When potential adoptive parents begin their journey, they're buoyed by the enthusiasm and support of others. Once they bring their child or children home and make it through the first few months, though, that support tends to dissolve. In this article, an experienced adoptive mom explains why adoptive families need support throughout their entire journey, not just at the beginning.
Just as I was getting a handle on my whole sleep deprivation thing, I seem to be right back to square one and find myself nodding off morning, noon, and night.
You see, I've solved my sleep apnea problem; but, what has left me desperate for a decent night's sleep these days is a battle with a serious case of jet lag and our beautiful daughter, Charlotte.
In February of 2010 our social worker told my brother and I about a couple who wanted to adopt us. We began working with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) for our transition. In June, we moved in with our new family. The first year with them was hard for me. I'd moved to a new town and had to start all over.
Now we have a good relationship, but learning to trust and love them was really tough. Of course, with two teenagers in the house, there will always be arguments; but my family is always there for us.
Our eldest daughter was baptized in Abbotsford, BC, when she was 19 years old. Speaking to the parents of the infants who were also being dedicated to God that day, the Pastor told them that raising a child is a joy-filled and awesome adventure.
In this five-part series, we present the diary of Mary Ella, an intercoutry adoptive mom. She shares the journey she and her husband, Wayne, took to Korea to meet their long-awaited daughter, Leelee.
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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).
Adoption across the Rockies
At any given time last year, there were about 5,300 children and youth in permanent government care in Alberta. In the same year, 449 of these children found a loving and permanent home. Alberta children are almost always placed with Alberta families in order to keep them connected to extended family, culture, community, and resources.
“We are planning to adopt a baby and have heard stories about birth fathers coming forward at the last minute to disrupt adoptions. What is the situation if this happens?”
As with all questions involving the law, an accurate answer begins with, “it depends.” The first thing it depends on is where the child (and birth father) reside. Different countries, and even different provinces or states, have differing laws and procedures. For the purpose of this response, I will assume all parties live in BC.
For years, I tried to avoid even considering adoption. The idea of being put with people I didn’t know anything about and hadn’t even seen before was a little scary. I’d mostly lived with my great-grandma my whole life. That felt like home to me, and I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, my grandma’s age and health problems were getting bad and she wasn’t able to continue taking care of me. I had nowhere to turn. Adoption became the best option for me. Deciding on adoption was very scary, and I felt like I was risking my future.
The importance of cultural connections
In a previous article, I wrote about the Exceptions Committee in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The article was prompted by a list of questions that the Adoptive Families Association of BC had gathered from their membership. There were additional questions related to Aboriginal adoption in BC that I will endeavor to answer in this follow-up article.