This may be the year you travel abroad to bring a child home. Make your journey easier with this guide.
by Shelley Brownwell in consultation with Delma Henning
Question: "We adopted our five-year-old daughter through a local adoption agency. We have never told her that she was adopted and now we don’t know how. Could you suggest how we could start the process?"
When the Vancouver Sun published Minister Hagen’s column for Adoption Awareness Month in 2005, Vivian Krause responded with an encouraging letter that was also published in that newspaper.
For most, if not all international adoptions, post-placement reports are a requirement of the sending country. Adoptive families need to understand that these reports are more than a courtesy. While the agnecies and families who receive them are delighted to hear how the kids are doing, they also must forward the reports for their government. Some countries have been so concenred at the numver of post-placement reports not filed, that they actually suspend adoptions for a period of time.
Two years ago, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Leah Elliott adopted a set of siblings aged four and five years old. These children joined the sibling group of three who had joined Leah’s family earlier. Leah wrote to Focus about the wonderful job Vickie, the children’s foster mom, did in preparing the children for this momentous move. Though each adoption is different, much of this foster mom’s painstaking and unselfish work serves as a blueprint for successful older child adoption preparation.
Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.
Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.
Karen Madeiros, Executive Director of AFABC, is the adoptive mother of two children from the US. She has personally experienced and been witness to the development of openness in adoption. In this article, which is an updated version of a previous article, she reflects on what she has learned about openness.
"Are we scaring you?" the facilitator asked me in a very concerned voice.
"Not at all," I lied.
My husband and I had recently brought home a sibling group of two, both of whom had been prentally exposed to alcohol and drugs. Despite all the reading and education we had done in advance, nothing prepared me for the reality of an FASD support group meeting.
Many of the parents were over 50 and most had adopted their kids when very little was known about FASD; some were parenting grandchildren who had been diagnosed with FASD.
In 2002, I had the opportunity to spend an incredible week with a wonderful friend, also an adoptive mother,visiting the country of our daughter’s birth.
From the beginning, Sean Simpson* knew that the adoption of his two children aged three and five would not be easy. Both children had experienced dreadful neglect and physical and sexual abuse from their birth parents.