Monday, December 19, 2011

Chrisno's Story: The Journey from Haiti to his Forever Family - Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of William and Darlene's adoption story, go back to the post on December 14th to read how Chrisno's journey began.

Even though the size of Chrisno's head did not decrease, as hoped after the surgery and would not get any smaller, Chrisno had improved a lot.  Unfortunately Chrisno’s reunion didn’t go well with his biological parents.  They stated they just could not provide for Chrisno in his condition and they would have to place him in an orphanage. We fell in love with this little boy, cared deeply for him, and didn’t want to see him go to an orphanage.  We explained the situation to our boys and asked them what they thought of us adopting Chrisno and he would become their little brother.  Without hesitation, they said, "Yes"!  We knew that an orphanage could not provide him with the attention he would require with his special needs, physical and mental development delays, and visual impairments.  We had been told that a child like Chrisno would not survive in an orphanage and we knew that we could provide him with a loving family. 

Chrisno stayed with a family in Haiti for four months while we worked on getting the adoption paperwork completed.  Chrisno had to come back to the United States for medical treatment and we were able to be his host family, once again.  During that time, it became evident that the adoption process was going to be very complicated, expensive, and was not guaranteed to bring the end result of Chrisno joining our family.  I began to get very scared and wonder if we were doing the right thing.  I came to the conclusion that I knew God had brought Chrisno here for a reason and we had to do everything possible for him. Around that time, I read this quote:  “Doing what is necessary makes things possible, then you find yourself doing the impossible.  God doesn’t ask us to be successful just faithful.” 

The lawyer who was going to help us pursue the adoption advised us to begin in January of 2010 - then the earthquake hit.  Although Chrisno was safe in the United States, we didn't know if his parents had survived.  We knew they wanted Chrisno to be adopted by our family, but they would need to be found so they could sign their consent.  It wasn't until May that we heard that they had survived the devastation in Haiti and we could move forward and complete the adoption process.

Chrisno has been with us for 3 years except when he went back to Haiti for 4 months.  Chrisno is doing so well and he now attends school in a special education class 4 days a week and receives OT, PT, and ST in addition to the therapy he receives at home.  He can now crawl, pull himself up to a kneeling position and has started to say words and phrases.  We have started him in piano lessons because of his love of music and we feel this is one thing he can excel at.  He wakes every morning about 5:30 a.m. singing, laughing, clapping his hands and cheering for himself - he is full of joy!  My husband and I lie in bed and laugh at him, thinking what a way to start the day.  We're so glad that we listened to God's voice and are so proud of all four of our boys! 

My youngest son and I have written a children’s book telling how Chrisno became part of the family called My Little Brother Chrisno.  The book is for educational purposes teaching children about adoption, bringing awareness to Angel Missions Haiti and their good works, and is to be used as a ministry tool to spread God's Word.  25% of all proceeds from book sales will go to AMH.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chrisno's Story: The Journey from Haiti to his Forever Family - Part 1

I had the opportunity to work with this remarkable adoptive family who opened their hearts and their home to a special little boy from Haiti with significant medical needs.  Adoptive parents, William and Darlene, are the proud parents of four boys and I asked them to share how God showed them that adoption was His plan for their family.

Our family's adoption story began when I was watching a Saturday morning news show and heard Vanessa Carpenter from Angel Missions Haiti (AMH) asking for someone to host a baby from Haiti for 3 to 4 months while he came to the United States for life saving surgery.  Hosting meant taking a baby into your home and caring for the baby as if it is your own child - supplying clothes, food, diapers, and taking the baby to all medical appointments.  All medical care would provided by the charitable acts of a variety of different medical facilities and physicians.  The more I thought about it, I thought my husband and I could do this.  I thought it was a way we could teach our three children a life lesson of helping others and a way for us, as a family, to do the Lord's work.

I called AMH to find out how to apply and discovered that the child's name was Chrisno Jeudi, he was about 20 months old and he had hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain).  The fluid on the brain was causing pressure resulting in headaches and constant pain.  Chrisno could only lie on his back with cushions under him to try to make him comfortable. He was in need of surgery to have a shunt inserted to slowly drain the fluid off his brain. Without the procedure, the fluid would build up and he would die.

After a series of unexpected delays, Chrisno arrived to the United States in September of 2008.  The first time I held him I was so afraid, he was difficult to hold due to the size of his head and I couldn’t cuddle him. Chrisno’s head circumference was almost 30 inches and weighed about 22 pounds and his total body weight was only 27 pounds.  Vanessa had sent me a picture and I knew his head was big but I never could have imagined that it was so big or so heavy. I soon realized that this was going to be along three months and prayed for God to give me the strength to be the best caregiver I could possibly be.

He had his second birthday with us and, at 2 years old, he was unable to hold his own bottle. He had developmental delays and he could not roll over, sit upright or crawl due to the size of his head. His vision also had been affected leaving him visually impaired. We started working with him and before long he was holding his bottle. We could tell after surgery he was feeling much better and he started smiling at us and the boys would make him laugh.  I finally found a song that he liked that seemed to calm him.  It was “I love you, you love me” the Barney song, at least he laughed when I sang it, I don’t know if he liked my singing or he thought it was funny! I started feeling a bond with him and I wanted to protect him and keep him safe.

My heart went out to Chrisno's Mom and Dad, knowing that they had to send their baby to another country to save his life. They couldn’t go with him, be there to hold his little hand and comfort him. The impact of what we were actually doing started to hit me; God had chosen us to do his work. The boys also helped, each in his own way and showed him so much attention and compassion.  The boys would play with Chrisno and make him laugh. Everyone loves to hear Chrisno laugh and it is so contagious. Chrisno loves music and we are a musical family. The 3 months seemed to fly by and Chrisno spent Christmas with us. We had worked with Chrisno and he started holding his own bottle at night and using a sippy cup during the day. We had started feeding him real food and we taught him to feed himself.  We saw huge improvements in his physical and mental development and I was able to help develop a brace to support his head so he could sit in a high chair and stand in a walker.

He went back home to Haiti in January of 2009 and we were happy and sad at the same time. We were going to miss Chrisno but we were so happy and excited for Chrisno’s parents to see all his accomplishments.  
Check back to read Part 2 to hear how Chrisno returned to become a part of this family...forever.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Adoption Day, Aidan!

