Melodie Cook comments

Posted in: British woman sues Japanese university over power harassment See in context

I worked at Ritsumeikan in the early 90s and it was a toxic environment. Even among Japanese colleagues, it has a bad reputation. Anyone who actually gets tenure there is lucky, but its reputation remains good for students, bad for teachers.

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Posted in: Confessions & Confusions: What we did to lead our foster daughter into enjoying school See in context

It all depends on what agency they went through to adopt. I'm currently reading a book called "Adoption in Japan" which was written in 2006 and based on current research from around that time. Each agency is different. It's interesting that you mentioned Tokyo, because the house size, not necessarily income, has a lot to do with the placement, according to the book. Apparently, it's difficult for people to foster/adopt in Tokyo, because the room sizes are specific and usually houses in Tokyo are much smaller. However, if it's not that and if you could give me more background, that might be helpful.

-Melodie

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Posted in: Confessions & Confusions: Raising dual culture children See in context

Thank you for the excellent discussion, all! It is a very complicated issue with no simple answers. I have heard many, even among my Canadian relatives, advocate that I treat my children no differently than if I had given birth to them, but I don't think that's possible. As M2M3M3 has said above, parents DO need to be sensitive to the special needs of adopted children. I have a good friend whose family hid the fact of her adoption from her and she always knew in her heart that she wasn't the biological child of the family and found the truth in a rather abrupt and difficult manner.

Basically, we all need love and respect for who we are no matter who our parents are!

-Mel

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Posted in: Confessions & Confusions: Raising dual culture children See in context

Thanks everyone for the lively discussion!

-Mel

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Posted in: Confessions & Confusions: Dealing with comments about my family See in context

I don't think she treats them differently, but I'm not sure how she feels about them, Maria.

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Posted in: The ongoing saga of a Canadian adoptive & foster mom in Japan See in context

Thank you for your positive comments! If ever have any questions, please ask and I'll try to answer them!

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Posted in: Fostering in Japan, Part III: The effect on my family See in context

Thank you all for your very kind comments. I wrote both series to encourage more people to adopt and foster. Yes, the challenges are many, but so are the rewards! I really feel like my husband and I have created a family, and although both kids are approaching adolescence and starting to question their births and identities, I believe we have created a safe space for them to feel loved and appreciated for who they are. It is amazing to see how far they've both come -- they are remarkable individuals.

I am very pleased by the overwhelmingly positive response. I wonder if the editors would be interested in monthly updates on the family if reader's asked them for it... hint hint!

Kind regards, Melodie

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Posted in: Fostering in Japan Part I: Deciding to expand the family See in context

Shinji thought we could custom order a kid from the orphanage. He wanted a little brother. Actually, I think I dealt with this in the original article I sent in, but it was cut by the editors. Anyway, both kids are getting along as well as any siblings now. Sibling rivalry is rife, but so it was when I was a kid, too!

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Posted in: Fostering in Japan Part II: Our foster daughter moves in See in context

Thank you all for your feedback! My hope is that more people are inspired to foster!

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Posted in: Fostering in Japan Part I: Deciding to expand the family See in context

Thanks for reading!

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan - Part III: The adjustment See in context

Thanks again! I'm currently writing another series on our foster parent journey. Savvy Tokyo will publish it in December and then it will likely be printed here as well. I'm happy to share our story and hope it inspires others.

-Melodie

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan - Part III: The adjustment See in context

I couldn't start with English right away, because my son was almost 4, so he had no English at all, but really picked up listening after going to Canada. Every family is different. If you get a baby, start with English right away! It depends on the child's age. They have a lot to adjust to, so putting the pressure of a new language on them might cause problems.

And yes, I'm thankful for the positive response! -Melodie

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan - Part III: The adjustment See in context

No, language was never an issue. Adoptive and foster children all go through an adjustment and testing period. I am currently taking a parent training course for foster parents and the trainer said that families start at minus, then go to zero, then to attachment. It takes from 6 months to a year and probably never ends, based on our experience. Papigiulio, I thought of jumping ship many times, but I'm glad I didn't! To be said to have had patience is amazing for me because I am a high-energy person who can't sit still for long... The kids are lucky and so are we. We have learned a lot about ourselves from them. And like they say, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan - Part III: The adjustment See in context

Thank you for your query. We both spoke to my son in Japanese until our first trip to Canada the first summer he moved in with us. Now, I speak to him in English all the time and he understands me, although he answers in Japanese. My husband and I speak to each other in English and he speaks Japanese with the kids.

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan: Part II -- How they did it See in context

goldorak, thanks for the best comments ever! Glad to be challenging stereotypes! -Melodie

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Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan: Part I -- Deciding to adopt See in context

Thanks for your comments, all! -Melodie

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