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Abby Times. Adoption Newsletter Archive

  • November 2016

    Feature Article: A time to Give

    Ask Abby: My husband and I grew our family by adoption, adopting three children of different ethnicities and cultures. Regardless of who you voted for — and there are honest, realistic perspectives on both sides — it has been very difficult for us this month to hear some of the things being said about individuals from other cultures, especially having black and Asian children. Our extended families lie on all sides of the political spectrum, and my husband and I are adamant about not wanting to talk to politics, or to get into heated discussions that could affect our children. It’s the holidays! Despite our differences, we want to love our family, not fight with them.

  • October 2016

    Feature Article: How to connect with a potential birth parent at your first meeting

    Ask AbbyMy husband and I met with a birth mother we really connected with, but there’s just one problem — she wants a closed adoption and we were hoping for something a little more open. It’s important to us that our child has the opportunity to have a relationship with his/her birth parent, and we’d like to keep that door open and available to them throughout their life. Other than this, our chemistry is perfect in every way. What do we do?

  • September 2016

    Feature Article: Fall Activities That Are Environment AND Family Friendly

    Ask AbbyWhat types of letters and pictures are appropriate to send to birth parents after placement? We’re preparing to reach out with communication to our child’s birth mother for the first time and want to be sensitive to her needs and wants, while also making sure to not offend or over step any boundaries.

  • August 2016

    Feature Article: How do you respond when your child rejects you?

    Ask Abby: My family has been going through a tough time recently, and I’m trying to foster more togetherness. The big problem is that we’re on a super tight budget. There are only so many game, movie, and pizza nights we can endure before feeling like we want to throw up our hands and just go back to our own routines. What on earth can we do? I’d love your advice!

  • July 2016

    Feature Article: Helping your adopted child find their identity

    Ask AbbyA very good friend of mine has a habit that’s really starting to get on my nerves. Whenever she introduces my child and I to someone new, she always refers to my child as my “adopted child.” I don’t refer to her that way because she’s my child, plain and simple, and it really bothers me that this keeps happening. It also makes me incredibly uncomfortable to have my daughter singled out in this way every time we’re around one another. Should I say something or just let it go?

  • June 2016

    Feature Article: An eco-friendly summer

    Ask AbbyWe aren’t sure who our child’s birth father is. Everything is squared away with the birth mother, and we are properly and legally matched, but what happens if the birth father shows up and re-enters the picture? Can he over turn our adoption? What’s the protocol for situations like ours?

  • May 2016

    Feature Article: Developing a solid relationship with your child's birth mother

    Ask Abby: My husband and I are in the middle of our adoption process, and I have a friend who consistently makes prodding, interrogative comments that, quite frankly, feel a bit rude. From asking how much we’re paying to what race or gender we’re looking for, none of her queries are really any of her business. I’d like to ask her to stop, but am not sure how to approach the topic. Any advice?

  • April 2016

    Feature Article: How to build a medical history for your adopted child

    Ask Abby: Our adopted son has two birth siblings that he knows about and has been asking about more frequently. My husband and I aren’t quite sure how to address this with him, as we don’t want him to feel abandoned by his birth family. Do you have any advice about how to handle this?

  • March 2016

    Feature Article: Best Parenting Apps

    Ask Abby: My son is on his phone ALL THE TIME, and I fear he’s developing a habit that’s going to be tough to break. I worry about the amount of time he spends on the internet and, selfishly, want more quality time with him that’s device-free. Any suggestions?

  • February 2016

    Feature Article: Giving your child love, every single day

    Ask Abby: My youngest child is turning out to be a bit of a loner. My first two are incredibly active and social — they love playing outside with neighborhood kids, have always found it easy to make friends, and are generally quite bubbly. My youngest is a little love bug, but he isn’t as active about engaging with others. I want to teach him how to open up and share himself with others, but I’m not quite sure how to go about that. Any advice?

  • January 2016

    Feature Article: Managing your expectations as you begin the adoption process

    Ask Abby: I’ve got a lot of friends and family imposing their thoughts and expectations on my adoption process. I’m already in my head enough here, I don’t need to be managing how everyone is feeling, and what they think I should be doing as well. Any advice on how to handle this?

  • December 2015

    Feature Article: Remembering Our Birth Mothers This Holiday

    Ask AbbyThis year, especially given the world’s current climate (both literally and figuratively), we’d like to expand our children’s view of gift-giving, focusing on those who are less fortunate than us. Do you have any favorite charities or organizations that you think would make a particular impact on our two children, ages 5 and 7?

     

  • November 2015

    Feature Article: We never outgrow the need for a family

    Ask AbbyI’m considering foster-to-adopting, and would love some books or materials that I could sit down with to learn more about the process, what I should expect, and how I can best support and nurture the children coming into my home. Do you have any picks?

