Thursday, August 23, 2012

Independence Day Of Ukraine Today!

TODAY is the Independence Day of Ukraine which commemorates the
country's adoption of the Act of Declaration of Independence in
1991. Military parades, official ceremonies, and fireworks in
Kiev's central square are the customary celebrations on this

The second largest country in Europe after Russia, Ukraine is
bordered on the west by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary; on the
southwest by Romania and Moldova; on the south by the Black Sea
and Sea of Azov; on the east and northeast by Russia; and on the
north by Belarus. The capital and largest city of Ukraine is

The estimated 2010 population of Ukraine was around 46 million.
Approximately 78% of the people are Ukrainians, 17 percent are
Russians, and the rest are Belorussians and Romanians. The
official language of the country is Ukrainian although Russian is
widely spoken. The country's main religion is Eastern Orthodox

After facing two World Wars and several political upheavals,
Ukraine achieved independence from the Soviet Union on August 24,
1991. The constitution was adopted nearly five years after its

We congratulate the people and government of Ukraine led by Their
Excellencies, President Viktor Yanukovych, Prime Minister Mykola
Azarov, First Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Khoroshkovskyy,
Deputy Prime Ministers Rayisa Bohatyyova, Borys Kolesnikov, and
Serhiy Tihipko, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn
Hryshchenko, Minister of Justice Oleksandr Lavrynovych, Minister
of Economic Development and Trade Petro Poroshenko, and its
Consulate in the Philippines headed by Consul Oscar C. de
Venecia, on the occasion of its Independence Day. CONGRATULATIONS

Ukraine is a great country to adopt from. Adoptions are completed
in months, not years and cost significantly less than other
well-known country programs. To find out all about this wonderful
country's adoption program and process contact us.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All the children adopted from Ukraine at a recent reunion at Soyuzivka

My little one is on the right in the striped shirt with the cool
ray glasses on his head. Great weekend.

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Winning Over Family and Friends to Your Ukrainian Adoption Plans

After deciding that adoption is the right choice for building
your family, you naturally want everyone to be as excited as you.
Unfortunately, this may not happen.

This excellent article by Dawn at Creating a Family will help you
bring understanding to hesitant or resistant friends and family.

While you are at the screaming it from the roof top stage, your
parents, siblings and extended family may be at the "Slow down
and consider your options" stage or the "Are you nuts" stage.

Remember that your decision to adopt evolved over time after much
researching, soul searching, discussing, and praying. Unless
you've shared every step of this journey with them, your family
has not had the benefit of this process. So while it might be
nice if they were totally psyched about your adoption, it's
probably unfair to expect them to be at the same place as you.

So what do you do if your family doesn't share your excitement
about your adoption plans? First, if you think you may get a
less than enthusiastic response, consider writing your family a
letter telling them of your decision before you talk with them in
person. We chose this approach with my husband's parents. They
like to think about things and discuss it between themselves
before talking with others, so a letter gave them this
opportunity. Also, a letter allowed us to explain our reasons,
and set the stage for their response by telling them how excited
we were.

If you tell them in person, think about what you want to say and
choose your words carefully. One friend reported that she
started the conversation with "I've got great news!" Her parents
assumed she was going to tell them she was pregnant, and their
initial response at learning of the adoption was less than she
had hoped. They recouped quickly, however, and are now doting
grandparents to her two children.

There is no one right way to handle negative responses to your
adoption plans, but the first step is to really listen to your
family's concerns. So often in conversations, we are plotting
our response instead of hearing what the other person is saying.

Any of the following may be concerns that are getting in the way
of their wholehearted support.

• Are they struggling with the basic concept of adoption and
think that you'll be a glorified babysitter?

• Are they worried about the loss of their bloodline
continuing into the future?

• Are they grieving the loss of their biological grandchild
that would have reminded them of you when you were a baby?

• Are they concerned about the race or ethnicity of your
child, and how that will affect you -and them?

• Do they think adopted children have lots of physical,
emotional, and behavioral problems?

• Are they worried about the cost and the subsequent financial
burden you will carry?

• Are they concerned that you are too old to become a parent.

• Do they think that this adoption will hurt your biological

Don't assume you know what they are thinking; ask them to tell

After you understand their concerns, present them with
information on adoption. Share the books you've read and
highlight the sections you want them to read. Stress to them
that this was not a decision you made lightly. It may help to
tell them some of your journey to adoption and the research you
have done. This is especially helpful if you have not shared all
the steps along the way with them. Let them know that you too
have some concerns and fears about adopting. Sometimes, just
knowing that you are a little bit afraid, frees them up to be
supportive. And most important, specifically ask for your
family's support. Explain how important it is to you and your
child-their grandchild. I think we underestimate this last step,
just assuming that it is a given.

