Monday, October 30, 2006

Ghost Stories from Korea

Why NOT a ghost story or two from Korea!
Korean Ghost Stories

Be safe, have fun, and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yeah, what she said - The Last Word on Madonna

Wow, what a terrific article from ... I think this essay just about sums it up for me.

Don't justify my love
Madonna will soon find out it's tough enough to be an adoptive parent without being accused of "baby buying." - by Mary Kane

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Can you stand one more comment about Madonna?

More words have spilled about Madonna and her pursuit to adopt a Malawi toddler than I can remember in a very long time. I think this has made more folks hot than her Sex coffee table book, her Kaballah beliefs, or her fixation on the crucifix.

Be that as it may, here's what I think (for anyone who cares):

Madonna, or any celebrity family for that matter is entitled to adopt a child as long as all US and native country adoption laws are fully adhered to and satisfied. (My understanding is that she and hubby are adopting under US jurisdiction.

I haven't heard Madonna talk about the lengthy homestudy process, or the paperwork, or any of the usual frustrating process stuff most APs struggle with prior to having their child join them. It certainly does appear that she swooped in with her $$ and celebrity, plucked a child out of his orphanage, and flew home with him. If so, she does the process, already a problematic exercise, and the children she wants to help, a huge disservice.

And my G-d, she wants to "save" this little boy.

There are millions of AIDS orphans in Africa, children with no parents and no kin. Why not choose a child with no one to call his/her own? Why choose a child with a father who wants his child, just lacks the means to support him?

I know she's offered several millions of dollars in support. How about building clinics, schools, and rather than just throw money, how about schools to teach adults various trades? (Give a man a fish and he eats for a single day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime.) Then parents/families will be able to afford to keep their children rather than force them to consider orphanage care.

I have no doubt that this little boy's father agreed to have Madonna take his boy to be educated and have a good life as a loving sponsor. I also have no doubt he didn't understand the legal ramifications of adoption and that he was agreeing to relinquish custody forever.

Whether or not the "Material Girl" is a fit parent isn't the issue. (She may or may not be. That's for the homestudy to evaluate.) Did she abide by whatever law governs adoption between the US and Malawi? I have no idea. But even if she did, was she -- and were the government officials involved -- ethical in appearance or execution of this process?

No, I think not. And if Madonna really understood the Jewish tenets of Kaballah, she'd know that appearance -- what the community would think seeing what appears to be an unethical act" -- is practically as important as the act itself.

I have no doubt she means well, that she was deeply moved by the poverty she saw in Malawi. Who wouldn't be. But bottom line, this little guy has a father who loves him. The ethical thing would be to help Dad provide for his son. Then they could both learn to fish and eat for a lifetime, side by side.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bonding & Attaching with your adopted child from Korea

Lots of parents who adopt from Korea may mistakenly believe that they and their children are somehow completely immune from attachment issues. Thinking that because the majority of our children live with foster families in a more personal and intimate setting that the children are magically protected.

Truth is most children will grieve their initial loss of the people and environment they leave, even infants, but generally most children will securely attach over time with their adoptive families. Our youngest daughter arrived at 4 months of age. She was mad and outraged at her upheaval. It took several months to coax her out of her anger. I often thought that G-d was good, since I was already an experienced mother who knew not to take my little peanut's wrath personally. She was just royally pissed off. In time, she began to trust her permanence, my permanence in her life. Today she is a happy, confident and well-attached little girl.

But some children do get stuck in their grief and confusion and do not securely attach.

This information is for those parents who may be struggling with this thinking "Korean children don't suffer attachment disorders." There is a new Yahoo Group, Attach Korea you may want to investigate. This group is for those parents dealing with moderate to serious attachment issues. (Be prepared to prove it, too.)

But for general information, here are some recommendations provided by parents themselves struggling with attachment issues:

BOOKS (** you can find these at AdoptShoppe)
  • Different But Equal,by Patricia McLaughlin
  • Toddler Adoption: The Weavers Craft, by Mary Hopkins-Best **
  • With Eyes Wide Open, published by Children's Home Society of Minnesota **
  • Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families With Special-Needs Kids, a Guide for Parents and Professionals, Gregory C. Keck, Regina Kupecky
  • Helping Children Cope With Separation and Loss, Claudia Jewett
  • Holding Time, Martha Welch
  • Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy-Kurcinka
  • When Love is Not Enough, Nancy Thomas
  • Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents, Deborah Gray **
  • Parenting the Hurt Child, Gregory C. Keck, Regina Kupecky
  • Becoming Attached, Robert Karen
  • Parenting With Love and Logic, Foster Cline, M.D. and Jim Kay
  • The Out-of-Sync Child, Carol Stock-Kranowitz
  • Parenting Your Adopted Older Child, Brenda McCreight, Ph.D.
  • Our Own: Parenting the Adopted Older Child, Trish Maskew **
Here are also two sites with excellent information:

A 4Ever Family
(started by someone on the Korean-Attach list)


Don't be afraid or ashamed to admit when you could use some help.
Get the information and support you, your child and your family needs.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

WorldWide Orphans Foundation Gift Registry

I received a postcard this week from Dr Jane Aronson's ("The Orphan Doctor") WorldWide Orphans Foundation about their new "gift" registry and I thought it was a terrific idea.

You have the chance to bid on critically needed equipment, services, and supplies for children living in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Bulgaria, and all over the world.

This is not an adoption charity. The foundation's focus is on children without families who remain in their birth countries. It is a way to "give back" to children just like our own children who in great need of just about everything.

The bid prices range from $20,000 to $100. It's understandable that we APs may want to support causes more related to our own children's birth countries, and we should certainly do that. But I think it's also important to think more globally about children's issues and that is why organizations like WWO are so important.

WWO First' Annual Gift Registry -- Surely there is something there we can all "bid" on.

Share the link and let everyone know!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chuseok & Sukkot - Together Again for the First Time (or not)

Something about the fall harvest makes us grateful. That's why the Pilgrims modeled their feast of "thanksgiving" on the biblical holiday Jews celebrate as Sukkot (soo-KOTE) or the Feast of Tabernacles.

More About Sukkot

Tomorrow is also celebrated across Asia. In China, it's called the Moon Festival and celebrated with special shaped cookies and cakes. In Korea, it's called Chuseok. It's all about family and celebrating the harvest.

So whether you'll be celebrating one (or both), enjoy!

More About Chuseok

How to set up the ritual table:

Monday, October 02, 2006

New Cultural Coloring Pages at

Adoption Shout-Out!

Martha Osborne is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her popular adoption site, RainbowKids. She's recently revised the look and feel of the site and, as part of the changes, added an extensive section of cultural information for children.

Download the coloring pages and check out the new design.


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