Thursday, September 30, 2010

URGENT Family Needed for 8 Year Old Boy

We are in urgent need of adoptive parents for an 8 year old boy available for placement due to disruption.  This child was adopted from Ethiopia and is now in the U.S.  This little boy is in need of experienced parents that can help him overcome the struggles he has faced in his young life. We are seeking placement with a family that has no other children in the home.  Please contact nina.thompson@chiadopt for more information. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lost In Translation?

Looking at child referrals from many of our country programs can be interesting.  Sometimes it seems that the English translations are still in some form of a foreign language.  The most interesting place we see this is in the medicals from some countries.  Here are some interesting terms and their more easily understood definitions!

Defectology- children who may be considered "defective" adults

Neuro-reflex-hyperexcitability syndrome - a high strung infant

Intestinal Dysbacteriosis - a disruption of the normal gut bacteria

Hypotrophy - slow growth

For a more in depth look at some medical issues in orphans check out !

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Travelling with Your Toddler!

We have many families that will soon be bringing home infants and toddlers.  While I am sure they can't wait to be with their new child, air travel with a toddler can be a frightening prospect!  Here is some wonderful advice that I found on several websites:

1.  Find your airline's website.Then search for information about flying with an infant or small child. What you find (or don't find) will tell you a great deal about how helpful they will be when you fly.

2.  Check that your airline allows you to pre-book baby bassinet (sky cot) before the day of travel - not all will.

3.  Allow plenty of time at the airport for check-in, and connecting flights. Remember how much longer it takes to achieve anything with kids in tow and apply the same formula to your travel plans.

4.  Smile sweetly and helplessly at everyone and you may get help!  I have personal experience of being upgraded to first class when travelling with my 11 day old daughter and 2 year old son...

5.  Ask if your flight is full when checking in. Some assistants will block out the seat next to you in a less full flight or offer you the option of seating next to a vacant seat.

6.  Get on the plane first and off the plane last to get a better chance of assistance from cabin crew.

7.  Look out for fast track customs and immigration check points for those traveling with infants.

8.  Pack a small bag with just one diaper, a few wipes, a perfumed diaper bag (walmart has them!) and some rash cream if needed and place it in the seat pocket in front of you.

9.  Some planes have a larger bathroom at the very rear of the plane with a correspondingly larger change table. Wait for this to become free if you have a larger baby to change, as airplane change tables are small.

10.  On some airlines the cabin crew will prepare the change table in one of the toilet cubicles for you if you let them know that you need to use one. That's a real help is you have a squirmy, smelly bundle to hold while wrestling with lowering a change table in the tiny space of an airplane bathroom - so the first time you need to make a change on the plane, ask an assistant where they prefer you to make the change, and take any help offered.

11.  Always test the temperature of food heated in the aircraft galley before you give it to your child. It is often way too hot!

12.  Take your own baby food, bowl and utensils for an infant.

13.  Disposable bibs are a great idea for infant mealtimes on board an airplane.

14.  Ask for bottles and meals to be warmed well in advance of when you need them. Cabin crew don't have a microwave and have to heat using hot water in the galley. This takes time.

15.  Keep two diaper pins attached to your diaper bag. If you can get a window seat (most people will trade you) you can take a blanket and attach it to your seat and the seat in front of you for a privacy screen. People may even help you attach the pins when you're flying alone.

16.  Forget your policy on limiting screen time --- get as much relief as you can from the airplane children’s video channels and games. If you don't trust these, take a portable dvd player with your choice of dvds to view.

17. Bring toys out one by one - get maximum use from them, pack them away, then move on to the next toy.

18.  Get older children to carry their own special tote with basic entertainment contents - stickers, colouring book, reading books,  dolls or cars etc.   I have used playdoh, water "painting" books and molding wax with great success.  My rule of thumb is to provide one activity per 1/2 hour of awake flight time.  For long, overseas flights you may be able to "recycle" activities in rotation to keep the fun fresh.
19.  Snap on wheels for infant car seats are a real bonus if you've booked a seat for your infant and he'll be riding in his car seat. They can be taken onto the plane but take the assembly apart before check in to reduce the appearance of bulk. You'll love the convenience of wheels as you move around the airport.

