Adopting As a Single Parent by Choice, Making Dreams into Reality!

Mother and Son, Single Parent Adoption

Raising a child as a single parent might be viewed by others as an “unconventional” life choice but to mothers and fathers who choose to do it on their own; they just want to make their dream into reality. Single men and women want to adopt a child for many of the same reasons that couples want to. They want to be a parent, have a child to love, want to give a child a home, pregnancy might not be an option, and the list could go on. There has been an increasing in single adoptive parents over the past few years and whatever the reasons leading them to adoption, their journey is something to be celebrated.

Many people hear the word “single parent” and automatically think that a tragedy or divorce caused their single status but that not always the case. There are many singles who make the choice to enter the world of parenthood.

The past few decades have seen an incredible increase in the number of families headed by single mothers. Unlike the stereotypical images of an un-wed, poverty-stricken, uneducated, and young teen or woman facing parenthood alone, an increasing number of successful, single well-educated professional women in their 30’s and 40’s are arriving at motherhood through adoption by choice. AFTH has quite a few singles, both men and women, who are looking to adopt.

“I am so excited to become a mother-something I knew I wanted from when I was just a little girl. Although having a biological child has not been a possibility for me, I decided that should not stop me from making my dreams into reality of becoming a parent.”-Hopeful single adoptive parent at AFTH

To read more about some of our single’s that are waiting to adopt, check out our website where you can read more into their profile books and learn about their journey and how they ended up deciding to adopt. www.afth.org/meet-our-families

 Statistics of Single Parent Households in the US

Single parenthood is very common in the United States. Even today when 50% of U.S. children will spend some part of their childhoods in a single parent family, there is still contempt for single moms and dads. Did you know that more than 22 million children under the age of 21 are being raised in a single parent household? Here are just a few more appealing statistics. http://singleparents.about.com/od/legalissues/p/portrait.htm

  • About 28% of children worldwide live in a single-parent household.
  • In the United States, 80.6% of single parents are mothers. Among this percentage of single mothers: 45% of single mothers are currently divorced or separated, 1.7% are widowed, and 34% of single mothers never have been married.
  • 76% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed and 85.1% of custodial single fathers are gainfully employed

 Even today when 50% of U.S. children will spend some part of their childhood in a single parent family, there are still often many misperceptions about single parenthood however times are changing and society is beginning to embrace the many different ways a family can be formed.

Adopting as a single father

 Statistics of Single Parent Adoption

Unfortunately years ago, if you had gone to an adoption agency as a single person and applied for a child, you would have been turned down. Now, thousands of children in the United States and other countries are living with single men and women who have chosen to become parents and who have been given the opportunity to provide a loving home for a child. Below are just some statistics about adoption and adopting as a single parent. http://statistics.adoption.com/information/adoption-statistics-single-parents.html

  •  Every state in the country currently allows single adults to adopt children.
  • Approximately 25 percent of adoptions of children with special needs are by single people.
  • In 2011 nearly 1/3 of adoptions from foster care we completed by unmarried individuals. This number includes adoptions from more than 13,000 single women and 1,400 single men.

Controversy of Single Parent Adoption

 Most single parents agree that the joy of bringing a child into your life far outweighs the challenges added as being a single parent. Single parents, whether through adoption or circumstance, do face unique aspects to parenting solely due to the fact that there is one of them as opposed to two. There can also be some benefits of single parenthood such as having less people to coordinate parenting decisions with. One of the biggest obstacles many single parents may face are the opinions and objections society might have. Sadly, there are some people who still believe that singles should not be allowed to adopt children. Here are just some arguments and opinions many single parents by choice have heard along the way.

