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Journey to recovery

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This powerful story was the keynote speech at Growing Together: a retreat for parents of persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in January 2010.

Hi, my name is Nicolas. First of all, I’d like to thank the organizers of this retreat for asking me here to share with you. I’d also like to thank and welcome all the parents and families for being here today.

Building childhood memories

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When I was five years old, I was adopted. It’s something I’ve known about all my life, as my parents were always open and honest with me. Adoption is something that has never bothered me as it has always been a part of who I am.

As my daughter approaches five, my feelings about my adoption and my past have shifted. I had never thought about my earlier years—the life I had lived before I was five. My life with my adopted parents was so wonderful, and the memories so vivid and precious, that I had never even thought to venture deeper into the memories of my previous years.

Culture shapes a South Asian adoption reunion

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Chelan Gill remembers always knowing she was adopted. It would have been difficult for her parents to hide it because, although Chelan’s mother is South Asian like her, her father is Caucasian. Adopted at birth, Chelan was raised within western culture and influences – even having the last name of Fletcher. However, at 26, she married a South Asian man who taught her about Indian culture and customs, and at 27, Chelan decided to search out information about her birth parents and medical history before having children.

Where are they now?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

One-year-old covergirl Maddy Devitt appeared on the cover of Focus on Adoption magazine in 1994. She is now a gorgeous 18-year-old working as an au pair in London, England. What has her life been like in between? “Like a Skittles box!”

Madeline Devitt was born Alcinia Dore in Dessalines, Haiti on March 8, 1993, in a typical cinderblock home with a dirt floor. Her family already had four children, and her birth mother died soon after due to complications from the birth. Her birth father tried very hard to find a wet nurse for Maddy but couldn’t.

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.”

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.

Ten things not to say to an adoptive parent

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Mixed-race adoptive families stand out everywhere they go. As a white mom with a Filipino husband and a black son, I’ve been stopped at the park, in the pool (yes, in the pool), at restaurants, and on the street, by strangers wanting to know something about my family. Even friends and family often stumble over terminology, saying or asking things that are painful or irritating. I don’t mind questions that come from a place of caring and connection, and I’ll talk your ear off about my family story under the right circumstances.

My big, beautiful, adoptive family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

One day, Mom gave my sister an African-American Cabbage Patch Kid. I was given India Barbie. We didn’t know it at the time, but my sister and I were being prepared for our future.

My parents had decided that six kids by birth wasn’t enough so, when I was six years old, we welcomed through adoption my twin brothers Greg and Nicholas. I remember how proud I was to have them as my little brothers. It didn’t seem overly difficult or challenging for them to claim their places in our family. Our Irish and German family tree simply sprouted two new branches.

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.

The benefits of big

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Do big adoptive families work better for children with attachment issues? The families we spoke to all think so.

These days, having numerous kids tends to be considered eccentric. For some children though, a bursting-at-the-seams-family may be exactly what they need.

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