Keeping Your Marriage Solid When Adopting or Fostering by Creating A Family

Source: https://creatingafamily.org/

“One of the wisest pieces of advice I received as a new parent was the following: The greatest gift you can give your child is a healthy and happy relationship with your spouse. Four kids later all I can add is a loud “AMEN”!” by Creating A Family. #SaveAdoptions

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It is so easy in the thralls of new parenthood to be completely obsessed with your new baby or child. It is also pretty common to be completely overwhelmed by the demands of new motherhood/fatherhood. This is the case regardless whether you adopt a newborn, a 6 year old, or foster a sibling group of 3. Parenthood can be all-consuming if we let it. I’m suggesting that you don’t let it consume your marriage.

Parenting is a Marathon, not a Sprint!

You’re going to be parents for a LONG time. Even when your kids are grown and have flown the nest, you will still be parenting. It’s easy to forget this at the beginning. When asked in the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group what they were doing to find time for their marriage, we heard the following:

  • Not Much. But we’re older parents and I guess we had time before to ourselves so we’re kind of ok with all family time. We go out maybe every 6 weeks or so. We’ve kind of turned more into best friends and partners in crime but we’re ok with that.
  • We are fostering and parenting and all our time and energy are going to the kids. I feel like we give each other only our leftovers. And lately neither of us have much left over. We know we need to do something about it, but just don’t have the energy or time to do it.
  • We don’t. DH and I are lacking. We try to have alone time in the car or at 2 am, but it’s hard.

For the record, alone time when you are passing in the hallway at 2:00 am does not count!

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Podcast Regarding Sibling Adoption

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Creating A Family Podcast: Our guests to talk about sibling adoption are Kimberly Offutt, a social worker at Bethany Christian Services and Erin Q. Nasmyth, a licensed clinical social worker with Hopscotch Adoptions, who has spent spent the last ten years working with families and children in the foster care system, in child mental health, and supporting families in adoption.

Creating A Family: Attachment Podcasts for you!

attachment%2006-26-2013 Attachment is the process of of forming emotional bonds between parent and child. For healthy emotional development throughout life, the child must attach to her parents, but it is just as true that the parent has to attach to the child. Attachment is not necessarily automatic with children adopted past infancy, but attachment can be taught and learned, and there are activities and attachment parenting techniques that can help both children and parents bond.

Creating a Family has extensive resources on attachment in adoption. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:

Hopscotch Newsletter – May 2014

In This Issue

Quick Links

Still waiting….

The Waiting Child Program is the fastest growing program that Hopscotch Adoptions offers.  Unlike the typical track, time to placement usually takes less than a year from dossier submission.  Most of these children are Special Needs or older. We strongly urge you to check out these kids, regardless of the path you are taking. You never know who will grab your heart.

For more information on this program, contact Heather or go to the Waiting Child page and fill out the Privacy Declaration at the bottom of the page.

Greetings!

It’s almost summer time and we hope your family will be taking advantage of this great weather after our unexpectedly long winter! 

You’ve received our first ever on-line newsletter and we hope you’ll find it useful in getting relevant and supportive information and education articles more frequently.  

Families reported that they loved our full spread newsletter, but we found most families preferred less content and more frequency to better fit their busy lifestyles.   We call this newsletter ‘fun sized’.  

Education Spotlight:

Creating a Family

Education is one of the most valuable aspects of your adoption journey. To quote the public service announcements of the 80’s, "The more you know…" Creating a Family and Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. have collaborated to allow our families access to a wealth of information through podcasts.

You can access the courses at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Any Hopscotch family can access the website.  In order to set up an account, contact Megan or Michelle.  They will be glad to set you up.

Small but Beautiful:

The Reality of Family

A Bulgarian Princess Comes to Texas

by: Dorcas L. Grubaugh

On August 16, 2013 we drove to Roman, Bulgaria to pick up our sweet daughter.  She was 12 years old at the time, soon to turn 13.  We were adopting a teenager!  We were not sure what to expect, except we had been told to not have any expectations of her whatsoever, just accept her as she was.  Of course, as in many things, this was easier said than done.  We were prepared for teenage things, and we had read all the assigned books and taken the required pre-adoption class credits.  But truly, we weren’t very well prepared at all.  Perhaps it was because this was our first child.  Maybe adoptive parents that already have other children in the home feel the transition goes more smoothly.  For us, it was a rocky first month or so.

