Birthmother Support Group | May 22

Birthmother Support Group | May 22

Birthmother Support Group

It is with great excitement that we announce our first support group created specifically for birth mothers interested in finding a safe environment to share, listen, encourage, and learn. Join us for an evening of casual conversation offered to provide support and love to those who have made such a brave choice in placing their child for adoption.

There will be pizza and punch, along with other surprises!

When

May 22, 2017
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where

Journeys of the Heart, Hillsboro Office
1005 NE Cornell Rd, Hillsboro, Or 97124

RSVP

Please RSVP to Chelsea, chelsea@journeysoftheheart.net or call 503-681-3075

 

 

 

Journeys of the Heart Birthmother Support Group
Tiffany and Raf, An Adoption Journeys

Tiffany and Raf, An Adoption Journeys

Working side by side with Tiffany during her adoption planning was unforgettable and is forever imprinted on my heart. Her truthful, strong, and confident spirit is contagious! Seeing her and Rafael’s support for each other was special. The way this couple overcame obstacles and remained dedicated to their adoption plan was empowering to say the least. The love her and Raf have for their son Ian and his adoptive parents is pure. The first day I met Tiffany, she already knew she wanted to meet Tara and Daniel and she had a huge smile on her face. For the next 7 months or so we would discussing baby names, birth plans, future open adoption visits and contact, emotions surrounding the adoption and placing her son, and preparation for the hospital and Ian’s birth. Ian is named after his older brother, Deegan, and his older brother Alex. Which is very special to Tiffany and Raf and to the adopting parents. I feel extremely honored to have been a part of this adoption journey and I feel very lucky for Ian, who already has double the family and love on both his birth families side and his adoptive parents side.

 I look forward to seeing the relationship between these special people unfold. JOH is here for you and honored to be a part of your journey.

When considering adoption and your options, please view stories such as these as an example to what sort of control you have in the planning. You have the opportunity to be involved in the naming of your child, developing a relationship with the adoptive parents, have your pregnancy related needs provided for, receive counseling, and receive one on one time with a coordinator and birth mother herself. We are here to support you and work on a plan that is unique to you and your situation.

With love,

Chelsea Moore
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Birth mother

Daniel and Tara Meet Ian

Daniel and Tara Meet Ian

Dear readers,

While I know this is a blog for birth parents and birth mothers to share their experiences and stories as a birth parent, I wanted to take the time to share a story from an adoptive mother who is in an open adoption with her son’s birth mother and birth father. The bond she and the adoptive father developed for the child’s birth parents is very strong. The respect they have for them is endless. I wanted to share her words on this blog to show another perspective and to give you hope. As a birth mother, I found this short story very enlightening. I also found it very cool that they are getting  matching tattoos!!

All my best,

Chelsea Moore
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Birth mother as well

After finally taking that leap of faith and submitting the adoption application you sit back and wonder what your journey will look like. No one could have possibly prepared us for the wide range of emotions we would encounter the following year. You begin in a class full of strangers, all from different backgrounds brought together because we all hope to gain insight on the confusing process of adopting. Fast forward awhile and you’re driving to meet an expectant mother and worrying about whether or not she will like you, or if you will have any common interests. Throughout our process Journeys has answered every question, been there through all the anxiety, and still remained neutral in the situation. We met Tiffany and Raf on a beautiful Spring day in a park, little did we know that these people would become so important to our family. At the end of our meeting we left knowing that something just felt right, and there were too many little “signs,” that led us to believe this was happening as it was meant to be. 

 

One more meeting took place about a month before Ian was born, and once Ian was born we all had a couple days in the hospital to get to know each other more. We shared stories, laughed and even cried together. Journeys was right there with us to navigate the hospital stay, and just check in on everyone.  We look at Ian now and can see both Tiffany and Raf in him, we can’t imagine our lives without Ian. This whole process has been a test of patience, willpower, and at times nerve wracking. However, we wouldn’t have changed a thing, we consider Tiffany and Raf to be extended family and we look forward to seeing them as often as possible. Our relationship with Ian’s birth parents grew throughout the 6 month matching period and we are forever grateful of that time to get to know them. Because of this we were able to development important milestones and symbols that represent our unique bond to them, even if it’s a simple as a sunflower. The story of the sunflower could be a whole separate paragraph, but we will just say this… Tiffany and Tara are now getting matching sunflower tattoos during our next visit. Some may call us crazy, but it’s our story.

