Do I Actually Advocate Something Other Than Adoption? No … and Yes.

I was recently asked the following question on Twitter: “You seem to advocate more communal care of children than adoption per se. Isn't there a big difference between the two?” It’s a good question, but don’t think I can answer it in 140 characters, so I’ve decided to address the matter here. ...more

Never Say 'Never!' To Getting Involved

Sometimes, trying to convince oneself is not so convincing. Saying "Never!" to a situation may change that "Never!" into exactly what happens next. Whatever the timeline, this scenario will surely come your way. 'I will never be friends with her. I will never be a vegetarian. I will never work for someone I don't like.' Yeah, nice try.  One of my “never’s” was to not participate in overseas missionary type work. No, thanks. I will write you a check and yes, please put me on your prayer email thingy but I do enough here in my hometown - for my Church, Children, and Charities....more

Thank you so much for your comments.... its confirming to have others feel the same perspective, ...more

Playing Politics at the Expense of Children

File this one under cheap election year politics (even if it’s not quite election year, the gentlemen have started their engines). Arizona has passed a new law directing child welfare professionals to favor married couples over singles or unmarried couples (code for same-sex couples, really) in child placement decisions whether adoption or foster care, "if all other factors are equal." ...more

My BFF lives in Tucson, Nancy and it's so beautiful and evocative, I have set major parts of ...more

How A Scary Looking Kid Helped Me Get My Head Screwed On Straight

The first night I met him, he glared at me then leaned back a ways before slamming his head down on to the table. That thud of skull connecting with wood was so hard it made the walls shake and the windows rattle. I choked a bit on my heart, and my stomach churned with that nauseous fear that comes when everything is wrong. Very, very wrong. What were we doing with this kid in our home?...more

The Day I Met My Daughter

I wrote this the day we met the Princess, age 9 at the time.  We waited six months from being chosen to be her parents to bringing her home.  We weren't allowed any contact with us during that time.  She found out about us approximately two weeks before our arrival.  Our first meeting was our first contact, other than a photo album and letter from us that she was given the day she was told about the adoption.  She had two failed adoptions and 13 (known) placements prior to us.  We met her on Monday and she was with us permanently starting that Friday. ...more

Social Work: Most Days I Do More Harm Than Good

Talking about my job is an uncomfortable situation most of the time. The chain of events is so predictable, I can pretty much mark it out scene by scene. With strangers that I am unlikely to ever see again, I give the quick answer, "I'm a social worker, I work with kids." That usually satisfies them. We move on to another topic. But talking to people who know me a little better -- like my psuedo-family who I spent the holidays with -- can be even more challenging. ...more

I began my career in social work as a child protective services worker and it has always been ...more

Team Crazy Cakes

We checked out all the books on adoption or foster care our library had when our daughter first came home.  Even though she was 9 and going in...more

Roscoe and Mama Pearl

 Roscoe's caseworker led him up the cracked sidewalk toward a gingerbread house with white trim that looked like icing to him. Maybe his great-grandmother was a witch who lived in a gingerbread house like in Hansel and Gretel. He hoped she was a good witch, not a bad one, who'd use her magic to make his mother better. "His Mama done lost her mind. She ain't` never comin' back," he heard his foster mother whisper to a neighbor. It was the same day the caseworker talked to him about being adopted. ...more

My son has a sister.

It's complicated. Mikey and his sister were split up while in foster care, and that's a story for another day. As it stands, my goal is to have The Girlie at our house at least once a month. We have gone long stretches without seeing her and it feels better for everyone when the relationship is more consistent. She refers to me as Auntie or Auntie Janet (and Uncle Dennis). She calls the woman who she has lived with since she was 4, Nana, which fits her perfectly....more

Bloggers Give Voices and Faces to National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Last week and still into this week, the Internet saw an influx of posts by waiting families, adoptive parents, birth parents, adoptees, social workers and agencies talking about their feelings and events regarding the "celebration." While originating as a week to bring awareness to children in foster care in the United States, it was promoted to a month in 1995. ...more
Thank you for this great post and dissection of some of the issues surrounding the month. I, ...more