“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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Search Tool Hosted by Adoption Learning Partners

A Search Tool Custom Built
for Adoptive Parents
APP Static graphic
Click Here to Search Now
Adoption Learning Partners is excited to introduce Adoption Parenting Pathways (APP), a tool allowing adoptive parents to find local and online resources to specifically meet their family's needs.
A family can use APP to search an area of concern or interest and find workshops, therapists, support groups, etc. in their area and online. It's also a great tool for professionals to provide additional resources to families.
We're adding new resources everyday, so make sure to bookmark APP to use whenever you need.
Check out APP for yourself and open your pathway to resources!

Consider Donating to AFFEC this Christmas Season

During the season of giving
when you are making decisions about how you can make a difference
Think of AFFEC and the difference your donation can make to a waiting Foster Child

In the past six years, AFFEC, A Family for Every Child, has helped find forever families for over 700 children. Thier focus is on the hardest to place foster children; those are older children, sibling groups, minorities, and children with physical, psychological or developmental challenges.
Despite the best intentions, foster care has devolved from being a temporary arrangement into a permanent "solution" for many of the 500,000 foster children Nationwide. The result of long-term foster care may be seen in the faces of the children who are bounced from one temporary home to another.
Please join hands with AFFEC as they work to find a family for every child in foster care. Your donations and support help us to change children's lives forever.
During the months of November and December all donations will be matched dollar for dollar by a special donor. Make your donation stretch twice as far!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Jeff and Jillian through Their Adoption Story

It has been an eventful past 12 months for the Sorenson family. We have an amazing miracle who is now a member of our family, Jase Samuel Sorenson. I am so grateful for the blessing of adoption in our family, there are no words that can express our gratitude to our Father in Heaven.

We have been adoption applicants for the last three years. We had no idea of the rollercoaster ride we would be on for all those years, but now looking back it is all worth it. Almost exactly a year ago we got the exciting call that a birth mother wanted to meet us. She wasn't totally sure if she wanted to place or parent. The meeting went well and we were anxious to hear from her soon with her decision. She kept in touch through email and texting, apologizing for taking so long in making her decision. Jeff and I both let her know that we cared about her and wanted her to take the time she needed to make the best decision for her. It was a difficult month of not knowing and praying for this birth mother. The day before she delivered she told our case worker that she was 99% sure she was going to place. We were all so excited and we got our home ready for a baby boy. The next few days were agonizing as we waited to hear when placement would be. Long story short, this sweet birth mother decided to parent. This was one of the most difficult situation I had ever encountered. I felt like someone had ripped my heart out and punched me in the gut all at the same time. This was days before Christmas so I tried my best to put on a happy face for our two little miracles at home, Jarred and Jenna. Jeff was a great strength for me to lean on during this time. His simple thoughts of if this baby was meant to come to our home then he would have. I clung to that with all of my might.

Over the next several months I felt an urgency to do something to grow our family. We looked into many other adoption possibilities but when we prayed about it, none of these options felt right for us. I started to pray for peace. There wasn't anything else I could do to "make" an adoption happen.

On a spring Tuesday evening we got a call from our case worker that there was a birth mother with 7-week-old infant that would like to meet us the next day. We were filled with all kinds of emotions, but a bit guarded after our last failed adoption. I tried to figure out what to bring to this sweet, very young birth mother. We ended up getting her some jammies and I baked my favorite cookies for her. We had a nice meeting with this birth mother and she ended the conversation by stating she thought her baby would be happy with us. It was a bit of a shock, did she really say that? We left with a million and one questions for our caseworker, who patiently answered them for us.

After two weeks of ups and downs and getting paperwork in order, and one family reunion in Utah we had placement with our sweet baby boy. I will never forget that hour we spent with our birth mother, her boyfriend's mom, and that sweet baby. I am still amazed by the courageous, mature and selfless decision that our birth mother placed her precious baby with us. Jase's middle name is after his birth mom, we always want him to know how much she loves him.

We recently had our finalization hearing and in another week we will be going to the temple to be sealed as a family for eternity. I am so grateful for all the blessings we have in our life, especially the gift of adoption.

