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 (indianafsa@gmail.com) 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 etc...be 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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Picture Books about Adoption

Last year we posted a list of picture books about adoption. This time the books are categorized to help you find the book that best fits your child's adoption needs and stage, plus additional titles. Do you want a book to help share  your child's birth and adoption journey? Do you want a book to help discuss your child's birthparents? Do you want a book to help understanding about what being an adoptive family means? Do you need a book to discuss adopting a child into your family to either biological or adoptive children? Check out these books!

Adoption Stories
Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jaime Lee Curtis
How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole
Over the Moon by Karen Katz
My Family is Forever by Nancy Carlson
The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis

Books discussing Birthparents
Forever Fingerprints by Sherrie Eldridge
The Mulberry Bird: An Adoption Story by Anne Braff Brodzinsky
Did My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted Child by Kathryn Ann Miller
Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings
Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story by Carol Antoinette Peacock
Sam's Sister by Juliet C. Bond

Books about Adoptive Families
All Together Now by Anita Jeram
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
Horace by Holly Keller
Every Year on Your Birthday by Rose A. Lewis
Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon
We Belong Together by Todd Parr
I Don't Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze

Books about Adopting a Younger Sibling
Ten Days and Nine Nights by Yumi Heo
My Mei Mei by Ed Young
Rebecca’s Journey Home by Brynn Olenberg Sugarman
Waiting for May by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami

Most of these titles are available at local public libraries. This is just a starter list of picture books about adoption. There are many more titles available.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Complimentary Photo Session for Adoptive Families

I recently discovered this website called "Celebrating Adoption" that I'm really excited about!
A group of photographers across the nation have volunteered to give one complimentary photo shoot (waiving the session fee) for adoptive couples working on their profiles or for adoptive families with their newest addition. 

The list of the participating photographers for Indiana and Kentucky are hard to read on the actual website due to very small font size, so I have provided them here but please go to the Celebrating Adoption's website for more details and the terms, conditions and disclaimer policies.

Outreach that we can do is email these photographers and thank them for supporting adoption so generously with their time and talents. Also encourage your photographer friends to consider becoming a participating photographer.

Jane Fritchley Photography
Jane Fritchley
Southern Indiana/Evansville

Carmel Flores Photography
Carmel Flores
Indianapolis, IN

Ferie's Fotography
Erin Medlin
Indianapolis, IN

Kristi Hibbetts Photography
Kristi Hibbetts
Fishers, IN

Tonya Marie Photograpy
Tonya Bussema
Angola, IN and Western MI

LZ Photography
Lisa Zanchi
Brandenburg, KY

Kennedy Photography
Taran Kennedy
Somerset, KY

Erin Ivie Photography
Erin Ivie
Henderson, KY

Lizzie Loo Photography
Elizabeth Lauer
Louisville, Ky

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Outreach On the Go

Don't have a lot of time for adoption advocacy and outreach?
Let these items speak for you or be the conversation starters needed to share your testimony.

Decals, bumper stickers, license plate frames.

Church bags, library bags, reusable shopping bags.

T-shirts for kids, parents, grandparents.

Magazines and books on your end tables.

Go here to get 30 days of celebrating National Adoption Month 2010 from Adoptive Families magazine.

Many of these items were bought at the FSA store at a recent adoption conference which unfortunately does not have an on-line store or website but you could easily make your own t-shirts, bags and more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Matter How Much Time You Have.....

(Click on the picture below to view a larger version)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Government Advocacy

It's election day!
Here are some ideas for adoption outreach with the courts and government.

• Write a letter to one or two of the elected policymakers who represent you. Share a story about how good (or bad) adoption policies have affected your life. Thank the policymaker for working on adoption issues or encourage them to do so.

• Bring stacks of brochures about an adoption agency, an adoption support group or adoption pass along cards to courthouses and leave them in waiting areas or at free literature stands.

• Thank the judge who finalized your child’s adoption by sending a card and recent family photograph.

• Surf the Internet looking for children’s advocacy sites. Add your email address to an action alert listserv so you can get messages about and respond to pressing legislative issues.

