Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Home for the Holidays

If you didn't watch the CBS program "A Home for the Holidays" last night you missed SOMETHING!  The12th Annual program (how did I miss this last year?  Oh yeah - I wasn't on Twitter yet - that is how I learned about the program - thanks tweeters) was hosted by Julie Chen and Holly Robinson Peete, sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation and focused on the availability of children for adoption within the foster care system.  The program also included followup on children featured last year who had found loving, permanent homes.  It was wonderful to see so many of the hosts participating whose lives had been touched by adoption - Melissa Gilbert, Ricky Martin, Melissa Etheridge.  Some of the celebrities shared their stories.  I could go on and on, but I urge you to take the time and watch the program on line by clicking here.

Before we leave, let's give a big thank you to all those who work to make lives better for children in foster care - the CPS workers who work tirelessly, non profits who support the children (props to Dallas CASA and Community Partners of Dallas  - just to name a couple) and Hope Cottage's own Foster to Adopt Staff, Linda Pouncy and Nicole Mahanay.  Big hugs to all those families who choose to adopt from Foster Care.  You all truly make a difference in the life of a child.

Hope Cottage offices will be closed from December 24 - January 2, so no posts until after the New Year.  We hope that each of you has a wonderful, joyous holiday season and the New Year brings you everything you desire and more!


Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.



If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.


If you are a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546

Monday, December 13, 2010

Helping a Child You Don't Even Know

It is the time of year for giving.  Last week I had the good fortune to hear Jody Dean of local station, KLUV  speak at the Holiday Lunch for the Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Whew!  that's alot of links in one sentence.

Jody has been a long time supporter and advocate for Hope Cottage.  For thirteen years, Hope Cottage and Jody Dean teamed up for the Hope Cottage/Jody Dean Golf Classic as a way to raise funds for the organization.  Incidentally, Jody is an adopted child.  He is also one of the most giving people in the metroplex.  The organizations he has helped raise funds are too numerous to list but I know they are all grateful for his assistance. 

Jody's keynote address was superb and he had the room mesmerized.  He talked about how we, as fundraisers, don't do this alone.  We "stand on the shoulders of others".  He talked about how the holiday season is a time for giving.  Regardless of your beliefs, I want to share this statement with you.  Jody said "isn't it amazing that at this time of year we celebrate people coming from all over and bringing gifts to honor and help a child they didn't even know."  It hit me - that could apply to you - our wonderful donors. 

Every year, many, many, many of you make a gift (or gifts) to Hope Cottage to help children find loving, permanent homes.  Children you don't even know and may never meet.  Think about what a difference you make!  And think about the difference you can make again this year.  You have many choices when deciding who to honor with your donations and we appreciate you considering Hope Cottage.  If you choose Hope Cottage, click here

Here are the faces of some of the children that you have helped this year - on behalf of them - THANK YOU!

Grayson
Gideon



Noah

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.



Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Always Nice to Receive Recognition

Let me start off first by saying that those of us in the nonprofit arena are NOT in the business to get lots of recognition (or to make the big bucks!).  That being said, I will tell you it is nice to receive recognition for your hard work. 

Hope Cottage has been a member, since Day One,  of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and before it was the United Way, the Community Chest.  At one time, United Way donations provided 85% of the Hope Cottage budget (that equals close to $890,000).  We are proud to be a charter member and value our partnership with United Way.

Every year, the United Way rolls out their Workplace Giving Campaigns and we hit the dusty speaking circuit.  It is a privelege to share stories of how your donations have helped Hope Cottage serve more than 30,000 women and children over the past 92 years.  Representatives from Hope Cottage speak any time - including 3 AM at UPS, anywhere - including an airport tarmac and under any conditions - yes, even competing with machinery.  We do this because we care about Hope Cottage and realize how important it is for people to know about the work being done here.

Today was the Annual Awards Luncheon and Hope Cottage was honored to be chosen as a winner for our participation in the most Agency Fairs.  In addition, our name was mentioned for providing 17 speaking engagements for United Way at various corporations in the metroplex.  Thank you United Way and thank YOU, our donors, for continuing to give.


Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Would Die For That

Hope Cottage clients, nor any other adoptive parents, do not come to adoption lightly. It is an action that comes at the end of long journey down a very long road. For many it is an action preceeded by loss and grief. But tied up with that loss and grief is hope - hope for dreams fulfilled, hope for a family, hope for a child.

I came across this video on a blog maintained by one of our Waiting to Adopt Families and it touched my heart. Our clients live this...and Hope Cottage is here to help them through.




Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.


If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nia Vardalos, Foster Adoption and The Talk

Earlier this week Actress Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Connie and Carla) discussed her experience adopting from the Foster Care System  on CBS'  The Talk.   Click here to see the interview.

More than 7,000 children are part of the Foster Care system in North Texas and many, many, many of them are looking for a permanent home, what we call a "forever family".  Thanks to you and your financial support, Hope Cottage finds homes for many of these children.  But... with your help, we can do more. 

If you are interested in learning more about changing the life of a child and adopting from foster care, contact Linda Pouncy at Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721, ext 242 or visit our webpage.  To donate to help support Hope Cottage's efforts to find these children the home they deserve, you can make your gift through our webpage. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

National Adoption Month Presidential Proclamation

President Barack Obama has proclaimed November 2010 National Adoption Month.  Below is the proclamaton in its entirety.  Thank you President Obama.

Presidential Proclamation--National Adoption Month


Giving a child a strong foundation -- a home, a family to love, and a safe place to grow -- is one of life's greatest and most generous gifts. Through adoption, both domestic and international, Americans from across our country have provided secure environments for children who need them, and these families have benefited from the joy an adopted child can bring. Thanks to their nurturing and care, more young people have been able to realize their potential and lead full, happy lives. This year, we celebrate National Adoption Month to recognize adoption as a positive and powerful force in countless American lives, and to encourage the adoption of children from foster care.

Currently, thousands of children await adoption or are in foster care, looking forward to permanent homes. These children can thrive, reach their full potential, and spread their wings when given the loving and firm foundation of family. Adoptive families come in many forms, and choose to adopt for different reasons: a desire to grow their family when conceiving a child is not possible, an expression of compassion for a child who would otherwise not have a permanent family, or simply because adoption has personally touched their lives. For many Americans, adoption has brought boundless purpose and joy to their lives. We must do all we can to break down barriers to ensure that all qualified caregivers have the ability to serve as adoptive families.

This year, on November 20, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges, and volunteers will celebrate the 11th annual National Adoption Day in communities large and small. National Adoption Day is a day of hope and happiness when courthouses finalize the adoptions of children out of foster care. Last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was honored to preside over a ceremony celebrating two foster care adoptions as part of my Administration's support for this important day.


Adoptive families are shining examples of the care and concern that define our great Nation. To support adoption in our communities, my Administration is working with States to support families eager to provide for children in need of a place to call home. The landmark Affordable Care Act increases and improves the Adoption Tax Credit, enabling adoption to be more affordable and accessible. As part of the Adoption
Incentives program, States can also receive awards for increasing adoptions and the number of children adopted from foster care. AdoptUsKids, a project of the Department of Health and Human Services, offers technical support to States, territories, and tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families; provides information and assistance to families considering adoption; and supports parents already on that journey. I encourage all Americans to visit AdoptUsKids.org or ChildWelfare.gov/Adoption for information and resources on adoption, including adoption from foster care.

As we observe National Adoption Month, we honor the loving embrace of adoptive families and the affirming role of adoption in the lives of American families and our country. Let us all commit to supporting our children in any way that we are able -- whether opening our hearts and homes through adoption, becoming foster parents to provide quality temporary care to children in crisis, supporting foster and adoptive families in our communities and places of worship, mentoring young people in need of guidance, or donating time to helping children in need. Working together, we can shape a future of hope and promise for all of our Nation's children.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as National Adoption Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find homes for every child in America in need of a permanent and caring family, as well as to support the families who care for them.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.


If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hope Cottage is Decking Old Red


Hope Cottage is Decking the Halls at Old Red - the Old Red Museum and Courthouse in downtown Dallas that is!

Hope Cottage was one of a dozen non profits selected by Old Red to decorate a holiday tree that will celebrate our mission.  The trees will be on display at the Old Red Museum in downtown Dallas from November 20, 2010 - January 2, 2011.  Cast your vote for the winner (Hope Cottage of course) by placing your donation in the box next to your favorite tree (Hope Cottage).  The tree with the most "votes" wins and the proceeds are split between the non profit (Old Red) and the agency.

I can guarantee you are going to LOVE our tree.  Think history, babies and Hope Cottage!

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrations and Musings

Hope Cottage  1923-1978
It is National Adoption Month - every day we celebrate adoption at Hope Cottage, but during November we will just rachet it up even more!  Help us celebrate by posting your adoption story.

And be sure and follow our tweets.  Every day we will tweet the name of  famous adoptees and adoptive parents.  Our Twitter name is LeslieatHope. 

In the midst of our celebrations, I read this blog post.   It it moved me to tears and I felt compelled to share it with you.  Steven Walker,  former foster child, adoptee, and adoption advocate, has called us to "be the answer" for Jason and children like him.  More than 7,000 children are in foster care in North Texas.  Since 2006 Hope Cottage has been working to reduce that number through our Foster to Adopt program.  When sharing about the wonderful work Hope Cottage has been doing since 1918, I like to close with this statement:

Thomas Jefferson said that as Americans we have three inalienable rights- the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  He forgot one very important right and that is the right for every child in this country to have a permanent, loving home. 

Let's make sure that Jason's story doesn't happen to another child. 

If you are interested in adopting a child from the foster care system, call Linda Pouncey at 214.526.8721, ext 216. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Old (and New) Home Week at Hope Cottage


Old Home Week - I grew up hearing that term used, but often wondered the origin.  Must be a Southern term, right?  I did what every one in the world does - I "googled" it.  Here is what Wikipedia had to say:

"Old Home Week is a practice that originated in the New England region of the United States similar to a holiday or festival. In its beginning in the 19th-20th century it involved a municipal effort to invite former residents of a village, town, or city - usually individuals who grew up in the municipality as children and moved elsewhere in adulthood - to visit the "Old Home", the parental household and home town."

We may not have had a physical Old/New Home Week at Hope Cottage over the past seven days, but we had a spiritual one of sorts. 

It all began last Friday when we had a placement at our office.  Placement is the word used by adoption agencies to define the time when the child is "placed" in the arms of his/her (adoptive) parents.  For many  parents, it is the very first time they see their child in the flesh.  Most placements occur at the hospital, so when one takes place at Hope Cottage it is a treasured event.  I got lucky - the little girl arrived before the parents did, so I was able to spend about 20 minutes rocking and singing to her.  My boys are grown and there are no grandbabies on the horizon, so opportunities to get a "baby fix" are few and far between.  I relish the chance when it comes! 


The staff at Hope Cottage is honored to be able to be a part of such a wonderful, intimate time.  Every single one of the 7,000 placements that has occurred since Hope Cottage began in 1918 is a special occasion.  Each one is unique and we cherish being part of a new family.  There are tears shed on all sides:  parents, birthmothers and yes, staff.  The birthmother was at this placement and it was touching to see how the parents honored her, cherished her, appreciated her and loved her.  Wow!  It was a New Home moment.   This little one month old girl with skin like velvet and the softest black hair you have ever seen had brought together two entities and formed a new family and we got to be a witness to that momentous time.  Doesn't get any better than that!


Hope Watson Rohr before her hair cut
(read previous blog for

the whole story)
Earlier this week, we found out that the oldest living Hope Baby, Hope Watson Rohr, went home at the age of 92.  It turns out that I shared a couple of stories about Hope in an earlier blog and always wondered if she was still living. 

Hope was born in June 1918 and her mother died shortly after giving birth.  As Hope Cottage opened on June 27, 1918, Hope was one of our first residents.  I like to imagine that Hope slept in the baby bed that sits in my office.  It is one of two beds that are from the original Hope Cottage.  I keep it in my office to remind me of the children, past, present and future that we serve at Hope Cottage.  Hope, named by our founder Emma Wylie Ballard after Hope Cottage and for the hope that the baby would survive after the death of her mother, was adopted at the age of 6 months and spent her entire life in Weslaco, TX.  She married and had 3 children, 2 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.  Her son George says this about his mother, "She was very proud of the fact that she was a Hope Baby and had a special place in her heart for any adoptee she met.  She attended the birthday reunion in 1988 and had the time of her life while there."  What a legacy!


