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BTDT moms

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
for all you been there done that moms with families created (or added to) through adoption-what advice would you give someone just starting out? any helpful tips us newbies could get would be great!!
post #2 of 15
I would say to not rule out the fost/adopt system as an amazing way to build a family.
post #3 of 15
Read as much information as you can find.

I think most people start out adoption with soooooo many misconceptions
post #4 of 15
I think the best thing you can do is read about adoption and talk to as many people as you can about how adoption has impacted their lives. IMO, the single most important thing you need to embrace is that an adopted child has a history beyond the history your family has with him or her.

Just the other day I was watching G and I could see his parents expressions in his face and I realized two things- one,that he may never know them and two, that I am so incredibly lucky to have known who they are.

I'm not sure if this makes sense...
post #5 of 15
I'm a not-quite-BTDT mom. Dh and I are done with all the paperwork and homestudy steps, but we're still waiting for a referral of a little girl from Korea. So all I can really advise on are the beginning steps....

1. Hang out here for a while. You'll get a certain picture of adoption (all kinds--foster/adopt, international, domestic), and you'll get plenty of links to track down other types of conversation on adoption. Some forums are more critical of adoption, some are less. You need to look at all of it, but try to come to your own determination of what adoption means (a tricky process for sure...I'm in the midst of it right now )

2. Do a little research, or ask moms about the different types of adoption. Then step back and search your heart about where you want to focus. Try to avoid the pressure of "which programs are moving fastest?" and "how can I get the youngest babies?" and ask other questions that will mean more to you and your future child....is there a culture you feel drawn to? A country or a ethnicity you feel you could embrace and incorporate into your family? Do you feel drawn to the foster care system? etc. etc. I believe it's very important to follow your gut and your heart...

3. Start reading a few books. Start with the general overviews of the type of adoption you pick, or books about rasing adopted children (Actually, there's a good overview called _Raising Adopted Children_). After you feel you have a good base of knowledge, start branching out into the nitty gritty books.... books from BTDT parents who have raised a child of a different race, books written by adult adoptees, and books about the complex emotions that can be related to being adopted. My experience would say....start out easy on this stuff. If you go straight to the "potential problem" literature, you'll scare yourself so much you might doubt going ahead. Whereas if you search out more of a balance, you'll get an awareness without getting bogged down.

4. While you're reading the books, or even well beforehand (if you're anxious to get started, like I was), you can call agencies. Get their information packets, and start figuring out "what's normal" when it comes to fee arrangements, wait times, social worker support, etc. Information packets can be followed with calls to the agency (a good agency will be happy to talk with you, and feel good...feel upfront, honest, and open). Agency talks can be followed by calling families from that agency that have recently adopted. Making the reference calls is key....for one, they're incredibly good for getting you up to speed on "the process," and two, they'll give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the agency treats their adoptive families.

5. After that, it's decision time! You'll choose an agency, apply, and get started on your homestudy. From there on the process changes a lot, depending on if you go domestic, foster/adopt, or international.

Good luck, and btw, the BTDT moms on this board are great!
post #6 of 15
I agree about reading and researching a ton.

Also, find an local adoptive family support group if you can, and go to some of their events. They can be a gold mine of information.
post #7 of 15
Ohh...I second the adoption support group advice!! We actually adopted through the county program, but attended support groups through an FFA (foster family agency) for gay and lesbian adoptive parents. We met so many wonderful people and it helped us so much!

Alicia, I have to tell you that what you said hit really close to home with me. We have been fortuante to meet and maintain a relationship with both birthfamilies and every single day I see the birthmom's expressions on my children's faces. It's so mindblowing to see that and a little sad at the same time. Our youngest child has her birthmom's mouth and smile and it's just so awesome to see that, but sad to think my dd may not ever truly be aware of how she smiles like her birthmom. It has been mine and my DP's life mission to keep in touch with these birthmoms and birthfamilies and get as much information as possible (pictures, medical history, etc.). I honestly don't think I could deal with not having this type of information about the birthmoms. Even when we were doing IF treatments, the only sperm donor I would consider was an open ID donor with an adult photo because I knew how priceless that would oneday be to my biological offspring.
post #8 of 15
I have not BTDT yet...but i have an extenisive list of book i am reading though -- complied either from BTDT mommas (here or another AP site)..or off the required reading list of a cople of adgencies wer are considering..or from a personal freind who is a adoption SW.........i would be glad to share that list with you. it covers adoption, general, international, raising the hurt child, adoption the special needs child and the issues of cross curtual adoption too.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
yes, please i would love a reading list, i learn well from reading, so that would be perfect!
post #10 of 15


