Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book List from Esther Edwards

At our adoption conference on October 1oth, Esther Edwards gave a great presentation about using children's books to foster a positive adoptive identity in our children.
Here is a list of her favorite children's books about adoption.

Esther Edwards Top 12 Favorite Children's Books about Adoption
My Family is Forever by Nancy Carlson
How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole

Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings
Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jaime Lee Curtis

All Together Now by Anita Jeram A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
Over the Moon by Karen KatzHorace by Holly Keller
The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin

The Family Book by Todd Parr
Sam's Sister by Juliet C. Bond
Logan's Journey by Kathy Heath & Karla Martin

Happy Adoption Awareness Month!!!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! To spread adoption awareness there are many simple things anyone can do. Here are just a few ideas to get some creative juices flowing:
*Tell your local library about November and ask them if you can create an adoption display or see if they will pull books about adoption (children's books too) for the display. You might be surprised how willing they are to have you create one.

*If you happen to have any adoption agency pass along cards like those that LDS Family Services has, leave them wherever you go: the bulletin at the grocery store, the library, the post office - anywhere! Leave your own pass along cards wherever you go!

*Call your local newspaper and ask them to consider writing an article about adoption to support National Adoption Month.

*Be willing to talk about adoption with others - share your knowledge and experiences.

*If there happens to be an adoption walk in town or an adoption celebration of some kind - do it!
*Attend any adoption support groups

*And here's a really simple one that requires no face to face contact: post something about adoption, link LDSFS or any adoption agency to your blog or website - be creative.
We will be doing many of these things in our area and we encourage you to be proactive and make a difference in yours. You never know who might benefit from learning more. There are a lot of sad misconceptions about adoption and we want people to know what it really is - ABOUT LOVE!

P.S. – If you have success of any kind, tell us about it and send pictures so that we can share it with everyone else! Happy Adoption Month!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jared, Esther, and Aurora's Story

Jared and I had discussed adoption for years but never felt like the time was right. Then in December 2007 we attended our Stake Conference when one of the speakers was from LDS Family Services. When we came home we both disclosed to each other that during the meeting we felt that it was time to begin the adoption process, that Heavenly Father had a special baby in mind for us.

We contacted LDS Family Services and were given some paperwork to fill out. Then in February we met with the LDS Family Services social worker over the Indiana and Kentucky area, Dave Pitcher, and were given more paperwork to fill out. Over that spring and summer we had interviews, our home study and filled out paperwork.

In Sept 2008 we were finally in the waiting stage of the adoption process. We still needed to make a second, new profile for the new website. We put this off for a few months then I felt the Holy Ghost confirm to me that if we did not get the new profile completed, we would not have the baby Heavenly Father intended for us placed with us. We finished the second profile and three weeks later an expecting mother contacted us.

We emailed with this mother, who wishes to be called Momma A, for about a month and then agreed to have phone contact with her. We talked on the phone and texted for about a month and then she officially made the decision to place her baby with us. The Spirit was consistently confirming that this was Heavenly Father’s plan to all of us. We have so much love for Momma A and she for us. The baby girl was due in a month. Momma A wanted us there for the birth and even arranged for us to have a room at the hospital.
We were there for the birth of our daughter, Aurora, and it was an incredible experience but also draining and surreal. Everyday I look at my daughter and I am amazed at how much joy and love is in my life. We knew we wanted to have a family but we never realized how wonderful it would be to have our daughter and to have Momma A in our lives. Adoption is by far the best thing that has ever happened to us and we feel so grateful for all that have helped us in many different ways to accomplish the establishing of our family!

Jared and Esther are interested in being mentors to others who are considering adoption or working through the adoption process. If you have questions or just want to know more about how it was like for them or to discuss how it is going for you please contact them at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

October 10th Adoption Training

Hearts Knit Together in Unity and Love

Annual FSA Adoption Training Meeting
October 10, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
110 N. White River Parkway W. Drive
Indianapolis, IN
*Please RSVP to if you will be attending. Let us know if you need babysitters, too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Temple Trip Success!

