April 21, 2017
apologize, but I have to be necessarily brief ... I leave you to imagine the details! In my book, The Rabbit Culture the story remains outstanding with my son who has many problems of integration. Because of the trauma of abandonment, and of his behavior, psychologists have recognized him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia borderline; apparently looks like a normal person, but it is as if he traveled on a razor's edge. But the story continues ... .. About five years ago, he decided to go to Romania to find his birth mother. Beeing convinced me, after this experience, that the best type of adoption is that of the "Open Adoption", I accompanied him and we went together to Timishoara. You can imagine the atmosphere ... .that of a journey full of unknowns and unforeseens! In Timishoara we rented a car , to go to Bretea Streuloi where was his orphanage. During the trip he was pretty quiet and happy to see, after twenty years, the places familiar to him. We found with difficulty the orphanage, [img][/img] but to our surprise, there were no more children, had been converted into accommodation for the disabled and disinherited people. There were a dozen of adult boys, and a lady who ran the complex with a boy; My son watched him ... and they recognized each other ! As kids, they were together in that orphanage ... obviously ... hugs and kisses, and while they told their stories, I took the opportunity to ask questions about how we could find his mother. Unfortunately, the lady told me, that being dead the director who ran the orphanage, the only option was to ask the municipal police of the town of Petrosani, where he was born. We departed together for Petrosani, and we stayed in a hotel in the center of the city along with his friend; the next day, he would accompany us to the district of the municipal police to ask questions. The next morning, we went to the District; there were many people waiting, and my son and his friend, came in to ask questions. I remained out; despite the situation, I was optimistic. But ... when came out, my son came to me, and in a weak voice said to me: my mother is dead ... and has been crying non-stop for thirty seconds. I embraced him trying to comfort him, and he, taking note of the stark reality, stopped crying and has expressed the desire to go to the cemetery to bring her a bunch of flowers ... if ever we would be able to find her grave. The cemetery was large enough [img][/img] We have searched for over an hour, but we did not find the grave of his mother. More than a third of the graves were unnamed, and in the end, we left the bouquet of flowers on a grave with no name, however, catered for the symbolic gesture! We departed to Timishoara, in order to take the next morning, the flight to return to Italy. Paradoxically, we were both more confident. Is doubt, uncertainty that create anxiety! When the reality is clear and obvious ... you start over. But in my mind, followed each other thoughts and considerations that I had already done, that suddenly appeared to me, in all their clarity: No condition of indigence or poverty justifies the abandonment of a child. As far as my own experience is concerned I am sure that a child would rather die of starvation or get to know that his parents are in prison, but they did not abandoned him. [img][/img] If genocide is a crime against humanity, the abandonment of a child is much more, it calls into question the first ethical principle for our survival: a mother who abandons a child. Animals do not do that, or do so only if the little ones are naturally self-sufficient by birth. It is an everlasting torture and I am sure that my son is wondering – in his own confusion – why he did not get what many people were granted. While I was driving, at some point, seeing me absorbed in my thoughts, he asked me: "Are you worried? Anyway ... dear father, I think you're a saint! "I looked at almost smiling; and he, knowing that I do not love the Pope and the Saints ... said: "Correction ... a secular saint." I have never received a better compliment in my life! In the evening, in Timishoara, we went to a pub and we nearly got drunk, to face the night with a well deserved rest. But ....! Six months later, my son decided, against my advice, to return to Romania. He was not convinced of the version that the police had provided for the death of his mother. He 's back in the orphanage, and the lady who owns the structure, not knowing what to do, called the local police. The police, naively, seeing his original birth certificate [img][/img] accompanied him to his mother who was alive and well, but in conditions of poverty. I can only imagine their meeting ... .aniway, surely, his behavior has improved, and tries to help his birth mother by any means. So if by chance, you buy my book or make a donation, you can be assured that every penny will be used for their survival when I am gone…! Fre ebook :

April 19, 2017