Jeff and Jillian Sorenson

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some info from an outside Adoption Agency - AFFEC

Matching Assistance (from A Family for Every Child) Is Now FREE!
By changing our program to a free program, we hope to better fulfill our mission of finding loving, permanent families for waiting foster children.
Our program is designed to assist current approved home studied families looking to adopt waiting foster children. Our goal is to work alongside families, providing them with one-on-one communication, assurance, and support during the submission and waiting process.
We are here to assist families with learning how to best represent themselves in their family biography, and perform national child searches based on information provided in your home study and family biography.
How to sign up:
Signing up for Matching Assistance is easy! Click this link,
Sign up for MAP and get started on your family profile and biography today! Request that your worker send in your home study, and request activation. You can follow the how-to guide to help you through the process. It is located under the Matching Assistance drop-down menu on the home page.
How to Promote Your Family:
Every adoptive family should have a well-written biography. Your family biography is a way for you to introduce your family to a child's caseworker, and make your family stand out. For Matching Assistance families, a caseworker sees your family biography when you submit on a child through our site, but there is also another way to let caseworkers view it without having to submit on a child: making your biography public. When you grant us permission to make your family biography publicly viewable, it gives your family more exposure to caseworkers. By granting us permission to post your family biography on our site, we can do the following:
  • Feature your family on our home pagefor one week as our Web Feature Family. It will just be your family biography, front and center on our home page for one week!
  • Allow caseworkers to see your biography when they visit our site, without having to login, making your family biography more accessible to them.
  • Feature your family biography in a Feature Family Recruitment Email!
To grant us permission to make your family biography public, simply login to your family profile. On your Family Home Page, at the bottom of box #2, click on the link that says "[OPTIONAL] Grant Permission for Display on the Internet". On the next page, click on the check box, and click "Submit". 
Here are some other ways that you can promote your family through our Matching Assistance Program:
Feature Family Recruitment Email:
Our Feature Family Recruitment email is the best way to promote your family. This email goes out to thousands of caseworkers across the country, and allows caseworkers to send us child profiles that they think would be a good match specifically for your family. They have a very high success rate! By granting us permission to display your family biography on the internet, this allows us to send your biography out in our Feature Family emails.
We also include a link to our Waiting Families page so caseworkers can browse all the families who are publicly displayed on our site. These emails go out every other week to caseworkers.
Child Matching Events:
Signing up for Child Matching Events is another way to promote your family. During our online webinar events families will have private access to many special children, where you can view photos and/or video and hear from people who are actively involved in these children's lives.
Social workers will be on hand to answer questions and give feedback and information about the type of families that would be the best match for these children. Once the event has concluded families will be given the opportunity to submit their home study on children that they feel would be a good fit for their families.
Family Online Matching Event:
As a Matching Assistance family, you can participate in our Online Matching Event. This event is similar to the child matching events, except families are featured to over 50 caseworkers nationwide! During this event, you family biography will be shown, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your home life and what you can offer a foster child. Caseworkers will have the opportunity to gain information about families that might be a good match for children on their caseload.
The benefits of this include instant exposure to over 50 caseworkers, adoption workers and recruiters nationwide. and they will be able to learn about your family...straight from you! These events are open to all Matching Assistance families, and all you need is a computer with internet access to attend! It's an easy, free way to promote your family directly to a child's caseworker!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How Will You Celebrate November's National Adoption Month??

Here are a few ideas on places you can go to celebrate with others!

Attend the FSA Northwest Regional Conference in Portland, Oregon.
Saturday, November 10th.
9:30 am - 5 pm
Rock Creek LDS Chapel
19180 NW West Union Rd.
Portland, OR 97229 
Join DSHS and many foster and adoptive parents on Thursday, November 15th at 4 PM at the Thurston County Juvenile and Family Courthouse (located at 2801 32nd Avenue SW, Tumwater, WA 98512).  They will hold thier annual Adoption Day Celebration. Four families will be finalizing their adoptions that day in open court. There will be refreshments and activities for the kiddo’s (Hands On Children’s Museum, Booker T Bear etc) after their finalizations.
This is an amazing public event that showcases foster care adoption with a public hearing. It is a great way for adoptive parents to talk to their kids about adoption. I encourage all of you to stop by and support these local families on this day!!

Chelsie's Foster Care Luggage Drive - An Amazing Example of Supporting Adoption

A One-Woman Drive to Give Real Luggage to Transitioning Foster Kids

Luggage is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when considering the basic needs of a foster child.

