#therightseat Giveaway- Child Passenger Safety Week

Y’all know that I am passionate about car seat safety. So I’m super excited to bring you a giveaway to promote Child Passenger Safety Week! ! Here’s your opportunity to learn a little more about Child Passenger Safety and maybe win a $100 Amazon gift card! After you enter the giveaway, make sure you tell me in the comments what you’ll do with the money if you win! Good Luck!

I am sharing this post as part of a Bloggin’ Mamas Social Good Campaign, and was not compensated for doing so.
Spread the Message and Win! Help everyone make sure they have #therightseat for their child. Giveaway ends 9/24/15. US 18+

Blog­gin’ Mamas is sup­port­ing the Ad Coun­cil and The Depart­ment of Transportation’s National High­way Traf­fic Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (NHTSA) by shar­ing the word about Child Pas­sen­ger Safety Week (September 13-19, 2015) and National Seat Check Saturday (September 19, 2015).

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds.

One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat; to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area. Additionally, parents and caregivers will be urged to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.

Some Child Passenger Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time…

The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:

  • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as they fit the car seat.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
  • Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Car Seat Installation Resources:

If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm;
Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm?;

Child Passenger Safety Week twitter party

 

 

Have more questions? Join the Child Passenger Safety Week Twitter Chat on 9/16/15 2p-3p EST. Follow @NHTSAgov and #therightseat.

The Giveaway

To help you make sure your child has #therightseat, Bloggin’ Mamas is sponsoring this $100 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!

Give­away begins Sep­tem­ber 10th, 2015 at 12:01 am and ends September 24th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to US res­i­dents age 18 and older.
Win­ner will be selected by Random.org and be noti­fied by email. See Giveaway Tools wid­get below for full terms & conditions.

Dis­clo­sure: Starfish Confidential has not been compensated in any way for this post or giveaway and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Blog­gin’ Mamas is host­ing this give­away and coor­di­nat­ing prize ful­fill­ment. Ele­ment Asso­ciates, The Ad Coun­cil and the NHTSA are in no way respon­si­ble for the give­away, and only pro­vided the above con­tent to be dis­trib­uted in the form of a PSA.

Foster Family Holiday Hurdles – Halloween

It’s no secret that foster parenting is hard. What non-foster families often don’t realize is how EVERY.PART.OF.LIFE. is more complicated when you’re a foster parent.

Case in point: Halloween costumes.

Let me just say that I realize it’s barely September and a little early to be talking about Halloween costumes, but thanks to foster care, I have to start thinking about it now.

I LOVE themed Halloween costumes. As a kid, I always envied the families that had coordinated costumes, and now it’s something I love to do with my kids. But…. Foster Care. Since I never know what size my family will be from one week to the next, I have to carefully consider appropriate themes each year.

The theme has to be expandable, in case I get another placement between now and Halloween.

It also has to be collapsible – and not dependent on anyone that isn’t a forever child. In EVERY.PART.OF.LIFE. is more complicated when you're a foster parent.2013, I had a great plan! Lady Bug was going to be Merida, carrying a teddy bear to represent one of her triplet bear cub brothers, and the twins were going to be the other two bear cubs. How freaking cute, right?!

Except Lady Bug was reunified with her dad on October 5th… So we were looking at two bear cubs and a teddy bear… Not great.

I had to scramble a bit at the last minute, but ended up finding these adorable little monsters.

Last year I really left it to the last minute. There was so much going on with trying to get Squirm’s adoption finalized that I just didn’t start planning in time. We ended up with going with a pirate theme, with Lil Bit doing a cameo as a shark. (more…)

#AdoptionTalk: Four under 4 is nuts!

How far should you go to keep siblings together?After Lil Bit, we're done adopting. The addition of Squeaker has proven, unequivocally, that four under 4 is nuts - anything beyond that is terrifying....

Four under 4 is nuts!

 

When Lil Bit was sheltered, and placed with a relative who had no intention of adopting him, I fought (and fought) to have him placed with us.

Not because I wanted another boy (remember I said no more boys three boys ago), and not because I was in a hurry to adopt a third child – but because siblings are important.

Squirm has 6 older siblings (that we know of). I know where three of them are and will be able to give him some direction when he’s older and ready to find them. I would love to start play-dates with them now, but they don’t know he exists. And their adoptive parents apparently plan to keep it that way. I have no idea where to even start looking for his three oldest siblings.

So when it looked like he was going to lose another sibling – because this relative wanted to give her friend a child – I got mad. And I got vocal. Eventually, when Lil Bit was about 3 weeks old, the relative officially stated that she had no intention of adopting him, and the paperwork was finally started to move him to our home. He was four weeks old when he came home – exactly one week before his first Christmas.

People frequently ask if Lil Bit and Squirm know they are biological half-brothers. I honestly don’t know. They definitely know they are brothers and that Squish doesn’t look like them, but I have no idea if they realize they’re related to each other in a way they’re not related to Squish. We’ve discussed the fact that Lil Bit and Squirm have the same first mom, and Squish has a different first mom, but I have no way of knowing how much they understand.

