Ancestry

About one month or so ago I was watching a show on TV “Who do you think you are?” (actually I taped the entire season because the show aired on Fridays which is Movie night) about celebrities finding their ancestors, after watching the Rashida Jones and Paula Deen episode I got the bug. Yes, I did a search using ancestry.com….oh my! the first results where surprising so I got an account. I have worked on my Dad’s side of the family. I have been able to go back to 1800 for sure, and I might have a link all the way back too 1700 but I have not confirmed that the link is correct.

As I started doing this research I found information of my grandpa crossing the border in the 1920’s and the best thing was that they had pictures. So I was able to see pictures of my grandpa when he was in 17, 19, 20, and older. Then I looked into my grandma and found a picture of her when she was 17 (she looked so gorgeous) and also a couple of her when she was 9, she looked so cute as a little girl. Through reviewing marriage licences, birth certificates and baptism documents I was able to go back to at least 4 generations. Through this process I learned that my grandmother lived in the US in the 1920’s and worked as a seamstress, and that she went to high school in the US. Now things are coming into place, this is why my Grandma was such a great dressmaker and why she was bilingual, she spoke perfect english but I just never wondered why or how?

Now my Dad’s birthday is coming up and with Ancestry.com you can also create your own family album, of course for $$, so I am planning to do as much research as I can to have it done for his birthday. I also have to mention that I have used “FamilySearch.org” a free website that has tons of information, it takes some time to find it but is great. I love that someone created this site.

While doing all of these searches and creating this gift for my Dad I could not help but think that this is exactly what I should when a child is places with us for adoption. At least I will try to capture as much information as possible to be able to perform a search in the future or document an album that could be shared with the child when the time is right. I think this is even a good idea for all parents to leave a bit of history about their family ancestors to their children. The best part are the tools that are available today, they are at your fingertips.

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210 days and counting

We just got approved as potential adoptive parents this past December.  Now, close to the end of July this is getting too hard.  I enjoyed spending time with my husband, my parents, my sisters and I am ready to receive the news that a little one might be our potential match.

Sometimes I wonder, what did we put in that questionnaire to not be a match to anyone?  It must be that the waiting process is hard.  I have to understand that the child that will be the right match for us and that we can help will come at the right time.

This summer we participated in an event organized by our county to meet children that are awaiting adoption.  At the event there were more than 200 adoptive families and only  25 adoptive children groups.  The issue for us is that we are looking for one child and not a group of children.  The event for the most part was very well-organized and fun.  The drive back home turned out to be sad, not seeing our selves as capable of taking care of more than one child limited our options.  A long drive around town (in the passenger seat) helped to clear my mind.  I guess this is all just part of the process and we have to keep a positive attitude and hang in there.

Adoption Movies!!

If there is something my husband and I enjoy, that is going to the movies. Lately there have been a couple of movies we watch that surprise us due to their adoption content. “I loved them”.  If you feel you are going through the adoption process and need some inspiration to give you patience and strength I recommend these movies.

Kung Fu Panda 2:

Po (the Panda) is The Dragon Warrior and keeps protecting the Valley of Peace with his friends, The Fabulous Five.  There is a new villain that plans to use an unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu.  Po looks to his past and wonders why he looks so different from his Dad, wants to know the story of his of his adoption, and learns that there is no secret powers or recipe.  The secret is belive in yourself and how great you are. I enjoyed this movie, you also get understand the sacrifice of the Panda mother and difficulty of her decision for Po’s safety.  Jack Black is the voice of Po.

Paul Giamatti is “Mike Flaherty” a middle class attorney and part-time wrestling coach at the local highschool.  In order to keep his practice from going under he acts as the legal caretaker of an elderly client, little does he knows the impact this decision will have in his near future.  He wants to use this caretaker business as a loophole to keep his practice.  A highschool student ask him for a place to stay, this kid turns is his client’s troubled grandson.  Mike forms a strong bond with the teenager due to their love of wrestling, the Mom is always loving and understanding.  You see the teenage boy changing before your eyes, of course there is conflict and arguments Mike and his wife give him a real family.  After a while the kids mother shows up.  She wants to get her son back and brings up to the surface all the issues with regards to her father’s housing and money situation.  This movie feels like a “real life” story, I truly enjoyed Paul Giamatti’s acting.

Martian Child

John Cusack is a widow science fiction writer who is introduce this special kid by a friend that is the social worker at the childcare facility.  The writer believes the child acts strangely, the child believes he is from the Red Planet, to live with all his hardship.  John Cusack character understands the child and instantly connect.  He is able to get him to come out of the box by getting to down to his level and not question his story.  Through the movie you see how the child and writer bond and connect, not perfect all the time but one that lasts and brings stability and love to both.