  • A child needs two parents so that one can fill in for the other when one is too tired, sick, and so on.
  • A child needs to be raised by both a male and female parent
  • If a single parent becomes ill or dies, the child will be orphaned.
  • Due to the need to work to provide for the child, they cannot be an at-home parent and give the child the attention he/or she will need.
  • Single parents often live under poverty line and receive government assistance

 Finding a good support system through the way

With all of the opinions, arguments and judgments you will surely hear along the way during you adoption process as a single parent know that it is important to be strong in the decision you make and know that you can make your dream of parenthood true. To help, it is important to find a good support system, a network of people who care about you and who will be there for you both emotionally and physically when you need it.

We find that many of the prospective adoptive parents working with AFTH say that they often find additional support as they go through the adoption process. Adoption is a thread that can pull many people together throughout the journey. You may find friends and neighbors as well as other hopeful adoptive parents you meet through the agency classes and events that have a connection to adoption that you will gain as resources for support along the way.

Below are just some helpful organizations geared to single parents that can be there for you whether you have a question or just need someone to talk to that can relate to your situation.

One Step at a Time

All you need for a family is love, commitment and a sense of humor!

Whether you are thinking about adopting as a single parent or you know someone that is a single parent, remember that millions of children are growing up healthy and happy in single-parent households. And that single hopeful adoptive parents are just trying to pursue their dream of parenthood just as any other parent. Like all worthwhile journeys, the path of single adoptive parenthood is easiest when taken one step at a time. To read more about single parent households and how less than a quarter of American families fit the old “Leave It To Beaver” model of a married, two-parent, opposite-sex household with children, check out our Families Are Changing post from 2009. https://afth.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/families-are-changing/

How to talk to your child about racism: from starting the conversation to maintaining a continued conversation throughout childhood

In society we often look to teachers, politicians, or religious leaders to eliminate racism. Racism is all around us. It exists whether we consciously see it or not. Racism can been seen on the television, in the media, in our neighborhood and in our everyday life. We have learned about it in school, and grew up being taught that racism is bad. For many, even talking about race makes them uncomfortable. Saying the word “racism” its self sounds racist. It is an ugly word that leaves many avoiding the topic all together, or in the opposite extreme believe that being colorblind is the answer. It is important for all parents to talk about race and racism especially in families formed through transracial adoption.

The truth is racism exists, even in today’s society. Your child will unfortunately at some point be exposed to it. While you may not be able to stop that from happening, you can ease them in to the subject, and prepare them for tough situations that they may face.

Some parents believe that if they practice “colorblindness” their child will grow up accepting the differences between their peers automatically. When most parents use that term, what they mean is that their love and actions are not defined by the race however by not seeing race, transracial adoptive parents are not seeing a piece of who their child, and now their family is. Here is a link to an article stating why the practice of colorblindness is no longer a way to teach your child about racism. Children notice race. It is a physical characteristic, only one of many, that helps to make up who a person is and so teaching children to be colorblind in essence ignoring race and the issues surrounding race can actually be harmful.

Your child should hear about racism, before they are directly exposed to it. If parents neglect to speak on this issue, the child could fill in the blanks with their own naive meaning of racism. This could later lead to negative self-esteem, with a loss sense of belonging.

The first step is starting the conversation. It may seem like a sensitive, intimidating subject (like the birds and the bees talk) but, like many things, the more you talk about racism with your child, the easier the conversation becomes.

So, let’s get started!

Here are some tips to help you get the conversation started:

