Our Favorite Quotes

" The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."
*~ Alice Walker~*

Monday, August 31, 2009

Introduction to Adopting & Parenting Children with Special Needs

More research that my husband and I are learning about are the children with special needs.
Here is an article from Adoption.com: Introduction to adopting & parenting children with special needs (from the perspective of a parent in a domestic special needs adoption) I am an adopting parent. I wish to open my home and my heart to a sibling group that needs me, siblings who want more brothers and sisters, namely the kids who are already here. I don't want to do this alone. This is what I need from the other stakeholders, from my village (if you'll excuse my calling on an oft-used metaphor).

From the adoption agency: I need support in the form of some encouragement and enthusiasm when I call to request an application packet. I know you are busy, probably too busy, and underpaid to boot, but if you treat me as though I am a burden to you, I may feel unwanted and drop the whole idea. Please understand that my first contact with you is critical. If I am truly one of America's greatest natural resources, please treat me as good as gold.

From my extended family and friends and co-workers: I need a slap on the back. Guess what, I'm not crazy. And I'm certainly no saint. This decision has not been made lightly so please don't assume I have not thought it through. I don't need your approval, but I would like to have it. I'd never tell you how many kids to have, so I hope you won't tell me. What I need from you is a big hug and a hearty "Congratulations!" You see, I'm emotionally pregnant right now. And expectant mothers need TLC.

After the Homestudy
Once the home study is finished and the match is made, I need 100% full disclosure from the agency. I need to know everything about the children that there is to know, to be the most effective parent I can be. And please give me full disclosure on the adoption benefits, non-recurring expenses reimbursement, subsidy, services, medical extras, and the rest. I need to know what is out there so I can advocate for my children. My love for my family is boundless, but my financial resources are very limited.

From my adoptive parent support group: I need you to be there long term. Every year, I will need something different from you. At first, mostly information, later, for social support and activities. And always, my children and I will need the warmth of friendship from other adoptive families.

From the administrative hearing officers and the Regional Children's Bureau: I need help advocating financially for my children when negotiations with state administrators break down. AAP contracts are complex instruments and the federal law is relatively young. Adoptive parents like me desperately need help when the process stalls. Please listen to me, be fair, and know that you may be my children's best chance to access adequate financial assistance and services.

From my attorney: I need expert legal assistance to finalize my adoption at the lowest possible cost. Please don't charge me $2,000 just because you know that my adoption expenses can be reimbursed to that amount. After all, there are other costs, too, even with public agency adoptions, such as visitation costs.

From my child's former foster parents: I need a blessing. Please give my children permission to love me and to be part of my family as they leave yours. Tell me the whole truth about them, help me prepare and then be there for them as they adjust. They will miss you. Remember that you will always be a part of our family.

After Placement
From my child's school: I need you to know when it is important that my child is adopted and when it isn't. It is important when her concentration lags or behaviors flare up due to his history of child abuse and neglect. It is not important on the playground when my child is trying to fit in. I need you to respect my role as the expert on my child's needs. I need you to listen to me when I ask for educational accommodations. Adopted children with special needs have special needs.

From my family doctor, pharmacist and therapist: I need you to be a bigger part of my village than you might be used to. I will need extra paperwork from you for adoption assistance negotiations, I may need more medical care for my children than is typical, from day one on. I need all the access to you that you can reasonably give me.

From my neighbors: I need your friendly smile and a little patience. My daughter has trouble with boundaries. Please forgive her for pulling the petals off the big rose on your rosebush. She knows now she shouldn't play "he loves me, he loves me not" with your flowers. Please look the other way when my impulsive son urinates in the backyard after a snowstorm. He doesn't understand that this is not the best way to perfect his name-writing skills. I'm teaching, they are learning, but it is slow going sometimes. Please be role models of neighborliness because my children began life in dangerous places and will learn how to be neighbors by watching you.

From my children's other set of parents, their birth parents: I need your acceptance and your prayers. While you get your life together, hopefully overcoming the big problems that resulted in the termination of parental rights, I am raising our children. If possible, send a letter and some photos occasionally to the agency. When the children are ready and want to meet you again, when it is safe, please be there for them. After the reunion, don't call me a glorified babysitter. Our children have two sets of parents - for always - please accept and respect my role in our children's lives as I accept and respect yours.

