“Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does.
So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's
when you find out who you are." - Joss Whedon

Monday, November 7, 2011

Will You Be There This Saturday???


The Annual FSA Western Washington What to Expect when Expecting through Adoption Conference is this Saturday at 9am.  Will you be there???  We hope so.  If you have RSVP'd already then you are set to go.  If not, you can still attend.  Just stop by on Saturday between 9 and 6.

·         When:          Saturday, 11/19 from 9am - 6pm
·         Where:         Renton Stake Center (19714 106th Ave SE, Renton WA 98055)

·        9:00am – Welcome in RS Room
·        9:30am – “Marking the Box” in YW Room
·        11:00am – “Networking” in RS Room
·        12:00pm – Lunch in YW Room
·        1:00pm  – Adoption Panel in YW Room
·        2:00pm –  Special Needs Adoption in RS Room
·        3:00pm – Trans- Racial Adoption in YW Room
·        4:00pm – “Talking to Kids about Adoption” in RS Room
·        5:00pm – “Being an Advocate and FSA” Q & A in YW Room
·        5:30pm –  Closing and Raffle in YW Room

A light lunch (pizza and salad) will be provided.  Feel free to bring snacks (or an alternate lunch); especially if you have any special dietary needs or if you did not RSVP by 10/31.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but only registered applicants are eligible for lunch.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month??

In 1976, the governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, announced an Adoption Week for his state. Later that same year President Gerald Ford proclaimed that Adoption Week would be celebrated nationally. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week in 1984. As more and more states started to participate in Adoption Week it became clear that more time was needed for holding events and in 1995, President Clinton, proclaimed November as National Adoption Month.

The celebration usually includes National Adoption Day with courthouses throughout the nation participating and hundreds of adoptions being finalized simultaneously.


November 19, 2011, will mark the 12th year for Adoption Day, which is part of National Adoption Month. Through the help of adoption professionals, child advocates, judges, and attorneys, thousands of children in foster care will finalize adoption and become part of a permanent home and family.

In our chapter, we are celebrating  National Adoption Day at our local conference in Renton, WA.  Hope you can attend or that you celebrate National Adoption Month and/or Day in your own way.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Upcoming Office Sponsered Adoption Education Opportunity -- Saturday, October 22nd, 9am

The next adoption education classes offered by the Renton Office will be held on Saturday, October 22nd.  If you are looking to learn more about adoption or are in need of your required  adoption education hours, please save the date.  Those living in Alaska are welcome to consider joining by phone. For those interested in learning more on improving your online profile, plan to join from 4:30PM – 5:30PM.  This hour will focus specifically on improving your online profile and visual outreach.  You can attend in person or can request an invite to Meeting Place to join by phone or computer.  If you have questions, please contact a member of the Adoption Team at LDSFS.


When:  Saturday, October 22nd, 9 AM - 6 PM PST
(or 4:30PM -5:30PM if you have already had the core classes and are joining only for the Improving Your Profile Portion.)

Where:  LDS Family Services: 220 South Third Place Renton, WA 98057

Please RSVP to your LDSFS Caseworker or contact the office directly at 425-228-0074. Bring a snack and a lunch if you want to eat in; however, we expect to have time for a short lunch break.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More Finding Ideas

Are you looking for a child over the age of six or a sibling group of two or more children? Can you parent a child with difficult behaviors or have experience with medical challenges? Opening up your home to a child in need is certainly a very special gift. Our Matching Assistance Program could be for you!

Every day children’s case workers from all over the United States search for suitable homes for hundreds of foster kids nationwide. In this search, they are looking at parenting qualifications such as: Parent Training and Education, Ability to accommodate special needs, and family background.
Having your profile, narrative, home study, and possibly a video ready for a searching case worker greatly increases the chance that you will be selected as a potential family for a waiting child.
You don't need extraordinary equipment to provide these to us. Pertinent, honest, and entertaining family photos can be taken with an ordinary digital camera and uploaded via the internet to the Family Website. The profile consists of information about how to reach you, your situation, and your parenting experiences.
ChildrenMatching Assistance is a password protected site with additional child listings, helping support qualified, current home studied families looking for sibling groups or single children over the age of six.

Many families have a difficult time finding children to submit on as well as being considered and notified by the caseworkers. We're here to help families through this sometimes long and difficult part of the adoption process.
We are NOT taking place of your adoption worker. We work alongside you as part of a team to help place a child or children in your home.
We can, depending on the option you choose, follow up on children you inquire or submit your homestudy on, search nationwide on your behalf and support you throughout your adoption journey. We are here for YOU!
We pride ourselves on having a very current and reliable web listing of over 800 children waiting for their adoptive families. When you submit your homestudy through Matching Assistance, caseworkers get to know who you are with the information you provide in your family biography, written by you, including your family photos and any additional family documents or video included each time you request we submit your homestudy for a child. 
SiblingsThe Children
Most waiting children are OVER the age of 6, male, are school aged, part of a racial, ethnic, or cultural minority. Part of a sibling group needing to be placed together, and/or have physical, mental, developmentalor emotional disabilities. All are waiting for the love and security that only a permanent family can offer.
The average age of a child in foster care is 9, but children range from infants to teenagers. Virtually every race, ethnic group, and socioeconomic category is represented.
Our Goal
Our goal is to work alongside families providing them with one on one communication, assurance and assistance in learning how to best represent themselves in their family profile and home study, as well as helping them to do child searches based on what will best fit within their family.
Matching Assistance The Matching Assistance Option supports your family, by assigning a Family Adoption Specialist during your journey to adoption as well as someone who reviews your family materials and gives your perspective and suggestions for your family web profile. We will update and follow up on the children you submit on. CLICK HERE
Photolisting This option gives families the ability to show caseworkers their personality and character through pictures and a bio page.  You are NOT assigned a family adoption specialist and your worker is responsible for follow up on any inquiries and submissions on children. CLICK HERE
Please contact the Matching Assistance Director at jennyhancock@afamilyforeverychild.org. I look forward to talking with you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mark Your Calendars!!!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month and we are celebrating with a Chapter Wide conference.

"What To Expect When Expecting Through Adoption" will be held all day, 9am-6pm, Saturday November 19th at the Renton Stake Center.  Classes will include:

What to expect with a special needs adoption - A class on special needs children by people who have adopted kids with special needs.

What to expect with a trans-racial adoption - A class on raising children in a trans-racial family by people who have adopted kids of all different races.

What to expect from networking - A class on ways to network your adoption by a fellow FSA member know for her networking skills.

What to expect when marking the box - A class on information about all hte different health concerns you must think about when filling out your acceptance paperwork by a Pediatrician.

What to expect when talking to your kids about adoption - A class on open communication with your children about their adoption by our Regional FSA Chairs.

What to expect from FSA - A class on what FSA is and how it is here to help by the Seattle Chapter President.

There will also be a Full Story Panel.  Adoptive Couples, their Birth Parents and adopted children will be telling their story and answering your questions.

We are working on getting free childcare available and lunch will be provided.  We need a head count, so if you are interested in attending, please e-mail us at families.supporting.adoption@gmail.com

This event is FREE so register and we will see you there!

Labor Day Camping

We had a HUGE success at our 2nd Annual Labor Day Camp Out and Pancake Breakfast.  Twenty Eight people were in attendance over the holiday weekend.  Thanks to all those that came out, it was so good to talk about adoption and how it has blessed each of our lives as well as learn a little about how Foster-to-Adopt works.

The cooks!  Thanks Cassie and Dan!

Chris and JoNette

Brett and Carol's little one, Brayden.


Carol and Brett G. and son, Brayden.


Heidi and Ryan C. with their son, Ezra, and foster children, Miles and Zala.

Jeff and Gina S. and son, J.D. .