My brother-in-law recently sent out an email to the whole family (there are 11 siblings in all) in which he let everyone know not to expect him and his wife to be having any more children (they have two) due to pregnancy complications, etc. He wrote, "Unless something drastic changes, we are done for now. Sorry to disappoint all you would-be aunts and uncles." Then he added, "Maybe someday if we get the funds, we might look at adoption." That last line pushed several buttons in my heart, and I couldn't stop myself from firing off the following reply: "Since the cost of adoption came up, I couldn't resist putting in a plug here for foster adoption. Of the 450,000 kids​ currently in foster care in the US, approximately 100,000 are hoping to be adopted (meaning their biological parents' rights have been completely terminated by the courts). Foster adoption costs VERY LITTLE to NOTHING. . . and these are kids (of all ages) who want nothing more than to feel loved and safe. They have experienced abuse and neglect and the loss of their biological parents and are now growing up without the love and stability of a family. Can you even imagine what that would be like? "Here's a beautiful 3-minute video ( that can give you a sense of what foster adoption is about. "I feel like people are quick to brush off the possibility of foster adoption quickly, without really giving it thought, saying essentially, "It would be too hard." But here's the truth: These kids' lives are too hard. And they didn't have the luxury of choosing to say yes to the hard. It was just there. "I've never heard a foster adoptive parent say that it was easy (have you heard ANY parent say it was easy?), but I often hear them say it's worth it. I recently reached out to my friend about her foster adoption experiences (she and her husband have 7 children, 3 biological and 4 adopted from foster care). Part of her response included these powerful words: "While it is a bumpy and somewhat difficult road it is worth it. You will learn more about Jesus and yourself than you ever thought possible. You will get to witness miracles in your home. You will get to see that tough things really can bring glory to God in ways you couldn't imagine." "So I would encourage all of you - good, solid, loving parents - to consider foster adoption as a possibility for your families." ____ A few additional thoughts that I didn't share with the in-laws: It really bugs me that people assume that adoption "is expensive" before they've done any research. And, after I finished my rant, I realized that another point that needs to be made here is that any form of adoption isn't a choice you make because you happen to have $30,000 handy - "Hey, honey! We've got an extra 30 grand! Maybe we should look into adoption!" - It's a choice you make because you want another child and feel that adoption is the way you want to grow your family. Financing is something you can figure out after you've made the decision to go for it.

April 18, 2017
Born March 12th 1966 in Halifax, NS - Real Name: Gary Ostli (Norwegian) Mother apparently was a student at Mount St. Vincent University. was fostered in NB. Looking for any information on my adoption and or possible relatives.

April 12, 2017
I am looking for my half brother who was born 11-1-1966 at OSF Peoria, IL and was name Gary Lee. He was adopted shortly around the same time. I have information about his BF and of course BM which is my mother. I am very interested in finding him and seeing if wanting to learn about his birthfamily

April 12, 2017
Two years and two months ago, my life changed forever. I went from an angsty 17-year-old girl to an adult with big responsibilities in about five seconds. I had big decisions to make that would change the lives of many. This day was the beginning of a journey that led me through deep, intense pain and grief- as well as through periods of tremendous growth and happiness. I am a birth mom and this is my story. January 2015 was full of promise. I had just graduated high school a semester early and moved out of my parents home to a small town about 500 miles away. I was living all by myself, in my very own apartment, making money and preparing for college the next semester. I had never felt so free and independent. Independence meant responsibility, but I hadn't learned that yet. I felt invincible, immune to consequences because my parents weren't around to enforce them. I was also scared and lonely out on my own for the very first time. So I fell into the arms of the boy next door. We had grown up in the same neighborhood, but I hadn't seen him in years. We reconnected over boxes in my basement apartment. Ryan* was too old for me. But it didn't matter, he made things feel safe and familiar. I thought he would always be around to take care of me. Within a few short weeks, he told me he cared for me, that he wanted to marry me and buy me a house so I could plant daffodils in our front yard. Everything was perfect. Then in February 2015, something felt different. I insisted that Ryan bring me a pregnancy test, even though I wasn't late yet. He held my hand in the bathroom as we waited. I was right- two bright pink lines. We were so excited. We had each other, and a new baby, and Ryan would be there to provide. We started working on a budget and looking at apartments together. We even went to a bridal faire to plan for what we jokingly called our "shotgun wedding". I was going to have my own little family, something I had wanted since I was a little girl. I was living my dream.- it lasted four days. *names have been changed to protect identity[img][/img]

