Monday, December 21, 2009

2010 Activities

Hey everyone! We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying this holdiay season!  As the year comes to an end we find ourselves looking forward to the things that will come in 2010.  As an FSA board we have lots of ideas and goals for the year 2010, but to make them successful we need your help.  Rhonda Stoker is over the activities for FSA and wants your ideas for activities for the upcoming year.  Whether they be things that we've done in the past such as game nights, pumpkin carving, etc., or you have other ideas for things that you'd like to do, she wants to hear from you!  So please share  your ideas by emailing her at rhondastoker@gmail.com.

Parent Profiles

FYI
Parent Profiles will be raising their fees for LDSFS couples from $50  a month to $75. This is still a 25% discount. This goes into effect January 1st 2010 for all users present or future. If you have any questions please talk to you caseworkers or the supervisor.
Thanks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For This Child I Prayed

This is a link to an awesome talk given by Sherilyn Clark Stinson at a Families Under Fire Fireside at BYU.  The talk is all about infertility and adoption and is a great read for anyone who is ever faced with infertility.  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Be An Adoption Advocate!

RAISE YOUR VOICE TO ENSURE THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT REMAINS PERMANENT


Private and independent domestic adoptions can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000, and expenses for intercountry adoptions generally total between $7,000 and $40,000. Domestic adoptions out of foster care are typically much less expensive, usually costing the adoptive parent $2,500 or less.

Congress introduced the Adoption Promotion and Stability Act in 1996 to “help families defray adoption costs.”

Unfortunately, while the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) made the adoption tax credit permanent, the provisions which raised the amount that adoptive families can claim and increased the income eligibility phase-out range will sunset on December 31, 2010. Thus, beginning in 2011, the amount adoptive parents will be able to claim under the adoption tax credit will revert to the pre-EGTRRA levels of $6,000 per special needs child and $5,000 per non-special needs child. Additionally, adoptive families reporting $75,000-$115,000 in annual adjusted gross income will again be restricted in the amount they can claim, and those reporting more than $115,000 in annual adjusted gross income will again be prohibited from claiming the tax credit at all. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to repeal the sunset and make the EGTRRA reforms of the adoption tax credit permanent.

At the center of this debate is a recent Treasury Report which found that parents who adopted children internationally account for a disproportionately large number of adoption tax credit recipients, while parents who adopted children from foster care represent a disproportionately small number. More specifically, international adoptions accounted for 34 percent of all adoptions supported by the tax credit despite making up only 15 percent of all adoptions in the United States, while domestic adoptions out of foster care made up 18 percent of adoptions supported by the tax credit despite making up nearly 40 percent of all adoptions in the United States. This finding has led some to claim that the adoption tax credit is not fulfilling a primary goal of promoting domestic adoptions out of foster care. Some advocates have suggested that the federal government should therefore eliminate the adoption tax credit and redistribute the funds saved to other pro-adoption programs.

The Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996 had two purposes, first among which was “to defray adoption costs for families seeking to adopt” by establishing the adoption tax credit. The bill made no distinction between adoptions out of foster care and any other type of adoption.

Increasing subsidies to adoptive parents has been one of the most effective ways of boosting the adoption rate.

Most importantly, the EGTRRA provisions to the adoption tax credit due to expire in 2011 should be made permanent.

For 2009, the maximum adoption credit has increased to $12,150. This amount is phased out if your modified adjusted gross income is between $182,180 and $222,180. You cannot claim the credit or exclusion if your modified AGI is $222,180 or more.

For information on Special Needs Adoption Tax Credit for 2009 go to www.nacac,org/postadopt/taxcredit.html.

To take the credit or exclusion, complete Form 8839 (PDF), Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF).

See irs.gov (topic 607 adoption credit)

“The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213.” Written to repeal the sunset of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 with respect to the expansion of the adoption credit and adoption assistance programs. This legislation will make the tax credit permanent. Unless legislation is passed, the Federal adoption tax credit that allows many adopting families to take a credit of up to $12,150 (2009) is scheduled to expire in December 2010. (For information on other legislation involving adoption go to adoptioncouncil.org/policy/fed_leg.html.)

