How is a family created?….. Often, we think of families being made when a woman gives birth to a child. But adoption is another way families are created. Adoption means a legal process that allows someone to become the parent of a child, even though the parent and child are not related by blood.
Adopting a child is a long-term decision; there really is no going back. You have to understand the impact that it may have on your life and the sacrifices that may be necessary.
You may need to move, change jobs or give up a substantial part of your social life. The adoption process can take years, so you need to think long and hard about whether you’re willing to wait for approval and for a suitable child to become available.
Reasons to Adopt a Child….
It is the desire of every married couple to have children and experience the joy of raising them together.
But in some cases, there can be issues that might prevent the couple from having children.
But if you really want the love of a child, and also want to help someone, a good decision would be to adopt a child. The points listed below are the common reasons for child adoption.
- Fertility problems, trouble in conceiving due to a late marriage are problems that might hinder begetting. For this reason many couples adopt a child.
- Increased focus on work is making people marry late and this, to a certain extent, affects the ability to conceive. It is quite common to see couples who marry late, adopt a child.
- Married couples also prefer adopting a child if either partner has problems in conceiving. There are also some medical conditions that can mar the ability of the person to give birth.
- A couple suffering from genetic diseases can prefer child adoption than opting for a biological kid. The reason being – genetic diseases can be passed to kids from parents.
- It is not uncommon to see married couples adopting a child even if their biological clock is ticking. This generally has selfless reasons, as in this case the reason is providing a homely atmosphere, along with love and care to the child.
- There is nothing better than raising a child and then see him/her as a grownup after some years. It will give you a sense of responsibility along with a feel-good feeling.
- Adoption of older children is observed in married couples who do not want to go through the phase of raising kids, as it might hinder their career and family life.
- Couples, who have one biological kid might prefer adopting another.
- Labor can be quite painful for women and can also have serious complications in some cases, so to counter it some couples take to adoption, just for a painless experience of having a child.
There are many other good reasons that people adopt a child. Sometimes, it is the sheer love for children that makes singles adopt children.
Telling The Truth……
It was a beautiful day yesterday. A treasure to enjoy before the cold weather sets in. Early fall, the sun was shining, the leaves just starting to turn orange, red and yellow.
We ran around as a family; cleaning the garage, cheering at soccer games, friends stopped by, the boys looked for frogs and played wiffle ball in the backyard. In the afternoon, my husband piled as many boys as he could fit in his car and took them out to lunch.
I took Eliza, my four year old in my car. She wanted McDonalds (sorry health nuts), or Old McDonalds, as she calls it, so we went to get her Happy Meal, and I got the requisite boring mom salad. We whipped through the drive thru and brought our lunch home to enjoy outside on the porch.
The house was momentarily still, as the boys were away and it was just my daughter and I enjoying our picnic. We sat outside munching away, the leaves falling around us, and high above a plane flew quietly overhead.
“Look, Eliza a plane,” I said.
Planes play a significant, symbolic role in our little lives. At bedtime, I often tell Eliza a short story of her adoption. She will whisper to me, “Tell me the baby Eliza story.” And I will whisper back in the dark about the baby that needed a family, and the family that needed a baby.
About how her dad and I got on a plane that flew high across the ocean to get her. We wrapped her in a soft, pink blanket and took turns holding her the whole way back on the plane.
When we got home, there was a big party for everyone to meet her, and her brothers and sister had made a beautiful Welcome Home sign that spread across the whole front porch.
It’s a soothing ritual and a way for her to always know a piece of her story. Just a piece. I have never ventured far outside of the story. I have never explained what “adoption” means. It is just a word she knows. It has been enough, for now.
But as we sat out there on the porch, looking at the blue sky and the plane sailing smoothly across, I thought, I should start telling her now. So she will always know.
Not just that adoption means love forever, but the nitty-gritty physical part of the adoption; that another woman gave birth to her, that she was not created in my body, as her siblings were, but that another mom and dad created her…that whole piece I have left out.
I felt like I should introduce the concept soon, she is almost school age, she sees other women who are pregnant and is starting to ask, “Why is her tummy so big?” Soon she will say, “I was in your tummy too once, right?” With my biological kids it was easy, “Yes you were! I remember you kicking me!” But now… what do I say?
It’s easy to tell her a bedtime story about a plane and wrapping her in a blanket of love…it’s not so easy to look beyond that. So, I thought I will tell her gently, slowly and we can talk about it in pieces, as kids thankfully do.
