September, 2010     Volume 6, Number 5

Oh it has been an interesting summer!  The only ones missing from this photo are Scarlet, Hazel, Sunset, Pearl, Ivory and Blanca - my daughter's new chickens.  One could either say I have gone stark raving mad, or that I am a true believer in all kinds of complex relationships and families!
Seriously though, if you are trying to build or blend your family; or maybe you are just living with the complexities of family life...we have a great set of counselors, groups and workshops ready for you! IAC Center Counselors are skilled in working with various forms of loss, transitions, loyalty conflicts, complex relationships, attachments and communication issues.
In addition to infertility and adoption, IAC Center Counselors work
with all kinds of blended and nontraditional families. And we have something for everyone on this
September To-Do List:
  • Focus on your goals or create some new ones - Even if you're not going back to school you probably feel this season's invigorating, goal-oriented and pro-active kind of energy. Some people even create what can be likened to a second set of New Year's Resolutions. So give yourself a chance to think about what you want, make a list and then definitely devote some time to getting it. 
  • Get help with decision making if you need it - Feeling stuck, not knowing how to move forward, or at an impasse with your partner?  Get support; attend a family building options or pre-adoption consultation or a counseling session at IAC Center in Pennington, Princeton, Montclair or Summit NJ; or NYC 
  • If you are parenting, read some articles to help your kids with back to school - both the general and the adoption related ones. See:
  • Give your self a well-deserved rest. Even parents who went through the extraordinary lengths of infertility or adoption to become parents need to know they are entitled to take a break. And sometimes they really need it this time of year - a lunch with a friend, a spa day, a walk in a park - simple pleasures. Do whatever it takes and whatever you can for just YOU!
  • Empty Nesting AFTER infertility or adoption?  Feeling sad and a bit lost as your kids go off to college?  Actually there may be special issues for empty nesters who have a history of infertility. Read Joni Mantell's comments in Adoptive Families Magazine about Helping Mom handle the college transition when Mom is an infertility veteran; and know that you are not alone.  Re-connect with your old support groups.
  • Feeling isolated?  Meet like-minded people - No matter what life stage you are at, nothing increases resilience and yes, even fun during complicated times more than communicating with people who understand and validate your experiences.  Consider joining one of our Groups or talk with a friend or family member who really "gets" what you are dealing with.  See our Groups section with openings listed below. 
  • Tell your story in the privacy of a booth. StoryCorps, the revolutionary oral history project and NPR hit series, is traveling the country collecting extraordinary stories from everyday people told in their own voices. Some stories make you laugh, and some make you think. They touch you. They provide you with a fresh perspective.    From September 9th through October 2, 2010, you can Tell your story to StoryCorps in Trenton which is close to the Pennington IAC Center office.  The StoryCorps mobile StoryBooth - an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio - will be parked between the NJ State Museum and the NJ State Library in Trenton, New Jersey.  To reserve your place in this popular and historically significant national oral history project, visit the StoryCorps reservation page or call 800-850-4406. Registration is free, but spots may go quickly. To learn more about StoryCorps and to hear some of the stories collected from New Jersey and across the country, visit the NJN StoryCorps webpage
  • Wherever you are in your journey it is always good to take some time to examine your parenting philosophies. Do you think children learn through play, experiences in nature, and problem solving; or rote and didactic instruction; or a combination of all of these methods? Your child's temperament will be a factor and you will want to keep in mind that what works for your child may be different than what worked for you.
If you are in infertility treatment or waiting to adopt, try on the parenting hat and begin to consider the choices of parenting styles; and how they fit with your personal history and your values. This can help to shift your mindset from focusing on getting the baby to parenting which will you do for a lifetime. And open your mind to the kinds of parenting issues you may soon be dealing with very soon. 
If you are already a parent you will find yourself thinking about nature and nurture, and how your child is and is not like you, and how you feel about this. It is never simple, and yet parenting is ultimately about doing the best we can with the child we have and love.
  • With this in mind let me tell you a little something about my own daughter......and you can file this under:
Try something new- take advantage of the energy of the season. At our house we have decided to raise chickens and are getting 6 eggs a day at this point, with a plan to add 3 more hens in the next week or so.
For me this has been an eye-opening experience. I am a city girl and typically prefer a Broadway Show to farming. But I am a parent of a daughter whose interests are different than mine. I want to nurture her interest in nature and am going along for this ride; and actually enjoying it very much. 
Parenting is an amazing experience and opportunity to see the power, beauty and uniqueness of your child's identity emerge and to give it space to develop; and to even learn from your child in the process...and in my case, to eat some amazing eggs!  
  • Order some eggs from my daughter:  She has made the following announcement and I am happy and proud to share it with you!
Announcing the opening of Skye's Eggs, offering fresh, free range eggs for sale. At times like this it is better to buy locally, and not at large farms where they recall eggs because of salmonella. These farms have hundreds of chickens and they treat them inhumanely. We have a small number of hens that we feed organic food and let outside to free range daily. We don't keep our hens in small cages like other farms. The quality of the food, the good exercise, and the lower stress of free range chickens ensures better tasting eggs. We don't feed our chickens any hormones or preservatives. You will be amazed at the difference in taste! We have brown and white eggs available; and coming soon: Blue eggs!!! 
Contact: Lydia at - Include your email if your interested and state how many eggs you would like and of which color. You will be able to pick up your eggs at IAC Center in Pennington, NJ.
  • Think Autumn - This is my favorite season. In the country, biking, hiking, leaf- changing, local apple picking at Terhune Orchard  in Princeton NJ; and pie making. In the city, the perfect weather for walking, meandering and enjoying new discoveries and favorite places.
Fall Workshop Highlights
  • Baby Care for Adoptive Parents - September 25, 2010 in Summit, NJ.  An opportunity to prepare for new parenting in a comfortable environment with other pre-adoptive parents. Room for one more family.    
  • Domestic Adoption: Communicating with Birthparents- September 25, 2010 in Pennington, NJ.  Pre and post adoptive parents have the unique opportunity to learn from and communicate directly with our birth parent panelists who placed babies from 2 to 12 years ago. 
  • Making the Decision to Adopt- October 7, 2010 in Pennington, NJ.  A presentation and interactive discussion with Joni Mantell, LCSW. Participants will be able to assess their readiness to adopt; learn how to get on the same page with their partners and about the beginning steps of making an adoption plan.
  • W.I.S.E. Up! For parents and children ages 6 to 11 - Madison NJ is almost sold out so sign up quickly if you are interested; or join us for this program in Philadelphia on February 26, 2011.
Upcoming Group News
These groups currently have openings:
Contact or 609-737-8750 if you would like more information about joining any of these groups.
See the IAC Center Calendar for other workshops, group with openings and FYI special events. 

Please write me at: 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 Holiday newsletter.   


Have a wonderful Fall 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.