From society, the people at the grocery store, the guy who fixes my car: I need a little privacy and sensitivity. My different race children may not wish to explain to you, virtual strangers, why their birth parents are not raising them. If you want to know more about adoption, call an agency, read a book, or call me later. My kids are more comfortable this way.

From the residential treatment facility, the police and the juvenile court judges: I need you to understand that I am not the one who created the rage in my teen-agers. I have been a good parent. Please acknowledge this and don't blame me for their shoplifting and running away and vandalism. Instead, help me help them. Don't coddle them, but understand what they are working through. The teen years are especially tough on kids who have been through hell, who have lost everything, who struggle with feelings of loss only adoptees know.

The Forgotten Miracle
But have a little faith. They'll grow up and many of the seeds that all of us planted will germinate and grow and bloom and their kids, my grandkids, won't need you as much as I have needed all of you. Because the vicious cycle of pain will have been broken. For good.

That's the forgotten miracle of adoption. It breaks the cycle of dysfunction, stops it dead in its tracks, or at least, slows it down a little.

I know this because my sibling group, the ones who spent time in mental hospitals and residential treatment facilities, and yes, jail, are doing better every year. One went to college for a while and is a wonderful mother, and the other earned his GED against all odds and is holding down a job. We enjoy each other a great deal again, now that they are all grown up, but it took time. And blood, sweat and tears. And my wonderful village.

God bless you for staying the course with me. I thank you and my grandchildren thank you, and someday my great-grandchildren will thank you.

~ Rita Laws, Ph.D.

Source:
http://special-needs.adoption.com/

Semi-open Adoption

More research that my husband and I are learning about are the semi-open adoptions.

Here is an article from Adoption.com:


Semi-open adoption is the practice in which information, generally non-identifying information, is shared between adopting parents and placing parents. Usually semi-open adoption consists of the exchange of letters, photos and possibly emails, either directly or through an agency or third party. Often, adopting parents will set up a post office box which letters, cards and photos can be sent and received. Unlike closed adoption, it is more common for placing parents to choose the adopting family for their child prior to birth. It is also not unheard of to have some pre-birth face-to-face meetings or for the placing and adopting families to spend time together at the hospital during and after the birth.


Semi-open adoption doesn't usually involve any post-placement face-to-face visitation. The children involved don't normally have any direct communication with their biological parents. Like closed adoption, once a child reaches the age of majority in their state, they have the option of searching for or being searched for by their biological family. However, unlike closed adoption, those involved in a semi-open adoption usually have access to some basic information which can assist in the search process.

As adoption has evolved over the course of the last decade, adoption practitioners are finding more and more semi-open adoption arrangements in situations that routinely would have been closed, such as international and foster care adoptions.

Source:
http://semi-open.adoption.com/

Independent Adoptions

More research that my husband and I are learning about are the independent adoptions.

Here is an article from Adoption.com:

Independent adoptions

Are identified or designated adoptions where prospective adopting and prospective placing parents have located each other themselves (allowed in most States, and some agencies will assist with these placements); using attorneys or other intermediaries defined by State law; using adoption facilitators (allowed in only a few states and some foreign countries); doing the work yourself (permitted for some international adoptions) with the aid of in-country assistance.


Since adoption laws in the state where you live govern your options, it is essential that you know what types of placements are allowed or not allowed by your state’s laws. If you pursue an adoption across state lines, you must comply with the laws in both states before the child can join your family. States have enacted legislation that governs how children can be placed across State lines (Interstate Compacts).
For international adoptions, your state laws, laws and regulations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS, formerly INS), the U.S. State Department, and the laws of the specific country will apply.

In weighing your options, you should evaluate your ability to tolerate risk.
Of the options outlined above:
agency adoptions provide the greatest assurance of monitoring and oversight since agencies are required to adhere to licensing and procedural standards;
independent adoptions by attorneys at least provide assurance that attorneys must adhere to the standards of the Bar Association and some attorneys who specialize in adoption are members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a professional membership organization with standards of ethical practice;
adoptive placements by facilitators offer the least amount of supervision and oversight. This does not mean that there are not ethical professionals with good standards of practice; it simply means there are few or no oversight mechanisms in place at this time.