Help Make the Current Federal Adoption Credit Permanent by Writing to your Representative. Here is how:

1.  Find the name and Washington, D.C. mailing address of your Representative and Senators at http://www.congress.org/. To find e-mail addresses, click through to the Senator’s or Congressperson’s Web site.

2.  Next, log on to http://thomas.loc.gov/ to find out whether your Congresspersons are already co-sponsors of the legislation. On the thomas.loc.gov opening page, under “Search Bill Summary and Status,” search by bill number for H.R. 213. Then click on “Bill summary and Status.” On the page that comes up, click on “Cosponsors,” “Text of Legislation,” or “All Congressional Actions” to follow the progress of the bill.

3.  If your representatives have not signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, send them your request that they do so. Tell them how important the tax credit was to you when you adopted your children, or how much you and other families you know are counting on it to be available in the future.

Act today, your efforts make a difference.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just FYI

There is a local photographer that is offering a free photo session for adoptive families and their newly placed children. To receive the free photo shoot click on the coupon below and contact her at the provided number.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November is National Adoption Month

And there are lots of things going on to celebrate it that we wanted to let you know about.
Click on the images to enlarge.







Also, remember the Adoption Walk on Saturday, and the Family Day at Boondocks on the 14th! See this post for more details!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

FSA members we have lots of really great events coming up in the next month, so get your pens out and mark your calendars with the following dates!

Thursday, October 29th at 7:00 p.m.
Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza for all FSA members and their families.
Come dressed in costume ready to carve some pumpkins and enjoy some treats!
You may bring your own pumpkins or there will be some there for purchase.
It will be held at a home. The address is 790 E. Birch Circle in Layton.
Directions will be coming soon!
Saturday, November 7th at 9:00 a.m.
Come and celebrate National Adoption Month with us at the 4th Annual Walk With Me Adoption Walk.
We are going to meet at 9:00 a.m. at Liberty Park and gather as Davis County FSA members to do the walk together. Wear lots of orange and bring anyone you want to that wants to support adoption! This is a great opportunity to show your support of adoption and National Adoption Month! Please come and join us! The more the merrier for sure at this event!
Saturday, November 14th from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The Utah Adoption Council is celebrating National Adoption Month by hosting an event at Boondocks Fun Center in Draper. Click on the Boondocks logo for more information. This is always a fun event!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chat Nights

FSA members! We need your input once again. We are going to start having "Chat Nights" once a month where we will get together and have "experts" come and lead a discussion on adoption related topics (ie taxes, international adoption, etc.). This will be an opportunity to get together and provide support for one another and gain knowledge or get advice on certain topics. What we are wanting is your input on what topics you would like to have discussed at these chat nights so that we can get our experts lined up, and make sure that we are discussing things you want information on. So please leave us your ideas in the comment section! Also, if you know anyone that would be willing to teach on a certain topic, let us know that as well! Thanks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Couples Date Night This Friday!



















What: Families Supporting Adoption Date Night
When: Friday, September 25th at 7:00 p.m.
Where: 1000 W. 2700 S. in Syracuse (It is a church house right on the corner)
Bring: $10 per couple

Come and enjoy a night of pizza, home made ice cream, games and good company! It's also a great opportunity to come and meet James Wadman, the new director of the Layton Agency. So grab your spouse and bring some friends and join us for a night of good food and good times! We hope to see you all there!

Adoption Alternatives

We warmly invite you to attend our Adoption Alternatives meeting scheduled for Thursday September 24. We have created a personable network of LDS Families that assist adopting families to prepare for and find children who will thrive in their home.

Ryan and Myrna Brophy worked with LDS Family Services toward adoption. When LDSFS received a call from a partner agency about a special new born child, Ryan and Myrna were informed and chose to pursue the adoption. Based on the circumstances of the child, LDSFS, Ryan and Myrna coordinated with the State to insure all possible support services were made available.