FLS waiting adoptive parents, Lance & Ragan, opened themselves up to other opportunities while they were in our program and were able to adopt their sweet, baby boy through successfully networking this fall.  Ragan wrote the following to share their family's journey to encourage others.

Our son has arrived, and even though it has been more than 12 weeks, I can still hardly believe that I am a Mommy and that Lance is a Daddy and that Aidan is really ours forever!! God blew my mind with how He built our family. And He knows exactly what I need. He knows I needed a VERY easy and laid back child for my first one, since I am such an infant novice (and am a little high strung at times!). He knew that it would work better if I had ZERO notice about his birth and our being chosen as his parents, so that I would not be anxious and try to control everything! (Imagine a female doing that!) And He knew that He would give me the strength, the mental, emotional and physical capacity to make so much happen in such a short time, including moving to a new home, flying to Florida to meet our new baby, visiting the NICU daily for just under four weeks, and then finally leaving Florida after five weeks, unpacking boxes and cleaning our new home from top to bottom - oh, and did I mention there is taking care of a newborn in all of this?!

Yes, Lance and I are a glorious testimony of the fact that God will build families His way and in the timing that He determines is best - no matter how we prayerfully (and perhaps tearfully) wrestle with Him to do otherwise. That being said, I know that how "God found us for Aidan" was nothing short of a miracle. We had been in the waiting pool only two months (and we debated even getting in the pool because of Lance's upcoming military deployment), feeling strongly led to jump in, although we thought, "What Mom in her right mind, who wants her child to be in a two-parent home, would place her child with a couple who would be separated for nine months and maybe forever with the dangers of combat?!"

Not only this, but we were putting ourselves on hold with FLS on September first, so that we wouldn't lose more time in the pool. And since God loves to come at the 11th hour, He did so with a phone call on the evening of Aug. 29, telling us that Aidan (who we didn't even know was being created!) had been born to a woman in Florida on Saturday the 27th of August. At 5PM on the 30th, we received the call from the case worker that we had been chosen and needed to be on a plane to Florida asap, because Aidan's birthmother wanted to meet us. So, I was on a plane at 11AM on the 31st, while Lance remained behind, because the movers were arriving that day. Throughout the adoption process, I had prayed for an 11 day old baby, because I knew that, in Virginia, the birthmother has ten days to change her mind. And God blew my mind, because He gave us Aidan on day four of his life...this little 4lb 15oz drug-exposed preemie! Only God can do that. He loves to lavish His children with "abundantly more than all we ask or imagine"! And He did so with this one.

Aidan came to us, not through Family Life Services, but because Deanne sent a previous email about twins needing a home asap and letting us know if we were interested to call the agency involved directly. And so, while I was house hunting, I called and sent all of our info immediately to Utah. And for whatever reason (ONLY GOD!!), the adoption staff at the organization loved us. So they presented us to that birth mother. She didn't choose us, so no twins. Then they presented us to another birthmother - she was interested but also didn't choose us. And then Debbie called from the hospital wanting to place her child and asked the agency to choose the adoptive parents. Unanimously, they chose us. And the rest is history...and now our present and future!

So all I can say, being on the other side of the infertility and waiting challenges, is hold on to hope and never stop believing that your child will soon be in your arms. Try everything and don't limit God on His method of putting your family together. God knows...He knows I was not equipped for twins! And He knows that Lance and I really wanted a boy first. So, what may seem like a great loss with disappointment when a birthmother doesn't choose any of us, in reality is a tremendous blessing! He knows how you are equipped as well and what you really want and need. And He is a gracious and abundant Provider.

I pray our story, though rare in so many degrees, will encourage those who have had to wait for their child to arrive and to be chosen as parents and whose trials have been the same as or greater than ours to trust in God and to remain in the Vine, for if you don't, you will feel ashamed of your unbelief when God showers you with His knowing and compassionate love. May God build your family quickly! And may He grant you rich grace and patient understanding if His 'quickly' is not the same as yours. God bless!

Monday, December 5, 2011

FLS: A New Logo & A New Look

It was time for FLS to get a new look - so here's a sneak peak at our new logo and building block for our new design.  A tree signifies the family trees that are touched by adoption (both birth & adoptive) and the reality that they are grafted into one through the overwhelming love that is evident with adoption.  We hope you like it as much as we do!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reflections on National Adoption Month from an Adoptive Dad - Part 2

This is an open letter sent from the heart of an adoptive dad, Kevin, to his local newspaper for National Adoption Month. Kevin and his wife, Julie, adopted two precious sons from Family Life Services, Ethan and Tyler.  If you missed Part 1 - go back and read it from last week.

 About a year after bringing Ethan home, we started the journey to bring another child into our home. Our first adoption experience didn’t make the wait for the second child any easier. In fact, we faced some extremely trying circumstances with a disrupted adoption before receiving word from Laura that she was pregnant once more and wished to place her second child with us. With incredible joy, we received Tyler into our family in August of 2007. We feel so blessed to be the adoptive parents of two healthy, rambunctious, loving boys who also happen to be biologically related. We don’t view ourselves as parents of adopted children, but rather as parents of children who just happen to be adopted. Although adoption is an important part of our family story, it doesn’t define who we are as a family.

I know that many don’t understand adoption or the open relationship we share with our sons’ birthmother, a young lady we love and consider to be a part of our family. I remember running into some friends shortly after we brought Ethan home and hearing the comment that adoption “must be the next best thing to having a child of your own.” These were good, well-meaning folks who were simply uneducated about adoption, much as we had once been. We were stunned into silence, but if the same comment were made today, I’d have a ready answer: “Adopting a child is second to none and my children are my own, regardless of how they happened to join the family.” We’ve also heard various statements about how we took the “easy route” by choosing adoption. We can only chuckle at this one – we were subjected to physical examinations, background checks, and home inspections; we filled out reams of paperwork; we shelled out tens of thousands of dollars; and we waited nearly 30 months before Ethan joined the family. Then we did it all again for Tyler. We have no regrets, and adoption has brought incredible joy and laughter and life to our family. Is it for everyone? No, but it was perfect for us.

