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Adoption 101

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-Welcome to Parents TV On Demand. A place for parents to learn, share and develop a healthy family together. Parents TV. Our families, our lives. -Hi, everybody. I'm Juli Auclair. You're watching Parents TV. After seemingly endless paper work, home studies, lots of waiting and maybe even trips across the world. You've made it. It's time to bring your new child home. But now what, there's a specific set of challenges that comes with raising an adoptive child. And joining us today is Carrie Kitze, the founder of this very successful Yahoo! Group and book called Adoption Parenting. Thank you so much for coming in. -Thank you for having me. -You're the mother of two beautiful adopted girls from China. There's 9-year old Annette and 7-year old Natalie. They're so pretty in the picture. And did adopting them inspire you to write this book? -Actually, it did. I actually wished I'd have the book before when I came home. And it was something that I discovered as a parent that I needed it. It was a whole in the market. And so I set out to give for other parents what I didn't have. -Tell us a little more about Adoption Parenting. Who contributed to it? -Well, we set up a Yahoo! Group called Adoption Parenting. And there's a number of people from all over the world who have adopted children from all over the world. And it's a group of about 3,000 people who get together and every two weeks talk about a different topic. When I started the group, I use that as a way to discover what people found as challenges for their parenting. And we use the group to help us to formulate the book and to make the book the entity that it is. The contributors come from the Adoption Parenting Group as well as the number of professionals in the field. -So, they have lots of experience with the topic. -Lots of experience. And so, it's parent to parent, which is really important. -Right. And there are so many issues that adoptive parents face when they bring their child home. One of the biggest that you mentioned in the book is sleep. Why is that such a big problem getting your kids to sleep? -Well, first of all, when a child is adopted, they've been in the womb with the same person. And then suddenly that sever for children in other places of the world, they may be abandoned or they may be an orphanages. So the routine that they've had is changing and who they know and who they trust and who they love has changed. Couple that with sometimes jet lag-- -Sure. -From around the world. And that's just a recipe for things just not having the right rhythm. -What are some ways you can help in get them to not only fell asleep but stay asleep? -Well, that's a challenge. Many of the things that you can do-- really, it's important to listen to your child. They need to develop trust. When you sleep, that's the time when you were the most vulnerable and you can tell when a child doesn't trust. And trust takes at least 6 months to build, so it's something that you just have to persevere with. Listen to your child and work through. -And very briefly attachment issues. You say, to deal with that floor time-- getting down on the floor with your child. How does that help? -All you wanna do is you wanna build trust. You want the child to get to know who you are. You wanted them to learn object permanents-- that you will come back, because at some point in their lives someone hasn't come back. So they know from experience that doesn't happen and you have to re-teach them. -Okay. And support groups are very important. And you started a group online, one of the biggest groups on Yahoo! We're gonna talk all about that and meet one of the members of the group when we come back. -Don't go away. Another Parents TV On Demand video is coming up next. -Welcome back everybody. We're here with Carrie Kitze, founder of the Yahoo! Adoption Parenting and one of the members of the group Missy Kenny-Corron. Thank you both so much for coming in today. -Thank you. -Now, Missy, you adopted a beautiful baby girl, 2.5-year old Chloe Rose. Look at this picture. She is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations. -Thank you. -And she is about to become a sister. -A little sister. Yes. -You are adopting a boy also from China who is about 5 years old. Congratulations. How incredible. -Thank you. It is very exciting. -Tell us about the adoption experience so far? -It's a lot of hurry up and wait and then, after you hurry up and wait a lot, you have to hurry up and hurry up travel-- I think give you a baby, you know, a stranger in your land and you bring her home and-- the real parenting starts. -And that's when it becomes difficult. -Yes. -And I know the Yahoo! Group Adoption Parenting has been very helpful to you. We'll talk to you about that in just a second. But first, Carrie, tell us a little bit about how the Group works? -The Group is topic-driven. So every two weeks, our topic Mistress Sheena Macrae prepares a topic with input from group members. We specifically discuss that particular topic. There certainly questions at the end of it and a series of resources to learn more. -Okay. Missy, how has Adoption Parenting helped you with Chloe Rose? -Well, it has helped in two ways. One, of course, when I need specific support when we-- you know, sleep issues or attachment. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Helped also to find out what I-- was normal for a person in my situation, you know, bringing home a child. And then also, it gave me some opportunities to share what I was learning while I was learning it, and to feel like I was in a community of people who not only understood what I was going through, but that could answer questions that I could answer questions I've written for a couple of topics now that sort of really helps me to put things in perspective and when I need perspective or a practical solutions when I'm looking for a real practical solution. -And you've had some difficulties with Chloe Rose's sleeping. -Yes. Uh-hmm. -Did you look to the group for some advice? -Yes. When we-- the information that we were given in China was that she slept in a crib by herself in her own room and we very quickly found out that was not the case. She slept in a bed with her foster Mom and I was unprepared. All of the literature says, do this, do this, do this. And I have the situation that the information I have was incorrect. She quickly-- my daughter quickly corrected me. She would have no part of the crib and no part of sleeping by herself in a quiet room. So, immediately, upon return I-- what do I do? She won't sleep in a crib, you know, it has to be noisy and people said, look, you need to do what she needs and right now she needs you within arm's reach. In fact, she slept for the first couple of months with her hand stuck in my hair and they pat my face every hour-- on the hour and we slept like that for several months. -So you do what works for you-- -And it worked perfectly. -And for your child. -Right. -And Carrie, tell everyone how they can become members. -To become a member, you go to Yahoo! Groups and you can search for Adoption Parenting. You do have to be a parenting children in your home, and it doesn't matter what country they're from or if it's a domestic placement that support works for, you know, everyone who has an adoptive family. -Carrie and Missy, the book and the group Adoption Parenting. Thank you both so much for coming in and sharing your stories. We really appreciate it. And if you're interested in joining the Yahoo! Group, you can go to groups.yahoo.com and search Adoption Parenting. The book Adoption Parenting is available in Bookstores now. Thanks for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.