Members of Adoption STAR’s Rochester adoption support group, SOFIA, recently got together for a great Halloween event…and sent us some great pictures that we’re happy to share with everyone!
SOFIA meets in both Buffalo and Rochester and is for all adoptive families, as well as families who are waiting to be matched. For more information on SOFIA, you can visit the SOFIA website or email the support group directly.
We’re sure you’re going to be taking some great Halloween Trick-or-Treating photos tonight, if you’d like to share those pictures, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salon recently published a blog post comparing the way two television shows, “Modern Family” and “Parenthood,” have recently tackled adoption plot lines. I watch both of these shows and couldn’t agree more with the writers opinion on both of the shows.
The blog talks about how “Modern Family” is often times politically incorrect, but, especially with the adoption plotline, finds a way to be based in reality. The writer, Martha Nichols, specifically brings up the “Two Monkeys and a Panda” episode as an example of the way Modern Family realistically speaks about adoption.
The show is in its third season and has showed gay adoptive parents, Cam and Mitchell, go through many highs and difficulties of adopting trans-racially. This season there have been many reports that the show will focus on Cam and Mitchell going through the adoption process, which we missed the first time around. I look forward to seeing how the show will bring its brand of humor to the adoption proces.
Meanwhile Nichols was a little less thrilled with the way “Parenthood” has represented the adoption process. She writes that “the current story involving the quest of Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen) to adopt a baby is not only an inaccurate portrayal of the ups and downs of the adoption process, It leans heavily on a heroic adoption narrative—just the sort of thing Modern Family skewers brilliantly.”
Nichols writes that her problem with “Parenthood’s” adoption plotline is that everything has been rushed. In the span of a few episodes, the characters looking to adopt have gotten frustrated with their adoption agency, met a young pregnant woman who is conveniently looking to place her child, boldly asked to adopt said child and been rejected, apologized for asking such a question, taken the young pregnant woman into their house, and most recently been told they can adopt the child. There is no adoption agency or lawyer to speak of yet.
It’s somewhat surprising that “Parenthood”, which has excelled in telling several realistic and genuine stories, would gloss over so many important aspects of the adoption process. Hopefully when the show returns on Tuesday there will be a more realistic feel to the story.
What is everyone elses thoughts on the way “Parenthood” and “Modern Family” discuss adoption?
Whether you are a kid getting ready to go Trick-or-Treating or a parent preparing to brave the weather and take your child trick-or-treating, Halloween can be a fun holiday for all involved. The Adoption STAR staff took a few minutes this week to gather their old Halloween costume photos and answer a few questions about their favorite Halloween memories! Enjoy!
Favorite Halloween memories
|NAME||What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?||What is your favorite Halloween candy?||What age did you stop trick-or-treating?||What movie scared you most as a kid?||What are you going to be for Halloween this year?|
|Michele||loved dressing up in costumes as a child and even though we didn’t go “trick or treating” i loved handing out candy.||snickers||I wasn’t permitted to trick our treat as a child so i “began” trick or treating with my children||Ghost Story||My favorite costume is my witch costume!|
|Sue K.||wish I could remember, but Halloween wasn’t the big holiday in our family. Christmas was.||whoppers or smarties||my mom thinks I stopped at 12 years, but I continued in secret with friends until I was 15.||The Birds, with Phase 4 being a close second||A candy giver!|
|Missy||Princess||m&m’s and hersey’s bar||12?||Pet Cemetery (saw it when I was 9 and still terrified of that movie)||nothing (was going to be a peacock)|
|Shannon||My favorite halloween costume as a kid was when I dressed as a cow girl! I really loved that out fit so much, even after halloween, I kept wearing it! haha.||My favorite halloween candy are fun-sized milky ways!! yum!||I trick or treated until I was in high school. My friends and I used to go and have a great time! haha.||The movie that scared me most as a kid is Hocus Pocus. I still think it is so suspenseful!!||For halloween this year I will probably not be dressing up although I do love halloween because it is a huge holiday for my boyfriend’s family. It is a tradition to carve pumpkins and have a contest! we line them all up and have the trick or treaters pick their favorite one!|
|Sue S.||girl from 1940’s||banana laffy taffy||18||the exorcist and the sentinel||Myself|
|Michael||I was E.T. one year while in elementary school. My mother made my costume and it was AMAZING (as evidenced by the fact that I won “best costume” in a school wide costume contest that year).||Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups||Not exactly sure….at some point in early on in my high school career, I think.||I never really saw any scary movies as a child. As a teenager, I’d have to say “Poltergeist” was pretty darn scary, as was “The Shinning.” Oh wait….“The Exorcist” is terrifying, too! I think all three of these terrified me equally.||I’m happy to report that my mother is continuing her tradition of sewing Halloween costumers; not for me anymore, but fore my son (who is going to be the Tin Man from the “The Wizard of Oz”).|