We had a wonderful temple trip on Saturday, August 15th, to the Louisville temple. There were 7 couples and 10 children who attended. Brother Pitcher shared a spiritual thought with us before attending the temple session which was focused on birth mothers. The children had a nice time playing in the nursery room of the adjacent church building, eating a snack, and taking a walk around the temple. A special thanks to Kristen Deluca for helping rope her sister, Jenna, into babysitting for us. She was great! After the temple session we enjoyed a nice lunch, furnished by Subway. It was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. As our family drove away from the temple our two-year old son, Benjamin, said "I liked that party!" We hope to make it an annual event, so stay tuned next year. We'll try to get a date out there early on so that everyone who would like to attend can get it on the calendar.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

National Conference


July 31, 2009 to August 1, 2009

The conference will be held for a second time at the Davis Conference Center.


Below is the schedule overview at-a-glance. For a more detailed description of the classes including the class descriptions, times and locations as well as bios on the presenters, click HERE.

Friday, July 31st

Breakout session 19:30-10:30
Breakout session 210:40-11:40
Lunch on your own11:40-1:10
Breakout session 31:15-2:15
Breakout session 42:25-3:25
Breakout session 53:35-4:35

Awards Banquet 5:30-7:00
(Semi-formal dress)

Saturday, August 1st


Keynote address by Troy Dunn9:30-10:30
Birth Parent Panel10:45-12:00
Lunch 12:00-1:00
Breakout session 11:00-2:00
Breakout session 22:10-3:10
Breakout session 33:20-4:20
Closing session and raffle4:30-4:45


To register, CLICK HERE.

This is for registration and payment purposes only. Please disregard any information related to Temple Square events.

Some clarification for registration:

Couples are $60 each, so they only need to register for ONE ticket. This is located toward the bottom of the registration, and is not part of the special code. Once they select one ticket and click continue, it will ask if they will be coming both day, ($60), one of them both days/both of them one day ($30) or one of them on day ($15). Sorry for any confusion. Please email us at the email address below if you have any problems.

Adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents are invited.

We also are inviting expectant parents, birth parents, and their families again this year. A great amount of effort has gone into planning breakout sessions for them. Expectant parents and birth families may register for free by typing in “itsaboutlove” in the special code field on the registration form. Regular fees apply to their guests.


A few hotel rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn (762 West Heritage Park Blvd, Layton, Utah, 84041) are blocked out for a discounted event rate. You may reserve a room by phone or through the hotel’s Web site. Call 801-416-8899 and make sure to mention the group code, which is “LDS” and the group name, which is “LDS Family Services.” You may also register online here. In the group code field, enter “LDS.” In order to get the discounted rate of $89, you must be registering for the blocked date (July 31st). We will be posting other hotel options when the hotel is full.


A children’s room will be available again during the conference and banquet. Please email Narda Emmett ( to register your children. The cost will be $10 per day, per child. She will provide you with the details.


From the airport Express Shuttle - 801-596-1600.


If you have general questions, please email with “National Conference” as the subject.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Have you fully explored the new

As most of you know, LDS Family Services has recently released a new version of This new website is much different than the previous version and has many additions that will benefit birthparents and adoptive families as well as church leaders and professionals working with them. If you're in the waiting process, you've probably already explored how to browse through profiles as you've searched for your own and others. These new user-friendly search options allow birthparents to be more selective and to quickly find profiles for families who would best fit their needs and interests. In addition, if you haven't had a chance to check out the following, be sure to do so:

Once you've clicked on "Hoping to Adopt," you can view the following:
Adoption facts, myths, and proper adoption language (under "Adoption Basics"). This holds a wealth of information that would be good to send to friends and family who might need a little more education about adoption.
Questions, stories, and other information to help you know if you're ready to adopt (under "Is Adoption Right for Us?").
Stories of adoptive families' experiences with adoption (under "Real Life Stories").
Church talks, web links, and other resources (under "Adoption Resources").

Have you been curious to know what birthparents see as they explore the new website? After you click on "Pregnant," check out some of the following to help you get a better feel for a birth mom's perspective:
Information about pregnancy (under "My Pregnancy").
Advice and information to help birthparents understand the realities of abortion, single parenthood, marriage, and adoption (under "What Are My Options?").
Videos and stories about real birthparents' experiences (under "Real Life Stories"). We found these enlightening and also very emotional to watch, so they are probably our favorite addition to the new website.
Ability to send an email to a birth mother or a counselor in order to get support and guidance (under "Get Support").

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the new website. It is a valuable resource for birthparents, adoptive families, persons considering adoption, friends and families of those involved in adoption, and for church leaders.

For those of us with online profiles who are waiting to be selected by a birth mom, it can be encouraging to look at your profile statistics. After logging in to your application, click on "Phase 4: Finding Your Child." At the top left of the page, click on "View Profile Statistics" to see that people actually ARE seeing you! (Or maybe you've just been clicking on your own profile a few too many times… J).

The new is also much easier to find online than the previous version. You can, of course, type in Or, access it from by selecting "Home and Family" and either "Adoption Services" or "Pregnancy Counseling." One of our favorite activities to share with others as we educate them about LDSFS is to go to Google and type in "adoption." It's as simple as that. The first non-sponsored link is, and from that page you will often (though not always) see a big advertisement about halfway down that when clicked takes you to You can also google "abortion alternatives" or "pregnancy counselor," and the first link listed for each of those terms will take you to websites sponsored by LDSFS with additional links that take you directly to

As you can see, the adoption program is important enough to the LDS Church that it has decided to increase the usability of its website and to expand its marketing campaign. Seeing the great effort that has been put into the new website has helped us recognize the important role adoption plays in the Church; it's something that the Lord cares enough about to direct Church leaders and others to help match children and parents together as eternal families.

We have been telling all our friends and family about the new website, and we encourage you all to do the same.

Libby and Ethan Sproat
(FSA Members in West Lafayette, Indiana just waiting to be selected!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

August 15th Temple Trip

Louisville Kentucky Temple Trip
August 15th
Any and all are invited to attend!
Stay tuned for more details and RSVP to to let us know if you are planning to attend. (Also, let us know if you need babysitting and how many children you will have there.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

LDS Family Services Adoption Program: Same Old Faces, New Focus

Okay despite a receding hairline and maybe a more mature and distinguished look, I hope my face is not considered old, but while some of the faces and characters in our office have not changed you will notice a new look to the face of our adoption program. Above is a picture of my great looking family. What remains the same is our programs focus on building families.

In the spring of this year LDS Family Services completed an evaluation designed to assess and potentially reshape our service programs. In conducting this evaluation welfare services and the presiding brethren were considering how we can, 1. Best meet the needs of the growing church, 2. Improve the quality of our services and 3. Better support and coordinate with priesthood leaders. As we were assigned a new commissioner over LDS Family Services, Larry Crenshaw, he set the vision for staff, viewing ourselves as “Healers of Souls”. Much discussion went into what aspects of our services were aligned with this core and thus needed to be maintained and strengthened. To help us to become stronger, quicker and leaner as an organization we also needed to release ourselves from those aspects of our services that are not at our core.

Fortunately the decision was made to continue with our adoption program and engage in means to make it the best that we can. To help us accomplish this goal our program has been reshaped in a number of areas to not only heal souls, but to build eternal families. Below are a summary of some of these changes.

Focus on the Needs of the Child – Okay this focus is nothing new, but even more so we are recommitting our efforts to the interests of children. More than the birth parents, the adoptive families or others, we hope to reorient ourselves to serving more and more of God’s precious children who need the covenants of the temple.

Specialization of Services – We will increase the quality of our services as we move from LDS Family Services program generalists to specialists. I have taken the assignment of “Adoption Supervisor” in our office allowing me to focus the majority of my time on adoption. In time we are working to add other part time or contracted workers that will focus exclusively on adoption work.

Menu Driven Approach – While in the past we have been the primary provider for every component of adoption from start to finish, we now will be looking to outsource some services and strengthen others. This will depend on local laws and the quality of community resources, but in the future this may include home studies, placements, supervisory visits and legal work. Doing so will allow us to focus even more on what we see as the most crucial aspect of adoption, the matching. We plan to improve our case work as we partner with birthparents seeking to make a tremendously important decision and coaching adoptive couples through the rapids of adoption processes and resources.

Partnerships within the Community – We will work within adoption communities drawing upon the best resources, talent and services of other agencies. As we do this we hope to offer the best services to those who walk through our doors, but we also help to support the collective synergism that will help support and preserve the practice of adoption.

