The Facts about Adoption0

Adoption Baby

At Arizona Adoption Help, we are dedicated to providing birthmothers the support and care they deserve. Recently I’ve been doing research on the information available to birthmoms about the adoption process, and overwhelmingly, content on the Internet is written by and for adoptive parents of children. While their journey is no less valid and important, it would not be possible without the women who first make that courageous decision to carry a child through birth. Perhaps it is the social stigma we’ve created around adoption and a mother’s choice to place her child. It’s become one of those things that people don’t want to talk about. For some it’s difficult to imagine the circumstances that would lead a mother to this decision, so they apply undue shame and judgment. At Arizona Adoption Help, we want to change that. We want birthmothers to know that we respect and honor their decision. Most of all, we want them to have all the information about the adoption process available to them, so they can make an informed and confident decision about the life and future of their child.

Reasons to Choose Adoption

There are many reasons why women consider their options when finding out about a pregnancy. There are sociological factors, like current financial status. Sometimes legal factors come into play and the decision to keep their child is out of their hands. Some mothers choose adoption because the time is not right to parent, or perhaps they are struggling to provide care for the children they already have. We want mothers to know that adoption is one of the most loving and unselfish decisions you can make for your child. It is the opportunity to provide a wonderful life and future for your baby.

Your Adoption, Your Choice

There are many misconceptions about adoption, largely due to its portrayal in the media. Adoption does not look like the dramatized version in Lifetime movies or the way our mothers and fathers experienced it in the past. Adoption looks exactly how you want it to. There are a myriad of choices you have as a birthmother in the process, from beginning to end. At Arizona Adoption Help, we treat birthmothers like the responsible and mature adults they are. You can choose the medical care and counseling you prefer. You can choose the adoptive family and how much or little involvement you want to have with them, whether it be emails, phone calls or meeting in person. We will help you prepare for the hospital and decide what your stay will look like with the baby. You can choose if and how you want to stay in touch with the family after.

Misconceptions about Adoption

Some may think an adoption is expensive, but in fact, all legal, medical and counseling services are no cost to you, and there are even court-approved living expenses available to you during your pregnancy and for six weeks after the birth of your child. Some may think that if you choose to continue your pregnancy, the choice will not be confidential, your friends and family will know and be involved. Your adoption can be 100% confidential if you choose. We can arrange for a clothing budget to hide the pregnancy, or if this is too difficult, it’s possible to make temporary living arrangements elsewhere so you can keep the pregnancy private. Lastly, some people may think an adoption is too emotionally difficult and that abortion would be easier. While both options are difficult, adoption gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your child through pictures and letters. You can see their smiling face and know they are living a life full of care and loving support. Adoption is a valid choice and we want birthmothers to know that we will be there for them every step of the way and make it the most positive experience possible.

Please reach out to us if you or someone you know is thinking about adoption. There is no obligation and we are here to provide all the information necessary for you to make the best decision for you and your baby.

www.azadoptionhelp.com

(602) 271-9899

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What do Birthmoms look for in an Adoptive Family’s Profile?0

This week I asked one of our past birth moms to think back to that very moving time when she was first handed a stack of profiles and began the process of finding her child’s forever family. Birthmom Mariselle is from Flagstaff, Az and found her family in the fifth month of pregnancy. Jordan and Michael were not the first profile she looked at nor the last. She offers advice to both birthmoms and adoptive families wanting to find each other on this wonderful journey of adoption. Thank you, Mari, for opening up and sharing your experience with us.

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“For some birth moms this is an exciting time. Up until this moment, you might have imagined all the possibilities of what your adoptive family will look like and sound like. Maybe you know that finding the perfect family is what this whole process is about. And you delight in the time spent eagerly reading their words and searching pictures for each and every detail that will bring the family alive to you. However, for some moms this is a very emotional experience. While the purpose is to place your child with one of these families, the thought of someone else sharing a lifetime with them is difficult. No one seems right for the job. To these moms, I would want to say that your family is out there. Ask questions and for more information before you set aside each profile, because how can anyone fully express their heart’s wishes and give you the grand picture of their life in twenty or so pages? Be open to connect with someone, to learn and to share, because at the end of the day, feeling a bond with the adoptive family will give you security and confidence in your decision.