So this brings me back to where I started –celebrating November as National Adoption Month. I don’t need parades or parties, or noisemakers in order to celebrate. If I simply remember our family story and how Ethan and Tyler came to us, then every moment we spend together as a family becomes a part of our ongoing celebration of adoption.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reflections on National Adoption Month from an Adoptive Dad - Part 1

This is an open letter sent from the heart of an adoptive dad, Kevin, to his local newspaper for National Adoption Month.  Kevin and his wife, Julie, adopted two precious sons from Family Life Services, Ethan and Tyler. 

It’s hard to believe that the month of November is nearly upon us. November is a month of seasonal change, with leaves falling and frost often glistening on the lawn in the early morning sun. November is when we celebrate Veterans Day and gather with family for Thanksgiving. By the end of November, most of us have put up the Christmas tree and begun earnest preparations for the Christmas holiday. November is fun and hectic and expensive and fattening – I’m thinking of that Thanksgiving turkey – and for all of this and much more, we look forward to the month of November. My family enjoys November for all of these reasons, but we also appreciate the designation of November as National Adoption Month. I realize that the celebration of adoption is not typically on the short list of “important things about November,” but for my family, this celebration is just as meaningful as Thanksgiving, perhaps even more so. We don’t celebrate National Adoption Month with parties and balloons and festivals and parades; rather, our family time becomes just a little bit sweeter as we reflect on the amazing journey that brought us together as a family.

Like many adoptive families, adoption was not on our radar when Julie and I were married. I don’t have space here to share all of the details that changed our direction, but I will say that when we began to investigate adoption as an opportunity to bring children into our home, many of our preconceived notions about adoption were shattered. Our adoption agency made a great effort to educate us, answer our questions, and help us through the adoption process which can be complex, time-consuming and expensive. Over time, we realized that birthmothers are often just scared young ladies who are taking responsibility for their actions by making the agonizing, heart-wrenching, courageous choice to lovingly place their baby into a caring, stable home which is better-equipped to care for the needs of the child. We realized that open adoption, under the right circumstances, could result in a healthy relationship for the child, the parents, the birthparents, and extended family members. We learned that adoption expenses, while high, are often justifiable and that there are foundations which can help relieve some of the financial burden of adoption. We realized that adoption can be a long, emotionally-draining process. We realized, most importantly, that adoption is not second best.

I can still vividly remember the first time that Julie and I met Laura at the adoption agency. This young lady and her parents had reviewed a dozen or more profiles, ours among them, which had been submitted to the agency by prospective adoptive parents. She had decided she wanted to meet with us in person. Julie and I had made the drive to Virginia that January morning, and the thought that Laura may select us to parent her child was overwhelming and humbling. I’m actually not sure who was more nervous as we sat and talked that morning, but the conversation flowed easily, and we received word a couple of weeks later that we would be parents of a baby boy. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby, and had a hard time explaining to Julie why I was sobbing when I called to give her the good news. Ethan was born in February of 2005 and when he officially joined our family in a celebration at the agency, we shed more tears of joy!

Check in next week for Part 2 to hear how this family of three became a family of four.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who Are You Thankful For Today?

Have you noticed that the social media feeds are full of thankfulness this month?  It seems fairly easy to write a quick tweet or status update, highlighting something that we appreciate every day.  But, how many times do we make the effort to write a note or make a phone call (like we all used to do) to tell someone that we're thankful for them?  That's a little more direct and uncomfortable for most of us, but is probably something we should do more often.

I have been thinking about this for the past week, after my dad told me about a phone call he received out of the blue last week.  He has been a preacher for many years and received a phone call from a lady, whom he had not had any contact with in many years, who was calling just to tell him "thank you" for telling her about Jesus sixteen years ago.  She shared how that moment made a difference in her life and how she thanks God daily for his life-changing impact on her, as a teenager, that day.

That turned his day around...not because he had done anything extraordinary...but because of the simple act of hearing "thanks" and realizing that the impact he made was not forgotten.  Who has made a difference in your life, in your adoption journey, or in your family - maybe recently or maybe years ago?  Will you accept the challenge to step out of your comfort zone and express gratitude this month to that person or group of people who are special in your life?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winter Market 2011 - Lynchburg, VA

If you live within driving distance of Lynchburg, VA - you do not want to miss the upcoming Winter Market.  Enjoy a holiday shopping experience with vendors offering jewelry, clothing, gourmet food items, home decor, personalized gifts, and much more!  Enter to win a free pair of tickets today by going to the WinterMarket LGF Facebook page and commenting on the wall photo posted on November 4th - it's that easy.

All proceeds benefit the Liberty Godparent Foundation which provides funding for Family Life Services and the Liberty Godparent Home.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Adoption Day, Andrew!

We celebrated our most recent placement at Family Life Services on Friday, October 21, as new parents, Craig & Carey, adopted their son, Andrew Adam.  I'm not sure that I can accurately describe adoption day with a word picture, but the pictures linked in the slideshow below speak for themselves.  The birth mother and her parents were a huge part of this day, but pictures are not being shared for privacy reasons.  Watching a birth mother fight the emotions of placement day - because she feels that she is doing what's best for her child - is something that never becomes routine at our agency. 

In a similar way, the privilege of watching a young couple, who have prayed faithfully for the day when they would become parents, is overwhelming.  On this particular day, I was reminded of how God fits the pieces of families together when the birth family and adoptive family (including extended family members) came together, some of them meeting for the first time, and shared an instant love and respect for one another.

Andrew is the first child for Craig & Carey, the first grandchild for Craig's parents, and the first grandchild for Carey's parents - do we need to say any more or are you thinking what we're thinking?!  Visit this link to see a slideshow of images from Andrew's Placement Day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Andy & Patricia

Friday's Featured Family: Andy & Patricia

Married since 2006
Reside in Virginia
Andy's Occupation: Works for a Nuclear Manufacturing Corporation
Patricia's Occupation: Works for a Commercial Insurance Company

Andy and Patricia are an active young couple with strong, traditional family values. They enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, and attending live sporting events. Patricia has a kind, sweet personality and is a wonderful cook. She has a heart for others and is great with children. Andy is fun-loving, outgoing, and has a great sense of humor. He is calm, compassionate, creative, and a great problem-solver. Andy and Patricia want to give their child everything that they had growing up: love, attention, great experiences, and cherished memories. Most of all, they want to raise their child to know God’s saving grace and unconditional love and to grow into the person that God has planned for them.