 

As we spoke with other adoptive families, the one thing I’ve learned is that each family’s experience is so different. If we had any advice to offer potential adoptive families it would be “the only predictable thing about life, is that it’s unpredictable.” Take things one day at a time, and know that everything will work out as it should. We feel Journeys not only was a wonderful support to us, but provides amazing dedication and care to expectant mothers and are passionate about what they do. Thank you Journeys for helping us through our journey of adoption!

Daniel and Tara

Journeys India Program is Open!

Journeys India Program is Open!

Journeys India Program Is Open! What India Adoption Means to Me

Years ago, when I wanted to adopt, I was directed to an India Program where babies were coming home as young as 2-4 months old.

My husband and I put in our paperwork and waited. It was a new program and the kinks weren’t out of it yet, as if the kinks are ever out of any adoption program.

About a year and a half later we were sent the picture of the sweetest, most determined looking little baby. She held her fists up as if to box and had a nice band of scabies across her forehead. We were instantly in love with our baby, who we named Alexis Kate Yashodhara. Alexis came home to us at four months of age weighing 9.5 pounds. Life had been hard for her up to that point and I’m sure coming into our home was even harder. She’d been in multiple settings with many caregivers and looked at us with suspicion.

Our family all fell in love with her as did friends and then a wider group that included church, school, and other activities in the community. So few people were aware that children were coming home from India but when Alexis went with us around our small Oregon town heads turned and smiles were abundant.

Though we could have done a better job encouraging her ethnic identity as an Indian, Alexis eventually grew to love India and volunteered there for three months just after she graduated from college. Her experience helping street children at a center was an eye opener for her.

Parenting Alexis has been one of the highlights of our lives. She’s done well and although she does feel a lot of the core issues of adoption, she forges ahead with the same determination she did in that baby picture with her fists out to box. She brings a wonderful and compelling spark to her family.

Graduating from Willamette University and working for a major corporation were short term goals for her. Now married with three children she perfects daily her most precious goal in life. We are so pleased that our girl became a mother who beams on her children now as a mother who knows what is like to be without blood ties in one’s family. She feels so complete now, through the eyes of her kids.

Grand parenting is one of life’s greatest joys! our hearts fill with such happiness as we watch our Indian grandchildren and remember our Baby Alexis, coming to us from Kolkata with her firsts ready. Two weeks ago Alexis’ five-year-old son was asked to join a group of Indians in a pick-up game of cricket, at a local park. As always we looked on with great pride and hope of finding more great cultural experiences.

So, it is with great pride that we enter into opening up the JOH India Program again. We can only fathom the pleasure that other families will have raising their precious children.

Susan Tompkins LCSW, Executive Director
Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services
info@journeysoftheheart.net

Congratulations Jon and Tara

Congratulations Jon and Tara

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are here at Journeys of the Heart! We would like to take a moment to congratulate Jon and Tara from Beaverton, Oregon, on the adoption of their beautiful daughter, Isabelle.

Isabelle was born May 28 and was placed for adoption through our domestic program here at Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services! Tara and Jon have an open relationship with Isabelle’s birth mother that they truly embrace.

The couple say they are having so much fun loving on her!! 

We are honored and proud to have been a part of your adoption journey.

We Are Enough

We Are Enough

“As birth parents we get bombarded with negativity at times. We are told we were wrong or made bad choices. As much as we would like to know with 100% conviction that we made the correct choice, constantly being told we were wrong can only make us question ourselves. It is important to know one’s true self. To know that we can do hard things. We are brave. We are strong. We are incredible. And most importantly, WE ARE ENOUGH.”

