Endometriosis - The Painful Diagnosis that Opened My Heart to Adoption

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. I have suffered from endometriosis since High School and I assume my condition related at least in part to some of my fertility issues. Endometriosis is a painful chronic condition affecting more than 5 million women in the U.S. alone. It occurs when endometrium tissue, that normally lines the insides of your uterus - grows outsides your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves a woman’s other pelvic organs, where the displaced endometrial tissue will break down and bleed like it would with a normal period, except it is trapped and has no way to exit your body. Cysts and inflamed tissue forms, and can cause severe pain and excessive bleeding, along with other symptoms.

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Katie Zimmerman
My Child By Adoption is Not "Lucky"...

On this St. Patrick’s Day, my beautiful little girl through adoption (who is likely at least some part Irish with her beautiful auburn hair) will dress up in green, put her Shamrock stickers all over our house, and her face is likely to be covered at some point in Mint Chip Ice Cream. However, we will not talk about her having the “Luck of the Irish” because she ended up in our family.

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Katie Zimmerman
5 Smart Questions to Avoid the Home Study Headache

So, you are about to launch your adoption journey. How exciting! One of the first steps is tackling the home study. The aim is to tackle, not be tackled. The game plan - ask smart questions!

The vision (AKA nightmare): stranger enters into your home with a white glove, evaluative checklist, trick questions about your parenting techniques and a red pen. This is not the way a home study should be conducted.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Andrew and Brooke

We are so excited to feature another Purl family today, Andrew, Brooke and their son Graham! Andrew and Brooke are a Virginia couple who have already embraced adoption, as Graham was adopted at birth in 2016. This sweet family loves breakfast and ice cream dates with Graham, and Andrew and Brooke would both prefer to be chasing Graham around the park over pretty much everything else! Andrew and Brooke have so much love for Graham and cannot wait to share their love with another little nugget!

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Katie Zimmerman
10 Ways to Boost Your Adoption Outreach

Adoption outreach refers to all of the actions that prospective adoptive families can take to find and be found by expectant parents considering an adoption plan for their child. Adoption outreach can range from simply telling friends and family to help spread the word that you’re looking to adopt, to leveraging various social media platforms, to paid advertising (where it is legal to utilize it).  Here are ten ideas for DIY adoption outreach that help get the word out about your desire to adopt (and some will even help fund your adoption as well):

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Travis and Kirstyn

We are thrilled to feature another sweet Purl family, Travis, Kirstyn and their daughter Adeline! This Oregon family cannot wait to add to their family through adoption. Adoption is so celebrated by their family, as Kirstyn has 15 extended family members who are adopted! Both Travis and Kirstyn come from large families - Travis is one of 5 boys and Kirstyn has 6 siblings! They are so excited to bring another child or two into our lives to share their love, laughs and silliness!

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Katie Zimmerman
Protecting Your Child's Adoption Story

When you are an adoptive parent, you are bound to get questions from friends, family and strangers alike about the details of your child’s adoption story, particularly if you have adopted transracially. As a mom of two girls only eight months apart in age (and currently the exact same height), I can’t seem to get out of a public place without questioning stares and at least one person asking me how I managed to get two such adorable, but completely different  looking children. I have never had a trip to Costco with the girls without someone asking me where Cora’s adorable auburn curls and gorgeous brown eyes came from.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Jesse and Becky

We are excited to feature another sweet Purl family today, Jesse and Becky! This Minnesota couple is thrilled to be starting their adoption journey! Jesse and Becky have been together for eight years (married for 5) and love to try new restaurants, watch baseball, spend time with friends, or play with their young (and now not so little) puppy! To learn more about Jesse and Becky, you can download their full family profile (designed by Purl), visit their website (www.jesseandbeckyadopt.com) or follow their journey on Facebook or Instagram (@jesseandbeckyadopt).

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Katie Zimmerman
Adoption - A Necessary Part of Our Diversity Education

Are you a parent who educates your child about diversity, in many different forms? Maybe you talk to your children and prepare them for meeting individuals of different races, cultures, sexual orientations, or even people with various disabilities, so that your child doesn’t say something hurtful or insensitive unknowingly? One thing that is often left out of that dialogue by parents is educating children about families that are formed through adoption. Most kids, and even many teachers, don’t know or forget that it is common for families to be made this way in the U.S., even when the adoption may not be visible to the naked eye.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Mike and Tracy

We are excited to feature another sweet Purl family, Mike, Tracy and their adorable daughter Abbie. Mike and Tracy cannot wait to add to their family through adoption! Mike and Tracy met in the military while they were stationed in Germany, dated there and for a few years long distance before they went their separate ways . When they reconnected a few years later, they knew that they were better off together. They cannot wait to add another child (or children) to their family, and Abbie cannot wait to be a big sister!

