My Gratitude Journal
December 2012 – Journal from an extremely grateful adoptive mom
As I look out my window, the snow is falling softly into the night. How many times have I watched the snow fall and wonder how each little snowflake could be different? Tonight though I am very aware of the shape of each big snowflake as it clings to the window and I wonder if I will ever have a child to hold in my arms and give all my love. I have wished for so long to be a mom and wondered many times, if it is meant to happen for me.
All of the adoption paperwork required by the adoption agency is complete, the social worker has come to visit our home and prepared the home study, friends and family have written letters of recommendation, the doctor has cleared us medically, our criminal and child abuse checks have been completed and now we wait, hope and wonder. As birthparents view our profile, we wait to be chosen to be parents. Some birthparents have decided it is meant for them to parent their babies and others have chosen a different family. Our respect for birthparents is enormous and words cannot explain the genuine love we feel for them. Making the decision to place their baby for adoption is a decision made with much thought and love. My heart is breaking as I long to hold my baby, the love for my baby is growing in my heart…two mothers both loving a child. I feel peace in my heart that that the baby God has for our family is near. It is the ultimate sacrifice of a birthmom to trust in the love and care of an adoptive mom for their baby, to know that their baby will have two mothers that would both make any sacrifice for their baby. So MUCH LOVE for all.
I wish peace for each birthmother that chooses life for their baby and then makes the decision to place their baby with a new family that is waiting with open arms to adopt their child. Birthparents are true HEROS and will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Working with Act of Love Adoption Agency is truly “A Act of Love”. Now as the sun shines bright and the birds sing lullabies, I am so BLESSED to hold my sweet baby boy in my arms. My heart is overflowing with love…my cheeks hurt from smiling…I dry my tears for this dear sweet woman who trusts me to give ALL my LOVE to her son. He did not grow in my tummy, but he grew in my heart that is bursting with love and gratitude… YES a true “Act of Love”. There are not words to say “thank you” to these HEROS…I wish you my dear sweet birthmom peace, love and joy.
This Moment Changed My Life
Trina led a hard life. She was in and out of drugs, and didn’t have a lot of stability. Her mom was raising her 5 year old daughter and she had placed her 3 year old for adoption with Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah. Trina was going through a particularly difficult time when she was charged with procession of drugs and sentenced to jail time. She also found out that she was pregnant again and quite far along.
Trina knew that the best choice she could make for her baby was to place her for adoption. She was able to have her sister contact Act of Love Adoption Agency, and Act of Love made plans to help her again with an adoption plan. It was Trina’s wish that her children be placed in the same home, so Act of Love contacted her first adoptive family. They were so excited to be able to adopt again!
Trina was able to have limited phone calls with her adoption counselor at Act of Love, and her sister was also able to be a great help in the process. Trina knew she could feel peace with her decision to place her baby for adoption again, since her babies would be together.
Trina went into labor and had a healthy baby girl. She was not able to see the adoptive family, but was told that they made it to the hospital and were holding and caring for their sweet new baby. When Trina heard this, she decided that this is the moment she would change her life. She wanted to be a good mom to her 5 year old, and keep in contact with the adoptive family. She promised herself that she would get out of jail and never return.
Trina was able to stay away from drugs. She found a job and was able to support her daughter. She also decided to go back to school. Trina is so grateful that adoption opened her eyes and made her want to become a good mom and to take good care of herself. The pictures and letters that she exchanges with the adoptive family are a treasure to her and the adoptive family loves to get updates from Trina and her daughter. They will forever be grateful to each other and their love for the children binds them together.
A Good Summer Read
CEO and Founder of Act of Love Adoption Agency, Kathy Kunkel, had the distinct pleasure of meeting and talking with Nia Vardalos at the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys Conference in San Diego, California. Ms. Vardalos captivated the audience at the conference, as she shared her adoption story through the discovery of foster-to-adopt. Her instant motherhood to a beautiful young girl came after a short fourteen hour wait. She tells about believing she would one day be a mom; her struggles with infertility; to her realization of becoming a mom. Her eyes lit up as she told the story of bringing home her beautiful young daughter and the “instant” love she felt for her daughter. The complete and genuine love that she has for daughter was evident as she shared her story.
Vardalos filled the conference room with laughter and tears as she recounted the humble beginnings of her career in Canada, finding and marrying her husband Ian Gomez and finally the beautiful adoption of her daughter. She tells about the inspiration behind Instant Mom and her realization of her motherhood dream.
