Spotlights of the Month ~
Aaliyah, born 6/06, is an African American/Caucasian little girl with a great smile and a vivid imagination. She has a strong and sassy personality and does not let having an oxygen tube or being fed through a GJ tube hold her back. Aaliyah is home schooled and loves that a teacher comes to see her in her home. She enjoys coloring, writing the letter “A” and using her safety scissors. Aaliyah also loves Dora the Explorer, dancing, playing with her baby dolls and her princess bed. She needs a loving, patient and committed adoptive family who understands her need for ongoing medical attention as well as her need to be home schooled. For more information on adopting Aaliyah. visit her page on Adoption.com.
Mariel’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 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 (Adoption.com)
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)
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!
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 (Adoption.com)
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)
Is Open Adoption Right for You? (Adoption.com)
Stories by Adoptees (Adoption.com)
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)
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 ~
How to Say “Goodbye” When You Foster (by Brenda H.)
Adopting a Child Through Foster Care (by Brenda H.)
Having a Positive Foster Care Experience (by Brenda H.)
“Recognizing a Spirit” ~ Adopting Foster Children (by Jenn L.)
Our Foster Adoption Story (Video by Jenn L.)
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)
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.
* If you are interested in sharing your posts/articles regarding positive experiences with adoption or foster care on this page, or becoming a guest blogger on the “Or so she says…” homepage, email email@example.com.