Feb 2012 Share Monthly Newsletter

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February 2012

SHAREMONTHLY

ADOPTION-SHARE.COM 1


ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

A Word From Our Founder By Anthea Ramirez, Chief Sharer

Frequently, we get asked, "Is Adoptiona reproductive choice to be included in a Share a pro-life organization?" Often, the woman's options. Sadly, there is such a question is pointed, demanding, intent stigma associated with adoption that even upon making a discovery in which if crisis counselors working with women answered in the positive will yield some, confronted with an unwanted pregnancy "aha I caught you" moment. What often lack the skills to neutralize the word and baffles me when this present it accurately as pointed question is asked, an option. The is who is asking the statistics are question. Often the asker staggering: 98% of is an adoptive parent that unwanted pregnancies has been waiting years to end in abortion. We, realize their dreams in our passion for all through adoption or an life, want to see this adoption agency that number decrease by spends enormous equipping crisis resources advertising their pregnancy centers services to work with a with an innovative tool potential expectant parent. that can help a Typically my response has woman, otherwise too been, "Why wouldn't we timid to make a cold Our Founder, Thea Ramirez, be an organization that call, connect with a pictured above with Dr. Alveda supports life?"....and if I were licensed adoption agency King, niece of Dr. Martin really being honest, "why in the state she lives in. Luther King Jr. wouldn't you?" We at Adoption-Share love life, all life, regardless Recently we were able to rub shoulders of size, age, level of dependency, or how with Dr. Alveda King (pictured) and Father one came to be. We love people and are Frank Pavone at the March for Life event in head over heels crazy about the meaningful Washington, DC. Our partnerships with work we are part of in the field of adoption. pro-life leaders and groups is helping blaze Yes, its not the simple, you may say. a trail that, for the first time, is bringing After all what about women's rights? What those that have historically focused on life about reproductive options? Adoptionissues to the adoption conversation. Share recognizes the need for adoption as

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ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

Waiting in the Shadows By Steve Gillis Founder, Patch Our Planet www.patchourplanet.org I will never forget Betty Krupa. In November 2011, my wife and I had the privilege of being invited to the White House. We were asked to speak on an International Adoption panel about our non profit, Patch Our Planet. We were honored to be there and to speak on behalf of foster children and global orphans. A young lady named Betty Krupa also spoke on one of the panels. She is a product of the foster care system. She was adopted at the age of 14. Betty shared about her brother who had spent time in 15 different homes until he eventually aged-out of the system. Unfortunately, he ended his own life after aging out of the foster care system. I can't help but think that things could have turned out differently for him if a family had considered him for adoption even though he was an older

child. It's a hard reality that exists in the system. But, if we are going to make any sweeping changes in our world, we have to shine the spotlight on the shadows of this life. Unfortunately, the older foster children seem to be living in that shadow. That day, Betty also shared how she had made a decision to go a different course. She knew that adoption was her best chance at succeeding in life and

avoiding some of the pitfalls that are faced by older foster children. She even told us how she would “market” herself to try and convince others that she would be a great addition to their family. That should never be the case. What would create such a gap in the foster system that any child would feel they have to “sell” their personal qualities to convince a family to love them? -Continued on page 4

Q&A With Adoption Profile Expert

This past month we were honored to glean the expertise of Holly

Erritt, Founder of Little Blessings Adoption Services, a unique resource that offers hopeful adoptive parents with custom, one of a kind adoption profile books. Many families had questions regarding what content is appropriate, what expectant parents look for, and how many pages a profile book should be. To access a copy of the official transcript click here: http:// issuu.com/adoption-share/docs/january_as_transcript Find out more about Holly and Little Blessings Adoption Services

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at www.littleblessingsadoption.com/default.cfm


ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

Waiting in the Shadows (continued...) Can you imagine a child having to “market” themselves to get adopted? What is wrong with that picture? Everything. I believe it is so widespread because of some possible misconceptions and that all options have not been considered by adoptive families. Let's first take a look at some of the challenges faced by a child in the foster care system as we explore why the older children often get stuck in the shadows. Here are some current statistics regarding the outcomes of children and youth in the foster care system and great reminders why every child needs a forever family: Foster children have a 25% chance of becoming homeless at the age of 18 (when they age out). One in four will be incarcerated within the first 2 years after leaving the foster system. Of youth who aged out of foster care and are over the age of 25, less than 3% earned their college degrees, compared with 28% of the population. (Stats www.Kids3.org ) The average age of a foster child is 9 years old. Approximately 27,854 children

“age out” of the foster care system each year without being adopted. (Stats - www.christianalliancefororphans.org ) Nearly 25% of youth aging out did not have a high school diploma. However, one study shows 70% of all youth in foster care have the desire to attend college. (Statswww.ccainstitute.org ) An expansive study by the Search Institute comparing adopted teens to other teens found that adopted teens scored higher on indicators of well-being such as school performance, friendships, volunteerism, selfesteem and optimism. Adopted teens also scored lower on indicators of high-risk behavior such as depression, alcohol use, vandalism, and police trouble. That's encouraging! And, those are not the only positive indicators. There are few differences between children who have been adopted and their non-adopted peers. (see study here - http://www.christianalliancefororphans.org/ resources/orphan-facts/ )

(Continued on page 5)

LIKE IT TO WIN IT GIVEAWAY! Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/adoptionshare for a chance to win one of two (2) $25 gift cards to Adoption Bug, the leader in fun, adoption-themed t-shirts and gifts. Increase your chances and follow us on twitter (@adoptionshare) and subscribe to our newsletter. Promotional period is from February 1 - February 7, 2012.

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ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

Waiting in the Shadows (continued...) Adopting from foster care is affordable. Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of home studies and court fees, and provide post-adoption subsidies. Thousands of employers offer financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt and Federal and/or state adoption tax credits are available to most families. Every child is adoptable. Many children in foster care have special needs. All of them deserve the chance to grow up in a safe, loving, permanent home. Support and other post-adoption resources are available (more now than ever!). Adopting from foster care is permanent. Once a child is adopted out of foster care, the birth parents cannot attempt to claim them or fight in court for their return. A family formed through foster care adoption is forever. (http:// www.christianalliancefororphans.org/ resources/orphan-facts/orphan-facts-fostercare/ )

Jim DeMint and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. She now serves as Legislative Correspondent for Senator Mary Landrieu with a concentration on child welfare. She also serves on Buckner International's Washington DC Advisory Council. She just needed a family to believe in her. Every child deserves a forever family, even the older ones waiting in the shadows. You can see Betty share here at an earlier event back in May 2011: (http://ccainstitute.wordpress.com/ 2011/05/26/foster-care-month-pressconference-on-capitol-hill-today/ )

You will be happy to know that Betty Krupa graduated from college, interned with Senator

Upcoming Events

How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss LIVE Chat - February 24, 2012 at 12 noon EST!

Chat on www.adoption-share.com or join us on Facebook www.facebook.com/adoptionshare for a live stream of the chat and to be part of the conversation! Carol Lozier, MSW (pictured right) is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Carol Lozier has spent over twenty years counseling children and families, specializing in adoption and foster care issues. She is passionate about helping children heal from past trauma and loss. Carol Lozier has written several articles and authors a blog, “In My Child’s World,” which offers practical strategies, guidance, and support for families. She is a contributing author to the book, The Foster Parenting Toolbox (EMK Press, 2012) and author of the upcoming book, The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma and Loss.

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Carol Lozier can be reached at clozierlcsw@aol.com and her blog can be read at, www.fosteradoptchildtherapist.typepad.com


ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

Fashion Trends In Adoption Adoption Bug began in 2009 because one adoptive mama-to-be wanted to share the joy and excitement she was experiencing in her own adoption journey through fun, stylish adoption-themed apparel. Adoption Bug offers a variety of tees and hoodies

Tammi Ambrose, owner of Adoption Bug, pictured above with her daughter Liana, adopted from China in 2010

Tammi’s Picks:

“We hope our products help adoptive families show others how much they've been blessed by adoption and open the door for positive conversations with others about adoption.” designed to support international and domestic adoption, promote orphan care and increase adoption awareness. Adoption Bug also offers Christmas ornaments and plans to add additional adoptionthemed products in the future. To give back to the adoption community by supporting families in the adoption process, Adoption Bug also gives families a unique opportunity to fundraise for their adoptions through tshirt fundraisers.

For starting the adoption process > Mom-to-be

For coming home with baby day > Adoption Rocks (available for the whole family)

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To learn more about Adoption Bug, visit www.AdoptionBug.com.

For adoption finalization day > Blessed by Adoption (available for the whole family)

For a baby shower gift > Worth the Wait


ADOPTIONSHARE February 2012

What is Adoption-Share? Adoption-Share.com is an online networking platform and support group. This independent adoption resource was created by an adoption social worker who recognized a need for free exchange of information and resources relating to the adoption process. 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. For more info, visit us online: www.adoption-share.com Adop%ve Parents

Expectant Parents

Adop%on En%%es

Let Our Online Family Expand Yours!

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