A network of adoptive families, birth families, and adoption professionals which exists to improve the lives of children and others touched by adoption through support and education. UFA is actively engaged in community outreach and advocacy to raise awareness of adoption as a loving option.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting to know the UFA Board.



Today we introduce you to
 
Dan and Alison Lowe ~ UFA Vice Chairs and Fundraising Chair


We are Daniel and Alison Lowe
and are part of the Executive
Board with United for Adoption and are roaring to go.
We have been in the wonderful world of adoption for the past 9 years and have loved what we have learned about ourselves and others.  We were chosen by a wonderful birth mom 6 years ago and have been advocating for adoption and helping develop events to get people together.
We both loved the education program that Families Supporting Adoption offered and the unity and sense of belonging it created.  We learned so much from listening to others share their feelings and experiences.   Many of the things we learned were beyond what our caseworker provided in our meetings with them.  Our casework helped us by making sure we were all ready to be approved and any counseling we needed one on one.  Most of the rest we learned from our friends we made at the support groups, activities and conferences.  We have loved having a fairly open adoption plan and seeing how our hearts can grow with more love and more family!  It is a new frontier with not a lot of ‘rules’ or guidelines to follow, we have learned to follow our heart and to be true and honest.
We have loved the new focus of uniting all in adoption.  Not just for those of us hoping to adopt to build their families, but birth parents, and birth families, and caseworkers, and other adoption supporters.  We are all in this together.  Everyone has a voice and a story to tell.  Don’t think that you are all alone.  Don’t think you have dumb questions or ‘no one wants to know my thoughts or feelings ‘.  We do!  We really do need you!  The world needs to hear your voice.  You are wonderful.  Much has been done to keep the option of adoption available for us… let us keep it available for the future!
Dan has the business man brain with an easy going personality and is focusing on fundraising for United for Adoption.  Alison loves to advocate and promote in any shape and form whether it is special event, social media, joining other adoption forces and sharing our strengths, and is always looking for ways to push the adoption envelope.
We both truly believe “the more we get together the happier we’ll be!” and are looking forward to see where this new world of adoption will go for everyone involved. 
My new motto for now is from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss,
“Unless someone like you cares a WHOLE AWFUL LOT, nothing is going to get better.  It’s just not.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Help Utah's Foster Kids win big!!!!

Larry H. Miller Chevrolet wants to give back to their community.
They are letting the public vote on which organization will receive the first place price of
$4,000.
We would like to encourage you to vote for Utah Foster Care!!!

LIKE, SHARE, and VOTE today to help Utah Foster Care WIN a $4,000 grant for children in foster care!

Click on the “You Choose the Charity” button there and vote for Utah Foster Care. You can only vote once per IP address.

We hope you will join with us and support Utah Foster Care!!!!
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Working with Birth Parents when you foster children.


Fostering Moment with Brenda Horrocks and Ashanti.
Photo by ~ Leisha Kelsey

When a foster parent shares the nurturing of a foster child alongside the birth parents and caseworker, reunification tends to happen at a quicker and more successful rate.  Co-Parenting sees you, as a foster parent, working alongside the biological parents of the child living under your roof, and with your family.  This may be the more difficult part of your job.  To begin with, these may be the people who abused or neglected your foster child.  Helping them might just be the last thing you wish to do.  Therefore, it is important that you do not prejudge them before you meet them.  What is important to consider, though, is that many biological parents of foster children were abused themselves, and know of no other way when raising children.  Also disturbing is that some birth parents were foster children, as well, and are just repeating the cycle they went through as a child.  Certainly, there are reasons why their children are in care that we may never understand.  What is best for your foster child, though, is that you work alongside your caseworker, as well as the birth parents, and try to determine what is best for your foster child’s future, as well as how to best meet his needs in the present.
For birth parents and family members, you might be the best example of what a good parent is.  Everything you do as a foster parent will send signals to the biological parents on how a parent should act, as well as how to treat their own children.  When your foster child meets with his birth parents for visitations, he should be well dressed, clean, healthy, and looking his best. As a foster parent, part of your mission is to support reunification with your foster child and his biological parents.  Do your best to encourage reunification between the child and his parents.  Find ways you can help the biological parents with their parenting skills.  Discuss ways and ideas on how you can help them meet their caseload, as they attempt to meet the requirements of reunification
Your foster child’s family members will want to know what kind of family their child is living with, what his home life will be like, if he is being taken care of, and many other concerns.  After all, their child has been taken away from them, against their wishes, and placed in a strange home.  They will have many concerns, and may not be as courteous to you as you might like.  Be prepared for them to be hostile, rude, angry, or even distant.  Remember, they are hurting, and have been a traumatic experience with the removal of their child.  Respectfully encourage them to ask you as many questions as they would like.  It is important that you answer their questions as honestly and as openly as possible, treating them with the utmost integrity, kindness, and politeness. 
            Your foster child’s biological parents and family members will know him better than anyone, and your meeting with them will offer you the opportunity to learn a great deal about him, as well as acquire important information you might need. When you ask questions about their child, you are showing the birth parents that you are interested in him and his well being. By indicating, with your questions, that his parents are the experts, you will begin to form an important relationship, one that will benefit all involved.   A list of questions prepared beforehand will help you gather the information you need. 
As a foster parent, it is important to remember that your foster child’s biological parents are people in need, and they  deserve your kindness and sympathy, not your anger.  By working with
them, and by showing them kindness and compassion, you will not only help them, you will teach your foster child an important lesson in love and humanity.

Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent for 11 years, now, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home.   He is a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering passionate, dynamic, energetic, and informative presentations.  Dr. DeGarmo is the author of Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Story, and the new book The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe and Stable Home.  He also writes for a number of publications and newsletters, both here in the United States, and overseas.  Dr. DeGarmo can be contacted at drjohndegarmo@gmail, through his Facebook page, Dr. John DeGarmo, or at his website, www.drejohndegarmo.com.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fathers and Sons.

"My Father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me."
~Jim Valvano

Friday, June 21, 2013

New TV Show Highlighting Adoption.

Leigh Anne Tuohy has a new tv show talking about adoption.  
Have you had the opportunity to watch 'Family Addition'? 

We would love to hear what you think about it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting to know UFA Board.

As a UFA board we would like the you to get to know us a little better.
Each Thursday for the next coupe of months we will be introducting UFA Board members.
The introductions start today with....
Brad and Brenda Horrocks ~ UFA Chairs



We are Brad and Brenda,
otherwise known as "The BBs".
We will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary this year.   We have been involved in adoption since 1998 when we put our paperwork in for the first time.  We realized quickly there was a place for us in the adoption community.   We have adopted 4 incredible children.  Our oldest turns 13 next month, from there we have a 10 year old, a 7 year old and a 3 year old.  Our first 3 adoptions were through an agency and were considered "Designated Adoption", where a birth mom found out about us through a 3rd party and went into our agency requesting us.   Our last adoption was through the state.   We were blessed to work as Foster Parents for 4 years.  After saying goodbye to seven children  we got a call about a baby boy and we knew he was meant to be!

Brad and I have served on local and national adoption boards and committees and have enjoyed getting to know the many wonderful people who work hard to help promote adoption as a positive option.  We are also blessed to be part of a Birth Family.  Our nephew was placed for adoption and watching the whole process from beginning to end was a life changing experience. 
Our family enjoys open adoptions with our children's Birth Families.
 
Brad works for University Hospital and I stay at home with the kids.   We both enjoy movies, camping and anything we can do as a family.   Brad enjoys target shooting and I love to write.  
You can get to know us a little more on our family blog Another Small Adventure

We hope you will take the time to become a member of UFA and get involved!  
We are looking for helping hands and willing hearts!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Introducing UFA'

Big Announcement!!!

invites you to
Save the Date
and plan to attend our
First Annual UFA Conference. 
November 9th at Utah Valley University
in
Orem, Utah,
9am-4pm.
More details to come.

*Vendors welcome please contact Alison Lowe (Alison.Lowe at imail.org)
for guidelines and information.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Love and Hope....not Fear.

Are you afraid of being a foster parent because you might have to say goodbye to a child you have grown to love?
If you answered Yes to this question YOU are needed!
It needs to hurt when they leave, it means you did it right!
Even though it hurts...and hurts and hurts, you will get through it and you will be able to love deeper than before.
You will survive!
I know because I did.
Don't let fear stand in the way of your hopes.
If you want to adopt and feel foster care is the way then get started today!
If you care about children and want to help...don't wait, there is a child who needs what you have to give!
The following is a blog post from my personal blog during a painful time.
I share it with you in hopes you can see that even with the pain there is hope and healing.

~
"If you're listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever more wonders."
~ Andrew Harvey

I miss this sweet baby!
I read this quote yesterday as I sat in a class at the Utah Foster Care Foundation in SL County.
I thought of Ashanti...and I realized there are so many things that make me think of her. She has impacted my life in a way no one else could!
I am doing better...but I really miss her!
The nice thing....hope has regained my heart.
I love Hope!
by: Brenda Horrocks, UFA Co-Chair

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fatherhood is...




 


Fatherhood is pretending the gift you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

Friday, June 14, 2013

Eat Breakfast and support The Utah Adoption Exchange!




TRY BLUE LEMON RESTAURANT FOR BREAKFAST
 JUNE 17 - 22 
AND SUPPORT 
THE UTAH ADOPTION EXCHANGE


Blue Lemon has just introduced six scrumptious new breakfast entrees and will donate $1 to the Utah Adoption Exchange for any breakfast entree purchased that week. 
The owners of Blue Lemon are adoptive parents themselves, and are personally passionate about the need to find loving families for all Utah children. 
Breakfast is served 7 to 11 a.m. at all locations.
bluelemon.com
@blue_lemon

If you have an event you would like to share with our readers please send your information to unitedforadoption@gmail.com .

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