Children are God's gift: Our Adoption Agency

“We drove 27 hours straight through to get from our Midwest home to Texas and arrived at the hospital when our beautiful baby was 22 hours old!”

Another testimonial from one of our adoptive families tells us again that the work we do here has an impact on people’s lives. We always appreciate these kinds of stories because they remind us over and over again that our efforts are meaningful (and appreciated).

Visit our web site to learn more about the adoptive process and see how we might be of service to you in your efforts to build your family!

Focus on Birth Mothers

We at Family to Family have always prided ourselves on our attention to serving the needs of the birthmothers that we are associated with. We have a list of birthmother services that we provide to our clients and maintain a list of questions and answers of interest to birth families.

We are always gratified when our constituents recognize our efforts, and many of them mention us and our dedicated staff in their blogs describing ways that we have been supportive and helpful to them in their efforts to expand their families. One of our clients has written a personal note about his own experience as an adopted child and his sensitivity to issues that birth mothers have. His story points up how our approach serves birth families as well as adoptive families.

Children Placed for Adoption

Family to Family Adoptions began placing domestic newborns in January 2002 and our statistics through December 2008 show that we have placed 232 babies and created 232 wonderful adoptive families.
  • 43% of those children were Full Caucasian
  • 16% were Hispanic/Caucasian
  • 16% were Full Hispanic
  • 1% were Caucasian/Asian
  • 2% were Native American
  • 11% were Caucasian/African American
  • 2% were Hispanic/African American
  • 8% were Full African American
  • 12% of our families have adopted a second child through Family to Family
  • 1% of our families have adopted a third child through Family to Family

Art Auction Benefitting Family to Family Adoptions, Inc

You are all cordially invited to attend an Art Auction by the Perry Berns Gallery of Dallas, TX benefitting Family to Family Adoptions, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit. This event will be held at Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, 3000 Plantation Dr, Richmond, TX 77469 on Sunday April 19 from 2PM to 6PM. Wine and fingerfoods will be served and there will be a cash bar.

This event is the first of its kind for Family to Family and the Berns Gallery has pledged 25% of the total sales as a donation to Family to Family. We are expecting about 150 people to attend so RSVP early to max@fam2fam.org or call 281-342-4042.

Where:
Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, 3000 Plantation Dr, Richmond, TX 77469

When:
Sunday April 19 from 2PM to 6PM

Children's Fashion Show and Fair

Family to Family is planning two events for Spring 2009. We are hosting a Children’s Fashion Show and Fair on Sunday March 1, 2009 at Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, 3000 Plantation Dr, Richmond, TX 77469. There is a $10 charge for entry into this event.

This event features Kelly’s Kids clothing line and several of children will be the models. In addition we will have a presentation by KidsPrints and parents will be able to memorialize their child’s hand or food print on plates and other decorations.

In addition, clowns will be available to make balloon sculptures and do face painting.

A silent auction with lots of kid centered products and gifts will be held and there will be lots of cupcakes, cookies and a beverage bar.

RSVP jennifer@fam2fam.org or call 281-342-4042

Where:
Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, 3000 Plantation Dr, Richmond, TX 77469

When:
Sunday March 1, 2009

Open Adoptions Are Just So Normal

Hi Everyone, I received an update from one of our adoptive families who has a fully open adoption with their birth parents and their extended family and I have asked their permission to share it with you. This just proves that Open Adoption is Normal!!!
About 4 years ago, we helped a married couple in North Texas place their first born child. The couple wanted to place this child because the father did not want children. We placed the child with a childless couple from the Houston area. After placement, the birth mother’s parents found out that she and her husband had placed the child and were heartsick they would not be able to share in their granddaughter’s life, but fate was in their corner. The placement had been an open adoption and because of this, the adoptive parents were able to reach out to the birth grandparents in an open manner and thus began the saga of this wholly open and wonderful adoption. The adoptive mother recently sent me pictures of the baby and a quick update of their family. The following is word for word.
” I just wanted to update you and all the Family on how our very open adoption arrangement is working out. We really couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, and ‘Angel’ s'(name has been changed for privacy) birth family feels the same way. We continue to see ‘Lori’ (name has been changed for privacy), her sister and her parents every few months. Her mom and I have become very good friends. it’s weirdly amazing how similar we are. Her sister has a son close to Angel’s age and Angel just loves him, as well as the rest of the family. Lori became pregnant again last year, moved to Houston and divorced her husband. She chose to keep the baby, ‘Jenny’ (name changed for privacy), who was born December 20, 2007, and she is engaged to be married in May. Her fiance loves Jenny like his own and his parents are very attached as well. Angel knows Jenny is her sister and adores her, but she isn’t really old enough to ask “how can that be?”. That will come in time, I suppose! Lori’s parents kept Angel and her cousin last Saturday night and you’ve never seen such excited grandparents. They are just so thankful that we keep them in Angel’s life, but after meeting them, we wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.”
“It seems so normal to us since we don’t know any other way, but if I really stop and think about it, it probably sounds very unusual to most people. Angel’s family just keeps growing and growing and I feel she is lucky to have so many people who love her.”

Voice of an adoptive Mother

Adoption has been a frequently used word in our home since the shortly after my husband and I were married. There was a good chance I would not be able to carry a child, and this was talked about after we were engaged. We just didn’t know the route that would be taken to get there. After being married for a little more than a year we decided it would be time to add a baby to our family. Much to our surprise we became pregnant in short order! As quickly as it happened, it all ended. We would go through this four more times without any answers from doctors. This is where our adoption journey begins!

As a young married couple we did not know anyone that had adopted and really didn’t know where to start. I began using my one hour a day at the library researching on the internet. We also started making phone calls to all the numbers under “adoption” in the yellow pages. After a few months of doing this we had made a decision to sign a contract with an agency in another state that did require us to pay a good lump of money up front. But it was okay, they had great references that we called ourselves and their adoption placements were solid…or so it seemed. Our contract was for two years and there was a 60% chance that we would be matched and have our baby in the first year and a 95% chance at adoption in the two year period. It all sounded good to us, but it was too good to be true. A little over a year into the contract, and failed matches later we decided to cancel the contract and be out the money that we had invested. We walked away praying that all agencies were not this way!

I can tell you now that they are not! It was shortly after this happened that a friend told us about Family to Family Adoptions Inc. I called them that very day! There was not a bump or a glitch after that point in our adoption journey, and it was a short one! Four days after my first phone call to Jennifer, she was calling me back with a situation that was considered “emergency.” There was a birth mother that was due in a little over a week with a healthy baby and they wanted to know if we were interested. Now before getting too far down the road here, I want you all to know that it doesn’t happen this fast for everyone. We were homestudy ready and already had our adoption profile put together and just needed to fax everything to the wonderful ladies at Family to Family.

The birth mother looked over our profile and chose us to be the adoptive parents of her baby. Because of the short time before her due date, we started making preparations right away. The plan was to fly down a few days before her due date to have the chance to meet her and so we could ask each other questions. But that plan didn’t stick, because she had the baby a week early…which puts us at 3 days after we were told about this situation! We very quickly jumped in the car and drove from our Midwest home to Richmond, Texas (a 26 hour drive!) The entire trip the ladies at Family to Family were calling us and keeping us up to the minute on what was happening. They called us when our baby was born, and even kept us up to date on how she was doing until we arrived! Upon arriving in Richmond we were able to meet all the great ladies in the office at Family to Family. They quickly had us do the paperwork that needed to be done so that we could go to the hospital and meet our baby and her birth mother. From the minute we arrived until the minute that I flew home with our baby, there was not a time that I felt alone because the ladies at Family to Family took care of us. They would accompany us to the hospital, help us to know what was helpful and respectful of our birth mother, and almost were able to answer our questions before we knew what to ask! They also helped us out with a place to stay, which was a huge blessing because we had never been to this part of the country before and we had such short notice in regards to planning.

Because of Interstate Compact, I was to stay in Texas until the paperwork was cleared to take our baby out of the state of Texas. My husband was not able to stay the entire week and a half that we needed to be there so I was left with our newborn baby in an unfamiliar place with no transportation. But once again Family to Family stepped up and really helped us out. If I needed to go to the store, the doctor, or even just go grab a bite to eat one of the ladies was always willing to help me out! I remember thinking I was going to run out of diapers the day before I was to fly home and it was after hours but they said to call if I needed anything! So picking up the phone and calling wasn’t an issue, I made the call and they made sure that someone brought me some diapers ASAP! They helped us out with the two visits we had with our daughters birth mom during that week in Texas, and called to check on me if I hadn’t called them!

When we received word that the ICPC paperwork was complete and it was okay to leave the state of Texas, once again the Family to Family team jumped in to help! Jennifer drove my daughter and myself to the airport and helped carry in our luggage. She really went above and beyond anything we could have expected! All of the ladies did! We look back on our adoption through Family to Family and cannot imagine it going any more smoothly than it did! And they have continued to be so kind and helpful with keeping us posted on how things were going when the police were having a difficult time serving the papers to the birth father, and what we needed to do at 6 months to finalize our adoption.

One other thing that really sticks out in my mind is how they treated our daughters birth mother. They loved her, and treated her with respect and kindness every second that they could. She was not just some lady that had a baby, she was a human being with feelings and cares, that to me was one of the most important things I remember!

We look forward to when we are able to grow our family through adoption again. And we will be calling none other than Family to Family Adoptions, Inc.!

See more adoptive family stories here.

OPEN HOUSE for FAMILY TO FAMILY

Family to Family is hosting an Open House on November 8, 2008 from 10AM to Noon for supporters of the agency. You will be able to get acquainted with our board of advisors and our staff as well as begin early Christmas Shopping through our silent auction. Mark your calendars for Saturday morning, November 8, 2008 from 10AM to Noon at Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club, 3000 Plantation Dr, Richmond, TX 77469. RSVP to pkurth@fam2fam.org
See our website for directions to the country club. http://www.fam2fam.org/

LifeBooks for Adopted Children

Whether you are adopting from foster care, domestically or internationally, each adopted child can benefit from a LifeBook. A LifeBook is simply is a record of an adoptee’s life that uses words, photos, your child’s art, computer graphics and/or memorabilia to tell his story. A LifeBook is more than the story of your child’s adoption, it is a unique opportunity for you to creatively honor every minute of your child’s life. It can make talking about adoption feel like everyday conversation. Adopted children often have secret thoughts about why they were adopted. Many believe that somehow they were responsible for the separation from their birthfamily. A LifeBook helps to reduce ‘magical thinking and fantasy’ about their life and adoption. This frees them up to pay better attention in school or to be more available to focus on talents and interests. Get creative! There are software companies on the internet now that allow you to create a book with your own pictures, graphics and narratives for a small amount of money. If you don’t want to do this through software, a hand written book held together with pretty ribbons can be special to your child. Limits to your imagination is the only thing stopping you from honoring your child’s past, present and future.

Hurricane Ike

As many of you know, we are located just southwest of Houston, Texas and if you have watched the news in the last few days, you know that our area has experienced a horrific hurricane. Thankfully, all of the Family to Family staff and their families are safe and healthy, but many of our friends and families throughout the Texas Gulf Coast remain in jeopardy because of the problems associated with this storm.
Ike took a very late turn to the East and that spared Fort Bend County,where Family to Family is located from the worst of the storm. The Northeastern Quadrant of a hurricane is the most dangerous part of the storm system. We were west of the actual landfall which gave us just a little less impact that had been forecast for our area.
We want to express our sympathy to those Texans and Louisianans who are still without power and water. To those individuals who defied the government’s call for mandatory evacuation and whose fate is still unknown today, the staff at Family to Family http://www.fam2fam.org/is praying for your safety.