Ten Random Facts About Andy & Patricia:

1. Their families are a huge part of who they are and the people they have become.

2. Friday nights are their “date nights” together.

3. Andy’s sense of humor has them laughing on Saturday mornings before they even get out of bed.

4. Patricia’s nickname is “Squish”.

5. Their best date was a Christmas light tour in a limo.

6. They enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.

7. Patricia loves to cook and Andy loves to build things.

8. They have always been involved in serving God and others through their church.

9. They have 3 nephews and 2 nieces that they have lots of fun with.

10. They are open to having an ongoing relationship with the birth parents.

If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Market - Nov 18-20 - Lynchburg, VA

If you are within driving distance of Lynchburg, Virginia - please make plans to join us for the upcoming Winter Market!  Connect with the Winter Market on Facebook or on the Event Page to stay updated and see what vendors will be there.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 4

FLS Birthmom, Cameron, has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy. If you haven't been following along, make sure to go back to read Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

Adoption day came and I was so excited I couldn’t stop shaking. Pat and Roger walked in and my heart fluttered. I wanted to yell and say - wait until you see him, he is PERFECT. The foster mom brought Ryan in and Roger and Pat fluttered with emotions. They smiled and cried and smiled some more. They hugged me and said “Thank you so much. He is beautiful”. He certainly was the most beautiful baby. I left there knowing that I had made the best decision. “Thank you God”, I whispered.

Over the next few weeks Pat and I kept in touch often. She would tell me all the new things he was doing and I would tell her about my day. Since Ryan’s birth, we have continued to have regular contact and they send me numerous updates. From day one...they have been a part of my family. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

I was so blessed that the Lord was there with me. He let me know that Ryan belonged to Pat and Roger. I was thankful for that. Of course, there were tears and hurt and mixed feelings, but in the end it all worked out. When I see Ryan now I don’t hurt, I don’t cry anymore and my heart is happy. I didn’t place him for adoption because I didn’t want him. I placed him because I loved him. I always will.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Want This Waiting To Be Over

As I got into the car this morning these lyrics poured out of the radio, “I just want this waiting to be over”. It was as if the words were out of my very own mouth, my attention was immediately caught, and my mind lost in the words that continued to float out of the speakers. “I just want to be with you and it helps to know the day is getting closer. Every minute takes an hour, every inch feels like a mile til I won’t have to imagine and I finally get to see you smile”.

I found myself thinking about the different things I am waiting for in my life. How minutes truly can feel like hours and days like weeks. Then I was thinking, it is so easy to get caught up in my life, in my own personal waiting, that sometimes I forget what I should ultimately be waiting on, seeing my Jesus’ face.

The song went on….

My journey’s here, but my heart is there

So, I dream and wait, and keep the faith while You prepare

Our destiny, til you come back for me

Oh, please make it soon!

Waiting is something I’ve determined I will always be doing. In fact, you may remember a similar blog post from last year. I believe more and more that God designed it that way, to teach me, amongst other things, how to wait on Him, on His second coming.

“Oh, please make it soon!” How often this is the cry of my heart for many things, may it also be my heart’s cry as I wait for His coming.

~By Rachel Curley, FLS Adoption Caseworker

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Sean & Shandra

Friday's Featured Family: Sean & Shandra
Married since 1996
Reside in Virginia
Sean's Occupation: College Music Professor, Guitar Teacher, Professional Musician
Shandra's Occupation: Homemaker (Formerly an Administrative Assistant)

Sean and Shandra are an active couple who enjoys traveling and experiencing new things together. They both have warm and friendly personalities that are complementary to one another. Sean loves to spend time outdoors hiking, running, and biking. He is patient and has a great sense of humor. Shandra is detail-oriented, outgoing, nurturing, creative, spontaneous, and fun-loving. In her free time, Shandra loves to read, play board games, watch movies, travel to new places, and is an exceptional cook. Sean and Shandra were foster parents to a special little boy, in the past, and look forward to sharing their home and family with a child who joins their family through adoption.

Ten Random Facts About Sean & Shandra:

1. New people who meet them often say “Sean and Shandra, that will be easy to remember!”

2. The farthest they have ever traveled together was to Bolivia where Shandra worked in a childrens’ day camp and Sean taught music.

3. Shandra went to New York City on her high school senior trip and saw 10 Broadway shows in 7 days!

4. Sean has a lot of experience working with kids. When he was growing up, he helped take care of his brothers, who are much younger than he is. He has also taught guitar one-on-one to kids of all ages, and he taught middle school and high school for one year.

5. Their first date involved watching multiple Disney movies, eating pizza, and taking a very long walk.

6. They have a vegetable garden in their backyard. They are very good at growing tomatoes but just can’t grow peas!

7. The child that they adopt will be the first grandchild on both sides of their families, and their parents are looking forward to showering love on their grandchild.

8. Shandra’s family has a tradition of singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” before opening every present on Christmas morning, no matter how long it takes.

9. They are open to incorporating a name selected by the birth parents for the child they adopt.

10. They are interested in having ongoing communication with the birth parents if they are comfortable with that. They are also willing to consider having an open adoption in the future.

If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 3

FLS Birthmom, Cameron, has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy. If you haven't been following along, make sure to go back to read Part 1 & Part 2. Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

I called Deanne the next day and told her that I had made my mind up and wanted to place this child for adoption. I stated that I didn’t want to consider any other family. I was bound and determined that Roger & Pat were my son’s new parents. She informed me that there was another girl who was considering this family. NO WAY. This was MY family. I left feeling hurt and depressed...dreading the possibility of having to start this process over again.

Deanne called me and told me that another girl had called and asked Roger and Pat to be her child’s adoptive parents and they agreed. She told me that, after speaking to the agency’s director, she was able to call and ask them if they were willing to adopt another child as well. Deanne called me back and said, “Great news. They would love to adopt your son as well.” We called them to tell them I had chosen them and the enthusiastically agreed to parent my son. I remember feeling like there was a weight lifted from my chest and I felt so much relief.

Pat and I spoke often and the more we talked the closer I felt to her. She reminded me so much of my mom and I felt like I could tell her anything. Our relationship grew stronger and I shared with her any news I received from my doctor. We continued to keep in touch weekly.

