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“I don’t know what I would have done without your help.”

“Act of Love Staff-

I don’t know what I would have done without your help. Your agency helped me get my life back. Everyone is so kind and loving. I am so glad that God brought all of you into my life. I love each and every one of you and am grateful for everything you have done to help me.” Birthmom S

It is always such a pleasure to receive the kind, heartfelt words written by birthparents in notes, cards and emails from birthparents that have made an adoption plan with Act of Love. The staff at Act of Love Adoptions is very dedicated to ensuring that the services birthparents at Act of Love receive are first-rate.

As a birthparent, it is important to make sure that the agency or adoption professional this is assisting you with an adoption plan is offering you adoption counseling, access to medical care, transportation and assistance with food, housing and utilities. You deserve to receive the best care for you and your baby and to be treated with dignity and respect.

It is important to interview the agency or adoption professional that will be helping you to make what could be one of the most important decisions you make. Ask them how they will help you? Will they be available to help you on weekends, Holidays or nights? Will you have individual assistance and private housing? When you are making a plan for your baby you should know that Act of Love Adoptions will provide you with the privacy, individual services and the ability to make the choices for you and your baby. You will be in-charge of your adoption plan.

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, contact Act of Love Adoptions on the 24 hour hotline at 800-835-6360 or text to 801-450-0094 and a caring staff member will assist you with any questions you many have about adoption or the services provided to help you make decisions for your baby.

Valerie’s Plan

Valerie was in a short relationship with her boyfriend. He became emotionally abusive, and she knew she needed to leave the relationship. She was only 18 years old, and trying to finish high school.

Valerie turned to her family for help. She had distanced herself from them when she started dating her boyfriend. Her family immediately expressed their love and support for Valerie. She was so grateful to have the help she needed to leave the abusive relationship.

Valerie moved back in with her family and was finally feeling like she could move on with her life. Then she found out that she was pregnant. This was a shock and a complete surprise. Valerie was also very concerned that this baby would tie her to the abusive birth father for her entire life. As Valerie talked to her family about what she should do, her grandma suggested that she look into adoption.

Valerie spent a lot of time researching adoption agencies and called and talked to many of them. Then she found Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah. They immediately felt different from the rest of the agencies. They answered her call immediately and were able to send her information and adoptive family profiles right away.

Valerie also made a big decision to stay with her grandma until the baby was born. Valerie contacted the birth father so he knew her plans to deliver the baby and work with an adoption agency.

Valerie spent wonderful time with her grandmother. Her grandma looked through the adoptive family profiles with her and they both loved the same family. Valerie started talking to the family on the phone and they had a wonderful connection. Valerie knew that adoption was the right decision for her baby boy.

The time came for Valerie to have her baby. Her grandma was by her side through labor, delivery, meeting the adoptive family, and doing all the legal paperwork for the adoption. It was a bonding experience for the two of them.

Valerie took a little time to recover, and then returned home to finish school. Valerie finished high school and has gone on to college. She continues to stay in contact with the adoptive family, and she also stays in contact with the adoption counselor who has helped her work through the adoption process. Valerie is very grateful for the gift of her beautiful baby boy, and that adoption allowed her to place him with a wonderful adoptive family.

Thoughts from a Birth Mother

As I was recently looking through some correspondence, there was an anonymous note that touched me. I thought that it probably describes very well the thoughts and feelings of a birth mother.

Here is what she said, “I gave my baby boy up for adoption 7 years ago and just wanted to say hello and that I am missing him very much. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. 🙂 I just wanted to say thank you again for the chance to give him a wonderful family. I love you son. I’m always thinking of you. You are never forgotten.”

These words are beautiful. This sweet birth mother is still grateful, seven years later, for the wonderful adoptive family that she was able to place her son with. She also is still feeling all the tender emotions of loving the baby boy that she placed for adoption.

A Act of Love Adoption Agency offers wonderful counseling for birth parents before and after adoption. If you know someone who is pregnant and considering adoption, please have them call our wonderful staff to talk to a counselor at 1-800-835-6360.

Born African American Baby Girl – No Longer Available

Birthmom B has contacted Act of Love Adoptions to help find an adoptive family for her born baby African American girl. Healthy baby girl was born on December 16. She is a sickle cell carrier, but does not have sickle cell.