–  Nicole Paulson

Annalee’s Journey – A mothers love

Annalee’s Journey – A mothers love

Annalee’s Birth mother- In celebration of Annalee’s 1st Birthday in June, this blog post is dedicated to Annalee, her brave birth mother, and the wonderful adoptive family who is raising Annalee. Here are kind words from Annalee’s birth mother, who started out wanting a closed adoption, and has found peace exploring open adoption with Annalee and her entire adoptive family. Thank you for sharing!

When I was 20 years old I went through the toughest and greatest journey of my life. It was filled with so much emotion and obstacles that I wasn’t really ready to deal with but it also was one of the best things to ever happen to me. It took me almost a year to be able to open up and tell my story but as soon as I did it made my life so much better. Journey’s helped me more than I could probably ever express. Adoption is not easy but I do have to say it is the best choice I could have ever made for my daughter. The outstanding family who has my daughter is one of the families you would think only exists in fairy tales. I have Journey’s to thank for that. They found my daughter an amazing family who is so accepting of adoption and reminds my daughter of who I am and allows me to still be a part of her life. While working with Journey’s, I got extremely lucky with having Chelsea by my side. Without her I honestly do not think I would be where I am at today. She was there from the day I had my daughter and as time went on she never forgot to stay in touch. She was someone I could always count on. Journey’s made my experience more easier because they were there every step of the way. I know if there is a day where I miss my daughter like crazy or I am just dealing with my emotions they are just a phone call or a text away. For that I will never be able to thank them enough for that and all they have done for myself and my daughter.  

-M

DAISIE’S OPEN ADOPTION:

DAISIE’S OPEN ADOPTION:

Daisie Open Adoption

From the moment Kelli and Andrew walked through our doors at Journeys, I knew something special was going to happen. Their love and dedication to providing their daughter Daisie with the very best way in life was evident from the start. Their thorough dedication and heartfelt effort to make an adoption plan was very important to both of them. Their adoption journey started with choosing a family for Daisie. This meant going over what they each wanted in an adoptive family and finding a couple that they felt they had similar views on about life and parenting. That is where Dan and Maura joined the picture. The first meeting Kelli and Andrew had with Dan and Maura was at the Roxy in downtown Portland. Simple conversation over some tater tots is what started the connection and journey for both of them ( if possible, use first photo attached to follow this paragraph).

After a trip to the Build-A-Bear workshop to create a special gift for Daisie from Kelli and Andrew, their connection with the adoptive family grew stronger. Before we knew it, Daisier was days away from being born. Kelli kept in regular contact with Maura about her pregnancy progression. Once it was time for Daisie to make her appearance, Kelli and Andrew were supported by many of their family members and Dan and Maura. This was a wonderful time for Kelli and Andrew’s family to get to know Dan and Maura and build a relationship with them as well. (build a bear photo attached)

Daisie was born in January of 2016. She was welcomed by so many loving family members, especially Kelli and Andrew!
Our team at Journeys have already enjoyed watching this open adoption relationship grow and cannot wait to see how these two families will come together and to see their love for each other and Daisie grow stronger over the months and years to come.

Journeys could not be more honored to have met Kelli and Andrew and to have assisted them in the adoption planning of their daughter, Daisie. We are always here to support and love you throughout the years to come. You are truly amazing and have made Dan and Maura two of the happiest people in the world. You my friends, are very special, brave, and dedicated individuals who have many wonderful things coming your way.

Open Adoption is the way to go!
Thank you for reading and thank you Kelli and Andrew for allowing me to share your experience.
Photo credit: Savannah Danko

Chelsea, Domestic Adoption Coordinator- Journeys of the Heart.

Growing Up As An Adopted Chinese Girl (Odyssey Online)

Growing Up As An Adopted Chinese Girl (Odyssey Online)

The form reads, “Please indicate your ethnicity (check all that apply),” and my stomach does a little flip, tumble, and drop. I’ve never understood why these forms ask such complicated questions and assume such a simplified answer. Sometimes they grace me with an “Other _____” option, but two inches of black line isn’t going to save me from the inevitable question: Which box do I check? How do I identify?

Excerpt taken from:

The Truth About Growing Up As An Adopted Chinese Girl In White, American Culture

Walking the in-between.

Kay Garlick-Ott

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