Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Semi-Open Adoption and the Adopted Child.

Each child’s experience with semi open adoption will vary.  These variables include the degree of openness, the ability to maintain communication, and the willingness of the adult parties to honor their commitments, to name a few. Advantages that a semi-open adoption may provide to an adopted child may include:  

  • Communication with birth families
  • No birth parent/family search
  • The child may know and understand some of the reasons for his adoption.
  • Greater sense of self/ identity
  • The child can answer the fundamental question of “Who am I?”
  • May prevent sense of abandonment
  • Connection with Cultural heritage
  • Available medical history
  • Access to birth records

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is A Semi- Open Adoption?

A Semi-Open Adoption is a type of adoption that is not totally open or totally closed.  It occurs when birth-parents and adoptive families share non-identifying information or have non- identifying interaction with one another. This interaction is usually facilitated by the adoption agency or adoption attorney. The identity of all parties involved is kept confidential.

The degree of openness in a semi-open adoption is pre-determined and agreed upon by both the birth-parents and adoptive parents. Non- identifying information that may be shared between the adoptive parents and birth-parents may include: photographs, letters, Profile Book, demographics, or phone calls.

After surrender forms are signed, and if both parties agree, the Adoptive Parents and Birth Mother may meet face to face for a brief time under the supervision of the Agency. In most cases direct communication after the placement of the child is more limited, in a way that is agreed by all parties to be beneficial for everyone. Most often this occurs in the form of letters or cards that are sent and received via the adoption agency.

With semi-open adoption there are a number of advantages for all members of the adoption tirade: birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adopted child. Background information on the child’s birth parents may include a social, educational and health history. It may also be possible to maintain contact with the Birth Family.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Boys Should Be Boys :7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

“In Boys Should Be Boys, one of our most trusted authorities helps parents restore the delights of boyhood and enable today’s boys to become the mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow. Boys will always be boys–rambunctious, adventurous, and curious, climbing trees, building forts, playing tackle football, and pushing their growing bodies to the limit as part of the rite of passage into manhood. But today our sons face an increasingly hostile world that doesn't value the high-spirited, magical nature of boys. In a collective call to let our boys be boys, Dr. Meg Meeker explores the secrets to boyhood, including”

• Why rules and boundaries are crucial–and why boys feel lost without them
• How the outdoors is still the best playground, offering the sense of adventure that only Mother Nature can provide
• The essential ways to preserve a boy’s innocence (and help him grow up)
• The pitfalls moms and dads face when talking to their sons
• Why moody and rebellious boys are not normal–and how to address such behavior
• How and when the “big” questions in life should be discussed: why he is here, what his purpose is, and why he is important

Craig Matteson, says “ Meeker ends the book with a chapter listing ten tips. “

1) Know that you change his world
2) Raise him from the inside out (worry about his inner life and the outer life will follow)
3) Help his masculinity to explode
4) Help him find purpose and passion (other than being a video game master)
5) Teach him to serve (this is where Church can come in handy)
6) Insist on self-respect
7) Persevere
8) Be his hero
9) Watch, then watch again (pay close attention to what is going on in his life)
10) Give him the best of yourself (not just the leftovers)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pros and Cons of Domestic Adoption

If you're considering a Domestic Adoption, here are a few things to think about. 

  • Adoptive families can adopt an infant 
  • Background information on the child’s birth parents that may include social, educational and health history 
  • You are updated regularly on the health of the Birth Mother and baby, throughout the pregnancy 
  • Varying degrees of openness, it may be possible to maintain contact with Birth Family  
  • May be less expensive than an Intl adoption 
  • Less paperwork than an International Adoption.    
  • No international travel. 

  • The Birth Mother can choose to parent the new baby, versus going through with the adoption process
  • Adoption laws vary by state 
  • Wait time to get matched is estimated.  
  • There may be a lack of  medical history  
  • If the Birthfather is “unknown: termination of parental rights must be done in his absence.  

