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Old 09-16-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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I thought it would be good to have a topic where adoptive parents and those who support them could post.

Moderator cut: snip

Perhaps, a good way to start this topic is simply to describe why a special place for adoptive parent support is needed. Adoption is a very stressful time for most of us. I'm grateful I finished years ago. But going through a process like this for 9 years total can eat at you. Fees for adoption can be high. Waiting times can be long. Agencies will tell you there no guarantees. Often, you get very repetitious questions from family members asking why the process is taking so long. In our case, it became very annoying.

How did you unwind from the stress? Did you do anything in particular? In our situation, we don't live very far from a hot springs pool. Sometimes, on Fridays, DW and I would take an hour off work early and go on up to the pool and just soak.

Last edited by JustJulia; 09-16-2012 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:45 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Mark rep to you for this wonderful needed oasis from negativity!

I am embarking on the happy but stressful journey of adoption right now. The first time, I was just getting over the stress of infertility, followed by the exaltation of childbirth. That story can be read about after the "Adoption after infertility thread. I don't want to be redundant and quite frankly, I don't want to relive it.

Adoptive parent support is sorely needed. And since I am again adopting, I will be needing the support of CD friends as I go through my "paper pregnancy".

We are, as many of you know; adopting older kids.

This has been one stressful weekend! We were adopting a sib group of three, ages 3, 6 and 9. The 2 eldest are boys.
We sadly just found out that this group has been taken by a family further along in the adoption process.
We are OK though. There are so many "older" kids in Ukraine who are deserving of homes.

My church is very supportive, but since we are moving to the mid west - Ohio, that support system will be gone.
We will be grateful to here how others have coped in this wonderful, new and hopefully troll free zone.

~ Sheena
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Mark. why didn't I think of this?

There was a thread on parenting about When did you first love your child. For the adoptive parent many times it is when we get the referral picture, or the phone call. For me it was before they were even born- I was not in love with the idea of a child, I actually loved the child and it's potential. Hard to express.

There are a few of us here on the adoption forum who have typed till our fingers are numb defending our choices to those who think they know us or our children. So to the prospective adoptive parent (PAP) I say develop a thick skin, become informed about adoption issues and quite frankly I would not say anything to friends and relatives about your plans until you actually get a referral. Just like when you announce you are trying to get pregnant, well intended folks will bug the stew out of you with questions, jabs in the ribs, etc. Of course part of your homestudy will involve reference letters from some family members, clergy, neighbors so be careful who you ask to do that.

Our family consists of DH, me, 1 bio son 31, 1 Korean born DD 29 and 2 Vietnamese angels both 10 y o and only 4 months apart. They are all our children and it doesn't matter one wit who came on a plane and who came from my body.

Adoption is a wonderful way to start or expand a family. It isn't easy, quick or cheap but it is worth every ounce of energy, every cent and every minute you invest.

Good luck to those considering this wonderful journey.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Have to add to Sheena how sorry I am about your lost referrals. I lost several in
China and several in Vietnam as well and I know how difficult it can be. Yet you will prevail and the right kids will come in time.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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Sheena, there are a number of Ohio families who found their children through Reece's Rainbow (which is not an adoption agency but a non-profit special needs adoption ministry which advocates and conducts fundraising for and awareness raising of children with special needs who are residing in orphanages and institutions in over 28 countries around the world, including many in Ukraine. The "special needs" range from those which are very complex to others which are mild to insignificant.)

There is also a FRUA group in Ohio (Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption - think that's the right acronym) which has annual picnic reunions for families. So you might well find like-minded adoptive families in your new community.

It's very hard to "lose" children you have dreamed would become yours. I am thankful these three children will have an adoptive family soon, even if it cannot be yours. Do keep in mind that Ukraine, like many other countries, is unable to "hold" a child for a particular family. However, if you are interested in adopting children with special needs, the bittersweet truth is that they are more likely to still be available for adoption once you arrive in country. Also, "blind" adoption can lead to wonderful sibling groups. My adopting relatives found their two children, who are also biological siblings, via blind adoption, and it turned out extremely well for all concerned.