For example, if your father is concerned that your child to-be is
of a different race, it may help to explain some of the research
on how transracially adopted children and families fare. Let him
know that many families are adopting transracially so your family
will not be so rare. Explain the education you are getting to
help prepare you for the issues that may arise. Let him know
your worries about being able to help your child as she grows.

Ask for his support. Tell him how much he means to you, and that
you are looking forward to seeing his relationship with his
granddaughter develop. Remind him of how much your connection
(or lack thereof) with your grandparents meant to you in your

To help normalize the experience, invite your family to join you
at an adoption support group meeting or invite them to a picnic
with another family who adopted kids from the same country. Just
realizing that kids are kids regardless where they come from or
how they join the family may help.

Throughout this time, if necessary, gently let them know that
while you are open to questions, you are not open to them trying
to change your mind. If they are not receptive to this, give
them time and yourself space.

Once your child arrives, most extended families fall in love and
their original concerns fade away. However, you need to be
prepared that this may not happen. Be very clear in your mind
and with them that once the child arrives, your allegiance is to
your child. As a parent, you need to protect your child even if
it means limiting his exposure to your family.

If your family was less than thrilled about your adoption, please
share your story in the comments to help others who are going
through this feel less alone. It is so disappointing,
discouraging, and sad to not have your parents, brothers or
sisters support something that means so much to you.

Posted by Dawn - June 30th, 2009

If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can help. If you
are coming up against resistance from friends and family, contact
us. We help educate parents as well as their family and friends.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ukraine Questions Imposing Opening “Secret” Adoptions

As reported this week in ForUm (reprinted below), Ukrainian
officials are considering making all adoptions open. They use the
word Secret to describe the type of Adoptions Ukraine has today.

Today when U.S. parents adopt from Ukraine the birth parents, if
known, have relinquished all rights and all links are severed.
The court documents are sealed in the Ukraine. For some parents,
the fact that this is the ultimate in closed adoption is an
attractive factor in their decision to adopt from Ukraine.

I believe there is no chance this idea, which would open court
documents to adopted children at the age of 14) will gain no
traction. Over the last few years Ukraine has been pushing hard
to encourage more Ukrainians to adopt. Culturally open adoption
would be considered unacceptable by the majority of adopting
Ukrainian parents. I can't count how many Ukrainians have told me
(often in front of my son) that it would be better for him if he
was never told he was adopted.

There has been an increase in adoptions by Ukrainians and this
initiative would definitely roll back the gains they have made in
making adoption acceptable culturally.

The original article:

Secret adoption may be cancelled in Ukraine

Ukraine wants to abolish secret adoption, presidential envoy for
children rights Yuri Pavlenko said at a briefing, ForUm
correspondent reports.

"We need to cancel the confidential adoption. It does not allow
tolerant control over adopted children. The secret adoption is a
burden from the soviet system. There is a myth that this
mechanism protects children and parents from unnecessary
attention and psychological trauma and ensures them a normal
life," he said.

In his opinion, this is just a myth. "A child learns a truth, and
the later it happens, the more unpredictable consequences will
be. This may lead to resentment, rupture of relations and running
away from home. The secret adoption is a priority of the adults'
interests over the child's interests. It does not comply with the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The child
should know his natural parents. We have initiated a relevant
bill concerning the abolition of the secret adoption," Pavlenko

In addition, each child at the age of 14 is entitled to find out
the circumstances of adoption in a court case.

"I do not think it will affect a number of people willing to
adopt. Most parents reveal this secret to the children from the
first days. I do not see any negative aspects in the abolition of
the secret adoption," Pavlenko stressed.

If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can help.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preparing Yourself to Adopt in Ukraine

Preparing yourselves in advance to parent an adoptive child will
make the process less stressful and more enjoyable.

Whether you've already signed on the dotted line to adopt or are
still just contemplating international adoption, it's important
to think about the preparations, decisions, expectations, and
emotional ups and downs of this period in advance.

There's no such thing as too much information. Welcome all
opportunities to learn all you can. "Read, read, read. Can't say
it enough," says Carrie Craft in "Preparing to Parent the Adopted
Child" on Scour the internet for information on
everything regarding the country(ies) you're considering, what
you can expect of children who have been institutionalized,
resources in the community once you adopt, issues such as loss
and bonding that are common to all adoptees, and even general

Read books on adoption, international adoption, and parenting.
You can find these in your local library, at a local bookstore,
through online bookstores, and through other adoptive parents who
may be willing to lend a book that was particularly helpful to

Ultimately, you want to be as prepared and knowledgeable as
possible so that your expectations of your child and yourselves
as parents are realistic, you know where to go for help if
problems arise, and you can take the inevitable complications
that occur in the adoption process with a little more equanimity.