|Lori||I can’t remember back that far!!||Snickers||Last time out was a freshman in high school and our group all went as hippies – it was just the early 70’s after all!||Any and all Dracula movies||I haven’t worn a costume in years, but do wear the Halloween orange and black complete with spider/ghost earrings when passing out candy to the trick-or treaters!|
|Zack||star trek character||reeses peanut butter cups||freshman in high school||i love scary movies!||not sure if i will dress up|
|Angel||frankensteins bride||Twix Candy Bars||8th grade||The Halloween movies with Michael Meyers||Witch|
|Lynlee||My favorite Halloween costume was definitely Belle from Beauty and the beast||I’m a peanut butter and chocolate girl so Reese’s was always what I ate first!!||I think the last time I went trick-or-treating I was a sophomore in college. Friends and I went out just for fun!!||I do not do well with scary movies. The Sixth Sense really creeped me out.||An Angry Bird (the red one)!|
|Emma||I loved being a pumpkin.||Candy-Corn!||i Still Trick-or-Treat, but this is going to be my last year (17).||The Scream Series scares me the most !||i Want to be a Smurf for Halloween this year.|
|Alex||So many to choose from…Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ranks up there, but I think number one will always be the year I was my musical hero, Paul McCartney.||Tie between Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Three Musketeers||In eighth grade I was Dennis Rodman for Halloween and that was my last year of trick-or-treating||Definitely Wizard of Oz. The Flying Monkeys are very unsettling to an eight year old.||Doc Brown from “Back to the Future”
Actress Viola Davis, who is nominated for an Oscar for her role in the movie “The Help” recently became a mother for the first time with the adoption of her daughter Genesis.
Davis, who is 46 years old, told CNN that she realized she wanted to make a bigger impact with her life, which led to her and husband Julius Tennon, to consider adoption.
“It’s got to be about something bigger and larger, especially when half of your life is already gone,” Davis said in the CNN article. “You look back and you think, ‘what are you leaving behind? What are the true joys of your life?’ And for me it was a child.”
There are many reasons to consider growing your family through adoption, if you are an adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parent, what were some of your decision factors when considering adoption?
Yesterday morning the Adoption STAR staff took part in a training session on “non-violent communication (NVC.)” The goal of NVC is to learn to clarify: what you are observing, what emotions you are feeling, what values you want to live by, and what you want to ask of yourself and others.
The facilitator for this training session was Ellen Melamed, M.A. Ellen has years of experience working as a playwright, teaching artist and art therapist in Buffalo and New York. You can click here if you would like any more information on her programs and classes.
The NVC method asks you to do four things:
- Observe a situation without evaluating it (EX: “Pam was first in line every day this week” not “My father is a good man.”)
- Verbally express your true feeling (EX: “I’m sad that you’re leaving” not “You’re disgusting”)
- Acknowledge responsibility for your feelings (EX: “I feel angry when you say that, because I am wanting to respect and I hear your words as an insult” not “Little things people say sometimes hurt me)
- Express requests (EX: “I’d like you to tell me one thing that I did that you appreciate” not “I want you to understand me.”)
After learning about the four steps to the NVC method the staff attempted to put our new-found education into action in role-playing activities. While we all enjoyed a laugh getting into character, these role-play activities are very important as we learned quickly, it takes time and practice to effectively articulate all four aspects of the NVC method.
When used correctly the NVC method allows you to clearly ask for what you need, and while you may not always receive the answer you are looking for, this method is designed to limit arguments and confrontations.
For those in the Syracuse area, there will be a “Foster Care and Adoption Information Session for LGBTQ People” on Wednesday, November 9 from 6-8 pm. The event will take place at The Q Center, 617 West Genesee St. Syracuse, NY.
Several adoption agencies, including Adoption STAR, will be in attendance and will offer you the ability to ask questions and receive free information. The event will also offer you the opportunity to learn more about the foster care and adoption process in an LGBTQ-affirming setting and speak with other LGBTQ prospective parents.
To RSVP for the event or receive more information, please email Claudia Stallman, of the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project, or call (607)724-4308
Last week I wrote part one of a blog post on Bernie and Sheila Winter and their daughter Grace, who was born with Down Syndrome. Part one centered on their adoption journey and life with Grace. The second part will focus specifically on special needs adoption.
Adopting a child with special needs can be an intimidating thought, but Sheila said that the sate of New York and all of the county workers have helped them immensely throughout the last two years.
“You’re never alone, not for a minute. Our state is wonderful with early intervention and they get therapists in there and they are very proactive about it. They ask ‘what does your child need?’ and they just go with it. It’s beautiful,” Sheila said.
