Twitter Facebook

Have A Healthy Weekend

By now most of us are sheltered in place. We are sending all our love and thoughts to you and urging everyone to heed the warnings of health professionals and community leaders everywhere. Stay inside. Limit contact. Practice good hygiene. Check on your loved ones. 

Here are some articles that caught our eye this week…

From the blog: there’s no real playbook for talking to your child about adoption. We’ve shared some tips to help navigate different types of conversations. 

The coronavirus pandemic is far-reaching, with widespread impacts on an already vulnerable foster care system. 

Parents of young ones: are you still attempting to be an amateur homeschool teacher? Here are some tips from actual teachers. (And, you’re amazing.) 

Piggyback on homeschooling: learn how to use Google Classroom

This is still one of our favorite PSA’s about adopting older children from foster care. 

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of parent you want to be? 

Daniel Island resident Cathy Leeke nails it: this is a marathon, not a sprint

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind: what if our family gets COVID-19? 

Heather and Josh couldn’t have a biological child of their own. That didn’t stop them from building their dream family

There’s a new adoption wave coming. Welcome the single dads (by choice!).

Please remember to continue to check the Center for Disease Control website for further updates regarding the spread of COVID-19 in your area. 

Stay safe. xoxo 

 

Embracing Multiculturalism in Adoption

International and transracial adoption is on the rise. The US Department of Health and Human Services states that nearly 50% of adopted children have a parent of a different race. One of the most important conversations around transracial adoption is that of incorporating your child’s culture and heritage into your own family and daily life. Parents must immerse their children in their culture so they can develop their identity and form an authentic connection to who they are and where to come from. 

Starting early is critical. This immersion is not just crucial for your child, it’s vital for you and the rest of the family as well. When a child is adopted into a family of a different race, a multicultural family is created. Your child is not only joining the culture of your family, but you are also joining theirs. Talk about your child’s story openly and often! This is a beautiful thing to share. 

Celebrate all of your differences. Maybe your skin colors are different, or perhaps you pronounce words differently. A robust multicultural family embraces all the elements that make up the family’s diverse identities: food, music, books, art, spirituality, language, holidays, traditions, rituals. Embracing the differences of others, and the unique ways in which people live their lives demonstrates that our cultures are something to be proud of. This is an essential message for children of all backgrounds. 

Seek out events that celebrate your child of your family’s culture. Most cities have festivals that celebrate food, art, dance, and rituals from all different backgrounds. In addition to annual or seasonal festivals, check your local library or community center for other cultural opportunities or events happening. The library is also a beautiful space to explore literature and storytelling that can connect your child to other children who share their cultural background or skin tone. If you’re looking for stories to add to your home library, we love this list of books that embrace diversity across all genres and for all ages. 

By making racial and ethnic diversity a welcome conversation in your home, you are fostering a positive and safe environment where everyone can be themselves. Continuing these conversations outside the home will help other people embrace transracial and international adoptions and create a more normalized environment for your child. 

Talking To Your Child About Their Adoption Story

The importance of talking to your child about their adoption story is widely understood. By keeping this open conversation, it allows your child to develop their self-identity and learn how to own and tell their adoption story. Talking to your children about being adopted should not be taken lightly, but it can be challenging to distill the complexity of the situation to your child in a way that they understand. Everyone’s adoption stories are different, and different details are appropriate for different ages.

Here are some tips for how to have a fruitful conversation with your child. 

Start talking about adoption as soon as you become a family. While some people might not understand why someone would start talking about adoption as soon as they bring their infant child home, it’s essential. Talking about adoption is more than just having a conversation with your child—it’s a full-scale shift in how you open up and communicate at home. By starting the conversation about adoption, you’re letting everyone (friends, family, neighbors, etc.) know that this is your story. This also helps eliminate your child from having a “moment” where they learn they are adopted. It’s a welcomed and openly discussed part of their identity from the very beginning. 

Understand that the adoption story may evolve as your child grows older. It’s important to help your child grow with and into their adoption story as they age and develop, but remember that some details may not be age-appropriate. Some of your child’s questions may not have answers that are appropriate for them at that age. That’s okay. If you are struggling with a less than positive birth family story, keep it simple. Don’t lie or mislead them; just wait to share more until your child is old enough to understand.  Parents.com put together an excellent timeline of how to talk to your children about adoption at each stage of their life. 

Express excitement and gratitude for your child and their birth family. One way to talk about your child’s birth family is with excitement and appreciation. If nothing else, explain to your child the selflessness of their birth parent’s decision, and their hope that they would have the best possible life. Remaining gracious and respectful of the birth family is a part of maintaining a positive adoption culture in your home. 

