Archive for the ‘ Preconception ’ Category

Throw a Happy Mother’s Day “Adoption” Party

Friday, May 11th, 2012

mothers day party Believe it or not, parents, but there are between 80,000 and 85,000 chemicals are in use in the environment in United States, yet only about 200 of these chemicals have been tested for safety. It can be overwhelming for new mothers, or newly adoptive mothers, to try to figure out what toxic chemicals they should be concerned about, where they might be lurking, and what the safe alternatives are.

The national nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth will launch their “Green Momma Party Guide” on May 11 to help new mothers “green” their house and reduce their infant or toddler’s exposure to toxics in conventional products. Instead of trying to tackle a green house detox by themselves, though, the Green Momma Party Guide makes it fun by giving tips and recipes. The recipes have been tested by real parents, and are verified by scientific experts to be great non-toxic alternatives to everyday offerings.

Green Momma Party Guide has everything busy moms need to host a great party:
·         Suggested party agenda
·         Discussion guide for the host to keep the conversation flowing
·         Room-by-room guide of hidden hazards and practical solutions
·         Non-Toxic shopping guide
·         No party is complete without clean food and drinks! Help your guests defend against toxins with smarter food choices.

Women’s Voices for the Earth believes that all baby products should be safe and non-toxic, which is why the kit also includes Five Take-Action Tips for Busy Mommas, including ways to influence corporations and the government leaders to help convince them to make products safer for everyone. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, celebrate like crazy.

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Pool Safety for Summer

Monday, April 30th, 2012

As a mom blogger who’s passionate about child health and safety, I’ll occasionally veer off-topic here. Today is one of those days.

When my bio son Sam was four years old, we actually rented a sexy little guest house near the Hollywood Hills. It had an unfenced pool in the backyard and our 3-year-old Sam was fascinated by the turquoise pools from early on.

We taught him to swim with some level of panic that whole summer. It was half enjoyable and half terrifying the entire season.

Our small family lasted a year on that house because even after inserting childproof locks on doors and windows, keeping a childproof cover on the pool all winter long, and then training our dog to follow Sam around the perimeter and bark to alert us, we still could not rest. For a whole year! We moved in large part because of that pool, and a couple of my mom friends would literally shudder when they sat finally at the end of our luxurious kidney-shaped behemoth pool on wilting summer afternoons.

And they also imagined their kids floating weightlessly at the bottom.

We now live landlocked in the San Fernando Valley and belong to a local pool club two months of the year. Perf.

This summer, the average number of children to die from drowning is nearly 200 across the United States, most between May 31 and September 6th, according to research.

Here are two summer safety gadgets all parents can love:

A waterproof BrickHouse Swimming Pool Alarm will not only alert you to your child’s location but can also help deter potential danger from drowning. It instantly alerts you if your child (or even your pet!) is ever submerged. It’s totally portable, so it’s perfect for home use or travel.
Poolside, at the playground, airport, mall or in any unfamiliar surroundings, you need to be sure your little ones stay where you can keep track.

Toddler Tags help you locate kids in a mall or pool crowd for up to 150 feet. The wireless device, which includes a transmitter and receiver, immediately notifies parents whenever their child wanders more than 10 yards away from them with a series of soft beeps. Parents can press a button on their transmitter and the child’s tag sounds a high-decibel alarm so you can locate him in seconds.
Where are you along your individual adoption journeys? I’d love military moms and families to weigh in on the tribulations of adoption!

Tell me your adoption story right now to help inspire other parents.

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Sexting is a National Concern for Tweens, Teens and Parents

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Does your Tween or Teen sext? Prospective parents, potential adoptive parents have to be especially careful about this necause so many older children in the foster care system are already aware of their sexuality. A new National Poll on children’s health ] measures public opinion about legislation addressing teens who send sexually explicit messages.

Sexting – sending sexually explicit, nude, or semi-nude photos by cell phone – has become a national concern, especially when it involves children and teens. A new poll shows that the vast majority of adults do not support legal consequences for teens who sext. Seventeen states have already enacted laws to address youth sexting and another 13 states have pending legislation in 2012 that focuses on sexting.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked adults across the United States for their opinions about youth sexting and sexting legislation. The poll found that the vast majority, 81 percent, of adults think an educational program or counseling is an appropriate consequence for teens who sext. Most adults also favor similar non-criminal programs: 76 percent of adults think schools should give all students and parents information on sexting, and 75 percent of adults support requiring community service for sexting teens.

