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By Douglas Riggle

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Fewer adoptive parents (and you have a homework assignment in this blog)

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Every story regarding adoption and foster care seem to be sensationalized in the news. That’s what sells. “Tune in at 11 to learn why your adopted child may one day murder you in your sleep.”

Ok… I’m exaggerating. But not by much.

Yet the rate of adoption here in the United States has been on a decline. We hit a peak around 2004 with almost 23,000 adoptions taking place in the United States but that annual rate has been on the decline ever since. In 2009, the number of adoptions in the US have fallen to about 12,700. That’s a staggering decline.

News stories about a woman who returned her child to Russia blanketed the news for a while and everyone judged her actions as harsh and unloving — but then fear creeps in.

What if I try to adopt and the child I get turns out to be hell on wheels?

Trust me, they don’t have to be adopted to be “hell on wheels.” While I don’t think we should outright ignore the stories in the media … think of them as a cautionary tale.

So what should be our response to the declining numbers of children being adopted? One word:

ADOPT!

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Blogs We Like: Melody of Yerevan

Yerevan: So Much to Say, So Much to See

image1 So much to say, so much to see / So much joy in every smile, so much pain in every frown.

One man is planning his escape, while another is working hard to feed his kids / To one it’s his sacred homeland, he’ll never leave / To another it’s the bane of his being, he can’t wait to flee.

Tourists left and right, rushing from sight to sight / Cross ways with locals, sharing curious glances up and down / Taxis whiz by, skidding side to side / While buses fill up and give locals their ride.

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What I Wish Your Child Knew About Autism

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

By Shannon Des Roches Rosa for KnowMore.tv

n-SHANNON-large570 My son Leo is 13. He’s a cheerful, curly-haired, soccer playing, iPad-loving, self-taught swimmer. He’s also autistic — one of those 1 in 68 kids, according to the recent CDC report about increased estimated autism rates.

And you might be surprised to hear this, but that increased rate was a relief to me. It confirmed what the autism research community has been saying for years, and what the CDC’s Dr. Colleen Boyle finally stated outright: "It may be that we’re getting better at identifying autism." It means autistic people have always been here. It’s evidence my son is neither damaged nor broken — he’s an example of human variation, like any kid.

Though, obviously, Leo is not like most kids when it comes to specifics like talking and learning and tolerating crowds. I used to let Leo’s autistic differences upset me: I came from outside the disability community (our society tends to be scared of autism), and I simply didn’t know any better. I’ve since come to understand that my job as Leo’s mother is to accept him for who he is, get him the accommodations he needs (and he needs a lot of them), and fight as hard as I can to make the world a more autism-friendly place, especially now that we have better estimates on how many Leos there are on this planet — Leos of all ages.

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Why You Should Not Welcome My Child With Special Needs Into Your Church

ezra field I realize this may be one of the most controversial posts I have ever written. It has taken me months of writing, stopping, coming back, re-writing and I’m still not positive it’s perfect. But it is my heart. Every fiber of my being burns with passion over this topic. I want to share with you why you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

I write this from what I believe is a unique perspective.  You see, I have worked in ministry for over ten years now. I have been on staff as a youth pastor and a children’s pastor. I have helped to develop a special needs program within a church setting. I have also been a teacher for five years collectively. I have taught classrooms full of children from all kinds of backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly, I am a mother to two beautiful children, one of whom has Autism. That’s right, I am the parent of a special needs child.  So why on earth would someone with my background write a blog like this? Allow me to share my heart with you.  These are the reasons I believe you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

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Parenting Adopted Teens and Tweens

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport, Creating A Family

a6dbd331fc0cb28350b967987c64d6d8 Adopted adolescents are more alike non-adopted kids than different, but adoption adds a layer of complexity to the teen and tween years. Join host Dawn Davenport in exploring the teen years and what parents can do to help.

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Evaluating Special Needs to See Which One is a Good Fit

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport, Creating A Family

14579061482_3fa469671b_z-1 The world of special needs adoptions can be confusing. Parents need to explore the different types of special needs to determine which conditions and issues they can handle and which needs are beyond their comfort level to parent. Our guest, Dr. Mary Staat, director of the International Adoption Center at Cincinnati’s Children’s Medical Center, will walk us through the treatment, prognosis, and long term impacts of the most common special needs. The specific special needs discussed in this show include: cleft lip/palate, the most common heart deformities in infants, limb differences, amniotic band syndrome, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, attachment issues, RAD,  imperforate anus, ambiguous genitals and albinism.

Listen to the Radio Show.

Accessing Services for Child With Challenging Behaviors

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport, Creating A Family

8541267715_fa0ca77613_n Q: We are in the midst of desperately trying to address our daughter’s sensory issues. She is very bright, but we have wrestled with a very active, non-sleeping, sensory seeker since our days in Vietnam. Early Intervention clinicians found her ineligible for Early Intervention services but recommended an Occupational Therapy Evaluation because of sensory issues. We now will have to fight with our health insurance provider who approved the OT evaluation, but will not authorize the recommended treatment (OT). ?How do we access services for our daughter? We cannot afford to pay out of pocket for OT as one of us has already had to give up income to stay home.

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6 Crucial Things Kids Must Know about Adoption by Age Six

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport, Creating A FamilyHEY

  • That they were adopted. If you’re struggling with how to begin that conversation, start with  reading age appropriate adoption books and making a lifebook.
  • That adoption is a normal way for families to grow. Children can be raised by the parents who gave birth to them or by parents who adopted them. Both ways are great ways to create a family. Check out these really great books that talk about all the different ways families can be made.
  • Read more.

What Does It Mean To Be Black & Why Parents Should Care?

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

bfeec56c-c83e-4ce9-8317-a827f805272eThe guest on today’s Creating a Family show, Dr. Marlene Fine, related the following incident in a dialogue on race and ethnicity that she was facilitating. The participants were divided into groups of two and given an exercise to work through. Afterwards, a white participant paired with another white participant commented that race had not come up once in her group discussion. She concluded that race simply wasn’t and didn’t need to be a central element in most people’s lives. Dr. Fine turned to a black participant paired with another black man, who said they did talk about race when discussion the exercise. He went further to say that he thought about race every single day and talked about race every single day.

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10 Things Adult Trans-racial Adoptees Want You To Know

Source: http://creatingafamily.org

Ten-Things-Adult-Transracial-Adoptees

  1. Love your kids with your whole heart. Love may not be everything, but it is a great step in the right direction.
  2. Let your children know that you are always open to talking about adoption and race by bringing these topics up periodically. Look for opportunities in your everyday life where race or genetics or adoption comes up naturally.
  3. Every so often, check in with your child to see what they are experiencing with adoption and with transracial adoption. Don’t assume they will tell you on their own even if you are receptive to the conversation.
  4. It is easier if you adopt more than one child of color. Having someone else in the family of your race makes life easier.
  5. Hang out with other mixed race families. Your children need to see that there are other families that look like theirs. It is all the better if some of these families are also adoptive families.

Read more.

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