WINTER 2018 News & Updates

LOOK AHEAD with AO's Executive Director  as she shares what the agency is looking forward to in 2018

LEARN the latest from  Colorado's Adoption Assistance Program

GET READY for summer with HCAF's  Domestic Adoption Camp

SAVE THE DATES for our  2018 events 

MEET our  new staff members

DirectorsPenDirector's Pen
by Adrienne Elliott,  Executive Director

A new year, a fresh start, a renewal of goals, and a recap of 2017. 
For me, the beginning of a new year is a chance to reflect on where we have been and also the excitement of where we are going. The year ahead can hold such promise. Maybe this will be the year you'll have that birth parent choose you, or have that sibling group placed in your family. For us here, it's being able to be part of the creation of families. Regardless of what your hope is, a new year is exciting. 

At Adoption Options we had a lot to be thankful for in 2017. We placed 76 children into their permanent families! Of those 76 placements, 37 children are no longer foster children. We counseled over 150 birth parents in a crisis pregnancy. We had five new staff members join the agency, and we held a very successful gala event. 

However, I am so excited about 2018. We are moving in so many wonderful and exciting directions. 2018 marks the beginning of our journey into exploring a social enterprise where we will develop a business that supports the agency to do work above and beyond adoption. This means birth parents will be able to access our resources (including  scholarships to learn job skills, help with obtaining a GED, or accessing other resources that will help them become "whole") even after the placement of their baby. For our flexible families, we could create a sliding fee scale so that more families are able to access our services and take placement of children in foster care. For our foster children, it means that a family can help their overall well-being including education, physical, mental, and emotional health.  Ultimately, a social enterprise will make this agency sustainable well into the future. 

We also have several exciting events taking place this year including our annual gala event in November celebrating National Adoption Month (watch for the new theme), a Miner's Alley play, and a Top Golf event.
We have a busy year ahead of us, but ultimately, our success comes down to our families and supporters. We can't do this work without you. I am excited for this year because it means so many things to us at the agency - a fresh start, a renewal of goals, and a remembrance of where we have been. I wish for all of you the same - a renewed purpose or a dream coming true. Let's have a great 2018!
treeCelebrating Our Growing AO Family Tree!

Colorado's Adoption Assistance Program
by The Office of Colorad's Child Protection Ombudsman

The Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman (CPO) completed a 16-month investigation of Colorado's adoption assistance program. The CPO worked with more than two dozen adoptive families and roughly 60 agencies across Colorado to complete the investigation. Ultimately, the CPO found four areas of the program are in need of improvement. 
  • First, the state law and rules that guide the adoption assistance program contain inconsistent interpretations of federal law. Currently, Colorado's law and rules fail to give families and practitioners guidance on the services and benefits available under the program. 
  • Next, insufficient guidance from state law and rule has weakened the Colorado Department of Human Services' (CDHS) ability to create a strong framework for county human services departments to work within. 
  • Third, the current formula used to allocate funds for the adoption assistance program also appears insufficient in capturing the complete needs of families utilizing the program. 
  • Finally, there is a lack of post-adoption services available for children in families in Colorado. These services ensure children remain in their adoptive homes and their families have the services that are required to raise them. 
The CPO issued 14 recommendations, one to the Colorado General Assembly and 13 to the CDHS. These recommendations are intended to ensure families across Colorado receive equitable consideration for benefits and services available under the program.

Read the full report HERE.
Camp4 Days This Summer...Impact For Life

Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families is putting on their 8th annual domestic adoption camp this summer! The camp will be held June 28 -July 1, 2018, at Regis University in Denver. Families built through domestic adoption, foster care, and kinship are welcomed and celebrated this weekend.

"The impact this camp had on my son was watching him interact with the other kids as if they'd always been best friends, and to see him getting more comfortable with what it means to be adopted."

"My daughter has talked about this camp ever since it ended last year. Somehow, she just knew it was a good feeling being there."

For more information you can visit the WEBSITE, watch a video about CAMP, or REGISTER!
Upcoming Events with Adoption Options

Miner's Alley Play
April 8, 2018
We'll be back in Golden at Miner's Alley for a performance of AlfredHitchcock's The 39 Steps  (adapted by Patrick Barlow). Additional details will be coming shortly, but mark your calendars!