When I did my first pass-through with a stack of four profiles, I was looking for each family’s story. How did they meet and what did they connect over in the beginning of their relationship? What interests do they share and what do they do together? What is their home life like, their family life, work life? For me, it was important that my child have a mother and a father, because a father was something I could not give him. I wanted to know that they loved each other and were even fascinated by each other. One of the things that drew me to Jordan and Michael was they each took turns describing the other person, what they liked and what their strengths were. Knowing that their relationship was built on admiration and trust made me feel like my son would be safe and always part of a stable family. That really was another important factor. Were they secure with an established path and a clear direction for their future? I wanted to know that my son would know what stability felt like.

After reading through the profiles, there were two that stood out to me. I had a few questions about things that weren’t included in their profiles, like religious beliefs and where their extended family lived. I have to say that in the end, I chose Jordan and Michael because they just seemed real. I don’t know what it was exactly but their lives seemed normal, with family pets and nieces and nephews. They weren’t trying to come off as the perfect family but just came through to me perfectly as themselves. I know that every birthmom will go through this experience differently. And, really, there is no magic recipe for the perfect profile. Someone might find some random commonality and that’s all it takes to connect. So to adoptive parents worrying over putting together the perfect profile, I would say just show up as you really are. At the end of the day, I’m glad I know the real Michael and Jordan, because they are more wonderful than anything I could have imagined before.”

XO – Mariselle

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Positive Adoption Language0

Adoption Baby

Just like parenting through birth, adoption is about building a family. At Arizona Adoption Help, we honor a mother’s decision to place her child with an adoptive family and to provide the best possible future for them. There are many misconceptions about adoption in today’s society, but it is one of the most unselfish and caring things you can do as a mother and father when the time is not right to raise a child. To prevent the negativity and get to the heart of adoption, it’s important to be aware of the language we use. The words we choose convey a lot about our emotions and our values. They express what we really think. Using Positive Adoption Language is one of the most important ways we can respect all people involved in an adoption.

One of the most common mistakes is saying a child was “given up” for adoption. This sends the message that their biological parents somehow failed, or further, they didn’t want or love their child. There is no “giving up” or “giving away.” Birth parents invest great care into a plan for adoption. They place their child out of love and the desire to create a future and a family for their child. Similarly, to say a child was not “wanted” because they were adopted is just plain wrong. They were very much wanted, and in fact, they were waited for, planned for and wished for.

With respect to parents that choose to adopt a child, there are some insensitive terms to avoid. To say a child’s birth parents are their “real” or “natural” parents sends the message that the adoptive family is fake or unnatural, somehow lacking in value. Nothing could be further from the truth. When a family adopts, it is very much real and the child is as much their own as a child brought into the family through birth. Even describing parents that choose to adopt as in someway above others implies that adoption is a less than ideal situation and only for very special, strong or very saintly people. Positive Adoption Language sends the message that adoption is a very valid and real way to create a family, not better or worse than having a child through birth. Here are a few more terms to be mindful of when speaking about adoption.

 Positive Adoption Language

  • Birthparent
  • Birth Child
  • Place a child through adoption
  • To Parent
  • Was adopted

Negative Adoption Language

  • Real or Natural parent
  • Illegitimate, unwanted child
  • Give up, give away, child taken away
  • Is adopted
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A Birthmother’s Journey0

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My name is Abigail and I live in Tucson, Arizona. Two months ago I placed my child with a wonderful family named Steve and Tricia. There were heartaches and tears, but I feel blessed to have found the perfect family for my daughter Lacey. I never expected to feel the way I did in the hospital when I saw Steve hold her for the first time. And when Tricia reacted like any mother would, asking about every detail of Lacey’s birth, and how many times she had a diaper change, and did I need something special to eat, I felt like I was suddenly a very important part of their new family. It was a strange thing to feel natural with these two people I met on the phone a few months ago and have only shared emails and pictures with.

When I found out I was pregnant, it was my third year of college and I was living with some girl friends in Tucson. I met this guy in one of my project groups in class and we started hanging out casually. He never really met my friends and I didn’t know much about his. When I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to tell him because it felt weird, what was he even going to say about a baby?? We talked about abortion, but I knew it was something I couldn’t do. This baby could have a family and a life. We left the conversation with I was going to make some calls and see what my options were. Once our class ended, we didn’t talk much anymore. He just sort of faded out of my life.

Thankfully I had the support of my friends. I called Arizona Adoption Help and spoke with Kim who made me feel a lot better about the process and even met with me in Tucson to fill out paperwork. At first it’s all sort of overwhelming, but it’s about taking one step at a time. First, I had to take care of me and the baby. I found an OBGYN and had my first appointment. Seeing the baby on the ultrasound was a profound moment for me. It’s so incredible to think of this tiny being beginning her life. The next step was finding the perfect family for my child. I had a few phone sessions with the counselor at Arizona Adoption Help about what kind of family I envisioned and what kind of relationship I would be comfortable with. It was great knowing that there isn’t one way an adoption looks. I could choose the family and decide how much involvement I wanted to have with them.  When I received the profiles, it was a hard moment for me. Here were these loving families, with nice homes in nice neighborhoods. They were close with relatives and took vacations. It was bitter sweet thinking that while I wasn’t able to give this kind of life to my baby girl, here were these amazing people that could.

When I first opened Tricia and Steve’s profile, I just knew I was going to like them. Tricia was a stay at home mom who loved gardening, jams, and their two pugs. And Steve was a scientist who liked to build things and looked forward to making a play house for a child someday. Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, the desert, I always wished I could experience a white Christmas. When I found out they had snowy winters, I could just see my child in their home. We scheduled to have a phone call and I was so nervous. I could tell Tricia was nervous too on the phone, but Steve kept making jokes and soon enough the conversation became normal. Which, I know, is so weird! But I can’t explain how this little baby brought us together so easily. We talked about my childhood and plans for the future and they told me about their interests. It was just meant to be.

From that moment on things changed. I felt more at peace knowing that there were two people out there somewhere thinking about this child as much as I was. I wasn’t alone in this process for a second. As the delivery date approached, they made plans to fly to Tucson. I went into labor around 11pm at night. Lacey, our baby girl, was born at 8:28am. She was beautiful. And sweet and perfect and calm. Steve and Tricia got the first flight out and made it there around noon. Tricia came through the door first and cried. She hugged me for a good long time. Steve held Lacey and we all just stood in awe of this perfect little girl.

The next 48 hours were spent in the hospital. Me, Lacey, Tricia and Steve were this funny little group. Steve and Tricia were able to stay in the room next door to me and spend Lacey’s first precious nights with her. We had visitors in the day, my friends came, and time just stood still for awhile. I felt so proud and happy for Lacey to feel all that love. She deserved every bit of it. When it came time for us to leave, I’m not going to lie, there were tears, lots of them. I loved her from the first moment and I was going to miss everything about her. But Tricia and Steve were going to be amazing parents. The next few days were hard, but I had such amazing support. With everyone at Arizona Adoption Help, I was never alone or left wondering what was going to happen. I’m so thankful for each and every person involved in welcoming Lacey to this world. She will always be my angel.

 

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Your Adoption Counselor0

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With laws surrounding adoption varying from state to state and evolving every day, the adoption process is a complicated legal course of action, one that requires representation in the form of an attorney. But it also entails an incredibly personal and emotional journey for all parties of the adoption triad involved: the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child. This is why one of the most important aspects of an adoption is counseling. For birth mothers, a counselor is their main line of support, a person they can go to with no agenda other than to serve in their client’s best interest. They are like a guide through rough waters, somebody to listen to the emotions that naturally arise and help design a plan that will lead to the most positive adoption experience possible.

“I had no idea where to turn when I found out I was pregnant. None of my friends had been through anything like this before, so it was hard for them to understand. The decision of whether or not to keep my baby was going to change everything. My family tried to be there for me, but they had their own worries and opinions about how it would affect their lives. In fact, I felt like everyone was telling me what they would do and how they would feel. Talking through everything with my counselor was the best thing for me. She listened and allowed me to decide what was best for me and my baby.”

Adoption comes with a considerable amount of care and work. From the very beginning, your team of support should include a counselor that has extensive experience with the adoption process. The details of every adoption will differ, and a counselor will be there to inform you of all the options that come with making a plan for you and your baby. From working through the decision to adopt in the first place to telling friends or family, choosing and forming a relationship with an adoptive family, coming up with a birth plan, and deciding what kind of adoption is best for you, your counselor will be there to prepare you for each step.

“When I first decided that adoption was the right choice for me and my baby, that was it. I was confident and knew it was the best thing. However, the emotions that began to creep in during the last few weeks of my pregnancy were overwhelming. I’m so glad I had Kris. She really cared about me, letting me know that these feelings were normal. She helped me work through sadness and never pushed me to feel one way or another. Because of her, my relationship with the adoptive family is honest and easy going.”

Contrary to many views of counseling, the role of an adoption counselor is not to dig deep into your past or solve big psychological problems. They are here to help you navigate through this intense and emotional time. A counselor will help you manage the stress that can occur when placing a child through adoption, the fear you may experience before the baby comes, and the loss you may encounter after. At Arizona Adoption Help, we provide the counseling that is essential to birth moms both before and after the birth of a child. Our certified counselor, Kris Bergin, who is an adoptive mother herself, understands the emotional issues that can arise, being close with her child’s birthmother for over fifteen years now and an adoption counselor for twelve years. She has immense respect for the journey you are going through and is here to offer the care and support you deserve.

 

 

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Letter from a Birth Mom0

Yesterday we received a special request from one of our birth moms in Tucson, AZ. At eight months pregnant, she wrote the following letter to be delivered to the adoptive mother of her child. After great consideration, she opted for a traditional, confidential adoption. So with respect to her privacy, we kept the following letter to her adoptive mother anonymous. Her letter touched our hearts, as I’m sure it will do to others, including her adoptive family. It proves that although some birth moms choose a closed adoption, they do so with great care and immense love.

This baby knows love and I trust that you will continue to show him how great a mother’s love can be.

To the Adoptive Mother of my child:

Right now, our baby is growing inside my tummy. The love I feel for him is so strong. It encompasses everything. It fills me up and makes me stronger. I know I have a difficult journey ahead of me, one that involves great loss, but the love I feel for him now gives me strength.

I know adoption is the right decision. If I could provide the life I envision for this child, I would. Choosing adoption doesn’t mean I don’t want my baby, that I don’t love him. It’s quite the opposite. Because I love him and want the world for him, I choose to place this baby in your care.

Please let him feel the love I have for him. Let him know that not a day goes by where I don’t wonder how he is and smile at the thought of him growing big and learning new things. Please protect him and give him the loving, stable home he deserves. Let him experience the world and all it has to offer. Keep him grounded and connected to what’s real.

There will never be the right words to express how grateful I am to find you as his adoptive mother. You have the most important job in the world. Thank you for stepping up to embrace and carry this life that I hold right now inside of me. This baby knows love and I trust that you will continue to show him how great a mother’s love can be.

Forever,
Your Birth Mom

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Adoption May Be a Complicated Process, But it’s Worth it in the End0

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In this story Diana and her husband Jim were unable to have a child of their own.

