When I look at where my blog traffic comes from, it is pretty much split 50/50 between papercrafters and adoptive/planning to adopt parents. When I started out blogging it was to share my scrapbooking projects, and then when we started our adoption and I stopped crafting it was all about our adoption and now it is a random mix of scrapbooking and kid stuff. I envy those who have the gift to continue writing about their ongoing adoption journey and serve as a resource for other parents out there, but truth be told we are just going about our day to day life here which is more about My Little Pony and Frozen (every....single....day) than adoption at this point so I don't really feel qualified to write much on the topic.
What I can speak to is does her past still affect how we go about things on a daily basis...yes, most definitely and that really came into focus once school started. My advice to adoption and home study agencies, if you have families adopting older children (over the age of 2 because realistically they will gae out of early intervention shortly thereafter), part of the required training should address ADD, SPD, ADHD, IEPs, 504 plans, and how to best advocate for your child once they begin school. I really could have done without the 2+ hour class on how to diaper a new-born and put them to bed properly that was required because we were going to be first time parents. I really would have appreciated a class on how sensory deprivation for 3.5 years affects a child and how they learn. Long story short, here is an awesome resource that I have been frequenting lately, Wrightslaw.com along with the guidance of other adoptive moms who have gone before me. Also I have mentioned it before, but the Empowered to Connect conference and in particular getting to hear Dr Karyn Purvis speak was instrumental in getting a better understanding on how to parent a child from a hard place.
Speaking of others who have gone before, we are so appreciative for the teen and adult adoptee voice as we navigate this journey. I try to seek out blogs, FB groups, and other sites to read as much as I can on how adult adoptees view their experiences. Just as there are those hot button topics with bio kids...breast feed vs. bottle feed, do I let them cry it out, attachment parenting or not, there are also topics in the adoption community that bring a myriad of opinions and viewpoints. Birth parent search, can the adoptive parent start searching or is it solely the adoptee's journey. How important is it to ensure that the child's culture is prevalent in the home, do we preserve their first language, DNA testing yes or no. Birth parent search is something that has been on my mind as Chen Chen as repeatedly asked of we can find her birth mother, and to clarify she is the one who wants to call her birth mother. It used to be China mama, she never took to first mother and chooses birth mother because "that's what she did, she gave birth to me" and that is important. The more pressing issue to her is who changed her diaper for the first week before she went to the CWI, it is important for her to think that at some point it was her birth mother who cared for her in that way. In regards to birth parent search, I still haven't decided where we are at this point in our journey with that. At 5.5 does she have the maturity to completely understand what she is asking. No, I don't really think so. Is it very, very important to her. Yes so we talk about it openly and I have had her help with sending updates to her CWI but she wants to know who we can talk to who will help find her birth mother. In her world it is as simple as "ask another China mama, they will help find her"...oh if only it was that easy. It will be interesting to see how her view changes as she gets older, but at this point it is important to her so it is important to us. I've been watching a documentary webseries aka Dan in which a Korean adoptee not only finds his birth family, but also discovers he has a twin brother. I started following his journey as he was traveling and was excited when the webseries finally debuted recently. The first 2 episodes are available now with new ones being realeased every Thursday at ISAtv. Other resouces (among many) for the adult adoptee viewpoint are Red Thread Broken, My Own Race, My Korean Adoptee Story, Confessions of an Adoptee, & Gazillion Voices.com and the Land of Gazillion Adoptees FB page both of which sometimes push me out of my comfort zone, but that is a good thing....this isn't always going to be comfortable.
So if you aren't here for the scrapbooking, this is where we are at...contemplating birth parent search, navigating the world of evaluations & reevaluations through our school district, looking to those who have gone before us and Frozen every....single....day.