Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | July 1, 2013

Black Babies Cost Less to Adopt

Saying that is a controversial statement is definitely an understatement! Recently NPR launched The Race Card Project, in which they encourage people to submit six word sentences describing America’s culture, thoughts, experiences, and observations regarding race. The author then chooses some sentences to expound further on in an article. The above sentence was one of the submissions, and the author chose to look further into the meaning behind the sentence. What followed was a very interesting lesson on domestic adoption, and the role that race plays in placement and fees.

I must say it broke my heart to read the article, but unfortunately in our country, I have seen agencies doing exactly this. We at ICM have a set fee schedule. We do not charge fees based upon the race of the child. We believe that each child placed through our agency is a blessing from God, and is an invaluable life!

Please take some time to read the article… it’ll only take 3-4 minutes.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 28, 2013

Prayer of Blessing

Good morning all!

I wanted to use today’s blog to give credit where credit is due. In May of 2012, Illini Christian Ministries was blessed with a wonderful addition to our staff, Dayna Bruss. Many of you have worked with Dayna, and have shared excellent compliments as to the caring and professional service you have received from Dayna.

Tomorrow Dayna will be marrying a wonderful man, John McConkey. We here at ICM wish John and Dayna all of God’s richest blessings as they begin their life together.

If you think of it this week, stop and say a prayer for John and Dayna as they enter this new exciting phase of their lives.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 27, 2013

A Child of the State

For today’s blog, I wanted to share with you a TED talk that I recently heard. It is not lengthy; only about 15 minutes. It is a man named Lemn Sissay sharing his story of being a child of the state in England. It is not a necessarily happy story, but as he so eloquently puts it, these children do not need our pity, they need our respect.

He finishes his speech with a wonderful quote. He says, “You can define how strong a democracy is by how its government treats its child.”

Hopefully this video will give you things to ponder and think about as you go about your day.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Adoption Case

A recent South Carolina case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court after a court order required Matt and Melanie Capobianco to turn over a young girl they had adopted and raised since birth to her biological father, simply because he is an American Indian.  The story of the then two-year-old girl, named Veronica, has been all over national news as people around the country have shared their heartbroken feelings for the Capobianco family, as they have had to give up the daughter they have raised since birth.  Veronica’s biological father stated that because of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which was intended to prevent Native American children from being separated from their families, he was entitled to custody of Veronica, who is only 3/256th Cherokee.  On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the court order that required the Capobiancos to return their daughter to her biological father.  An adoption has not been granted to the couple, but the biological father no longer has custody of Veronica.  This very important and tension-filled court case has been returned to the South Carolina state courts for further proceedings.  The case is Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl et al U.S. Supreme Court, No 12-399.

For more information on Tuesday’s court ruling, please visit  For more information on the entire story and case, please visit

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 25, 2013

Language Resource

Many adoptive families do their best to assist their internationally adopted child in retaining his/her language from the birth culture. This is difficult to do, as most children begin losing the language very quickly. However it is amazing how resiliently these children can pick the language up again, even if you feel that they have lost it.

One great resource for is an organization called Multilingual Connections. This isn’t just a resource for your children, but for you as well! They are located in the Chicago area, and provide a variety of great language resources, including:

  • Adult language classes
  • Tutoring services
  • Language classes for children
  • Birthday party event-hosting
  • Summer camps
  • School programs
  • International food cooking experiences
  • Cultural bootcamps

They provide great resources, and I would encourage each of you to check out their website!

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 24, 2013

Take Time to Play

Our lives are so very busy! Very Very Busy!! But sometimes, we need to take time to play.

I wanted to share with you the book “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.” This book looks into the depth of the effect that play has on a person’s development, intelligence, and overall health.
Here is a write up from Amazon about the book:

“We’ve all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six thousand “play histories” of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research, Play (20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it’s the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.”

I would encourage all of you to read this book, and understand the importance of play, even as adults!

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 21, 2013

DCFS Warning

The adoption department received an e-mail from DCFS this morning regarding drowning.  Please read the following:

In the News


DCFS officials issue warning after the drowning deaths of four Illinois children

 WEEK, June 19, 2013

 The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is issuing a warning to parents and caregivers following the drowning deaths of four children in the past week.

DCFS officials say they were notified Tuesday night that a 2-year-old toddler from Bartlett, Illinois had drowned. The child’s death was the fourth drowning death reported to the office in the last week.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in toddlers and preschoolers in the United States and the third-leading cause of intentional death in children of all ages.

