October 5 2019
I hope you are all enjoying the crisp air and the coming season of change!

After a quiet spring, all our programs saw a steady increase in activity within the past few months. As we move into the fourth quarter, we are busy continuing our relationships with the community and providing top service for our families and children.

In early September, our wonderful team came together for our annual, all-day staff retreat at Gary Community Investors. We spent the day learning more about each other and participated in teambuilding activities. We addressed general housekeeping reminders and updates within the agency.

Since January, our birth parent counselors have provided over 800 hours of birth parent counseling. Our Infant Adoption program placed 11 infants , our Designated Adoption program placed 13 infants and our Flexible Families foster-to-adopt program placed 27 children with loving families. We also had 2 children placed with new, loving families through our Fresh Beginnings program . We are steadily on track for hitting our projected outcomes for the year.

Our big fundraising event is coming up quickly and I hope you are all able to attend! Costumes & Cocktails will be held on Saturday, October 26th from 7pm - 11pm at ViewHouse Centennial. This event is expected to be a crowd favorite complete with drink tickets, hors d'oeurves, games, silent auction, prizes and costume contest! This is a great opportunity to give back to the agency while attending an unforgettable evening, so I hope to see you all there! Your continued support is greatly appreciated and noticed.

We could not do this important work without you!


Adrienne Elliott, Executive Director
Families Needed for ARISE Pilot!
ARISE will be a post-adoption resource site offering support, guidance, and information. We are seeking families to participate in a pilot period as we prepare to roll out the site.

  • At this stage, we are seeking participants who are parenting an adopted child between the ages of 5-12 who was adopted through a domestic infant adoption or through the foster care system. In the future we will offer an expanded variety of services but for the initial evaluation period it will be limited to these types of adoptive families.
  • The focus group process will begin with an information session on December 5, 2019 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. You may attend this session in person at our office or via Zoom.
  • Plan on attending a face-to-face meeting in January at the beginning of the process. 
  • You will then be invited to participate in the ARISE services for a period of six months. During this time, you will be asked to complete some evaluation activities, including surveys and telephone calls.
  • A small group of participants will be invited to receive and evaluate online parent coaching services.
  • Incentives will be provided during the process.
  • At the conclusion of the six-month time period, you will attend a second face-to-face meeting.

If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact Sarah Olsen at solsen@adoption-options.com with your name(s), email address, child(ren)'s age, and type of adoption. You will be added to the contact list and you will receive further emails as we move forward. If your child's age or type of adoption does not fit the criteria for this first group but you are interested in participating in the future, you may contact us to be added to a wait list. Please let us know if you have any questions, and thank you for your interest!
Brian Rosen,
Board of Directors
A Cornhusker through and through, this proud Nebraska native is a bit of a renaissance man. Prior to getting his real estate license in 2017, Brian worked in education, the non-profit sector and in talent management. Then, in 2016, he founded one of the country’s hottest ice cream concepts, Chaos & Cream, which was profiled on the Food Network. His meticulous attention to detail and insatiable need to please clients have helped him succeed at every stage of life and, based on the results he has already produced in real estate, clearly those skills have carried over.
Bernadette Gonzales,
ARISE Board of Managers
Attorney Bernadette Gonzales is honored to come full circle and serve the community she has always been a part of. Following law school, Ms. Gonzales served as a law clerk for a District Court Judge in the 17th Judicial District, Adams County. She has served on the State Access to Justice Commission and the Adams County Access to Justice Commission. She served as a Commissioner on the 17th Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission. She is also active in the community and is a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Kelly Lynch Murphy,
ARISE Board of Managers
As a family law attorney for The Harris Law Firm, Kelly Lynch handles a wide range of divorce, child custody, and other family law cases that require compassionate and experienced guidance, both as an attorney and a mediator. Her work allows families the ability to achieve the best solutions, no matter how routine or complex the circumstances. In addition to her work as a family law attorney at The Harris Law Firm, Ms. Lynch devotes her time to pro bono work. She has previously spent her time advocating on behalf of homeless veterans in child support cases, divorce cases, and parental rights cases.
Jessica Olma,
ARISE Board of Managers
Jessica Olma believes life provides learning opportunities and a chance to evolve and realize a greater potential. She is the owner of Scribe Syndicate, a digital content provider for business websites including blog articles, educational, and promotional material. With a unique enthusiasm for researching, writing, and educating, she strives to connect with consumers across all industries. Topics she appreciates the most are related to technology, health, and nutrition.
Costumes & Cocktails
with Adoption Options!

Saturday, October 26th // 7 p.m. - 11 pm
ViewHouse Centennial | 7101 S Clinton St

Adoption Options is proud to have been selected for the Rolling Hills Gala & Golf Classic in June 2020! This 3-day exclusive event includes a Pool Gala, Golf Tournament & Tennis Mixer. Due to this honor, AO will not be holding a true gala this year and instead we are hosting Costumes & Cocktails on October 26, 2019. We hope you can join us!
Taylor & Shayla's Story
Embracing Choices through the Impacting Lives Program
By Loretta Truman, MSW, Birth Parent Counselor
The Impacting Lives program provides critically important support and counseling services to birth parents at a time when birth parents are most vulnerable and in need of assistance. A story that highlights the important work and the impact of the program is that of Taylor and Shayla.

Taylor is a birth mother who reached out to Adoption Options about a week ahead of her due date. Adoption Options had Taylor connected with a birth parent counselor who began providing immediate support and counseling. Taylor was extremely distraught and panicked about what would happen to her baby girl. Taylor struggled significantly with schizophrenia and had lost custody of her other children to the child welfare system.

