Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Changes on face of Taiwan adoption Emerge

There are two changes emerging in Taiwan and both may effect the face of adoption in a negative way for Taiwanese children and those wishing to adopt them.

The first change I have been watching for about a year and a half now and have remained relatively silent about this change. I have done so in order to allow for my own observations on the matter and report to you, the public with hopefully a more clear prospective.

The first BIG change that has been brewing involves our beloved AIT! AIT also known as American Institute Taiwan has a new trick up their sleeve. In the past, when dealing with MOST countries and adoption. The Country will be as responsible as they can with immigration laws and thus "pre-approve" a child as an orphan. They will gather all due data necessary to decide on the status on a child "presumed" by an orphanage or individual as an orphan and then rule either orphan or non orphan status before the child is even offered to the family. For Taiwan, this process is drastically changing. From now on, the children will NOT receive "pre-approved" orphan status. The family will find out if the child fulfills the immigration requirements for an orphan AFTER they travel to the giving country to pick up their child. This new move of AIT's will require that you as the adopting family be WAY MORE VIGILANT in your agency choosing than before. Please research your agency well. Make sure that they are working with orphanages that understand this new proceedure and are confident that the children will pass the orphan status requirements in order to receive an exit visa. Be prepared to stay longer on your trip to Taiwan to pick up your child if necessary and wait longer on courts and paperwork, as there have been families required to wait in country while further paperwork was gathered or received, or while a Birth parent was interviewed.

1: Do not choose an agency that is not WELL versed with foreign affairs, especially with Taiwan's AIT.
2: Understand that there is NO ONE over AIT in the US. Even if you call the Virginia sister office to AIT, they will tell you their hands are tied and they cannot force AIT's hand nor insist upon clearance for any child or case.
3: Research your local state Senators JUST IN CASE you do encounter a problem with your adoption process or clearance of your child's visa. Don't be afraid to call EVERY SENATOR you can in your state and demand they help.
4: Realize that your Senator does not have true Jurisdiciton over AIT. They cannot MAKE AIT clear your child's visa. They can and will however apply heat to the sittuation and become a political "squeaky wheel" on your behalf. So do not hesitate to use them.
5: Keep records of ALL your agency communications and YOUR communications with Senators and go betweens. Write down dates, names and what was said just in case as you may have to repeat them over and over again.
6: This new law has made it almost IMPOSSIBLE for independent adoption in Taiwan as it was. The reason, most of the "helpers" that were in place with the answers to help you, are now working with agencies as it is just safer and smarter to have corporate backing with AIT playing hard ball as they are. Sometimes AIT is requiring that Birth parents be found and interviewed and that can sometimes be very cost and time consuming with a failed outcome!
7: Realize that most of the children are passing. Only one or two families reported having severe issues with this new AIT proceedure.


There has been talk of a new law being passed that all children will now have to be offered to the Taiwan families in country for a year before they can be offered to foreign interested families. This causes several complications. Firstly, obviously the children will be older upon exiting the country. Secondly, it is a known fact that institutionalization of a child for a year or more usually causes some kind of delays and problems whether they be severe or mild (this will be highlighted at a later date by my family's own personal experience, look for the article to come).
Thirdly, with this new law creeping on the horizon, all the waiting families already sitting at a 2-3 year wait for referral will almost undoubtedly be extended at least a year out if not longer.

I have not gathered complete info on this new law as of yet. I am now trying to confirm if special needs and older children adoptions will continue as before or not. Please bear with us as we try to find the facts on this aspect of the new law.

In the end, please be cautious of Taiwan adoptions. They are surely not what they once were in the past. The face of Taiwan adoption is changing rapidly and extremely. If you are a veteran, ask more questions and expect different answers. Proceed with caution and possibly lowered expectations as Taiwan may be experiencing some turbulents in the near future. For new comers to Taiwan adoption, please just ask many questions, allowing yourself factual understanding of the agency guidelines and Taiwan's guidelines as they change and grow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Agency dance or intimidation?

The Agency dance can be delightful at times and down right frustrating at times. The agency dance is so very intricate none the less. When you first start adopting, I would say that most tips or advice other adoptive parents will give you is to be careful of the Agency you choose to work with. The Agency is going to determine the kind of service you get, they will be your only connecting lifeline between your world and the world that your child lives in. This is huge for the adoptive family and the child being adopted. There are technically two categories of Agencies for simplistic explanation. The two "types" can be one and the same however. There is first of all the Homestudy agency and secondly the placing agency.

