July, 2010     Volume 6, Number 4
Summer is one of my four favorite seasons! What better time to slow down, enjoy ourselves and just let life happen. 
In addition to discussing the virtues of relaxing and how you can use it to make new discoveries and difficult decisions, this newsletter also includes some articles about adoption issues; a NEW SECTION with a featured IAC Center family; and our upcoming workshops and groups.  And see the IAC Center Calendar for some upcoming adoption conferences and camp opportunities for kids.     
Many good things start to happen when we relax and refresh. The NY Times just posted a relevant article called Discovering the Virtues of a Wandering Mind.  New research on daydreaming found that stray thoughts are not only remarkably common, but that these thoughts can often be quite useful.
The research concludes that "Sometimes daydreaming is counterproductive, yet it sometimes fosters creativity and helps to solve problems" and that "people prone to mind wandering score higher in creativity".  One more great reason to let your selves relax!
If you are dealing with family building or family life issues, you will probably want to add daydreaming to your toolkit.  Relatively undemanding tasks seem to free your mind to wander productively. To encourage this, you may want to jog, bike, stretch, knit, nap, doodle or do anything that gives you "flow time" which can be defined as being fully immersed in your activity and not distracted by thoughts, worries or even the clock.  Counseling or relaxation techniques can help you learn to relax enough to enter this creative process.  
After letting you mind wander you will probably find that you return to the problem with a fresh mind and new insights. Isn't it great news to learn that deeper processing happens even when we don't know it?  All we need to do is let ourselves relax and then capture the new thoughts that surface.  
In this context I had the oddest experience this morning.  As a diehard New Yorker who has missed living in NYC for the 7 years I have lived in New Jersey, I was surprised to wake up this morning at a friend's NYC apartment to find myself actually missing my NJ home and lifestyle. Instead of birds, trees and quiet, I woke to city sounds, smaller, darker surroundings and found these to be less pleasant for the very first time in my life. How did this shift happen?  I love the friend I visited, had a wonderful time with her, but I actually just learned that I prefer my current lifestyle to the city life I spent 7 years missing!
I have no idea how or when this internal shift occurred but it is thrilling to learn that I have finally settled in to my NJ home! NYC may have Broadway Shows  and Magnolia Bakery and endless stimulation, but my New Jersey home has a beauty and freedom all its own; and many special places and experiences to discover as well. 
If you are Crossing a bridge from infertility to adoption or to donor options; or trying to solve a family relationship or family member's problem you have difficult feelings and decisions to process. While you will find new sources of happiness, doing so is a process, aided by taking in information, considering yours and other involved people's feelings, having some new experiences and letting some time and the creative process work its magic. You will probably find it hard to identify the moment in time when it all becomes totally clear; or a new approach actually became appealing, or a decision is really made. Your wish for a biological child transforms into your love for your child, however he or she came to you. Your wish to control the outcome of a problem or even a family member transforms into new discoveries and satisfactions.
Counseling and psycho-education can help you to turn your dreams and wishes into realities.  Part of what happens is conscious and deliberate - you attend sessions, address issues, examine new or deeper ideas or feelings.  The more magical part is less conscious. By opening yourself up to processing your thoughts and feelings, you will experience subtle and powerful life changes, get unstuck, open up to new possibilities, and actually enjoy them. Who knew New Jersey would really feel like home and that I would come to love it?!!!   
In fact I just found a great place for mind-wandering in NJ that may appeal to you too: Twenty minutes from the Pennington office is Frenchtown a wonderful little village on the Delaware River, with pretty houses, excellent restaurants, quiet inns, interesting shops, a walking/biking path and a chance to do some inner tubing in the Delaware River. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love has a store in Frenchtown called www.twobuttons.com where you can find unique and well priced art, furniture and items from her travels to Bali and beyond.    
To help you encourage your own creative process, here is a short "Summer To-Do List." The possibilities are infinite so I am sure you will add your own "tasks."     
  1. Get yourself to the water - ocean, lake, river, pool or even a spa. 
  2. Do a project - Decorate a room; learn a new cooking technique, start your adoption profile  or help your child create his own lifebook  even if you already created one for him or her.
  3. Make Happiness your project - Psychologists historically studied problems and their solutions, but more recently happiness is being researched and quantified.  Learn some techniques that should increase your happiness quotient: The Happiness Project    
  4. Meet like-minded people - Nothing increases resilience in life more than communicating with people who understand and validate your experience.  Consider joining one of our New Groups listed below; or talking with a friend or family member who really "gets" what you are dealing with.
  5. Have fun while staying cool:  See Movies, ice skate, go to a water park or playground. Wear water shoes everywhere.   Two movies touch on IAC Center client topics: Mother and Child and coming in July The Kids Are All Right (2010); or you may enjoy Eat, Pray, Love  and clearly movie choices are not only infinite but available in all sorts of formats.  
  6. Take your self on an Artists date. An artist's date is a date with your self. You either take your self somewhere you would enjoy or you give your self time to meander and discover what you feel like doing. This concept - a date with your inner-artist, or your inner-child - was developed by Julia Cameron, author of the Artist's Way, a book that with an inspiring method to increase mind wandering and to hone its effectiveness.
  7. Take time to do something sentimental - visit a favorite place; make your mother's summer pie; see an old friend. You can stir memories and open your mind up in this way.
  8. Create a new tradition - The possibilities are infinite and this way you will have something wonderful to look forward to next year as well. 
  9. Find a sanctuary - A special quiet place in your home, or nearby. A spot in Central Park in NYC; or perhaps a park like Grounds for Sculpture near Princeton, or a special hike or bike ride.
  10. Send in your ideas!
The key idea is to Surrender to Summer! Give yourself a chance to trust the creative process. Make space for it. You never know what random act or activity will be the spark you need to make the positive changes in your life or to appreciate what you already have.
NEW Section: IAC Featured Family