In addition to risk factors above, other considerations in selecting the type of adoption you pursue can include:

>>> costs
>>> country restrictions (international adoptions)
>>> open adoptions
>>> child health
>>> your age, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.
and others.

Source:
http://adopting.adoption.com/child/what-are-the-different-types-of-adoption.html

Foster care Adoption v.s. Agency Adoption

My husband and I have been comparing and contrasting foster care & agency adoptions.
We complied our research to post on our blog.


1. Foster Care Adoption

Foster care adoption involves the adoption of children who are living in the U.S. foster care system. These adoptions are usually handled through local and regional public agencies; however some States contract with licensed private agencies to recruit, train, conduct home studies and license adoptive parents for these children. In some States prospective parents will be dually licensed as both foster and an adoptive parents.

While most children who are adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents and other children are adopted by their relatives, nationwide there are still many thousands of children in the U.S. foster care system waiting for permanent families (See the Trends in Foster Care Adoption from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System on the Children's Bureau website for the most recent years' numbers of children waiting: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/trends.htm. Child welfare professionals must recruit potential adoptive families for these children who are waiting for adoption.

Source: http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/foster/
http://books.google.com/books?id=QZ09AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA40&dq=adoption+and+foster+care#v=onepage&q=&f=false

2. Adoption through Adoption Agencies

There are two basic types of adoption agencies: public and private.
Public agencies are usually supported by public funding, are run by counties or states, and generally assist in the adoption of children in the foster care system.
Private agencies are usually licensed by the state but run privately and can assist in most types of adoption.
Adoption agencies often provide more support services than in a private adoption, such as pre-adoption education, counseling, homestudies, and post-adoption services and/or referrals. An agency usually does all of the "finding" of possible adoption opportunities for you. With increased services, costs are often higher than a private adoption.

Agency adoptions through the local public agency (also known as foster care, child welfare, social services); through licensed private agencies (permissible in most states and many foreign countries).

Agency adoptions can involve a wide range of adoptable children, depending on the focus of the agency. Some agencies specialize in the placement of international children, bi-racial children, special needs children, or children of a particular ethnic group. Other agencies may be involved entirely in adoptions involving infants. Some adoption agencies are selective in the type of adoptive couples with whom they will work.

Source:
http://adopting.adoption.com/child/agency-adoption.html

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Final Decision

We have decided to wait one year to begin the adoption application process for DHS. We are going to research more options about adoption, children with special needs, and
bi-racial, and African American children adoptions. We need to understand open adoptions and how they will benefit the child, and how they will affect my husband and I. In a way, we both agreed that with this economy and the way things are going...we should wait, save our money, complete our studies, wait until we both have better jobs, and we are more financially secure. I am still looking for employment since I did not get the job I interviewed for and I was so hurt and heartbroken, so sad, but I know God has something better for me and I shall not be moved. I will look unto the hills from whence my help comes. God is my rock, my shelter, and I will continue to put him 1st!

We know we do not have to be rich, but we want to support a child without government assistance( but if they offer it, we will not say no!) :-)
We both need to take the advice of our families, friends, and our new friends from Adoption Voices. We need to read Adoption books, we need to investigate, research, and then compile our information. We need to be one, a team and decide when, where, and how. We were so excited about the possibilities, that we never thought about what could go wrong, or what if this does not happen the way we want it, or what if the child we are looking for is not the child we receive??? We have so many preconceived notions and we need to really sit down and learn from each other, what do we expect as parents???? How will we discipline??? What will we do for childcare??? Date nights??? Family time??? Who will godparent if something God forbid happened to us???

We have never thought about these questions and I know he has children, but their mother will care for them, but what about the child he and I will adopt? What about our families??/ Will they be willing to accept this child who is not their biological relative? We need to be more logical and rational!
We are working on this new process so please bear with us because our blog will shift into a new direction, it will shift to what we are learning and how we truly feel about what we are learning, different parenting styles we might want to learn, and parenting seminars we have attended.

Please be in prayer for us!!! :-)


Blessed Hannah

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poems about adoption

I found some poem about the website that I have mentioned at the bottom of this post listed under sources. These poems are very moving, touching, and it shows that love of a parent is not about flesh and blood, or blood being thicker than water... it is about having room in your heart to accept, be responsible, nurture, and love a child regardless of he or she not being your own flesh and blood.
_______________________________________________________________________


The Poetry...


