April, 2011     Volume 7,  Number 2

I hope you will join us this spring for a brand new workshop: Frontload Your Child NOW for the challenges of Adolescence offered in BOTH Montclair on May 7, 2011 and Pennington May 14, 2011; and check out some great reading suggestions here too.


Lately I have been reading A LOT.  This may be due to the crazy weather which meant more time indoors; or possibly because reading keeps me on the stair master just a little bit longer, or that there are just so many good books.  I am up to a book a week and loving it. Some of these books have infertility and adoption themes, so I would like to share those with you.



  1. "Moloka'i"  is a beautiful and moving story about Rachel, a Hawaiian woman who contracts leprosy as a seven-year-old child in the 1890s and is deported to the island of Moloka'i, where she grows to adulthood in a quarantined settlement. We follow Rachel from youth, to her marriage to a fellow leper; to the birth of their healthy daughter, who they must give up for adoption to prevent infection; to Rachel's final years after sulfa drugs are discovered as a cure, leaving her free to seek out her family and daughter. Whether you read "Moloka'i"  for the history, to witness Rachel's resilience or to learn about adoption triad themes, this book is a great read.     
  2. On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility by Helen Adrienne, a RESOLVE therapist, hypnotist and well-respected colleague of mine approaches the mind/body experience of infertility with practical exercises and solid mind/body stress reduction techniques.  Her approach provides inspiring benefits for building resilience, and learning how to respond rather than react to all kinds of life challenges.  
  3. In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends  This is THE GIFT for your friends and family so they can understand and support your adoption journey. All I can say is that we are very lucky that Elisabeth O'Toole wrote this book because she really gets what this experience is all about, and coaches those you love to get it too.   
  4. A revised and updated version Adam Pertman's Adoption Nation  is about the changing role of adoption in American society; and includes current portrayals of adoption triad members and solid analysis about the politics, legalities, economics, and sociology of adoption. Putting adoption in its social context can be helpful to you, your family and friends. 

I wrote a new Adoptive Families Magazine (March/April issue) article: Surviving Infertility   about what it's normal to feel, even after you adopt and fall in love with your child. It may not be what you expected and in that way validating for many of you.

Speaking of children, it is never too early to start looking ahead! Whether you are a parent or a parent-to-be we recommend that you join us for our May Workshop:  Frontload Your Child NOW for the Challenges of Adolescence.  We are offering this workshop in Montclair  on May 7,2011 and in Pennington  May 14, 2011.   


This cutting edge workshop about the challenges of parenting came out of numerous IAC Center Counselor case discussion meetings in which it was often quite clear to us that families presenting with concerns about their kids would have benefited greatly if they had come into counseling much earlier.


Early intervention or prevention that results from looking ahead and thinking through certain issues gives parents a leg up. You can consciously develop parenting styles and skills that will position you and your children better for the inevitable challenges of the older child and teen years. And of course it is much easier to intervene before a child or often a parent's suffering has gone on for awhile. So join us... because they ALL grow up! And you want to help your child to be the best he or she can be.    


With the weather finally becoming beautiful, my plan is to invest in some really comfortable outside chairs so I can continue my reading odyssey in the fresh air. Please send me your picks as there are never too many books! I am at JMantellmsw@iaccenter.com and welcome your suggestions, and any questions or comments about our favorite topics: infertility, adoption and resilience.


Dare I say it.....Happy Spring!



IAC Center Director


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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.


Upcoming IAC Center Workshops


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.