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Grant Resource!

The Sparrow Fund is a wonderful organization that supports and encourages adopting and adoptive families in a variety , of ways. Their website and blog are nothing short of encouraging.,  Recently, while reading through some of the information on their website I realized that they offer to qualifying families grants that can help to cover the cost of medical assessments PRE-ADOPTION. This is fantastic!

As a homestudy case worker and adoptive parent I always recommend that my clients, especially those considering children with any sort of special need, have the child’s file reviewed by a medical professional that understands both adoption and institutional life.,  The main, reason is to help honestly prepare parents for the child’s possible needs so that they can truly assess what the days to come may look like and help prepare parents., The Sparrow Fund website states, “We believe that the family is responsible to be as well prepared as possible for the major life change that adoption brings. One of the most significant ways you can prepare yourselves is to bring in medical professionals to work with you to understand what it means to bring a child out of an institution or foster home and transition him or her into a permanent home.”

Sparrow Fund understands, just like many adoptive parents have already thought, that paying for a medical review of your child’s file can be difficult in the face of a costly adoption. This is why the offer grants to qualifying families.

This is a unique and much needed grant program. Thank you Sparrow Fund for encouraging and supporting adoptive families!,  Here is a link to the Sparrow Fund page for Medical Review grants.

Free Training from Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter offers fantastic training for adoptive families that is a resource offering solid information both before and after adoption. Heart of the Matter is training that MAA homestudy worker’s most often recommend and we think highly of it.

During this month, (National Adoption Month!) Heart of the Matter is offering several free trainings!

Here is the first one!

A Different Kind of Discipline:

Are you ready to get away from power struggles, Time Outs, nagging, scolding, threatening and constant consequencing?

Are you a relatively new parent trying to figure out a discipline plan that works for your family?

Would you like to learn more about how to discipline without hurting or shaming your child?

Do you want ideas on discipline that make sense given what we know about brain development and a child’s overall development?

Ready to think about what works?

A Different Kind of Discipline, explores how parents can provide firm, fair and loving discipline in a way that is compatible with the science of child development. , The course guides parents through key principles related to discipline and also provides concrete tools that parents can put to work in their own homes.

This course will give one credit hour of training for participants with a certificate to print out at the end of the course. It is usually $35.00 per person but there is a coupon code available to make the course FREE for a short time!

Go to:


And enter the coupon code: ADKD2014

Shopping for MAA: Amazon Smile

Did you know that there is a way to use your regular Amazon account, even the prime account with that wonderful free shipping, and at the same time donate money to MAA?

I did not realize this was so easy to do and I’m very excited about sharing this with you. We live out in the boonies and have found ourselves using Amazon a lot to order things. I accidently subscribed us to a Prime account (yes, accident…long story) but have actually found that we are using it for all that it is worth.

Simply by clicking HERE and using Amazon Smile as you would already use your normal Amazon account a percent of every single purchase you make will go right back to Madison Adoption Associates! These donations will go to fund all sorts of efforts that directly help orphans in China and the Philippines.

So, you can order your new book, pair of kids summer sandals, or package of organic raisins…and all of those things help fund MAA programs!

The link will take you to the main MAA website. You will see right on the screen an ad that our wonderful Sara Lang put there. Click on Amazon smile, login, and start your normal shopping. We appreciate so much you doing this small and free effort which can add up to make a big difference for the children!

I don’t know about you, but I, have a little online shopping to do….







Visa Processing

Dear Families-

Just wanted to share with you the message we received,  from
Rebecca of Joint Council:

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve received a number of inquiries regarding the effects of the U.S.
federal government shutdown on visa processing for adoptions and other
services related to intercountry adoption.,  A reminder that USCIS and NBC
are both fee for services offices and, therefore, not affected by the
shutdown.,  The Bureau of Consular Affairs is also not effected by the
shutdown.,  Therefore, there should be no issues with adoption cases relating
to the federal government shutdown.,  This being said, if you have families
traveling overseas we recommend you contact the Embassy that will process
the visa, just in case.

Documentary: Girl, Adopted.

From producers/directors, Melanie Judd and Susan Motamed:

Global Voices Girl Adopted

“Girl, Adopted is a contemporary coming-of-age story that follows 13-year-old Weynsht from her orphanage in urban Ethiopia to an adoptive American family in rural Arkansas. The film captures an irrepressibly adolescent Weynsht as she works to figure out who she is in the aftermath of her adoption. The, film follows her struggle to find love among strangers in the U.S. and to understand what to make of this love on an unexpected return trip to Ethiopia.
“Weynsht’s story offers a real-time, child’s-eye view of being adopted across race and culture. Without taking a pro- or anti-adoption position, it acknowledges the complexity involved in this increasingly common experience. The film revolves around the central question: what is it like to get everything you need but to lose everything you know?”