The Homestudy agency may very well be different than the placing Agency simply because your placing agency in most scenarios does not legally have to be the same as your Homestudy agency or even in the same state that you reside (some countries will demand they be one and the same and that they be local to you). The placing agency may be in Tennessee that you choose to work with BUT you may live in Georgia. The Homestudy agency in most if not in all scenarios, has to be in your state. If the placing agency you are choosing to work with does not have a local Homestudy Social worker that can come to you, then many times the placing agency does have a "preferred network" of homestudy agencies that they contract with that they can send you to. These "preferred network homestudy" agencies have a relationship with the placing agency which may provide a discounted homestudy service to you because of the way fees are set up within the placing agency or simply will allow a more efficient working relationship between the two agencies because they work together all the time. Most Adoptive parents that have "been there done that" will suggest to you to choose your placing agency before the homestudy agency. This is suggested because of these already formed relationships and some Placing agencies will indeed choose not to work with you if you come with a homestudy that is not from their "preferred network". So choosing your "placing agency" and finding out their requirements before having a homestudy worked up is beneficial. When choosing a placing agency you may want to ask the placing agency what other countries or adoption facets they service just in case you feel at some point, like you need to change your adoption path. Make sure you ask up front and get in writing how much of the fees already paid into the venture will be rolled over to another adoptive scenario. If you change to another country or from International adoption to Domestic will they have to update your homestudy? If so, how much cost will you incur? How long will this second process take? And how much of your money paid in will transfer to this new program. Also ask terms on if the country of your choosing was to close what are the agency policies about changing countries? If they don't have a country available that matches your family and budget then what?
The Homestudy agency is going to be the one that does all the work of getting to know your family on a personal level. Evaluating you, your spouse, your children at home with you, past and present relationships, and of course your home and living style.
They will want to see that you and your spouse have worked through any infertility issues that may have been apart of your life. They want to see that your children are apart of the process and handling it in a healthy manner. They want to see that your family has worked through things in the past such as abusive relationships and problems healthily. They will weed out your weaknesses as a family unit and individually and your strengths. The Social workers are usually there to find reasons to approve your family not vice versa. I know this will land on deaf ears but here goes anyways, "Relax and don't be too uptight about the home visits." Yeah right.
You will clean your house until you can eat off the floors! You will have all your paperwork neat and prepared and you will possibly even be rushing around at the last minute sweeping up those morning crumbs Dear daughter left on the floor from her toaster strudel. None the less, there would have to be a lot in your life to have them tell you no. If you have any past such as felony or misdimeanor you will want to disclose this up front. They will deal with you much better if they know up front and nothing is found out by surprise. Don't be afraid to be real with them.
The placing agency is the agency that is going to deal directly with your child's Birth parents if you are doing a domestic or with your child's country coordinator. They are your lifeline. They will help you get extra tests, pictures, and info on your child. They are responsible to you and the country for their actions. If you are adopting internationally you may find that your process involves a very important third entity. The Third would be the orphanage or foster care of the country you are working with.
Tips for dealing with these entities.
First of all. I know very well that we all can end up in this spot where we are receiving less than tolerable service from one or both of these entities and quite frankly because of the sensitive matter of it all, we keep our lips zipped and take it. We feel intimidated by the agency because they can say yes to us or no. They can choose us for a child or make us wait longer. They can hold our pictures and updates and not deliver. The truth of it is that this intimidation can only go so far. There are lawyers that would love to hear your case. The truth of the matter is that you have paid for a service with these agencies. A service to be done in a timely manner and including all of the parts of the service you were promised. Now this is of course to be considered greatly when you are about to get gruff with your agencies. Do consider that they are servicing a lot of patrons or clients at the same time and doing a fine juggling act, do NOT allow them infinite time to do this however. There is a limit and a point where and when your undo treatment by them becomes unlawful or flat wrong. Don't be afraid to ask questions and expect answers. If you were promised a part of the service you are not receiving you have the right to ask the agency to rectify the problem and then after due time, demand that they rectify. I hate, I repeat hate, talking about the lives of children along side with business but unfortunately there is a business that these agencies are apart of and they are making money to pay their personnel, it is not wrong that you demand the personnel that your fees are paying actually do their work. Try to always keep your temper in check and be completely respectful. Continue to be open to honest reasons and explanations as to why the work remains undone, but please do not be intimidated to the point that you are paying them to mistreat you.
When dealing with independent adoption. You will more than likely have a Homestudy agency, in some states you will have to have an agency "acting" as your placing agency. This agency will usually collect fees for the usual work of a homestudy, possibly with a little extra in order to pay for any extra work they do for you in conjunction with your adoption. To find out if your state is a state where a placing agency is required, simply call your homestudy agency and ask questions. Your state requiring a placing agency, may not rule your family out from independent adoption at all if done and approached properly. They will be honest with you 9 out of 10 times. They have no reason to hide the answer from you as to whether or not you need a placing agency.
In independent, you will possibly be working with a placing entity in the form of a friend, missionary, or small orphanage not contracted with the government or other larger orphanages. There is a little more tact and understanding needed when dealing with these folks. And it is not just the issue of not paying them money to help you. If you are or aren't paying them for work rendered for you, you will want to be respectful and honest at all times. These folks are usually doing this as a labor of the heart and not asking for retribution from you, so be delicate and give them a little more room. If your source does not require a donation or retribution, you may want to consider this anyways as a gesture of good faith and friendship. No matter if you are working with all agencies or with another source, please make sure you are not ugly, mean or disrespectful at any time. Keep your mind about you and treat them as you wish to be treated. Honey goes a lot farther than vinegar. In the independent adoption, you will be working with a lot of other sources that an agency would normally work with on your behalf. So keep your head about you and pay attention. You will more than likely have a lawyer in the country that you are working with. Check into their background to the best of your ability and make sure they speak english. There will be others you will be in direct contact with. Possibly judges, AIT workers, and many others. Just take it as it comes and research every step. Your adoption will after all look very similar to that of an agency adoption, just with you doing all the paperwork and most liaison work.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Let's talk SPECIAL NEEDS adoption!