     

  • October 2015

    Feature Article: Fielding Questions about Your Child’s Birth Family

    Ask Abby:  I have an adopted boy who is 7 years old and is of a different ethnicity than the rest of our family. Of course, this is not an issue for us, but he has recently been experiencing bullying and teasing at school about his being adopted. He often comes home in tears, and I’m concerned not only about how this is affecting him emotionally, but how it’s affecting his educational experience as well. What do you think is the best way to deal with this?

     

  • September 2015

    Feature Article: Adoption and older children

    Ask Abby:  As my kids are getting older and more and more activities are piling onto our schedule, I can feel our little unit drifting away from each other, and I would love some resources to help pull us back in. The kids will soon be starting high school, and when that happens, I’m pretty sure I’ll never see them again. How do I bring family happiness back to the forefront in a way that works into everyone’s schedule?

  • August 2015

    Feature Article: What to expect from your homestudy

    Ask Abby:  I am a birth mother who placed a daughter for adoption 12 years ago. I have a semi-open adoption and it was always the agreement with my daughter’s adoptive parents that they were happy to allow phone calls, and to pass on letters from me to my daughter. Now that’s she getting older, I’d like to open up a bit more, to let her know that she wasn’t abandoned and how much I love her and really wanted the best for her. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for how to communicate that message?

     

  • July 2015

    Feature Article: Some Notes on Empathy

    Ask Abby:  I am so frustrated with my child's birth mother. Recently, she's completely dropped off the radar — not responding to calls or letters — and my child (who has an open relationship with his birth mother) is confused, sad, and has a lot of questions. What do I say? I'm trying to keep from sounding too frustrated, but this isn't our agreement, and I don't want my child to feel rejected. How do I help my child through this time without letting on how frustrated and confused I am myself?

     

  • June 2015

    Feature Article: Why children need their fathers

    Ask Abby:  I absolutely love being a father, and I do everything I can to spend as much time as possible with my children. But I see my relationship with my wife slipping, as our ability to squeeze in quality time alone is less and less. Do you have any tips for balancing being a good father and a good husband?

     

  • May 2015

    Feature Article: Talking to our children about race

    Ask AbbyI am a white mother of white children and I am desperate to teach my kids about racism. What it is, its historical and current impact, and how their behavior and perspective can affect future change. But I really want to make sure that I’m coming it at it the right way. Any advice?

     

  • April 2015

    Feature ArticleAre you ready to adopt?

    Ask Abby:  I want to adopt so badly but my husband and I are not on the same page. What do I do? I’m devastated at the thought of not being able to parent a child.

  • March 2015

    Feature Article: Preparing for the call

    Ask Abby:  We’ve just been matched, and we’re so excited about our impending adoption, but are curious about protocol and etiquette for telling our friends and family. Do we do a big giant Facebook announcement like couples tend to do when they’re expecting? Do we send out a postcard, mailer, or email? What are your thoughts on this situation?

     

  • February 2015

    Feature Article: Valentine's Day Love

    Ask Abby:  My child has recently entered junior high and I'm concerned about her ability to socialize with others. She's a bookworm, she's very comfortable being alone, and it's harder for her to dive into social situations. I just want her to know how to make friends and to be around kids who see the world the same way that she does. Do you have any advice?

     

  • January 2015

    Feature ArticleAdoption Myths: Debunked

    Ask Abby:  My husband and I are considering an open adoption, but we’re scared that the birth parents will be able to come back and take our child whenever they want, or that they might influence our child to leave us and go with them. Is this possible? Should we be worried about that?

  • December 2014

    Feature Article: Getting through the holidays

    Ask Abby:  Every year during the holiday season I’m torn between wanting to spoil my children but also feeling like this is the perfect time to teach them a lesson about giving and how to embrace the greater spirit of the season. We’re a middle class family and our children aren’t extremely spoiled, but they have more than what they need, and it’s important to us that they are aware that other children don’t have the same benefits and blessings they do. Do you have any suggestions for the best ways to spread this message to our children?

  • November 2014

    Feature Article: National Adoption Month 2014

    Ask Abby:  We’re getting ready for our first meeting with our child’s birth mother. Do you have any advice for how to make the best first impression?

  • October 2014

    Feature Article: Organizations We Love

    Ask Abby:  I am a birth mother searching for a family to be matched with. I want to make sure that I ask all the right questions so that I know I’m placing my child with the right family. Do you have any suggestions or advice for what to ask?

  • September 2014

    Feature Article: Why it's OK to Grieve after a failed adoption Ask AbbyMy husband and I recently experienced a failed adoption and our family just doesn’t seem to understand. They keep telling us that it’s fine, that we can re-match, and we’ll get the right baby once it’s meant to be. And while we know we can re-match it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve lost something huge and are devastated. We wanted this baby to be ours, and now it won’t be. Do you have any advice for how to communicate with them right now? Frankly, to let them know that they’re not helping and that we need this time to grieve?

