In our “Perspectives” series, we examine adoption in other places, other cultures, and other times. By widening our lens, we hope to open our minds and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and our roles in the world of adoption. Would you like to write about adoption from a historical or cultural perspective? Contact us at email@example.com.
A ritual, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.” Rituals take place on occasions like Hanukkah, Easter, the Lunar New Year, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. They don’t have to be religious in nature; baking Christmas cookies with your mom and sister is as much a ritual as attending Mass. The simple daily things you do can be can be rituals, too.
In recent years, over 40% of adoptions in B.C. have been completed by foster parents who adopt their foster children. To find out more about this unique path to building a family, we interviewed a mom who’s been there and done that--more than once!
Jane and her husband have been foster parents for more than a decade, and are also parents to twelve children (seven biological and five through adoption).
Open domestic adoptions, where the birth family and adoptive family get together regularly for visits with the child, are the norm in British Columbia. In between visits they stay in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messages. If this is what an open adoption looks like, how can openness be possible in an international adoption where time zones and geography create barriers and birth parents may be unknown?
Three years ago, Dave and Juanita Alexander found themselves halfway around the world with 18 suitcases, 12 carry-ons, a year’s worth of supplies and four children. Dave and Juanita, have collectively lived and worked in five countries (including Canada), and have four beautiful children through adoption. In 2012, they uprooted their lives to move to Uganda for a year. Since then, they have settled back into their daily lives in Langley and continue to enjoy new adventures together.
Sticks and stones
Remember that rhyme you learned as a child? “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Obviously words can’t cause physical harm, but I’ve learned they definitely can cause emotional pain, the kind you hold in your heart and wear on your sleeve. The kind that leaves scars that never really go away.
Noah sits tall in his booster seat, and I catch a glimpse of his messy curls in the rearview mirror. My eyes are on the road ahead, so he can talk to me and tell me things, but not see my facial expression. It’s a safe place to test out hard questions.
Last week’s booster-seat confessional was an open discussion between my seven year old son and me. He began matter-of-factly. “So, you’re not my real mom....”
A passion for culture
June 2015 will mark the eighth annual Roots Celebration within Okanagan First Nation Territory, the land of the Syilx people. The event serves Indigenous children and youth in care by helping to instill in them a sense of pride, honour and respect for their identity and heritage. Organizers and participants represent many Nations and bring together the best of what they have to share over a weekend rich in Indigenous cultural experiences focused on children and youth.
Knowing adoption, knowing love
Sometimes I feel like there’s nothing going on--with adoption, that is. Life is full with school, friends, soccer, baseball, work, field trips, family gatherings, and the endless parade of birthday parties. For us to just stop talking about adoption would be easy, but that would be a shame.
Adoption adds complexity to the life of adopted teens, even those adopted as newborns.
All teens struggle with the question, "Who am I?" Finding the answer usually involves figuring out how they are similar to, and different from their parents--a task that can be particularly complicated for children who have both birth and adoptive parents. Unknown or missing information, or having a different ethnicity from parents, can make piecing an identity puzzle together especially difficult for adoptees.