Waiting to adopt, while children wait to be adopted

We just completed all of our requirements to receive the foster parent license, now we just sit and wait.  Even though we just completed the last requirement this week I already feel antsy.  I check websites that display the kids that are waiting to be adopted constantly.  Just this week I found two siblings of the age we are planning and in our state, not in our county but in our state.  I have no idea what will it take to foster-adopt siblings in my state, but not in my county.  These are the websites that I constantly browse:

This websites keep me inspired and maintain my hope of adoption.  The only thing that I wonder is why the wait? why do they have to wait? and why do I have to wait?

On one of our last Pride classes, the teacher explained that they  have 150 families waiting for adoption and that usually they do around 650 adoptions per year.  You can see me in the class room right away calculating, if 650 per year this means about two children a day. If I would calculate that they are all siblings (2), then it will be one adoption per day. Also if there are 150 couples before us, then we would approximately have to wait 5 months, wow!

So for now we wait.

Adoption – Spreading the news

BEING MORE OPEN

Yesterday was a breakthrough for me.  I am usually a reserved person and do not share my personal life with coworkers that much or at least that is what I think.  I finally feel more comfortable about our adoption process and I have opened up with some of my coworkers and shared our news.  Everyone has been so accepting and open, one lady that is also an adoptive mother will bring her car seat for us, her son just graduated to a booster seat.  Everything appears to be falling into place, we are securing the access to the garage and other areas in our home, and we have completed most of the paperwork.

There are still some actions that we need to complete like the Physical exam, which we have scheduled an appointment for next Monday, I think we are still missing two of the reference letters, put a fence around the roses, buy an additional car seat, put a safety lock on the windows, removed the bottles of wine to a restricted area, and organize all the cables under the computer.

Today we attended the 3rd PRIDE Class on attachment.  I enjoyed this class better than the previous one.  I felt we got a lot of interesting information and the instructors are trying to prepared us as much as possible.   We got instructed in determining physical, intellectual, and emotional developmental delays.  We also looked into potential strategies for improving those delays, and the importance of working with the resources available (Teachers, Social Worker, Therapist).

The class also touched on the Foster Care Statistics for our county, here are some fun numbers.

40,185 Hotline calls per year

74,489 children affected by these calls

23,927 were turned into assigned investigations

1,726 Petitions to remove the children from the hoes were filed

1,625 children have birth parents that are performing some type of volunteer services (taking anger management classes, getting drug tested on a regular basis, etc).

Ethnicity percent for children in Foster Care

43% Hispanic

30% White

22% Black

4% Asian

1% Native American

Conflicted about ADOPTION

Lenght of stay in U.S. foster care

Image via Wikipedia

We started our PRIDE (Parent Resource Information Development Education) classes this week, today we attended the second of nine sessions.  Last Tuesday we had an overview of the process, the meaning and responsibilities of being a Foster Parent.  We had a video that was an eye opener (even though is an old one), you get to see potential reactions/behaviors of a foster child.  However, today’s class was somehow depressing.

Today’s class was called “Teamwork”, through the three hours the three instructors emphasized the main objective of the child welfare services is to reunite families.  They demonstrated with videos and exercises.  They had a specific video showing how “Professional Teamwork” works in making sure that families are reunited.  They also emphasized that the child always want to reunite with the birth parents.  We went through an explanation of the Juvenal Court System and how long does it take until parent rights might be relinquish from or by the birth parents.  It takes approximately 18 months in court for the parental rights to be relinquish and at that time the birth parents have the right to appeal.  On average 80% of the childs that are removed from their families due to neglect are reunited, the remaining 20% will either remain in foster case for more than 5 five years or be adopted.  It was also interesting to learn that a child at the age of 12 years old can decide that they do not want to be adopted and remain on the system until they can become an emancipated minor.

Today’s class hit me hard.  Although I had already thought about open or semi-open adoption.  It was difficult for me to acknowledge that the child is being removed from their house/family and that they really want to reunite with them.  While I am really looking forward to adopting somehow today the class didn’t make it feel right.  They made us realize how traumatic the child removal process is and how important it is to try to keep childhood memories, pictures (scrapbook), cultural traditions.  All these things help make a placement where the child feels more comfortable, safe and improves the adjustment time.  This was all great information but somehow did not made me feel good about the adoption process, at least not this one.  Now I understand why they say that this process might not be the best one for you.  We’ll just continue with the process and see how I feel after a couple of more classes.  I will want to adopt to help, nurture, educate, love, and play with a child not to hurt them or separate them from their family.  Adoption is hard, and  I haven’t even started.