  • August 2014

    Feature Article: Encouraging Positive Adoption Language

    Ask Abby:  My son is getting ready to start Kindergarten and I don’t know whether or not to tell his teacher that he’s adopted. Does this make a difference? Am I calling attention to something that doesn’t need to be highlighted? I’m just not sure. Thoughts?

  • July 2014

    Feature Article:  Preparing for the Call

    Ask Abby:  My husband and I are making plans to go pick up our new little one when she arrives, and we’re curious about whether or not we should bring our five-year old son. He knows we’re adopting and that a baby is coming, but is bringing him along really the right decision?

  • June 2014

    Feature Article: Summer Adoption Reading

    Ask Abby: We’re taking our first summer vacation with our daughter’s birth mother and although we’re very excited, we want to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Do you have any tips for a trip like this?

  • May 2014

    Feature Article: National Foster Care Awareness Month

    Ask Abby: My husband and I thinking about adopting through the foster care system, via a foster-to-adopt situation. Do you have any advice?

  • April 2014

    Feature Article: Recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month

    Ask Abby: A friend of my daughter’s is exhibiting signs of child abuse, and both my daughter and I are extremely concerned. Of course, this is a touchy situation because we don’t want to assume, but it’s clear both from what she’s told us about her home situation, and bruises and other marks we’ve seen on her, that something is definitely wrong. Do we report the parents? How can we help ensure this little girl stays safe, and what’s the best protocol for doing so?

  • March 2014

    Feature Article: Adoption Reluctance and How To Deal

    Ask Abby: We have a biological son and just last year adopted another little boy from foster care. Our biological son has been extremely moody, combative and isn’t connecting with his new brother. We’ve tried so many things to get them to play better together and accept each other as brothers, but the tension is starting to wear. Do you have any advice?

  • February 2014

    Feature Article: Dealing With Your Child’s Medical History, Or Lack Thereof

    Ask Abby: Dear Abby, Our adopted son has two birth siblings that he knows about and has been asking about more frequently. My husband and I aren’t quite sure how to address this with him, as we don’t want him to feel abandoned by his birth family. Do you have any advice about how to handle this?

  • January 2014

    Feature Article: Nurturing the Family

    Ask Abby: As my kids are getting older and more and more activities are piling onto our schedule, I can feel our little unit drifting away from each other, and I would love some resources to help pull us back in. The kids will soon be starting high school, and when that happens, I’m pretty sure I’ll never see them again. How do I bring family happiness back to the forefront in a way that works into everyone’s schedule?

  • December 2013

    Feature Article: Happy Holidays

    Ask Abby: We have two children who are from two different countries — Guatemala and Uganda. These are very different cultures with extremely different holiday traditions, but as they’re both getting older, my husband and I would like to start incorporating their native cultures into our holiday traditions. Do you have any suggestions about how best to do this?

  • November 2013

    Feature Article: NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH

    Ask Abby: My ten year old son just recently found out that his birth mother has had other children since him that she has kept and parented. I don’t think he fully understands what this means, and I’m worried that he’s going to think he was unwanted or that she chose his siblings over him. How do I let him know that that is absolutely not the case?

  • October 2013

    Feature Article: Beginning the Adoption Talk

    Ask Abby: We adopted a little girl in a semi-open adoptions eight years ago. We’ve always been okay exchanging pictures, and her birth mother has sent her cards and small packages for birthdays and holidays, but now she’s been sending her things quite a bit, sometimes up to once a week. We’re okay with communication, but it’s starting to feel like a bit much and we’re worried about the impact it might have on our daughter. What do we do?

  • September 2013

    Feature Article: Adoption Rehoming, and How to Detect Child Abuse

    Ask Abby: I am a birth mother who placed a daughter for adoption 12 years ago. I have a semi-open adoption and it was always the agreement with my daughter’s adoptive parents that they were happy to allow phone calls, and to pass on letters from me to my daughter. Now that’s she getting older, I’d like to open up a bit more, to let her know that she wasn’t abandoned and how much I love her and really wanted the best for her. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for how to communicate that message?

  • August 2013

    Feature Article: Being a Super Parent…But Not How You Think

    Ask Abby: My little girl is in second grade, and has been assigned at school to create a family tree that she can share with her class. She’s adopted, and we know very little about her birth family outside of her birth parents. She knows she’s adopted, but we don’t want to put her in a position where her project seems inadequate compared to the other children, because we’d never want her to feel ashamed about her background. Do you have any advice for how to handle this situation?

  • July 2013

    Feature Article: What kind of open adoption do you want?

    Ask Abby: My teenage son has recently reached a phase where he’s lashing by rejecting his father and I, and saying things like, “you’re not my real parents.” I understand that this is a phase, but it is also very hurtful, and I want to make sure that we’re taking the right approach in responding to this so that we don’t alienate him any further. Any advice?

