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Open borders

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Learning about open adoption

When my husband Chris and I decided to walk through the adoption process for the first time, we heard from several social workers and adoptive families about what openness in adoption typically looked like. We were adopting from the United States; in most international adoption situations, openness seemed to mean having occasional contact by letter, email or phone, which usually died out after the first few years.

Shades of meaning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An unexpected question

I thought the most difficult thing my son could ever say to me was “You’re not my real mom,” but the question that really threw me for a loop was something completely different. We were driving to daycare when out of the blue, my brown-skinned, afro-haired, almost five-yearold son said innocently, “Mommy, I was white when I was a baby?”

“Um, what? No! Huh?” Tire screech, deep breath. I figured I had about five seconds to organize my thoughts and say the right thing.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because white skin is beautiful.”

Wow.

Age doesn't matter in adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most new adoptive parents are between the ages of 30 and 50. That can make it difficult when adoptive parents are much younger.

Thanks to the recent publicity around celebrity adoption, some people claim that adoption has become the latest parenting trend.

That sort of comment annoys adoptive parent Laura Livingstone. As a 25-year-old parent she’s heard similar remarks all too often, and not just from people outside the adoption community.

Finally finding answers

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Leach Buchholz shares her thoughts on her adoption from Korea and her quest to discover answers.

The day I met Leah Buchholz at a Vancouver coffee house it was her birthday—at least she thinks it was—she’s not quite sure. The exact day she was born is one of the many answers that this thought­ful young woman, adopted from Korea almost 20 years ago, is on a quest to discover.

Always my little girl

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

What a difference three years can make.

We recently attended an interracial adoptive families get together. It is a valuable resource for all of us. Our daughter gets to see other families that look like ours, and my wife and I get to hear other experiences that help us realize we’re not doing that badly.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Yrjana family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Colleen and her husband of 17 years, Jussi, live on Vancouver Island. Colleen, a former foster parent for over 20 years, also has three grown children and three grandkids. Her oldest daughter was a neighborhood kid that came for the weekend and stayed for 28 years, according to Colleen. “We have no legal paperwork, but she’s not any less ours,” she adds.

Discussing Aboriginal media stories with your family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In recent months, inspired in large part by the grassroots Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat’s hunger strike, the media has overflowed with stories about Aboriginal people and issues relevant to them. Bill C-45, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the difficult living conditions in many Aboriginal communities are just some of the big issues in the news right now. Adoptive families of children with First Nations, Métis, or Inuit heritage may be wondering how to talk about these issues in an accessible way.

An open letter to people regarding touching chocolate hair

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Dear People Who Have, or May, Come Into Contact with My Daughter,

Thank you so much for your interest in my daughter’s hair. Yes, it is beautiful, and we both appreciate your compliments. Yes, she’s very patient and has no problem sitting to have her hair done. She’s been getting her hair done since she was very small and knows of nothing else; her hair regime is a fact of life, and she doesn’t see it as the burden that you do. Nor do I.

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