I love Dr. Seuss! Horton Hatches the Egg is my all time favorite Dr. Seuss book. Of course I also like The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, but nothing gets to me like the character, Horton. Probably because he has such great character. When I read Horton Hatches the Egg I can't help but think of this as a perfect foster parenting story.
Horton takes care of an egg for a bird who is tired of sitting and waiting for the egg to hatch. She goes off and has a great time, while Horton sits on the egg through all kinds of weather and hardships. Then when all the hard work is over the bird comes back for the egg. When the egg hatches we see that the baby bird has some elephant features like Horton. He made a lasting impact on the baby bird. I love that.
Elizabeth Kennedy, About.com Children's Book Guide, says about Oh, the Places You'll Go, "It's an inspirational book that provides an uplifting sendoff in Dr. Seuss style for people entering a new phase in their lives, but Dr. Seuss also points out that there will be difficult times as well as good times." I think that this is an appropriate message for some children as they transition between foster homes or even into a new adoptive home.
What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Which ones do you think are best for foster or adoptive children or parents?
Suggested Reading/New Articles and Features:
I love Downton Abbey. I started watching with Season 2 after reading so many of my friends going on and on about it on social media. I have loved the show ever since.
Season 4 brought us an adoption story line. Lady Edith becomes pregnant at the end of season 4 and is completely depressed and confused as to where to turn. She trusts her aunt with the news and was pretty much bullied into going away and placing the child informally with a couple in another country. Upon returning home, Lady Edith's sadness is noted by everyone in the home, including the staff.
I found myself very proud of Edith when she told Mary that maybe they needed to show their emotions more - which is very un-English. It was clear that she was having second thoughts and desperately wanted to take control of the situation.
Edith went back to Switzerland, retrieved her infant daughter and placed her with a farmer that lived near their home. She finally made a decision on her own. While still sad, it was clear that she found some peace with the new arrangement.
Did you watch the season finale of Downton Abbey? What were your thoughts on the adoption story line? I can't wait for season 5. It's never long enough for me.
This is one children's book that about makes me cry every time I read it. The illustrations are beautiful and capture a child's many emotions. The story itself is just as beautiful. Megan's Birthday Tree is about a child who is clearly bonded to her adoptive family and goes to them for reassurance and support, yet is grounded by a child's simple understanding of her history. This book demonstrates what an open adoption could do for a child's sense of identity.
If you have opened a closed adoption, especially a foster care adoption, click "comments" below and share your experiences or about your process.
So, what is open adoption to you? Are you part of an open adoption - either as a birth parent, an adoptive parent, or adoptee? Bring your experiences, good and bad to the forum and we'll all get a chance to see open adoption from a different perspective. The forum discussion has been on-going for a couple of years and has numerous posts. Check it out.
Lifebooks are an awesome tool for foster and adopted children. Lifebooks are not just simple scrapbooks, they fill in the missing blanks of a child's history and can also offer honest answers to tough questions. Whether a child has been adopted from foster care or India, a lifebook may hold answers for a child as they continue to process their different losses.
This is exactly why I recommend Beth O'Malley's work. She offers clear advice on how to answer these questions without degrading a child's birth family or further traumatizing a child with the blunt truth. Learn how to explain a parent's drug usage or a child's abandonment in an orphanage with Beth O'Malley's wonderful tools. An adoptee and an adoptive parent, O'Malley has a definite passion for her work.
I was faced with a difficult email a few years ago when a grandmother asked how to help prepare a lifebook for her grandchild. This led to an awesome opportunity for me to speak with Beth and ask her advice. This not only allowed me to help that one grandmother, but to create a few new articles to help all of us who work to prepare lifebooks for children in our care.
- What Not to Put into a Foster or Adopted Child's Lifebook
- Best Ideas on How to Complete a Lifebook for Your Adopted or Foster Child
- Make a Copy of Your Foster or Adopted Child's Lifebook
- Journal Questions for Kids Who Were Adopted or Currently in Foster Care
- Offer Your Favorite Lifebook Tips
Books by Beth O'Malley:
Adoption Book Review: Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child
Book Review: My Foster Care Journey - Lifebook for children under age 8
Book Review: For When I'm Famous - Lifebook for Teens
One of the hardest aspects of being a foster parent is being part of a team of professionals that perhaps doesn't consider us, as foster parents, real members of a professional team. Because of this how often do we get a chance to share our true feelings with the team and actually feel heard?