20. Small travel strollers will fit in the luggage bins of 747's or larger aircraft but airlines have become increasingly strict about not allowing these on board.

21. An infant front pack or sling is really helpful so that you can carry baby while you push a luggage trolley.

22.  For the chance that your child might not travel well - take along additional scented diaper sacks as sick bags. They tie up to keep the contents in and the odour neutraliser does help! Handy also for storing smelly clothes.

23.  Because airplane bathrooms are small, keep a diaper, small pack of wipes, tube of lotion, lightweight plastic change mat/hand towel, and diaper bag  in a side pocket of your cabin bag. Take only these essential items into the bathroom for each diaper change and restock the side pocket once you have resettled baby

24,  Take a bottle of Rescue Remedy for everyone else in the family except baby;)
25.  Take an extra-large purse as a carry on. That way you can fit in extra things like toys, snacks, wipes and a fresh diaper. Remember to check TSA guidelines to be sure you can take everything in your bag through security.

26.  The safest way for baby or toddler to fly is in an approved car seat used as a flight seat.  this will also limit a toddlers sense of mobility and make chasing them up and down the aisle less likely!  Check the base of your infant or toddler car seat to look for the FAA approved sticker --- if you can't find one, check the manufacturer's instructions or contact the manufacturer to find out if the seat is approved for use in airplanes.

27. Print out a copy of the FAA's Childproof your Flight brochure (pdf), read it, and also take it with you when you fly --- especially if you are going to fly non-US airlines, which do not always allow car seats on planes without authoritative persuasion. Use this brochure as part of your authoritative persuasion if you have to. Please note that airlines usually ask that car seats are located in window seats so that other passengers can access their seats easily.

28.  In Europe, Asia, and Australia you will be asked to secure your child on your lap using a lap or belly belt. You may also use a Baby B'Air travel vest during the main flight section of your journey, but you will be

29.  The location of many bassinet seats immediately in front of the screen is unsettling for some babies, and can be irritating to parents trying to coax toddlers to sleep.

30.  Take cotton sheets to wrap baby or a toddler and to erect as a light shield over a bassinet.
31.  Be prepared to lose stuff (and don't get upset when you do).

32. Treat any time to relax as a bonus.

33.  Keep smiling at the baby.

34.  Ignore rude people, especially those whose job it is to help. Only you can know the right way to handle your child.

35.  Consider booking seats apart from one another if traveling with a partner. This way, one adult can rest whilst the other entertains the children.

36.  Work out responsibilities clearly between parents before setting off.

37.  Forget about style when choosing your traveling clothes - go for comfort, ease of wear and plenty of layers that can be removed if spills happen.

38.  Dress your child in distinctive clothing to avoid losing him in crowded airport lounges.

39.  Take a simple change of clothing for you and for your child in case of spills. Cotton jersey worn in layers is good. Just mix and match as you go and as spills happen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

TB Test Requirement for the US Embassy

In many countries (Ethiopia, China and now India) the US Embassy requires children receive a tb test by a panel physician.  The tuberculosis skin test (also known as the tuberculin test or PPD test) is a test used to determine if someone has developed an immune response to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). This response can occur if someone currently has TB, if they were exposed to it in the past, or if they received the BCG vaccine against TB (which is not performed in the U.S.). The World Health Organization estimates that 2 billion people worldwide have latent TB, while around 3 million people worldwide die of TB each year.

If a child tests positive to the PPD test they will be required to receive a chest x-ray to insure they have no signs of TB.  If the chest x-ray is also positive they will be required to undergo treatment prior to entry into the US.  This treatment can take several weeks, delaying an adoptive child's return to the US with their new family.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Waiting Toddler Boys in Ethiopia!

Our list of little boys waiting unmatched for families just grew this looks like seven new little boys will be added to our waiting child page sometime next week.  We would love to have loving families or single moms to match these darlings with.  If you have been considering an Ethiopia adoption and long to add a little boy to your life now would be a great time

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Investment Parenting!