I want her to always know so it is never a surprise, just a natural part of who she is… but I guess I also want her to know to make it easier for me.
So she doesn’t turn to me in public and say, “I was in your tummy too, right?” So we can have our own discussions, on our own terms and then she can say just as proudly as any child, “I was born in someone else’s tummy and in my mom’s heart!”
So on a splendid fall day, in a moment of quiet and sharing, I thought, “Here I go.”
“You know what?” I said, cheerfully.
She turned and looked at me. A chicken nugget in one hand. Her eyes big and brown, her long hair tousled, her sparkly shoes always on the wrong feet, glimmering in the sun.
And in a sudden unexpected rush, I felt my throat close. Tears appeared out of nowhere. I couldn’t say it. I choked. Because the truth is, I want her to be from my tummy. I want to be the one that felt her kick.
That pushed her out into her dad’s waiting arms. I want to avoid the questions that will surely come, the possible pain she may have. I don’t ever want her to ever feel “less than” or unwanted. She is so not that.
“That plane sure is beautiful,” I said.
“Yeah!” she said. “I came on a plane, and you and daddy!”
“We sure did,” I said. “Come on, want me to push you on the swing?”
Written by: Anne Cavanaugh-Sawan
Types of Adoption
Open Adoption…. In this process, the birth parents and the adoptive parents can share their information with each other.It’s a great way for adoptive children to know their biological parents. However, after the process of adoption is complete, both the birth and adoptive parents can choose to stay in contact with each other.
Semi-open Adoption…. Here, the birth and adoptive parents meet and exchange information, which is initiated by the adoption institute. Once the child grows up, he has a choice to contact his biological parents and develop a relationship with them.
Semi-closed Adoption… This is a great way for the biological parents to maintain their privacy. They can contact the couple who are interested in adoption or choose not to remain in touch with adoptive parents at all.
Closed Adoption…. In this adoption, the birth parents hand over their babies to an adoption agency. The parents who are willing to adopt the child or baby do not meet the biological parents but the medical information is often shared with the adoptive parents.
Independent Adoption…. There is no role of any adoption agency in this particular adoption. This process of adoption takes place very rarely and happens when the biological parents and the adoptive parents know each other and make an agreement to adopt the child.
Another way of adoption is where the birth mother selects the family for a baby while she is pregnant. During this period, the birth mother might choose to bond with the family and get to know the parents better.
In these cases, the birth mother is either unmarried, a single mother or it’s an unwanted pregnancy and thus, she chooses to put the baby for adoption.
The Child Welfare League of America offers the following tips for adoptive parents:
* Start the process by doing your homework. Learn all you can about how adoption works in your state. Seek the advice and services of the state or county child welfare agency or an established, licensed adoption organization in your community.
* Ask for all the information that can legally be provided about your child and his or her birth family; this information will be invaluable to them later in life.
* Be open and honest about everything from the very beginning. Tell your child he is adopted; tell the child what you know of his birth family. It’s much easier to tell the truth than to try to work through lack of trust later.
* The child’s desire to know his or her birth parents is natural and has nothing to do with their relationship with you. Remember a child cannot be loved by too many people — the birth parent is not your enemy.
* Treat the adopted child the same as you would a birth child by providing the same expectations, the same nurturing and support.
* Assure the child that that you will always be there for him.
* Adolescence is difficult for most children and their parents, but can be especially troubling for some adopted families. Find other adoptive parents to spend time with, at least until your child is grown. They will be a source of strength, support and wisdom.
* Continue to attend training related to adoption issues. You may find some answers, or you may be able to help other adoptive parents with your insight and solutions.
* Spend special time with your spouse, significant other, or best friends. Give the kids and yourself a break!
* Remember to keep an open mind and heart — your child is depending on you.
Adoption can bring all kinds of rewards, not just to the new parents, but to the extended family as well. Right now, there are hundreds of children in your community just waiting to become part of a family.
Getting ready for the adoption home study can be a much easier process if you:
- Make a list of everything that needs to be done. This may include remodeling a bedroom for your child, clearing out anything that is cluttering your home, etc.
- Assign yourself a task to spend an hour completing each day. Take on one room at a time. On Monday you may want to spend time getting rid of clutter, Tuesday can be laundry day, Wednesday can be spent dusting and vacuuming, etc.
