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JULY 2012

SHAREMONTHLY

ADOPTION-SHARE.COM 1


ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

A word from our founder By Thea Ramirez, Chief Sharer

236 years ago this month, a decision was made. A line was drawn in the sand that has continued to mark the course of human history even centuries later. Independence Day, our society's proclamation that to live under tyranny and abuse would no longer be tolerated. The hands and feet of this proclamation was a generation of brave men and women who were willing to pledge their allegiance to a vision of a life they would risk everything to pursue.

The concept of freedom does not have to be the word we only apply to civics lessons. Freedom is not constrained to circumstances, its liberal application can be applied to anyone, anywhere, in any situation. For the person who struggles with depression, pride, disillusionment, selfishness, illness, loss, infertility, etc. freedom offers us its hand, offering if we dare a better life. I pray this month you would find for yourself a vision for the future that inspires you to take bold steps to achieving freedom from whatever has entrapped you. Live free!

Catalyst Atlanta

Personally, July 4 has become a metaphor that speaks to me in a profound way. I think about the price of freedom and the passion needed to pursue a dream, risking everything because current circumstances leave us wanting more. This want, this dream,

awakens in us the soul's rally cry to action. It propels us into a faith that believes surely a better life exists.

CATALYST Features Adoption-Share!

We were honored to be featured on the Catalyst blog this past June! Catalyst is an amazing organization that trains next generation leaders through cutting edge events that draw thousands annually. They have a passion for adoption and love for children. Click HERE to see our feature! Be sure to LIKE it while you are there to encourage more stories about adoption!

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ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

A Tale of Two Women: An adoptee and adoption social worker reconnect. Jessica’s Story Teeth. That was my first word. Upon arrival in the United States, my adoptive parents hoped to establish a routine for my twin sister and me. Thus, "teeth," in reference to the after-dinner routine of brushing teeth and getting into pajamas, was the first English word that I was able to speak. I was adopted from Hyderabad, India with my twin sister when we were just two years old. We "came home" on Christmas Eve in 1986. We were adopted by parents that already had a 14-year-old son who willingly became our big brother. Memories from that initial couple of years are blurry, but I remember having an inseparable relationship with my sister and I don't think I could have wanted for more. It wasn't until I reached elementary school that I realized my parents and I didn't look the same. When something was said by a classmate in school one day, I ran home to ask my parents about our skin color (mine was brown; theirs was white) differences, they confirmed that we were indeed still family even though we had different physical features. Questions about race continued to arise throughout childhood, but my parents patiently explained how blended families worked. While my parents did not necessarily teach us about Indian culture directly by

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example, they were honest about our history. When we asked about our birth mother in India, they did not withhold information, and we were able to learn the difficult circumstances surrounding our birth. We were shown pictures of our birth siblings, and my sister and I still have them to this day. We also learned that our middle names were (and still are), in fact, our given names in Hyderabad. Recently, in 2011, my sister and I were able to reconnect with our adoption agency. Open Arms India reaches out to India's most needy ones and provides homes, education, village wells, as well as other assistance. Through our connection with the very same person at the organization who oversaw our case(!), we have plans to return to visit our birth mother in the next couple of years. While our lives are very much planted in the United States, my sister and I still feel the pull of India. We wish to ourselves one day adopt from Open Arms and are excited to see what will happen in the future. We are thankful for the opportunities we have had as adopted children and know the blessings that come with parents who open their lives, hearts and homes to children who would have had no hope for the future.

