Gennifer and William adopted both of their daughters through Everlasting Adoptions. Their oldest daughter, Atalie is 5 years old and Avalyn is 2 years old. Wow, time flies!
We know Gennifer and William have their hands full, that is why we were so happy to hear from them with an update on their beautiful family of four.
“Hey! Sorry it has taken me long to respond. It’s been a busy few months figuring out school and work and all the things with Covid! We are well, busy as you know ha ha! Here’s a little update on the girls:
Atalie turned five in May and is in kindergarten. She is a cheerleader for the little football team at her school, she still loves worship, family, gymnastics and playing with friends! She is pretty much cheering 100% of the time. She is very smart and does well in school.
The little one Ava (Avalyn) turned two in February. She is busy, so sweet, loves to play and sing! She is a little more shy than Atalie, but is still very social! She is at home with me this year. She started gymnastics this semester and loves that, she loves going to church, loves family, and doing anything her big sister does! Oh yes, and they both love to go fishing! As you can imagine I have thousands more pictures, if you would like more I can send more when I get a chance.”
For some of us, Mother’s Day is a day of celebration and
recognition for the mothers in our lives. For others, Mother’s Day is a painful
reminder of what is missing. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t longing for that
special child who will one day make you a mother.
As an adoptive mother myself, who experienced many years of
infertility and waiting, I vividly remember the dread I felt as Mother’s Day
approached. As the years passed waiting for a child of my own, it became more
and more difficult to put on a happy face and “celebrate” Mother’s Day with
friends and family. I resented my friends who became mothers so easily, but
also felt guilty for the resentment and anger I felt. After all, it wasn’t their
fault I wasn’t a mother, but wanted to be one so deeply it hurt.
Fast forward to when I adopted my son and my first Mother’s Day
as a mother. I was flooded with bittersweet emotions; happy beyond words because
my dreams had finally come true, but also keenly aware of the sadness and
yearning I had felt not that long ago.
Unfortunately, there is nothing I or anyone else can say that
will take the sting out of this day. I want you to remember that these feelings
won’t last forever and I want you to take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone. The
baby who will finally make you a mother is out there! We work day and night to
try and find that baby for each and every one of you.
Don’t forget that I UNDERSTAND what you are going through
and I am here to help you through this. I am only a text, email or phone call
At Everlasting Adoptions, we believe a family is defined by LOVE and have successfully placed many single parent, same sex and multiracial families. In fact, 31% of our placements in the last 18 months have been with single mothers and same sex couples! If you are ready to grow your family, no matter what that family looks like, give Everlasting Adoptions a call at 310-844-1966.
Adoption has become more and more mainstream in the last several years. Many movies and TV shows attempt to portray adoption and foster care. One obvious example of this is the super popular TV show This Is Us. With every episode tugging at the viewers’ heartstrings and giving us all the feels, most would say the show does a pretty good job portraying the highs and lows of adoption. Some portrayals are better than others at accurately depicting these life-changing events. Books, movies and TV shows that have a positive message on adoption and foster care can be a wonderful resource for anyone, whether personally touched by adoption or not. As with everything, your personal narrative and life experience will play a role in determining what is the right message for you and your family.
Adoption Theme Movies of 2018
Despicable Me 3 A continuation of the story of former supervillain, Gru and his wife, Lucy who are adoptive parents to their daughters, Margo, Edith and Agnes. While the plot is not as focused on adoption as the previous movies, it is theme that is intertwined in the storyline in a positive way.
Instant FamilyIdealistic couple Ellie and Pete find themselves overwhelmed when they open up their home to foster teenager Lizzy (and her two younger siblings, Juan and Lita. With the help of fellow foster parents and agency workers, they learn to navigate the joys and pitfalls of parenting to become a modern family.
Private Life This Netflix original explores a topic that is oftentimes closely related to adoption; infertility. Married couple, Richard and Rachel who are in their 40’s are in the throes of infertility. The movie takes a very real look into IVF, adoption and egg donation.
The Storyteller Jen is adopted by Maggie and her husband after spending time in foster care. After Maggie’s husband dies and Abby joins the family, Jen and Maggie’s relationship becomes tumultuous. This movie is a testament to the true meaning of family and belonging.
Adoption at the Movies is a fantastic resource to find information and reviews on all adoption theme movies, new and old.
