International adoption

Opening hearts through film

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Making documentaries on adoption is more than just making movies.

After the film is completed, the complexities of adoption continue. In documenting adoption and orphan  experiences, we saw many opportunities to get involved.

Finding Lucan

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most days, as I push our stroller up a hill loaded with my son and a week’s supply of groceries and feel the muscles in my arms and legs working, I am reminded of the total body workouts I used to enjoy at my local gym.

Not that long ago I lived a very different life, one that included a husband, and a charming little house that we  owned on a tree-lined street, a fulfilling full-time job, a fun fashion part-time job, volunteer work as a board director for two companies, four weekly gym workouts, and a circle of friends for dinner parties and occasional travel.

Five days in Xi'an

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Our son, River, was three weeks old when he was taken from the Xi’an Social Welfare Institute (SWI) in China and given a new start at the Starfish Foster Home.

Starfish cared for Xi’an’s most sick and vulnerable children, and was started in 2005 by Amanda de Lange, a native  of South Africa. River was there until we came to adopt him on June 20, 2011; although, for the most part, he lived  at night with foster parents, Zhou and BaoRong Zhang, and their daughter Christy.

Puppy love

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Before our daughter joined our family, we had a beautiful dog named Forrest.

This isn’t really a story about Forrest, but I feel we can’t adequately tell the story of our daughter and our dog  Stella without also sharing the story of our first dog.

Financing your adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Earlier this year, my wife and I started getting serious about the adoption process. My first question was, “How long will the adoption process take?” As a financial advisor, my next question was, “What are the associated costs?”

Each family’s cost will vary depending on their adoption path (international, domestic newborn, or Ministry of  Children and Family Development). No matter which path you take, there will be some costs. The reality of  children, and adoption, is that the costs associated with the process are only a small portion of the total funds needed to raise a child.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Singers

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The Singer family household–-home to Leo Andriy, eight, and Jack Bogdan, six-–is full of life. And that’s an understatement.

Parents Aaron and Melissa frequently have to raise their voices to be heard over the chaos of the boys’ shouts and laughter. Born in Ukraine, Jack and Leo’s raucous exuberance and impulsive energy has defined the family’s new normal since they were adopted as toddlers four years ago.

Inter-country adoption and Canadian immigration

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Many adoptive parents incorrectly assume that once they have been granted a legal adoption order, obtaining citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada for their child is a mere formality.

After all, the adoption has been legalized in the foreign country. Isn't it now legal in Canada too? Isn't it my right as a Canadian citizen to have my child granted status?

Always my little girl

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

What a difference three years can make.

We recently attended an interracial adoptive families get together. It is a valuable resource for all of us. Our daughter gets to see other families that look like ours, and my wife and I get to hear other experiences that help us realize we’re not doing that badly.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Yrjana family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Colleen and her husband of 17 years, Jussi, live on Vancouver Island. Colleen, a former foster parent for over 20 years, also has three grown children and three grandkids. Her oldest daughter was a neighborhood kid that came for the weekend and stayed for 28 years, according to Colleen. “We have no legal paperwork, but she’s not any less ours,” she adds.

Openness in international adoptions

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Openness in international adoptions is just as critical for emotional and psychological health as it is for domestic adoptions.

What does an international open adoption look like? Certainly openness in adoption is different when an adoptive family is faced with barriers of language, culture and distance. I’ve spoken with adoptive parents who express relief when their international adoption is complete. The assumption is that given the physical and cultural distance that there is no  expectation for openness with birth family or home country.

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