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Archive for adoption tip

Join Adoption Agency Florida on Facebook!

LIKE Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida on FacebooK!Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida is excited to share that we’ve just reached 1,000 fans on Facebook! To celebrate, we’re offering a FREE download of an info-packed tip sheet, Ten Tips of a Safe and Healthy Open Adoption. Download this special report for free here!
 
On our Facebook page, Lifetime Adoption Florida, we share free adoption tips, link to adoption webinars, give important reminders, and share updates from clients who’ve adopted a baby through Lifetime! From time to time, we also post about ways that you can help women who have lovingly chosen adoption, through a donation to the Lifetime Foundation.

We also list inspiring quotes, upload adoption videos, share adoptive family websites, and link to helpful adoption articles we’ve written. You can direct message Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida on Facebook too, with any questions or concerns you might have. One of the most popular (and educational!) features are the conversations we are having with both birth mothers and adoptive parents.

So be sure to LIKE Lifetime Adoption Florida on Facebook and join the conversation. We want to connect with YOU!
 
Lifetime Adoption Florida has reached 1,000 fans on Facebook!

How to Rise Above the Top 7 Worries of First-Time Fathers

The night you were born, I ceased being my father’s boy and became my son’s father.
That night I began a new life.
-Henry Gregor Felsen

On behalf of everyone at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida, we’d like to wish you a Happy Father’s Day!

If you’re about to become a dad for the first-time, chances are you’re feeling a little anxious. We’ve listed the top 7 things that first-time fathers worry about, and tips on how to rise above!

father and newborn baby daughter1. Will I love my baby once he comes home with us?
Many first-time dads ask themselves if they have the ability to love a tiny being who screams and makes a mess. But you’ll find that these self-doubts go away when you get involved in caring for your baby. Hands-on experience is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your child.

2. What if my child doesn’t love me?
The truth is that your child will love you because they have a built-in capacity to form a relationship with you! You can encourage this natural ability by giving your baby tons of love and affection. In turn, your child will instinctively return the affection.

3. How will I ever learn how to care for a baby?

Washing, changing, and feeding a baby are like any other skills, in that you can learn them through training and practice. So long as you make up your mind to become competent in these baby care tasks, you’ll soon gain the ability.

4. What will happen with our relationship once we become parents?

No relationship can stay the same forever. You and your spouse are starting a new phase of your lives, and things won’t be the same as before. With any luck, they’ll be better! You’ll come to find that sharing in the upbringing of your new baby brings you even closer together than you were before.

5. What if I end up resenting our baby for all the attention she gets?
A few first-time dads feel jealous when they see the new baby in his mother’s arms. A twinge of envy is normal. You can tackle this stressor head-on by being honest with yourself and with your wife. Make an effort to set aside time for each other every day.

6. What will happen if I accidentally hurt the baby?
This is very unlikely to happen. Babies are a lot sturdier than you think. But it’s always wise to have safety issues at the front of your mind whenever you’re handling your baby. You can do this by making sure your baby is safe and secure wherever she is, and make sure to hold her firmly. Take extra care when lifting her out of the bath.

you've got this, daddy!7. Will I lose my identity and become a father instead of a person?
People around you will think of you as your baby’s father, and you’ll become completely immersed in baby-care issues. This becomes part of your life. Remember that you’ll continue to have other roles in life too, like husband, son, employee, and friend, so you won’t lose your identity.

You’ve got this, daddy!

A Fun Money-Saving Tip for Your Adoption Budget

save money for your adoption budget with this fun tip!Are you preparing to have professional photos taken for your adoption profile? Or maybe you’ve set an in-person meeting with your home study provider and want to look presentable. Looking good and saving money on a manicure is possible with this simple tip. It’ll help you feel confident, while at the same time save money for your adoption budget.

Lots of women find that at-home manicures are tricky. Do you end up with polish on your skin when you’re done? Make your DIY manicure easier and less messy by applying Elmer’s glue. It’ll catch the extra polish and remove it from your skin once your polish dries. When you’re done, your skin will remain polish-free and your nails will look flawless!

Here are the supplies you’ll need: an old makeup brush, Elmer’s glue, a cuticle stick, and nail polish. Select a makeup brush you don’t mind ruining, or get one at the dollar store. This tip is really useful when you’re applying nail polish with your non-dominant hand since painting is usually trickier on that side.

Here are the 4 simple steps to your flawless DIY manicure:

1. Get out that old makeup brush and use it to spread glue on your finger, onto your skin around each nail. Make sure to apply just a thin layer. Otherwise, it’ll take forever to dry.

2. Polish your nails with the color you’ve selected.

3. After your polish has dried, use your cuticle stick to begin peeling off the glue. As you peel the glue off, you’ll be removing the extra polish layer on top of it, too. Once you begin peeling with the cuticle stick, you can just pull the rest off using your fingers.

