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Adoption Issues/Adopting out of birth order

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Question
My husband and I are in the process of an Ethiopian adoption. We have recently received a referral for a sibling group of 4 (a 10 y/o boy, a 9 y/o girl, and 6 y/o boy and girl twins). We have 5 y/o boy and girl twins, a 7 y/o boy, and an 8 y/o girl we adopted from Haiti 4 yrs earlier, as well as our 9, 12, and 15 y/o biological daughters (I know, big family right?). Anyways, I was wondering how we could make the transition home a bit easier (since the new children can't speak much English, they're school-aged, and we're adopting out of birth order for the first time). Also, should we wait for a few months before sending the kids to school? We're bringing them home in November, and I know that newly adopted children need time to bond with their new parents after arriving home. I was thinking about homeschooling, then sending them off to school in about 2 or 3 months.

Answer
Maria,
Congratulations on the adoption of a sibling group.  It is very exciting.  You do have a big family, and I relate as a mother of ten.  As an adoption professional and a mom, I have researched your questions for years and I have found the suggested reading below and website link and therapist Dr. Arthur Becker Weidman incredibly wise.  Their experience with older child adoption, particularly international adoption, is extensive.  If you are not familiar with them or their literature, I highly recommend delving into it.  Dr. Becker Weidman particularly addresses the question of transition and school.  I used to not be the biggest advocate of home schooling and have changed my mind after witnessing the struggles older adoptees had acclimating to a healthy home life while at the same time adjusting to school.  I recommend keeping the children with you as much as possible and slowly introducing school outside the home.  
However, I would also like to share that you should follow your intuition. You already are experienced parents.  Best wishes to you and your beautiful family.
~ Michele Fried, Adoption STAR, Inc.


http://www.center4familydevelop.com/

Attachment Parenting: Developing Connections and Healing Children
by Arthur Becker-Weidman and Deborah Shell


Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow Paperback – June 15, 2009
by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky  

Adoption Issues

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Adoption STAR

Expertise

Questions related to domestic and international adoption.

Experience

22 years in the adoption field. Michele Fried is the founder and chair of Adoption STAR. Her foremost responsibilities are the implementation of strategic plans and agency growth/expansion, financial management, board partnerships and supervision of the staff. Michele has her hands full with these responsibilities as well as initiating marketing and public relation campaigns and executing and implementing policies developed by the Board of Directors.

Organizations
CAFFA, JCICS, NACAC

Education/Credentials
Before starting Adoption STAR. Michele worked as an educator in Pennsylvania and then after she and her husband adopted their first child, she entered the field of adoption. In 1989 she founded an adoption agency licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Michele’s own family began to grow and they chose to return home to Western New York. Michele began working locally as an Inclusion Coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities. As the years went by, Michele was inspired by the great need for a passionate, advocacy based, non-profit child-welfare agency in this area and so Adoption STAR was born in March of 2000! Michele is very proud of the work Adoption STAR has done and continues to do, and states she is touched by the incredible birth mothers that work with the agency.

Awards and Honors
The community-at-large has also noticed Michele and her agency. In 2003 Michele received a Business First 40 Under Forty Award and in 2004 WKBW-TV honored Michele by selecting her to be one of the community’s Everyday Heroes. The YWCA also honored Michele in 2005 by selecting her as one of twenty-six women making a difference in Western New York. In 2009 Michele was the recipient of a Business First Women of Influence Entrepreneur Award. On May 1, 2010 during the Dazzling Decade ~ A Night of Star’s 10th Birthday Gala, Michele’s own agency presented her with the First Michele Fried Founder’s Award. In the future, this award will be given annually to an individual whose contributions, expertise, and dedication to adoption mirror Michele’s.

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