Grace received therapy at home for over a year and this year started taking a bus to Bornhava school. At Bornhava, Grace is currently learning sign language.
“With Down Syndrome, your oral motor skills don’t develop as quickly as someone who doesn’t have special needs, and they’re main frustration is they really just need to be able to communicate with you,” Sheila said. “Sign language gives you that opening so you can communicate and know what your baby wants.”
Besides getting involved with the state early on, Sheila’s other piece of advice to parents considering adopting a child with special needs is to find a pediatrician that you are comfortable with.
“If you’re not comfortable with the doctor for your child, get another one, because you need to be able to talk to them, you need to be able to pick up the phone and tell them where you’re at,” Sheila said. “(The doctors) will work with you and you can work with them, and if you don’t have that relationship, you need to find one that you do have that relationship with. It puts you at ease.”
For Bernie, the key to adopting a child with special needs has been patience.
“The biggest thing, as long as you are willing to be patient and work with your child, it is the most rewarding thing that could ever happen to you,” Bernie said. “Grace, to us, is a normal child, and while she has to go through therapies to get her to where she is, Grace is the best kid I know.”
Adopting a child with special needs is not without its challenges. Bernie said that one of the main challenges is “you always have that little extra worry about ‘is there something wrong because of the Down Syndrome, or is it something normal that comes up through life.”
Despite the challenges, Sheila believes that adopting a child with special needs is a gift that keeps on giving.
“The bonds seem stronger. Every night you lay your baby down and put your child to bed, and you just know that today was for her or him, and us. It’s just so overwhelming,” Sheila said.
Adoption STAR will be hosting its Annual Shining STAR Event on Wednesday, November 2, at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo. Shining STAR’s goal is to raise money to support children with special needs.
If you are interested in learning more about growing your family through adoption, please visit the adoptive parents section of the Adoption STAR website. You can contact the agency by email or call us toll-free at 1(866)691-3300.
This post was written by Adoption STAR CEO and Founder Michele Fried.
With the death of Muammar Gaddafi, allegedly the father of eight or nine children, we find that he liked sharing a story that he was an “adoptive father.” Whether or not this was true is difficult to say but it is widely known that he would often say things for propaganda purposes.
There is little known about Milad Gaddafi. Milad may have been Gaddafi’s nephew he may have been adopted by him as a symbolic gesture tied to an incident in 1986 when the young Milad reportedly saved the Libyan leader’s life during a U.S. bomb attack on his compound.
It is known that Gaddafi had a biological daughter named Ayesha Gaddafi, now 35 years old. She is currently a lawyer who was part of the unsuccessful team defending ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in a war-crimes trial that eventually led to his execution. According to Cable television news, Ayesha is “considered by some shrewder and smarter than her brothers.” It has been reported that she has fled to Algeria.
If Ayesha is said to be Gaddafi’s only daughter. Then who is Hana?
In the same 1986 attack mentioned above, Gaddafi claimed that his “adopted” daughter, Hana, was killed. Some reports say that she was nine-years-old at the time other reports say she was 18-months-old. News outlets reported that a child with that name did die but was not related to Gaddafi. Others believe that Hana Gaddafi is alive and well and is working today as a physician in Tripoli. Others say this Hana was another child Gaddafi adopted and named in “memory” of the first Hana.
Truly there is no evidence that Gaddafi ever adopted a daughter in the first place. The only evidence at hand is that Gaddafi was one of the world’s longest serving dictators who led with brutality.
Actress Mariska Hargitay, whose best known for her role on “Law and Order: SVU,” and her husband, Peter Hermann, recently adopted their second child in the past six months.
According to an article on AllHeadlineNews.com, Hargitay and Hermann recently adopted their son Andrew, who was born over the summer. In April Hargitay and Hermann adopted their daughter Amaya, and also have a five-year-old son August.
The article said that the couple knew they wanted to adopt another child someday, but did not think it would happen this quickly.
“”We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly, but something inside of us knew this was right and we said, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’” Hargitay said in People Magazine.
Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays growing up, I can remember being Batman more than once, as well as a New York Yankee player, and of course there was the ill-fated year that I went as former NBA basketball player, Dennis Rodman.
Halloween is less then two weeks away and I’m sure most kids have had their costumes picked out for weeks, however if you’re a last-minute shopper (like I am) then here is a great slideshow from IVillage.com of 30 costumes for your children that you can easily make at home.
What are your kids going to be for Halloween this year?
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Adoption In The News: Searching For Your Birth Family Through Facebook
Good Morning Everyone, hope you all had a great weekend. First off, we'd like to apologize for issues we have been having recently with the Adoption STAR website. We are working to have all of these issues fixed as fast as possible. This morning