Two Adoptees’ Stories: Two Perspectives on Growing Up Adopted

Source: http://www.rainbowkids.com

By Katie and Jacob

Meet Katie

feat_smMy name is Katelyn, and my family and friends call me Katie. I am a junior in high school in North Carolina, where I am at the top of my class academically (with a 4.4 GPA). I am also a competitive gymnast and have committed to a full Division I scholarship at a wonderful university in my state. What people don’t know about me is that I was adopted – adopted from Novosibirsk, Russia.

I often wonder, “When people hear that, what do they think of?” Lately I am afraid that too many negative things, worries, and concerns run through people’s minds. I’ve learned that many people, including me, have heard many negative stories about adoption, and not enough success stories.

This is why I am here to share mine.

Continue reading.

Setting Limits with Adopted Teens-If the Answer is No, Say No

Source: https://creatingafamily.org/

By Dawn Davenport

Setting-Limits

I’ve noticed a trend in the last several year–parents afraid to discipline their adopted kids or unable to say “no” for fear of damaging their attachment or ego. At times I wonder if we’ve created a monster by all our emphasis on attachment, but I firmly believe that adopted children, actually all children, desperately need us to say no and set limits. Doing so is not in contradiction to creating attachment–in fact, setting limits supports attachment!

I recently read a book that I absolutely loved: Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years by Katie Naftzger, an adoption therapist and adult adoptee. This book would be the perfect read for all adoptive parents with kids 8+.

I interviewed Ms.  Naftzger on a Creating a Family Radio show titled Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years. She was preaching to the choir with me. So much so that I invited her to do this guest blog post.

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I just want her to be happy.

If I could make life easier for him, why wouldn’t I do that?

I don’t want him to feel abandoned. How could I say no?

She’s already been through so much!

Do any of these statements sound familiar? For adoptive parents of teens, setting limits is often complicated. Your teen has already been through a lot. At one point in time, their basic needs were probably compromised. Of course, a part of you would want to give them everything they needed and more, but there’s a cost.

Setting limits helps your teen to feel more prepared for young adulthood. It teaches responsibility and helps develop much-needed coping skills. It also helps them to trust you more. They want to know that you’ll do what’s right, even if it means standing up to them.

Here’s a work example:

I was sitting with an adoptive mom and 12 y/o daughter, finishing up our family therapy session. The daughter asked, “Mom, can we go and get a cupcake across the street?”

The mom grimaced. “Oh, sweetie, I don’t know. I don’t want you to be late for gymnastics. There might be a lot of traffic. Plus, you already had ice cream when we got home from school…” Her mom looked around the room and she trailed off.

Her daughter’s voice became shriller. “Mom, we’ll have of time to get there, I promise. I’m not going to be late! Seriously! And, I just had one popsicle after school. Those things are so small! I don’t think that should even count. Come on, Mom, please? Please!”

I said to the mom, quietly, “If the answer is no, just say no.”

At that point, her mom made direct eye contact with her daughter and said, “The answer is no.”

How did the daughter react? She let it go, immediately. And, she was fine. Surprising, isn’t it, given that her daughter was so bent on it just a second ago!

Tips for Setting Limits with Adopted Teens

1. Don’t backtrack or apologize.

Imagine if the mom had said “Oh sweetie, the answer is no…but maybe we can get a cupcake next time we’re here! I’m sorry, sweetie!”

2. Don’t negotiate.

It can be painful for adoptees to feel like they’re begging for something, particularly if they’re struggling with feelings of low self-worth and feelings of abandonment.

3. Don’t send mixed messages.

If the mom had said no but continued to look all around the room, it would have sent mixed messages. Her words would have said no but her body language would have said, I’m not sure.

4. Convey guidelines and consequences ahead of time.

This mom knew her daughter pretty well. She could probably have predicted that her daughter would ask her for a cupcake. The simplest way to go would be to make an overarching decision – always or never.

5. Improve your savvy.

It can be challenging for adoptive parents when their teen gets into stuff that is outside of their experience, such as drugs, alcohol, aggressive behavior, etc. It’s good to learn to think like your teen. When your teen perceives you as naive or oblivious, they tend to lose respect for you. Trust your intuition. If you think something’s going on, it’s usually true. Your aim isn’t to control them. It’s to help them to make informed decisions.

