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Open Adoption is a Wonderful Gift

A young birthmother and her son met with the adoptive couple she had selected in the office of A Act of Love today. Both parties eagerly awaiting the arrival of “their” daughter, they shared the joy of possibly having a Christmas baby.

The birthmother, so ready to “be done” with the pregnancy described a Christmas day possibility as being “pretty cool” day for the baby to be born. The adoptive couple agreed but assured her that any day the baby chose to arrive would be the greatest day ever.

As open adoptions are now the normal rather than the exception, scenarios like this take place daily. Birthparents and adoptive parents begin bonding prior to the birth of the child and experience a love for each other that will continue on for a lifetime. The best part about open adoption is that the possibilities are endless. Another birthparent that is due the end of February, received a beautiful Christmas letter by email from her adoptive couple today. She was so thrilled and couldn’t wait to email them back.

Both birthparents have chosen their form of communication and have had the adoptive parents they selected agree to their wishes. Another birthmother that placed fourteen years ago, walked into Act of Love’s office this afternoon to see if there might be some mail in her file. She had moved quite frequently since the adoption took place and had been out of touch. When she was handed a large envelope containing photos that had been mailed over a number of years, she was thrilled! As she left the office she said, “Sharing these with my parents on Christmas Day is going to be the best gift they receive. It will make them so happy.”

It is a privilege for the staff of Act of Love Adoptions to witness these exchanges between those who share a common bond, a love for their child. It is a wonderful thing to know that these adoptions remain open and loving and special for all those involved. As the children grow, they often become more of an active participant in the openness. They can share experiences with their birthparents by personally emailing, writing a letter, calling, blogging, contacting through social media or meeting in person. There are so many options available for communicating now that it becomes much easier to remain close and share the events of life with each other.

As the holidays draw near there is usually an increase in activity in open adoption situations. There’s a need to connect and show gratitude to each other as the focus is on family. There is not an adoptive family that isn’t grateful to their unselfish birthparents for giving them the best gift ever. The gift of being able to become a parent and raise a child in love!

“There for me 100%”

Act of Love is so blessed to have the opportunity to work with women and men who make the ultimate sacrifice of love. There is no greater love than the love one has for their child. The abundance of love in adoption reminds all of us of the blessings we receive this time of year. It truly is a magical feeling when you have the opportunity to be part of the adoption process. Through the sadness and most challenging of times, comes the healing, love and joy for the child.

“I am a birth mother who decided to make a courageous decision. I moved to Salt Lake City Utah scared and alone looking for options. I saw the number to act of love adoption and wondered if it was the right choice for me. I called and instantly there was someone there to help me with my choice with absolutely no pressure to let me know that everything was going to be ok through my process. I didn’t just meet workers I met friends people who were there for me 100 percent with counseling, Home and food. They were there when I was scared. Listened to all my questions and always gave me the right answer. Through them I found the perfect adoptive mother to have my child. Although this is very hard situation I know it was the best one I could have made for my son and I’m happy I chose act of love.” Birth Mom W

This courageous decision birth mom W talks about is its own kinds of “courageous”. Being a birth parent and giving the ultimate sacrifice of love for your child truly defines the most courageous, brave and honorable act of love. Act of Love Adoptions is honored to be a part of the lives of birth parents and sends many Happy Holiday Wishes to all of the clients that have so dearly touched our lives.

Act of Love Adoption Agency is on LinkedIn

Act of Love Adoption Agency is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows employers and employees to create profiles and connect with one another. Being accessible on LinkedIn allows us to connect with other companies and individuals within the adoption industry or related industries. Whether you are an adoption agency, adoptive parent, birth parent or someone who wants to learn more about adoption, you can connect with Act of Love Adoption Agency on our LinkedIn profile. By connecting with one another, it builds the adoption community. Adoption communities can work together to build their own support networks, exchanging information or working with local adoption groups. You will find more information about our adoption agency on our LinkedIn profile, when we were founded, our specialties the specialized types of adoption we focus on and access to our website.

 

African American Baby Girl Due January 15, 2015

Act of Love Adoptions is assisting birth parents R&T with selecting adoptive parents for their African American baby girl that is due around January 15, 2015. R&T are seeking an adoptive family that is either African American, African American/Caucasian or who has adopted an African American girl. They are looking for a family that is willing to have an open adoption with them to include post adoption contact through letters & pictures to be exchanged through the adoption agency. Birth parents wish to meet the adoptive family they select prior to placement.