Adoption Theme Books of 2018
Adoptive Families put together this wonderfully comprehensive list of 21 Noteworthy Adoption Books Published in 2018. Books are a great way to explore complicated topics with children at an age appropriate level. It can also be extremely valuable for individuals involved in the adoption process to gain an understanding from other perspectives. A book written by a birth mother would be an important read for prospective adoptive parents to gain perspective and empathy. So make some time in your busy day to curl up with a good book from this list.
There are the three P’s of success, the three P’s of business, but have you heard of the three P’s of adoption? We have put together a list of three P’s necessary to have a successful adoption journey regardless the outcome. Our three P’s of adoption are profile, patience and peace. Everlasting Adoption’s Founder, Director and adoptive mother herself, Carol weighs in on our third P, peace, which was extremely important to her during her own adoption journey.
Profile If you are at all familiar with adoption, you know how important a profile is to marketing yourself to birth mothers. In a process that is largely outside of your control, an adoption profile is one of the few aspects you can dictate. Whether you create your own or hire someone to make a profile for you, make sure you have put sufficient thought and effort into its creation. Our article on 5 Tips to Create a Stand Out Adoption Profile is a great place to start to gather tips on making the best profile possible. This is the very first impression you make on birth mothers, so it is important to use eye catching, professional looking photos and informative, concise and descriptive text.
Patience This P is certainly easier said than done. Such a stressful and emotional process doesn’t really make it easy to be patient. The not knowing and waiting can be excruciating. According to Adoption Center it can take between 2 and 7 years to adopt a healthy infant. With numbers like that, patience is key to making it through the process in one piece.
One way to help maintain patience is to recruit your spouse, friend or family member to be the voice of reason. When they see you overly fraught with worry or stress, it is their job to help you relax. However they choose to do this is up to them. It is always helpful to have someone on the outside keep an eye on things that we are unable to see ourselves. Another way to help exercise patience is to keep busy. Immerse yourself in things you enjoy; yoga, reading, home decorating. Whatever your thing is, spending your time in these activities instead of obsessing over getting “the call” will help you find peace, which is our third P.
Peace With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the word “peace” is often used. How does peace relate to adoption? Our founder, Carol had some valuable insight on the importance of finding peace during the process and a special message to all waiting families.
“As I went through the adoption journey with my husband, the most significant thing I learned was that you must make peace with yourself, as you are right now, even if you do not reach your dream of adopting. I went through 12 years of infertility my choice and 2 failed adoptions before our miracle came to us!
Adoption comes with many challenges and can sometimes be an emotional roller coaster ride. You cannot start to travel down this road without making peace with your life as it currently is. If you are unsettled and feeling you can’t go on without a child or another child to fulfill your life, the road will be full of bumps, setbacks and disappointments. If I only knew back then to work hard at starting out with a peaceful mindset, one that has no expectations, our journey would have been a lot smoother; a lot more peaceful.
My best advice to anyone considering or going through the adoption journey right now, is to make a sound decision to be peaceful no matter what the outcome. If it doesn’t happen, then believe, with all your heart, that it wasn’t meant to be. It may be cliché, but it has proven time and again to be so true. If you do adopt successfully, then peace will still be with you because it was there from the get-go.
Adoption and the entire process truly makes you see the world through different eyes. It is amazingly divine. May this holiday season bring you amazingly, divine PEACE.”
If you were asked to define “family”, how would you answer? A mom, dad and their children? Two dads or two moms? A single mom? According to a 2016 United States Census Bureau report, 31% of American families do not consist of the “traditional” two parent household. Of those nontraditional households, 23% are children living with a single mother. Even though the demographic is relatively small, according to data obtained from The Williams Institute, roughly 1.4% of two parent households were made up of same sex couples, in 2016.
Simply put, many children biological or otherwise are raised in what would be considered nontraditional family structures.
More and more children are being adopted into these nontraditional households. Thirty years ago, adoption outside of an opposite sex, married couple household was almost unheard of. Today, because of great strides made in civil rights and gender equality, our ideas on who can and should adopt have dramatically changed. Some interesting statistics collected by the writers at Good Housekeeping may surprise you.
Of same-sex couples raising children, 19% have at least one adopted child.
It is estimated that approximately 25% of special needs adoption and 5% of total adoptions are attributed to single parents.
