Celebration Tokens: In-Process Adoption Keepsakes

August 20th, 2009

While I was pregnant with Bear, each month presented me with a growing reminder of my child. Granted, I can’t claim I gave birth to a seventy-five pound baby (yes, I gained a whopping seventy-five pounds—and let me tell you, they were delicious!), but I had that physical reminder of his presence with me always; in addition to my constantly and consistently expanding belly, I also savored the numerous but still always amazing flutters, kicks, jabs and so forth. While we were in the process of adopting Beauty, I obviously didn’t have the constant physical reminders. The love was exactly the same, but I have to admit this much is true: I missed those everyday suggestions that I was one step closer to meeting my… [more]

International Adoption In The News

June 17th, 2009

A few updates in the world of International Adoption: Madonna's petetion for adoption of a little girl is granted the second time around from the courts of Malawi. Malawi's adoption laws normally require adoptive parents to live in country for a long period of time and Madonna's lack of residence has caused quite the stir in the International Community. To learn more about Malawi adoptions you can check out Adoption.com or the U.S. State Department. I have voiced my thoughts on Madonna's adoptions from Malawi in previous blogs and love to hear other people's perspectives. Nepal is starting to process adoption again in limited cases. There is no guartentee that families who were in the process of adopting when adoptions were suspended a while… [more]

Affording International Adoption

March 19th, 2009

When we started the adoption process a comment I often heard was, "I have thought about adopting, but it is so expensive." While I agree that most adoptions are far from free, there are many options on funding. If you are feeling called to adopt but worried about the cost I would encourage you to look into the many options out there. While I am writing from an International point of view many of these resources can be used to domestic or possible foster adoptions. If you are a U.S. citizen the first thing to look into is the Tax credit that you will get once the adoption is finalized. As of 2008 you could claim up to $11,650.00 over five years in… [more]

Ready for Summer? How About a Culture Camp?

March 5th, 2009

Yes, I know it is just the beginning of March. I am dreaming of warm weather and all the preparations for summer is making me impatient. If this is your first summer as a parent, you may be surprised to be reading this. The sad truth is that you have to plan your summer in late winter to get to do all the things you want to do. For example, Meg, my oldest child is going to horse camp in July. I had to have her paperwork and deposit in on February 11th. Thankfully, Meg doesn't change her mind easily. If you have a child who changes interests frequently, you could be in trouble! Mita and Enu pushed for… [more]

Not Just a Number

March 5th, 2009

We live in a world of not-just-a-number. There is a clock in every room, a phone in our pocket, the mph in our cars. We know our families phone not-just-a-number, birthdays and kids weights and heights. There is no doubt in my mind that if we took all the not-just-a-number away we would fall apart. The not-just-a-number also desensitize us in some ways. Unfortunately when we hear about the number of orphans in the world, the number hits us as large, but we are used to large not-just-a-number. I don't think it affects us the way it should. Watching the news and hearing all the large money amounts being mentioned is enough to make me want to tune not-just-a-number out… [more]

Deciding on an Adoption Agency

February 26th, 2009

Some of us choose the country we want to adopt from and then find an agency that works with that country. Others of us find an agency through word of mouth or have a local agency close by and they decide to adopt from a country that agency works in. Ether way is fine, the most important thing is to find an agency you work well with and is ethical! I cannot stress this enough. I remember requesting information from several agencies and being surprised at how different agencies function. One agency sent me a HUGE envelope filled with papers, articles and copies of things. It was all out of order and then they requested money to cover the expense of sending… [more]

Learning About the Hague Convention

February 4th, 2009

When starting the adoption process you learn a whole new language. When doing my initial research I kept reading about the Hague. Our agency was getting ready for their Hague review and it seemed to cause a lot of stress, as change usually does! Here is a brief description of this "Hague thing" everyone is talking about. Hague Convention: The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption is an international agreement to protect the integrity of inter country adoptions. The US signed the agreement in 2004 and it was enacted in 2008. We were mid-process when our agency was "audited" by the Hague and the only process change for us is that… [more]

Ethical International Adoptions

January 30th, 2009

With the exception of special needs cases, Liberia has suspended intercountry adoptions. President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said earlier this year: "Essentially, we have discovered that many of the children in these orphanages are not in fact orphans but children taken from their living parents on the promise of support and a good life in America". News like this can send chills down the spine of an adoptive parent. Especially if you have or are the process of adopting internationally. During the adoption process it can be easy to lose focus on everything but bringing home our child or children. You may find it hard to believe in the need for transparency and ethics when there are so many children in… [more]

Great Geography Games for the Adoptive Family

January 25th, 2009

If you are adopting internationally you may have noticed that a lot of people out there do not know geography! I had people ask me where Ethiopia was and they were surprised it was in Africa. Many people still think that Africa is a country not a continent! As adoptive families we often find ourselves educating people on adoption facts and geography facts. We also have a responsibility to know about where our kids are from. The following games not only help us learn, but can be used to teach your children as well. The Out of the Box company has some great games to help people have fun while learning about geography. I bought the 10 Days in Africa for my family when we were… [more]

Cambodia news: World Bank, mono-culture, tourists, and survivor stories

July 27th, 2007

Starting off this week's wrap of news from Cambodia, a press release from the World Bank about their approval of a $36.25 million grant for decentralization and related reforms. The World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for Cambodia 2005 - 2008, endorsed by the Board in May 2005, recognizes governance issues as the primary obstacle to growth, poverty reduction, and aid effectiveness, and supports decentralization as a means to improve local governance and accountability. Sounds like gobbledegook to me, and when I read about throwing $15 million at something called the "Poverty Reduction Growth Operation" (PRGO), I can't help wondering how many hefty paychecks come with administering such a mouthful. The head of the world back, Robert Zoellick, will be meeting