Friday, January 30, 2009

Adoptive Families magazine

I just received my first issue. I will have to see a few more issues, but I wish there was more information about pre-adoption stuff rather than post-adoption, it's about 25:75. I got a one year subscription, maybe in that time I will switch to a post-adoption reader!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

more about Kellie Coffey from her official site

[8/5/2007 6:36:00 PM] Kellie's Story

With the success of the video for "I would Die For That", so many have asked about Kellie''s journey to being a mom. Here, in her own words, she tells her story...

"I knew it was happening to me…but I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. I went to my writing session with my producer, Wayne Kirkpatrick, anyway. When I got there, it got worse. I was really cramping and bleeding now. I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, “I think something bad is happening”. He was looking at his computer trying to bring up some sounds for a song we were working on…”huh?”, he said and looked up as he asked “What’s wrong?” I heard myself say the words, “I think I’m having a miscarriage.” He stood up and hugged me. He was very comforting but I said “I have to call my husband, Geoff, I have to go home.”

I wondered if I had worked out too hard. Maybe I ate something bad. Why was this happening to me? Was I too stressed out? Did I wait too long to have a baby? I was getting hysterical. Maybe it will stop and the baby will be alright. Geoff answered the phone, “Hello?”
“It’s getting worse”, I blurted out, sobbing.
“Where are you?”, he asked.
“I’m driving.”
“I want you to calm down. Do you need to pull over?
“No. I just want to get home and lay down.”
“You are closer to the doctor’s office. Can you drive yourself there? I will meet you. You have to calm down first, though. It’s going to be alright.” Geoff has this way of making me feel like it’s gonna be okay. He is a rock.

My career was all encompassing. It was like stepping onto a moving train. I was working so hard. I was so focused. There were two things that I wanted in life more than anything. One was to be a singer and the other was to be a mom. I kept telling myself (and my husband), We’ll get pregnant after I can get established in the business, after this next single, once my second album hits retail… after I get a hold of this thing.

Like most women I wanted to have it all: a great marriage, fulfilling career and be a hands-on Mom. The reality is there is a price for everything. I knew there was discrimination involving female artists getting pregnant in the recording industry. It was looked upon as a lack of commitment. You’ll lose your edge. You’ll get fat..."
The story seems to get cut of there, but I have ready that she has a boy and a girl.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the secret life of the american teenager

on ABC Family
Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern

The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a television series created by Brenda Hampton that debuted on ABC Family on July 1, 2008. The teen drama focuses on the relationships between families and friends dealing with the unexpected pregnancy of character Amy Juergens, portrayed by Shailene Woodley.

Centered around teen Amy Juergens, The Secret Life of the American Teenager explores the effects of Amy's pregnancy on her life as well as on her friends and family. The news of her pregnancy puts additional strain on her parents' already rocky marriage, but actually brings Amy closer with her younger sister Ashley, her new boyfriend, Ben, as well as with other teens at the fictional Ulysses S. Grant High School in California.

As you may have noticed, I'm obsessed with all things adoption. I want to read everything I can get my hands on (internet or otherwise) and I want to watch every movie, TV program, whatever about adoption.I've just started watching this series. It stars Molly Ringwald, who happens to be pregnant with twins at the moment.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"i would die for that" too

Kellie Coffey's song about wanting to have a child. Emotional. Powerful. I've never hear of her but a friend sent me this and it really touched me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

on the Today Show today

The Today Show featured Becky Fawcett, founder of, talking about her foundation and the high cost of adoption.

Click here to watch.

I'm a huge fan of Becky's.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

statistics about adoption

I'm curious about adoption statistics. Unfortunately a lot of statistics are old, but I found this on the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute site and wanted to share.

Author: Susan Smith
Published: 2006 November. Revised with Forward 2007 January. New York NY: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

This publication, released in November for National Adoption Awareness month, represents the most thorough, intensive and sophisticated effort to date to understand contemporary infant adoption, particularly as it relates to the least-understood and most-stigmatized participants in the process: the women and men usually termed "birthparents."

