Posts Tagged adoption

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

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10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child
What is it like to be the parent of an adoptive child? For us, a transracial family, formed through international adoption, this is what has been like for us, five years in. Here is a list of 10 things you may want to consider before sending in that adoption application.   We are conspicuous. Even though we live in Los Angeles, in a very diverse neighborhood, we stick out. People stare at us. People make comments, some nice, and some ridiculous. A trip to the grocery store can feel like a game of dodge ball, “Yes, I am their mother”, “Yep, they are real brother and sister”, “I’m sorry, that is a very personal question”, and refreshingly “Thank you, I think they are adorable too”.  Read more »

Is Motherhood More Bitter Than Sweet?

Motherhood is more difficult than I thought it would be, a lot more difficult.  Read more »

Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson

My daughter Meazi’s second grade class visits an assisted living facility every month.  Read more »

The Sleep Habits of Orphans

From the time my kids have been home, they have demonstrated some strange ideas on sleeping.  Read more »

Bulgarian Cuisine: Adopting a New Culture

A few months ago, my husband and I had the pleasure of eating like Bulgarians for a night, thanks to our generous host and hostess, Nick and Milena Koshar.   The Koshars are from Bulgaria but have lived in the U.S. for nearly two decades now. We were connected with Nick and Milena through what I like to call the adoption woodwork effect. That is, by way of the adoption journey, you meet all kinds of new people or are connected in a new way to people you already knew  Read more »

What is Home for My Adopted Son?

I’ll never forget the day I pulled into our driveway and my then two-year-old son, who really only knew a dozen words at the time, looked out from his car seat at our small white house in Los Angles and said, “Home.” He had only been with us for about a year and a half at the point. “This is good,” I thought. “Yes, Melese. You are home.”   This past Christmas I planned a special day for my kids.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Spanish and English

Welcome Becky and Antonio!   Where are you from?   Becky: I am from Chicago and Antonio is from Mexico City.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in together?   Antonio: We live in Houston, Texas. We have lived together in the U.S. and in the U.K.   How did you meet?   Becky: When I was a student at the University of Illinois-Champaign, there was a student organization called “International Illini.  Read more »

The International Adoption Experience: Living in the Great Unknown

I’m a compulsive list maker, and I write (full-time) for a living. Deadlines and “to dos” are always with me. The pressure of an approaching deadline can be stressful, but when that blog post, research project or magazine article is delivered, the relief is a beautiful thing.   The international adoption process though? It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.  Read more »

Mommies Always Come Back (except when they don’t)

Three years ago, I met my children at an orphanage in Ethiopia. We had been told that our daughter Meazi was two years old, and that her baby brother was eight months old. When we met them we knew we needed to either call the Guinness Book of World Records and report “The world’s most brilliant toddler,” or talk to some doctors and dentists to figure out Meazi’s actual age.  Read more »

Dear Infertility Patient

Dear Infertility Patient, I sat in that seat you're sitting in. Comfy, isn’t it? Nice, rich, dark leather? Ask the receptionist for some water. They put lemons in it, very refreshing. Oh, see that door behind the front desk? That is the door the celebrities use. That big movie star with the new twins, she snuck in through there. Before you get started I want to tell you a couple of things, a couple of things that I wish someone had told me many years ago.  Read more »

Why Adopted is an Overused Adjective

Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot for work. I invariably embark upon each trip thinking I’ll use the countless wasted hours waiting for delayed flights and shuttling to and from airports to catch up on emails or prepare for a presentation. Only I don’t like flying very much. To compensate for my anxiety, I load up on treats—glossy-paged treats filled with celebrities engaged in activities the editors at US Weekly, People or InTouch would have me believe resemble the reality of my own day-to-day life.  Read more »

How a Love of Ginger Tea Helped our Multicultural Family

Ella had been in America for about six months. We were making a connection but there were struggles. Adopted from Ethiopia, Ella was enjoying her new country but grieving over the loss of her homeland. She had endured much loss in her seven years, seeing her mother die and dealing with the inevitability of her father dying of the uncontrolled HIV virus in his system.  Read more »

An Adoption Story for Kids: Goyangi Means Cat

Goyangi Means Cat By Christine McDonnell; Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher Ages: 4+ It is Soo Min’s first week in America. She is trying to adjust to a new country, a different culture and a new set of parents.  Soo Min only speaks Korean; English is still foreign to her.  She survives the first few days with the limited Korean her Omah (Mom) and Apah (Dad) know.  Read more »

Adopting a Culture: One Family’s Journey to Becoming Ethiopian

When we first decided to adopt, we initially considered China.  We chose that country, in large part, because it was familiar. We knew a number of families who adopted little girls from there.  When that comfortable choice was not an option because of changes to the program, we were faced with the uncertainty of choosing from those countries available to couples our age.  Read more »

Why the Tooth Fairy is American in our Multicultural Home

With six kids from six to 14 years old it is often hard to keep up with all the teeth falling out. Even my 20-year-old last year had four wisdom teeth pulled and seriously resembled one of the Twilight characters, pale with a few drops of blood emerging from the side of her mouth. I have a litany of tooth fairy excuses that I have resorted to when I forget a child’s tooth has fallen out.  Read more »

Explaining How Babies are Born to my Adopted Son

Last week, we learned that our son Jin has been telling his teacher that he has a baby sister, named Quesadilla. Jin does not have any siblings. He has what in my opinion is a spectacular imagination. For Jin, nothing is what it seems--a purple block is a salt shaker, a salt shaker is a strawberry smoothie and his blankets are his babies. He cares for these babies, feeds them, and rocks them to sleep.  Read more »

What do Baklava and Doro Wat Have in Common?