But when Chelsie Irish saw kids transitioning from one home to another with all of their worldly possessions stuffed into a trash bag, she knew it had to be a priority. The Vashon Island resident enlisted her church and local community and started a bag drive for children in foster care, shedding light on a hitherto unanswered need.

sized bag poem.jpg
Irish added a flyer with this poem--
written by friend Diana Garrard-
-in the donated luggage, before sending it off
to Fostering Together for distribution.
It all started back in March. Irish and her husband were in a CPR training at Treehouse, a foster care aid and education facility in South Seattle. Passing the program was one of the many prerequisites for the couple's much anticipated second adoption. During the course of the day, Irish saw about 20 foster children being moved.
"All but two of them had their belongings in a garbage bag," she recalls. "I just thought that sent a really terrible message to vulnerable children."

The sad sight is an unfortunate staple for transitioning children. Transfers sometimes happen so suddenly that kids leave with no time to pack, and foster parents are unable to find an adequate container for their ward's items.

Irish decided to do something about it. Though she'd worked with youth groups and charities through her Latter-Day Saints church in the past, this marked the first time Irish launched a project all on her own. It was daunting, but Irish says her religious upbringing and experience with adoption fueled her determination.
"Putting your items in a garbage bag is so demeaning," she says. "Even if we helped one child, it will all be worth it."

Irish contacted Stephanie Swallow, the King County Coordinator of Fostering Together--a state-contracted organization that focuses on recruitment and retention of foster parents--to make sure collected donations would be made accessible to those who needed them. They agreed on a distribution plan and Irish started organizing.

With permission from the Seattle Stake president, Irish secured donation locations in five LDS churches. Her enthusiastic employer added another spot in the office. Bassett Furniture's Jim Copitzky donated large, old furniture boxes to serve as receptacles. Irish's friend, Jessica Peterson, designed flyers asking for gently used backpacks, duffels and bags.

By September, everything was ready to go. Irish wanted to time the drive with the back-to-school season. She figured parents shopping for their kids' supplies wouldn't mind picking up an extra backpack or donating an old one. She was right. Though the drive lasted only a few days, Irish collected 116 bags, and stragglers are still coming in.
She passed the haul onto Swallow, who was impressed with the turnout, but even more so with the drive's founder. Independent groups, like Sleep Country, had helped Fostering Together in the past, but there had never been a one-woman effort like Irish's.

"I wish I could clone her," Swallow says. "To see the need, not being a foster parent, and then to go out and do something about it is amazing."

The luggage will be partially distributed between 30 of Fostering Together's support groups, so participating parents can pick up needed items at the next monthly meeting. Swallow anticipates that 50 children will get a hold of the bags that way. The rest will go to the Treehouse for Kids warehouse--a market of clothes, toys and essentials that can be picked up for free by foster kids and parents at various times during the year. This way, families and social workers beyond the Fostering Together umbrella can have access to the bags in a pinch.

But Irish isn't done. She's already planning a bigger and better luggage drive for next year, with more church drop-off locations and possible partnerships with Seattle-area school districts and businesses.

"Every child deserves a loving home and a safe one," Irish says. "And if that's not available, we should do everything we can to make them as at ease as possible. "


Friday, October 26, 2012

What's a Lifebook?

A Lifebook is a book created for a child that tells her story from the very beginning. Older children may benefit from and enjoy helping to create their Lifebook. Ideally, a Lifebook includes information about the child's life before and after the adoption. Documents which provide concrete information about the child's life before the adoption can be especially important.
These may include:
  • Original birth certificates.
  • Hospital records.
  • Adoption decrees.
  • Pictures and letters from the child's birth parents or previous caregivers.
For children adopted internationally, the Lifebook may contain information about the child's birth country and culture.
Lifebooks are powerful tools, particularly for children who are adopted when they are old enough to have memories of their earlier life. A Lifebook helps a child place adoption in the context of their life experience. For any child who is adopted, but especially for a child adopted through the child welfare system, a Lifebook includes an explanation of why the child came into placement and what has happened to them before joining your family.
The benefits of creating and having a Lifebook include:
  • Relates and preserves history.
  • Child feels cared for and important.
  • Helps child identify feelings, especially of loss, and understand where they come from.
  • Addresses issues of identity and self-esteem.
  • Connects child to own history, culture, and traditions.
  • Helps build trust and attachment.
  • Helps counter misinformation and fantasy.
  • Helps child cope with feelings of loss and separation.
Wondering where to start?  Check out these great books and resources and start a Lifebook for you adopted child.  You can also consider purchasing the course on Lifebooks offered by Adoption Learning Partners.
“LIFEBOOKS: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child”, Beth O'Malley
  • Are you looking for guidance in creating a lifebook for your baby or child? This book will inspire you to begin your child's memory book and then walk you through the process, page by page. Learn what you need to record for your child's needs, both now and in twenty-five years. Personal lifebook stories and full-length examples are included. LIFEBOOKS: CREATING A TREASURE FOR THE ADOPTED CHILD is appropriate for any type of adoption and also for foster care. (Tapestry Books)
  • "It is difficult to grow up to be a psychologically-healthy adult without having had to one's own history. Traditionally, the family is the repository of knowledge about the child. Children separated from their families of origin do not have daily access to this source of information about their personal histories. It becomes more difficult for them to develop a strong sense of self and to understand how the past may influence present behaviors. Without this awareness, it will be more difficult for them to make conscious choices and to take responsibility for their own behaviors. For this reason, we believe a Lifebook should be made for each child. It is never too late or too early to make a Lifebook."
Adoption Lifebooks, www.adoption-works.com/
  • Information and workshops on creating lifebooks and order forms for books.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kids 2 Families Adoption Walk - Sat. November 3, 2012

Event Information:
Date:  November 3, 2012
Location: Seward Park, Seattle WA
Check in: 8:00 A.M.
Walk Begins:  9:00 A.M.

Walk Ends: 12:00 P.M.
Event Coordinator: Susan Lawrence
For more information call: (425) 830-8816
E-mail Us
Directions to the Adoption Walk

Join our Facebook Event Page and invite your friends.
Join our Facebook Page

Great Adoption Children's Lit

This book (Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born) has been in my home for many years.  Recently, my 7-year-old son has been asking to read it bit more often.  It is fun to read it together and then to talk about his adoption story.  If you have not read this book, I highly recommend you check it out!

Here is a bit more about it from Amazon, "Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell come together once again to create a unique celebration of the love and joy a baby brings into the world. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is a heartwarming story, not only of how one child is born but of how a family is born."

Do you have any other adoption books you love?  Drop me a line or comment below.  For more good reads check out our Good Reads Page.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Very Interesting Story Regarding Embryo Adoption

This article was taken from the Maryland FSA Chapter Blog and you can link directly to the original post here.

By Holly Kristiansen

Here is Tracy and Barton Jeffs adoption story. I met them at the last FSA conference in Pennsylvania. Tracy was pregnant and announced in her introduction that they had conceived through embryo adoption. I was intrigued, so I asked them to email me their story and more information about embryo adoption.

I just wanted to preface this story by emphasizing that in the church handbook it does say that the church strongly discourages surrogacy and sperm and egg donation, but does not mention embryo adoption. Tracy and Barton did not want to do anything contrary to the teachings of the church, and talked to their stake president. His opinion was that since an embryo can technically be thought of as a "baby" he considered embryo adoption to be an adoption early in the game and not contrary to church teachings. Since it is not specifically outlined whether embryo adoption is okay, it is up to personal interpretation. This article is not meant to be controversial or offensive to anyone. I just thought it was a touching story, and another possible way for couples to find and bring home their much desired babies. It is up to the individual families to decide what is right for them.

A few great things about embryo adoption for those that it is right for, is that it allows the adoptive couple to be more in charge of their adoption process. It eliminates the ups and downs of waiting to be chosen and also of birth mother changing her mind during the process. It also makes it easier to breastfeed your child and also allows you to experience pregnancy.

Just for an update on the article, when Tracy and Barton wrote this, the price was around $4500 more or less for a closed adoption, and an extra $3000 for an open adoption. Bethany, who facilitates the adoption aspects found that the couples on both sides were needing advice and counsel whether the adoption was open or closed, hence the change in price.

After Tracy was pregnant they also wrote the church Presidency regarding whether a temple sealing would necessary. Their response was that the baby would be born in the covenant as if he was their own.

Chase Jeffs was born December 15th, 2009.

You can see pictures of him here...http://secure.smilebox.com/ecom/openTheBox?sendevent=4d5451314e7a67324d7a4a384d7a497a4e6a4d314f44493d0d0a&sb=1

Tracy and Barton said that they would be happy to share their story with you!

