Check the adoptive families' magazine. There was a great article in jan /feb 2007
IN THE BEGINNING.
Do you know them?
What are their names?
Why don't you know their names?
What do I call my birthmother? Birthfather?
Can you describe them physically? Like were they tall? Short?
What are their ethnic backgrounds?
How did they make me?
How old were they when they had me?
Were they married?
Do you have photos?
Do you have any pictures of their house or can you describe it for me?
Did they work?
What language did they speak?
Where are they today?
Do you have their address?
Can I draw a picture of what I think they looked like then? Now?
Can I draw what I think their house looked like, or the hospital where
I was born?
Can I write them a letter? Visit?
Do I have grandparents?
Did you meet them?
Do you know their names?
Do you know anything about them?
Did they visit me?
Can I meet them?
Do I have brothers and sisters?
Do you know their names, where they are?
Do you know if they live with my birthparents? Why not me if they do?
What language do they speak?
Were they adopted like me? By who? Are they still my brother(s),
Do I have other aunts, uncles and cousins? Can I meet them?
THEN I GREW..
What happened during the 9 months I was growing inside my birthmother?
Did I learn about what she sounded like?
Did I smell the things she smelled? Did I enjoy the foods she ate?
Did I hear the beat of her heart and feel the rhythm of her walk?
Could I tell when she slept and when she worked?
When she worried could I feel this too?
During the first three months what did I look like?
During the second three months what did I do?
Finally, during the last three months what happened?
AND I WAS BORN.
What was my birth name?
How do you spell it? How do you pronounce it?
Why did you change my name?
What is my birthdate? Do you know for sure or did someone guess?
How do they guess anyway?
Who named me at birth?
Does it have a meaning like a family name or a flower?
What day of the week was I born on?
What was the weather like that day?
What was the first language I heard?
Do you have my birth certificate?
Was I big or little (reference appropriate standards)?
Do you think I had any hair?
What color were my eyes?
Was I healthy? Why not?
Was I born in a hospital? At home? Why don't you know?
Was I breast-fed?
THEN THERE WAS LIVING.WITH WHOM? WHERE?
Did I live with my birthparents for any time?
What was it like?
Do you have any documents that tell a story?
What did I call my foster mother? Foster father? Foster Grandparents?
Did I have more than one foster family? Why?
What are their names?
Can you tell me about them?
Do you have photos?
Do you have any photos of their house?
What language did they speak?
Where are they today? Do you have their address? Can I talk to my
Do I have foster brothers and sisters?
What are their names?
Where are they? Are they adopted too?
Can I see them?
Did I have a special caretaker? What was her name?
Where do they live now? Can I talk to her?
Was she important to me? How?
OTHER KIDS WHO WERE LIKE SIBLINGS TO ME
What do I call them? Brothers, Sisters?
What are there names?
Where do they live now? Can I talk to them?
Were they adopted too?
Can we find them? Visit them?
WHAT WAS THE WORLD AROUND ME LIKE, BEFORE I MET YOU?
What did the world around me look like?
Did I live in a family house? An apartment? An orphanage?
Where was it located? A city, town or village?
Do you have pictures you can show me?
What was it like?
Did I have toys?
How did it smell and feel to you?
Were the people taking care of me happy?
Were they nice?
Were people smiling?
Were babies crying?
How many children lived there and how old were they?
What can you tell me about my country of origin?
Are there interesting things about it? Does it have a long history?
What kinds of cultural things would I find interesting?
How do they educate the kids?
What kinds of religions do they practice? Is this different than ours?
Are there special foods? Special anything?
What are some social customs I might find interesting?
Tell me about political issues.
Tell me about cultural issues.
WHY WAS I AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION?
Why couldn't I live with my birthparents?
Why did they make me?
What does "parental rights terminated" mean?
What is "abandonment"?
Did my birthparents just walk out of the hospital without me?
How can a mother or father just leave a baby?
Wouldn't someone bad take the baby if they were just left?
What is an adoption plan?
How do the police just take a kid from their home?
Did my birthparents die?
Do parents leave babies if they are too much work?
Who took care of me when they left me?