April 10, 2017
[img][/img] This infographic was produced by private fostering agency called Lorimer Fostering. [url=]Lorimer Fostering[/url] [url][/url] Lorimer Fostering

April 7, 2017
[img][/img] "They saved my life. And when you adopt a teenager, 90% of the time you will be saving their life." - Katie Goudge, adopted at 15. After spending 20 years of his 21 years of life "in the system," Noel Anaya shared his story on NPR's Youth Radio. He began his story with a heartbreaking statement: "Walking into court for my very last time as a foster youth, I feel like I'm getting a divorce from a system that I've been in a relationship with almost my entire life. It's bittersweet because I'm losing guaranteed stipends for food and housing, as well as access to my social workers and my lawyer. But on the other hand, I'm relieved to finally get away from a system that ultimately failed me on it's biggest promise: That one day it would find me a family who would love me." Ouch. Noel continued with his story, saying, "I use 'gray hands' to describe the foster care system, because it never felt warm or human. It's institutional. Opposite the sort of unconditional love I imagine that parents try to show their kids. In an idea world, being a foster kid is supposed to be temporary. When it's stable and appropriate, the preference is to reunite kids with their parents or family members. Adoption is the next best option. I used to dream of it. Having a mom and dad, siblings to play with . . . a dog. But when I hit 12, I realized that I was getting old. That adoption probably would never happen for me." Noel's articulate description of what his childhood was like, and particularly the loss of his dream of being adopted, provides a poignant insight into the lives of thousands of teens across the country (and in orphanages worldwide) who are growing up without a family. And it underscores a painful truth: Teens available for adoption only have a 5% chance of actually being placed with a forever family. That means of 100 kids hoping to be a part of a family, only 5 will currently see that dream come to pass . . . and 95 will "age out" and embark on adult life alone, untethered by the love and stability of a family. I've watched a lot of Wednesday's Child features introducing teens who are hoping to be adopted. Sometimes while I'm watching them, the reality of children living without families hits me hard. It hits especially when they say things like this: -"Why do I want a family? Family is basically everything." "I want to just say to people if you don't have a kid, here is a kid for you who is respectful and who is honest." "I've never really had a family. I just know it from the movies." In 2013 a 14-year-old boy named Davion Only stood up in church and begged for someone to adopt him. He told the congregation, "My name is Davion and I've been in foster care since I was born. I know God hasn't given up on me, so I'm not giving up either. I'll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be." These are the voices of children. Children pleading for love. Children who have been through tremendous challenges. Children who have experienced unthinkable tragedy. Children who just want someone who loves them - no matter what. Someone they can rely on - through thick and thin. They shouldn't have to beg for this. They shouldn't have to do video features. They shouldn't have to perform at adoption camps, or stand up at church and ask for a family. Have they outgrown chubby cheeks? Yes. Will adopting a teen be rough? Undoubtedly. But these kids didn't ask to be born to parents who would ultimately not be able to care for them. They didn't ask to be neglected or abused. They didn't ask to be shuffled from home to home. They weren't ready for these heavy experiences. But they happened to them anyway. And now we are given the opportunity to open our homes and help them overcome. To encourage them. To provide them with love and stability, hope and encouragement, limits and consistency, patience and compassion. Each of these kids is of infinite worth, and even though they're no longer tiny and chubby cheeked, they still need love. They still need to be held. They still need to be taught and encouraged. I get that it's scary. It's a big unknown. You worry how adopting will affect your other kids. You wonder if you've got what it takes to parent a kid who has been through so much. These are my own worries. I haven't adopted a teen, and I'm not sure if I'm courageous enough to take the plunge. But it's something I'm seriously considering - because these are whole human beings we're talking about. They shouldn't be brushed off with a quick, "I can't do that," or "Too much baggage." Teen adoption is worth thinking about. REALLY thinking about.

