Posts Tagged ‘ older moms ’

Part 2: An Open Adoption Letter from a New Mom

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Author Lori Holden asks other parents about the benefits of open adoption over closed, domestic adoption. “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” (Rowman & Littlefield  2013) answers questions that benefit all prospective parents:

What are the benefits to those involved, and what are the costs?

And what are the biggest fears most families have about an open adoption?

Lori said, “In listening to people from all walks of adoption (adoptive parents, first parents, adult adoptees) while researching and writing my book, the prime fear I hear from adopting parents is that they’ll never be considered the ‘real’ parent. That they feel like as much distance as possible needs to be put between their newly-formed family and the not-so-convenient spare parent out there ready and wanting to rapaciously take over.

This fear is at the root of much dysfunctional thinking and acting in open adoption relationships. But though simple awareness of that fear, it can be examined and resolved, and this type of thinking is like splitting the baby. Remember that Solomon tale? The wise king knew how to tease out the ‘real” mother when two women came to him claiming the same baby. When his “solution” was to split the baby in half, thereby sharing it with both claimants, the “real’ mother would be the one to do whatever it takes to keep the baby whole and well, even if it meant loss to her.

Adoption creates a split between a child’s biology and biography. Openness is an effective way to heal that split. That’s the premise of my book. Your child’s biology comes from one set of parents and his biography gets written by another set. Both are important to that child. Both make that child who he is, who he will be.

Why not allow – encourage — children to do the same with multiple parents? Does loving my son take anything away from my daughter? That would be ridiculous. Likewise, enabling my children to love me for my contributions and their birth moms for their contributions takes away nothing from me.

“I’m so glad you asked about fear in adoption, Nicole.”

For I’m confident that even deeper than the fear that birth parents will reclaim the child they birthed and placed (which rarely happens in ethically-done adoptions) is the fear that the adopting parents will never themselves feel legitimate due to a competing claim on the child. That’s a fear that adopting parents can examine and resolve mindfully.”

Well said, Lori, I’m buying the book! Tell me your adoption story here:

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Domestic Adoption and Foster Care in the USA

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

In the U.S., there are thousands of foster care youth waiting to be adopted. Many are older (more than 9 years old), and with each passing year, they are less likely to be adopted, and more likely to “age out” of the foster care system without the support of a caring and  responsible adult.

Studies have shown that older youth are more likely to be adopted by people who know them. Yet, adults often don’t have opportunities to meet these wonderful children who are longing for a permanent family. According to the adoption service KidSave.org, older kids are frequently not even considered. Many of these children are overlooked for adoption because they are not babies or toddlers. Older kids have a lot of value and can add much joy to a family. Children age 11 and older in the foster care system are more likely to grow up in the system than be adopted.

Stats for kids age 11 and older still in foster care, according to KidSave.org: 

  1. One in 10 will commit suicide
  2. Less than half will finish high school
  3. As many as 50% go to jail
  4. One in 4 will become parents before age 20

This great organization (thanks for the readers who recommended the site)  is seeking volunteers in many different areas across the country. If you are interested in becoming a Kidsave volunteer, log onto a local schedule.  Volunteers are needed to create events, serve on committees, find auction items, build attendance, get the word out, and support fund raising, support programs, and help with logistics.

KidSave.org has an astounding goal: To connect 1,000,000 orphans and foster youth to parents and mentors across the country by the year 2020. Count me in — we need more support for foster kids who are so sadly aging out of the system.

How can you help? Log on and find out.

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International Adoption: Poor Children in Africa, Ethiopia

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Husband Darrin and I feel strongly about adopting a child from a war-torn or poverty-stricken country, such as Ethiopia or Somalia. The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to devastate communities, large and small, throughout Africa. Nowhere is the outcome of the pandemic more evident than among Africa’s children, 12 million of who have lost their parents to the disease.

In Ethiopia alone, it’s estimated that there are more than 250,000 children living with HIV/AIDS and an astonishing 4.6 million children living as orphans as a result of the AIDS crisis.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors caring for orphaned children are supported in their efforts, receiving regular supplies of nutritious food, water, clothing and other necessities. This support is critical to the health of children and the success of the program. In nearly every case, caregivers themselves are barely able to survive, even before the orphaned children join the household.

My family does not want to wait  2 to 3 years for a baby who needs us now. After a few agency interviews, I now realize that  international adoption agencies must weed out the half-baked folks, the ones who might change their minds. The immigration and governmental visas etc. certainly take months too. But what about all of those displaced neglected African children right now?

We all know a friend or acquaintance that has waited several years for their beautiful kid — how long have you waited?

I know one family who waited just over two years, and another family who waited closer to four for a female newborn in Asia. Here’s a helpful note. Of the many moms I interview, all tell me the first adoption is the hardest and longest and most vigorous process.

The good news? Adoption Number 2 is a breeze because all your approved paperwork will be permanently on file. Doesn’t help the millions of families looking to adopt for the first time though.

Do you have any tips of pushing up your adoption? Tell me everything in Comments and I’ll get back to you!

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Your Smart Reasons to Adopt this Year

Monday, January 30th, 2012

adoption diaries, older parentsBefore you ask (and you will ask — everybody does), I did not have trouble conceiving our son, Sam. I was working at a job I adored  Organic Spa Magazine and I was in love with my newish fiancee (then a screenwriter in Los Angeles) when everyone — from my gyno to my mother-in-law — began beseeching us to start trying to get pregnant due to my “advanced maternal age.”

Well, well, surprise. Take that advanced maternal age! First month out of the gate, well past my 35th birthday.

Tough subject, I know. I have universal respect for women friends in their thirties and forties who have never been able to get pregnant at all; I understand (a little) how much that sucks.  Two of my best friends cannot get pregnant still.

But I now take pleasure in my work, I gleefully pedal my beach cruiser, hike with my dog, I enjoy this “me time” I carved out with only one kiddo. (Yes, I do admit it: I also like my stomach toned and flat again.)

(more…)

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Adoptive Parents Embracing Technology to Build Families

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I received emails from moms wondering why my family is simultaneously looking internationally to adopt from India and also to adopt from a foster care situation domestically…  to hedge my adoption bets. Here’s the truth: Holding out for international adoption costs a lot of money that my family doesn’t have right now. So I’m basically trying to strengthen my odds by investigating both international and national adoption advantages. In researching the topic, I also discovered that many wanna-be parents spent at least two hours online a day for adoption research!

In fact, a recent survey of adoptive parents illustrates how today’s adoptive parents are using online technology as a core tool in their journey to parenthood, which is in turn changing the domestic adoption industry.  From extensive online research to navigating relationships on Facebook, technology has become a significant force in reshaping the process of adopting in the United States. Other findings:

•    More than 90 percent of potential adoptive adults under age 44 report they are networking, marketing themselves and researching adoption online.

•    These younger parents’ online activity stands in stark contrast to parents over age 45, where less than half say they did any online research or networking prior to adopting.

•    Two-thirds of those aged 25-34 in the survey are spending more than two hours a day researching adoption online. (One-third of this particular group says they spend closer to four hours per day online!)

•    Today’s adoptive parents are increasingly turning to more than one adoption agency to help them in their search: More than 44 percent of survey respondents under age 44 reported working with two or more adoption agencies, versus fewer than a quarter of those over age 55.

Note: Research was conducted in late February and early March 2011.

On another note that has nothing to do with stress but lots to do with joy and happiness, please enter American Baby Magazine’s cute kid cover contest, hurry up and join! I wish I’d gotten my little one in there when he was a tot.

Please tell me your adoption story here!

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