SparkPeople International Adoption Team Messageboard For those who are interested in, starting the process, or who have adopted a child internationally. SparkPeople International Adoption Team Messageboard FAST MAY CHECK IN Hello! Hope you are having a Marvelous May! Wed, 8 May 2013 07:08:47 EST APRIL CHECK IN & CHAT Hi - just wanted to wish you a fantastic Friday. I hope to get to meet some of you. <BR> <BR> NMMAMA2011, thank you for the warm welcome & reply to my question. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 15:28:20 EST GIVE A SHOUT OUT HERE! Hi everyone! Active members, please give a shout out here! Give an update on parenting, spark goals, and life in general! <BR> <BR> Parenting: I haven't posted in a while because parenting has been difficult. My always difficult 19 year old (adopted at age 10) moved out of our home before finishing high school in a rebellious way. It has been emotionally difficult. I have come to understand that, with attachment disorder, she wasn't able to separate in a healthy way and had to do it in ... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:55:28 EST Anyone else dreaming about the Thanksgiving menu? I am. Mmmmm. Hubby makes an amazing grilled turkey. Mom brings veggie tray and stuffing (not my favorite, so I don't make it). I am responsible for the other side dishes. My family has requested mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, AND yucca with cabbage (Nicaraguan dish that we all like). Hmmmm, sounds like a lot of starch. I am leaning toward sweet potatoes and yucca and skipping the mashed. I also need something else, less starchy, because I am also very much looking forward to pumpkin... Wed, 7 Nov 2012 12:06:05 EST November 2012 check-in Happy November everyone! <BR> <BR> How did you do with Halloween? I can say that I did spectacularly poorly. It was my period week, we had two potlucks at work, and I had very little willpower. Sigh. It is okay, though, I am back on the wagon. <BR> <BR> Any fun fitness or family plans for this month? We are hoping to get snow in the mountains to go skiing (just my son and I, the rest of the family are scardycats) and we are hoping for some hiking too. I am continuing to train for a ... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10:48:12 EST October 2012 Check-In Hi everyone ... I've been seeing some new member notifications which is great! How's everyone doing and what's everyone's plan for October ? <BR> <BR> Me Goals ... lose at least 6 lbs. Okay I wrote that down, just hope it doesn't jinx me. <BR> Family Goals ... Keep the kids and hubby's anxiety down, and keep my sanity as we inch toward moving my Mom out of her house into someplace safer. <BR> Work ... get my office in shape (it's not the neatest thing in the world right now!) <BR> Fun ...... Tue, 2 Oct 2012 15:29:14 EST What do you say in this situation? I think most adoptive parents cringe when people tell them what a wonderful thing it was that they adopted, how they saved their kids from a life of blah blah blah. Nobody EVER says, "it is such a wonderful thing that you nurtured your son from a fetus to a newborn, he should be really grateful you did that." <BR> <BR> It bugs me because it insinuates that my daughters should be eternally grateful to me for "saving" them. It diminishes their pride in their origins. It makes them different... Tue, 18 Sep 2012 20:05:24 EST September check-in Hello my fabulous teammates! How is September going so far? I think I am getting back on track with changing up my workouts and tracking my calories more consistently. It has been a hard few weeks since school started to get back into a routine. Lucky for me that I can't schlep kids and eat at the same time! <BR> <BR> My oldest should graduate this year and we are looking at colleges for her. My 9th grader made varsity cross country and my 5th grader is on a swim team. Yes, lots of s... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:21:31 EST Good International Adoption reading Good morning! For some reason, I have been on a reading about adoption kick lately. A friend lent me No Biking in the House Without A Helmet. <BR> <BR> <BR> I soooo wish I had read this book between adoptions. For one, it is funny as heck. But her story really resonates with me, having adopted older kids. <BR> <BR> I also downloaded Silent Tears on Kindle: The author is not an adoptive mom, but she volunteered in a Chinese o... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 10:02:34 EST August 2012 Check in! Hello everyone! I apologize for being a neglectful team leader this summer. Things have been really busy here. If anyone wants to take over leader duties, I would welcome you to do so, or I would welcome a coleader. <BR> <BR> In the meantime, how are you? How have your sparkgoals been going this summer? How is parenting or your adoption journey? Mon, 6 Aug 2012 21:29:06 EST 2012 goals? What are your goals this year? <BR> <BR> I am going to get to my maintenance range and then learn how to maintain. I expect this will not be easy and I am going to dedicate myself to learning. <BR> <BR> I have to keep my resolve to stay away from the snacks at work. It is so hard some days! So far, the best thing I have found is keeping my stash of fruits and veggies sufficient to get me through the day. <BR> <BR> What will you be working on? Wed, 11 Jan 2012 20:06:41 EST January 1, 2012 Anyone here still active on SP? <BR> Anyone here ever check in to this team? <BR> Anyone here recommitting to making 2012 THE year? <BR> <BR> --------------- I'll answer: <BR> <BR> Anyone here still active on SP? Yes, but not so much recently <BR> Anyone here ever check in to this team? Infrequently since it's pretty inactive <BR> Anyone here recommitting to making 2012 THE year? ME! Anyone joining me? Thu, 29 Dec 2011 21:35:10 EST October fitness leaders Okay, I know we are halfway through November, but doesn't it feel like we just ended October? <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> I wanted to have a special shout-out to our October fitness minutes leaders! Our top 5 are especially impressive! How do you DO it? Here they are: <BR> Name October fitness minutes <BR> 1) KIMI_SILVA 2,682 <BR> 2) MOM3BOYS5 1,170 <BR> 3) PIXIEMOM13 1,042 <BR> 4) SUNNY2010 1... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 15:07:22 EST October Challenge? Hello team sisters! I am new to the team and was wondering if there would be an October challenge? <BR> <BR> Or, how about weekly challenges? Just asking :) Wed, 12 Oct 2011 12:35:57 EST Birth mom popping up on Facebook Oh, for pete's sake is how I feel about this. On Sunday, my oldest was checking her Facebook page. She said, "mom, how do you block somebody on Facebook?" I told her and offered to show her. She said, "Andrea is on here" with a disgusted look on her face. She promptly blocked her. I then told my other daughter that her birth mom is on fb and that it is completely her decision whether she blocks her or friends her. She got very nervous, but didn't want to talk about it. She hasn't gott... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 12:09:16 EST Finally DONE with USCIS! <em>236</em> <BR> <BR> I can't tell you how excited I am. We received the letter yesterday that we can go to USCIS any Wednesday afternoon to have my daughter take the oath of allegiance and receive her certificate of naturalization. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> It has been a long and emotional adoption journey, and we are finally done. You can read all about it on my blog if you would like, so I won't repeat myself. <BR> <BR> And, by the way, I have my Sparkpage set to private only becau... Wed, 21 Sep 2011 11:03:36 EST SEPTEMBER 2011 CHALLENGE Okay, better late than never, right? We are already 1/3 of the way in to September, but let's have a challenge anyway! <BR> <BR> Inspired by SPWHITESTONE, our challenge this month will be: <BR> <BR> 3 meals per week made with no processed food! <BR> <BR> You can define what "processed" means to you. I, for one, do not plan to bake my own bread, but plan to serve meals made from real, not frozen, foods. <BR> <BR> Please post here the meals that you prepare and maybe even some recipes... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 10:08:38 EST September 2011 check-in Hello to my favorite Spark Team! How is everyone this month? <BR> <BR> Update on me: Life has been busy. In August, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and is recovering well. She will start chemo later this month. It has been quite a whirlwind. When you get diagnosed with breast cancer, all of a sudden cancer becomes your full-time job. As her support person, it is now my hobby. We joke that we would rather take up knitting, can we please trade? Family stuf... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 10:04:01 EST So Calif Russian / EE Get Togethers 8/13 and 9/14 Next weekend we'll be getting together at the beach in Ventura, and on 9/24 we'll be doing a Russian Restaurant in Los Angeles. Anyone interested can Sparkmail me or reply to this thread. Sun, 7 Aug 2011 18:24:50 EST AUGUST 2011 CHALLENGE Okay, team, it is time for a CHALLENGE! <BR> <BR> As suggested by our own LINDABGLW, your challenge this month is to do ONE OUTDOOR FAMILY ACTIVITY PER WEEK. <BR> <BR> Please use this thread to record your family activities each week. <BR> <BR> At the end of the month, those who complete this challenge will be rewarded with a team goodie. <BR> <BR> My kids are away at camp until Saturday, so I am going to have to plan a Saturday afternoon or evening activity to get one in this week! <... Tue, 2 Aug 2011 18:23:24 EST Intro Hi all, <BR> After 10+ years of false hopes and setbacks, my husband and I are finally starting our adoption journey. We are trying to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia. We started our home study in November, but it was only completed a week ago. We are SO eager to finally get started. <BR> Considering what is happening in Ethiopia, I did not want to visit the country of my daughter's birth as an overweight American. I feel that would be the ultimate insult to the country that is giving me th... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 23:23:00 EST Is anyone interested in a Team Challenge? And, if so, any suggestions? I was thinking we could have a August challenge if anyone is interested. <BR> <BR> I thought about a few: <BR> -1 family meal per day with no electronics for the next 30 days <BR> -Family step challenge: everyone in the family wears a pedometer and the family sets a step goal for the day, week, or month (we do this and it is a lot of fun) <BR> -1 outdoor family activity per week (park, hike, biking, running, etc.) <BR> <BR> Whaddya think? Sat, 23 Jul 2011 22:58:41 EST Weekend family plans? So, what is everyone doing this weekend in terms of family activities? We have our circuit training at the school on Saturday morning that we all attend. Then we signed up to do yard work at church. My son is having a friend over tomorrow night. I have no idea what that will entail. Sunday is 5k training, then church, then hopefully something quiet and relaxing in the afternoon. <BR> <BR> Last weekend, I had 5 kids in the house all weekend, so this seems positively relaxing compared t... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 19:21:04 EST Attachment issues -- anyone else? We sometimes struggle with attachment issues, though with teens, it is hard to tease out what is usual attitude and what is attachment problems. One of my biggest frustrations is having to remind my girls that I am the mom. I make decisions, I parent their brother, I co-manage this household with my husband, not with them! Does anyone else struggle with these things? Sat, 9 Jul 2011 19:16:26 EST Who wants a goodie? Reply to this thread and I will send you one! Sat, 9 Jul 2011 19:12:58 EST Let's start a team game -- word association Anyone for a word association game? I will start: <BR> <BR> Yoga Sat, 9 Jul 2011 19:09:12 EST Suggestions for team goals? Does anyone have any suggestions they would like to make for team goals? I would like to add a couple, but I don't know what to add! Thu, 7 Jul 2011 22:30:32 EST A sheepish hello from a self-appointed co-leader Hello everyone! <BR> <BR> I volunteered myself to be a co-leader of this group. I feel this was a bit forward, but I know the Team Leader has been looking for a moderator for a while. I hope I am not offending anyone by promoting myself and only 3 months after starting on the team. I am on SP nearly every day and I thought I could help welcome new members and start some discussions here. If anyone would like to join me or begin a coup, please click the link at the top of the message boar... Wed, 6 Jul 2011 15:28:54 EST Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families Does anyone else attend heritage camps with their kids? We had an AWESOME TIME last week at Latin American Heritage Camp. We had a nice balance of fun activities (cooking, hiking, family fiestas) and deeper talks about adoptions, both with other adoptive parents and with our kids. Our kids got a lot out of it too, especially my high schooler. I swear I am not paid by this organization at all, but if any are interested, you should check it out. I know two other families in my town that go... Tue, 28 Jun 2011 22:53:23 EST What Countries are Everyone's Children From? I think it would be fun to know what country everyone's children are from and why you picked that country. <BR> <BR> My five-year-old daughter is from Guatemala. We chose Guatemala because we knew we could bring home an infant, and because my husband is Latino. It certainly helped to have a native Spanish speaker on our two trips to Guatemala before the adoption. It was so much easier to communicate with my daughter's foster family, and when we had the privilege of meeting her birth mothe... Sun, 22 May 2011 12:43:53 EST using SP to procrastinate doing adoption paperwork only works right up to the point where I click on this team name. dang. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> OK, Homeland Security is calling and I must answer. Pushing out a kid involved nearly no paperwork. Ugh. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 22:01:59 EST New here too! Hello everyone! I am a mom of three kids. My two daughters are adopted from Nicaragua. We have had the 17 year old for 7 years and the 14 year old for almost 3 years. Our son is made from scratch, he is 8 years old. We have had a long and difficult adoption journey, especially with the 14 year old and immigration issues. My weight has been a problem my whole life, beginning in my teen years, and just slowly crept up and up. I lost 25 lbs last year, then fell off the wagon. I gained ba... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 20:51:39 EST Introduction Hi. I am just starting my journey on Spark people. I am the VERY PROUD mommy to 2 children adopted internationally. My son was adopted from Guatemala in 2002 and my daughter from Colombia in 2006. We are hoping to the start the process again soon to bring home an older boy (age 7 to 9) or an older sibling pair from Colombia. Sat, 16 Apr 2011 08:45:59 EST Russian / EE get together in SoCal There is a get together on May 15th at a park in Cerritos put on by the FRUA SoCal chapter. You do not need to be a member to come and meet other families with kids home or in process. <BR> <BR> If anyone wants more details let me know and I'll post the info I received. Sat, 9 Apr 2011 13:05:31 EST Looking for a new moderator! Anyone interested? Hi All - <BR> First off apologies for my apparent and quite obvious absence! I have most certainly gone AWOL from our group. Life has gotten in the way! Yes, still at the old weight loss game, this time with Weight Watchers support, but I really just don't have the time to moderate any groups right now. <BR> <BR> I'd love to continue on as a co-leader, but definitely need someone to step up and take over the duties as leader. ML???? Anyone else interested in this position? <BR> <BR> Thank... Sat, 9 Apr 2011 12:06:36 EST New to Spark People Hi everyone! My name is Eileen and I just joined spark people yesterda....I'm so excited that I found this site. I'm a 40 year old Mom of a BEAUTIFUL Daughter we adopted from Russia in 2005. She is now 5 1/2 and keeps me busy...but for some reason I can't seem to lose this 20 lbs I want to lose..frusturating! With my little one now in kindergarten and me working full time (up at 5:30 a.m) plus sports, homework and baths...I find it hard to get ANY exercise in. I know my food intake is not w... Fri, 8 Oct 2010 12:44:05 EST Weight Loss REQUIRED to start our journey I absolutely have to lose weight or we will not be considered for our adoption journey. <BR> <BR> I am COMMITTED to this. I have to do this. Sat, 17 Jul 2010 04:06:24 EST Advice Needed: Talking About Birth Family For about the last year, I've been worrying about how to talk to my four-year-old about her birth mother and sister in Guatemala. She's known since she could talk that she was born in Guatemala and was in "Jessica's belly," and that we brought her home with us to New York when she was a baby. I finally decided to show her the "baby book" I made on Snapfish with pictures of her birth mom and sister on the day she was born, our first visit when she was two months old, our pick up trip when sh... Sun, 25 Apr 2010 09:52:47 EST I'm new to SparkPeople and want to say Hello. I just found this site and I'm excited because I'm already feeling hopeful that I will finally be able to take off my extra weight. I've struggled with my weight all my life, but slimmed down to a good weight for about 10 years. Then the weight slowly crept back on. I have tried a lot of diets, but the weight never stays off. I'm at my highest weight ever and I'm determined to get my weight off so I can play with my 3 year old without wearing out so fast, My last dr. visit showed that I'... Sat, 17 Apr 2010 15:50:39 EST Intl Adoption Team Leader on House