Earlier today I spoke to a group of AT and T/CWA employees as part of the United Way Metro Dallas campaign.  Did you know that Hope Cottage has been a United Way agency from the very beginning - back when the United Way was called the Community Chest?  We are proud that the citizens of our city have been helping Hope Families through the United Way since 1928!  After we finished the presentation a man came up and asked me if Hope Cottage still had the big Christmas party every year (told him yes) and did we still have it out at Fair Park?  No, I answered.  I didn't realize that we had ever had it at Fair Park.  He proceeded to tell me about the party in such detail that I just knew he had to have some kind of connection to Hope Cottage.  I thought maybe his mother volunteered for us, so I asked him what his connection was.  He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said "I was adopted from Hope Cottage."  Much squealing and jumping up and down ensued (on my part, not his), hugs were exchanged and contact info given.  Wyndal said at first he wasn't going to "fess up", even went so far to return to his desk and sit down.  "No", he said, "I am going back in there and tell her who I am."  I am so glad he did. 

We may not have had an actual "Old Home Week", but in the past seven days, we had two reunions and  a "New Home" event.  Pretty good week at Hope Cottage and here's looking at more to come!

P.S.  If you are a Hope Family, mark your calendar and plan to attend our Annual Holiday Party, December 5th from 2-4 pm at Hope Cottage.  We will be excited to see you and I  will try not to squeal and jump up and down when you walk in the doors! 


Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Golf, Glorious Golf


Team Surgical Associates of North Texas. 
We should have had an award for
Best Dressed!
This past Friday (October 8, 2010) 87 golfers gathered at Coyote Ridge Golf Club as part of the 2nd Annual Friends of deVille Golf Tournament:  Another Shot FORE Children, presented by Surgical Associates of North Texas, benefiting Dallas Adoption agency Hope Cottage.  The weather was superb, the greens called and more people turned out than we were expecting.  Best of all, we doubled the income raised over last year's tournament.  All the monies raised benefited the programs at Hope Cottage which include domestic adoption, foster-to-adopt, adoption education , services to birth mothers, family counseling and post adoption services

The tournament was started by one of our own Hope Babies, Todd deVilleneuve.  He called us last year and said he wanted to do something for the agency that has meant so much to his family.  His friends call him "deVille", hence the name of the tournament - Friends of deVille.  Scott's father, Allan deVilleneuve, MD is a local pediatrician who stills sees Hope Babies as part of his practice.  Brother Scott deVilleneuve, MD of Surgical Associates of North Texas was also adopted from Hope Cottage.  Mom Virginia rounds out the deVilleneuve clan and they pull out all the stops recruiting family and longtime friends to make the tournament a rousing success. 

Third place, with a score of 62, went to The Davis Team.  2nd place was taken by Surgical Associates of North Texas Team #1 with a score of 60 and First Place was grabbed by Joe Coursy, Mike Doeden, Patel Pranay and Kyle Stevens. 
First Place Winners with the Traveling Trophy

Scott Meyer won for Closest to the Pin and Anthony Saitta won the Longest Drive.
Anthony Saitta



Team GEICO

















We would like to thank Surgical Associates of North Texas for being our Title Sponsor and GEICO for being our Lunch Sponsor.  Other Sponsors include: 
We had some GREAT raffle prizes and door prizes thanks to Avid Media Ventures, Larry Bisno, Coyote Ridge Golf Club, Diz & Janis Dizdar, Floss Dental, Sonyia and Mike Hartwell, Healthcare Chiropractic, Vince Pellman/Rolling Hills Country Club, PGA Tour Superstore, BarryRay/Armstong Office Concepts, Sigel's Elite, Salum'sTGI Friday's,  Ron Keene and Mark Cuban.

Another big thank you goes to John Sommers and Graphic Solutions Group for signage. 

To see our entire photo album, visit the Hope Cottage Fanpage on Facebook or Flickr

Hope Baby Golf Trio
John Dickey, Todd deVilleneuve, Scott deVilleneuve
Not all golfers are the two legged kind!