Birth mom reports that she is healthy and has not experienced any major injury, disease, or developmental problems during her life. Birth mom also reports that birth father is free of any major health concerns, as is his family. She states she began her prenatal care during her first trimester. She reports some previous mental health issues ten years ago. Birth mom reports that she smoked Marijuana one time a week socially until June when she learned she was pregnant. She states she has used some marijuana again throughout the pregnancy. She does not report any other substance use, including alcohol and tobacco use. Non-identified information including health and social information, as well as available medical records will be made available to approved adoptive families. Birth parents have required assistance with pregnancy support and assistance.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and are interested in being considered for placement of this baby, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. The Act of Love Outreach Program DOES NOT require any fees until you are matched with potential birth parents.

If you have not started the home study process, but are a local Utah family or your home study will be finished immediately, you may contact Act of Love at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to possibly be considered for this situation. 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 need to be completed, but 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 programs and other situations available, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

For other possible situations, visit Act of Love’s website at www.aactofloveadoptions.com. FREE Adoption Orientation Meeting at Act of Love Adoption Agency on Tuesday, December 2nd beginning at 7:00 p.m. Call for more information regarding the orientation and information that will be presented to families considering adoption.

Hispanic Baby Boy Due December 23, 2014

Act of Love Adoptions is assisting birth parent L&J with selecting adoptive parents for their Hispanic baby boy that is due around December 23, 2014. L&J are seeking an adoptive family that is willing to have an open adoption with them to include post adoption contact through letters & pictures to be exchanged through the adoption agency. Birth parents wish to meet the adoptive family they select.

Birth mom reports that she has high blood pressure and acid reflux. She also reports being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and ADD. She reports she has taken medications on and off for these conditions and is currently taking prescriptions prescribed by her doctor. Birth mom reports that she has a history of substance abuse, alcohol and tobacco use. Non-identified information including health and social information, as well as available medical records will be made available to approved adoptive families. Birth mom has required assistance with pregnancy support and assistance.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and are interested in being considered for placement of this baby, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. The Act of Love Outreach Program DOES NOT require any fees until you are matched with potential birth parents.

If you have not started the home study process, but are a local Utah family or your home study will be finished immediately, you may contact Act of Love at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to possibly be considered for this situation. 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 need to be completed, but 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 programs and other situations available, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

For other possible situations, visit Act of Love’s website at www.aactofloveadoptions.com. FREE Adoption Orientation Meeting at Act of Love Adoption Agency on Tuesday, January 6th beginning at 7:00 p.m. Call for more information regarding the orientation and information that will be presented to families considering adoption.

She looks like me

unnamed[1]Thursday was my first Thanksgiving here in Utah. This year, seeing as I have been in Salt Lake City for less than a year I joined a friend and his family to celebrate the holiday. I joined a tradition of eating out on Thanksgiving. (Something really new to me.) We went to a buffet at the Marriot downtown.

Now Utah is not the most diverse state. I happened to be the only black person having dinner, save for two cute little black kids, both around 6 or 7. I could tell they were adopted. They were a part of the largest group in the restaurant, and all the other family members were white. It warms my heart to see families like this. Because I know my son now belongs to a mixed race family as well.

Throughout dinner I noticed the little girl staring at me, a lot. I could feel her eyes following me whenever I got up to get my next plate of food or laughed loudly with my friends. Midway through dinner my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said “That little girl is pointing at you.”

I looked over and I could see the little girl frantically tapping her father on the shoulder and pointing in her direction. I could see her saying “Daddy do you see the black lady.”
The father was a bit embarrassed. He tried to get his daughter to lower her hand, but she said “But, Daddy she looks like me.”
I mean talk about your heart melting!

I went over and introduced myself and asked how old the girl was, where the little girl got her hair done, etc. All the while I was thinking of my own son. Will he do the same thing one day?
It was a really hard decision to choose a family who is not the same race as me. As a birth mother I worry if he will feel accepted or different.

I hope with the open adoption he won’t feel so isolated. He’ll know me, right? Plus Utah grows more diverse every day. Only time will tell.

To send Dee a message, email to adopt@aactofloveadoptions.com or leave a message on the post.

Explanations – “Private, but not a secret”

unnamed[1]Together with my counselor at the adoption agency we’ve come up with a phrase. Private, but not a secret. My son and the adoption process is something that is private, but not something I want to keep secret. There are a few people in my life who know about my adoption journey and I am so thankful for them, but often times I am overcome with the amount of people who are unaware and how it makes things that much harder.

For example, there are a few expectant mothers at my job. I can’t help but join in to talk about their pregnancies, but it gets a little weird. I can see their faces wondering how I know so much about swollen feet, induced labor, and babies sitting on your bladder! I consciously have to curb my enthusiasm.

Or even recently I developed plantar fascitis. It’s an inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot. It’s common in women who are pregnant (me) or have gained a lot of weight (me again). My boss, a chiropractor, is treating me but he seemed a little confused as to how I may have developed it. He knows I was an athlete in high school. I just told him I gained a lot of weight last year and left it at that.

