Birth family

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Happy Adoption Day!

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Three families share how they celebrate adoption day

Karen Zgonc
I can remember each year growing up, my mother retelling my birth story: what time she drove to the hospital, how long it took, how she felt when she first held me, etc. On Jason’s first birthday, I wasn’t ready for the onset of confusing emotions. I didn’t know how his birthmom got to the hospital or how long it took for him to be born. I remember thinking, “One year ago, I didn’t even know he existed.”

Family matters: When openness seems too hard

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am a single parent of a two-year-old. My child’s birth mom is 17. Our lifestyles are completely different and so are our values. Except for my son, we have very little in common. I find the contact with her hard going, and sometimes I feel tempted to slack off a little. Do you have any advice for me?

You are not alone. Many adoptive parents find contact with birth parents an energy drain; a task they do out of duty because it is what they agreed to do.

What is open adoption?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Ask five people what their definition of open adoption is and you are likely to get five answers. Some may think that allowing an expectant parent to choose the prospective adoptive parents from a profile of non-identifying information is an open adoption. Still others may say that those who met prior to placement and who exchange pictures and letters after the child is placed in the adoptive home are participating in an open adoption. This definition is, in fact, a variation of a semi-open adoption or openness in adoption.

Family matters: Reunion, family, and openness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My partner and I adopted a child two years ago. We are Caucasian and our daughter is African-American. I want to adopt again so she has a sibling. My partner refuses. What should I do?

This is a conversation that should have taken place before you adopted a child. However, there are a couple of things you could do. First, try to clearly understand why your partner doesn’t want to add to your family. Once you discover the reason, there may be room for compromise.

Family matters: Telling about birth siblings

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A few months ago, we told our 6-year-old son that he has two older birth siblings who live with his birthmom. He doesn’t want to see photos of his siblings, or talk about it. How can we help?

At this age, kids are just beginning to understand the idea of adoption and where babies come from. They are also beginning to visualize their birth families, crave more details, and ask more concrete questions. Sometimes, we hold on to details we don’t think our kids are ready for. When critical information is omitted, it can feel like a betrayal to the child.

Internet connections: Finding Cheng Er Mei

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For decades, once internationally adopted children left their home country the chances of them reconnecting with family and other people connected to their early days was small. Now, thanks to the speed and global reach of the internet, those reconnections may be far easier to find and maintain.

March 3, 2003—the day our two year wait ended and our daughter, Le Xiao Meng, was placed in our arms. We were overwhelmed with joy. 

Mom, Mexico, and me

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An adult adoptee, Chantal De Brouwer, explains what keeping a connection with her birth country and culture has meant to her.

When I was about three days old, I was left on a transit bus in Mexico City. No one knows how long I’d been there, but the driver brought me to the hospital in the middle of the night. I weighed three pounds.

Making a lifebook

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A lifebook isn’t a baby book, a scrapbook, or a photo album. A lifebook is a detailed account of a child’s life that helps that child make sense of the past and prepare for a successful future. If you haven’t started one for your child, here are some tips to help you get started.

Making a lifebook may seem a daunting task, but it can be fun, and you’ll never regret it.

Your adoption dilemmas addressed

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Here are two responses to a difficult dilemma that one family is facing.

"We are the proud parents of two children, a girl and a boy, both under the age of 5. The children’s biological parents are parenting two other children. Though we would like it, the birth parents are emphatic that they don’t want an open adoption. Despite this, we leave photos and letters with our agency. Our adoption agency has told us that the birth parents have not told their children about their adopted siblings.

Your child's ages and stages in adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Though, of course, children are all different, research has shown that children who join their family through adoption tend to go through specific stages in their understanding of their family and their place in it. Here we summarize one of the best descriptions of these “ages and stages,” which can be found in Lois Ruskai Melina’s book Raising Adopted Children.

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