Thursday, December 20, 2012

Returning Blog Poster: Adoption and Social Media

Hey everyone, guess what? Deanna who used to be the blog administrator, is getting recertified to adopt. Her and her husband James are an amazing couple and I am really excited to watch their miracle unfold as they search and wait for the baby they have been hoping for to join their family. She has graciously offered to help me out with some posts each week and I am looking forward to getting to read them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Deanna! -Elise


Since we have been through this process before of getting certified to adopt but took a breather and now we are back on the wagon so to say I thought I would talk about the importance of getting yourself out there and helping a birth-mother find you!!!  There are many ways to give yourself exposure but by far the FASTEST way for ALL of your friends and networks to know you want to adopt is thru social media and FACEBOOK!!!

You need to be "thinking" who birth-mothers most likely will be and how will she see glimpses of us and know we are wanting to adopt?  How does she connect with others... Even people without computers have smart phones and Facebook! Broke people have Facebook! Students and old people have Facebook!  Most likely she will have Facebook!!!  If you share posts on Facebook about you wanting to adopt, people in your network can "like" or "share" it and it shows up in ALL their friends feeds!! These are people you have never ever even met now knowing of YOU and YOUR search to adopt!!!



Current Timeline cover - Change your photos often to reflect you...the timeline photo btw will always show publicly when searched....


Another point to think about it does my post say "READ ME" or does it say nothing....you want to intrigue your Facebook friends to "actually" click your post and visit your blog or Facebook page...Try NOT to post links without commenting above unless it is BEYOND self explanatory...(Ex: your itsaboutlove link and it shows that number id on the link and no comment...people who aren't LDS don't know what that is...I didn't grow up in the Church and if they have never adopted and are LDS they still may have no clue what that is...its not intriguing...it's just a next keep scrolling post)

You have to be thinking what would make them want to read this post assuming they aren't excited about adoption as much as you...if you can do that you are golden!

Here is an example of a post I posted last Saturday!  It helped my page go up 20 likes just that day!  p.s. you can post this also in ALL groups you know that it would be appropriate for others to know so they can LIKE your page and get it into their networks! I have already had people pm me that I never met already because of this!




Hey all of you amazing friends!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! Please help us to spread the word.. We want as many people to know we are wanting to ADOPT as possible so please PLEASE spread the word to ALL of your AMAZING networks here on FACEBOOK!

You can do this by sharing this link or by going to our page and hitting "like."

Your Love and Support means more to us than all of you all know...

https://www.facebook.com/LeapsofFaith


We are hoping to adopt! Visit our Blog at: http://alittlefamilyblessing.blogspot.com/ Contact us at: alittlefamilyblessing@yahoo.com
Page: 90 like this


As far as when to post on your page or personal FB...Post at night or on Saturday mornings and Sunday Evenings...You have to be thinking when are the most people on Facebook!  If you want them to share your posts you MUST post when they are on!  You want them to share or like when there are lots of other people on too!  Yes, posting at other times it still shows up in their feeds but so does everyone else's that day ahead of you....

I post a lot of stories with in my Facebook as a whole because that is what people like to see...STORIES that include a picture...they don't really care if you got an oil change or had a tuna sandwich for lunch or you are watching some tv show...(I am sure none of you do that...lol)... but you want your Facebook to really tell people who you are (not the fake you the real you) so that they WANT to help you and they want to share with their friends!  You want to help others!  Be inspiring! You are sowing seeds with your posts and the likes/shares are your sprouts!  Don't just inundate them with adoption either...But always be thinking I am a farmer and I am planting seeds... Post LOTS of pictures...use instagram to spruce them up and ALWAYS write comments above them!  Ask the reader questions...on Facebook when someone asks a question you can't say it doesn't make you want to respond!

Think NETWORKING!!!  Seriously...I want you to look at your friends Facebook timelines thinking does this intrigue me, does this say they are someone people want to know or that they are lame and boring and then look at yours and say what can I do to show who I am better...not change who you are but to intrigue people to want to help you!

This is the page I created for us earlier this month...

Now that we are talking about Facebook...lets talk about those you don't know...They need to be able to find you...so I would say if you are wanting more people to know about your journey to adopt that you create a Facebook Page.  Make it inviting and fun...reflecting again who you are!!! Also it doesn't just have to have only your blog posts...have other posts that reflect your thoughts (somehow relating to adoption typically).  This will allow people you don't know to like your page and have your posts show up in their feeds!  Again people you don't know seeing your posts to help you spread the word!...I am not sure if you knew this but the average person knows 2000+ people by the age of 21 now many people on FB have over 2000 friends and if they choose to share your post it shows to all their friends on their timeline!  BTW if you don't have timeline...no comment.

Our current Adoption blog


If you don't have a blog and you are wanting to adopt...you need to get one...the itsaboutlove site is not going to jump out and have people follow it...yes it is a great resource but you can't have people following your posts...updates can't be automatically updated in blog lists on other peoples blogs that way...

That brings up another thing...blogs that get updated get WAYYYYY more traffic than blogs that are another version of itsaboutlove...just saying.

Also, post lots of pictures and make sure you can read the font!!! Scripty stuff is pretty but hard to read...Ask others for feedback.  All the things I said about Facebook about your page intriguing others and if they could really feel like they knew you also apply to your blog...Think "If I was a birth-mom would I feel like I knew them?"



Lastly, once you have a Facebook page you need to link it to your blog!  Our adoption pass-along cards are connected to our blog which then they can connect to Facebook! We also decided that by having only our caseworker and blog on our cards there is no need to update anything else all the time...if something changes like parent profiles it doesn't matter...

P.S. please visit our Facebook page and "LIKE" it!!!



-Deanna

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I need some help!

Hi Everyone! So I have been super caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, in addition to attending the finalization of our dear friends little one, as well as the return of my brother from his mission and getting a new calling in our ward....whooo, that even wears me out writing it!
Anyway, I need some help keeping up this blog. I love adoption, love promoting couples searching for their babies, love reading success stories and hearing from birthmoms and writing for this blog. But I need some help with weekly posts and keeping me filled in on the latest in the adoption world. So if you are interested in becoming a weekly contributor or even just writing a guest segment, please please please shoot me an email and let me know what you would like to do to help! Thanks and Merry Christmas to all! -Elise

Friday, November 2, 2012

Feature Post: Scott And Teresa

One of my favorite parts of administrating this blog is getting to feature hopeful adoptive couples. If you would like to have your family featured and you are currently certified to adopt, contact me at ldsadoptionconnection at yahoo dot com. Thanks! -Elise
Meet Scott & Teresa

In just a few weeks Scott & I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and our little Charlie will celebrate his 5th Birthday!  It’s amazing how time flies.  Some days we look back at what we expected our lives to look like and though we often wish we had a house full of little Charlie’s or Camilla’s, we are so grateful for The Good Life – the one that we are creating each and every day.  We celebrate the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve met along the way! What an adventure we have lived so far!  Our story began with a boy and girl, destined to be together but headed in different directions.  When we first started dating he was getting ready for a BYU summer study abroad program in Israel and she was getting ready to leave on an LDS mission to Russia for a year and a half.   Three years later we found our way back together and were married on a dreamy December day in the Mount Timpanogos temple.  What I remember most about that day isn’t the first snow of the season, or how beautiful my dress was, but how excited we were to be a family of two, to be committed to each other & to being together forever.    We talked about having children of our own, maybe adopting one or two someday.  Scott is the youngest child in his family of 4 brothers and 1 sister.  Teresa is the 2nd of 4 sisters.  So, we knew we wanted a full nest.   What we didn’t know was that our story would be a little different, maybe a little more special and unforgettable than we had anticipated.

 5 years passed and Scott and I had a lot of fun together.  We had traveled all over from Hawaii to Washington D.C., rode a motorcycle down the California coastline, and collected souvenirs from concerts and baseball games.   We had also spent countless hours in doctor’s offices, at adoption seminars, and in infertility treatments until finally, a sweet miracle of a boy entered our lives.  Our happy family of two grew to three.  We knew that having a baby would change our lives.   We knew that we would spend a little less time focused on ourselves & each other, and a lot less time with our hobbies, not to mention sleep.   We couldn’t have known how much of ourselves we would give to this child, and not just in time and attention, but also in sheer devotion.  My favorite parts of the day are when we are all together, when Scott, Charlie and I greet each other at the end of the day with hugs and kisses, when we tell each other about our day, when I look into my husband’s eyes and know that he would do anything for me and for this child of ours.  And so we hope for the chance to love like that again, to grow to a family of four, to share our lives and love with another sweet child.
 

The most important thing that I can tell you about us is that we love each other, and have so much love to spare.  We love to be together, whether cuddled up all 4 of us (our little dog Maya makes 4 – she loves to cuddle, too), on a Saturday morning deciding who will go get the doughnuts or building sandcastles on Waikiki beach Family time is the best time!   Scott is a musician at heart, and I, a dancer.  So we love to sing at the top of our lungs especially while driving in the car, and we aren’t afraid to break out a little dance when we hear a good beat.  We love to laugh, cry, and smile together and we love to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.  In October, I ran my first full marathon, 26.2 miles, and Charlie and Scott were with me the whole way.  I couldn’t have done it without their support.  We enjoy traveling and celebrating other cultures; we’ve been to England, Mexico, and all over the US together.  Scott has been to Mexico (many times for work and play), Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt – I could go on...and I lived in Russia for over a year.   So we have learned to appreciate, respect, and admire other cultures and ways of life.   We love to learn.  Scott has been brushing up on his Spanish since he has been working a lot with Latin American teams.   Little Charlie is excelling at his little private school.  He just got his “blending badge”, which is a huge accomplishment toward reading that we are all so proud of.
                                     



Our favorite part of open adoption is how many hearts get to love one child,  how many hands there will be to hold him or her,  & how much larger our family tree will grow.  To us, open adoption is a miracle. If you, or someone you know is considering adoption, we’d love for you to get to know us a little better.  Visit our adoption profile at itsaboutlove.org profile number 27897573 or follow our journey at www.growingtofour.wordpress.com -Teresa


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I want to hear from you!

 
Hello readers, I know that I have been a bit absent as far as posting my own thoughts but I have been busy keeping up with my little man (see above), celebrating his birthday, then mine, traveling to help take care of my new niece (who is just adorable p.s.) and featuring families and other guests. I love hearing from you all in email form but I would really really really (is that enough reallys?) love for you to comment on posts and let me know what you would like to see more of or what you think of the changes that I've made. I see that people drop by but very rarely say hi! Seriously though, I know there are lots of great adoption events going on out there and I want to let others know about them so please send me info if you are a part of something awesome and adoption related that we can all support.
 
Speaking of which, have you heard about this fantastic adoption walk coming up next weekend in AZ? It is called the Big Tough Girl Adoption Walk ("Royally Blessed" is the theme) and it is being put together by Blessings In A Basket which is an awesome organization that provides support for birthmoms. Just click on the link above to find out more about what they do.
 
Anywho, they are hosting this walk that is going to start off at Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ. I might add that Mtn. View is my alma mater, GO TOROS!!! The walk will be on Saturday November 10th from 9 am to 12 pm. Mtn. View High School is on the corner of Lindsey and Brown, address 2700 East Brown Road Mesa, AZ. There will be amazing raffle items and raffle tickets will be sold for $1.00 each to raise money to help this organization continue to provide support for birthmoms! Participating in the walk is free but you gotta come sporting your purple. There will even be a contest with a $50 prize for the best purple outfit! Doesn't this event sound like a blast? I know I will be driving up from Tucson to participate. Hope to see you there! You can contact the  great people at Blessings In A Basket for more info at bibsupport@blessingsinabasket.org.
 
Hope to see you there. I will be the  super tall one. Does someone have a purple boa I could borrow? :) -Elise

Monday, October 29, 2012

Feature Post: Greg and Heather

One of my favorite parts of administrating this blog is getting to feature hopeful adoptive couples. If you would like to have your family featured and you are currently certified to adopt, contact me at ldsadoptionconnection at yahoo dot com. Thanks! -Elise

 Meet Greg & Heather:
We are the Spencers: Greg, Heather, Eliana, and Lynlee.  We have blessed by the miracle of adoption twice and are hoping to adopt again.


Greg and I met in 1993, when I was a freshman in college.   After 8 years of marriage, including 6 years of infertility treatments, we reevaluated our plan for building a family.  Adoption was the best choice for us, but it took me another 6 years to complete the adoption paperwork.  After approval, we waited for about 2 ½ years for our first birth mom, T, to find us.  She was looking at profiles on itsaboutlove.org and would click “random families” to have some profiles come up.  She said that a few days in a row, every time she clicked “random families” our profile was there.  Then she went to the search feature and put in every picky thing she wanted in a family, and 2 profiles came, 1 of which was ours.  What a miracle!  We love T so much and are so grateful to be a part of her life.


When Ellie was about a year old, we started the paperwork process for adoption #2.  We were about halfway through the process when we got a call from the adoption supervisor at our agency wanting to know if an expectant parent could contact us.  Um, yes, please!  M has a close relationship with T and had watched our family for a year, and ultimately chose us to parent her baby.  Another miracle!  Our daughters are 15 months apart and it is so much fun.We love to hang out as a family and with our extended family.  Greg is one of 10 children and I am one of 5, and there are lots of cousins and in-laws close by.  We love taking road trips and going on walks and playing at the park.  Maybe our favorite thing is to cuddle up by the fire and play with our daughters.

 Check out our family blog at http://tendermercies1.blogspot.com/ and our adoption profile at https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27354129/ourMessage.jsf -Heather

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy News!


We are so excited for Travis and Michelle and their new baby girl Kenzie!!!! Kenzie was born on Oct. 3rd.  Congratulations, adoption is awesome!

Feature Post: Matt & JeriAnn


One of my favorite parts of administrating this blog is getting to feature hopeful adoptive couples. I remember two years ago when we were starting the process and were looking for all the help we could get in spreading the word about our desire to adopt. If you would like to have your family featured and you are currently certified to adopt, contact me at ldsadoptionconnection at yahoo dot com. Thanks! -Elise
Matt & JeriAnn
Howdy!
I just wanted to do a little intro about us and get the word out there that we are trying to adopt. Matt and I met in San Francisco, California, while serving as missionaries. We served together for about a year and during that time we became good friends. Matt completed his mission and returned home before I did. When he got home, he moved to Utah to attend college. He started hanging out with some of our friends from the mission and when I came home, Matt and those friends came to see me. Our friendship quickly developed into a relationship. We lived about two hours apart, but we saw each other every weekend and we talked for hours on the phone. After three weeks of dating, Matt asked me to fly to Georgia to meet his family. We had a great trip and I loved Matt's family immediately. We decided that we wanted to get married and we got engaged after the trip to Georgia. We were married four months later in the Salt Lake temple. We have now been married for six years
I am from a small town in Central Utah, I come from a large family of nine children (I'm number 8). I have 23 nieces and nephews with ages ranging from 6 weeks old to 16. All of my family is close and we get together often. I like to run, hike, do yoga, swim and almost any other outdoor activity. I have participated in several races including 5k’s, a 10k, a half marathon and two triathlons. I have a passion for reading and my favorite books are the Harry Potter series and I have read them each a dozen times. Currently I am enjoying being a house wife. I bake bread and have time to try all of those recipes that I've always wanted to make. Matt is from Georgia. He is the middle of two brothers. Matt and his brothers were adopted as infants. We've seen the miracles that can happen with adoption. Matt is shy at first, but quickly becomes the life of the party. He always has a funny story or experience to share that makes everyone laugh. Matt loves to go swimming, cliff jumping, and swimming at the beach. He enjoys watching almost any sporting event and does so often. He also loves to take pictures. Every time we go on a trip we take hundreds of pictures. We’ve taken over 15,000 pictures in the six years we’ve been married. Matt graduated in April with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has a job working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. He also loves to work on cars and motorcycles. He enjoys helping others with their cars and is usually the person people call when they have a car problem.
We love to travel together. Every long weekend we have, we are taking a trip somewhere. Since being married, we have been to 35 states and we would love to visit all 50. We have been on three cruises; two to the Caribbean and one to Alaska, we have another family cruise planned for Christmas. We love to see new things and have new adventures. Matt likes to drive. We will pick a place, get a good book on CD and go. I love our traveling adventures together. It gives us time to be alone, have fun, and see new places. We also like to go camping. We will spend several nights in the mountains camping and having fires. We enjoy being outdoors and seeing nature. We recently moved to Texas and we love it here. It's fun to start exploring another part of the country. We've been here for three weeks now and we have already been to the beach twice. 
Why adoption? I was diagnosed with endometriosis a few years ago. After my diagnosis, we prayed about what we should do, and we know that adoption is the way we were supposed to build our family. We are excited about starting our family and can't wait until we witness the miracle of adoption in our lives. Please come and get to know us better. Here is our blog.
www.mattandjeriannadopt.blogspot.com -JeriAnn