Single parent and same sex adoption are legal in all 50 states.
At Everlasting Adoptions, we believe a family is defined by LOVE and have successfully placed many single parent, same sex and multiracial families. In fact, 31% of our placements in the last 18 months have been with single mothers and same sex couples!
Happy Mother’s Day from Everlasting Adoptions! Whether you’ve been blessed to become a mother biologically, through adootion or if you are still waiting for your Mother’s Day; you are stronger than you will ever know. No matter what path your journey takes, there are challenges along the way. Make today a day to celebrate you, your perseverance and all the love you have in your heart even if your journey to motherhood is not yet complete.
The staff and adoptive parents at Everlasting Adoptions want to thank all birth mothers for their incredible acts of love. Our families wouldn’t exist without them. Not a day goes by that we don’t recognize how their greatest sacrifice has brought our families their greatest joy. Our adoptive parents reached out to us to share their experiences and how their birth mothers’ selfless acts of bravery have forever changed their lives.
“We have adopted both of our children through Everlasting Adoptions and both are the biggest blessings of our lives! In February our daughter, Avalyn Elise, was born. Her birth mother, Hayley, has been so amazing through this process. Truly, we have gained a friend in her along the way. She is humble, caring, and so sweet. We had the pleasure of spending time with her 2 weeks before Avalyn “Ava” was born and then spent 11 days with her after she was born. We have seen the emotions that this incredibly selfless sacrifice brings and we could not be more honored and excited that she chose us! We love our birth mothers dearly and think of them every day. We have been beyond blessed with our gifts of life!” – Gennifer & William
“As mother’s day approaches, we plan a family activity to do together to celebrate the gift of motherhood. But, as an adoptive family, we are also reminded of how much we owe to another mother in our lives; our son’s birth mom. I could not celebrate mother’s day without her. We would not be a family without her. My son wouldn’t even be alive without her. What am amazing gift! It is something that can’t be taken lightly. To all birth moms who sought or are seeking a family for their children, and especially to our birth mom, Tamecka, thank you so much for exhibiting the kind of selflessness and love this world needs.
We are especially thankful Tamecka is someone who will be supportive of our son and open to sharing with him his birth family history. Initially while deciding to adopt, a major concern I had was that a birth mom would try to “steal” their affection away, but I now feel comforted knowing that when Jacob seeks a relationship with Tamecka, she will totally support my motherhood while also being an awesome birth mom herself! Shortly after meeting Tamecka, I soon came to see her as another person to love our son, and, really, we could all use one of those!” – Lindsey & Stephen
“The connection with birth mom, Kelly was divine and something we will treasure and cherish forever.” – Sara & Brian
“I’m so grateful to Xavier’s birth mother for the incredible sacrifice she has made. I cannot imagine my life without this little man.” – Barbara
With both Jessica and Jonathan and their birth mom being just a few hours away from each other and in the same state, they had the extraordinary opportunity to develop a deep relationship with Lucia. Not only were they able to get to know Lucia on so many different levels, they were able to get to know her little boy as well. They enjoyed many outings together. From golfing and swimming to apple picking and magic shows, there was never a lack of laughter and smiles when they were around each other! They of course made sure to gather for meals, eating everyone’s favorite foods! Lucia, Jessica and Jonathan spent so much time also getting to know the precious baby boy that was kicking away in her belly.
This time together allowed them to share so much about their lives and provided love and support that went much farther than their adoption. Knowing that having an open adoption was crucial to Lucia’s adoption plan, being able to spend so much time together allowed them to learn so much about each other and build a strong foundation for their future.
“We had the opportunity to go spend time with our daughter’s birth mom and sisters a few months ago and it was a joy! We didn’t know what an open adoption would look like, but we have grown to love her birth mom, Jenn, like she’s a part of our family. We spent 5 days together in May and had such a sweet time. We don’t know what it will look like over the years, but we’re confident that our growing relationship with Jenn and her daughter will be an important part of our family forever.” – Lisa & Bill
“Our hearts constantly felt love and gratefulness for not only our birth mom, but our genuine connection.” – Amber & Jeremy
The stories of love and gratitude for birth mothers are unending. We could never adequately express our appreciation for their courage, but we hope that birth mothers everywhere can take this small gesture as a token of our appreciation.
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