Birthmother Tribute, A Florida Domestic Adoption

This awesome video was shared by one of our Sunshine families about the adoption of their Safe Haven baby. Thank you for sharing Rebecca and Drew, and Happy Birthday Jude!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NyDF07exOWo

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Please click on the College Park Newspaper link! There is a great story about Sunshine State Adoption!

We are thrilled to be featured in the College Park Newspaper! Please click on the link to read the story. Thank you for writing such a nice article, Natalie Costas!
http://community-paper.com/

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How Quickly Can a Florida Home Study be Completed?

Frequently Asked Question of the Day

One of the first questions families ask is, “How quickly can you complete our home study?” We complete most home studies in one month or less.

If you are completing a domestic adoption and need a Florida home study, we have access to Livescan fingerprint technology. We will receive your FBI clearance within 24 hours of your fingerprint appointment, which cuts a huge portion of time off your home study process. If you need to schedule a fingerprint appointment, go to www.floridafieldprint.com to schedule online. Please e-mail us for our agency code.

If you are completing an international adoption, you will be fingerprinted through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of your immigration process. This will take place after your home study is completed.

Have more questions?  Contact us at info@sunshinehomestudy.org.

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Bonding with Your Adopted Child

Bonding with your newly adopted child is a topic bounced around quite a bit – some new parents over look it – going with the “love at first sight” theory – while parents at the other end of the spectrum can obsess over it non-stop.  Fortunately, there is a great middle ground.  Bonding is a very important issue in any adoption:  international, domestic, foster, open, closed, etc.  Whether you have read a pile of books on bonding – or you are just getting started, Adoptive Families Magazine has put together a wonderful website covering a full-range of bonding topics extending through the first year of being a new adoptive parent.  Check it out here – and you’ll find a variety of articles organized by topic in an easy to read format.

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Poem for the Waiting Child

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child’s Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that’s how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are… what’s taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin…
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I’m doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you’ll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

— © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

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Poets on Adoption

So you’ve read all of the adoptive parenting books – ranging from attachment to cultural diversity.  Your bookshelf is lined with factual, non-fiction tomes on parenting adopted child.  Then you’ve looked for real-life adoptions stories among the thousands of adoption blogs online.  Once you started a scrapbook or working on announcements, you may have combed through quotes or standard, sometimes sappy, poems about adoption.

But have you read anything that broke into your shell as the raw emotion poured out from the words written by adoptive parents, adopted children and poets who are both?  You will.

“Adoption is complicated.  Poetry is complicated….

Poetry:  it inevitably relates to—among others—identity, history, culture, class, race, community, economics, politics, power, loss, health, desire, regret, language, form and genre disruption, love…as well as the absences thereofs.  The same may be said about adoption.”   – Eileen R. Tabios

Poet and adoptive mother Eileen R. Tabios is the curator of a collection of personal stories and poems from poets whose lives have been impacted by adoption in a variety of ways.  She has published this collection online at www.poetsonadoption.blogspot.com.  While many are adoptive parents or adoptees themselves – the collection isn’t just limited to these groups of authors.  Also included are those with adopted siblings and poets who have experienced a disruption or failed adoption.   One moving entry is written by the daughter of adoption attorney Philip Adams who completed over 5,000 adoptions in his career.  His daughter Kate Adams writes poignantly about her father, who tirelessly devoted his career to helping people be parents.

If you are a poet with an adoption experience, the project is also still looking for additional participants, whether your experience has been positive or negative.  You may be a long time adoptive parent or just starting the journey – either way once you read some of the poems and personal stories in this collection it will give you a new perspective on at least one of the many facets of the complicated world of adoption.

 

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National Adoption Day

November is celebrated as National Adoption Awareness Month – with the specific day of November 19th designated as National Adoption Day.    While there are many different facets of adoption to be celebrated  – this particular celebration is designed to bring awareness to the many children currently in foster care in hopes of finding them adoptive parents.

The idea of promoting awareness of children in the foster care system first occurred in 1976 under the guidance of Mike Dukakis, who was governor of Massachusetts at the time.  From there, the idea of an “Adoption Week” grew and was recognized nationally by President Gerald Ford.  In 1990, the event expanded to an official month long campaign.  Many states now also conduct their own Adoption Month activities in addition to the national awareness.

Whether you are an adoptive family or not, your efforts can still help build awareness on many levels from your local community to state and national platforms.  Adoption.com has put together a tool kit on how to raise awareness with the media and elected officials in your community.

Many families use National Adoption Day as the day to finalize their adoptions.  According to the National Adoption Day website, “more than 35,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day” since 2000.

Want to get involved?  You can find a list of events on the National Adoption Day website.  Interested in learning more about adopting?  Contact us to get started.

 

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Bless These Children

Today’s post is a Guest Post from Eileen W., mother to two children adopted from China.

