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Adoption and Foster Care ResourcesMariel’s Story ~

If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog, you already know that I am a huge fan of adoption and foster care.  It has had a special place in my heart for almost my entire life.  Was I adopted?  No.  Have I adopted or fostered a child?  No.  But, I spent several of my growing years getting up close and personal with the process.  They are beautiful memories, etched in my mind, as a child, that I have always held dear.  My father, Steve Sunday, was an adoption social worker and has been heavily involved in foster care and adoption advocacy for as long as I can remember, and he continues to be.  It really means a lot to him and has touched his life, profoundly.

As a homeschooled child, I was lucky enough to be my Dad’s little business partner.  I remember the times when I was hanging out in his office, waiting for him to get off work, and I would flip through the binders, filled with pages and pages of children, hoping to be adopted.  It broke my little heart.  I used to say that when I was older, I was going to adopt every one of them.  I couldn’t believe there were so many innocent, older children that really had nobody to love them.  Now, I am older, and I’m not yet in a position to adopt, but I am in a position to advocate for them.  I know there are many loving people out there, who have rooms in their hearts and homes, to let these children into their families.  They just have to be found!

As a child, I also accompanied my Dad on many, many business trips, as he traveled to counsel those in need, and assist in the adoption process.  My Dad did a great job of making his little girl feel important and needed on these trips.  The neatest memories were when I had the opportunity to be there as a young mother so lovingly placed her child in my Dad’s arms, ready to give it to the family she had chosen.  Though I was only 8 years old, it was heart wrenching, but I also knew that what I was witnessing was very special.  It was a moment of pure love and selflessness.  I really admired those girls.  I knew that, even as a child.  I was able to witness the new families at my Dad’s office, anxiously awaiting their sweet baby.  Oh, it was amazing!  They cried and cried, tears of joy, and I will never forget those moments.  Becoming a mother, myself, has made those moments seem all the more powerful.

I know there are handfuls of adoption nay-sayers.  I know there are people that have spoiled the experience.  I know there are instances where and things don’t always work out.  And, I know that I am not a true participant in any side of the process.  But, I also know a good thing when I see it…a good thing when I FEEL it.  And, I felt it.  Adoption, fueled by love on all sides, is so beautiful.  I know there are sooooo many others who have felt it too, whose lives have been blessed by adoption.  I will be sharing their stories, regularly, on this blog.

So, in continued partnership with my father, I introduce you to my Adoption & Foster Care page.  Here you will find valuable information to help you adopt, place a child, and foster children, from other women who have been there.  Who better to learn from, than women who treasure their adoption and foster care experiences?  You will also find trusted resources, upcoming events, and emails where you can send your questions to.  Thanks for coming by!


My Dad’s Agency: Forever Bound in Utah
Adoption Support and Education Group: United for Adoption

Information for Potential Birth Mothers ~
Blog Posts:
My Story (by Gina C.)
My Adoption Story (YouTube video)
There is No Shame in Surrender (by Jane D.)
Birth Mother Q & A (from Birthmothers 4 Adoption)
A Birth Mother’s Thoughts (by Tamra H., YouTube video)
Proud of Myself (Gina C.)
Placing My Child for Adoption (by Ashley)
A Birth Mother’s Story (Mama’s Got Flair)
Losing Control (by Janessa S.)
What’s the Best Term?  Birth mother?  Original mom?  Natural mother? Just Ask Her! (by Mary M.)
Adoption Has Brought Me Joy (by Janessa S.)
You Will Be Okay (by Alli)
Miracle (by Alli)
Adopting the Situation (by Janessa S.)
Was it Meant to be Their Family? (Birth Mother Panel)
My Grief (by Janessa S.)
Coming to an Agreement with the Adoptive Parents (by Katelyn)
Pregnancy After Placement (by Katelyn)
Today, I Am Grateful for You (by Shonnie)
‘Give Up’ or ‘Place’? (Birthmothers4Adoption)
A Birth Father’s Story (Birthmothers4Adoption)
My Story (by Tamra H.)
They Made Me a Mother (Lindsey R.)
The Stigma of Being a Birth Mother (Janessa)
Lessons Learned from Being a Birth Mom (Coley S.)


Video Stories by Birth Mothers (It’s About Love)
Birth Mother Panel (Video)
16 and Pregnant – Catelynn (MTV Video)
Questions & Answers About Placing Your Child (I Choose Adoption)
Stories by Birth Parents (
Sharing Birth Records (Adoption Advocate)
Considering Adoption? (Child Welfare)
Abortion vs. Adoption Stats
Single Parenting Research (various sources)
Adoption Research (Dr. Patrick Fagan)
Open Adoption is on the Rise (Huffington Post)
Before and After Your Babies Birth (America Adopts)

Trusted Resources:
Have Questions About Being a Birth Mother??  Send an Email!

Shanna Gwilliam – Having had parents who adopted her brother, Shanna has been involved in adoption in one way or another for as long as she can remember. As an adoption practitioner since the year 2000, her love of birth parents has grown even more and she considers them to be among the most courageous, selfless women (and men) she will ever know.

Sherri Barker – Sherri is a birth mother, adoption advocate, volunteer, speaker,  NCFA member, and future author of her own book about being a birth mother!

Information for Adoptive Parents ~
*** Find Children Waiting to Be Adopted ~ CLICK HERE!
Blog Posts:
Adopting Jackson (by Lindsey R.)
The Child That’s Right for Your Family (by Mary M.)
Lessons from a Failed Placement (by Brenda H.)
Misconceptions About Adoption (by Tamra)
Finding Peace Despite Infertility (by Brenda H.)
Compassion and Validation (by Brenda H.)
Embracing Open Adoption (by Brenda H.)
Thoughts on Infertility (by Holly E)
Adopting a Child Through Foster Care (by Brenda H.)
Answering Questions About Your Adopted Children (by Deborah M.)
Dealing with Online Negativity in Adoption (by Lindsey R.)
Adoption Scams ~ Avoid Falling Prey (by Brenda)
My Experience with Adoption Scams (by Lindsey R.)
Open Communication with the Birth Father (by Lindsey R.)
Speaking Lovingly of the Birth Parents (by Lindsey R.)
The Adoption Didn’t Happen (by Lindsey R.)
Surviving a Failed Adoption (by Lindsey R.)
Getting to Know the Birth Parents (by Lindsey R.)
Happy Birth Mother’s Day! (by Lindsey R.)
Open Adoption (by Camille H.)
8 Reasons I Love Open Adoption (Marisa C.)
Keeping the Proper Perspective Regarding Failed Placement (from Katelyn)
Including the Birth Mother in Special Moments (Birthmothers4Adoption)
Our Adoption Story (Jennifer M.)
An Adoptive Mom’s Journey (Jennifer M.)
Infertility and Adoption (Jennifer M.)
My Adoption Journey (Brenda H.)
Adoptive Parents, Please Keep Your Promises (Birthmothers4Adoption)
‘Whats Mine is Yours’(Song by Katherine Nelson)

Stories by Adoptive Parents (
How to Make an Adoption Happen (, Brenda Horrocks)
Fountain Couple Finds That Adopting a Teen Can Be Rewarding (CBS Denver)
An Open Look at Open Adoption (Adoptive Families)
The Adoption Tax Credit (Adoption Council)
Utah Couple Adopts 7 Children in 7 Years (FOX Salt Lake)
Is Open Adoption Right for You? (
Stories by Adoptees (

Sharing Birth Records (Adoption Advocate)
Talking to Children About Adoption (Adoption Advocate)
Tips on Adopting Older Children (Adoptive Families)
Thoughts on Open Adoptions (Adoption Advocate)
Famous & Adopted (YouTube video)
Transracial Adoptions: Suggestions for Parents (Adoption Advocate)
Avoiding Adoption Scams (Adoption Advocate)
Adopted Children and Social Skills (Adoption Medicine)
Adoption Myths (Adoptive Families)
Including Birthfathers (Adoptive Families)
Tips for First Year of Placement (Deborah Gray)
Grief & Loss Concerning Adopted Children (FC & AC)
Adoption and Breastfeeding (various sources)
Transracial Adoption Articles (Adoptive Families)
Open Adoption Q&A (Adoptive Families)

Trusted Resources:

Forever Bound Adoption
National Council for Adoption
Adopt U.S. Kids
Families Supporting Adoption
The Adoption Guide (Homestudy)

Have Questions About Adoption??  Send an Email!

