Family to Family’s office will be closed today and tomorrow due to an A/C issue in our building. We will all be working from home the next couple of days and can be reached on our email and cell phones. Please bear with us as it may take a little longer to respond over the next couple of days. They are working to get our A/C unit up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Recently our agency placed a sibling group of four children for adoption. We had a huge response to our need for families for these children and lots of support during this process. Who knew that a simple post on our Facebook page would have potential adoptive families inquiring about these children from many different places as far as Australia and The Philippines. Over several weeks, our staff worked together to find homes for these children and make decisions for each of them based on their needs. I am happy to report that we have placed all of the children with wonderful adoptive families.
Family to Family is a private, non-profit agency that specializes in making adoption plans for birth parents and adoptive families of mostly newborns. On occasion our agency will place an older child or a sibling group. In placing a sibling group or an older child, the adoption agency will require a current home study. What is a current home study? A current home study is a report completed by a licensed social worker approving the adoptive parents for adoption and the report is dated within the last year. If your home study is not current then you cannot be considered as an adoptive family for a child that needs an immediate placement. It is important to have and maintain that home study to be considered for an older child or sibling group placement for adoption.
There is a difference between a home study done for a domestic adoption and a home study for foster care. While we can use a home study for foster care, the adoptive family first needs to find out if their foster care agency is willing to release their home study to the adoption agency for placement of a child. Throughout the process of placing this sibling group, there were many inquiries from families where their foster care agencies were not able to provide the home study or informed the family that they could not take placement from another agency while providing foster placements. It is important if you are a foster family to find out if this is a possibility for you before inquiring on a placement.
Placement of an older child or sibling group through Family to Family is a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. The birth parents have made a decision to make an adoption plan for their child in order to provide a life for that child that they cannot provide. This means that children that are placed through our agency do not come with monetary reimbursements or stipends. Adopting a child is providing a permanent home for a child and the adoptive family is responsible and willing to provide for this child as they would their own child. In the event of a placement through a private adoption agency such as Family to Family, in most cases there is a fee associated with adopting a child or a sibling group. To learn more about our fees, please feel free to contact us.
We are so appreciative to all of the families that inquired about the sibling group we recently placed. It is encouraging to know that there are so many families out there that are open to providing homes for children when needed. Thank you to all of you!
A few weeks ago at a dinner with a group of clients who had traveled from out of state for a week-long meeting, I ended up sitting next to a woman whom I’d never met. As dinner got started and she and I were talking, she apologized for checking her phone every couple of minutes.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, “but my husband and I have been in the adoption process for three years and just two days ago, we met a birth mom and we matched!” I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have just met this person at such an exciting and vulnerable point in her life. I eagerly listened to her story, pumping her for details by sharing some of our family’s story. She and her husband had just about given up hope (how many times had I been there?!) when this birth mom asked to meet them and then asked them to raise her baby, which was due to be born in less than three weeks. My new friend wasn’t quite sure what to feel – after waiting for her baby for so long, she was afraid to hope, yet she couldn’t help herself. While I tried to be sensitive to her need to keep her emotions at bay, my excitement spilled over as she told me her story and that of the baby’s birth mother. By the end of that dinner, I’d made a new friend for life.
The next day as we attended meetings together, I rode shotgun on her emotional roller coaster and we talked about our families and about babies through the end of dinner the second day of our meetings. Sharing all of these moments with her took me straight back to the weeks before our oldest son was born and I got to relive for my friend the moment that the nurse placed our son in my arms and said, “Here is your baby.” I also relived every moment that I got to spend with my son’s birth mother and appreciated again what a strong, smart, brave woman she was.
All of this happened, coincidentally, the week before our oldest son’s fifth birthday. Since my new friend had to stay in town over the weekend (away from her husband, who was at home, anxiously prepping the nursery), she graciously agreed to join us for his birthday party at a moon bounce gym with twenty other five year-old boys. It was such an honor to be able to show her what our family had become in five years and to give her a glimpse of what her family might be doing five years from now.
As I write this post, my friend’s baby is due to be born in three days. The baby’s birth mother has invited my friend to be in the delivery room with her and I’m anxiously awaiting the news that they are headed to the hospital. My friend texted me today, “So close to the finish line… We are happy and we are terrified!”
That sounds just like a new mom to me.
Written by Adoptive Mother, Kate
The process of adoption and the biological family choosing the adoptive family for their child and placing their child with them is the most obvious reason of our agency name. The agency also has a smaller client base and we know each one of our families, both biological and adoptive, and their expectations and needs of the adoption process. We feel that adoptive families and birth parents should feel connected to the staff and the adoption process and not feel like a number on a waiting list. Our relationship with our families extends beyond the placement and routinely we receive email, visits and pictures with updates and are able to see how the adoptive families and children as well as the birth families are doing for years after placement. We also look forward every year to our Annual Adoptive Family Picnic in the Fall where our families and adopted children come together to meet, catch up and have some fun. As an agency we always say that our biggest compliment is when an adoptive family or a birth family choose to work with us again or refer someone to the agency.
However, the agency staff feels like there is another meaning behind the name. Since the inception of the agency in 2001 the Family to Family staff has been working together. We are not just coworkers that show up for a job every day but we are our own little family. We have been there for each other through births of our children and grandchildren, marriages, loss of family and coworkers and many other life experiences. Most of our families have shared in these experiences with us because of the relationship we form with them during the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, we invite you to attend one of our conferences, talk to some of our other families, and meet the staff and become part of our “family” too. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your adoption process.
Having a new baby in the home can be tiring and very overwhelming for any new parent. Many parents expecting a child will prepare themselves for being able to meet the needs of the baby once they are home from the hospital. Parents understand that babies cry but some do not realize that some babies will experience excessive crying during 8 to 12 weeks of life. Some babies will resist soothing, cry for more than 5 hours at a time, and will cry more in the evening. No one can be prepared for an overly fussy baby but here are some tips to help soothe your baby.
If your baby is crying, make sure you have met all of their needs first including feeding, burping, and changing your baby’s diaper. If your baby is still crying try giving him/her a lukewarm bath, singing softly, or rocking. Sometimes white noise such as a vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, or sound machine will be soothing for your baby or the hum and rocking of the car will help so go for a drive. Having a support system that can come over and take a turn with your baby will give you a break as well.
It is important to know that if you have tried every soothing technique that you can and you have met all of your babies needs that this does not mean you are not a good parent. It can be very frustrating as a parent if you are unable to soothe your baby. If your baby is crying and you find yourself becoming increasingly upset, place your baby in a safe place such as his/her crib or bassinet and take a break in another room of the home. Never, ever, ever shake your baby.
Babies who cry excessively, premature babies, and special needs children are more at risk for Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaking your baby can cause brain damage, blindness, severe learning and behavioral problems, seizures, deafness, and possible death. For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome and additional tips on soothing your baby, visit the Period of Purple crying website.
A few weeks ago my four year old daughter and I attended a birthday party for one of her friends. When we arrived the kids had a bunch of different games, a moonwalk, putt putt golf and pedal bikes to choose from to play with. Then they loaded all the kids up first on a trackless train and then a hay ride and took them for a ride. There were many different animals to see, pony rides, and they topped the whole party off with a magic show. My daughter had so much fun and is still talking about this party.
Sound like fun? Think your kids would enjoy this place? You’re in luck. Family to Family decided to switch venues for our annual picnic this year to this fun-filled, kid-friendly place located inRichmond,Texas. As usual the picnic will be held the second Saturday in October and we booked the whole place from 10 am until 2 pm. Mark your calendars! Our annual picnic that we host every year is a great way to meet other adoptive families, to catch up with the staff and for your kids to have way too much fun. Come and join us at Hitchin Post Stables on Saturday, October 12, 2013. Bring lunch and snacks for your family. Family to Family will provide drinks and dessert and Hitchin Post will have snow cones and popcorn. Hope to see you there!
The title to this blog is an article that was released in this weeks paper of the Houston Chronicle. You can find it in the Fort Bend section. Our agency recently had our license amended to include foster care and foster to adopt. Our contract is pending and we are excited about starting up these new programs and offering this service in our local area. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact us. We are looking forward to providing safe and loving homes for children and making a difference in their lives even if it is just for a short time.
The dates have been set for 2013 for adoption conferences, adoptive parent trainings, and the annual adoptive family picnic. Please check out our Events and Schedule page on our website to get those dates and times. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact us for more information.
Many of our families ask us how to start teaching their children about adoption during the toddler years. Introducing the idea of adoption to a younger child can be challenging. We have found that one of the best ways to start this process is by reading children’s books about adoption to them. Here are a few books that we recommend:
1.) “I Wished for You – an adoption story” by Marianne Richmond
2.) “God Found Us You” by Lisa Tawn Bergren
3.) “A Mother for Choco” by Keiko Kasza
These books are entertaining for young children and also expose children to the excitement and benefits of adoption. If you have a book that you read to your toddler about adoption, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment and leave the name of the book and the author. Happy Reading!
It’s that time of year! I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is done and Christmas is upon us. Everyone is busy decorating, shopping and making plans for the holidays. The staff at Family to Family are doing the same but we are also looking forward to the birth of many babies this month as well as getting ready to start our foster care program next year. This is also our favorite time of year because we start receiving holiday cards from our adoptive families that we can put up around the office. This month promises to be a busy one.
We have many birth families this year and most of them with children and our agency strives to provide Christmas for each of them. If you are interested in donating or would like to sponsor a family please contact us. Also if you are an adoptive family this is a great time of year to remember your birth family. Many of our families send gifts to their birth families so we ask that you get those to us in the next couple of weeks so we can ensure that the birth families receive these by Christmas. If you have not finalized your adoption and you have plans to travel for the holidays please be sure and let us know. We hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.