Top Golf Tournament
Sunday, July 22, 2018 from 2-5 pm
Bring the whole family out for an afternoon at Top Golf! From expert to novice this event is perfect for all skill levels. We'll have a competitive event, a noncompetitive game, and there are also tons of other activities to keep the whole family entertained including pool tables, interactive video games, giant Jenga, cornhole, and much more.
Annual Gala
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Our annual gala is a highly anticipated event and is sure to be a night to remember. This year we'll be announcing a brand new theme! Join us for an evening which will include an inspirational program, live music, live and silent auction, and much more. Come out and celebrate National Adoption Month with us. 
StaffWelcome to the Team!

Joan Cordo,
Director of Fundraising & Development

Joan is the Director of Fundraising & Development and joined Adoption Options in December. She has been in the development role for many years and is excited to merge her passion for family and children with her fundraising expertise. Joan has lived in Colorado most of her life and received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado where she specialized in nonprofit. She loves spending time outdoors, traveling, and just hanging out with her family.   

Loretta Truman, 
Birth Parent Counselor
Loretta is originally from Kansas City. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Loretta moved to Denver in 2015 after living in New Zealand for a year to attend the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. She graduated in 2017 with a Master of Social Work degree and Animal-Assisted Therapy Social Work Certificate. Prior to joining Adoption Options, Loretta gained experience providing play and animal-assisted based therapy with her licensed therapy dog, Teddy, to young children in residential treatment. Loretta's favorite things include traveling, taking her dog to the park, cooking, and reading as many books as she can get her hands on. She just joined the team in January!
upcomingtraining Upcoming 2018 Trainings 

In the coming year, Adoption Options will be offering two classes that have been out of rotation recently. 

Lifebooks, offered twice in 2018, will guide adoptive parents in creating a sensitive and honest record of their child's early lives. Beyond a traditional "baby book," a lifebook provides an adoptee with precious information about his or her life before joining their adoptive family (even if that was at birth!) Join us for a workshop to introduce this concept and start creating your child's very own lifebook.  
REGISTER: Saturday, February 24, 9:00-12:00
REGISTER: Wednesday, September 26, 6:00-9:00

Adoption Options will also be offering Waking Up to Trauma twice this year, a course designed to explore the concept of well-being and how it impacts the daily care of children with a history of trauma. Foster and adoptive parents will develop solution-focused strategies to implement in their daily caregiving of children from the child welfare system. 
RSVP: Friday, May 11, 1:00-4:00
RSVP: Saturday, November 17, 9:00-12:00.

As always, Adoption Options will continue to offer the My Adoption Journey series, Dynamics of Transracial and Transcultural Adoption, and Infant Care for Adoptive Parents throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you at one of our trainings!
Everyone is on a different path through their adoption journey, and has different and valuable skills, experiences, and abilities to offer along the way. If you've been thinking about getting involved further at Adoption Options we have several opportunities for you to consider!

If you have interest in serving on the Adoption Options Board of Directors, consider this your call to action! Reach out to our Executive Director, Adrienne Elliott either by email or phone (303-695-1601) to express your interest or ask questions. We are especially looking for professionals with experience in the following: marketing, fundraising, judicial, entrepreneurship, or in the medical field.

We know our families and supporters come with an incredible toolkit of skills, connections, ideas, etc. If you're looking to give back to the agency with your time and talents, we'd love to match you up with events, projects, etc.
Reach out to our Fundraising & Development Director, Joan Cordo either by email or phone (303-695-1601) to start the conversion!

Are you an adoptee? Birth parent? Adoptive parent? We are looking for members of the adoption triad to share their stories in our training courses. New adoptive parents truly appreciate hearing about a diversity of adoption experiences. We are also looking to expand our list of physicians available to speak on the topic of medical issues in adoption. 
Speaking as a member of a panel takes only an hour or so a few times each year. If you are interested or know someone else who might be, please contact Sarah Olsen, LCSW, either by email or phone (303-695-1601).