What was my life like when they left me?
Were there financial issues? Tell me about it.
Why didn't family members, like grandparents, help my birthparents
Why didn't they take care of me?
What is alcoholism? Drug abuse?
What is poverty?
What is neglect?
What is abuse?
How can parents go to jail?
How can someone live on a street?
Once I know my story I might ask "How can someone leave a kid alone,
sometimes for days, and without food?"
Why Did YOU Adopt ME?
Created by Doris Landry, MS, and Mary Ellyn Lambert, FRUA-MI
(from "Adoption-Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections",
All of these questions can be addressed in the lifebook. Some answers lie within your children's personal information. Some questions can only be answered by writing a general statements or left as open- ended questions.
by Xia Zhang - Aug. 17, 2008 12:00 AM
Special for The Republic
While the Olympians and Olympic enthusiasts try to focus their attention on the Games, I cannot help but think about the culture shock they must be encountering in Beijing.
I say this from my own experience of being raised in one culture and living in another.
Unlike the culture shock people usually experience, mine is twofold. The first kind is what I went through when I first came to the United States; the second is what I experienced and continue to experience every time I go back to Beijing, my birthplace.
Let me give you a few examples of the first kind of culture shock.
The one I remember most was how I felt after a conversation with my husband, in which he mentioned that I hardly ever say, "Thank you."
I was just dumbfounded: "What does he mean by asking me to thank him? We are family!"
Well, in Chinese culture, if you say thank you to a family member, you are actually distancing yourself. Needless to say, I now say thank you almost profusely.
Another culture shock I encountered is how much people talk about politics here. I did not understand at the time why they did that. It seemed to me there was nothing they could do about it anyway.
Chinese culture traditionally discourages discussing politics. As a matter of fact, it was customary for teahouses in the old days to display a sign reading: "No politics."
Nowadays, people just gather together in Starbucks, which seems to be on every corner of Beijing streets.
The last culture shock I am going to mention is how differently body language is interpreted. Shortly after I came to the United States, I went to visit a girlfriend who had come to the States a year before. We were walking on the streets of New York, sightseeing, when I noticed that she was not willing to hold my hand.
Later on she explained to me that women don't hold women's hands and men don't hold men's hands in the United States.
Growing up, I was always holding hands with my girlfriends and there was no age limit to it. Well, I got rid of that habit more quickly than I thought I could.
As if the first kind of culture shock is not enough, now I have that of another kind. After living here for 20 years and getting used to the way of living here, I get culture shock when I go back to Beijing.
Here, we are so used to purchasing on credit. I buy everything on credit, including groceries. In China, it's just the opposite.
My mom had some furniture delivered to her house. She paid the delivery person 3,000 yuan in cash. We went to the store to buy her a refrigerator. We had to take 2,000 yuan with us. People even buy apartments in cash! There is such a thing as a credit card, but that is only for the elitists.
The way people drive in Beijing is a surprise to me. One time a taxi driver took a shortcut to get to my destination. He told me that it was a market and that he was not supposed to drive there. But, it would be fast because there would be no other traffic.
There we were zigzagging, avoiding the man on the left with a live chicken in a cage on the backseat of his bicycle, swerving around a pile of tomatoes spread out on the street and honking at a mom with a toddler in her arms, seemingly oblivious to the car behind her.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a truck came straight at us. Obviously, another driver had the same idea about the shortcut.
The truck got closer and closer. Neither driver had the inclination of slowing down or swerving. I held onto the handle tightly, closed my eyes and started praying. I did not know I was religious until then. When I opened my eyes and looked back, I saw the truck, the man on the bicycle, the mother and her toddler all sound and safe.
What shocked me most was how easily available alcohol is. You can buy liquor everywhere, even on the side of the streets from small vendors.
You can hold your gallon of wine you bought from a street vendor, singing while swinging the bottle as you walk home.
You can even take what's left in your beer bottle home after a meal.
One time I stayed in Beijing for a month. I have to say that I got a little too used to the ways of Beijing. Shortly after coming back, a girlfriend and I went out. I was drinking from a bottle in her car, when she asked me what I was drinking. I told her nonchalantly, "Vodka tonic."