Everyone’s conversation with their child will be different, but remember to be open and honest. The more your child trusts you, the more comfortable and positive these conversations will be. 

 

Have A Healthy Weekend

It’s been a long week, friends. A long, horrible, scary week. We hope you’re staying safe and doing okay. The weekend is here—remember to take some time for yourself. During this time of crisis, your mental health remains every bit as important as your physical health. Stay safe and healthy. xoxo

This week on the blog, we offer ways to stay sane while working from home

How are you doing? 

Are you from Texas? Here are some ways you can help foster children affected by the coronavirus. 

How to manage working from home and parenting at the same time is a conversation that we are going to keep going. 

Important to know: Fulton v. the City of Philadelphia

Kaytee Gibbon was given a wonderful send-off as she prepared to adopt her own child. 

Not even an international shutdown could stop this boy from celebrating his adoption in Star Wars style. 

The battle for same-sex adoption continues. 

What NOT to say to an adoptive family

Continue to check the Center for Disease Control’s website for up to date information regarding coronavirus. 

<3

 

Creating Structure at Home During a Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has upended normal life as we know it. While children have been sent home to learn for the rest of the year, parents need to find and maintain an unprecedented balance (and also try not to lose their minds). We compiled some tips for parents who now have to balance their work and personal time while working from home, taking care of their children, being homeschool teachers, and maintaining their household. 

A school shutdown is stressful, and a logistical nightmare for parents. If you’re anything like us, you may be wondering, “How will kids continue to learn?” “How will they stay focused while learning from home?” “How will I stay focused while working from home?” Build set aside some one-on-one time into you and your child’s day. This special time with your child will not only give you a moment to focus on them and only them, but also give you a reprieve from your day. Take thirty minutes, play a game or an educational activity online, and try to relax into it. 

Structure is paramount. Think about your workday or your child’s school day—both have in structure. Just because we have momentarily shifted home to work and learn doesn’t mean balance and structure are impossible. Create a flexible and visible schedule for your entire family, including you and your spouse. Include breaks and exercise time so you can shake up your day with some activity. During this pandemic, it makes sense to build hygiene tasks into your schedule. If things don’t as planned, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re doing your best under previously unfathomable circumstances. You’re already doing the right thing. Give yourself grace. 

Know that stress is inevitable, and will come and go in waves throughout this experience. The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. Millions of Americans are struggling with having their family’s lives upended for the unforeseeable future. Talk with someone you love about how you’re feeling. Schedule a video chat, lunch hour, or coffee date. You deserve breaks, as many of them as you want. You wouldn’t withhold them from your children, would you? So why from yourself?  

The world is in a tough spot right now, and adaptability is critical. The more we socially distance, practice excellent hygiene, and lay low, the greater the chance of flattening the curve and seeing things return to more normal rhythms.

If you have any symptoms whatsoever, please call 2-1-1 for any COVID-19 related assistance and check in regularly with the Center for Disease Control’s symptom checker: CLARA

Be safe, and stay healthy! We will get through this. 

 

Image via: crosswalk.com

 

Have a Safe Weekend

As we are going through this international crisis, we sincerely hope that you and your family are safe, healthy, and have access to the resources you need. If you are struggling, please call 211 to speak to someone about your needs or concerns. Additionally, find resources and information by state here

This week on our blog, we talk about COVID-19.

The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange is spreading the word about children looking for their forever home

We have likely all gone to the grocery store in the last week, but what do we make now

Does your child have a favorite parent

You may be stuck at home, but don’t worry, the world can come to you. Here are 12 international sites you can virtually visit (The Louvre!) from your home. 

Social distancing saves lives. 

Thank you, Parade Magazine! Here are 125 ideas to avoid going crazy during your homecation. 

The Washington Post follows two families navigating their open adoption

We need some happy news! Listen to Abby talk about the first time she met her adoptive parents. 

While children are not the most vulnerable, it is crucial to educate yourself on how to protect your family from the COVID-19 virus. 

Stay safe and much love. 

<3

 

Staying Safe During a Pandemic

The current climate is a scary and uncertain one, and first and foremost, we hope you and your family are safe, healthy, and doing okay. We’re here for you always. There are so many ways you can protect yourself and your family during this important time. By practicing excellent hygiene and social awareness, you can not only protect your family from infection but other vulnerable populations as well. 