Jessica Zakhari


ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

A Tale of Two Women (cont): Sharin’s Story For nearly 20 years, I had the privilege of uniting orphans from India and China with adoptive families. I worked closely with the families through the process and came to know most of them very well. I understood their overwhelming desire to be parents and their frustration of the massive paperwork process to adopt internationally because my husband and I built are adoptive parents of six and had done all this ourselves. Sadly, I did not get to know most of the children placed, other than through their photos and documents because they were escorted directly to their adoptive parents wherever they lived. But I always studied those precious little faces and carefully read every detail about them and the circumstances that led to them needing an adoptive family. Some of the children were adopted by local families, and I was able to get to know those children and watch them thrive and grow. Most of the children went to families in other states. I was only able to see photos and read a little about the children in post placement reports. Then as families fell into the routine of everyday life with their child(ren), photos, notes, calls eventually stopped. I felt as if I had permanently lost all those children whose lives I had been so intimately involved with for a time. As they became young adults, some would call. Most called in hopes that I could give them some fragments of their origins – apart from whatever records their parents had received. Such was the case the happy day, I heard from Julia and Jessica. It was like a ray of sunshine had fallen on an otherwise typical northwest gloomy day. I had never forgotten them, of course; but I thought there was not much chance of contact since their family had moved several times. What a joy to get to know them as young adults and hear how successful they have been in their studies, careers, and personal lives. Just knowing they are doing so well and have become such gracious, lovely ladies was like receiving a gift. It’s a gift that keeps on giving because they have stayed in touch since that first contact and allowed me to be a part of their lives through emails and phone calls. It’s their dream to go to India one day and see the place where they were born and meet any bio relatives that can be found. I know experiencing and understanding better their roots and birth country will be very affirming for them in so many ways. I haven’t worked in adoptions for years now, but I have never stopped being involved with India. After we adopted our first daughter from India, I knew that there had to many, many more children like her that needed shelter, care, food and nurturing and were not getting it because there were far too few good facilities for them all. I started a charity in 1984 that is caring for orphans in India in 11 children’s homes and running 6 schools for village children – especially the dalit (untouchable) children. Through our outreach in India, we are able to enrich the lives of many, many children who otherwise would face very grim futures because they had no one and nowhere to be and no chance for education. Please visit openarmsindia.org or call 503-590-5643 to learn more about our ministry to children in India and perhaps welcome an Indian child into your family via sponsorship. Sharin Moznette

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ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

organization  in  focus Rice Bowls Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition - a staggering figure when you consider the estimated 163 million orphans across the globe. For one organization, these disheartening statistics are unacceptable. Rice Bowls is a non profit organization that was established in 1980 when one man's travels across the globe allowed him to witness the perils of food shortages that exist in developing countries. The idea was simple, collect loose change, you know the kind you stuff in your pocket after buying a drink at Starbucks, put the change in a container shaped as a bowl of rice, and distribute the money to organizations that are fighting hunger around the world. 30 years later, Rice Bowls has grown to include supporting orphans through partner orphanages across the globe. By providing funding for the cost of food for orphanages, orphans are not only eating better, but they are also able to receive better care with funding not taken up by the cost of food. To learn more about this organization, check out their website: ricebowls.org

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

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ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

Recap of our June Chat with: This past month, we were pleased to host Brian Robinson Founder of Adopted Kidz which is an organization that provides adoptive parents with a free online web portal to share the growth and development of their child with the biological

family. Adopted Kidz specializes in offering a great post-adoption means to keep adopted children connected with their birth parents. Many of our questions came from parents that had apprehensions about what an open adoption entails. During the one hour chat, Brian was able to address these questions and others, explaining how his tool can be an efficient solution in keeping the biological family in the loop of the child’s development.

Click here for a copy of the transcript.

July and August Only! PASS IT ON! Refer a Friend and you both receive a $5.00 CREDIT. When you refer your home study approved adoptive parent friends to adoption-share.com, we will give you each a $5 credit for each successful registration that results. For easy referrals use the “Invite” button located on the main tool bar on your account. There's no limit to how many friends — or how many $5 credits — you can earn. Just make sure they name you under the ‘referred by’ field during registration. *Promotion available for paying adoptive parents only* Refer a Friend.

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ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

Upcoming LIVE Facebook Chat! When: Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 9pm EST Topic to be covered: Hospital Etiquette When You Are Adopting Guest:  Jackie Bridges, Hospital Social Worker Join us Tuesday, July 24th at 9pm for a chat with hospital social worker Jackie Bridges. Jackie has been a hospital social worker for many years and has supervised many adoptions that have taken place in her hospital. Jackie will provide an overview on what adoptive parents and adoption professionals can do to be helpful in working alongside hospital staff as they care for their patient (the biological mother) during an adoption placement. This chat is perfect for both adoption professionals and adoptive families who may have questions about proper etiquette.

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.

Adop%ve  Parents

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Expectant  Parents

Adop%on  En%%es


ADOPTIONSHARE July 2012

Adoptive Parents have heard it all. Here is our list compiled by adoptive parents in June of the craziest things they have heard: Deanna: "Where did you get 'him?'" (Insert great inflection when saying "him.") Laura: “Don't you want your "own" child?” To which I replied "this will be my own child" and she is! 2 months old” Debbie: When I mentioned I had just adopted a 5 yr. old from Russia, a women stated, "Aren't you worried he'll grow up to be an alcoholic?" Lisa: "How much did she cost?"

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July 2012 Edition of Share Monthly