remember you asked for it

  • I am sure some are better than others. i am working on the list now. I ahve not read them all, but some, and i am working on reading them.
  • all came from either BTDT moms here or on another AP site, or from the required list of a couple of adgecies we are looking at or a freind who is an adoption SW.
  • my freind who is the ASW advised me to make a list of each book i read, even now, 2 years out from the offical start of our process, and make notes about the books -- a journal if you will -- noting when you read it and your reaction......said it might be useful in home study or the adoption process and classes. better to have the notes, and never see a time or place to use them, then to come acros an oppetrunity and not ahve the list of titles, YK?
  • some of the address cross cutral kids, not necessary adopted kids only
  • some are older and have to be found used.

as you will be able to tell we are working towrds an SN child, internationally adoption and MAYBE older......

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child (Paperback)

The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption (Paperback)

Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children (Paperback)

I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World (Paperback)

Is Adoption for You: The Information You Need to Make the Right Choice (Paperback)

International Adoption: Sensitive Advice for Prospective Parents (Paperback)

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child (Paperback)

Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects On Raising Internationally Adopted Children (Hardcover)

The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforseen Challenges of Adoption (Paperback)

Adoption across Borders (Paperback)

Adoption, Race, and Identity: From Infancy to Young Adulthood (Paperback)

Cultures of Transnational Adoption (Paperback)

Talking with Young Children about Adoption (Paperback

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families With Special-Needs Kids : A Guide for Parents and Professionals (Hardcover)

Cross Cultural Adoption: How To Answer Questions from Family, Friends & Community (Hardcover)

Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child (Hardcover)

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew (Paperback)

Are Those Kids Yours?: American Families With Children Adopted From Other Countries (Hardcover)

Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent's Guide (Paperback)

Parenting Your Adopted Older Child: How to Overcome the Unique Challenges and Raise a Happy and Healthy Child (Paperback)

Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent (Paperback)

Parenting the Hurt Child : Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow (Hardcover)

The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family (Paperback)

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft (Paperback)

Adopting the Older Child (Paperback)

Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child (Paperback)

Real Parents Real Children (Paperback)

LifeBooks : Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child (Paperback)
post #11 of 15
Aimee~ have you considered turning this into a "listmania" list on Amazon? I think a lot of people would value the effort you've put into compiling these titles. Plus you can go back, as you read them, and add short reviews alongside the list. It's helpful!

ETA: If you go to Amazon, and do any search, the results page will have "listmania" lists on the left side. Below the lists is a "create your own listmania" button, or something like that. It's very easy...I've been compiling lists of Korean books and picture books for disabled toddlers. It's addictive, actually!
post #12 of 15
i never rthought about it -- i will have to look at how to do that

post #13 of 15
I'm not sure if someone said this already, but check out the Adoption Resource sticky in this subforum:

post #14 of 15
ITA about researching as much as you can. Read all those books!

I would also recommend, despite how touchy this subject is on the forum, learning as much as you can from b-parents and adoptees. I thought I knew enough about the subject because I was an adoptee myself, and I also thought that times have changed so much that the issues that affected my generation wouldn't still be the same, but what I have learned - specifically from this sub-forum - is that the core issues are still there and still need to be faced by every new adoptive family. I read "Primal Wound" based on recommendations from posters here, and discovered that I recognized so much in my children, issues that I hadn't realized we need to explore more deeply at this point in their lives. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! I THOUGHT I knew, but when I looked at current research, I realized that I haven't been doing as much as I could for my children's benefit. The b-parents and adoptees on this sub-forum provide a necessary perspective, so that instead of just dealing with things as they happen, you can also make choices that have the long-term consequences you want. It's a good balance with the more nitty-gritty "what do I do at this particular stage?" questions.

The good thing about adopting these days is that there IS so much more knowledge available. You might feel overwhelmed by it all at times, but that's better than being frustrated about limited info.
post #15 of 15

One Thing

If I could say only one thing, I would direct you to the Adoption.com forums: http://forums.adoption.com. There are such wonderful people from so many situations there.
And I second the "Read Read Read" idea.

Good luck on your adoption journey!
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