Posts Tagged ‘ international adoption ’

Holidays are Stressful for Waiting Adoptive Parents

Friday, November 30th, 2012

domestic adoption of an older childMy family began searching for a younger sibling to add to our biological son Sam, who is six. My beautiful, sensitive, social smart kid began begging for a little sister when he was four years old and caused our family to reconsider only child status. I only ever wanted one kid because I love my work and travel to exotic places.

I married later in life and felt too independent to be tied down every single night with more than one child. Sam is easy and fun now at six years old — but it gets sort of boring too, doesn’t it? Parenting, I mean?

Anyway, at four years, Sam craved a sister and my husband agreed 100 percent and was never shy about his emotional need for a daughter; he thinks children should grow up with sibs and his friends are his sister and brother.

I only wanted Sam–he is perfect — why jinx it? At 45-ish, I don’t have an overwhelming urge to be pregnant again, although I loved every moment the first time around.

We began wanting another child for Sam, which is a pretty inappropriate reason — right? Have a kid for your kid? Bad reasoning, I know, I know.

But then a year rolled around of searching for international agencies we wanted to work with and plunk down an initial fee of about $15,000 for an international adoption of a toddler female. We were quickly ruled out of China and several Asian countries because we are too old. Then, we began narrowing our country search and learning about the Hague Convention and wanting to engage only with a country that has protective rules in place to safeguard against child trafficking.

And then, the recession hit.

Attention, parents: Sam no longer wants or needs a sister at all. In fact, Sam can’t stand the thought of girl toys and girlie pink clothes in his closet; the two would have to  share a room.

Now, only a new boy will do. Changes everything. Darrin’s not as ecstatic about another boy, he already has one of those. But a tiny little girl to call his own hmmm, that changes things for us.

Stop. My kid who wants a kid now will only accept a little brother into our family. I wonder if we look flaky to a potential adoption agency because we’ve begun reconsidering the most basic move into adoption: a boy or girl!

During the holidays as we re-think past decisions and make plans for the future, what direction do you want to take toward adoption? Will you adopt this year? One slow step forward and… ?

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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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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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A Drug-Free America for all Children

Friday, November 16th, 2012

If you’ve tuned in for the last few months, you know that there’s a much higher rate of alcohol abuse and drug use among foster children in America. It makes a prospective adoptive parents reconsider how old a child they are willing to bring into the home, for istance. When you begin foster-care training to adopt a domestic kid out of foster care, part of your scary training is how to handle the emotional tribulations with a drug-addled baby. How sad.

To celebrate a drug-free American and help more kids get adopted out of foster care: The National Family Partnership® (NFP)  is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. In 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent, parents, youth and teachers in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs.

This year, families got involved by entering a contest to promote awareness in their neighborhoods and win a drug prevention grant for their schools.

Ten lucky winners from regions across the U.S. will be announced at events at their winning schools in December.  Students bring the Red Ribbon Week® message home by working alongside parents to decorate their front doors, mailboxes, fence, etc. with this year’s theme “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”

Do you ever talk to your young kids about drugs? And if you are a foster parents with experience fostering kids with problems, contact me here, and tell me your story!

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To Honor International Adoption Month: Fight Malnutrition

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

My family is considering international adoption in India. It’s been a real rollercoaster simply narrowing down the nations and the age of our future kid.

All of our adoption reading material — so much adoption homework if you do it right — discusses a condition called “Failure to Thrive,” a common nutrition-related health condition found among many internationally adopted orphans, which may impact their growth and brain development.

Foster children are also at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies, including anemia. One common denominator among all children who fail to thrive is poverty. Here are the symptoms of poverty and maternal wellness when considering international adoption as we are here in the Straff household:

  • Inadequate prenatal diet or vitamins
  • Infants with very low birth weight
  • Inadequate breastfeeding
  • Nursed with animal milk products instead of fortified formula
  • Premature solid food in the infant’s diet
  • Inadequate exposure to sunlight, which inhibits vitamin D production

One small way to fight malnutrition worldwide is to buy a cookbook from one of the largest and oldest International Adoption agencies who published  “Cooking With Our Kids” where monies will go directly to Indian orphanages.

If you’re a bigger thinker: $20 million in new grants was recently donated from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to growing nutritionally enhanced rice and cassava in order to decrease malnourishment across Asia and Africa.

The grants will help in the development, testing and marketing of Golden Rice, which is fortified with vitamin A, in the Philippines and Bangladesh, and BioCassava Plus, a tuber fortified with vitamin A, iron and protein in Kenya and Nigeria.

Celebrate National Adoption Month with me; tell me another wonderful way to celebrate National Adoption (and International) Adoption Day.

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