Vision Statement: Strengthening Eternal Families by Promoting and Defending Adoption and
Increasing our Involvement in the Community

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Six

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Five

Part Six: Home Study and Approval

Home Study

Not long after we attended the adoption education class it was time for our home study.  Our caseworker, Judy, gave us a short list of items that she would need to check and that we should have ready before she comes. Her list was pretty basic, and covered items like a fire extinguisher and some wall plugs for the electrical outlets.  She told us that we didn’t necessarily need to have everything right away but her visit provided us with ideas and improvements that we would need to make before a baby is placed with us.
When Judy and Sydney arrived we spent some time going over our profile and then we showed them around our home. Judy checked for items such as covers for our window wells, wall plugs, firearms being safely stored separate from ammunition, and a gate for our stairs.  The actual inspection took only a few minutes and then we were able to spend some time getting to know each other even better. In the end, Judy left us with a few suggestions, such as moving nail polish up a drawer to avoid children getting into it, moving our medicine up higher, etc.   We had anticipated that she would want to see the house clean, but true to her word she never pulled out a white glove.


A few weeks from the time Judy and Sydney came to our home for the study, we received an email from Judy informing us we had been approved and that our profile was up on the website.  I was so excited; I didn’t even finish reading her e-mail before pulling it up and calling Eric, my mom and a few other people.  We received the letter in the mail a short time after and it has been posted on our fridge ever since.  Words cannot express how thrilled we are to have completed the process thus far and to have the realization that we could have our sweet baby in our arms sometime soon. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Talking to your child About Adoption

Talking to your Child About Adoption

  1. To answer your child’s questions.
  2. To help your child understand what it means to be adopted. They can’t move forward into the future unless they have a grasp of what happened in the past.
  3. To prepare your child for talking to/answering questions from other people about adoption.
  4. To communicate a willingness to talk about it. To establish an environment of openness instead of secrecy.
  5. To avoid “fantasy” – both good and bad.
  1. Fantasize that birthparents are celebrities
  2. Worry that birthparents didn’t want them because they were bad or cried too much.
  1. To give the child a positive sense of self.
  1. Positive sense of self gives comfort and confidence with adoption.
  2. “A child is influenced by adoptive family and birth family – and by his or her perception of his/her adoptive family and birth family.
  1. With the right attitude/demeanor. If adoption conversations are approached in a nurturing way, your child will trust and feel safe talking about it with you.
  1. Approachable
  2. Comfortable (if you are uncomfortable, discussions may be awkward or avoided. If children detect unease in discussing adoption, they may conclude that something is wrong with them.
  3. Non-defensive, non-threatened by questions.
  4. Keep things casual. Adoption conversations don’t have to be serious, sit-down, heavy talks.
  1. With the right tone of voice.
  1. A hushed tone can convey shame or secrecy.
  2. An elevated tone can convey anxiety or distress.
  1. From the beginning.
  1. The earliest years are good practice for when your child understands more, and you can get comfortable talking about it. Adoption language will become part of your lexicon.
  2. It won’t be an emotionally laden revelation for the child to learn later.
  1. Often enough that your child knows it isn’t a taboo topic.
  2. Often enough that you are addressing changes in understanding and emotions throughout different developmental stages.
  3. Not so often that s/he feels set apart by his/her “adoptedness.” Talking excessively can leave a child feeling that there is something wrong with being adopted, or that adoption is the most important part of his/her identity.
  4. When it is relevant. At some times in a child’s life, that is going to be frequent and sometimes it’s going to be infrequent.
  5. When it is appropriate. Utilize boundaries of privacy when talking about adoption with strangers or acquaintances. Sometimes we get a bit eager and overzealous when it comes to adoption and divulge too much. Learn to speak in generalities.
  6. Follow your child’s lead. (This does NOT mean you have to wait for your child to bring it up!)
  1. Be available and willing to talk about it when they want to.
  2. Don’t push the subject when they don’t want to talk about it.
  1. Take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
  1. When other people are pregnant/have a baby/adopt a baby
  2. When you adopt again
  1. Tell the truth.
  2. Use the gospel, your testimony of your child’s adoption.
  1. "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. Now, love them, take care of them." President Gordon B. Hinckley
  2. Heavenly Father is aware of them as individuals, and made sure they ended up where they were supposed to be.
  3. Personal spiritual experiences that told you your child was meant to be in your family.
  1. Remain positive about birth family, and empathetic towards any negative facts there might be.
  2. Explain that adoption is an adult decision. Be careful with the “love” explanation. You love him. Are you going to place him with a new family?
  3. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”
  4. It’s okay to postulate – use likelihoods.
  1. “We’re not sure what your birthfather looked like. But since your birthmother is fair, he probably has dark hair like you do.”
  2. “You have such natural talent for music. I wonder if your birth mother is musical, too.”
  1. Acknowledge birth parents, not just ethnic or cultural heritage to avoid ideas of “hatching.”
  2. Utilize communication from or open relationship with birth parents.
  3. Tell the child’s story – lifebook.
  4. Use adoption books, either as a springboard for discussion with your child or as an example to you of things you can say.
  5. In developmentally appropriate layers.
  1. Conversations will be repeated often throughout the years. Begin with the basics in language your child can understand and build on that through the years as they understand more. Increasing maturity brings increased understanding and emotions.
  2. Try to listen for what your child is really asking. If your child asks to call her birth mother, she may really mean, “I want to know more about this person.” That’s an opening. Ask, “What do you think she’d be like? What would you say to her? What do you think she might say to you?”
  1. Throw out “pebbles” to invite questions/conversation.
  1. “You are such a good artist. You must get that from your birth mom.”
  2. “I always think of your birthparents on your birthday. They must be thinking of you, too.”
  3. Speak about adoption to your spouse in your child’s hearing.
For additional adoption literature refer to Utah's Adoption Connection Lending Library (also listed on the sidebar of our blog under "Helpful Links".)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Utah Adoption Council Conference

