Friday, April 15, 2011

Adoption Fast

Unite with us in prayers and fasting to further adoption work in Indiana and Kentucky.  We have devoted the following days for fasts and prayers with one another and our wards and extended families:
 May 1st
August 7th
November 6th
December 4th
If you can, try to get to the temple on the weekend of each fast if possible.  Below is a letter you can share with your bishops if you feel your ward would be willing to unite with us (Copy and Paste).  We welcome all.  Note at the end of this year we will stand together saying we have done all we could and then what peace will fill our homes. 

Dear Friends and Families,

As Families Supporting Adoption unites with the staff of LDS Family Services we work intimately with those seeking to adopt children and birth mothers considering adoption and other alternatives. Much prayer and fasting has gone into how we might move this work forward. As stewards over all within our state we feel the responsibility to make certain every child born in Indiana has the promises made clear in the Proclamation of the Family, where every child has the right to be afforded the blessing of being in a covenant home with a mother and father to teach them the principles of the gospel. This is our missionary work and stewardship and we invite all who would unify with us to join with us in dedicating this next month’s fast to focus on the birth mothers in our state and the adoptive couples seeking to provide those eternal promises to these children. We believe as we unite with our brothers and sisters we can petition the Lord to soften our hearts to the prompting of how best we can support birthmothers and soften the hearts of these birth mothers so the children can enjoy the blessings and covenants of eternal families. As we invite wards and members to join in our prayers and temple service our hope is that unifying will bring power and strength to these efforts. Please know we welcome you to consider if you feel this would be unifying and uplifting focus for your ward to unite with us and strengthen our petition to the Lord for these sweet spirits.

David L. Pitcher
Marcia French

Monday, March 7, 2011

Aaron & Brynn's Adoption Journey

Miranda is our second daughter, and our second adoption. The roller-coaster ride that brought Miranda into our family has had MANY more ups and downs than the one that gave us our first daughter, Samantha. A couple of months before Miranda was placed with us, we had an adoption fail. We went to Georgia and had a beautiful baby boy in our care for 3 days – and then had to give him back to his birthmother. It was a very difficult time. We were heartbroken and decided we would NEVER go back to Georgia and it’s “10 days until relinquishment is binding” policy.

However, in mid-September, at just the right time in our healing process, we learned that a birthmother, in Georgia, was “very interested” in our family. The caseworker we worked with during the failed adoption kept us in mind as she continued to work with her birthmothers. We spoke with our caseworkers and sent an email introduction to our birthmother the following week. That Sunday we are once again driving down to Georgia for an early delivery. That night we met “Mama S” and our sweet baby, Miranda, who was only a few hours old. She was, and is, a beautiful baby with big, dark eyes. We spent the next two days visiting Mama S and Miranda in the hospital and getting to know them better. Mama S signed her relinquishment papers, and we all went “home.”

“Home” for us was actually a hotel in Georgia, where we spent the next 10 days at high anxiety, as we communicated with Mama S and tried to help her through her grieving. We had lunch with Mama S a couple of times while we were there and continue to have a good relationship with her.

Miranda is now 3 and a half months old. The journey to bring her home was brim full of ups and downs. Throughout the process, we know we had our Heavenly Father’s help and guidance. We know that the Lord is aware of all of His children and knows our unique situations and loves each of us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Temple Trip

Two Temples:
One Heart & Mind

Please join the Indiana & Kentucky FSA chapter for their
bi-annual temple trip
on Saturday, February 26th
in either the Chicago or Louisville temples.

Co-Chair Sara Hayman will be presenting this year's FSA theme "Trust in the Lord" at the Chicago temple 
Co-Chair Esther Edwards will be presenting this year's FSA theme at the Louisville temple.

Afterwards join us for lunch provided by LDSFS at a nearby restaurant (to be determined).
For this temple trip there will NOT be babysitting provided but your children are welcomed to come to lunch with us if you decide to trade-off with your spouse or bring your own babysitter to the temple.
(Note: The church building across from the Louisville temple is not available for babysitting as usual, due to remodeling).  

Why do we plan FSA chapter temple trips?
When we put our trust in the Lord by attending the temple as a group with one heart and one mind focused on our Heavenly Father's love that shines through adoption-- we are blessed.
Not only are we blessed individually and as a couple/family but our whole chapter, our cities and our states are blessed. 
Specifically and in general love and adoption flourish when we attend the temple as families supporting adoption. 

Please RSVP today either on this blog, by sending an email to or responding to the Evite that you hopefully received previously. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Dear FSA Friends,

In 2011 we hope that you'll join us in supporting the vital cause of adOPTION.  Adoption is a loving OPTION and we exist to spread that wonderful news.  We are here to support families, to learn, to educate, and to bless lives.  We know that we have a loving Heavenly Father and that He has a plan for every single one of His children. 

This year, our focus and theme is "Trust in the Lord..." taken from Proverbs 3:5-6, which reads, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths." 

Each of us is tied to adoption in some way.  We know that the Lord watches over and blesses His children.  We can trust Him and have faith that He is aware of our needs and the needs of those around us.  He wants us to have joy.  He has promised us that if we trust in Him, He shall direct our paths.  This is true in all aspects of our lives.  How evident it is in the many amazing stories of adoption that we have experienced and learned about. 

We invite you strengthen your trust in the Lord this year by being faithful and prayerful.  We know that you will be guided each day and find joy even in your trials.  Share your knowledge with others and strengthen those around you.  We have treasures of knowledge and blessings to share as adoption advocates.  Thank you for being involved in a cause about LOVE.

Visit the blog often.  We will share talks, scriptures, and stories related to TRUSTING IN THE LORD.  And we hope that it will encourage and strengthen you.

Love your FSA Co-Chairs,
Sara Hayman and Esther Edwards

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Day...

It's the very last day of November! The last official day of National Adoption Month. 
How did National Adoption Month go for you?
  • The FSA board didn't post every day on this blog liked we hoped but we did post often and plan to continue doing so.
  • The picture above is a display my local library put together after I gave them a list of children's adoption books. It was very exciting to see the display and people checking out books. I also had a good conversation about adoption with the children's librarian.

  • I was chatting with my neighbor in my driveway when she saw our license plate frame on our car and asked more about our involvement with adoption. We had a very nice discussion. 

  • I received positive responses to my posts about adoption on Facebook and my personal blogs.  (I saw many of you post things about adoption, too!)
It was a great month!

We would like to know more about what the members of the Indiana & Kentucky FSA chapter did to celebrate, outreach and/or show support for adoption! Please tell us your stories by emailing us ( or leaving a comment.

I hope we all will continue to find ways to expand our knowledge about adoption issues and to share our testimonies.

Adoption is about love!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birth Parent Fantasies

This post is in response to a comment made on the previous post asking for more information about birth parent fantasies. Hope this provides some useful information and answers questions that many people might have.

Child development research shows that most children around elementary school age, will create a "family fantasy."  For the child who has not been adopted this is just a stage, a short-term fantasy that is fun and can aide continued attachment development with parents despite disappointments and realizing those parents are not perfect or solely good.

For the child who has been adopted it is usually not "just a stage" or a short-term fantasy mainly because this fantasy is based on some actual facts--the child actually has "other" parents before the adoptive parents. The birth parent fantasies are also not as much fun for the child who has been adopted. They will often feel very conflicted about their fantasies. One reason why birth parent fantasies develop is to help protect the child from and also help the child to make sense of hard facts, such as relinquishment.  In fantasies dealing with relinquishment and abandonment the child may wish and fear at the same time his birth parents coming to reclaim him. The child who has been adopted, often wants her birth parents to want her but not to actually take her.

Another conflicting aspect about birth family fantasies is that the child is still in the developmental stage where everything and everyone is either good or bad. These fantasies may categorize birth parents as "bad" but then the conflicting aspect is what does that say about the child himself; the biological child of said "bad" parents? If the fantasy categorizes the adoptive parents as "bad" it puts conflicting thoughts on practically everything the child has ever known of family and life. Then the last option is for the child to categorize herself as "bad" and obviously this is not conducive to healthy emotional and/or identity development.

