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  • 1 Post By astonvilla

Do any adoptive parents use this forum?

  1. #1
    astonvilla is offline Registered User
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    Do any adoptive parents use this forum?

    Hi all.

    My wife and I are in the process of adopting a child here in HK. Whilst my wife has bags and bags of experience with babies, I have next to none.

    I've attended a few things (like paediatric first aid and Annerley's "Daddy 101") but that's about all I've found.

    Most courses (understandably) focus on childbirth and the specific issues it brings up which won't apply to us. It's a bit disheartening - for example I'd love to attend some courses to show me how to do nappies etc but they seem to be bundled together with a lot of things which won't apply to us.

    Do any adoptive parents (or any parents, really) have any advice on courses and preparing ourselves?

    It sounds stupid and it's probably just me but when attending these courses we feel pity or confusion permeating from expectant parents on the course. We'd prefer (I'd prefer) something private, or at least, are there many male courses?

    One thing that is also pretty depressing is that I've been told to get practical experience of babysitting. It'll help the application apparently. The only problem is that we don't know anyone with kids. Would it be really weird to put out an advertisement offering free babysitting from an inexperienced lawyer being supervised by his wife? My wife thinks so. Actually, now that I've written it down, I think it does sound pretty weird too. It's sad because all our friends back home are now having babies who would desperately love to throw their babies at us for a few hours.
    recurring likes this.

  2. #2
    Sweetblueberry is offline Registered User
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    Hi Aston, welcome to the forums and HK! first of all kudos to you and your wife for sharing your love and kindness to those in need :)

    I don't have specific courses in mind - maybe someone else can chime in. However, I could suggest that you may be able to find more resources reaching out to some organizations such as Mother's Choice to see if they can give you some leads on educational resources. They are a great group. I spent some time volunteering with them and took care of babies waiting for adoption until I found out I was expecting and was no longer able to attend due to policy/safety reasons.

    Please note that if you are thinking of adopting, they won't let you volunteer.... doing so will eliminate your candidacy for adopting a child.

    Hope this helps and best of luck with everything!

    PS - i think you're going to turn out into a fine dad :)

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I second Sweetblueberry's suggestion about possible volunteering with Mother's Choice - however that said, there is a RIDICULOUS wait to volunteer there. I signed up around 8 months ago or so and still have not had opportunity to volunteer there. I know that Po Leung Kok also has similar programs and is less in "demand" because it is out in Tai Po! But that said, if you are really wanting to have some hands on with with little ones, it might be an option for you.

    I do feel for you - I have a child (and another on the way) who has dwarfism and get that mixture of pity and "I don't know how you do it" - also I feel like many things are irrelevant to my unique situation. Where's the groups for kids who are in NICU for 4 months? There are prematurity groups but we're not even in that category...

    I do know a family who has fostered and adopted in Hong Kong - they did so after having biological children - but if you want, I can see if I can put you in touch. Just send me a PM.

  4. #4
    Sweetblueberry is offline Registered User
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    @nicolejoy... i waited over 2 years... having said that it is a great experience and i would do it again in a heartbeat. Their minimum requirement of a 6 month commitment keeps turnover low. I hope you are able to experience volunteering soon (or soon after you are ready with the little one on the way).... best wishes for both fronts :)

    Aston: also just to clarify... i'm not sure that volunteering at mother's choice would be an option for your situation as it would inhibit your qualifications for adopting... at least adopting with Mother's Choice... I'm not sure if it would impact chances adopting with other organizations... you can double check with them... i seem to recall from orientation that this was a HK wide policy.

    they do provide training to expectant parent(s)/families (mostly for unplanned pregnancies)... my suggestion was to reach out and see if they can offer any leads/resources.