- Use the correct tools for the job you are doing. Getting something done is so much easier if you have the proper tools to do the job. For instance, it is much easier to get something done quickly if you have a container to hold your cleaning materials. This way you will be able to take them with you from room to room instead of running back and forth to get what you need.
- Get rid of the junk. This may sound simple, but some people find this very hard to do. Make it a rule that if it is not something that you absolutely love, has sentimental value, or is something that is used, it is junk and needs to be disposed of or donated to charity.
- Make it fun. Instead of looking at it as work, make it more enjoyable by involving the whole family. Work together and add some upbeat music; before long you will be surprised at just how much cleaning you were able to get done.
- Don’t let anything distract you. This means no TV or visiting on the telephone.
- If it is a nice day, take your work outside. Yard work can be enjoyable on a sunshiny day. This not only gets the outside of your house ready, but will be helpful in lifting your spirits too.
- Remember that deep cleaning involves organizing the closets, cupboards, attic, and basement as well.
- Open up your doors and windows. You will be amazed at how something as little as opening up windows and doors to let in some fresh air and sunshine in is able to bring a clean and fresh atmosphere to your home. As long as the weather is pleasant, let in lots of fresh air.
Make this project a family affair and look at is as not so much a job, but one more step in bringing your child home through adoption.
Through the Eyes of a Grandma…..
It was with mounting excitement that I waited for the arrival of my family. The welcoming banners, decorations, streamers and colored balloons had been strung up. The table had been set with brightly multi- colored plates, cups and napkins. There was a wide selection of cookies, candies and chocolates waiting for my new granddaughter.
My daughter, Lynn, her husband, Eran, and my grandson, Travis had traveled to the Ukraine from Israel to adopt a sister for Travis. Travis was 5 years old at this time and extremely excited at the prospect of having a younger sister to love, share his toys with and with whom he would play.
At last the intercom rang and I dashed out to open the gate and meet the new addition to the family unit, for the first time. There she was, this little 2 year old girl who looked the size of a 9-month-old baby.
She had hardly any hair. Her tummy was distended. She was clinging to her new Papa, as she called him. That was the pattern of behavior for the first 2 days at home. She hardly left her Papa’s side. If she ventured off to play, she would stay within eye contact distance of Eran.
We noticed that Sasha would often fall and that when she fell, she would pick herself up and continue on her way. She never cried when she fell or hurt herself.
At mealtimes she ate all the food that she was able to consume at one sitting. Then Sasha would stuff food into her mouth and store food in her cheeks. This was obviously a survival technique acquired when she was living with a limited food intake. While eating, she would pick up every crumb dropped on the floor and consume it.
Gradually, however, change was taking place. Sasha discovered whom to trust and to love. She cried when she fell and went to a family member to be comforted. She stopped looking for a hat to cover her head. Sasha started to speak. She grew 6 inches within the first year and gained weight. At last she could walk without falling. She formed a bond with the two pets in the house. Sasha no longer ate food off the floor or stored food in her mouth. She learned about sharing and the meaning of “yours” and “mine”.
The Sasha of today is a well adjusted, happy 3 year old who speaks 3 languages, Hebrew, English and Russian. Sasha has a great sense of humor. She is musical and sings many songs. She is strong willed, extremely independent and has retained her sense of curiosity.
As a grandmother, I found that Sasha opened my eyes to the wonders of the world all over again. I started appreciating and discovering all the marvelous creations around me that I had taken for granted or forgotten had existed. What a pleasure it was for me to watch her very first venture out into the hot, Israeli sun. She stripped off all her clothes and ran around, laughing, falling and enjoying the feel of the warmth on her skin. She ran to look at a butterfly or ants crawling past. Sasha loved the birds and what excitement at any new discovery, a flower or a leaf.
Through Sasha, life has not only been a new voyage of discovery but an adventure. Just watching my granddaughter enjoy the daily acts we adults take for granted has been one of my greatest thrills.
When my daughter invited me to accompany her and Travis, on their trip to the Ukraine in August this year, I jumped at the chance. To actually see the orphanage, Antoshka, where my granddaughter had spent the first 2 years of her life would be a wonderful experience. I hadn’t realized that it would be so emotional.
The Antoshka orphanage, is situated in the city of Kramatorsk, Ukraine, and is run by a very charming, old fashioned gentleman by the name of Anatoly. Anatoly, the Director, is assisted in his duties by his very capable and friendly wife.