She wants a family that is active in the Latter Day Saints religion and lives in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio or on the East Coast. Birthmom B would like an adoptive family that is willing to stay in communication with her have periodic visits until the child is age 18.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and interested in being considered for this Act of Love Outreach situation, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. Only approved Act of Love Outreach adoptive families can receive further information and details available for this situation. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does not require a fee until match.

Adoptive family will need to be prepared to complete an Application for Services, provide an original signed notarized copy of the home study along with supporting documentation and meet other agency requirements to become approved for Outreach situations. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does NOT require agency fees until you are matched. For more information on the Outreach Program, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Act of Love Adoption Agency

Act of Love has been busy preparing for the Holiday Season! Each year many very generous adoptive families and staff members help to provide Christmas for our birth families in need. This year we had many, many boxes with Superman toys, Minnie Mouse, Tea Party Sets, story books, cute outfits, warm clothes, jammies, gift cards, cash donations and much more being shipped and brought into Act of Love to be delivered to our birth families for Christmas.
These deliveries have brought many smiles to the birth parents and their children. They are so very grateful to receive these gifts of love and to be able to bring joy and magic to their children on Christmas morning. Just seeing the joy and happiness on their faces is an amazing gift to all of us at Act of Love.
Cheryl has also been busy sending gifts to and from our adoptive families and birth parents. It is just amazing to see the love and generosity that is shared at this time of year. The postman says that even though it is a great deal of work for him to come to our office every day; he sees the blessings and is so happy to be a part of the magic each Holiday Season!

We thank each and every person from the bottom of our hearts for all of the generosity and love you have shown during this Holiday Season!

Home Study 101: How to Prepare without Stressing Yourself Out

One of the dreaded items in the adoption checklist is the home study. Most prospective parents invariably think that going under the microscope is an invasive experience. But think of it as a crucial step nearer to finalizing your A Act of Love Adoption and taking your precious child home.

The good news is that you have access to plenty of help. A Act of Love Adoptions and other adoption agencies can provide invaluable services to guide you through the requirements of a home study. Another piece of good news is that you don’t have to be the perfect family to be considered a good fit for adoption. So take a breath and relax. You may even recall these moments as one of your favorites as you look back at the whole adoption process.

Here are some simple reminders as you work to survive the home study without becoming overwhelmed with the stress of preparing for it:
– Be yourself. Social workers are trained to root out any untruths or half truths prospective parents may give in an effort to present the perfect front. Our advice? Don’t. Simply be yourself. The social worker conducting the home study does not expect you to be perfect – they simply expect parents who are prepared to love the child and to provide the best environment for him to grow and thrive.
– Be on the same page with each other. If two spouses are applying to adopt, they must both be committed towards building their family through adoption. This means that it’s not ideal that only one spouse is keen on adopting while the other one was sort of pushed into it. There may be instances where each spouse will be interviewed separately and any negative feelings that the social worker can draw out may adversely affect your application. It does not mean that you need to pretend to be anything you are not. Rather, both spouses need to agree about the decision to adopt.
– Get ready for the paperwork. There will be a lot of this during the home study! Some of the paperwork involves completing your autobiography, submitting tax returns and other financial documents.
– Don’t dwell on the apprehensions, rather dwell on the positive. Prospective parents are often anxious about the home study thinking that they may not make it. Dwelling on this can only make you lose heart even before you go deeper into the process.
– Know what to expect. The social worker will usually look into the following issues:
o Background of each immediate family member, especially the spouses wanting to adopt. This includes medical, financial and family history.
o Status of the marriage relationship, as well as how the family relates with each other
o Interviews with key family members such as parents and siblings
o Reasons for wanting to adopt
o Expectations with regards to the child
o Parenting style and level of experience
o Family environment
o Clearances with regards to any criminal or child abuse history
o Daily routines
o Future plans, expectations and provisions for the child’s education
o Neighborhood, community and existence of support groups
o Religious background and current beliefs
o Safety equipment installed in the home (i.e. childproofing tools)
o References – names and numbers of people who know you

Also, understand that the length of time required and requirements to complete a home study will vary from one adoption agency to another, as well as from one state to another.

Keeping Your Marriage Strong: Getting on the same page about adoption

Joyce Maguide Pavao once wisely said, “Adoption is not about finding children for families, it’s about finding families for children.” Is your family ready to be that family for a precious child? Are you both spouses ready to be parents?