Steve Sunday – Steve has been involved with adoption for over 30 years.  He has managed one of the largest adoption agencies in the country.  He is currently a board member for the National Council for Adoption.

Brenda Horrocks –  Brenda has adopted 4 children and served with her husband for 5 years on Families Supporting Adoption National Board, worked as foster parents for 4 years and currently serves on an Advisory Board for the Utah Adoption Exchange. Brenda advocates for adoption, foster care and waiting children through public speaking and blogging. Brenda has adoptions that are open and semi open and she is part of a Birth Family.

Information for Foster Parents ~
Blog Posts:

Give Teens in Foster Care a Break! (KSL)
Adopting Children That Live In Foster Care  
Foster Care Children Speak Up (Adoption Advocate)
Don’t Lose Your Joy (How to be a Foster Parent)
Bringing Out the Inner Champion (How to be a Foster Parent)

Trusted Resources:

Your State Department of Children & Family Services
Utah Foster Care Foundation

Have Questions About Foster Care??  Send an Email!
Mike Hamblin – Mike was with the Division of Child and Family Services for many years before coming to the Utah Foster Care Foundation. He had oversight of and mentoring responsibilities for other staff as well as extensive experience as an investigator in Child Protective Services and a caseworker in In-Home Prevention and Out-of-Home Foster Care Services.

Jenn Larkin – Jenn is the adoptive mother of three children, all who came to her family through Foster Care.  She has loved her foster care experiences, and blogs about it over at The Lark’s Nest.



Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!
4 Comments On This Topic
  1. Leah Berg
    7 years ago

    Wow. I could not be more excited about this blog. I stumbled across it on pinterest, and with each click i am loving it more and more! my husband and i are in the process (read: decided to, but not yet started) of adopting our first child(ren) and i am SO thankful to have found your resources. thank you!! i too have a (SMALL) blog where i will start to document or journey with adoption, but for now it’s mostly recipes and life stuff. :) anyway, just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your mother load of knowledge!

  2. Kathy
    7 years ago

    Mariel, I live in Sandy Utah and I know there are many young ladies(here and everywhere else) that feel helpless and don’t know what to do because they are pregnant. They feel alone and ashamed and most would like to keep their babies but want to do what is right. The right thing Is what Is right for her and her baby. But there are so many people who would love to have children to love and raise of their own and can’t. Everyone has their free agency to make choices but i am an advocate for Prolife. When there are so many who could give a baby or a child of any age a loving home and family there is not a need for taking the life of an innocent unborn child of God! I am thankful for wonderful selfless people like your father (and you) who work so hard to find homes for these precious children and for those who want to love them and give them a home life of their own, whether by adoption or foster care. To the ladies who are scared, feeling alone or helpless about their pregnancy and situation, you are a daughter of God and he loves you and will help you. He has given you people who can help you and you can give the blessing of a sweet angel for a family who wants this blessing so much! You are NOT alone! And you are loved very much! No, I was not adopted. I had my own loving family that I am so thankful for and I have for wonderful grown children of my own and 4 beautiful grandchildren that I spoil but I do completely support the work of those who find families for children and the rights of the unborn babies and help for the mothers who need someone to help them and their babies and chidren. My husband has a niece who could not have her own children and so her and her husband adopted a beautiful dark haired baby girl 9 years ago and she is an angel in their life. They adore her and she adores them. And I am proud that her biological mother took the right step and gave her life and gave her baby girl to a wonderful couple who have given her a warm loving home and family that have loved her and taken so very good care of her! God bless you and your dad and your family and all the wonderful who work to give these precious children a life and a loving home and blessings to those who want them so much and to the mothers(and fathers) who give this blessing to them!

    • Mariel
      7 years ago

      You’re right. Thanks so much for the comment!

  3. Cindy
    7 years ago

    I can’t wait to have a chance to watch some of these videos, they sound very interesting. My husband and I are foster parents. We have four children and three are waiting on an adoptive family, they are beautiful, sweet children, the baby is eight months old. I am praying that the right family or families will come along and want these precious little ones.
    I will be back to read and watch more.
    Hugs, Cindy

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