Posts Tagged ‘ Fostering ’

Have a Play Date with Nature and Your Kid

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Calling all prospective parents: Sometimes I happen upon a post that’s not so tailored just for the adoption marketplace,  and this is one of those too-good all-natural posts that’s really perfect for all families.

In trying to plan our long afternoons off from first grade — the kid gets out before 3 pm, for goodness sake, I was happy to receive tips from the National Wildlife Federation in conjunction with research from North Carolina State University, which developed a thoughtful guide to creating enticing outdoor play spaces as close as a patio or balcony.

A “Guide to Nature Play Spaces” can help transform playgrounds, schoolyards, childcare centers, museums and zoos into spaces where kids can connect, play and learn.

The idea behind a nature play space is that instead of the standard metal and plastic structures that make up the bulk of today’s playgrounds, you can incorporate the surrounding landscape and vegetation to bring nature todaily outdoor play and learning environments.

  • Gather natural materials like sticks, leaves, and grasses to use in imaginative play. The simplest nature play consists only of gathering some of nature’s “loose parts” already present in a yard.
  • Collect  branches, logs, sticks, and rope to build a fort, hideout or den.
  • Use a hollow log, planter or corner of the yard to make a miniature scale fairy village. These become enchanted places that stimulate creative, make-believe settings.
  • Plant or pot colorful, textured spices like rosemary, lavender and thyme to make a sensory garden.
  • Set up small stumps of various heights that children can step across for learning balancing skills.
  • Help with garden tasks like planting, watering and harvesting provide hands-on play and learning opportunities. Parents indicate they want their kids to experience nature, but it can be difficult to find an opportunity that fits a busy schedule,” said Allen Cooper, Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation.

Log onto the  Nature Play at Home Guide and start digging in the dirt, regardless of your outdoor space. Even patios and balconies provide opportunities for kids to connect with nature.

Do you have an inspiring adoption story for me? Comment below.

 

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“I Am Living Proof Adoption Works”

Friday, September 7th, 2012

That’s the line Audrey wrote to me last month that totally got my attention. We sent a few emails back-and-forth and here is the story of abalanced adult who was also a happy, healthy adopted kid. She tells it better than I can.

Audrey said, “I am living proof that adoption works. I was only in foster care about five months before placement, adopted as an infant after my birth mother made the wonderful decision to give me up.

My birth mother was an honor college student in nursing school in South Carolina.  I commend the social worker who placed me with my parents,  an elementary school teacher (Mom) and a grocery store owner (Dad now deceased) in a rural community near Charleston.

I grew up an only child, wanting for nothing, with lots of love and firm discipline. My parents were very open with me that I was adopted, and explained this to me since the age of four. So, I grew up knowing that I was adopted. I was a member of the National Honor Society, the marching bank and my 10th grade class president.

I went on to  graduate from high school with honors and attended college  majoring in psychology. In 1985, during my senior year of college while at the University of South Carolina, I went to the adoption agency that had my records and obtained non-identifying information regarding my own adoption. I had a longing to know who I looked like. My parents were awesome, but there was still a missing piece to my life puzzle.

I was able to locate my birth mom and able to meet my biological dad. My maternal grandmother died last month and I am one of 22 grandchildren! During the years I got to know my own grandma, she shared so much wisdom with me. She also explained the household circumstances why I was placed for adoption. It was very evident that I was always loved. It was an economical decision and one that would give me the best life possible.

The end? I am so richly blessed. I also have two wonderful, beautiful, loving, educated and spiritual mothers.”

Thanks for your awesome adoption story, Audrey. Please Comment below if you have another one!

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Revisiting a Foster Mom with 30 Kids, 5 Adopted

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

domestic adoption foster careWhen we first published this story about an angel of a foster mom who has taken in 30 foster kids over the last few years, we got some great comments, everyone wanted to know what kind of big-hearted family takes in 30 kids.

