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  • 5 Questions Adoptees Are Tired Of Being Asked

    Together for Adoption
    Dan Cruver
    7 Jan 2015 | 8:50 am
    Huffington Post article by an adopted teenager:As an adopted teenager, I think there is a fine line between being curious and being nosey, especially when it comes to personal issues such as adoption. Most kids will point out the obvious: “Oh, that girl/boy does not look like their parents, they must be adopted.” While many people will observe that I look nothing like my parents (observation skills 100+). To a certain point, the finger pointing and stares get up my grill.I believe there is a certain etiquette and code of conduct, when it comes to being curious and asking a person…
  • DOS Alert: Faith International Adoption Accreditation Suspended

    Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR)
    7 Jan 2015 | 8:29 am
    On January 6, 2015, the Council on Accreditation (COA) suspended the accreditation of Faith International Adoptions for a minimum of 15 days and until appropriate corrective action has taken place. COA is the Department of State’s designated accrediting entity for adoption service providers under the Hague Adoption Convention (Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 and the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act (UAA).  The suspension is due to COA’s finding that Faith International Adoptions failed to maintain substantial compliance with the accreditation…
  • Lucky

    Therapy Is Expensive
    Kat Nielsen, MSW
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:17 pm
    I just wrote about my path to relinquishment. Even writing my truth I feel guilty. I feel I need to balance it with happy talk so as not to offend anyone. Which, I do know is an impossible goal, but still I try. I got lucky. Regardless of how I ended up signing those papers. I got lucky. I got lucky that a wonderful couple’s profile was in the stack sent to me by the facilitation service. I got lucky that they didn’t care about gender or race or distance. I got lucky that they were every bit as fantastic in person as on the paper and on the phone. I got lucky that they desired…
  • Scream Until It Hurts

    Adoption Truth
    6 Jan 2015 | 3:19 pm
    When my middle son was just a baby, I worked at a day care center that included infant care – it was all about the benefit of reduced child care costs and being able to work while still being near my baby.During my time there, I had an experience I will never forget.  An experience that forever changed me.  In the crib next to my son’s in the infant room was a baby boy named Garrett.  One afternoon, during the routine checks of the sleeping babies, the two wonderful ladies who cared for the infants discovered Baby Garrett wasn’t breathing.Those of us who knew CPR were…
  • A Day For Change

    Adoption Truth
    23 Sep 2014 | 5:13 am
    There is a story I could write today.  One that will never go away.  Will always break my heart a little bit more when I think of it.But after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to give this first year a moment of peace, for an innocent little girl and her natural family who lost so much more than anyone ever deserves.I can’t, though, let this day go with complete silence.  It holds too much pain.  Too many reminders of the hard realities that are so much a part of what adoption has become in our country.  Truths that so many still choose to ignore, dismiss or simply…
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    Musings of the Lame- Exposing Adoption Truth

  • Background Checks For Prospective Adoptive Parents

    29 Jan 2015 | 11:54 pm
    By AstridBeeMom I posted previously about one mother’s horror story surrounding her daughter’s adoption. One of the topics I touched on was the background checks given to prospective adoptive parents during the adoption process. Since the case I wrote about was from several decades ago, I decided to do some investigative work into the current standards that prospective adoptive parents must live up to if they wish to gain the approval from the government to adopt a child. The law... Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!
  • Un-Adopting: Is Divorcing Children an Acceptable Option?

    29 Jan 2015 | 11:55 am
    By Mirah Riben A couple identified as Allen and Cheryl was the latest to seek the help of Dr. Phil in dealing with an out of control child who has been terrorizing their family. Their son, nine-year-old Steve, was diagnosed with 18 mental illnesses. He was placed in three mental hospitals in the last year alone and takes multiple medications to control his behavior, but nothing helped for long. Home cameras recorded Steve tossing his younger sister across a room like a rag doll. The couple... Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!
  • Once I Was a Troll

    Claudia Corrigan DArcy
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:52 am
    I was reminded of an old mistake today. Granted, it was not a gentle reminder, but a let me shove this in your face because look you SCREWED up taunt, but I had completely forgotten about it, so it was a reminder for me. And yes, I had screwed up. And thankfully, I learned a very valuable lesson on internet transparency, trust, integrity and owning up to mistakes. read more... → Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!
  • Adopted Child Doe and Amended Birth Certificates

    27 Jan 2015 | 10:39 am
    By Mirah Riben The Supreme Court case of Adopted Child Doe brings to a head the absurdity of amended “birth” certificates issued to adoptees. The 20-month-old known as Adopted Child Doe is Cooper Talmas-Vitale. Cooper was adopted by Joseph Vitale and Rob Talmas shortly after his birth in Ohio. The adoption is recognized in New York, where the two men are married and live with the toddler. But Ohio, the place of Cooper’s birth and where his birth certificate was issued, has... Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!
  • 2014 Year in Review

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:39 am
    By AstridBeeMom Thank you all for making my first active year (really my first active 6 months) so great!! Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report. Filed under: Uncategorized Read at the Source: : Musings of a Birthmom Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!
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    Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR)

  • DOS Alert: Faith International Adoption Accreditation Suspended

    7 Jan 2015 | 8:29 am
    On January 6, 2015, the Council on Accreditation (COA) suspended the accreditation of Faith International Adoptions for a minimum of 15 days and until appropriate corrective action has taken place. COA is the Department of State’s designated accrediting entity for adoption service providers under the Hague Adoption Convention (Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 and the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act (UAA).  The suspension is due to COA’s finding that Faith International Adoptions failed to maintain substantial compliance with the accreditation…
  • DOS Notice : China : Changes to Requirements

    5 Jan 2015 | 10:09 am
    The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) recently announced changes to their intercountry adoption procedures.  The changes that apply to prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) in China fall into three broad categories:  1) the eligibility requirements for PAPs, 2) post-placement requirements, and 3) China’s fees for intercountry adoption. These changes are effective January 1, 2015. Changes to the PAP eligibility requirements:a.    The CCCWA will now allow couples in which the individuals are over 50 years of age to adopt a child. The age…
  • DOS Alert: The Department of State Strongly Recommends Against Adopting from the DRC at this time

    6 Oct 2014 | 11:13 am
    In light of the DRC’s September 26, 2014 announcement that its exit permit suspension for adopted children remains in effect indefinitely, the Department of State has asked all adoption agencies to cease referring new DRC adoption cases for U.S. prospective adoptive parents at this time. The Department of State strongly recommends against initiating an adoption in the DRC at this time, as adoptive children cannot leave the DRC without an exit permit issued by the DRC’s Directorate of General Migration, even with a finalized adoption.  Congolese courts continue to issue adoption…
  • USDOS Office of Children’s Issues Announces New Chief of the Adoption Division

    25 Sep 2014 | 11:40 am
    Welcome Trish Maskew, New Chief of the Adoption DivisionSeptember 24, 2014The Office of Children’s Issues is pleased to announce the appointment of Trish Maskew as the new Chief of the Adoption Division. Trish joins the Department of State from the Department of Justice where she worked in the Civil Division for almost six years.  Before joining the U.S. government, she held several positions in the intercountry adoption field: as a program coordinator for an adoption agency; a board member and interim administrator for the Joint Council on International Children’s Services; the…
  • American Families Caught Attempting Illegal DRC Exit

    17 Sep 2014 | 8:56 am
    According to reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"), officials intercepted an attempt by three American adoptive families to remove their children from Congo without proper authorization (  This news story has been reported as "child selling" or trafficking by DRC news outlets (  PEAR understands that the three families in question had legally adopted the seven affected children according to DRC regulations,…
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    Lavender Luz

