatments, only to find out their husbands will not adopt.”
“Many people struggle to find peace living childless.”
We decided that we wanted a private, domestic adoption, and found an adoption program that was customized to that. We had a failed match a few months after we went active with our agency in December 2010, and were matched again with our son’s birth parents in mid-July 2011.
Isaac was born July 29, 2011.
The birth parents chose us in a private adoption largely based on our air force background. The birth father had served four years in the military and knew the large support system we would have. We are blessed.”
Tell me your story of adoption here. Jenn made my day — how about you? To all the great dads I know, happy Father’s Day.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
As most of you know, my family has finally narrowed down our adoption journey to either looking into a less expensive domestic adoption here through Los Angeles County, becoming foster parents to a multi-racial toddler in need, and waiting less time to adopt. Our other option — our clear preference — is an international adoption with a fantastic Indian Agency in India, where we’ll have to put down $15,000 to simply start the Home Study process rolling. We’d then need another $20,000 to keep that adoption ball rolling and we’d still have to wait years to bring her home anyway.
Here’s the cold, hard truth: If we had an extra $50,000 lying around, we’d already have a foster daughter in our home. Sometimes that fact kills me but the better, more yogic side of my mommyhood says that all things happen for a reason, that our delay is just part of the adoption journey and maybe we are supposed to wait for a baby. (In a few years she won’t be a baby anymore, that factoid kills me too.)
So while my family waits and waits, fills out some paperwork and keep blaming each other for not saving enough money, not making enough money (blah blah blah I am sick of us already), we forget one thing: Waiting for a kid is not even half the battle. What happens when we finally can adopt either a foster child with some problems (ie: fetal alcohol syndrome, for instance) or maybe even wait for a little Indian girl who is special needs or has been sitting in a sterile Indian orphanage for five years getting less attached, less happy…
Once we have a kid, how do we keep her happy after such a hard start in life?
Author Maureen Healy, an emotional health and parenting expert, says in “Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success, and Happiness (HCI Books)” there are a few things every prospective parents can do:
- Build Confidence Daily (even for 5 minutes): The everyday things we do with our children that help them feel stronger, and happier no matter if they’ve been adopted or in process.
- Get Them Moving: Children need to move their bodies and get their energy released in a healthy way. Because physical activity, eating right, and a good night’s rest are the biological basis of your child’s emerging sense of self-confidence.
- Get Inspired: Do something inspiring together whether it is going to see magnificent waterfalls, flying a new kite on the beach or learning hula-hooping. By doing something that lights your child up, they learn how to build a new skill and you’ll see their confidence soar.
- Create an Uplifting Space: Decorate your child’s space so they see happy photos of themselves, their awards displayed, goals (or vision board) hung up and they have their favorite things all around them.
Tell me what you do while waiting for your new adopted family member!
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
Is it always easier the second time around?
Adopting your first child is always the most frustrating, enthralling, surprising and emotional experience of most parents lives. Adoptive number two is only less so by a smidge, but most adoption experts tell me over and over again: Once you do it right the first time, the second time is a charm and much easier. You have already proven yourself a respectable and worthwhile parent; you can afford adoption and you did a great job the first time. You are probably safe to do it all over again, from an agency’s perspective.
But is it like getting tattoos? Once you get one for good, are you always temped to get more? Well, just ask actress Katherine Heigl and her hot musician husband Josh Kelley who first adopted a special needs daughter a couple years back. Like many internationally adopted kids, their first adopted daughter Naleigh was adopted from South Korea in 2009. The adoption world went wild because the tyke was considered a special needs child, which she outgrew once she had proper medical care and a full-time mom and dad (with $$$) who could supply her with all the love, devotion and medical care they could afford.
Back then, Heigl said, ““I don’t think it’s for everybody, and I don’t think everybody should adopt,” she added. “I’m not some crazy idealist. It’s not about the cause for me. But I do think no one should ever rule it out.”
Do celebrities get special attention and special rights when they adopt children — either internationally or nationally?
No other details about the latest adoption were available except the new daughter’s name is Adalaide Marie Hope … probably because the pretty couple caught so much attention for adopting their special needs daughter the first time around. Heigl opened up about her personal connection to adoption.
”We started talking about adoption even before we were engaged because it’s really important to me,” Heigl said. “It’s been a big part of my life and my family. My sister is Korean and my parents adopted her back in the seventies, and so I just always knew that this is something I always wanted to do.”
Bravo to the new parents all over again.
Are you on your first or second adoption? Tell me here!