November, 2010     Volume 6,  Number 6

The holiday season is upon us. A busy time of year for everyone. Old and new traditions, intensified emotions, more socializing, food and family contact (and did I say intensified emotions?!). Respectful of your time, this newsletter will be brief and hopefully uplifting to you.

FIVE quick wishes for you from IAC Center:
  1. We hope you will join us for the IAC Center Holiday Party - Meet other families and share your journey.  We are asking that you bring a non-perishable item to the party (canned goods/rice/beans...) which will be donated to foster families in New Jersey. 

  2. Focus on Happines -No matter where we are in our lives there is much to be grateful for and focusing on it will only increase our happiness.  As adoptive mom Sheryl Crow said in her song Soak Up the Sun: "It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you've got." 

    But how do you feel happy while you are distressed about "not having what you want"? If you are waiting to parent through medical treatment or adoption, keep in mind that working on your happiness now will help you prepare to parent. Abruptly shifting from being so upset to parenting is not the best way to start out life with your new baby. So take some time to get into emotional shape for your child. Work on yourself and your own happiness - and the same goes for parents - there is never too much Happy!   

    I am a huge fan of author Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project. Having been a therapist for years I am thankful that the newer psychologies are attempting to quantify what makes us happy rather than just focusing on what is problematic or pathological. I learn something new from her newsletter every month. You can sign up for it on her website or check out her book

    Gretchen Rubin recommends refueling and taking time to do small pleasurable things, just because. My plan is to spend an afternoon with my daughter baking either the pumpkin pie or the pumpkin pecan cupcakes from my favorite, the Magnolia Bakery. I wish you many small pleasures too.

  3. Accept Support- The holidays can be very difficult. Every single research study says the same thing - Support and relationships are the best ways to build resilience; weather difficult times; and as a recent NY Times article Living to 100 and Beyond  points out, social connections and life passions keep us healthy. Sharing our experiences with other people, we are more likely to stay the course and reach our goals. See IAC Center Groups listed below if you want to join a support group or reach out to whoever you know who makes you feel good.

  4. Find ways to maintain hope.  We cannot change the past but we can always find ways to heal and to create hopeful and realistic plans. Looking back, I hope you will be able to say "What a difference a year can make".

    If becoming a parent is what you want, it will happen. If dealing with difficult family or personal issues is what you want, counseling and professional guidance are available. Make wishes.....and focus on them.

  5. Pursue your dreams- whatever they are. One of IAC Center's clients had 3 dreams come true and I will share 2 with you now, and let her share the 3rd when she is ready. She and her husband successfully adopted a teenage boy; and managed his transition from foster care to their family which includes 4 other children. And she became a published writer for Adoptive Families Magazine. Read her article: Real-World Lessons

If you are waiting to become a parent through medical treatment or adoption I hope you will come to our holiday party and meet some parents who were once waiting just like you are. They felt exactly as you are feeling and can reassure you that if you stay the course, your own dreams will come true.

Daniel's First Halloween
Daniel's First Halloween

These kinds of stories make us grateful every day for the work we do.

At IAC Center, we have the good fortune of being able to learn about how people love every single day.


  • Look for IAC Center Tips on Surviving the Holiday and Gifts related to Family Building next month.

Winter Workshop Highlights

-       February 5, 2011 Pennington NJ

-       April 2, 2011 in NYC sponsored by The Gladney Center.

  • W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop - Saturday, February 26, 2010 in King of Prussia, PA. Sponsored by the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania
  • NEW for 2011 Frontload Your Child Now to Meet the Challenges of Adolescence - April 16, 2011 in Pennington, NJ. A cutting edge workshop about mindful parenting. You will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare your self and your child for the more complex issues of adolescence. More information will be posted soon.
  • NEW for 2011 Crossing the Bridge from Infertility to Adoption or Third Party Reproductive Options - Sunday,May 15, 2011 in Princeton NJ.  Developed by Joni Mantell, LCSW and Andrea Braverman, PhD. We have expanded the content of this popular workshop (Crossing the Bridge from Infertility to Adoption) to include a track for people considering building their family through third party reproductive options. Speakers will include professionals and people who have personal experience with these options from all perspectives (Adoption triad, Donors, Gestational Carriers, parents and children through 3rd party reproduction.)  More information will be posted soon.

IAC Center Workshops are accepted by some adoption agencies for home study credits. See the IAC Center Calendar for other workshops, group with openings, IAC Center Counselor speaking engagements and FYI special events. 

To learn more about these workshops, have IAC Center Counselors present workshops at your event; or co-sponsor one of our events, contact

Upcoming Group News

IAC Center Groups in Pennington, Summit, Montclair NJ & NYC



These groups currently have openings. Contact or 609-737-8750 

Please join us to celebrate the holiday season

 Meet other families
 Have a reunion with your group members
Share your journey


DATE:     December 10, 2010

TIME:      6:00 p.m.  - 8:30 p.m.

   2 Tree Farm Rd, Pennington, NJ  08534
                   (Downstairs from Suit A200)

December 3rd requested.  Please register here.


Contact Emily Morgan at the IAC Center at

or 609-737-8750

We welcome all IAC Center clients, professionals the Center works with and anyone else who would like to meet us, enjoy the party and learn more about the Center.


Best Wishes to All for a happy holiday season and family 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.