adoptionsfirst-birthmom

Surviving the Wait: Ways to Wait Well

Anyone that has gone through, or is in the midst of their adoption journey, knows that the waiting can be one of the most difficult parts. Whether it is waiting to be selected by birth parents, waiting for your child to be born, or waiting for your adoption to finalize it is just plain hard at times. We encourage you to keep hope while enduring the wait, and while we know there is no easy way around it, we want to offer you various resources and support to help you through it. Use your waiting period as a time to educate yourself and prepare for the abundant blessing ahead. We all have to wait, so why not wait well.

EDUCATE YOURSELF

Read adoption books – There are so many books and articles talking about all things adoption. These resources can help to prepare you for the path ahead and the realities of parenting and adoption. Here are a few we recommend:

The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child

Grow Up Whole by Lori Holden

Dear Birthmother by Kathleen Silber

In Due Time Devotional (Hope and Encouragement in the Waiting)

Listen to adoption related podcasts – Sometimes we don’t have the time to sit and read a book, but there are a number of podcasts that address every topic surrounding adoption. You can listen on your commute to and from work or even while you workout or walk the dog. Whether it is hearing from an adoption professional, an alumni adoptive parent, or even a birth mother, these are invaluable resources that can open your mind to all the different experiences and intricacies of adoption.

Quiver Full Adoptions Podcast

Adoption NOW Podcast

Creating a Family: Talk About Infertility and Adoption

Read adoption related blogs – Maybe you prefer reading to listening to a podcast, but don’t have the time to dedicate to reading a whole book. There are so many blogs written by people that are going through or have been through the adoption process. Their experiences and stories not only have the opportunity to educate you, but also to offer support and words of advice and wisdom. Kindred + Co. is a support network designed for those who are going through the adoption process. They have a great blog and Instagram page that educates and offers support. This leads us perfectly into our next way to wait well.

SEEK SUPPORT

Find an adoption support group– It can be very helpful to find parents who are currently going through or have been through the adoption process. While friends and family are a great source of support, it can be very helpful to be surrounded by people who understand exactly what you are experiencing. It can be a good way to learn what to expect, how others are coping with the wait, and to hear others adoption stories. There are so many support groups both online and in-person. You can visit the National Council for Adoptable Children’s website to find a support group near you or do a simple Google search.

https://www.nacac.org/connect/parent-group/

Reach out to us– We are here not only to share in your excitement throughout your adoption journey, but also to support you through the times you are feeling the burden of the wait. We know it isn’t easy and we would be honored to walk in that with you. It is completely normal to feel hopeless, anxious, discouraged or all of the above at times. But you don’t need to endure that alone.

SELF CARE

Enjoy time to yourself – While this may sound trivial, once your new child arrives there will be a lot less time to do the things you enjoy. Make sure you take time to relax before you don’t have the option to. Whether that is making time for your hobbies, spending time with your friends and family, traveling, or just taking a bubble bath, these things can help to occupy your mind and rejuvenate you during your adoption journey.

Create something for your child – Write in a journal, write your child a letter, or create a keepsake. Doing such things can not only be a good emotional outlet during the process, but also a way to connect with your child before he or she arrives. Here are a couple journals we love (both can be found on Amazon for under $15).

    -I Wished for You: A Keepsake Adoption Journal

    -Our Adoption Story: The Journey That Brought Us To You

adoptions-first-keep-calm-spring-is-coming

Welcome to March

Welcome to March, the month that brings us National Potato Chip Day, International Waffle Day, and so much more!

Congratulations to families that recently adopted from Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, and Virginia! We imagine you are enjoying every moment of parenthood, including smiles, sparkling eyes, tiny toes, bottles, sleepless nights, diapers, and toddler tantrums. Please, never hesitate to send photos of the good and the…!

For our waiting families, please hang in there. When you began your adoption journey you understood the importance of managing your expectations in order to successfully navigate this process. The perceived and sometimes very real lack of control can play with one’s emotions. Please lean on us and loved ones for support. You may also wish to join a local adoptive parent support group. While we do not have a crystal ball (we want one!), history has shown that those who are persistent will adopt in just a matter of time. This may be near impossible for you to believe until it happens to you and that’s okay. We’ll wait.

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

While you wait to be selected, a lot goes on behind the scenes. We want to take this opportunity to give you a “tour” of the screening and selection process and provide insight about what we do from the moment prospective birth parents contact us to when they select a family.

SCREENING AND SELECTION PROCESS

A BIRTH PARENT CONTACTS ADOPTIONS FIRST! WHAT DO WE DO?

Prospective birth parents contact Adoptions First 24/7 via our website contact form, online chat, direct text message, and by calling a staff member directly, toll-free. During the initial contact, we engage in friendly conversation and learn about the birth parents’ situation and details such as:

  • Name, address, DOB, and ethnicity of birth parents
  • Due date, prenatal care, insurance
  • Drug and alcohol use, history of mental illness
  • Living situation, job, other children, if any
  • Level of emotional/financial support
  • Prospective birth father and his level of involvement, if any

When a prospective birth parent (usually the mother) contacts us, often she is considering all of her options, including adoption. Our job is not only to gather information about the birth parents, but to provide them with information about the adoption process. We provide options counseling to all callers to ensure they are making the decision they feel is best for their child.

THE BIRTH PARENTS DECIDE ADOPTION IS BEST! WHAT’S NEXT?

After the initial intake, birth parents will receive a folder with helpful information and paperwork to complete, including: social/medical history forms, a HIPAA medical release, and a living expense request form (if applicable). Included in our mailing will be adoptive parent profiles for consideration. For families who, under their state law, cannot be matched with prospective birth parents, profiles can be viewed at www.adoptimist.com and other third-party websites.

With a greater level of openness as it relates to the child’s ethnicity, gender, drug/alcohol use, mental illness, and the anticipated cost of the adoption, your profile will be considered more often as more situations will be deemed suitable. Reminder: In order for a child to be placed into your care and custody your home study report must be complete and current (less than one year old) and all pre-adoption requirements in your State of residence must be met.

Please keep in mind, this is a mutual selection process. While not always the case, some birth parents will have preferences when it comes to adoptive parents they will consider. These preferences can include but not be limited to the prospective adoptive parents’ family structure (single, traditional, or same-sex couple), ethnicity, religion, level of education, and family composition (are there other children in the home).

KEEP READING! WE SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!

YOU ARE SELECTED! NOW WHAT?

Please be sure to check your email daily! When a birth parent selects you, you will receive from us all known and available information, including confirmation of pregnancy and more extensive medical records, if available. All medical information should be quickly reviewed by your trusted medical professional (i.e. pediatrician, obstetrician). If you need a referral, please let us know. After speaking with us about the situation presented, and getting the green light from your doctor, you will feel better prepared to make an informed decision about how you would like to proceed. Should you choose to move forward with the birth parents that select you, you will enter Phase II of the adoption process and will be one step closer to building your family through adoption. Sometimes this means taking a risk, big or small, but we promise to be there every step of the way holding your hand and guiding you through.

The above is just a glimpse of what your Adoptions First team is doing behind the scenes every single day to help every birth parent make the best plan for their baby and every client reach their dream of becoming parents through adoption.

Below are some articles we have found to be insightful and helpful.


Ready to AdoptThe Advice I Wish I’d Gotten as a Prospective Adoptive Parent

Most prospective adoptive parents don’t get cards or baby showers, or even much excitement. It’s time to change that. Buying something for your hoped-for baby won’t ‘jinx’ your plan to adopt, and 11 more things I wish someone had told me during the wait. ON THE COVER: Everett and Aveline ….


Ready to AdoptAdoption Myths: “You Have to Be Perfect” and The Truth

Sometimes it’s not just those unfamiliar with adoption who are misinformed. Read these common adoption myths, and the corresponding truths.


Ready to AdoptBuilding Strong Relationships with Birth Family

10 Ways to Build Trust with Prospective Birth Parents As you get to know prospective birth family, remember you are laying the foundation for a lifelong relationship, and use this advice.


Know Your Adoptions First Team

Your Adoptions First Team

As we ring in the New Year, we wanted to take the opportunity for you to get to know the lovely staff you work with on a daily basis. Each of us brings unique experience and areas of expertise to the table. We could not be more thrilled to be a part of your adoption journey and feel honored that you trust us to guide you through it. Attached are short bios written by each of us covering our experience, both personal and professional, in the field of adoption.



Ronald G. Rosenberg

ATTORNEY Ron has been practicing law in California for many years. He recognizes that active involvement in the adoption process from the outset can make the adoption journey work better for both the birth mother and the adopting family. “My life is full of incredible joy as a result of my family and I find life more fulfilling when I can give back by helping other people create their own families.”

 



Gregg S. Koffman

ATTORNEY Greg is an attorney licensed in California who performs legal services in the area of adoption. Whether representing birthparents or adoptive families, Greg is keenly aware of the emotional nature of the adoption process and the ups and downs someone going through an adoption can experience. Greg strives to smooth out the process and make it enjoyable for all concerned. Nothing makes Greg happier than to see the smiles, tears of joy and hugs shared by family members when an adoption is successfully finalized.



David Ellis

ATTORNEY After adopting his daughter over thirty years ago, David knew he would always be connected to the adoption process as he has walked “in the same shoes” as people wanting to grow their family through adoption. He realizedthat with a lot more hand-holding on both sides, the adoption journey could be improved. He made the decision to go into the field of Adoptions services because he felt that his passion to build families and solely assist people in fulfilling their dream to become parents could make a difference. This passion and personal drive has lead David to help facilitate several thousand adoptions over the last 30 years. He has represented and been an advocate for the LGBTQ community and has had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at many events. David is an Interstate Compact specialist and has years of experience handling ICPC matters. David has reduced his management role of Adoptions First and become Of Counsel, allowing for him to be more involved in the adoption process and focus solely on adoption law and third party reproduction law (surrogacy, egg donation, embryo, and sperm donation).



Renee Franklin

Director of Adoptions First, has been working directly with adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoption professionals since 1996. Throughout that time, David and Renee have successfully collaborated on a number of domestic adoptions and international outgoing adoptions, working with families living abroad who were approved to adopt children from the USA. Working with families from around the world to see that every child has a forever home is Renee’s goal and passion. Her immeasurable depth of knowledge, attention to detail, and love for adoption is evident to everyone she works with. Renee supports and guides clients and birthparents with care and compassion while ensuring that everyone receives the highest quality of adoption services.



Alexandra “Ali” Desmond, MSW

After making an adoption plan for her birth daughter over 5 years ago, Ali earned a Masters in Social Work to spend her career helping others through the adoption process. Throughout her academic program, Alexandra continued her engagement with the adoption community as a Birthmother Outreach Coordinator, Adoption Agency Intern, and Birthmother Buddy. Alexandra is an invaluable resource for our birthmothers and a wonderful asset to our Adoptions First team.


Tax Season

With the New Year also brings tax season. We wanted to remind you about the Adoption Tax Credit. We have linked below an article outlining more information and encourage you to reach out to your CPA for detailed information as it pertains to your personal tax portfolio.

https://www.nacac.org/help/adoption-tax-credit/adoption-tax-credit-2018/

The Adoption Process

We understand that there are a range of experiences, emotions and questions when it comes to the process of building your family through adoption. It truly is a journey filled with ups and downs.

For those of our families who are in the waiting phase of their adoption journey, please remember to keep hope. Earlier this month one of our alumni families (photo below) reached out to us to share the joy they are experiencing as parents. They wrote: “We cannot thank you enough. Raising this little guy has been our best adventure yet.” Please see our website for other testimonials that will give you hope when you question the process. While we can make no guarantees, we remain confident that everyone who wants to adopt will in just a matter of time.

 

Below are some articles we found to be very informative and helpful for adoptive parents at all different stages of the process.