When I was growing up, cooking and baking were a way for me to escape the problems of the day and ultimately find a new vantage point.  I remember lonely Friday nights during middle school where I would get lost in baking cookies.  During the measuring and mixing, I would stop obsessing about my status at school or the day’s slights.  When the cookies were cooling, my perspective would have altered just enough so my world seemed a little brighter and my problems almost manageable.  Read more »

My Inadvertently Open, Ethiopian Adoption—A Steep Learning Curve

In the beginning it was about wanting a baby. I desperately wanted a baby. Every single cell in my body was screaming to be pregnant. My late twenties and all of my thirties were dedicated to the goal of getting pregnant. I loved my husband and was sure that this pregnancy, and its inevitable outcome, a living child, would be the greatest fulfilled expression of love between us.  Read more »

A Pakistani-American Adoption Journey

Marisa Eide’s first date with Imran Ashraf was at an Ethiopian restaurant. Imran thought the date went really well so he asked Marisa out again and she happily agreed. They’ve been inseparable ever since. After dating for two years Marisa, who was born in California and Imran, born in Karachi were married on a crisp summer morning in Berkeley in 2005.  Read more »

Letters from Orphans

November is National Adoption Month and this past Sunday was Orphan Sunday. We dedicated our children at our church in Durham, North Carolina with about 10 other children who had been adopted in the past year within our congregation. Typically in our inter-denominational Christian church, babies are “dedicated” as a way for parents to commit to raising their children with an understanding that they are children of God and to declare a promise to teach them about Jesus.  Read more »

International Adoption is Never That Simple

A few months ago, InCultureParent asked a group of adoptive parents to provide a list of .  Read more »

Learning Languages for Adopted Children

Next week we are heading to the Ukraine to adopt our seventh child. I have tried to block out time from my day to study Russian, but just haven’t been able to make any progress with it. It isn’t that I don’t want to--I really enjoy learning new languages, but have been very busy. Before we adopted our baby, Matea, from Guatemala, I spent hours studying Spanish.  Read more »

9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

With many multicultural families formed by adoption or expanded by adoption (and obviously not solely multicultural families), we thought it’s important to address some etiquette surrounding adoption. Most people probably have friends who have adopted, but there are still many misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes people don’t know what’s ok to ask and what’s not ok.  Read more »

8 Rules of Adoption Etiquette

With many multicultural families formed by adoption or expanded by adoption (and obviously not solely multicultural families), we felt it was important to address some etiquette surrounding adoption. Most people have friends who have adopted, but there are still many misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes people don’t know what’s alright to ask and what’s not.  Read more »

Raising my son bilingual in non-native Spanish is exhausting me–should I continue?

Dear Dr. Gupta, I am an adoptive parent raising my son, Oakley, in non-native Spanish. Increasingly, I have moments where I feel like I can't keep on speaking to Oakley in Spanish. I'm exhausted.   Here are the reasons why speaking to him in Spanish is becoming onerous and, despite the cognitive value and specific educational productivity, unproductive:   1) Spanish is not my strong language, English is.  Read more »

Supernatural Conception: HIV Adoption

We are about to embark on another adoption journey. This time we call it an accidental adoption but it really is more like supernatural conception and childbirth. We thought we were done. We have three children from Ethiopia, two born to us in America and another from Guatemala. We never ever thought we would be adopting again. Similar to going into the doctor and being surprised by a positive pregnancy test, I can imagine this feels the same.  Read more »

Constructing Identity

This week marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. To celebrate, my husband and I took our daughter to a dinner organized as a fundraiser by a local Chinese teacher who is planning to take her students to Taiwan in the spring.   We had met this teacher last year, when she organized, again with her students, a different Chinese New Year party, one primarily aimed at families like ours who have adopted children from China and other Asian countries.  Read more »

Family Evolution: The Meaning of Multicultural

I grew up in a multicultural house. My mother was born in the Netherlands. My father, although also of Dutch heritage, was born in Indonesia and spent much of his early years split between those islands and Australia. He brought with him foods, languages, a love of large birds and a unique accent. I was born in New Jersey but my parents raised me Dutch.  Read more »

The Gift of Oranges From a Sister I Will Never Meet

I felt a connection to a woman who had lived across the continent in Ethiopia. We had never met and will never meet in person. She was the birth mother of my three Ethiopian kids. I know it is strange to admit this connection but I can honestly say that I felt a call from her heart to "mother" her children via adoption. Bayoush was around 32 years old and had passed away due to AIDS a few years prior in 2005.  Read more »

To Korea, With Love: Grieving the Loss of the Foster Family

In the two years that my husband David and I had been trying to adopt, I had thought a lot—a whole lot—about the day we'd first meet our child. I had envied friends' photos of meeting their children, wondering what it would be like when (and at times if) we adopted our child. I had romantic notions that we would be crying with joy, holding our child, who would likely be confused and upset, but somewhat placated by the food and treats we would have brought him or her.  Read more »

Family History

In the ten years between my wedding day and the day I met my children, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about all of the traditions we would celebrate once I finally became a mother. The celebrations I imagined looked a lot like those from my own childhood. There would be Christmas stockings stuffed full of Clementine oranges, chocolate coins, and Bonnie Bell lip smackers; dyed Easter eggs hidden in an obvious way around the living room; piñatas and paper donkey tails poised in the backyard for a birthday party.  Read more »

A Complicated Journey: Raising a Jewish-Chinese Daughter

Both my husband and myself are used to living our lives as members of minorities; being aliens in a land not of our birth nor of our culture phases neither of us. In fact it feels quite natural. Perhaps it allows us to be fitting parents to our daughter, who, like each of us, was born into a culture quite different than the one in which she resides.  Read more »
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