Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Will Russians Adopt Russian Children?


It will be interesting to see if the Russian government comes up with a plan to replace the foreign adopters, but there likely won’t be one since a good number of children adopted by Americans were special needs kids.  These kids simply are not adopted or taken in by foster families because the Russian government doesn’t provide the financial support families would need to care for these kids.  Special needs kids will likely spend their lives bouncing from one orphanage to another.

 

The foster care system has improved a lot since its beginning in Russia.  As was pointed out, many foster families initially took in kids to get the financial incentives offered by the government, then they quickly returned the kids to the orphanages.  While that still occurs, it is less common than it once was.  The main reason kids are returned now is the fact that these families are ill-prepared to take care of a kid with the emotional issues that nearly every kid living in an orphanage has.  Most were abused by their parents, then they were shipped off to an orphanage.  Few foster parents have the experience and training to deal with the fallout from such things.  So, they feel overwhelmed, and they eventually send the kid back to the orphanage.  Americans who adopt these kids tend to have the financial resources to get additional help and services when problems occur.  Most foster families simply don’t have the financial resources or access to any support network.

 

But, there are some amazing foster parents out there.  I work with several during my summer program, and it truly is amazing how they’ve created real families for these kids.  The two I work with most often adopted 4 boys and the other adopted 6 boys and girls.  The kids call the foster parents grandma and grandpa since they are older, having raised their own biological kids.  All of the kids are thriving, but the parents do struggle financially because the kids’ needs exceed the limited amount the government provides, and the foster parents have limited incomes themselves.  In Russia, students are required to pay for all of their textbooks and other school supplies each year.  You can imagine the financial impact on foster parents who take in several kids.  Clothing is another issue.

 

I’ve directed more of our programs to focus on the foster families rather than just the orphanages over the past couple years because kids in foster families really do have a much better chance for a normal life, but those families do need more support than the government provides and they can provide themselves.  Hopefully other small charities will see the benefits of working with foster families rather than just focusing on capital projects at orphanages that would actually be financed in many cases by the Russian government (which has directed a substantial sum to improving the housing at orphanages, though many other needs still are underfunded).  A little additional assistance goes a very long way with foster families, and the results are immediate and tangible.  While small charities can only do so much, they can have a pretty dramatic impact on a couple families that have made the choice to take in kids and give them a real chance at a normal life.

 

My hope is that parents who have adopted from Russia don’t give up on the kids left behind despite the decisions made by the Russian government.  Many of us working to help these kids have seen donations reduced by folks who want to send a message to President Putin.  Unfortunately, it will only be the kids that receive that message.  Putin has no interest in what foreigners think of his policies.  The kids, the orphanage directors, the orphanage staffs, and the foster families really do appreciate everything that charities and individuals do for them, even more so when their government makes these decisions.  Hopefully things will change soon in regard to foreign adoptions, but until then, those kids still need our thoughts, our prayers, and our support.

 

Jody Payne

Director, Kostroma Kids Program

Ascent Russian Orphan Aid Foundation

www.helprussianorphans.com

Info sent by: Deborah Mumm, Everything For Adoption

Halloween Treats for Your Sweets


Healthy Halloween dish

Halloween Treats for Your Sweets. (click!)

I found this blog and it has some amazing Halloween party ideas.  Most I will never attempt, but they are really cool looking.

Do you have a special spooky recipe you want to share??

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Halloween Lake County IL 2012


Halloween Lake County IL 2012

Each year I do a service for parents by posting the Lake County IL communities times and days for Trick or Treating–or Halloween.  It appears all towns are saying they are having Halloween on the actual day… Wed., Oct. 31st.  This could change but this is what has been reported to me.

Have a safe, yet fun Halloween this year!

Here are the Trick or Treat times….

Wednesday October 31, 2012

Times: Wednesday

Below find a list of Lake County Communities Trick or Treat hours held on October 31st.

Antioch – 4pm-7pm,

Bannockburn – 3:30pm-7pm,

Barrington – 4pm-7pm,

Buffalo Grove – 2pm-7pm,

Deer Park – 4pm-7pm,

Deerfield – 3pm-7pm,

Fox Lake – 4pm-7pm,

Fox River Grove – 3:30pm-7:30pm,

Grandwood Park – 5pm-8pm,

Grayslake – 4pm-7pm,

Hawthorn Woods – 4pm-8pm,

Highwood – 3pm-8pm,

Highland Park – 3:30pm-7pm,

Kildeer – 3pm-8pm,

Lake Bluff – 4pm-7pm,

Lake Forest – 4pm-8pm,

Lake Villa – 4:30pm-7pm,

Lake Zurich – 3pm-8pm,

Libertyville – 4pm-8pm,

Lincolnshire – 4pm-8pm,

Lindenhurst – 4pm-7pm,

Mundelein – 4pm-8pm,

North Barrington – 3pm-7pm,

Vernon Hills – 4pm-8pm,

Volo – 4pm-8pm,

Wauconda – 4pm-8pm,

Wildwood 4pm-7pm

Winthrop Harbor – 4pm-7pm.