Use of Technology – As part of drawing upon the best in information and resources we have just launched . This site is a tremendous resource to birth parents and adoptive couples alike. As this is promoted and marketed throughout the church and internet it will be a wonderful means to strengthen adoption and place more children in covenant homes.

Families Supporting Adoption – As you can imagine the herculean task of building this program is well beyond the scope of one adoption supervisor. To accomplish this task we need the active and energetic support of a coalition of adoptive advocates such as Families Supporting Adoption. For the benefit of the many children needing covenant homes we need the put our FSA organization on steroids (or at least intensive weight training). We need to build and focus in ways that increase mentoring, training, support, advocacy and legislation for the good of children. As you visit this blog you will see an increase in activity as we align with this vision.

I hope that in reading through this you can feel of my love for adoption and excitement concerning this new program focus. I greatly love my children and am amazed and grateful for the courage and strength that it takes for birth mothers to place their children in adoptive homes. Truly few other decisions have such a tremendous impact for good in the life of a child. I appreciate your patience with some of the bumps and delays in getting to this point. I invite your full participation as we partner with the Lord in moving forward with wonderful miracle of adoption.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We are the Haymans

Hello FSA members and friends! As co-chair of Indiana/Kentucky FSA chapter, I'd like to introduce myself and my family. My name is Sara Hayman. My husband Jared and I have been married seven years. Our daughter Emerson or "Emmie" is 2 years old. She came to us through the miracle of adoption and has blessed our lives every day since we first met her. My husband and I met as undergrads at Purdue University where I studied elementary education and Jared studied business. We moved to Terre Haute for a few years where I taught second grade and Jared obtained an MBA from ISU. We are back in West Lafayette and are happy to call it home.

We started the adoption process in August of 2006 and finished our paperwork that December. By the middle of February, we were contacted by our daughter's birth parents through Parent Profiles. Her birth mother had only three short weeks before she was due when they chose us to be adoptive parents. We had expected at least a year long wait, so this seemed too good to be true. Emerson was born in Kentucky where state law requires a 30 day waiting period before a hearing is held to relinquish birth parents' rights. It was a trying time for us wondering if at the end of a 30 day bonding period, we would be able to take little Emmie home. But her birth parents were resolute in their decision to place her with us and for that, we will always be grateful. Adoption has changed us for the better. It has increased our faith in the Lord. We know that he has a plan for everyone. He wants us to have joy in our lives; especially that joy that only family can bring. He answers prayers and he cares very much about His children. We admire birth parents' selflessness and bravery and speak of them with reverence. We hope that our story touches others in some way and changes some misconceptions about adoption.

We are excited to be part of FSA. We look forward to meeting you and learning about your journey, experiences, and families. We pray that whatever stage of life you are in, that your families will be blessed.

Please check the FSA blog weekly! We will update it often with upcoming events and activities, great articles, and spotlights/success stories. It is a great way to stay informed and in touch with other adoptive families that have adopted or are hoping to adopt soon. We welcome your feedback and hope to hear what you would like to see on the blog. Feel free to make comments and contact us any time!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Special Fast on Mother's Day

We currently have many couples ready to adopt in our Indiana/Kentucky area. This Sunday we are holding a special fast that everyone is invited to participate in on behalf of these couples and the birth mothers in our area that are making decisions. We know that as we all join our faith together in fasting and prayer we will see miracles happen for the adoption work in our area.
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Purpose of FSA and this Blog

Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) is a support group for adoptive couples and families, birth mothers, and anyone whose life has been touched by adoption. The fact that you are visiting this blog pretty much means you fit into this category, so FSA is for you!!! FSA is a national organization with a local chapter here in Indiana/Kentucky. We operate by working closely with the Indianapolis LDS family services agency and the dedicated employees there.

At this point our group is very spread out, very diverse, and with varying needs and interests. Our hope in establishing this blog is to increase the communication with and participation of our FSA families. We will use this blog as a tool to share important adoption updates, provide links and access to a wealth of adoption information, and to keep our participants informed about events and activities.

Please take time to check out the resources available here, to provide feedback if you have suggestions or ideas, and to check this blog routinely for updated information. Our lives have all been so profoundly touched by adoption and this is a great place to connect with people who can appreciate in one way or another the journey your family is on!