Over the years, psychologist Dr Peter Hotz has worked with scores of adoptive families. He tells me that he has seen adoption from every angle. I’m at his Vancouver office to talk about international, cross-cultural adoptions. Dr Hotz has worked with several AFABC families. I can tell immediately that he has synthesized all that experience into some fundamental messages for parents considering adopting a child cross-culturally.
Susan Waugh adopted two baby girls, now aged nine and 11, from China. Focus magazine recently asked her what tips she’d pass onto prospective intercountry parents.
Loving our children has been easy. As transracial adoptive parents, however, it has been much more difficult to develop strategies for dealing with individual and institutional racism.
In our experience, the best lessons we can offer are those that teach our children to externalize racism and assure them we will always be there for them.
At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.
When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.
In the fourth of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only hours away from taking charge of their long-awaited daughter, Hee Young (Leelee).
Day #5, June 28, continued.
Mrs. Kang had asked us earlier when we wanted to take Hee Young, and we told her as soon as possible. Though, as much as I wanted her with us today, I felt it would be best to let her have one more night as a family with her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ra.
In the fifth, and last of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, adjusting to finally having their little daughter in their charge.
Day 6, continued
I had asked Mrs. Kang if the children have a tough time adjusting. She told me it was true sometimes, but she thought that Hee Young would be okay and that if we had any problems we could call her day or night. I sensed she might be wrong on her assessment, having witnessed a bond so strong between this foster mother and child.
I am the mom of a 13-year-old girl adopted from the US. She is African-American, we are Caucasian. Some of her friends (it’s a predominantly “white” school) are attracting the interest of boys. My daughter says nobody seems interested in her, and she thinks it’s because of her colour. How do we respond to this in a way that helps?
Surely you will want her to feel valuable, attractive, and wanted. It may be more difficult for your daughter as peer-relationships, womanhood, racial identity, and self-esteem are likely involved in this for her.
In the twentieth of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn--faces a big family Christmas. Not only is she worried about all the preparation and gift buying, she’s concerned that her family will judge her kids and her parenting.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
I am so sick of that song running through my head--I can’t seem to get rid of it! December is definitely not the most wonderful time of the year--more like the most stressful! The most overwhelming!
Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.
When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.
There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.
Cathy Gilbert, mom of fifteeen kids, four by birth, eleven by adoption, compares adopting a challenging child with running an Ice Marathon—the preparation and the race may test your limits but, like completing a marathon, the rewards come later.
My son, grandson, and daughter-in-law were here for dinner today. This is the son who was adopted at 12 and whose profile description most people would run a mile from.