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My Adopted Child, There's No One Like You by Kevin Leman
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Although it is the story of a Guatemalan adoption, its appeal is universal to all adoptive parents—especially those who adopt internationally. It is tempting as an adoptive parent to become defensive, to gloss over the ethical dilemmas inherent when wealthy people from developed countries adopt babies from poor people in undeveloped countries.
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The reality is that often international adoptions are a blur where the white and black hats are not at all clear. This book is well worth the read. The Women Who Raised Me is the remarkable story of her rise out of the foster care system to attain the American Dream—and of the unlikely series of women who lifted, motivated, and inspired her along the way, including her mentally ill birth mother, and highlights how love triumphs biology every time. Rowell has succeeded as a well known TV actress Diagnosis Murder and The Young and The Restless and founded a non profit to help children in foster care.
After 9 years of infertility treatment, 13 IVF cycles, 2 failed surrogacy attempts and numerous adoption attempts, Vardalos and her husband finally adopted an almost-three-year-old girl from foster care. Instant Mom chronicles her struggles with infertility, her decision to transition to adoption and the joys and heartache of adopting an older child.
A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China edited by Amy Klatzkin- A really nice collection of essays about that cover the Chinese adoption process from first thought to parenthood. Would be a fun collection to read while you wait. Among other things, the author talks about how families adjust when an older child is adopted out of birth order. Daughter of the Ganges by Asha Miro- The author was born in India and adopted into a loving home in Spain as an almost 7 year old.
She returns to India in search for the missing pieces of her early life and ultimately a search for biological family. I like this book for many reasons, mostly the voice and the the fact that she includes the stories of adult transracial adoptees. Great book if you are considering adopting across racial lines. Interesting and well written. Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans. Both her roles influenced this book. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Proceeds go to support the Half the Sky Foundation if bought through their web site. If you have two young children and are thinking of adopting an 8-year old child, who most likely will need lots of nurturing and attention—especially if the child has more profound attachment issues—you need to consider how a school -age child, who may be more like a 4-year-old emotionally, will affect your life and those of the other children in the home.
Although a child may be 8 years old, the child may be physically smaller and much less mature than a 4-year-old child in your home. If the newly adopted child looks like an 8-year-old, it can be easy to see this child as being much older than the other children and expecting more than the child is capable of doing. In fact, most children entering a home are going to have lots of needs and most likely will not be emotionally on par with other children of the same age. You will have to adjust your expectations for such a child. If an year old from an orphanage is an only child, it is easier to treat the child like an 8-year old or younger.
Some families have larger age gaps in their children and adopt a child who can fill in the age difference. As stated, it is all about expectations. Children, who are older, can also have attachment issues and may have been sexually abused. This means that it can be difficult for such a child to be around younger children. Such children may try to harm the younger children—even if in subtle ways. Behavior that parents may tolerate if there are no other children or only older children in the home becomes intolerable when younger children may become victims.
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Some therapists indicate that a large percentage of older children coming from orphanages have been sexually abused on some level. This is also true for children coming from the foster care system. The integration of such a child into the family should be done cautiously. An older child should not be left alone with younger children until a pattern of behavior is well-established. The same precautions that are taken when adopting an older child need to also be taken when adopting a sibling group.