Posts Tagged ‘ open adoption ’

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?

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

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:

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

3 Adopted Kids Raped and Abused

Friday, August 17th, 2012

When I first discovered this horror house in Ohio and originally reported the abuse of three young kids who not only had been raped by their adopted foster dad, but he prostituted his new kids out and a few of his depraved adult male friends also raped and abused the two young boys and a sister, all under 13.

This is one of those strange and awful true stories that takes on a life of its own, and I received so many comments back from all of the readers of The Adoption Diaries. Below, I offer you two of the most thought-provoking responses to the idea that this foster home was not investigated properly to safeguard these three innocent and wounded children.

This letter from Jeff who was also horrified — like me — that the three kids were living in his house of horror long enough to be adopted. (All three are in new foster homes FYI, and all three rapists will go to jail for a long, long time).

Jeff said, “By no means am I defending this man or the other two involved with this sickness…  But the three men involved  are not the only issue here. Why isn’t anyone holding the private adoption agency accountable?  Where were all the background  check that should have been done repeatedly? And why wasn’t there any mention of social workers doing home visits? Yes, I agree these men should be justly dealt with. But, as you know, our justice system isn’t the best thing going.  We live in a country that has become so relaxed on the issues that should be our biggest concerns and yet those issues that should be our least on the ones that our most looked at.”

And from reader Jamie who’s been in the foster care system in the USA: “This story is very sad but what I didn’t see was the obvious factor, deception. Foster parents are interviewed extensively and, in Illinois anyway, require references, a physical exam, and criminal background checks. The fact of the matter is, a predator can and will hide. Like Sandusky, we are talking about a type of person who has learned for years and years how to play people and say what is needed to get what he wants. There are very few warning signs for these types of people.”

Jamie from Illinois continued, “In Illinois, foster care and adoption workers are required to visit licensed homes at least once a month. They are required to talk to the children alone as well. The only thing that we should focus on and can focus on is what can we do to help. What can we change in the system to make it more stringent?”

Thanks readers, what else can we do to help child abuse in the foster system?

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

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.

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

“I’m Having Their Baby” on Oxygen Tonight

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It’s long overdue, in this era of reality TV, that we peel away the layers of private, domestic adoption process to visit with families who actually rode the roller-coaster of domestic adoption. It’s about time.

In the new show, in each of six, hour-long installments, you view the journey and personality of each birth mother, and watch hurdles faced by adoptive parents. I love that you bear witness to surely one of the biggest joys in life.

On the trailer for “I’m Having Their Baby,” I watched, the common thread for each birth mother is, more than anything, she wants the very best in life for her unborn child.

Giving your beautiful baby to another family in a private adoption where they pretty much take over the care and feeding of your new baby.

“I’m Having Their Baby” shows an honest portrayal of women who are in the midst of dealing with the most difficult decision of their lives,” said Rod Aissa, Senior VP, Oxygen Media. “These human interest stories are powerful… as it reveals themes of love, hardship, and inner strength.”

The premiere episode, which airs tonight, features Amanda, a 28-year-old mother raising two boy, as well as her boyfriend’s son. Amanda shows you why placing her unborn child into another loving family and making those difficult decisions are brave and terrifying.

Another tear-jerker features Mariah, eight months pregnant, who lives with her boyfriend and 9-month-old daughter in Indiana. She doesn’t want to “turn out like girls in her community,” a too-young and struggling single mother. Brave stories of courageous women and families, such cool stuff.

“I’m Having Their Baby” is produced by Hud:sun Media. Tell me what you think about these adoption stories.

 

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff