Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


November/December 2009
Vol. 42 No. 6





From silly photos to the serious, the winners of our Fourth Annual Photo Contest celebrate the things that make our families special. ONLINE: See the winners and vote for ReadersŐ Choice at
p. 29

Becoming a Family

In honor of National Adoption Month, this November, AF takes an inside look at adopting a child from the foster care system. Four families share their foster adoption journeys. PLUS, celebrity fost/adopt mom Nia Vardalos talks one-on-one with Adoptive Families.
p. 36

Raising a Moral Child by Martha Nichols

Character-building can be undermined by loving parents. Help your child develop empathy in a me-focused world.
p. 41


Parenting tips and advice for every age and stage

Ages 0-2: Holiday Survival 101 by Sarah Springer, M.D.

p. 44

Ages 3-5: Keeping the Peace by JoAnne Solchany

p. 45

Ages 6-8: Thinking of Their First Families by Marybeth Lambe, M.D.

p. 46

Ages 9-12: Reassuring Rituals by Marybeth Lambe, M.D.

p. 47

Ages 13+: Taking the Reins by Debbie B. Riley

p. 48



• Four fall and winter must-see programs on the small and silver screens

p. 13

The latest adoption news

p. 14

• Our picks of gifts that give back

p. 16

From the Editor

p. 5


p. 6


A new forum for parents to connect.

p. 8

Ask AF

p. 10

Calendar of Events

Find an event for your family to attend.

p. 20

Been There by Deborah Jiang Stein

Born in prison, with the odds against her, an adoptee struggles to make peace with her roots, and with the family who gave her a second chance.

p. 22

Our Story by Colleen Wells

A mom with more misses than hits in the kitchen manages a Thanksgiving meal to remember.

p. 24

Waiting Game by Susan Staunton

Nesting dolls, hand-carved bears, schoolbooks: A collection of souvenirs picked up during an adoption stay abroad means the world--two worlds, actually--for one family and their long-awaited daughter.

p. 26


Beautiful picture books to introduce the new baby on the way, and a memoir of giving birth after adopting and raising a special-needs child.

p. 56

At Home by Sharon K. Trumpy

After reflecting, one parent makes it clear that adoption did not "save" her child.

p. 62

The Experts

Adoption Medicine by Deborah Borchers, M.D.

However old your child is when he joins your family, his sleep problems may stem from the initial adjustment period.

p. 51

Older-Child Adoption by Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D.

How to integrate a new child into a family with other children.

p. 53

Parenting Transracially by Deborah Johnson

The "do's and don'ts" for the first meeting with your adult child's in-laws.

p. 54

Child Development, Family, Health, and Education Research

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