Saturday, September 8, 2018

What If I Can Never Be Reunited with My Birth Child?

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The thought of never seeing your child again can be truly heartbreaking. Knowing that he or she turned out okay can be a very comforting thing. Without that, you may feel lost in your circumstances. Being able to have a relationship with that child may be something that has been in the back of your mind for a while. It’s easy to understand that with all of the happy reunion stories you see in the news from people using DNA sites to find their families. Even though DNA tests are helping droves of adoptees to find birth family, there are still adoptees who don’t know how to use their results to find answers. Some of those people don’t know where to turn for help, so they simply think their matches aren’t close enough to be useful. It makes it really easy if your DNA is already on file, and it pops up as a match right away. One day your child may come looking for you. I am a firm believer in expecting the worst and hoping for the best. Don’t give up hope. You may see your child again, or you may not. But it’s not over until it’s over.
As an adoptee, I can tell you that it is likely that your child went on to have an amazing life. I can’t tell you why some adoptees choose to search for their birth families and some don’t. It’s a completely different experience for everyone. I looked for mine after I had kids because I wanted to know more about where I came from. I didn’t know if I would want a relationship when I found them, but I knew that I wanted to learn more. Even adoptees who decide not to search usually hold a special place in their hearts for their birth parents.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

10 Tips That Will Make You Better at Child Communication

Good communication between a parent and child is one of the most important gifts in life. When done correctly, the seeds you plant when your children are small will continue to bloom throughout their lives. Here are 10 tips to improve your parent/child communication:
1. Listen to your kids. I mean really listen to them. Oftentimes, kids don’t articulate their needs well. You need to analyze their overall behavior to get an idea of what is going on with them. Sometimes the most important details are in the words that weren’t spoken. Pay attention to topics that come up frequently. That may indicate an area that a child needs help with but doesn’t want to ask for.
2. Ask them questions. Be interested in your children’s lives. When they tell you stories, ask for more information. You can inquire about their daily activities and friends without seeming nosy and overbearing. You don’t need to be best friends with your children, but you do need to purposefully stay involved, especially as they get older.
3. Be available to them. An open line of communication is crucial for successful parenting as well as safety. Let your children know that they can come to you with anything, even with the things they expect you will be upset about. It’s important that they always feel comfortable being honest with you.
4. Don’t judge them. There comes a point when your children are no longer tiny versions of you. They grow into their own people, and although you may influence their lives, you are no longer in control of them. I guarantee they will make decisions you do not agree with. There will be times when they ignore your advice. Let them be independent and love them for who they are, not what they do.
5. Let them make mistakes. Do you remember when you were younger? You didn’t learn well from other people’s mistakes, and they won’t either. Give them all the tools you can to make good choices. When they don’t use them, don’t say, “I told you so.” Be there to show your support and help brush them off.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Stolen From A Mother's Arms

Anita Vasquez has endured a nightmare that no parent should ever have to face, and now she needs our help. She has hit absolute rock bottom with nowhere else to go. I am confident that if we work together and get her story out there, the right people will help her up. Social media is a powerful tool, and we have a chance to prove that today.

Anita took her children to the doctor for a well visit. Her four month old daughter, Aniya Blu, was mistakenly injected with a Gardasil vaccine intended for her son. Soon after, Aniya fell ill. Anita took her to the hospital. She told the staff about what had happened at the drs office, worried because the shot is not meant for someone so young.

The hospital said that Aniya's sodium levels were low. They accused Anita of making her sick. CPS walked into the room where Anita was breastfeeding Aniya and removed her from her mother's care. A CPS worker labeled Anita as having Munchausen by Proxy, without so much as an interview with her. Aniya was placed in foster care.

After several months CPS requested that Anita's parental rights be terminated by the court. Funds raised from family and friends and from Anita selling lumpia in her spare time hired an attorney for the trial. The attorney did not present any of the key evidence in the case. CPS claimed that Aniya had been completely well since she was placed in foster care and kept away from her mother. Given that evidence I probably would have made the same call the jury did, but they were wrong.

Anita has evidence from the hospital that a pituitary cyst found on an MRI is the cause of Aniya's adrenal insufficiency as well as low cortisol levels. While Aniya was in state care, away from her mother, she was life-flighted to the nearest children's hospital because her levels were dangerously low. Aniya's foster parents had been told she was completely healthy by CPS, even though they had evidence to the contrary, so it was a surprise to them when she got sick. They were then told they would have to have her levels tested regularly for the sake of her health.

After Anita's rights were terminated, she had no money left for an attorney for an appeal, but she fought anyway. She went to court for the appeal and when it sounded like she wasn't going to get her evidence into the record she spoke out, like any of us would have done in that situation. She is tired and scared, but she is fierce. She needs her daughter home with her so she can guarantee she gets proper medical care. For speaking out, she was arrested and put in jail.

She is not backing down. She is not going away. The evidence is on her side. Please share her story, so maybe the right person will see it and be able to help her get her daughter back.

Anita is also raising funds to hire another attorney for an appeal. She only has 10 days. 

Please use Pay pal for donations to email :

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What Is an Adoption Forum and Why Should I Care?

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An adoption forum is an online community for anyone whose life has been touched by adoption. It is a great place to have questions answered, get advice, and have discussions with others who can relate to your situation. An adoption forum can be an awesome resource to find accurate information and relatable experiences.
Adoption forums can have many different sections for all sorts of different circumstances. Ones for adoptive parents, birth parents, hopeful adoptive parents, and foster parents give helpful insights. These sections provide a space to ask each other for advice, seek out parenting resources, or simply get support after a bad day. Parenting from any angle is not an easy task, and forums help build each other up for the benefit of everyone.
Some forums are dedicated to international adoption. Adopting from another country can be a long, stressful process. You might find one specifically centered around the country you chose to adopt from. You can get tips and suggestions from parents who have been through the process before. Parents can support each other through the ups and downs of their international adoption journey.
Search and reunion forums are helpful for adoptees and birth families. Each party can get advice on how to best proceed with their search. The forum members also provide emotional support for each other during the reunion process and afterwards. Many people assume that a reunion is the end of a journey, but often it’s only the beginning. An adoption forum offers a place for people to be open and honest about their feelings without fear of judgment.

3 Reasons to Tell Your Adopted Child His Birth Mother Was Addicted to Drugs

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It’s never fun being the bearer of bad news, especially when it involves your child. You don’t want to see that look in his eyes that reflects disappointment or pain. Sometimes as parents though we have to do the hard jobs, the ones no one else wants to do. If your parenting journey involves an adopted child, you must decide whether or not to tell him the secrets of his past. You may have to tell him that his birth mother was addicted to drugs. It may seem easier to sweep all that under the rug and consider it irrelevant. Sparing your child that conversation may feel like the right thing to do, but it’s not. When your child grows into an adult, you have a responsibility to tell him. Here’s why.
1. It’s his story. No matter how sad or devastating his adoption story may seem to you, it belongs to your child. That story is part of his past, and therefore, a part of his identity. All of who a person becomes is made from the tiny details that have occurred over a lifetime. Also, knowing his birth mother was addicted to drugs may go a long way in his reconciliation of why he was placed for adoption. It’s a big deal to an adoptee to know the reason why a birth parent chose not to parent him. Being addicted to drugs is a reasonable explanation.
2. It’s his future. Society has been going back and forth for years about whether drug addiction is a disease or not. Some say it’s hereditary, while others disagree. I’m not going to get into that debate, but I will say that it should be up to your child to decide how to use that information. He may want to watch his substance consumption for possible signs of addiction. He may choose not to drink at all in light of the situation of his placement. It’s also possible that the news won’t change his behavior at all. The point is that it’s his decision to make.

U.S. Presidents Who Were Adopted

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When I first started writing this article, I figured it would be a fun history lesson, but what I found surprised me. The subject of which presidents were adopted is quite an ambiguous one. It is most commonly believedthat the only two adopted presidents were Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, although some sources include a third, Abraham Lincoln. Records haven’t always been reliable, and it was commonplace for stepchildren to change their names without an adoption having taken place.
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States. He was born in Arkansas in 1946 as William Jefferson Blythe III. His father died as the result of a car accident just three months before he was born. Unable to care for him financially, his mother left him in the care of his grandparents, Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, while she went off to attend nursing school. In the 1950s, his mother returned for him and remarried Roger Clinton Sr. Bill. She began using the man’s surname right away but didn’t legally change it until her son was 15.
Although Clinton’s relationship with his stepfather was tempestuous, he was always an avid supporter of adoption. Clinton said, “We must work tirelessly to make sure that every boy and girl in America who is up for adoption has a family waiting to reach for him or her.” In 1995 he expanded National Adoption Awareness Week to the entire month of November.
Gerald Ford was our 38th president. He was born in Nebraska in 1913 as Leslie Lynch King, Jr. When he was 16 days old, his mom separated from his dad. When he was three, his mom remarried to Gerald Rudolff Ford. She changed the future president’s name to Gerald Ford Jr. He had no idea that the man he was named for was not his biological father until he was 17. Ford was then given the identity of his birth father. Although they did meet the following year, the relationship never became fruitful.
Ford felt an incredible fondness for his stepfather. He said, “I didn’t understand exactly what a stepfather was. Dad and I had the closest, most intimate relationship.” He also shared, “My stepfather was a magnificent person and my mother equally wonderful. So I couldn’t have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing.”

Sunday, July 1, 2018

YL New Member Compliance

When I first became a Young Living member I was given a list of "Hot Words" to avoid when sharing with others about Young Living. The list got shoved in a pile of other things I got with my kit, and I didn't give it much thought. As I started sharing my story with others in hopes my friends would improve their lives like I had, I started getting messages from my enroller about words I had used that were unacceptable. Grrr! It quickly became a source of severe frustration for me.

The FDA has made it clear that we are not to make claims that our products treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. We are also not allowed to diagnose or prescribe anything. We cannot in any way discuss symptoms when sharing YL with others. Everyone's body is different and therefore responds to oils in a different way. Just because an oil does something for me, that doesn't mean someone else will respond to it the same way.

As a mom and a writer being compliant was aggravating. I would agonize over what word to use in a post, until one day I realized it wasn't bothering me anymore. I hadn't worried about my word choice in weeks. I changed my way of thinking, and everything just seemed to fall into place. Think of it like this...we don't "fix" things, we "support" them. So, lavender supports healthy skin. Breathe Again supports a healthy respiratory system. Thieves supports wellness. Progessence Plus supports healthy hormones. Does that make sense? For a list of "Say this, not that" go here.

You may think to yourself that you see things online all the time that aren't compliant. Well, other companies don't educate their members as well as Young Living. And some people are just rule breakers. Plus, FDA compliance was not always a thing. So older posts may not have been taken down, even though they should have been.

Why is compliance important? If Young Living does not adhere to the rules set forth by the FDA, they can be shut down. There are people who go through individual and group Facebook pages, as well as websites to check for compliance. If YL catches you sharing about their products using non-compliant language, they can deactivate your Young Living account. That may seem extreme to some, but it's not worth risking their business on. If it were my company, I would do the same thing.

If you are struggling with what is acceptable to share, you can reach out to your enroller. If you have been posting for a while and are unsure, you can go back and search your YL posts and check them for compliance.

Just as Young Living rewards us all the time, the FDA has rewarded our compliance. Gary Young was so awesome at working with the FDA and following their guidelines, that we are excited to announce so FDA approved products. Thieves Cough Drops can now be used to treat cough. Our Mineral Sunscreen can be said to prevent cancer. And we now have an FDA approved acne treatment.

Also any time you recommend an oil for ingestion, make sure you specify the Vitality line (even though it's the same oil that's in the 15 ml bottle). Just remember any time you get frustrated that we stay compliant for a reason.