Ryan and Myrna have agreed to attend our meeting and to share their adoption story. They can help answer questions about their experience working with LDSFS and the State.

We will also have Brenda Durtschi from the Utah Foster Care Foundation present to provide information and answer questions.

We invite you to come, learn, and network with others. Our meeting will begin at 7:00 PM on September 24.

Meetings are held at the Farmington North Stake Center, 729 West Shepard Lane, Farmington, in the Relief Society Room.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Do You Want To See?

Hello fellow FSA members! At our last board meeting we discussed this blog and how to use it most effectively. We came to the conclusion that in addition to using it to get information to you about upcoming events and activities, we would also like to use it for other purposes that meet your needs. Some ideas that we had were using the blog to post some or all of the following:
  • Articles about adoption/infertility
  • Adoption alternative information
  • Ideas for birth parent gifts
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Advice for couples starting the adoption process
  • "Finding" ideas
  • Etc.....

So here is where we need your help. What things would you like to see on the blog??? We want your input and feedback! So please leave a comment with your ideas, or you can email us directly at daviscountyfsa@gmail.com. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lots of News!

There are lots of things going on right now with Davis County LDSFS. Robin has moved to Atlanta from the Layton Agency, and James has taken her place. We are excited to have him aboard! He comes to us from the American Fork agency and brings with him lots of experience and great ideas. We also have some other changes with FSA that I will let a letter from John Hill explain.

Dear Adoptive Couples:

A New Caseworker

I came to the Centerville office about 3 months ago and have recently
been assigned to assist with the Davis County Family Supporting Adoption
(FSA). Prior to serving in Centerville, I was a full time counselor for 4
½ years in the Sandy office.
But… before my time in the Sandy
office, I was the full time adoption caseworker for the Farmington office for
over 6 years. Thus, I know many of the past adoptive couples in the
Centerville and Layton areas and I am so pleased to be back and involved with
adoption once again.

Good-bye to Scott and Natalie Bradford… we will miss
you
.

I find that the first business item that needs to be considered is
saying good-bye to the outgoing co-chairs for the FSA Davis County, Scott and
Natalie Bradford. They have given many years of service not only as the
local FSA co-chairs for Davis County, but also as board members on the FSA
national board. These years of service represent their love and dedication
to adoption and willingness to help others as they apply for and learn about the
world of adoptions. What can you say or what can you do to pay
tribute to such a couple? Thank you Scott and Natalie. Well
done.

Welcome to Cal and Gena Taylor… our new Co-Chair
couple.


After my discussions with Robin Williams and Kevin Broderick the
decision was made to ask Cal and Gena to be our new co-chairs for the FSA Davis
County. We feel confidence in their desire to serve and help others in the
adoption process. Personally, I am impressed with their past
experience serving on the FSA board in the Ogden office, including assisting in
creating a float for the July 24th parade and their energy for the future.
Welcome aboard Cal and Gena.

Everyone Is Invited to FSA board meetings

May I invite any and all adoptive couple to attend our David County FSA
board meetings. We will only benefit from your service as we prepare
socials, plan high school adoption presentations, maintain our blog site, and
organize other adoption related activities. Contact Cal & Gena Taylor
to learn when the next meeting will be held.

Lastly, let me say how much I enjoyed our recent FSA conference.
Despite my many years working in adoptions, I learned new information and was
impressed with the leadership demonstrated by the national FSA
board.
Thank You
John Hill

We had our first board meeting with Cal and Gena heading things up last night and it went exceptionally well. If you are at all interested in getting involved please come to our next meeting on Sept. 8th at 7:00 p.m. at the Layton agency. We would love to have everyone who is interested in supporting adoption come! There is lots of work to be done and we could use any willing hands. Plus we're super fun. So come and get involved! We'd love to have you!!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at daviscountyfsa@gmail.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Goodbye Robin!

