Foster Care Adoption

 

Everyone knows that the ‘system’ is broken. Almost everyone can agree that children deserve to grow up in a loving, nurturing, and safe environment. There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted. I have written articles on how to get more of these children adopted. I have donated, promoted, and supported organizations that help children find their forever homes.

It wasn’t until I tried to do it myself, adopt a waiting child, that I truly saw and experienced what is standing in the way of these children being adopted.

My husband and I were asked to adopt a child from foster care who was legally free for adoption. We completed everything necessary to adopt her. We received consent and an order from the court formally placing her with us for adoption. Then, everything began to change. The same court that signed our order placing child after consent was trying to move our little girl back to a home she was removed from for substantiated accusations of abuse and neglect. There was no notice to us and we found out about the attempt through a social worker.

 

In 2014, my husband and I began our family building journey through adoption. We were chosen by an expectant couple and welcomed our son through a direct placement adoption in 2015. We had always wanted our children to grow up with siblings in the home. So, soon after our son’s adoption was finalized, we began to pursue our second adoption. This time, we wanted to adopt a waiting child: a child that was legally free for adoption.

In May of 2017, we became a licensed foster family. In June, we received a call about a nearly three year old little girl who was legally free for adoption and in need of a pre-adoptive placement.

We were thrilled to get the call and were eager to meet her along with the woman who had been raising her since she was 5 months old.

Welcoming our new addition was challenging, rewarding, and more amazing than we could have dreamed. Watching our son and (pre-adoptive) daughter become brother and sister and our family grow and bond together is why love makes a family. We are four individuals who share no biological connection, but who are undeniably meant to be together as a family.

In the months to come, my husband and I, with the help of our daughters adoption worker requested consent from Michigan Children’s Institute. MCI is the agency that is the guardian of all of the legally adoptable children in our state. We received consent and then filed our adoption petition with the circuit court which was signed into order in November of 2017. Our girl was out of foster care for the first time since she was 5 months old! She had already experienced so much loss for a child of her age. First, she was removed from her birth parents and then a relative placement where she had been for over 2 years before an ‘incident’ where she was found in the street.  We found out later that she had 3 mommy figures and 4 daddy figures, multiple caregivers, and spent time in 4 separate commercial daycare centers. Being a part of our family also made it the first time in her life where her address was consistent for an entire year.

We began receiving documents with her adoptive name and we were all looking forward to adoption day!

Then, things began to change. We had known that her former foster parent/relative placement had lost her foster care license due to the ‘incident’ and had not wanted our now pre-adoptive daughter to be moved from their care. However, four agencies had agreed that our soon to be daughter had to be moved to keep her safe and to ultimately be adopted.

In April of 2018, with no notice to us, the court that had signed the order formally placing our daughter with us for adoption, had held a hearing to move her back to the former relative foster placement, pending the Michigan Children’s Institutes appeal and other hearings relating to her former placement. We were not given any formal notice of this or allowed to participate.

From that point forward, we obtained our own attorney and have been to court nearly a dozen times since May 2018 and counting. We’ve been battling to ensure that the court order formally placing her with us for adoption is upheld, along with a best interest hearing to determine where she will live pending the MCI appeal that has been filed.

We have produced 5 years of bank statements, 5 years of tax returns and paid over $51,000 in legal expenses. My husband and I have been personally testifying for hours about our lives, how we parent, and how our daughter reacts to being around her biological relatives.

We have all heard about the ‘system’ being broken. The child welfare system is more than broken. There needs to be real change in the laws that build families through adoption and determine the fate of our children’s lives. Currently, my family is living within the gaps in the legislature. We’re trying to survive and above all else, stay together. After our case, we plan to join other families built through adoption or who hope to be and fixes the legal issues that are terrorizing us now.