For more information about Domestic Adoption, join us at one of our FREE weekly Webinars: Everything you Wanted to Know about Domestic Adoption. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

Several years ago, after a particularly busy time of work and homeschooling, I took the day off and my daughter and I went on a day trip to an apple orchard in the North Carolina Mountains.  It was the best day ever. I’m not sure if it was the fresh mountain air, the warm sunshine, or the glorious pick your own, Winesap apples, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

I begrudgingly left, convinced I wanted to move home to the mountains, along with the overwhelming sense that “my soul had been healed”. My daughter has similar experiences every time we spend quality time in the great outdoors, whether it be the mountains or the beach.

In The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, author Richard Louv leads a convincing argument supporting the very things that we have experienced.

“Children need nature for the healthy development of their sense, and therefore, for learning and creativity.  This need is revealed in two different ways: by an examination of what happens to the senses of the young when they loose the connection with nature, and by witnessing the sensory magic that occurs when young people-even those beyond childhood-are exposed to even the smallest direct experience of a natural setting.”


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to School: Talking about Adoption

   To tell or not to tell?  “How much information do I need to share? Am I being overly sensitive or is my child’s teacher being insensitive?  Will my concerns be taken into consideration?”   These are all questions adoptive families struggle with when trying to  educate teachers and administrators on adoption related issues. 

Parents have to decide who to share information with and how information to share. Every situation will vary but in general parents will have to decide “How can my child benefit from sharing this information?”  It can be a fine line between advocating for versus labeling a child.

Benefits may include the teacher being more aware of gaps in learning, addressing behavioral issues, children who separation anxiety or have a hard time transitioning from one task to another, attention, and family tree assignments. It also gives parents the ability to learn more about services that are offered by the local public school system.  Many services are available that may assist your child in the classroom like speech therapy, tutoring, classroom assistance, or an individual education plan.

Sharing a limited amount of information with your child’s teacher may also provide you with the opportunity to be an “ambassador of adoption.”  For younger children you may be able to read a book about adoption to your child’s class for older children participating in a cultural activity. I’ve taught preschoolers and elementary age children to count to ten in Russian, and taken tea cakes and beets to school for the kids to sample.  Keeping the lines of communication open are important to help your child navigate the classroom successfully.   Questions school age children are often asked at school:

·        Where is your real Mom?
·        Didn’t she want you?
·        Why were you adopted?
·        How do you know what you will look like when you grow up?
·        Are you going to try to find your real family?

Both children and adults need a working understanding of adoption. Preparing children with open honest information helps then normalize the concept of adoption.  It may help them deflect loaded questions and allow them to move from “he’s adopted” to cool his parents chose him.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Funding Your Adoption

Funding an adoption can sometimes be a roadblock for families who wish to build a family through adoption. Thanks, to an increase in adoption awareness more avenues are available for assistance than ever before and there are many creative ways to help off set the cost of an adoption.
    When it comes to funding adoption, where there is a will, there is a way. Make a financial plan.  Break down the total cost of your adoption, know an approximate time frame as to when fees are due, and decide the source of the funds for each phase.
   In order to set up a plan, you need to know how much money you are spending and where. Look to see  where can you cut cost and create a budget.  For: example if you eat lunch with coworkers 3x’s a week at $10.00 per lunch and reduce that to 1 x a week, you can save app. $15.00 a week by bringing your lunch.  $15.00 x 4 weeks equal a savings of $60.00 a month. The same principle applies to eating dinner in a restaurant or regular homebrewed coffee on the way to work versus, more expense drive through lattes.
   Put as much money as possible into your adoption fund. Set up a savings account that pays interest. While you probably won’t be able to fund your entire adoption by reducing spending, you can significantly impact it. By combining reduced spending and actively finding other ways to increase income you can successfully build your adoption fund.

Creative Ideas that adoptive families have used include : 

·          Cut food budget- use more coupons
·          Eat out less/Take your lunch 
·          Cut out or reduce cable, newspaper, etc. 
·          Raise/lower your thermostat
·          Raise insurance deductibles
·          Refinance at lower rates
·          Drop club memberships
·          Reduce non-essential purchases
·          Sell items on eBay
·          Have a garage sale, ask friends for donations or to help.
·          Take a second job or part-time job
·        Hold a fundraiser: spaghetti dinner or bake sale

For more info on financing adoption, see http://beaconhousefinancialcoaching.com/

BHAS is the first adoption agency of its type to have an Adoption Finance Coach available to assist our families.