Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

The adoption tax credit is near and dear to my heart. This is what is making adoption afforable for regular folks like us.  The credit is set to expire on December 31, 2012 and Congress needs to know not to let this happen.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, adoption can be pricey.  Don't get me wrong, it is worth every penny.  But the tax credit is the saving grace that makes you feel like you can breathe after seeing such a large number on your agency contract.

So, I am asking you to take TWO MINUTES and email/write/call your state representative and ask them to not let this credit expire.  Senators Gillibrand and Schumer have heard from me.  Every representative from all states need to be contacted.

Adoption Tax Credit website has a sample letter and the email addresses to all local representatives to make it easy for you.  Click on any of the words in red in this blog to go straight to the website to do this.  Follows is the sample letter.  It only takes a couple of minutes to cut and paste the letter and email it.

Dear Senator/Representative NAME:
I am writing to ask you to support the adoption tax credit, which is set to expire on December 31, 2012. Since 1997, the adoption tax credit has helped tens of thousands of parents offset the high cost of adoption, making it possible for them to provide children with loving, permanent families.
The adoption tax credit is especially important to me and my family because… (Tell Congress why you care. Your Members of Congress value your voice!) 
If Congress does not take action, the current adoption tax credit will expire at the end of 2012. The credit will be reduced to $6,000, and will only benefit the few families that adopt children with special needs and have qualified adoption expenses. Most families adopting children from foster care, intercountry adoption, and domestic infant adoption will not receive any benefit. Without the adoption tax credit, many parents hoping to adopt will be unable to do so, and others will face great financial hardship. The adoption tax credit is essential to ensuring that as many children as possible find the forever families they deserve and ensuring that those families are in a more stable financial position to provide an environment where children can thrive. 
The adoption tax credit must be extended to help as many children as possible find the permanent, loving family they need and deserve. And for 2012 it should be made refundable again so that most adoptive families will benefit from it. The best adoption tax credit would be permanent, refundable, inclusive of all types of adoption, and remain a “flat” tax for children with special needs. Enclosed, for your reference, is a factsheet with more information about the adoption tax credit. 
On behalf of the countless children waiting to be adopted, and the many thousands of families that stand to benefit from the adoption tax credit, thank you for your attention to this important issue. 


I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to keep this credit available.

UPDATE! The adoption tax credit was made permanent thanks to you! Click here for the details.

Monday, June 11, 2012

That's None of Your Beeswax

We have just finished a terrific little book called In on it: What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption by Elisabeth O'Toole. It's a short, 150 page, informative adoption guide for family and friends of those who are adopting.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has someone special in their lives that are adopting.  I know I will be passing our copy along to my family.

One of the topics that I wanted to touch on is privacy. I know having a blog that I am sharing parts of my life with you, but that doesn't give me the right to share my child's personal history. Adoption is not secret, but some information about our child will remain private.

People are curious by nature and may ask questions about an adopted child that are far more intimate than what they would ask about someones biological child. Family and friends are sometimes caught off guard when they are asked specific questions about the child's history. Many times these questions are asked in front of the child. (Try not to do that.) In on it has some great suggestions on how to handle these questions while protecting the child's privacy, integrity and their right to a sense of normalcy.

A good rule of thumb shoud be that your response should always be what you'd want the child to hear. You are speaking on their behalf. This is good practice even when the child is too young to understand what you are saying. Children may not seem like they are paying attention, but they are taking it all in. If it is a question that you are not sure how to answer simply reply, "that is not for me to share". Never feel obiligated to answer any question you are not comfortable with. There is a balance of presenting a positive attitude about adoption and also taking care not to compromise the right of privacy of the family.

I am sure we will share some of our child's history with immediate family and very close friends. Don't take it personally if boundaries are implemented. Some information that might be off-limits would be birthparent information, details about early living conditions and specific reasons why the child was available for adoption. Ask yourself why do you want to know?

You are an important part of this child's life. "Adopted" is usually secondary in importance to "family." Take care in protecting the newest member of the family.

If you would like to help us adopt, we still have puzzle pieces available! Click on the fundraiser tab for more information and to get yours! Thank you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Stealing Breath

When you are adopting you get all sorts of questions. We always welcome your questions. One question I have gotten a couple of times is, are we getting rid of our cats when we have a baby?  My response is always, "Uh, no. Why?"  "Well you know cats suck the air out of babies when they are sleeping, stealing their breath and killing the baby."  Huh?  They do what?  I had to google this.

From snopes (my go to myth buster), "cats just don't do that."  This old wives tale has quite a few theories behind its origin.  One is that the cat will smell milk on the baby's breath and that draws the cat in for the kill.  There was a case in 1791 in Plymouth, where a jury determined the cause of death of a child was from a cat sucking out its breath, though there was no proof and no apparent cause of death. Another is that cats will lay across the baby's head while they are sleeping and suffocate them. My cats don't drink milk or eat any human food, so no worries there. Also, they don't sleep with us, so I don't think they sleep with our baby either.

I think a lot of this lore is from superstition. We've all heard if a black cat crosses your path make an X on your windshield to prevent bad luck. Cats get a bad rap sometimes. We did have a black cat one time named Superstitious. Come to think of it, that cat did have a sucking issue. She wasn't weened properly and would suck on our arm, leg or any bare skin. We started calling her "Super Sucker". She went to a nice home with the neighborhood cat lady. Our cat Filthy never cared for Super anyway. The cat lady straighten her right out and Super led a happy life renamed Cabal.

I have no worries about Edie and Twiggy stealing the breath of our baby. Just look at them, they may kill you with cuteness though.

My sweet girls.

Edie loves to be high up. On top of the door is one of her favorite places.

Twiggy likes to snuggle.  Curled up under the covers is her favorite place.

♥ If you would like to help us adopt, we still have puzzle pieces available! Click on the fundraiser tab for more information and to get yours!  Thank you.