They told me I could not conceive, and tests showed they were right;

They considered but the physical, forgetting our Father's Might.

True, my child, I did not conceive you within the limites of my womb,

But still you grew within my heart- a heart with boundless room.

They told me I could not conceive, and in on way they were right.

Now I know they are the barren ones, comprehension out of sight

For they cannot conceieve, my son, of how it feels to see

The face of a child, not of my flesh, but of my destiny

They cannot conceieve, my child, of what it means to love.

Another woman, another man, who prayed to God above

And then decided to love enough, to give to me their son.

To love, and raise, and call my own, until my life is done.

They cannot conceieve, dear one, of bonds beyond the ties.

Of if you have your daddy's nose or if you have my eyes

They cannot conceive, my child, of all the Lord still has in store.

For this family he created, not of my flesh and bone, but more.

They told me I could not conceive, and in part their words were true.....

For I cannot conceive, dear son, of never loving you.

~~Valerie Kay Gwin

__________________________________________________________________



You came into our lives

when you thought all was lost

A becon of hope

in a world full of frost

From the very first smile

you held our hearts

A wish I had made

to never tear us apart.

A family we are

now that is true

All the joy in the world

because of you.

Never again

will you be left alone

For here with us

We are your home.

By Danielle Good


__________________________________________


A Single Starfish
By Loren Eiseley

One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.

The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?"

"I'm saving the starfish," the child replied.

"Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does is matter?" argued the man.

Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one," the child explained.

__________________________________________________________________________

A Child Like Me?

With saddened eyes and head bent low,

It's damaged goods most see.

Whith my unclear past and broken heart,

Who would want a child like me?

I watch her walk into the room.

From a distance I can see.

But dare I take a closer step?

Who would want a child like me?

And then I see her look my way.

She smiles so tenderly.

But do I even dare to dream,

She would want a child like me?

And then, as if I spoke out loud,

She approaches cautionsly.

I try so hard to once believe,

She will want a child like me.

But dare I once let down my gaurd,

And trust that she will see,

Hiding beneath this old stained shirt,

Is a beautiful child like me?

My smile, they say, lights up a room.

I'll be good as good can be.

Oh, please, dear God, let her want

A special child like me.

I feel her hand reach out for mine,

And within her eyes I see,

A single, tiny, shining tear.

Could she want a child like me?

And when she takes me in her arms,

With a warmth so pure and new,

She says the words I've prayed to hear,

"The child I want is you"

~Lisa J Schlitt

________________________________________________________________________

Not Flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow beneath my heart, but in it.

~Anonymous

________________________________________________________________________________

Source:
CafeMom
Sep 13, 2008
http://www.cafemom.com/group/3104/forums/read/5631262/Does_anybody_have_poems_or_quotes_about_foster_care

Comments from Children in Foster Care

For the parents who have considered state or foster care... I found this article that has a list of quotes from children who are in foster care. I found them very moving and I hope you too will find them moving and it will inspire and motivate you to become an advocate, activist,foster care parent, or state adoptive parent.


Comments:


"I have been in foster care for 1 year, in that year I felt like my world had come to an end and that I had no meaning in my life, but with the help from people that worked with me I have found out differently….
…. without them I wouldn’t have come to the conclusion that I am special and that I am a person who deserves to be loved."
Beatrice, Age 16

"Now, for the good times: I am finally getting to be a boy….
I am getting to start a new life as being able to do kid’s stuff like I am supposed to do." anonymous child

"I am a foster kid and I am good….Do not forget Susanna."
Susanna, Age 10

"I think that when you become an adult it’s just like a toddler you’re a caterpillar, and when you’re a kid you’re a cocoon and finally you become an adult which would be a butterfly."
Jesse, Age 9

"….We should all make our foster care family a possibility."
MeMe, Age 17

" I know how it feels to be put in a foster home….
I know it’s hard but think of it this way! You get a chance to start over. Try to fix anything you did wrong!"
Star, Age 14

" Agitating they are! They’re always there when you least expect them. They slither upon you like an emotional python. I am talking about difficult times….
Difficult times are what everybody goes through. You should take control of these times and have a good life."
Kitt, Age 12

