Three Years Ago Today…

February 7th, 2008

Three years ago today a judge sitting in his chambers finally put his signature on a stack of papers that had been sitting in his inbox for more than a week. Of course for the better part of that time, the judge had been on vacation, so I suppose in hindsight I could cut him some slack for taking his sweet time in finalizing our adoption! Roughly three times a day, for roughly two weeks my voice was a fixture over the phone lines at our local courthouse, desperately wanting to know if he (the judge) had put his signature at the bottom of our paperwork, making our adoption official, all of the woman who worked at the office had come to know my voice, and after a few days… [more]

Adoption Anniversary Words/Terms

January 30th, 2008

Okay, so my last post got me thinking about the specific terms in adoption that are used to signify different steps in the adoption process; such as 'gotcha day' which is the term used in most international, and some foster care adoptions to describe the day that the parents get to meet their child. I, for one, am not a large fan of the term 'gotcha day' and don't feel that it really fits our situation since my adopted stepson had been living with me prior to his adoption. 'Adoption day' is another term that I am not too fond of. It just feels cold to me. "Happy Adoption Day" just doesn't have that ring to it that makes it feel as special… [more]

Adoption Anniversaries

January 30th, 2008

Our adoption anniversary is quickly approaching, and I am getting more excited by the day. Even though our plates here are packed full with extra life stresses, I am still thinking about the adoption day, and how we are going to make it special. Hubby and I have some things planned during the day while the kids are at school, as he is taking this very special day off from work, but we have yet to decide what we are going to do as a family once the children return from school. We tend to celebrate the day as a family birthday, it was the day that our family was born, so we tend to think of it as the family's birthday and usually have… [more]

Should I Serve The Petition Personally?

January 28th, 2008

Many states allow for you to serve the non-custodial parent with the petition for termination of parental rights and the petition for adoption yourself, instead of paying for the service to be done for you. It can cost several hundred dollars to have someone served with court documents, so many families often find themselves wondering if they should pay, or just do it themselves. The first thing to consider is safety. If you have any reason whatsoever to believe that the non-custodial parent could become enraged, violent, or otherwise dangerous in any way shape or form, then it is best to advise the professionals of the potential danger, and then let them handle it. They are used to dealing with this situation on a daily basis and are… [more]

Is It Always Abandonment?

January 24th, 2008

I was recently contacted by a noncustodial parent who needed help in their situation, they wanted to know how to go about willingly terminating their parental rights to a child of theirs. This particular situation is not one that most people would think about when they think about a parent giving up their parental rights in a stepparent adoption. Most stepparent adoptions are possible because a parent willingly decided that parenting was not for them, and abandoned their child with the custodial parent, however this situation is a tad different, and goes like this; Once upon a time there was a man and a woman who loved each other very much, and were planning to get married. They lived together and acted daily as a married couple… [more]

Fostering the Biological Relationship

January 22nd, 2008
Categories: Bonding

Since this is the stepparent adoption blog, I do tend to focus on the relationship between the adoptive stepparent and the adopted stepchild, but it is also important to remember to focus on the relationship and bonding between the adopted stepchild, and his or her remaining biological parent. Since the adopted stepchild has already suffered the feelings of loss and abandonment when it comes to one of his or her biological parents, the need and desire for them to mesh well with their remaining parent will be strong one. Fears of being abandoned, or rejected by their remaining parent can cause an adoptive stepchild to intensely need the support and approval of their remaining biological parent. This is not, of course to say, that the child will… [more]

Procrastination Doesn’t Pay

January 18th, 2008
Categories: School Issues

The sun finally came back out today, after hiding behind quite a few clouds and several inches of snow, both of which knocked out my internet connection! Along with knocking out the internet, the storm also closed the schools down for the past two days, so the kids were able to stay home and play in the snow and have friends over, time much better spent than sitting at school according to them both. While the extra time off was throughly enjoyed, there is a slight problem that has not quite yet dawned on my adopted stepson. This past Friday, was the end of the quarter in school, and since there was no school, there was no way for him to turn in the missing work that… [more]

Open Up, I Won’t Bite

January 16th, 2008
Categories: Trust

My adopted stepson is still struggling with getting all of his worked done, and turned in on time, and with the end of the quarter quickly approaching there isn't much time left to get any work turned in that the teachers will still accept. He is getting up there in his teen years, and we are at a point in his little life where we are planning for his future, and poor grades are simply not going to look good on any college application! He would like to go to college, and even possibly the military, yet seems to be reluctant to do the steps that it takes to achieve either one of those goals. We know that he has the smarts to do whatever it is… [more]

Deadbeats Scream Unfair in Ohio

January 15th, 2008
Categories: In The News

Just weeks after the state decided to call off, and altogether ditch the decade old deadbeat roundup, where parents who are behind in their child support are arrested in front of camera men, for all of Ohio to see, deadbeat parents are making noise about unfair treatment. That's right, the people who just got off the hook of public embarrassment, are still unhappy with how they are being treated in the legal system. You see, in Ohio there are several different punishments for nonpayment of child support. You can be jailed, which is not by any means a favorite of the offenders, you can have your income-tax returns seized, your license suspended, have a lien filed against you, or even be the star… [more]

Food Stealing, Hoarding and Pre-Packaged Snacks

January 11th, 2008

In the past few weeks, there have been quite a few posts on here about food hoarding, sneaking food, and the frustration that parents face, when dealing with such behaviors. For some children there is a legitimate fear of running out of food, so they stash some just in case, while for other children, sneaking treats is nothing more than a control battle. This is something that we have dealt with in our own home for quite some time. When my adopted stepson was very young, there was often very little food. While he always had something to eat, there were quite a few times in his young life, when what was available for consumption was not necessarily desirable, nor filling… [more]