  5. #5
    madkap is offline Registered User
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    Hi :) Nicole sent me over here -i'm not on these forums often-at all! my husband and I have 3 adult bio kids and then we have 3 younger adopted children-aged 11, 8 and 17mths-we actually just finalised our daughters adoption a couple of weeks ago! Congratulations on stepping out and looking into adoption :)
    When we first had kids-my husband had no experience at all-but he certainly got it over the years-and i'm sure that you will pick up all that you need to know with hands on experience when you adopt a child, but I can understand that it would be really good to get some experience before hand, and also would be good for your application :) I have no suggestions for classes or how to find friends with kids-but I can give you some suggestions:)
    I don't know if you have already done this but i would suggest getting a hold of some good books on adoption and also on attachment parenting. parenting children who are adopted will be different to parenting children born to you-they have all experienced grief and abandonment-even if they don't consciously realise it-and they need to know that they can trust you, and that they will have their needs met always-and so leaving them to cry themselves to sleep or some of the other advice sometimes given for parents is not good to follow. there are some good books out there-and showing that you have read them is a positive for your application!

    If you can make/find some friends with kids-just spend time around them-maybe hang around at their place and watch how life happens there-tag along with diaper/nappy changes, bottles etc to see what its like.

    I would definitely recommend contacting Mothers Choice-they are a wonderful organisation-they may have some suggestions for you. they may even run some sort of class-particularly if they get enough interest. They may also be able to give you details about Po Leung Kok and volunteering there, or other organisations. Volunteering there will not exclude you from adopting-only if you are a current volunteer and you actually do your adoption application through them is it an issue.

    Does your wife work? Another option-albiet one that would require some commitment-would be if your wife isn't working to consider applying to do foster care while you wait? We have done foster care-mostly for children with special needs for over 13 yrs-both here and in Australia. There is a big need for children to be cared for in a family environment while waiting for adoption. Usually here it is special needs children waiting for overseas adoption, but there is also the possibility of caring for newborns waiting for local adoption too(well at least there was a couple of years ago). You would definitely get lots of experience-but it is a big commitment-and of course saying goodbye when they join their adoptive families is hard. Or even being a relief foster family to give regular families a break sometimes(say looking after a child for a weekend, or a day or so) is another need.

    I guess depending on how open you are to children of different ages/any special needs/ ethnicity etc will also affect your length of time waiting for a match, so you could have a bit of time to gain experience too. Our 3 adopted kids were all considered special needs-my 11 yr old had a host of issues that all resolved over time and he is a bright, funny boy. My 8 yr old daughter has hydrocephalus and has a shunt-and although she had lots of difficulties and delays as a baby/toddler, she is also doing well at school-and apart from some mild gross motor delays is doing fantastic. our new baby has down syndrome-we specifically asked for a child with ds. she is the biggest delight and a funny, lovely little girl. yes she will likely always have some delays-but that doesn't define her at all-we work harder to get to milestones-but they are just celebrated that much more-and everyone who meets her adores her-she charms everyone :) She is much more alike than different :)

    Anyway-good luck with the journey-and feel free to message me if you would like to talk further or if you have more questions!

    oh and there is a Hong Kong adoption group on facebook-it is mostly families from the US adopting children with special needs internationally, but there are also some local families. there is also the Adoptive Families of Hong Kong group (if you just google them you'll find their info) which have get togethers/meetings etc, and also specific get togethers for waiting families.

    Sorry for the very long winded reply-but hope something in there is useful!
    Kathy

  6. #6
    astonvilla is offline Registered User
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    Hey thanks all for replying.

    We know we can't volunteer with the organisation we're applying through (which, in our case, is Po Leung Kuk). It's disheartening that it'll take eight months to be able to volunteer with Mother's Choice. Trying to not look at it selfishly, it is great for Mother's Choice that there is a surplus of volunteers though.

    I've been devouring books on attachment which, for me, was an eye opener. Also, the high likelihood is that we'll be adopting a child not of our race, so we're reading up on the intricacies involved with that. Luckily, we have a few friends who have older children whose families are mixed race relationships so we've been getting their advice too.

    Unfortunately my wife works, otherwise the suggestion of fostering would have been great. :-(

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

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