" It’s surprising to look back at my life and think of all the times I wanted to end it, but I’m still here. I try to look to the future for comfort when I’m feeling down…."
PoemGirl, Age 17

" It’s not unusual for people to experience difficult times. Some are easier to overcome than others some pierce the heart indefinitely and some pass by quickly. The most important key is surviving them, and grow smarter from each one.
I’ve been through a lot because of this one person and it amazes me to know that JUST ONE PERSON could cause so much pain….I’ve learned a lot from what I’ve been through. I’m a whole new person….This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through but I’m still here. I see myself as a survivor, striving to live and be happy, I’m almost there."
L’il Moma, Age 17

" The best advice I have from one foster child to another is that you never give up….
Never think that you are worthless."
Jane, Age 10

" It is hard to realize that the people we love are the ones who can hurt us the most—but forgiving is half the healing."
Adriana, Age 16

" FAITH IS A FRAGILE THING….Faith is what keeps children going on."
Mark, Age 12

" ….at least I know that I’ve tried my hardest and have gone over so many bumps in the road and have made it through the tough times and through what I thought was impossible. That is all I can do."
Poohbear, Age 17

" What makes me weak, and I deal with it, makes me stronger. Every foster kid should know that."
Sandy, Age 16

" I will be proud when I grow up. I will be a hero….I love me."
Stephanie, Age 9

Source:
FFTA essay contest: "Circumstances Leading to Foster Care"
"QUOTES FROM CHILDREN IN TREATMENT FOSTER CARE" Pages 1-3
http://www.ffta.org/publicpolicy_advocacy/personalizeadvocacy.pdf

Food For thought---

" Not Flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow beneath my heart, but in it."
~Anonymous

Source:

CafeMom-
Foster / Adoptive Parenting / General Discussion
Sep. 13, 2008
http://www.cafemom.com/group/3104/forums/read/5631262/Does_anybody_have_poems_or_quotes_about_foster_care

Peace and blessings! :-)

Blessed Hannah

Our Diary: Our Conversation w/h the Social Worker

Monday---

We called the adoption social worker and we described our fears, feelings, and concerns to her. She warmly calmed our fears and described alternative methods to us concerning foster parenting. We are uncertain about older children who has been sexually or physically abused, born with AIDS, or an STD, has cancer, or another terminal illness...and we checked off NO. I was very concerned because I know we decided that we did not want an older child and we did decide upon a younger child, but we did begin to accept an older child, but when we read all the possibilities a child could have, it became so overwhelming, and so confusing that we did not know which way to check... Yes???-- No???- Maybe??? -- Considering???
We decided that we needed our social worker's advice, and we needed to hear someone who is in the field, and not friends who were giving us solid and firm advice, but, we needed to understand these behaviors and conditions of children in foster care.
We sought advice from our social worker...

The Social Worker's comments---

The social worker said the reason these children were removed from their homes is because of sexual, mental, emotional, physical abuse or neglect.
She said there is no such thing as a perfect child and when my husband begins to realize that, we can see the bigger picture and is not about raising a perfect child, because if we had our own children, there are no guarantees that this child would be perfect. ( So True!!!) So she said my husband and I need to discuss things in more detail and be upfront, up close, honest, and personal with each other, because it will take 2 people to raise these children, 2 parents who are stable and are ready at accept the responsibilty of a child together.

Foster Care/Foster-to-Adopt Concerns---

We spoke to her about foster care and she said in our state, the goal of foster care is not to place a child in the home of the foster parent nor the home of an adoptive family. The only goal is to re-connect the child with their parent(s), or other kinship, and after exhausting all of these measure, only then after all measure have been exhausted...the child will be placed for legal adoption. This does happen but not very often because our goal is if we can not place the child with his or her parents than we find the next of kin: grandparents, uncle, aunts, cousins, who are willing to take the child and are acceptable to taking to the children. She said if we become foster parents we must keep these goals in tact, and within our reason. She said if we can accept that then they really really need foster parents very very badly and they would love to for us to foster parent. BUT....she said if our main goal is to adopt...we should continue to adopt because our hearts will be broken because we can not become attached to a child who is in foster care and who is not available for adoption.