(To view the definition in its entirety, please click HERE)

Special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities such as medical, mental, or psychological. For instance, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the International Classification of Diseases 9th edition both give guidelines for clinical diagnosis. Autism, Down syndrome, developmental delays, blindness, and cystic fibrosis are examples of special needs.

More narrowly, it is a legal term applying in foster care in the United States, derived from the language in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. It is a diagnosis used to classify children as needing "more" services than those children without special needs who are in the foster care system. It is a diagnosis based on behavior, childhood and family history, and is usually made by a health care professional.

Special needs definition is further broken down by state and further more by country. Each state has it's very own definition of Special Needs as per their own laws and recognition of such.
You may find these answers per state at NACAC adoption subsidy.
You will need to view the state profile individually and investigate each state's definition of "special needs". The term "special needs" is not used to devalue your child/children or to
present your child with feelings of discrimination. It is simply a part of the adoption jargon that you must learn to deal with on a daily basis, therefore developing a thick skin to such jargon would be of benefit to you and your family at the beginning of the process so that you might stand strong for your child from day one. "Special needs" can be disabilities, age, minority race, sibling groups, at risk children, and waiting or older children. Most states have a very loose definition of the term "special needs" and will provide your children adopted through the state or government foster care with a special subsidy or "payment" in a monthly installment in order to ensure your child receives quality care through your family at all times. This amount varies by state statute and will or will not include specialty care such as psych and medical either via insurance or additional payment. This information is also listed online and can be searched at will. When adopting from a different state than that which you dwell in, the "interstate compact" will decide the state's definition of "special needs" they will use for your children and thereby deciding what amount of subsidy your child will receive for care.

