Posts Tagged ‘ adoption over 35 ’

Losing Patience with International Adoption

Monday, October 8th, 2012

We’ve occasionally dragged our heels, especially when my husband and I would disagree about adoption basics: international versus domestic adoption. Open adoption versus closed adoption.

We’ve filled out some paperwork, held up on finances, my husband has a bankruptcy in his past. Compound that with a very present danger: We are running out of time to adopt a baby. We are over 45 years old and considered, in many countries abroad, simply too old to adopt.

Maybe we could adopt an older sibling group but I don’t want to do that. Way too much work. And a new kid would have to share a room with Sam, which now that he’s age six years old, hmmm, not as fun as when we started out search.

My husband called my bluff last weekend when he urged me to put up-for-sale my bio son Sam’s (amazing little boy)  newborn clothes. “If you don’t want that second baby, throw out all the clothes you’ve been saving for your un-adopted child for the last five years,” he told me in frustration.

You see,  holding Sam’s baby clothes brings me to my knees. I spent a fortune for black rock T-shirts on my baby blue boy and long-legged onesies. He was styling, totally cherubic. If that crocodile tee-shirt touched Sam’s skin, I cannot give them it up today. Give all the clothes up if you really want to forget about adoption, just forget about adopting a second child for all of us, especially for Sam,” my husband meant.

Honestly, I’ve been saving these beloved, very gently used toddler duds (the flags, and the super heroes, the indignant animals and Elmo) for my next adopted baby who has not yet arrived.

Our neighbors were having a yard sale, several families also set up in front and I called his bluff. I am so over this adoption thing, I told him over a cold cup of coffee the morning of the yard sale. I can get rid of 90 percent of all these baby clothes and begin healing from not having kid number two.

OK, let’s sell them all. All the pretty boy clothes clothes laid out on my neighbor’s sunny lawn. And then my sad-momma moment happened.

At the garage sale last Saturday, a diminutive stranger was fondling Sam’s first baby apron he wore at his first birthday party, and I sprinted over to her and whipped the brown-checkered apron out of her hand. “Sorry not for sale,” I huffed madly at the abuela sympatica. “Mine, mine, mine. For my next adopted baby. Dammit.”

Then I sat in the driveway and sobbed. For, like 50 minutes.

The potential shopper understood immediately, and walked away. One of my girlfriends came and slung an arm over my shoulder and totally understood. Patted my back. Another mom made me my first Bloody Mary of the day.

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Can You Change Your Mind About Domestic Adoption?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Well, of course you can at any point, but I did not consider it for our family. But this is taking awhile.

When my family eventually adopts a toddler from another continent, via international adoption and most likely from India, we ensure someone else’s daughter will understand about womens 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.

Our first route was definitely private domestic adoptions and my family started off by being informed about open adoptions, but the more he heard about it the more my husband was uncomfortable with contact with her birth family. He is a very private guy, doesn’t communicate with his own father anymore, and basically wants a child that belongs to him and him alone.

I know I’m going to hear it from all you domestic, open adoption fans but we prefer an international child who lives here with us while her poor, biological parents reside in India, 9,000 miles away, or whatever.

We know the stats as potential adoptive parents, more communicative and kinder open adoptions are better than 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.

Darrin wants no part of this universe. I want to hear from adoptees who have never kept in touch with birth parents versus domestic and open newborn adoption. I think botoh sound incredibly difficult. Do you?

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My Stepmother Abused and Neglected her Foster Daughter

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Reader Claudia started off my complimenting The Adoption Diaries and telling me how great Parents.com is for bringing to light the issues surrounding foster-care, domestic adoption and busy caseworkers who stash troubled kids in homes where they might be abused or neglected.

Claudia said, “Caseworkers must look for legal proof  of convicted felonies; in order for there to be anything incriminating in your background, you have had to have been arrested, tried, and found guilty in a court of law.”

But then Claudia argued that most pedophiles are in the wings watching, fitting into society like Jerry Sandusky was able to for all those years. How are you ever to know what happens behind closed doors? As an example, Claudia told me about her deceased stepmother who terrorized one of her foster daughters.

“My step-mother (who is now dead) and father adopted two little girls out of foster care. She spoiled and over-indulged the one, but couldn’t stand the other. She was verbally and emotionally incredibly abusive to her and today she has a lot of issues. Both grown women actually have a lot of emotional problems because of their foster mother. Even my father was relieved to watch his wife — their foster mom — suffer and die from cancer.