  • Don’t ignore the difference. For example, you can tell your child that “you are athletic just like mommy” or “your good at math just like daddy” to help them see the similarities between you. As well as sharing the similarities between you, let your child see the differences too. You can point out that she has beautiful brown skin, while yours is lighter in color. You can extend the differences outside of your family and take a look at members of your church or community. Have dolls of all types of races and ethnicities not just the ones representing your family. It is important to show your child how beautiful your differences are and celebrate them. It could be something as simple as a food that you love, but your child doesn’t. Make the differences as accepting and normal as the similarities that your family shares.
  • Give words their meaning. It is important in the beginning stages of your conversations about racism to put meaning behind words. Describe family members and friends as White, Asian, or African American. Also explain words like stereotypes and prejudice. This will help introduce these complicated concepts to your child.
  • Teach them positive racial concepts. Society & the media paint many pictures of race and racism. It is important for you to teach your child positive racial concepts at an early age, when race begins to register.
  • Visit our blog to learn how to handle different forms of stereotypes
  • Responding to differences. It is important to also teach your child how to respond to the differences that some may point out to him/her. If a classmate points out a difference and she is prepared with an answer, it will eliminate some self consciousness that they may feel. Role-playing different scenarios is a great way to give your child the tools to respond to classmates questions of difference.
  • Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If your child experiences insensitive racial comments don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Take time to give your child a calm, mature, and informative response. This will show your child how to handle these kinds of situations.

So, now that the hard part is over…..

Here are 4 ways to talk to your child about racism

  • Don’t be too direct. Coming right out and asking your child if they have experienced racism could cause your child to pull back and feel uncomfortable. Instead of outwardly asking, bring up a race related topic in the news, and discuss it. This opens up a conversation and allows your child to come to you with questions or issues.
  • Talk about other families. It is important for your child to understand that not all families have the same values as yours. Not every family that your child meets will be accepting of your family dynamic. Talking about this and pointing out that “some children grow up being afraid of people who are different” and using phrases like “isn’t that sad” or “I’m glad our family isn’t like that” will help him/her understand this concept.
  • Racism isn’t their fault. To a child, being teased of differences such as skin color, hair style, or the difference of your family compared to others could leave them asking “what is wrong with me.” If this occurs, emphasize that it is in no way shape or form your child’s fault. Point out that the person doing the teasing is just one person’s bad behavior – not all people think that way.
  • Be a role model. Most importantly, be an advocate and a role model. Show your child that you have family, friends, even role models of your own from all different backgrounds. Show them that you accept the differences in people and reassure your child of their place in this world. Give them the tools to overcome racism and not let it define them, teach your children to challenge racism and lead by example.
  • Help your child be an advocate. Differences come in all shapes and sizes and are not limited to race. Helping to establish a trait of acceptance in your child may help them be an advocate for others who may be treated unfairly because of their differences. For example a child being bullied or the man down the block who is in a wheelchair or the Asian student who is new in class.

AA ISTOCK -  AA girl and C girl hugging

Now that you have the tools to start the conversation and keep the conversations going, visit our website and blog to read more on how to help school aged children deal with racism.

 

February Book Reviews 2015

2015 Adoption Book Reviews

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.



discovering_meDiscovering Me: A Journey Book About Adoption by Betsy Trainor-This book does a great job of explaining how different families begin.  It shows how families can start out different and even the make-up of adoptive families can be different.  It also stresses other people may have a similar story.

My only issue with this book is with the use of the word “forever family” to describe the adoptive parents.  Throughout the book it talks about “birth families” and “forever families”, which to a young child may make them feel that a birth family isn’t forever or is less than a “forever family” in some way, and if you have biological children as well as adopted children this may create some tension. It may also make some children feel that families that aren’t formed by adoption are only temporary.  Maybe you and your children can come up with a new word to replace “forever family” in the book or maybe you can just substitute it on your own.

On the whole though, the premise of the book is good, the pictures are fun and the story is a good introduction into adoption. amazon.com price $5.21 (PB)



What Foster Parents Need to Know What Foster Parents Need to Know: Keeping a Journal, Handling Allegations, Adoption Subsidies, and More  by James A. Kenny – This is a useful little book filled with a lot of good information.  While some of it is redundant, its information that can never be told or talked about too many times.  I highly recommend this new little gem if you are considering fostering a child. 