Taylor described her own life growing up bouncing around the system, between various group homes, and never experiencing any family or housing stability. She wanted so strongly for her daughter to have a different life, for her to have so much more than the life she has had and that she would be able to offer her.

Through the guidance and support of an Adoption Options’ birth parent counselor, Taylor was able to make an adoption plan and bring to fruition her dream of her daughter growing up within one, permanent, loving home.

Taylor’s baby arrived early, before there was time to get her connected with an adoptive family. Taylor chose to use Adoption Options’ Cradle Care program, so that baby Shayla would have safe and loving care while she finished making her adoption plan. Shayla ended up needing surgery just a few days after she was born, to remove a teratoma. Adoption Options’ Cradle Care mom was right there in the hospital, every day, holding her and showering her with love throughout her recovery.

Taylor chose an adoptive family, a couple that has a 10-year-old daughter. She shared she chose them because she absolutely loved that her baby girl would get to grow up with an older sister looking out for her. Shayla was in the hospital for several weeks, recovering from surgery and receiving wound care to prevent infection. Adoption Options facilitated getting birth mom matched with the adoptive family quickly and then got the adoptive family to the hospital that same day to start visiting Shayla, per Taylor’s request. Taylor was adamant she wanted the adoptive family to start visiting with her as soon as possible to begin bonding. The results of Shayla’s teratoma testing showed that the tumor contained both benign and malignant cells, meaning that Shayla will need follow up care and testing annually throughout her life.

The adoptive family is committed to her care and thrilled to welcome her into their family.
Finding an Adoption-Competent Therapist
By Sarah Olsen, LCSW, Trainer & Content Developer

Many families with a connection to adoption find themselves in need of a therapist's services at some point. It may be regarding your child's behaviors, your relationship with one another, a time of trauma or crisis, or just a desire to improve your functioning as a family.

Sometimes, as adoptees grow, they may be faced with multiple issues occurring at the same time. Recently, I've had a number of conversations with adoptive parents whose school-age children are facing diagnoses of ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, learning disabilities, or other developmental concerns. Of course, these are intertwined with the core adoption issues that are present as well as family dynamics, individual temperament and other factors. If your family is facing something like this, can you work with any psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist to address the issues? Yes and no.

Any high-quality mental health professional should have some familiarity with adoption issues as well as expertise in their area of specialization. It may be difficult to find a therapist in your area who has experience with adoption. However, if possible it can be extremely helpful to work with a professional who has a high level of adoption competence. You may find that a therapist who has undergone special study, training, or personal experience with adoption can tap into the intersectional nature of your child's experience. If a psychologist is focusing only on your child's ADHD, for example, he or she may be overlooking the significance of the adoption experience or failing to help your child integrate those two parts of his or her being.

"Ok," you say, "I'm committed to finding our family an adoption-competent professional. But where do I look?" There are a couple excellent resources here in Colorado to assist you. 

The Adoption Exchange/Colorado Post-Adoption Resource Coalition offers advice on deciding whether your family needs a therapist, as well as a searchable list of Colorado professionals specializing in adoption and training opportunities for mental health professionals. https://www.adoptex.org/the-adoption-journey/post-adoption-services/colorado/mental-health-professionals/

Beyond Words Psychological Services, led by Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker, offers counseling and assessment services in the metro area as well as a nationwide listing of mental health providers who are themselves adoptees. https://www.growbeyondwords.com/adoptee-therapist-directory/

If your insurance covers this type of therapy, you may be able to search within the insurance provider's directory. Some professionals also accept Medicaid. Finally, you are always welcome to contact Adoption Options with questions about therapists or any other resource. With the increasing availability of teletherapy, it is possible to work successfully with a professional over video chat, even if that person is located far away. I encourage you to take the steps necessary to find a professional who is a good fit for your family and to optimize the well-being of everyone! 
Adoption Options Speaker's Bureau

Adoption Options holds a strong presence throughout Colorado providing training in adoption literacy and the adoption process for clinics, hospitals, county departments, schools and a variety of non-profit service providers. Our Speaker's Bureau provides experienced speakers who can present clear and compelling information for FREE on a wide range of adoption topics. 

A few of our favorite topics include: 
  • Adoption 101
  • The Birth Parent Journey
  • The Adoption Legal Process
  • Adoption Rumors and Reality
  • Adoption in the Workplace
  • LGBTQ+ Adoption
  • Understanding Infant Adoption*

All presentations can be tailored to best fit your needs, from formal presentations to a casual lunch and learn.

*Our Understanding Infant Adoption Training includes receiving 3.0 or 4.5 Continuing Ed credits.

Contact us today to learn more and how to schedule!
Have a Curious Teen? Check Out This Book!

Where can your average teen go to get all the reliable and accurate answers they need? In Case You're Curious, a text-and-answer program conceived by Planned Parenthood, has been providing this educational service for teens for years. And now In Case You're Curious is a big book of answers--with funny and educational illustrations--to the most popular and most interesting questions young people have about birth control, development, sexually transmitted diseases, and so much more. 
Save the Date for
Rolling Hills!

Adoption Options is proud to have been selected for the Rolling Hills Gala & Golf Classic in June 2020! This 3-day exclusive event includes a Pool Gala, Golf Tournament & Tennis Mixer.

More information on how to RSVP to come!
Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 10th!

Colorado’s largest day of giving, Colorado Gives Day, is taking place on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 . On this day, thousands of people come together to support Colorado nonprofits like ours. When you donate to Adoption Options, you’re helping us embrace choices and enrich the lives of women, children and families in our community.