Real talk on adoption, foster care and this journey we call parenting. We (Carrie and Karyn:-) are both adoptive parents and have a deep passion for sharing both our stories and many other stories of adoptees, foster parents, and resources out there to help people along their journey. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram @adoptiontoday we would love to hear from you!
Amy Williams is the author of a beautiful children's book about adoption, called "Custom Made Kid." She and her husband have three daughters and live in Birmingham, Alabama. She shares her story with us about her very own custom made kid, who came to her family by way of adoption. If you've ever been frustrated by the waiting game of adoption or the cruelty of infertility, Amy's example is comforting and inspiring. You will appreciate her honesty when it comes to talking adoption, motherhood and God's divine timing in all things!
There are so many ways to have a family, and embryo adoption is a path to parenthood that may not even be on your radar!
We didn't know much about it either, so we found someone who does answer all our questions: Is it IVF? Adoption? A combination?
Our guest, Leigh, shares her story of growing her family this way after several failed fertility treatments.
Why she and her husband chose to adopt an embryo- and what that even means- will have you considering the many advantages for all involved.
For more information on embryo adoption and how it works, check out Nightlight and click on Snowflake Embryo Adoptions.
Sometimes you meet someone who inspires you and amazes you with their spirit and drive. Our guest Kelly Zarle is one of those people! She fired up to help foster children in the state of Florida, and determined to raise awareness of the need for more foster families.
Kelly and her husband Aaron have three children, and are currently foster parents to two babies: a one-and-a-half year old and a newborn. They began their foster care journey a few years ago not knowing where exactly it would lead them. As she says, she just kept saying "yes" and her attitude has made a tremendous impact on many lives.
Kelly is also currently the local Chapter Advocate of a group called Foster Florida, a group that organizes volunteers to help foster families by providing babysitting, meals and prayer. If you would like to find out how to volunteer your time to help one of the families in your community, click here. After hearing this podcast interview with Kelly, we guarantee it will motivate you as well.
In our last episode with Barbara from February 2019, we ended with their family waiting on final approval to go to Korea and meet their little girl! In this episode we talk all about the journey that unfolded since then and how it all went down!
Our very first podcast guest and friend, Mary Anderle, is back with an incredible update to her story.
You may remember that Mary and her husband have two biological children and were in the process of trying to adopt a third son through foster care. Their foster care journey began with creating a safe, loving space for a few children who turned out to be short-term placements. And then just before Hurricane Harvey hit, they welcomed a newborn, Baby B, into their home and into their hearts. When we last spoke to Mary, they were in limbo about his future, wanting to adopt him and make him permanent family member, yet not knowing the outcome. This past year has tested their faith, made them stronger and brought them all closer together. Find out the latest on their foster-to-adoption journey, and where Baby B is meant to be.
Sometimes we wish our friends and family knew certain things about adoption... like, what not to say to people who are adopting! Well-meaning people often unknowingly use words in ways that aren't the most constructive. When it comes to questions, statements and assumptions, we have heard some interesting ones!
We've got some real life examples, as well as some suggestions for how people can rephrase common questions and statements to make everyone feel better.
And remember, when in doubt, laugh it off! At the very least it makes a good story.
Barbara Allen and her husband live in California with their two biological children, and their family is growing again as they are about to adopt a child from Korea! When we spoke to her, they were in the last part of their wait to bring their daughter home. Barbara shares the reasons they selected Korea, how they were finally matched, and their next steps in the process.
Mentioned in this episode:
AAC Adoption in Colorado (Barbara's agency)
Holt Adoption (founded the Korean adoption process)
We are feeling the love!
We wanted to share the top five things we love about adoption. We think it rocks, and we want to shed some light on how we feel adoption helps you grow as a person, become a family, grow closer with God and even build an amazing community.
Mentioned in this episode is one of Karyn's favorite authors, Janet Landsbury, who wrote, among other books: No Bad Kids. For more info on her parenting approach, follow this link. (Not sponsored. Just love her).