Heart <3 To Heart <3 Conversation---

She said that we need to have a deep heart to heart conversation, be serious and make a decision either we will foster-adopt ( knowing we may never adopt), straight adopt, knowing our chances are much better, but slim since adoptions are for older children and sibling groups, or we need to research an alternative method which is an agency if we are not prepared to handle a child with problems, older or sibling groups, because state adoptions are about finding a family for the child, not finding a child for the family. She was very sweet and sincere about her suggestions, comments, and it really all made sense to us. She said if we do not think we can handle children's emotional, and etc. needs in state care then state adoption is not for us and we need to consider agency adoption.

Concerns about my husband's daughter---

We expressed our concerns about my husband's daughter who has brutally said she does not want any biracial or black siblings. We know it is her mother speaking. The social worker told us we had no concerns and no problems because it is not what she wants, it is what we want and since she visits us, she does not live with us and she is not a concern to them, because she is not the adult and she will not be caring for the adoptive child or children. If we think there will be a problem with his daughter trying to hurt the adopted child or children then we need to discuss ways to keep his daughter away from the adopted child/children, or do not proceed to adopt. We know there will be no problems because my husband is firm and does not tolerate children abusing children. I am glad to know she will not do anything to hurt a sibling.
She said his daughter really should not be a problem since she does visit us and do not live with us full time and sometimes ex spouses can become very bitter. She said to no bother with them, keep our focus on what is important which is defining and considering what we want... State Adoption... or...Agency Adoption. My heart wants a state adoption, I see so many children who has needs and my heart goes out to them so dearly and so diligently... but I know my husband and I are one and we need to make a decision together that will affect and effect us both. It is not about me and it never was and it never will be about me. I want my husband and I to decide together because even though he does have children of his own, and even though the mother of the children said they do not want me in their child's life... I know this adopted child will not be mine alone...it will my husband and my child...ours, no one else, and nobody else, but his and mine...our child. I am praying that our decision is the right decision, and we feel that a year is enough to get on our feet solid and stable, and then proceed. We have a 3 bedroom house, 1 empty room.... we are waiting for God to send us a child...Just like Hannah in the bible waited, I will continue to fast and pray, and wait upon the Lord, be of good courage, and wait, like David said... on the Lord.

Update....
Comment about the Our Diary: Our Conversation w/h the Social Worker

I previously stated some things about my stepdaughter that many of you all do not understand. A lady sent me a comment that I did delete that said I was not understand my stepdaughter, but it is not like that at all. I have tried to be a good stepmother, but her mother does not want me in the picture and she does not want me in the picture because of my skin color. That said, moving on a little more... I am
nervous because my oldest step daughter does not want any adopted children or if I could have my own who are 1/2 black or all black. My husband's ex-step-father and his daughter's mother has plugged that into the child's head. I do feel sorry and bad for my stepdaughter and my husband, but my husband's family have said that things are not simple nor will they ever be with that child. That does break my heart, but his child does not live with us. I hate that things are they way they are and I wish the step kids would call me mom, but I know they don't want me to be a mom to them, it hurts!

Our Decision---


We have decided to wait a year to adopt so that we may exhaust all of our research options of state and agency adoptions, a lot of prayer ( please keep us in your prayers! :-), and after a year, we will decide what is best for us. We do know that we truly want a younger child, a child who is biracial because we are a biracial couple, and a child who is younger, not a newborn, or an infant, a child that is 8-9 months is the least we would allow, but we are considering accepting a sibling group of 2-3 children, I believe we really want at least 2 children, a boy and a girl, or 2 boys. She said we need to make sure we are stable in our decision and within our finances, and since my husband was laid off last year, it has been hard because my job search had an upside last week, I finally had another interview which I believe it went very well, and I am waiting and praying for a call back to tell me when to start work ( be in prayer for me please!).
Sites such as Adoption voices are very calming and helpful to us but we need to research more of what the experts are saying...
If you have read any books please let us know, please comment with the title, and name of the author, and we will begin to research these books and buy them.
Thank you! :-) That is all for now!!!!!!!!! :-)

Today's Food for thought---
Be a blessing, do not wait for your blessing to come to you, be a blessing to someone who is waiting on a blessing, listen to God, and be Christ like! :-)


Have a blessed day!!!!