OPEN HOUSE
for
Robin Williams Adoption Supervisor in the Layton Office
Robin has accepted an adoption supervisor position in the Georgia LDS Family Services and will be leaving the Layton office later this month. For all of you who know Robin and would like to come say goodbye, we will be holding an open house at the Layton LDS Family Services (930 W Hill Field Rd. Suite A, Layton, UT 84041) on August 12th from 2pm-7pm.
We encourage you all to bring pictures or any other memorabilia, we will also supply stationary if you would like to write Robin a letter to take with her.
Refreshments will be served!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birth Parent Gift Idea: A Day In The Life


Document a day in the life of the child including the things they say and do. Take pictures throughout the day of their normal routine and all the things that get them excited. The birth parents will love seeing what their day is like.
Great Gift Idea For: Anytime
Appropriate For: Birthmother and Birthfather

Sunday, July 12, 2009

FSA BBQ This Weekend!


Click on flyer to enlarge

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

National FSA Conference

One more event to get on your calendars. The National FSA Conference will be held in Davis County again this year! We are so lucky to live so close to it. So click on the National FSA Conference button on the right side here and register today for an exceptional conference!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Come One! Come All!

FSA Summer BBQ
What's summer without a little BBQ?


Join us Saturday July 18th at 5:30 p.m. for some great food and fantastic company!
FSA will provide some d-lish BBQ'd chicken.
All you need to bring is your cute selves and a side to share!
It's going to be good food, good feelin's. Don't miss out!


Location and more details to come...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Website Added to the Links

Hey everyone!
I have added a link to a website with lots of helpful information. Check it out!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

View Your Profile Hits

Recently it was discovered that it is possible to check the number of profile hits on your LDS Family Services adoption profile! Here is how you can do it:
1. Log into the Bluestep website.
2. Click on "Phase 4".
3. In the upper left corner choose "View Profile Statistics".
This is similar to what you will see:
Profile statistics since your profile was published.
Your Profile Message page has been viewed ____ times.
Your Photo Album has been been viewed ____ times.
Your Getting to Know Us page has been viewed ____ times.
Your Contact Us page has been viewed ____ times.

This information was found on ldsadoptioncouples.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Her Story

This is Andee.

She placed her little girl in October and has agreed to share her story with us. It is amazing. It will bring tears...and hope. She shares her story in 4 parts. You want to read all 4, I promise. I picked some of my favorite parts from each of them to give you just a little taste of the diviness that is this story. I hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

Part 1

I put my face in my hands and said a quick prayer.
this can't be positive.
When I looked down, my stomach twisted and I felt as if I was going to throw up. My eyes became blurry with tears as I read the word "pregnant" on the test.
this cannot be happening to me!! no!

Part 2

The second she stepped into the room I felt the spirit overcome me. I stood up and hugged her. "Hi, I'm Andrea." she said.
It's hard to put in words the way I felt after that. I knew her from somewhere. I felt like we had been lifelong friends.
I knew her.
She gave me the flowers and sat down on the couch next to mine. Just seconds after that Dustin walked in. I knew I had seen him before as well. He gave me a hug, said "Hi I'm Dustin" and sat on the couch next to Andrea. I stared at both of them in amazement.
This was the couple I had been searching for.

Part 3

My head spun around to look at her. "what?" I asked. "look" She said, pointing at the screen. I looked back at Dustin and Andrea and they were grinning. I was so happy for them, but at the same time I ached. I LOVED girls. I wanted this baby! I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. I wanted her. I smiled at them. It took everything in me to hold back tears throughout the rest of the ultrasound. I looked at my mom and she was looking at the screen. I couldn't read her expression but I knew she was feeling the pain as well. I looked back at Dustin and Andrea and they were staring at me. I smiled at them again and then quickly looked back at the screen to hide the tears in my eyes.

Part 4

On October 30th, 2008 at 5:00 pm Dustin and Andrea Arrived to pick up their baby girl.

I felt at peace with all of it. I was so calm. There were tears, throughout my entire hospital stay, yes. But when it came the time for me to give her to them, I was okay. I was at peace. The spirit was strong. I felt Angels surrounding all of us.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dealing With Infertility Problems Part 2


This article is taken from an AMCAP convention in October 1984.(AMCAP is the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists.)
This is the second part of the article. The first part is written by Robert Taylor; it was featured two weeks ago. Sorry I didn't get it posted last week.