Finally, the time came when my doctor informed me that he would be inducing me the following Monday. I was glad to not have to be pregnant anymore and I was happy to have these little feet out of my ribs! I was admitted to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to start the birthing process. Ryan Joshua was born a few hours later and I couldn’t wait to tell Pat. I called her from the hospital and she was so excited...I was too.

They brought Ryan to me and I was overwhelmed with emotion. He was beautiful. I couldn’t stop kissing him. Later that night I held him close and told him that he was very special to me and that I found the perfect family for him that could give him everything he wanted and needed. I told him that I would always love him and would be here every step of his life. I made a promise to him that I would never stop loving him. That night, we snuggled and slept together and all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait for Pat to lay eyes on him. She and Roger were going to love him.

The day came to leave the hospital and, though my heart ached to leave Ryan there, I knew that he was going to be well taken care of and this was the plan I felt was best.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Adopting Without Debt

Have you ever wondered how in the world you can afford adoption? How you can bring a child into your family without going into debt? There is a wonderful new book out, written by adoptive mom, Julie Gumm, that it is simply called Adopt without Debt.

In her book, Julie shares her family’s journey to bring two children home from Ethiopia. She talks about how to “find” extra money for your adoption; she gives fundraising ideas and encourages the reader to explore available grants. If money is stopping you from pursuing your dream of adoption, or is a worry and concern to you on the adoption journey, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.

A couple of months ago, Julie was interviewed on The Dave Ramsey Show. Listen to the interview to learn more about how you too might be able to afford adoption and to gain some creative ideas for adoption fund raising.

~By Rachel Curley, FLS Adoption Caseworker

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Brandon & Hannah

Friday's Featured Family:  Brandon & Hannah
Married since 2003
Reside in North Carolina
Brandon's Occupation:  Plumber/Business Owner
Hannah's Occupation:  Baker/Works from Home Kitchen

Brandon & Hannah are a fun-loving & active couple who enjoy spending time together.  They enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping, but also enjoy relaxing on the porch swing.  They love the outdoors and try to lead a simple life, even though it can still be busy, at times.  They see life with a sense of humor and think of it as an adventure.  They look forward to the future, knowing that it is in God's hands.

Ten Random Facts About Brandon & Hannah:
  1. They live close to their extended family with most of the parents, grandparents, and sisters living within 30 miles of them and they visit often.  They also have family out-of-state, but they keep in close contact and visit throughout the year.
  2. Their best date ever was their 3rd date when they spontaneously took off to the mountains for a fun day trip.
  3. They met 9 years ago in a coffee shop and married the following year.
  4. One of Brandon's best friends was adopted as a baby, and they have friends and family who have adopted children whom their child will grow up with and know.
  5. They will tell a child his or her adoption story early in their life, like a bedtime story, so that the child will always know about the birth family and how they came into the adoptive family.
  6. Their favorite fun activity is being on a ski boat in the middle of the lake on a hot day.
  7. They love all kinds of food but pizza is the all-time favorite.  They could just about eat it every day without any complaints!
  8. One thing Brandon likes about living with Hannah is that she is a great cook and makes wonderful home cooked meals.
  9. One thing Hannah likes about living with Brandon is that he does such a good job with their finances, keeping the bills and making sure that they are financially stable.
  10. Following an adoption, Hannah plans to be a stay-at-home mom and is looking forward to it.
If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 2

FLS Birthmom, Cameron, has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy. If you haven't been following along, make sure to go back to read Part 1.  Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

Later that week, I had an appointment with the woman who would be my social worker. Ugh. I walked in Deanne’s office and she greeted me with this bright smile. How could someone be so happy about seeing a pregnant kid? “Hi Cameron, I’m Deanne. We are going to be working together and I will be here to help in any way I can”. She wanted to talk with me about the pros and cons of parenting and adoption. An hour or so later I walked back to my room at the Godparent Home. That night I laid in my bed and prayed. I will give God one more shot. I still didn’t hear anything. The next day I went back to Deanne’s office and sat down. She wanted to show me portfolios of different families who were waiting to adopt a child. She informed me that in no way was she trying to push me to place this child for adoption but she wanted to provide me with information on the adoption process so I could make an educated decision. I eventually ended up picking two families to interview just to get a feel of some couples wanting to adopt and to hear their stories. This would at least give me the opportunity to explore the thought of adoption. However, I still wasn’t convinced.

I eventually ended up leaving the Godparent Home to return to live with my family in Virginia, but agreed to continue meet with my caseworker at Family Life Services so I could come up with a plan for myself and my child – whatever that may be.

During the course of counseling, my dad and I attended an adoption event, hosted by the agency, and I was anxious to speak to two prospective couples that I thought I might like. I knew that they may have their hopes up and I didn’t want to let them down. We were standing in the corner waiting for the right time to visit with the first couple when I heard a boisterous laugh from across the room. I saw a red headed woman who had an infectious smile and a southern accent that reminded me so much of my mom. I smiled. I wanted to speak with her. She had me intrigued. I wanted to know more about this woman. I asked Deanne “Is there any way I can change my mind on the couples I want to try to talk with? I want to interview that lady.” “Sure” Deanne said. “I will see what I can do.”

I was able to sit down with the couple, who introduced themselves as Roger and Pat. They began to explain their journey and dreams of having their own child. They had a rough time with trying to conceive. My heart went out to Pat because here I was - sixteen, pregnant and trying to figure out what to do with a baby. Pat had tried for so long and it never happened. At that point, I felt God tugging at my heart. I knew for sure, right then, that I wanted to provide this joy to someone who was so deserving and could provide a life I couldn’t for my son.

I told Deanne that I didn’t want to interview with anyone else. My dad and I left and I said to him - “They’re it”! My dad smiled and said - “I thought the same thing”. During our ride home, I felt at ease. I had a huge sense of relief and was able to breathe again. My dad was right, I would hear God if I seek Him. He was there and He never left or forgot me. “Thank you Lord” - I thought. From that point on God let me know that this was not MY child.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Love Adoption Print - The R House Couture

I am a huge fan of high quality, specialty, adoption items and The R House Couture has been on the top of my list of favorite retailers this year.  They make adorable adoption-themed t-shirts & onesies, custom silver jewelry, and now have some adoption prints available. 