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthmom Guest Post

Hello readers! Today we have the pleasure of getting to hear from a birthmom named Chelsey. I met Chelsey at the Southwest Regional FSA Conference in 2010 when she was still pregnant. I saw her again last year at the conference and since placement she has met her eternal companion and they were recently married this summer in the Mesa Temple.  A few weeks ago, I was contacted by an adoptive mom named Vanessa and after visiting her blog, I realized she was the adoptive mom of Chelsey's little boy. Small world! Anywho, Vanessa and her hubby Justin are hoping to adopt again and were interested in being featured on this blog. I told her to go ahead and write up something and send it to me. I was pleasantly surprised when she wrote me back and said that Chelsey had actually wanted to write something about the couple for all of us to read. I love getting to share different perspectives and really value the point of view of birthmoms so I was thrilled to feature this family and to share their birthmom's thoughts. Enjoy! -Elise


 Vanessa, Chelsey & Tanner

In the year of 2010, the following events redefined what it means to be a mother. In April, I found out I was pregnant. I came to the realization that I needed to place my baby with the family he deserves. I began to look into adoption, I went to itsaboutlove.org and just stared at the computer. Now mind you I had a checklist of things that I felt my baby needed from his parents. They both needed be educated, financially secure, they needed to love going camping, they had to put family first, and live in a house where they didn't plan to move from for at least a few years. When I finally built up the courage to click on the search couples button, the very first couple that popped up was Justin and Vanessa. I distinctly remember seeing this beautiful blonde woman with curly hair with her studly husband. They were the picture perfect couple for being in love. As I looked through every single one of their pictures they had pictures of camping, and just doing so many fun things together. Next I read through their random facts. Vanessa LOVES ice cream..... that's all I ate being pregnant. The way Justin talked about his wife just made me fall in love with them; he is the NICEST man you will ever meet!! I felt that I needed to know more about them so I emailed them, and began down a road that I will cherish for my whole life. We started emailing in June and it was amazing! Every time my phone buzzed with the email alert I would just smile and couldn't wait to see what they had said. The BEST PART about Justin and Vanessa was that they didn't just ask about the pregnancy and baby, they asked about me. What I was interested in and what I loved about life. They love me for who I am, not just because I placed my son with them. As time went along, we became the best of friends! I felt that I needed to meet them in person, I needed to know how they acted together, if they held hands, or just funny things like that. So we decided that Labor Day weekend they would fly out and meet me. We met at the mall, it was a public place so if we didn't like each other we could run away :) But as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, and I'm waddling to the entrance, they spot me and just hugged me. It was like I had known them my whole life. It wasn't awkward or scary anymore. It was just right.
We spent the whole weekend together playing games, going out to eat, and just talking. The best memory I have of that weekend was Justin always held Vanessa's hand, he always held doors open for everyone. He was a Prince Charming! He was everything a man should be. Not sure if I have ever told him this but he set the example for the type of guy I needed to have in my life. When it was time for them to leave, I cried. I felt like a piece of me was leaving. I wanted to pack myself in a suitcase and just go with them. I was having a baby boy, and I asked them what names they liked and all they wanted was his middle name to be Malan after his Great Grand Father. I asked them if we could name him Tanner, after my brother; who also helped me come to realization I needed to do adoption. They Loved it. So on December 8th, Tanner Malan was born at 4:58 pm. He was 9 lbs and 8 oz. 21 3/4 inches long. I spent all three days in the hospital with him. Not sleeping so we could have all the time together. When it was time to place him, I was scared. But Justin and Vanessa were the best support. We signed the paperwork and I handed him to Vanessa, and honestly it was the best moment. Tanner looked at me and if he could have talked he would have said I love you. He snuggled up to Vanessa and they were in love. They spent the next week in AZ so that I could have lots of time with Tanner. Every day I came over, and as soon as I walked in they handed him right to me. I held him from when I walked in until I left. The last night they were here, I stayed the night and had the opportunity to take care of him. A memory that I am so grateful they let me experience. They finally went home and I received picture after picture, almost hourly! We Skyped, talked on the phone, and they sent me packages of print outs. In his bedroom they put up pictures of just me and him together. It was hard placing Tanner, but Justin and Vanessa called me and comforted me.
They always keep me up to date with what he is doing. Even now when he will be 2 this December, I talk with them often. I've had 3 visits since he was born. Every time I come, I always get to spend as much time as I want with him. They even came to my wedding!! I became a real mom when I put the needs of my son above my own wants. I wanted to bring home but I needed him to have everything I couldn't provide a mom AND a dad, a stable life wherehe could grow up and just be happy and safe. Justin and Vanessa not only did that but they also took care of me. I can't even count all the pictures, videos, packages, Skype sessions we have had. If you're expecting and reading this and thinking about adoption, I will never have the words to describe the love this family will have for you. But I promise they will always take care of you through this journey. I love them more than life itself. I love my son more than my own life, and he is the happiest little man alive.They changed my life for the better. I will always love them and have the up most respect for them. I am excited that they are approved to adopt again, Tanner will be a great big brother!
Love their birthmom, Chelsey
Check out their blog at jandvfamilyfun.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post: Brittnee

Yesterday I received a very heartfelt email from a hopeful adoptive mama who is in the midst of the journey and wanted to share her thoughts and feelings with those out there who may be going through the same thing. Thanks for opening your heart to all of us,Britnee, and best wishes on your journey to find the little one meant to be in your family! -Elise
Adoption Blesses Lives

I always thought adoption would be easy. For us, I thought the getting here would be the hardest part. It took us five years as a couple to decide that we were both ready to adopt. One day I would be ready, the next I wouldn’t and vice versa. We were never ending up on the same page. Then one Sunday, in the middle of sacrament meeting, I turned to my husband and I said it’s time. I felt such an overwhelming peace that we were going to be blessed through adoption. My husband asked for some time to ponder his feelings and in the end he agreed, it was time! We called our local LDSFS the next day! We were totally lucky, the orientation meeting was scheduled for Thursday, (only a three day wait) and the FSA education courses that are offered twice a year were starting the following month, only three weeks away. We got our paperwork done quickly, had our interviews, and completed our home study in record time. We were approved and online just nine weeks to the day that we originally started our journey. I just knew that because everything had lined up so absolutely perfect, it would be a matter of months before we were placed with a baby. I even set a deadline that I just “knew” in my heart would be the timeline for bringing baby home, December 2010. 
That time came and went. Nothing. We came up on our first year and inevitably a home study renewal. We had just purchased our first home and graduated from college so we were sure these two things would drastically increase our chances. We eagerly started again, but this time we opted to also have our profile shared with the Department of Health and Welfare. Four months in, we got a call about a sibling group of 3. We were sure this was our time. After praying and pondering, we knew these kids were not ours. There was a family who could provide them so much more than we could at that time. We were ready for one, we worried about how we could care for three. It was heartbreaking and we worried that we might be walking away from our only chance but we said no and then we started waiting and searching again. Our second year passed and we were so doubtful about renewing again. We prayed and with some guidance from our priesthood leaders, felt like we should continue. Towards the end of our second year, we had been working on fertility treatments simultaneously and were so exhausted and burned out by it all. We decided that this third year would most likely be our final one. Only three months in, we decided it was time to move on. We would continue to wait for the adoption, but we stopped all fertility treatments at this time. We began to work on healing.

Here’s the thing, and I’m ashamed to say it, but I often longed for a miscarriage, a failed placement, or even to be scammed. I just longed for someone to notice us or want us and I longed to feel like there was a chance, that maybe we’d be parents someday. When we finally gave up and started to feel whole again, we had a private adoption opportunity that didn’t work out. We were so close. The baby was due in only fourteen days and we were literally waiting for the final yes. The birth mother selected another family in the end. Surprisingly, we were okay. We were heart broken, but we felt whole. We knew that this was an answer to our prayers. We knew that this was a key telling us to hold on a little longer. Since then, we’ve had a few opportunities sent our way. In fact, our profile is being handed off to a birth mother tomorrow for consideration. Although we aren’t the only couple being considered, we feel so blessed to have come this far.

Our journey isn’t over yet, but as I said in the beginning, I knew we would be blessed by adoption and I can honestly attest that we have. There is something so sweet and exciting about the process, that only those who have gone through it can really appreciate. We have learned so many wonderful things and we have grown and changed along the way. Most of all, our marriage has been strengthened ten-fold. I don’t know where we’ll be in a few days or years, or if and when we’ll be parents, but I do know that adoption blesses and changes lives! -Brittnee
Thanks again Brittnee for contacting me and sharing your thoughts! Check out more about Brittnee on her adoption profile at https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/24679131/ourMessage.jsf

Friday, September 14, 2012

Guest Post: Profile Tips By Elizabeth

Hi readers! We recently got to read a little bit about Elizabeth's family and their experience with adopting their beautiful daughter. Today we get to know some of Elizabeth's suggestions as a former social worker. She has some great advice on how to make your profile more appealing! Enjoy! -Elise


Tips For Your Adoption Profile
As an adoption social worker, part of my job was helping adoptive couples create a good profile. As this was for adoptions through foster care, a matching committee made up of adoption professionals was the ones reviewing the profiles. However, many of the principles are the same. Let me preface this by saying these are just suggestions, if they don't feel right for you, don't use them!

Profile Picture:
*Color catches the eye. For example, if I was looking through the 800+ profiles on the LDS website, the people in muted and/or earth tones would fade into the background if I was browsing. A person in bright yellow, or standing by bright flowers would stand out.

*While a professional picture is not necessary, a professional looking one is, meaning, try not to use a picture of you standing around a birthday cake, at the lake, etc.  Also I would not suggest very casual clothes like beach wear, flip flops, etc.
* Don't get lost in your landscape. Crop your picture so that you and your spouse/family fill in the space.

Intro Sentence:
*Keep it simple and from the heart. Try not to be too over-the-top or desperate (like Pick Us! Pick Us!). A potential birth parent is going through indescribable emotions as they review these profiles and a loving/peaceful/comforting introduction is going to appeal to them much more than a desperate/overly eager one.

* Only post your blog address if you feel comfortable with hundreds, if not thousands, of bored people looking at your blog. If a potential birth parent is interested in you, you can give it to them in private/through email.
Letter to Potential Birth Parents:

*I asked both birth mothers who chose us what appealed to them from our profiles. Both said that they liked that we didn't talk about God/Heavenly Father a lot and did not present ourselves as being overbearingly religious. Because neither was LDS (or even really knew what it was) and a good chunk of potential birth parents are not religious or have any affiliation with the LDS church. So while it may be your tendency to bear your testimony through your letter, know that this will only be appealing to a certain demographic.
*Carefully consider what level of openness (letters, phone calls, identifying information, visits, etc.) in an adoption you would want and talk about it in your letter. This is likely the most important information a potential birth parent will want to know about. Please give this careful consideration as you only want to promise what you really truly can commit to.

 Photo Albums:
* Again, only post pictures that you are comfortable with having a lot of strangers (most of whom are not even potential birth parents) looking at. Don't you just hate those profiles statistics? They creeped me out!

*Use pictures that show what you like to do so that a potential birth parent knows if you have the lifestyle/hobbies they are looking for in adoptive parents.
* One of the birth mothers who chose us said we appealed to her because she was African American and we had posted pictures in our album with our African American friends. She felt we could give her child connections to her culture. If you have similar friendships and are open to a transracial adoption, it would be important for a potential birth parent to see the connections you could provide to a child.

General:
*Try not to present yourselves as "too" anything.... too perfect (because no one is), too reserved (could seem indicative of future behavior), too detailed (save that for communication through email or in person), or just "too" anything!

* Review, update, and edit your profile every 6 months.

 Hopefully, some of these tips helped you. Please remember while it is important to present yourself well through a profile, it is even more important to be 100% truthful in how you present yourselves. These tips are not supposed to help to trick a potential birth parent into choosing you as adoptive parents but are meant to help you present yourself in the best possible way so that a connection or interest may be made more easily between you and a potential birth parent. -Elizabeth

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bringing together a family

I wanted to let you all know about a great event to raise funds to bring some sweet babies home to their family. There is a 1 Mile Fun Run as well as a silent auction and a live auction and it is going to be held this coming weekend at Freestone Park in Gilbert, AZ.  Please check out the links if you are interested in helping through donations or to find out more about the event. Best of luck Probst family! -Elise

www.ourghanaianfamily.blogspot.com Probst Family Blog
www.AdoptEstherandJanet.com Event Info

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Post-Devin

Hi everyone! We are the Payne's~ Jared, Devin, and Ayden. I was asked by Elise to share Ayden's adoption story! I am thrilled to!

Let me start out by letting you all know we are foster parents. OH! I most also warn you, I'm great at remembering exact dates and times, so yeah... That being said, here's our story.
We got a call about 8:30 a.m. on Mon., Sept. 26, 2011 asking us to accept a placement. This placement was a baby less then 12 hours old! We accepted and later found out that this baby is a boy and other information regarding the case. We brought Ayden home from the NICU about 3 1/2 weeks later. We went on assuming Ayden would eventually go home to his birth parents, even though all "signs" were pointing towards adoption. We tried to have faith that his bio parents would do the things necessary to gain custody of Ayden again.
We would have as much contact with his bio parents as the judge would allow, which wasn't much do to the circumstance of the case. One night (Jan. 31, 2012 to be exact :o) )we went over to where Ayden's bio. great-great grandma lives. Side note: We got her address, and permission from the caseworker to go over there as long as Ayden was not with us. Anyway~ His bio parents where there that night! We just talked, caught up on what was going on since last time we had been together. During this time, his bio mom asked if we had heard they were going to relinquish! Um NO! Trying to be sensitive to their feelings but letting them know how honored we are, we talked more about the details of the relinquishment and what we were all wanting from the adoption. That was one of the most memorable nights of our lives! When we left his bios. we instantly got on our phones and called all our family members. We decided to not tell friends, put it on facebook or our blog until his bio parents had actually relinquished. They did the most selfless act they could have done for Ayden, and they signed over their rights on Feb. 08, 2012. That court hearing was the most... solemn, hard hearing we have yet to attend. I was in tears! We had the honor of legally becoming Ayden's parents on April 16, 2012. One of the best days of our lives!! We were sealed to our little miracle on May 19, 2012.



