Posts Tagged ‘ child adoption ’

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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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Readers React: “Can We Change Our Mind on Adoption?”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Wow, I received a lot of flack from you readers on my former posts about feeling like the cost of international adoption is so deflating, and yet my family far prefers this option to a more open, domestic adoption. We even thought about trying to adopt a dog first to see if that will take the place of another being, another warm heart pumping, into our household. Well, the dog is working out great but the missing second child — on addition to my bio son Sam — is nowhere to be seen.

And adopting a second dog also made us realize again how much more work two is than one. Having one perfect beautiful bio child is pretty easy and amazing. But waiting for this missing daughter from India (who will be over four when we ever meet her) is losing its luster. My 6-year-old doesn’t even want to share his toys anymore.

Reader Renee said “I was adopted as an infant, but I already had an identity of my own. I was someone’s daughter BEFORE I was adopted. Any infant not born to you with be someone else’s son or daughter. It will have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of its biological family, just as you have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics of yours and your husband has the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of his.

What your husband wants is a Cabbage Patch Kid. They sell them at Target; please go buy him one instead of helping him to destroy a human being with his mind-boggling narcissism.”

Thanks, I think, Renee. Adoption is hard enough without all the critiques and bad advice though.

“Let’s just stick with the dog,” I told my husband after reading a dozen nasty comments. And then, finally, one reader who happens to be a social worker responded, and helped me understand:

Lori said, “It sounds like you are exploring many options for building your family. It’s great that you reach out to people who can fill in what you haven’t yet experienced. It’s difficult, when you’re merely talking about a theoretical baby or child, to  ‘get deep down,’ that eventually you will be raising an actual child-tween-teen-adult who comes to you with her own blueprint, DNA, memories, traits, temperament, etc — things that are, in many ways, set. And removed from the influences of you and your husband.

“It can be a tough pill for a pre-adoptive parent to swallow, but it’s also a beautiful thing for a parent to watch a daughter who is yours (as in being claimed by, not as in ownership) blossom in surprising and unexpected ways.”

Thanks for all the pros and cons, tell me more in the comments below!

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

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.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

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.”

Tell me your story here:

 

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‘My Aunt has Abused her Foster Kids in the Past”

Monday, September 17th, 2012

After receiving that disturbing message from Arin, I had to email back and help unfold the sad and heartbreaking story of a veteran foster mother who takes in too many children because she needs the money to live on. This foster mom grows tired of so many young and often emotionally abused kids in the house. Tempers flare. Arin felt bad even telling me some of the worst foster care experiences she has seen among the eight foster kids moving in (and out of) her aunt’s home during the last few years.

Arin asked me, “What’s bad or what’s the worst? She said, “Well my aunt has eight adopted children, young children, and she doesn’t even provide car seats with working seat belts for all those kids. That’s pretty bad, right? My aunt also gets a check to from the state of Arizona because she adopted several “un-adoptable children” but she is also abusive and very neglectful to them.”

Okay, here is worse foster mother behavior. “My aunt who fosters eight young children went out and bought herself a truck and makes them ride in the back though it has a camper over it the children are never belted in. My aunt makes one of them sleep on the floor in a bedroom with other big kids.” Arin and other members of the family have called family services in their state to beg for intervention on behalf of the abused children in the home.

As of last week, all children were still in the home of their foster mother. Arin also said, “Children protective agencies always interview the children in front of that monster and they are terrified. If they tell or complain, they believe they await a fate worse than death. To be taken away means facing unknowable dangers… So I feel horrible for her children.”

Arin told me some of the littlest kids sleep on the cold basement floor because [of the abuse they suffer from her] they wet the bed so they are “not worthy of a bed” in her eyes. This is all very sad.”

What can you do if you suspect local child abuse like this foster mama?

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff