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NEW PARENTS NEEDED!


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Hate to sound like a broken record... but a recent crop of matches has left Abrazo in need of more adopting couples! Lately, we've had special requests from expectant parents who are particularl

Elizabeth, we will work on it! Mitch andi were so blessed to be matched and with baby in under 4 months. I remember you predicting that at our orientation. So we will definitely spread the word and ke

It's official-- we NEED more adoptive families! Abrazo has done six placements in the past four weeks and currently has five more pending, so we are presently accepting infertile adopting couples wi

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Do you have new dates for Orientation? Would love to pass that information along as well :)

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Due to the lack of completed inquiries and applications on file, we can't pull together another orientation until November 12, so it's looking like that will be the last orientation of this year. Unfortunately, we can't set the 2011 schedule in advance because paperwork seems to be coming in too slowly to be able to project when we'll have sufficient numbers of qualified applicants to attend, but we hope to be able to hold orientations at least on a quarterly basis next year. As essential as orientation weekends have been to the success of our program, it is unclear as to whether the current economy will enable us to continue that tradition, given the difficulty we've encountered pulling together adequate orientation groups in 2010. :(

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Novemeber 12th... oh good date!

What would you do with no orientation weekends... have new ap's trickle in as they come throughout the year?

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I am just shocked that there are not more couples lined up at the door.

Although the people that I do know that are interested, are held back by finances. It is so sad. I know there are tax rebates, but that does not cover nearly enough for those that don't have much of a savings. Maybe someday I can work out some sort of scholarship program. Is there any other financial aid for parents?

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We too have a hard time imagining what it would be like to have to launch the journeys of all our new clientele without the benefit of orientation weekends, and we hope it doesn't come to that, because orientation is (for us) an essential component in getting to know "our people", building trust between clients and staff and forging allegiances within the community to provide needed support throughout the process, as well!

Carine, there are a limited number of grant programs and a couple of adoption loan programs, and fortunately the tax credit was renewed, but you're right-- adoption is the investment of (and in) a lifetime and it does require a significant upfront investment, since genuinely-nonprofit agencies don't have the financial means to front all the revenue needed annually to enable quality adoptions to happen.

We wish the agency had an independent funding source so that we could offer financial aid and/or not charge fees at all! But given the economy and the hit that nonprofit agencies have taken, that doesn't seem to be a likely prospect anytime soon, unless someone who's incredibly generous wins the lottery (and thensome) and makes it their life's mission to subsidize Abrazo's adoptions just because.

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there are a limited number of grant programs and a couple of adoption loan programs, and fortunately the tax credit was renewed, but you're right, adoption is the investment of (and in) a lifetime and it does require a significant upfront investment.

Thank God for that tax credit. I'm sure we're not the only ones who feel a tremendous amount of thanks that we're able to put the cushion back in our savings accounts after taking so much out during the adoption process. Though it still requires so much money be saved on the front-end (which is no easy task in this economy), it gives a sense of relief that you can repay a loan or build your savings back up.

I've seen a LOT of posting and re-posting from loyal Abrazo families on Facebook, so the word is spreading quickly... hopefully it brings great results!

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We wish the agency had an independent funding source so that we could offer financial aid and/or not charge fees at all! But given the economy and the hit that nonprofit agencies have taken, that doesn't seem to be a likely prospect anytime soon, unless someone who's incredibly generous wins the lottery (and thensome) and makes it their life's mission to subsidize Abrazo's adoptions just because.

If we strike oil in the back yard, then consider it done :P Abrazo just needs one oil tycoon struggling with infertility and seeking open adoption - I can just see Craig and his fundraising buddies passing out Abrazo's card at Houston's arts galas. "Your wife is looking lovely tonight, fabulous designer gown. And how is her fertility?" LOL

Edited by Amy&Craig
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LOl - I love it Amy!!!

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Just an update... lately, the expectant moms who are calling our agency with specific requests in adopting parents are asking to see only profiles on childless couples living in Texas. (And given that the Texas families who are in Abrazo's program at present either all lack approved homestudies or finished profiles or both, that's a bit of a challenge!) So our upcoming orientation in October, we hope to bring in some more childless Texas couples.. y'all come on down, now, y'hear?

Gosh, I sure wish I knew some people that would fit this bill.

Jan

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Oh how we all wish the financial aspect of adoption was not the hurdle holding up prospective adoptive parents. Seeing the need for more AP I so wish we were ready and able but the timing is not right but hopefully it will be some day.

I did speak to someone we have known for a long time that could be considering an adoption plan. He was very interested in our experiences with Abrazo.