I encourage everyone to take a little time from their busy schedule and listen to The Connected Child on Creating a Family blog radio.  It is a practical overview of how adoptive parents can work to improve their bond with their new child.  The overwhelming theme is that ALL children can   if their parents are willing to INVEST time in forming a healthy bond. 

It is really interesting to hear how Neonatal and even PRENATAL malnutrition can contribute to attachment issues.  Interestingly enough, the age of the child at adoption is not as crucial as the child having had consistent nurturing care during the first two years of life.  An older child may grieve the loss of the caregiver they were attached to, but be able to form healthy attachements with their new parents.  One other interesting fact was that special needs children often have a better caregiver to child ratio which may give them an advantage in forming healthy attachments!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Focus on Special Needs...Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The potentially negative consequences of alcohol abuse during pregnancy have been suspected since biblical times. The relationship between maternal alcohol abuse during pregnancy and developmental birth defects is well-documented in psychological and medical literature. An accurate diagnosis of FAS or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), in which patients display partial effects of the syndrome and evidence many of the same problems as full-blown FAS, must be made by a doctor or geneticist. However, identification of children possibly affected by prenatal alcohol exposure can be carried out by professionals involved in service delivery.

Characteristics of FAS/FAE

Patients with FAS are of short stature, slight build, and have a small head. Typically they are below the third to tenth percentile compared to national norms. A pattern of dysmorphic facial features characterizes these persons as well, and include 1) short eye openings; 2) a short, upturned nose; 3) smooth area between the nose and mouth; and 4) a flat midface and thin upper lip. The facial patterns made FAS patients recognizable although not grossly malformed. In addition, these patients can display other physical anomalies including 1) minor joint and limb abnormalities; 2) cardiac defects; 3) dental anomalies; and 4) vision and hearing problems.

Intellectual Capabilities

A considerable range of intellectual functioning is found among patients with FAS. In a report of twenty cases of varying severity, Ann P. Streissguth and colleagues reported a range of IQ scores from 16 to 105 with a mean IQ of 65. Severity of the syndrome was related to IQ, with the most severely affected children having the lowest IQ scores.


There are many behavioral characteristics which differentiate FAS patients from other mentally retarded individuals. Socially, they tend to be very outgoing and socially engaging, yet they are frequently seen by others as intrusive, overly talkative, and generally unaware of social cues and conventions. Poor social judgment and poor socialization skills are common: many patients are hungry for attention, even negative. Due to their social immaturity, they have difficulty establishing friendships, especially with children of the same age. The potential for both social isolation and exploitation of individuals with FAS in very evident. Hyperactivity is frequently cited as a problem for young children who characteristically have short attention spans. Many also have memory problems, thus creating further setbacks to adaptive functioning and academic achievement later on.


Medical Needs

Patients with FAS/FAE typically have complex medical needs associated with their higher than average congenital anomalies. Infants are at risk for central nervous system problems, including a weak suck and feeding and sleeping difficulties as well as failure to thrive. Birth control and sex education for adolescents with FAS are additional areas of medical concern. As adolescents, these children tend to be sexually curious, yet often lack understanding of socially appropriate sexual behavior. Thus, they are at higher than average risk for sexual victimization due to their impulsive behavior and poor social judgment.

Educational Needs

Children with FAS/FAE have special educational needs. Even very young infants can benefit from early stimulation programs to help with intellectual and motor development. These programs are now widely available, with some even offered at home by traveling therapists and educators.

Preschoolers often have a range of developmental and language delays as well as signs of hyperactivity, irritability, and distractibility. Preschool programs which follow individualized educational plans are helpful for the child as well as for the parents who gain valuable respite time to regroup from the intense demands of these children.

Appropriate placement in special education classes beginning in elementary school is often necessary for children with FAS/FAE. A small classroom setting with clear guidelines and a great deal of individual attention can maximize the intellectual capabilities of these learners. Although intensive remedial education has not been show to increase the intellectual capabilities of children with FAS/FAE, it may prevent further deterioration.

