International adoption

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How to talk to kids about race and racism

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Last week I expressed some concern about whether or not my first-grader was old enough to be learning about some of the more violent aspects of the civil rights movement. One of the frustrating outcomes of that conversation is that the teacher (and a few commenters) misinterpreted my concern as being over conversations about race in general, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a firm believer that we should be talking to our kids about racial differences from a very young age.

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.

Race: Social fact, biological fiction

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Andrew Martindale, an adoptive parent, and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, explains that the concept of race is man-made and, though it holds enormous power, has no biological basis.

The history of race relations makes transracial adoptions deeply personal, and, at times, very public statements of reconciliation. What do we say to our children, ourselves and others about the nature and significance of racial difference within our families?

Return to Vietnam touches all family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Last December, David Kuefler took his family back to Vietnam where his daughter was born. Here he shares why the trip was so important.

David, his husband Peter, their daughter Chloë, son Aidan, and Chloë’s godmothers, Corinne and Amanda, joined for the trip to Vietnam, where Chloë was adopted from when she was eight months old.

Handling culture shock and intercountry adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Over the years, psychologist Dr Peter Hotz has worked with scores of adoptive families. He tells me that he has seen adoption from every angle. I’m at his Vancouver office to talk about international, cross-cultural adoptions. Dr Hotz has worked with several AFABC families. I can tell immediately that he has synthesized all that experience into some fundamental messages for parents considering adopting a child cross-culturally.

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. 

Diary of an intercountry adoptive mom #1

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the first of a series, we present the diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only days away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Leelee. The couple are missing their son Willem (at home in Canada) and desperate to meet their little girl. At least the agonizing wait means that they can become acquainted with their daughter’s fascinating homeland.

Neurofeedback helped my internationally adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.

When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.    

Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom #4

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the fourth of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only hours away from taking charge of their long-awaited daughter, Hee Young (Leelee).

Day #5, June 28, continued.

Mrs. Kang had asked us earlier when we wanted to take Hee Young, and we told her as soon as possible. Though, as much as I wanted her with us today, I felt it would be best to let her have one more night as a family with her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ra.

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