4. Use your cuticle stick to skim away any of the remaining dried glue from your skin.

4 Terrific Tips on Listening to Birth Mothers

learn tips on listening to birth mothersListening is so important in any relationship, and especially when first meeting a birth mother. Many adoptive parents are so nervous during that first phone call that they chatter on and on. As a result, they never get to know the person on the other end of the phone. Today, we’re sharing simple tips on listening to birth mothers!

Humans can think about lots of things at once, and many of us do just that. This is a real issue if it’s done while speaking with a birth mother. It may feel natural to plan what you’ll say next when someone is speaking to you. But if you’re focused on what you’ll say next, then you’re not concentrating on a birth mother and her needs.

If you don’t truly listen to a birth mother, it may cost you the opportunity to adopt her child. Our Founder Mardie Caldwell shares, “I’ve seen several adoptive couples lose the opportunity in their first conversation by talking too much about themselves or drilling the birth mother with questions.”

Here are our 4 simple tips on how to effectively listen to birth mothers:

1. Really listen, and don’t interrupt her. Let the birth mother finish her sentence before you jump in. You can instead jot down a note that says what you wanted to say, and ask once she’s done talking.

2. Ask questions about the birth mother and her life, and be interested. Never judge her or preach to her. Ask if she’d like to know more about you, and then go ahead.

3. Give her a sign that you acknowledge, understand, and hear what she is saying.

5. Repeat or “mirror” what you heard her saying, in her words. Doing so makes sure she knows you got it.

Developing a healthy relationship with a birth mother isn’t a chess game. Plotting your next move while she’s talking is counterproductive.

Practice these tips the next time you have a conversation at work or with a friend. It might feel weird and uncomfortable at first. However, you’ll see that people respond well to you. When you talk to a birth mother, you’ll have listening experience and will increase your chances of a match!

3 Great Ways to Stay Organized During the Adoption Process

learn how you can stay organized during your adoption processIt’s rare to find someone among us who doesn’t feel the need to become more organized. And, if you’re an organizational freak, you probably like to read about others’ organizational systems. Whether you love to create to-do lists or would rather embrace the chaos, your adoption process will be so much easier if you can keep track. All of the items involved with infant adoption can get overwhelming if you don’t have some method of organization.

Here are 3 great ways to keep organized during your adoption journey:

1. Make a spreadsheet
Using Excel (Microsoft) or Numbers (Apple), create a spreadsheet and use it to keep track of things like your home study to-do’s or adoption budget.  

You could also build a task list of items you’d like to do during your adoption wait. It may be for fun activities like traveling or constructive tasks such as finishing repairs around the house or getting your future baby’s nursery ready.
 
2. Buy a binder, folder, or similar organizer
Organize all of the forms, copies, papers you’ve signed in a binder, folder, or another type of organizer such as an expanding file. You might even choose to color-code your binder with tabs for categories like completed, copies, and to-do.
 
Folders are beneficial for storing info on your adoption expenses in one place. You’ll be thankful you were so organized when tax time comes around, and you’d like to take advantage of the adoption tax credit.
 
3. Grab your phone or tablet and use a free list app
Nowadays, there are so many list apps that you can download for free onto your iPhone, Droid phone, computer, and tablet. The app that you choose will sync to all of your devices. That way, you can access your notes and lists anytime, anywhere. Three free list apps include Todoist, Any.do, and Wunderlist.

Tips for Arriving Home With Your Adopted Baby

infant-adoption-in-2017When the time arrives that you can take home your precious baby, you’ll feel so elated! After an adoption wait and many prayers, you’re now finally home with your newborn.
 
The first month can be a challenging time for new parents, so today we’re sharing some basic tips with you!
 
The First Day Home
Begin by spending quiet time admiring and enjoying your new baby. Resist the urge to invite friends and family over to show them off. You need to take the time just to stare at your adorable baby. Admire his toes, fingers, and eyelashes. Gaze upon his tiny, delicate fingernails and round little tummy. Hold him, cuddle him, and let this precious moment sink in. Take plenty of photos and videos. The months of waiting are over, and you’re a parent!
 
The First Week Home
Your friends and family will be eager to visit and see your new baby. Request that all visitors wash their hands before holding your baby. If you feel awkward asking them, you might hang a sign by the front door that says something like “Please keep little Johnny healthy by washing your hands before holding him. Thanks!”
 
Your friends and family may want to chat about your whole adoption experience. A close friend or family member can help you out by reminding guests when it’s time to leave. As new parents, you’ll be exhausted and need all the rest you can get. Once the conversation is coming to a close, having guests depart will give you time to rest. It’s so important to remember the old saying “sleep when the baby sleeps”!
 