In summary, my culture shock is really twofold. Sometimes I feel that I am neither fish nor fowl. The upside is that I have best of both worlds.
All said, I have the following suggestions for our Olympians and our Olympian enthusiasts in Beijing: Be thrifty with your "thank-yous." Avoid politics. Hold your friend's hand, if you dare. Take a lot of cash with you while out shopping (unless you want to shop at stores geared toward tourists). Don't follow the traffic rules as religiously as you do in the States (if you want to get somewhere quickly). Drink some readily available Chinese wine and beer. And most of all, embrace the differences of both cultures.
The "Brief Safe" is an innovative diversion safe that can secure your cash, documents, and other small valuables from inquisitive eyes and thieving hands, both at home and when you're traveling. Items can be hidden right under their noses with these specially-designed briefs which contain a fly-accessed 4" x 10" secret compartment with Velcro closure and "special markings" on the lower rear portion. Leave the "Brief Safe" in plain view in your laundry basket or washing machine at home, or in your suitcase in a hotel room - even the most hardened burgler or most curious snoop will "skid" to a screeching halt as soon as they see them. (Wouldn't you?) Made in USA. One size. Color: white (and brown). You can buy them here.
To add realistic smell, check out "Doo Drops".
I was checking out one of my favorite blogs, Baby Cheapskate today and I found a great topic...Most Worthless Baby Item? Go there to read the whole article and comments.
Here is the cliff notes of the Most Worthless Baby Items:
Doorway Jumper (although my friends little one LOVED hers)
Shopping Cart Cover
Baby Bath sets with the robes, towels, booties
Traveling Formula Dispensers... premeasure into little zip-loc baggies
Expensive Video Monitors
Stuffed Animals!!! WORST GIFT EVER
Changing Table (use floor, bed, dresser)
Shoes for Babies or Infants
I'm not saying don't get these or you don't need these but these products were deemed the most useless by a whole mess of moms! Food for thought!
Just found this info on the web here...
With the recent news that products that contains BPA may be harmful to our health, stores across Canada and some parts of the USA are taking these plastic bottles, sippys, and other products off the shelf.
In the meantime, you probably have some of bottles and sippy cups that do contain BPA’s. An easy way to spot them is to look at the bottom of the bottle or cup and look for the recycling symbol. If it has a 7 in it, it contains BPA’s. You will want to keep the bottles that have the numbers 2, 4, or 5. **It seems that not all #7 plastics contain BPA’s, however many do, so refer to the list for safe alternatives.
What is BPA? BPA stands for Bisphenol A and is a harmful chemical found in polycarbonate plastic which has been used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, and other such plastics.
Why is BPA Harmful? BPA mimics the human hormone estrogen, and when humans are exposed to even small quantities it has effects that include cancers, behavior disorders, and fertility issues. BPA Free Baby Products from Amazon
BPA Free Bottle Products
compiled from SafeMama.com
* Adiri Natural Nursers
* Avent “Via” disposable bottles
* BornFree - All bottles and cups BPA free
* EvenFlo Glass bottles
* Playtex Opaque Soft Bottle, Playtex Drop in liners
* Gerber: Gerber Clearview, Fashion Tints (also called “Plastic Pastels”), Gerber GentleFlow
* Medela: All bottles
* Sassy MAM bottles (UltiVent), Baby Food Nurser Kit
* Green to Grow Bottles
* Baby Food Nurser Kit
* ThinkBaby Bottles
* Momo Glass Bottles
* Nuby: Standard Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, Standard Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, 3-Stage Wide Neck Easy Grip Feeding System with Non-Drip Nipple.
* Nuture Pure Glass bottles
* Babisil Silbottles
* Weego Glass Bottles
* Siliskin Glass Bottles
* Dr Brown’s Glass Bottles (all vent system pieces BPA Free), Dr. Browns Polypropylene bottles (due in store’s April 15th)
BPA Free Sippy Cups
* Avent Magic Cups
* Playtex: Coolster Tumbler, Insulator, Einstein Training Cup, Sipster, Create My Own, Quick Straw, Insulator Sport, Sip and Discover, First Sipster
* Gerber: Sip & Smile Spill-proof Cup, Easy Grip Insulated Soft Straw Cup, Insulated Cool Cup, Fun Grips Color Change Spill-proof Cup, Grins & Giggles Spill-proof Cup (source)
* BornFree sippy/drinking cups
* Kleen Kanteen
* Thermos Foogo Sippy Cups, and drinking bottle with straw
* SIGG Toddler Water Bottles
* Kid Basix The Safe Sippy
* Boon Sippy
* GrowPure Multi-Stage Feeder and Sippy Cup
* iPlay Aqua Bottle
* ThinkBaby Training Cup
* Sassy Snack Time Infa-Trainer Cup
* Munchkin: Cupsicle, Cupsicle Straw Cup, Big Kid Sippy Cup, Mighty Grip Flip Straw Cup, Mighty Grip Trainer Cup, licensed character Sports Bottles, Re-usable Straw Cups, Re-usable Spill-proof Cups
* Nuby: No-Spill Sports Sipper, Insulated Soft Silicone Spout Cup, Soft Spout Easy Grip Cup, Gripper Cup with Soft Silicone Spout, 2-Handle Cup, Tinted Mega Sipper
* The First Years: Take & Toss, Spill-proof Cup, Insulated Cup, Licensed character sippy cups, Insulated Spill-proof Cup, 2 Handled Cups
BPA Free Milk and Food Storage
* Avent Via 8-oz. Nurser Kit
* Avent Snack Cup / Formula Dispenser
* Mother’s Milkmate Storage bottles
* Medela Milk Storage bottles and breastpump accessories
* Playtex Breastmilk storage kit
* Lansinoh® Breastmilk Storage Bags
* Lansinoh® Breastmilk Storage Bottles
* Gerber Breastmilk Storage Bags
* So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit
* Baby Cubes
* Laptop Lunch System
See the Z Report on BPA for more information.
My personal opinion on the matter of BPA’s is even though there is a lot of media “hype”, even if there is just the slightest risk from the presence in baby and other plastic products it is worth it to me to make the switch. There are many plastics that do not contain any traces of BPA’s it is an inexpensive change.
"1) EMLA or ELAMAX- this is numbing cream that can be used before shots, IV's. Ask for this or head to your doctor and ask for some before you head to the hospital. Its good and it works but sometimes taking the tape that covers it off hurts.
2) If your IV comes out, ask if it really needs to be restarted. Most antibiotics can be switched to oral forms and if your child is handling drinking okay, there's no need to stick him or her again. At the same time, you may need an IV for pain meds. Advocate for your child.
3) If your child needs morphine, ask if they can also give tylenol. Tylenol plus morphine has a much longer lasting effect "
by Parents Magazine
THOU SHALT NOT
●Forget to ask: “Are there guns? Unsupervised Internet? Adults you don’t know in the house?”
●Stay to long. (An hour is plenty for the littlest ones.)
●Leave without helping to clean up.
●Bring a sick child.
●Schedule playdates at naptime.
●Supervise the kids any less rigorously than you would your own
●Leave out toys that everbody can’t play with. (Put away things that are difficult to share.)
●Let things be one-sided – always doing just the inviting or the accepting.
●Bring a sibling or a friend to tag along.
●Neglect to have your children say, “Thanks for having me/”
●Feed snacks without asking about food allergies and parental preferences.
●Drop off a child who isn’t 100% potty-trained.
Found these divider suggestions at organizedhome.com
To start your Household Notebook, begin with the basics: planning and time management. Claim your time with a Planning Divider!
What belongs here? Calendars, schedules and to-do lists direct the course of family life. In-depth planning tools, like mission statements or goal planning worksheets, do the hard work of translating goals to reality. Use a three-hole punch to add work schedules, school calendars and events lists for church and civic activities.
Calling all phone numbers! The Phone Directory is the most useful, most-consulted section of any Household Notebook. The Phone Directory is a single place to put class rosters, take-out phone numbers, club directories, emergency phone numbers and phone messages. No more scraps of paper, missing numbers or scribbled phone books!