DCFS Spokesperson Dave Clarkin says a child can drown in as little as one inch of water. “Children need to be constantly supervised whenever they are near water, and parents need to educate themselves to quickly recognize water hazards when they are in new surroundings. A child’s first instinct is to explore a new park or backyard, and swimming pools, garden ponds, creeks and lakes are a magnet to kids,” said Clarkin.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 20, 2013

Filling Up an Empty Nest

I just read a very interesting story that was recently published in the New York Times.  The article, entitled, “Filling Up an Empty Nest,” discusses a topic that is much debated in the adoption community:  How old is too old to adopt?  This article tells the story of Jim and Rebecca Gawboy, a retired couple living on a farm in Tower, Minnesota.  Jim is 76 years old and Rebecca is 60.  Rather than spending their retirement traveling, taking up a new hobby, or relaxing, the Gawboys are busy caring for 12 adopted children ranging in age from 8-19 years old.  The article tells about the Gawboys’ very busy daily routine and the feedback that they have gotten from those around them regarding their decision to care for so many children at their age.  Statistics show that many older adults are becoming more interested in adoption once they reach retirement age.  Some are trying to “fill their empty nests,” others never had children and want to experience parenting at this more “relaxed” time of life, and others are older family members caring for a younger relative.  Most of the time it is older children who are adopted by these much older adults, and the children often have a variety of special needs.  This poses the hot button question: “Can retirement-aged adults sufficiently care for adopted children, especially those with special needs?  Which is better – for a child to remain in a foster care setting or for a child to reside with older adults who may not have the health/energy to provide for all of their needs?  This is a very interesting topic and debate.  What do you think??

To read the article, please visit:

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 19, 2013

The Dreaded Conversation

Often when I am talking with families who are beginning the home study process, I ask them what their biggest concern is or what they most fear about the adoption process.  One of the most common answers I get is the fear and uncertainty about how to tell a child that they were adopted and how to answer their adoption questions.  One of the articles we use in our adoption training with families discusses how to handle these situations.  The article, entitled “Questions About Adoption,” encourages families to start out early.  The parents should be the ones initiating the conversation of adoption, not the child.  Some people say that if your child is at the point where they are asking questions about their adoption, than you may have waited too long.  It is best to not wait but to start out early.  Even before the age of 3, parents can begin talking about adoption little by little.  There are many age-appropriate children’s books that introduce the topic of adoption to children in a way that they can start to understand.  Please visit this page on Tapestry Book’s website for a list of some of these helpful books:

One of the most important ways to introduce the concept of adoption to a child is to keep it as a story.  Children love hearing and telling stories.  Approach this daunting conversation as a story to tell your child.  Be sure to make it as positive as possible.  A time will come when a child should be told any negative details about their background.  For now, keep it as a joyful story focused on the love that both you (the adoptive parents) and the biological parents have for the child. 

It is very important to use the correct terms when talking to a child about adoption.  Rather than saying your “real mother” or your “real father,” be sure to say “birth mother” or “birth father” in order to avoid confusion.  A very common phrase in adoption is “give up” such as “His mother gave him up for adoption.”  This can be a very confusing and detrimental phrase to a child, since we all know that people “give up” things that they don’t want.  Rather than saying “give up,” say “made an adoption plan.”   Using the correct terms is extremely important in helping shape a child’s attitude towards adoption. 

So what do you do when your child knows that he/she was adopted and now has many difficult questions for you?  Every child is different and you as the parents will know how best to approach your child with their specific needs, personality, etc.  The main things you need to remember to do are to always be honest/open and avoid responding with your own worries.  People are usually pretty good about sensing when another person is withholding information or being dishonest.  Children can pick up on this as well.  So be sure to be as honest and open as you can be, without disclosing information that children of certain ages or temperaments should not yet hear.  Make sure your child knows that it is perfectly okay that they come to you with their questions.  If you respond to a child’s questions with stressful answers such as, “Why do you want to know?” your child may start to think, “My mommy gets upset when we talk about my adoption.  Adoption is bad.”  You also don’t want your child to go to someone else for their answers, rather than their parents.

Most people find that when following these suggestions, the “dreaded conversation” goes much better than expected.  What is important to remember is to start early, keep it as a story, use the proper terms, be honest/open, and avoid responding with your own worries.  Above all else, continuously tell and show your child how much they are loved.  Adoption is a beautiful gift for both parent and child, and with your help, your child will see that too.


Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 17, 2013

A Special Father’s Day

50 years ago, all adoptions were closed.  There was no possibility of having any contact between an adopted child and their biological family.  Today, we are seeing more and more families choose open or semi-open (letters and pictures) adoptions because of the benefits they seem to give to everyone involved.  Adoptive parents will always be Mom and Dad to an adopted child, but having a connection with their biological parents as well can be a huge blessing.  I just read a story from yesterday’s news that talked about a 24 year old woman, adopted at birth, who was just reunited with her biological father for the first time.  The father talked about the fact that at the time of her birth, he was not ready for fatherhood but always hoped to see his daughter again some day.  The crazy part is that both the father and the daughter volunteer at the same rescue mission and never knew that the other worked there as well.  Here is a link to the story and the video: Hopefully it brightens your day as it did mine!

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