September 2013
Back to School!

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." 

-Albert Einstein


It's a boy!
Congratulations Benedicts!

Zephaniah Darrell
Born on August 28, 2013
8 lbs 2 oz

Catching up with the Cuthbertsons

 Garrett and Ruthann share about their journey with IPAS.



Ruthann, Bryce, Garrett, and Joel with the judge on Finalization Day.

Why did you choose IPAS?

This was our second adoption through IPAS.  Our older son, Bryce, is almost four-years-old.  We felt at home with the IPAS staff from the very first orientation meeting for the first adoption, which is important when you are going to commit to the lengthy and emotional process of getting certified for adoption.  IPAS staff helped us get through the certification steps and made the process easier overall with their expertise and kindness.  Also, I liked the fact that about half of the pregnant women that come through the IPAS doors go on to parent their babies.  As a mother, I am glad that these women are assisted with all of their options, and it shows that those that go on to make a plan of adoption for their child are very sure about their decision.  IPAS staff felt like family after the first adoption, so choosing IPAS for this second adoption was automatic for us. 

What was your wait like?

Our wait was quick.  We got a call from our social worker that a birth mom wanted to meet us about five weeks after we completed our certification and submitted our album.  We met Joel's birth mom the next week and found out a few days later that she wanted us to be his parents!  Then, it was about another six weeks until he was born.  The last few days of waiting for the call that his birth mom was in labor felt like forever! 

What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?

Joel's due date was right before Christmas, and we were on pins and needles waiting to hear that his birth mom was in labor.  It reminded us of how a small child feels as Christmas is approaching (like it's never going to get here!), so the timing was appropriate.  We finally heard that labor had started on the evening of December 26.  We were supposed to be at the hospital in the waiting room when Joel was born, but labor moved so fast at the end that we got a text from his birth cousin that he had arrived when we were still about 15 minutes away from the hospital.


How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?

It was surreal in the best possible way.  We were expecting to be taken somewhere in the hospital to wait a while till we would get to meet Joel, but we were taken straight to him instead.  We were excited about the change, but we had to adjust our expectations.  Once I saw Joel, I was overwhelmed with the love I felt for him and the gratitude I felt for his birth mom's selflessness and bravery.  I was able to help with his first bath and bottle, and we were given a room at the hospital and allowed to stay with him until he got to come home.  We didn't know we were staying overnight, so we had nothing with us.  This was fine though, since we really didn't sleep.  Instead we spent the night holding Joel and feeling the wonder and amazement that this little person was our new son.   

How was the finalization process?

The finalization process was very smooth.  We were able to sign the final paperwork at IPAS right after Joel was six months old, and we were got our court appointment for our finalization about six weeks later.  The court room experience during finalizations is very relaxed and joyful.  The judge this time was great with Bryce and included him in the proceedings.  We had close family and friends with us in court to help us celebrate. 

Are you enjoying parenthood?

Yes!  Our path to parenthood was filled with so many difficulties prior to our decision to turn to adoption as a way to build our family.  Now I wake up every day amazed that I am the mother of these wonderful little boys, and I almost can't believe how blessed we are. Joel is a happy baby, and he is already trying to walk at eight-months-old!  Bryce is a smart and fun little boy, who adores his baby brother and loves playing with him.  Parenthood offers a new adventure each day as we reach many new milestones, both small and big, with each of our sons.


Other thoughts you might like to share?

We are very fortunate that we have stayed connected to Joel's birth family.  He has cousins here in Fresno, and we have gotten together with them a few times.  They are like family to us now, which is a great bonus of open adoption.   I think we will see his birth mom too in the near future.  Also, I feel like it's very important for our family to stay connected to IPAS and other adoptive families.  I helped form the IPAS Adoptive Family Network with this mind.  All IPAS families are welcome to join our group.  We do family activities about once a month and the parents get together about every other month.    Parents can email me at 411AFG@gmail.com if they are interested. 


