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.
I attended the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference in Los Angles in July 2015 with the intention of checking facts for my new book on adoptive parenting, discovering new ideas, and meeting wonderful people. I accomplished all three goals and found the whole experience exhilarating. There is amazing energy when more than 900 dedicated people meet and exchange ideas. The conference was full of inspiring sessions.
Just over 650 people took part in BC's first adoption satisfaction survey. TWI Surveys, a Canada-wide, independent research and strategy development company, designed and hosted the survey which was conducted in September 2009.
Overall, the results were positive, but improvements can be made.
Because of the large number of responses to our survey, the results are extremely reliable. As well as areas for improvement, there is lots of good news.
My first encounter with the idea of children in care who needed families was during a church service as a little girl.
The speaker shared unsettling statistics about kids who age out of care and end up incarcerated, homeless, or worse; kids who are separated from their siblings; and young adults who have no place to spend the holidays or summer vacation. I suppose it all resonated with me because I came from a family of five siblings, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. At that church service I made up my mind that I wanted to adopt older kids one day.
For many internationally adopted children, a part of adjusting to their new home will include learning to hear the sounds of English. They will then need to learn how to move their lips, tongue, and jaw to produce these sounds, and then put words together.
Encourage language learning by creating fun activities like Peek-a-Boo, singing songs, or other age-appropriate games.
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.
"We've been waiting for a local infant proposal for two long years. Is there anything we can do?"
It's time for you to review your homestudy and your options. Re-read your homestudy to be sure that it still reflects your family situation. Have there been any changes over the last two years that may need to be added? After reviewing your homestudy, phone your agency or social worker to make an appointment to discuss your options.
If you are adopting a child, check out your employment rights and the rules around paid Employment Insurence leave (if you qualify).
These stories illustrate the power of the elemental need to parent, the ability to mourn but not blame, the uniqueness of every adoption, and what an agonizing decision adoption can be for birth parents.
In BC, birth mothers have 30 days form the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child. Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the adoptive parents can breathe a sigh of relief. For others, it's not quite so simple.
Your adoption-related questions answered
My father constantly makes negative remarks about black people in front of my African-American son. It really upsets me, but I hate confrontations. What should I do?