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.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Matching Mondays ~ Fun 16 year old girl is hoping for a forever family!

 
"Bri" age 16 is hoping for a forever family.

This sociable teen is Excalibri, who likes to go by “Bri”. She is often described by those who know her as cute, funny, and fun to be around. Listening to music, shopping, and crafting all top her list of things to do! Bri is a driven young woman and has many aspirations. She plans to obtain a cosmetology license and then attend college to obtain a degree in chemistry. She dreams of one day having a career in creating beauty products. Most of all, Bri longs for a forever family that will support and encourage her in fulfilling her dreams.

Bri is currently in eleventh grade and is excelling. This great gal would benefit from a supportive family. She is currently benefiting from counseling, which will need to continue after placement.

If your family can provide Bri with a loving, committed, structured environment, we urge you to inquire. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services.

For Utah children, only home studied families from all states are encouraged to inquire.

 You can inquire about these children we feature by clicking on their names above to go to their profile page or you can contact The Utah Adoption Exchange by calling:  801.265.0444

Please share this post with your social media contacts...don't forget to use Pinterest.  :)
Go here for some ideas on how you can help children waiting to be adopted.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A look back at our 1st Annual Adoption Conference.

A little peek at our adoption conference back in November.
Wonderful keynote, great vendors and awesome attendees!
Thanks to all who helped make this conference possible!
We look forward to our 2nd annual conference in November 2014.  More info to come.
This month UFA Celebrates a successful first year and our very first UFA Chapter!
We will be posting about Chapters in January!
UFA is growing...we hope you will join us and make it something extraordinary!
































Monday, December 16, 2013

Efforts to help Liberian children continue. Please join us!


We are continuing our efforts to help raise money for  the children in Monrovia, Liberia.
We appreciate the support from the Or So She Says Blog...you can see Mariel's post here.
Today we the day we were going to close the fundraiser but we have decided to continue the effort.
Please take  a moment and share this fundraiser with those in your social media circles and in your real life circles.   When many donate just $5 it brings about a mighty change for those who can't change their circumstances on their own.
Go here to donate.
Go here to learn more about Monrovia Orphans.
We will be posting more about those who care for the children later this week.  Very touching story!
Thank you for all who have donated to help these special children....the donations are in the hundreds now!  We are so excited about this!   We know we can do more...please spread the word then skip a run your favorite fast food place just one time and donate that $5 you would have spent!


The Best Christmas Gift


- Jessica Moon, Utah


Do you have a photo to share? Send it to us.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Helping Children in Liberia.

United For Adoption is continuing our efforts to raise some funds for a small orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia.   We posted about it last Monday in place of our segment "Matching Mondays".   This is the last week of this fundraiser.   We are asking for everyone to donate $5....less than a a Big Mac Meal at McDonald's.   Please take a moment and donate today.   I am re-posting last weeks blog post below.  Read to learn more!
Thank you for helping these special children!
~
This time of year our thoughts turn to children.  We excitedly shop for the children in our lives hoping to buy just the right gift to please these little people we love.    Our thoughts turn to children in our community who's family have fallen on hard times.  The community pitches in and places toys  in a donation box at our local library or grocery store.   It is a blessing for these children.   

Today I want to introduce you to a new set of children who need your thoughts, prayers, love and support.   These children don't have a wish list, they don't have a Christmas.    These children are hoping to fill their little bellies.   They are in need of food, medications, shelter, clothing and love.  These children live in an Orphanage in Liberia.   They have a few caregivers who work for free on their behalf.  These children don't have food everyday, they don't have the medications they need.  Recently one of the little boys passed away when medical treatment came too late.   Today I am asking you to join United For Adoption in helping these beautiful children have food everyday rather than every few days, have shelter and medications.  
We are asking you to
GIVE $5 to help them THRIVE!
Between now and December 16th we are asking you to go to Hope For Fallen Leaves website
and donate 5 dollars (or more if you would like) to help feed these darling children!
(The link is below or you can go to their website and click on "store" tab.  Our fundraiser is listed under that tab.)

Eating after 2 days without food. 
United For Adoption would like you to join us in helping these children have what they need now and in the future.  This is our first fundraiser to help these sweet children.   We want to do more for these children in 2014. 
http://hopeforfallenleaves.org/store/?slug=product_info&products_id=44
Please help us make this first attempt a successful one!!!
We ask you to spread the word and share this fundraiser and the link with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and all other social media you connect with. 
Join us in helping these children!
*Note:  The webpage you use to donate says the fundraiser ends today.  It will end on the 16th instead of the 9th.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Delivered Blessings



This article was published in Central Floirda Lifestyle. 
It is used with permission.
Written by:  Kimberly Kimmel
Going through an adoption process can be a nerve wracking, even frightening experience for everyone involved. Both the birth mother and the adoptive mother have absolutely no guarantees going in that everything will work out in their favor.

Rachel McMurtrey and her husband Steve fromDr. Phillips had taken the usual route in their quest to be parents. You name it; they explored it. Procedures, injections, surgeries, even egg donations. With each failed attempt to become parents, they grew more passionate and determined. “My husband and I have been married for 11 years and had difficulty getting pregnant. We went to two different doctors in the area and it just didn't happen. We were so disappointed,” Rachel says.

Taking a Chance
The last remaining step to get the child they so desperately wanted was adoption. The McMurtreys let their hearts lead the way and jumped into the process. “After we exhausted the fertility route, we signed up with several different adoption agencies,” Rachel says.
LDS Family Services, an adoption agency associated with the Mormon Church, was one of those agencies. Part of the process is to make a profile and be listed with an agency. Birth moms also choose an agency to help them place their child. Once vetted by the agency, a birth mom is able to look on the site to choose adoptive families. The McMurtreys, “the waiting family” didn't have their profile up on LDS’s website yet because they were in the very beginning steps with the process. The McMurtreys’ birth mom went on the site and chose a Florida couple for her child but discovered that the couple had already adopted and was no longer a waiting family. “She was told there was another brand new couple … and that was us,” McMurtrey says.

Tara Daugherty, the McMurtreys’ birth mom, got the information on the McMurtreys and liked what she saw. She chose them to be her child’s new parents. Rachel says when Daugherty discovered she was pregnant, she was going to terminate the pregnancy. But she had a change of heart at the last moment and contacted LDS Family Services. Daugherty, who lives in Georgia, says she was not prepared to have another child. “I have a daughter who is five and I wanted this baby to have a family and them to be a family forever,” Daugherty says.
When the McMurtreys began, they knew the emotional risks they'd be taking, but they were willing to go for it. Knowing the birth mother could bow out at any point, and they may go home from the hospital empty handed, was a risk they were willing to take.
“You don't realize how much control you don't have. Your heart is in someone else's hands. At any point they can back out,” Rachel says. Because they knew sometimes adoption stories end badly, the McMurtreys were leery, but determined. “There is a lot of heartache behind it. You guard yourself emotionally. People have a perception that you don't go through any pain when you adopt, rather than give birth, but it is a whole different pain. It is an emotional pain during each and every step of the entire process,” Rachel says.

Promises Kept
When the time came, Daugherty requested that the McMurtreys be present in the delivery room.
Easton McMurtrey was born December 26. “The birth mom wanted us there. My husband even cut the umbilical cord,” Rachel says.
As for Daugherty, she was completely satisfied with the way everything turned out. “It all went just how God intended. Nothing could have gone better,” Daugherty says.
In the beginning, each wanted a closed adoption, but they ended up getting along so well, they changed their minds. The experience greatly bonded the two women, who in the end, settled on an open adoption. “After getting to know Rachel and Steve we connected, and it was so great because I was able to bless them with a child of their own and we are great friends. It is such a huge blessing in my life and circumstances,” Daugherty says.

Abundant Blessings
Both moms share the same faith and received counseling through their churches. “We have found that studies have proven it is better for the child to have an open adoption. She couldn't take care of him. We helped her, and she helped us. We stay in touch often and see her. We are like sisters,” Rachel says. “It can be a long journey that makes you tough and more sympathetic. It is not an easy route. But of course it is now a blessing.” Rachel says her best advice to other families who want a child is to never give up hope.”
Rachel and Steve see their son as the ultimate Christmas gift. “Because he was born on December 26, Easton is our gift. We are like kids with our joy. Being parents means so much to us. We don't take a second for granted. A lot of people even say he looks like us. We love caring for him and savor every day of being parents. We are so grateful,” Rachel says.
And the most surprising part for Rachel? The love that is felt. To me I didn't realize I could love a child as though it came from me. I feel like he is mine and that he was always meant to be mine. I don't feel like he was adopted. Miracle after miracle has happened,”
There is a saying in the adoption community that Rachel says sums up how she feels.
“With adoption a baby grows in a mommy's heart instead of her tummy.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Childless at Christmas: A Survival Guide

christmas tree
This article was pubished on DeseretNews.com.  It is used with permission from the author: Brenda Horrocks UFA Co-Chair
Erma Bombeck stated: "There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake on Christmas morning and not be a child."
For a couple battling infertility, the statement could read: "There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake on Christmas morning to a house empty of children." I know this is true for me, because I have lived it. When you are a couple with empty aching arms, Christmastime can be brutal.
For those who are hurting and hoping, they are not alone. According to RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, 7.3 million Americans deal with infertility. I am one of them. My husband and I have been married for 18 years and I have never become pregnant.
Here are some ideas to help your holiday season be merry rather than miserable.
Create a list of things you enjoy doing together.Pick one item each week and have it be your special holiday of the week. Take time to focus on one another and enjoy things you cannot do with children — like late night movies, fancy restaurants, an overnighter at a favorite hotel, sleeping in followed by a late morning breakfast. Remember, even though you don’t have children, you are still a family. In a RESOLVE fact sheet series about coping with the holidays, founder Barbara Eck Menning says, “You're as entitled as anyone else to have a tree in your home, even if there are only two presents under it. How about throwing yourself into the search for, or the production of, a special present for your partner? It's a way of saying, 'Baby or no baby, we love each other and we’re a family in our own right.'”
Sometimes you have to protect yourself when you are in a great deal of pain. If family gatherings are too much right now, then excuse yourself from the event and make other plans together or with other couples who are dealing with the same challenges. Those who love you will understand and be supportive.
Seek out and serve children. For some couples, being around children brings hope. If this is how you feel then find ways to be around children. Offer to babysit for parents who need to do some gift shopping. Ask to hold a family member’s baby. Children in foster care are always in need of clothing items — coats, boots and gloves — and love new toys. Hospitals greatly appreciate clothing gifts for premature babies in their NICU. There are children hoping to be adopted from foster care who would love to have something special at Christmastime. Take toys and clothing items to a local homeless shelter. With so many children in need, there are many ways to nurture children and many children who need that nurturing.
Remember to take care of your mental and physical health. Holidays are stressful for everyone, but when you have the added challenges of infertility the stress is compounded. Helen Adrienne, a psychotherapist, suggests couples seek out a yoga class or get a massage to help with the stress. She also states,Whether on your own or with professional help, if you successfully decide and declare your decisions about the holidays, you set yourselves up to minimize the impact of family/holiday stress on your bodies. And beyond the logistics of who and what, there exists a further opportunity to nurture the marriage. Now is the time to explore techniques of mind/body relaxation that you can enjoy together. Besides being on the same page, feeling loved and understood is palliative and has a positive impact as a stress reducer.” Go to her article titled "Dealing with the stress of the holidays" to learn more.
Seek out others who understand. Whether in person or online, being connected to couples who are going through or have gone through what you are, can really be a lifeline. Connecting online was a big key for me. I found commonality and developed special friendships. Here are a few of my favorite blogs/sites which tackle the infertility topic — The R House, LDS Infertility, Beyond the Rain. I share pieces of my infertility journey on my blog Another Small Adventure and my most tender writings on my other blog I AM.
When you are dealing with infertility, it is hard sometimes to not feel “left out.” While attending a church activity for children in our neighborhood, a leader read a book titled “The Crippled Lamb” by Max Lucado. By the time she was done I was in a mess of tears and had to escape to the restroom. The story is about a little lamb named Joshua who has a crippled leg. Joshua feels left out because he can’t be like the other lambs in the field. He develops a special friendship with a cow named, Abigail. Abigail helps him see that “God has a special place for those who feel left out.” I have come to know this for myself. I hope this special time of year brings you great peace and hope and the knowledge of your “special place”.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Children in Liberia need YOU!!!!

This time of year our thoughts turn to children.  We excitedly shop for the children in our lives hoping to buy just the right gift to please these little people we love.    Our thoughts turn to children in our community who's family have fallen on hard times.  The community pitches in and places toys  in a donation box at our local library or grocery store.   It is a blessing for these children.   

Today I want to introduce you to a new set of children who need your thoughts, prayers, love and support.   These children don't have a wish list, they don't have a Christmas.    These children are hoping to fill their little bellies.   They are in need of food, medications, shelter, clothing and love.  These children live in an Orphanage in Liberia.   They have a few caregivers who work for free on their behalf.  These children don't have food everyday, they don't have the medications they need.  Recently one of the little boys passed away when medical treatment came too late.   Today I am asking you to join United For Adoption in helping these beautiful children have food everyday rather than every few days, have shelter and medications.  
We are asking you to
GIVE $5 to help them THRIVE!
Between now and January 2nd we are asking you to go to Hope For Fallen Leaves website
and donate 5 dollars (or more if you would like) to help feed these darling children!
(The link is below or you can go to their website and click on "store" tab.  Our fundraiser is listed under that tab.)

Eating after 2 days without food. 
United For Adoption would like you to join us in helping these children have what they need now and in the future.  This is our first fundraiser to help these sweet children.   We want to do more for these children in 2014. 
http://hopeforfallenleaves.org/store/?slug=product_info&products_id=44
Please help us make this first attempt a successful one!!!
We ask you to spread the word and share this fundraiser and the link with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and all other social media you connect with. 
Join us in helping these children!

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