Golfers register



Hope Cottage Staff Members
Susan Mathews and  Brooks Quinlan

Putting Contest Volunteers
Lori Crider, Krista Hartman and Mark Neace


Allen and Todd deVilleneuve


Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Baby


Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, is now accepting entries for the Pumpkin Baby Photo Contest on Facebook.  The rules are simple
  • Follow the theme - Pumpkin Baby which encompasses anything fall, pumpkin or Halloween related!
  • Child depicted can be any age now, but in the picture submitted, must be age 3 or under.
  • Post the photo on the Hope Cottage Fan page by 5 pm October 10, 2010
Here are the winners of the September Photo Contest for Career Baby.  Congrats!


Mr. Professor

Future Teacher













P.S. For those of you in the Dallas area - the Arboretum is in the midst of their Great Pumpkin Festival - lots of photo ops!


Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interested in Adopting from Foster Care?

Since 2006 Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, has been partnering with Child Protective Services to build forever familes for children in the foster care system.  At any one time, more than 7,000 children in North Texas in the foster care system are available for adoption.

 Adoptive Families magazine offers some great insight into adopting from Foster Care with these articles. 

Want to read about someone who has adopted from Foster Care?  In The Fost/Adopt Saga  Kathryn Reiss and Tom Strychacz chronicles in a special six part series,  the first year joys and challenges of adopting two older girls from foster care.  Kathryn Reiss is an award-winning author of suspense novels for children and teens. Tom Strychacz writes books and articles on American literature. They both teach at Mills College in northern California, and are the parents of five incredible kids. 

In this excerpt from her moving memoir, Another Mother, Sarah Gerstenzang relates her often painful, yet life-affirming journey as mother to a waiting child.
 
Kate McKee Robertson shares her discovery that adopting older children was right for her family. 
 
If you are interested in adopting from Foster Care, contact Linda Pouncey at Hope Cottage by calling 214.526.8721. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For Your Reading Pleasure

Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, wants to share with you some interesting reading from the adoption world.

A poignant story about a child's first birthday celebration.  Birth Siblings - experiences from six different families. 

Adoptive Mothers (and Fathers!) CAN experience post partum depression.   What about those precious moments  you might have in the hospital with your birth mother?  Here are suggestions to make that time run more smoothly.

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Resources for Wanting to Adopt and Adoptive Families

Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, would like to share these resources for Wanting to Adopt and Adoptive Families.  Knowledge is a great thing!

Here is a link for a recent blog post, entitled "Five Tips for Exchanging Gifts Among Birth and Adoptive Familes."

Interested in adopting from the Foster Care System? Click here for a Fact Sheet dispelling myths about Foster to Adopt.   



Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Making the News- It's a Good Thing!

Robert Miller, long time business columnist with the Dallas Morning News, led his column today with a story about Dallas adoption agency, Hope Cottage and our new TMAP program.  What a great way to start the day!

All the staff and board at Hope Cottage a very excited about the new TMAP program (Teen Mentoring and Prevention).  And we are even more excited about receiving funding from the Office of the Govenor the first time out of the chute!

For more information about TMAP, see our blog post of September 2, 2010. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas.  Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.


If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Making Me Smile

It is one month until Surgical Associates of North Texas presents the 2nd Annual Friends of deVille Golf Tournament:  Another Shot FORE Children, benefiting Hope Cottage.  Proceeds from this event support our many programs including domestic adoption, foster to adopt, aid to pregnant women and teen pregnancy educational programming. 

Scott & Todd deVilleneuve
The event was started by one of our Hope Babies, Todd deVilleneuve, owner of Todd deVille Custom Homes.  Todd and his brother Scott were adopted from Hope Cottage and Todd called us last year and said he wanted to do something to help an organization that has meant so much to his family over the years.  Todd's father, Dallas pediatrician, Allen deVilleneuve, still sees Hope Babies as part of his practice.  Todd gathered 72 of his friends (who call him deVille - hence the tournament moniker) and we had a glorious day of golf while raising more than $10,000. 

