There are going to be times when your child is mad at you, as will there be times when your mad at your children, but according to this Yahoo! article the young author of this run away letter had a very interesting reason for being angry. The note says “I am running away because you think I farted then I didn’t. PS You’re mean.”
I could not stop laughing when I first saw this letter, and as the Yahoo! post also said, I can’t decide if the most amusing aspect of the letter is the little girl’s reasoning for “running away” or the cute misspellings.
I can remember writing a similar “run away” note to my parents when I was a young kid because I wasn’t allowed to stay up for the end of the Buffalo Sabres games. The nerve of my parents, not allowing their five-or-six-year-old son to stay up until 10 pm for a hockey game! What are some of the reasons you threatened to run away when you were a young child?
Circleofmoms.com recently published a study on mothers who stay at home with their children and mothers who work. The study found that the “average” number of kids in a family with a stay-at-home mother is 2.2 while the average in a family with a working mother is 1.9. The study also found that 32 percent of stay-at-home mothers have more than three children while that number drops to 22 percent in families with working mothers.
There are many more statistics in the info-graph, but the section that I found interesting was “About Their Children.” According to the study, a working mom’s child on average learns their ABC’s earlier and learns to read earlier then a stay-at-home mother, while a stay-at-home-mother’s child on average will learn to swim and ride a bike earlier then a working mom’s child.
The infograph also included thoughts from both working and staying-at-home mothers and I think Wendy N. put the decision into context best saying, “Working or staying at home one has to make sacrifices and it is hard either way. The trick is balancing and finding peace within yourself and your decision.”
I would be very interested to hear from mothers on how they came to the decision to work or not while raising a family. What were some of the factors in your decision, and how do you or did you balance work and family life?
This post was written by Adoption STAR Intake Specialist and leader of ACE, Zack Fried.
Adult adoptees share the common fact that they were adopted, but their stories truly differ. ACE (Adoption Circle of Experience) is a great way to share these different stories with one another. ACE is a support group for adult adoptees, 18 and up, to come together and share their experiences.
Led by Zack Fried, an adoptee himself, the group is very much for every adoptee. ACE is an outlet to share anything and everything with those who will understand. Whether positive or bumpy stories, whether one laughs or cries during their story, one can truly find a sounding board and much comfort in ACE.
The group meets a few times a year, and is always welcoming of new members. There is no fee to be a part of ACE, and one can share as much or as little as they are comfortable with to other members of the group.
ACE’s next meeting will take place Monday September 22 from 6pm-7:30pm at the Adoption STAR office, which is located at 47 Plaza Dr. Williamsville, NY, 14221. To join ACE or to find out more information contact Zack by either calling (716) 639-3900 or email email@example.com
Weight gain during your pregnancy is the third part in our five-part series on pregnancy health. If you would like more in-depth information on weight gain during your pregnancy, please visit the Adoption STAR website. You may also want to review the pregnancy nutrition section on the website, which we reviewed on the blog earlier.
While pregnant, it is healthy to gain weight slowly and steadily. In the first trimester, it is more than adequate to gain only 1-5 pounds, and one pound-per-week in the second and third trimesters. In total a woman who started at an average weight should expect to gain between 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy.
If you gain too much weight or gain weight rapidly you may be at risk for a miscarriage, a pre-term delivery or a very large baby. Women who do not gain enough weight could be at risk for a very low birth weight baby.
Of course, every pregnancy is different, and it is important to use this information only as a guideline. If you have questions about weight gain or nutrition during pregnancy, contact your primary healthcare provider. Adoption STAR provides information as well as counseling and support throughout your adoption journey. If you would like more information on making an adoption plan please contact our birth parent specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is your child not looking forward to the end of summer? Is he/she dreading September and the beginning of a new school year? Familyeducation.com has a great activity that may help you and your kids accentuate the positives of their school day.
The activity suggests “that you can practice remembering good things and feelings, and letting go of bad ones.” To do this have your children write down their five favorite things, activities or feelings from school that day and keep this list somewhere where everyone can see it. This way whenever your child is feeling less then thrilled with school, you can look at the list and talk about all of the positive things they enjoy at school each day.
What are some ways that you help your children appreciate and even enjoy school?
This post was originally written by Adoption STAR CEO and Founder, Michele Fried, for a previous Adoption STAR blog website.
The adoptive mother of a Caucasian little boy sent me a note recently, “The moment for me that really brought home the idea of “adoption as a melting pot” was when I was at the agency picnic and overheard two big tough dads– both Caucasian– discussing hair tips for their African American children! Just another way that adoption makes life more interesting and wonderful.”
This mom continued to say that she often hears that her son looks like her husband. While that is a wonderful compliment, she stated that many people then add that “it was meant to be” because they look alike. “We usually chuckle and say he also has striking similarities to his birth mom, so he gets the best of both worlds.” What a brave and beautiful response.
The messages children receive come from their parents; and from the way they see them respond to others. Many years ago when I was a very young adoptive mother, I attended a national adoption conference. In a very large auditorium the topic of transracial adoption came up and a woman in the back of the room raised her hand to share what she thought was a wonderful response to annoying onlookers. She said that she is a mother of children who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and she is often asked how could they all look so different from each other? Her response was, “I am a sloppy prostitute.” She laughed and expected the crowd to giggle along with her, but instead she got the message loud and clear: “While you think you are retorting with a cute response, what message are you sending to your children?”
Certainly most of us would never think to respond in that manner. But sometimes it is the slightest comments that we may not be aware of that can send the wrong message. Often, without thinking, adoptive parents speak about wanting their own children before they adopted. They have their own children. They may not have been born to them, but they are truly their own. Sometimes, without realizing it, adoptive parents talk about a birth parent that gave up their child, when they mean to say, “Made an adoption plan” or “Placed her baby.” I tell waiting parents that we are not spouting political correctness with our words, but rather introducing terminology that helps our children feel wanted, safe, and respected.
Those of us who have biological and adopted children should be aware of the comments received by family members and friends. Often the non adopted children are told how much they look like mommy or daddy and of course, mom and dad get a kick out of that response. What does the adoptee hear? What does the adoptee think? He does not resemble his parents, he wonders does he belong?
We need to work hard to identify similarities between us and our adopted children. “You have beautiful big brown eyes like your daddy.” “You draw very well; mommy is good at drawing too.” “You have feet just like daddy.” “The minute Grandpa saw you he said you arrived with his nose!” Of course for very little children it’s also important to point out simply that you each have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Uncomplicated statements like that also help provide connections. When you speak of differences, speak of them as positives not negatives. “You have a beautiful voice. I remember learning that your birth mother loved to sing.” “You have beautiful brown skin. You are so lucky.” When discussing your African American or Biracial child’s hair, remember not to speak negatively about his or her hair being hard to manage or a challenge for you. I know that this is a common issue especially for Caucasian parents, though I have also heard many African American parents refer to their children’s hair as “bad.” Your child’s hair is not bad. It is simply different. Not something you may be familiar with yet, but with practice and patience you will be. Then you will be able to point out the differences between yours and your child’s hair rather then one type of hair being better than the other.
The messages you send to your children help shape their self esteem and reactions to others. The way you respond to others also will affect your children. Though you may not have desired to become a teacher, you have become one if you are a parent. You have the awesome responsibility to guide your children, but also to educate others on the ways they respond to your family and your children.
If you are an adoptive parent with Adoption STAR then you are a STAR graduate of our educational classes. Most of you are pros and some of you may think you need a refresher class! Don’t worry! It is never too late to begin being more aware of the terminology you use and how you respond to questions from strangers, and issues that arise within your extended family and circle of friends. Always be positive (even with question-asking strangers) and please remember, “Your children are listening.”
We have a lot of great conversations on the Adoption STAR Facebook page each week, so every Thursday we’ll review the week that was on the Adoption STAR Facebook page for those of you that are not one of the over 750 million Facebook users.
On Monday we featured Adoption STAR Adoption Social Worker and received comments such as:
“All I can say is ‘Thanks Kathy’” from Shannon M
“Kathy has been one of the greatest supports for me through my journey and I wish every birth mother was able to have the opportunity to benefit from the amazing work Kathy can do. 1,000 thanks to her…So happy to see her featured here!!” – from Meagan Buchert
The talk of Tuesday was the earthquake felt across the east coast. Personally I felt my desk shake a little bit, and originally I thought someone was just shaking the desk until I noticed everyone talking about an earthquake on Facebook. We had several people in WNY respond that they did feel the earthquake, while our very own CEO and Founder Michele Fried claims to have missed it.
We also discussed planking on Tuesday, which included a great picture of a person planking on an airplane. For those unfamilliar with planking, it is the act of laying flat face down in unusual places. Stay tuned on Friday for Adoption STAR’s attempt at Planking!