Adoption Laws by State

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-laws-by-state/

Travel Tips for Domestic Adoptions

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/domestic-adoptive-parents-travel-tips/

Surviving the Wait

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/surviving-the-wait/failed-match/

Tips from Birth Mothers for Creating your Adoption Profile

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/creating-your-adoption-profile-tips-from-birth-mothers/

Personal Story: When I Was Ready to Adopt

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/ready-to-adopt/

SAME PASSION

NEW ADDRESS

Our New Address:

1100 Glendon Avenue, Floor 15, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Good News

Good News

Congratulations to all of our families that recently adopted from New Jersey, California, Missouri, and Michigan. We hope you are enjoying your new and expanded families. We currently have five families waiting for their birth mothers to deliver and are hopeful they too will soon become parents.

The Birthmother Experience

The experience of becoming a birthmother is so unique and I hope that sharing my experience will bring you hope and perspective should this be the path you choose.
I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like my entire life was crashing down around me. I felt shame, anxiety, worry, and so many more emotions all at once. This was never part of the plan. The birthfather was unsupportive and chose not to be a part of my pregnancy. My family was extremely disappointed in me. I was alone and honestly thought that I had made my bed and now had to lay in it. I planned to be a single mom. I was going to school at the time. It had been a goal of mine to graduate from my university in four years. Being a mom, and a single mom at that, was going to make that very difficult. I had to give up on that dream and take on the responsibility that was coming. It was extremely scary. It wasn’t until I was about 8 months that someone suggested I look into my options.

Read the full blog at: https://adoptionsfirst.com/the-birthmother-experience/

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret — a secret with radical repercussions for us all.

Must See Documentary: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/three_identical_strangers/

Play Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM5TQ4f7ycw

The Birthmother Experience

The experience of becoming a birthmother is so unique and I hope that sharing my experience will bring you hope and perspective should this be the path you choose.

I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like my entire life was crashing down around me. I felt shame, anxiety, worry, and so many more emotions all at once. This was never part of the plan. The birthfather was unsupportive and chose not to be a part of my pregnancy. My family was extremely disappointed in me. I was alone and honestly thought that I had made my bed and now had to lay in it. I planned to be a single mom. I was going to school at the time. It had been a goal of mine to graduate from my university in four years. Being a mom, and a single mom at that, was going to make that very difficult. I had to give up on that dream and take on the responsibility that was coming. It was extremely scary. It wasn’t until I was about 8 months that someone suggested I look into my options.

At that point I didn’t know I had options since I had decided against abortion. I was very against adoption given what I knew about it (which I came to find out was very little). I could never give my child away to someone and hope that she was going to be okay. She was my flesh and blood and I would not have been able to live with myself. But even with that in mind, I still decided to look into it. I found an agency’s website and started looking into open adoption. It sounded to good to be true at first. I wasn’t sure how exactly it would work, but I decided to look further into it. By this time I was 36 weeks. I thought it was too late, but the agency walked me through the entire process. I looked through profiles and one family stood out to me. I chose to meet with them and I instantly fell in love with them. They were perfect.

I could not have found better parents for her. Our relationship is natural. Our bond is strong and based on mutual love and respect. They are so committed to the relationship that we share and make it a constant priority that my birth daughter know who I am and that I be a part of her life. I have never doubted that I made the right decision. I did not make this decision for myself, but in hopes that my daughter would have the most wonderful life filled with opportunities I could not provide by myself. She deserved the best, and she got that. I am a part of a beautiful thing. I graduated in May 2014 (meeting my 4 year goal) and she is my inspiration. I have achieved these things because of open adoption. Fast forward six years and I am still getting updates on how she is growing and thriving, while achieving my own dreams. I have the best of both worlds and I have come so far because of the decision I made to place her.

The birthparent experience is unlike any other experience I have gone through. It is beautiful, but at the same time very painful. There is no denying that making the decision to place your child in an open adoption is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. It can be scary and that is okay. Birthparents are just as scared as everyone else involved. It is a new experience that has to be taken day by day. In my own personal experience I feel the ups and downs often, and it is ok to feel those deep emotions. There are good days and there are bad days, but ultimately it is the most beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever been a part of. I love my birth daughter and I love her adoptive parents with all my heart.