The second part is by his wife, Jayne E. Taylor.
Here is part two.

Jayne E. Taylor:


A large portion of our lives as Latter-day Saints centers on reproduction, parenthood, and raising children.

When couples become aware that reproduction is delayed or unattainable, they enter a stage of emotional crisis--the crisis of infertility. The emotions include feelings of surprise, denial, frustration, anger, guilt, and typically isolation. Another initial reaction is the sense of helplessness and anger at losing control over one's life plan and body. This reaction is particularly true of people who are goal-oriented and people who need to have control over their lives. The feelings of one or both partners may negatively interfere with many areas of their marriage such as communication, sexual adjustment, and the whole quality of their life. A common fear for an infertile couple is that the fertile partner might abandon the infertile one, or worse, stay in the relationship resentfully. Some even make offers of divorce or say such provoking things as, "Well, if you had married someone else, you would have a family by now." The fertile partner may hide his or her disappointment and anger instead of dealing honestly with his or her feelings. Often we find that single people who know they are infertile will retreat from relationships or keep them superficial because they don't want this dreadful secret to be out. Married people may do the same.

Infertility can also reactivate unresolved past feelings of danger or loss. Sexuality can become extremely threatened. One Relief Society sister told an infertile woman, "You are not really a woman until you have borne a child."

The next phase following the initial shock centers on body image and self-worth. Feelings of worthlessness, defectiveness, and shame are common. People become preoccupied with the infertility workup, formulate theories about why this has happened to them, why they are defective, and why they are denied something that the rest of the world can take for granted. Barbara Manning, the past National Resolve president, said,

There's a sense of loneliness and isolation in infertility that defies description. The couple frequently feel they have no one to turn to, but each other. Family and friends are often reluctant to discuss such a personal and inherently sexual problem. If they do listen, they seem to answer with platitudes and misinformation born of generations of mythology and superstition. Somehow worthiness and pregnancy get conflated.

Because of these feelings of failure and inadequacy, it is hard for a couple to discuss this with anybody. Defense mechanisms are often set up to deal with family and friends. A man and a woman often feel damaged and defective. I have heard women describe themselves as feeling hollow or empty. One woman described herself as looking like Hiroshima after the bomb. Men describe themselves as castrated or talk about intercourse as shooting blanks.

These feelings of defectiveness go further. Many people comment that they cannot do anything right. One woman was unable to work on her doctoral dissertation; she said that her mind was sterile also. I had a very hard time going back for my master's degree until I had resolved some of my feelings about infertility. Somehow it affected my whole inner self. The monthly menstrual cycle is a terrible reminder and an enormous tension builds up towards the end of each cycle. Many women feel a deep depression verging on despair when menstruation begins. The intensity lessens over time, yet it is still always there as a reminder.

The next phase involves mourning the loss of the children a couple will never biologically have. This is a very difficult task because the loss is so vague. It is hard to define a potential. There are no funerals, no rituals to help the bereaved. It is an invisible process. I work in an intensive care unit with parents who lose children. For the most part, they have a lot of support systems--family actually present, support from family members not physically present, people who work with them, support groups, and a funeral helps them through the grief process. But people who are infertile may have no one to talk to.

The final step is that of resolution. The couple must now redefine their sexuality so that procreation is not a central point and work at regaining a healthy self-image.
Conclusive knowledge can help people who know there is absolutely no chance of ever becoming pregnant. They can close the chapter, go through the grief process, and continue with their lives. One woman I talked to recently had had a hysterectomy after years of trying to become pregnant. She was surprised at the relief she felt knowing that she couldn't become pregnant. There are many cases of infertile women who have had tubal legations just so they can't get pregnant.

The couple must assess their inner resources and decide what they are going to do in the absence of biological children. Sometimes this has to become a joint decision on which they can both agree, or the relationship will not last--or if it does, it will be unhappy. If you continue to have faith, does that mean you continue to go to the doctors?