• Volunteer to work on the campaign of a pro-child candidate, help with voter registration, or assist at the polls on election day.
Government websites:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/  Contact the President, Vice President, or other staff.

http://www.house.gov/  To learn about current legislation and contact

http://www.senate.gov/  To contact Congressional representatives.

thomas.loc.gov  Read text of past and current legislation and view records from committee hearings.

http://www.fec.gov/ Obtain forms to become a registered voter from the Federal Elections Commission.

http://www.dnet.org/ Enter your zip code into the League of Women Voters’ Democracy Net to find out
which candidates and issues will appear on your ballot.

http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/ See each Congressperson’s voting record on children’s issues by visiting the Children’s Defense Fund.

http://www.cwla.org/ Review action alerts on children’s issues from the Child Welfare League of America.

The Indiana/Kentucky FSA chapter is looking for an indiviudal or a couple who are interested in government outreach and legislation to be on our FSA board. If you are interested in participating and volunteering please contact Sara or Esther at indianafsa@gmail.com 

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Adoption Awareness Month

The Indiana/Kentucky chapter of Families Supporting Adoption just wrapped up hosting and attending the 2010 adoption conferences. In May and September there was our chapter’s training conferences. Then in July there was the National FSA Conference in Utah and October was the Regional FSA conference. FSA puts a lot of prayer, time, money and effort into these conferences with a hope to fulfill one of FSA’s purposes: to support adoptive couples, adoptive families, adoptees and birth parents and to provide pre-adoption and post-adoption education and services. We hope you were able to take advantage of these conferences and your testimony of adoption was strengthen.

Another purpose of FSA besides supporting adoptive families is to have our adoptive families and others support adoption. As we all know the family is under attack including adoptive families. Recently at the regional conference, Brother Sunday of the National FSA Board, expressed his concern about domestic adoption remaining an option for building families. He stated that in many countries similar to the US (such as Britain and Australia) domestic adoption has become practically nonexistent. This limits the likelihood for many children to be sealed and raised in an eternal family or for a chance at life at all. This limits the choices of the unmarried expecting parents and potentially leads them further away from the straight and narrow path. This also limits the options a couple can choose from to build an eternal family. If the construct of adoption falters and fails, then Satan wins a major battle in the war for the family.

We need our FSA members who understand the truth and doctrine about adoption- that it is a part of Heavenly Father’s plan for building eternal families and it is about love- to support adoption through outreach. November is National Adoption Month which provides a good opportunity to do outreach. There are many ways to outreach and support adoption and many are simple and easy. A few of my personal favorites are:

• Put “Adoption: It’s About Love” window cling/bumper sticker on your car. (There was one provided in all the folders at the May conference and I believe the Sept. conference too).

• Share your testimony about adoption with others.

• Ask your local libraries to create a display of adoption related books in November.

• Blog about your adoption journey or put posts about adoption on Facebook.

• At our chapter’s blog (www.indianafsa.blogspot.com) we have accepted the challenge to try and post daily during the month of Nov. So make sure to stop by to read, comment and share with others what we have there.

I know if we do these things Heavenly Father will bless us and adoption will grow and prosper. As we outreach, our waiting for placements will become shorter; there will be fewer failed and disrupted adoptions and the environments we work, play, go to school and live in will be more supportive of our children, our families, and birth parents; and love will abound.

With great hope and much love,
Esther Edwards
Co-Chair IN/KY FSA

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret J. Wheatley

Monday, September 27, 2010

Regional FSA Conference

The Regional FSA Conference in Kirtland, OH is coming up on Oct. 8th & 9th.
If you haven't registered for the conference, please do so before Oct. 1st.

For more information about workshops, hotels or to register, click here.

Coming Up...
Over the next several weeks we will post highlights from some of the different workshops from the National, Chapter & Regional conferences this year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Schedule for Adoption Conference

Hope: An Anchor of the Soul

Friday Sept. 17th, 2010 

Franklin Stake Center
1100 Gray Fox Ln., Franklin, TN. 37069 

Picnic & Activities:
Starts @ 4:30pm and will continue until at least 7:30pm

Temple Session:
Your choice of the 6pm or 7:30pm endowment session (Babysitting provided).

Saturday Sept. 18th, 2010

Franklin Stake Center
1100 Gray Fox Ln., Franklin, TN. 37069

Registration 9:00-10:00am Cultural Hall
Breakfast snacks & opening activity
Hope: An Anchor of the Soul devotional Maria Adams

Workshops (Choose one of the following)
First Round: 10:15-11:10am
Supporting Adoption in Your Church Calling:
Dave Pitcher w/ Amy & Asher Rose; Maria Adams & Kay Abernathy
Highly recommended for Bishopric members, Stake Presidencies, High Councilmen, RS presidencies, and Adoption Specialists.

