All Articles Tagged "Adoption"
I have no idea what it’s like to be adopted, but I always imagined that adopted children and even some adults spend quite a bit of time looking into the faces of complete strangers, wondering if they’re their long lost parents. Your father could be someone you pass on the street everyday. Your mother could be the woman who works in your building.
Though the notion of such a thing seems highly unlikely, that’s exactly what happened to La-Sonya Mitchell-Clark, 38, of Youngstown, Ohio.
Mitchell-Clark told WKBN, an Ohio CBS affiliate, from the day she learned she was adopted, she wanted to find her biological mother.
That dream became a reality last month when the Ohio Department of Health released birth records for people born between January 1964 and September 1996. Mitchell-Clark’s record included the name of her birth mother, Francine Simmons.
Mitchell-Clark looked the woman up on Facebook and discovered that she worked at Infocision in Boardman, Ohio, the same company and inside the same building where Mitchell-Clark is currently employed.
That’s when Mitchell-Clark realized that she knew of a Francine at her job. The woman worked in another department, at the front desk.
Mitchell-Clark reached out to a few of her other friends on social media for help. Then the next day, she got a phone call from her birth mother.
“She called me and I said, ‘Is this Ms. Francine? She said yes. I said, ‘I think I’m your daughter.'”
The two women burst into tears.
Francine Simmons said that she’s still in shock. Like Mitchell-Clark, she too has wanted to reconnect but didn’t know how to go about it.
She explained, “I got pregnant when I was 14. I had her when I was 15. I was put in a home, a girl’s home. Had her. Got to hold her. Didn’t get to name her, but I named her myself in my heart all these years.”
When she found her mother, Mitchell-Clark also found three other sisters, one who works at Infocision with her mother and newfound sister.
Kamala Cummings, the sister, said through tears, “I feel a sense of relief for my mother.”
Her other sister, Maisaha Cummings said, “It’s just amazing that all this time we’re thinking about her and trying to find her and she was trying to find us too.”
Not only do the mother and daughter pair work in the same office, they live six minutes away from one another.
Mitchell-Clark says her adoptive parents have always been supportive of her searching for her birth mother. She said that they’re going to be a part of the new relationship with Simmons.
Simmons agrees, “Now, we’ve got a bigger extended family where we can just be together.”
You can watch the two women discuss their reunion in the video below.
— Connie Going (@GoingConnie) April 11, 2015
Davion Only captured the nation and the world’s attention two years ago when he, at 15-years-old, stood up in front of a Florida church and pleaded with the congregation to adopt him. Not only did he touch our hearts with his very real and relatable desire to be loved, his honesty shed a light into what the adoption and foster care system is like for Black children, particularly Black boys.
After Davion spoke at church, calls from people down the street to around the world came pouring in, expressing interest in adopting Only. And according to the Tampa Bay Times, last Spring he was sent to live with a family in Ohio, a minister, his wife and three children, who said they wanted to make Davion a part of their family.
Davion’s wish was finally granted. He had the family he’d always wanted. But things changed when Davion got into a fight with one of the minister’s other children. After just three months, the family changed their minds and sent Davion right back into the system he’d been trying to escape his whole life.
Naturally, when he came back to Florida he was changed. He didn’t want to speak to anyone, not his counselors at the agency, the kids from his group home, not the teachers at his new high school, or the foster parents who took him in. Davion knew they had no plans to keep him permanently.
Instead of talking, he mostly played Madden football on the PlayStation.
At 16, he thought his chances of being adopted were over.
A few months later though, in July, having lived in four different homes and attended four different high schools in a year’s time, he was ready to talk.
He called the only number he had memorized, the only woman who had been a constant presence in his life, his caseworker Connie Going.
Going had wanted to talk to Davion when she heard that he’d been sent back to Florida. Instead of Davion, it was reporters who wanted to talk to her. They had all types of questions for Going, mainly “What went wrong?”
Going wanted to tell them, “That boy spent his whole life in the system, that’s what went wrong.”
Going, who had been Davion’s caseworker since he was seven years old, felt like she had let him down in not being able to find him a home. Going told the Times that there were many occasions when she wanted to call Davion. But she didn’t want to make him feel like he had to explain anything.
When she received his call in July, she was at the hospital with her dying father.
When Connie first met Davion, he was shy and always wanted to hug her. She’d take him out for pizza, pancakes and hot dogs. The two went bowling and to the beach together. She found Davion a mentor and followed him through each of the foster homes and therapy sessions.
Every year, for the past ten years, Davion asked her at least once, “Why don’t you just adopt me, Miss Connie?”
Going told Davion that she thought he deserved more. She told him he needed a father. Since she’d met Davion, Going’s daughters were teenagers, her marriage had ended, she’d helped more than 1,000 kids get adopted and she’d adopted one of them herself, 10-year-old Taylor, Davion’s friend from the group home, who had suffered two failed matches.
Going allowed Davion to stay at her home on weekends but she felt with her teenaged daughters and Taylor her house was too small. She kept promising Davion that she would find him his own family.
When Davion left for Ohio, Connie helped him pack a bag and prayed for him every night. When she learned that he was sent back to Florida, she worried that he would think he had no one in this world.
So, when she spoke to him in July, Davion brought up the subject of adoption again. “Do you remember what I asked you before? I mean about…Well, how do you feel about adopting me now?”
This time Connie didn’t hesitate. She was no longer his caseworker and was waiting for Davion to ask her again. She’d talked to her children and they all agreed.
Once she agreed, Davion couldn’t believe it. He kept asking her if she was sure and did she mean it. Then he asked, when?
In December, Connie called an adoption agency, hired a lawyer and rented a new house with four bedrooms and a pool. When she passed a home study, Davion was allowed to move in for good. He brought a garbage bag full of T-shirts, a backpack stuffed with video games and the Bible the group home had given him.
Connie gave him the big bedroom and helped him paint the walls and hang anime posters above the dresser.
Just before Christmas, Davion told her, “I guess I always thought of you as my mom. Only now I get to call you that for real, right?”
In February, both Davion and Connie celebrated their birthdays, which just so happen to be the same day. Connie took Davion to get his permit and he took her to get a pedicure. Later that night, Connie and Davion signed the court papers.
On April 22, the adoption will be official.
Since he’s been living with Connie, things haven’t exactly been peaches and cream. The house is a lot louder with Davion around and Going says Davion tests her patience. All of the children squabble with each other, furniture gets overturned. Twice a week a family therapist comes to the house and meets with the family as a group and then all of the members individually.
But Connie is taking all of it in stride.
“I’m okay with messy and difficult. You just have to have your armor on all the time, but it’s more than worth it. And every day things get a little bit better.”
Going describes Davion as astoundingly compassionate. She says he’s always concerned about the other members of the house, even the dogs, and goes around asking if everyone is okay.
This semester, instead of enrolling in yet another high school, Davion is taking classes online and has earned a 3.1 GPA. In the fall, he hopes to get a job, start boxing and go back to traditional school.
Going says things can become a bit overwhelming for Davion at times and he just has to scream for what seems like no reason. Other times, he’ll lock himself in his room, draw the blinds and play video games.
Usually, after everyone has gone to bed, he unlocks the door and lets Going in. Most of the time she doesn’t say anything. She just sits on top of Davion’s covers and listens to him talk, talk and talk.
You can watch both Connie and Davion tell a bit of their story in the video below.
Photo credit: Brian Kelly
mater mea is an online magazine that profiles the lives of working moms of colors through gorgeous photography and compelling features. Candace Matthews, the chief marketing officer at Amway, found out after getting married at 40 that she would not be able to have children. Matthews and her husband chose to adopt three great children of their own. Here she shares how she feels about her kids.
Your daughters were deemed “failure to thrive” when you first adopted them. How does it feel to go from holding them with that diagnosis in mind, to them now being accomplished young women in the 9th grade?
It’s amazing to have watched their progress. It really shows that nurture and nature both play a role, especially when you adopt children. You have to understand where nurturing can take you, and also, what is part of the nature part that you’ll either have to compensate for or help them through. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart, but it is such a joy when you see something happen and you get to say, “Oh my gosh, they’re blossoming.”