  • More adoptions take place each year than is commonly perceived or reported. The Institute estimates more than 135,000 annually, of which about 13,000 to 14,000 involve babies who are voluntarily relinquished domestically. Of non-stepparent adoptions each year, approximately 59 percent are from the child welfare system, 26 percent from abroad, and 15 percent of domestic infants.
  • Overall, the parents placing their children for adoption in the 21st Century are very diverse and different from their counterparts in previous generations. They are no longer primarily teenagers; in fact, only about one-fourth are teens. The predominant profile is young women in their 20s who have graduated from high school, many of whom have other children.
  • The vast majority of adoption agencies, as well as independent practitioners, offer open adoptions, in which identifying information is exchanged. Many of the adoptions they arrange also are mediated adoptions, in which ongoing information is exchanged through the agency.
  • An overwhelming proportion of birthmothers contemporary have met the adoptive parents of their children - probably 90 percent or more - and almost all of the remaining birthmothers helped to choose the new parents through profiles. Contrary to the stereotypes that have been created about them, almost no women choosing adoption today seek anonymity or express a desire for no ongoing information or contact.
  • Available data and experience indicate a minority of infant adoptions involve fathers in the process. The strongest protection for their rights and for the legitimacy of the adoption process requires identification of biological fathers and notifying them of adoption proceedings. Many states have established putative father registries to involve these men, but they are too often used as a means of cutting them out rather than including them.
  • Principally because adoption is not well understood by the public generally, most women struggling to make decisions about unplanned pregnancies do not have accurate information with which to make an informed choice about whether this is a reasonable option for them.
  • In some states, attorneys paid by and representing the prospective adoptive parents also may represent the women (and men when they are involved) considering placing their children. This practice of dual representation raises acute ethical and practical concerns.
  • Research findings consistently show that women who feel pressured into placing their children suffer from poorer grief resolution and greater negative feelings. Most states do not have laws that maximize sound decision-making, however, such as required counseling, waiting periods of at least several days after childbirth before signing relinquishments, and adequate revocation periods during which birthparents can change their minds.
  • Research on birthparents in the era of confidential (closed) adoptions suggests a significant proportion struggled - and sometimes continue to struggle - with chronic, unresolved grief. The primary factor bringing peace of mind is knowledge about their children's well-being.
  • Current research on birthmothers concludes that being able to choose the adoptive family and having ongoing contact and/or knowledge results in lower levels of grief and greater peace of mind with their adoption decisions.
  • Women who have the highest grief levels are those who placed their children with the understanding that they would have ongoing information, but the arrangement was cut off. Such contact/information is the most important factor in facilitating birthparents' adjustment, but only 13 states have laws to enforce post-adoption contact agreements in infant adoptions.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Ok, after hours and hours of laboring (pun intended) over our profile, I finished it yesterday! wooo hooo! Now I just need to print several and get them in the mail.

So what's next...

I am planning on making business cards with our email address, and toll-free number, and possibly our attorney and social worker's email and numbers too. That way we can carry them where ever we go, and hand them out to whomever.

Also, I plan to create a one-page flier explaining a little about us and how to contact us and I will distribute that via email to anyone who wants one, then you are free to print it out and hand it out to anyone who might know of a woman or BE a woman making adoption plans for her unborn baby.

I have a vision of me and a staple gun posting "WANTED: BABY!" fliers on telephone poles and anything else I could staple them to....

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Answer (to an adopted child)

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously
My own.
Never forget
For a single minute:
You didn't grow under my heart
But in it.

— Fleur Conkling Heyliger

Monday, January 12, 2009

the search is on

Ok, so, now this has happened twice and it WILL happen again:
  1. A friend tells me his sister's son got a girl pregnant, so I ask if they are going to keep it or give it up. They've decided to keep it.
  2. Yesterday, a friend tells us her friend's son and his wife are pregnant with a child they cannot afford to keep. I ask if they can put us in touch with the parents to be. Found out last night the baby was born around Thanksgiving and given up to social services.
Third time's the charm! The next one is ours!!

This is how it will happen for us since we cannot afford to pay an agency $40,000 to find a baby for us, so please keep those eyes and ears open and contact me as soon as you hear something. If you want my cell phone number, please send me an email.

Thanks again for all the support!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


We are waiting for me to finish our profile. It has proved difficult for me because I am a perfectionist graphic designer. I need to let go of my perfectionism and finish the profile. I just feel it is so very very important because it will be someone's first impression of us as a couple and future parents. *sigh*

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a letter & a book

Today I received the following letter, I hope the author won’t mind me sharing it with my readers:

Dear Julie,

Hi! Just happened upon your blog and am so glad I did. Never give up! We waited over seven years for our baby. I can honestly tell you that once your miracle happens, you forget about all the years of pain. I truly believe that God has a master plan.

I'm hoping that you might include my recently published book on your blog as a humanistic story that provides infertile couples with answers to questions on what they can do to give themselves the best chance to become pregnant so they do not have happen to them what happened to us.

After seeing 7 gynecologists, enduring 6 surgeries and years and years of medications, injections and consultations, we were blessed with two wonderful daughters. It was one "infertility experts" incorrect dosage of medication that caused my endometriosis to return to its initial severity rendering me virtually unable to ever physically carry a baby. Although at the time very painful, infertility turned out to be a blessing in disguise for my husband and me.

Adoption was a miracle for us and, as our girls are now grown, independent young ladies now, I can say with total certainty that it was a beautiful way to successfully become a family. Our older daughter, Elyssa, a 3rd year anesthesiology resident, recently told us that once she completes her residency she wants to move closer to us as there's "nothing like the love of family." Our younger daughter, Julie, was recently married and, although she lives out of state, we talk many times daily and visit one another frequently. We could not love two children more and it is definitely true that they grew in my heart.

The book I wrote with prominent NYC infertility expert Masood Khatamee, entitled Doctor, Are You Listening? ( A Couple's Struggle To Find The Right Infertility Doctor) chronicles our struggle with infertility and depicts the entire adoption process. The many religious roadblocks and difficulties we encountered are described, as well as the birth of a baby that was to be ours whose biological mother changed her mind two days before we were to adopt her. The joy of our two daughters adoptions are included. Resources, options and choices are given. The book provides women with ways to recognize if their doctor is the best one for them and signs to look for to tell if he or she is truly listening.

Hopefully, the book will provide a heart warming story, coupled with medical advise, to those wishing to conceive or to those interested in adoption. I would be very appreciative if you would pass along the name of the book on your blog. It is available at many Barnes and Noble Bookstores and at You can actually pull up the table of contents on to get a better overview of what is included.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.

Linda Perelman Pohl
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here is the book

Doctor are You Listening?
A Couple’s Struggle to Find
the Right Infertility Doctor

by Dr. Masood Khatamee & Linda Perelman Pohl
copyright November 2008

From Barnes & Noble:
Finding the right doctor is essential. Whether an infertile woman ever conceives is often dependent on the doctor she chooses. Although Linda presented with common symptoms associated with infertility, Dr. A. Loof, a 'specialist,' told her that her pain was 'in her mind' and suggested she drink wine to rectify her problem. An incorrect medication dosage, prescribed by Dr. Doubtful, caused her disease to return to its initial severity. Years of consultations, medications, surgeries and emotional pain and she was back where she had started. Her insides were a mess. The importance of women knowing their choices and empowering themselves at doctor's visits is imperative. Our book provides resources and options for any couple struggling with infertility. Dr. Khatamee, a world-renowned infertility specialist, describes what should have been done and presents numerous case studies. He discusses the most current tests available, what each entails and when testing should commence. The prevention of infertility and preservation of fertility are addressed.Doctors need to listen to their patients and be held accountable for their actions. Doctor, Are You Listening?

I have not read this book, but I wanted to share it with my readers, especially my girls at the Fertility Forum, because I know many of us have similar stories. It is not unlike my own. Yes, Linda has asked for a little free PR, but I am touched that she reached out to me with her support and also considers my blog an outlet to reach other women. j

creating your adoption profile

The more beautiful, the more eye-catching, the better. You want to attract the attention of a birth mom.

Graphic designer that I am, I’ve found the task of creating our profile a very difficult one. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me...

Anyway, I found some digital scrapbooking software and downloaded it but after a few days became more than frustrated that it wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do graphically. If you aren’t a graphic designer this software may work for you, it’s called iScrapbook. I think you can download a trial before paying for it, but some options are not available in the trial. It’s for Macs, but I’m sure there is scrapbooking software out there for PCs too.

If you are a graphic designer and have the Adobe Creative Suite, I recommend downloads from
ScrapGirl. They have jpg, png, etc. files that you can use in CS. There is a section of FREE stuff and I recommend downloading that out first, even if it is not your taste to get a feel for it, then you can download other papers, embellishments, etc. as needed. I have much more control and like this much better.

FYI: as in real life, most digital scrap book paper is 12"x12" but you can adjust it easily to 8.5"x11".

infertility unites

A beautiful baby girl was flirting with Chris and I yesterday at the Olive Garden while we were waiting to be seated. Big mouth that I am, of course we ended up in a conversation with her parents about infertility and adoption right there in the packed waiting area.

We discussed how isolating infertility can be and what a shame it is. They were excited to hear we are waiting to adopt. Total strangers united by infertility. Not a conversation you'd expect to have while waiting for a table, but then if you know me, you know me.

I gave them the address to this blog and I hope they visit. We would like to be in touch with them.

So if you are the couple from the Olive Garden with the beautiful redheaded 1 year old girl, please leave a comment or contact us. Connections like this in the “real world” are rare. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

books i got for Christmas

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Adoption:
Everything You Need to Know about Domestic and International Adoption

by Elizabeth Swire Falker
copyright 2006

From Barnes & Noble:

So you've made the decision to adopt. What's next? For starters, how do you know whether domestic or international adoption is right for you? (And what are the real differences between the two?) Now, adoption insider Elizabeth Swire Falker answers these questions, and many more. As an attorney who practices in the area of adoption and has worked with hundreds of families, and as an adoptive parent herself who has been through the trenches, she offers expert advice on each stage of the process. This comprehensive, accessible guide leads you with confidence through every decision you'll have to make—including the ones that you'd never know to expect. Complete with checklists, tips, sidebars, and plenty of counterintuitive advice, it shows you how to:

  • Identify which adoption experts you do and don't need
  • Find the right birth mother or choose the right country for your family—and how to spot red flags in potential situations
  • Select an attorney or agency and prepare for your home visit
  • Finance an adoption on a budget, manage the red tape, and get around the roadblocks
  • Navigate all of the complex emotions that surface along the way.

With Elizabeth Swire Falker's warm yet been-there-done-that voice, The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Adoption is sure to become a tried-and-true resource for adoptive parents everywhere.

The Baby Signing book:
Includes 350 ASL Signs for Babies & Toddlers

by Sara Bingham
copyright 2007

From Barnes & Noble
Babies can communicate with sign language well before they can talk. This user-friendly book, including 300 illustrated ASL signs, shows how with clear instructions, memory aids, charts, song and games, and fun.