Times are subject to change.

Deborah Mumm

Healthy Environments

Everything for Adoption

First Month after Orphanage Life


I just found a journal I kept back when my two kids first came here from Russia.  My daughter was almost 11 and my son was 5.  I forgot I had jotted this list down.  It was a crazy time.  I wrote down the behaviors they had then.  Please realize some just lasted a few days or weeks but some lasted far longer…some a year or more! Remember these two children lived in a Russian orphanage and never experienced many things our birth kids take for granted. I laugh when I read this list as I remember being so exhausted that first year by many of these things on the list.  Here you go–

  • touching EVERYTHING in the house
  • going through drawers
  • shutting doors around the house
  • not wanting bedroom door shut at bedtime
  • can’t take a bath without me being in the room
  • trying on clothes over and over (this was just a girl thing!)
  • the 5 yr. old thought Kindergarten just lasted one day!
  • terrified of the shower when turned on. Jumped out and ran out of the room.
  • meltdowns after saying goodbye to people
  • very loud and needed reminders to tone it down
  • LOTS of crying –when left alone, bedtime, leaving friends, when overtired,many times for reasons we couldn’t understand
  • meltdowns when we were taking them places…fun places like fairs, McDonald’s, movies, etc. They cried all the way there and then would have a great time once there.
  • Alex slept with his shoes on the first couple of weeks, then the shoes had to be right next to him in bed after that. (He never had his own shoes and didn’t want someone to take them.)
  • it took several weeks of baths before the ‘smell’ came off of them from Russia. Not sure what it was but may have been nutrition related.
  • keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the house was almost impossible.  They ate them non-stop for weeks.
  • terrified of the sound of the flushing of the toilet.

Most of these things I was never warned about.  We adopt these children with no training or warnings and then have to figure out what all their fears and insecurities are about. It is really a tough journey and takes TONS of patience. (and a lot of therapy!)

We have come a long way.  I just wanted to share this list so people currently adopting kids from orphanages can have an idea of what kinds of things they may see once you bring them home.  Obviously, our children were a bit older and had different fears than some little children.

Things do get better—for most things, at least!

Deborah Mumm, Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Oh Happy Day!


Instead of asking the middle school class of kids what they did over summer vacation, my son’s teacher asked, ” What was the happiest day in your life?”  Good question.  This was bound to bring some interesting topics out of this bunch of 12 and 13 yr. olds. She was a bit surprised when my son decided to share his happiest day.

‘The happiest day of my life was when my family adopted me from Russia.  I am so happy to have a family.” Alex beamed while he told the teacher about how he used to live in an orphanage and how he waited for someone to come get him.  The teacher was a bit shocked that he was so willing to share this and emailed me about it. She added that he must really be happy to not be afraid to share this with a bunch of kids he really didn’t know very well yet.

I guess we talk about adoption openly in our home. We share with Alex how happy we are that we have him in our family.  I guess he is listening.

Oh happy day!

If only more kids waiting in orphanages could find families—

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

http://www.everythingforadoption.com

The Prisoner’s Office


In the Prisoners Office

When Alex was in First grade, and not yet having a total grasp on English, would come home telling us about the ‘prisoner’ that wandered the hallways in his school.  He loved ‘the prisoner’.  He was really nice.   We wondered who this was, but figured the school would not let real prisoners roam the school hallways.

As time went on Alex told us about the ‘prisoners office’ which he visited when he got in trouble.  Putting 2+2 together, we learned he was talking about the Principal’s Office.  At the School Open House we met the principal and shared this with her.  She laughed saying she never thought of her office like that before…but maybe a first grader’s perspective is rather eye-opening.

After a year of homeschooling, Alex learned another life lesson yesterday.  You cannot say certain things in public places…especially schools…without getting in trouble.  He was very upset when he came home knowing he’d spend the day in that ‘Prisoner’s Office’ the next day.

We had some good discussions about choosing the words that come out of your mouth.  I couldn’t believe he told the principal that he had ‘anger issues’…which he doesn’t.  So today Alex is doing his school work in the Principal’s Office and hopefully learning an important lesson.

I told him…Don’t do the crime if you can’t serve the time!

Life Lessons.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Trauma and the Adopted Child


Whether adopted from birth or later in life, all adopted children have experienced some degree of trauma. Trauma is any stressful event which is prolonged, overwhelming, or unpredictable. Though we are familiar with events impacting children such as abuse, neglect, and domestic violence, until recently, the full impact of trauma on adopted children has not been understood.

Here is a great article on what Science is now showing us with trauma and children….

Trauma and the Adopted Child

In closing, never forget that you are a great parent. During times of stress you wont always feel like it, but both you and your child were meant to be together. Your child will teach you far more about yourself than you may have ever realized without him. Give yourself time to refuel, connect, and communicate. And finally, a secure parental relationship is the single greatest gift you can give your child. When the parental relationship is secure this will permit the child a foundation to grow from.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach
http://www.everythingforadoption.com/Trauma-and-Adoption.asp