Even more difficult to explain is why I’m here in Utah. I have my friends and family in New Jersey, but I wanted to stay in Utah, where my son is, to take advantage of the openness of the adoption. I meet folks all the time who ask me why I am in Utah. Do I tell everyone that I placed my son here?
So it’s a struggle. The more questions that come the easier it gets to explain without fully explaining. We shall see what next year brings!

To send comments to Dee or ask questions, please email to adopt@aactofloveadoptions.com or leave a message on the blog.

Entry 1

unnamed[1]In 2013 I became pregnant. I faced three difficult choices: abortion, becoming a single parent, or placing my child for adoption.

My parents raised me with a strong sense of hard work, character, and culture. My mom is a Nigerian immigrant who followed my dad here while he went to school. They separated when I was very young, my dad returning to Nigeria and my mom stayed here in the states. For a long time my mother was very bitter with my father regarding the circumstances of their separation. It left a deep impression on me and shaped my future relationships.

We did not grow up wealthy. On public assistance for a short time, my mother worked multiple jobs to provide and save. She soon moved us to an upper class suburb with a great school district. She went to school to become a nurse and eventually purchased her own home. My two brothers and I carry her hard work in my heart. We all graduated from college and hope to continue to make her proud.

In 2013 I was also in graduate school. I had an impressive resume, a dream summer internship with Colgate with three more semesters left before completing my JD/MBA. Around this time is when I became pregnant. My relationship with the birth father is complicated and still wounding. Ultimately, he disappeared.
I considered my options and decided adoption would be my best choice for my unborn child. I researched adoption agencies, flew to Utah to meet my new support system and began the process of finding a family. Not many people at home knew I was pregnant so, in many ways, it was a very lonely process. (I was lucky enough to become very close with my counselor and most of the staff at the adoption agency. I spent Christmas with my adoption counselor!)

Over the next few months I worked with my adoption counselor to consider my options. It’s very hard to verbalize the reasons behind the choice of adoption because much of the contemplation happens internally. What sums it best for me, is my son deserved the best I could give him. In my emotional and financial state I knew that I could not give him all he deserved, but someone else could. I knew what it was like to raise children when you’re focused on your own hurt. I am a child raised by a mother in emotional pain. I didn’t want to perpetuate the cycle.

This process of selecting a family was very scary. Lots of tears. Although I asked questions, prepared, and worked really hard to get to know the adoptive parents, I still have so many questions in my head now about his future upbringing.
I chose an open adoption. The term was something new to me and a scary option. What if my son was disappointed with me? Did I want to know that? What would I say when he asked me the hard questions of why?
I discussed my fears with my adoption counselor and the adoptive parents. It helped.
My son was born on January 22nd 2014. I spent three days with him in the hospital and two weeks later I met with the adoptive family again with my son.

I remember much grief in the weeks following the experience interposed by moments of peace. Eventually the moments of peace became longer. The letters, videos and pictures helped, but the pangs come back sometimes when I see other mothers with children the same age as mine.
But often, I am reminded of the great things about adoption. I have gained another family in the adoptive parents who are supportive and continuously pray for my well-being. The adoption alternative has allowed me to heal from the hurt of my relationship with the birth father and pursue my aspirations.
It’s not always easy, but I remain thankful throughout this journey.

Post Adoption Depression: How Parents Can Cope

It’s something you didn’t expect. You can just see yourself the day you heard the news that the adoption is final and the day you finally brought your baby home. Ah, the euphoria and joy you felt. Strangely, the excitement faded away… into something darker.

If you are struggling with feelings of despondency and loss after a successful adoption, do not be afraid. You are not alone. Post adoption depression is more common than you think. Here are some things you can do to cope:
– Recognize what you are feeling. Look for signs that you are undergoing depression. Or perhaps, if you are a spouse, be on alert for symptoms of depression displayed by your spouse. Often, the person going through this will not recognize the signs. These include a loss of interest with social contact or with engaging with the child, irritability and a feeling of constant fatigue, oversleeping, weight loss or gain that is significant enough to be noticed, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, excessive feelings of guilt or trouble focusing and concentrating.
– Take care of yourself. Some new parents pour themselves into parenting their new child and going at it with unrealistic expectations. Soon, their bodies give out and their feelings follow. It is easy to feel and be overwhelmed with the momentous responsibility of being a parent. The important thing to do is to daily set aside time to build your physical and emotional strength. Be sure to take the rest you need. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise. Limit the events that tend to stress you out. If you can, take time off from work.
– Ease into your new role. Give yourself time to bond with your child. Avoid inundating yourself with social events and visitors. Your loved ones and friends will be naturally excited for the new addition to the family, but give yourself some time to adjust to your new role as a parent. Limit visits to something that you can easily handle but do not totally close your doors to loved ones and friends. Instead, allow for some opportunities for adult interaction so that you can “recharge” without tiring yourself too much.
– Let others help you. You and your spouse do not have to go through this on your own. Allow loved ones and friends to show their love by enlisting them to help with the household chores. You can also connect with other parents who have adopted. There may be support groups and play groups in your area.
– Do not expect perfection. Sometimes, parents who have waited long to finally bring home their child have raised their standard of parenthood and when they see themselves coming up short to these standards, inundate themselves with feelings of guilt. Relax. You are not perfect, nor should you be.
– Have some “me time”. Do not feel guilty about taking some time away from your child from time to time to simply recharge and relax. You can also have some “baby and me” time where you go out with your child. Do not lock yourselves up inside your home, go out and smell some fresh air! With the onset of winter, depression can more easily set in if you stay cooped up inside your house.
– Seek professional help. These feelings of depression may be deeply rooted and may need professional intervention. The life-changing event of building your family through adoption may trigger a variety of feelings that you need to thresh out – feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, an identity crisis related to the loss of career or fears you have about being a parent. Professional counseling can help you thresh out these feelings and give you tools to enable you to positively deal with any issues.

