Posts Tagged ‘ adoption ’

“I Am Living Proof Adoption Works”

Friday, September 7th, 2012

That’s the line Audrey wrote to me last month that totally got my attention. We sent a few emails back-and-forth and here is the story of abalanced adult who was also a happy, healthy adopted kid. She tells it better than I can.

Audrey said, “I am living proof that adoption works. I was only in foster care about five months before placement, adopted as an infant after my birth mother made the wonderful decision to give me up.

My birth mother was an honor college student in nursing school in South Carolina.  I commend the social worker who placed me with my parents,  an elementary school teacher (Mom) and a grocery store owner (Dad now deceased) in a rural community near Charleston.

I grew up an only child, wanting for nothing, with lots of love and firm discipline. My parents were very open with me that I was adopted, and explained this to me since the age of four. So, I grew up knowing that I was adopted. I was a member of the National Honor Society, the marching bank and my 10th grade class president.

I went on to  graduate from high school with honors and attended college  majoring in psychology. In 1985, during my senior year of college while at the University of South Carolina, I went to the adoption agency that had my records and obtained non-identifying information regarding my own adoption. I had a longing to know who I looked like. My parents were awesome, but there was still a missing piece to my life puzzle.

I was able to locate my birth mom and able to meet my biological dad. My maternal grandmother died last month and I am one of 22 grandchildren! During the years I got to know my own grandma, she shared so much wisdom with me. She also explained the household circumstances why I was placed for adoption. It was very evident that I was always loved. It was an economical decision and one that would give me the best life possible.

The end? I am so richly blessed. I also have two wonderful, beautiful, loving, educated and spiritual mothers.”

Thanks for your awesome adoption story, Audrey. Please Comment below if you have another one!

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Waiting for Your Adopted Child is Very Stressful

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
•    Unemployment
•    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!

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Over-40 Mom Adopts from Thailand

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Mom blogger and London-based writer Carole Turner-Record told me how she adopted from Thailand when she was 41 years old. At the time of the adoption, Carole already had one biological son, who was 14.

She said, “Emma was already 21 months when the international adoption became final, and my son was 14. Because Brian was so much older there was no sibling rivalry ever; they adored each other from the beginning.”

There was so little written emotionally and honestly about the process back then, that Carole wrote a book about her adoption experience (McBooks Press 1999). Available on Amazon, her case study of different adoptions back them read like a detective novel.  Carole said, “These stories are interviews with real people who chose adoption and they are still completely relevant today.  The only difference is that cell phones were not around and people had to stay at home to wait for phone calls  — this added a certain amount more tension to the process.”

Carole said, “I wrote the book because I have a biological son and an adopted daughter and I wanted people to understand that you love them equally.  I also wanted people to witness the journeys taken by parents who created their families through adoption. The biggest challenge was the snail pace of Thai bureaucracy during those years.

We chose to adopt from Thailand because we became friendly with a business colleague of my husband’s who had adopted twin girls from Thailand.  We were in a second marriage and hadn’t planned to have a child together, but fell under the spell of those twin girls!

The best part of adoption was realizing that I loved both of my children absolutely equal. Today, I  am just as proud of Emma’s accomplishments as I am of Brian’s. That was the main reason why I decided to write my book, and why I blog about adoption still. I wanted potential adoptive parents to know that you could love an adopted child just the same as you could love a birth child.  I think that message comes across  loud and clear.”

Thanks for reading The Adoption Diaries on, and offering up your story. Tell me all about your story right here in Comments!

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Completion of the 3-Hour Foster Family Orientation

Monday, February 27th, 2012

adopting a baby from foster care Up until husband Darrin and I completed our 3-hour “Resource Parent” Foster family application and orientation, I did not realize that you can be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent at the same time when you register with the county and pass their 24 hours of training. You can foster a child and apply to adopt that child simultaneously; it’s a great way to make triple-sure you are the best match for that child!

These are great definitions to keep in mind if you’re looking to adopt domestically:

  • A foster parent provides a loving but temporary stable home for a child and helps them reunite with broth parents or family members.
  • An adoptive parent provides a permanent stable home once it has been determined that the child cannot live safely with their birth parent or birth family.

In fact, with domestic adoption, you can be single, married, divorced or living with a partner. There is no mandated minimum income but you must be able to show how you support both yourself and a foster child. And I found out, gladly, that I can be a different race, culture or even sexual orientation that my foster or adopted child through the county process.

My worst-case scenario is hosting a foster child, applying to adopt that beloved foster child over a period of months… and then having the birth partners want her back. No way! If I had to knowingly return a child to a questionable family who might hurt her or negate all the stable love we’d provided a child for months, I might end up in jail.

I might do all kinds of crazy things to keep her. My husband Darrin wants us to write  in our application that we’re open to a sibling group but I don’t think I can handle that, either.

Since “returning the foster-child scenario” is one of my biggest fears, a cold dread stops me from signing up for the 24 hours of domestic adoption training, I need to hear a successful  adoption story from parents out there who actually fostered a child and then went on to adopt that child!

I’m begging adoptive parents to out there to send me your success story with fostering, and I will print it!

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Your Smart Reasons to Adopt this Year

Monday, January 30th, 2012

adoption diaries, older parentsBefore you ask (and you will ask — everybody does), I did not have trouble conceiving our son, Sam. I was working at a job I adored  Organic Spa Magazine and I was in love with my newish fiancee (then a screenwriter in Los Angeles) when everyone — from my gyno to my mother-in-law — began beseeching us to start trying to get pregnant due to my “advanced maternal age.”

Well, well, surprise. Take that advanced maternal age! First month out of the gate, well past my 35th birthday.

Tough subject, I know. I have universal respect for women friends in their thirties and forties who have never been able to get pregnant at all; I understand (a little) how much that sucks.  Two of my best friends cannot get pregnant still.

But I now take pleasure in my work, I gleefully pedal my beach cruiser, hike with my dog, I enjoy this “me time” I carved out with only one kiddo. (Yes, I do admit it: I also like my stomach toned and flat again.)


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