So what do we do as adoptive parents or others involved with children who have been adopted?
  • We do not encourage or discourage per se, the actual having birth parent fantasies but are to encourage the expression of the fantasies if they develop (and they most likely will develop in some form). 
  • You cannot help a child with the difficult emotional work, or the resolving of conflicting and ambiguous thoughts and circumstances or  integrate hard facts about their life story that are contained in their birth parent fantasies if you do not know what their fantasies are.
  • The fantasies can be expressed verbally but as the fantasy might have lots of conflicting and strong emotions attached to them it might be difficult for a child to just talk about them. The lifebooks can help bring about discussion of birth family fantasies safely through the use of prompts, the child's birth and adoption stories and pictures.
  • When creating a lifebook, sharing the adoption or birth story careful to neither idealize or vilify people in the story. Birth parents should not be "sacrificing saints" nor "losers"; adoptive parents should not be "rescuers" or "saviors" and the adopted child should not be "lucky" etc... One possible underlying theme is we are all humans, who make both good and bad choices and no one is solely good or bad.
  • You might encourage other forms of expression besides verbal, by having the child draw pictures of the birth parents and birth family fantasies.
  • When discussing the birth family fantasy, name emotions both the positive and the negative that the child expresses or are most likely underlying the fantasy. Again highlight that it's hard and often uncomfortable to accept people as both good and bad but it's the healthiest path.
  • Be aware of your own emotions. For example, as an adoptive parent listening to the birth family fantasy do you feel threaten? Recognize and acknowledge your emotions. Your feelings, especially if left unrecognized, can influence and even sabotage your efforts of communication with and help to your child.
  • Resist transmitting society's pressure to choose "sides" and to have loyalty to only one person/family. Having a relationship, interest or love for the birth family does not mean the child cannot or does not have relationships, interest and love for the adoptive family and vice versa.
  • Revisit the fantasy, rediscuss the birth family and other facts and details about adoption. Just because you have been using the term adoption or birth parent since the child was young doesn't mean they understand the meaning or concept. Children will usually need to come to terms, a new understanding of what it means to be adopted, at each new developmental stage.
  • Open adoption and/or sharing the facts that you have about the birth family and adoption has been shown to help discuss and ground the fantasy in reality but don't assume that this will eliminate the child's birth family fantasy all together. Many children take the facts and elaborate on them further in their fantasies. For example, one young women who knew her birth mother did not finish high school, elaborated on that fact with the belief her birth mother went to beauty school instead, just like many of the girls who dropped out in her own school did. The young woman started considering going to beauty school, too. If an adoptive parent or other individual involved with the young woman, knew of this elaboration or the fantasy, they could help her find ways to be her own person and find other ways to feel connected with her birth mother.  
This post was written using the research article: Birthparent Romances and Identity Formation in Adopted Children by Elinor Rosenberg and Thomas M. Horner.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


What are Lifebooks

A Lifebook is a record of a foster/adopted child’s life that uses words, photos, the child’s artwork, and memorabilia. It is like a scrapbook but provides different information and details than your average scrapbook.

Lifebook Page Ideas

  • The day you were born
  • How your parents found out about you
  • Waiting for you
  • Meeting you
  • Your birth family and/or foster family or orphanage
  • Your family tree (both families as much as possible)
  • Adoption day
  • Visits with your birth family
  • About your birth country
Lifebook Journaling Ideas
  • Dates of important events and milestones
  • Names of social workers, facilitators and agency officials
  • Locations and names of foster families and orphanages
  • Meeting birth family members or correspondence with them (if available)
  • Weather and news headlines on their adoption day and/or birthday
  • Making the decision to adopt
  • Your thoughts and feelings about the adoption process
  • Poetry and quotations about adoption
  • Foods eaten, sights seen on their day of birth or adoption day
  • Stories about traveling home
  • Details of the first days together as a family

Reasons to Make Lifebooks

Throughout the adoptee’s life, he or she will hear about the day she arrived into the family. Stories abound from that point. The child’s birth and birth family are not discussed as often, usually because the new family members lack the personal knowledge of the birth family’s story. The lifebook helps to fill that void.

Lifebooks Provide:

  • A concrete tool for meaningful conversation
  • An adoption security blanket
  • A prop to use as part of attachment rituals
  • A structure to use when discussing difficult subjects (such as reasons for relinquishment)
  • A way to normalize adoption language
  • A way to discuss fantasies about birth parents
  • A method of embedding positive messages during childhood that will be remembered during adolescence strengthening postive adoptive identity
  • An opportunity to strengthen other facets of identity such as self-esteem and positive ethnic identity
  • A method of reducing society's pressure on children to have divided loyalties between birth and adoptive families
  • A space to document future events


Recommended Books & References