Of course, that doesn't make the hurt and sense of loss any less right now...though perhaps having the viewpoint that this way, rather than three children, at least five will eventually have loving adoptive families, might lend a different perspective.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:39 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Sheena, there are a number of Ohio families who found their children through Reece's Rainbow (which is not an adoption agency but a non-profit special needs adoption ministry which advocates and conducts fundraising for and awareness raising of children with special needs who are residing in orphanages and institutions in over 28 countries around the world, including many in Ukraine. The "special needs" range from those which are very complex to others which are mild to insignificant.)

There is also a FRUA group in Ohio (Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption - think that's the right acronym) which has annual picnic reunions for families. So you might well find like-minded adoptive families in your new community.

It's very hard to "lose" children you have dreamed would become yours. I am thankful these three children will have an adoptive family soon, even if it cannot be yours. Do keep in mind that Ukraine, like many other countries, is unable to "hold" a child for a particular family. However, if you are interested in adopting children with special needs, the bittersweet truth is that they are more likely to still be available for adoption once you arrive in country. Also, "blind" adoption can lead to wonderful sibling groups. My adopting relatives found their two children, who are also biological siblings, via blind adoption, and it turned out extremely well for all concerned.

Of course, that doesn't make the hurt and sense of loss any less right now...though perhaps having the viewpoint that this way, rather than three children, at least five will eventually have loving adoptive families, might lend a different perspective.
are

Craig, I know about Reeses Rainbow and the way adoption referrals run in Ukraine. You have mentioned them quite a bit.I am doing an independent adoption and I will be hosting first, so I'll get a chance to meet first and I won't be traveling blind.

I've hosted and advocated for over thirty kids from Ukraine and if any one in interesting in hosting, please contact me. It's a great way to see if you and your prospective adopted child are a good fit and it's a rewarding experience! I whole hardheartedly recommend hosting before adopting an older child.

I was going to host the children to which I referenced. But as we both know, the orphanages of Eastern Europe are filled with children. I am glad that they found a home.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:57 AM
 
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Our adoption journey was very stressful. It took us 5 years to adopt and during that time we spent all the money we had, got scammed a few times and had one large adoption failure. We have 3 biological son and I have lost 4 babies and been on fertility drugs. Once we found out we could no longe have children we started the adoption process. We ended up adoption a healthy newborn baby girl, a domestic adoption. The birthmother chose us when she was around 4 months pregnant. We have an open adoption in the sense that we know how to get a hold of each other, talk on the phone once or twice a year, text now and then and I send her photos once or twice a year. My daughter is 9 years old now and my sons are 19, 21, and 25.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:50 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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For all who have adopted - what did you do while you waited?

The first time it wasn't as hard. I had a two year old and Lord knows he kept me busy! I decorated my daughter's nursery - we had a son and we were told that our desire to parent a girl would be honored because of this. So I decorated a girly room. When we had her picture it went on my screen saver. The little round cheeked dark haired girl with the tiny nose and sparkly eyes. We looked at her every day and my son would say "sister!" and kiss the screen.

I shopped. I shopped a lot. Pale seashell pink was the color of the day. My dear best friend painter the nursery with me.
Later inn the week I saw the perfect subtle but feminine crib set. I believe it was Laura Ashley - or that type. No cartoon characters or commercialism. We bought our son a big boy bed and my DH put the crib into the nursery.For some reason my friend said that she didn't have the time to let me buy the crib set. It was unlike her but well, whatever...she said she had to get home.

I still wanted to buy that crib set but my best friends said that I should wait at least a week to make sure it was what I really wanted. Strange all of this waiting over a crib set.

The following weekend.
Two friends from college and my BFF planned to meet me at an upscale restaurant in a neighboring town. I thought it was strange that they had gotten together to have lunch with me. The college friends and the local friends didn't really know each other that well. Remember there was no facebook then.

When DH drove be to the restaurant I entered with trepidation. I felt like something was up.

Walking into the back room I noticed a white eyelet wishing well and the face of mt first college room mate. A shower? But I was adopting? I walked in and my friends all shouted ! "Surprise!" I cried. I laughed and hugged everyone then hugged them again.