Instant Mom will keep you laughing and crying as you flip through the pages that will inspire new moms and dads to find innovative ways to overcome new parenthood challenges. Vardalos shares, “Some families are created in different ways but are still, in every way, a family.” She motivates others to realize that whether through biology or adoption true joy is found in motherhood. Vardalos emphasized that being a mother and loving your child are natural and the love she felt was abundant.
She lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and daughter; continues her career along with motherhood and shares her new passion for adoption advocacy. Vardalos shared with Ms. Kunkel that she is a very private person and wants to keep her daughter’s life protected and private, but she also wants to help as many kids find a family as she can. She talked about being able to protect her family while also helping others realize the dream of a family. The love she has for her daughter was evident as she shared her personal adoption journey.
Vardalos genuinely thanked and applauded all adoption professionals that make adoption a reality and for helping many families come together. She shared with Kathy about her true joy and passion to tell her adoption story in hopes to help educate the world on adoption and foster-to-adopt programs. “When we were matched with our daughter and I became a ridiculously, gushingly happy mom, it dawned on me–I think I’m supposed to be using my big mouth to talk about adoption. “ It is her hopes that Instant Mom will be a resource and provide information to adoptive families adopting through the foster care system, domestic and international adoptions and help them to navigate through the process and have a positive adoption experience.
Whether you are a brand new adoptive parent or a seasoned parent, you will enjoy this humorous and informational book. Enjoy a good summer read and get your copy of Instant Mom from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Kami and Carl had been married for several years. They had a darling 3 year old son. Kami found out unexpectedly that she was pregnant again. Carl’s job wasn’t really consistent, so they were struggling financially. Kami and Carl were trying to decide how they could take care of another child, when someone mentioned the idea of adoption. Kami and Carl decided they needed to look into it.
Kami called Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah. She expected it to be a very informative phone call to get some information. What surprised her was that she felt like she had a new friend when she hung up the phone. Kami told Carl that she was feeling really good about the idea of adoption.
Kami and Carl got their paperwork and started to talk to their adoption caseworker and counselor. They felt better and better about adoption. Then it was time for them to look at adoptive family profiles. Kami and Carl instantly loved Maggie and Luke. They knew they should be the parents of their baby girl. They did a conference call that went very well. Kami and Carl began to be excited about their adoption plan. After a couple of phone calls, they realized that they both loved animals and watching old movies. These phone calls had helped them to connect with each other and they began to build a relationship that would be so wonderful for their child.
Kami went into labor a couple of weeks early. The adoptive family quickly made arrangements to get to the hospital. Kami had a healthy baby girl that she was so excited to place in Maggie’s arms. Kami and Carl met Maggie and Luke and there was an instant bond. They got along so well that it was like they were already family.
Kami and Carl met with the attorney and signed legal documents. This is what they told Act of Love Adoption Agency about their experience: “Thank you guys for everything you helped me with! Just texting or calling me every other day was very helpful…..We’ve never met but I feel like we have. You guys are a very caring group of people, and I can’t imagine what my experience would have been like if I had went with another agency…..Thank you!”
Act of Love Receives Award
Act of Love Adoption Agency received special recognition last week in Florida, at the 2013 National Adoption Conference for having an integral role in the iChooseAdoption Campaign that NCFA released on Mother’s Day. The award was given to agencies that made “extraordinary and generous efforts for the cause of adoption”. CEO and President, Mr. Chuck Johnson presented the award to CEO and Founder, Kathleen Kunkel. Act of Love Adoptions is proud to be a member of National Council for Adoption and is excited about the efforts that NCFA is making to increase the positive awareness of adoption.
NCFA Keynote Speaker – Lucas Daniel Boyce
Act of Love CEO, Kathy Kunkel and COO, Jill Willey had the distinct opportunity to meet Lucas Daniel Boyce, at the 2013 National Adoption Conference (NCFA), in Orlando, Florida along with NCFA President and CEO, Mr. Chuck Johnson. Mr. Boyce is a former foster care child that has made his dreams come true. Lucas overcame premature birth and developmental delay caused by the drug and alcohol abuse he experienced prior to birth.
Despite the challenges that Mr. Boyce experienced, he has achieved his dreams and goals of working in the White House alongside President Bush, flying aboard Air Force One and his current achievement of being an NBA executive for the Orlando Magic.
Mr. Boyce is a dynamic speaker and his achievements speak for themselves. He encourages other to set goals, “trust their purpose and destiny”, and to “not take yourself too seriously”. He honors and adores his mom whom he credits for his successes. Daniel speaks about the “Keys to Success” that his mother reinforced: “You can do anything you put your mind to”. She did not guarantee him success, but she told him the “likelihood for success would be that much more likely” if he tried. The second key was to “know that character counts”. Daniel spoke of his mother explaining “it is important to remember who you are and who you represent” and “to know what you do counts”.