 

Please donate to our cause and help to change the legislate for all of the other families hoping to adopt waiting children.

http://gofundme.com/schults

Appropriate Adoption Language and Kung Fu Panda

I have never seen Kung Fu Panda. I have no experience with closed adoption. I do know what it feels like when people or T.V. uses inappropriate adoption language. This is an excerpt  from the article posted to Adoption.com. Please read the entire thing. It is really eye opening. We typically talk about adoption language in the context of strangers in the grocery story or well meaning friends and family. This hits on the importance for all members of the adoption triad to learn and practice appropriate adoption language.

So, while watching Kung Fu Panda III recently, a couple of moments in the movie really hit me hard. When the two pandas realize they are father and son, there’s a tender moment between them. Almost immediately Po’s biological father runs to Mr. Ping (Po’s dad) and grabs him in a tight bear hug (no pun intended!) and says, “Thank you for taking care of him for me.” Sounds sweet, right? Yeah. The sentiment really is sweet. But for a parent to hear that (at least for this parent writing this article) it feels like an immediate demotion from parent to babysitter. I know that when those words were said to me there was only the purest intent. But the words still stung. I didn’t “take care” of my son. I parented him. That means I gave him my heart, my time, my resources, my love, my whole self. I would have given my life for him if that was required. No – I didn’t “take care of him” for someone else. I did it for him.

Here is another ‘Real’ tear jerker.

Pollyseon STOW + GO ESSENTIALS Review

Pollyseon
Words fall short in describing how much I love the STOW + GO ESSENTIALS from POLLYSEON!

After two weekend trips, I can confidently say Polly and Judy ingeniously ‘hit a homerun’ by perfecting travel organization in several markets. Every tiny detail of the cases has been meticulously thought out! Timeless style, strong durability, and engineered functionality combine to deliver the ULTIMATE SET OF TRAVEL BAGS.

As a fashion stylist, I really appreciate the fashionable characteristics of the STOW + GO ESSENTIALS. The black color on high-quality fabrics combined with sturdy shapes accented with white stitching and silver hardware creates an ageless look for years to come. Another thing I like about this style is that it’s gender neutral. In the hotel lobby, I was impressed how handsome my husband looked with the carry-all over his shoulder!

The bags’ engineered construction, high-quality fabrics, and hardware are also worthy of respect. Padded interior, reinforced straps, and even heat-resistant iron case lining are just a few details that make these bags extremely durable. I also noticed that the compartments, zippers, and straps felt sturdy and dependable. My favorite durability feature though is the smooth interior lining, making it very easy to wipe down in case of liquid spillage.

Functionality is where STOW + GO ESSENTIALS outshine any other travel storage alternative. I’m blown away at how much you can fit in those compact bags! Not only that, all the compartments and side pockets make it possible to easily and quickly keep everything organized. With all our high-pace unpacking and packing, we now have more time and less stress!

For hair stylists and make-up artists, the STOW + GO ESSENTIALS will revolutionize your business! Efficiently manage your tools and impress clients with the professional look. For business and personal travelers, you can organize personal belongings, samples, photos, binders, business cards, and much more. The possibilities are endless!

Thank you POLLYSEON.. STOW + GO ESSENTIALS has made our traveling so much easier!

Pollyseon Style. Stow. Go. Beauty and Travel Cases

Pollyseon

The Smart Way to Stay Organized
and Travel in Style

The “Style Stow and Go” philosophy behind the Pollyseon carry-all travel and storage cases are designed to meet and exceed the expectations of professionals and the novice alike. Pollyseon designs beauty and fashion tool-specific organization gear that is heat and spill resistant. These cases are essential in making work and travel easier and more efficient!

Polly J. Shrewsbury and Judy Seonkyung Im founded Pollyseon, LLC in 2008 to establish an innovative and patent-pending line of travel bags for styling tools that offer durable and fashionable packing solutions for beauty industry professionals, business travelers, and for personal organization.

Here is a video demonstrating the Stow + Go Essentials Carry-All.

I am going to be traveling with the Pollyseon carry-all travel bags over the Labor Day weekend. Check back for my thoughts about the Pollyseon Stow + Go Essentials in the upcoming weeks!