About A Act of Love Adoptions

A Act of Love Adoptions seeks to provide a holistic approach to adoptions. This includes providing in-depth counseling to would-be parents and providing them with tools they can use as parents who have built their family through adoption. Believing that information and experienced guidance are important factors long after the adoption is finalized, A Act of Love offers post-adoption counseling as well.

Help for Babies, Birth Parents & Adoptive Families – “Giving Tuesday”

thCAVLV6KXDear Act of Love Family & Friends,

When we hear the words “The POWER of ONE” they can elicit a different response in all of us. You may think of that powerful sports figure, the Fortune 500 or the President of the United States. Still others may think of Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Beethoven, Thomas Edison, Nelson Mandela, Benjamin Franklin, Plato and a myriad of others. But, “The POWER of ONE” can be you and I helping that ONE person – making a significant difference in their life!

You and I can make a difference and join in “Giving Tuesday” which is the very simple idea of giving back for one common purpose: “to celebrate generosity and to give”. It is the coming together as individuals, communities and the world to be part of “a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity”. This coming Tuesday, December 2, 2014 is “Giving Tuesday”.

Act of Love Adoptions asks that as you reflect where you will make your final charitable contribution for the 2014 year; that you consider the substantial impact you can have on the lives of the adoption triad at Act of Love. You will be helping many, as you help ONE. You will help a beautiful child find their forever family, a birth parent that is making the greatest sacrifice of love that is need of help and an adoptive family that is saving and sacrificing to make a loving and permanent home for a child.
Please join with the world on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 and be part of the “global celebration” of giving. Please consider giving a donation to Act of Love Adoptions to support birth and adoptive families. Each donation – big or small truly makes a difference in the lives of children and families. Help Act of Love in their mission – “To Serve Children – to help build loving families who share the joy of living and loving together.” You can have a direct hand in making a difference!

Act of Love Adoptions has a non-profit, 501 (c )(3) charitable donation status and your charitable private or corporate donation can be used for a 2014 tax write-off. Recent family and friends of Act of Love have made a generous monetary donation that will help several adoptive families with their adoption, gift cards that will support the many and varied needs of birth parents and Christmas gifts that will help bring the Magic of Christmas to children that otherwise will not have gifts waiting for them on Christmas morning. Join these Act of Love family and friends and be a part of “The POWER of ONE” by looking below to see how your donation will touch the lives of others.

$20 – $40 – Will purchase a gift for a child that otherwise will not have the magic of Christmas
$25 – Will purchase a Holiday dinner for a birth parent
$50 – Will purchase a Holiday dinner for a birth family
$65 – Will pay for a phone to keep in contact with the birth parent to complete an adoption plan
$85 – Will purchase a monthly bus pass for transportation to get medical care and counseling
$125 – Will purchase weekly groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries and miscellaneous items
$150 – Will provide for utilities and heat during the winter months
$200 – Will purchase maternity clothing and a warm coat for a birth parent in need of clothing
$499 – Will allow for a life affirming ultrasound and reading by a medical doctor
$450 – $850 – Will provide rent for a birth parent that can’t meet their obligation

Act of Love Adoptions has so many blessings and much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. The joy and fulfillment our adoption team receives each day, as we provide services to children, birth parents and families is beyond measure. We would like to thank you for being a part of the Act of Love family and friends and for taking the time to consider making a charitable donation before the end of 2014.
No donation is too big or small – be part of the “Giving Tuesday” and use the power within in you to change lives of children and families.

Wishing You and Yours a Very Happy Holiday Season,

The Act of Love Adoptions Team

Adoption
is An Act of Love

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