This new section is being presented to celebrate the formation of families.


Waiting parents' need a lot of support.  Sometimes the wait or the hurdles are so difficult that it feels like it will never happen. The reality though is that if people are able to stick with the family building process and use legitimate and honest adoption agencies or attorneys the statistic for success in becoming parents through adoption is close to 100%; and while less certain with reproductive technologies, many succeed through those methods as well. 


While it is never clear exactly how it will happen, our clients almost always achieve their dreams.    IAC Center is here for you throughout the process and is known to offer personalized, experienced service, support, and when needed, advocacy for our clients. The wait can be excruciating; but the results are always worth it.

 Meet the Bermans:



An agency, an attorney, and another agency later....IAC Center clients Lynne and Dave persisted in their efforts to become parents. Through no fault of their own, as they are a fantastic, down to earth, appealing couple, their adoption wait began to feel like the never ending story.  At last, through their current agency, Friends in Adoption, they were matched with a birth mother, and are now parents to Eva Nicole, D.O.B. 3/24/10. They are blessed and we are thrilled for them!

Summer and Fall Workshop Highlights
Upcoming Group News
Contact JMantellMSW@iaccenter.com or 609-737-8750 about all groups except where otherwise specified.
  • NEW Infertility Support Groups forming now in Pennington and Summit, NJ
  • Pennington Pre-Adopt Group - will start Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 7 p.m.
  • New York Pre-Adopt Group - Will start on a Tuesday in September
  • Pennington Girl's Group - For girls ages 8 to 10. Interview in the summer for group in September meeting the 2nd Friday of the month from 4:30 to 5:45.
  • Montclair Teen Group Interview in the summer for Fall group. Contact IAC Center Counselor Bridget Devine at bdevinemsw@gmail.com or 973-534-6680 for a screening interview.
  • Pennington Adoptive Parent's daytime group - Group will meet the third Thursday of the month from 10:30 to 12 noon. 
See the IAC Center Calendar for other workshops, group with openings and FYI special events. 

Please write me at: JMantellmsw@iaccenter.com if you would like to join a group, attend a workshop, be an IAC Center featured family, or have an article you would like to have included in our Fall newsletter which will feature Back to School and How to Make Family Building Decisions.


Have a wonderful Summer and know that IAC Center is here for you at all points along the way in your journey,  



IAC Center Director

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Counseling offers a non-biased overview of family building options to facilitate individuals and couples in making timely decisions that are mindful of long term implications. Using a life-long short-term counseling model, counseling is available throughout the adoption life cycle for all adoption triad members.