  • What I’m Watching, Reading, Supporting

    Lori Holden
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:15 am
    Film: Black or White I watched the Colorado premiere of Kevin Costner’s new film Black or White last night at the  the Colorado Foster Care and Adoption Film Festival. I loved this film. I loved how these nuanced, flawed people tried to overcome their either/or tendencies to embrace a both/and paradigm for the girl who … Continue reading What I’m Watching, Reading, Supporting → The post What I’m Watching, Reading, Supporting appeared first on Lavender Luz.
  • How My Family Survived a 3 Wheelchair Night

    Lori Holden
    18 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    #1: The Boy Early in the evening we got a call from our local Kids Night Out program that Reed had crashed into metal bleachers while playing indoor tag. He had a gash on his leg that should be looked at. Roger and I cut our Date Night short to pick up the kids and … Continue reading How My Family Survived a 3 Wheelchair Night → The post How My Family Survived a 3 Wheelchair Night appeared first on Lavender Luz.
  • Being Open Means

    Lori Holden
    5 Jan 2015 | 6:55 am
    While strolling with my sister-in-law in Amherst, MA last summer, I photographed a flag that signaled its boutique was open. Last month I found the words I wanted to put with the image. The post Being Open Means appeared first on Lavender Luz.
  • The Year of the Luz 2014

    Lori Holden
    30 Dec 2014 | 1:15 am
    Highlights and lowlights of 2014: Quarter 1: Marijuana I buzzed about pot and parenting, now that it’s legal in my state. It proved to be such a verdant topic I hashed it out a second time. Quarter 2: Beelzebub in my Backyard Dexter got infected by the Devil. Quarter 3: Gross but Sweet Body fluids … Continue reading The Year of the Luz 2014 → The post The Year of the Luz 2014 appeared first on Lavender Luz.
  • Peace I Leave With You, My Friends

    Lori Holden
    24 Dec 2014 | 5:45 pm
    Especially in light of so many polarizing events in 2014, I’m featuring this little story, retold from my teacher, Ethel, who was, herself, retelling it. ~~~~~ Why Can’t There Be Peace on Earth? A child asked at bedtime, “Mommy why is there war? Why can’t there be peace in the world?” “Well, to have peace … Continue reading Peace I Leave With You, My Friends → The post Peace I Leave With You, My Friends appeared first on Lavender Luz.
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    Therapy Is Expensive

  • Lucky

    Kat Nielsen, MSW
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:17 pm
    I just wrote about my path to relinquishment. Even writing my truth I feel guilty. I feel I need to balance it with happy talk so as not to offend anyone. Which, I do know is an impossible goal, but still I try. I got lucky. Regardless of how I ended up signing those papers. I got lucky. I got lucky that a wonderful couple’s profile was in the stack sent to me by the facilitation service. I got lucky that they didn’t care about gender or race or distance. I got lucky that they were every bit as fantastic in person as on the paper and on the phone. I got lucky that they desired…
  • (Less Than Informed) Consent

    Kat Nielsen, MSW
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:06 pm
    I’ve been slow putting the blog back together, not knowing what to write about, what to republish, what to leave gone. The topic of relinquishment and choice has come up in fairly heated conversations in more than one adoption group recently. And when I say recently I mean the last few days. It’s as if somewhere an alarm went off alerting people that this is the week for debating relinquishment. There have been those who call it selfless, heroic, and courageous. There are those who call it abandonment, irresponsible. In both camps there are those who insist on reminding everyone…
  • Tuesday Reflections on ThrowBack Thursday

    Kat Nielsen, MSW
    6 Jan 2015 | 1:10 pm
    Kidlet and I are friends on a social media platform. (He initiated the connection so no it’s not some weird non-boundary having birth mom predatory thing) <– why do i even still feel i have to make these types of disclaimers! ANYWAY Kidlet and I are social media friends. Sometimes I’ll post a Throw Back Thursday picture of him or of us, especially around his birthday or just when I’m missing him particularly much. One such photo he commented on was from our very first face to face live and in person visit. I asked if he remembered that visit and he doesn’t…
  • New Year Same Me

    Kat Nielsen, MSW
    1 Jan 2015 | 9:41 am
    It’s New Years Day, 2015. I’m sure I’m supposed to use this time and this space to make resolutions, predictions, and promises. But I really don’t see 2015 being much different from 2014, if at all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that 2014 was bad. It wasn’t. In fact all in all it was a pretty good year. I saw my kid a few times, I visited my parents, I passed all my classes, I presented at conferences. But I wasn’t transformed. I didn’t finally commit to clean living despite wanting to be healthier. I didn’t join a gym or start…
  • Kat Nielsen, MSW
    24 Nov 2014 | 6:41 pm
    They’re killing our kids. Is there nothing to be done? Just screaming into a pillow as the tears fall. I’m not surprised not even a little. But I really didn’t want to be right. Not this time, not last time or the time before or the one that comes next. I don’t want to feel relief that my son looks white …but i do.
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    Adoption Reunion & Identity Development

  • Check In

    Gwendolyn C. Natusch, M.Ed., MSW
    19 Jan 2015 | 12:07 pm
    This is a practical post as I have not been able to post for quite some time now on this blog. Hoping that this posts now!
  • 24 Dec 2013 | 5:48 am

    Gwendolyn C. Natusch, M.Ed., MSW
    24 Dec 2013 | 5:48 am
  • 29 Jan 2013 | 7:16 pm

    Gwendolyn C. Natusch, M.Ed., MSW
    29 Jan 2013 | 7:16 pm
    In May I leave my home with my husband and we are going to rent our home and travel in an RV for a year. I want to connect with adult adoptees. It is my intention to write a book on adult adoptees and their stories of reunion, healing, and identity development. I’d like to interview as many adult adoptees as I can along my route. If you are interested in being part of this project please post here and let me know if you are interested in this project!
  • 31 Aug 2012 | 8:43 am

    Gwendolyn C. Natusch, M.Ed., MSW
    31 Aug 2012 | 8:43 am
    August 31, 2012 Belonging ~ such a broad concept. As an adoptee this word has had several meanings throughout my life. I was adopted in 1964 when I was 5 years old. I am not Asian, but a mixture of Europe’s England and Ireland as well as America’s Cherokee and Ojibwa Native American Tribes. I come from peoples who left their land for a better dream and peoples who lost their lands because of this very dream. I am a mixture of these stories and when told or reflected upon become a personal paradox inside of me. I think perhaps adoption is like this as well. I’ve long been a believer in…
  • 12 May 2010 | 2:21 pm

    Gwendolyn C. Natusch, M.Ed., MSW
    12 May 2010 | 2:21 pm
    The years are like floating dandelion seed stars; they float on the air and disappear without even noticing their absence. I’ve made a decision this year and that decision is to write a book on adoption and my story. There are so many stories out there and each so valuable in their own unique way of weaving and unfolding their adoption experiences. I want to share my process of healing and use words that are spiritual and not heard enough in our regular experience of the world. I don’t want to edit my healing process and yet I don’t want my story to be about the trauma of it all…but…
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    O Momma Writes

  • 3 Steps for Organising a Hassle-Free Business Trip

    Ashley Roberts
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:57 am
    With swanky accommodation, gourmet meals and other perks, we could be forgiven for thinking that a business trip is only about 20 percent work and 80 percent fun. Well, that’s a pretty common mistake, as business travel can often end up being as stressful and tedious as just staying home and working at the office. But, it doesn’t have to be. Here are 3 steps for organising a hassle free business trip. 1. Hire a Travel Manager With travel being a necessary part of conducting business, there are now companies, such as Corporate Traveller, that specialise in organising business flights and…
  • 5 Things to Consider When Building Your New Home

