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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.

Waiting in Kazakhstan - Part Two

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As I drive up to Mariechan’s house to do an interview for this story, a charming boy, doing graceful “S” turns with his scooter in the cul-de-sac, waves to me. He politely introduces himself as I walk up to the driveway. “Hello. I’m Aleksey. Are you here to visit my mom? I will tell her that you’re here. This is our house! Follow me! Oh, this is my sister, Valya.” There is a faint echo of Kazakhstan in his voice and nothing but smiles on his younger sister’s beautiful face.

Adoption by the books

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am 41 and my husband Rod is 55. We were unable to naturally conceive a child and had finally accepted that reality. We were preparing to simply enjoy our independence as a couple and travel to exotic places. We comforted ourselves that our two dogs and a cat were our surrogate children. Life was good, right?

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.

The siblings are here!

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Having more sisters and brothers means more love and sometimes having to hide all your nailpolish.

Kendra is 15 years old and a big sister to six siblings. Mary Caros interviewed Kendra about her experience with being the oldest sister in a family that chooses to adopt more children.

Tell me a bit about your siblings.

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.

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.”

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.

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