Foster Care & Adoption:
Beckye Taylor & Carol Sandstrom
Learn about Foster Care and how it can be a potential path to adoption.

Adoption & Children’s Picture Books:
Esther Edwards
Gain knowledge on how to evaluate and use picture books to start discussions about adoption with children and adults.

Workshops (Choose one of the following)
Second Round: 11:15am-12:10pm
How To Outreach & Promote Adoption:
Michael & Laura Law
Brainstorm ways on how to advocate for adoption in your community and potential birth parents.

Legislature & Laws about Adoption:
Dave Pitcher
An overview of the legal processes with adoption and discuss the approaches of different states on these legal issues.

Adoption Panel:
Hear from adoptive couples and from older adoptees about their adoption experiences such as concerns, things they wished they had known and things they wished other people had known too.

Lunch & Panel 12:15-1:45pm Cultural Hall
Birth Parent Panel: 
Hear the experiences, thoughts and emotions of birth parents.

Workshops (Choose one of the following)
Third Round: 2:00-2:45pm
Gospel Perspective on Adoption: 
Dave Pitcher
Explore the doctrine and principles of adoption and strengthen your own testimony about adoption.

How to Outreach & Promote Adoption:
Michael & Laura Law
Brainstorm ways on how to advocate for adoption in your community and to potential birth parents.(Repeat)

Grief & Loss with Adoption:
Esther Edwards
Learn common stages, tasks, and coping skills of grief & loss with infertility, choosing to adopt and placing a child for adoption.

Closing: 2:45-3:00pm
Closing remarks & prayer & clean up

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Emily & Nate's Adoption Journey

Nate and I were married seven years ago and after those first few years we decided to start building our family. We were able to get pregnant very quickly and were blessed to welcome a little baby boy, Carter, a little over three years ago. After his birth I had some complications with an autoimmune disease I suffer from. I was put on some new medications and was told that while I was on these drugs I would not be able to get pregnant again due to certain risks. After a year and a half of good health but no end in sight in taking the medication we decided to pursue adoption.

We got all our paperwork in order and got our profile up and running in January of 2009. I was in no big hurry to have another baby so we just patiently waited for the next nine months with absolutely nothing happening. After attending one of the FSA conferences we decided that we needed to get things moving and so we got set up on Parent Profiles in October.

We averaged about two contacts a month while on the site and had several interesting email correspondences with birthparents. But after seven months we started to wonder how long we should continue to stay on the site. While visiting my family in California in April I got the first email contact from our birthmother. She was having a little baby girl in a month and wondered if we would like to be her family.

I spoke to her a few times on the phone in the next several days and tried to get everything together. She was living in Pennsylvania and so the Maryland LDSFS office sent a caseworker out to visit with her that very first week. After that things began to fall into place.

As soon as I got back from California we headed up to meet her and her daughter for the first time. We had such a wonderful first meeting and her daughter and Carter really hit it off.

The next few weeks were a roller coaster as we waited for her to go into labor. She was often difficult to get a hold of and we were anxious all the time that things weren’t going to work out. She made it to her due date and so we headed up there for her induction. I was able to be in the labor and delivery room with her all the way and wow what an amazing experience that was. She had a difficult labor and ended up needing a C-Section. As I saw our baby girl for the first time at a whopping 10 lbs. 9 oz., I was completely overwhelmed with love for her and her birth mom who was giving us the most precious gift.

The hospital stay was a very special time where we bonded with Kennedy’s birth family. Her birth mom was so strong and we were filled with an amazing love for her and her family. Adoption really is all about love.

I stayed in Pennsylvania for a week while we waited for interstate paperwork and then was able to take her home. We had such an incredible experience and feel so blessed to have her in our family. We still keep in touch with her birth mom and hope to continue that relationship long into the future.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Save the Date

FSA & LDSFS Conference
in Franklin Tennesse
September 17th-18th

We are having a combine conference
with the Adoption Specialists who serve LDSFS
and our whole FSA chapter which now includes 3 states!

Friday 17th:
Family Picnic 
Temple Session at the Nashville Temple

Saturday 18th:
Conference with a variety of break-out sessions, 
adoption panel
& food 

We encourage all to attend, especially our members in southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennesse.
We also encourage all to attend the
Regional Conference in Kirtland, OH on Oct. 8th-9th
but understand if you choose to attend only one conference.

More detailed information will follow in a couple weeks about times, workshops schedule, possible hotel discounts and more. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Continue in Patience

President Uchtdorf gave a wonderful talk during the last General Conference about patience.

WAITING IS HARD for everyone!

Pres. Uchtdorf: "I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen – patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort…Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can- working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”

When I read the above statement, I immediately knew what Pres. Uchtdorf meant. Last year when my husband and I were approved and waiting to adopt, we felt that once our profile was complete that we had done all that we could or all that was required of us. Of course we wanted to grow our family, but our “passive resignation” was an effort to avoid the pattern of emotions tied to adoption and waiting. Six months later and without any contacts, we realized that we needed to be more prayerful and earnest about the blessing that we wanted. When we consistently sought the Lord’s guidance, then we knew what we should do. There was no question in our minds. Prayer led to greater faith, hope, desire, and answers. We wanted to do all that we could to receive this blessing and when we finally made that effort, the Lord’s blessings began to flow. If we hadn’t made the effort and exercised faith, we could have missed one of the most important opportunities of our lives.

Pres. Uchtdorf: “Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer.”

I know that the Lord has a plan for all of his children. He loves each of us and remembers all of our heart’s desires. Continue on in faith, knowing that he will provide a way and hope that all that you do will bring you closer to receiving the blessings that you seek.

Pres. Uchtdorf: “If we wait patiently for the Lord, He will incline unto us. He will hear our cries. He will bring us out of a horrible pit and set our feet upon a solid rock. He will put a new song in our mouths, and we will praise our God. Many around us will see it, and they will trust in the Lord.”

Sara Hayman

To read more about Sara and Jared's journey to adopting their son,
go to posts on Sara's blog: Part 1 and Part 2

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chad & Natalie Hoping To Adopt

We have been married for almost 9 years. We have three biological children ages 7, 5 and 3. We just really believe that adoption is a blessing and want to be a part of it. We want to be a support to a birth mother and want to provide a mother and father for a child.

We have been trying to adopt for 4 years. In 2006, a month after we got our profile posted on itsaboutlove.org, I found out I was pregnant. Sooo, that put the adoption process on hold for about a year and half since you have to wait until your child is a year old to resume the adoption process. We had one birth mother select us in Sept. of 2008 before even meeting us or even talking to us, but then she disappeared. We started with Parent Profiles in September of 2009 and have had a contact from a birth mother at least once a month. Some of the contacts never contact us again and some have resulted good discussions.

In December of 2009 we got a call from a birth mother and met her three days later! At our meeting she asked us if we would adopt her baby. We formed a great relationship very quickly. We talked every other day for at least an hour. We had to up the minutes on our phone plan! Her family was not supportive of adoption and we were so happy to be a support to her during such a difficult time. She was not living near family, which was hard on her, but also kind of good for her, so that she didn't constantly get pressure from them. She ended up going into labor in February 2010 at just 19 weeks and lost the baby. It has been difficult for her and for us. Luckily, we have been able to stay friends with her. To learn more about our feelings on adoption here are links to our profiles:
We haven't had our happy ending yet, but we are hopeful.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finding vs. Waiting

I remember when my husband and I were new and just beginning the adoption process. We verbally told friends and family, usually in person, that we were adopting. One friend told me that she just received an email from another friend that was adopting. She said the email had a link to their profile and they encouraged her to send the email on to more people.

My internal first response was "Weird." Being rather new still to the adoption world, I hadn't heard about "finding" techniques that help adoptive couples connect with potential birth parents. When Jared and I discussed doing something similar we felt uncomfortable with the idea of advertising ourselves in this way. We were still situating ourselves to the fact that we, for all appearances, were "applying" to be parents like you would a job. I think planning an advertisement campaign was beyond our emotional capacity at the time.

Since then, I have heard and seen more and more successful adoptions that have taken place because the couple was actively searching and finding their child. We have changed our opinion from "weird & uncomfortable" to "good idea & helpful." So I encourage you to prayerfully consider different ideas and options on getting the word out that your family is hoping to adopt.

Here are just a few ideas:

Here is an article about how one couple connected with their birth parents by posting their adoption flyer on Facebook.

Jeff & Anna members of our Indiana/Kentucky FSA have an adoption page on Facebook. If anyone else in our chapter has a Facebook adoption page, we would like to hear about it!

IN/KY FSA is now a group on Facebook. Make a request to join our group!

Adoption Pass Along Cards

Here is a link to a company where you can see examples and order adoption pass along cards.

Check out this post from another FSA blog about different ideas on how to pass out your adoption pass along cards.

Read this post about an LDS couple who connected with their birth mother because she received their pass along card.

You could potentially make your own professional looking pass along cards using Photoshop. Would anyone be interested in attending a workshop at our next FSA conference on making your own adoption pass along cards?

We will post more ideas on how to find and connect with birth parents in future posts. If you have ideas and/or success stories on "finding" techniques please email them to us at indianafsa@gmail.com or leave a comment!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sophie & Kelly's Adoption Journey

Our adoption journey began a year ago in Hawaii. When Kelly returned home from Iraq, we quickly (within 2 weeks) got all our paperwork and visits taken care of with LDS Family Services in Hawaii. You see, I have always known (since I was a young girl) that the Lord had a special child or children in mind for me and my future hubby to adopt. I was always okay with not being pregnant, I really wanted to adopt because that's what I felt the Lord wanted for our family.

Well, the years passed and Kelly really wanted to be able to make our babies, so we were able to get pregnant and we had three children. But, my body didn't seem to want to let our babies "bake" long enough--they were all born prematurely. We decided that we were probably done, so on our youngest child's first birthday, Kelly had a vasectomy. However, the night before, I had a dream that a little girl was waiting to join our family but I didn't tell Kelly in time.
For a time, my heart was saddened because I knew a special spirit was meant to join our family. However, Kelly did not have the same feelings about adoption. And so I waited for the Lord to touch his heart. More time passed and Kelly's best friend and his wife adopted a beautiful baby girl through LDSFS in Utah. They had a wonderful experience with adoption and Kelly's heart was softened. After he returned home from a 7 month deployment in Iraq, he told me he was ready to proceed with finding our baby girl. YEAH! I felt a real sense of urgency so we got right to work and got everything in within two weeks.
I thought we would adopt really fast, but we waited and waited and waited..... In that time we worked with LDS Family Services, Parent Profiles, and some other agencies in Utah, but ultimately we were led to Premier Adoption Agency in Nevada in November 2009. Just when I had lost all hope, we got the call from our agency in Nevada that we had only been working with for three months. Our baby was waiting, but she was recovering from being really sick and we were told that she might have some problems in the future because of her birthmom's prenatal drug-use. So, we prayed really hard for confirmation and called her doctors; discussing our options, but we knew from the first time we saw her pictures that she was ours! Everything just fell into place and our feelings were confirmed over and over through the Spirit that we had found Our baby, the One meant for our family.

Sophie is also breastfeeding their new baby girl through Induced Lactation. (See these two articles
here and here for more info). If you want to know more about her experience send an email to indianafsa@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FSA Conference

A Perfect Brightness of Hope
May 1st, 2010
White River church building
110 N. White River Parkway W. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN. 46222
Any person who supports adoption or wants to know more about adoption is invited to attend this conference.
All adoptive families, FSA members, birthparents & grandparents, stake & ward leaders, couples considering adoption & expecting parents considering making an adoption plan, etc.
The conference will include lunch & snacks, babysitting and a variety of workshops. To see the schedule of workshops, please click here.
Please RSVP by April 18th at

Schedule for FSA Conference

A Perfect Brightness of Hope
May 1st, 2010
Opening (Everybody): 9:00-10:00am
  • Registration, breakfast snacks & opening activity
  • Devotional: A Perfect Brightness of Hope

Workshops (Choose one of the following) 10:15-11:00am

  • Adoption Basics:
  • Creating an Adoption Blog & Other Ways to Connect with Potential Birthparents
  • Special Issues in Parenting Adoptive Families

Workshops (Choose one of the following) 11:05-11:50am

  • Journey from Placement to Finalization
  • Open vs. Traditional/Closed Adoptions
  • Encouraging Positive Adoptive Identity

Lunch (Everybody) 12:00-1:00pm

Birthparent & Birth grandparent Panel (Everybody) 1:00-1:45pm

Workshops (Choose one of the following) 2:00-2:45pm

  • Gospel Perspective on Adoption
  • Grief & Loss with Infertility and Adoption
  • Encouraging Positive Adoptive Identity (Repeat from above)