While we want to be honest and respectful in how we speak to our foster care social workers, sometimes we may feel that it is best to just keep quiet. Maybe we stay quiet because we're afraid that we won't be understood, or that we can't say what we want to say without emotion. It is important to build an effective partnership with your foster care social worker, even when you don't always feel heard. Take this opportunity to tell social workers what you want them to know about foster parenting. This is just an opportunity to send a mass message to any and all social workers so that they may get a clearer picture of how foster parents really feel.
Whether you are a foster parent, a foster child, a birth parent, or perhaps even another worker - what do you wish you could tell a foster care social worker? How would you finish this sentence, "I Wish My Foster Care Social Worker Knew..."
I was thinking maybe foster care social workers feel the same way, so for the social workers, foster children, and birth family out there, how would you finish this sentence, "I Wish Foster Parents Knew..."
Take this opportunity to open up lines of communication and get an idea of how the 'other side' of foster care really thinks and feels.
One of the most read pages on this site is the book review for Dave Pelzer's A Child Called 'It'. Written from the perspective of a child, A Child Called 'It' offers a chance to see how an abused child may perceive the treatment of an abusive mother. Even though the child abuse that Dave Pelzer endured effected David's self-worth; Dave still had this incredible will to not only survive, but to rise above it all.
This is one book I recommend to those interested in fostering or adopting a child, especially a child who has endured abuse. One main misconception about children in foster care is that they will be grateful to escape the abuse and the abuser. Even after everything Dave Pelzer went through with his abusive mother, he would still, after being placed in a foster home, ride his bicycle by his mother's house in the hopes of getting a glimpse of her. It is amazing, but also understandable to a point. No matter what has occurred, your parents are your parents.
Dave Pelzer entered the foster care system at age 12. He endured 5 different foster homes before aging out of the system at age 18. He went on to become an accomplished author, with his first book, A Child Called 'It', which details the story of the horrible abuse and neglect he suffered at the hand of his mother. But despite his world renowned books, speaking engagements, and documentation from teachers and social workers who worked with him as a youth, there are some who question the validity of his story.
What is your reaction to Dave Pelzer's life story? Share your thoughts by clicking here.
Book Review: A Child Called "It"
Book Review: The Lost Boy The Inspiring Sequel to "A Child Called 'It'"
Dave Pelzer Is a Famous Foster Kid
How Do You Feel About Dave Pelzer's Life Story?
In its second year, the Spokeo Adoption Search Angel Award brings together leaders in the adoption, foster care and search communities to recognize, honor and support volunteers who donate their time to help adult adoptees and others, search for and reunite with their birth families.
Nominations for individuals who have been touched by the work of Search Angels are now being accepted at www.SpokeoAngels.com through Monday, February 17. Only those who donate their searching services without receiving compensation are eligible. Winners will receive a cash grant to help offset the personal costs they incur while searching, a one-year membership for Spokeo, and the opportunity for families who are matched by the angels, to elect to participate in a reunion sponsorship covering their travel costs.
An advisory committee comprised of various leaders representing the adoption and foster care communities will provide program guidance, review nominations and select the volunteers to be honored with the Spokeo Search Angel Award.
This is your opportunity to show how much you value the search angel who has helped you locate lost loved ones. I know you're out there - I have received emails from thankful adoptees, birth mothers, and lost birth siblings. Please take a moment and nominate one of our many search angel volunteers.
The winners of the 2014 Spokeo Search Angel Awards will be announced in April at the American Adoption Congress International Conference in San Francisco.
Suggested Reading/New Articles and Features:
Most of us love to talk about our children, but there seems to be something extra special about adoption stories. If you have added a child or children to your home through adoption, and created your own forever family, we'd love to read your adoption story. Asking readers to share their adoption stories has become our January tradition over the past few years.
Here are some of our newest adoption stories:
- Waiting for a "Yes"
- Long Term Placement Turned into Forever Home
- Choosing Foster Care Adoption Over International
- Single Parent International Adoption Story
- Already My Child - Vietnam Adoption Story
- Have Faith and Wait for the Right Timing
- Special Needs Older Child from China Adoption
- Now it's your turn to submit your adoption story