"The adoption process is by no means an easy one, but the more
educated and informed you are, the easier and smoother the
process will go," says, Kids Radio Network, in "Baby
Adoption Information."

Read with thought: You will read and hear information about
potential medical, developmental, behavioral, learning, and
emotional complications for children adopted from institutions
and environments with pre-natal drug and alcohol abuse,
malnutrition, and poor pre-natal care. Some concern is
appropriate and healthy, according to many international adoption
experts, who say that it will lead to one of two positive
outcomes: an adoption that is likely to succeed because you are
aware of potential issues and of the resources and support to
help you and your child; or a decision not to adopt a child
because you don't feel equipped to handle any such issues that
might arise.

At Adoption Services International we work hard to educate you
about the process from beginning to end so that you are as
prepared as possible for your adoption experience.

Credit to FRUA for parts of this article.

If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can help.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great Reasons to Tell Your Child's Teacher They're Adopted

Worrying about this year's life timeline and family tree
projects, this article hit a chord.

MeLisa • August 7, 2012

It takes more than a fun fancy backpack and new clothes to help
your child have a successful year at school. Now that school is
back in session it's a good time to think about whether or not to
inform you child's teacher they're adopted. Remember your child
spends almost as much time every day with their teacher as they
do with you. This list is meant to encourage you to have your
child's teacher on your team in order to better advocate for your

7 Reasons Why To Tell Your Child's Teacher They're Adopted

1. It will make them more sensitive to class projects such as
"Family Tree" and "Baby Pictures" that may cause your child
emotional pain.

2. They can encourage and educate your child's peers about

3. If your child has special needs it will help them to empathize
with your child and to see past their label.

4. They can help your child find adoption themed books to read
for fun and school credit.

5. They can openly communicate with you about both your child's
academic & emotional state in the classroom.

6. They will be more sympathetic to your concerns for your child
including having them tested for possible learning disabilities.

7. They can connect your child with other adopted children in the

You don't need to give the teacher your child's entire background
history. Just give details that you feel may be helpful to the
teacher for them to better serve your child. For instance, if
your child lived in an orphanage and had severe malnutrition this
may have hindered their brain development or if your child has a
trauma history this can affect their capacity to store
information and they may require alternative learning methods.

We have always felt it's best to have teachers be a part of the
team for the betterment of our child. Adoption does not define
your child, but it is a part of who they are. Giving your teacher
the proper information could be the key component for your
child's success in the classroom.

What have been your experiences with informing your child's
teacher that they are adopted?

If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can help.


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Monday, August 6, 2012

More Awkward Things Not To Say to Adopted Families From the Ukraine or Anywhere!

Often with the best of intentions, adoptive parents can be asked
offensive questions. Here are some of my favorites from three
different excellent sources.

Adoptive families hear lots of things from friends and strangers
alike. But many remarks and questions make these families
uncomfortable, even if you don't mean to be intrusive. "People
unfamiliar with adoption may think they're showing interest or
support by asking questions," says adoption educator Ellen
Singer, a licensed certified clinical social worker with the
Center for Adoption Support and Education in Burtonsville, MD.
"But some comments can be upsetting or damaging to families."
Here are the top eight things you should avoid bringing up, what
you can say instead and when to keep quiet.

1. He's so lucky to have been adopted by you.Even if you're
trying to compliment an adoptive parent, you're implying she
"rescued" the child or that adoption is an act of charity, says
Singer. The statement also discounts what the child's given up.
"Adoption involves loss," says Megan Terry, a mom of three who
blogs about adoption at Millions of Miles. "It's the loss of the
child's first family, familiar surroundings, rituals, routines
and often the birth country, culture and language. To say he's
'lucky' invalidates his experiences and feelings." A better
approach: Say something like, "How wonderful that life brought
you all together."

2. How much did it cost to adopt?People often ask this
insensitive question, which makes parents cringe. "It sounds like
you're referring to the child as a purchase," says Dr. Baden. In
addition, it's incredibly invasive. "Yes, there are fees
associated with adoption, as there are with childbirth," notes
Alison Noyce, a mom of four who blogs about adoption at They're
All My Own. "Besides, this information is available on the
Internet." If you're considering adopting, ask, "Can you please
refer me to organizations or classes where we can learn more
about adoption?" instead of requesting personal financial
details. If you're not looking into adoption, steer clear of this
question altogether.

