Preparing for Your Homecoming

November 7th, 2007
Categories: Post-Placement

This week I’ve been writing about the realities that many adoptive parents face after returning home with their new little one. For my family, the calm ease of Viet Nam was a complete contrast to our life once we got home. Once we got back to the daily grind (but now with an infant!) I was shocked at how difficult it was to transition into life as a family of three at home. Through my own experience and talking to other adoptive families, I have learned that being prepared is the number one tip when it comes to making life a little easier after you come home with your child. Getting your home and home life in as much order as possible before coming home will help you ease into family… [more]

Conflicting Emotions During Your First Days Home

November 7th, 2007
Categories: Post-Placement

Completely in love one minute? Weepy the next? Then frustrated out of your mind before you can even realize why? You just may be one of the many, many adoptive parents adjusting to life at home with their new child. In Vietnamese adoptions, adoptive parents stay in Viet Nam for a period of approximately three weeks. That is certainly enough time to get used to a different way of life, and returning home can be starling and leave you feeling conflicted more often than not. Most of our first days home are a complete blur to me. I definitely think that sleep deprivation and jet lag play a large part in those early day emotional roller coasters. When I think back I can remember moments, but… [more]

Adoption Homecoming: When Reality Sets In

November 6th, 2007
Categories: Post-Placement

Coming home after spending multiple weeks in Viet Nam can be difficult. Of course, it is a huge relief to finally be home and able to officially start your new life as a family, but it can be really stressful too. In Viet Nam we didn’t have to cook, clean, drive, work or do laundry. We had practically unlimited time to figure out this parenting thing and do nothing but spend time with one another. Within a day or two of being home, the hugeness of being a parent really hit me and it took months for me to figure out a good groove for all of us to function in. I was completely shocked that I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted in the US because things… [more]

Life With Ella – Ella’s Re-Adoption Day!

June 29th, 2007

copyright 2007 rebecca hess Ella’s Re-Adoption Day was yesterday! It was relatively quick and easy, which surprised us. We decided against hiring an adoption attorney and I did all the paperwork myself; I figured that after compiling a dossier I could do anything! It was a wise decision because our documents were flawless and the meeting with the judge went smoothly; we certainly did not need a lawyer there to represent us. I didn’t know what to expect going in, so I was pleasantly surprised at how it all was handled. My county must set aside one morning every so often just for re-adoptions. We exited the elevator at our destination and saw a group of families; all different colors and ages. Ella instantly… [more]

How to Help Your Animals Adjust To the New Addition

May 14th, 2007
Categories: Post-Placement

copyright rebecca hess 2007 Many of us can credit our companion animals with helping us get through tough times. They’re likely used to being doted on and can be quite surprised when all that changes with the addition of a child into the mix of your household. In cases of international adoption, children often come home mobile or very close to mobile, so your cats and dogs won't get much quiet, still time to get to know to them. If your family pre-child was made up of you and furry, spoiled children; this new creature tearing through the house can take some getting used to. Here are some tips to help your companion animals cope with their new human… [more]

Birth Mother’s Day

May 12th, 2007

daffodils I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I feel about the holiday that is Birth Mother’s Day. The Saturday before Mother’s Day is set aside to celebrate birth moms each year. When I first head of Birth Mother’s Day I thought it was a great idea…now I’m not so sure. I have done some digging and found birth moms who whole heartedly support and some who vehemently resent the idea of Birth Mother’s Day. The general public may not have ever heard of this day, but it seems to becoming more common and well known within the adoptive community. I absolutely love the idea of taking time to honor and remember birth mothers; I feel that it is so important. I think… [more]

Life With Ella – Home 6 Months

May 4th, 2007

copyright 2007 rebecca hess Six months. We have been a family for longer, but home only six months. It seems unreal because it feels like Miss Ella has always been here. I remember the time without her, but she has changed our lives so drastically that I feel like she’s been home forever. Our hotel room in Viet Nam was mostly comprised of our huge bed, so Ella spent most of her time on there. She would army crawl around, but we didn’t know if she could actually crawl or not, due to lack of floor time. Well, as soon as we got back home and entered our house we put her on the floor and she took off! It was the funniest thing… [more]

Adoption Support

April 22nd, 2007

support group Belonging to a group of people that you have something in common with is incredibly powerful. In a group you will most likely feel less alone, more understood and have more confidence in your decisions. This is especially true when it comes to adoption related support and social groups. Adopting can be a scary, stressful experience and no one else but other adoptive parents can truly understand what it is like. We are still the minority in the parenting world and need to connect with and support each other. Making the decision to adopt, surviving the wait, traveling overseas and finally parenting all seem to be a little easier to handle when you know that you are not alone and your… [more]

Life With Ella – Pictures to Viet Nam

April 20th, 2007

ella vietnam adoption blog smile We recently received a request to send pictures to Viet Nam. We didn’t know that we should have sent them in along with our post placement report, so our agency director asked us to send them in to accompany the report. I have about a trillion pictures of Ella and of us as a family to choose from, but I wanted to choose pictures that best illustrated her life here with us. I chose pictures that spanned the past few months, but most were from recent holidays and events. They will see her enjoying Christmas, Easter and Tet and flashing her big old cheese face on regular everyday-type days. We sent nine pictures and it really is amazing to… [more]

Vietnamese Language/Culture Schools

April 16th, 2007
Categories: Culture, Post-Placement

I came across an article recently that stated that the Board of Supervisors in Orange County, California is considering starting a Vietnamese language center in their county. There are other centers like this; that teach language and culture, throughout southern California, but none that I know of in my area of the East Coast. Spreading cultural awareness and allowing people to immerse themselves in their birth cultures is a wonderful thing, and I’m jealous of the people who get to take advantage of them. My first thought after reading the article was that I wished we had something like this for Ella to experience. My second thought was that I wondered how she would feel as a Vietnamese person with a white family next to Vietnamese from Vietnamese families. Would… [more]