March 5, 2017
[img][/img] A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work for a local radio station as a movie critic/part time radio personality. Every week, I would attend a particular movie, discuss it on air with my co-worker, and write up a small op-ed piece to publish on the station's web page. (You can see an example of it, just for fun, here: That fun little part time gig is now in the past, and it's been quite awhile since I've written a movie review, although that isn't really the purpose of this post. Recently, I had the opportunity to see the film "Lion", about a young boy named Saroo, who becomes lost and separated from his family in India, and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. In the past, movies about adoption were crossed off my list immediately, because I found them too upsetting....especially if there was a "happy reunion" at the end, reminding me of my own inability to find my missing pieces. But due to the developments of the past year, I finally felt emotionally prepared to see this film that was garnering a lot of critical acclaim. Truth be told, I'm not sure anyone could actually be prepared for the feelings this movie stirs up, and as an adoptee, I found myself staring at the screen in wonder, shocked that someone had been able to so accurately portray the emotions I have felt for most of my adult life. To clarify, my life has certainly not been anything close to what this child endured. The differences in our stories are profound: He had a close loving relationship with his mother and siblings for the first few years of his life, and then was, in effect, ripped from them as a small child. He was homeless, hungry and scared. He was subjected to people who had no sense of humanity, and it was only through his eventual adoption that he was able to feel safe again. Being adopted at birth, I obviously had no previous memory of my birth family, no "strings of attachment", and I certainly never experienced any of the horrific things that Saroo did---at the age of 5, when he was sleeping on a piece of cardboard in the streets, I was living in the warm, safe and loving home of my adoptive family. But the similarities in our stories are also numerous, and that is what prompted me to write this particular post. As much as the sadness of his earlier life broke my heart, it was watching him in his search for his identity that spoke to my soul. Certain things would 'trigger' him to think about his family, starting with an Indian dessert that is served at a party he is attending. The feelings are so strong that it almost debilitates him. I thought of the times when I would experience that same moment of helplessness, as someone would point out that my sister looked so much like my mother, and that I didn't seem to resemble either of my parents....and I would get lost in the thoughts of "Yes, I look like someone, but I don't know who they are". When Saroo began his search, there was a feeling of overwhelming impossibility. He really has no idea where to start, no solid leads or names to help him, and ----let's face it----India is not a small place. As he starts plotting the possibilities up on his wall, it took me back to the countless hours I spent entering my name and information into literally hundreds of "adoption reunion" databases. I had no names to work with, and no idea of where exactly they might be, so I had no way to look for anyone in particular.....all I could do was enter my information, and pray that someone was looking for ME. I followed every single lead I could think of over the years, no matter how far fetched it was, because the pull to know was just too great to stop. Saroo portrayed that as well, basically becoming so fixated on finding information that his family and girlfriend were almost completely alienated from his life. At one point, he expresses that he just wants to be able to find his mother and comfort her....let her know that he is alright. He knows that she has grieved his loss and it torments him. When I became a mother for the first time, I started to grasp the possibility that my own birthmother was carrying a burden of missing me as well, and it became so important to me to be able to reassure her that I was fine. Even though I eventually learned that she was not particularly worried about me, it was a blessing to ME to be able to let her know. Eventually Saroo reaches a point where there seems to be no more leads and his girlfriend says "well, what if you NEVER find them? Then what??" This is a common response from many who are NOT adoptees and have a difficult time understanding the pull that many of us feel to get answers. Saroo's parents loved him and he had enjoyed a significantly "better" life with them, than he could have ever experienced in India. Why couldn't he just be grateful for that and let it go? For some adoptees, there seems to be no real "need" to search for their birth families, and they are content with the information they have. For others, it's as if they have a piece of their identity missing, and they feel utterly lost until they find it. I've likened it before to a "Non adoptee" being told they could never know the names of their grandparents or history of their ancestors, simply because a law wouldn't allow it. All of a sudden it makes no sense that this law actually exists for anyone. And what many people fail to understand, is that searching for your roots does NOT mean that you love or appreciate your adoptive family any less. I have personally found in my searching that locating my birth family has just strengthened the love I have for my parents and sister, while enlarging my family circle and allowing me to love even MORE people. One of my favorite quotes from the movie is when Saroo tells his adoptive mother, after he finds his family in India, "Finding her doesn't change who you are to me". And finally, in the scene where he embraces his family again (spoiler alert---he DOES find them), the emotions are so overwhelming that even my big tough guy husband sitting next to me was tearing up. I found this scene so beautiful for many reasons but mostly because of the fact that he no longer speaks the same language as his mother and siblings, but they are still able to express their love for each other. Although I can't specifically relate to embracing my birthmother---she remains somewhat elusive to ALL her children it seems----I HAVE had the amazing opportunity of hugging my half sister and speaking by phone with both half brothers. And although our lives have been significantly different----in effect, we sort of "speak a different language"-- it's been an amazing thing to me that you can be apart from people for decades, and if you are family, there is no distance. If you are a person who can't quite understand the importance of allowing adoptees access to their birth records (even though that was not the exact issue that Saroo faced), this can help you more fully grasp the struggles that many of us face in needing all the information we can get to help us in our search. I don't very often recommend a movie based on adoption merits, but because this film is based on a true story AND truly nails the emotions that many adoptees experience, I can't say enough about it. Thank you Hollywood, for making a film that puts adoption in the spotlight and allows people to see the good that comes from adoptees getting answers.