While there is not a list per country for special needs adoption as there is a list by state. Some of the same rules and regulations as to definitions of such apply to certain countries. Some countries will view small things such as missing finger, or anomalies on the face or skin all the way up to Down syndrome or blindness as "special needs". Off the top of my head, to name a couple, China, Hong Kong and Russia are three of these said countries. Some countries however do have many children that You or I may define as "special needs", our state may define as "special needs" or that our government may define as "special needs" but the "giving" country does not define the child as such. This DOES NOT mean that your child is not "Special needs". To name a couple of countries that are "tight" with "special needs" titles in adoption, Taiwan and Vietnam will suffice as such.
Why would you want your child to be special needs? This is an interesting dilemma indeed. Sometimes there are grants that may help you accomplish adoptions of children with "special needs" simply because they choose to use this defining element of a child or adoptive family to eliminate families not "deserving" of their grants according to their bylaws. And even though the "giving country" does not perceive your child as "special needs" the grant writers may. The second reason it is important to be able to understand if your child is or is not "special needs" is because YOU as the caregiver must be able to plan well for your child's care and future. If the child does require special interventions whatsoever, they must be considered and given due diligence to. This is not for you to label your child "special needs" to harm them but to help them and possibly help you. I would suggest that you use the term "special needs" for grants and understanding your family dynamics and not in front of your children if at all possible. Again the purpose of the term "special needs" as outlined earlier in this piece is to give understanding to all parties involved in the adoption. Personally, I look at special needs two ways. 1. The U.S. way of classification which is to give "hard to place" children and honest "special needs" children a boost by way of fee reductions and subsidies so that they may find homes with great families instead of waiting forever simply because of money issues existing in the adopting family's budget. True special needs adoptions can be more expensive once the child is home simply because of medical care and other types of care necessary to sustain the adopted child's comfort level and well being 2. When looking at a child, anything that is not "normal" and may take more care such as diet, therapies, psych treatments, medicines, and any time consuming professional visits, in my book is "special needs". This is not for fee reduction purposes, but so that the receiving family may gauge their future and costs of the child entering their home honestly by understanding the extra efforts the "special needs" child may need in order to thrive in their family unit. So as you can see, there is a logistical meaning and a cosmetic meaning but both will serve their purpose to the child by defining the child better and providing better understanding to all involved in the child's future.


The difference between a special needs child and a child WITH special needs is YOUR Attitude!!!
There are many children in life that have a defined special need but this does not at all define your child as "special needs". My definition of "special needs" is anything that you may need to keep in your head that can harm your child at any given time. Such as asthma, allergies, diseases, learning issues, and behavior problems. OR may have to alert any caregiver to any need above normal or to watch for in the child, observe or administer to the child in the form of medicines or even special treatment. By that definition, I know I have just thereby identified most of the children you know as having special needs. So beit. "special needs" should never be an embarrassing term that makes a parent cringe but more of a way of perceiving how to define your child's very directed care and requirements. This necessary new way of thinking as the child's parents will also force your mind to keep their needs in a special room of your mind for quick calling upon when necessary.

Ok.. this is all fine and dandy, why then do they define a child's race or their behavior as special needs? This has been, honestly the most disturbing thing I as an adoptive parent have had to overcome in my own mind. While on one hand, as an adoptive parent that adopts interculturally or cross culturally I understand from A-Z the importance of continuing a child's culture and honing the child's ability to identify with their very own race, on the other hand I found it at first very alarming if not cruel that a human being would define another's race or age as a "special need". I have however since the beginning of my adoption education and journey come to an understanding that race and age do have to play a part in an adoption homestudy and the child's adoption profile make up in order for I as the adoptive parent to be completely honest and give due respect to considering the right children for my environment, living style, family members, the child's well being.. etc. I know this sounds a little off kilter but one thing I as an adoptive parent cross culturally adopting had to do was "prove" beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can A. Identify with the child's race enough to healthily interact with them, B. understand the plights of the specific minorities that exist at least to a level of helping them find their way through in a healthy psychological state and C. Be open to learning about the child open mindedly and sharing their holidays and special background to the point of enjoyment within myself so that they in turn may know I love them unconditionally. So simply stated, I can be honest about my understanding them and responsible to them in that understanding. Now age as a "special need" is more of a personal thing with each adoptive parent. One has to evaluate where you are psychologically and whether you are ready to parent say, a 9 year old. It is a known fact that children above the age of 6 will not find homes as easily as a child under the age of 6. Each family has their reasoning for choosing a child of any age. So the sole reason for a child over 6 being "special needs" is simply because they have become hard to place within the system. There is no real scientific reason, except people usually want a cute baby to love and grow with from day one. Sad but true in very many cases.

While you start your adoptive journey or continue your adoptive journey, I hope that I have helped you to understand a little more as to why the term "special needs" is so necessary in the adoption world and how to view it without it defining your child or devaluing your child.