Obviously, they’ll know someday. And I worry sometimes that Squish will feel left out because he doesn’t have a biological sibling in our family – or because he’s the only blond.

SuperDad and I have recently agreed that we are done adopting. We want to foster for a long time and if we adopt any more kids, we just aren’t going to be able to continue. The addition of Squeaker has proven to us, unequivocally, that four kids under age 4 (all in diapers) is nuts… And it doesn’t help that she doesn’t appear to be anywhere remotely near sleeping through the night….

So one question we will probably have to address at some point – if Squish and Lil Bit end up with another biological sibling, are we willing to take that baby, if necessary? At least right now, the answer is “probably not”. Even a few months ago I wouldn’t have even considered turning away a biological sibling, but…. four under 4 is nuts!

It’s crazy to me to think of saying no, and I feel a little guilty even contemplating it. But SuperDad and I have realized that the last thing we want is to get to a point where Squish has a new sibling that needs a home – and we have to say no. And the worst case would be continuing to say yes until we’ve gotten ourselves more children than we can handle.

Four under 4 is nuts and, quite frankly, anything beyond that is terrifying.

 #AdoptionTalk Link Up

Adoption Talk Linkup Hosts

This week’s topic: Anything Goes!
(optional topic: Transracial Adoption)

Grab a button for your post and join ErinJenni, Jill, Madeleine, and me!
New to linking up? We’d love to have you join us, here’s how.

Starfish Confidential #AdoptionTalk

And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!


The Realities of Adopting Through Foster Care

I’ve seen troubling messages about adopting through foster care. I’m not talking about the standard messages about adopting waiting children – kids who are free for adoption, but because of their age, significant medical or behavioral issues, or sibling group size, are in limbo in the foster care system. No, I’m talking about the Facebook pictures and blog posts that promote a very rose-colored outlook on adopting infants and very young children through the foster care system.

While it is probably not possible to overstate the need for more foster homes, I have a real problem with this trend of making adoption through foster care seem much easier than it is. Yes, there are children in the foster care system who NEED to be adopted – but they are not healthy babies. Yes, there are healthy babies in the foster care system, but they aren’t available for adoption – and most of them WON’T be freed for adoption.

The realities of adopting through foster careThere are so many wonderfully rewarding aspects of foster parenting – but instead of focusing on those to encourage potential foster parents, the trend seems to be to highlight the RARE cases where a foster parent picks up a newborn from the hospital and then ultimately adopts that child. Yes, it happens, but it’s NOT THE NORM! And when it does happen, it takes A LONG TIME!

When we talk to would-be adoptive parents, and minimize the emotional dangers of foster care, we’re not encouraging or recruiting FOSTER parents – and we’re not doing anyone any favors.

PLEASE do not get into foster care because you think that is an easy, inexpensive way to adopt a baby or young child!!!!!!

It is absolutely possible to get a newborn placement and ultimately adopt that child. But let me tell you what happens between that first call and the “Forever Day” pictures.

  1. You get the phone call: “We have a 2-day-old baby girl that needs to be picked up at the hospital. She tested positive and the shelter order’s already approved. Can you pick her up tonight?”
  2. You gleefully say yes and run to tell hubby as soon as you hang up the phone. While you wait for the call with further instructions, hubby gets the infant car seat out of the garage and gets it installed. You go through your “stash” for baby girl bedding and newborn baby girl clothing and begin to make up the nursery.
  3. The phone rings again. “Never mind. The mom realized we were sheltering and ran with the baby. We have no idea where they are, but the state is looking. We’ll let you know if they are found.”
  4. You had the tiny baby to your prayer list, but never hear anything further about the baby girl.
  5. A couple of weeks go by and you get an 11 pm call, “we have an 11-week-old Caucasian boy coming into care tonight. His mom already has several kids in care and we don’t know who the father is. The mom’s family was already disqualified for placement of the previous kids, and the people that have the siblings don’t want a baby. He’ll be a quick TPR and then available. I know you want to adopt a baby, so you were my first call. Do you want him?”
  6. See #2. Substitute boy for girl.
  7. Adorable baby boy shows up at 1 am. Instant captivation ensues. Pictures go out to extended family, everyone is overjoyed.
  8. A few weeks go by and the CM calls with an update – some guy has stepped forward claiming that he could be the father, so we need to take the baby for a cheek swab. There is no way this guy is the dad, so don’t worry about it.
  9. This guy is the dad. He has no criminal record, wants the baby and has the ability to care for the baby. The paperwork is a formality, so you begin to pack up his things and prepare to say good-bye.
  10. Paperwork goes through, baby boy goes to dad. You take some time to adjust to his absence and prepare for the next call.

TO BE CONTINUED….

 #AdoptionTalk Link Up

Adoption Talk Linkup Hosts

This week’s topic: Adoption Hurdles

Grab a button for your post and join ErinJenni, Jill, Madeleine, and me! New to linking up? We’d love to have you join us, here’s how.

Starfish Confidential #AdoptionTalk

And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!