Here is the story by Barton Jeffs:

For a short introduction; my wife and I are the Virginia (VA) FSA Chairman. We have a 10 year old son, who we had through artificial insemination, and we are currently pregnant with a baby boy who is due in December. This baby has come to us through embryo adoption/transfer.

We married May 1995 and had our son November 1998. From November 1998 to October 2006 we continued to grow our family, first with artificial insemination, followed by in vitro insemination, and then foster care and adoption. In July 2007 we went through a failed adoption with LDSFS. Prior to being chosen by the birth mom, we had been finding/waiting for an adoption for nine months. Following the failure we waited an additional two years to March 2009. Soon after the failed adoption, Tracy was looking through an adoption magazine and found an article/advertisement for embryo adoption/transfer. We had a difficult time deciding to try it, because we believe so much in traditional adoption. There are so many children being born to unwed mothers, who deserve a home with a mother and a father. The problem we had was that we just were not finding them and they were not finding us. Admittedly we could have been even more aggressive and proactive, but we were very involved in outreach and social networking. We did not have our profile out through the net on blogs, parentprofiles.com, etc. Unfortunately, based on our experience as the VA chairs and knowing the small numbers of actual adopted children annually, we knew that we may never adopt. Based on this fact and prayers, we decided to try embryo adoption/transfer.

Through our search, we found two primary locations that specialize in embryo adoption/transfer. One is in TN (The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC)) and the other is in CA (Nightlight Christian Adoptions / Snowflake). Both centers are pro-life and Christian based. NEDC's cost is $4780-$6445 and Snowflake is $12000-$16,000 (per their websites). Our total cost for everything to include medication, medical procedures, and doctor visits but not including gas and hotel stay was $4469.

Here is a description of the process we went through. First we had to go through the same type of paper work that we did to get qualified with LDSFS (profiles, medical, bio, family history, etc.). Then we provided our LDSFS home study to NEDC through the Bethany Services Adoption agency. If we didn't have our own home study, Bethany would have completed one at a small cost. Once we were approved, we went to TN for a mock transfer to validate that my wife would react properly to the medication and to verify that she could carry. That was a one day (1 hour) affair, although we chose to stay overnight in a hotel.

Then we had to decide if we wanted an open or closed adoption/transfer. Just like traditional adoption, both options are available. With the closed option, the donating couple simply gives their embryos to NEDC through the IVF center that they used. NEDC creates a profile for each of their donating couples (attached). NEDC then sends the waiting and approved receiving couples the profiles of the donating couples that are available for the next insemination date. The receiving couples go through the profiles and try to find the couple that matches their personal desires best. The process is first come first serve, so the quicker we responded the more likely we were to get the donating couple’s embryos that we wanted. We received 31 profiles and immediately took 10 away based on nationality and skin color. We then systematically worked to find our couple. The couple we found are both two inches taller than me and Tracy, but the rest of the description matches us nearly exactly (hair color, skin tone, eye color, etc.). Our first choice only had three embryos, and NEDC preferred we went into the insemination with six embryos. So we had to choose a backup couple also. The backup couple did not match us as well, but was very close. Between the two couples, we had seven embryos.

The open adoption/transfer option is a higher cost. Bethany charges $3,000 to manage the legal paper work prior to the insemination, the correspondence after the birth, and any personal meetings. The benefits of an open adoption/transfer are the same as traditional adoption, but we wanted to save our money to try again if the first time didn't work. Likewise, after our insemination, we learned that couples who were going through the open adoption/transfer were having problems with donating couples changing their minds at the last second or not finding couples for donation because the donating couple’s requirements were too difficult. It seemed many of the open donation couples were Jewish and wanted to make sure at least one person of the receiving couples was of Jewish decent.

Once we chose our couples and embryos, our insemination date was scheduled and we were sent the medical history of our primary donating couple. The information included in the medical history is just like the paperwork we filled out on ourselves for our LDSFS profile. One other note, NEDC does inseminations every two months during the first week of the month.

When we arrived for the insemination, we were given a picture of the three embryos from our first choice couple. Their embryos were good enough that we didn’t need the second couple. They explained the quality and grade of each embryo and the likely hood of having triplets, twins, or a singleton. Of our three embryos, two were good and one was not. We were given a very low percentage chance of triplets and a good possibility of twins or singleton. We signed that we accepted the embryos in their current condition and accepted the likely hood of triplets, twins, or singleton. Once the insemination was complete (three hours) we went back to a hotel and waited 24 hours. NEDC prefers that the mother stay in a prone position and rest for 24 hours so that the embryo(s) have the best chance of taking. 12 days after the insemination we did a blood test to check likelihood of pregnancy. At six weeks we had an ultrasound, which showed that one embryo had taken. NEDC’s doctor and staff were awesome and very easy to work with.

As for the church and embryo adoption/transfer, we discussed the procedure and option with our Stake President (who also happens to be the chairman for LDSFS Advisory council in VA). His council was that the embryo is essentially a baby already created. The embryo adoption/transfer simply gave us the chance to carry, give birth to, and breast feed an “adopted” child. He also believed that embryo adoption/transfer does not apply to the recommendation in the Stake President handbook, which highly discourages using surrogates or donated eggs/sperm for insemination to get pregnant.

When it comes to law, currently an embryo adoption/transfer is only considered to be a property transfer. Thus, anything produced or any problems resulting with the embryo or/and baby is the “current owners" (receiving couple) responsibility not the “previous owner” (donating couple). Based on current law, the word and the procedure of adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Also, instead of using adoption laws, legal agreements are used to govern the process of embryo donation. The receiving couple’s relationship with the child is just as binding as a legal adoption.

I share this in hopes that if you deem this helpful, our story can be shared with the many couples who are having a difficult time or have been finding/waiting with no success. If you have anyone that would like more information or would simply like to talk about the possibility of an embryo adoption/transfer, please feel free to share our information. As I stated before, we still believe in adoption and know that there are many children out there waiting for a home internationally and through foster care. We also know that every day there are LDS and non-LDS women who get pregnant and are considering adoption. With that said, over the last three years of being the chairman of FSA in VA, we have not been able to see the fruits of adoption bless the lives of the couples in VA. So we are trying to help others know and understand that there are more options (if they are able to carry) that allow them to carry, give birth, breast feed, and keep their baby. If embryos are existing babies, and we believe they are, this is yet another way the Lord has found to give them life.

Barton and Tracy Jeffs
Virginia Chapter
FSA Chairman
H: 703-372-2132
C: 703-344-3360/61

Feel free to contact Tracy and Barton. I have more detailed pricing and other information from the NEDC and Snowflake. If you would like me to send you more information, email me at whereisholly@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Letter from CongressmanYoung of Alaska re:Making Adoption Affordable Act.

Check out the letter one of our AWESOME Alaska Members received when she contacted her Congressman regarding the Making Adoption Affordable Act.  Please take the time to contact your Representative from Congress ASAP and share with us your experience. 

Find your Representative
If you know your Representative, simply call the Capitol hotline at 202-224-3121!!

Dear Mrs. Passmore,

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 4373, the Making Adoption Affordable Act.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with me.
On April 17, 2012, Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) introduced H.R. 4373 to make permanent certain tax credits for adoption expenses.  This legislation, as the title suggests, attempts to encourage adoptions by attempting to offset the growing costs associated with such an undertaking.  A 2010 study holds that foster care costs the taxpayers around $47,000 per child, per year.
Under current tax law, individuals who qualify may receive a tax credit of $12,360 for adopting an eligible child.  This legislation would increase that amount to $13,360 and would make it permanent.  Originally, the credit was in the amount of $10,000, which was established following passage of H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.  This tax credit is intended to help offset the cost for parents who choose to adopt children.
Opponents of the bill claim that it only serves to further complicate the existing complex tax code.  It is also argued that the previous tax credit was more than a sufficient incentive for parents to adopt.  They believe that the increased tax credit does little to improve the quality of life of adopted children, and only increases the cost burden on the taxpayer.
Supporters of this legislation argue that making adoption a more financially viable option for parents will help improve the quality of life for adopted children and boost the number of children being adopted overall.  It could also convince parents that adoption is a feasible option when they would otherwise choose not to adopt.  As a proud grandfather of adopted children, I have a deep personal appreciation and understanding of the adoption process and the joy that comes from a successful adoption.  Adoption is something that is very special to me and I would strongly encourage willing and interested Americans to adopt.
H.R. 4373 was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on April 17, 2012, where it awaits further action.  Should this legislation reach the House floor for a vote, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind.