We discovered that Abigail didn’t really know what to expect either.  She was disappointed th at we didn’t live next to celebrities.  She said our house was small … but beautiful, she quickly added.  And that is as it should be, because our sweet girl is also small but beautiful.  And she wishes we had other kids for her to play with, and was sad that our family is small ("we are only three" she says).  But she says we are crazy … and beautiful.  She has a wonderful sense of humor.  Everything is crazy to her.  That’s her word for silly, I think.  So that has pretty much defined our life over the past four months.  Crazy beautiful.  Abigail loves to take photographs.  I think we have more photographic documentation of the last four months of our life than the last four years since Tony and I got married.  You really have to be "on" because you never know when the camera is pointing your way!

She sings in the kid’s choir at church.  She is in an international newcomer school in our school district, which is specifically for children that come to the district with very little English language.  Now her English has progressed beautifully.  She has not learned too many complex words yet, but we can understand each other.  We only struggled for about a month with getting our point across.

The things we’ve learned so far:  A sleepy child cannot communicate
clearly … ever. 

No matter how close dinner was to bedtime, there still must be a snack beside her bed available.

She needs to be told that she is loved and beautiful a LOT!  I mean a whole

lot.  She asks all the time if we love her, and just about as often if we think she is beautiful.  We talked to some people who work with the kids in Bulgaria and found that the kids had a really nasty form of teasing each other there.  So we are working to reinforce positive words t

o overcome the negative words she heard from some peers.

The American school day is longer by several hours than the Bulgarian school day.  This has been hard on our daughter who feels like the week just doesn’t have enough time for other fun stuff she wants to do.  And we don’t even have her in any extra-curricular activities yet!

We’ve also learned that adjusting to a new family member is more than language, or getting along, it is giving up more of our time than we knew we had, giving up sleep, giving up everything else we wanted to do with our day … for our new family, for this precious child who needed a home.  How does adoption affect a family? It goes into the very center of it and wrenches out every last selfish strand of your soul and bares it before you.  What you do with the moment of deciding to be selfless or selfish varies with each passing day, but you are fully aware that you are making a choice.  This is the reality of adoption … you are choosing to make the life of another the priority over self.  And in the end, you discover that that is okay, because your family may be small, but it is beautiful.

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Re-adoption in the United States:

I finalized before I came home, why should I re-adopt?

You just got off the plane with birth certificate and visa in hand. You’re tired and, if you are lucky, the child you waited for so long to bring home, is sleeping in your arms.  We’re done, your jet-lagged brain crows,

No more paperwork!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s just a little more paperwork you should do. You need to re-adopt in the US.  Otherwise, that precious cargo you fought so long and hard for will have her work cut out for her in the future and so will you.

The goal of re-adoption in the US is to make sure you and your child will have access to the same paperwork most US citizens take for granted.  First and foremost, by re-adopting you will have a domestic Adoption Decree and Birth Certificate issued in a form that is accepted in all domestic courts and recognized by American institutions.  From kindergarten to college and beyond, you will be asked for this paperwork.  If you think the DMV is difficult now, imagine trying to get a license with a Bulgarian adoption decree.

If you have changed the name of your child after coming home, you have to re-adopt and re-apply to USCIS for a new Certificate of Citizenship to establish the revision.  Most visas and certificates bear the child’s name followed by the father’s first and last name and, surprisingly, most families really don’t want their little girl going through life with the middle name Gilmer.  I could be wrong, Gilmer is a very pretty name in some circles.

Re-adoption also guarantees your child’s right to inheritance in every state.  No one wants to think that far down the road but this little change at the beginning can make all the difference at the end.  Not all states recognize the validity of foreign adoption decrees in all legal cases and, if there is ever a question as to whether your child is eligible to receive an inheritance or other legal benefits, the re-adoption provides a domestic record of the child’s legal status.

Finally,  the "Accuracy for Adoptees Act," requires that a Federal Certificate of Citizenship for a child born outside of the United States reflect the child’s name and date of birth as indicated on a State court order or State vital records document issued by the child’s State of residence after the child has been adopted in that State. This means you will be able to change your child’s date of birth to reflect his true age.

We all hate paperwork and you have obviously done way more than your share but take these last steps.  You won’t regret it!

Introducing New Programs…

Serbia

Serbia has just implemented Hague Treaty for Intercountry Adoption as of April 1, 2014.  If you are open to adopting children with moderate to non-correctable speci

al needs, you’ll find that Serbia is one of the most economical options to bring a child home. 