The First Month Home
People will be asking you “what can we do to help?” all the time. Accept their offers of help! It’s difficult for some to let others help out. But it really helps to take advantage of friends and family’s offers of help when you have a new baby home. Here are some ideas of things people could help you with:

  • Dishes – ask someone to load the dishwasher, put away dishes, and hand wash certain items. Asking someone to help you with dishes will make them feel useful and save you time.
  • Meals – lots of people will probably ask if they can help you with anything. Set up a meal train website! That way you can share food allergies and preferences. A meal train site also allows people to see which days are already covered. A couple of great meal train sites include MealBaby.com and MealTrain.com.
  • Caring for Children – you might ask those you trust for help with your older children. For example, a fellow parent at your child’s school could take them to school and/or drop them off afterward. This is a wonderful opportunity to save you energy.
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    Enjoy this special time, and share it with others. The memories you create will be worth everything to you and your baby for a lifetime!

Adoption Encouragement: When your focus seems fuzzy

Here's some adoption encouragement for you during the waitFor many of the adoptive parents we’ve assisted through the years, the WAIT is the hardest step along a path to adoption. Sometimes the timing is the only thing standing between their desire to adopt and the moment they meet their future child.

If you’re waiting to adopt, or anticipating the wait as you plow through the first stages of preparing to adopt, stay focused on your goal ahead–your future family. You will be a blessing to a child, a birth parent, and maybe countless others along your journey. Share your story-in-progress, as you feel comfortable. BE ENCOURAGED knowing that every day you’re waiting to adopt, is a day you move closer to realizing adoption success.

To “wait,” according to Merriam’s Dictionary, is:

  • to be ready and available
  • to look forward expectantly
  • to remain stationary in readiness or expectation
  • to stay in place in expectation of

Notice the descriptions “be ready,” “look forward,” “expectation.” These are ACTIVE words. When the wait discourages you, focus on how you are actively waiting. You’re not idle in this time. Do everything you can to be “ready” to adopt, then wait in eager “expectation” for the result of your plans.

Download a PDF document called “Encouragement for Your Adoption” today for even more adoption encouragement. As Mardie Caldwell, the founder of Lifetime (and an adoptive mom) says, “Your mindset about this time will play a great role in how you walk through this journey and what you accomplish during these days.”

A Top Profile Tip for Catching a Birth Mother’s Attention

Professional photography is an essential profile tipJoe and Nancy were a nice adoptive couple. She was loving, nurturing and sweet, while he was the strong provider with a charming sense of humor. They had an ideal life: a home in the suburbs, and a steady income with flexible work schedules that allow for vacations to the mountains and lake.
 
Nancy spent hours scrapbooking a cute profile that was creatively bound, the design exquisite. They packaged them up and sent them off to their adoption center. They even made sure to include a card with a sweet message for their adoption coordinator.
 
The days of anxious waiting turned to weeks, and at their monthly coordinator check-in, Joe asked if there was anything they could possibly do to speed up their adoption process. The coordinator confided to Joe that there had been at least two birthmothers whose situations had matched Joe and Nancy’s preferences. The profiles had been presented, but each time, the birth mother had chosen another family. Joe then asked the coordinator the question she knew was coming, “What do those families have to offer a child that we don’t?”
 
After a brief pause, the coordinator formulated her words carefully and said, “Here’s an adoption tip: have you ever considered having your photos professionally taken?”
 
You see, the other families had something going for them that Joe and Nancy did not. Within the profiles of the other families, there were crisp, clear photos, obviously taken by a professional. The lighting, composition and positioning of the couples in the photos was just right. Their warmth seemed to glow from the pages of the profiles, drawing birthmothers in to linger and read more about what these families had to offer.
 
As we all know, making a good first impression to a potential birthmother is vital to a successful adoption. Ironically, this is the same area that many families are tempted to save money on. It’s just so much easier to have a friend or relative take some snapshots and call it a day. After all, most of us have a relative who has a good camera and is into photography.
 
Your photos make it possible for a birthmother to take a glimpse into your life. These photos alone can interest her in your family or cause her to walk away.
 
If you’ve invested a great deal of time and money into your adoption: hiring an attorney, finding the right adoption professional, and completing your home study, why take the chance of being overlooked by the right birth mother just because your photography isn’t professional enough?
Creating the most appealing presentation is one area of your adoption where you call the shots. Quality photographs are created by using the right equipment and technical skill.
 
The bottom line is that without professional guidance on your side, you will most likely waste months of precious time trying to get poor quality photos to work for you when, in fact, birthmothers are taking one glance and tossing the entire package. The expense of using poor quality photos is both an emotional and financial loss.
 
Frequently we encounter a prospective couple with amateur prints and negatives, frantically asking for help in trying to make something useful from their photos. Learn from their mistake; don’t let your photographs stand in the way of finding your perfect match. Trust our profile tip: get professional photos done to ensure that your profile will stand out.