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Elizabeth -- what a pity that you would consider dropping orientation! I really hope it does not come to that, as orientation was one of the highlights of our experience with Abrazo. As I mentioned to Angela, Jesus and I spoke at Barker, our home agency, this week to a group of waiting parents, and we told them all about Abrazo and passed along the information you posted recently. Though these are obviously not families based in Texas, most adopting parents here are open to children of all racial backrgounds, so I'm hoping you will receive some letters of inquiry from our neck of the woods... A few families in the audience voiced concerns about the cost of adoption though... How tragic that just when the need for adoption is so great (there are more children living in poverty in America now than ever), adoptive families are so strapped!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too hope that the orientation weekends do not change...I am not sure how we could have made it through the experience without the wonderful people we met at orientation!! Oh how I wish we had that money tree in our back yard...every penny of it would go to Abrazo.

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Thank you, all! (And Isis, thank you, too-- we received an adoption inquiry from a couple just this week who heard you speak and very much appreciated the information that you shared!) Earlier this year, when we had to cancel an orientation weekend due to lack of attendees, we expedited admission for the 2 couples who were otherwise ready to move forward, on the condition that both agreed to attend Camp Abrazo instead. It looks as if we may have to consider expediting a couple more 'tweeners, allowing them to get started in the placement program on the basis of their already-completed inquiry and application, but securing their agreement to attend the next scheduled orientation weekend for which we have an ample number of participants, down the road... what are your thoughts, alums?

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I think that is a great idea. Especially if you have children that need famlies.

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Committing to attend a future orientation and have the possibility of placement prior to it could make keeping the commitment difficult. Could admitting couples sans orientation while requiring others to attend cause issues with licensing?

If there is a need to stop the orientations, then is there a way to develop the material into homework that couples are required to complete? Not that you have anything else going on!!

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It's not an issue with Licensing, as agencies hold the right to set their own admissions procedures... (and orientation is already optional for those in our designated and special needs programs.) But it is an issue with us, because we feel that starting those in our full-service program out with an orientation weekend helps THEM have a better understanding of the process and gives them a needed source of support right from the start. Our Diehard Tweeners have done a great job of seeking out the guidance and friendship of other Abrazo families in their area and at Camp... but maybe we will have to look into options such as video-conferencing or Skype or something like that for those who cannot get to orientation before they complete a homestudy and start getting calls to match?

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In my opinion, I think everyone should attend orientation if it's possible. I know it helped us a lot to get a perspective of what the process is, and getting to meet a couple birthparents and a family that have adopted children was priceless for us. Their stories really helped us understand what people go through, more than reading it in an article or book (although the books I've read have been very helpful too but there is nothing like hearing a story firsthand).

That said, if adopted families are needed and there are just a few couples ready for orientation then it seems that letting them be tweeners would be the best option. Skype would be a good option to go through the same orientation process for these couples. Then they get to meet you and you can start to know them more than just what was sent in on paper and in photos. Or maybe they can start the process and should attend the next orientation...even if they are already matched or have taken placement then this is a story that they can share with the group. If it means you have one or two more couples in orientation than normal, I still think that's ok.

I do think orientation should continue if its possible and look forward to coming back to an orientation weekend as againers in a couple years!

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Totally agree that orientation should continue. For us, we waited about 4 months from being "accepted" by Abrazo until our orientation. I was keeping busy with homestudy stuff and reading; Bruce, not so much. Orientation weekend really got him pumped up, excited and sure about our decision.

We'd love to come back as againers, too :)

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My personal opinion...

I agree that the first option would be to do a full orientation. We signed with another agency after Abrazo because we were too impatient to wait for the next orientation. Paul and I could not connect with the staff at the other agency and ended up being told the process as we went. (Every agency has a different process).

With Abrazo, I greatly appreciate the person to person contact before the "roller coaster" ride really takes off. I knew very clearly what the core values of Abrazo were and felt confident that my hopes and expectations matched their expectations.

That being said, we were a "tweener" with our second child, Carter. We went to Camp Abrazo because of being a tweener. We would have never experienced one of the greatest weekends of our lives without it.

My advice...

1) Match up the tweeners. Do a Skype call to get these people to meet and talk.

2) Talk about the core values of Abrazo verbally to ensure that the hopes and expectations are clear.

3) Perhaps increase the "waiting reading" to enhance the information sharing. Perhaps, also match them with families who have been through the process to be a sounding board and review the reading homework. (We would be happy to be one of those families).

That's it...

Good luck and God Bless!!

Michelle

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I believe, Orientation is important for those going into the "open" adoption process for the first time ie. panel on Sat (very important to see that open adoption works). But, sign me up or others for that matter as a tweener anytime especially for those who are in the Abrazo community:

1) being an active member on forum and

2) Camp Abrazo in the summertime B)

3) homestudy ready & approved :D

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Orientation was a wonderful time to get to know all about the open adoption process and get us excited and hopeful for the future. It gave us some good news after so long of bad news with our infertility. Also the relationships we developed with our class members that continue through e-mail and the Abrazo staff have been wonderful as well. So I vote in favor of keeping it if possible. :)

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