To find out more on special needs adoption per country, simply contact an adoption agency servicing the country you wish to adopt from and ask what known "special needs" the country has recogonized as such. Keep in mind that a child you adopt that may not have noted "special needs" may very well have "special needs" found by your physician upon arrival in the U.S. So at anytime, in ANY adoption, please consider that you do not indeed know everything about your child and make sure you are ok with "special needs" as a whole just in case God blesses your family with a child with special considerations!!


A side note on Taiwan. Taiwan orphanages do not consider much as being special needs. Including heart murmur, eating problems, blue spell children, G6PD and others. So be very careful to understand that with Taiwan, what the U.S. considers special needs will not be
the same whatsoever. Do not compare Taiwan with China on this aspect either for China will
define way more as special needs than Taiwan does. So, when you sign on with an agency servicing Taiwan, please make sure to understand their definition of "WELL CHILD" or "HEALTHY CHILD". This is so important that you do this. Just be prepared for definition differences with this country.

Friday, February 13, 2009


WELCOME! This blog has a new look in some ways! WE have made it possible to find all our topics that have been discussed on the right of this post! ------------------------>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The topics are are in black and the sub contents are in burgundy. They string all down the right side of this post.
Please search over here for the topics you are looking for. They are in categories, so feel free to click away! You will also find resources here!

HOME STUDY: What about kids in the home already?


Home study Journey with kids at home:

The research:
I put up to polls on several sites. They ran for almost 3 days and are
presently running. The polls and result are as follows.

<>< <>< <>< <>< FIRST POLL><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Children at home: When to tell?
If you are adopting or DID adopt while you had a child at home, did you tell them about the adoption? How much? and When?
Yes, we told them from day one so that they were in the know the whole time!58.3%7

Yes, but we waited until referral was given so the wait time was less on them.25%3

No, we felt they wouldn't understand some aspects.16.7%2

No, we didn't feel it was necessary.0%0

Yes, but we waited until we traveled to get the child.0%0

I don't know, we are still deciding and need some help.0%0

total votes: 12

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< SECOND POLL><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
I had children in my home when I started my homestudy to adopt and......
The Social worker interviewed my child/children and wanted to see that they knew and were ok with our decision to adopt.87.5%7

Our Social worker didn't talk to our children at all about our adoption for some reason!12.5%1

Our social worker didn't talk to our children about the adoption because we asked her not to.0%0

total votes: 8

<>< <>< <>< <>< RESPONSE 1 ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
"We're still waiting for a referral. . .our social worker did not talk
to our kids about the adoption because they're too young. And we plan
to start talking about our new little one once we have a referral. .
.to me, kids have so little understanding of time and it doesn't make
sense to get them excited/worried or whatever until it's closer to our
forever family day. I think it all depends on how old your children
are as to when to start talking about it."

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< RESPONSE 2 <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

Well as far as telling her we were going to adopt, she has been
waiting for it for a long time so she was excited to hear we were
finally going to adopt. She has been involved with my friend Sarah's
adoptions from the beginning. We are very open and honest with her
about what is happening. And we keep her involved with everything like
if there are delays, we tell her to pray to God for them and trust in
Him and she feels like she is doing something huge to help bring the
baby home. She still asks when it will happen and other questions,
like lots of kids do. But we do our best to explain that things take
time, and we need to be patient, and pray to God about it.

I really feel the kids should be part of the process from the
beginning. Make them feel like they play an important role in this
process. That they can pray for it and they can help get things ready
in the house. I mean there is so much that Sancia just wants to help
with for the adoption. When we had yard sales for fundraisers, she was
there and excited to have them. She would talk to people about the
adoption and about the baby and it wasn't even our adoption... LOL!

I guess what I am saying is, definitely don't wait until court date or
travel date to tell them. I would tell them from the beginning. I dont
know about your kids, but my daughter likes to know what is going on
in her world and doesn't like huge life altering changes sprung on
her. It causes more unnecessary stress and problems. Kids like to
know what is going on around them. It makes them feel secure. We want
her to know that even though we are adding to our family, she is still
very much apart of our lives and love.

My best advice would be to pray about it. And see what God would have
you do."

