February 2015

From all of us at Infant of Prague! 


Have you heard of the AFN, the Adoptive Family Network?



The IPAS Adoptive Family Network (the "AFN") is a group of adoptive families that wish to stay connected to Infant of Prague and to other adoptive families.  The group was started by Ruthann Cuthbertson, an adoptive mother to two boys.  We asked Ruthann to share information about the AFN.


Why was the AFN formed?


One of the reasons we picked IPAS was the fact that the agency offers lifelong support to all members of the adoption triad, the adoptive parents, birth parents, and the children.  It makes sense to me for my boys to grow up being comfortable and familiar with the IPAS staff, and I also wanted them to be connected to other adoptees close in age as they are growing up.  For these reasons, I went to IPAS Director Stephanie Grant in the spring of 2012.  I was looking for a group for adoptive families, and I had already checked in the community and at my church without any luck.  The result of my conversation with Stephanie was that I would form the IPAS AFN and invite other adoptive families to join me. 


What does the AFN do?


The AFN parents meet about once a month or every other month for an hour in the evening, usually in the IPAS conference room.  The purposes of the meetings are to plan events for the group, to keep the parents up to date on what's going on at IPAS, and to allow parents to connect to each other. 


The AFN events are geared toward including the whole family.  We try to have an event at least every other month.  We have met for play time in local parks, walked Christmas Tree Lane, gone to the Fresno Zoo, and taken the Amtrak train round trip from Fresno to Hanford for Superior Dairy Ice Cream (we plan to do that again this spring or summer).  Anyone in the group can plan any event that they want, and we often invite all IPAS families to join us by mentioning the event in the e-newsletter.


Members of the AFN also do what they can to support IPAS, including support for current waiting families and families considering adoption.  Any current waiting family or family considering adoption can feel free to contact me, and I will answer questions.  Or I will connect them to another AFN family if it's a question outside of my personal experience. We also have the "buddy family" program where we connect current waiting families with former waiting families in order to provide support during the adoption journey. 


Who can join the AFN?


Any family that is touched by adoption is welcome to join the group, regardless of which agency or path they went through.  Most of our active families right now have younger children. The great thing about this group will be that we have each other and IPAS as resources when the day comes that our children are asking questions about their adoptions.  Notice I said when and not if my children will ask questions about their adoptions.  My feeling is that they are going to be curious and have questions, and I want to be able to help them understand and be as supportive as possible when it comes to answering the questions.  Both my husband and I want to be our sons' first resources when the questions come up.  We may not have the answers to all questions ourselves, but we know we have IPAS and the AFN families to turn to.   


How can a family connect to the AFN?


You can email me at 411afg@gmail.com.  I will be happy to add anyone that is interested to our email list for group invitation and information.   




Celebrating A Mother's Decision
Honoring Birth Mother's

The third annual retreat was held February 6-8 at the St. Anthony Retreat Center in Three Rivers. Nineteen birth moms from near and far came together to connect and share their unique adoption journeys.  Two of the moms flew in from out of state. Participants included moms that placed this past year and others that placed many years ago. Three of our moms are also adopted individuals and shared their unique perspectives. 

Many of our adoptive families along with the IPAS Ambassadors generously gave special notes and gifts to honor the moms all weekend long.  One of our adoptive families gifted two massage therapists that pampered each mom with a massage.  There were many special moments that included making meaningful jewelry, art therapy, zumba, a nature walk, sitting by the fireplace, smores, "minute to win it" games, sharing from the heart, and testimony from an adopted individual that is also an adoptive parent.  All in all, memories were made and everyone is already looking forward to the next one!

We would like to thank the wonderful staff at the St. Anthony Retreat Center for all they did to make us comfortable during the weekend. 

One of the birth mom's artistic expression of "Strong Love"

Placing A Child for Adoption | A Birth Mother's Story
Placing A Child for Adoption | A Birth Mother's Story

Waiting Family Support Group

Please join us Monday, 
March 16th at 6:00 PM 
at the IPAS Office.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families, learn about the latest happenings at IPAS, and talk to adoptive parents that have previous experience with the adoption journey.  

We now have a Waiting Family Group Facebook page. Contact Stephanie if you would like to be added.




Looking for Adoption at the movies?

The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) has complied a list of movies with an adoption theme. 

Click on the link below to check out the list. 

April 25, 2015
More Details to Come

 Important Reminders
  1. If you have a child in adoptive placement and have not finalized, or if you are a waiting family, please make sure that your car insurance, driver's license/registration, and CPR/first aid is current and on file with the agency.
  2. Please send in a copy of your amended birth certificate after finalization.  We cannot close your file until we have received a copy.
Mark Your Calendar!   
  • February 16 - Office closed - President's Day
  • February 24 - 6 PM - Post Placement Class
  • February 25 - 8 AM - 12 PM - Teen Parent Conference
  • February 26 - 12 PM Board Meeting at the IPAS office.
  • February 21, 28 - 9 AM - 1 PM Adoptive Parent Class
  • March 7 - 9 AM - 1 PM Adoptive Parent Class
  Please call our office at 447-3333 with any questions.