The orphanage, a large, rambling, old building is situated in expansive grounds. On entering, it felt as if we were in another world. We had stepped into a Charles Dickens novel. The interior was shabby, dark but very neat and scrupulously clean. After our warm welcome, we were invited to tea and cake in the office cum lounge.
Finally, the moment I had been waiting for. We were taken to see the room where Sasha slept and the adjoining section where she played and ate her meals. We walked into the bedroom. It was badly lit and crammed with cots that were standing side by side, with not an inch of space between them.
We asked them to identify Sasha’s cot and we stood looking at the bare mattress. Now we understood why, at first, Sasha did not know how to use a blanket or other covering when she went to sleep, or why she would not stay in her room alone, but would slip into her parents’ or brother’s room during the night so as not to be alone.
We stood, in silence, each with our own thoughts and feelings. My heart ached at the thought of Sasha being given up at birth.
We proceeded to the play section where about 10 children aged 1-2 years were in a large playpen. Lynn had sent boxes of toys to the orphanage and it was so strange but comforting to see some of my grandson’s toys being used so constructively and enjoyably.
Once again, we stood deep in thought. Travis kept saying how much he loved the babies and he spent the time happily playing with the group. Soon he had a “favorite” and of course he wanted to take him home to join the family unit. We saw the table where Sasha ate her meals.
Now the photograph we have of her sitting there takes on new meaning. One of the most touching moments was when we saw Travis’s baby feeding bottles standing, filled and ready for feeding the babies.
How many times had we used those bottles, washed them, filled them? It was wonderful to see how much all the donations were being utilized and appreciated.
I returned with a new appreciation of the desperate needs of the orphanages and of the immense appreciation shown by the Directors and staff. We all have belongings that we take for granted. Yet these articles mean so much to the children who are denied even necessary basics due to their plight. I therefore admire and thank all those people who are contributing to the needs of these orphans but most of all, I thank all the men and women who have adopted an orphan and given them a new life.
Yes, my granddaughter is a very lucky little girl to have a mother, father and brother who wanted her so much and have given her a loving, caring home.
Where Are Children Adopted From?
Children are adopted from all over the world. Recently, many people have noticed the celebrity trend of adopting children from third world countries and from overseas. This is popular since there are many adoption centers overflowing with children that cannot be properly cared for by their biological parents.
Many celebrities and individuals who choose to adopt from overseas hope that they can provide a better life for these children as opposed to what they would have received in their home country. However, there are many children available for adoption in the United States as well as overseas and in third world countries.
Where a couple chooses to adopt their child from is a personal preference and should not be based on Hollywood trends. Adopting from overseas can either be more of less expensive than adopting a child domestically, depending on the adoption gift and the cost of flights and other expenses.
There are also Christian adoption agency locations around the world in addition to other religious denominations that look for homes for children that are otherwise without a family.
Most foreign-born children who are available for adoption live in orphanages or with foster families and may have been relinquished at birth or at a few months of age.
Often, nothing or little is known about their birth parents, the medical and social background of their birth family, or the quality of the birth mother’s prenatal care.
What’s more, children who live in orphanages may have emotional and/or developmental delays, which can be temporary or long term, depending on the length of time they’ve spent in an institution and the quality of care.
Before you choose a particular country to adopt from, research different programs, and ask your agency, facilitator, and other adoptive parents about the general health and welfare of the children.
Be prepared to take a qualified risk, and know that most children who are placed for adoption overcome minor delays and illnesses with the proper love, nutrition, attention, and medical care.
Get ready for a great adventure. Even with all its inherent risks and uncertainties, international adoption remains a viable and rewarding option for thousands of American couples and singles each year.
In fact, adopting a foreign-born child offers unique opportunities to travel to a child’s birth country, learn about a second culture, and integrate it into your family life.
In short, prospective parents have the chance to become a bi-cultural family, which, in and of itself, can be a wonderfully enriching experience.
It is vital to allow the child plenty of time to adjust to his new life, and don’t expect too much, too soon. The good news is that adopted children, more often than not, not only adjust well to their new environment, but also thrive there.
Children grow best in families.
Remember to enjoy the journey to your child through adoption. Learning is fun — enjoy the process. Relax with this knowledge. Moving closer to your dream of a successful adoption and parenting is possible and attainable.
Start today, you’ll never regret the experience.
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