No one else has responded yet... to keep up with this poll and it's
answers.. it is available


How young have you had a SW talk to children?
Jeremiah was 3 years old when our social worker came and she
didn't do a private interview with him or anything. He also does not talk well
right now thought due to the CP. BUT she didn't know an we didn't know why he
didn't talk much but she still wasn't interseted in talking to him much. She
mostly observed David and I and watched to see if we acted age appropriately
with him and if we showed good understanding of how to deal with his age and the
problems or incidents that arose during our interviews.

What did they ask?
She asked us what various disciplines we employ with Jer and
will employ with Josiah. WE were very honest about our disciplining methods.
Usually I answer kind of vaguely however because we believe that discipline is
per case and per child. We take in their understanding level and the level of
severity with each issue. So we always tell them we don't have a pat answer for
them. We bend and grow with the child. They seem to like this answer alot for it
shows them we are taking our time and thinking through each discipline. They ask
about your relationships with the child. How you get along. What problems you
have overcome with the child. Your weaknesses in raising the child and your
strengths a you see them.

and how did you expalin it to the child.
Although Jer can't talk, his reasoning is on a 6 year old level
or higher. He is absolutely brilliant and comes up with some interesting stuff
adults don't think of. BUT we told him we were getting him a brother and we had
to do this homestudy, to please We told him why the lady was here
but we didn't go into great details. Now yours may ask WAY more questions or
want to know more. I would suggest just trying to not stress them out with it
even though YOU will more than likely be stressed. Make it like anyother visit
like when the pastor stops by or a friend that doesn't normally visit. Keep it
low key.

My concern is that we are not sure how much, if anything, we want to

discuss with Our children??

I would suggest that this is not a good idea. Children need to be
in the know and to have the benefit of understanding the best they can. Other
wise you may have more jealousy than necessary when the child arrives because
the other children feel pushed out of the event. I would suggest you let them in
all the way. If not from day one, then from the referral. Kids are so keen they
will pick up despite your efforts to hid it. The more you involve them the more
success I have seen. I have seen some disrupt too and the kids were fine. Sad
but fine. They got referral number 2 and the kids were happy and on mark again.
The fact is Amy, if you were pregnant you would probably make it exciting and
let them touch your belly and such. AND the fact is that women lose bio baby's
more than they have disrupted international adoptions. So you are pretty safe in
sharing the venture. We took extra steps with Jer. He was in a crib still. The
crib we need for Jo. Jer was 2 1/2 when we started this and so we got him a cool
new big boy bed and told him how Jo would get the crib now cause he is the baby.
Jer was great with this. These things are necessary so that Jer doesn't feel
replaced by Jo. Things like this is great for the kids in place because they get
to feel apart just like a pregnancy.

What do you think about talking in General terms to your children at home??

Again, I know several families that have chosen to tell their
children from the beginning and all has been great. They just explained to them
like your agency explains to you.. sometimes easier terms. For us it has been
"Don't worry Jer, Jo is coming home honey.. just not yet. God is getting it all
ready. There is a court thing but not a big deal".
Kids are much more resiliant than you think.Like I said you can wait til
referral but I wouldn't suggest it because kids intuitively know something is up
and may harbor resentment towards you for it. It isn't ugly or anything... just
a long time coming. It is great to teach
patience to even them too.

IF anything , a SW would ask them?

At the age they will be, she will want to see that you
included them. She may see this as irresponsible and she WILL ask them questions
like "Are you excited about the new sister you are going to get" and expect that
they are and they know. The reason is she has to evaluate how they are and where
they are in their thoughts with this new child. Are they jealous already? Are
they showing any signs of stress? How can she help YOU with these issues? They
will be evaluated.


This was Jer for us. He gets so frustrated but he has done
great with the 10 month wait to get Josiah home. Skyped with him 2x's and lights
up each time. We are so glad we included him. He gets just as excited about
"BRUVER" as we do!!

Final thoughts:

Personally, I would say, give the kids a chance to be blessed
as you will be. Let God worry about these things and let them pray for their
sibling with you. It is a family afair and that is how the SW will see it. They
like to see the children at home included and ready for the child's arrival. I
honestly haven't heard this view much in the 5 years I have been in adoption and
the 1 1/2 years I have counseled adoptive parents and worked with the Taiwan
side placement organization. If you are a religious person, pray about all your
decisions involving your little souls at home.