Information on keeping a journal to help advocate for your foster child, and help fight any allegations, knowing your rights as a foster parent, tips on discipline, and subsidies available for you and your foster child are all talked about in easy to understand language and chapters are short. Some of the information published in this book can also be found in Fostering Families Today magazine.   amazon.com price $3.08 (PB) 


A Different home
A Different Home: A New Foster Child’s Story by John DeGarmo and Kelly DeGarmo-  If you ever wondered what a foster child thought or how they feel when they enter into a new foster home this book will give you a glimpse.  It may not be every child’s story but it certainly shows the mixed feelings and need to feel loyal to their birth family. The desire for all children to be home where they know the rules and the expectations, no matter how horrible it may have been is very real.
I thought that this was a well written book that may help other foster children know that their feelings are valid, and common.  While their story may be different the feelings may be similar and it would make a good starting point for a conversation. The pictures themselves spoke volumes and the emotion of them practically oozed off the paper.  This is a great book for foster families and anyone considering fostering a child. amazon.com  price $12.85 (HC) Kindle edition $9.99

Adoptive Father Planned to Run 50K for Birthmother Fundraiser and Awareness, Now the Search is On

Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions and a lot of people are planning to get in shape and eat healthy. Adoptions From The Heart, a non-profit, full service adoption agency based in Wynnewood, PA is planning their third annual Find Her Footing 5K for Sunday, April 12th originally with a very special addition.

Adoptions From The Heart Find Her Footing 5K

Adoptive father, Chris Staehle was planning on running a 50K…that’s right…31 miles from the AFTH office in Delaware to the start of the Find Her Footing 5K at Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania. A running accident and a torn ACL will keep him from running his planned course, but he is still dedicated to supporting the mission of AFTH. The inaugural AFTH Find Her Footing 5K in 2013 was Staehle’s first 5K and it inspired him to keep on running. “What better way to complete my first ultra marathon than to do complete it while raising money and awareness for the birthmother fund? If I can help make a difference for someone who is involved in the adoption process, then it will all be worth it,” he explained.

The Inspiration Behind the Man

Chris and his wife began working with Adoptions From The Heart in November of 2012 and adopted their son in December 2013. “My wife and her sisters are adopted, so we strongly believe in and support the work that Adoptions From The Heart does for thousands of families and the community,” Chris said. “In addition to raising awareness and funds for AFTH, I’m hoping to prove that average people working full time and raising a family can truly push their physical and mental limits with this sort of undertaking.”

Chris pointed to a quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson that spoke to him when considering the upcoming 50K, “in whatever you choose to do, do it because it’s hard, not because it’s easy. For every hard thing you accomplish, fewer other people are out there doing the same thing as you. And in the limit of this, everyone beats a path to your door because you’re the only one around who understands the impossible concept or who solves the unsolvable problem.” With this 50K undertaking, Chris would have been doing just that. He hoped that he can turn this accomplishment into an annual event and that more people will dare to tackle the distance alongside him. “If I can do it, anyone can do it,” Chris remarked confidently. Now… we call to you to make the 50K a reality once again, here is how.

How to Keep Up: On Social Media and On Race Day

Chris was planning on updating his social media accounts, @AFTH_50k on Twitter, Instagram, Vine and afth50k.wordpress.com, which you can be sure to follow for up to date information on his recovery and training process. AFTH wants to encourage other runners to consider taking on this long distance and Chris has helped to prepare you for the feat.

Chris’s Top Tips for Running a 5K (or a 50K)

