Gifts & Books
Recent blog posts
- The Happiness Project, Final Frontier
- New Website For Adoptive Parents Dealing With Children Who Have Learning or Emotional Issues
- The Internet Is Here To Stay – Why You Must Talk To Your Adopted Child About It
- My Little Amiga
- NY Times Article On Foster-Adoption
- The Big Kites
- Older Child Adoption Didn’t Work – Adult Relationship Did
- Transitioning From An Orphanage To A New Home: An Uphill Climb
- Sometimes We Need Another Person's Perspective
- Returning to Work Full-time after being a Stay-at-home Mom
- This sounds like a wonderful
2 weeks 6 days ago
- Thanks for sharing this
3 weeks 5 days ago
- Half full
4 weeks 9 hours ago
- Older Child Issues
4 weeks 20 hours ago
- Thank you for your insight
4 weeks 4 days ago
- Reactive Attachment Disorder
4 weeks 5 days ago
- Thank you Dee. I will check
5 weeks 21 hours ago
- Awesome Story
5 weeks 23 hours ago
- Thanks for reading and
5 weeks 1 day ago
- An amazing story. Usually an
5 weeks 5 days ago
My interpretation of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project continues. And although months have gone by, I remain stuck on her first task, the de-clutter phase. That segment alone could occupy the rest of my life, because no sooner do I get rid of one thing than a second thing materializes to replace it. In my defense, most of the stuff does not belong to me, but enters the house via school backpacks carried by the family’s junior members. As a kid, I don’t remember having nearly the papers, folders, and projects that my children lug home daily. However, because this first-world problem bedevils only people who possess enough resources to buy paper and folders, not to mention enjoy access to schools, I’ll stop complaining.
Back to clutter. In the culling, purging, and donating phase, books for me represented the final frontier. I love and cherish my books, to the point of irrationality. Maybe this is because for so many years I dreamed of owning books, and couldn’t. A career in the art world, undertaken sans trust fund, will do that to a person. Not until I met, fell in love with, and married my husband—who, thankfully, works at a decent, steady job—did I feel solvent enough to indulge my passion for books by buying them. And buy them I did, with abandon, until our room downstairs, my quote unquote office, overflowed with books that, until recently, crowded my desk, the shelves, the floor, and indeed, threatened to overwhelm my psyche.
How could I give up even one of them? When I knew the story of each acquisition, the tale of how it came into my hands?
But give them up I must. Give them up I did. My de-cluttering mania forced me to make decisions. All books about adoption and Guatemala, I kept. Any book signed by a writer, I kept. Books on the craft of writing; art volumes from my museum days; any novel, collection, or chapbook I simply adore; and the one book I owned as a child–Teena and the Magic Pot—remain. Everything else, gone. Donated to the used bookstore run by our local library, or to the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Somebody else can and will treasure my books. From now on, with few exceptions, I borrow from the library. As we say in California: Reduce, reuse, recyle.
One of our readers and contributors, Dee Thompson, has created a new website that I strongly recommend visiting. . “Invisible Issues” provides:
“Help for parents whose children have learning or emotional problems, by an adoptive mom who has experienced the fear and frustration of trying to find help for a child.
Dee is a single adoptive parent of two children with wide experience in the adoption field. She has contributed several blogs to “Adoption Under One Roof” in the past, and is an accomplished and published writer.
Congratulations on launching the new website Dee, and thank you from the adoption community.
The “Donaldson Adoption Institute” completed an in depth study on the impact of the internet on adoption called "Untangling the Web: The Internet’s Transformative Impact on Adoption," and is planning a second publication for late 2013. I have not read this publication in its entirety, but I am already impressed and highly recommend that you read it.
The Adoption Institute’s key findings on the Internet’s impact on adoption to date include:
• A growing “commodification” of adoption and a shift away from the perspective that its primary purpose is to find families for children. This is particularly the case in domestic infant adoption, where a scarcity of babies available to be adopted heightens competition. Unregulated websites compete with traditional practitioners, sometimes by making claims and utilizing practices that raise serious ethical and legal concerns.
• Finding birth relatives is becoming increasingly easy and commonplace, with significant institutional and personal implications, including the likely end of the era of “closed” adoption and a growth in relationships between adoptive families and families of origin.
• An indeterminable but growing number of minor adopted children are contacting and forming relationships with biological siblings, parents and other relatives, sometimes without their adoptive parents’ knowledge and usually without guidance or preparation about the complex emotional and interpersonal repercussions for everyone involved.
• A rising number of useful, positive sites, such as ones that expedite the adoption of children and youth who need families, notably including those with special needs; and more places to get information and education, networking opportunities, support services and other resources that are a clear contribution to professionals, policymakers, researchers, journalists and the millions of personally affected individuals.
• Evidence that the Internet has many additional positive effects on adoption and the people it touches. For instance, there are growing numbers of opportunities for affiliation, support and information-sharing that would be impossible to achieve without the technology and reach of the Internet and, in particular, social media.
Once a week a little visitor comes to my home. She is a mere six years old, very beautiful with big dimples and a winning smile. Up until three months ago she was living in an orphanage in Guatemala, but is finally united with the family who started her adoption over six years ago.
You can well imagine that this is not an easy adjustment for my little friend or her family. So once a week I give her Mother, my friend, some “Mommy time out,” and we play – seriously. I get right down on the floor and play right alongside of her. One of her favorite choices is the dollhouse, where she chooses how to arrange the furniture and what the family members are doing in the house. My little amiga always brings her baby doll along with her, as well as several bags full of her favorite toys. It is almost as if she is never sure if she is going back to where she came from.
I love to read to children, but my playmate doesn’t usually want to hear stories. However one day I read “Over the Moon” to her and it peaked her interest. You might want to check it out – it is about a mother and father finally getting the call to bring their adopted baby home from a foreign country. When I read it, I don’t follow the text but instead insert her name and her parents’ names. The book went home with her – she wanted to keep it.
This November 14, 2013 New York Times article, God Called Them to Adopt. And Adopt and Adopt and Adopt, focuses mainly on the experiences of two families who have adopted several children from foster care. What I really like about the piece is the candor of the parents involved, who are honest about their struggles, including the struggles they never anticipated. One quote: “‘When I first went into this, I had this idea that everyone should be doing this,’ [the mom] told me, referring to foster-care adoption. ‘But if you are going to do it, you better be darn well sure you can handle it.’” And another: “I thought, I’m just going to love these kids… and it will be fine. I had no idea.”
I would say the same for adoption of any kind. You don’t know, can’t know, the challenges you may face, and you better be committed to take on whatever comes your way. I really admire the commitment and strength of the parents profiled, who clearly love their children and want to do what is best for them.