Be Prepared: Agency Questions that say "WHAT?"


The following are a few questions that an agency may ask you.. what are
they looking for?

What does our family do for a school aged child if I find that he has
developmental delays, behavior problems, sexual abuse, etc.

I am not sure what they want here. Do they want you to show your problem solving
technique? What I have found is that an agency wants to see that you are A.
Prepared for any challenge that you may meet and B. Well studied. The downfall
to well studied is that some that study too much tend to believe what they study
over their own gut feelings or what they pray about even and it becomes
dangerous. Anyways, I am guessing they want to see both the above A and B. So I
would show this by finding things in your local area that will help. 1. a solid
support group for adoptive families. 2. information on hand for local programs
that will help your child with developmental delays and behavioral problems. 3.
information of a psychologist that other adoptive parents suggest from your
area. In other words show them you have support and game plan if the scenarios
came about.

The effects of institutionalization. What are they?

Wow, this is a huge topic. When studying this one I was using two psych books
"Helping Children with Aggression and Conduct problems" (Also good for some of
your above information) by Micahel L. Bloomquist. AND Young Children and
Trauma-Intervention and Treatment" by Joy D. Osofsky.
The one that proved to be the most helpful was "Young Children and Trauma". It
goes much deeper than a lot of people want to go but if you are at all
interested in psych this book is very interesting and goes all the way down to
the chemicals interrupted by institutional living for children (and how to
restore them) and the psych issues it can cause such as DAD and RAD or as little
as inability for the child to calm down like most children when upset. Most
children that are institutionalized for over a year have some form of
problematics they will come to you with. This is not to scare anyone but they
can range from simple sensory issues or untrust of caregivers all the way up to
DAD and in most worse case scenarios RAD. This topic so very broad and again, I
think they just want you to show awareness to possibilities of these issues and
problem solving techniques by you and your support groups "IF" these things were
to arise.

Trust and attachment issues, tantrums, rejection of us, sleep issues,etc. What do they want me to say or know?

Some of this is covered in the book also and more than
likely Karrie's sources will talk about these things too. In
institutionalization and even rough foster care situations there can be trust
and attachment issues. Most can be undone and loved through with patience,
prayer and guidance. When Jeremiah came home he was in the orphanage 1 year 2
weeks and he screamed at us off and on for 3 months. He tried to control his
situation. He had sleep issues because of being in a bustling orphanage that
handled sleep in a poor manor (a cd player playing classical music did the
trick). He was spoiled rotten by care givers (they admitted this) and therefore
we had to break a cycle they built ( we watched him scream for one of them and
they would just hand him off to them). He would throw fits, screaming and
scooting across the floor for an hour or more for no reason at all usually
related to HIS lack of control of US. All of this
was undone in 6 months time and he was well adjusted and remains so. The rule
of thumb is that for every year in an institution, the child will face a
possible 6 months adjustment time in the family. He was very attached to us
however and still is. We did some baby wearing (not extreme), he went straight
to his own room (which he did very well with), and the fits stopped once we
stopped allowing him to have the control. (per our Social
worker's guidance)

The agency questions on local adoption support groups, language
translation, and local Thai culture groups. How do I handle these?

Again, they just want to make sure that you are
prepared to continue his culture which I think that needs to be a comfort level
for your family and him. BUT they want to see an effort as to your interest and
being able to support and grow that part of him. Most children I have seen from
Asian countries do not want a lot to do with their own culture at young ages.
Jeremiah was very put off by being around lots of Asian people at one time but
is slowly being ok with that and he has been home for a little over 2 years now.
I have heard this scenario a lot.
Anyways, I hope this all helps you out. If you need more info.. let me know..
you can take an online course that they may look highly on too.. take a look at
"With Eyes Wide Open" HERE Some of the Taiwan agencies will have their families
take this course simply because the orphanages in Taiwan like to see the
families strive to further their understanding of intercultural adoptions and
some of the possible. There are other courses too.
One thing that all agencies have liked to see about our profile was that we had
done 30 hours of state training, and had a slew load of books we had read and
research we had done. Being well studied is definitely pleasing to them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A couple questions for our readers!!

Hello lovely ladies I am asking some questions for a friend of mine in the process and would love to have your answers not only on the polls but also if you would like, leave a comment so that I can compile your wisdom! Thanks for participating.