3. You'll probably get pregnant now that you've adopted.First of
all, "The comment makes it seem as if this child is not as
valuable as a biological child or that the family is somehow
'settling' for this child," says family therapist Leigh Leslie,
PhD, associate professor at the University of Maryland in College
Park and a researcher in transracial adoption. Secondly, it
assumes all families adopt due to infertility issues, which isn't
at all the case. Instead of speaking about the child as if she's
second-best, celebrate the joy the family feels about having a
new family member. A simple "Congratulations!" is all that's

4. Why was she given up?This question has many variations,
including "What do you know about her background?" or "What
happened to his birth mom?" In any form, they're intensely
personal and usually not something families wish to share with
anyone. "Think of it as similar to being asked in what position
you conceived your child," says Dr. Baden. Plus, there's a chance
the family doesn't know the answer to your question, and asking
them puts them in an awkward position. Bottom line: "This is not
one to ask, ever," says Terry. "It's my son's story, not mine. We
shouldn't expect children's stories to be a matter of public

5. Are your children siblings?The unspoken message is that
there's a difference between adoptive and biological siblings,
says Dr. Leslie. "My kids are obviously brother and sister
because we adopted them both," says Scheindel. Another reason not
to ask this: Again, the child's background is his or her story
and doesn't have to be shared with everyone. Instead of
concentrating on a topic that's truly not your business, offer a
genuine compliment such as, "Your children are so well-mannered."

6. What if she searches for her real parents?"This kind of
question perpetuates the myth that adoptive families are only
'babysitting' until their children locate their biological
parents," says Singer. It also reveals a misunderstanding about
adoption today-it's not the closed system it was in decades past.
"Many people don't realize that the days are gone when families
wouldn't tell a child she was adopted, as if it were something to
be ashamed of," says Terry. Though there's less of a stigma about
being adopted, it's still best to avoid this question, say the

7. Why did you choose international adoption when there are so
many kids who need homes here?"Asking parents to justify how a
beloved child came to be theirs is hurtful," says Noyce. "There
are children all over the world who need families. No child is
more deserving of a family than another, regardless of where he
or she was born." Avoid these judgmental remarks, and focus on
the happiness the child brings, rather than her birthplace. If
you'd like to show support to a close friend who's adopted
internationally, Terry suggests checking out books and websites
about the child's birth country, if the parents have shared that
information with you.

By Arricca Elin SanSoneOriginal article appeared on

1."Your Son Is So Lucky"Save the halo for someone that deserves
it like Mother Teresa. Hands down, we are the lucky ones.

2. "I Could Never Give My Baby Away"Did someone ask you to? A
woman who places a baby for adoption does it out of love for her
child. It's a gut-wrenching decision and no one takes it lightly.

3."I Have This Friend Who Was Adopted And [Insert Horror Story
Here]..."Sharing your negative adoption story is a bit like
telling a pregnant woman a bad labor story. I can't predict the
future and neither can biological families. All I can do is be
open to my son's feelings and attuned to his temperament

Single Dad Laughing's Guide to Adoption Etiquette:

1. Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes
the phrase, "how much did you pay for him?" First of all, it's
none of your business. Second of all, if you're interested in
adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak
with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don't purchase
children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like
biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don't turn the
child into nothing more than a commodity.

2. Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or
not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not
convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my
life. Are you serious?

3. Never ask "where is his real dad?" Forget the fact that it
will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son's
feelings to feel like I'm not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents
are real parents. The term you're looking for is "birth mother"
or "birth father".

4. Don't say things like, "as soon as you adopt you're going to
get pregnant" when you find out somebody is adopting. First of
all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial
burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you
really think that what you're saying will help them? Secondly,
while it is funny when it happens, it's rare.

5. Never say, "why did she give him away?" Do I really need to
explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is
"placed". A birth mother and birth father place their child for
adoption. And again, it's personal and none of your business, so
don't ask if you aren't my BFF.

6. Don't say, "it's like he's your real son". This is similar to
number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, damn

7. Don't say, "do you love him as if he was your own?" Ummm…
probably more than you love your little terror, that's for sure.
And again… he is my own, damn it.

8. Never say things like, "you're so wonderful to adopt a child".
I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.

9. Don't start spewing your horrible adoption stories. "This one
time, my friend's sister's aunt's dog's previous owner's niece
adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby
away after they had him for two years." First of all, it probably
isn't true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about
all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent.
And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that
happens, it's not something you should spread because the hurt
that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable.

10. Don't say things like, "is it hard for him to be adopted?"
Well, it wasn't, until you asked me that right in front of him
you freaking idiot.

11. I don't want to hear about your second cousin who was on a
waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby. Granted, this
one was much more annoying when we were going through the
adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get
chosen. Show some kindness. Even to ugly people.

Dan Pearce, Single Adoptive Dad Laughing

If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can

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