January, 2011     Volume 7,  Number 1

A frequently asked question this time of year is, "Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?  Yet this perfectly normal question hits a nerve for many people. The New Year is a marker by which many people take stock of where they are in their lives.  


If you are in the midst of family-building through fertility treatment or adoption,  this marker may stir up feelings of disappointment, anxiety or frustration with where you are in your journey, or even hopelessness about whether you will ever become a parent.


IAC Center is known for helping people to 'cross the bridge' from infertility to parenting through adoption or third party reproductive options.  We offer the practical advice, emotional support and sometimes even advocacy that people need to make it through this most difficult of journeys.  


From our perspective this is what we see happen most frequently:  When people are crossing the bridge from infertility to parenthood, they often fear that parenthood may NEVER happen............ and then Presto! It feels to them like they have become instant parents when their baby arrives. While on some rational level they knew all along that they would become parents, a part of them had self-protectively held back from really believing this. So infertility patients and pre-adoptive parents often avoid the more typical planning and preparing for their baby and the radical ways in which their lives will change. We see this happen over and over again, especially in adoption.


For those of you who are waiting to become parents I would like to suggest selecting a New Year's mantra.  My suggestion is: What a difference a year can make! Say it to yourself a thousand times. Use it to keep your spirits up. After all, this could be your year.   Use it to refocus your energy from worrying about "if" I ever become a parent to thinking about "when" I become a parent. Embrace being an expectant parent.  


Work on preparing for the life changes that are coming your way. Try to believe that this year  you will cross that bridge and reach your goal. I know some people are uncomfortable with positive thinking, believing it is too simplistic and even nave. But I will explain more about why IAC Center believes in this "mantra" concept after I tell you how this mindset helped our January featured couple.


Gregg and Mara

When I met this couple they asked me to help them prepare psychologically for becoming parents through adoption. At the time they were matched with a pregnant couple and expecting to adopt their baby in just a few months.  They had heard about IAC Center's work on this topic, and I was really glad they already understood:  Adoption is NOT just about getting a baby but about becoming parents....for a lifetime. They really wanted to talk about becoming parents, starting with how to get in shape to welcome their new baby.


While this may seem to be obvious, preparing for parenting is too frequently an afterthought.  With all the focus on 'getting a baby' or 'getting pregnant' it is not uncommon for people to lose sight of what comes afterward.  Instead, in counseling Gregg and Mara spent time discussing the practical, emotional and relationship issues related to their impending parenthood. How they would balance work and baby care? What did they understand about the different child care options? How would they handle some of the reactions of family and friends to their impending adoption? How would parenting impact their relationship?


Unfortunately that adoption situation fell through. They were sad and discouraged yet able to use counseling to work through some of their disappointment about this situation and to emotionally prepare for the next adoption situation. They were anxious, but thinking positively. They wanted to be open to connecting with the next expectant woman or couple they met so they could be selected; and to form the kind of relationship with those birth parents that would be in the best interest of their child.  Fortunately another situation presented itself and the rest as they say, is history. What a difference a year makes: Congratulations to Gregg and Mara!


What a difference a year makes: WHY Work on Staying Hopeful?

Timing is unpredictable. Waiting is toxic. Disappointments are devastating. Yet it is both practical and healthy to allow yourself some hope even if you have had more disappointments than you think you can handle.  Look forward. Center yourself.


WHY Mantras are not silly: They can help to keep you preparing on all levels for the major life changes of becoming a parent, so that you are ready for it when it happens. This way you will be able to welcome your baby into a calmer, more-prepared and happier home.... whenever this happens.  I hope it is soon.


If it helps you, try using the mantra I suggested: "what a difference a year makes" or select another mantra that works for you. Find a way to remind yourself that this could be your year to become parents


As you will see on our calendar, we are offering more groups than ever, some of our popular workshops are now in two locations; and we have some new workshops as well.  Our 3 key locations - Pennington (near Princeton) and Montclair NJ; and NYC are going strong.  


We would appreciate your vote on our Plans for a Fourth IAC Center Location - Possibilities include:

         Monmouth County, NJ

         Cherry Hill, NJ

         Center City Philadelphia


Vote here for our NEW:

4th IAC Center Location


This is truly a magical season... Let us help you make your dreams come true!   



IAC Center Director


Find us on Facebook

IAC Center Groups with Openings


See our calendar  

We have many groups for:

o    Infertility

o    Pre-adoptive parents

o    Adoptive Parents

o    Children and Teens


We LOVE groups and believe that there is nothing like support to help you through the hard times and to increase your resilience to deal with adversity. Learn something, feel better, even have a laugh.  Visit our Calendar to learn more.


Other IAC Center Plans for 2011


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.