Posts Tagged ‘ adoptive parents ’

Good News: International Adoption Festivities

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

adopting and older child Over the last ten years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries.

At the start of National Adoption Month, last month, Secretary of State Clinton said:

“They have given vulnerable children the opportunity to thrive.  Families who adopt are enriched by the love of their new children, and the heritage they bring from their birth countries. This November, we celebrate National Adoption Month and join with groups across the nation to recognize these special families. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.”

Then I found this great adoption news story out of New Mexico that me smile all day long:

Albuquerque Restaurants Feeds, Celebrates Foster Kids (photo right)

Local foster and adoption families were treated to a free holiday dinner Thursday, thanks to a local Albuquerque restaurant. Sandiago’s at the Tram prepared a special Thanksgiving feast. The restaurant started this event several years ago as a way to give back to families who give so much to children in the community.

Three hundred people were treated to Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s a gift that the Martinez family says they appreciate.

“We’re blessed! I tell everyone I get a hug and a kiss everyday. I get unconditional love,” said Vivian Martinez. She’s counting her blessings this year, including their mix of foster and biological children. “Just the noise and joy around the home. There’s never a dull moment. There’s always something to do.”

The Children’s Youth and Families Department says it’s always in need of foster families. For more information, contact them at 1-855-333-SAFE.

Tell me your interesting or uplifting domestic adoption story right here:

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New Website Spreads Awareness of Dangers of “Orphanage Tourism”

Monday, November 26th, 2012

international adoption nutritionIf you are even considering an international adoption, much like my family is with a toddler daughter in India, you must thoroughly do your homework, document all your paperwork, legalize everything — and make sure you’re not stealing some poor mother’s newborn in a Third World Country without her knowledge.

It happens all the time, but international rules and regulations are halting such illegal practices.

This helpful website is to educate people about what orphanage tourism is and the devastating affect is having on the children of Cambodia, many of whom are not even orphans. Most governments and child care professionals regard the institutionalization of children in orphanages as the very last resort. Unfortunately, in Cambodia it is increasingly becoming the first, mainly due to the increased demand from travelers and donors for more and more orphanages. Others are nothing more than money-making scams that are specifically targeting unsuspecting tourists.

Considering International Adoption?

The group’s spokesperson said in an interview, “Few of these people that are trying to help are actually qualified to work with traumatized or vulnerable children, so what we end up with is an even more dire situation. We really want to get the word out about this important cause, and let well-intentioned people know that there are better alternatives and avenues through which they can help.”

“The fact is, most travelers, donors, and volunteers are completely unaware that they are fueling this problem or that they may be doing more harm than good,” comments the group spokesperson. Media Note: Because many of the most profiteering Cambodian orphanages have close ties with the government (some of those who have spoken out about this in the past have been threatened) this group prefers to remain anonymous for now.

“We encourage visitors to become educated about orphanage tourism, and to help us continue to raise awareness by sharing the information they learn here with others. The goal is to stop fueling the orphanage industry and find ways to support vulnerable children and their families, not split them up. The children of Cambodia, and around the world, deserve better.”

You can help channel the good intentions of travelers and donors towards initiatives that provide more positive support for children, and support family based care, reducing the separation of children and their communities.”

Are you considering international adoption of a baby or a special needs toddler? What countries are you considering?

 

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To Honor International Adoption Month: Fight Malnutrition

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

My family is considering international adoption in India. It’s been a real rollercoaster simply narrowing down the nations and the age of our future kid.

All of our adoption reading material — so much adoption homework if you do it right — discusses a condition called “Failure to Thrive,” a common nutrition-related health condition found among many internationally adopted orphans, which may impact their growth and brain development.

Foster children are also at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies, including anemia. One common denominator among all children who fail to thrive is poverty. Here are the symptoms of poverty and maternal wellness when considering international adoption as we are here in the Straff household:

  • Inadequate prenatal diet or vitamins
  • Infants with very low birth weight
  • Inadequate breastfeeding
  • Nursed with animal milk products instead of fortified formula
  • Premature solid food in the infant’s diet
  • Inadequate exposure to sunlight, which inhibits vitamin D production

One small way to fight malnutrition worldwide is to buy a cookbook from one of the largest and oldest International Adoption agencies who published  “Cooking With Our Kids” where monies will go directly to Indian orphanages.