The process for learning more about the waiting children requires a letter of introduction to be submitted to the Ministry requesting approval and additional information.  Hopscotch provides the letter template and once it is completed, interested families would return the letter to Hopscotch and it will be submitted on your behalf.   There is no financial obligation for inquiry with the Ministry and our assistance with your letter of introduction. 

If you are interested in learning more about Serbia’s waiting children,  visit us on our Waiting Child page or contact us at serbia@hopscotchadoptions.org, and we can provide a letter of introduction template to help you get started.

Ukraine

Hopscotch is proud to announce our new program in Ukraine.  Though the country is undergoing tremendous civil strife, children are still coming to the US via Hosting programs and finding forever families.  Hopscotch is working with excellent partners .  Contact us to learn if Ukraine is right for your family.   If you are interested in hosting, need a family assessment, home study or update to your home study in NC or NY, we can help.

So, how did you like it?  Let us hear from you and if you like this new format.  Expect to see more from us sooner rather than later, if so. 

Our next edition will include important information regarding the ramifications of the Universal Accreditation Act and a new story from a Hopscotch family that has had great success and benefited from an open (intercountry) adoption.

Until then,

Robin E. Sizemore

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest Visit our blog

Have a story to share? Send it and a few photos to Michelle or Megan and we’ll get you in future newsletter.

Coping with Infertility Grief After Adopting

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All For You!! If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Coping with Infertility Grief After Adopting

We tell people to work through their grief at not having a biological child or being pregnant or breastfeeding BEFORE they adopt. The reality is that sometimes after adopting a baby adoptive parents still crave the experience of pregnancy and still feel sad at not having a genetic connection to their child. Host Dawn Davenport will interview Carole Lieber Wilkins, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building options since 1986. She is known for helping patients transition to non-genetic forms of family building, such as donor conception or adoption. Having created her family through adoption and ovum donation, Carole brings a wealth of personal as well as professional experience to her work. Highlights from this show.

by: Robin Sizemore, Executive Director of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

Podcast Parenting Easily Frustrated Inflexible Kids with Challenging Behavior

83d358cc36f996511ccb541171f58944 All For You!!

If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Parenting Easily Frustrated Inflexible Kids with Challenging Behavior

Interview with Dr. Ross Greene, Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children. How to help children, all kids, including adopted children, learn to control their frustration and anger. Highlights from this

Food Issues with Adopted Children

Photo credit: blasorchester-stuecken.de

e91352e75f0365a14bc7c5b992f53233 All For You!!

If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Food Issues with Adopted Children

Join our guest Dr. Katja Rowell, The Feeding Doctor, and author of the new book "Love Me, Feed Me" to talk about some of the common food issues adoptive parents face: hoarding, gorging, pickiness, not eating, etc. Highlights from this show.

Podcast Documentary on International Adoption-"Stuck"

e5306daeb83f5ec014c2e0365f8a55c7 All For You!!

If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Documentary on International Adoption-“Stuck”

An interview with Craig Juntunen, Founder of Both Ends Burning and Producer of a new documentary on International Adoption, Stuck, to talk about the ethics of international adoption and the delays. Highlights from this show.

Podcast Latest Research on the Mental Health of Adopted Children

Photo credit: thinkprogess

8f59e4d92881798d2f4dd19acbd2fb08 All For You!!

If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Latest Research on the Mental Health of Adopted Children

What does the latest research show on the emotional and mental health of adopted children? How do adoptees fare later in life? Our guest is Dr. Kathleen Whitten, a developmental psychologist and adoptive mother who researches the mental health of adopted children. She has been a lecturer in psychology at Georgia State University and at the University of Virginia, where she was also a research faculty member at the Child-Parent Attachment Clinic, Department of Psychiatric Medicine. She was named a Distinguished Fellow in Developmental Psychology by the National Council for Adoption in Washington, D.C. She is also the author of Labor of the Heart: A Parent’s Guide to the Decisions and Emotions in Adoption. Highlights from this show.

Podcast Sexual Development in Adopted Children

Photo credit: favim.com

b0feeff29f59e239ff21637e2809e309All For You!! If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Sexual Development in Adopted Children

While sexual development follows much the same pattern for all children, there are some special issues that adopted children might face. These include precocious puberty, the effects of childhood abuse or neglect on later sexual development, and questions about how the birds and bees applies to them. Our guests are Dr. Bradley Miller, a Pediatric Endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota and Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, a therapist specializing in adoption and an adjunct faculty member in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Highlights from this show.

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