Monthly archives for August, 2013

Books for Kids About Adoption

Books for Kids About Adoption

Picture, I ran across this link on Pintrest and it led to a wonderful blog called Africa to America.,  The writer gives a small review and narrative of each book, and in addition she has some fantastic writing on her blog about all things adoption.,  She has a great list of some of my family’s personal favorite children’s book (A Mother for Choco, oh we adore it!).,  It might be just what you are looking for to add to your home library.

 

 

“What is it like?”~ A glimpse into the life of a mother of 6 adopted children with special needs.

“What is it like?”~ A glimpse into the life of a mother of 6 adopted children with special needs.

The following is from an MAA parent who is sharing with us a little bit about the reality of raising a child with special needs. She is sharing so that others who are considering adopting a child with special needs such as many of the waiting children in China might get some of their questions answered. Please know MAA wants parents to be informed, and we are so happy to connect you to other resources (including experienced adoptive parents) that can help answer real life questions!

 

I have adopted 6 children with special needs.,  Three of our children have Hepatitis B.,  This has to be one of the easiest special needs out there.,  My children have to have their blood drawn once a year, and have a MRI of their livers.,  They see the pediatric gastrinologist once a year.,  I often forget all about their need until one gets a cut.,  Then it all comes back to me.,  I know I need to take extra precautions on cleaning up any surfaces they may have bled on.,  My husband and I and all our children have been vaccinated against this virus.,  It is a very manageable need.

We have a daughter with cleft lip/cleft palate.,  This is one of the more involved needs out there.,  I often hear of people saying it is a minor need and I have to disagree.,  Cleft lip/cleft palate or otherwise known as cl/cp can have other complications involved such as hearing, heart, etc.,  We are very blessed in that my daughter does not have any of these other needs.,  There are many surgeries that are involved in repairing a cl/cp child.,  It is not a ,,¦…œone surgery and it is done,,‚ type of need.,  My daughter is 8 years old and has already had 3 surgeries, and is getting ready to have her fourth surgery in a few weeks.,  I was told by her doctors they will do her final surgery at the age of 18 or 19.,  Having said that, we are so blessed in having her in our family.,  She is a true inspiration in the way she handles all of her surgeries and speech issues.

, We have a son with multiple needs.,  He was listed as ,,¦…œmild mental delay.,,‚,  He is much more than that., ,  It didn,,…¾‚t take long for his doctors to diagnose our son with fetal alcohol syndrome and microcephaly.,  He also has vision issues, hearing issues, mild cerebral palsy, etc,,‚¦,  He is such a joy in our life.,  He has to go to the eye dr every 4 months for his eye problems, but other than that he is pretty easy.,  Our son will always be dependent on us, and sometimes the magnitude of his delays hit us in the face.,  But the unconditional love he shows is amazing.,  I have learned so much from the continuous joy he has in life and family.,  My son is happy, smiley, and laughing 90% of the time.,  He bounces back from his disappointments very quickly.

, We have a daughter with left side hemiplegia and leg length difference.,  She has only been home for 5 months so we are still in the throes of her medical assessments.,  Our daughter is truly amazing in her ability.,  She only has one good hand, but she dresses herself every day.,  She runs and is getting more stable, even though she walks on her tip toes on one foot.,  Our daughter will receive a botox shot next week and 3 weeks of casting to help make her foot flat.,  She will be wearing an AFO on her affected foot afterward.,  I was told she will be seeing the pediatric orthopedist every 6-9 months following this procedure.

Advocacy: Eva

Advocacy: Eva

Eva is a pretty little girl who was abandoned at age 5 in a rural area. She had received no education and is working hard to catch up with her peers. She attends a special class at school and is doing very well. , She knows a few phrases in English.,  Her writing is excellent! , She loves to sing and is very talented. There doesn’t appear to be a medical reason for her delays, only that she had not been receiving any education before she came to the Social Welfare Center.

, She is one of the favorites at the orphanage. Several nannies take her home with them so she can experience family life. She is in a group room with 4 girls and 1 nanny. She is very shy especially around strangers.

, Her favorite foods are apples and chicken wings. Her favorite color is pink! She truly wants to be adopted and go to America ….QUICKLY! (as stated in her own words!)

There are pictures and a video available of Eva for those interested in learning more about adopting her. Please contact Sara Lang.

, Sara@MadisonAdoption.com

Advocacy: Joyce!

Advocacy: Joyce!
Joyce will be celebrating her 13th birthday next week – and she needs to be adopted before her 14th birthday!!,  Joyce is a darling girl with repaired cleft lip and palate, and mild scoliosis.,  She also has the cutest dimples when she smiles…!!
Joyce is outgoing and active.,  She is motivated in her school studies, participates in a variety of activities, likes playing with other children, asks teachers and nannies for help when she has trouble.
Joyce understands what it means to be adopted and to be part of a family.,  She looks forward to having her own family soon.
Contact Sara@MadisonAdoption.com if you are interested in more information about Joyce!See More
Photo: Joyce will be celebrating her 13th birthday next week - and she needs to be adopted before her 14th birthday!!  Joyce is a darling girl with repaired cleft lip and palate, and mild scoliosis.  She also has the cutest dimples when she smiles!!

Joyce is outgoing and active.  She is motivated in her school studies, participates in a variety of activities, likes playing with other children, asks teachers and nannies for help when she has trouble.

Joyce understands what it means to be adopted and to be part of a family.  She looks forward to having her own family soon.

Contact Sara@MadisonAdoption.com if you are interested in more information about Joyce!

Fantastic Resource!

Fantastic Resource!