Take Simone, for instance. Simone is phenomenal piano player. Both girls play the piano, and Sydney also plays the violin. Simone and I have this running joke because I play as well – “When you play better than me is when we’re in trouble.” Simone is now at the point where she plays better than me. Last November at her sonatina festival she played a six-page piece entirely from memory. So when you see something like that happen, you realize how far they’ve come and the accomplishments they’ve achieved. Even though in Simone’s mind, she doesn’t see it, she doesn’t get it. Yet I can see it. And that brings Bruce and I tremendous satisfaction and pride.
What kind of people do you hope your kids grow up to be?
They don’t have to be me. What I want is for them to grow up to be secure in who they are, and doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives. I want them to get passionate about something. That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed with their lack of early childhood development, and with children who are in foster homes early on – there’s a bit of a detachment. The girls don’t have that as much, but what I do notice is that they need to develop a passion. Whatever it is they choose to do, we will support them, but I want to see their passion for something ignited. That’s what I really wish for them.
Read Candace’s full story on mater mea.
These stars who kids up for adoption have various reasons mainly centered around them being too young to take care of the child. The good news is that most of them reunited with their children many years later.
15 Stars Who Gave Kids Up For Adoption
Becoming a parent no matter what the circumstances are can be a beautiful thing. Becoming a parent doesn’t have to always be done in the traditional sense. Once a foster child comes to live with you a new amazing journey and relationship can begin. And because almost more than half of foster kids end up reuniting with their birth family your role as a foster parent is to create a safe, comfortable and loving environment in the interim. When the child doesn’t end up reuniting with their birth family, adoption is something you may want to consider. Check out some of these tips to see what you need to know to become a foster parent.
THE CASE WORKER
Whether you have one or five kids placed in your home they will all have a case worker assigned to them. There may also be court ordered visits from their biological parents or siblings if they happened to be placed somewhere else. It’s essential to have a good relationship with the case worker to figure out the best time and day for these visits because it’s a tricky time now that the child needs to get adjusted. They might be scared and feel alone during this time.
PROVIDING FOR THE CHILD
You must provide the basics for your foster child, which can include proper well-balanced meals, physical activity, emotional needs, medical and dental needs. Foster kids are eligible for medicaid so make sure that you get that paperwork started right away. The state also provides reimbursement for basic needs like food, clothing and school supplies. It all depends, but on a case-by-case basis your foster child may also need therapy to help them from a past traumatic experience that they came from. You need to research child therapists in your area and even look online and talk to other parents about who they recommend. It is you and the child’s caseworker that are now responsible to make sure all of the child’s needs are met.
STAYING STRESS FREE
As a foster parent, especially one who has more than one child staying calm and stress free will prevent you from becoming burnt out. Children in foster care can be left with a babysitter who is at least 18 years old. However, your state may have specific rules and limitations about this.
Here is a list of some of the household requirements needed to become a foster parent:
Facility is clean, sanitary, and free of hazards including window blind cord hazards.
Adequate handrails and ramps provided.
Operating emergency lighting available.
Age appropriate furnishings and activities for children under care.
Bathroom, kitchen floors are washable.
Electrical outlets are tamper-proof if needed.
Premises are free from pests.
Address is clearly visible and location is accessible.
Supervision plan is in place if hazardous conditions exist.
Pools and hot tubs are secured and inaccessible to children.
Pools are adequately fenced to discourage climbing.
A supervision plan is in place when the home has a pool or bodies of water.
Pets and animals are safe and free from disease.
Alcoholic beverages are inaccessible
Actress Rosario Dawson is a new mom! It’s been revealed that she adopted a 12-year-old girl in October. How awesome!
“She’s always been family oriented and knew that she wanted to raise a child,” an insider tells Us. “She wants to have a relationship with her daughter like she has with her mother.”
Dawson, 35, who was adopted by her own father, has been vocal about wanting to adopt in the past. In 2008, she told Latina magazine, “I always wanted to adopt kids cause my dad adopted me.” “That idea has stayed in the back of my head, but lately, I’ve been thinking about it more.”
