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Support Groups for Adoption

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Looking for Guatemalan Adoption Group

Feb 2012

We have recently relocated to Berkeley and looking for a Guatemalan adoption group or any group of parents with adopted children. We previously lived in NYC where a group met often and the leaders were well-versed in all issues and most countries. It was also a great place to connect with other parents and meet children who were born in the same country. Our lovely five year old girl happens to be from Guatemala and we brought her home two months before she turned one. thank you! Mom of Guatemalan child. Mom of Guatemalan child


you're in luck! there are 2 main groups here in the bay area, the larger bay area guatadopt group, which is most active on the peninsula but has members from as far off as sacramento, and my own homebase, the east bay guatadopt group. it's a very active group that's been meeting for 7 years. we have an annual potluck and regular playdates, although that's been a little harder to do now that everyone's kids are in school. there's also a book club that just got going this year. the list is very active and we talk about whatever impacts our kids. i can tell you that there is a big cohort of 5 year-old girls in the group. they've been growing up together, like having cousins.

East Bay Birth Mother Support Group?

Feb 2011

Does anyone know of a birth mother support group in the East Bay? I've tried to attend the Pacer meetings in Orinda, but they meet so irregularly. I just started a Meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/East-Bay-Birthmother-Meetup-Group/) so if anyone happens to know of a birth mom who would want to connect please pass along the information.

I've really struggled to manage my pain around the adoption. It was supposed to be an open adoption, but after the papers were finalized I didn't hear from the family for over six years. I was promised monthly visits and regular pictures. Within the past two years the relationship has changed (the family divorced) and I can send my daughter monthly letters, but I still haven't seen her since her 1st birthday (almost 10 years ago).

I know that I would be able to manage my pain better if I could process it with other birth mothers. I have tried therapy and EMDR, but both have helped very little. I am married now and have a beautiful seven month-old son. Sometimes my pain is triggered when I look at my son and I have to attempt to ignore it.

If anyone has suggestions on a support group in the East Bay or is willing to pass along my information to another birth mother I would really appreciate it. At this point I feel as though I am processing this alone. This might sound bad, but I feel like no one really understands my pain. Thanks!


I am an adoptive mom with very open adoptions and my heart is breaking to hear what is happening to you. I have two suggestions for you to seek support and guidance ...

The first is to contact Ellen Roseman of Cooperative Adoption (ellen@coopadopt.com) ... she is an advocate for birth parents and may be able to assist you in mediating the issues at hand regarding the switch in terms of your adoptive placement ... as an Adoption Facilitator in Northern California she has educated both adoptive and birth families on open adoption ... we worked with Ellen on both of our daughter's adoptions and wouldn't be where we are today without her guidance. Her number is 415-453- 0902.

My second suggestion is to contact the organization On Your Feet which is an organization just for birth parents offering support, mentoring and scholarships their website is www.onyourfeetca.org Lastly our younger daughter's birth mother lives in the East Bay and if you want to contact me I can connect you.

I applaud your reaching out for help as you do not need to be alone ... I hope you contact the people I've suggested they will be supportive of you and your situation and please don't hesitate to contact us as well. Regards, Lisa


Your continued expressions of love for and interest in your child are invaluable to her and she will probably want to meet you on her own some time in the future, so don't give up hope. You might try contacting PACT, an Adoption Alliance, in Oakland. They have a strong emphasis on supporting birth parents and probably could give you some recommendations. Adoption Connection Jewish Family Services also has resources to share. They cover all of the Bay Area, but SF is not too far to travel for something so important. Andrea - Mom by adoption

Support group for adopted 11-year-old daughter

Feb 2011

I am looking for a support group or camp for my 11 year old daughter whom was adopted as an infant through a domestic adoption. I am looking in Berkeley or El Cerrito area. I heard about Virginia Keeler Ross' group but it is a difficult time of day for our family and it is very expensive. Does anyone know of other groups? I think a group would be better than individual because she keeps on talking about being different than everyone due to her adoption. If there are no other groups could anyone comment on Virginia's group? Was it helpful for your child? By the way she is the same race as my husband and I are (Pact would not be appropriate). Thanks A


I am the founder and director of FUSION: A Summer Camp for Mixed Heritage and Transracially Adopted Youth. It is focused on the Mixed Heritage and TRA experiences, but it is open to youth of all heritages and we have had several non-mixed heritage and non-TRA campers attend and have an enriching and memorable summer! The focus is really on self-identification and self-expression, so it is truly a camp for all children and I am sure your daughter will be able to bond with other adoptee campers and staff because of their shared experiences. Please go to our website, www.fusionprogram.org, and email or call me with any questions you may have. Whether or not our program is a good fit for your daughter, I wish you luck! As a mixed heritage TRA myself, I know how important it is to find a community, which is why I started the camp! info@fusionprogram.org
Mary Ellen Hill has a weeklong summer camp for adoptees of varying ages (and also Saturday workshops during the school year). My 9-year-old daughter has done both, and loves them. (Mary Ellen also offers other interesting camps, unrelated to adoption). These will be held in Oakland. My daughter will probably sign up again for the summer camp.