The 8 x 10 I Love Adoption Print pictured above caught my eye this week as it would fit in nicely with a modern home decor, would look great in an adopted child's bedroom, or would be a fantastic addition to a photo-collage frame created for a birth parent for a holiday gift! 

Head on over to their shop and choose some meaningful and beautiful gifts to get a jump on the shopping won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Featured Family - Intro

Family Life Services will soon be dedicating our Friday blog posts to families - specifically, hopeful couples who wish to adopt a child into their family.  We are going to be featuring some of the couples in our domestic infant adoption program who are working with our agency toward an adoption.  All of the families who work with our agency are Christian families who have met the Adoption Standards of their state of residence and of our private adoption agency.  I might be biased, but I think that the families we have are the "cream of the crop"!

So, why start to feature prospective adoptive families on this blog?  It's for a variety of reasons: 

1)  For blog readers to see the diversity of families available within our agency,

2) For this to be another networking tool for hopeful adoptive families as other agencies or individuals may stumble upon their information and feel like they fit an adoption situation outside of FLS, and

3) For those of you who have perhaps walked through the waiting phase of the journey of adoption or those of you who have a heart for adoption to pray for the couples, very specifically, who are working with FLS that God would fulfill His will in their lives.

Will you be one who dedicates to pray for these waiting families as we begin Friday's Featured Family?  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 1

Over the next several weeks - we have the privilege of sharing with you "Cameron's Story".  She is one of the birth moms who placed her son with Roger & Pat, who were recently featured in this blog post.  Cameron has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy.  Her story will be broken up into several parts, that will be posted every Wednesday.  Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

We have all heard or seen the show Sixteen and Pregnant. In my opinion, the show seems to glorify the fact of being pregnant at sixteen or sometimes even younger. It portrays stories of young girls who discover they are pregnant and the process of their pregnancy. Most of the girls are excited to be pregnant and can’t wait to be a mom. I have to say, personally, I didn’t experience the same feelings. I never once felt excited to be pregnant, I never dreamed of being a teenage mother, I never fantasized about showing my child off to my friends in name brand clothing or thought about how great it would be to have a baby of my own. In fact it was quite opposite. I was scared and ashamed. My journey was completely different - here is my story.

Sixteen. Pregnant. This can’t be. When I wake up tomorrow this will be just a nightmare. But I never woke up from it. What am I going to do? How can I tell my family? My dad is going to be so angry. I will be grounded for life. This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. But it was my reality. My dad always taught me to wait until marriage. I was terrified.

I continued my daily life, hiding my secret from my friends and church family. I wouldn’t go to church because I couldn’t face God. What about abortion? That’s my easy way out. Yeah, that’s what I will do. That’s the best idea. I will be free of all this and can move on. I came to my dad and informed him of my decision. I didn’t expect the reaction I got, considering Dad was just as embarrassed as I was. I heard these words - “No way. You are not getting an abortion. That is a life inside of you and you will not murder an innocent child. I did not raise you to take the easy way out and I will not condone you sinning against the Lord.” What? No. He was wrong. I can’t believe he said that. Fine. I will figure out a way to get this done on my own.

Later that week my dad approached me and said that we were going for a ride. Where does he plan on taking me? Baby shopping? It was a long drive of silence to Lynchburg, VA. We pulled into the parking lot. Where are we? What is this? We walked through the door of the Godparent Home and were greeted by a lady who led us to her office. I looked around and noticed that this was a home for pregnant teens. My dad was forcing me to move in here? It’s not fair. No. I am not staying here. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much choice. I was still a minor and this is what my Dad thought was best. I am in my new home for the next seven months. Great. Thanks a lot Dad. Thanks for the “support”.

A few days passed and I hated the place. I refused to make friends and, for the most part, I kept to myself. I realized that I wasn’t going to get my abortion and I was stuck with a baby. I attended many lectures about being a parent and adoption. I can’t give my child up. This is my blood. I would never. These people are crazy. There has to be another way out of this.

My dad came up to visit because he wanted to talk in person. He sat me down in a quiet room and explained to me that he wanted me to pray over this. He begged me to seek God. “Just give Him a chance Cameron. For me please”. Fine. What was it going to hurt? After all, I had plenty of time on my hands. So I began to pray every night. I never heard a word and He still wasn’t helping me.

Remember to check back in with The Journey of Adoption next Wednesday to read more of Cameron's Story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Birthmother's Post-Adoption Grief

Every birthmother & birthfather experiences grief and loss when choosing to make an adoption plan.  Although the general stages of grief can be applied to each situation, every individual moves through the stages in a unique way and on a different timeline.  One FLS birthmother has chosen to share some of her feelings during a difficult moment in the process, to allow others to empathize with the normal feelings that birthparents must experience to get through the grieving process.

There are many days I question myself.  Lately, I have been in a bad mood and just not really wanting to talk to anyone.  I feel as if no one understands what I have been through.  FLS told us we would go through many different feelings of loss after placement, but I really didn’t think that would happen to me

I knew what I did was right!  Then, I started seeing other young girls around me who were able to take care of their baby...why couldn’t I?

I started to doubt my decision.  I didn’t really want to talk to the adoptive family anymore.  They were happy...and I wasn’t.  I started to get upset that they had MY baby until I realized these things - I barely have money to put gas in my car, pay for my car and now pay for school.  How on earth do I think I could support a baby!?  How would I be able to pay for diapers, formula, and clothes and still support myself?  I told myself when I was pregnant, “I WILL NOT rely on my parents to support me!”  Yet, that’s exactly what I would be doing if I was parenting a baby right now.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I go to the box where I have kept everything the adoptive family has given to me.  I start reading EVERY card they have ever sent to me and look at all the pictures they given me and think to myself -  “My baby girl is happier and better taken care of then I could ever have done myself at this point in my life.” I know this will not be the end of my hard days but I know the end…I made the right decision.

Here's a great article to help you understand more about Birth Parent Loss and Grief.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interest Free Adoption Loans

You may already be aware of the opportunity for Christian families to apply for interest-free adoption loans through the Abba Fund. After my recent conversation with a representative of that organization, I feel that it is a great time to remind you of this organization and the help that it could potentially provide for your family’s adoption plans. God has blessed this organization immensely since it was founded and they are able to help many Christian adoptive families overcome the financial barriers of adoption to build their family. Now is a great time to make application if you’ve considered it!

The ministry is Biblically based and strict in their guidelines for applicants in regard to Christian faith. The Abba Fund has been able to grant interest-free loans to several families in the amount of $5,000 to $7,000. If you feel that you may be good candidates for application, please visit their website for more information and specifically read FAQ's.

If you choose to apply, I would advise you to be very thorough in your application answers so they have a clear understanding of your family’s make-up, Christian faith, and financial need. It is better to write too much than too little as the application is the Abba Fund’s only opportunity to assess your candidacy for financial assistance.

Another organization that is very similar to the Abba Fund is Pathways for Little Feet and I would encourage you to look at their information as well. I trust that this information can be a help and an encouragement to you as you continue on your adoption journey!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God Is Able...But What If He Chooses Not To Deliver You?

Recently, I had a conversation with the adoptive mom of a precious child with significant medical needs.  Our conversation was centered around the child's intense desire and prayers for healing in his body, but the struggle with the reality that God hasn't chosen to heal him, to date.  Does this make God unfair, unjust, unloving, or unable?

This conversation has stuck with me for several days as I've pondered the difficult task that these parents have been entrusted with - to help their child understand that God is still loving, kind, gracious, and merciful in the midst of unexplainable illness and difficulty.

Imagine my surprise when I was sitting in church yesterday morning and heard the message text pulled from Daniel 3.  A familiar passage about the fiery furnace and how God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  It was verses 17 & 18 that really got me, "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

God is able - that is pure truth.  But sometimes He chooses to deliver us from our circumstances and sometimes He chooses not to.  This is when our faith is truly tested.

Will we only put our trust in Him when He answers our prayers in the way that we want Him to? 

Are we willing to put our unconditional faith and trust in Him because He knows the future and He knows what is best?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Goodsearch - There's No Reason Not To!

Here's an easy way to raise money for the pro-life efforts of Family Life Services - Liberty Godparent Home. Just start using Yahoo! powered as your computer's home page & search engine and they'll donate about a penny to your designated cause every time you do a search!

In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall,, where you can shop at more than 2,400 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to the charity or school of your choice. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to your cause!

The best part is - this fundraiser doesn't cost you a thing!  However, the benefits add up quickly if people commit to including and for everyday computer use!  In the last 2 weeks, I have earned almost $5.00 for FLS.

There's a new feature on the home page where you can register as a supporter and it will track your individual earnings for your cause in real time.  It's motivating when you can see that you are making a difference.

If you download the custom toolbar for Family Life Services, you'll be sure to never miss a donation available for an online purchase because a box will show up for you to accept the contribution, regardless of whether you navigated to the store through Goodshop or not! 

As Christmas approaches and shopping increases - please consider supporting us in this unique and easy way! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

1 Adoptive Family + 2 Birth Families = Summer Vacation Memories

FLS Adoptive Family, Roger & Pat, pictured above with children Ryan & Morgan.  We asked them to share about their summer vacation plans which included a road trip to visit both of their children's birth mothers.  Pictures with members of Morgan's birth family & Ryan's birth family are below the story.  This is one adoptive family who has prioritized keeping adoption connections intact for their family.  Enjoy!

My husband, Roger, and I adopted our daughter, Morgan, and son, Ryan, through Family Life Services eight years ago. We chose to have an open adoption with their birth mothers. I look at these young women as our heroes because they sacrificed so much to make sure their babies had two Christian parents.

We live in Tennessee, and our children’s birth mothers live in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Open adoption has been a wonderful experience for us because we have been honest with each other about our feelings and expectations. Even though we wish we could see each other more often, we try to get together every two to three years. We all have had the experience of people being astonished by our relationship. Some people say they can’t believe that we would let our children’s birth moms be a part of their lives and others tell the birth moms they can’t believe that we would let them see the child they gave birth to. It’s hard for me to understand their concerns, as I’ve always believed that no one can have too many people loving them.

This year, we used our vacation to see these special women. Following a two-day drive, we made it to Pennsylvania to spend a day with Heidi, Morgan’s birth mother, and her two children, Joshua and Hannah. Morgan knew Joshua, but was so excited to meet her half-biological sister, Hannah, who is three years old. Morgan is a caregiver, so she wanted to carry Hannah around all day. It was too cute. What a fabulous day we had watching the children play and interact. Of course, we took lots of photos. It was so natural and comfortable, like visiting with family. For me, it was really special to see Morgan and Heidi together. Even though Morgan doesn’t have a complete understanding of it all, I could tell she felt a connection with Heidi, which I am thrilled about.

We then saw the patriotic things on vacation: Gettysburg, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center Memorial Preview Center, and Liberty Bell. After that we headed for Lynchburg to visit Rose, Deanne and Janelle at Family Life Services. Morgan and Ryan were so excited to find their placement photo pages in the agency scrapbooks. I showed Morgan where Roger held her for the first time and where I changed her diaper for the first time. And we showed Ryan where we saw him for the first time; where we held and fed him for the first time. They loved hearing those stories. Janelle even gave us a tour of the Godparent Home so Morgan could see where Heidi lived when she was pregnant with her. That home is simply beautiful and has been a blessing to so many girls.

We ended our vacation by spending a day with Cameron, Ryan’s birth mom, and her son, Aaron, at a children’s museum. The boys clicked right away and they were so cute together. Since Aaron is only 4 years old, Ryan and Morgan felt the need to “take care” of him. It was incredible seeing them together. I loved watching Cameron watch Ryan. She loves him so much and we love her. We have such a mutual admiration for each other. That night Cameron and I took the children swimming at the hotel pool. We had a great time catching up with each other and I learned more about how she chose us. It seems my laugh and southern accent had something to do with her decision to interview us.

However, when all is said and done, it was God that put us all together. I’m so thankful for these wonderful women who allowed the Lord to use them to build our family and answer our prayers. Roger and I heard from the Lord many years ago that we would be parents, but we didn’t know how. God blessed us over and beyond what we prayed for or expected when He chose us to be Morgan and Ryan’s Momma and Daddy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Adoption is not a Snapshot, It is a Moving Picture

Today, I'm reminded that I am a work in progress.  I have not arrived, do not know all the answers, and am in a constant state of learning....learning about myself, about others, about adoption, about working with people, about relating to people, and the list goes on and on and on.  Although we strive to "arrive" at the place where we have put the learning process behind us (which includes many "passes" and "failures") - it continues.