Meredith tells us her story of adopting their sweet son Luis from China. This episode is a candid and honest look at how the process works before, in country, and after, bringing their child home. For more info on adoption from China check out Holt International - http://www.holtinternational.org/china/
Jen King is a fellow mother, wife and friend who loves to entertain friends and family. She and her husband Kiley live in Tampa, Florida with their two young daughters. Jen was kind enough to share her adoption story with us: how she found out she was adopted and how she felt about that knowledge growing up. She also shared her feelings about taking a chance on a Facebook message and meeting her birthmother and biological family members once she was an adult.
There was another tragic death here in Tampa Bay involving an innocent child in the state's foster care system. Two year old Jordan Belliveau was senselessly murdered after being removed from his foster family. His biological mother is charged in his murder.
Tragically, the foster care system in Florida is not doing enough to protect children like Jordan, and we are obligated to speak out and do something about it! On this episode we talk about some of the faults in the system, the laws governing the best interest of the child, and what we believe could be beneficial in order to end the cycle.
Are you a mom who works full-time outside the house, or a stay- at-home mom, or a combo of the two? Whatever your family situation, there are always benefits and struggles. We each bring our own unique perspective in discussing how we make it work!
Jed and Vicki have two beautiful children adopted from Nepal and Thailand. We are talking all about how their first adoption from Nepal didn't quite go as planned. It left Vicki in Nepal for 6 months not knowing if their adoption would ever got through and changed their lives forever!
The cost of adoption can be a big stumbling block for many people- but it doesn't have to be. We have some great info to help you over the financial hurdle of paying those adoption fees. From employer matching plans to the government tax credit, and fundraising or crowd-sourcing, it may be more manageable than you think! Carrie also shares her non-profit, the Promise Love Foundation, which helps fund adoption-related expenses for people right here in Tampa Bay.
Here are some of the links to info we shared:
Adoption Tax Credit Info: http://fundyouradoption.tv/adoption-tax-credit/
Private Adoption Process:
Grant Info : https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adoptive/expenses/grants-loans/
Promise Love Foundation - www.promiselovefoundation.or
We take a look at some popular children's books about adoption. Each has a slightly different message, so we checked out some geared towards international adoption, and others that are better for domestic infant adoptions. Here are the ones we reviewed:
"When I Met You"
"Motherbridge of Love"
"The Family Book"
"Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born"
"Yes, I'm Adopted!"
"A Mother for Choco"
"How God Makes Babies"
"I've Loved You Since Forever"
And we also are looking forward to reading the Dungy's family's new booking coming out February 2019.
Many times in adoption, families have to travel to another state to meet their baby and bring him or her home. That usually means the adoptive parents will need to remain in the state where the baby was born for a few weeks after the birth. Karyn and Scott did just that when they lived in Nashville and traveled to Tampa to be present for the birth of their son. Listen to hear tips on staying sane while staying in a hotel with a newborn baby.
Adoptive parents: For anyone who has ever wished they could ask what adoption feels like from the other side, Anna shares what she wishes all adoptive parents could know.
Meet Anna Bolton:
Anna was adopted from Russia as a toddler and has grown up here in the United States with her mom, dad and brothers. She is about to begin her freshman year in college, but when she's not spending time with her family, hanging out with friends or working as a hostess, she loves talking about adoption. Anna shared with us how her family told her about her adoption, and how she dealt with the information. She also opened up about her feelings towards her birth family, her recent visit to Russia, and the impact that faith has had on her journey.
Liz Aguero and her husband have been foster parents for six years, in addition to having two biological children. Most of their foster placements have been babies and toddlers who wound up finding forever homes with relatives. Their current foster care child is 18 months old, and he was just matched with his permanent adoptive family, right here in Tampa! So, yes, despite what you may have heard, it is possible to adopt a baby or toddler through foster care.