Peace & Blessings!!!

Blessed Hannah

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fears of being a Foster-adopt parent

Some of our wise friends have gave us strong wisdom and advice of parenting. They told us to foster in order to learn about the welfare of the children, where they came from, what they are dealing with, the pressures, and conflicts that may arise with children who are in the foster care system. She said it would be very wise of us to do so instead of adopting because with adopting we can not send the child back if there are too many problems with a child. But with fostering we see the problems and we can decide if we want this or not.

I understand clearly but I do not know if I am being naive or if I am being compassionate, or silly... I want to be there for a child, and parent,of course I am not a parent as my husband is. I am confused because I do not want to foster a child that I have become so attached to and the child is reunited with his parents. ( Thi is the ultimate goal which we know this and that is why we are not ready for the foster parent role.) We would rather adopt a child that is legally free and ready to come to a great home with great and loving parents.


The question is... Am I being too naive????? Should I foster parent to adopt if the child become available to adopt.... or wait and wait, to adopt the child we are looking for ( age 18 months-3 years of age) ?????

We are praying about this! We seek counsel of Godly people, please leave comments about your story.

Thank you!!! :-)

Today's Food for Thought--

A Child Like Me?

With saddened eyes and head bent low,

It's damaged goods most see.

Whith my unclear past and broken heart,

Who would want a child like me?

I watch her walk into the room.

From a distance I can see.

But dare I take a closer step?

Who would want a child like me?

And then I see her look my way.

She smiles so tenderly.

But do I even dare to dream,

She would want a child like me?

And then, as if I spoke out loud,

She approaches cautionsly.

I try so hard to once believe,

She will want a child like me.

But dare I once let down my gaurd,

And trust that she will see,

Hiding beneath this old stained shirt,

Is a beautiful child like me?

My smile, they say, lights up a room.

I'll be good as good can be.

Oh, please, dear God, let her want

A special child like me.

I feel her hand reach out for mine,

And within her eyes I see,

A single, tiny, shining tear.

Could she want a child like me?

And when she takes me in her arms,

With a warmth so pure and new,

She says the words I've prayed to hear,

"The child I want is you"

~Lisa J Schlitt

Source:

~Lisa J Schlitt
Sep. 13, 2008
http://www.cafemom.com/group/3104/forums/read/5631262/Does_anybody_have_poems_or_quotes_about_foster_care

Peace and blessings!!!

Blessed Hannah

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tasks Completed... so far...

We are making progress as we check things off the checklist...

1. Complete the adoption application...( 7 pages)...
So far... 2 pages left to complete...
2. Background check request ( 1page)...
COMPLETE!!!! :-)
3. Fingerprint process...
Completed at the Sequoyah County Sheriff's office today... YEAH!.. Completed!!!

So far, today we had a our background checks completed, we had to go to Sallisaw,Oklahoma to have our fingerprints digitally photographed and scanned. A very interesting and cool procedure that I enjoyed learning about and participating in.

Okay... Only One Complaint about this...
The only thing I did not like what when they asked about race...they asked my husband if he was White or Indian, but they selected Black for my race, and they selected black for my hair and brown for my eyes. They did not question me about my race, hair color, or my eye color.I am a multiracial woman who does not have black hair or brown eyes if one looked at me and could tell, but needless to say, diversity still should be a subject taught early in elementary. People are different but no matter what we are the same under our pigmentation, or lack of pigmenatation. But I really do think the people did not mean any harm to me at all, I do realize and know they are asking questions that their job has created, thus, they must ask, it is apart of the script.
I wish I had been able to identify myself and not allow them to identify me since I am a declared multiracial woman.

Moving ON!!!...
Any who... YEAH for us!!!!!

Next stop... completing this application and making sure we have everything completed so it will not come back to bite us later! :-)

Kudos to us!

Until Next time...

Peace, Blessings unto you, and unto yours!


Blessed Hannah

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Culture, Heritage and Stereotypes

Culture, Heritage and Stereotypes in Adoption



All adopted children have both a culture and a heritage. At the point of adoption, most children will change their culture, but not their heritage. Even a child adopted within the United States is most likely changing from one subset of American culture to another. Moving from a Texan or a Korean foster home may involve just as much "culture shock" when the final destination is a Wisconsin dairy farm.

