Listening to and Learning From Adoptees

December 12th, 2007
Categories: Parenting

During our home study update visit a few weeks ago, our social worker touched on a few subjects that continue to stand out in my mind. I respect the fact that she keeps current on adoption issues; attending conferences, classes and seminars, reading new material and speaking with all involved in adoption. So when she talks about adoption related issues, I listen. One of the points that she made was about the importance of listening to adoptees. She was sharing her excitement over the advantage that adoptive parents have today thanks to the adult adoptees who are sharing their stories. Through their experiences we can gain an insight into raising our own children. Since joining the blogging world and reading many blogs of adult adoptees, I… [more]

Getting Through the Holidays as You Wait

December 10th, 2007
Categories: Parent Support

Although the winter holiday season is advertised as a glorious, warm, family centered time of peace and love, it can be the exact opposite for many people. The holidays make the loss of a loved one more poignant, financial problems rear their ugly heads amidst the commercialism of the season, and those waiting to bring their child home may feel depressed and lonely, even if they’re surrounded by family and friends. Almost every adoptive family I know sets their hopes upon having their child home for the holidays. For some reason, bringing your new son or daughter home by December is huge to so many people. In many cases, parents have been waiting years for a family and now that they’re so close to having one… [more]

Will the cute comments someday become ugly?

October 12th, 2007
Categories: Parenting

While walking through the mall recently a pair of women walked past my family and gasped loudly “Oh, how cute!” I smiled in their direction, then asked my husband, “They meant Ella, right?” There were no puppies or kittens around, so I realized that the compliment was directed towards my daughter. She gets this kind of attention ALL the time, and it makes me wonder if and when this unsolicited attention is going to grate on her. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s the most beautiful girl on the planet and deserves to be adored. But I have read many accounts of Asian adoptees feeling singled out and different because of the extra attention they get in public. Comments from total strangers… [more]

The Power of the Eye Crease

July 19th, 2007

suchin pak SuChin Pak was on an episode of the Oprah show awhile back that was titled “Children Ashamed of the Way They Look.” The episode was about how people from different racial groups do not see themselves as beautiful because they do not look like the blonde haired, blue eyed “All-American.” Pak is an MTV host and correspondent who is Korean. She told Oprah about the huge importance that the eye crease (a fold of eyelid skin that makes the eye look larger) plays in the Asian perception of beauty. She told Oprah and her audience that surgery to get an eye crease is the number one plastic surgery in Asia. I was very intrigued and interested in hearing what she had… [more]

Entrepreneur Honors for a Vietnamese-American Woman

June 28th, 2007 Jacquelyn Tran has recently had two entrepreneurial honors bestowed upon her: the Enst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Inc Magazine named her one of the ‘Hottest Entrepreneurs Under 30.” These accolades are in addition to being named one of 2006’s most successful businesspeople under 30 by Inc and OC Metro magazines. 30 year old Tran is the president of Perfume Bay, which is an extremely successful internet based perfume business. She grew up in a family involved in the perfume industry and decided in college that the internet was the way to truly be successful in the global marketplace. She launched Perfume Bay on her own and has been able to watch it grow and succeed over the past few years… [more]

How To Talk to Your Child About Adoption

June 9th, 2007
Categories: Parenting Most adoptive families are taught to begin telling their child about adoption before they are really able to understand the concept. Doing so will help you, the parent, become comfortable with adoption language and make it feel natural. Here are some tips about talking to your child about adoption.

  • Use books as a tool to open the lines of communication. Reading about other adopted children will get your child’s mind turning and can naturally lead to discussions about adoption and their adoption. If your child seems hesitant, you can always lead into the discussion by talking about the character in the book.
  • Make adoption conversations part of everyday life. Try not to have one or two big talks about adoption and

Saying Too Much

June 6th, 2007 Lately I have encountered a few situations that could have been made infinitely better if only I had practiced some discretion. I too often say too much, offer unasked for information and find myself in a conversation that I never really wanted to be in in the first place. The most common question that I get asked about adoption is in reference to the cost. ‘Was it really expensive?’ or ‘It costs a lot, right?’ are the two main ones. Instead of going into why adoptions cost money and how the money is spent, I should learn to simply answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If the questioning party is truly interested in adoption, the ball would now be in their court to return… [more]

How To Connect With Other Adoptive Families

June 5th, 2007
Categories: Parent Support Having the support of other adoptive families is hugely important during all stages of the adoption process. During the wait for referral and travel, it is sanity saving to know others who have been in your shoes and can offer advice and support during your wait. Once you’re home, it is important for you and your child to know other families like yours. Not only will it help your child, it will help you as the parent to have someone who ‘gets it’ to talk to. Here are some ideas about finding other adoptive families to connect with:

  • Join your local Families With Children from Viet Nam. If there isn’t one in your area, start one up! This is the

How To Keep Your Child’s Story Private

June 4th, 2007
Categories: Parenting I have written in other posts about the importance of keeping your child’s story private, and wanted to offer some tips about how to do just that. When we were first learning about adoption, my husband and I had never given a second thought to keeping our daughter’s story private. It just wasn’t something that had occurred to us. Luckily, we were presented with the following scenario at our home study class: Say you know that your child’s birth mother was a teenage drug and alcohol addict, and you readily share this information with your friends and family. Your child is now four or five years old and you haven’t yet shared his birth mother’s past with him. At a family party, one of… [more]

Life With Ella – The Power of Time

May 25th, 2007

copyright rebecca hess 2007 When a woman gives birth to a baby, she often will remark that she was able to forget the pain of pregnancy and labor as soon as she saw her baby’s face. Many say that this is how women go on to birth more than one child. For us, it’s different, but similar at the same time. Our first days in Viet Nam with Ella, and even more so, the first weeks at home, seem surreal. I’m not quite sure how we got through it, but I think a large part was not being completely aware of how hard it was at the time. The adjustment to parenthood was difficult and we were completely in survival mode for quite awhile… [more]