Archive for the ‘
The Adoption Diaries ’ Category
Monday, June 4th, 2012
Certainly, stress reduction is important for everyone, but a new study suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. “Women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” said Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.
When you mix older parents who adopt with the ever-increasing risk of heart disease, studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. “High levels of stress make other risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure worse,” Dr. Rothfeld said.
Being able to identify stressors in life and releasing the tension they cause is critical in learning to cope with everyday pressure, as well as significant traumatic life events. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of life.
• Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend
• Death of a friend or loved one
• Problems in a personal relationship
• Work overload
• Pregnancy and/or infertility
• Financial concerns
“Identifying and addressing issues is the best way to reduce the release of stress hormones, like adrenalin, into the bloodstream that increase the likelihood of both heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest,” Dr. Rothfeld said. Some common techniques for coping with stress while you wait for your child to come home:
• Eat and drink sensibly - Abusing alcohol and food may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.
• Stop smoking - Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms.
• Exercise regularly - Choose non-competitive activities and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
• Relax every day – Choose from a variety of different techniques, such as meditation, to unwind.
• Get enough rest – Even with proper diet and exercise, you can’t fight stress effectively without rest. You need time to recover so the time you spend asleep should be long enough to relax your mind as well as your body.
We can all help ourselves by recognizing what stresses us out and establishing coping strategies to help control how we respond to these situations, he said. Amen.
Tell me all about your non-stressful adoption story here!
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Reader Joanne inspires me with her adoption story of two kids and how her family fared through the ultimate roller-coaster of domestic adoption, but ended up with two county-sponsored adoptions via foster care that cost her family little to no financial investment. I don’t know about you, but not being able to afford adoption is the worst thing.
If innocent little kids can find worthy homes but don’t all because of money, something is incredibly wrong with our legal adoption system.
Joanne said, “I would love to keep hope alive since it was something my family had to do while waiting. We were living in California at the time and applied to the local county adoptions. We moved through all the classes you are now going through, and we were placed on a list to be matched.
While I had three grown sons from a previous marriage, my husband never had children and always wanted one. Since my bio clock was done for — we were both well over 40 at the time — we decided to try foster to adoption. Our home study was approved in May 2002 and we did get matched with a newborn on Christmas eve. The county had a program called concurrent planning where you are placed with an infant that is 95% sure will lead to an adoption.
It was unfortunate that during that emotional first placement, the birth mother changed her mind and after six glorious days, our potential new daughter was returned back to her birth mother.”
Joanne and her husband waited another four months or so after finishing classes, until March 200, to get the call about a safe surrender baby girl. All 50 states have some kind of safe surrender program where the birth mom can drop off an infant at any hospital or fire station and not be prosecuted for doing so.
Joanne’s daughter was delivered by the birth mother at a hospital where she left saying she did not want the baby. Joanne said, “We brought her home at 2 ½ months old and her adoption was finalized in September 2004 so it was a total of 20 months all together.”
In late May 2006 we were matched with yet another safe surrender baby girl. This little one was a home birth and the birth mother dropped her off at a hospital and left. She was only 2.5 pounds, and was in the hospital for months. We started visiting her daily, feeding and holding her until she was able to come home. Since being placed with us that July, we finalized her adoption in April 2007, only nine months later.”
Joanne’s family has moved to a different state and they are now in the process of getting a foster care license in their new state so we they can again help children who need a safe place. She said, “At this point, we are in our mid-fifties and very happy with our late-in-life adoptions and being able to help others. I hope that my life story will encourage others to keep their dream alive.
Keep up the great work, Nicole!” Tell me your adoption story here:
Thank you back, Joanne, the world needs more parents like you.
Monday, May 21st, 2012
Lisa Barbero an artist and avid reader of The Adoption Diaries here on Parents.com sent me the map, at right. She said, “I’ve loved reading your blog. Your honest and heartfelt perspective on parenting and adoption are wonderful.
Just thought I’d drop a line to tell you about the art I make and how it’s begun to catch the eyes of many adoptive parents. I make custom skylines and country maps from all over the world. Parents have taken to commissioning me to make representations of their adopted countries otherwise obscure hometowns, especially those which may be in tucked away little villages in places like China or Eastern Europe.”
Recently Lisa was asked to create a large scale poster of Ethiopia [see at right] for a family adopting a son from there. I’m also currently working on South Korea and the Ukraine for other adoptive families who want to bring their new, adopted children into a home where their parents respect and recognize their own countries too. I think that’s an amazing and gracious idea!
Lisa said, “I am honored to get the opportunity to make these unique pieces of art, which can not only provide a special sentiment to the room of any child, but especially to those coming from other countries. The introduction of that special little boy or girl into their new home can be made that much more comfortable by seeing a familiar part of their former home on their nursery walls. So, I thought there must be many more children out there who could be helped in their adoption transitions as well.”
If you or yours are expecting a new foster child or an adopted kid into your home any time in the future, commission Lisa to create beautiful, vibrant art that will make them feel loved, welcomed and nurtured. Thanks for reading, Lisa, and stay in touch!
Tell me your own adoption story here.
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
A new report depicts just how extensively adoption in the United States has changed over the last several decades – from a period enshrouded in secrecy to today’s “open” domestic adoptions, cases where the two families involved maintain an ongoing emotional relationship.
The report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, “Openness in Adoption: From Secrecy and Stigma to Knowledge and Connections,” disseminates stats and adoption information from a survey of 100 agencies.
Their key findings:
- “Closed” infant adoptions have shrunk to approximately 5 percent, with 40 percent of adoptions now “mediated” and 55 percent “open”
- 95 percent of agencies now offer open adoptions.
- Adoptive parents, like most participants in open adoptions, report more positive experiences. More openness is also associated with greater satisfaction with the adoption process.
- Women who have placed their infants for adoption and can sustain some level of bonding report less grief, as well as more peace of mind.
- The primary beneficiaries of openness are adopted kids themselves because of access to birth relatives, emotional support and medical histories.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said in a report last month that the new norm is for birthparents considering adoption is to meet with prospective adoptive parents and pick the new family themselves.
“The degree of openness should be tailored to the preferences of the individual participants,” said Chuck Johnson of the National Council for Adoption, which represents over 50 adoption agencies. “It points to the huge importance of the right people being matched with each other.”
The Donaldson Institute said most participants find open adoptions a positive experience. In general, the report said, “Adoptive families are more satisfied with the adoption process and birth mothers experience less regret and worry.”
There are still widespread myths and misconceptions about open adoption. Do you have any?
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!