This story starts where many adoption stories begin, with infertility. For Diana, who works from home as an accountant in suburban Illinois, the concept dawned on her slowly. No one told her she’d never conceive — it just didn’t happen. She and her husband, Jim, had some tests done which supplied no clear answers. Fertility drugs, such as Clomid, didn’t work.

While this is not uncommon, Diana and Jim had to look for alternate means of acquiring a child…

They knew they could try artificial insemination or adoption. Neither seemed right. “We had friends who went through expensive, emotional fertility treatments and still had no luck. Adoption felt almost as risky; it seemed like everyone was going overseas and taking weeks off from work. We couldn’t afford to do that since Jim runs his own shop,” Diana says. “As for a U.S. adoption, everyone said we’d wait forever for a baby.”

The popularity of open adoption was also a concern. Jim and his brother had been adopted as babies and enjoyed a happy childhood. That was during the 1960s when adoptive parents didn’t communicate with a birth mother, and the arrangement suited Jim fine. He was skeptical about having things any other way.

While this couples story is one that has been told hundreds of thousands of time in America, each case is unique in its own way. In the same way no two people are exactly alike, no two families are put together the same either. When it comes to adoption, Jim had lived a happy life adopted with his brother as a baby. So naturally the option of open adoption was one to be heavily considered.

Read the rest of Diana and Jim’s story here.

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Using Yoga to Eliminate Stress0

Are you feeling weighed down by stress and anxieties of your every day responsibilities? Are you constantly worrying about potential mishaps and things that could go wrong? If you answered yes to either of these, then combating Stress should be the first of your priorities..

in this article over 10 different poses are examined and thoroughly explained so you can take full advantage of the stress relief that comes when you perform Yoga.

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Cross-Legged Lower Back Stretch

1. Sit a few inches from the wall with your legs crossed.

2. “Walk” your fingers up the wall, stretching from the lower back.

3. Broaden your shoulders by separating and lifting your shoulder blades. Keep your throat and neck soft. Don’t tense your shoulders, just lift them.

4. When you think you have gone as high as you can, rest for a moment while your body adjusts to the pose, then walk your fingers a little higher.

5. Rest and repeat several times.

6. If this is too difficult, try the next pose.

Read the entire list of poses and moves here.

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Little Couple

TLC T.V. Series ‘The Little Couple’ Shows The Adoption Process Up Close0

Last night, ‘The Little Couple’ aired an episode where the happy couple finally received their adopted baby from India. While detailing the anxiety experienced by all parties, the episode gives an up close and personal look at the adoption process and the tricky emotions that come along with it. But Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein already know the struggles that come with child birth, already with a few of their own the couple decided to adopt internationally after a lengthy consideration of their options.

Adding even more concern into the process, Jen revealed that she was afraid of how slowly Zoey was developing. Zoey has dwarfism, and is very small, but Jen was especially concerned for her health when she saw the girl’s growth charts. At 2 years old, she was only 23 inches tall and 15 pounds, and Jen feared that “she may be undernourished.”

Check out the preview of the emotional episode here:

 

Read the whole article here

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Debi Grebenik Gives Tips on How to Deal With Adoption Related Stress0

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In this article Debi gives us a good look at how stress can have unwanted effects on both parties of the adoption process. The birth mother deals with one kind of stress, while the adoptive parents deal with an entirely new type of stress.

The differences are huge, and when not dealt with properly can result in impulse decisions and negative consequences that could potentially harm the relationship between the parties which in turn, will eventually effect the baby.

It is through the expression, processing and understanding of our own fears that we can calm our stress. Both parents and children experience stress, so it is imperative that we understand the role stress plays in our relationships, particularly the unique stresses for adopted children.

It also goes on to describe the lingering effects of stress after the event of transferring the child. Read the article and see how if any of these types of stress are effecting you in your every day life and see what you can do to help alleviate it!

Read the whole article here

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