When parenting teens it is important to remember that they don’t have to agree with you. There are certain decisions that are collaborative and others that are solely yours. And, if you’re not sure where to begin, start with the cupcake.

Deportation a ‘Death Sentence’ to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the U.S. by Choe Sang-Hun

Source: https://www.nytimes.com

By Choe Sang-Hun

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Remember to protect your children’s rights to citizenship if your child was adopted prior to 2000.  The consequences are devastating if you have not obtained your child’s US citizenship.

SEOUL, South Korea — Phillip Clay was adopted at 8 into an American family in Philadelphia.

Twenty-nine years later, in 2012, after numerous arrests and a struggle with drug addiction, he was deported back to his birth country, South Korea. He could not speak the local language, did not know a single person and did not receive appropriate care for mental health problems, which included bipolar disorder and alcohol and substance abuse.

On May 21, Mr. Clay ended his life, jumping from the 14th floor of an apartment building north of Seoul. He was 42.

To advocates of the rights of international adoptees, the suicide was a wrenching reminder of a problem the United States urgently needed to address: adoptees from abroad who never obtained American citizenship. The Adoptee Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, estimates that 35,000 adult adoptees in the United States may lack citizenship, which was not granted automatically in the adoption process before 2000.

Mr. Clay is believed to be just one of dozens of people, legally adopted as children into American families, who either have been deported to the birth countries they left decades ago or face deportation after being convicted of crimes as adults. Some did not even know they were not American citizens until they were ordered to leave.

Continue reading.

Attention Alabama Families: IAC Presents "Adoption Boot Camp" – June 3rd, 2017

The International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham (AL) will be hosting a live seminar entitled “Adoption Boot Camp” on June 3rd, 2017 from 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Bradley Lecture Hall at Children’s Hospital.

The focus of Adoption Boot Camp will be on internationally and domestically adopted children or those children in the foster care setting. Discussed will be the awareness of medical, emotional, and developmental needs to expect once home. 

While hosted on the same date, our domestic and international focused seminars are held separately so that the focus is on the specific needs of those families, whether adopting from the U.S. or another country.

Please forward this flyer to any family going through the domestic/foster care or international adoption process OR families already home with their child who you feel would take great benefit from these topics.

The seminar is also opened to professionals within the field of adoption or who would like further education on these topics. CEUs will be available for both social workers and nurses. If you are a professional seeking to attend, please see the flyer noted “for professionals” flyer and pass along to others that will benefit from this educational seminar.

The deadline to register will be: May 20th, 2017

Announcing The New AdoptTogether.org

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AdoptTogether has officially partnered with Pure Charity to become:

ADOPTTOGETHER powered by Pure Charity

Their new partnership will be official this Wednesday, April 26.

All of your basic questions & answers about their new partnership is featured below, but feel free to email Sueann@adopttogether.org with any further questions!

We are so EXCITED!

Here’s to a brighter future for all AdoptTogether families, and greater strides towards the vision of a world with a family for every child!

Five Changes You May Notice on the New AdoptTogether.org

1. A New Look
AdoptTogether.org is going to look far different than before. Essentially, it will have all the same functionality with an upgraded look and feel to make donating and creating a profile just as easy as before. NOTE: All preexisting family profile information and donation history will automatically be transferred to the new site

2. A Transition Period
Real talk, whenever a website gets a massive overhaul like the one AdoptTogether has gone through, you can expect the occasional hiccup. Things you may notice could be anything from a broken link, a few grammatical errors, and a slight delay in data being transferred over from the old to the new site. For instance, profile changes and donations made after Friday 4/21 will be reflected on the new site by the end of this week. If you have already received an AdoptTogether Grant, it will appear on your Grant Dashboard within the next two weeks.

3. The Grant Submission Process
AdoptTogether.org now features a Grant Request Portal for families to quickly and easily request their funds raised through AdoptTogether. This process is one of the fundamental services AdoptTogether provides families, and it just got a whole lot more efficient!