May 11 & May 12, 2011
South Towne Center
Sandy, Utah

Click HERE for Registration Details

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2nd Annual Infertility Awareness Event

2nd Annual Utah Infertility Awareness Event
Saturday, April 30th from 9:00AM-Noon
University of Utah Health Sciences Building (same location as last year)

Registration will begin on April 1st at

Exciting things about this year's event...


Strengthening Relationships During Fertility Treatments
Monica Ashton, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist, The Healing Group

Fears and Concerns of Third Party Reproduction
Laura Czajkowski, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah

Finding Tangible Ways to cope with Infertility
Kerstin Daynes, author of Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healing


Major Gift Providers...

Giveaway Providers...
The R House Consultants

See the list of PRIZES in the Giveaway HERE.

NEW "Ask a Professional" PANEL DISCUSSION

Ask nurses, doctors, therapists, acupuncturists, and other professionals about things on your mind.


Click HERE to Download PDF Flyer

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wanted: Homemade Cupcakes and Fleece Material

Calling all Martha Stewarts! (Or anyody who would like to serve).  Our agency's annual Birthmother Dinner is coming up on Thursday, May 5th to honor all of the birthmothers and prospective birthmothers who have received support through our agency.  If you would like to help make this event a special one for these women, please donate:

-2 DOZEN HOMEMADE CUPCAKES for dessert following the dinner


-FLEECE MATERIAL for a blanket-making Service Project that the birthmothers will be doing that night.

Please contact us at if you are willing to help.

Thank You.  Your service is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Faith and Infertility

This month's Ensign has a wonderful article, "Faith and Infertility" which features the personal accounts of four couples (FSA National Board members, incidentally) who share how they have maintained faith and hope while struggling with infertility.

Click here to see the PDF version, which includes pictures of their beautiful families built through adoption.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Five

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

Part Five:  The Adoption Education Classes

We really didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at the adoption education classes. We had talked to a few other couples who had attended other classes in years past but no one we had talked to had ever done courses over an entire weekend. I guess the classes used to be held one evening a week for eight consecutive weeks. For us, doing it in one weekend worked really well because I serve in Young Women’s and Eric is the Scout Master so often times we have other commitments during the week.

The classes were for three hours on Friday and then all day on Saturday. Honestly, we thought that this could quite possibly make for some really long days, but we were pleasantly surprised. By the end, I was actually kind of disappointed how quickly it all went by.

On Friday, we spent a good majority of the time just getting to know the other couples in the class. We had a fairly small group with about ten couples. We started by introducing ourselves and providing a brief explanation of what brought us to LDS Family Services. It was amazing to me how almost instantly we had a bond and connection with each couple in the room. It was so comforting to be talking and listening to people who were in the same situation as us. After we got to know each other a little better, we spent the remainder of the evening talking about what we were expecting throughout the remainder of the adoption process and learning a little more about LDS Family Services.

During breakfast on Saturday, we were able to take some time and get to know the other couples and members of FSA a little better before starting the actual classes. We spent the first portion of the morning going over Blue Step. Blue Step is the online program that each couple provides information on their background, family, and preferences. Each social worker took some time to go over each portion, provide input and answer questions. This was really helpful for us because after hearing how the program works and hearing the social worker's perspective about certain things, Eric and I actually went through and made a few minor changes to our profile.

Throughout the rest of the day, there were a variety of panels who spoke about their adoption journey, and we had the opportunity to hear the perspective of some children and teenagers who were adopted, and even learn about other alternatives, such as international and special needs adoption. I found these panels to be so incredibly helpful and each person had a different story and a different perspective and that was really beneficial to hear. It made us realize how we are all in very similar situations but everyone’s story is so unique and every person handles things different. 

My absolute favorite part of the entire weekend was when they brought in these three absolutely incredible birth moms into the room. We had the privilege of inviting family members to come listen and I am so grateful for that we could have some of our family be there with us. When these three beautiful women walked in, a very sweet spirit followed them. As we sat and listened to their stories, everyone in the room could feel of their incredible strength and their love for their child. I honestly can’t even begin to describe the feelings that I felt and the love that I felt for these women who I didn’t even know. Each of them had an amazing story and I know that it took so much strength for each of them to come share that with us and be willing to answer questions. These three women left a lasting impression on Eric and I and they have inspired countless conversations about these amazing young girls and women who have placed their child for adoption. Before the classes we had discussed how much we admire and respect women who have the courage to do what these women have done, but neither Eric nor I have ever really known or talked to a birth mom, making this experience so tender to both of us. This truly was an invaluable experience that I know we will cherish and remember forever.