  • June 2013

    Feature Article: The Importance of Grieving

    Ask Abby: I am an adoptive mother who will not be breastfeeding, and I’m wondering if you have any advice about what types of formula are best for a newborn? A healthy diet is very important to me, and I want to make sure I’m nurturing my precious new baby the right way!  Lisa, NM

  • May 2013

    Feature Article: Adoption and older children

    Ask Abby: I know that my daughter is thinking more about her birth mother recently, although she hasn’t directly brought it up to me. I’ve caught her doing internet searches for her (she knows her birth mother’s name and has received cards from her) and she has made a few elliptical comments about how one might track someone down. I want to be open and honest with her, and if she’s thinking about looking for her birth mother that’s okay, but if she’s not ready to approach me yet, how do I show her my support?

  • April 2013

    Feature Article: So you want to adopt…now what?

    Ask Abby: My partner and I are at odds. A year ago, we adopted a beautiful baby girl who we both love more than anything in the world. She is, without a doubt, our greatest blessing and I would like to adopt again, to expand our family and to give her a sibling. The problem is that my partner doesn’t feel the same way. She thinks that one child is perfectly fine, and is worried that we’ll become too overwhelmed, emotionally and financially, if we go through the adoption process again. The thought of not having another little one seems almost more than I can bear, but I don’t want to be fighting with my partner either. What do we do?

  • March 2013

    Feature Article: Giving Back

    Ask Abby: I have decided to place my child for adoption, but I am not receiving the support and care from my family and friends that I anticipated. I understand that this situation is filled with emotions, but this is my decision to make and I feel that it’s the best one for my child and me.  I’m worried though, about my ability to actually go through with it, as my pregnancy continues and things get more and more difficult. Should I listen to my family and friends and try to parent on my own? If not, who and where can I look to for support?

  • February 2013

    Feature Article: Food for Health

    Ask Abby: What is a paper pregnancy? I hear this term every once in a while, but I don’t know how to feel about it. Is this an accepted term for adoption, or is it seen as offensive?

  • January 2013

    Feature Article: Post-Adoption Depression

  • December 2012

    Feature Article: When Tragedy Strikes, How Do We Talk to Our Children?

  • November 2012

    Feature Article: Creating Family Traditions

    Ask Abby: This year we’d like to supplement some of the gift-giving to our children with donations to special charities relating to their individual interests. Our hope is that by engaging them in a charity that relates to something they love, that this will be something in which they’ll actually want to stay involved even after the holidays have passed. Do you have any ideas for charities that are good for kids – especially adopted and transracially-adopted children?

  • October 2012

    Feature Article: At what age do you have the adoption discussion with your child?

    Ask Abby: I keep hearing about National Adoption Month, but other than a celebration of adoption, I’m curious about its purpose and how those in the adoption community celebrate it. Where does National Adoption Month come from?

  • September 2012

    Feature Article: Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?

    Ask Abby: I’ve been doing a lot of research and have become increasingly worried about the chemicals and unnatural ingredients my children may be consuming in their diet. I know that good habits come from the home first, but between extracurricular activities, and two exhausted, working parents, it’s hard to find time to grocery shop and healthfully prepare every single meal each day. Do you have any tips or resources for quick, easy, all-natural meals and snacks for the whole family?

  • August 2012

    Feature Article: Keeping Your Commitment

    Ask Abby: Now that it’s summertime, I’m having an even more difficult time getting my kids to bed than during the school year. How can I make sure that they’re enjoying the benefits of the summer months,while also still getting to bed on time?

  • May 2012

    Feature Article: Adoption Conferences: Sharing Stories of Adoption With Others

    Ask Abby: I have an adopted boy who is 7 years old and is of a different ethnicity than the rest of our family. Of course, this is not an issue for us, but he has recently been experiencing bullying and teasing at school about his being adopted. He often comes home in tears, and I’m concerned not only about how this is affecting him emotionally, but how it’s affecting his educational experience as well. What do you think is the best way to deal with this?

  • April 2012

    Feature Article: What to expect from your homestudy

    Ask Abby: What do you do when it’s time to name the baby and the birth family has picked out one name, but we, as the adoptive family have chosen another?

  • March 2012

    Feature Article: Fielding Questions about Your Child’s Birth Family

    Ask Abby: My partner and I have been wanting to adopt for a while, but our process has been slowed as we’ve struggled to raise money we need? We’re looking for creative ways to help fundraise money for our adoption — do you have any ideas or tips for us?

  • January 2012

    Feature Article: Adoptive Breastfeeding - Is it for me?

    Ask Abby: It’s the New Year, and in addition to making resolutions for myself, I’d like to set some goals that my entire family can aspire towards for 2012. Any recommendations?

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