    Ashley Roberts
    20 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    So you’ve found the perfect block of land in the perfect neighbourhood. The bank has given the thumbs up for the loan. The aspect of the land is right, all you need to do now is build a house! Without a doubt, there are many things to think about when building. You might have a house design in mind, but what about everything that goes in it? Are you going to follow the herd and go with whatever your builder recommends, or are you going to see what’s going to be best for your home? Here are five things you should seriously consider when building your new home. 1. Windows and Doors A window…
  • The Ultimate Travel Kit For Your Business Trip

    Ashley Roberts
    16 Dec 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Business travel is a fairly common occurrence in this day and age, from the fly-in, fly-out jobs to the large companies with multiple office locations. And although the idea of travelling for business seems like fun in hindsight, it can actually be fairly stressful. So to help ease some of the burden, have a look at the below ideas that could help form your ultimate travel kit. Size Matters When it comes to your luggage, the smaller it is the better. If you’re travelling for business, the last thing you want to be doing is standing in long queues to either drop off or pick up your bags. By…
  • How To Look After Your Baby When He’s Under The Weather

    Ashley Roberts
    14 Dec 2014 | 6:57 pm
    If you’ve recently bought a new life into the world, congratulations are most certainly in order. Unfortunately, the hard work has only just begun. Now you have to think about keeping the little fellow happy and well. There are lots of conditions that can affect babies, and so it’s important that you learn how to identify common symptoms. The internet is packed with articles that offer great information that might be of some use. Just spend some time reading and researching. At some point, all babies will feel a little under the weather. That doesn’t mean there is anything majorly…
  • Cheap and Simple Ways To Fix Up Your Home

    Ashley Roberts
    1 Dec 2014 | 9:46 pm
    Do you have your family coming over to your home for the holidays? If you do, you need to make sure that your house is as nice as it can be so that you impress people. There is nothing worse than letting the way your home looks embarrass you. You need to be house-proud, and show people how lovely your home is. Cleaning is never much fun. If you don’t have a big budget for fixing up your home, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend loads of money on your home for it to look amazing. Here are some simple and cheap ways to fix up your home. Credit: Advait Supnekar Clean your…
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    American Family Society


    14 Jan 2015 | 4:44 pm
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option…
  • Hello world!

    5 Dec 2014 | 10:40 pm
    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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    welcome to my brain . net

  • $25 February Coaching Sessions

    20 Jan 2015 | 9:08 am
    It's that time again! I have no major events in February. The family calendar is wonderfully full but repetitive. You know the drill. When I have massive downtime, I coach at a discount.Happy February!Any coaching session scheduled for the month of February will be $25.No, really. The entire month. I've never done this before and am so excited my new system will cut back my paperwork so this is possible. If you have never been a client, it gives you a great way to side-step the "first time client" cost.If you have been itching for a Saturday appointment, you are in luck. I am taking clients…
  • Recapping a decade of my life

    16 Jan 2015 | 7:42 am
    (photo by Alyza Moore for the "Bodies Born to Rise" project)I have spent the last several months going through every last inch of this blog. Reorganizing. Cleaning up old labels. Making it easier to find things. I'm not done and still have many hours of work ahead of me.In March it will be ten years of blogging.It's a weird thing to be able to look at a decade of your life. Not all of it. Just the parts I let others see, of course. But that is its own interesting experience. It's not news that I have been writing less and less. I have stared at it to find exactly what/when/how this has…
  • Jar-o-Good

    5 Jan 2015 | 2:35 pm
    Last night in the car one of the kids was talking about an idea they heard in their student group for the new year. Make a jar that you can place in a prominent-enough location that you won't forget about it. Write down the good things that happen to you. Take a moment in the evenings to do it. On your bad days, you can randomly read about and be reminded of the good in your life.Simple.I love that idea. It is similar to daily gratitudes, but with a twist. My brain immediately went to parents who are working with struggling kids. I coach caregivers to journal in some way, any way, the…
  • Therapeutic Parenting Resources

    8 Oct 2014 | 6:52 am
    ( have been working very hard the last few weeks to reorganize the things I have learned over the past six years, when it comes to parenting. My goal has always been to share. However I can.As you would suspect, as my life has been pretty messy, my sharing has been pretty messy. Scattered. So, I have been putting a very deliberate effort into organizing and re-presenting it in a way that can be more easily searched and utilized.On my coaching site, you will start to see all of my little nuggets show up under the "Blog" tab. If you've read me for some time, you…
  • Open up that October door!

    1 Oct 2014 | 7:16 am
    (photo by Kate Northern; used with permission)October.It's the most wonderful time of the year in my house.Halloween ... and National Coming Out Day!I remember a time in the 80's when there was a big hub-bub in our little town over Halloween. A group of people became very vocal about the dark side of the holiday and were pushing parents to stop participating in the costumes and the trick-or-treating. Of course, my friends were the ones showing up at school with the "Save Halloween!" shirts. I did not wear one. I had already gotten my pastor-father in enough trouble a few years before wearing…
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    A Birth Project

  • Family Consultations

    Lisa Marie
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:40 pm
    I’ve been getting the usual onslaught of emails from folks who are in need of support or who are starting to come to grips with the commitment they have made adopting a child of color. Are you a potential or parenting adoptive parent and need some support developing strategies for creating your community to reflect your family? Have you been thinking about moving your family to a more diverse city? a different school? Are you concerned with your TRA’s life being an isolated one? I want to remind folks that I offer individual family skype or in person consultations. 1-3 sessions,…
  • Feb 19th new show and article

    Lisa Marie
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:05 pm
    For those of you who’ve been waiting for a new solo show from me – yeeee! I’m SO excited to share a brand new piece on February 19th at The BARN in West Oakland. It is an exerpt from my newest solo show in progress, “Side Chick: This ain’t no Harlequin Romance”. This new theatrical piece explore ideas around black womanhood, dating, adoption (of course), race and finding your worth. I can’t wait to share it. Buy your tickets now!  also – check it out – I’m on the front page of today! yeee! oh adoption.Filed under:…
  • Hey! I’m a Featured Commentator on Huffington Post Live!

    Lisa Marie
    24 Oct 2014 | 12:42 pm
    Remember that one time I was on HuffPostLive? (check out the full segment by clicking!) Check me out on Marc Lamont Hill’s show discussing strategies for white families who are parenting children of color. Filed under: In the News Tagged: adoptee, adopting a black child, Adoption, adult adoptees, African adoptee, black adoptee, HuffPostLive, lisa marie rollins, Mixed Race, multiracial
  • Video update on London Calling Residency! Thank you & 3 more days!

    Lisa Marie
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:45 pm
    I’m thrilled that I am over half way to my goal! I have raised $2005.00 of $3700.00 I still need your help! Check out the video update. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far!! Filed under: Uncategorized
  • London Calling Me! Callaloo Writing Workshop – Oct 26th

    Lisa Marie
    6 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    My new manuscript and new Adoptee Artist Collaborations ahead!!  I’m honored to have been invited to attend the CALLALOO Literary Journal’s 2014 Writing Workshop hosted by the Black Cultural Archives, in collaboration with The Equiano Centre at University College London, England. I have a chance to work with esteemed poet Gregory Pardlo and be in residence with fiction writers Maaza Mengiste and Jackson Brown as well as 20 other multi-genre writers selected from across the global African Diaspora. CALLALOO is a journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters based at Texas A&M…
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    Building Family Counseling

  • Upcoming Developmental Screenings for Kids 0 to 5

    26 Jan 2015 | 1:12 pm
    Way back when, back when Hector was a pup and I had a lot less gray hair I used to schedule screenings like this at the YWCA in Portland. Now I’m sharing this with you but you gotta get on it — the screenings happen this Wednesday. If you can’t make it then give the ECRN+ a call and find out when they might be happening in the future. Child Developmental Screenings – Mind and Body Wednesday, January 28th 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Grove City YMCA – 3600 Discovery Drive, Grove City, OH 43123 What is a developmental screening? A developmental screening is a snap shot…
  • The thing about forgiveness