My best friend gave me that crib set she didn't want me to buy. Now I knew what the odd behavior was all about. The Hughes Hall girls - my college buddies - chipped in to give me the most extravagant stroller. Girly clothes and pink receiving blankets and a pretty Asian doll! She looked so much like the baby on my screen saver!

We drank wine, - something I didn't do at my son's shower. I was so touched and blessed! What great friends and they were all so excited and supportive. Just as they had been with my son!

While family members spoke negatively about adoption, my friends for life were there for me. My older cousin and her sweet partner were the only blood family there. They had two girls adopted from China, Margaret and Madison who "assisted" at the shower, handing out Wishing well gifts and favors at the end. Maggie and Maddie were so cute and took their duties seriously and with great pride. I loved their glossy black hair and classic Polly Finders dresses. I could not wait to nuzzle my own daughter's hair and smell her baby smell.

They also introduced me to a hobby that their two moms enjoy - scrap booking. Along with their moms, they had taken the liberty of beginning a scrap book for us. The first page was written in an ornate calligraphy in English, and in ink in Korean Characters.A picture of my soon to be daughter was at the center of the page and it read "My Paper Pregnancy".

My cousin continued in my first scrap book with headings such as "The Shower", "Home Coming Day" and others.

No one can ever tell me that Gay and Lesbian parents do not make good parents. ( not sure if China still permits singles to adopt but they did then) My cousin and her partners are devoted and thoughtful people.

No I didn't have "What to Expect When Your Expecting" to read this time, but I did have some wonderful books given to me at the shower and a new hobby - scrap booking.

It was a nice time. But the best was yet to come...

Last edited by sheena12; 10-01-2012 at 09:04 PM..
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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Very nice story and it sounds like a fun time w/ all the preparation etc. Many years ago friends adopted a 9yo deaf child from a distant Asian country (probably Korea but possibly China, it doesnt really matter). They (including their young bio son) immersed themselves in learning sign language well before she arrived. Communication was very difficult and I think they knew more than she did bc sign language is different there (and if I remember right, she barely had any) than it is here but it definitely helped smooth the transition they had in the beginning (what a huge change it must have been for the child!).

Even though they'll be learning English, maybe learning as much of their language now, rather than later might be a good idea. Would probably hold off on decorating their room(s) and obvious things like that as they'll inevitably have their own taste on what they like and don't like so for that reason, would limit that to the basics (bed, bedding, curtains etc). Besides, that w/b fun to do together w/ them. Of course they'll need/want toys but woudnt overwhelm them in the beginning - books are probably good but nothing too wordy in the beginning or they'll lose interest fast. Would also probably get as much sleep as you can now bc you may not later (even older kids may have issues that surface overnite). Will they be attending school soon after they arrive here?

When the kids return to Ukraine, it might be a good idea to hire a tutor to teach them some English there (and also retain what they've picked up while they're here during their host visit), in the orphanage - at the same time you'll be learning some of their language to help ease the transition til they arrive back here for their final visit (am assuming 2 visits are necessary - ?) as it will make phone calls and other communication a lot easier than having a middleman (although you'll probably still want a translator nearby for the occasions you talk to them over the phone til they're permanently here).

Last edited by Honeycrisp; 10-02-2012 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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Very nice thread and glad to see folks supporting one another.

How did I unwind from the stress? Well I was working at the time and my job gave me quite a bit of freedom to get paperwork done. I found the back and forth between us and Russia most frustrating. Once you felt like everything was submitted, the judge would come back at us with another question. Even though both my spouse and I were both working and his income greatly exceeded mine, I probably got most of the work related questions. I guess that they didn't believe that I had retired from the Army and I remember jumping through some really frustating hoops showing them pay stubs, discharge papers, etc. I should have just told them that I didn't work and it would have saved us some aggravation, lol.

During our weekends, hubby and I would try to see movies, go out to dinner, take walks and indulge in our favorite past time of playing our MMOs (online games). Playing the adoption waiting game wasn't fun and such a rollercoaster of emotions. We had our ups and downs including a point in court where the judge thought that we were falsifiying paperwork at one point (she didn't like the autopen of the apostille in our state where each form wasn't individually signed with an original signature). It was pretty scary up to the point where we brought the kids home.
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