The Foster mom who asked to be called “Mom of 9″ (only 9 at home now) said, “As a foster parent who has fostered and adopted five of them, I have experience with many kinds of abuse cases. It’s much more common than you think. Not only foster kids hurting biological kids, but foster siblings assaulting each other and even step-siblings assaulting each other. ”

Mom of 9 said that when it comes to sexual abuse in foster care, age is not a factor. She said, “We once had an 8-year-old boy placed with us that ended up being inappropriate towards our other sons. The county didn’t tell us until after he’d been in our home a few days that there was a risk of that because of what he’d been exposed to previously.”

Mom of 9 also said, “When someone adopts a child, the county is required by law to disclose their entire history of abuse but foster parents don’t get the same treatment; they are expected to take a child with only general information. We once had a six-year-old girl with us for three days  and the county didn’t tell us until three days later that she required an inhaler and an Epi-pen for emergencies. Her older sister finally mentioned it.”

She believes there should be stricter laws and legislation to protect and serve all children in foster care. What do you guys think?

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Happy Labor Day Wishes for all Adopted Kids

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Moms and dads endure plenty of stress between work, keeping up with the family obligations, not to mention the anxiety of adoption, filling out all those forms, the huge financial burden, and then also the simple waiting and waiting for your beloved child who is growing older in a home or orphanage somewhere. You cannot kiss them good night or hold them when they get a cut or scrape.

Waiting to just make an adoption decision (domestic versus international, for instance) gets nerve-wracking. Take it from me.

Could this tumultuous waiting/hoping and false starting be bad for your health?

New research says, “Yes.” Mental stress can be more damaging to a woman’s heart than her male counterpart. But local cardiologists say learning how to cope will ensure mom is around to celebrate many more mother’s days to come.

Studies show coping with mental pressures and anxiety may be more taxing on the heart health of women.

The study, presented at a recent annual Experimental Biology meeting, showed men and women given the same stressful math problem all had an increase in blood pressure and heart rate while solving it. Normally, when heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow to the heart muscle increases so it can compensate. However, findings showed while the mens’ heart increased blood flow, the womens’ heart did not.

With many mothers overextending themselves, local cardiologists say stress management is a key factor in maintaining a healthy heart. “Stress reduction is important for everyone. This study suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. And, women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” says Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., F.A.C.C., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.

Studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of adoption and child-rearing:

As we celebrate a long weekend with our families, take the time to de-stress and take a day off of worrying about your adoption journey.

My family and I decided to take the summer off and re-think our adoption journey, because our finances are so tight we really cannot afford to adopt internationally any longer. We are in the middle of a long road to international and money has officially begun to run out.

As you enter or move through the world of adoption do you get totally stressed out like me? Tell me about it in Comments below.

 

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Happy Adoption Story from a Family of Adopted Kids

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

I asked readers of The Adoption Diaries to tell me a happy, true story of adoption because we’ve been focusing on some of the recent foster care and adoption horror stories, like the Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

So outspoken reader Jamie wrote, “Here’s a good adoption story. If you did more research you would find many good stories. My aunt and uncle adopted my cousin when he was two days old, and he is loved, treated with all the respect in the world. He was never abused by anyone. My own parents adopted three children: my older brother was adopted when he was 7; my sister and I were adopted at ages 3 and 4.

Raised happy, good Jewish kids by the grace of God. We all had wonderful childhoods and we’re all still close.  My brother went on to be an underwater welder, my sisters are both in college now and I’m an aesthetician; all four good people with great lives.

I am sure that  99% of adoptive parents are good loving people who don’t rape or abuse there children…”

That’s a smart response to my lamenting posts about adopting from foster care and being afraid of the the emotional composition of these kids, many of whom were born addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Breaking News: Father’s Age Is Linked to Autism

Cell mutations become more numerous with advancing age, so older men are more likely than younger ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia. Scientists just reported in Nature last week, the age of mothers had no significance.

According to the study, surging rate of autism diagnoses over recent decades is partially attributable to the increasing average age of fathers, and may account for as many as 30 percent of new cases. The overall risk to a man in his forties is 2 percent and increases each year.

There are many autistic children up for adoption in foster care situations all across America; it takes a strong commitment to parent a troubled kid.

Do you know anyone who’d adopted an autistic child and has tips for other parents?

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff