NAFA- September 2018

Dear NAFA Community, As we begin another NAFA calendar year—October 2018-September 2019—we want to make sure we are reaching our members. We are planning several social events and we don’t want you to miss out! Please contact us at info@nwadoptivefamilies.org if you have a change in contact info. The current board of directors met last weekend. Here is a synopsis:  We voted to move into the following year with this board: President: Diane Slaughter Vice President: VACANT Secretary: Yvette Burling Treasurer: Christie Van Winkle Standing Members: Brenda Lamb Events for the coming year will include: Sky High (February), Splash! Swim Party (April),  Campout (July 12-14) and Baby & Toddler Care Class (March & October). Exact dates will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page. We NEED your help! One of our long-term board members, Lee Ball, has resigned from the Board. We need more members to step forward to help in the future. The commitment is small—3-4 board meetings per year and one or more tasks. If you want more information, contact us at info@nwadoptivefamilies.org     Membership NAFA relies on membership fees to cover our basic costs–website, mail box, email (constant contact) & insurance. Please make sure you are current with your dues. You can pay your $30/family either by check or PayPal. Mail your check to NAFA PO Box 12086 Portland OR 97212-0086 or use our PayPal link on our web page nwadoptivefamilies.org  If you are unsure if you are current, contact us and we will check our database. Thank You for your continued involvement and support of NAFA! Our kids will grow up...

Dear NAFA Community

September 28, 2017   Dear NAFA Community, We are drawing a close to another action packed NAFA year! In the past year we have jumped at Sky High, swam at East Portland Community Center, bounced each other silly at JJ Jump and breathed the fine ocean air at Nehalem Bay State Park! We also welcomed 20 new families through the Baby & Toddler Care Class and launched a new Neighborhood Group meet up at local parks. These events gather us together to share a common bond, reassure our kids that their adoption makes them uniquely the same, and have fun with friends new and old. NAFA is a one of a kind organization. We often get emails and calls asking if we have a program in any area other than Oregon/SW Washington. Unfortunately for them, we know no other such program. Fortunately for you and your family, we have a lot to offer you! Two things keep NAFA going strong: Some years ago, NAFA was awarded a onetime grant from The Wendy’s Foundation. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Restaurants, was a foster child who made a promise to make the foster and adoptive life easier and more helpful for future kids. We take pride in honoring his legacy. Foster and Adoption life is not a perfect life. But our kids can grow successfully and confidently. NAFA uses these funds, combined with annual membership dues and donations, to provide the events above, relationships within the adoptive community, and a presence on the internet and on social media. Your involvement is a big piece of the picture. We love seeing you...

One For the Murphys (Book Review)

As an adoptive parent, I look for books and movies to share with my kids that present adoption in a positive manner. I want to instill confidence in them. It has worked for the past nine years. My oldest has started to notice that not all media portrays adoption favorably. He laments “why do ‘they’ make adoption seem like a bad thing, when it is not?” I assure him that adoption IS a good thing, and “they” just don’t know it. Last week he and I were going through his school papers. He jumped up in unexpected fury over a paper in which he got a 20/20 grade. He was aghast that he would score so high. Okay– parent radar up! I probed the subject and learned that it was an interactive questionnaire about a book the teacher had read aloud. I scanned his answers and found that foster care and adoption was the prevailing theme. Hmmm. I questioned him  whether he liked the book or not. He did not like the book because it didn’t have an ending, there were no sequels, nor would there ever be another book.  At this time he is shouting and stomping out of the room. So I googled the book, read the summary, and ordered a copy on Amazon. I also emailed the teacher out of fear that he may have shunned the book in school and I wanted to remind her of the perspective he has on this subject. (I don’t know if it is good, bad, or both that people in our community forget that our kids are adopted). His...

Letter to the Membership 2016

Dear NAFA Community, September 30, 2016 we closed out another wonderful year full of NAFA events. Here is a recap and a sneak peak of what is coming up: Celebrate Adoption—In November, we had a bouncy good time at Sky High. November is annually Celebrate Adoption Month. We plan to repeat this popular event November 13, 2016 at Sky High. Look for another email soon! For information or to RSVP contact Christie at nafaevents@gmail.com Baby &Toddler Care Class—We host this event 3 times per year. We have permanently relocated to Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Local agencies and attorneys have been great at helping us promote this class. If you are an alum of this event, please help spread the word! I am also in need of more volunteers during our breakout sessions. Please consider giving 2 hours one, two or three times per year. The next class is on February 11, 2017. Contact me at nafawait@gmail.com if you want to be added to my volunteer list. Splash!—February brought our annual swim event. East Portland Community Center is so much fun for kids and adults. Slides, lazy river, tide pool and hot tub feel so good in the winter! Look for a repeat this February. JJ Jump—This event was new for NAFA. It replaced Skating at Mt. Scott, which had diminished interest from the membership. JJ Jump was enjoyable for all— bouncing, climbing, zip lining and more! We will host this or similar event next April. Waiting Family Meetings—We only held this event once last year due to lack of interest. Despite popular speakers and relevant topics, we couldn’t sustain a...

What NAFA Means to My Family

Recently, long time Board Member Marcia Ohlemiller retired from active board member status. She sent the following letter to the board. She very well summed up NAFA’s importance in the lives of our adoptive families. We wish Marcia, Stephen, Jessica & Erika continued happiness and are flattered that  they still will make NAFA a part of their lives. “Dear NAFA Board Members, As you know, I have not been to a board meeting for some time, and you have been kind enough nevertheless to keep me informed. I apologize for procrastinating about the difficult decision to leave the NAFA Board, on which I served actively for 12 years. I care deeply about NAFA, which has been a wonderful source of fellowship, information, fun times and support as we muddled our way along the adventurous path of being a sudden family of four.  I want what NAFA provides to be there for other families too. Erika and Jessica are in college this year, doing well despite what we were once told were long odds against their likelihood of even reaching academic mediocrity.  As you all know, this is not miraculous but the result of support – from numerous quarters including the health care community, saintly teachers, loving extended family and NAFA. Our family will remain NAFA members always, and if there is any way that I can provide assistance on any specific projects or events please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish all of you and NAFA the best always and am proud to be associated with an organization that uniquely serves such an important purpose. Sincerely, Marcia...