What is Families Supporting Adoption?

Families Supporting Adoption {FSA} is an organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints {LDS} Family Services, seeks to promote a positive view of adoption. The organization has more than 5,000 members including adoptive couples, birth parents, adults who were adopted, and adopted professionals. There are Chapters of FSA throughout the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. FSA focuses its efforts on four main areas: Outreach, Education, Support, and Activities.

Outreach : FSA meets with birth parents and families, church groups and community groups to share information and dispel myths about adoption.

Education and Support : FSA provides education and support to families involved in the adoption process. The Education Committee organizes training meetings to help adoptive parents to enhance their skills to become the best adoptive parents.

Activities : The Activities Committee plans activities for birth mothers and local FSA chapter for adoptive families, past and present, to promote socialization and support.

{The above information was provided by LDS Family Services Orange County California}

I recently spoke to a group of women who are leaders in the LDS church. I shared what FSA means to me and how it has impacted my life. Below is my presentation . . .

When my hubby and I first learned about FSA the meetings were required to work towards adoption. We planned on attending but did not think too much into it. We felt if we did our part doing all we could Heavenly Father would bless us. 
Over time we began to get to know the other couples attending the meetings and become more comfortable attending. We were thrilled when we were asked to be a part of the committee! This meant we would be able to plan the meetings, the topics, the direction and help get others excited to attend. We have had incredible spiritual experiences in many of the meetings. Our hearts have overflowed with love for those involved with FSA. Being able to plan the meetings has been so helpful in many areas on the topic of adoption. I have found that most people are not educated on adoption so it has been valuable to cover topics such as: dealing with the heartbreak of failed placements, listening first hand to birth mothers, fathers and grandparents share their perspective, what to expect along the way, adoption and taxes, how to market yourselves.

By becoming involved with FSA and being active participating members our adoption experience was much more pleasant. We found new friends who understand what we were going through. I was not prepared for the many rude & hurtful comments that I would receive over the years of us working towards adoption. With the support and friendship of others who attended FSA I found the strength to overcome the trials of adoption.  We were able to open up to them in ways I did not ever imagine. We have gained life long friends. We have had the opportunity to be uplifted by them and also uplift them during the darkest parts of adoption. I never planned on making new friends through our adoption experience and I am in awe how Heavenly Father knows exactly whom we need in our lives at an exact moment in time. I have learned so much about myself and more importantly I have truly come to know for myself that our Father in Heaven really does know each of us. His plan is so much better than any thing I could ever dream up on my own. My heart has come to love the other couples that are in a similar situation in life and with out my involvement with FSA I would never have met these friends.

Here at FSA we try to create an open loving environment, where everyone feels comfortable and can participate. We want each person to feel that they can make suggestions on topics to discuss, ask questions about anything from what its like at the hospital, ideas on birth mother gifts, what to expect at court and just in general network with the other couples. We want the couples to know they can invite their friends and help educate them on the topics we discuss as well.
I have watched FSA transform over the years in which I have attended.  In the beginning I noticed not many couples came and those that did, did not speak with each other, they would leave just after the meeting was over.  The couples did not consistently attend the meetings. Now the couples come and everyone interacts wanting to chat after each meeting. The couples actually know each other and when someone new comes everyone is excited to meet them and hear all about them.  People ask questions and interact with the speakers.  Couples who have adopted in the past come and support the new couples.  We all rejoice over good news and our hearts break together over sad news. We are truly friends here. 
I never ever imagined that I would have an opportunity to be so involved with adoption. My husband and I have been blessed time and time again through our involvement with FSA. I encourage all who are considering adoption weather it be through LDS family services or another organization weather you are interested in adopting an infant, toddler or older child to come to our meetings. I can honestly say I have learned something at each meeting and more importantly I leave filled with the spirit.  

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