Posts Tagged ‘ sibling adoption ’

Military Son Says “Thank You” to Foster Parents

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I rarely hear from males who have been adopted and that’s one of the reasons this letter is so special: Corey wrote the letter below to thank his adopted parents for saving his life and showing him a bright future.

He said, “I am a 39-year-old male that was born to a physically abusive father and a mother on drugs; I don’t remember much of the abuse because I was so young, a baby. I do remember once my dad went into a bar to drink and left me in the car for hours and hours.

One time, my father was arrested with me in the car and I was put in the jail cell with him until my mother picked us up.

Another time, my sister (she was one year older) and I arrived home from school and our parents were not home. We wandered around the neighborhood for hours, finally asking our neighbor for food because we were hungry. Our parents returned around one in the morning.

Soon after that one, we came home from school again and they never came home. My sister and I walked to a friend’s house, walked in their back door and began helping ourselves to milk and food in their refrigerator. Their mother quietly called the police and the officer picked us up and we were placed in an orphanage.

I’m not sure how long we were there but I soon learned to hate powdered milk and I also learned how cruel kids can be. Sometime later, my sister and I were placed in separate foster homes.

“My foster parents were loving and kind.”

Even my foster bothers were cool! I remember my biological parents having visitations but they were few and far between. I was eventually adopted into a family with my biological sister and we grew up there. Our adopted family pushed us to do well in school, to be honest and loving, and we thrived. My sister eventually went into the navy and I joined the army.

I was gifted with a better life and was made into a better person than I would have been otherwise. I am married with two amazing children. I thank my adoptive parents in my heart every day! I dream of adopting myself and giving another child the helping hand I was given. Thank you for listening!”

If you have an inspiring story, please Comment below.

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Part 1: Mom Chooses Open Adoptions for Transracial Daughters

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Rachel Garlinghouse got my attention! She wrote, “Now we are the parents of two African-American girls. Ellis is age 3, Emery age 1, and we will adopt again, either domestic infant adoption or through foster care.”

Rachel, 29, and her husband Steve, 33, are Illinois natives and they chose “fully open adoptions” Twice! This means both families communicate regularly, exchange photos and spend quality time throughout the year with each others’ families. How civilized and grown-up… and how good for the babies!

“Steve and I also speak at adoption training sessions and I facilitate an adoptive mom support group,” said Rachel.

I knew this high-energy mom had a good story!

Rachel said, We chose fully open adoption because adoption isn’t about the adoptive parents. Plus, adoption agencies cater to open adoptions and realize that the person making the ultimate sacrifice is the biological parent [who might wish to maintain contact.]

“Adoption isn’t about what makes me happy and comfortable, it’s about what is best for my child.”

As an adoptive parent, I had to get over myself, Rachel said.

“If my child’s biological parent(s) and siblings want regular contact, who am I to say no? ”

Rachel and Steve waited an excruciating 14 months for their first child. She knows why!

“For the first year, we were only open to a white, healthy child. However, we did a lot of reading and we spoke with transracial families, and we talked and we prayed. We ultimately decided that we would be great parents to a child of any race.”

Come back on Friday when we meet both of Rachel’s gorgeous daughters.

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Adopting an Older Child from Foster Care

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

older child adoptionOkay, every agency and every Special Needs proponent urges families to try and foster a child over the age of 3, which seems both extra-brave, courageous and loving… and somewhat stupid.

Yes, stupid. But loving. I tell you one thing, it’s also a lot easier. Exact numbers surge when it comes to adopting an older child (they are often called Special Needs kids simply because their age makes it tough to adopt them out).

More than 100,000 children in the U.S. are living with loving and caring foster families, but these children are still waiting for families to adopt them and to give them a permanent home. Children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted cannot return to their birth families. They need new parents to love and take care of them.

They are often older children from racial or ethnic minorities, or children waiting to be adopted as a group with their brothers and sisters. Most important, they have been hurt by abuse and neglect as well as from having to leave their family and everything that they knew.

The adoption of older children who have been removed from their parents is usually because they have been abused or neglected and cannot return to those parents. These children have been in the care of the State and are in foster care while they wait for a permanent home. They and their siblings may have emotional, behavioral, developmental, or medical challenges. Most, if not all of the costs associated with the adoption of older children are paid by the State.

What if an older adopted child menaces my biological son Sam, 5? What is an older adopted child can’t attach and love our family?

In Los Angeles there are well over 30,000 older kids who need help and fostering right now! This one below broke my heart:

Children of the Night. Dedicated to assisting children between the ages of 11-17 who are sexually abused and forced to prostitute on the streets for food and shelter. Services include nationwide 24-hour free hotline, a street outreach program and a 24-bed shelter home with a private on-site school.

Comment  if you’ve adopted and older child and can share the details!