4. New Tools For Your Profile  
AdoptTogether profiles will now come with a variety of upgraded features, which include an enhanced ability to track your donor activity, view your Grant Request status and history, display a geotag showing the region where you’re adopting from, and upload videos to keep your network informed and engaged with your family’s progress!

5. Resources
To aide families in the adoption process, the AdoptTogether team has collected and created over 80 resources full of information about everything from "How to Start the Adoption Process," to "What You Need to Know the First Day Your Child Comes Home." We hope these new resources will be a valuable asset to families for years to come!
If you still have any questions about the new partnership please email Sueann@adopttogether.org.

Cheers!

Hank
CEO & Founder | AdoptTogether

"The Day We Met" Adoption Documentary In The Making

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Hello Hopscotch Families,

I’d like to introduce you to Patricia Carrascal, an audiovisual producer from Argentina. At the moment Patricia is working on a documentary about adoption from around the world. She is searching for families to share their international adoption stories. 

If your family is in the beginning stages of adoption, Patricia would like to record your journey, step by step. Patricia is an adoptive mom and knows it’s a complicated process. Attached you’ll find a flyer with the documentary proposal in more detail.

If your family would like to participate, you can contact Patricia directly at patcarrascal@gmail.com

With encouragement,
Robin

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF FLIER.

Adoption Notice: Obtaining Citizenship or Documenting Acquired Citizenship for Adopted Children – – March 2017

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March 15, 2017

The Office of Children’s Issues has received a high number of inquiries about whether individuals adopted through the intercountry process have acquired U.S. citizenship and how to go about documenting U.S. citizenship, if acquired. Claims to acquisition of citizenship cannot be pre-adjudicated, and the Office of Children’s Issues has no role in the adjudication process. Information is available on the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) web pages and may be helpful resources.

Continue reading.

Upcoming NC Trauma Workshop with Kids Group in April!

a325e9cb065710099d167501ddb471a6This group is open to children who are adopted and their caregivers.

Due to limited space, registration is required.

To register or for more information, please contact  Katie Linn at katie.linn@duke.edu or 919-385-0703.

Thursdays, starting April 27 – June 22, 2017 5:30pm-8:00pm

Dinner is provided and then the separate child and parent groups will begin.

Raleigh Vineyard Church
6894 Litchford Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Workshop Sessions Description

What children will get:

This Interactive workshop for children ages 7-17 is part support, part education and designed for children who have been adopted. This workshop will allow children to:
· Connect with other children in adoptive families
· Learn skills and tools to cope with strong feelings
· Build comfort and confidence in talking about adoption both with their family members and others
· Have FUN!

What parents will get:

Parents will participate in the Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma workshop. This workshop gives caregivers the opportunity to:
· Connect with other adoptive parents to share resources
· Learn how a child’s prior experiences can impact their behaviors
· Explore ways to enhance their strengths as a parent
· Share and learn new skills to influence their child’s behaviors and attitudes

Download the PDF flier.

Adoption Notice – Poland Restructure of International Adoption Process

unnamedDear Adoption Community,

Adoption Notice: Poland – Restructure of international adoption process on March 6, 2017

“The Government of Poland is revising its policies on intercountry adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention. Poland has indicated its intent to prioritize domestic adoptions, except in the case of intercountry adoptions of siblings related to children already adopted through intercountry adoption, intrafamily adoptions, and adoptions by Polish citizens living abroad. It is unclear how these intended changes will impact intercountry adoptions from Poland sought by U.S. citizen families that are already in process, but in cases in which referrals have not yet been received, parents may see extended delays. The actual impact and form of these changes is still to be determined, and we will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.”

Adoption Notice – Adoptions from Ghana after March 2, 2017

Ghana Flag 2012On January 1, 2017, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Ghana. After reviewing Ghana’s Amended Children’s Act of 2016, and confirming the establishment of Ghana’s Central Authority, the United States has determined that it will now be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana. Consular officers will verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with the Convention, as well as with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations. 

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Ghana works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after January 1, 2017, should work closely with their U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Ghana’s adoption process in accordance with Ghanaian and U.S. laws.  

Continue reading.

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