The last few blog posts have focused on things that people say to adoptive parents.  As an adoptive parent myself, reading these posts has made me even more aware of my own answers to questions and comments made by strangers or vague acquaintances.

Today I heard a comment that I have heard often over the years since my first child was adopted:  “Bless you for adopting these children.”  The speaker had the best of intentions and in retrospect my silence could have been construed as rudeness.   My silence was due to the fact that I have difficulty answering this question, because I don’t in any way feel that I should be blessed for adopting my children.  I didn’t set out to “rescue” an orphan, or save them from unspeakable harm.  My intentions were much more self serving – I adopted them to save me.

My children are the most precious gift imaginable and their very presence has blessed me a thousand times over.  My life now has a focus, meaning and purpose that it never did before.  I want to shout my joy from the rooftops – but usually refrain so my children’s mother won’t be considered completely crazed.

So when you “Bless me” for adopting these children – I know that I truly am blessed, just not in the way that you think.  More accurately I would say “Bless these children, for letting me be their mother.”

 

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Are You a REAL Family?

In our last post we started a discussion on the questions adoptive parents get from friends, family and strangers.  I think The Honest Momblog sums it up best:  “”You know how everyone always says “there’s no such thing as a stupid question?” That is so not true.””

She’s right – it’s not true at all.

The Honest Momblog has written up an excellent post on “Stupid Adoption Questions” and she has a great three-tiered approach which she explains here:  “First is my reasoned, by-the-book answer; next is the snarky answer I think of later, when I’m brooding at home; and lastly is the answer that comes from the giant chip I sometimes find on my shoulder.”   She felt that some of the ways to answer these questions that she found in books weren’t anything she could actually hear herself saying.

I think one of the questions that often gnaws at adoptive parents are the questions about your family being “real” – i.e. Are those your real children?  Are you the real mother/father/parents?  Who is their real mother/father/parent?  Here is here three-tiered answer to questions about the real mother:

I love this one. When I’m feeling generous, I say, “Do you mean his birth mother?” Other times I say, “What isn’t real about me?” And when I feel the weight of the heavy chip on my shoulder, I say, “I think wiping his poopy bottom sixteen times a day, getting up in the middle of the night to soothe him, and lugging him down here to the playground qualifies me as his real mother. Don’t you?” That usually sends the questioner packing and leaves me feeling more than a tad self-righteous.

Some days this question will seem humorous – and other days it will seem downright irritating and even rude.  Jeffry Dwight, who has two adopted sons, echoes these sentiments, “Before I got the boys, I’d heard that people asked stupid questions about adoption, but I didn’t really believe it. Wow, was I wrong.”  While Jeffry’s quips and snappy responses aren’t for everyone – adoptive parents can definitely relate to his humor even if it isn’t something they could see themselves saying.  Here are a few of his responses to these questions he has been asked – you can check out his website to read the entire list.

Q.  “Are those your real children?” A.  (Long pause) “Yes. I keep the imitations in the hall closet.”

Q.  (After establishing I’d adopted both) “Are they brothers?” A.  “No, they’re sisters who happen to be very very butch.”

Q.  (Another person) “Are they brothers?” A.  “If they weren’t before, they are now.”

Q.  “Where’s their real father?” A.  “My God! Have I gone invisible again? Sorry, I try not to let that happen in public.”

All humor aside – adoptive parents should never forget or let anyone make them feel that they are not real parents, with real children that make up a real family that is forever.  Do you need help getting your real family started?  Contact us to start or continue your adoption journey.

 

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Stupid Questions People Ask Adoptive Parents – Part 1

As an adoptive parent, you will get lots of questions, from family, friends and most of all – complete strangers.  Since it usually happens when you aren’t expecting it, a little forethought may be helpful to prepare for it when it does happen.

Think about how you like to answer questions to begin with – are you usually humorous, informative or a short answer type of person?  There is no reason your answers to questions about adoption should be outside of your comfort zone.

Another big factor is whether or not the question is asked in the presence of your children.  Your answer may vary depending on who is listening.  If your child is present, always think about how your answer will impact them first, and the person who is asking the question second.  Children hear more than you think and what they hear you tell other people about adoption most definitely shapes their view and what they think your view is about adoption  – and them personally.

One book that may help both parents and extended family of adoptive parents is Cross Cultural Adoptions:  How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends & Community written by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz.  It’s an easy read and a good starting place in tackling questions – especially those asked by children.

If you are in the process of adopting for the first time, you may be wondering what type of questions people ask – here’s a short list of the unfortunately most often asked questions:

  • Are they your real children?
  • Why don’t you have children of your own?
  • Who are their real parents?
  • Do they speak English?
  • How much did they cost?

How would you answer these questions?  How would your children want you to answer these questions?  What would you really want to say – even if you didn’t?

In the next post we’ll tackle some specific answers to these questions – from the snarky to the serious.  But on a serious note, if you do need more information on getting your adoption started – head on over to our main website at www.sunshinehomestudy.org.

 

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