Dealing with the Struggle Before Moving on to the Adoption Process
Both spouses should be ready for adoption and decide to adopt for the right reasons. The journey towards becoming ready as partners may take a while. There may be instances when one spouse is ready while the other spouse still may not be ready to be a parent.

It is key to understand a spouse’s struggle, especially when there may be emotional issues brought about by grieving about infertility. The spouse who is ready to adopt should provide vital support for the spouse who is struggling. This may be a challenge as the struggling spouse still has to grapple with emotions such as anger, disappointment and self-blame. The spouse who is ready should be patient and provide support.

If a spouse is still dealing with emotions and he or she enters into the adoption process, his or her feelings may make your adoption process more challenging. There may be resistance with the financial and emotional commitment involved. He or she may be more likely to focus on the negatives and risks and can be the very obstacle towards a successful adoption.

Helping Your Spouse to Move Towards Adoption
As the spouse who has decided to build a family by adoption, here are some ways for you to meet your spouse where he or she is right now and leading him or her to that place where he or she can move forward:
– Open the communication lines. Be there to listen and to talk it through. If your spouse is withdrawn, you can suggest counseling so that a third party can help you thresh out each other’s emotional status. Communicate with the understanding that as a couple you don’t have to be at the same page at all times – respect for the other’s position is necessary at this point. As a couple, discuss the options available and evaluate each based on your individual priorities and needs. Before you start discussing adoption, set down ground rules that leaves out blaming, criticizing or withdrawing from the conversation. Rather, aim towards coming to an understanding of each other’s emotions and to lovingly seek resolution or compromise that both spouses agree with.
– Honesty is the key. When you open up to your spouse, honestly reveal your thoughts and feelings, but say what you feel gently and in love.
– Look to other loved ones for their input. Although the decision to adopt is you and your spouse’s to make, it can help to open the conversation to other loved ones in order for you to get different perspectives on the issue.
– Educate yourself about adoption. Sometimes the resistance your spouse feels is due to the misconceptions surrounding the adoption process. Keep an open mind as you learn about the intricate details of adoptions. Invite your spouse to attend adoption workshops and conferences like A Act of Love Adoptions offers, so that you can both listen to parents who have built their families through adoption. Sit down with friends you know who also have the same struggles and listen to choices they may be making to build their family.
– Don’t push too hard. Having your spouse give you his or her reluctant agreement is asking for trouble in the future when the ups and downs of the adoption process take its toll on both of you. Avoid pushing too hard by laying on the guilt so that he or she finally relents. Give it time and reaffirm your commitment to your spouse.

Thinking of Adopting? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts

Bringing your child home and being able to call him or her your own is an unforgettable experience that changes your life forever. Adoption is an act of love that brings so much joy for the whole family. However, there are some things you should not forget once you take that first step towards adoption.

Here are some things you need to remember before and during the adoption process:

Do have a checklist of all requirements. This will prevent you from missing out on submitting key documents and not meeting their deadlines. Being able to provide the needed information and requirements on time (or even better, ahead of time) will help increase your chances of a successful and quick adoption. Your checklist should also include your state’s adoption regulations, as well as cost requirements during the adoption process.

Do prepare yourself emotionally and financially for the adoption process. The steps leading towards adoption may be likened to a roller coaster so you need to be emotionally ready for its ups and downs, twists and turns. Otherwise, the process may be more challenging at times. Carefully study your current standing financially and make the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the financial aspect of the adoption process and the prospect of adding another precious member to the family and to the family budget.

Do prepare yourself for becoming a parent. Are you considering an infant adoption? Will this be your first child? Even if it’s not, it is best to know about the basics of taking care of a child. Knowing the basics will help so you won’t feel overwhelmed when you welcome your child home. This includes knowing about the basic needs and stages of development of a child, how you can properly bathe, feed and care for him. You can also consider parenting seminars to help you become a more equipped parent.