Hunters tonight I just wanted to post that my families episode of House Hunters airs tonight for the very first time. HGTV 10:00 pm eastern/pacific! <BR> <BR> It was filmed last year over the course of 3 months and was totally grueling! They shot like 7,000 hours of footage for a 22 minute show! <BR> <BR> While I'm looking forward to seeing my kids, husband and sisters on TV, I'm not a bit excited about seeing myself! (I wish that I didn't feel this way, but I DEPLORE seeing myself on TV. My husband is a ... Wed, 31 Mar 2010 10:56:56 EST New COOL feature added today! Hey Guys -- <BR> Just wanted to point out that Sparkpeople added a super cool new feature this week. It's called "Secrets of Success" and you'll find it under the "Community" tab. <BR> <BR> In this section people post their personal secrets for weight loss and fitness. I'm loving it! <BR> <BR> Go add your own now! <BR> Valerie Fri, 26 Mar 2010 13:07:09 EST PEAR launches Survey on Ethiopia Adoptions <BR> <BR><BR>r-launches-adoptive-parent-survey-on.html <BR> Tuesday, March 16, 2010 <BR> PEAR launches Adoptive Parent Survey on Ethiopia Adoptions <BR> Over the past two years, PEAR has received numerous comments and complaints concerning adoptions from Ethiopia. <BR> <BR> PEAR has launched a survey for US citizens who are adopting from or have adopted from Ethiopia. The survey requires you to give PEAR your contact information which will not be ... Tue, 16 Mar 2010 14:23:47 EST UCLA Study for IA (and Bio) Families Hi ... I know that at least one person in this group has participated in this study and we have signed up. Sounds interesting and if we glean any additional info on our kids we figure it's all for the good! <BR> <BR> ----------------------- <BR> <BR> Dear Adoption Family Network, <BR> We are researchers from the Psychology Department at UCLA who are investigating the <BR> emotional development of children who have been adopted from institutional care and are <BR> currently conducting a stud... Tue, 16 Mar 2010 13:58:01 EST Recruit, recruit, recruit! Hi guys, <BR> Just a reminder to please spread the word about our little team! The fun will really start when we get to about 20 active members. <BR> <BR> So...reach out to your particular adoption community if you have one. Personally for me that includes my Southern California adoption group, my liberal adopters Yahoo group and FRUA (Families for Russia Ukrainian Adoption)! <BR> <BR> What groups do you belong to?? Tue, 16 Mar 2010 10:57:14 EST Dream being crushed by family Thanks ;) Mon, 15 Mar 2010 15:11:36 EST California Adopters: Please join my FACEBOOK group Hi Friends, <BR> I started a FACEBOOK group and could really use your support. This group is particularly aimed at those of us who have adopted internationally, and live in the state of California. <BR> <BR> Californians pay the HIGHEST fees for apostille of adoption paperwork of any state in the union! I promised myself that I'd make it my goal to lobby for lower fees once my adoption was done! This is step one: I've created a FACEBOOK group, and I'm looking for supporters. <BR> <BR> So.... Fri, 5 Mar 2010 10:49:02 EST Have you read The Spark Book? Hi everyone! <BR> I noticed a few of the members on this team have read The Spark Book. I would love to hear your thought. It sounds like this book would be a very helpful reading to stick to set goals. Was it your initial step in this process? <BR> Thanks! <BR> Sat, 20 Feb 2010 21:02:27 EST Russia - Links of Interest The site below has links to regional websites (BHs, regional databases/operators/'opeka', detskiy dom) where you can find pictures including old pictures and info. Just compare the Russian spelling of your region (or use Google Translate) and search. <BR><BR>ect=subpart&id=55 Fri, 19 Feb 2010 19:39:24 EST Visiting the country your child was born in. Each country is different in terms of how many times you have to go, and how long you stay. <BR> <BR> My daughter was born in Guatemala. We weren't required to visit before her pick up trip but we did (I was too excited and it made the whole I3/I4 visa easier). <BR> <BR> Our first trip to Guatemala was when she was about 2 months old. At that point, we had DNA match (which was required in the Guat process). During our first visit, we spent a week at the Westin in Guatemala City. We arr... Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:59:01 EST Where were you when you got "the call"? Not sure where every one is in the process, but I've seen posts about trying to make this group more active. So with that in mind, I'm starting a new thread. <BR> <BR> Where were you when you got "the call" for referral? <BR> <BR> I was at work. I got a call from our agency with a referral of my daughter. At that point she was 2 days old. We had just received our DHS approval 3 days before. (I cant' remember is that the I600A?) Anyway...I was super excited. Called my husband and my... Sun, 14 Feb 2010 11:44:09 EST TB Information - Part 3 Continued information from Dr. Gordina <BR> <BR> -------------------- <BR> <BR> There are couple of things that did worry me in the original post: <BR> <BR> " When we went to the Embassy doc, he told us our daughter tested positive for TB, but had a negative chest xray." <BR> --- first of all, this situation would mean that (a) you did not receive all information about your child at the time of adoption and (b) if during the 5 <BR> min exit visa exam doctor was able to find this simple thi... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:31:39 EST TB Information - Part 2 Continued Q/A with Dr. Gordina <BR> <BR> -------------------- <BR> <BR> 1. "Interesting that the TB reactions occurred some years after we adopted, because prior tests were negative here in the US. Both the girls came in 95, and report spending time in a sanitoreum, but they are vague about why and we never got that info. Do sanitoreums give INH to children, and could that have caused the late reactions?" <BR> --- Yes, sanatoriums are giving INH, but for a very short course (see the first p... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:29:57 EST TB Information - Part 1 Q/A was originally published on and Eastern European list so the references are to Russia/FSU countries but the information is applicable to all. <BR> <BR> ------------------------ <BR> "I have a co-worker who originally came from Russia with her daughter over 10 years ago. She told me that they both had positive TB tests but only had <BR> to have a chest x-ray not the INH medicine because their positives were the result of the BCG vaccine." <BR> --- The only reason people still getting BCG ... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:27:28 EST A brand new day....a brand new team! Welcome to our newly revamped group! <BR> <BR> We are now called International Adoption, in the hopes of attracting more members. (The keyword "adoptive" made the previous name restrictive.) <BR> <BR> Please encourage your friends in the adoption community to join us! <BR> Valerie <BR><BR>m Wed, 3 Feb 2010 12:35:59 EST How many ACTIVE members do we have? Since we all know that we come and go with this whole weight loss thing :), I'm curious how many members of this group are actually ACTIVE? <BR> <BR> So please, just reply with a simple "hi" or "I'm here", if you check in! <BR> <BR> Thanks - <BR> Valerie (co-leader) Mon, 1 Feb 2010 11:22:28 EST Hi Team! Just want to introduce myself! Hey all, <BR> I'm the new team co-leader for the International Adoptive Moms group! Along with Leahs12, I'm here for help and support and seeking the same! <BR> <BR> I'm Valerie - the adoptive mom to a biological 13 year old son, and the most darling little girl on the planet Earth, whom we adopted from Novosibirsk, Russia when she was 33 months old. She is now 4 1/4 years old and doing amazingly well. <BR> <BR> I live in California and work as a marketing director. I'm quite well versed i... Mon, 1 Feb 2010 11:20:04 EST What intermediate goal have you set? SP is big on having people set intermediate goals to help them reach their main goal or objective. I was wondering what some of your intermediate goals are and how you arrived at them. <BR> <BR> I haven't set any intermediate goals and was hoping to get some ideas from you. <BR> <BR> Thanks! Wed, 26 Aug 2009 16:37:15 EST How do you work out? Just curious how everyone here exercises to meet their goals! <BR> <BR> I'm a runner and am training for my first half marathon! I also do weights with Jari Love's Get Ripped DVD's. Tue, 10 Feb 2009 18:23:41 EST Introduce Yourself ..What's your story? Hi everyone <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> I started this team as a support group for people interested in international adoption. My husband and I just started the paperwork to adopt an infant from Ghana, Africa! We can't wait to get things moving and we are really hoping we'll have our little baby by next Christmas. <BR> <BR> Hope there are others out there who can join me in this incredible journey! Sat, 20 Dec 2008 13:49:02 EST