The nonresolution of infertility can be a leading cause of failure in adoptive placements. Adoption may symbolize one's inadequacy in reproduction, and the presence of the child will actually be seen as a narcissistic injury for a couple who has not worked through that infertility. The point is, adoption does not cure infertility. Anecdotal evidence to the contrary, the statistics simply do not show that adoption cures infertility. Adoption and infertility are two different issues.

Failure to grieve is the most common block to resolution and the easiest to help. Every person has losses. We all have losses. It is very useful to give people permission to grieve. They must realize and acknowledge that a loss of great magnitude has taken place and that to grieve is normal. Also, grief runs a predictable course, and the pain does lessen as time goes on. A social support system to help is really important. I'd recommend the National Organization of Resolve (now RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association) which is very active in Utah. Also, the LDS Social Services (now LDS Family Services) here in Salt Lake can be a support system for people going through the adoption process.

In summary, the challenges to most infertile individuals/couples, and particularly those in the LDS culture, are very significant and far-reaching, in part due to many contributory cultural factors. Most people in the resolution of those challenges go through the steps of emotional crisis, mourning, and resolution. A social support system is very helpful in the successful resolution. As we remain mindful of these points, we can make a significant contribution to those suffering with infertility.

References
- Mazor, M (1979). Barren couples. Psychology Today, p. 101.
- Menning, B. (1975). The infertile couple: A plea for advocacy. Child Welfare, 54, pp. 454-459.
- Packer, Boyd K. (1973). Why stay morally clean. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Tanner, N. Eldon (1973, January). ENSIGN, pp.7-8.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't Forget!!!

Davis County FSA Couples Game Night
Saturday February 28th 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Fort Lane Chapel 1402 N Fort Lane, Layton, Utah
Here is your chance to get away for a fun cheap date.
We will have pizza and lots of fun games!
Bring a treat to share, and come and get to know lots of other really awesome couples.
Please RSVP to Criscell by Tuesday, February 24th.
(see the side bar for her email address)

