Posts Tagged ‘ domestic adoption ’

Adoption Challenges Throughout the Holidays

Friday, December 7th, 2012

adoption challenges holiday Last weekend, my family was visiting our cool Hollywood friends for casual festivities, having a few cocktails with a few creative couples when one dynamic duo (and I mean that seriously) launched into a heart-warming holiday tale about their Echo Park neighbors who finally adopted — after a brutal three-year wait — a lovely Ethiopian toddler who is perfect and quiet in every way.

They will celebrate a son, newly named Ben. Beautiful Ben. Can’t help but dream of his pretty face, long eye lashes. I feel scared for myself at how easy the images burn my eyelids. Did they travel across a desert for him? Were his family nomads in Ethiopia?

I lose track of the conversation and five minutes later, I blurt out loudly:

“Is there something wrong with him? Can he speak? Why is the little boy so quiet?” I ask, the ever-present adoptive mother questions. Too loudly, almost rudely.

My husband raises an eyebrow, like, “I cannot believe you just said that.” Thankfully the adopted kid and his ecstatic parents have not arrived yet but my husband gives me the death stare, and our mutual friend wonders out loud, ” Why does there have to be soothing wrong with a happy adopted 2-year-old?”

Without thinking, I launch into my tired adoption diatribe about reactive-attachment disorder, “so many kids nearing three years old have reactive-attachment syndrome and blah blah blah blah.”

“…and if he’s only two then there’s a bigger chance he was…blah, blah”

And blah.

Party pooper. I’m sick of myself — are you? Everyone is shuffling around the cheese plate looking suddenly uncomfortable. Uh, yeah.

I stop in mid blah and nibble a few appetizers. Have another cocktail I may not need. Adoption envy ensues. I am quiet and helpful in the kitchen for the next 15 minutes and the new adoptive loving gorgeous perfect family never shows anyway because the little slow, quiet little Ethiopian son (kissing!) has a horrid cold.

Are you in the process of adoption? Are you filled with hope and longing when you meet other parents waiting too?

Tell me your own story in Comments below.

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Celebrating National Adoption Month with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

national adoption month for toddlersThis past month of November, America celebrated National Adoption Month with feel-good stories each week, and I have another one for you below. However, before you read another installation of a new Adoption Diary, check out what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as she opened legislation at the top of the month. Her words are inspiring for parents everywhere.

Announcing her support for National Adoption Month, Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last ten 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. 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.” — Hillary Clinton 2012

Here’s the happy new adoption story. Tammy Gilmore decided to do her part in it this Thanksgiving Day with a second adoption.

Only a year earlier, Gilmore adopted a 3-year-old boy named Alexander. Gilmore is a single mother who works for an attorney who has experience working with adoptive families in the Iowa area. She adopted Alexander and was then driven to adopt his little brother as well. Gilmore went through IowaKids.net, which is a website where many agencies collaborate in order to help people who want to foster and adopt children. There are several agencies in cooperation in this partnership.

The agencies that are in partnership attempt to find homes for the over 700 children eligible for adoption and the 6,000 that are in foster care. There are over 1000,000 kids in the United States waiting to be adopted.

Learn more about foster care and adoption here. Tell me your story below in the comments.

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

100 Adopted Kids Find New Homes this Thanksgiving Season

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

domestic adoption thanksgvingCurrently, there are 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Children’s Bureau has a highly-regarded foster care and adoption program that helps more than 500 foster children find safe, nurturing homes and facilitates more than 100 foster-to-adoptions each year. They are the good guys!

Their programs help children newborn to 18 years of age. Homes are needed for infants, sibling sets of brothers and sisters, older children and children of all ethnicities, especially African American children. Our foster and adoptive parents are given the support, resources and tools they need to help these fragile children to trust, love and feel much more confident about their place in the world.

Wyatt Lemaster was a newly adopted fifth grader who kept looking around in wonder, according to local Los Angeles news reports. “It means never getting taken away again,” the fifth-grader said softly during a  moment of reflection at the the fifth-floor reception area of the Edmund D. Edleman Children’s Courthouse last week.

Adopted Families Give Thanks This Year

As we wait for another child, most likely a foster child like one of the kids here, we give thanks at home for all that we already have. Such abundance.

Take a few moments to revel in gratitude for all of the joys you have, for the way your body moves, for love and family and the sunshine in your life. Happy Thanksgiving holidays, and tell me your adoption story here:

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Celebrations were  kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families.

How to find adoption celebrations: Promoting awareness can be done through planned events and campaigns, gatherings and celebrations, and simple everyday activities. These are all opportunities to educate ourselves and others about adoption and about issues surrounding adoption. Even one family for one child is a success.

During the rest of the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. (It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously. It has also become a popular time to hold adoption fairs and conferences, plan political action events, and more.

At the very least, regardless of how far along you are on your down adoption journey, support and celebrate all of those kids waiting for their permanent homes.

One small thing all prospective adoptive parents can learn, me included, is try to use  more positive adoption language. Using a healthier spin (avoid using emotional language, ie: “being put up for adoption” rather than having an adoption plan. By using positive adoption language, you’ll reflect the true nature of adoption, free of stereotypes.

What else will you do to celebrate National Adoption Month? What can you do to help?

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Adopted Kids Can Learn to Nurture Nature

Monday, November 5th, 2012

One of the sadder things I’ve learned from reading foster care family literature—in our family’s gradual search for a female toddler—is that many urban babies (who’ve been neglected or even abused) are anemic and don’t receive adequate Vitamin D because they’re never outside playing in a playground or sunbathing in a sand box.

As I searched for additional stats on domestic adoption and beginning the foster care process of adoption, I found this to celebrate:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) joins the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to set an unprecedented goal to get 10 million more kids to spend significant time outdoors over the next three years. Working together, they will combat the growing trend toward “lack of green time.”

Research shows children are spending long hours indoors using electronic media, yet they spend only mere minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. This is affecting the health and well-being of children and is quickly causing a generation of kids who are becoming less healthy and who are disconnected from the natural world around them.

Local park and recreation agencies serve an essential role in preserving natural resources, providing open space and cultivating a connection to nature and the outdoors that can last a lifetime.

“We know that when children spend time outdoors they are more active and their overall well-being improves,” says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. “Our nation’s parks and recreation areas are not just a solution for better health, but are the answer to inspiring a healthier generation of youth who appreciate and care for our open space lands and who will engage in environmental stewardship that will benefit our future.”

The 10 Million Kids Outdoors goal encourages kids to get outdoors and explore, play, and learn for 90 minutes per week. This outdoor time excludes time spent outdoors in organized sports, which while beneficial, does not provide children the same benefits as outdoor play in green spaces. By increasing outdoor time to 90 minutes per week, NRPA and NWF believe it will contribute to a significant increase in children’s connection to nature due in part to more time spent outdoors.

What rituals does your family do to play outside together?

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff