A couple in Boca Raton has developed a service for families wishing to adopt. It is a lot like the dating website Eharmony. The name of the service is Family-Match. It connects the hundreds of children looking for families to prospective parents.
It matches families based on common values and interests. Chris Johnson is a pastor who has adopted seven children. Five of the children were adopted as teenagers. He thinks that the Family-Match service is a great idea. Children can find families who love what they love. Both the children and families will have an easier time finding the right matches.
Adoptive families are typically matched based on gender, age and ethnicity. Prospective parents are shown pictures of children who are looking for adoption. Elizabeth Wynter is the executive director of Selfless Love Foundation, which is one of the organizations that helped create Family-Match.
Parents who have been approved for adoption will fill out a questionnaire about their parenting style, interests, expectations and personalities. Foster parents, caseworkers and therapists will fill out similar forms for the children. The children are between the ages of 4 and 17.
This program is available for people who are in the state of Florida. Thea Ramirez is the founder of Adoption-Share, which is another program that helps people match children and families. She felt compelled to do something when she saw a 15-year-old boy named Davion on television begging for someone to adopt him.
Thea knew that there had to be a better way to pair children and families. Davion was adopted in 2015. Ashley and Ed Brown are the couple who helped launch Family-Match. Ashley knows firsthand what it is like for a child to feel unwanted because she was adopted. She stated that she felt compelled to help other people because she had wonderful parents.
The Olympic Games in South Korea are over, but the stories coming out of the Olympics are just beginning. Stories about the winners and losers are a big part of the international event, but the personal stories hit most people right in the soft area of their soul during, and after the Olympics are over.
Marissa Brant went to South Korea to play for the South Korean hockey team, and her sister, Hannah, went to play for the United States hockey team. Marissa is one of the children adopted during the 1980s massive Korean international adoption program. More than 200,000 South Korean babies went up for adoption due to several social issues. Poverty was the main issue.
Other stories of adoptees going to the Olympics to cheer for their favorite athletes bring the scope of the 1980s South Korea adoption program into focus. Adoptees like Matt Galbraith and his biological brother were five when they were part of the adoption program. They were there to see their biological mother and family again. The boys met her for the first time in 2009.
There is always a chance international adoptees will have issues in another culture. Racial and social issues play a role psychological uncertainty. But the South Korean adoptees are not in that category. Getting a chance to play in the Olympics is the goal for most young, active people is the dream of a lifetime. To be able to participate in their favorite sport and then have a chance to reunite with their biological family and intense culture is the thrill of a lifetime. Their “can’t get any better meter” goes crazy. And to add more amazingness to the experience, the women’s United States Hockey got the gold medal. The South Korea team didn’t win a medal, but that didn’t stop Marissa from celebrating with her sister.
There were a lot of winners at the Olympics, but the biggest winners may be the adoptees who got a chance to visit with their families again. There’s no doubt. A South Korean Barbeque and Kimchi party was part of the visit.
Tim Bowers is a 48-year-old grandfather. He was recently legally adopted by the Devrick family. In 1984, June and Ron Devrick were raising their two children in a small town in West Virginia. June was a cook, and Ron was a corporate controller.
During this same time, Tim was 14-years-old and essentially raising himself. He was one of eight children. However, his mother was unable to care for her children because she was a drug addict. Tim did not know who his father was. His stepfather did not help much. June would see Tim on the bench on the way to work.
The school’s basketball coach would tell June about Tim’s situation. She decided to let Tim go home with her, and he has been a part of the family ever since. Two of June and Ron’s children were teenagers at the time. They knew that bringing another teen in the house would put a drain on their budget. However, the family decided that the sacrifice would be worth it.
Tim fit in with the Devrick family. No legal action was taken, and Tim’s mother never asked for him back. Tim thrived in the Devrick household. He graduated from high school, spent two years in college and joined the Marine Corps.
Tim eventually married and had a family of his own life. However, he still remained connected to the Devrick family. Even though Tim was grown with his own family, the Devrick thought it was important to legally adopt him. Ron and June stated that having the adoption on paper solidified the bond that the family already had. Ron jokingly stated that Tim is stuck with them now.
Kerry Kurtz Tucker was adopted by a family in Alexandria, Virginia shortly after she was born. She also has two siblings who have also been adopted. Kerry had a wonderful life with her adoptive parents. However, they died 10 years.
Kerry has made several attempts to find her real family. However, nothing she has done has helped her find them. Kerry had a private and closed adoption. The name of the attorney that was assigned to Kerry’s case was James D’ Angelou. James has passed away.
Kerry stated that the state of South Carolina makes it difficult for people to find their biological parents. Her adoption case was closed in court. She also believes that her adoptive mother has her birth certificate. However, she does not know where her birth certificate is. She thinks that she may have been born at Ocean View Hospital. She also thinks that her parents may have been teenagers.
Kerry has joined many groups on Facebook hoping to find her real parents. The people who help people find their real parents are known as search angels. They give all of the information that they find to people for free. However, they have not been able to help Kerry find her biological parents yet.
Kerry recently ordered an Ancestry DNA kit. She has completed all of the tests and has sent it back. She will hear back from the company within three to four weeks. She is hoping that she will soon have the answers that she is looking for.
Kerry was named after a county in Ireland. She believes that she was called baby girl before her adoptive parents named her.
A 18-year-old woman from China did not know that she was adopted until she was diagnosed with cancer. The woman, whose name is Peng Xin, is now trying to find her biological parents. She needs to have a bone marrow transplant and hopes that her parents will be a match. Peng underwent a variety of tests in order to diagnose her illness. That was when she found out that her parents were not her biological parents.
Peng will receive chemotherapy, which can extend her life by up to 10 months. However, she will eventually need to get a bone-marrow transplant. Peng’s adoptive mom stated that they have raised their daughter since she was an infant. They decided to keep the adoption a secret.
The woman stated that they were not wealthy and already had two children. However, they decided to take the infant in anyway because she would not have made it. Peng’s mom stated that they never intended to tell her about the adoption. They were forced to tell Peng the truth once they found out that she needed to have a bone marrow transplant.
Peng’s classmates have put together a video sharing her story. The video has pictures of Peng growing up. They hope that the video will reach their parents. One of the classmates stated that Peng may not have know about her biological parents if it had not been for her illness.
A classmate also stated that Peng is not only dealing with the pain of her illness, but she is also dealing with an emotional setback. They also stated that they do not know how Peng will deal with this, and they want to help her.
February 9th opens the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. While the festivities will bring athletes and spectators from across the globe, one special group will be coming home. For a group that left as orphans decades ago, this will be their first time stepping upon the shores of their homeland, and that makes these Olympic ceremonies even sweeter.
It is no secret that South Korea has had a large number of foreign adoptions since the 1950s. Beginning with the biracial lovechildren of the Korean War, others were quickly added that did not meet the expectations of the starkly conversative nation. This includes female infants, as well as children of families with more than two children and unwed mothers. The peak in South Korea’s foreign adoptions occurred around the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The number of foreign adoptions steadily decreased after the country’s 2007 to 2013 adoption legislation which limited the number of foreign adoptions, set a five month waiting period, and encouraged home country priority adoptions.
Although adoptive parents love adopted children as their own, some adoptees still feel a desire to know about their birth families and where they came from. This need for ancestral roots is what inspired Keziah Park of the International Korean Adoptee Service to arrange the Olympic Homecoming. The week-long trip includes athletic events and seats at the Opening Ceremonies.
The trip will also include a visit with one special Olympic athlete, Marissa Brandt. Marissa understands what it is like to be an adoptee. She was adopted at four years old and moved to the US. After college, she became a dual citizen and is now playing on South Korea’s women’s ice hockey team.
Ms. Park hopes trip guests will connect with other adoptees and find the ties they’ve been looking for.
Delilah, who is a radio show host, is now back on the air. She took a break after her son, Zack, passed away last fall. She stated that losing Zack was hard, but it did bring the family closer together. She also stated that her daughter found out that she was pregnant before Zack died.
This is the second child that Delilah has lost in the past five years. Her son Sammy died from sickle cell anemia in 2012. Zack committed suicide after a long battle with depression. A listener asked Delilah about books that they should read in order to cope with the loss of a child. She stated that there was not any book that could help.
Delilah also stated that the suggestions that people make have not helped her. She stated that being there for someone is the only thing that can help. Delilah is getting ready to adopt her 14th child. She had three biological children and 10 adopted.
There are 487,000 children who are in foster care. Only 5 percent of these children will have a forever home. She stated that adoption has been a blessing because many of the children would not have a home. She also stated that raising her children has been her world.
Delilah has given some advice that can help people who are going through a difficult ordeal. She stated that no one should go through life sweating the small things. She stated that when you sweat the small things, you take the joy out of living. Delilah’s show comes on The Sound 94.1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. She also has a show from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The process of adoption can be equally challenging and beautiful for all parties involved. Adoptive parents often wonder if they are doing enough for their children in terms of emotional support and physical provision, and adoptive kids tend to struggle with feelings of worthlessness and abandonment. However, it’s possible for adoptive families to find a “rhythm” that works for them, especially when parents understand where their children are coming from.
It’s important for adoptive parents to keep in mind that each child will have different feelings about his/her adoption. Some will be grateful that their birth parents gave them up; others will be resentful. Some adopted children may experience hurt and confusion because of the adoption, and will express this in a number of ways. Adoptive parents should be willing to let their children communicate their feelings, and constantly provide a sense of security to reaffirm to their children that they have a place to call home.
Adoptive parents should also let go of any embarrassment or shame that comes with adopting children. In some social circles, not being able to or choosing not to have biological children is frowned upon. People may also look at adoptive parents with skepticism if they choose to adopt children of a different race. Adoptive parents should treat their children as if they gave birth to them, no matter what anyone thinks. Children who have been adopted likely already have insecurities and are self-conscious, and when they see their parents give in to social pressure, there could be negative psychological effects. Children need a sense of normalcy, and everyone needs and deserves to be loved.
For more information about adoption or to read heartwarming stories of adoptive families, check out www.huffingtonpost.com.
For many families who choose to adopt to add to their families, it is a time that is filled with emotion on so many levels. For Millie Holloman, this rang uitwntrue. Like many who choose adoption after fostering, she wanted to celebrate the finalization. Many adoptive parents photograph the big “gotcha day” as a way to remember the moments their child first joined their family. Mille wanted to take it a step further and include all the people who played a part in bringing her daughter, Vera Wren, to her. So she brought along a letter board and a photographer, and included all the people who helped to make it possible, from the judge who performed the ceremony, to the adoption attorney, to the social worker, to various friends and family of Mille. They all held up the board that noted their particular role in helping the adoption story reach its happy ending. The series of photographs finished out with a smiling Vera Wren with the letter board noting that after 1,070 days in the foster care system, she was finally adopted!
Millie Holloman notes that she believes it takes a village to come together and raise a child. These people were her village when it meant the most. She shares the photos on her personal Facebook page and writes a little message with each one, detailing in a shortened version just how important every person in the pictures is to her adoption story. She thanks them for helping her create a happy ending and for being incredibly amazing allies for her sweet daughter. She hopes such a photo shoot helps to shed some light on adoption and how important foster families truly are in the whole process.
A happy story indeed.
Adopted brothers and sisters sometimes never meet each other. Although this is sad, there are times when adopted brothers or sisters meet in adult life, with or without the intervention of their adopted or biological parents. Kieron Graham did not expect to find his long lost relatives, but his adopted mother gave him a 23andme DNA kit. He took the test and the results showed the political science major at at Kennesaw University. The test results came back. It showed him that his closest living relative, his brother, was a man named Vincent. As it turns out, Vincent was also studying political science at Kennesaw University, according to babble.com
The pair met up quickly and reconnected. The discovery also gave Vincent a chance to meet his biological parents. Graham’s adoptive mother’s gift gave him a chance to reconnect to to his birth parents and find out more about his family and his heritage. Kieron says he held no hostility towards the family of his birth, and that he just wanted to meet them.
The test results gave the adoptive son a chance to meet his other siblings as well. DNA testing kits have been an interesting way of proving ancestry and seeing if a family’s genealogies align with the genetic information. Stories of adoptive families reuniting are becoming more common because of the services offered by these companies.
23andme and similar DNA testing services made headlines earlier this year. Although it was barely noticed in the controversy over Chancellorsville, many white supremacists were using the tests to prove their racial purity. The results seldom came back the way the white supremacists using the tests would have liked. Few people have the pure heritage the white supremacists say is necessary.