    24 Jan 2015 | 1:58 pm
    We hear a lot about forgiveness and how good it is for you spiritually and emotionally and that’s all true but forgiveness is a thing that can’t be rushed. Selling people on the merits of forgiveness when they’re right in the middle of their struggle is a little like telling someone who has just had surgery on her knees that she needs to run a marathon. First she has to heal, then she has to begin stretching and moving and who’s to say that being a marathoner is the only way or the best way to be alive anyway? In my twenties I worked at a women’s shelter where…
  • When therapists are wrong

    20 Jan 2015 | 8:04 am
    Two VERY DIFFERENT bosses When you look at the ethical guidelines for therapists a whole lot of them are in place to address the power imbalance between therapist and client. In the minds of our clients, the things we therapists do or say hold greater weight than the same thoughts that, say, your hairdresser or mechanic might offer. (Except when it comes to how to do your hair or fix your car.) When we share our reflections about your life choices and relationships then we need to be aware that our clients will likely take those thoughts very seriously, which is why it can be painful and…
  • Letting your child have the last word

    13 Jan 2015 | 10:03 am
    Sometimes when you’ve won an argument you can help the person who lost save face by letting them get the last word in. I think this can be particularly helpful with kids. You can help move things along by letting a kid stomp away mumbling. This seems counterintuitive and I know it’s tempting to holler, “What’s that? Who do you think is such a mean mom? Get back here, young lady!” but don’t give into it. If you pull them back, “What was that you said?” you’ve entered into a power struggle. Power struggles are tar pits; do not get stuck…
  • I had to share this video of Chris Pratt

    9 Jan 2015 | 8:25 am
    We’ve always liked Andy Dwyer at our house and we hear the guy who plays him does some pretty nice things but I’m sharing this clip of Chris Pratt on The Ellen Show (heads up courtesy of Jezebel) because it illustrates some great parenting. First, this guy knows about child development as evidenced by his understanding that the “terrible” twos are developmentally appropriate since many toddlers are frustrated by their inability to share the complex wants and wishes that drive their behavior. (This is why they freak out about details — the wrong shirt, the…
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    Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity

  • Holt, Dillon and U.S. State Department work together

    29 Jan 2015 | 6:03 pm
    In a joint press release received from Holt International and Dillon International by VVAI today; Leaders from the two agencies met this week with Terrence West, Deputy Consular Chief of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss how the agencies and Department of State can cooperate to help the most vulnerable children. Representative’s from […]
  • VN Ministry of Justice Clarifies Criteria

    9 Jan 2015 | 6:16 pm
    The Department of State yesterday posted a notice regarding recent clarifications on the part of the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice.  According to MOJ/DA, healthy children who live outside of orphanages currently do not qualify for the Special Adoption Program, even if they are aged five or older or are in biological sibling groups. The MOJ/DA […]
  • Further Guidance from Holt and Dillon

    20 Sep 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Clarification (9/24):  As was stated in our earlier post, Dillon will accept applicants up to 55 years of age.  Also, Dillon lists the time from application to placement as “To Be Determined”. Holt International has confirmed that the fees listed at the link below are up to date.  The adoption fee for Vietnam, which is […]
  • Details On New Vietnam Adoption Program

    16 Sep 2014 | 11:41 am
    As we reported on Friday, the U.S. State Department announced that adoptions with Vietnam are re-opening, on a limited basis. Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announced that it has authorized two U.S. adoption service providers to facilitate intercountry adoptions in Vietnam:              Dillon International, Inc. Holt International Children’s Services, Inc. Effective on […]
  • Joint Statement from Holt and Dillon on VN Adoptions

    12 Sep 2014 | 4:36 pm
    Holt and Dillon, the two agencies selected by the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Adoptions in Vietnam, have issued a joint statement after today’s announcement that they will be licensed for special needs adoptions. The full statement is available here.  
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    [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum

  • After reunion, birth father rejects returning daughter

    29 Jan 2015 | 6:18 pm
    LorraineDear FMF: I am a 44-year-old adoptee who found my birth parents this year. My birth father had listed himself in a mutual consent registry in California 15 years ago, but I didn't find out until I spent a year getting my non-identifying information. He stayed with his teenage girlfriend while she was pregnant with me, and when he married (someone else), he told his wife he had a child who might show up one day. Through him I was able to meet my mother, and that is going well. My birth father and I had a warm and emotional first meeting in a local park, and…
  • Orphans in film, literature a universal: Now playing at your local miniplex

    23 Jan 2015 | 11:33 pm
    Lost Boy "Eggs"Three films now playing, The Boxtrolls, Paddington, and Annie, reflect our endless fascination with orphans. The Boxtroll tells once again the story of a child separated from his real family who becomes a hero. The Boxtrolls are quirky, mischievous creatures who live underground among the trash and wear discarded boxes, take in an infant boy. He is called Eggs because that is the label on the box he wears. When an evil human devises a plot to destroy the Boxtrolls and replace the human king, Eggs ventures above ground,where he meets the daughter of the town's ruler.
  • Telling your children about their adopted sibling

    19 Jan 2015 | 8:17 am
    JaneWhen my lost daughter Rebecca contacted me, I was faced with telling my other daughters, ages 25, 23, and 20 about their half sister. I could have not done so of course, but I wanted to have a relationship with Rebecca. I recognized how awkward it would be to keep her a secret. How to explain long telephone calls, hours on the computer writing emails, trips out of town. If she remained a secret, she would not be able to visit. More fundamentally I realized that it would be unfair to Rebecca to keep her a secret as though I was ashamed of her.She asked me several times during our initials…
  • Korean adoptees are returning to their native land

    15 Jan 2015 | 1:30 pm
    After the separation: the persistence of rootsStories about adoptees from other countries often talk of corruption in the system, of mothers being scammed into giving up their babies, of the angst of individuals raised in a culture not their own. But they seldom actually mention the grief of the birth mothers--or how the adopted individual might process it.But a single sentence in a New York Times Magazine piece did it for me: "My life in the United States, no matter how good it was...never made up for my omma's grief."Omma is the Korean word for mama, and the sentence was spoken by a Korean…
  • Downton Abbey: Once again dealing with the scandal of a 'bastard'

    14 Jan 2015 | 5:48 pm
    Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith                 Photo: Nick BriggsToday we go from reality TV (trash or not, that's for you to decide) to midbrow Downton Abbey. The story line is going further and further into the Lady-Edith-had-a-bastard-baby thread, and they are doing a bangup job with it.For those who don't follow this highfalutin' soap opera from BBC, a primer: The not-beautiful middle daughter ends up with somewhat of a job--writing columns for a newspaper--instead of a husband. But an affair follows with the editor of the paper, who is…
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    Adoption Truth

  • Scream Until It Hurts

    6 Jan 2015 | 3:19 pm
    When my middle son was just a baby, I worked at a day care center that included infant care – it was all about the benefit of reduced child care costs and being able to work while still being near my baby.During my time there, I had an experience I will never forget.  An experience that forever changed me.  In the crib next to my son’s in the infant room was a baby boy named Garrett.  One afternoon, during the routine checks of the sleeping babies, the two wonderful ladies who cared for the infants discovered Baby Garrett wasn’t breathing.Those of us who knew CPR were…
  • A Day For Change

    23 Sep 2014 | 5:13 am
    There is a story I could write today.  One that will never go away.  Will always break my heart a little bit more when I think of it.But after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to give this first year a moment of peace, for an innocent little girl and her natural family who lost so much more than anyone ever deserves.I can’t, though, let this day go with complete silence.  It holds too much pain.  Too many reminders of the hard realities that are so much a part of what adoption has become in our country.  Truths that so many still choose to ignore, dismiss or simply…
  • My Not So Perfect Life

    25 Jun 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Did you know my family is crazy?  We’re dysfunctional.  We make huge mistakes.  We can be irritating and annoying.  And we are so far from perfect or anything close to it.And yet, as one who was literally saved from becoming yet another “unplanned pregnancy” lost to adoption, I am so thankful for my family, all the good AND all the bad.We had another big family wedding over the weekend.  It was my cousin’s wedding on my maternal side and since my mother is one of seven siblings, I have an abundance of aunts and uncles and amazing cousins that flood such family…
  • A Grandmother's Worry

    18 Jun 2014 | 3:31 pm
    I’m going to be a grandmother again.This time through my middle son and his wonderful, long-time girlfriend.It’s been almost three years now since I first became a grandmother and it’s hard to even find the words to describe what it’s like.  I love every minute of it.  I can’t get enough of watching her grow, become her own person with her own unique personality, while still seeing, recognizing, how much she is like her father, my youngest son, and her mother, my amazing daughter-in-law.And as I enjoy the miracle of being a grandmother.  The joy of expecting another…
  • I Love Being A Fertile Woman

    13 May 2014 | 6:04 pm
    For over a decade now, my wonderful husband and I – and sometimes our wonderful kids – make a yearly visit to New Orleans.  The only year we missed was the year of Katrina.  But we were back the very next year, loving our favorite place even during its struggle to come back to life after such horror and heart ache.This year, our trip isn’t planned till October.  And after coming across a post on the I Love Adoption / Facebook page, I am so thankful we planned for later this year.Apparently, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys held their conference…
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    The Declassified Adoptee

  • Happy Reunionversary: 9 Things I've Learned in 5 Years of Reunion

    4 Jan 2015 | 9:31 pm
    My necklace of our matching pair.I had already known my original mother's name for several months before we reunited. As is the practice in my birth state, most adoptees can have their original birth certificates and know their mother's name using the established government channel. We are forbidden to reach out on our own as the civil and criminal legal consequences of doing so are thoroughly explained and signed off on before our records are unsealed. My mother, my first mother, had given me permission to see my original birth certificate. I received a copy of her handwritten…
  • VIDEO National Adoption Month? The Lost Daughters #flipthescript

    7 Nov 2014 | 9:33 am
    Headed by @mothermade, Lost Daughters is flipping the script with this awesome round table style video by Bryan Tucker. Click here for the full length version and remember to share with the tags #NationalAdoptionMonth and #flipthescript.Being grateful for my adoptive family & questioning the ethics of modern adoption practices are not mutually exclusive. #FliptheScript #NAM— Mila (@yoonsblur) November 3, 2014
  • PA, Adoptee Rights, and an Amended Bill--What now?

    17 Sep 2014 | 5:07 pm
    Photo (c) Julie StrombergOn Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the Pennsylvania Senate Aging and Youth Committee held a voting hearing for HB 162.  As drafted, HB 162 would restore the right of PA-born adult adoptees, nineteen years or older, to access a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) with the same regard under the law enjoyed by every other PA-born citizen.When a child is adopted in the U.S., a amended birth record replaces their OBC that lists their adoptive parents as their biological parents.  In 48 states, the OBC is sealed.  Every single state has a law on the…
  • Adoption and Fundraising: When Money to Breaks Down Systemic Barriers for Families

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:37 pm
    Aselefech runs for family preservation.There are a number of factors behind why I was placed for adoption.  Economics by far is one of the most pervasive.  My narrative is one among countless that attest to the way in which economics constricts the choices families and parents have--to keep their children, to not experience the removal of their children, to not become pregnant if they do not wish to be.I have been outspoken for the past five years against adoption fundraisers.  I have been asked countless times over the years to donate my written word or official endorsement to…
  • As Rightful Narrators: Adoption, RAD, and Storytelling

    23 May 2014 | 3:30 pm
    Recently, the New York Times Motherlode blog posted an essay by author Tina Traster entitled, "You're not my Real Mother."  The essay processed her gut reaction to hearing the infamous "you're not my real mom" phrase from her daughter.  Traster retorted "well who is then?" and directed her daughter never to say the phrase again.  Traster described her own hurt feelings while disclosing her daughter's adoption narrative and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis to readers across the globe.  Her daughter's narrative and diagnosis are also embedded in the premise of…
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    One Thankful Mom | Lisa Qualls

  • Making Their Way Through The Bucket List

    Lisa Qualls
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Last summer Kalkidan, Claire (Sunshine), and Eden made a bucket list. They were so excited that Kalkidan was coming home and they had big plans – lots of big plans. This friendship goes way back – all the way back to the beginning. In fact, I was at Eden’s birth and I like to tell […]
  • Aunt Michele’s Tribute to Kalkidan

    Lisa Qualls
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:14 am
    Over the years I’ve written many times about my very dear friend, Michele, whom my kids affectionately call Aunt Michele. There is so much I want to say, but I’m struggling for words today. I’ll let Michele’s tribute from the memorial service speak for itself. I would first like to thank Russ and Lisa and […]
  • Sunday Gratitude 1.25.15

    Lisa Qualls
    25 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
      Lord, We fall to our knees before the Wounded Healer who cups His hands to catch every falling tear & sparrow & heart in His palms that have our names engraved right into Him far deeper than any of earth’s sorrow. We pray tonight in the name of Him of who catches everything falling so […]
  • An Everlasting Love

    Lisa Qualls
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:47 am
    This is what I’ve read every morning since I’ve been well enough to pick up my Bible and hold it in my hands. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height  nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, […]
  • Kalkidan’s Cute Moments

    Lisa Qualls
    21 Jan 2015 | 9:58 am
    I could make a stack of albums of titled, “Kalkidan’s Cute Moments.” As you know, there were plenty of hard moments, but we didn’t take pictures of those. We aren’t rewriting history, we’re just savoring the precious, joyful times with her. Her smile was amazing. These dress-up pictures are from January 2008. Kalkidan had been […]
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    Rage Against the Minivan

  • What I want you to know about having an intersex child

    30 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by an anonymous reader. I recently found out about a condition babies are born with called AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome). In a nutshell baby girls are born with XY chromosomes also known as intersex. There are different forms but basically their body couldn't respond to the…
  • #TBT A Knight to Remember

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    On Thursdays I bring back a post from the archives. This is from December 2009.So, about Medieval Times. It was an epic birthday for Jafta. The entire time we were there I kept thinking about the part in The Cable Guy when they go to Medieval Times. I think Jafta's excitement made Jim Carrey's enthusiasm look like mere indifference. And you know Jafta showed up in full costume. I really had no desire to do a birthday at Medieval Times, but I also had no desire to plan any sort of party two days after Christmas. (Note to those of you in the family-planning stages: try not to conceive a child…
  • Wednesday's Child: Travis

    28 Jan 2015 | 3:30 pm
    Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday's Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids
  • Things I’ve learned in 40 years of living

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:54 pm
    I turned 40 two weeks ago, a milestone that felt pretty big for me. I confided in a few friends about the angst I had, and most of them disclosed that they had felt the same way leading up to 40, but then after the Big Day, it wasn’t a big deal. I’ve had that experience as well. I’m settling into this new decade of life comfortably, and have been reflecting on the gifts of being older . . . namely, having the life experience to learn from my mistakes. As I’ve contemplated some of the wisdom I have earned in 40 years of life, here are some of the things that come to mind. For full…
  • Bachelor Recap: A Date for Bimbos

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:03 am
    When Sarah was visting last week we asked our readers what we should talk about for our videos, and overwhelmingly everone asked us to recap the Bachelor again. Unfortunately, since Sarah moved, the distance makes that impossible to do every week. But my local friend Samantha and I decided to give it a go. (I’m sorry, Sarah! We only did it once! It didn’t mean anything!) As you will notice, we were quite comfy with our sweats and some wine – so comfy that I might have forgotten to focus the camera. Did you watch the episode? Who are you rooting for?
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    Julie Gumm - Author

  • “You Can Adopt Without Debt” – New book NOW AVAILABLE!

    Julie Gumm
    5 Jan 2015 | 8:00 pm
    It’s launch day! Approximately 2.5 years in the making, I’m beyond thrilled to have “You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption” finally available!! The book was written with one goal in mind – to equip families wanting to adopt with the tools and ideas to make their dream come true and do it without going into debt. Unlike my previous book,” You Can Adopt Without Debt” is designed to even help someone just beginning to think about adoption. It explores the different kinds of adoptions, gives pros and cons to each, guides…
  • Seasons of change … and waiting

    Julie Gumm
    2 Dec 2014 | 8:07 pm
    As the leaves fall from the trees here in beautiful Northwest Arkansas, we have passed a major step in our season of change. Our Phoenix house is sold. While it seemed like forever, in all it only took 10 weeks to get a buyer. And interestingly enough the day we accepted the offer our realtor got another call from someone who wanted to make an offer. Sometimes God provides in abundance. So now we can turn our attention to house hunting. We love living in a small town but that does mean the inventory is somewhat limited. Especially for a family our size. While we don’t need a mansion…
  • Breakfast With Santa Adoption Fundraiser

    Julie Gumm
    23 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Seem a little early to be thinking about Christmas? It’s not, I promise! The holidays offer some great adoption fundraiser ideas and I especially love this one from the Teply family. They added Santa to their pancake breakfast fundraiser! A pancake breakfast fundraiser is a great idea in itself. Families have made several thousand dollars with this idea (like the Burden family). But give a mom a chance to get her kids pictures with Santa WITHOUT going to the mall and you have hit the jackpot!! No mom wants to stand in line for an hour (or more) for the over-priced photo in which their…
  • My beauty product splurge – 3D Fiber Lashes

    Julie Gumm
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:57 am
    I don’t review a lot of products on this blog, and I certainly don’t review beauty products regularly, but today that’s what you’re getting. So if you’re one of my male readers feel free to move on to the next blog post of the day now A few weeks before we moved my friend Jen was over for a late night editing session and she asked me if I had ever heard of 3D Mascara. She proceeded to fill me in on this weird sounding stuff where you put green tea fibers on your eyelashes. Say what? Anyways, fast forward a couple months and someone invited me to an online party…
  • The Whole World Wants a Job

    Julie Gumm
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:13 am
    Gallup has just published early findings from their “World Poll.”  They are literally conducting a ten-year poll of what the entire world is thinking (160 countries). Here’s a snippet from their main discovery: “What the whole world wants is a good job. That is one of the single biggest discoveries Gallup has ever made. It is as simple and as straightforward an explanation of the data as we can give. If you and I were walking down the street in Khartoum, Tehran, Berlin, Lima, Los Angeles, Baghdad, Kolkata, or Istanbul, we would discover that on most days the single…
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    Lost Daughters

  • Adoption and Identity in the Age of Aquarius

    Julie Stromberg
    25 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    On a recent day as I was driving from Point A to Point B, the song “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” boomed through the car’s speakers thanks to my iPod’s shuffle function. This particular version was the medley of two songs from the musical “Hair” that was released as a single by the 5th Dimension back in 1969. After I snickered a bit thinking about the scene in the film “The-40-Year-Old Virgin” featuring the song, I found myself remembering some aspects of the my childhood–ones that had to do with the song and being adopted.I was born on January 25, 1971. My astrological sign…
  • A Response to Shaaren Pine's Washington Post Article from an Adoptee Five Years in Reunion

    Lynn Steinberg
    19 Jan 2015 | 6:09 pm
    To the Adoptive Parents who responded with disrespect and judgment to Shaaren Pine’s Washington Post Articlelast week, I dedicate my 5-year Adoption Reunion Anniversary post to you. I also created a quote that I pray you read over and over again as you parent your adopted children.“Just as parents have a heart for each of their children, an adopted child has a heart for each of their families.” – Lynn Steinberg, Contributor at Lost Daughters.I was the happy kid (I still am, by the way). I was grateful to be adopted. I NEVER asked about finding my Birth Mother. My parents were my best…
  • Putting Haitian Families First

    Mariette Williams
    12 Jan 2015 | 6:12 pm
    At the age of three, I was adopted from Haiti, and I grew up knowing very little about my family and the details surrounding my adoption. I had always been told that my adoption was out of necessity- my parents had been too poor to care for me and my younger siblings, so we were put in an orphanage. I was told they wanted to place me for adoption. Last year I went on a search for my birth family in Haiti, and through the help of several strangers, I was able to find them. But I also found the details surrounding my adoption were very different from what I had been told. My parents did not…
  • Birthdays by guest author Molly Schulte

    12 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    I write this, not to look for pity, but to speak some of my truths, especially in the light of Robin Williams’ death. Depression does come in all forms and from many sources; chemical, biological, life experience. We all have varied life stories to share. Sometimes I feel I share too much but in some instances not enough because it feels so vulnerable, still so raw. This is my birthday story, written on the day.Memories shape us for good and bad. As a kid in the 70’s, I was the odd kid in the neighborhood that everyone made fun of. I had been in foster care, until I was adopted at the age…
  • SELMA; A Movie Review With Implications From A Transracial Adoptee

    Angela Tucker
    10 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    The film Selma stars David Oyelowo (center) as Martin Luther King, Jr., and focuses on several unsung activists during the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery. Selma, a cinematic masterpiece directed by Ava Duvernay, bravely and intelligently focuses on the racial unrest surrounding the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. The film was brilliant and I hope she'll be the first African-American female Director to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The music was poignant, and the acting was strong, the imagery was shocking in it's simple power and artistry.  The film…
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    Unsigned Masterpiece

  • Reunion Wisdom from The Declassified Adoptee

    Unsigned Masterpiece
    8 Jan 2015 | 1:10 am
    Nine Things I’ve Learned in Five Years of Reunion Adoption reunion has to be the most complicated relationship you will ever enter into.  Mothers have been told how much their choice will be honoured, how perfect the adoptive parents will be.  Adoptees approach reunion with the story of their adoption and the adoptive parents’ perception […]
  • The Stones of December

    Unsigned Masterpiece
    9 Dec 2014 | 10:35 am
    As soon as I thought of a turquoise a memory flashed into my mind. It was of a ring that my grandfather used to wear, a small ring and it too had a turquoise ... My grandfather, like my son, was born in December.
  • Letter to an Adoption Ministry

    Unsigned Masterpiece
    24 Nov 2014 | 4:38 am
    Originally posted on orphanedheart:I saw a post recently on a forum that disturbed me.  There was a quote from a Christian about his take on the purpose of adoption. People who read his quote were ruffled…they were perturbed, and they bashed G-d.  It was hard to hear as a Christian person. I felt led…
  • Lest we forget …

    Unsigned Masterpiece
    11 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    They, too, had had Canadian soldiers billeted at their house during the war.
  • In search of self…

    Unsigned Masterpiece
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:47 am
    A Vermont Man is riding his bike to meet his family in Minnesota.  Read all about it here. on his blog called Ridinghometofindme.Filed under: Adoption, Adoption reunion, Cycling Tagged: Matthew Reid, Tim Howard
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    Together for Adoption

  • 5 Questions Adoptees Are Tired Of Being Asked

    Dan Cruver
    7 Jan 2015 | 8:50 am
    Huffington Post article by an adopted teenager:As an adopted teenager, I think there is a fine line between being curious and being nosey, especially when it comes to personal issues such as adoption. Most kids will point out the obvious: “Oh, that girl/boy does not look like their parents, they must be adopted.” While many people will observe that I look nothing like my parents (observation skills 100+). To a certain point, the finger pointing and stares get up my grill.I believe there is a certain etiquette and code of conduct, when it comes to being curious and asking a person…
  • Adoption Nuggets (25): Dipping Into Metaphorical Theology (7)

    Tim J R Trumper
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:42 am
    Fundamental Question #2: Is Paul’s Language of Adoption to Be Taken Literally or Metaphorically? (Continued)Since, to my knowledge, there is no source to which we may go to compare in full the arguments for the naive- and critical-realist readings of Paul on adoption, we have begun to identify the respective cases which may be made in favor of their literal and metaphorical approaches.The naive-realist could, I’ve posited, defend the  literal reading on four grounds:1. Paul’s view in Ephesians 3:14 that “every family in heaven and on earth is named” from the…
  • Together We Can Help Orphans Now

    Dan Cruver
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:43 pm
    Yes, the orphan crisis is complicated, but there are simple steps to move us toward attainable solutions. When we think of the world-wide orphan crisis, one way to motivate ourselves to action is recognizing there really are simple solutions!Believe it or not, we are already closer to solutions that will help orphaned and vulnerable children than we might have thought. Don’t be paralyzed by the complexity of the crisis. Be energized by simple solutions each of us can take. Each person, each church, each organization, and even each of our children can make a real difference.How…
  • Eulogy for Scott Crawford’s Father

    Dan Cruver
    2 Dec 2014 | 5:51 am
    Scott Crawford, longtime T4A volunteer staff member, lost his father last week to a long battle with cancer. In honor of Scott’s father, I wanted to share the beautiful eulogy that Scott wrote for his dad.A eulogy by son, Scott CrawfordA husband. A father. A son. A brother. A friend. A soldier.He stayed true to his wife and best friend for nearly 50 years. A covenant “to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” breached only by his passing over into the presence of the one true King…that which we celebrate today.He parented 3…
  • Calling for an Adoption Paradigm Shift (not paradigm change)

    Dan Cruver
    21 Nov 2014 | 12:51 pm
    Imagine how a child in an orphanage would feel if she were adopted reunited with her impoverished mother (now economically stable) instead of placed in a new family…Note: Theologically, adoption is both (1) placement in the family of God and (2) reconciliation and reunification. We’re not looking for a complete paradigm change away from child placement but a shift to include and stress reconciliation and reunification. This is not a new position for Together for Adoption (see this 2010 post). It’s not either/or but both/and. We believe making this shift to include reconciliation…
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  • John Pilger Interview: White Australians Would Like Aboriginal People to Disappear

    30 Jan 2015 | 6:05 am
    By Mark Karlin, Truthout  John Pilger (right) working on the documentary Utopia. (Photo: Bullfrog Films) Noted journalist John Pilger directed and is the lead investigator in an extraordinary documentary, Utopia: An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance. Pilger incisively and tenaciously reveals the brutal conquest and continued racist treatment of the Aboriginal people in Australia. Against this appalling historical documentation of conquest, discriminating and neglect, Pilger also highlights the continued resistance of the original inhabitants of the land stolen by British…
  • Where is Michael Swartz?

    29 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    By Trace HentzBack in 2011, I posted a story on this blog about the book SUDDEN FURY and the grizzly murder of Maryland adoptive parents Kay and Larry Swartz who had adopted three children, Larry, Michael and Annie. (This old post is still getting comments and questions.)In the book (right) it stated that Michael Swartz was a Native American adoptee who was removed from his family at age 4 and adopted by the Swartz couple in Maryland.Three days after their parents' funeral, adopted son Larry Swartz confessed that he was the killer. What Happened to Michael Swartz?Michael continued to get into…
  • Brewing Controversy: Genetic Testing and Tribal Identity

    27 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    Why many Native Americans have concerns about DNA kits like 23andme Rose Eveleth Jan 26 2015, Atlantic Monthly Havasupai man in front of sweat lodge, 1924 ( NPS/Flickr ) The genetic sequencing company 23andMe recently tapped into its vast bank of data to release a study on genetic origins, producing the biggest genetic profile of the United States ever conducted—big, but nowhere near complete.Out of more than 160,000 genomes, only 3 percent of 23andMe customers who authorized their data for the study were black, compared with the approximately 14 percent of the United States population who…
  • Broken: Trauma Bonding? #flipthescript #validvoices

    26 Jan 2015 | 7:21 am
    trau·ma   A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.  By Trace Hentz (adoption survivor) After many years, in many quiet moments, I recognize that adoption has affected me very deeply.   In my case, the day my mother left me, how she never came back, my world changed.  All I knew as this newborn baby was my own…
  • The bizarre ESP experiments conducted on aboriginal children without parental consent

    21 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    By Abby Phillip January 16 Washington Post Brandon Indian Residential School students in 1946. (Library and Archives of Canada) Canada’s residential schools for aboriginal children were places of hunger, isolation and misery. Children as young as 3 were separated from their families and became wards of the state. In the 1940s, the children were also, as more and more evidence is revealing, the unwitting subjects of bizarre, cruel and unethical experimentation. A recently uncovered experiment reveals the depths of the access given to so-called researchers…
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    Infant Adoption Guide

  • IAG 030: Adoption tax credit update with Becky Wilmoth

    Tim Elder
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:16 pm
    The adoption tax credit. It’s a huge financial tool for hopeful adoptive parents to use. Something that can help offset the large cost of domestic infant adoption. The credit has changed over the years – and may change again in the future. There are a lot of rules that go with it, which makes it […]
  • 5 Things to Consider Before Adopting Transracially

    Tim Elder
    15 Jan 2015 | 2:27 pm
    This is a guest post from Rachel Garlinghouse – an author and adoptive mom of three shares from her experience about the 5 things you need to consider before adopting transracially. She writes with lots of wit and humor – and you’ll see her passion for transracial adoption. I know you’ll enjoy this! Take it away, […]
  • IAG 029: You CAN Adopt Without Debt – an interview with author Julie Gumm (+ 2 signed books to give away!)

    Tim Elder
    29 Dec 2014 | 10:03 am
    Do you think it is possible to adopt without DEBT? I know you can – and so does Julie Gumm. She is an adoptive mom, a speaker and author. She has been on the Dave Ramsey Show – which is a nationally syndicated talk radio show (really cool). She and her husband have adopted twice […]
  • How to make a great adoption profile video (and do it in 5 simple steps)

    Tim Elder
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Have you heard of adoption profile videos? In my experience, videos are the secret ingredient for reaching out and connecting with a potential birthmother. Videos are easier than ever to create, edit, share, and especially watch – on the internet from your phone, tablet, or computer. This means expectant mothers who are considering adoption can learn […]
  • 4 Ways to organize your adoption journey

    Tim Elder
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:36 am
    Are you a natural organizer? Do you regularly have to-do lists, checklists and spreadsheets to help you get things done? If you are a fabulous organizer or not, when navigating the rough waters of your adoption journey, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have some way to keep your “to-do” list on track. I […]
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    America Adopts

  • How to Increase Your Adoption Profile’s Visibility On Facebook Without Advertising

    27 Jan 2015 | 11:42 am
    Looking to increase your adoption profile’s visibility on Facebook? Welcome to the club. As the world’s leading social media network, Facebook is a great place to spread the word about your parent profile and tell prospective birthmothers about your hopes to build a family through open adoption. But ever since Facebook’s algorithm change, organic reach — the number of people you can reach for free by posting on your page — has dropped significantly. Gone are the days when all of your Fans would see your updates. Today, only a small percentage — about 16…
  • 6 Things Prospective Birthmothers Need To Hear From Adopting Parents

    20 Jan 2015 | 11:16 am
    Prospective birthmothers are people, too. Besides their role as expectant parents considering adoption, they wear other hats such as “daughter”, “sister”, “friend”, “aunt”, “mother”, “co-worker” etc. Sometimes when you’re reaching out to them as a prospective adoptive parent you may forget that. You may be so consumed by your own longing to build your family that you could overlook the fact that a prospective birthmother has a life of her own, outside of adoption, independent from you and your plans for the future. She too has wants and needs as well as her…
  • How Our Son’s Birthmother Gave Us The Greatest Gift

    13 Jan 2015 | 4:39 am
    This guest post is by Angela Boucher, an adoptive mother. Some things are just meant to be. I believe my son and I were always meant to be together. Adopting him was fate. I am sure you are wondering why I would say that so matter-of-factly. My journey to adoption came after years of struggle with infertility. During that struggle I felt empty and hopeless. Never once did I feel it was going to be okay, yet I continued time and time again. That changed for me very suddenly in 2011 when we made the decision to move forward and pursue an open adoption. We completed our profile book and were…
  • 101+ Inspirational Quotes For Waiting Adoptive Parents

    6 Jan 2015 | 6:26 am
    The new year is here. And if you’ve been waiting a long time to adopt — or even if you haven’t been waiting a long time — you may be asking yourself, is this your year? Is this the year when your adoption dream finally comes true? You won’t know the answer for sure for another 12 months, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start working on it today. And having a positive attitude is a great place to begin. Thinking positively while you wait to adopt will not only change the way you approach your adoption journey, it could also change your luck.
  • 16 Birthmother Holiday Survival Tips

    23 Dec 2014 | 9:15 am
    Everyone warned you about the holidays. As a new birthmother, they said, you’re going to have a hard time. Be prepared to feel sad and depressed. And though you believed them, you had no idea it would be this hard. While everyone around you is celebrating the best of the season,  you just want to lock yourself in your room and not come out again until all of the tinsel and lights have been put away. Seeing the faces of happy children makes you think of the one that isn’t with you. It doesn’t matter how confident you were about your placement or how good your relationship is…
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    Canada Adopts

  • 10 Great Ways Adoptive Parents Can Bond With Their Child

    29 Jan 2015 | 6:13 am
      This guest post is by Jackie Gillard, an adoptive parent and blogger. Like many new parents via adoption, attachment was our highest priority when we adopted our daughter. I read many adoption books and spent my days with her using as many suggestions to foster attachment as I could find. It’s important to keep in mind that not every child – or parent – will respond the same way to attachment ideas and activities. It’s best to try a variety of exercises to find the ones that fit your child’s age, temperament and needs. The following is a list of the ones…
  • 8 Things You Can Do Differently To Find A Birthmother Match This Year

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    Last year you told yourself you would find a birthmother match. But now 2015 is here and you’re still waiting. Here you go again: wondering if this will be the year when you finally connect with the prospective birthmother that’s looking for you and adopt a baby. Moving forward, you basically have two options: You can continue down the same path and keep doing what you did last year with the hope of producing a different outcome. Or you can change things up. Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, it’s…
  • Open Embryo Donation vs. Open Adoption: What’s the Difference?

    15 Jan 2015 | 6:28 am
    This guest post is by Angela Krueger, an adoptive mother and parenting writer.   The first time I heard about open embryo donation was about four years ago when the first Canadian agency started its program. Having been through the infertility route I had heard of embryo donation before mainly in the U.S. (usually called embryo adoption) and also through fertility clinics, but never really thought about the concept of openness regarding this way of making a family. As a result, I didn’t even entertain the notion of whether it would be a fit for me. It seemed like a far out there idea.
  • 14 Worst Excuses For Not Writing Your Adoption Profile

    8 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
      If something is important to you, the saying goes, you’ll find a way to do it. If not, you’ll find an excuse. Is writing an adoption profile on your to-do list this year? If it is, you may be struggling to start it. And then finding excuses not to do it. Writing a profile is no easy task. But it’s one of the most important ingredients in any adoption networking strategy. So the sooner you recognize what’s holding you back, the sooner you can take control of your outreach efforts and achieve your dream of adopting. Here are some of the worst excuses that get in the way…
  • What’s The Best Gift You Can Give A Birthmother?

    22 Dec 2014 | 2:00 am
    Now that the holidays are almost here, you’re scrambling to find the perfect last-minute gift for everyone on your list. There’s your brother who hates presents of any kind, your sister-in-law who never has a nice thing to say about you, and the cousin that you haven’t seen in years. But this year there’s a new family member on your list: your child’s birthmother. What do you give someone who has given you the gift of parenthood? A piece of jewelry? A photo of your baby? A framed handprint? They’re all nice gestures and your child’s birthmother will certainly…
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    Great Wall, Pandas, and Mcdonald's

  • Down in the dumps . . .Feel like I was slapped in the face

    Sean Fahey
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:50 am
    Waiting can be really hard.  When you have lots of time to think and just figure out what you are going to do before introducing another child in your household.  One of the biggest shrug offs we have received has been from social media.  You go on Facebook and post because you are happy.  Then when no one seems enthusiastic it gets you down.  I see people get happy all the time at work when people announce they are pregnant or their wife is having a baby.  I'm sure if they posted they'd get tons of congratulations or likes.  Not many in my account.
  • Weekend of Getting Ready

    Sean Fahey
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:30 am
    This weekend, I plan on beating this procrastination.  I am going to pull up my shirt sleeves and dive in.  I am going to take pictures for Ebay, gather things for the yard sale and just try to reduce all clutterage.  Ebay has been hit and miss.  I have looks on current posters, but only a couple of bids.  Next up, I will try baseball cards and comics.  The only problem I have with baseball cards is that the ones that sell high have been sent to a company to grade them.  I'm not wasting money to have some company tell people what they should be able to see…
  • Waiting is the hardest part. . .What to do while waiting

    Sean Fahey
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:30 am
    When you are in this part of an adoption, waiting can be really hard.  Everyday Angie is stressing.  Not hearing anything makes you wonder.  I am not so worried.  We have been through three Chinese adoptions.  She reads stories of children that don't want to go and it creates even more stress. At this point of an adoption, one must start preparing.  Get your rooms ready.  Make sure you have a bed/crib, accessories that might be needed, like baby bottles.  In our case, we are just looking at everything and wondering if we can sell it.  Ebay has been…
  • A Dollar a day keeps the . . .

    Sean Fahey
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:18 am
    You know the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  I'd like to challenge you, those who read this to donate a dollar to Reece's rainbow.  This dollar would go to a great cause and help a child in need.  We are going to do what we can, but it will take money.  Flying over and doing the adoption costs.  Even as cheap as we can be, we still need to eat while over there.  Not only that, but they expect us to pay tips when services are rendered.  The first adoption, we tried to scrimp on food, but Angie got sick.  Believe me, we're still not…
  • The Clinic: Gateway to the West

    Sean Fahey
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:28 am
    When you adopt from another country, part of your routine will be to take your child to a clinic.  The clinic in Guangzhou is on Shamian Island.  This is also where Lucy's and the White Swan are located.  Not all agencies use the White Swan, as we have found out from our travel records with the new agency. The purpose of this visit is to give the child a checkup of sorts.  They check the hearing, sight, measurements, weight, etc.  Of our three adoptions, two of them were accompanied by lots of crying.  Our infants did not like the pulling and prodding.  Our…
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