In contrast, most adults do not favor legal consequences for minors who sext other minors. About one-half, 44 percent, support fines less than $500 for youth sexting, while 20 percent or fewer think that sexting should be treated as a sex crime, or that teens who sext should be prosecuted under sexual abuse laws.

As youth sexting has become more of a national concern, many states have acted to address the issue. However, before this poll, very little was known about what the public thinks about sexting legislation,” says Matthew M. Davis M.D., M.A.P.P., Director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, Associate Professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.

“This poll indicates that, while many adults are concerned about sexting among children and teenagers, they strongly favor educational programs, counseling, and community service rather than penalties through the legal system,” says Davis.

The poll also asked adults who they think should play a role in addressing the problem of youth sexting. Almost all adults, 93 percent, believe parents should have a major role. Many adults also believe that teens themselves, 71 percent, and schools, 52 percent, should have a major role in addressing youth sexting.

Do you have experience with sexting in your family? Read the fascinating study here, and then tell me your happy or inspiring adoption story here!

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International Adoption: Adopting Little Girls

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

My family is still interested in adopting a little girl through an International Adoption agency, and it is so very interesting that the adoption of girls internationally has outnumbered the adoption of boys roughly 60%  in the last several years. According to several agencies I tapped. In 2007 — the last date I could get my hands on those stats — of the 19,471 children adopted internationally, 11,846 of were girls and 7,789 were boys.

Choice of gender is, obviously, a factor when it comes to adoption around the world. Parents will usually choose a girl instead of a boy to adopt.

Why do most adoptive parents want a girl? According to one agency that offers motivating adoption stories, there are several myths about the adoption of girls versus boys:

Myth: Is it easier to adopt a girl verses a boy.

Fact: In fact, it is the opposite. The wait time is most always longer to adopt a girl.

Myth: Adoptive parents think boys will get in more trouble than girls.

Fact: As you probably know by now, girls can get in just as much trouble as boys! The success lies in the parenting abilities of the parents!

Myth: There are more girls available for adoption than boys.

Fact: No, there are more boys available for adoption than girls in all countries except China. The prevalence of Chinese girls adopted by Americans has given the false impression that girls are unwanted but China is a patriarchal society and this is why girls are available for adoption there.

Okay, so I’m going to throw this out there to this outspoken adoption population about the differences in gender: Do more families want to adopt a toddler daughter because the girls may be less aggressive, with fewer emotional issues? The gender differences may not matter so much with babies, right?

I do know one horrid story in Orange County, Calif. (that I have verified) where a Romanian son (7) was finally adopted and went on to sexually assault his new little sister who was a biological daughter to the family. (Young rapist was sent back to Romania, FYI…)

Be brutally honest: Is this why we prefer to adopt females? Let’s explore the honest conversation without allowing emotions to run wild! Can we do that?

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Adopting a Child for Your Child: Right or Wrong?

Monday, March 12th, 2012

PArents Blog JPG Sibling Lisa PostMy husband is neatly clipping magazine spreads of bouncy bow-haired Asian toddlers. Seems he has his heart set on a little girl, a baby. But we briefly talked to two other parents about their excruciating long waits for Chinese newborns. I don’t want to wait years to adopt kid number 2.

I am definitely considering adoption in a firmer way this month because I had one recurring, horrid thought: What happens if our only child Sam, dies?

Any way to recover? You’ve considered it, right? The only reason I might force myself to carry on in a universe without Sam Straff is through caring for another child.  But that’s a selfish reason to adopt, isn’t it?

More importantly, what if Darrin and I perish in a fiery blaze off the Pacific Coast Highway during especially obnoxious rush hour? Who would lead Sam through devastation? Friends and family would step in to supply Sam with a home and clean clothes…

… but who could heal my baby’s heart?

Today, I cannot imagine living my own past without my own sister, Lisa.  She’s 11 months younger than me and for all the years I grew up I never had a notion of being without her. For years, we have spoken in a sibling shorthand that nothing can replace. My sister, who holds Long Distance Aunt status, helps me write my own history. Helps me jump over life hurdles, and giggle with me when I finally fall flat on my face. She also shoots from the hip and tells me when I’m off base.

My younger sister Lisa remembers things I simply cannot;  she fills in my blanks. That sibling relationship is a gift worth giving to my son, whether or not we finally choose to adopt internationally.

Weigh in: Is adopting a child for your own existing child a very selfish reason to adopt? What do you think is the best reason to adopt a child from another country or even right here in the USA?

Caption: Aunt Lisa with Sam Straff, 5 months

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