Table of Contents: Winter 2014 Issue



Beyond “Happy”

When you finally bring your child home, yes, you will feel elated. But many new adoptive moms and dads are surprised by the complex emotions that can sit on the outskirts of that joy–from lingering sadness about infertility to echoes of failed matches to becoming a parent literally overnight.

Breastfeeding Without Birthing

When we focus on the bond that forms, rather than the ounces produced, breastfeeding becomes an option for many of us. In an excerpt from her essential guide, a lactation consultant and breastfeeding adoptive mom explains how to achieve a nursing relationship with your baby.

Breaking the Racial Sound Barrier

In a society that considers “color-blindness” a noble attitude, parents may worry about talking about racism, or even mentioning it. But we must talk, and talk in a way that encourages our child to open up, too.

A Meeting of the Open Minds

Two adoptive moms and a birth mother hold a round table discussion about open adoption, touching on the match, contact agreements, birth siblings, the philosophy that drives openness, and more.

Photo Contest: Mommy & Me and Daddy & Me

We asked our readers to share their favorite mother-child and father-child photos. Thank you to everyone who shared their special memories!

Personal Essays

If at First You Don’t Succeed

Before trying to have kids, I’d never failed at anything. Though I still believe in planning and hard work, it was something else that brought me my two beautiful boys.

What We Wish We Had Known

Four years after adopting a nine-year-old, a mother–and her daughter–share lessons learned about older child adoption.

Two Degrees of August’s Birth Mother

We knew that our youngest son’s birth mother would be a powerful force in his life. We didn’t anticipate the impact she’d have on his older brothers.

Thinking Back and Looking Ahead

How did I change from wanting a child who looks like me to insisting on one who doesn’t?

The Ring

This heirloom bridges the past with the future, connecting my daughter to her grandmother and our family in profound, unexpected ways.

Growing Up Adopted

The Early Years: Early Milestones

Every child reaches milestones at his own pace. But there are signs you should watch for.

Preschool: Mastering Their Stories

Children of this age are good at repeating what they hear, including their adoption story. But what are they absorbing?

The Elementary Years: Keep the Discussion Going

Your grade-schooler now has a deeper understanding of adoption and is beginning to wonder, “Who am I?” –so you must be ready to talk.

Middle and High School: Teens in Blended Families

When their family also includes biological children, adoptees can have complex feelings about siblings and their own sense of belonging.


Cost of Adoption Update: 2012-2013

A comparison of costs for domestic and international adoptions, the cost of adoption uncertainties, and more–data from our 2012-2013 Cost & Timing of Adoption Survey.

Timing of Adoption Update: 2012-2013

Our survey data on the average length of time it takes to complete an adoption from the 2012-2013 Adoptive Families Cost and Timing of Adoption  Survey .

China Eases One-Child Policy

Legislation to Strengthen Support Services

Adoption Tax Credit Increasing

The Experts

Maintaining Privacy, Not Secrecy

Nosy comments from strangers are one thing. But what do you do when it’s a child who’s asking difficult questions?

Learning and Language Difficulties

Up to 20 percent of all children are affected by language- or learning-related problems. What parents need to know to identify one in their child.



PARENT-TO-PARENT:The Great Gotcha Debate

AF PICKS: Best Books of 2013

Thank You to This Issue’s Sponsors:

America’s Christian Credit Union
American Embryo Registry
Building Blocks to Baby Steps
Camp Clio
Independent Adoption Center

Adoption by Shepherd Care
Bethany Christian Services
Children’s Connections Inc.
Christian Adoption Services
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
National Background Check, Incorporated
Show Hope

Adoptions from the Heart
Cono Christian School
Ethiopian Heritage & Culture Camp
Kireker Center for Child Development at The Valley Hospital
Dillon International EAC Tarcher/Penguin Books