Dealing With Infertility Problems Part 1

This article is taken from an AMCAP convention in october 1984.
(AMCAP is the association of mormon counselors and psychotherapists.)
Robert Taylor
I am a physician, an internist, not an infertility specialist. My wife is a social worker at the Primary Children's Medical Center. Both of us have done some work with infertility groups with the Salt Lake Agency of LDS Social Services. In the next hour, we will outline a number of aspects of infertility and discuss how it affects the LDS couple. I would like to open with a scenario that may be familiar to you:
When Ron and Brenda were married they assumed many things. Both had been raised in the Church, attended Church universities, gone on missions, and always planned to raise a Church-oriented family. As time went on, Brenda did not become pregnant. They consulted medical experts who indicated that their chances of having children were slim. Their initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief. How could what they had always desired in righteousness be denied them? Despite continuous fasting and prayer, Brenda did not become pregnant. The medical tests were humiliating, tedious, and expensive for the couple.
Brenda developed feelings of depression, helplessness, and isolation. They intensified as her friends became pregnant, gave birth, and mothered little ones. She felt a special sense of isolation as the topics of pregnancy, the birth process, and children were discussed among her friends.
She found very few empathic friends and relatives. Some were insensitive, and many shared advice and folklore freely. Occasionally she would go home from Relief Society or other gatherings feeling depressed and even bitter toward those who were pregnant or who had children. As she attempted to explain her predicament, she thought of past mistakes and sins she thought she had repented of. She felt guilt, unworthiness, and spiritual inadequacy.
Ron experienced similar feelings. He dwelt on past mistakes and questioned his worthiness and even his manhood. At church meetings he was taught the importance of being a good father and he felt frustrated about being excluded from this role. In this state of despair and disappointment, communication between Ron and Brenda was difficult, and their ability to comfort each other was seriously impaired. They were in the awkward position of blaming themselves, each other, and the Lord.
This fictional situation may actually occur more often than we realize. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population are infertile in some way or another. In the Church this would come out to about five people per ward.
The American Fertility Society defines an infertile couple as one which has been unable to achieve a successful pregnancy after one year of having sexual relations without using contraception. Sterility is the appropriate term when a person's reproductive capabilities have been judged irreversibly nonfunctional.
When we first attempted to learn about infertility, largely because of our personal situation, we wrote to Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and LDS Social Services to see if any studies had been done on infertile people in the LDS culture or the LDS Church. All responses were negative. We wrote to an LDS leader and psychologist in California who responded, "My observation, based on a great deal of vicarious experience, is that this must be the toughest culture in the Western world in which to have that problem." Now, why would that be? Why is it so tough for Latter-day Saints to deal with infertility?
We think there may be a number of reasons, the first being Church doctrine with its emphasis on birth and families. We are taught that we come to earth to gain a body. A woman's role in the birth process is given great emphasis and is an important part of our doctrine. We hear about it every day and every week in our Church. If you are Mormon and a woman, you must bear children.
The second reason is related to what we believe our role will be in the eternities. Our eternal role--and goal--is being parents. We believe that Heavenly Father is a father and Heavenly Mother is a mother and that we will eventually, if we are righteous, have an opportunity for eternal propagation. This doctrine puts incredible pressure on someone who is infertile, who is willing and ready, but unable to have children. The pressure is exerted in hundreds of simple, subtle ways.
In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve are instructed to multiply and replenish the earth. In Old Testament times, this is emphasized in innumerable ways. A woman who was unable to bear children is compared to barren ground. Jacob's wife Rachel implored, "Give me children or else I die" (Genesis 30:1.) In other words, she felt she would rather be dead than barren. An interesting section in First Samuel describes another infertile woman named Hannah.
...The Lord hath shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret... therefore, she wept and did not eat. ...And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore (1 Sam. 1:5-7, 10).
In our day strong emphasis is given to pregnancy and birth, not just to nurturing and mothering. N. Eldon Tanner said, "One of woman's greatest privileges, blessings, and opportunities is to be a co-partner with God in bringing spirit children into the world. What a glorious concept, no greater honor can be given." Those who are infertile have a hard time dealing with such messages. Many kinds of material can cause pain. For example, Boyd K. Packer's outstanding pamphlet written for the youth about the importance of keeping clean morally contains some interesting statements. Listen and imagine yourself infertile.
The power of procreation is given to virtually every individual who is born into mortality. Someday you will hold a little boy or a little girl in your arms and know that the two of you have acted in partnership with our Heavenly Father in creating life. Our Heavenly Father has bestowed his choicest gift upon you, this power of creation. I picture you with little children about you and see your love growing with them.
In Church one day, our daughter said, "Someday I will be a mother." We didn't tell her that. It's something she absorbed.
Perhaps we ought to think about teaching our youth that 10 or 15 percent of them may not have children biologically, and other options may need to be explored.
For LDS couples, a real crisis can be the struggle of faith versus acceptance of infertility. Very few infertile couples have not pleaded with God, trying to have enough faith to bear children, especially when many are given blessings that tell them if they have enough faith they will have children. This creates and interesting and painful paradox. If you have enough faith you will have children, and yet if you are trying to have faith to have children, you may have difficulty in accepting infertility and trying to resolve it.
Another point is closely related and deals with the cultural aspects of Mormonism and infertility. The priesthood holder may not be as affected as a woman, but indirectly there is an underlying sense that the more children you have, the more "arrows in your quiver." Some men communicate the idea to an infertile man that his virility is somehow questioned. In fast and testimony meeting, the infertile couple see a father bless a baby and the mother afterwards stand and bear her testimony about how wonderful it is to bring this child into the world. Much of Relief Society teaching assumes motherhood in examples used even if the topic is not motherhood. An infertile couple must frequently deal with pressure from their parents who desire grandchildren.
that's all for part 1. stay tuned next sunday for part 2 by his wife, jayne e. taylor

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ensign Article

If any of you missed the Ensign article in this month's issue about adoption, you need to read it. It is an incredible article about adoption from the perspective of the birth parents, birth grandparents, and an adoptee.
Read it here.
It's well worth your while.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Couple of Things...