Adopted children bring to their new family their own heritage. In most cases, their heritage will be different from that of the family. Although children will learn, more or less successfully, the culture of their adoptive family, they cannot unlearn or change their heritage. No matter how well the new community accepts an adopted child, that difference will always remain. No matter how much self-esteem the child has, he or she will always be fighting the stereotypes imposed by his or her heritage. How successfully the child changes others' opinion depends on what the child knows and feels about his or her own heritage.

What is culture?
Culture is what tells you how to live your life. Culture defines what you expect to eat for breakfast, how you address your boss or your teacher, how close to stand to your friends, how to sit in a chair. Culture involves values. Culture tells you whether your family or your job is more important, who would be a good choice for a marriage partner, and how much skin you can decently expose at the swimming pool.

You learn culture by living it. Depending on the values of your culture, you may lose your job because of your dyed purple hair or you may be considered a valued eccentric who brings a fresh whiff of creativity. You can change your culture (with effort) by living in another culture. The older you are, the harder it is to live successfully in a new culture just because you have so many years of cultural education to unlearn.

What is heritage?
Heritage is what belongs to you by virtue of your birth. Heritage includes your genetic background, physical features, and ethnic origin; it includes the history of the people who share those features with you. Heritage consists only of facts, but one's culture may place more or less value on those facts. Whether or not you know or care anything about your heritage, it belongs to you.

Classifying a person solely by heritage is what we call stereotyping. For example, when meeting a Japanese person, there is an almost irresistible urge to assign to that person the characteristics we perceive as "Japanese," such as obedience, industry, interest in computers, and lack of humor. However, if that Japanese person was born and raised in Iowa, he or she might be a lot more interested in corn farming and Saturday Night Live than in electronics or raw fish. Stereotyping unfairly assigns a person a culture based on his or her heritage alone. It's the same as considering a young woman air-headed (culture) based on her genetic heritage (blonde hair).

If you are not teaching your child positive things about his or her heritage, where do you think your child is going to learn them? You can depend on the outside world to tell him everything bad, but the good stuff just doesn't make the headlines. As I learned in a malpractice course recently,

"Good things have to be planned. Bad things happen all by themselves."

Our parental role
What about your child's culture? As adoptive parents, you cannot expect to maintain your child's culture. It is impossible to teach another culture unless you are living it. Every immigrant group in the United States has mourned the loss of cultural values as their children become Americanized. Only very isolated groups such as the Amish are moderately successful in maintaining a culture different than the surrounding community.

As adoptive parents, the best we can hope to do is learn as much as possible about our child's culture. This is not our children's job; we parents have to do it. We may not embrace the values of our child's birth culture, but we can discover what those values are and show our child why those ideas existed in that time and place.

Learning about culture is hard, especially when you don't have somebody from that culture to help you out. Some of the things parents can do are find adult friends, read novels and stories from the culture, attend services of the religion of the culture. Family reunions, religious meetings, and film festivals are where your children will learn what people think and how they act.

Many of us have no access to our child's culture, or we may be too threatened by its values to explore it further. However, as adoptive parents, we are obligated to help our children discover their heritage. If you wait for the media, the kid down the block, the admissions counselor at college, or your child's prospective employer to
"educate" your child, your son or daughter is in for a lot of unhappiness. Find out the good stuff; give your child a foundation of pride so he can refute or ignore the bad stuff that is sure to come later.

Parents can teach heritage at home, but it takes conscious effort and it's work when you first start out. However, you might find yourself absorbed in a completely new hobby, such as my current obsession with fabrics of Asian design. As one of my daughters commented, observing the piles in my sewing room,
'You must be very sad, Mom, because you will never be "Indian!"


Jerri Ann Jenista, M.D., adoptive mother of five, is raising her children in an Italian-Indian-American Catholic single-parent, medically-oriented, cat-dominated culture.
© Adoptive Families Magazine

Credits: Jerri Ann Jenista, M.D.
Website: http://library.adoption.com/articles/culture-heritage-and-stereotypes-.html


Have a blessed day!!!!

Blessed Hannah

i carry your heart by E.E. Cummings

Our favorite poem that we keep in our hearts as we progress through this process...


i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Written by E.E. Cummmings


Blessed Hannah