March 4, 2017
A research study at Temple University is investigating connections between language and memory in individuals who experienced a change from their native to another language. If you were adopted from a Russian-speaking country after the age of 6, you are invited to participate in this research study where you will be asked to describe events. Your participation will contribute to the body of knowledge and help international adoptees worldwide. You do not need to speak Russian in order to participate. Your time will be compensated $20 per session (total of $40 for 2 sessions). Must be between 18-30 years of age in order to participate. On-line interviews are available, so no travel is required. Please fill out this brief questionnaire in order for us to determine your eligibility.

February 28, 2017
Life was warm like blood today. I carried my inner daze like a weight as I quietly tried to fill up my tank with gas without feeling the pressure. Shivering at the pump, her necklace hung from my neck, a symbol of this grand design. I wandered on toward Atlanta with my sister in the passenger seat and without any knowledge what to feel. With my 23 years of anticipation all about me, I parked my imperfection at the house where she would soon arrive. I hadn’t ever imagined my life continuing after meeting my biological mother, this day had always been the one I was waiting for, but by tomorrow I would be breathing in an unimagined day. Inside the house I sat trying to find an answer to the question I had just been asked, “So, how do you want this to go?” The answer, in my head, was “perfectly” but an answer so obvious felt more like no answer at all. “We could sit me at the end of a long table with a cigar and sunglasses. After she enters I could say, ‘I’ve been waiting for you.’” My response was just an attempt to lighten the mood and stall until I had my actual answer. My mother laughed and chipped in, “we could have you sitting in a chair where she only see’s the back of your head, and once she walks in you could spin around in the chair and be holding a cat.” I laughed, mostly not for the joke, even though I found it funny, but for the emotional relief that the laughter itself brought me. We walked from the kitchen to the front door of the house, while my father, sister, aunt and uncle all continued to talk in the kitchen. I stared at the brick steps outside, still damp from the cloudiness and rain. I noticed the Plexiglas door in front of the true, wooden front door, and the entrance to the neighborhood which could be seen from the steps, as the paralysis of having to choose the scenario for our meeting began to set in. It would be strange for me to answer the door with the Plexiglas still between us. It seemed to me that such a moment, spent being so close to each other but separated by the clear barrier, should be avoided. Once I saw her I was going to hug her, without hesitation, and I wanted nothing to complicate that priority. So considering the plexiglass… me answering the door was out. I stared back into the house, lit with the day’s cloudy natural light running through the doorway. Perhaps my parents could answer the door and I could step up to met her after them. The entrance from the front door was greeted by a staircase wrapped in Christmas wreaths. To pass the staircase on the right would enter a hallway. Passing a small Christmas village assembled ceremoniously against the right wall. The hallway pushed to the family room, which also had Christmas decorations, where we could sit and talk just the four of us. Even with such a warm welcome from my aunt’s house and its decor, I felt no inspiration from this second option. Why would I have been anywhere else but right by the door after 23 years waiting for this moment? Wouldn’t it feel like I designated my parents to open the door if this was the option I chose? It wasn’t natural, it wasn’t sincere, and I wanted to see her first. My stare returned through the Plexi to the red-weathered steps before the front door, and I knew how I wanted it to go, “I’m going to wait outside.” Slightly surprised, my mother brought the news back to the kitchen where my father, sister, aunt and uncle could be heard catching up like family do. I walked through the clear barrier to find my seat on the steps, where I would wait at the edge of our encounter. I wore a sky blue, collared long sleeve and my favorite pair of jeans. Her necklace still swung trustingly as I landed on the top level of