My older daughter (now 13) did the Keeler-Wolf + Soble girl groups for a year, and would have continued if not for soccer conflict. If you would like to talk more about either or both these groups--which are quite different--send e-mail and we can follow up by phone or e-mail.

Mary Ellen Hill's website: www.mehstories.com Monday-Friday, 9a-3p, $350 Ages 6-12, six children maximum enrollment

Session 8August 8-12 + Adoptees Connecting Camp (ACC) This session is for children who want to share and explore their adoption in a supportive and playful way with other adopted children. Each camper will have many opportunities to celebrate their particular life journey as an adopted person through various art forms: writing, drawing, painting, collage, reading, drama and puppets. Mary Ellen was adopted as an infant and has been exploring adoption in various ways for many years. lori


Adoptive Parents Support Group for challenging kids

April 2006

I am looking for a SUPPORT GROUP for parents of adopted children with challenging behavioral problems. Specifically, my child is a preschooler (five years old) with reactive attachment issues and sensory integration disorders.

Any existing support groups out there in the general East Bay area (Oakland, Berkeley & beyond)? Maybe a psychotherapist or counselor-led group? Hoping for low or no fees.

Also, know of any effective OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS who specialize in sensory integration therapy for children? Parent desperately seeking support!

Recommended:

  • A Better Way Foster and Adoption Agency
  • Virginia Keeler-Wolf (2 replies)
  • Rita Montez Occupational Therapist

    Resolve

    June 1999
    If you haven't heard about the group RESOLVE, they put on excellent periodic conferences on adoption and also have periodic other shorter, evening programs (e.g. introduction to adoption). They also organize adoption support groups for families going through the adoption process. Their number is 415 788--6772.
    Leah 
    
    Replying to the question about resources for adoptive parents. My good
    friend Jonathan Pannor offers these workshops and I've been meaning to
    post this. He is a wonderful person (I'm his friend and haven't been in
    his groups) and has adopted a child himself. His father is also an
    expert on adoptiona and pioneered open adoption. 
    
    Creating Healthy Families Through Adoption
    Two Part Educational Workshops for Parents of Children Ages 0-5 Years
    Old
    
    This special program is for couples, single parents and adult family
    members who have adopted children and are beginning to deal with some of
    the
    early issues of adoption.  Groups will include time for discussion and
    questions.
    
    Jonathan Pannor, LCSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice
    in the Bay area.
    
    Cost: $100.00 Per Person
    
    For information about this workshop and workshops for parents of
    children of all ages PLEASE CALL (415) 777-4008
    
    http://home.earthlink.net/~jonpannor/
    
    Jonathan Pannor, LCSW
    Support Groups for Adoptive Parents
    and Caregivers of Elderly Family Members
    jonpannor AT earthlink.net
    http://home.earthlink.net/~jonpannor/
    (415) 777-4008
    

    Resources for adoptive parents. Here are a few off the top of my head. The resource groups for parents often offer specific opportunities for adoptive parents. For instance, Neighborhood Moms, a parent support and resources group (510-527-MOMS) helps people organize volunteer support groups, including ones for adoptive families. There is a small annual membership fee which includes a monthly newsletter. Bananas, a family resources organization, offers all kinds of resources and workshops, some focussed on adoption or fostering, and can be reached at www.bananasinc.org or bananainc AT aol.com (NB: I recently failed to connect to the website). There is a group for Single Adoptive Parents which meets about once a month (contact numbers in past digests). And there is a group in SF called Pact, an Adoption Alliance, which places kids but also publishes a really good listing of books and resources for adoptive families (for sale, that is). It's a paid membership, but the website and initial info pack are free. Their website http://www.comlab.fsu.edu/jalah/contact/ includes the following blurb under

    Educational resources: Pact has now developed the nation's most comprehensive reference guide to books on adoption and/or race. In this informed reference guide to books on adoption, foster care, race and cultural issues, you'll find information on more than 1,000 titles; each description includes reviews, "who-should-read'" guides and a brief synopsis. 100 percent of the catalogue's profits support Pact's services for adoption of children of color. Members receive discounted pricing on every order. One hard copy of this reference guide is included with membership. You can order additional copies of the important resource, printed in hard copy, to give to relatives, friends, schools, agencies, support groups and libraries.

    I'm a single adoptive mom, and to be honest I depend for most of my support on my friends, family and my daughter's fabulous daycare (and yes, occasionally a paid babysitter, too!). I always mean to connect with the resources I've mentioned, and read more books but I'm usually too busy or tired!! :)) Good luck and cheers to you for adopting!


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