Posts Tagged ‘ domestic adoption ’

Father Dearly Remembers an Adopted Stepchild Who Died

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Adopting a second dog made my family realize how much more work two is than only one. Dogs and kids, two is more work than one. That’s all I meant; it’s good to be reminded of how much work/love/chores/discipline you need for two. Not one — two is so much more.

That’s what I meant when I compared domestic child adoption to a rescue dog adoption. In fact, we did rescue a second dog after long conversations and hair-pulling, arguments and opinions. Adopt a new dog (my choice) to prepare for a second child who we adopt as a toddler and save from a life of abuse and neglect (husband’s choice).

And then, a miracle letter from a reader tho has gone through emotional torment when his adopted stepchild died. Read this letter about putting life into perspective.

Thanks for sending it:

“I also want to reply to this adopt a pet vs a child issue. All those getting upset about this are being silly. There are many reasons why a pet would be better off in a home than a child would. Perhaps financial constraints play a factor. The pet is much cheaper to care for. The pet and owner can provide much love for each other. Many times women get pregnant simply because they want someone to love them. They wind up making horrible mothers.  There is no requirement that you Must raise a child.

[Today, at this point ] I have no kids but I can’t afford a kid anyway. Suits me fine. I have more time and money to do the things that are important to me. If raising a child is important to you, go for it, but don’t sit there on your high horse and look down at those of us with different ideas about how life should be. That said, when I was a young man I did have a wife and a wonderful stepson.

I raised this boy for 5 years and loved him as my own. His biological father wanted nothing to do with him. Wife and stepson were killed in a car accident. That was over 20 years ago.

Took me years to get over that loss. A long, long time. You people need to get a grip and let people live how is best for them.”

Forgiveness can take forever. Leave your comments below:

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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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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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5 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in the USA

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works to make adoption an affordable option for every working parent. Their goal is to provide companies with the support needed to provide adoption benefits to employees and recognize the forward-thinking employers that already have adoption benefits in place.

Each year, the Foundation announces a list of employers with the best adoption benefits in the nation. Rankings are based on the maximum amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt. Honorees include the top 100, the top 10 by size and the top five in each industry.

No surprise that The Wendy’s Company is number one, but check out the following five:

Hanes Brands
Barilla America
LiquidNet Holdings (tie)
United Business Media LLC
Boston Scientific

The Dave Thomas Foundation offers “employee adoption kits” which includes a CD with forms and sample benefit plans, making it easy to propose and establish an adoption benefits policy in your workplace. This kit also contains an Employer Kit for you to pass on to your organization’s decision maker.

Employers who complete our adoption benefits survey are considered for the list. The primary ranking criteria is the maximum amount of financial reimbursement per adoption, including any additional support for special needs adoption. The secondary criteria is the maximum amount of fully or partially paid leave for adoption. Employers with the combination of both criteria rank higher than those with just one.

Tell me about your adoption story here in Comments. 

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Private, Open Adoptions are Healthier for Kids and Families

Monday, September 24th, 2012

domestic adoption blogWhile my family is still considering an international adoption with an agency, we have not totally ruled out an open, domestic adoption… yet. We prefer going the international route — I like the thought that the bio parents will live far, far away — but I would be amenable to open adoptions too.

Adoption research by Deborah H. Siegel, Ph.D. and Susan Livingston Smith show how years of secretive, closed adoption information among prospective adoptive parents and children stigmatized everyone. Only 20 years ago, when adoption was shrouded in so much secrecy and stigma, that adoptive families knew nothing about each other or the child.

Our new reality today is that a large majority (well over two-thirds) of adoptive families will establish either a partial open adoption or a fully open adoption where birth families and adoptive families stay in touch through the years.

•    “Closed” infant adoptions have shrunk to a tiny minority (about 5 percent), with 40 percent “mediated” and 55 percent “open.” Now, in fact, 95 percent of agencies offer open adoptions.
•    In the overwhelming majority of infant adoptions, adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption meet, and the expectant parents pick the new family for their baby.
•    Women who have placed their infants for adoption – and have ongoing contact with their children – report less grief, regret and worry, as well as more peace of mind.

“The good news is that adoption in our country is traveling a road toward greater openness and honesty,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. His recommendations include counseling and training for all the parents involved (expectant and adoptive), as well as post-placement services.”

Would you be agreeable to an open, domestic adoption where you might socialize with the kid’s bio family?

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