Archive for the ‘ Local US Adoptions ’ Category

Part 2: An Open Adoption Letter from a New Mom

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Author Lori Holden asks other parents about the benefits of open adoption over closed, domestic adoption. “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” (Rowman & Littlefield  2013) answers questions that benefit all prospective parents:

What are the benefits to those involved, and what are the costs?

And what are the biggest fears most families have about an open adoption?

Lori said, “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, and 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.

Adoption creates a split between a child’s biology and biography. Openness is an effective way to heal that split. That’s the premise of my book. Your child’s biology comes from one set of parents and his biography gets written by another set. Both are important to that child. Both make that child who he is, who he will be.

Why not allow – encourage — children to do the same with multiple parents? Does loving my son take anything away from my daughter? That would be ridiculous. Likewise, enabling my children to love me for my contributions and their birth moms for their contributions takes away nothing from me.

“I’m so glad you asked about fear in adoption, Nicole.”

For I’m confident that even deeper than the fear that birth parents will reclaim the child they birthed and placed (which rarely happens in ethically-done adoptions) is the fear that the adopting parents will never themselves feel legitimate due to a competing claim on the child. That’s a fear that adopting parents can examine and resolve mindfully.”

Well said, Lori, I’m buying the book! Tell me your adoption story here:

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Adopted Kids Can Learn to Nurture Nature

Monday, November 5th, 2012

One of the sadder things I’ve learned from reading foster care family literature—in our family’s gradual search for a female toddler—is that many urban babies (who’ve been neglected or even abused) are anemic and don’t receive adequate Vitamin D because they’re never outside playing in a playground or sunbathing in a sand box.

As I searched for additional stats on domestic adoption and beginning the foster care process of adoption, I found this to celebrate:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) joins the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to set an unprecedented goal to get 10 million more kids to spend significant time outdoors over the next three years. Working together, they will combat the growing trend toward “lack of green time.”

Research shows children are spending long hours indoors using electronic media, yet they spend only mere minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. This is affecting the health and well-being of children and is quickly causing a generation of kids who are becoming less healthy and who are disconnected from the natural world around them.

Local park and recreation agencies serve an essential role in preserving natural resources, providing open space and cultivating a connection to nature and the outdoors that can last a lifetime.

“We know that when children spend time outdoors they are more active and their overall well-being improves,” says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. “Our nation’s parks and recreation areas are not just a solution for better health, but are the answer to inspiring a healthier generation of youth who appreciate and care for our open space lands and who will engage in environmental stewardship that will benefit our future.”

The 10 Million Kids Outdoors goal encourages kids to get outdoors and explore, play, and learn for 90 minutes per week. This outdoor time excludes time spent outdoors in organized sports, which while beneficial, does not provide children the same benefits as outdoor play in green spaces. By increasing outdoor time to 90 minutes per week, NRPA and NWF believe it will contribute to a significant increase in children’s connection to nature due in part to more time spent outdoors.

What rituals does your family do to play outside together?

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Can you Report Foster Care Abuse and Adoption Neglect?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

How much can we get involved if we even suspect a child is in danger? Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly six million children (a report can include multiple children).

The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation, losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths, according to the National Child Abuse Hotline. I wondered last week if some of us parents and adoptive parents had the balls to call child protection services if they suspected anything.

Reader Vanessa remarked back about reporting members of her own family, and she got nowhere with the foster care system.

She said, “I have even reported my uncle’s girlfriend (she has two girls, one his and another whose father she does not know) to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) three times. I happen to know that there have been other calls made by schools and pediatrician’s offices.

I have done everything in my power (taking them to my house as often as possible for sleepovers, having them over for dinners to make sure they are fed, bathing them to make sure they are clean, giving them clothes, advice, helping with homework, etc.) short of kidnapping them to help the girls. The system is flawed.”

Vanessa said sometimes a social worker visited (after a pre-notification to the party under investigation) and they would do a cursory home inspection. “Unless the person is literally beating the kid in front of them they usually find nothing. Of course if you call them first then they have plenty of time (which she has) to warn the kids that they will be removed, punished, etc. By the time the worker comes these kids are all smiles and life is great, dinner is at 6 every night and they really love their mommy.”

That is a big, fat lie. What would you do to alert the authotrities about an abused child? I’d scream my holy head off. Just for starters…

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Scary Halloween Dangers Lurk at Home

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Be careful out there…. Boo… Sometimes (like today) I may stray from a strict blog about adoptions, so enjoy it while you can.

With Halloween a-knocking on your door – it’s a good time to ask, is your medicine cabinet super safe for your adopted kids (or kids of all ages)? Pain Relief Centers in Pinellas Park, Florida wants warn parents of the potential poisoning dangers in their own home.

Here’s a good example: Can you tell the difference between a bunch of pain prescription medication (at right) or a bunch of kid’s candy? (Me neither and that’s scary alright.)

Windex, for instance, can be mistaken as a sports drink, Sweet Tarts for Tums, or a M&M for a cold medicine.

 In a recent study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics, two young scientists found only 71 percent of students could tell the difference between candy and over-the-counter medicine.

According the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 90 percent of all domestic poisonings occur in the home.

Here are some tips to keep in mind during Halloween and every day of the year:

•    Use child-resistant packaging, remembering to secure containers after use
•    Keep chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight
•    Watch young children closely while using cleaners or gardening products
•    Leave original labels on all products
•    Always take or dispense medications in a well-lit area to ensure proper dosage
•    Never refer to medicine as “candy”
•    Post the number for your local poison control center in a highly visible location

Happy Halloween 2012 and remember to stay close to home, and examine your candy closely before popping anything in your mouth.

 

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Halloween is a Holiday for All Children

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

But I feel especially winsome for the hundreds of thousands of kids who need a home, a set of parents to bring them Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is a funny holiday for my family because we’ve spent the last two Halloween seasons considering adopting a toddler from India–or then, again, adopting domestically and via the Los Angeles foster care system. And we are nowhere near settled on it.

Halloween brings up family drama! This particular letter I received from a fan of The Adoption Diaries, taking issue—yet another issue—with open adoption versus closed domestic adoptions.

My family and I have gone on the record saying we far prefer the idea of an international adoption because we have no way to meet those Indian relatives that gave our future child up for adoption; we like the idea of the biological family living far away. We may hard feelings on her behalf, for instance.

The reader agrees with me. Sarah said, “I find it interesting that everyone just defends open adoption regardless of all the problems open adoption contains … for families everywhere.”

Sarah told me her family chose a domestic, closed adoption “in the best interest of my adopted daughter.” And I agree based on the authenticity and intelligence of the biological parents. (I know I’ll hear about this from you about open adoption objections.)

Sarah’s daughter’s birth family violently assaulted the first set of adoptive parents before their own adoption ever went through. She said to me, “The adoptive husband had to have 28 stitches due to the openness pushed by their adoption agencies.”

Sometimes it just doesn’t work to be friends with the bio parents depending on the adoptive situation and personalities involved.

Sarah said, “When we agreed to adopt our daughter the adoption agency started in on us about Open Adoption everything. My husband went straight to the family court judge with the incident report and the criminal records of the birth family. Thankfully, the judge ordered no contact with the birth family.

I really don’t see how open adoption helps children if/when their birth families have these types of problems.  Violence is deeply ingrained in this birth family’s culture. Our daughter needs to escape from the influences that cause this violence.

My family does not know how to solve these problems that drove this birth family to violence  I also don’t think it is right to force adoptive parents into open adoption. Open Adoption has a lot of problems and they are mostly ignored by the adoption community by simply saying it best for the child without considering all the facts of the situation.”

I’d love to hear from adoptive parents who did both kinds of adoption!

 

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