Many patients with fetal alcohol syndrome reach an academic plateau in high school. Many will be unable to hold a regular job. Nonetheless, all of these students need to know basic life skills, including money management, safety skills, interpersonal relating, and so forth. These tasks will enrich their adult lives and allow them a degree of independence. The addition of such a life-skills component to the special education curricula for FAS students can be invaluable. Wherever possible and appropriate, vocational training should be part of the high school experience. Unfortunately, most vocational and technical institutes beyond high school will offer a curricula too academically rigorous for developmentally delayed individuals.

Family Needs

Patients with FAS/FAE are at a higher than average risk for physical and sexual abuse and neglect when raised in their families of origin. These children need a supportive, loving home environment with clear guidelines and clear lines of communication in order to develop to their fullest potential. When foster (or adoptive) placement is necessary, the greatest progress is made by calm, low key individuals, who are secure and comfortable with themselves and live stable and predictable lives. Families who treat the FAS child as normally as possible, combining loving acceptance with firm limit setting seem more satisfied than do those who have high performance expectations.

Due to their poor social judgment, underdeveloped independent living skills and impaired intellectual functioning, most FAS children will require a structured, sheltered living situation throughout their lives. The most severely affected may require a completely supervised and sheltered environment. For more functional patients, a group home or halfway house for developmentally disabled adults may be appropriate if continued residents with a family is not possible or desirable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


These books provide two excellent resources for families as they help their children adjust to a new life in their home – Attaching in Adoption and Nurturing Adoptions by Deborah Gray. The first book was published in 2002 and my children were already fourteen years old (adopted domestically). I immediately wished I had read it years before, but even then it had helpful little parenting techniques that were beneficial. In one of her vignettes, the father says to the child who was pushing the limits, “I wouldn’t be a good parent if I let you do” such-and-such. That struck me as a different approach and the next time I faced a situation where my kids were trying to get away with things that would not have been good for them, I tried it out and voila’ they looked at me and said, “Oh” and stopped. They looked at me like, “I suppose you have to be a good parent” and backed right down. I’m not saying that this became my number one method of interaction, but the little insights that Deborah gives in this book go beyond attachment issues themselves.

The first book centers on a discussion of the importance of attachment, how it happens, what interferes with it and what can be done to help a child attach to their new family. Deborah has worked with very difficult children and her book is full of examples of experiences of families and the ways they have dealt with attachment and have become healthier. The book is well written and readable whether you are an adoption professional or adoptive parent.

The second book, Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma, published in 2007, has more emphasis on the experiences a child has had before they entered their new home and how these experiences impact the child and their ability to attach to their new family. The book is divided into two sections, the first half is a discussion of the impact of neglect and trauma; the second half are specific interventions and things that a family or therapist can do to help the child relax and re-learn about life in a new way and with new responses. Again, this book is very readable for parent or professional and well worth the cost! Both have been out long enough that there should be low-cost used copies readily available. Both books are a treasure of information, insight and resources. I recommend them highly!

For more information on Deborah Gray please go to!

Kathy L, MA

Monday, September 20, 2010

Special Focus Child Nicholas waiting in Asia!

Dear Little Nicholas is a true 4 year old full of vigor and is ready to go- go -go! He is as handsome as be and has a smile that warms your heart!! He is living just outside the capital city of Inner Mongolia. He is a son of the vast grasslands of Mongolia. His city's name means "where the deer are found" and is located at the foot of the Yinshan Mountains, and on the bank of the Yellow River. It is also where the oldest section of the Great Wall is found.

We are so truly hopeful that for a family, their "little DEAR" can be found in the adoption of this curious and delightful little boy. Nicholas entered his SWI when he was 1 month old but is currently living with a foster family to whom he has a close attachment. His special need is that he has an abnormal development of his right eye. He likely has little or no vision in his right eye but it has not slowed him down in the least! He is capable of doing everything from running and playing to talking up a storm and he is writing Chinese characters too... AT FOUR YEARS OLD! Nicholas has a wonderful personality and interacts with both kids and adults who say he likes to LAUGH alot. Like most boys his age he is smitten with with balls, little planes, cars and guns but he also likes to draw, learn to write and play counting games. He sounds like a remarkable little boy who has adapted to the vision loss in his right eye and is healthy and robust in every other way.
There are also websites that can help families understand vision loss better.
Two of those websites: and (American Foundation for the Blind) are great basic resources.  Please take a minute and go to and look at his darn cute pictures! This little guy is bound to bring his laughter with him to a "for always family" of his own.

Friday, September 17, 2010

PBS Adoption Series Continues with "In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee"

Click here to view this intriguing documentary which is part 3 of the PBS point of view on adoption series>

"In 1966, Cha Jung Hee was an 8-year-old girl at Sun Duck Orphanage who became one of the thousands of Korean orphans adopted by Americans in the years following the Korean War. U.S. military presence, Cold War politics and the realities of a war-torn society still struggling to climb out of the ruins made Korea the primary source for international adoptions by Americans, and it would remain so for many years.

All such adoptions can present daunting challenges to adoptees as they come of age and try to understand their split heritage. But this story had a further twist.

For Cha Jung Hee, the good fortune of being whisked away to an affluent country by loving new parents masked even more troubling questions. For one thing, Deann Borshay, as little Cha Jung Hee became known in America, wasn’t an orphan. As related in Liem’s earlier documentary First Person Plural (POV 2000; encore presentation Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010), lingering memories led the filmmaker to discover that her birth family was still alive. And there was another buried memory. Liem wasn’t Cha Jung Hee at all. She was Kang Ok Jin, another 8-year-old girl at Sun Duck Orphanage. Her identity had been switched with Cha Jung Hee’s just before the latter was to be adopted by the Borshay family in California. She’d been instructed to keep that secret even from her adoptive parents. But why was the switch made? And what became of the real Cha Jung Hee?

Liem’s quest to understand the act that determined the course of her life impels her to find the real Cha Jung Hee. Armed with a tattered black and white photo of Cha Jung Hee and the shoes her mother-to-be sent more than 40 years earlier for her journey to America, Liem returns to a bustling, modern Seoul and a Korea vastly different from the devastated country she left in 1966. As In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee shows through old photos and newsreels, endemic poverty, lingering destruction from the war and a huge population of orphaned, lost and abandoned children set off humanitarian campaigns in a dozen Western countries to encourage adoption of Korean children. During Liem’s visit, she attends the annual gathering of the International Korean Adoptee Associations and meditates on the randomness of fate that turned her into an American rather than one of the Swedes or Danes she meets. She also learns that the tide of Korean adoptees — some 200,000 — peaked as recently as 1985, well after the country had become developed, democratic and prosperous. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee raises a troubling question: How and why did a humanitarian effort become an industry worth millions of dollars?

But Liem’s first stop is the Sun Duck Orphanage. She reviews the orphanage’s files with current director Kim Dae Jin and discovers another photo of the real Cha Jung Hee. A switch certainly was made, and the social worker who cared for the children reveals the reason: Cha Jung Hee was not an orphan. On a night shortly before she was due to leave for the United States, her father showed up and took her away. Rather than disappoint the Borshays, the orphanage substituted one 8-year-old girl for another, complete with a forged passport and brand new American shoes. Was this a purely humane decision or was there some financial motivation as well? In any case, the real Cha Jung Hee had disappeared with her father, and no one knew what had become of her.

Liem’s quest leads her and her interpreter to make calls to more than 100 Cha Jung Hees in the phone book, and she meets several women named Cha Jung Hee who turn out not to be the one she seeks, but who give her a glimpse of who she might have become. Then Liem visits the Police Separated Families Bureau and encounters a policeman who specializes in reuniting families. The stories of Koreans who lived through the dark past, begin to accumulate, offering a rare and intimate recollection of a shared time of violence, social disintegration and difficult choices. But the Cha Jung Hee who haunts Liem’s dreams remains elusive.

Ultimately, she does meet a woman who may be the Cha Jung Hee she is seeking. The photographic evidence is striking and the outlines of the two women’s stories intersect. The little girl’s shoes that Liem has saved even spark memories and tears in this Cha Jung Hee. But there is no way to be certain. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee still manages to get inside the stories that determined the fate of so many Korean children and changed the lives of many American families.

Both a meditative quest and an historical whodunit, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee reveals that in today’s world the search for identity — by Korean adoptees of the 1960s and ’70s, or by any child displaced by history — may yield more questions than answers.

“For years, Cha Jung Hee was, paradoxically, both a stranger and also my official identity — someone unknown but always present, defining my life,” says director Liem. “I felt I had to search for Cha Jung Hee finally to put my questions to rest by meeting her and finding out how she has fared. In the course of my journey, I met many women named Cha Jung Hee and through their stories imagine what my life would have been like had I stayed in Korea.

“Although I arrived in America walking in Cha Jung Hee’s shoes, I can see now the path I’ve taken has always been my own. And if I look closely, I can see a glimpse of the girl I used to be and I can picture her stepping out of the past and into the present.”

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is a co-production of Mu Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Katahdin Productions and American Documentary POV."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Waiting Child TINA

not a photo of the actual child Tina
This sweet brown-eyed girl has been waiting in Africa for many months to find her family.  She has celebrated other children's "gotcha" day and I am sure she is wondering when her new Family will come for her.  She came into care last January and was underweight and small for her age.  Since being in the care center she has celebrated her fourth birthday.  Tina has gained over 10 pounds since entering care.  She has good sleep and eating habits.  Doctors noted on exam that she has a systolic heart murmur and club feet.  Tina has been treated for her club feet by wearing splints at night and exchanging her right and left shoe during the day.  She is able to walk and play actively with the other children.  She is a chubby cheeked little girl that will win your heart!  Please email for more information!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Adoption Nutrition Resource on the Web!

I encourage you all to pass on the word about a super new resource available on the web on Adoption Nutrition!  This website has detailed information for adoptive parents on nutritional issues they may encounter with their adoptive children.  Topics include how to switch your child from a traditional diet to an American diet, food hoarding, and special diet concerns.  This is a super interesting website for everyone to check out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


You don’t have to put out extra money or do anything strenuous! All you need to help another child find a home is call up our office and ask for a poster to put up at your place of worship, your business or worksite, or even your local bank or grocery store.

Remember all those “coincidence” stories you have heard or even experienced yourself as you began your adoption journey. Like driving past a billboard with large, beseeching eyes just as you thought that maybe there was a child out there somewhere for you to love and care? And then you took the road less traveled and your life has never been the same. Just a minute of your time to get permission to put the poster up (most places are more than happy to do this as long as they know and approve.  To request a poster please email me at with your name and address and we will get one out to you!

You could change the life of a child and family and maybe never know it!

We’d love you to help us get the word out.

Kathy L, MA

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hand Held-- Documentary on Romania

I encourage everyone to check out the link below to a wonderful sounding documentary that may be coming soon to a theatre near you!

"HAND HELD is a documentary film produced and directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Don Hahn. Hahn shot in Boston, Bucharest and Bistrita, Romania for nearly two years on this extraordinary motion picture about one guy with a camera, a band of New Englanders, four hundred thousand orphans, and the unforgettable story of how they changed each other’s lives forever."

Special Needs Focus-- Cystic Fibrosis

We have several darling little girls available for adoption in Eastern Europe that were born with Cystic Fibrosis.  Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, this mucus blocks the airways, causing lung damage and making it hard to breathe. In the pancreas, it clogs the pathways leading to the digestive system, interfering with proper digestion.

People with CF have a shorter-than-normal life expectancy. The good news is that as treatments for CF improve, the life expectancy for people with the disease is rising. Fifty years ago, children with CF often died before attending elementary school. Today many people with the disease live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. Getting early treatment for CF can improve your quality of life and your lifespan.

In some people with CF, the disease begins in childhood. Others have a milder form of the disease and don't start getting sick until they are teenagers or adults. Lung function often starts declining in childhood, eventually leading to severe breathing problems. The most common cause of death in people with CF is respiratory failure.

The life expectancy of a person with CF is rising. Today some people with CF live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. The median age of survival—the age by which half of CF patients would be expected to survive—rose to 37.4 in 2008, up from 32 in 2000 and 25 in 1985.

What Causes Cystic Fibrosis?

A person must inherit two defective CF genes—one from each parent—to have CF. Each time two carriers of the defective gene conceive, there is a:

25 percent chance that their child will have cystic fibrosis

50 percent chance that the child will inherit one defective gene and be a carrier but not have the disease

25 percent chance that the child will not have the gene at all

How is Cystic Fibrosis Treated?

Treatment for CF depends on the stage of the disease and the organs involved. It may include airway clearance techniques to clear mucus from the lungs. One technique is called postural drainage and percussion. The person with CF sits, stands or lies in a position that helps free up mucus. The chest and back are pounded and clapped to loosen the mucus. A person with CF may use a mechanical vest or blow into a device that shakes the mucus loose.  Inhaled medicines are also commonly used for CF treatment.  These may be taken with a nebulizer, a machine that changes liquid medicine into a fine mist which makes it easier to inhale deep into the lungs. Some medicines can also be breathed in through a metered dose inhaler (MDI). Other types of medicines used for CF treatment include Azithromycin, an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the lungs and anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to help reduce swelling in the airways.  Lung transplantation may be an option in some severe cases of CF.

Today, almost 45 percent of the cystic fibrosis population is aged 18 years or older. As people with CF live longer, they are more likely to develop middle-aged health issues, such as CF-related diabetes, osteoporosis and infertility in men.  A person with CF is always at risk of lung infections. Ways to lessen the risk include:

Frequent hand washing with soap and water or hand gel

Avoid unnecessary contact with people who have a cold or other contagious illness

Get a flu shot every year

Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke

Children and adults with CF may need a high-calorie, high-fat diet to make up for the improper absorption of nutrients caused by the disease. You also may need pancreatic enzyme supplements, and vitamin and mineral supplements.  For more in depth information about living with a child with CF you can go to the following website:

Friday, September 10, 2010


There has been a slew of conversation this week on how to effectively and practically work on attachment issues with your adopted children.  This article puts a different light on the issue...What if the parents have issues attaching to the child?  Please check out the following article Confessions of a Mom with Attachment Disorder.  Interesting food for thought at the very least!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Could you Love US?

Sometimes working in adoption is a joyful experience.  Sometimes it can break your heart.  This little girl is waiting for a home.  She is three years old and longs to know the love of a mother and father.  Her older brother waits for the security of a permanent home....He is four.  The baby brother is only two....he needs a mom to hold him, to snuggle him and kiss his chubby baby neck!  Could you love these children?  Could you bring them into your home?  Could you raise them and watch them meet and surpass the normal milestones of childhood.  Could you watch this lovely girl blossom into the lovely woman she will someday be? 

This is the second set of siblings that I have been asked to find a home for that have one sibling that is HIV positive.  The children have no known health issues and seem developmentally on track.  Behavior reports are glowing.  Typically a sibling group like these would find a family quickly.  HIV tends to be a conversation ender when talking to most families.  Do these families know that HIV is now considered more easily controlled than diabetes?  Do they know that HIV is actually a fragile virus that is very difficult to pass and there must be a fluid exchange.  Do they know that you won't catch HIV from sharing a cup, from changing a diaper or from kissing your little boy....If you could open your heart and love these children, please contact me at

Little Boys Available in Asia!

Children's House is happy to have a list of ten adorable little boys we are currently looking for homes for!  The boys are located in Asia and they have a variety of special needs.  Some of the special needs have already undergone corrective surgery.  These children would largely fall into the "minor or correctable" special needs category.  We need to find families in Washington, Utah or Florida for these boys!  Please email Heidi at  for more information!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

PBS Adoption Series Continues with "Off and Running"

"Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results."  To view the story click here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Special Needs Children with Club Feet

A clubfoot, or congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both. The affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle. TEV is classified into 2 groups: Postural TEV or Structural TEV. Without treatment, persons afflicted often appear to walk on their ankles, or on the sides of their feet. It is a common birth defect, occurring in about one in every 1,000 live births. Approximately 50% of cases of clubfoot are bilateral. In most cases it is an isolated dysmelia. This occurs in males more often than in females by a ratio of 2:1.

Club feet are a very common birth defect worldwide. 
The figure ice-skater Kristi Yamaguchi was born with a clubfoot, and went on to win figure skating gold in 1992. The soccer star Mia Hamm was born with the condition. Baseball pitcher Larry Sherry was born with club feet, as was pitcher Jim Mecir, and both enjoyed long and successful careers. In fact, it was suggested in the book Moneyball that Mecir's club foot contributed to his success on the mound; it caused him to adopt a strange delivery that "put an especially violent spin" on his screwball, his specialty pitch. The San Francisco Giants held the record as the team with the all-time highest number of players with clubbed feet as of July 2010, and Freddy Sanchez, one of its infielders, cites his ability to overcome the defect as a reason for his success.  Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints, born with a right club foot and no toes (this was his kicking foot), kicked an NFL record 63 yard field goal. This kick became famous as the longest regular-season NFL place-kick in history, a record that stood till 2009.

Club feet are often correctable largely through a process of "serial casting". Casts are placed on the feet and legs that gradually stretch the tendons and ligaments into more normal alignment. The process can take weeks or months. When casting fails to remedy the situation fully, surgery is sometimes required. Following surgery or casting a splint may need to be worn for up to 14 hours a day for several years to prevent the feet from turning again

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beautiful Sibling Group Available in Eastern Europe

(names are changed to protect the privacy of the children.  Photos and more details are available by email )

We have a lovely sibling group searching for their forever home!  Brittany, Brianna and Brandon are charming intelligent children. 

Brittany is now 6 years old and is said to be very mature for her age and independent in everyday situations.  Brittany is a smart, well-behaved, helpful, good and also beautiful little girl.  Brittany has excellent health and is developmentally at or above the norms for her age. 

Brianna is an outgoing and social little girl.  She is well liked by other children and can be protective of her little brother.  Brianna loves to sing and recite rhymes.  She, like her sister, is a smart child who is well behaved and helpful.  Brianna was born HIV positive and is on anti-retrovirus treatment. 

Brandon is a delightful little boy who has just turned three.  He has sparkling eyes and sweet dimpled cheeks.  His foster family describes him as "obedient, nice and smart".  Brandon establishes very good emotional contact and loves to be cuddled.  Brandon has great health and is developmentally on track.

These children have been waiting for a family for over a year!  For more information on parenting an HIV+ child go to

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Should I Readopt My Child?

As noted under the topic of an IR-3 vs. IR-4 visa, when a child comes to the US on an IR-4 visa, they MUST be readopted here in the US in their home state. Then the parents can obtain a certificate of citizenship for their child.

There are other reasons to be sure to complete a readopt or equivalent in your home state. Here in Washington State a family is required to do a “re-adoption” but some states have a system of filing information with the county or state. What is important is that you follow the requirements of your state to complete the paperwork needed for US immigration so that your child can be citizen.

However, if your child comes to the US on an IR-3 visa and is automatically a citizen, there are still reasons to complete a re-adoption or equivalent in your home state.

  1. First, you may need to complete a legal name change for your child. Unless your child’s passport has the full name that you want your child to have, you will need to go through the process to complete a name change. Some insurance companies and medical clinics require that you use the child’s legal name for service. Some will let you use the name you are planning to call your child. You do need to do a legal name change. By doing a legal name change you can also get your child’s certificate of citizenship completed in their new legal name as well.
  2. A re-adoption will make sure your child’s adoption is recognized so that if a parent dies the child can receive social security death benefits until they are 18. This may have been mostly taken care of by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, but a re-adoption makes sure that your child qualifies.
  3. A re-adoption makes sure that your child is treated equally with biological or other adopted siblings when the parents die and the estate is settled. It may look now like the “kids all get along” and that it won’t be an issue, but a re-adoption is another layer making sure your adopted child is treated equally.
  4. A re-adoption is a good way to get a local birth certificate. Your child will have an easily accessible birth certificate to use for the first day of school, taking drivers education or going on a cruise. Hm. I’m wondering now why it was I needed a birth certificate as well as a passport to go on that cruise to Mexico a decade ago. . .oh well. . . Anyway! And, should your child want to adopt in the future, they will have a nice, easily accessible local birth certificate handy for use at any time.


Kathy L, MA


Adoption Series on PBS

Watch the full episode. See more POV.