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Aleks and Rachel

We are thrilled to feature this adorable Purl couple, Aleks and Rachel! This couple, living in Arizona, cannot wait to add a child (or children) to their family through adoption! When asked how they would describe themselves and their adoption story in a sentence, they said “we are a military family who desire to share our love of life with a child and to inspire them to see the world as Jesus sees it.” Three quick facts about Aleks and Rachel, in their own words, are: 1) We did karaoke for the first time in our lives on the last day of 2018 and really loved it, 2) We cannot start the day without a cup of coffee, and 3) We have over 30 nieces and nephews to keep track of (and we love to)!

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Katie Zimmerman
Ten Tips to Make Your Family's Adoption Profile Authentic and Dynamic

The family profile is one of the most important pieces of your adoption journey. It is, after all, the primary way a prospective adoptive family is chosen by expectant parents considering an adoption plan for their child. From experience, we know it is key to be yourself and to represent your family authentically. But that is often easier said than done! If you are struggling to get your profile started, or if you have presented to many adoption situations without getting picked, here are 10 practical tips to make your family profile more authentic and dynamic: 

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Cyrus and Emily

We are excited to feature another Purl family, Cyrus, Emily and their two sweet boys, Leo and Zeke!!! This family is currently living in picture-perfect Hawaii, where they are stationed in the military, and they are thrilled about adding to their family again through adoption! Cy and Emily are hoping to add a baby girl to their family, preferably an African-American child that will look similar to Zeke.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Nathan and Chelsea

We are so excited to feature another sweet Purl Family, Nathan and Chelsea, who are looking to add to their family through adoption. Nathan and Chelsea met in a church group for young professionals, became friends and then started dating and the rest was history! This Arizona couple lives in the country outside of a large city, with their dog Patch, mini-horse Rocket, three goats and two barn cats. They love to explore the world around them and can’t wait to share their adventures with a child!

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Katie Zimmerman
Attachment in Adoption

Sarah Crawford, PhD, LPC, is a child therapist and a parent coach in Arizona who specializes in working with parents to address issues related to attachment, parent-child relationships, and adoption. She helps parents identify what their unique situation needs, while helping parents deepen trust and strengthen family connections. We sat down with Sarah to better understand attachment and how attachment concerns can arise in adoption. Here's what Sarah had to say…

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Katie Zimmerman
Surviving a “Disrupted Adoption”

October had always been one of my favorite months of the year. Living in Arizona, it is usually the first sign of cooler weather, football is in full swing and my three favorite holidays are on the horizon. When my husband and I were home study approved and certified to adopt in early August, we were quickly matched with an expectant mother due with a baby boy in mid-October. I was so excited about that being the month we would become parents. I purchased the cutest little bear Halloween costume for him and was thrilled to begin to get to know the expectant mother that would become our son’s birth mother. I couldn’t have predicted that on October 7 a sweet baby boy would be born, but by October 10, after cuddling him for days in the hospital, I would be one of so many in the adoption world to experience what is commonly called a “failed adoption.”

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Purl Team Member - Director of Graphic Design

Most of you who know me (Katie) personally know that I’m not nearly creative or talented enough to create the gorgeous profile and adoption outreach materials that we have for Purl, but I’m smart enough to hire someone who does!

Today, we are featuring the amazing woman behind most of the graphic design work for Purl, Director of Graphic Design, Alison (Ali) Alvidrez.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Tom and Karen

We are so excited to feature our sweet Purl family, Tom and Karen! Tom and Karen were just friends and colleagues for 8 years before Tom finally got the nerve to ask Karen on a date, but then the rest was history! This Arizona couple has felt a strong calling to adopt and cannot wait to begin their adoption journey to find the child meant for their family! They can’t wait to share all their adventures with their child.

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Katie Zimmerman
Featured Family - Andrew and Cagney

We are so excited to feature another adorable Purl family, Andrew, Cagney and their beautiful daughter Maguire, who they adopted in October of 2017! This sweet family cannot wait to add to their family again through adoption. They hope to adopt another African American child like Maguire, so that their children can grow up with a sibling with features that mirror their own.

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Katie Zimmerman
Adoption Glossary

Interested in adoption but overwhelmed by all the jargon and legal terms? As an adoptive mom who once was in your shoes, I know how intimidating it can be at the beginning of the process. Here are some common terms used in domestic infant adoption and what they typically mean within the adoption community.

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Katie Zimmerman