Window on the Clearwater
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Editor's Note: Window on the Clearwater has joined the Wednesday's Child network to help spread the word about children that are waiting for families to give them the loving care that they need. Each Wednesday we will profile a different child. For more information about Wednesday's Child and how you can be involved check the web site at:

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Chris came to the Wednesday's Child program in April of 2005 after two disappointing attempts to live with relatives. As with many children who miss nurturing basics during early development, Chris struggled with trust, bonding, social skills and attention challenges.

Within two months of Chris' appearance in the Wednesday's Child segment, a selection committee received all the home studies needed to match this super-talented boy with equally talented parents.

After his adoption in early spring of 2006, Chris officially became "Kris," a name he chose for himself. Within his permanent family, he has flourished. He has all the ingredients needed for adoption success. But don't take our word for it; read below what his adoptive dad has to say about his amazing progress!

Life with Kris

by his adoptive father

When Kris came to us, he was on many meds for ADD/ADHD and had issues with wetting the bed along with temper tantrums. We worked on each issue as a family and now, Kris is dry and on no meds! He still claims to know everything and would like to argue about it but has not had a temper tantrum in almost 1 year.

Kris is a child that loves to tell tales and sometimes you have to be ready to ask the correct questions or you won't get to the bottom of the truth. His stories are normally easy to see through, and he admits to them as being untrue when you look at him cross eyed.

Over all, though, Kris is a very honest young man, there are times he has gotten in trouble and is receiving punishment where he could attempt to lie, but does not. He makes no excuses about bad grades; he tells you why he didn't like the work or class. When we move, Kris will be going to a more strict school system (best local school system). This should push him a little harder. He scored in the top 3 percent of 5th graders in a Math proficiency test this year. Kris is doing fantastic in school with A's, B's and a couple of C's. He hates to read!

Watching Kris grow is a joy that keeps me going. He wakes with a smile and song (he is always singing). He knows that he is loved, and he gives that love right back to us. I work long hours and also go to school, so it is rare I go to bed early. Last night I went to bed and was laying there with the TV on. Kris and his dog came in, jumped on the bed with me, and Kris rubbed my neck until I fell asleep. Of course, I woke up 10 minuets later when he and his dog decided to play tug-o-war with the blankets. But he knew I was tired and had the thought.

Having Kris in our lives makes the days busy but fulfilling. Planning on his growth and further education is a continuous activity that all take part in. We decided that since we did not have Kris in our lives for the first nine years of his, he can not move out until he has completed college. He thinks that is cool, but he and his wife will need their privacy (he says).

After seeing the number of children who are in the care of anyone but their parents of birth, and the children who are with their birth parents but should not be due to neglect, I think every family needs to meet the requirements for adoption before having children.

  1. Are they stable financially?
  2. Is the family fit mentally?
  3. Are they educated?
  4. They should also have a "Business plan" specifying goals for their family.
  5. Back up plan if the first falls through.

My advice to other adoptive parents:

  1. Be ready for the trials a child who has been neglected can give you.
  2. Be ready to show you can love and you are prepared for the long haul.
  3. Baby-sit family and friends children of all ages to determine what age you would like to adopt.
  4. Volunteer at schools so you can begin building a repertoire with kids, remember most parents grow up with their kids, adoptive parents have to be taught by their kids.
  5. Be patient and ready for abuse, you have to be punished for all the wrongs all other adults have done to the kid, before he will forgive and trust you.
  6. Be firm, set boundaries and don't change them. The kid will not like it at first but once they see that boundaries mean stability, they will feel at home.
  7. Learn empathy, kids need to know that someone cares about how they feel.
  8. Be ready for “the friends.” Having a child around the house means you have their friends as well. Make sure they all understand they are welcome, and pray that they keep coming back. If they hang out at your house (safe environment) they won't be on the street.
  9. Learn to laugh at things that would normally upset you. IE: Don't get mad over spilled milk.

Portrait by Northern Exposure

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Fax: 208-476-3407