Wednesday brought a discussion of trans-racial adoption, and Belinda R. commented that “I guess my ‘aha moment’ to change our profile to be open to all races was when I volunterred at the Buffalo Dream Center for Teen MOPS. I helped with child care and fell in love with the children. All children need a good home.”
Thursday mornings discussion centered around how some of our families decided to consider adoption as an option.
Parker G commented that his family began to consider adoption “After our three IFV pregnancies ended in miscarriages. All of which led us to our beautiful Geneva Belle!”
Sandra D commented that “It just seemed natural. I thought about adoption from the time I was a child. Adoption is just the path we were meant to take. Four years of infertility surgery that did nothing but keep me in pain and was not worth it in the long run. Thank you to grandma in heaven for teaching me about adoption and for adopting my aunt and uncle.”
We encourage everyone to continue these conversations on the blog, and if you haven’t done so join the Adoption STAR Facebook page.
While growing up and dreaming of one day being a parent, growing your family through adoption may not have crossed your mind. If you are now attempting to grow your family through pregnancy and have been unsuccessful, that will often be a traumatic experience. Before considering adoption, it is important to fully come to grips and accept infertility.
The Adoption STAR website has a self-assessment tool that may assist you with this exploration. When you are finished taking the self-assesment, you may wish to take a second quiz that may help you decide if are ready to consider adoption. It is important to answer all of the questions honestly so you can utilize this questionnaire as a self-assessment tool to help you determine your plans in the future.
If you would like to assess whether or not you are ready to stop attempting to become pregnant and consider adoption as an option, this quiz may help. Please remember adoption may cure childlessness but it will not cure infertility.
If you believe you are ready to consider adoption there are many ways to contact Adoption STAR. You can email us at email@example.com, call the office at (716)639-3900 or fill out this contact form.
We love to share heartwarming adoption stories and the story of Ester and Julius, two orphans in Uganda is a great adoption tale.
According to the article, 18-year-old Lexi Gager went on a church mission to Uganda where she met Ester. While there Gager made a short video of Ester and put it on Youtube where it was found by Esty Downs, who had recently adopted a child from Uganda. Downs placed the video on her Facebook page with the status “If you are looking for your child maybe this is her.”
In the story, Downs said she had nine potential mothers contact her, but after realizing Ester was a child with special needs eight of them decided this wasn’t the right opportunity. However, according to the article, Tammy Stonebrook saw the video and was completely enchanted with Ester and the Stonebrook family is now in the process of adopting Ester and Julius, a young boy from the same orphanage.
While the Stonebrooks are still waiting for approval from US Immigration to finalize the adoption, it seems as if there will be a happy ending for Ester, Julius and the Stonebrooks.
As prospective adoptive parents it is important to research any potential match opportunities, especially those found through social media. Whether you are considering foster or private adoption it is also important to work with professionals who can help you through the adoption process. If you are interested in more information on social media as it regards to adoption, Adoption STAR recently published its official recommendations on how to have a healthy and ongoing relationship using social media as an adoptee, birth parent or adoptive parent.
According to an article on USARiseUp.com, a recent study on trans-racial adoption found that “after six or more years of living in their different-race home, children adjusted as well as their same-race-adoption counterparts.”
When beginning your adoption journey with Adoption STAR, an important question we will ask you to consider is “how open are you and your family to trans-racial and trans-cultural adoption?”
In a trans-racial or trans-cultural adoption, it is important to integrate your child’s birth background and culture into your family. Some ways to do this are living in an area, or sending your child to a school where he/she will meet people of the same culture or background, eating at ethnic restaurants, and attending cultural events.
In all adoptions it is important to be open from the start. You can start at an early age reading children books about adoption at bed time, and answering questions they may have as your child grows. If you would like more information on talking with your child about his/her adoption, your Adoption STAR family advocate will be able to help.
The article features Ann Costello and Anthony Ciaccia, who adopted their son James from Korea. According to the article, Ann and Anthony have always been open with James, who is now heading off to college, about his adoption. Ann said in that article that “We never pushed him to ‘be Korean,’ but rather let him set his own pace and the extent to which he wanted to be involved.” She went on to say that they celebrated James’ heritage by going to Korean events in the community, enrolling him in Tae Kwon Do and eating at Korean restaurants. She said the family plans to visit South Korea as well.
Adoption STAR has a five-week Pre-Parenthood Adoption Education class that covers many topics, including your child’s identity and common issues related to adopting a child who looks different from his/her parents. If you would like more information on trans-racial adoption please email the agency , call us at (716)639-3900, or fill out our contact form.