AFTH Chris Staehle's 5K Tips1. Always remember, you get what you pay for. You don’t have to always buy top-of-the line sneakers and gear, but never go with the cheap stuff. Go to a specialty running store, like Bryn Mawr Running Company, to get professionally fitted for sneakers, or give a few different brands a try before you embark on a long-term training plan – some stores will have generous return policies, but always check before you buy.
2. The more miles you run and more time you spend running require more carbs, but try and give yourself at least two hours after a meal before running. Natural fruits and veggies give you much more energy than energy bars or gels, but may not be so convenient to carry during a race (that’s when the gels/bars come in handy).
3. If you need to run with music by all means, rock out as you wish, but keep the following in mind. When running on busy roads or in parks, you need to be aware of your surroundings (for your safety as well as safety of others). Wearing headphones/earbuds also cuts off the sounds of your breathing and your focus on body movements/stride/gait. Pay attention to your body.
4. Avoid stretching without warming up, so do a quick 5 minute walk or slow jog to loosen up first. Always build in 10-15 minutes into your workout time for stretching so you aren’t cramming your stretches in. Focus on your legs and lower back, but give your arms and upper body a chance to loosen up as well.
5. Be realistic! Unless you think you can win the race, don’t kill yourself with training. Shoot for a personal best. Overtraining leads to frustration, frustration leads to more overtraining, overtraining leads to injury, and then you may lose your enjoyment of running. Better to back off the training and live to run another day than get injured trying to run a 14-minute 5k.
6. It takes a long time for your body to adjust to the cold weather. Start with 1-2 runs per week outside, maybe for 20-30 minutes each, and do your remaining runs on a treadmill. Every few weeks, add one more outside run to your schedule. Always try to run outside as a first option! The treadmill is in a controlled environment so your body may not adjust to the elements as fast, but if the weather is nasty outside or if you simply don’t have the time to gear up, sometimes the treadmill may be the only option. It’s better to run on a treadmill than not run at all!

Are You Ready for the Find Her Footing 5K?

With Chris inspiring the community, Adoptions From The Heart hopes that local community will come together to support open adoptions and birthparents who are in need. Join in the conversation online through the agency’s social media or with Chris directly and don’t forget to register for the 3rd Annual Find Her Footing 5K by visiting http://tinyurl.com/FindHerFooting3. As an added bonus, if you use the code RUN4AFTH by the end of February you will save $5 off the registration cost! Happy Training!

Did You Know You Can Breastfeed Your Adoptive Baby?

Breastfeeding an Adoptive Baby

Some people might think that the word breastfeeding and adoption don’t belong in the same sentence nevertheless think that it’s a possibility.  Not only is it very possible, , but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends whenever possible that all babies be exclusively breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired. It is understandable that sometimes this is not possible however it is important for adoptive mothers to know the option exists even when she doesn’t give birth to her child.

Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Adoptive Baby 

Before making a decision to induce lactation or deciding it isn’t the right path for you, it is important to consider all the benefits linked to breastfeeding. Just like with biological mothers, the process can be tiring and frustrating.  Along the way you might want to give up, it may just be because it is too time consuming, you are having latching problems or it could be that you feel like you simply are just not producing enough milk for your baby. Just know that a lot of other mothers are going through the same struggles as you are, and whether you decide to continue breastfeeding or you choose a different route, you are not a bad mother.  Even though there are a lot of studies that show a multitude of benefits that come from breastfeeding, it may not be the path or even an option for your family and that’s ok too.

The Benefits That Your Child Gets From BREASTFEEDING

Below are just some compelling, research based facts about the importance of breastfeeding for the child in case you do decide to choose this path.

  • Immunizations: Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
  • SIDS: The AAP says breastfeeding plays a role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The meta-analysis found that breastfeeding was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS compared to not breastfeeding.
  • Eczema: In families with a history of atopy, exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months was found to have a 42 percent reduction in atopic dermatitis compared with breastfeeding for less.
  • Asthma: Breastfeeding for at least 3 months was associated with a 27 percent reduction in the risk of asthma for those without a family history of asthma and a 40 percent reduction for those with a family history of asthma.

The Benefits that the Adoptive Mother Gains from Breastfeeding

As beneficial as breastfeeding is for your baby, it will also benefit you as their mother as well. Here are just a few scientifically proven facts about how breastfeeding benefits mothers too.