Some of the gange enjoying the pancake breakfast.

Cassie W., Julianna M., Jacob M., Dan M., Katie M., Sarah M., and Chris B. enjoying some games.

Dan and Julianna M. with daughter, Mikayla.

The M's playing some games.

Add caption

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Opportunity to Learn More About Washington's Waiting Kids -- Sept. 24th, 1-5 PM in Redmond, WA -- Sponsered by Overlake Christian Church


 
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  Wait No More®: Finding Families for Washington's Waiting Kids

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Overlake Christian Church
Redmond, WA


WNM Washington Adoption event details.
Register for the event today!
Forward this email to a friend

Wait No More: Finding Families for Washington's Waiting Kids

Learn more about the Focus on the Family Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative at iCareAboutOrphans.org.

You can make a difference in the life of an orphan.

*Models used for illustrative purposes
 
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Greetings from Focus on the Family!

It's my privilege to extend an invitation for you to join us for our Wait No More®: Finding Families for Washington's Waiting Kids conference presented in conjunction with local adoption leaders on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 in Redmond, WA.

As you may know, we recently launched our Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative™ in an effort to raise awareness throughout the Overlake Christian Church regarding the plight of orphans, with particular emphasis on legal orphans right here in the U.S. foster care system.

In Washington alone, more than 1,000 children and youth are waiting in the foster care system for adoptive families. Thankfully, with over 5,000 churches in Washington, there is every reason to hope that we can make a difference in the lives of these lonely children. Consider the impact if families throughout the state's congregations welcomed these waiting children in foster care into their hearts and homes: We could see no children in foster care awaiting adoption! Such a goal is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility, and we are committed to doing everything possible to help bring it to fruition.

This gathering will provide detailed information regarding the adoption process via the foster care system. Additionally, those present will be given an opportunity to ask questions and to become acquainted with the faces and stories of some of the children waiting in Washington's foster care system who long for a family to call their own.

This is a free event, but we do ask that you take a few minutes to register. All participants who register in advance will be provided with a selection of complimentary resources.

In James 1:27 we're told, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans ... in their distress ... " With that exhortation in mind, we urge you to join this informative and ground-breaking conference.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Again, please take a moment to register. Meanwhile, we would covet your prayers for this vital undertaking on behalf of Washington's waiting kids. May God's blessings remain upon you and your loved ones in the days ahead.

Sincerely,
Jim Daly's signature
Jim Daly
President

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Win a Pair of National Conference Tickets for August 12th and 13th 2011 in Utah


The National Conference is quickly approaching.

We thought that with all the excitement of the conference, it would be a great idea to have a blog giveaway!

We are giving away a PAIR of National Conference tickets to a lucky blog reader ($80 value)!

You might be thinking, "Oh no! I already purchased my tickets!" Don't worry! We will refund you for two of those should you win.

If you would like to enter this giveaway, here is what to do:

•Leave a comment on this blog post on the National Blog.
•Include your email address in this comment.

Extra Entries are Available:

Leave an additional comment with your email address for each extra entry.
•"Follow" The FSA National Blog.
•Subscribe to The FSA National Blog.
•follow @NationalFSA on Twitter.
•Tweet about this giveaway, using @NationalFSA in your tweet! (This can be done once per day.)
•Become a fan of or "like" Families Supporting Adoption on Facebook.
•Blog about this giveaway on your blog, linking back to this post. Leave a link to your post in your comment.
•Add one of the Families Supporting Adoption blog buttons to your blog.
•Email your family and friends about this giveaway; send your email to fsablog at gmail dot com.

Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you should you win. Entries will be accepted until Thursday, July 14, 2010 at 11:59 PM MST. The winner will be announced the following day via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond. If they fail to respond, a new winner will be selected.

Good Luck!


The Fine Print:

This giveaway is for two full National Conference tickets only. The winner will be responsible for travel to the conference and hotel accommodations. This blog is run by a member of the FSA National Board who is responsible for the National Conference. This board member was not compensated for this post. Winner will be randomly selected.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ocean Shores FSA Outing this Saturday, June 25th at 11ish AM

You probably already know, but just in case you do not, here's the info ...

Join up with Families Supporting Adoption at the Beach in Ocean Shores on Saturday, June 25th. This is a very casual event and anyone is invited. Bring your family, your friends, or grab a friendly neighbor! We just want a chance to visit, hang out, fly kites, and enjoy nature together. Look for our new FSA signs on the beach to find us or call Julianna at 360-464-5887.

Bring your own lunch and any supplies you may want for a day at the Beach in the Pacific NW (i.e. sunscreen, a rain jacket, lunch, water, sand toys, rubber boots, towels, kite, etc.).

Upcoming Office Sponsered Adoption Education Opportunity -- Monday, August 29th

The next adoption education classes offered by the Renton Office will be held on Monday, August 29th.  If you are looking to learn more about adoption or are in need of your required 10 adoption education hours, please save the date.  Those living in Alaska are welcome to consider joining by phone.

When: Monday, August 29th, 9 AM - 6 PM (PST)

Where:  LDS Family Services: 220 South Third Place Renton, WA 98057

Please RSVP to your LDSFS Caseworker or contact the office directly at 425-228-0074. There will be a 1/2 hour lunch break.  Plan to bring snacks and dress comfortably.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Images from the Carkeek FSA Outing on June 18th

Carkeek Park was a bit wet this past Saturday for our FSA Seattle Area Beach Event on the 18th, but at least one family braved it anyway.  If the rain scared you away, let's hope for sun this coming Saturday as FSA will be heading out to the beach again.  This time we will be meeting in Ocean Shores, WA on Saturday, June 25th at 11 AM.  Find your kite, decide what you will pack for your own picnic lunch and watch for information on how to meet up on this blog and in your in-box (via Evite) soon. 

Posted by Picasa

Registration for the International 2011 FSA Conference is Now Available

Registration is up and running for the


2011 FSA International Conference in Utah this Summer.


Click here to go to the registration page.



The conference will be held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah on Friday, August 12, 2011, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday, August 13, 2011, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.



The cost of conference is $40 per person for early registration.

After July 15, 2011, registration will be $45 per person.


**Conference registration for birth parents is free**



Lodging information is located on the registration site.


Watch the National Blog for more details about workshop topics...coming soon at: http://familiessupportingadoption.blogspot.com


Friday Keynote Speaker: Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President

Special Guest Speaker: Chuck Johnson, National Council For Adoption

Saturday Keynote Speaker: Dr. Karyn Purvis, Texas Christian University

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Join FSA in Spreading a Postive Image of Adoption at the Tumwater Parade on Monday, July 4th

  • DATE: Monday, July 4th, 2011
  • TIME: Check in between 9:30 and 10:15. The parade starts at 11:00am.
  • Banners and posters will be available but if you would like to bring one your welcome to do so.  Include a pic of your family and a comment about adoption OR blow up your pass along card to poster size. 
  • A picnic celebration at Friendly Grove Park, in Olympia, will follow the parade so bring a packed lunch.  The park has swings and a playground equipment as well as tennis courts, a field and space for kids to ride their bikes.
  • We are hoping for at least 10 families so e-mail us if your able to join us.  We need a final head count by Fri. July 1st.
 
Thanks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We've mentioned it before, but did you know we are heading to the Beach in Seattle on Saturday the 18th at 11ish??

Meet us at the Salmon Slide at 11 AM.
This Saturday is our Seattle Area beach outing at Carkeek Park and next Saturday is our Ocean Shores Beach Outing. Both events will meet up at 11 AM. Anyone is welcome to attend.  (Carkeek Park is located at: 950 North West Carkeek Park Road Seattle, WA 98177). BTW, it is the lowest tide of the summer this week, so even if you don't meet up with us at Carkeek, its a great week to visit a Seattle area beach on the Sound any day this week (14th -18th) between about 10 AM and 2 PM.

Here are some details regarding Carkeek this weekend:

Join up with Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) at Carkeek Beach in Seattle on Saturday, June 18th. This is a very casual event and anyone is invited. Bring your family, your friends, your pet or grab a friendly neighbor! We just want a chance to visit and hang out and enjoy nature together. Let's meet at the bottom of the Salmon Slide near the playground at 11 AM. Just text or call me if you want to know where we are headed next! (Larissa - 801-209-4198)

From the Salmon Slide, North of the main play area, we can stick together or spread out. At Carkeek, there is plenty of sand, picnic benches, a great play area, and as it is low tide, beach naturalists will be there to point out the cool creatures of the Puget Sound. Expect the parking to be limited and feel free to arrive any time and just connect at the Salmon Slide at 11 AM. Bring your own lunch and any supplies you may want for a day at the Beach in the Pacific NW (ie. sunscreen, a rain jacket, lunch, water, sand toys, rubber boots, etc.)

See the previous blog post at http://fsawa.blogspot.com/2011/04/save-date-for-fsa-beach-day-saturday.html if desired. Hope to see you at Carkeek Park on Saturday, June 18th at 11 AM (or in Ocean Shores the following week on Saturday, the 25th if that works better. Expect to receive an Evite  and watch for an updated blog post with the Ocean Shores details coming soon).

http://www.seattle.gov/Parks/environment/carkeek.htm

Thursday, June 2, 2011

NCFA is pleased to release Adoption Advocate No. 36, "Avoiding Adoption Scams."

Introduction

Most adoptions go well. The adoptive family has good intentions and works with adoption professionals who help address everyone’s needs and legal rights. However, the fact remains that adoption fraud does indeed exist. Creating a legally binding family through adoption isn’t always easy, and the existence of adoption fraud can make the process even more challenging.
It is important to note that not all unfortunate circumstances are the result of fraud. A finalized adoption may not occur even if adoption professionals provide all of the services for which a prospective adoptive family pays. An expectant mother may intend to place her child with an adoptive family, then ultimately change her mind and decide to parent before the end of the legal risk period. These are difficult situations,but they are not necessarily the result of fraud.
When it comes to adoption fraud, the biggest factor working against prospective adoptive families is their strong, “I’ll do whatever it takes” desire to adopt. Even when adoptive parents realize that something is amiss in a particular situation, their deep desire to adopt can sometimes override their instincts and logic and allow them to emotionally rationalize what is happening.
To decrease their chances of becoming victims of fraud, prospective adoptive parents must educate themselves about adoption scams, the common early warning signs that something is not right, and the actions they can take to help ensure a safe adoption.
While adoption fraud can certainly exist in international adoption, this Adoption Advocate focuses on domestic adoptions and the ways in which potential adoptive parents can recognize and avoid fraud.

Adoption Scams

An adoption scam occurs when an adoption professional, potential birth family, or prospective adoptive parent intentionally deceives another party for personal gain. The personal gain may be financial, but it may also be related to getting attention or experiencing a sense of power.
Here are just a few examples of fraudulent behavior:
  • An adoption professional purposefully withholds medical information from an adoptive family to push an adoption through that the family would not otherwise pursue.
  • An adoption professional promises an expectant mother that she will pay for her medical expenses, but then the professional reneges on the promise after parental rights are terminated.
  • A woman pretends to be pregnant and leads a prospective adoptive family to believe that she is considering making an adoption plan with them. 
  • A pregnant woman promises to make an adoption plan with multiple families while accepting money for pregnancy- related expenses from all of them. 
  • A prospective adoptive family promises an open adoption to an expectant mother so that she will make an adoption plan with them and then cuts off all contact after the adoption is finalized.
To avoid experiencing adoption fraud, prospective adoptive parents must pay close attention to the warning signs and practice due diligence when circumstances warrant.
While multiple types of adoption fraud unfortunately can and do occur, the remainder of this article focuses on fraud perpetrated against prospective adoptive parents.

Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

According to NCFA president Chuck Johnson, who spent 17 years working with hundreds of birthparents and adoptive families as the director of an adoption agency, “Many adoptive families that experience fraud recognize the seriousness of the warning signs only in hindsight. These families later acknowledge that they just didn’t pay attention to the red flags or hoped that, by ignoring them, things would somehow work out. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get out of a bad situation or take steps to learn more if you cannot identify the red flags early on.”
It’s important to remember that a red flag or warning sign doesn’t mean that a fraud will occur. It should be a trigger for adoptive families, however, to “dig deeper,” further research the people with whom they are working, and proceed with caution.

Warning Signs of Fraud by Adoption Professionals

Here are some of the more common warning signs of adoption professionals defrauding prospective adoptive parents:
  • They are not responsive to calls or emails. 
  • They never send requested and promised documents.
  • They pressure families inappropriately.
  • They suggest atypical approaches or methods that conflict with previous commitments or written agreements. At their worst, they break the law.
  • They don’t take the necessary steps to learn about the expectant mother and biological father, thereby taking unnecessary risks due to lack of knowledge that the adoptive family must ultimately bear.
  • They make guarantees about a situation or how quickly a prospective adoptive family will match and adopt.
  • They find the adoptive family online and present them with just the “perfect” opportunity.

Warning Signs of Fraud by Potential Birthmothers

There are also warning signs related to birthmothers who may be attempting to commit adoption fraud:
  • They continually make excuses for not sending proof of pregnancy, not responding to emails and messages, or missing scheduled calls or meetings. 
  • They immediately tell a prospective adoptive family how wonderful the family is without asking many questions or getting to know them at all.
  • They avoid meeting with an adoption agency, pregnancy counselor, or attorney.
  • They always seem like they are in the middle of multiple crises, and they try to pull the prospective adoptive family into their drama.
  • They frequently ask the potential adoptive parents about paying for expenses.

Dig Deeper

Adoption scams existed long before the Internet, but the Internet does make it easier for scammers to find and take advantage of prospective adoptive parents. However, the Internet works both ways; prospective adoptive families can leverage technology to research both potential adoption professionals and potential birthparents.
Digging deeper isn’t just about technology, however. Many low-tech methods may sound obvious when you read them here, yet some prospective adoptive parents spend thousands of dollars and make major life decisions without doing the proper due diligence.

Low-Tech Methods

Prospective adoptive families should interview the professionals with whom they are considering working and meet them in person. It’s important to explore their values when it comes to adoption, as well as their expertise and ability to provide the required support for everyone involved. The decision to work with a particular adoption professional is too important to make without completing this basic step.
Families should also ask for references from adoption professionals and then do what many people fail to do – call them! Although the professionals will only offer satisfied clients as references, families can still ask important open-ended questions that can help provide insight into how the professional works. Make sure the references are from clients that have used the professional’s services recently.
Families should also contact a state’s bar association to research an attorney and contact a state’s licensing specialist to research an agency. It’s important to know whether others have made formal complaints against a particular professional.

High-Tech Methods

The Internet and technology in general can also play an important role in further researching potential adoption professionals and expectant parents. Here are just a few examples of what prospective adoptive families can do:
  • Leverage adoption-related online forums to find families that have experience with a specific adoption professional.
  • Publicly share non-identifying information about potential birth families (or identifying information on a one-to-one basis) to check whether the birth families are working with others or match the characteristics of prior scammers.
  • Search online for past litigation against a particular adoption professional.
  • Search for geotag data (latitude and longitude information) on digital picture files that potential birthparents send or identify a potential birthparent’s general location from her Internet Protocol (IP) address to corroborate other statements that she has made.

Three Keys to Avoiding Adoption Fraud

There are many ways to substantially reduce the chances of being defrauded. Here are three of the most important tips:
  1. Listen to your inner voice – your gut. If you sense that a particular situation is not quite right, follow your instincts and further research the situation or walk away.
  2. Acquire REAL proof of pregnancy. Stories about doctor ’s appointments and how the baby is growing are not proof of pregnancy. An ultrasound image with the correct name and date on it is also not proof. Even “looking pregnant” is not proof. Prospective adoptive parents should seek written documentation from a doctor, and then follow up with the doctor ’s office to ensure its legitimacy.
  3. Limit or eliminate the amount of cash provided to potential birth families. Sometimes it’s legal to pay for pregnancy-related expenses as part of the adoption, but that doesn’t mean that prospective adoptive parents have to provide the expectant mother with cash.1 Instead, providers should be paid directly (e.g., pay the landlord directly to cover rent; pay the hospital or clinic directly to cover medical expenses; pay the utility company directly if the birthmother needs help paying her electric bill).

Conclusion

Finally, although it is important to be educated on this subject, prospective adoptive families should not lose sight of the fact that there are many more expectant parents genuinely exploring adoption as an option and many more ethical adoption professionals trying to help than there are people preying on hopeful adoptive parents. Be aware, but not paranoid.

Monday, May 16, 2011

FSA Education Mini-Conference 1-4PM this Saturday, May 21st at the LDSFS Renton Office

Whether you are a new applicant in need of Education Hours or an Approved Applicant looking for more knowledge of birth parents or you a desire a new set of eyes to review your online profile from a birth parent's perspective, Saturday's Mini Conference is sure to be helpful and insightful.  If you are planning on attending, it is important that you RSVP to FSA at: families.supporting.adoption@gmail.com. Anyone is welcome.  Note: If you live in Alaska and want to join by phone, please let FSA know via email soon so that the Meeting Place phone connection can be set up.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011  1:00 - 4:00 pm, Renton, WA
Education Mini Conference
"Bridging the Gap Between Birthparents and Adoptive Couples"
Working Together to Make a Positive Adoption Experience

Session #1 The Positive Side of Open (1:00- 2:20)
A panel of Birthmothers and Adoptive Couples discuss how an open adoption has blessed their lives and the life of the child they love.

Session #2 Chatting with Birthmoms  (2:25-2:55)
This is a great opportunity for you to chat with a group of birthmoms in an informal setting.  They could look over your profile for you or answer that burning question you may have; so come ready with an open heart and questions for them.

Session #3 Understanding Your Birthmom  (3:00- 4:00)
A panel of birthmothers will discuss ways to work through the challenges and blessings of adoption, hopefully without stepping on any toes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How's Your "It's About Love" Online Profile???

Check out this great article from the Alaska FSA Blog written by Mahana regarding online profiles for current adoption applicants of LDS Family Services:

Snap, Crackle and POP.  

I want to touch upon the thing that is always on the mind when doing this process--the adoption profile! It's like your resume--you want it polished, perfect and memorable.

It probably comes to no surprise that there are lots of other families out there also hoping to adopt that are just like you--charming, witty, educated, friendly, etc etc. So HOW do you make that great quality that many others have, STAND OUT for you and actually make an impression??

In reality, you are courting these birth parents and must make that lasting impression. How well you present yourself can be the difference between you being chosen or not. This is not to say that the Lord doesn't have His hand in it, but faith without works...well you know how that goes. Besides, it doesn't hurt to make your fabulous self look even better right?

The Paper Profile:
I know LDSFS no longer requires a paper copy and in this digital age we are doing less with paper in general but sometimes a birthparent will enjoy having a hard copy to carry around and glance over. When we first started adoption, the online profile was very VERY limited in size and so we were required to do a paper one and provide 15 copies of it. The first birthmother who chose us was thrilled when I brought her a copy of our paper profile during our first meeting--she didn't even know that was a option to get. With the two adoptions following that, we made sure to have an updated hard copy of our profile to give. Our daughter Leila's birthmother told me that it was great receiving it in the mail and it gave her comfort having something in her hand to glance through, especially since she chose us 3 weeks before giving birth! So it's something you might want to consider putting together.

