Archive for the ‘ Local US Adoptions ’ 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… ?

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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.

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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!

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Celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Celebrations were  kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families.

How to find adoption celebrations: Promoting awareness can be done through planned events and campaigns, gatherings and celebrations, and simple everyday activities. These are all opportunities to educate ourselves and others about adoption and about issues surrounding adoption. Even one family for one child is a success.

During the rest of the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. (It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously. It has also become a popular time to hold adoption fairs and conferences, plan political action events, and more.

At the very least, regardless of how far along you are on your down adoption journey, support and celebrate all of those kids waiting for their permanent homes.

One small thing all prospective adoptive parents can learn, me included, is try to use  more positive adoption language. Using a healthier spin (avoid using emotional language, ie: “being put up for adoption” rather than having an adoption plan. By using positive adoption language, you’ll reflect the true nature of adoption, free of stereotypes.

What else will you do to celebrate National Adoption Month? What can you do to help?

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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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