Posts Tagged ‘ birth mother ’

Looking Toward Foster Care Training to Adopt Locally

Monday, December 10th, 2012

domestic adoption and child abuseWhile my family waits and sorts through some ambivalent feelings about how shifting our adoption interests from a toddler Indian little girl to a local little boy from the Los Angeles’ County foster care system has actually set us back some months, the real news is we are suddenly very clear on wanting a sibling for Sam.

Adoption preconception is taking our family a really long time.

Because of my investigations into local adoption, I found this alarming statistic from the county. I urge you to think about this stat during the holiday season as you purchase bountiful gifts for your spoiled kids, take family vacations, and play with new toys all month. So many children have no such circumstances. It kills me around this time of year.

International Adoption: Last month during National Adoption Month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last 10 years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries. 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. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.”

Domestic Adoption: According to national adoption research, in the United States, there are 3,000 children abused each day and four of them will die. (Forty percent of these children were under the age of six.) The age group with the highest abuse rate is 0-3 years.

Nationally, the highest form of abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse. Some of these reasons make me yearn to adopt a troubled child, and yet I don’t have enough fortitude for it, I’m not that kind of mom. I like things easy…

In stats I found from last year, there were 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Where are you within your adoption journey? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

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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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5 Tips to Help Adoptive Parents Better Enjoy the Holiday Season

Monday, November 19th, 2012

holiday adoptionsThe entire holiday season can be especially tough for families who struggle with issues like adoption, waiting for an international adoption, and also  fertility issues. Dr. Jeffrey D. Fisch,  Medical Director at the Sher Fertility Institute Las Vegas, offers his stress-reducing methods for all members of the waiting family.

He said, “So much of the season centers around family and children. It can be hard for waiting couples to be around other people’s kids when they are having trouble starting their own family.”

Here are five simple steps to help make the holiday season a time of anticipation and joy instead of anxiety and sadness:

1. Be proactive. Take charge of your own plans for the holidays–don’t overbook but don’t leave time to dwell on an empty nest, either. If you are having trouble conceiving on your own, speak to your physician or to a fertility specialist. If already in the process of adopting, but not yet successful, make a plan for the future to give you the strength to face the challenges of the season.

2. Keep busy. The less time you have to obsess about why it hasn’t worked yet, the better you will feel. Too much time online might not be a good thing. Get outside and be active. Increasing exercise and optimal health practices (ie: get enough sleep, do yoga for stress relief, etc) and eat healthfully.

3. Volunteer. This time of year many organizations need help. A small contribution of your time can help you feel useful and help to brighten someone else’s holiday. Thinking of others will take your mind and energy off of worrying about your own unfulfilled dream. Think “karma,” because if you do good things for others, good things will come to you, says Dr. Fisch.

4. Pamper yourself. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. At this time of year, remember that you deserve to be happy even if you are not pregnant yet. Treat yourself to a massage or to something special. Travel with your partner while you can; it gets harder once you have children.

5. Enjoy what  you have. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time focused on the good things in our lives and on those close to us.

Give thanks for the friendships and family you do sustain all year long. Tell us in the comments below how you’re doing with your adoption this holiday season.

 

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Can you Report Foster Care Abuse and Adoption Neglect?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

How much can we get involved if we even suspect a child is in danger? Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly six million children (a report can include multiple children).

The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation, losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths, according to the National Child Abuse Hotline. I wondered last week if some of us parents and adoptive parents had the balls to call child protection services if they suspected anything.

Reader Vanessa remarked back about reporting members of her own family, and she got nowhere with the foster care system.

She said, “I have even reported my uncle’s girlfriend (she has two girls, one his and another whose father she does not know) to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) three times. I happen to know that there have been other calls made by schools and pediatrician’s offices.

I have done everything in my power (taking them to my house as often as possible for sleepovers, having them over for dinners to make sure they are fed, bathing them to make sure they are clean, giving them clothes, advice, helping with homework, etc.) short of kidnapping them to help the girls. The system is flawed.”

Vanessa said sometimes a social worker visited (after a pre-notification to the party under investigation) and they would do a cursory home inspection. “Unless the person is literally beating the kid in front of them they usually find nothing. Of course if you call them first then they have plenty of time (which she has) to warn the kids that they will be removed, punished, etc. By the time the worker comes these kids are all smiles and life is great, dinner is at 6 every night and they really love their mommy.”

That is a big, fat lie. What would you do to alert the authotrities about an abused child? I’d scream my holy head off. Just for starters…

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Foster Kids: There are Monsters Under our Beds

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After going back and forth relentlessly between domestic adoption, closed adoption (my husband) versus open domestic adoption (the wife), we are at a standstill. Bio son Sam has been waiting so long for a young sister or brother that he almost doesn’t care anymore (two years and counting). At age 4, Sam was excited about a sibling; at six he’s nearly over it.

Another standstill: It’s harder and harder to leap over all the adoption barricades: finances, emotions, huge disagreements, our busy working lives, etc.

Barricade #1: Cost of an international adoption which is clearly the winner vote by our family. Hard to scare up the initial $15,000 to get the international adoption ball rolling. The total cost of an international Indian adoption for a young toddler daughter will costs total between $30,000 – $50,000.

We have some emotional obstacles around international adoption as well: Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?

If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.

From International Adoption to Domestic Adoption

You can read about our fears and ignorance around foster children in previous posts, but I still urge everyone to look into local domestic adoptions first. You adopt in a shorter amount of time and deeply serve your local community.

Re: Domestic Adoption from the Los Angeles County foster and family agencies. After several posts over the last few weeks, devout reader Jayme, who spent young, formative years in foster care in another state wrote to me.

Looking back, she remembered, “Nothing short of horrid. We used to be told about the monsters under our beds when we were young. Sometimes I wonder if they really are real? Monsters are everywhere. I learned the hard way.

“Sad sad sad,” said reader Jayme. Keep up the good work on adoptions, and I will. Share your stories with me:

 

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