If you’re a bigger thinker: $20 million in new grants was recently donated from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to growing nutritionally enhanced rice and cassava in order to decrease malnourishment across Asia and Africa.

The grants will help in the development, testing and marketing of Golden Rice, which is fortified with vitamin A, in the Philippines and Bangladesh, and BioCassava Plus, a tuber fortified with vitamin A, iron and protein in Kenya and Nigeria.

Celebrate National Adoption Month with me; tell me another wonderful way to celebrate National Adoption (and International) Adoption Day.

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Halloween is a Holiday for All Children

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

But I feel especially winsome for the hundreds of thousands of kids who need a home, a set of parents to bring them Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is a funny holiday for my family because we’ve spent the last two Halloween seasons considering adopting a toddler from India–or then, again, adopting domestically and via the Los Angeles foster care system. And we are nowhere near settled on it.

Halloween brings up family drama! This particular letter I received from a fan of The Adoption Diaries, taking issue—yet another issue—with open adoption versus closed domestic adoptions.

My family and I have gone on the record saying we far prefer the idea of an international adoption because we have no way to meet those Indian relatives that gave our future child up for adoption; we like the idea of the biological family living far away. We may hard feelings on her behalf, for instance.

The reader agrees with me. Sarah said, “I find it interesting that everyone just defends open adoption regardless of all the problems open adoption contains … for families everywhere.”

Sarah told me her family chose a domestic, closed adoption “in the best interest of my adopted daughter.” And I agree based on the authenticity and intelligence of the biological parents. (I know I’ll hear about this from you about open adoption objections.)

Sarah’s daughter’s birth family violently assaulted the first set of adoptive parents before their own adoption ever went through. She said to me, “The adoptive husband had to have 28 stitches due to the openness pushed by their adoption agencies.”

Sometimes it just doesn’t work to be friends with the bio parents depending on the adoptive situation and personalities involved.

Sarah said, “When we agreed to adopt our daughter the adoption agency started in on us about Open Adoption everything. My husband went straight to the family court judge with the incident report and the criminal records of the birth family. Thankfully, the judge ordered no contact with the birth family.

I really don’t see how open adoption helps children if/when their birth families have these types of problems.  Violence is deeply ingrained in this birth family’s culture. Our daughter needs to escape from the influences that cause this violence.

My family does not know how to solve these problems that drove this birth family to violence  I also don’t think it is right to force adoptive parents into open adoption. Open Adoption has a lot of problems and they are mostly ignored by the adoption community by simply saying it best for the child without considering all the facts of the situation.”

I’d love to hear from adoptive parents who did both kinds of adoption!

 

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911 Preparing for Poison Prevention Week

Monday, October 15th, 2012

protect your children The Poison Prevention Week Council today announced the winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week poster contest, and wants to remind parents—all parents and foster parents and adoptive parents—to discuss and highlight with your family the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. In honor of awareness week, the winning poster in each division will be featured on the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week posters. First, second and third place winners in each division will be posted on poisonprevention.org.

More than 150 posters were submitted from around the nation. One winner was selected in each of the three divisions: grades kindergarten through two; three through five; and six through eight.

The winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) Poster Contest are as follows:

  • Grades kindergarten through two: Colby Johnson from Mercer, Pennsylvania
  • Grades three through five: Alayna Ryan from Antwerp, Ohio
  • Grades six through eight: Natalie Loos from Jacksonville, Florida

Winners were selected based on creativity, design and poisoning prevention messages.

“The children, and the art teachers who inspire them, continue to impress us with their creativity and talent,” said Courtney Wilson, Poison Prevention Week Council chair. “It has been a pleasure to review all of the submissions. We are extremely proud of the winners and are excited to share their work.”

Order a poster for your classroom or a child’s bedroom. Posters can be ordered through the website.

NPPW shows how every day people can and do prevent poisonings. We invite you to review the information on our website and become actively involved in helping ensure the safety of children and adults in your home and your community. This is one of the nubers to know if you become a foster parent, which is why I follow this link now: 

 

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