AdoptUSKids: An Adoption Option You May Not Have Considered

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aWhen we think of adopting a child, the we usually think of China, Eastern Europe, and Africa. But did you know that there are currently 402,000 children in the U.S. foster care system? Or that there are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. under 18 who are waiting to be adopted? Either way, you can help by becoming a foster parent or adopting a foster child. And AdoptUSKids is there to help you.

AdoptUSKids has two main goals. First, to educate the public about the need for foster and adoptive families, second, to “support States, Territories, and Tribes in their efforts to find families for children in foster care, particularly the most challenging to place” (which includes older kids, those who are part of a sibling groups, and children of color).

Since the launch of the campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website are now with their adoptive families and over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids.

So what can you do?

Start by taking a look the videos and listen to some of the stories from adopted children and adoptive parents here: https://www.youtube.com/user/adoptuskids

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit  www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

You’re More Normal Than You Think, Part II

Dear Mr. Dad: After trying for several years to conceive the “regular” way, my wife and I decided to adopt. She’s super excited and has already started outfitting the nursery and buying baby clothes. I’d like to share her joy, but, honestly, I’m feeling a little depressed. Is there something wrong with me?

A: Nope, nothing wrong with you. Think about it this way. The time between your decision to adopt and the actual arrival of your child could be considered a “psychological pregnancy.” Of course, unlike a biological pregnancy, you won’t usually know exactly how long it’s going to take from beginning to end. But what’s interesting is that most expectant adoptive parents go through an emotional progression similar to that of expectant biological parents, says adoption educator Carol Hallenbeck. The first step is what Hallenbeck calls “adoption validation,” which basically means coming to terms with the idea that you’re going to become a parent through adoption instead of through “regular” means.
This might seem straightforward, but it’s usually not. Researcher Rachel Levy-Shiff found that for many parents, adoption is a second choice, a decision—like yours—that is reached only after years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive on their own and years of disappointments and intrusive, expensive medical procedures. Infertility can make you question your self-image, undermine your sense of masculinity (how can I be a man if I can’t get my partner pregnant?), force you to confront your shattered dreams, and can take a terrible toll on your relationship. That’s enough to depress anyone. If you’re having trouble accepting the fact that you won’t be having biologically related children, talk to some other people about what you’re feeling. Your partner certainly has a right to know. Even though she’s very excited, she’s probably feeling a lot of similar things.