Posts Tagged ‘ sibling 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?

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Foster Kids: There are Monsters Under our Beds

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After going back and forth relentlessly between domestic adoption, closed adoption (my husband) versus open domestic adoption (the wife), we are at a standstill. Bio son Sam has been waiting so long for a young sister or brother that he almost doesn’t care anymore (two years and counting). At age 4, Sam was excited about a sibling; at six he’s nearly over it.

Another standstill: It’s harder and harder to leap over all the adoption barricades: finances, emotions, huge disagreements, our busy working lives, etc.

Barricade #1: Cost of an international adoption which is clearly the winner vote by our family. Hard to scare up the initial $15,000 to get the international adoption ball rolling. The total cost of an international Indian adoption for a young toddler daughter will costs total between $30,000 – $50,000.

We have some emotional obstacles around international adoption as well: Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?

If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.

From International Adoption to Domestic Adoption

You can read about our fears and ignorance around foster children in previous posts, but I still urge everyone to look into local domestic adoptions first. You adopt in a shorter amount of time and deeply serve your local community.

Re: Domestic Adoption from the Los Angeles County foster and family agencies. After several posts over the last few weeks, devout reader Jayme, who spent young, formative years in foster care in another state wrote to me.

Looking back, she remembered, “Nothing short of horrid. We used to be told about the monsters under our beds when we were young. Sometimes I wonder if they really are real? Monsters are everywhere. I learned the hard way.

“Sad sad sad,” said reader Jayme. Keep up the good work on adoptions, and I will. Share your stories with me:

 

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LA County Proclaims September 10 – 14 “Family Reunification Week”

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Three years ago, Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, with the support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, initiated the first ever “Family Reunification Week.”

The annual celebration recognizes the thousands of families that have complied with specific court requirements and safely reunited with their children.

There are three components to this year’s celebration: On Tuesday, September 11th, six  family reunification “Heroes” were honored (a group of parents, social workers, and organizations that have done an exemplary job)  for supporting the safe return of children to their homes and families and presented with a special scroll presentation by Chairman Yaroslavsky’s Children’s Deputy Lisa Mandel at the Hall of Administration.

The most emotional part of the program was undoubtedly hree families sharing their personal stories on how they reunited with their children.  Parents in Partnership, a DCFS program that utilizes parents who have successfully navigated the Dependency Court system to reunify with their children and are now coaching other families on how to do the same, will discuss their successful program.

Later today, the media is invited to attend a press conference at Juvenile Court where reporters can witness a unique event, similar in format to National Adoption Day, as court officially terminates the cases of eight families whose parents have successfully reunified with their children.  These eight families represent over 3,000 families that reunify with their children each year.

The system actually accomplishes that more often than not. Of the 25,000 plus children under our court’s jurisdiction today, almost 15,000 are either being safely maintained at home or are in a reunification plan with their families.

But here’s the rub: Would you be able to hand off a beloved foster care child back to biological parents who may have, at one time, neglected or abused their own children?

Not sure I could be that strong… Comment here.

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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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New Countries Partner for International Adoptions

Monday, July 16th, 2012

As my family wends its way through the grueling, mystifying journey of international adoption, I keep my ear out for countries that follow the Hague Convention, and work with those agencies only.

The Convention was originally written to help countries regulate international adoptions and to protect children.

The Hague Convention’s main goals are to:

· Protect the best interests of adopted children

· Standardize processes between countries

· Prevent child abuse, such as trafficking in children

The new Ghana program offered by Adoption Associates said two separate trips are required: one to meet the child and attend a court hearing and the second to obtain the child’s visa and bring the child home.

So many families are passionate about the plight of African orphans, but one couple has been in the news lately because of a paperwork jam and they are awaiting a sibling adoption in Ghana. They left a couple biological kids at home with relatives.

Read all about this Orange Country, Calif. family who is being detained in Ghana after being totally cleared of child trafficking. The couple had to post bond for their own release and their passports were finally returned.

How scary.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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