“She was what most people would say was an evil woman. But she could certainly turn on the nice and pleasant for company, be nice when it served her purposes. Sometimes evil is carefully concealed. We as a family did help the situation, but our hands were tied legally. You must look around to help children who are begin abused because abusers lurk in the shadows.

“Keep your own eyes open to children around you,” Claudia urged. “Maybe it’s not only up to the caseworkers and government who go in and
schedule a visit so the evil people can be prepared and on their best behavior. Maybe it’s up to us, neighbors and relatives, who see the truth and act. The government can’t do everything. Maybe we need to stop looking to Big Brother and expect them to run our lives for us and come up with all of the answers. Maybe we need to do something.”

Who else agrees with Claudia? Thanks for the wise words and I’m so glad you spoke out about the abuse those foster kids received.

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Adopting a Sibling Group is a Bigger Deal Than One

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

One of the first things you realize when you start filling out domestic adoption paperwork via foster care and the county — in our case Los Angeles County —  you realize how many brothers and sisters must be separated during the domestic adoption process because it’s nearly impossible to take in two, three or even four siblings.

How can one adoptive family go through the foster-to-adopt plan with more than one child? If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I chicken out pretty quickly. When all you think your little family can handle is one foster toddler, but there’s the chance you’d get a child faster if you agree to foster her siblings, too.

This happens all the time. If me and my family (with husband and bio son Sam) agree to foster siblings we’d have a foster delivery far quicker than usual. I heard from reader Shell, who said she had to look deep inside her heart and soul before she began the adoption process for a sibling group.

Shell told me, “We are so very blessed. We adopted two different sibling groups of three children each. All of these kids are as close as any family I have met, and this also includes my eldest daughter who is my biological daughter.” Shell also said, “We loved a sibling group of three teens and then some years later, we were honored once again to receive three much littler ones.”

All of these foster children had horrific beginnings, though Shell declined to divulge the terrible symptoms and sexual abuse some of the children had experienced either in foster care or their own homes. But this she will admit for all six adopted children, including her own bio daughter, who is a spectacular older sister to the younger children still at home.

Looking back, Shell said, “With love all of these children turned into amazing human beings, surrounded by love, support and goodness. My eldest boy has even traveled to Uganda to help orphaned children there and another one of my adopted children went to Mexico [on a humanitarian trip]. Plus, our little ones now volunteer several days per month to help our homeless local community.

My littlest ones donate all their clothing, blankets and food to the needy. All of my teenagers have now graduated high school, and all have gone onto colleges. My three younger ones [from the last sibling adoption] are still home and they are loved beyond measure.”

Shell says that her family “is nothing special. Our story doesn’t make the news and I am certain there are many like us, but we are nothing sensational. I want to bring those [homeless or unloved] children home with me.”

I want to hear more adoption success stories like mama Shell’s. She told me, “Happy adoption stories are everywhere, unheard but real.”

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International Adoption Policies Improve Every Year

Friday, September 21st, 2012

As my family moves forward with the potential to adopt a toddler daughter from India, we also learn that international adoption relieves resource-starved nations of the burden of supporting un-parented children.

The additional costs those orphaned children will exact as they graduate from childhoods of deprivation to adulthood — where they will also disproportionately populate the ranks of the unemployed, the homeless, and the incarcerated.

There are millions of un-parented children exist worldwide, growing up in institutions, on the streets, in group homes, in foster care, and in families where they may suffer abuse and neglect.

International adoption (at its peak in the early years of the twenty-first century) provided homes for roughly 40,000 children annually, including more than 20,000 homes in the United States, according to the Department of State. 

The UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs stated in 2010 that international adoption brings new resources into countries in the form of adoption fees and charitable contributions. While wars between nations and hostility between different ethnic groups are, sadly, part of our present, so is globalization and the continuing trend to taking care of kids caught in conflict, famine and poverty.

After two years of contemplating an international adoption, I do understand the need for such excessive paperwork via home studies and I accept that foreign countries have whole sets of different immigration laws and needs, but adopting a baby in need from a different and far-flung country should not be quite so difficult.

But adopting a toddler child from a group home in India (who so desperately needs a mom and dad) should not take more than two years.

We’ll miss the most formative two years of our kid’s life. I call foul, I don’t like the odds. And so we keep planning to double our odds, and we have begun filing paperwork for a domestic adoption training class at the same time.

How long do you think an international adoption should honestly take with valid security questions and the kid’s care uppermost in everyone’s mind? One year? Why can’t we rush through the  international immigration and customs process and why does it take two years to adopt from India? Arrrgh.

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