Once again, thank you for expressing your views on this issue.  If you haven't already, I would encourage you to sign up for my e-newsletter at http://donyoung.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/ and my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=RepDonYoung.   Doing so will allow me to provide you with updates on this and other important issues.  If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Congressman for All Alaska

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FSA Temple Night - Sat. 10/13 at 7pm

Just a little reminder that we are hoping to see you at the Seattle Temple on Saturday, October 13th at 7pm.  For more info, see this blog post:http://fsawa.blogspot.com/2012/09/fsa-temple-night-sat-october-13th-at-7pm.html.

HELP - How do I fix the feed on this blog??

Hi Adoption Peeps and Readers! -- HELP!!!! I've been trying to fix the blog roll so that it is a continuous feed and does not just show one month at a time.  Does anyone know how to fix this??  BTW - If anyone else is interested being a blog writer (or even just a helpful editor), you can see I am at times quite blog challenged!  Please comment here or email me via FSA at FamiliesSupportingAdoption@gmail.com!  Thanks! Larissa ;-)

Adoption Highlight - Get to Know Pat and Rebeka Murphy!

Our names are Pat and Rebekah Murphy.  We have been married 20 years and were blessed this past February with our miracle.  On Sunday, January 29th we heard from a woman at church about a special baby with a chromosomal disorder born in Germany.  The next day we contacted LDS Social Services to start the paperwork.  Honestly, we have lost count of people saying, "we know of a baby..." which always ends sadly for us.  So, we pushed forward with faith.

Three days later we started the mountain of paperwork and the beginning of our miraculous whirlwind adoption process.  Five days after starting our paperwork, we met the birth mother and paternal grandparents.  She and baby Freddie hopped on a medical military flight to Madigan Army Medical Center.  We visited for 3 hours.  On midnight, exactly 1 week after starting our paperwork, the birth mother said she had chosen us to adopt her special son.  We were over the moon with excitement.  Then exactly 2 weeks after starting our paperwork on February 8th, we picked up Freddie from Madigan and brought him home.  We had the birth mother and the paternal grandparents over for dinner that night.  On that day, our family expanded by one baby and a slew of new aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends.

We have a very open adoption.  We visit the paternal aunts monthly and the paternal grandparents every 3 months.  We visit with the birth parents about every other month.  We have had extended birth family fly in from out of town to have them over for dinner and of course to see Mr. Fred.  Because we plan on keeping a very open adoption with the birth family, we have decided to call the birth parents Freddie's God parents.  They are the parents that God sent him to first.

We have an overwhelming sense of gratitude to our Father in Heaven and know that he heard our prayers and prepared us for this extra special boy.  We are blindly walking forward in regards to Freddie's long term health, but we have faith that all will be as Heavenly Father wants it to be.  All we know is Freddie is one very special spirit.  We were sealed on Saturday, May 5th.  We can both honestly say, that on that day, it was a perfect day filled with love; pure love. - Pat and Rebeka

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blessed by a Miracle - Regional FSA Conference in Portland, Oregon

(Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho)
Blessed by a Miracle

Date - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Location - Rock Creek LDS Chapel
               19180 NW West Union Rd.
                        Portland, OR 97229

Conference Schedule At A Glance
  9:30am   – 10:00am           Registration -  Mix N' Mingle- Pastries
10:00am   – 10:50am           Welcome
                                          Adoption Award
                                          President Lloyd Campbell (from the Portland Temple)                                            State of Adoption Address
11:00am    12:00pm           Adoption Panel
12:00       --    1:15pm          Lunch by Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant   
                                                Heart Gallery
                                                What is Families Supporting Adoption?
  1:15pm      2:15pm           Breakout Session 1
  2:15pm      3:15pm           Breakout Session 2
  3:15pm      4:30pm           Birth Family Panel
  4:30pm  --    5:00pm           Closing- Mix N' Mingle- Appetizers

Breakout Sessions
An Adoption Reunion
Adopting Through the State
Open Adoption
Adoption and Your Growing Child

Classes for Birth Parents
Communicating with the Adoptive Family
Documenting Your Adoption Story

***No Registration fee but must RSVP  to fsa-or@ldsfamilyservices.org.***

Business casual attire recommended for conference.
All participants will receive an Adoption Giveaway Bag.