  • Breast cancer: The longer women breastfeed, the more they’re protected against breast and ovarian cancer. For breast cancer, nursing for at least a year appears to have the most protective effect.
  • Positive Mood: Research has shown breastfeeding to have positive psychological effect for mothers. Researchers suggest that the higher levels of the oxytocin released by breastfeeding contributed to the positive mood.
  • Bonding: Bonding is a crucial aspect of adoption, and the hormones released during breastfeeding can facilitate the process. Breastfeeding places you and your baby in skin-to-skin contact, which is important both to your baby’s developments and the attachments between you and your baby.Breastfeeding creates a connection of bonding

 Preparing Yourself Ahead of Time

Even if you have never been pregnant or reached menopause, it is possible to breastfeed an adopted baby. The process of breastfeeding an adopted baby is called induced lactation. It is possible to gain the benefits of breastfeeding little to no preparation at all, however if you have advanced notice that you will have a baby joining you’re family, you can have a head start on the process.  It is suggested that you start a few weeks before your baby is arriving. To prepare you can stimulate you’re breasts by hand or by pump.  The pumping massage will induce prolactine which switches on the milk glands in the breasts.  Just know that you will produce little to no milk during these pumping sessions. Don’t get frustrated, it can take a month or more of regular pumping to trigger milk production. The main purpose of pumping before the baby is born is to start the changes in your breast so that you will produce milk, it is not to start your storage supply!

Inducing lactation after your baby arrives

If you are a hopeful adoptive mother and are fortunate enough to be present at the hospital when your baby is born, speak with your social worker about your plans to nurse and use their guidance to see if you would be able to begin nursing while at the hospital. Keep in mind; it might not be possible to nurse while in the hospital so turn to your social worker for direction. Getting the baby to latch might be the hardest part but there will be a lactation consultant at the hospital to help you through the process. A good latch means the baby will get more of your milk and will create a lot LESS painful feeding sessions! Just always keep in mind that there more to breastfeeding than the amount of breast milk being delivered to the baby. Think of the intimate relationship you are forming with your new baby, the closeness and the attachment that many mothers are looking for.

Conclusion

If you decide to take the breast feeding route, please share with us and others your tips of the trade! If you want additional information or just want to read another’s persons opinion about this topic, check out our breastfeeding blog that we wrote back in 2010.

Are you having problems breastfeeding as an adoptive mother?? Let’s try and help each other jump this hurdle together!

To learn more about newborn bonding check out our other past blogs that all relate to each other.

https://afth.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/newborn-bonding/

https://afth.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/bonding-with-your-adopted-child/

Digital Scrapbooking

digital scrapbookingGone are the days of making scrapbooks with scissors, printed out photos, and a million stickers! No more trips to your local craft store and buying every pretty background page and embellishments you can find, unless you love doing it this way. Behold the new era of digital scrapbooking! Forget about those nasty paper cuts or uneven cutting. You can create a beautiful scrapbook from the comfort of your bed and save your fingers from getting messy with glue.

The new way to scrapbook allows its creators to preserve precious memories into perfectly created and printed books that they can read over and over. These digital scrapbooks can be used to send updates to your child’s birthparents, a collection of your travels, a lifebook, a way to show the year in review, or to help your child make sense of their adoption story. These can be shared online, via e-mail, or in print too!

Publishing programs create beautiful pages with backgrounds, photos, and embellishments on top of each other, just like the paper version. There are scrapbook-specific software programs that can cost around $40. Some popular ones are Scrapbook Factory Deluxe, My Memories Suite, Craft Artist Platinum, and Smilebox. These programs offer step-by-step tutorials. The only downside with these programs is the printing. You will need to print the projects using your own printer or using print shops such as Staples or FedEx Office.

My favorite way to create a digital scrapbook is through web-based photobook sites. You create custom photobooks with images, fonts, embellishments, and then order a professionally bound soft or hardcover volume. Some sites include, Blurb, MyPublisher, Picaboo, and my personal favorite, Shutterfly. Shutterfly always has great deals going on and sometimes they even have a Groupon or LivingSocial deal! Below I’ve created an easy walk through for creating a book through Shutterfly.com.

