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Preparing the Paperwork - International Adoption

Excerpted from The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child By Dawn Davenport International adoption is not for the fainthearted, and a strong constitution is needed more at the paperwork stage than at any other stage so far. Your agency is the expert on exactly what is needed, and they will guide you. Although it looks daunting, trust me, the process is more tedious than difficult, and you simply have to plod your way through.

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The Changing Face of Adoption

Excerpted from Parenting the Hurt Child : Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow By Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., Regina M. Kupecky, LSW PLEASE NOTE: In order to prevent confusion, we have chosen to use the masculine gender when referring to generic situations throughout this book. The face of adoption continues to change. Gone are the days when the policies of social-service agencies forbade foster parents to get close to their foster children, and

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Neotraditional Stepfamily

Excerpted from Stepfamilies By James H. Bray, Ph.D., John Kelly Dozens of studies, including our own, have shown that the principal challenge of stepfamily life is building an emotionally satisfying marriage. What makes this the paramount challenge for couples like the Goldsmiths is the changing nature of marriage-or, perhaps more accurately, the change in the reasons that people marry. Unlike men and women in earlier generations-who married fo

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Adoption - What Your Child Needs

Excerpted from Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew By Sherrie Eldridge Keep in mind that my knowledge and research is based mainly on adult adoptees who were damaged by the closed-adoption system. Nonetheless, I believe that their experiences teach us that the majority of adopted children need validation of their wound and loss. A parent might whisper to her adopted infant, "You must miss your birth mommy. We are sad too that you had to lose her.

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Are You Taking Petey?

Excerpted from The Things I Want Most : The Extraordinary Story of a Boy's Journey to a Family of His Own By Richard Miniter We met Mike at the children's home. I had envisioned an Army Reserve Center without the jeeps parked in front. Instead I saw a converted nineteenth-century Hudson Valley mansion, a sprawling multistory Tudor with slate roofs and stained-glass mullioned windows set down in carefully landscaped grounds. And for some reason,

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The Wicked Ex-Wife

Excerpted from Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out or Wicked By Cherie Burns A husbands ex-wife is the woman most stepmothers love to hate. They relish the chance to have a go at her, and in some cases, she deserves it. Saying so is bound to get some backs up, but it's only fair that stepmothers finally have their say. To hear stepmothers tell it, "She's (neurotic, batty, wacko, a real psychotic, absolutely nuts).

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Tailoring Your Expectations of Your Spouse and Family

Excerpted from Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended Family By Susan Wisdom, LPC, Jennifer Green Did you ever expect to form a stepfamily? If you're like most people, in your youth you imagined an enduring first union. If you've never married, you probably imagine a typical first marriage, with only each other to care for. This is the picture our society paints and perpetuates. When you do stepcouple, then, h

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Divided Loyalties - Remarried with Children

Excerpted from Remarried with Children: Ten Secrets for Successfully Blending and Extending Your Family By Barbara LeBey When children feel pressed to take sides, they may boycott a remarried mother or father, refusing to visit or to accept gifts from that parent. In extreme cases, adolescent and young adult children may refuse to even talk to the remarried parent or refuse to invite that parent who "betrayed" them to weddings, graduations, and so on.

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Shadows of Adoption

Excerpted from Born in Our Hearts: Stories of Adoption By Filis Casey As far back as I can remember, I have known that I was adopted. For all of my fifty-three years, "being adopted" has seemed normal to me. Some people are right-handed, some people are left-handed, and some people are adopted. My cousin, who was my surrogate brother, also was adopted. Being adopted was no big deal to me. I had no reservations about telling anyone I was an adopt

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