the entrance steps. Looking straight ahead my eyes passed the winter-tanned lawn and the street, darkened by the rain, toward the entrance of the neighborhood. I wouldn’t recognize her car so why was I looking? A car passed in front of the house and I was startled, thinking that it may be her. Since this was the first time I would see her in person, I didn’t want to see her from her car. I wanted to see her closer. My emotions were a fog as I closed my eyes with a promise not to open them until she was in front of me. These were the last moments of my life having never known her. She had told me a story, in a letter she wrote me at the age of 17, about the importance of my eyes to her after my delivery. She described her desire to see me open my eyes in the delivery room and how I showed no sign of opening them. She had let my adoptive mother, Jeanne, be the first to hold me. She described my adoptive and biological family filling the delivery room to pray, and the whole time Erin just watched my eyes, but they remained closed. She had asked for one hour with me alone before I would be taken back with my adoptive family. She said that then, finally, I opened my eyes. I began to realize that as I sat on those steps, I was dedicating this moment to that moment. Tears began to form in my eyes as I realized the next thing I would see would be her. After 23 years, this moment would be my way of honoring the story she had shared with me at 17, and this time I would have it as a memory. My eyes closed tighter against the suspense of another car passing. The darkness settled in softly like the fog, and I shifted my arms across my knees trying to find the best position. A prayer left me, there in the dark, as a smooth presence entered in all around me. It was a familiar warmth, something I had felt since I can remember. It was an embrace of the love I had felt from her all my life, and it was amplified. Tears increased, and I fell deeper into the cradle of a present peace. Her love was with me now, and the warmth of its atmosphere completely overtook the daze I had carried. The answer to my prayer had come, it kissed me with a warmth and love beyond all understanding, and all my emotional fog was lifted for a sweet safety. It was rich, it was home, it was like silk. I felt such strong emotion and validation in this presence, as if everything around me in the darkness was telling me that I can be proud of how emotional I am. I shifted my arms and cried again. What a gift it was to feel loved for exactly who I was, and to feel such a peace for her arrival. A car passed and my breath was caught in my lungs. Each passing car seemed to take hours as the wheel’s hissed through the puddles of rain water. I began to notice less as I felt myself in new ways. It was as if all the space around me was saying, “you are made well." I wept in awe of a moment beyond my control. It was an experience I couldn’t have made myself, so full of anticipation and belonging. I spent 23 years running into the most beautiful darkness I have ever known. Her love denied me my worry, still filling every empty part of me with peace and joy until I was overflowing. As the curtain of my worry vanished, it revealed that this love was not her doing, but instead being done through her. With my eyes closed, my gaze shifted, and I felt as if the earth was about to quake as I shook my head in awe within my hands. She was the window into the love I had always known, and I gave thanks on those steps realizing this presence, the peace I was swimming in, was not dependent on her, but reaching me through her. A cold wind came from my right, but failed to gain the moment. I was raptured into a safer space. The smell of rainwater on the cement didn’t carry its normal potency as I rested my head on my crossed arms. My tears no longer ran down my face, but fell from my eyelashes, as I sat for uncounted minutes on those wonderful brick stairs. The moment was an eternity and my eyes were faithfully closed, still waiting to open once she and I were alone. I no longer felt uneasiness for her arrival because I was safe in the love I was afraid I’d lose in meeting her. I was suspended 10 feet high; embraced in identity and purpose. My gaze was on love and it ran over me like honey. Suddenly, there was the soft click of shoes on the sidewalk in front of me, and I opened my eyes to discover that these hadn’t been my last moments having never known her, these moments were the proof I had known her all my life.