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August 2016
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Note from AFH
Dear Friends,

  I hope you have all had a fun and relaxing summer with your families. It's hard to believe that summer is just about gone and you are now focusing on helping your child get to know new teachers, make new friends, and establish new school beginnings!

  Those of us on the board of Adoptive Famiiles of Houston have been hard at work gearing up for another year of education, fun, and connectedness for you and your families! Our program chair, Stephanie Harp, has been planning some enlightening educational programs for us, our playgroup chair, Holly Roemisch, has planned some fun happenings for the kids, and our Picnic chairs, Dawn Berly and Jill Kesler, have been making sure our Annual Celebration of Adoption picnic (October 16) will be a success!!  And that is just the beginning!

  I truly hope you will take the time this next year to be an active member of our group, so mark your calendars NOW for all the upcoming events we have planned for you. All of us, who are part of the AFH family, share such a special bond, and by coming together through caring and friendship, we can only be stronger for our families and for our children.
 
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Warmly,
Kathie Otte, President
October 4, 2016
Share & Exchange
 
Our first Book Club will be a ‘”Bring and Share.”  Participants will be asked to bring a copy of their favorite adoption book. The book can be on any part of the adoption process, parenting, adoptive stories or raising an adopted child. Each person will also asked to bring a second book to give to another person.  The book can be the same or a different adoption topic. After the discussion, each person will go home with a new book to read and book ideas to put on their wish list.
SAVE THE DATE
Annual Celebration of Adoption Picnic
Sunday,
October 16, 2016
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Clay's Restaurant 
17717 Clay Road, 77084
Food & Fun for All
Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Photo Booth, DJ, Snow Cones, Raffle and more

We are looking for sponsors
to underwrite the picnic.
If you are interested,
please contact
Jill (
jillrkesler@gmail.com) or Dawn (dawnberly@gmail.com)
Coming Up...
August
27  Splash Pad Playdate
September
16  Program: Adoptive
       Parents Panel
18  Meet & Greet Family
       Social
24  Baby Beluga Playgroup
October
 4  Book Club
16  Annual Picnic
30  Halloween Spooktacular
November
11  Program: Social Media  
December
  4  Gingerbread House
       Holiday Party
January
13  Program: Bullying
February
 7  Valentine's Day Party
21  Book Club
March
 4  Bellaire Area Playground
      Playdate
April
  7  Program: Blended
       Families
22  Firehouse Playdate
May
  5  Program: Adult Adoptee
       Panel
13  Mother's Day Celebration
 
Programs are open to the public. Dates are subject to change.
PROGRAM
Adoptive Parents Panel
Friday, September 16   6:30pm
St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
2450 River Oaks Blvd.    Houston, TX 77019

Don't miss our first program of the season and FIRST OF ITS KIND program for our group! We will have a panel of adoptive parents tell their heart-warming stories of how their children came into their lives through the miracle of adoption and discuss issues that have come up along the way. Discussion topics will include: blended families (biological and adopted children), relationships with birth families, adopting at an older age, single parent adoption, transracial adoption and much more!!
Click here to RSVP           non-members: $10/person
On-site child care
will be available for a nominal fee with
advanced registration.  Additional
details will follow in the event evite.
Adoption Mentorship

   We have all grown our families through adoption, and if you are like me, you may have become an adoption advocate with your friends, family and in your community.
   If someone mentions adoption, I find myself starting a familiar and happy recounting of our adoption journey and offering information and encouragement. Adoption has been a wonderful blessing to our family, but the journey was not without many questions, doubts, worries and setbacks. At the end of the journey, it all becomes a memory as you hold your new baby in your arms for the first time.

   Along the way, we all learn a thing or two about agencies, the adoption process, how to communicate with birth families and set boundaries, and many other tidbits that it would be nice to know if we were a waiting family. With this in mind, we are forming a mentorship program this year to be supportive to our new members and to share knowledge that we may have about certain aspects of adoption that we have personally experienced with others in our group that may be following a similar path. Please join me in becoming an AFH mentor!

   Mentorship is a one-year commitment. You would be matched with a new member family or a current member family that has requested a mentor. Your family might be a waiting family or a family anticipating a similar adoption scenario to one your family has experienced. We will try to match families based on needs and similarities. For instance, your family might be using the same agency that you used or they may be adopting internationally if you have that experience, etc.
 
   I really hope that this program provides support to our members and that you will join me in being a mentor this year.  Please contact me for the form, additional information and questions.
 
Wendy, Membership Co-Chair
AdoptiveFamiliesOfHouston@gmail.com
Membership 2016/2017
Have you renewed your
memb
ership for AFH this year?
Do you know another family touched by adoption
who would enjoy being a member of AFH?

 
We are currently in the middle of our membership drive for 2016-2017, and our goal is to have over 100 members this year. The 2016-2017 AFH events promise to be informative, supportive and fun thanks to our educational programs, playgroups and annual picnic.  Adoptive Families of Houston membership forms are available on our website.  For your convenience, you can now sign up online and pay your dues via PayPal.  Please make sure to sign up soon to be included in the directory for 2016-2017!  
Also, to ensure you receive the membership renewal, newsletters and evites/info about all of our fun events, please add AdoptiveFamiliesOfHouston@gmail.com to your contact list.
* Join Today *
AdoptiveFamiliesOfHouston.org
Share your summer-fun pictures
on our
facebook page!
NEW  Baby Beluga Playgroup  
  This year, AFH will bring back a playgroup for babies, which we had when Adoptive Families of Houston first started. It will be a great way for adoptive parents to be able to connect with other adoptive families right from the beginning. It will be called the Baby Beluga Playgroup. Our first get together will be September 24, 2016 at the home of Kathie Otte. Watch for an evite coming soon! Moms and dads are invited to come with their little one! This group will be for babies who have not yet started walking.
Hope to see you there!
ADOPTION IN SCHOOL Articles
Adoptive Families Magazine has many excellent articles about Adoption in School.  It is necessary to have a subscription to the Magazine to view the articles, but it is a very valuable resource.

  Adapting School Assignments  Some school assignments ask for
details that make our kids feel uneasy. But you — and your child's teacher — can help.

  What Preschoolers Can Understand About Adoption  When your preschooler asks questions about adoption, use these age-appropriate answers that emphasize your family's love.

  Preparing for Questions About Adoption at School  Before first grade, parents need to teach kids how to respond to unwelcome comments about adoption at school.

  The Great Back-to-School Kit  17 simple and effective ways to bring adoption into the classroom.

  How to Get Your School on Board  Help get your school ready for your child.
 
~~~~~
 
You can also find respectful adoption language and letter on our web site.

Here is the Teacher's Guide to Making Schools and Assignments More Adoption-Friendly from the National Council for Adoption.
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