Excellent Blog Post Regarding The Waiting Adoptive Parent:
Dear friends of waiting adoptive moms: some things to know (also, we’re sorry)
1. Your friend is not crazy. (She is adopting.)
There is, I will admit, a fine line between those two but still it’s good to remember. The international adoption of a child requires enough paperwork to kill a small forest. And more governmental red tape than you can believe. Imagine your longest, most frustrating trip to the DMV. Now quadruple that, add in twelve more governmental agencies in two countries, and remember it’s not a driver’s license you’re waiting for but the final piece of paper that says this family you’re creating can finally, finally be together. Yeah. Not crazy. But close.
Secretary of State, John Kerry, Remarks on National Adoption Month
Washington, DC: November 1, 2013
I have a niece named Iris, who is one of the most extraordinary young women I’ve ever known. From the day she came into our family, she has filled our lives with love and joy. And every time I’m with her, I am grateful my sister Peggy was able to adopt her from China years ago.
Every child needs and deserves to grow up, safe and sound, in a loving home. But sometimes that’s not the kind of environment a child’s biological parents can provide.
When parents or relatives aren’t able to care for children, adoption can help give kids the permanent families they deserve. And, when adoptive families are not available in the places where these children live, inter-country adoptions can help find them a loving home abroad.
I firmly believe that ethical and transparent inter-country adoption is a critical part of the international children’s welfare system. It helps ensure that kids receive the love and support they need to grow into healthy and productive adults. I’ve seen it firsthand. That’s why I worked hard in the Senate to help families navigate past roadblocks in the international adoption process. It’s also why I was proud to be a member of Senator Landrieu’s caucus on adoption.
Today the United States is one of 90 countries that are party to the Hague Adoption Convention – a set of internationally supported principles aimed at protecting both birth and adoptive parents and, most importantly, adopted children.
And thanks to a law President Obama signed this past January, one I co-sponsored when I was a U.S. Senator, today these adoptions are safer than ever. Every U.S.-accredited inter-country adoption provider – in every country, around the world – must adhere to a set of strong, universal standards that make the well-being of kids the top priority.
The State Department’s adoption website – adoption.state.gov – is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning more. Our Bureau of Consular Affairs keeps this site updated with the latest country information sheets, adoption processes, and developments that may affect inter-country adoption.
Over the past decade, more than 200,000 children – from more than 100 countries – were adopted by American families. And as we mark National Adoption Month this November, the Department of State commits to doing our part to find loving homes for thousands and thousands more.
Photo: Timothy Archibald
San Francisco-based photographer Timothy Archibald began taking portraits of his autistic son, Eli, when the boy was 5 years old. “At the time, we weren’t doing a project; we were just being parent and son,” he tells Yahoo Shine. The photos were a way to help him understand his child. “Suddenly, when Eli started school, teachers, other parents — everybody — wanted to know more about him; why was he acting that way, why was he different from other students … If I take a picture, maybe I’ll see what everybody is so freaked out about. ” Archibald and his wife had noticed that Eli could fixate on mechanical objects for hours and get swept up into thunderstorm like tantrums, but had never before identified him as being on the autism spectrum.
From the beginning, Eli didn’t settle for being the subject — the project became collaborative and a way for father and son to communicate. “He didn’t want to be photographed; he wanted to share ideas and work with me,” Archibald says. Eventually, Archibald collected the images in a book, called "Echolilia: Sometimes I Wonder," which is available on his blog and refers to his son’s habit of repeating phrases that is typical of children with autism. When the book first came out, in 2010, the photos were controversial, he says. “There is an alarming quality to seeing this frail little boy looking even more frail.” Some people accused Archibald of being exploitative. Over time, attitudes have become more sympathetic, and just in the last couple of weeks, the series have resurfaced and gone viral. What we see is a father exploring the mystery of his son and a son whispering clues to his father.