Archive for the ‘ The Adoption Diaries ’ Category

New Countries Partner for International Adoptions

Monday, July 16th, 2012

As my family wends its way through the grueling, mystifying journey of international adoption, I keep my ear out for countries that follow the Hague Convention, and work with those agencies only.

The Convention was originally written to help countries regulate international adoptions and to protect children.

The Hague Convention’s main goals are to:

· Protect the best interests of adopted children

· Standardize processes between countries

· Prevent child abuse, such as trafficking in children

The new Ghana program offered by Adoption Associates said two separate trips are required: one to meet the child and attend a court hearing and the second to obtain the child’s visa and bring the child home.

So many families are passionate about the plight of African orphans, but one couple has been in the news lately because of a paperwork jam and they are awaiting a sibling adoption in Ghana. They left a couple biological kids at home with relatives.

Read all about this Orange Country, Calif. family who is being detained in Ghana after being totally cleared of child trafficking. The couple had to post bond for their own release and their passports were finally returned.

How scary.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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Abused? Jerry Sandusky’s Second Adopted Son

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Well, of course he was. Psychotic pedophile Jerry Sandusky has a “type” of boy he seems to prefer to rape, molest and devour, including his adopted sons who were tormented from about the time they were 8 years old. (That seems to be the old perv’s sweet spot.)

I just watched Matt Sandusky in his testimony, he actually seems kind of envious when he aged out of Jerry Sandusky’s clutches. He didn’t know any better but all these little boys loved Jerry Sandusky and he betrayed them all in the worst way possible.

Matt 33, was adopted by Jerry and Dottie Sandusky as an adult, after going to live with the family as a foster child. He was prepared to testify at Jerry Sandusky’s trial about years of abuse. [Old photograph of Matt Sandusky, Photo Right]

During testimony at trial, Victim 4 told jurors that one time Jerry Sandusky began touching him during a shower, Matt Sandusky was present, but left the shower when the assault began.

And then there’s foster son #2. Didn’t know about him — did you?

EJ Sandusky, also adopted, is no longer an assistant football coach at West Chester University, near Philadelphia. He has 19 years of experience as a college coach. He graduated from Penn State in 1992 and played football.

EJ has not spoken publicly about Jerry Sandusky’s arrest or conviction, but he’s left his post at the University.

Jerry Sandusky, the 68-year-old retired defensive coach for Penn State, was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years on June 23. The charges filed last month carry a minimum 60-year sentence and 442 years maximum. [Jerry Sandusky, Photo Right.]

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation.

“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

How many more lives can this one evil man, Jerry Sandusky, ruin? His legacy of brutality and devastation will live on long after that dirty old man does. He’s a physically big guy and he purposely chooses these sweet, defenseless little victims who loved and depended on him.

Do you have anything to add about fostering teenagers, adoption or Jerry Sandusky? I hate his guts.

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Actress Nia Vardalos Adopts Daughter from Foster Care

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Part 2: If you joined us Monday, we interviewed the star of An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars, which just launched on DVD. Gorgeous Greek actress Nia Vardalos finally plays a mother in the movies.

At first Vardalos and her husband were interested in an international adoption – but they waited over five years on a Chinese international adoption for a young daughter. Simultaneously, she also waited for four long years for a Greek daughter . Then, nothing.

Two years went by, then three, four and even five years of waiting for an international adoption.

Four years ago, Nia signed up with a US Foster Care agency. Vardalos said, “Ultimately when I started working with American Foster Care, we met our daughter nine months later.”

She remembers the day about four years ago: “We were really excited when we met her for the first time. She was being brought to an office to meet us. She didn’t know who we were. She was almost three years old, but the agency does a really nice thing; they don’t tell the child they are meeting prospective parents. It’s called a chemistry meeting. We all just have fun.”

The thrilled couple drove into the parking garage of the agency, and she was there. Vardalos said, “We walked toward her and my first thought was, ‘Oh I found you. Finally, finally, finally. We never looked back.’”

Vardalos’ daughter is 7 now, and the actress refuses to reveal her name or a full-frontal photograph [see photo above].  “We want to give her a normal life.”

Vardalos believed the hardest part of the adoption process was waiting for her gorgeous girl but also making sure she was then comfortable and well-loved when she finally arrived. “We wanted to be sure our daughter knew this was a continuation of her life. And assimilating a 3-year-old into our house was emotional. We had just bought a white couch a month before. Mistake.”

Vardalos said, “I became a much more nurturing person – also as an actress – since I became a mother. I think every parent wonders how to balance motherhood and work, time for me and my friends and keeping up on FaceBook and exercise. How do we do it all? Parenthood is just so real.”

Tell us your adoption story here, and thanks to actress Nia Vardalos for sharing her domestic adoption experiences.

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Happy July 4th to Adopted Families USA

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.

Anyway…

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.

 

 

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Summer Weight Loss Tips for Stressed Out Moms

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

summer weight loss secrets digest diet 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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