The first step is educating yourself. Here are some keys facts regarding COVID-19:

  • There is currently no vaccine for this virus
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure 
  • This virus is thought to be spread person to person; ie: people in close quarters or respiratory exhales such as coughing or sneezing 

There are multiple steps that you can take to protect yourself and others from this virus. Most importantly, wash your hands. We know, it’s everywhere – but it truly is one of the most important preventative measures. Avoid touching your face and make sure that you are using sanitizers that are at least 60% alcohol for maximum effectiveness. If you are sick: stay home. Do not put others at risk for errands or to work from the office. 

If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or a flu-like virus, call your doctor immediately. Most medical offices are currently requesting that you call ahead should you be actively exhibiting symptoms of this virus. While it will be difficult, attempt to stay away from family members: even the ones who live in the same home as you. Supplies are limited right now, but if you are able to access a face mask – that is a great preventative solution especially for when you cohabitate. 

Some simple rules that are often forgotten:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough 
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with hot soap and water 
  • Sanitize “high touch” surfaces often. These include, but are not limited to: countertops, door handles, phones

The Center for Disease Control is actively pumping out accurate and up to date information on this virus and its spread. Educating yourself and being aware of yourself and your surroundings will make a profound impact on the spread of this virus. Please visit the CDC website to get in-depth information and helpful tips. 

Be safe. This is temporary. We are here for you. 

Have A Safe Weekend

What a week. It’s a stressful time, and the onslaught of news this week has been intense. Be well, stay safe, wash your hands, and please practice social distancing. More than ever, it feels like the right thing to do. 

Cozy family happy at home

This week on the blog we talked about how to navigate uncomfortable adoption situations

Is the coronavirus affecting your adoption plan? You’re not alone. 

The Chronicle of Social Change believes that relationships with birth families matter. 

Peter Mutabazi is a single parent from Charlotte, NC. When he learned Tony had been abandoned, he stepped in. 

This Hutchinson, Kansas couple took a leap of faith and adopted five siblings at the same time. 

Cup of Jo presents: 8 confessions from a new dad. 

This piece shares indoor activities for a snow day, but they work equally well for the current climate.

Fostering is about the kids

According to Harvard Politics, the “gayby” boom is here to stay

Hewlett Packard is the newest company to follow suit in extending their parental leave packages

<3

 

Encountering Negative Adoption Questions

Once you’ve announced your adoption plan, you’ll likely receive many questions from friends and family—some less sensitively worded than others. Challenging ones we’ve heard from members of our community include, “Why are you adopting a baby when there are children who need to be adopted?” Or, “Wouldn’t you prefer to adopt a child of the same race as you?” 

Most importantly: you are never required to answer questions you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone information about your life. But these situations are tough to navigate, so it’s important to be prepared. We’ve got some tips to help you speak up on behalf of your family. 

First, acknowledge that the judgments passed onto you are not true. They are comments made without merit or compassion. There is no right or wrong way to build a family; when you adopt a child, you are supporting the life, health, and happiness of so many individuals. What you are doing is beautiful, powerful, and so important. 

Use these moments as a teaching opportunity. While you don’t need to speak for the entire adoption and foster community, you certainly have the right to educate someone who judges your journey to create a family. We consistently talk about positive adoption language, and this is the perfect situation to use it. By sharing your experience with someone ignorant to the adoption process or your story, you may be able to change someone’s misguided opinion. 

Feel free to change the subject. While you may feel angry (you wouldn’t be the first!), your family choices aren’t anyone’s business. It may be a good idea to craft a generic response that is both polite and firm to help avoid these uncomfortable situations in the future. 

How you choose to respond to criticisms of your adoption choices is your choice. These incidents will usually be situational, and you can use your discretion as to how you want to proceed. What was the person’s intention when asking the question? Do not let someone else’s opinion guide how you find happiness in your life. You deserve support during this emotional and beautiful experience. Surround yourself with love. 

 

Have An Excellent Weekend

Is it Spring yet? We’re going to be over here conjuring thoughts of flowers, warm weather, and life without layers. We hope you’re relaxing and treating yourself to something special this weekend. There’s no doubt you deserve it. 

Big hugs to you — have a wonderful weekend.

This week on the blog we’re talking all things international adoption. Is it something you’ve considered?

The anti-LGBTQ adoption agenda continues. Here’s how large companies are trying to fight it. 

Can Google Drive make parenting easier

Charleston, West Virginia is continuing to evolve and improve their foster system. 

Knowledge is power. When you understand more about your child’s development, you can parent accordingly. 

What is the psychology behind sibling rivalries

This Louisville class took a very special field trip

Divorce is hard. Being adoptive parents can add extra layers of complexity.

This dad of the year adopted five kids—four of whom are siblings. 

What parents need to know about this new peanut allergy drug.