When you visit Shutterfly’s website you will see all of the ways you can use Shutterfly as well as any deals they have and when those deals expire. If you click on “Photo Books” underneath “MY SHUTTERFLY” You will be brought to a new page that allows you to make photo books in two ways: Custom Path or Simple Path. I personally like to use the custom path because there are so many ways to make it your own. If you’re not that creative, the simple path may be the right choice for you.

When you choose your path you will be brought to a new page that has book ideas. They have SO MANY styles. If the style has an “S” next to the name it means it’s a storytelling style. These cost about $5 more but gives you way more backgrounds, layouts, embellishments, and designs. Sometimes it is worth the extra five bucks to have unlimited stickers!

While roaming through the styles, I found one titled “An Adoption Story” which is so adorable! When you select your photo book you will come to a new page that is where the magic happens! You will see a pop up for where to choose photos from. Your selections include your computer, facebook, or shutterfly account. Once you’ve selected the photos you can place them into your book and you’re ready to go! The left side of your page will have a section for layouts, backgrounds, embellishments, and ideas. Play around and see what you like! If you want to get even more customizable you can click on the “pages” link at the top and select customize page to change the size of your text boxes, photos, and embellishments. Below is a photo of a sample for photobook!

your name

When you’ve finally finished your photo book, you can select how you want it printed out and check your mailbox in about two weeks and enjoy your book! Before you check out on Shutterfly.com make sure you search for a coupon because they always have something going on!

January Book Reviews 2015

books-heart-mood-hd-wallpaper

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.


BOWEN_WishYouHappy_COVER_FINALWish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains by Jenny Bowen -This is a beautifully written, inspiring story written by a former screenwriter turned social entrepreneur. After adopting her daughter from a Chinese orphanage Jenny noticed that many of the children didn’t receive the attention they needed to thrive.  This is the story of how she took a simple idea of giving all the children an adult presence so that they would develop cognitively, physically and emotionally and persisted until her organization Half the Sky has helped to make fundamental changes to the Chinese Welfare System.  First they sent families to help rebuild infant rooms in orphanages, they trained staff in developmental caretaking and now they partner with the Chinese government and work with approximately 52 sites to help improve the lives of children.amazon.com price $11.46 (PB) kindle price $12.74


STUCK_PosterArt1Stuck (Streaming Video Download) –   While not a book this documentary is so important that anyone interested in adoption, or the rights of children should watch this. The US government, based on reports from UNICEF helped to draft the Hague Convention that was supposed to help prevent child trafficking and promote domestic adoption within the child’s country of origin.  While this looks great on paper what has happened is that this convention has all but stopped international adoption.  Many of the countries that have ratified the Hague have been struggling to implement it leaving children stuck in orphanages. While many other countries can still adopt from some of these international countries the number of children adopted internationally was always highest in the USA.  So without families from the USA adopting these children more and more children are being left to being raised in orphanages which we all know is detrimental to their growth and success in life.  This DVD tells the story of international adoption and its demise. The organization Both Ends Burning  who helped to produce this video is helping to fight for the rights of children to have a permanent home. If you would like to help please visit their website by clicking on their name above.   amazon.com streaming download $3.99 (HD Rental) $2.99 (SD Rental)  Free on Netflix streaming  


51l92n7qK5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ 
Building Self-Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered by Dr. Sue Cornbluth – Children who are adopted from foster care and those still in foster care often struggle with self -esteem and this book gives some great tips and valuable strategies to help change this. Parenting these children can often be challenging but this book is full of helpful advice that will help empower parents and the children they are parenting. The forward of this book is written by a former foster child and is very powerful in showing what a difference some of these strategies can make in a child’s life. amazon  price $18.35 Kindle edition $11.49