For those of you expert scrapbookers, it'll be probably easy but remember that if the birthparent changes their mind, you probably won't get your hard copy back. So make sure it's in an easy and cheap way to recreate. Nowadays there are so many amazing and simple computer programs to glam up your profile. My greatest tool was Microsoft's Publisher when we did our 1st profile. You can add graphics, color, pictures, etc to make your profile modern and fresh. Then it was as easy as hitting 'print' and making sure I had colored ink.

The LDS Online Profile:
Granted, LDSFS online profile is pretty basic. But one thing I've heard mentioned by adoption experts we talked to while creating our profile, make sure your pictures show your face! All is well and good that there is a pic of you doing something, but make sure there is at least one good one with your faces! Even better if it's not too contrived or posy.

Due to the limited size/amount of the pictures you can put on LDSFS, you may want to look into setting up a web album. Picasa or Flickr is free and simple and you can upload all the pictures you want for a potential birth mother to view and add that web address to your online profile on LDS Family's website. Everyone loves to see pictures and this is where you can put all the fun ones of your family for a potential birth mother to fall in love with.

The Internet:
Welcome to the digital age. Almost everyone has access to the internet so why not capitalize on that fact? If you are a website wizard, then I'm jealous and we need to chat but for those of you who aren't... Blogging is easy and there are so many places out there offering free backgrounds, widgets, and accessories that can enhance your best qualities. Think of it as your LDS Online Profile after an Extreme Makeover. It allows you space to be more creative, add pictures, and all sorts of random things. Remember it's all about the presentation. Check out your favorite website and focus on what it is that makes it so appealing. Is it the color scheme? Is there music? Fun graphics?

The only thing I would caution here is to strictly make an Adoption Blog/website and don't have it link to your personal blog if you have one. In fact, go in your settings and make sure any blogs outside of the adoption one are not linked to it. By making it just an adoption blog, you don't have to worry about your personal life all of a sudden being put under a microscope. Instead, you have each post specifically address topics like hobbies, family, where you live etc. Things that can be tweaked here and there but won't need constant updating. You also never know what personal post might be misconstrued by a birthparent on your personal blog so it is also best to make sure your adoption blog does not link to your personal one. A profile is just meant to peak the birthparent's interest to then seek you out to learn more. So find that balance between sharing and still maintaining some alluring mystery that makes them want to know more:)

In the end make sure your profile makes you stand out! You may even want to get input from your friends and family. They know you the best and will be able to tell you whether or not your profile truly reflects you or is a snore.

Share with us some fun things you've done with your profile! Comment or email us and we'll get it online.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Girls Night Out -- Friday, May 13th at 7:30 PM (Tacoma or Belleuve)

Friday, May 13th  Girls-Night-Out Dutch Dinner - In two locations so that you can pick the one closest to you!  Please RSVP to families.supporting.adoption@gmail.com ASAP or at least by the day before (Thursday, 5/12) so that we save room for you.  Don't forget to include which location you will be attending!

Tacoma Meet at Red Robin near the Tacoma Mall at 7:30pm.
3901 S. Steele St.
Tacoma, WA 98409
http://www.redrobin.com


 



Bellevue   Meet at Barrio Restaurant near Bellevue Square Mall at 7:30pm.
10650 NE 4th St.
Bellevue, WA  98004
http://www.barriorestaurant.com/index.html
  • Join us for a late dinner or just come for dessert.  This is a great restaurant with a Mexican themed menu and lots of great choices.  We would love to know if you are thinking of attending so we can plan for you in the reservation count!
  • There is a small parking lot behind Barrio or you can park on the street or at Bellevue Mall and walk up to the restaurant.