Open adoption does not only involve birth parents, but their extended families as well, such as in Joel's case.  A birth mother or birth father may not be ready for openness at the time of birth, but their extended family may still desire a connection.  IPAS honors these relationships through openness, and feels that it is healthy for a child to know their birth family, whether it be immediate or extended.  Counseling is also available to all birth family members at IPAS across the life span. 



Waiting Adoptive Moms and Dads Needed for a

Purdue University Research Study!



Would you like to participate in university research concerning adoption?  This study has been approved by the institutional review board at Purdue, and they have been enrolling parents over the past few months with success.  They are hopeful that the results will help them understand risk factors that may mean a parent will struggle, as well as buffers that build resilience.


To offer an idea of how the study works:  when a perspective parent contacts Purdue, researchers try to speak with them on the telephone to briefly outline how the data is collected (through an online survey at three time points; four to six weeks pre-placement; four weeks post-placement and five to six months post-placement) and answer any questions they might have. They offer $20 gift cards for each survey returned and are enrolling moms and dads, as they really don't have much information about how adoptive fathers navigate this transitional time. If the parent is unsure of the exact date of placement, researchers put their names on their "pending" list and send them emails about once a month to see if they have any updates.


However, they really need parents who anticipate placement in the next two to four months.  Contact the agency for the brochure or Karen Foli at kfoli@purdue.edu

  Next month we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary
at our annual wine tasting!


 Come bid on these exciting items (and many more unique gifts):

  • Pier 39 "Family Fun Pack."  Includes four tickets for San Francisco's famous Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, aquarium tickets, carousel rides and additional activities. Value: $298.
  • Two tickets to the renowned Gilroy Gardens. Value: $90.
  • A signed copy of Jaime Lee Curtis' adoption classic Tell Me Again about the Night I was Born. Value: Priceless.
  • Fresno State red seat basketball tickets
  • Champagne gift baskets
  • A golf bag
  • Vera Bradley purses  
  • Please contact the IPAS office for tickets or more information.

Please note: We are still looking for gift certificates for our "surprise boxes."  Please let us know ASAP if you are able to donate or just drop off donations at the IPAS office.

***We are gathering photos and video/digital recordings from adoptive families for a special visual presentation.  If you would like to include your family's photos, a recording, or an audio message, please contact the office.***
Join the IPAS team and show your support of adoption in the
Two Cities Marathon & Half!

November is Adoption Awareness Month and one of the many ways we will be celebrating is by running/walking as a team in support of voluntary adoption. 

There will be runners and walkers of all levels.  We will provide you an IPAS tech shirt to wear.  Please contact the office if you are interested!


For more information on the run please click here: Two City Marathon & Half





  We need your amended birth certificates!



If you have not yet sent in a copy of your child's amended birth certificate, we need it for our files. A photo copy is all we need.  You can mail, fax, or email to Gloria.  Please call her with any questions. 



Free Infant and Child Massage Workshop


The IPAS Adoptive Family Network will be sponsoring a free infant and child massage workshop led by Certified Massage Therapist Kim Thorson, Friday, October 4th at 6:30 p.m.. As a mom of two adopted kids, Kim knows the importance of ongoing bonding time for parents and children, especially in the early months and years.  Infant and child massage is an excellent way to put aside time to establish those physical and emotional connections.  The importance of human touch, specifically intentional touch such as massage, in relation to improving growth, cognitive development, emotional stability, and positive mind/body connection is well documented.


Join us for a fun and educational opportunity to learn more about this and how to connect with your beautiful children. Families with new placements are especially encouraged to attend.  For more information, location details, and/or to RSVP, contact Kim Thorson at kimot225@gmail.com.

Mark Your Calendar!
  • September 10 - 6 PM Prospective Adoptive Parents Informational Meeting at the IPAS office
  • September 24 - 6 PM Board Meeting at the IPAS office
Please call 447-3333 with any questions.
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