Friday, August 28, 2015

One of the thinks I love about adoption is that I learn something new everyday. Secondly I love that adoption provides kids with opportunities that they might otherwise not have had.  Today these two things came together when I I learned that one of the most powerful women in pro-sports is an International Adoptee. 

"From that street corner in Seoul to one of the most powerful women in professional sports as the co-owner of two major league franchises, and the Pegula Sports & Entertainment empire.

"Kim Pegula ithe co-owner of the Bills and Sabres, the two sports franchises that are helping to drive the revitalization of Buffalo, Kim is in position to effect real change, and she hasn't wasted the opportunity, taking control of big projects and bringing them to fruition."

Monday, August 24, 2015

Adoption Is a Family Affair!

Adoption Is a Family Affair! What Relatives and Friends Must Know
By Patricia Irwin Johnston

"If someone you care about—a family member, co-worker, or close friend—has recently announced that their family will be growing through adoption, you may have questions. After all, unless you have personally experienced adoption, you may know very little about how adoption works and what it means.

Adoption Is a Family Affair! will answer all of these questions and more, offering you information about who can adopt, why people consider adopting, how kids understand adoption as they grow up, and more. This short book is crammed full of the "need to know" information for friends and families that will help to encourage informed, happy, and healthy family relationships."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Adoptive Grandparents

The following tips should help adoptive parents prepare grandparents for their new role:

Grandparents should:

1.      Continue to follow any family tradition to include the newly adopted child.
2.      Treat all grandchildren equally. This includes not only forms of discrimination but also an over emphasize on being ‘special”
3.      Find positive traits it their grandchild and enjoy getting to know them.
4.      Brag about them: it is a grandparents right to do so.
5.      Take pictures and show them off.
6.      Recognize that any child that is adopted trans-racially will experience prejudice and be prepared for it.
7.      Recognize that the child is a permanent member of the family. Acknowledge familiar family traits: he walks like Uncle David, she her Mother’s laugh.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grandparents and Adoption

   How do my parents or in-laws view adoption?  Will they accept him as part of the family? Will they view my child differently or treat her different than the other grandchildren? These are all legitimate concerns that prospective adoptive parents have. Even when grandparents are “on board” with the adoption of a grandchild it is easily to be apprehensive about  

   Often these pre-adoption jitters are based in concern for their own child, the adoptive parent, getting hurt. Most grandparents quickly overcome any obstacles or anxieties once they say they meet and see the interaction between parent and child. Family bonds are forged by an adoption decree, but the act of parenting and grand parenting strengthens and solidifies those bonds.  Family traditions should include the adopted child regardless of his age at the time of adoption.
            Grandparents should spend quality time getting to know the child and it is important for them to understand the complex issues of adoption.  The following tips should help adoptive parents prepare grandparents for their new role:
Adoptive Parents should
1.      Talk openly and honestly about adoption. Try to clarify any misunderstandings.
2.      Teach Grandparents positive adoption language, example: birthmother versus natural or real mother.
3.      Teach grandparents how to respond to adoption questions. 
4.      Remind Grandparents that certain details about an adoption are private, and that they should limit the information that they share with others.
5.      If the child is of a different race or culture, try to incorporate cultural traditions or holidays to be included along with other family traditions.
6.      Help them understand that non-traditional or different parenting techniques may be necessary. Especially one that are designed towards bonding and attachment, or logical consequences.
7.      Educate grandparents about the adoption process.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Talking with Teachers

Talking with Teachers
by Julie Drew, from"© 2010 Heart of the Matter Seminars”

“Starting a new school year can be an exciting yet stressful time for any family. Every child and parent needs time to get comfortable with a new teacher and a different set of expectations. It also takes teachers time to get to know each family’s child and to understand their unique needs and individual learning styles. In the case of the adoptive family this time of year can present even more than the typical challenges. “

To see more:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back to School

Buying school supplies, first day jitters, maneuvering the lunch line, etc., are just a few challenges kids and parents are faced with at back to school. Adopted children may face additional challenges with school projects involving baby pictures, timelines, genetics or even world studies.  
This was the opening line of an "autobiography" written by our 10 year old son: "It all began in when I was a baby that got left in a basket on the steps of an Orphanage."  This embellishment of the truth was on a timeline project that teachers at his elementary school touted as a cherished keepsake for your child.
I guess the early beginning about a boy named Lewis who is a brilliant inventor, travels in a time machine, meets the Robinson family before they adopt him and saves the world in the process is a bit more exciting than "I was born in Russia and adopted when I was three:. At least the remainder of the story that he wrote was fairly accurate.
School projects can be tricky for adopted children. Circumstances surrounding dates, location, and details may be unknown or considered private family matters.  Children may be unsure about which facts they should or should not share, versus what they are required to share.  This can produced anxiety and leave the child feeling vulnerable, or different.
The best way to handle theses assignment is to prepare your child in advance; have a plan of how you will approach the topics and alternative ways to complete the assignment.  For more information see:  

Tackling Tricky Assignments
“Six projects account for most of the tricky assignments our kids face at school. Understanding the learning goals and the specific challenges each one poses will help parents and children alike find the best solutions.” 

Is Your Child Ready for School?
She has her backpack, pencils, and notebook. But does she know how to field adoption questions that might come her way?  See more:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Inside Transracial Adoption

Inside Transracial Adoption, Strength-based, Culture-sensitizing Parenting Strategies for Inter-country or Domestic Adoptive Families That Don't "Match
by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall

This book "Contains six sections, each with an annotated list of suggested reading. Through a combination of personal anecdotes, condensed research findings, quotes by trans-racially adopted persons, and bite-size narratives, the writing is accessible and sometimes even lighthearted. While the authors make a concerted effort to address issues of special interest to families with Asian, Latino, Native American, and multiracial children (particularly in the section entitled “Cultural Specifics”), the majority of references apply to white parents of African-American Children."