Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gift Suggestions for Birthmother's Day, Mother's Day & Waiting Adoptive Moms

May will soon be there and with it brings the weekend of Birthmother's Day (May 12th) and Mother's Day (May 13th) - these are times that are celebrated by some and dreaded by many.  No matter what the situation or circumstance is, it is a time to be recognized as it is an emotional time for women connected to adoption.

One of my favorite gift companies for this particular holiday weekend is The R House Couture.  I have several of their custom pieces and have been happy with both the quality of the items and their customer service.  The deadline for Mother's Day weekend orders is May 1st, so start shopping, customizing and ordering now!

Some of my personal favorite gift suggestions:

For birth mothers, who are mothers, but find themselves in the midst of this weekend unsure of where they fit into it all....  1)  Baby Bracelet & Matching Necklace 2)  Birthmother Necklace 3)  I Can Do Hard Things Necklace

For adoptive mothers and/or birth mothers....1)  Monogram Necklace (for birthmothers with open adoptions) 2) Silver Tree Charm 3) Everything Happens For A Reason Necklace

For ladies who are waiting to become mothers through adoption...1)  Never Give Up Necklace 2) Hope Necklace 3)  Eventually Necklace

Monday, April 2, 2012

FLS Has Officially Moved!

We are settled into our new office space and it's starting to feel like "home"!  For those of you who visit Lynchburg periodically and swing by our office, we love those visits and want you to know how to find us the next time you drop by.  Although we're in a different location, we are literally just across the sidewalk from our previous office building. 

None of the contact information for the agency has changed and we use the same parking lot that we always have used.  Our agency's door is now on the back of the Godparent Home (front side pictured below) and is beside the playground area. 

Some folks have asked why LGH & FLS is now in one building and that's certainly a valid question.  Since we are a non-profit organization primarily funded by donations, we want to be very cautious of our expenses and be good stewards of the support we are given.  The move has enabled us to lower the overhead of the ministry as we now have operating expenses for one building instead of two and has allowed us to utilize every inch of space in the building on a daily basis.  In addition, we now have the opportunity to interact several times a day with the LGH staff and residents, which has already provided greater unity for the ministry staff as a whole.  Change is always hard, but these are good changes.  Feel free to drop by and tour our new place during office hours!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Adoption Day, Bethany Marie!

The best days at Family Life Services are when we get to celebrate an adoption placement with an adoptive family and a birth family.  Monday, February 27th, was no exception as Sean and Shandra adopted their adorable little girl, Bethany Marie! 

Bethany's birthmother, Anna, and some of her family members shared in this special day as Anna placed her baby girl into the arms of the parents she carefully selected.  One of the most emotional moments of placement day is when a birth mother places her child - who has been prayed for, hoped for, and so loved - into the arms of the new mommy or daddy. 

We are amazed that we get to be a small part of the adoption process and are looking forward to seeing the relationship between Sean, Shandra and Anna continue to develop and grow through the days, months, and years to come.  Happy Adoption Day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Adoption Training Weekend - Resource Links

I told those who attended our training last week that we would post some of our recommended adoption-related websites that, we believe, would be helpful to you so here are the ones we mentioned:

Adoptive Families Magazine - We recommend that you subscribe to the publication but also access the hundreds of online articles that are available on the website.  The articles are categorized and easy to find!

Resolve:  The National Infertility Association - Provides links to support groups in various geographic locations in the US.

Pregnant with Hope - Correlates with the book that we provided to each couple and I recommend that you subscribe to this blog as the posts relate to infertility, building a family, and spiritual encouragement for the journey.

Adoption Learning Partners - Offers affordable online classes pertaining to various adoption topics and issues.  If you choose to take these classes, please request our agency's code from your caseworker to track our agency as the source of referral.

MyAdoptionAdvisor - Offers online, on-demand courses for prospective adoptive parents.  We recommend the class on Adoption Networking & Advertising for each couple.  FLS has a code for a 15% discount for our clients.  Please request the discount code from your caseworker.

Sherrie Eldridge, Your Adoption Coach - Subscribing to her adoption resources on the website will provide you with access to her blog posts, video clips, etc. in your email box.  Author of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, Forever Fingerprints, etc. 

Statistically Impossible - "A birthfather in an open adoption who stuck around."  One of the few birthfather voices you will find sharing his story and it is such an important point of view to understand and consider.

My Mind on Paper - Blog written by Kevin Hofmann, a transracially adopted adult and author of Growing Up Black in White

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Beginnings - Adoption Training Weekend

We are preparing to host twelve families this week for our Spring Adoption Training Weekend.  For FLS, this is one of the first steps in the adoption journey - yet, I am aware that this isn't really the beginning for these couples.  Each of them has been through more than we could ever glean from an adoption application.  Years of hoping, dreaming, wishing, longing, doctor's appointments, and infertility treatments have led them to this moment...a new beginning.

Although there is excitement in opening a new chapter, anxiety often accompanies change.  On the opening night of our training sessions, emotions typically run high as couples wonder if anyone else has been through experiences similar to theirs and size up what they perceive to be "the competition" in the adoption world.

I am not naive enough to think that each couple's journey will turn out exactly in the way that they desire - many will - but some may not.  My hope is that God has ordained this moment, for each couple, as an integral part of their unique story of adoption...and we're privileged to be a part of this chapter!

"Every new beginning comes from some other new beginning's end."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Re-Entry Into The Blogging World

It has been awhile since I've taken the time to blog - but there is a good excuse for my temporary break!  On November 26th, my husband and I became parents to the sweetest little baby boy we could ever imagine - Parker Isaiah.  Parker was born on Thanksgiving weekend and we feel so blessed that God entrusted us with this precious little guy.  Although I've had the opportunity to assist many couples with becoming parents, I could never fully appreciate the joy that one little, tiny baby brings to a family until I had the opportunity to experience it for myself.  I'm overwhelmed with joy... 

So, I am "officially" on maternity leave until February 6th and then I will return to full-time casework at Family Life Services and will get back in the swing of keeping this blog updated. During my time away, I have had the chance to brainstorm different ideas for the coming year and am excited about putting those ideas into action upon my return. 

Until then...I'm hanging up my "social worker" hat and proudly wearing the hat of "Parker's Mommy" for as long as I can...

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