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.
Question: "We have been waiting to adopt for two years now. We've watched two adoptions fall through, and are having a tough time coping with the disappointment, and this sinking feeling that we might never be parents. What can we do to keep our spirits up?"
This is a difficult question. Potential adoptive parents put tremendous amounts of time, money and emotional energy into the adoption process and then must bear with waiting for the fulfillment of their dreams and desires.
"My husband and I have struggled with infertility for several years. We have tried to conceive through IVF, but to no avail. We have come to the conclusion that adoption may be the best way for us to form a family, but I still want to pursue IVF treatments. My husband thinks we should stop IVF, come to terms with the fact that we can’t have our own children, and concentrate on adoption."
by Russell Webb
by Sheryl Salloum
Cathy Sarino works for Kelowna Community Resources in their Special Needs Adoption Program. Her job is to help children understand, and hopefully accept, that they cannot live with their birth parents or their foster parents. She works with the children and their foster parents to deal with the grief and loss and guide them into a state of readiness to join another family.
Many people assume that breastfeeding is not an option in adoption. P’nina Shames interviewed two Kootenay- based adoptive moms, Carol and Sherri, who were successful. Here they share some of their secrets.
Why did you breastfeed?
Carol: I wanted to create the same bond with my adopted child that I have with my biological child. Besides being good for the baby, studies show that it helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.
1. Be proactive—use the "A" word from the moment your child comes home, even if he or she is pre-verbal. Seek opportunities to talk about adoption—movies, books, other families connected to adoption, and your child’s own adoption story at an age-appropriate level.
2. Connect the positive qualities in your child with their birth parents—even if you know nothing about them; for example, "I wonder if your birthmom/birthdad has your beautiful voice."
MCFD adoption social workers explain the ABCs of matching families and children.
Many children in foster care exhibit parentified behaviours, making it difficult for them and their new parents to negotiate healthy parent-child relationships. We spoke with Anne Melcombe, BSW, an adoption social worker and child specific recruiter here at AFABC, about parenting the parentified child. Anne was a Level 2 foster parent for more than two decades and is a single adoptive mom of three. She is passionate about the need for children and youth to have permanent family connections.
A BC film explores the bravery, determination, and humour it takes to rise above the legal systems, societal prejudices, and personal fears inherent in starting a family through adoption.
Nelson, BC-based filmmaker Amy Bohigian’s documentary film, Conceiving Family, follows her and partner Jane Byers’ journey to becoming a family, and combines personal interviews, intimate footage and family photos of four other same-sex couples to tell the collective story of what it takes build a family through adoption and through love.