Is Anyone Out There?: Finding Support as a Birth Mother

By: Nicole Strickland

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Thirteen years ago, I left the hospital as a proud new mom. Unlike most new moms, though, I also left the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart, as I had just placed my newborn baby boy into the arms of his adoptive mom and dad.

I went home and, for weeks, just tried desperately to navigate this “new normal.” Having a baby is always a life-changing event, but most new parents are overwhelmed by around-the-clock feedings, diaper changes, and sleep deprivation. In my case, I was overwhelmed with grief, sadness, and solitude. Although my family and friends were supportive of my decision to place my child for adoption and sympathetic to what I was going through, most had no idea what I was really experiencing. I felt so alone, and for many weeks was struggling just to make it through my day-to-day activities.

Unlike many birth mothers, I did not place my child through an adoption agency. Instead, I placed through a private adoption attorney, who only provided me legal services. This meant I did not have a social worker or counselor at the agency to whom I could reach out.

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What’s Next for Adoption Advocates?

By: Chuck Johnson

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Adoption has shaped my entire life, personally and professionally. As the son of an adopted person, I watched my father move from feeling a sense of quiet shame about his adoption to a place where at last – late in his life – he could celebrate it and recognize the good it had done for him. As a father by adoption, I’ve walked with my children through both joy and struggle, including the occasional struggle linked to adoption.

As a social worker and a longtime advocate for adoption, I do my best to serve all those impacted by adoption. I love the institution of adoption and feel called to do this work, and I have been blessed throughout my career to serve children who need safe, loving, permanent families.

Every year during National Adoption Month, all those who are touched by adoption have much to celebrate. At home with my family – and with my “work family” at National Council For Adoption – we celebrate adoption every day, not just during the month of November. Adoption is a time-tested institution that has undoubtedly benefited countless children. But as we celebrate its positives, its accomplishments, and its great potential, we must also consider the ways in which we can make adoption work better for all – for the young birth mother or birth father facing an unintended pregnancy who decides adoption is the right choice, for the foster and adoptive families hoping to provide loving homes for children, and for the infants and children who will be adopted and grow to adulthood with adoption as part of their history and identity.

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The Whole World Loves You! Your friends from Hopscotch

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You’re Invited!! Kybele, Inc and Novant Present the Global Health Symposium, Saturday March 5th

Print Kybele, Inc. in partnership with Novant Health’s Maya Angelou Women’s Health & Wellness Center invites you to join us for the inaugural Novant Global Health Symposium, Saturday March 5th from 8am – 4pm in the Novant Health Conference Center. The event is FREE with the donation of a first-aid item or items.

The objective of the conference is to inform local healthcare providers and the general public about global health opportunities, how best to prepare, how international service builds cultural competency, and why global health is important to the local community.  The keynote speaker from a Center for Disease Control will focus on the issues of fighting Ebola from the front lines, the cultural implications for the local communities and the logistics/strategies involved with coordinating multiple organizations/agencies to prevent the spread of the disease.
Also attending, physicians from three countries (Ghana, Armenia, Serbia), which have benefited from the global health involvement of Piedmont Triad based physician and nursing staff.  In addition, there will be a “Marketplace” of local organizations, faith-based groups, and service organizations dedicated to serving vulnerable populations domestically and abroad.

To register, click here.

To learn more, click here.

International Search and Reunion: A Conversation with Susan Soonkeum Cox

By Susan Soonkeum Cox

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Every adoptee has their own personal and unique adoption story. That history is a part of who they are, and remains a part of them as they move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood.

As intercountry adoption has changed over the years, more international adoptees have become interested in searching for information and trying to learn more about their families, countries, and cultures of origin. An adoption search and/or reunion for an intercountry adoptee may look very different from one undertaken by a person adopted in the U.S. Typically an international adoption search will require working with officials in another country and dealing with complex legal issues, language translation, and cultural differences. To better understand the international search and reunion process, NCFA asked Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President of Policy and External Affairs at Holt International and a Korean adoptee, to share some of her own personal experiences.

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Building Attachment From Day One In Country: by Melissa Nichols and Todd Nichols

Child%20holding%20adult%20parent%20arm%20sad Do you have a game plan for building attachment when you travel to meet your future child?  The Family Attachment Center of Minnesota has some great games and resources for families just beginning and those that are already home.  Whether your child is at risk for attachment disorder or not, these are great games to reinforce intimacy between the parent and child relationship.  Be sure to print this and take it with you when you travel!  

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Armenia: Checkmate!

543cc02249cb411872d4b22d4220e3bd Armenia: the cleverest nation on earth.  Click here to learn more.

NCFA’s 2016 Policy Priorities and Adoption-Related Legislation

By Megan Lestino and Erin Bayles

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Since our inception in 1980, National Council For Adoption (NCFA) has served as a strong and principled advocate for children outside of family care, adopted individuals, adoptive families, birth parents, and the public at-large. Motivated by the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a loving, safe, and permanent home, NCFA continues to support laws, policies, and practices to help promote permanency for the many children worldwide living without permanent families.

Our January Adoption Advocate is always dedicated to presenting NCFA’s policy priorities for the coming year and related legislation. NCFA rarely endorses specific legislation, but instead prioritizes educating key legislators and policymakers on the policies and practices that will provide essential services and the best possible support for children outside permanent family care, adopted individuals, birth parents, and adoptive families. At present, we are beginning the 2nd year of the 114th United States Congress, which began January 3, 2015 and continues until January 3, 2017. As we outline our priorities generally in this article, we will also take the opportunity to mention current pending legislation that is related to NCFA’s legislative priorities.

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Empathy & Encouragement

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