Do educate others about adoption-appropriate language. Using appropriate language and teaching others to do the same helps others become more sensitive to your feelings, as well as to that of your child’s and the birthparents’. You are not the “adoptive parent”; you are simply your child’s parent. Friends and loved ones don’t have to differentiate between your “real” or “natural” children, as opposed to your “adopted children”. All of them are simply your children. Rather than suggesting that birthparents “put up their child for adoption” or “gave it away”, you can say that they chose adoption or made an adoption plan. By doing so, you are protecting your child from any hurtful words well-meaning people may say.

Do guard your child’s privacy. There will be a lot of questions coming from loved ones and friends. It may be tempting to divulge too much about the child’s background. However, it’s best to keep your child’s private history private. In due time, he will be the one to decide if he wants to share that part of his story. The general rule of thumb is to only divulge information that your child will already have known. Otherwise, stick to non-specific details when answering questions, especially to those who really don’t need to know.

Don’t go into it without experienced advice. We recommend that you work with a reputable and accredited adoption agency such as A Act of Love Adoptions. They have the experience and professional connections to guide you through the adoption process. You should also consult an attorney that is knowledgeable in adoption to go over any contracts before you sign the dotted line. If you will be completing an Interstate adoption, you will want to find an attorney that is well versed in Interstate adoption law and practices.

Don’t assume that working with an adoption agency is an automatic guarantee. The process of adoption has its ups and downs. One good thing to remember is that a reputable adoption agency will charge fees based on the services provided and not on based on any guarantee of a successful adoption. Although their experience about the adoption process and their network of birthparents will help increase the chances of an adoption going through, there are still a lot of factors involved such as your meeting of the legal requirements, how your expectations meet those of the birthparents’, etc. Be sure you understand what services an adoption professional can offer you and ask for references prior to applying.

Don’t pre-judge the birthmother. Sometimes it is easy to jump to conclusions about a birthparent that chooses adoption. However, there is a need to recognize that just because she chose adoption does not mean that she loved her child less than you do. Aim towards understanding the birthmother’s situation and love your potential birthmother since she is very much a part of your child.

The Season of Giving

Act of Love Adoptions is so incredibly blessed with the adoptive families and birth parents that choose adoption. Each employee at Act of Love is so blessed to be a small part of their life in such a BIG way. It is such a profound experience to be involved with an adoption and there are not words to describe the feelings that are created as one watches the adoption process take place. What an incredible experience to share the bond and friendship with birth parents and adoptive families. The bonds and friendships that are created by all will last a lifetime!

A beautiful adoptive family wanted to give back a small portion of the love they were given through adoption by sharing with other birth families during this Season of giving. They wrote the following to Act of Love:

“You have no idea what it means to us, to be able to give a Christmas gift to each of these children. We have such a profound appreciation for birth families, and the precious gift that they give to us adoptive families. Their families deserve to have a magical Christmas! We hope that these gifts bring them smiles and joy on Christmas morning!”

Act of Love is certain that the smiles on these little faces will be magical and warm the hearts of all that have the opportunity to participate in the generous sharing that this adoptive family has provided for many birth families.
It is with sincere gratitude that Act of Love thanks this beautiful adoptive family and all of the birth families and adoptive families that have chosen adoption with Act of Love.

We Chose Adoption

Carey and James had both been in and out of drugs, and that meant they had been in and out of jail as well. The state of California was going to take away their 2 year old son. They knew they didn’t want him raised in foster care, so they quickly discussed their options. Adoption was at the very top of the list.

Carey and James started doing some research online and found Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah. They made the phone call and immediately started talking with a counselor. Carey and James asked to have the paperwork faxed so they could move the process along quicker.

Carey and James finished the paperwork and were then emailed some adoptive family profiles. There were 2 families that really stuck out, so they chose to talk to both families on the phone. After the phone calls, Carey and James knew which family was right for their son.

Arrangements were made for the agency staff, attorney and adoptive family to meet Carey and James and their son, Jonathan. After some time was spent together, Carey and James knew they were making the right decision. They spent more time transitioning Jonathon to the care of the adoptive family. A visit was made to the doctor to update vaccinations. Then it was time to meet with the attorney to do all the legal paperwork.

Carey and James were very emotional, but they knew they were making the best decision for Jonathon. The adoptive family promised to send pictures and letters and stay in contact.

Adoption was a blessing to Carey and James. They both ended up in rehab and are starting to get back on track. They continue to receive pictures and letters of Jonathon, who is thriving with his loving adoptive family!

Adoption
is An Act of Love

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