, , Girl, Adopted will air on the World Channel series “Global Voices” on Sunday, September 29 at 10pm EST.

Don’t get World Channel in your area? Don’t worry! Girl, Adopted will be available to view online for 30 days after it airs at

Visit the movie’s official Facebook page or website for more information

Adoption Song

I like Keb Mo.

We don’t sit for coffee or anything, but I know him. At least I know him enough to make him a station on my Pandora channel and stop folding laundry when his songs come on in order to start singing loudly and bobbing all around the living room.,  It all started with a song called City Boy, but that is entirely another story.

Can’t recall what we were doing the other day when the song playing in the background caught my attention, but I do remember freezing. “Are they singing about adoption?”, more importantly are they singing beautiful words that I feel, and know and live every single day?

Yes indeed.

I cranked it up.

Artist: Keb Mo

Album: Big Wide Grin (entire album is for children too!)

Song: I am your Mother too




Books for Kids About Adoption

Picture, I ran across this link on Pintrest and it led to a wonderful blog called Africa to America.,  The writer gives a small review and narrative of each book, and in addition she has some fantastic writing on her blog about all things adoption.,  She has a great list of some of my family’s personal favorite children’s book (A Mother for Choco, oh we adore it!).,  It might be just what you are looking for to add to your home library.



“What is it like?”~ A glimpse into the life of a mother of 6 adopted children with special needs.

The following is from an MAA parent who is sharing with us a little bit about the reality of raising a child with special needs. She is sharing so that others who are considering adopting a child with special needs such as many of the waiting children in China might get some of their questions answered. Please know MAA wants parents to be informed, and we are so happy to connect you to other resources (including experienced adoptive parents) that can help answer real life questions!


I have adopted 6 children with special needs.,  Three of our children have Hepatitis B.,  This has to be one of the easiest special needs out there.,  My children have to have their blood drawn once a year, and have a MRI of their livers.,  They see the pediatric gastrinologist once a year.,  I often forget all about their need until one gets a cut.,  Then it all comes back to me.,  I know I need to take extra precautions on cleaning up any surfaces they may have bled on.,  My husband and I and all our children have been vaccinated against this virus.,  It is a very manageable need.

We have a daughter with cleft lip/cleft palate.,  This is one of the more involved needs out there.,  I often hear of people saying it is a minor need and I have to disagree.,  Cleft lip/cleft palate or otherwise known as cl/cp can have other complications involved such as hearing, heart, etc.,  We are very blessed in that my daughter does not have any of these other needs.,  There are many surgeries that are involved in repairing a cl/cp child.,  It is not a ,,¦¦Åone surgery and it is done,,š type of need.,  My daughter is 8 years old and has already had 3 surgeries, and is getting ready to have her fourth surgery in a few weeks.,  I was told by her doctors they will do her final surgery at the age of 18 or 19.,  Having said that, we are so blessed in having her in our family.,  She is a true inspiration in the way she handles all of her surgeries and speech issues.

, We have a son with multiple needs.,  He was listed as ,,¦¦Åmild mental delay.,,š,  He is much more than that., ,  It didn,,¦¾št take long for his doctors to diagnose our son with fetal alcohol syndrome and microcephaly.,  He also has vision issues, hearing issues, mild cerebral palsy, etc,,š¦,  He is such a joy in our life.,  He has to go to the eye dr every 4 months for his eye problems, but other than that he is pretty easy.,  Our son will always be dependent on us, and sometimes the magnitude of his delays hit us in the face.,  But the unconditional love he shows is amazing.,  I have learned so much from the continuous joy he has in life and family.,  My son is happy, smiley, and laughing 90% of the time.,  He bounces back from his disappointments very quickly.

, We have a daughter with left side hemiplegia and leg length difference.,  She has only been home for 5 months so we are still in the throes of her medical assessments.,  Our daughter is truly amazing in her ability.,  She only has one good hand, but she dresses herself every day.,  She runs and is getting more stable, even though she walks on her tip toes on one foot.,  Our daughter will receive a botox shot next week and 3 weeks of casting to help make her foot flat.,  She will be wearing an AFO on her affected foot afterward.,  I was told she will be seeing the pediatric orthopedist every 6-9 months following this procedure.