We have 2 items of business that we wanted everyone to be informed about. So let's do the nitty gritty first, and then the fun stuff second.

First of all a change has been made regarding the Utah adoption tax deduction for 2008 taxes that everyone should know about. It came to our attention by Donald Nelson. He and his wife Amy are an adoptive couple and current education chairs for their FSA group. Donald is a former IRS tax auditor and current accountant recently informed me of changes that have occured regarding the adoption tax credit here in Utah. Donald is not looking to drum up business, just found this out and wanted all of us to be informed. You can read more about the change here. This is something we all need to be aware about as this will effect all of us at one point or another.

The second item of business...

Davis County FSA Couples Game Night
Saturday February 28th
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Fort Lane Chapel
1402 N Fort Lane, Layton, Utah
Here is your chance to get away for a fun cheap date.
We will have pizza and lots of fun games!
Bring a treat to share, and come and get to know lots of other really awesome couples.
Please RSVP to Criscell by Tuesday, February 24th.
(see the side bar for her email address)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finding Adoption Success

Dear FSA Members,

As we strive to help couples learn ways to make an adoption more likely, we have decided to create a success blog. We would like to post “finding” success stories to motivate and guide couples who want to adopt. If your “promoting” or “finding” efforts led to an adoption and you are willing to share what you did, please send us an email (cutefamilyof5@gmail.com) with the following information:

- Your first names
- Family picture or picture of your child (This is optional. Our blog will not be added to a search engine and it will not be private, so it is up to you to decide if you want to add a family photo.)
- Date of approval for adoption.
- Date of placement
- What you did to promote your family for adoption.
- What you did that led to a connection with your child’s birth mother.
- How you feel about your experience with “finding”.
- If you used an adoption Web site to make the connection to your birth mom, please share the Web site name.

If you used printed material (pass-along cards, letters, etc.), please consider emailing those to us as well. We are always looking for examples to share with couples. We would like to add more ideas and examples to the familiessupportingadoption.org Web site.

Please limit your information to two short paragraphs. We welcome links to your family blog and Web sites so that couples can email you if they have questions or want to read your whole story. We are hoping to get the word out about the blog through other FSA blogs and FSA Web sites and networking tools. Our intended audience for this blog is all FSA members who are trying to adopt. There is nothing like a positive adoption story to give hope to those who are trying to build their family. We have seen many wonderful ideas come from FSA couples. We hope you will take the time to share your success with others!

Sincerely, Brad and Brenda Horrocks

FSA Co-Vice Chairs

FSA National Board

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adoption Alternatives Network

The Adoption Alternatives Network was created to make a personable network of LDS Families that will help children find the right match for their permanent home. It will help to assist adoptive families to prepare for and find children who will thrive in their home.

The Adoption Alternative Network is starting their monthly classes next Thursday, January 22nd. The following is more information about the network and their class schedule. This is a great way to add to your adoption options!

We believe that all home study qualified families can adopt. These meetings are established to help waiting couples to learn about adoption alternatives and to network with other's who have had successful adoption experiences. Even though the adoption alternatives topics listed below repeat, every meeting will be unique and will feature different guest speakers and different success stories about adoption to enhance networking and our understanding and knowledge about adoption alternatives.
Meetings will be held at the North Farmington LDS Stake Center, 729 West Shepard Lane, Farmington at 7:00pm. We have reserved the Relief Society room for our meetings.
All interested families adopting or considering adoption are welcome to attend. Meetings will be held every other month on the fourth Thursday of the month with the exceptions of July and November (see below)

January 22 Designated Adoptions
March 26 Working with other Child-placing Agencies & Attorneys
May 28 International Adoption Options
July 23 Summer Vacations/Holidays---No Meetings
September 24 State Adoption Alternatives and Foster Care
*November 19 Designated Adoptions

*November meetings will be held on the third Thursday