While we work on putting together a resource of family stories that can teach, inform, support, and advocate for the adoption of special needs children I am so happy to share this other excellent resource with you.,  A fellow MAA mom (of 8 beautiful children!) shared this link with us.

No Hands But Ours: Providing Encouragement, Information, and Support for Families of Special Needs Children from China

They have a family stories section that features writing directly from parents that have adopted children from China with special needs. The stories are meant to inform and encourage.

If you are considering adopting a child from China, but would like more information on the reality of their special need this might be a good resource for you.

 

NACAC Message~ Words to Read and a Life to Remember.

NACAC Message~ Words to Read and a Life to Remember.

 

 

For Melvin – A Message of Love and Unconditional Commitment

 

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this week,,…¾‚s CCN news. Our youngest son, Melvin, lost his battle with heroin addiction this last Tuesday. , He was only 21.

 

Mel came to us at 2 ,½ years old with no language, no understanding of what it meant to be part of a family and no capacity for receiving affection. Every day with him was worthwhile ,,,¦‚“ he challenged us, he caused us hurt and worry and he brought us such joy. Melvin,,…¾‚s smile, his laugh could light up the world.

 

As a fellow adoptive parent, I know how difficult it is to love and stay committed to a child who is unable to receive, appreciate or reciprocate that love and caring. In fact, that pain is one of the contributing factors to adoption breakdowns. We wonder if anything we have done or can do will make a difference. We wonder what will become of our children. But our children are not intending to hurt or anger us out of choice. It is their response to loss and trauma beyond their control and understanding. I firmly believe and have seen the proof that if we can just hang in there long enough, we can and do make a difference.

 

Many of you have heard stories of Mel over the years and listened to me talk about how much he taught his father and I. There were countless moments when he pushed us to the limit and today I can only say how grateful we are to have had the time with him we did and to know that we never stopped loving, believing in, and being there for him.

 

I want to share the most recent and most important lessons he taught us. Close to three years ago, Melvin overdosed for what we later found out was the second time. The doctors told us that he would not survive the traumatic brain injury and we all prepared for his death. All of us except Buddy, his dad, who knew he would survive. If you have attended a training or lecture of mine, you know that Dr. Bruce Perry later told me the constant massage and touch we gave him were what saved his life that time. I wish we could have been with him last week to hold and save him again.

 

As the doctors predicted, he was not the same person after his miraculous recovery. We received the greatest gift; Melvin opened himself up to love and appreciation. He came home within two months ,,,¦‚“ frustrated that his basketball shot was way off, walking a bit slower, forgetful, and without any memory of what happened or his time in the hospital. Those were challenges, but were nothing compared to the positive changes. We had a whole new boy who could give and receive affection, appreciation, joy and hope.

 

For the last fourteen months, Melvin struggled to find and maintain sobriety. I have lost count of the number of programs he graduated from, was discharged from, or was kicked out of for all kinds of infractions. Each time, he get right back to another and continue to try. He wanted to ,,¦…œget right,,‚ and become a drug counselor for other young people struggling with addiction. I have been reading dozens of messages from people he touched ,,,¦‚“ every one talks about how he helped them stay strong, how he inspired them or gave them hope.

To his father, his siblings, his niece and nephew, his aunts, uncles and cousins he could finally say ,,¦…œI love you.,,‚ Throughout these last months, there has not been a text, message, phone call or meeting with him that has not included the words ,,¦…œThank you, I appreciate it,,,‚ and ended with the words ,,¦…œI love you.,,‚ Now that we can,,…¾‚t say or hear those words again, we truly understand the importance of treating each moment as if it could be the last.

 

Melvin wanted to do something good in the world for others and I believe that he has and will continue to do so. His big sister called me earlier today to tell me that she has finally found a job after being unemployed and unemployable for several years. She has enrolled in a local community college and will start in September. She says she was inspired by Melvin and wants to make him proud ,,,¦‚“ he is the angel that will sit on her shoulder and help her along the path. His brothers have made it possible for Buddy and I to get through this horrific time. His other sister is doing all she can to stay strong and stay healthy. And his recovery community has asked to participate in his memorial so they can bring a message of recovery to other struggling young people as well.

 

Today and every day I am asking each of you to honor Melvin,,…¾‚s memory and support his desire to do something good in the world,,‚¦

 

Parents ,,,¦‚“ stay committed to your children no matter what. When you think you cannot do it for another minute, that is when they need you the most. Look to other parents to help you hang in there. If we can keep our kids connected to us, they always have a chance to heal from their wounds. It takes time, it is not easy, but it is the promise you made and you must keep it.

Child welfare workers ,,,¦‚“ commit to ensuring that no child grows up and leaves care without a family. When you meet with resistance, fight it. When you get discouraged, seek hope. When you run up against a barrier, challenge it. For every child there is a family and each child and youth has a right to one. The question you can keep pushing is, ,,¦…œWhat will it take?,,‚ and then pursue that.

 

Community, providers, courts, and legislators ,,,¦‚“ do your part. These children belong to all of us. Vow to not let stigmatization, budgetary issues, politics or indifference guide your choices. With every action, vote, decision you make, ask yourself, ,,¦…œHow will this affect this child, all children?,,‚ If you aren,,…¾‚t satisfied with the answer if it were your child that would be impacted, then it is not acceptable for any child.

 

Finally and most importantly, youth ,,,¦‚“ know that you are special, that you are worthwhile, that you have a voice you need to use, and that you are loved and valued. Ask for what you need, find allies in your peers and adults, believe that you deserve and can have a family of your own, and believe in yourself.

 

With love, deep sadness and hope,

Kim

This article came from this website.