right book at the right time
Disclaimer: No one of the 3 sponsors of this
Newsletter has any financial interest in the promotion of the book
"Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child" by P. Cogen.
We do it strictly on the basis of its merit and with a deep belief
that it may indeed help the adoption community at large.
From the editor
Can the age of an internationally adopted child be changed after
10 years of being in the US? Reviewing video of our daughter made
us think she was really not 4-1/2 when we adopted her, but more
like 2-1/2 . The dentist reviewed her records and said her teeth
would indicate she is a younger child. Also she is almost 15-1/2
and just started her menstrual cycle. Perhaps her "development
delay" is because she is so much younger.
Your question is mostly legal, not a psychological one. In general,
I can tell you that it is unusual to change the childs legal
age after ten years living in the family: typically it happens within
the first year or two. Because it is a legal matter, the judge will
ask for the other evidence as well: dentists testimony is
needed, but may be not sufficient. There are other procedures ,
such as bone radiology exam, etc.
The nature of your daughter's developmental
delay can be assessed only through a comprehensive psychological
evaluation. Your case is a difficult one, but in many ways typical:
the children with institutional background indeed have what is known
as mixed maturity different aspects of their
personality may not be in accordance with their chronological age.
B. Gindis. Ph.D.
You receive this
as a former client or correspondent
of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental
Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.
Slowing Down to
Down to Speed Up
Think back to when you were
a child, and summer vacation seemed to stretch on forever. Was that
because our lives werent packed with things to do from the time
we got up until the time we went to bed? Was it because we had the whole
day just to play, have fun, and be creative? No schedules, no responsibilities,
no worries all seem to have played a part in the time we
When you find yourself thinking, I cant even sit and watch
a 30 minute TV show without doing something else at the same time,
you need to stop and assess the pace of your life.
can I talk to my child about alcohol?
Drug abuse used to be considered a moral failing, with addicts written
off as willful and incorrigible. Today, teen drug abuse is more likely
to be seen as a physiological disorder, a disease that can be treated
and eventually conquered. Approaches to treatment for drug abuse vary,
but people in treatment all learn how to change their behavior and reduce
A Dog's Purpose?
Being a veterinarian, I had been called
to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners,
Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached
to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family
we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia
procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron
and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane
to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something
from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as
Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old
dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going
on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little
boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about
the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane,
who had been listening quietly, piped up: ''I know why.''
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth
next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said:
''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life --
like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The six-year-old
continued, ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have
to stay as long.''
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your
face to be pure Ecstasy.
- Take naps.
- Stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close
by, and nuzzle them gently.
- Enjoy every moment of every day!
Teaching internationally/interracially adopted
children about their heritage
Many people have misunderstood me when I asked this
in the past, so let me clarify --this is NOT about hiding your adopted
child's background and trying to make him into a [insert whatever race
you are] child. I get that you have to teach kids a little about where
they came from so that they don't feel ashamed of it. I'm asking about
parents who go in the other direction and insist on teaching even if
the child is not interested.
From the message of an adoption agency representative
(Unfortunately we do not know who the author is and can't therefore
give her/him a credit for these observations and the stamina to go on
and help families find their children anyway).
- If your website is too nice, you are spending too much
of the clients' money on the website. If it is not nice enough, you
are not professional.
- If you answer emails or return phone calls too quickly,
you are desperate for families, and that means you must have not enough
families for a reason. If you don't answer quick enough, you are not
a good agency.
- If you do too many adoptions, you are child trafficking,
if you don't do enough, you are not experienced.
- If you are too sweet, you are insincere, if you are
a bit short on the phone, you are mean and threatening.
- If you have too many programs, you are just jumping
from one hot spot to another, if you have too few, you are too much
of a risk for families.
People can say anything they want about you in the internet
but you cannot say anything about what the families have done due to