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...

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...

Coalition of Oregon Adoption Agencies Monthly Meeting

Did you know that NAFA is a member of the Coalition of Oregon Adoption Agencies (COAA)? We are a non-voting standing member. A few years ago, COAA voted to only offer memberships to Agencies and Home Study Providers. At the time, NAFA and Adoption Mosaic were allowed to be grandfathered in as non-voting members. With the closure of Adoption Mosaic, we are the only such entity. Two requirements must be met: an annual membership fee and attendance at 2/3 of the monthly meetings (there are usually 9 per year). As the current board president, I attend these meetings. I really enjoy knowing representatives of the adoption agencies and hearing the latest trends and laws affecting the adoptive culture. Instead of having the narrow focus of how my adoptions played out, I now have a frame of reference that includes agency, state, international, and foster adoptions. I learn how the state is treating adoption, special needs adoption, adoption assistance and licensing of agencies. All this helps in my preparation for the Waiting Family Meetings and Baby & Toddler Care Class that I coordinate for NAFA. I want to share with you  some of the information I have picked up at the first two meetings in 2016. -Dove Adoptions International has closed. -After it’s closure, Adoption Mosaic made a $620.23 donation to COAA -Sally Guyer resigned from Boys & Girls Aid Society (BGAID) effective 2/5/16; Sally will be working with the Parent Mentor Program at The Morrison Center. -May 2016 is the next SNAC (Special Needs Adoption Coalition) Training at BGAID -April 1-3 DHS Training for foster and state adoptions -Holt...

Letter to the Membership

Dear Members of NAFA, The Members of the Board met last Sunday to close out the 2014-2015 year and plan for the upcoming 2015-2016 year of NAFA events. We declared the past year a success! We hope you were able to attend one or more of our events. We work hard to keep NAFA present. We want to celebrate our uniqueness yet also the common bond we share. In June we mailed membership forms to those whose membership has lapsed. This is a significant number because previous attempts brought low return. We are happy that many families have chosen to stay with us. But we need more! Currently we have 90 current memberships. We would like that number to be over 100. A larger community assures diversity and that we can make an impact in the adoption world. Our events are primarily social in nature—but within that the emotional support for both parents and kids is immeasurable. I have talked to teens and young adults who grew up in NAFA. They always say that it was important to have friends who understood who they are and what they may be going through. I have talked to parents of these young adults. They still cherish the friendships they have because of NAFA. These are parents who knew the pains of wanting to be a parent. They share the stress of maintaining a relationship with a birth family. If you haven’t been with us in a while, I suggest you attend an upcoming event or help with an upcoming Baby & Toddler Care Class. See if you feel that NAFA is...