The message delivered by Mr. Boyce mirrored that of NCFA’s conference message, “Leading Change from Within”. Living Proof, authored by Mr. Boyce chronicles his journey to success and inspires others to reach for their goals: aspire, plan and create. For more information on Mr. Boyce’s book, Living Proof, visit his website at www.lucasdanielboyd.com .
Looking for Information
Act of Love Adoptions is a leader in providing excellent care and services to its clients. Staff is always available to answer any questions or provide helpful information for adoption or an unplanned pregnancy. The 1-800-835-6360 phone number is answered 24 hours/7 days week for birth parent questions and emergencies. Adoptive families can reach a staff member or leave a message at 1-888-767-7740. The staff at Act of Love is excited to speak to new clients and share information, knowledge, personal experience and the most up-to-date information in the adoption industry. Act of Love staff is dedicated to assisting you with a successful adoption journey. The staff dedication is inspired by years of experience and the love each staff member has for adoption and each client that we have the pleasure to serve. Call today to receive further information. Birth parents can also text to 801-450-0094.
NCFA Opportunity for Adopting Parents
Adoptive Parents, join in this wonderful opportunity provided by National Council for Adoption, this coming Saturday, June 15, 2013 for the 2013 National Council Adoption Conference, Leading Change from Within Aspire.Plan.Create., at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Florida.
NCFA sponsors an exciting day for adoptive parents to gain more knowledge in the adoption process. Regardless of your stage in the adoption process, you will learn information from adoption professionals to guide you on your adoption journey and help to make your experience positive and successful.
This conference gives you the chance to learn from many adoption professionals the “Dos and Don’ts” in adoption in a comfortable forum. Get your adoption questions answered and spend time with other adoptive families and adoption experts. You will learn about pre- and post-adoption services, listen to the “personal stories” from the adoption triad, and gain valuable knowledge.
Visit the NCFA face book page for more information on becoming an NCFA member and this year’s conference at www.facebook.com/AdoptionCouncil.
Registration Fee $40 per individual | $70 per couple
The registration fee includes entry into all sessions, supplies, and lunch. Registrations made May 16, 2013 and after are non-refundable.
Act of Love to attend NCFA – Leading Change from Within Conference
Act of Love staff, Kathy and Jill, are on their way to sunny Florida this week to attend the 2013 National Council Adoption Conference, Leading Change from Within Aspire.Plan.Create.. This year’s NCFA conference will be held at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Florida beginning June 13-14.
Adoption professionals will have the opportunity to get the leading edge on new adoption policy and practice and gain new information and strategies for a “client-centered” environment through the management and clinician tracks offered to provide best practices in adoption services.
NCFA states, “The goals of the conference are to: foster individual responsibility across organizations; inspire staff commitment and leadership; provide tools that assist with the development of an action plan; and, to activate change”.
Act of Love Adoptions will be looking toward the opportunity for collaboration with other adoption professionals to “lead change from within.” Act of Love invites you to join as a partner with National Council for Adoption and to “lead change from within.” Watch for more exciting information gained from the 2013 conference.
Visit the NCFA face book page for more information on becoming an NCFA member and this year’s conference at www.facebook.com/AdoptionCouncil.
Staying in Contact
Christine and Anthony had been together for several years. They had a 3 year old son that meant everything to them. Christine and Anthony both worked jobs in retail stores in California, but their hours had been cut, which created a struggle financially.
Christine found out she was pregnant again. This was much unexpected and both she and Anthony were in denial about it. They put the thoughts of pregnancy in the back of their minds to deal with later. They continued working as they were both looking for second jobs to support their little family.
The pregnancy passed very quickly for Christine. She was working hard and didn’t have much time to think about being pregnant. So when she started feeling miserable one day, she realized that she was probably in labor. Christine called Anthony and asked him to take her to the emergency room. The hospital confirmed that Christine was in labor and progressing quickly!
Christine and Anthony started talking and needed to figure out what they were going to do. They started discussing adoption. They decided they would call some agencies, and if someone could help them quickly, they knew that would mean that adoption was the right decision for their baby.
Anthony looked on-line and found some agencies. When he called Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah, they responded differently than anyone else! They were able to immediately start helping them. Paperwork and profiles were faxed to the hospital. An adoption counselor was on the phone with them, and staff was headed to support them. Christine and Anthony knew they were making the right decision.
Christine and Anthony still keep in contact with the adoptive family that they chose for their baby girl. They are so grateful for an agency that responded so quickly and was able to help them!