(Keep in mind that any child in foster care has been through some emotional or physical trauma or neglect.)
We talked with Liz about balancing the harder parts of foster care with the joys of loving on all those sweet babies.
In today's episode, we talk about forming a secure attachment with your child, and where to go for help if that doesn't come easily.
Jessica Alvarez helps families in need of attachment-focused therapy and provides adoption-competent services. Jessica graduated with her Masters of Social Work, and is currently a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern at Adoption Related Services of Pinellas County.
We talked with Jessica about the needs of children who have come through the foster care system or are adopted. Jessica shares why attaching to a primary caregiver is so important, and how she is able to help families repair or strengthen that bond.
Also, she shares why some behaviors that look like defiance are actually a survival mechanism for children who have been through trauma.
If you would like to contact Jessica or someone on her team, please call Adoption Related Services at 727-657-7761. They also offer parenting classes and a monthly support group.
"I could never foster, because I couldn't give them back." Sound familiar? Maybe you've said it or thought it. What kind of people can do that, knowing it might rip their hearts out? Are they superhuman? Reuniting a foster child with his or her biological family is usually the goal of foster care. It can sometimes also be a path to adoption, but in this episode we focus on the placements that are short-term, and the families who step up to parent children with unknown futures. Carrie shares the story of loving and caring for their foster baby for six months. We talk about the emotional cost of opening your heart to love someone who may not stay forever. What happens when you have to say goodbye?
Carrie also wrote a blog post the day they had to release Miss Pretty from their care and deliver her to her new home. Read more here about the day they said goodbye: http://adventuresinfoster.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-post-i-never-wanted-to-write.html?m=1
Check out our conversation with our sweet husbands, David and Scott. The Dads stole the show on this episode- and we're ok with that!
David and Scott share their feelings and provide a look at adoption from a dad's perspective. David also shares his bacon-cooking tips. If that doesn't make you tune in, we got nothing.
Our guest, Mary Anderle, is the mother of two biological children, and currently she and her husband are fostering a third child as well!
Baby B is 9 months old and has been with the Anderle family since birth. We talked with Mary about the joys, frustrations and love that comes from fostering. We can’t thank her enough for sharing this intimate look into their life, and for her honesty and vulnerability. We promise to update you soon on Baby B's journey.
If you’ve ever wondered what fostering is like or how you can help support foster parents, this episode is for you!
Also, as Mary mentioned, if you’re in the Houston area and want more information on the care closet called The Moses Closet, check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MosesClosetTW/
Aren't all hospitals "adoption friendly?" No, it turns out! Every hospital's policy is unique. We'll share our very different stories and provide some tips for your stay in the hospital.
Carrie and I (and our families) were each lucky enough to be present for the births of all of our children. This sweet picture is of Carrie and David and their family leaving the hospital after the birth of her youngest daughter. If you're considering infant adoption, you might be fortunate enough to celebrate your baby's actual "birthday" as well!
Private adoption is one way to adopt, and it's done through an agency or an adoption attorney. We give an overview of the paperwork involved, picking an agency, making a portfolio for birth parents to view (no pressure! Just pick the best photos of your life! Hahah!), and how it all comes together in an open adoption like ours. For more information on the adoption process, head over to Promise Love Foundation www.promiselovefoundation.org/blog/2014/4/17/private-adoption-how-does-it-work
for all the essential details and links to learn more.
We share the journeys we have taken that led to being matched with our children! We'll also talk about what it means to have an open adoption and how - and why!- we communicate with our children's birth mothers.
Wouldn't it be great if we could tell our children's birth moms exactly how much we appreciate them on Mother's Day? The cool thing about open adoption is that we can! And we do. In this episode, we also talk about Mother's Day from several perspectives, including women who are struggling to become moms. We also share what our first Mother's Days were like, and our favorite things about being moms. Plus, Mom Guilt, it happens to (almost) everyone!