In the March/April 2013 issue of 'WebMd' there was an article called "Family Matters - What to expect when you are thinking about adoption." The first sentence, written by Linda Hagerman executive director of the adoption services at The Cradle (Illinois adoption agency), really caught me because, while it is so true, it is a very strong statement to make: "Adoption is created through loss." Adoption is usually presented as a happy merging of 2 families, again which it is and is true. The loss comes in from 2 sides: the child's loss of his/her biological parents and sometimes the loss of a child or infertility of the hopeful adoptive parents. We had 2 miscarriages and not sure if we could have another. We were considering infertility tests but chose to check out adoption.
While our 2 adoptions came from the same local agency, they had 2 different scenarios:
our oldest: born premature, 2 lbs 11 ozs, drugs in system, stayed 4 months in hospital, birth mom gave him up for adoption at hospital, moved in with us at 18 months old, was on oxygen 24 hours a day until about 3 1/2 years old then weaned off, only 1 foster home before coming to us at 18 months old, also using hearing aids in both ears, was close to foster dad but not foster mom.
our 2nd oldest: born premature, 5 lbs 6 ozs, drugs in system, stayed for about 1 month in hospital, birth mom kept trying to keep him with her but was unsuccessful due to her drug use so he was in and out of foster homes (we were his 4th home at age 2 years 6 months), when we met him he was thought to be autistic, in most cases would not have anything to do with men in the family.
Back to the article: this raises questions. Will I love this child as I would my own biological child? Will I have the same parenting instincts? Will we feel like a real family? Of course, we did, we do and even the story says 'yes'.
If you are thinking about adoption, look around for local agencies and resources that deal with adoption, make sure you talk to them first, see what he process is, how long, how much it will cost. A lot of people like to go overseas and if that is what you want, make sure you understand what that entails. We know people (some family members) who have adopted locally and overseas. All those children are great kids. Our kids are great. I do not know all the circumstances regarding school or medical issues these other children may have but we have had our share of educational and medical issues with ours. Between the autism and ADHD, the different learning processes and programs that were put in place, we have learned a lot. Not too many medical issues, thank God. But these guys are ours, through thick and thin, no matter how crazy they make us. They fit right in with our 3rd BIOLOGICAL boy. SURPRISE!!!!
A last quick note from the article called 'Getting Ready for Adoption':
Thinking about moving forward with your adoption plans? Hageman and Adoptive Families magazine offer these tips.
Choose your path. Adoptive Families magazine's online "decision matrix" can help you pick which type of adoption may be right for you based on your age, finances, and the characteristics of the child you would like.
Learn more. Attend adoptive family meetings to find out more about the type of adoption you're interested in pursuing. Check local "parent papers" for listings, or call adoption or foster care agencies in your area.
Find a professional. Adoptive Families has a searchable list of agencies. Do very thorough research on any adoption professional you're thinking of working with. Calling the Better Business Bureau and state licensing agencies is just a start.
Take off the rose-colored glasses. Beware of promises to have a baby in your arms in X amount of time. It's hard to wait, but you're better off with an ethical agency that doesn't make too-good-to-be-true claims.
Take time for yourself. Focus on you and your partner. Embark on that last solo vacation. Read a book not about adoption. Before you know it, a little person will be taking up all that spare time.
The 'WebMD' site has other articles on adoption. Feel free to check them out. There is also a reference to an online site (see above) called "Adoptive Families". I looked at a few topics there and it looks informative.
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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