“My mother and grandmother are extraordinary women, and they’re getting older,” she explained. “It struck me recently that one day I might be sitting around with my children, going ‘Your grandma was an amazing woman; I really wish you could’ve known her.’ That makes me sad cause it would be a waste to not have these people know each other. Whatever time I have, I want it.”
The Trance star, who split from director Danny Boyle last year, said that not knowing her biological dad hasn’t bothered her. “My [adopted] dad started dating my mom when she was eight months pregnant with me,” she told the magazine. “He was beautiful. I wanted to be him. I love my father, he is amazing to me. I was daddy’s little girl growing up.”
Dawson will appear on the big screen next in Chris Rock’s Top Five, opening in theaters on Dec. 12.
Page Six was first to report the story.
Not being born into a loving or financially stable family is a reality no child should have to experience, but thankfuly there are families out there willing to take a child in and show them unconditional love. Adoptive parents have taken the in many a child and given them a foundation that will carry them through life. These celebrities were raised by adoptive parents that gave them love, encouragement and a place to call home.
Kristin Chenoweth was adopted soon after she was born in July 1968 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She shared with Rosie O’Donnell her fear of finding her birth mother, “I was afraid that someone might come forward and that it either wouldn’t be true because it was a closed adoption, or it would be a door that I wanted to shut and couldn’t.” Being a Tony Award winning actress and singer, she does however want to know where she got her distinctive voice.
V. Stiviano is…a character. I can’t lie after watching snippets of her interview with Barbara Walters, where she denied being his mistress, but claimed he called her his “silly rabbit,” I find her odd… to say the least. But apparently, someone at the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services thinks she’s a suitable foster mother.
The agency agreed that Stiviano could serve as the temporary guardian for two boys, 12 and 14. A social worker signed off on the guardianship after visiting the $1.8 million home Clippers owner, Donald Sterling bought for her last year. The social worker’s visit, ironically came hours before the Barbara Walters interview, where she also denied that Sterling was a racist.
Stiviano’s lawyer, Mac Nehoray said the approval happened “in the middle of all the craziness.” He also noted that the reports that the boys are African American is false. One boy is of “Cambodian Mexican descent and one is of Mexican and Native American descent.”
I won’t say too much on this because when people, with good intentions, take children into their home it can be a beautiful thing, I just sincerely hope that she treats these boys well, that they find a good home with her and she allows them to live a normal life, not plagued by her newfound fame.
What do you think about V. Stiviano the foster mother?
From The Grio
A 19-year-old Iowa woman is meeting her birth mother for the first time thanks to a photo she posted online.
Hannah Stouffer of Urbandale posted a photo asking for information on her birth mother earlier this week.
Three days and 53,000 re-tweets later, she got a hold of her mother. It turns out her mother still lives in Des Moines. They’ve been texting back and forth for days.
Stouffer says she needed some time to prepare for meeting her mother in person.
“’I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’m nervous. I`m scared. Every time I think about it I just want to cry. I just can`t believe it`s happening already. I’ve waited so long and it`s finally happening,” Stouffer says.
Growing up all Stouffer knew about her birth mother was that she gave birth to Stouffer when she was 15-years-old. “I was just so angry that she would give me up.”
It wasn’t until Stouffer became a teenage mother herself that she had a better understanding of what her mother went through. “As soon as I got pregnant I knew how hard it was. I knew that decision wasn’t easy and I knew she did it with love.”
Stouffer kept her daughter and shares her story with other teen moms. Stouffer plans on meeting up with her mother Saturday afternoon at a coffee shop.
Read more about this reunion at TheGrio.com
I personally think that one of the most selfless things that someone can do is adopt another child. It’s part maternal/paternal instinct and another part philanthropy. No child can help the circumstances that created them, but they are here. Many times parents know that they cannot care for the child in the manner that they deserve and make a decision that they feel is best for the child and give them to someone who can do so.
Celebrities have been adopting children for some time. Check out the celebrities who adopted, opening their hearts (and wallets) to become parents to children that were not biologically their own.