“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

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two Legally Free (Washington State) Children Looking to Join Their Forever Families

1.  This little boy, who is 6.5 years-old and in the 1st grade, (pictured in the photo below on the right of his siblings) is legally free if you are interested or know someone that might be.  (Tawnia has access to the placement information.  The little boy's State Caseworkers are hopeful that his new adoptive family will be willing to retain sibling contact and the current adoptive parents of the little boy's 3 younger siblings are receptive to continued sibling contact.)  The little boy would not have to go to a couple who are currently foster licensed.  He is available and the adoptive family would work with the State, but they would do a transition.  He would also come with adoption support money. They are specifically looking for an LDS home so that all of the children will have the same faith.

2.  Also, there is a 12 – 13 year-old little girl that has been in the system and is looking for a LDS home; she is baptized and has been in an LDS home until recently. 

If you are interested in either situation, please let me know.  Tawnia Singleton, MS, LMHC


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Like to Plan Parties and Community Events -- FSA Needs You!

Are you grateful for adoption and want to share your talents? Our Western Washington Chapter is looking for Board Members who are interested in helping as Outreach Coordinator and Activities Supervisor.

The Outreach Coordinator plans events in the community teaching others about the positive aspects of adoption. (An example of a past events was setting up an FSA booth at the Mariners Game on Adoption night).

The Activities Supervisor would work with Zone Leaders to plan fun FSA events in various areas throughout Western Washington. (Such as play dates, family picnics, girls nights out, BBQ's, Camping Trips, Mariner's Game Outings etc).

Both are great ways you can learn more about adoption and help others to learn more. We all have a role to play in keeping adoption as an option. Please consider helping. Even if you can only manage one event, your help will have a significant impact on the positive image of adoption. Please consider supporting Families Supporting Adoption. Email FSA and tell us how you can help at: families.supporting.adoption@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Minnesota / Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP) -- A study regarding the effects of openness in adoption

Do you wonder if openness is adoption is a good idea?  The UMass Amherst Department of Psychology conducted the Minnesota / Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP) which is a longitudinal research study that focuses on the consequences of variations in openness in adoption arrangements for all members of the adoptive kinship network: birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children, and for the relationships within these family systems. The project was begun in the mid-1980's and contains some very interesting findings.  

To view the study in it's entirety CLICK HERE.

Here is a brief sample of a few of their findings:
  • Birthmothers in fully disclosed adoptions had lower adoption-related grief and loss than those in confidential adoption.
  • When birthmothers' level of openness was controlled, as satisfaction with openness increased, birthmothers' current global level of grief decreased. 
  • Looking longitudinally, we found that higher degrees of perceived compatibility maintained from middle childhood to adolescence were associated with higher degrees of psychosocial engagement (defined as adolescents' active use of inner resources to interact positively with others in family, peer, and community contexts) and attachment to parents and lower problem behavior.
  • Adolescents demonstrating integrated adoptive identity had coherent, integrated narratives in which adoptive identity was highly salient and viewed positively. For example, one teen said, "When I was little I worried I was placed because she didn't want me. Now I know I was placed because she cared enough." 
  • When compared to parents in confidential adoptions, those in fully disclosed adoptions generally reported higher levels of acknowledgment of the adoption, more empathy toward the birthparents and child, stronger sense of permanence in the relationship with their child as projected into the future, and less fear that the birthmother might try to reclaim her child.

The Minnesota / Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP) was begun by Harold Grotevant, Ph.D., the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Ruth G. McRoy, Ph.D., Research Professor and the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor Emerita at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.  Again the study can be viewed at the following link: http://www.psych.umass.edu/adoption/

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    North West Regional Conference - Which was Held in November 2010

    In November, it was our Chapter's honor to host the 2010 Northwest Regional FSA Conference, held in Federal Way, Washington . Two days full of training, education support, and socializing brought close to 150 members together from all over the region including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho.  

    Prospective and current adoptive applicants, along with adoptive parents and birth parents alike, joined together to celebrate adoption.  Education courses were offered on a variety of topics such as: adopting special needs children and children from Foster Care, legal aspects of adoption, and networking.  Birth parents had the opportunity to gather together and share experiences and learn from each other as well. 

    The fireside opened the eyes of those who attended to ways of overcoming adversity in adoption while the key note broadcast, from National FSA Conference in July, reminded everyone of what a miracle adoption can be.

    With over 500 hours of service, from 25 different volunteers, our conference was a HUGE success!  Thank you to all those who helped pull it off, we couldn’t have done it without your help! 

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Are you a Sports Fan? Please, Help our Chapter Join a Community Team!

    American Fork FSA Baseball Team
    As part of our FSA Chapter's efforts toward outreach, we want to join a community softball or baseball recreation league.  But, we have no idea where to start. Would you be interested in helping us create a team?  Here is a link to the  blog post about the American Fork Chapter's experience:  Team Adoption (American Fork Chapter)

    We could have a children's team, COED or a male only team.  (I'm probably saying this all wrong since I know nothing about sports, but you get the idea I hope!)  Clearly we need someone with some sports background but anyone could get it started.  We could do just one team or a few in different locations. Players could include a variety of people such as expectant parents, adoptive parents, children, adoptees, birth parents, LDSFS staff, and friends of adoption etc. 

    If you are interested in helping set this up or interested in playing please us know.  Contact us at Families Supporting Adoption Western WA Chapter.
    The American Fork FSA banner on display during their game.