Family and School Divider
Family is where the heart is--and deserves its own divider. This section tracks information needs of family members and family life:
personal information page for each family member
clothing sizes tracker
master occasions list (birthdays, anniversaries)
gift suggestion list
birthday party ideas
recommended Web sites
list of DVD/videos to rent
list of books to read
Families with school-aged children will want to add a school divider to hold:
school schedules and holiday list
school information page
school reading lists
summer programs information.
Home Management Divider
Bring it all back home! The Home Management divider holds information central to house and home. Cleaning, entertaining, decorating and household storage information find a home here.
Consider these ideas for the Home Management divider:
household cleaning schedule
seasonal chore checklists
children's chore checklists
home decorating ideas
car maintenance schedule
stain removal guide
home storage inventory
yard sale checklist
Meals and Menus Divider
In the kitchen, the Household Notebook helps plan meals, create menus, and track inventory in pantry and freezer. Use this section to hold grocery shopping lists and price book forms for maximum savings at the super market.
Money and Finance Divider
Tracking dollars and cents makes sense, so add a Money and Finance divider to your Household Notebook. Keep track of household finances with budget pages, inventory sheets and household informaiton.
Here are some examples of the kinds of information that can be included behind this divider::
bills to pay
credit card list
online service/online account information
safety deposit box inventory
Health and Fitness
Organize family health care with a Health and Fitness divider. Have a medical emergency? Grab the Household Notebook on the way to the Emergency Room. Visit to the pediatrician? Use this section to record illnesses, medication and medical history.
Types of information to file in the Health and Fitness section include:
blood pressure record
first aid kit checklist
medical information sheet for each family member
medical authorization form
prescription drug record
pet health records
Travel and Activities
Time for fun! The Travel and Activities divider covers the extra-curricular activities that make life worthwhile. Hobby, church, club, sports, volunteer, vacation and travel ideas are included here.
Your Household Notebook may have several dividers for this purpose. Are you part of a musical chorale? Give it a divider. Do the children play serious soccer? Divide it up!
What belongs in these sections? Any and every piece of paper pertaining to that activity. Prayer chain lists. Sports information sheets. Lists for travel and camping.
These sections will vary from family to family, but here are some ideas:
travel packing checklist
vacation idea list
house-sitter information sheet
PTA newsletters and rosters
church prayer circle list
Scouting or PTA materials
Wow, was that a great site with awesome information. Please go check them out at http://organizedhome.com/
CHECK RULES ( http://www.tsa.gov/ ) to see what is and isn't permitted in checked luggage and carry-on bags.
PLAN AHEAD. Start thinking about what you want pack.
WRITE a master list of everything you think you'll need for a trip.
MIX-AND-MATCH separates in neutral colors, such as black, navy and beige are most versitile.
WRINKLE FREE fabrics, such as microfiber, nylon or a cotton/polyester blend are great.
ROLLING - try rolling as many of your clothes as possible. Saves room and help with the wrinkle factor.
JEWELRY – only take what you are wearing, less worry.
TOILETRIES - keep to a minimum and use travel size.
ZIPLOC Pack items in leakproof resealable bags or clear toiletry bags
CARRY ON ITEMS cameras, iPods, jewelry, prescription medication and important documents (passports, tickets) should always be carried on.
PACK a couple of days prior to departure. Never pack the night before.
BULKY ITEMS – try to wear these on the plane so they don’t take up too much room in the suitcase.
ZIPPERS - if there are two zippers on one track. When closing a bag, pull the zippers all the way around the bag to the bottom; so they don’t snag on other items.
UNIQUELY IDENTIFY you luggage with neon-colored duct tape or colorful tag to make them stand out on the luggage carousel.
IDENTIFICATION - Be sure your name, address and telephone number are on the bag, both on a luggage tag and on a card tucked inside the luggage. Include contact information at your destination as well.
LOCKS - If you want to lock your bag, use a TSA-approved lock. TSA locks can be opened by security inspectors by using special tools provided by the lock makers. If you don't use an approved one, screeners may deliberately break your lock to search your bag. Of course, they may do this anyway with TSA-approved locks, but at least you'll decrease the odds.