Archive for the ‘
Rules and Regulations ’ Category
Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Every once in awhile, I receive a book or see a DVD that shifts my thinking, or really peaks my interest. I occasionally step outside “The Adoption Diaries” to tap into what makes all parents fitter and healthier human beings. After all, when I was pregnant with my son Sam, I already felt like a parent and acted more responsibly like one — what about you?
This is one of those non-adoption posts for all parents.
My friend Liz Vaccariello just debuted “The Digest Diet” where she explores breakthrough scientific studies for healthy weight loss and combating overweight and obesity. A busy full-time journalist and mother to 7-year-old twin daughters, Vaccariello knows a lot about trying to be the healthiest mom she can be with limited time and a schedule that’s filled with morning runs, meetings, school obligations, you know the drill. She’s always been straightforward and incredibly curious.
A few of her summer shape-up tips:
Drink your minerals. “Your mom told you to drink milk because its calcium was good for your bones, but I doubt she knew calcium is also good for controlling hunger and appetite,” said Vaccariello. “I found one amazing study from 2010 that shows drinking fat-free milk immediately after resistance training and then again one hour afterward results in greater muscles mass, strength gains and fat loss.”
Laugh it off. “Stress takes such an enormous toll on your health, your waistline and also your immunity,” said Vaccariello. “I found studies that prove laughing actually burns calories, and one study from London showed an hour of laughing can blast as many calories as, say, 18 to 20 minutes of weight training or 15 minutes of walking. Exercise is the ultimate stress reducer.”
Brush up on body image. The great irony, she told me, is that successful weight loss comes when you respect your body at any weight and can stop demonizing fat. “You don’t need a researcher to tell you about the clear link between stress and obesity,” she said. Many of us self-medicate when we’re feeling blue — or worse — but actually having more fat cells actually increases the rate of depression. “Chronic, low-grade inflammation may be tracked back to fat cells; so curb it before it affects your emotional well-being,” Vaccariello said.
Vaccariello, who appears as an expert on The Doctors, offers delicious, simple recipes for moms-on-the-go, and straightforward advice in her new health and weight loss book.
Tell me your story here.
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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?
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Friday, June 22nd, 2012
1. Adopting is, in its essence, a very selfless thing to do. You’re choosing to love a child—not for biology’s sake — but because you want to tow a child to baseball practice and help him master math, or, in short, be influential and patient to a child you’ve never met before, who will turn your life upside down. Midnight trembles and seasonal coughs, sunscreen for two.
2. Adopting a child can save the world. We want to adopt a child whose chances we immediately, socially and economically improve her life — she can attend kindergarten without becoming victim to famine or a civil war in Ethiopia or the Sudan.
When my family eventually adopts a toddler from another continent, we ensure someone else’s daughter will understand about women’s rights and have a right to vote, and to drive, and to pick her own husband. We lean toward adopting an international daughter from India because so many little girls in Third World countries are sold into prostitution and slavery.
3. Private domestic adoptions are more open, communicative and kinder than ever before. Families can (and often do) sidestep the stigma of adoption to meet and establish initial communications between both families; yearly reunions or monthly letters helps the adopted child with health histories and cultural identity.
4. The average wait time for an domestic adoption of a newborn to baby has decreased to two years or just under. International adoptions still take more time than domestic adoptions due to visa and regulatory immigration issues. But across the board, agencies and federal governments are trying to make it easier to adopt. And more expeditious, too.
Tell me how long it took your family to adopt a child in Comments below.
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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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Friday, April 20th, 2012
Sometimes a single blog on The Adoption Diaries raises such a fuss, issues such a stream of rage and outcry that I may revisit it. A couple weeks ago I found a short item from Ohio about a new adoptive father that not only raped his three new children (two boys and a girl ages 9 until 13). This official unholy monster also prostituted the children to several male friends. Read about it here. Well, so many dozens of you wrote in and wanted him dead and prosecuted.
So many of your readers were equally as violent in your responses that I could not print your rage and anger. It was very upsetting, actually. This horrible man is going to court next week on charged that will likely keep him in prison for the rest of his life; the two other men who raped those kids have now also been arrested. The three kids have been returned to that state’s foster care system where they hopefully can heal under a more careful and watchful eye! But could that happen again? Folks, it happens every day in the foster care system!
To counteract that post, reader Dawn had this to say. She is one mother who is absolutely outraged:
She wrote, “There are so many happy and beautiful stories of adoption to be told, but this tale is NOT about adoption. It is about a predator. Adoptive parent screening is very extensive. I am an adoptive mother and can attest to the scrutiny and examination that we all go through. So sad for these children who were already failed and have endured further trauma. This is the exception, NOT the rule. The screening process may not be perfect, but I would love to compare it to that of parents who conceive children. Yeah…that is non-existent.
Dawn also questioned, “Who is testing this adoptive family? Who is screened, tested, interviewed or trained safefully prior to becoming parents? Just a little balance for this awful and tragic story. Please do not focus on the wrong element. Bad parents are bad parents. Most all children who are in protective custody or waiting for forever loving foster/adoptive families did not arrive there because of abuse at the hands of an adoptive parent.”
Thanks for responding in such a healthy and balanced way, Dawn. You also helped my mood and my emotions! Tune in on Friday.
Happy Earth Day, moms and dads!
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