Closing & Clean-up (Everybody) 2:45-3:00pm

Monday, March 1, 2010

Save the Date

Saturday May 1st, 2010
Indiana/Kentucky FSA Training Meeting
We are in the process of planning the annual training meeting. Next week a survey will be sent out asking about different adoption education topics. We want to offer classes that meet your specific needs and will be the most beneficial to you and your family.
If you have any ideas or suggestions right now at this moment, please leave a comment!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Infinite Power of Hope
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
November 2008 Ensign

Toward the end of World War II, my father was drafted into the German army and sent to the western front, leaving my mother alone to care for our family. Though I was only three years old, I can still remember this time of fear and hunger. We lived in Czechoslovakia, and with every passing day, the war came nearer and the danger grew greater.

Finally, during the cold winter of 1944, my mother decided to flee to Germany, where her parents were living. She bundled us up and somehow managed to get us on one of the last refugee trains heading west. Traveling during that time was dangerous. Everywhere we went, the sound of explosions, the stressed faces, and ever-present hunger reminded us that we were in a war zone.

Along the way the train stopped occasionally to get supplies. One night during one of these stops, my mother hurried out of the train to search for some food for her four children. When she returned, to her great horror, the train and her children were gone!
She was weighed down with worry; desperate prayers filled her heart. She frantically searched the large and dark train station, urgently crisscrossing the numerous tracks while hoping against hope that the train had not already departed.

Perhaps I will never know all that went through my mother’s heart and mind on that black night as she searched through a grim railroad station for her lost children. That she was terrified, I have no doubt. I am certain it crossed her mind that if she did not find this train, she might never see her children again. I know with certainty: her faith overcame her fear, and her hope overcame her despair. She was not a woman who would sit and bemoan tragedy. She moved. She put her faith and hope into action.

And so she ran from track to track and from train to train until she finally found our train. It had been moved to a remote area of the station. There, at last, she found her children again.
I have often thought about that night and what my mother must have endured. If I could go back in time and sit by her side, I would ask her how she managed to go on in the face of her fears. I would ask about faith and hope and how she overcame despair.

While that is impossible, perhaps today I could sit by your side and by the side of any who might feel discouraged, worried, or lonely. Today I would like to speak with you about the infinite power of hope.

Click here to read the entire talk.
This section was chosen because we, as adoptive families, are "searching" for our children. It can be frightening, overwhelming, discouraging, etc. I love this image of his mother searching for her children, and picture hope as a dear friend holding up a lantern by her side, giving her peace and comfort in her quest, overpowering those other emotions. It can do the same for us as adoptive families.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Infinite Power of Hope

We are so excited to share with all of you our "theme for the year."
We have felt strongly as an FSA Committee that our message for our FSA couples this year is one of HOPE. Our testimonies are that hope can be a shining light and dear friend as we are seeking to build our eternal families. Our prayer is that as we share our thoughts about this theme of hope throughout the year, and as we all study it in our families, that we can all be strengthened with greater peace and joy in the journey! This week we will share some quote about hope each day. ENJOY, and please feel free to share your thoughts as a comment.
Walking with Two Sisters
By Larry Hiller
Faith walks before me,
Holding up her lamp
As I try not to stumble in the ink-dark hours before the dawn.
Her light illuminates
One step and then another.
Beside me, Hope, arm linked with mine, encourages and steadies.
Sometimes in the tedium,
Distracted by the pain,
My mind begins to wander, then my feet.
I hesitate.
Unsure, I look to Hope.
Her hand takes mine.
The touch reminds me of another hand held out to me,
One pierced and scarred
Yet oh so tender
Lifting me and blessing me when I had fallen and despaired.
Remembering,I move ahead
Buoyed up by Hope, who sees the end with perfect clarity.
Click the following link to see a "Mormon Message" about hope:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FSA Temple Trip
Louisville, Kentucky Temple
January 30th, 2010

Everybody is invited to attend and childcare will be provided. After the session we will provide lunch as well. We are so excited to meet together and will share our theme for the year, which we feel very strongly about.

Please RSVP indianafsa@gmail.com if you are able to attend, including how many children you will be bringing with you. We will meet at the church building adjacent to the temple at 9:30 for a "devotional" before the session.