It makes me think of an analogy that I heard about several years ago relating to adoption. 

Adoption is not a snapshot, it is a moving picture. 

It's not a one-time event that takes place and then adoption is never thought of again.  Adoption remains a part of an individual and family's make-up through the years and it, also, grows and changes with the various seasons of life. 

That is why it is so important, not only to prepare yourselves as adoptive parents and birth parents prior to adoption, but to continue a commitment to lifelong learning about various ideas relating to adoption.  What may not apply to your current situation now, may be helpful in the future.  There are so many books, webinars, online classes, seminars, etc. available for adoption help through the years, but it is each individual person's responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us.  Will you accept the challenge?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Forgiveness. It’s something that we all need at different times in our lives - okay, every day if we are honest. The road to forgiveness can be difficult, whether it is forgiving others or forgiving ourselves.

This book, by one of my favorite authors, Karen Kingsbury, shares the difficult story of a young couple who live with a choice they made secretly as teenagers. Join them in Shades of Blue on their journey to work through their past and find true forgiveness.

~Rachel Curley, Adoption Caseworker

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fresh Air Fund: 200 Host Families Still Needed

Are you longing to share your home with a child and waiting to adopt?  Here's a wonderful opportunity for you to invest in the life of a child!  The Fresh Air Fund is still looking for 200 families to host an inner-city child for a week and share your family, home and experiences with them.  They need to find families this week and are specifically looking for families in the 13 Northeastern United States (starting with Virginia and heading up the coast).  You would have the opportunity to host boys or girls, ages 6 to 18, who are anxious to spend time with a family in the country or the suburbs.  Think about it....could this be a meaningful way for you to invest in a child while you wait to expand your family?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honest Thoughts from a Birth Father

There are books, blogs, articles, discussion boards and documentaries about the experience of adoption for birth mothers and adoptive families...but where are the birth father voices?  Sadly, the resources available to help us understand their experience are so limited that they are almost non-existent. 

Last year, I came across the blog of a birth father who was willing to open up and share his perspective on his recent open adoption experience.  Referring to himself as "I Am" (pictured above), he honestly and openly shares about the good, the bad, and the difficult thoughts and feelings associated with his adoption experience.  The below post is shared with permission - check out the rest of his blog called Statistically Impossible.

I'm to visit my son tomorrow. It will be the first visit in quite a while. Last month Athena and I were both ill and desperately needed time to recover. Our previous visit had been near the beginning of the month. This visit, obviously near the end of the month, marks the end of nearly three months without visitation. In short, it's been too long. When last we were to see Festus he had developed a vocabulary of about eight words. I don't know what I'll encounter when I see him tomorrow. The truth is this visit has been filling me with some dread.

My son is talking. He is able to communicate. Quickly he'll be developing the ability to create complex ideas and in just a few short years he'll be regularly delving into abstraction. I shudder at this. I haven't had the chance to be proud as I haven't seen it yet. Had you asked me a year ago how I'd feel about this I'd have been happy and delighted to finally be able to communicate with him in ways that I can understand. Now I am terrified of two monosyllables; "why", and "no".

"Why". Why did Athena and I place him into the only home he knows? Why didn't we parent him? Why do we feel the way we do about children and, thus, him? These are all questions that I've answered theoretically to myself and many, many other people. But they have a different ring when I can see the face and hear the voice that they matter to the most.

"No". No, you don't have the right to be in my life anymore. No I will not accept a relationship with you. I don't believe your answers to my questions. They aren't good enough. They don't make enough sense. They hurt me too much. You have hurt me too much. I know I'm putting words into his mouth. I know he may not say some, or possibly any of these things to me or Athena. But I am very good at playing the "Worst Case Scenario" game. In most of my worst imaginings the apocalypse is a welcome reprieve.

The real point is that I now see that I will actually have to face what my son has to say about his experience. Again, theoretically I have done this and made my peace with it. But as any parent, birth-, adoptive-, step-, foster-, grand-, or traditional, can attest children have a way of jarring you despite your best plans and preparations. This is often a good thing. Children are excellent at living in their present experience and frequently call us to do the same. Frankly many adults, myself especially, can use all the help we can get in that regard. But there are still times when that notion is rather terrifying. My hope is that tomorrow I will be in the present instead of worrying about some dreadful confrontation with my son that may never occur. I hope he can help pull me into the present, so when I hear him speak for the first time, he is all I hear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social Media Tips for Connecting with Prospective Birth Parents

Dawn Davenport with Creating a Family has many great resources available for adoptive families during the pre-adoption and post-adoption phase of building a family.  Take some time to look at their website to find up-to-date information about domestic & international adoption.  This video seems to go along with our recent post about how to harnass the positives of social networking to assist in your adoption journey and give some practical advice about things to avoid. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Could that be my Birthmom on Facebook?

Most of us realize that social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and now Google+ have brought a new level of thinking when we consider our own personal privacy and ability to remain anonymous in a world where everyone appears to connect.  The six degrees of separation seems to make more and more sense!

For those connected through adoption, it is certainly a convenient and savvy way for birth parents and adoptive families to link and have direct communication.  However, depending on the situation, there are positives and negatives to diving into communication in such a way. 

Children who were adopted 20, 30, and 40 years ago may find themselves searching for members of their birth family or being contacted by members of the birth family.  This issue becomes increasingly complex when the adoptive family has chosen not to share a child's adoption story with them, which was an accepted practice many years ago, or when the birth mother or birth father has chosen to keep their adoption plan confidential.

The Today Show did an excellent story with Dr. Adam Pertman discussing issues that arise pertaining to Facebook and social networking (video below).  For adoptive parents, it can only enforce the importance of total and complete honesty with kids about their adoption story. 

Think about this...if you don't give them information in an age-appropriate way, are you comfortable with it coming from someone else?

For more insights into how Facebook impacts adoption visit the following:  The Impact of Social Networking on Domestic Adoption and Webinar:  Is That My Birth Mom on Facebook?

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