Now that the adoption is finalized, things with Ayden's bios. are a lot less tense, I'd say. We try to go over to his great-great grandma's about once a month still. We have leave it up to his bio parents when they want to see Ayden. I am friends with both bio parents on facebook. I try to put pictures up regularly, and tag his bio parents in them. We, unfortunately, don't hear from them as much as we would like... but we hope that changes in time.

So that's our Ayden's adoption story. Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Feel free to follow our blog, learn more about us at jndpayne.blogspot.com or email us at jndpayne@gmail.com. We are a pretty open book about fostering, adoption, our infertility... whatever! :o)
Thanks for sharing your story Devin. I thinks it's great to hear about different routes to adopting because foster to adopt is often overlooked and it can be a wonderful way to find your family! Congratulations to the Payne's! -Elise

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest Post: Elizabeth

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and my husband and I recently adopted our daughter through LDS Family Services. My world seems to have an adoption theme running through it, as several of my extended family members are adopted or have adopted, I spent much of my off time in college working in international orphanges, and I worked as an adoption social worker for several years (in foster care adoptions and international adoptions).  

In a fateful turn of events, when I was dating my husband I told him I never wanted to have biological children because I felt a strong call to adopt. Flash forward several years to when we discovered my husband had azoospermia, rendering us 100% infertile. If that's not destiny, I don't know what is. So why would we choose to go through LDS Family Services when my experience was in other types of adoption? Well, mostly due to cost and wanting to parent a newborn. But I still think ALL kinds of adoptions are awesome and plan to adopt through those avenues in the future.

Anyways, we started the adoption process in late 2010 and were placed with our beautiful daughter Soleil on Thanksgiving day of 2011. She wasn't due until December 5th but decided to come early, which meant catching some very pricey (due to the holiday) last minute flights to Kentucky, where she was born. During the waiting process I constantly prayed for the "right" baby to join our family. I didn't pray for a girl, or a baby with blue eyes, or even a healthy baby. Just the "right" baby. 

When her birth mother chose us, my husband and I both felt a deep sense of calm and peace and....."rightness." As if that was not enough, as we were driving to the hospital on the day of Soleil's birth, my husband commented that it was a nice coincidence Soleil was born on my favorite holiday. Then I noticed we were driving on Turkey Foot road. I thought that was funny too. But when we pulled up to the hospital and noticed she had been born at St. Elizabeth Hospital, I felt the most indescribable sense of the Spirit telling me He wanted me to know that this was all His doing. And of course it was. We love our little daughter and love that we were able to develop a relationship with her birth mother and have openness in her adoption.
Due to California state requirements that you must wait 6 months post placement to finalize an adoption and a hefty backlog for available court dates, Soleil's adoption was not finalized until August 15th of this year. We will be sealed in the San Diego temple on September 8th and are so excited for this day to come! Of course our adoption process wasn't perfect, there were many irritating and frustrating complications with our paperwork and out-of-state clearances. Not to mention the emotional fall out from investing much energy into a situation where the birth mother eventually chose to parent (which ended up being a wonderful thing for her and we are still friends!). 

In the end, it is my belief that all of these things happened for a reason...so we would be led to Soleil. So whether you wait 3 months or 3 years, have a failed placement, or have glitches with your paperwork, I hope you find encouragement in the idea that maybe these things happen for a reason, which is to lead you to the right baby for you. Just as we feel we were lead to Soleil.


Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Elizabeth. So excited for your family to be sealed this weekend, what an amazing experience for your family! We look forward to a future post from Elizabeth with advice (as a former social worker) on creating profiles!  -Elise

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Post: Lundyn Rae

A week or so ago, I was browing through the local FSA Facebook page for my area and saw a post by an up and coming musician, asking for bloggers who would like to feature her as a guest blogger and in return the readers of the blog would receive a free download of her new adoption themed song "A Better Plan." Well, I jumped on the opportunity to have her on LDS Adoption Connection because I wanted all of you to be able to hear her beautiful song and to support her in her efforts to advocate for adoption through music. So, without further ado, here's Lundyn:


 Consider Adoption: A Better Plan

The other day I was at the mall and stopped to let my daughter play in the children’s area for a while. I was surprised at the number of teen mothers I saw playing in there with their babies. I was proud of them for choosing to give that child life yet I was struck with sadness that they were missing out on things that were essential not only for their own growth but for the well- being of their child. This is true for any young woman of any age that finds herself pregnant and alone. I wondered why these girls chose to parent over adoption and wondered if there is really that much education about the benefits of adoption.
I just happened to pick up an old magazine that surfaced in a recent move and started reading an article on adoption and the healing that had come into all the lives of those involved, including the birthmother, through the adoption process. I wondered why isn’t this perspective more advocated in the media and then the lyrics of a song just started pouring into my mind, that out of the struggle there was indeed a better plan, not only for the baby, but for the young woman.
When my daughter was first placed in my arms I imagined a life of constant laughter, sweet kisses and hugs, dressing her up, having an instant friend that loved me unconditionally, fun play dates at the park, and cute pictures and crafts that covered my fridge. Everyone around me was so excited for my new life and all the joys it would bring. I was so excited for all of these moments. And I’ve had them and each memory is cherished and loved and I look forward to creating more of them. But what people seem to fail to mention was the sleepless nights, endless poopy diapers, what to do when the crying never seemed to stop, and as they grow older, still sleepless nights, new messes of toys, picky eaters, the constant demand of my attention, no privacy in the bathroom, and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to sit and enjoy a meal without having to get up 10 times to get one more thing demanded by a sweet 3 year old. Even as I write this I am having things placed on my head and being barraged with questions, and demanded that I come and get breakfast for her RIGHT now!



Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a mother, but there is no way I could do this without the help of her dad, one amazing husband. With his help in raising our vibrant and beautiful daughter I have still been able to get some me time, continue my education and pursue my music career. Without him I would not be able to function as the loving mother my daughter needs me to be. I would not be able to still be me! Every woman and mother deserves that. Every mother needs a break, a time to rejuvenate, and pursue their hobbies and passion that allows them to continue their own growth and development. It’s not selfish, it’s essential! I am a better wife and mother because I am able to take this time and despite the daily demands still feel like a sexy, vibrant, beautiful girl. Not only do I deserve this, but so does my daughter, in fact it is essential to her well-being. Her happiness is increased by the security of the home we offer, both of us being able to give her love and meet the demands of a growing child. Now I recognize that this is not always possible and I honor and respect those single parents out there. I honestly don’t know how they do it.
 I’m not about condemning or judging those who have chosen to parent or even those that chose abortion. For me it’s about creating the awareness of the positives of adoption for those currently still making the decision. Helping them to make an educated decision what is right for their life and their baby. My hope is that by listening to my song A Better Plan people will truly come to understand that adoption really is about love; A truly heroic act.  And that while the pain of giving up your child for adoption is heart wrenching and excruciating in the moment, there is great healing in the selfless act of giving your child to a loving couple that can give your baby more than you can at this given moment in your life. And though abortion may appear to solve the perceived immediate problem providing instant relief, it brings with it a burden you alone carry for the rest of your life.
Curtis J Young of the Family Research Council says, “Rarely does an unmarried pregnant woman stop to consider the tremendous cost and responsibility of choosing single motherhood. Successful child-rearing, while greatly rewarding, is also very demanding, even for two-parent families. It requires a great deal of time, self-sacrifice and financial expense.”  In her book For the Love of a Child, social worker Monica L. Blume points out, “Almost every birth mother I have ever seen who is choosing to single parent believes she will be one of the very few who beat the odds.”  Many of these unwed mothers count on the father remaining fully involved or on having their own father help raise the child. And many single mothers hope to eventually get married. Unfortunately, such hopes are not often realized. And many unwed mothers find that single parenthood is much more challenging than they expected. Studies have shown that single mothers have higher rates of illness, have less social involvement, and, if they are teenagers, are less likely to eventually marry than those who place their babies for adoption.”
Some may view placing a child for adoption as “abandoning” that child. But adoption is not abandoning your responsibility. It’s taking more responsibility. It is truly taking care of your own, because you’re saying, ‘I can’t give this child what he or she needs, but someone else can.’

To echo Curtis Young, “Adoption is not a breaking of trust but a keeping of faith, not an abdication of responsibility but an act of redemption, not the abandonment of a baby but an abandonment of self for a baby’s sake.” As I wrote in the song A Better Plan, ‘Sometimes love comes at a cost we don’t understand, and you have to trust someway, somehow, it’s part of a better plan. -Lundyn


Lundyn Rae is a country singer from Gilbert Arizona empowering lives to greatness through music.
Go to www.lundynrae.com and enter the code ADOPTION1 to get your free download of the song A Better Plan.

 Isn't she awesome? Thanks for sharing your passion for adoption and music with all of us here at LDS Adoption Connection, Lundyn! Hope everyone will take a moment to go download the song and share it with other's around you in the adoption world! :) -Elise

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Adoption Good News


In my efforts to tidy up this blog, I went through and looked at all of the links for couples hoping to adopt and was so excited to see how many couples had experienced a placement already!!! YAY!!! So I moved them from hoping to adopt to have adopted. If I made a mistake and took you off and you would like to be re-added to either list, please email me and let me know. I did delete some of the blogs off the list where there had been no activity for a long time or their profile was no longer active. Make sure to update your blog frequently, it lets prospective birthparents know that you are still hoping to adopt.

So, in no particular order, here are the couples who have had good news to share over the past year:


Spencer and Whitney welcomed a baby boy, Mason!
 
Jake and Terri welcomed a baby boy, Alex!

Jeremy and Sheyann welcomed a baby girl Olivia!

Russ and Kylee welcomed a baby boy, Chase!

Derek and Laura welcomed a baby girl, Hailee!

Tom and Shian welcomed a baby girl, Anya!

Ryan and Amanda welcomed a baby girl, Abby!

Brett and Candace welcomed a baby boy, Jamison!

Josh and Andrea welcomed a baby girl, Katelyn!

(Look at all of those exclamation points, can you tell I'm excited for them?)

Check out our blog list of couples who have adopted to read more about each of these placements.

Congratulations to all of the families and please let me know if you would like to write a guest post, telling us all about the miracles that led you to your birthmom and baby.
Thanks! -Elise


An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House