Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

November 23 is National Adoption Day

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Thursday, November 21, 2013

As the mother of 16 children, many of them adopted and foster children that my husband and I have gladly welcomed into our home and our hearts, National Adoption Day is very close to my heart. Over the years, the Hood family has grown not only in size but in richness and joy, and we are proud to be adoptive parents. Please take some time this Saturday to consider what you can do to help the many children who remain without families, whether it is by donating to an organization like The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, becoming an advocate in your community, or opening your home to those in need.

Thank you,

A Special Message from The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
This Saturday, November 23rd, we will celebrate National Adoption Day and the approximately 4,500 adoptions of children in foster care that will take place in courthouses across the nation. It is a day of celebration as well as a poignant reminder of the nearly 100,000 children in foster care still awaiting their own adoption day.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute exists because we not only believe that every child needs a family, but also that they can find that family – no matter what their age or circumstances. Toward that goal, we continue to raise awareness of the policy barriers that prevent children in the U.S. and around the word from finding their forever families. We will work daily with policymakers to address these barriers until every last one is removed.

We are pleased to announce the release of our report, What Barriers Remain: Areas of Needed Adoption and Foster Care Reform in the 113th Congress. This report highlights several areas where the U.S. Congress might work to reduce the number of children living without families in the U.S. and abroad. It is our hope that all who read this new report, from Members of Congress to adoptive parents, Members of the Administration to foster youth, will work in partnership with us until every child in need of a family finds permanency.


Online Support: The Perfect Answer for Many Adoptive Parents

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Support can come in lots of ways for people who have adopted children who have special needs. Talking to someone who “gets it” is one of the best things that we as adoptive parents can do to normalize our experience and feel like we are not alone. However, some types of support just aren’t possibilities for us during our most trying of days.

Here are some reasons why “real life” as opposed to virtual, online support aren’t possible for adoptive parents:

1) Traditional support groups require us to leave our homes. This requires child care. Many adoption support groups do not provide child care.

2) Traditional support groups that meet in person sometimes offer child care. However, sometimes our children simply cannot function in that setting — even if it is geared to special needs children.

3) Sometimes we are simply to exhausted to make ourselves look presentable. Even if we want to get out and go to a group, it would require having time for a shower and ttime to find clothes that match and don’t have holes in them, perhaps makeup or perfume… you get the idea. Sometimes we’re just too tired at the end of the day to get there.

4) If we can’t meet in person, phone calls are the next best thing. However, it is quite embarrassing to be talking to someone with the noise of a kid raging in the background or while being called a variety of interesting and colorful names by an angry teenager. After we’ve said, “wait, hold on a second” five or six times it just gets too frustrating to try any longer.

5) Having visitors would be another natural way to connect with others, but I know you can think of 30 reasons why THAT isn’t going to happen. At least I can.

6) Meeting another adoptive parent for coffee or lunch is a great idea IF all the kids are in school and IF the school isn’t calling to interrupt the lunch or coffee time to say that we have to come to the school to intervene, give advice, or bring them home.

So, naturally, those of us who have interesting children at home often can’t find support by going to a “real life” support group. We can’t have people over, go out to meet someone, or talk on the phone. Fortunately, there is the internet and now even those of us in the midst of the battle in the trenches can participate in an online group.

So obviously, after reading the paragraphs above, you should already be able to articulate these reasons why online support has been my favorite type in my fifteen years as a foster and adoptive parent:

I don’t have to get dressed up. In fact I don’t have to get dressed at all. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can do it any time of day or night, it doesn’t matter if everyone is awake, or nobody is. Nobody can hear the noise and chaos in the background.

I also find that the ability to write down what I am feeling (which often is required for online support) helps me understand myself more.

So if you are finding a need to “talk” to “someone who gets it” during the next weeks, why not check out online support options? List servs, message boards, blogs, and other avenues of online connections can be just what you are looking for.

If you have not heard, Adopt America has an online support group via Facebook. You can check us out by searching for Adopt America Network’s Support Group on facebook and asking to join. We’d love to have you be a part of our group. And remember … we couldn’t care less what you look like right now, or what your kids are doing or saying in the background, or if you have lots of energy or very little. We are definitely a “come as you are” group. “See” you soon!