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Part 2: A Birth Mother Changes Her Mind, Plus Baby

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

On Monday, we profiled Ilyssa from New Jersey who, with her husband Ben, waited for their newborn son for weeks until their birth mother changed her mind during labor and disappeared with her child.

“Devastated we returned home to pick up the pieces. Even our agency was horrified, they called the police but to no avail. Nothing could be done — the baby was gone. Two days later, my social worker called and said we had to move on and she promised to help us find another baby,” recalls Ilyssa, who asked that her last name not be used.

“Five days later, on January 30th, still in mourning for a child I would never see, my amazing social worker called and said a baby girl had been born but the birth mother was a drug addict and was waffling about giving up her newborn for adoption. Since the baby girl was born with drugs in her system, the agency was working hard to place the child.

“We drive and took custody of our baby girl that week but we had to stay in a hotel because the drug-addicted mother was battling us in court… ” The family’s legal fees mounted as they stayed in the hotel room for over a month to maintain custody of the newborn daughter.

The family’s legal fees eventually topped the $100,000 mark because they had to meet in court over 20 hearings. Thankfully baby * Rose remained with her adoptive family for over a year while the battle raged.  Something else happened during this tumultuous legal battle: Another newborn baby, an African-American boy, was also put for adoption. “We began simultaneous adoption proceedings for a second baby boy, a preemie, slightly younger than baby *Rose,” says Ilyssa.

Barely a month apart, Ilyssa and Ben eventually took home two precious children just about two years ago and have been so happy with them since. “On our 4-year anniversary, we had these two beautiful babies when I had to give my husband his very unique and amazing anniversary present,” remembers Ilyssa with a laugh.

Ilyssa was pregnant! Fast-forward two years and Ilyssa says, “I am now a stay-at-home mother to three toddlers all within 11 months apart and all under four!”

Ilyssa’s best advice to adoptive parents:

“Whatever happens during adoption is meant to be. You can’t plan everything out in life; you’ve got to learn how to roll with it. “

How’s that for an adoption story? Thanks to sisters Lori and Ilyssa for feeding us great adoption fodder over the last two weeks! Do you have a good adoption story too?

Updated: We’ve removed the family’s last name, photo, and some other details from this post in order to respect their request for greater privacy.

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Part 1: Domestic Adoption Nightmare, a Birth Mother Changes her Mind

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Ilyssa, 28, and her husband Ben knew even before they got married four years ago that they wanted a big family. After trying to get pregnant for over a year, the couple began investigating international vs. national adoptions and decided to explore both options.

Ilyssa, who asked that her last name not be used, comes from a very special adoption background in that her parents took in literally dozens of foster kids during her lifetime, sharing meals, playtime and love in their home.

After briefly exploring an Ethiopian adoption and realizing the wait is nearly four years for a healthy newborn, the New Jersey couple shifted gears and began filling out paperwork for a domestic adoption.

They were interested in newborns. “We decided to try the domestic route, so my home study agency recommended an Alabama agency to initiate a domestic newborn adoption with a birth mother,” says Ilyssa today. “We were open to sibling groups too.”

“I come from a family of foster children and my parents took in dozens of transracial  kids over the course of our childhood, and we received many priceless and amazing experiences” says Ilyssa. “We thought we’d get matched pretty quickly.”

They flew through their paperwork, parenting training classes and home study in six months. Ilyssa also has a secret weapon in her adoption arsenal: Her sister Dr. Lori Ingber created adoption software that pairs newborns and awaiting parents. While didn’t directly help Ilyssa, her sister was a fountain of adoption knowledge and has adopted herself.

“We were quickly matched to birth mother in her final month of pregnancy. We spoke for hours, at least five times, and the birth mother seemed ready and eager to be through with it.  We drove south in January,  when the baby was due, and bought the mom groceries and clothes, paid some bills for her, and she even asked me to be present with her in the delivery room so that I could cut my son’s umbilical chord.”

Ilyssa and her husband blew through about $2,000 those last few weeks in addition to hospital bills, hotel bills, adoption application fees, etc. But the cost proved far greater than the monetary devastation.

“After waiting two weeks in our hotel room, we got a call in the middle of the night from our social worker, who was crying in frustration, saying the birth mother had changed her mind.” In fact, the birth mother was already in labor and the birth mother’s own family (her sisters and mother) swept in and took the baby away.

“We never got to see him,” says Ilyssa.

“I remember lying on the bed of the sterile hotel room, watching my husband sob like he was dying, I’ll never forget that vision,” recalls Ilyssa. We gave away all our new baby things to strangers in the lobby of the hotel and drove back to New Jersey, devastated.”

Tune in on Friday, when Ilyssa tells us in Part 2 how she wound up with not one, not two… but three babies!

Updated: We’ve removed the family’s last name, photo, and some other details from this post in order to respect their request for greater privacy.

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