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DECEMBER 2012

SHAREMONTHLY

ADOPTION-SHARE.COM 1

ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

A word from our founder By Thea Ramirez, Chief Sharer

The holidays are upon us! (insert sigh here) I have nothing against this time of year, I just feel that it always sneaks up on me. Yes, I have a calendar and yes, I am aware of the "gentle" reminders from large retail establishments that this time of year is upon us. Somehow though, Christmas always manages to take me by surprise. Recently, I was doing some minor house cleaning when I came across a gift that hadn't been opened. (gasp) I know that is super terrible. Needless to say, I was like a little kid tearing open the envelope and rejoicing at the sight of a twenty dollar bill folded neatly in the card. The front of the card read, "congratulations to the graduate". Oops, high school was a decade ago and college not too long after that. But twenty dollars, I was giddy the rest of the day. It was magical; it was unexpected.

This event though on a minor scale, made me pause to consider if I had other gifts left unopened. What other blessings great or small have I been keeping at bay, in a box, or on a shelf? I think this is an area we all at some point are guilty of. Perhaps our gift is an ability or talent we have, we keep it in its box because we are afraid of what would happen if we truly exercise our gift. Maybe our unopened gift if grace, someone extends the olive branch when we don't deserve it and we can't bring ourselves to accept it. Maybe our unopened gift is faith. This Christmas, may you expect the unexpected. May you take inventory of the gifts you have in your life and be sure to examine if any have been left wrapped. May you have the courage to delight in all the wonderful blessings the Lord has given you. Merry Christmas!

Check out our opinion piece in Christianity Today’s blog for women! Our founder Thea Ramirez, talks about adoption being a bipartisan solution to the life and choice debate. Click here to read the article.

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ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

Keeping the Conversation Going: Personal thoughts on reader’s responses to our article on hermeneutics.com Engaging in dialogue was my hope for my recent opinion piece for her.meneutics. I want to thank everyone that took the time to share their ideas; both positive and negative. We have a lot to learn from each other and through dialogue we can reach a point we would never have reached on our own. Specifically, I want to thank Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President for the Family Research Council, for his response and for clarifying that advocating for adoption is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting the life of the unborn. In an effort to keep the conversation moving forward here are my thoughts from reading the responses. The Family Foundation, in response to this most recent Presidential election, issued a piece to encourage those who felt that their values and interests were not reflected in the outcome of the election: “If we want to see real change in this nation, it begins with transforming hearts and minds.” This statement is so simple and poignant and yet so convicting. You see this sentiment puts the responsibility back on us. It means we don’t just elect a leader and kick our feet up and say our job is done. It means the human heart is more enduring and more powerful than 3 new Supreme Court judges. This means, as the American experiment has shown us, that the change we want to realize in our lifetime rests not in the hands of those that govern us, but in our individual beliefs and actions. Recently I wrote this post. The title, though not generated by me, was provocative and attention grabbing. It begged the question that could perhaps might become a would if only we, you and I, prolifer and prochoicer did more and did more together. It asked if legislation could in fact be replaced by the sentiments and actions of a changed heart rather than rest solely on the hands of 12 judges. Perhaps I am too much of an ideologue, but I believe people can change and I believe that change can happen in our lifetime. My faith insists that I partner with God in the renewal of this world. How can I be part of the renewal of the human heart if I don’t believe we can change, that we could work together to champion a cause worth fighting for? And let me be clear, adoption is a cause worth fighting for. Fighting to protect and bring integrity to throughout the process, in whatever venue it is being considered, explored, or acted upon. In reading the comments it is clear that I am not the only one who has seen the abuses and inefficiencies that became for me the catalyst to launching Adoption-Share. Adoption should never be pushed on anyone. It is a difficult choice that must be decided upon with care, thought, and counseling…..But let’s not be too hasty to throw the baby out with the bath water…literally. I challenge those who scoff at the idea of adoption being an alternative to an abortion to consider for a moment that by making such strong public statements you too become guilty of that which you are quick to accuse in others: pushing your own opinions on someone else. Another strong sentiment my article was met with was skepticism. Many questioned if we would have enough parents to meet the needs of having more women make adoption plans rather than terminate a pregnancy, while some doubted there could ever be change at all. Sadly herein lies the entire point of my article, our focus as a pro-life community despite our best efforts originates from a place of no. This is not a judgment statement, what other alternative to no is there when the highest court in the country codifies the termination of human life? I would like to posit however, that from Roe V Wade to where we are today, this starting place may not be the most effective.

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Shifting our framework to a place of yes does not mean we stop advocating for legislative changes. It means that we acknowledge that every person, regardless of whether or not abortion remains a legal option for women, has a God given right to make a decision. In this way, by starting from a place of yes, my hope is that we will help her unearth other solutions to her crisis. And adoption is a viable option when parenting is not feasible. -Thea Ramirez

ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

Check out the Adoption-Share video! For testimonies of how Adoption-Share is helping pregnancy centers, adoptive families, agencies and birthparents, click HERE!

Destination Adoption: Beginning the Journey Leonette Boiarski, LCSW, ACSW The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu You’ve made the decision to adopt. The destination you would like to arrive at is called a family as you welcome a child into your heart and home. However, Lao Tzu’s words above remind us that we must take that first step. Reflecting on my 10 years experience as the director of Welcome House®, the international adoption agency founded in 1949 by Pearl S. Buck and 20 years as an adoptive mom, here are two questions to consider as you begin the journey towards your destination of building your family through adoption. The domestic or international adoption route? Domestically, less than 1% of birthmothers currently make an adoption plan. Infant direct placement adoption is very “birthmother driven” as the birthmother chooses who will be the adoptive parents of her child. Families who do not look “good” on paper may not be chosen for a number of reasons. If you adopt domestically, I encourage you to work with an agency to safeguard against corrupt individuals scamming unsuspecting couples. Investigate the counseling services provided to birthmothers. (Continued on page 5)

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ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

Good counseling will not necessarily alleviate the possibility that a birthmother changes her mind however thorough counseling strengthens the birthmother and gives her ample time to think through her decision prior to delivery. Adopting through government children services also involves a selection process; the child’s social worker will interview 2-3 interested families and then select the family they deem best to parent the child. It requires you to consider how someone will perceive your “look” and what parenting strengths you exhibit to adopt a foster child. The international adoption process also has inherent “screening out” mechanisms. Due to the increase in foreign

adoptions, countries have now implemented rigorous eligibility requirements that eliminate families because of age, marital status, gender preference and health. If you are going to adopt internationally, you should first examine your eligibility and then determine the birth country of your prospective child. Adopting internationally means you are also adopting the child’s homeland. Learn all you can about the country and begin to think about ways of incorporating culture and cultural role models into their life. Would you consider adopting a waiting child; one identified as having “special needs?” Special needs adoption, (children identified as having minor

medically correctable to more severe medical issues, older children, or sibling groups) can lessen eligibility requirements. It is critical that both parents are on the “same page.” Being open to special needs or an older child must be a joint decision as there are life changing issues involved in making this choice. After careful consideration of those two questions, prospective adoptive families continue on this journey by taking another critical step; selecting an adoption agency. Find out more about Pearl S. Buck Adoption by clicking here.

LIKE IT 2 WIN IT GIVEAWAY! Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas! Adoption-Share is partnering with Resources4Adoption and giving away one of their biggest packages worth over $200! Read on for official rules of the contest! 1. First, you must get your friends to become a fan of Adoption-Share on Facebook. 2. Second, it is VERY IMPORTANT that your friends add a comment as to who has referred them to the Adoption-Share Facebook Page. Please make sure that they say who has referred them, because without that we will not know for sure. 3. Please note that in order to win, you must be the first to reach the target number. For example: The first individual to get to 75 of their friends becoming fans of Adoption-Share will win first prize. (See complete details below.) 4. Get your friends ready today because we start Monday 12/17/2012). · CONTEST BEGINS AT 11:59 AM (CDT), (Monday 12/17/2012) ·

CONTEST ENDS at 5:59PM (CDT), (Friday12/21/2012)

Winners will be contacted individually and then announced the following week on Facebook.

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ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

Who is My Bella Story.com? We think BELLA says it best. Our adopted daughter was our inspiration. Her name is Isabella Grace. “Bella” means beautiful and her middle name is for “Grace of God”. We wanted her to know that she was chosen, that she was a gift. So we created a book that we felt would well illustrate her story as “The beautiful grace of God’s love and gift to our lives!” Our books help kids know they’re created on purpose, who they are & where they came from. As we shared it with her, and saw how much joy it brought her, we decided to create a storybook for our son, too. As friends and family saw these books, and the joy and sense of identity that it gave to our children, we started receiving requests to help others do the same for their children. That’s how My Bella Story was born. We will craft a one of a kind, Bella Story Book, tailored to the age of your child. It will be designed to show your child how they were created on purpose, who they are and where they came from. We are even partnering with agencies to put together a custom plan to create these for orphans who are in orphanages around the world and may never be adopted. We would love the chance to write one

November Chat Review Special thanks to Jessica and Kristina for fielding questions from prospective adoptive parents. In our hour long chat that took place last month we received a ton of questions ranging from, hiring an agency or attorney, how to pay for your adoption, and differences within open adoption relationships. To read the official transcript, click here.

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ADOPTIONSHARE December 2012

Have you joined THE adoption network? Adoption-Share.com is an online networking platform and support group. Adoption-Share is not like most adoption websites and it is the ONLY online community exclusively for networking crisis pregnancy centers, licensed agencies, home study approved adoptive parents and birth parents. Let our online family enhance your knowledge, expand your network and help you achieve your adoption goals efficiently and effectively. Visit us online HERE.

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December Share Monthly