This year's tournament is set for Friday October 8th at Coyote Ridge Golf Club in Carrollton.  Surgical Associates of North Texas (Dr. Scott deVilleneuve and company) are the title sponsor and the fabulous folks at GEICO are Lunch Sponsors.  One of the benefits of being the Lunch Sponsor is that a label with your company logo, tagline, whatever you like, is put on each golfer's box lunch.  I checked with our friends at GEICO and asked them what they would like printed on the labels.  Here is what they sent me.  It just made my day and made me smile.  Thanks GEICO for helping children find loving, permanent homes and starting my day with a smile!




P.S.  If you are interested in playing in the tournament, e-mail Leslie Clay, Chief Development Officer.  Individual golfer cost is $125 and sponsorships start at $300. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hope Cottage Receives Grant from Office of the Governor

Hope Cottage has received notification from the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division that it will receive $120,000 over 3 years to launch a new program working with teens who are parents or at risk to become parents. The goal of the program, called Teen Mentoring and Prevention (TMAP), is to ensure that teen parents, pregnant teens and at risk teens know how to avoid behaviors that can lead to incarceration, child abuse, neglect and a life of poverty.

“In September 2009, the Dallas Morning News stated Texas has the highest repeat teen pregnancy rate in the entire U.S. and Dallas is the number one city for repeat teen pregnancies in Texas.”, says Hope Cottage CEO, Sonyia Hartwell, MSSW. “Teen pregnancy causes girls to end their schooling, places a strain on social services and reinforces a cycle of poverty. Researchers have concluded that teen pregnancy will increase in the coming decade and the biggest loser in this equation is the child born to and raised by teen parents. These children are at a high risk to be in poor health, drop out of school, experience higher levels of incarceration and become teen parents themselves, thus perpetuating the problem.” Hartwell continues, “This funding is instrumental for Hope Cottage to expand its scope of services to the community and launch new initiatives to support the organization’s mission of building and nurturing strong families.”

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building families through education, counseling and adoption services.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hope Cottage and the Assistance You Make Possible

This week's Hope Cottage blog is continuing the subject matter begun in last week's blog - clients that have been helped because of YOUR support.  Again, we cannot stress enough how none of this would be possible without your monetary and inkind gifts.  Thank you!

Cindy was 21, seven months pregnant and homeless when she came to Hope Cottage for help.  Her life had been difficult and she was coping the best she could.  Her wordly posessions consisted of a backpack and two threadbare pillowcases containing a few treasured momentos and some clothing.  Cindy had a heart of gold and knew that she wanted the best for her unborn child.  She made an adoption plan to give her child the support, stability and love she never had growing up.  Being part of the foster care system, as she had been, was not the life she wanted for this child. 

Cindy was unable to work due to her stressful pregnancy and could not support herself financially.  A friend could offer her a bed, but Cindy still needed help with rent, utilities, food and clothing.  Your gifts to Hope Cottage,  provided groceries and maternity clothing during the two remaining months of her pregnancy. 

How does this story end?  After giving birth, Cindy placed her child with a loving family, relocated to Ohio where her other three children lived and began her life anew and full of hope - hope that you gave her. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

How You Made a Difference

Often times donors wonder if their donation makes a difference.  Today Hope Cottage would like to share the story of a client you helped.  None of the assistance given would have been possible without your support - THANK YOU!

Cheryl was four months pregnant when she first knocked on the door of Hope Cottage. Not only was she attending school to become a medical assistant, but she was struggling to care for her two other children, ages 16 months and five years. The birth father and his family would not offer any assistance or support with this pregnancy. Cheryl knew this child deserved better.


Cheryl turned to Hope Cottage for assistance in making an adoption plan for this child and because you made a gift to Hope Cottage, Cheryl received the many hours of counseling and support she needed to formulate that plan. Cheryl’s school uniform scrubs became so tight she could not breathe. Because you made a gift to Hope Cottage, Cheryl could stay in school by purchasing the larger size scrubs she needed. Without the school uniforms, Cheryl would have had to drop out of school. Because you made a gift to Hope Cottage, she was able to complete her semester before taking a maternity leave.

Cheryl placed her child for adoption. Because you made a gift to Hope Cottage, Cheryl and the adoptive family have access to the counseling they need to construct and maintain a wonderful, open adoptive relationship.

On behalf of Cheryl, her children and the many other pregnant women, children and families served by Hope Cottage – THANK YOU!
 
Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building families through education, counseling and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hope Cottage Announces August Photo Contest Winners

Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, is pleased to announce the winners of the August Most Joyful Baby Photo Contest.  Each month the agency hosts a themed Baby Photo Contest on its Facebook Fan Page.  Parents post pictures of the precious tykes following a prescribed theme.  Previous themes have included the Baby in the Biggest Hat, Most Patriotic Baby and the theme for the month of August:  Most Joyful Baby.  Here are the August Winners:

Grand Prize Winner


First Runner Up - Mr. Bubbly

Second Runner Up - Mr. Happy



Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas.  Since 1918 more than 7,000 children have found loving, permanent homes through Hope Cottage.

If you would like more information about adoption, visit the Hope Cottage website or call 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to discuss adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dallas Adoption Agency Hope Cottage Helps Make Two New Families

Things are so exciting at Hope Cottage.  We made a placement last week and another child is being placed today with his adoptive family.  Don't we have a happy job? 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building families through education, counseling and adoption services.



If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.


If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Traditions

I have a couple of friends from high school who I think are some of the most gifted writers around.  I envy their ability to lay down their thoughts in such thought provoking, entertaining ways.  I read Berry Simpson's blog this morning about family traditions and knew I just had to share it.  Hope Cottage is all about making families and helping them to stay strong.  What family traditions do you have?

My family had a tradition of making home made ice cream with family and friends.  I still remember sitting on top of the hand crank freezer while my grandfather turned the handle.  Sometimes it would be vanilla ice cream, sometimes peaches from his back yard tree would be added.  In the late 60's Helen Corbitt fudge sauce and peanut butter sauce were added to the mix and I do remember Chocolate Sheet cake as an extra treat.  I laugh because we would usually need to make two 6 quart freezers of ice cream when we had the Thompsons over.  One freezer for my dad and Daddy Leon (patriach of the Thompson family) and one freezer for the other 7 of us!  That ice cream was good eating!  A few years ago I dusted off our ice cream freezer and decided to start the tradition again.   I still must have a wooden container, but I have gone electric for the motor!   Hopefully our boys will continue the celebration.

Our ice cream recipe is below, but before I go, I want to ask  - what are/were your family traditions?  Share them with us here!

Lue's Ice Cream
10 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cans Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk
two good "glugs" of vanilla (I kid you not, that is what the recipe says)
1 quart half and half and whatever room is left in the container, top it off with heavy cream

Mix everything well together (I use a hand mixer).  Place in ice cream freezer and freeze.  After the ice cream freezer stops, I have found that I need to then put the ice cream into a container and put it in the refrigerator freezer for a couple of hours to firm up a little more - that is if you can keep from consuming the ice cream on the spot.

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building families through education, counseling and adoption services.


If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Promotions at Dallas Adoption Agency Hope Cottage

Brooks Quinlan, LMSW
We are so excited about two recent promotions at Hope Cottage.  Hope Cottage recently promoted Brooks Quinlan, LMSW, former Director of Training and Counseling, to the position of Director of Program Services. In addition Jennifer Terry, LMSW was promoted to Family Services Coordinator.

Brooks has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama and his undergraduate degree is in Sociology/Psychology from the University of South Alabama.  Before joining Hope Cottage a year ago, Brooks was at the Alabama Post Adoption Connections. He has also served as a Post Adoption Specialist/United Kingdom/England with West Berkshire Council Family Placement Team and as a Detention Reform Initiative Coordinator with the Mobile County Juvenile Court.  Brooks oversees all aspects of our adoption programming and training.

Jennifer Terry, LMSW
Jennifer has been with Hope Cottage for more than two years and holds a B.S. in Social Work from Texas Women’s University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Before Hope Cottage, Jennifer was at New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter.  Jennifer works with birth mothers and waiting to adopt families. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building families through education, counseling and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721. 

If you are a woman facing a crises pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great Article - How to Photograph Your Baby

Check out this article from the Moms Blog at Dallas Morning News about photographing your baby.   Might come in handy  for the Hope Cottage Baby Photo Contest!

Hope Cottage is the oldest, non-profit, non-sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Adoption Story - Brought to You by Hope Cottage

Share this adoption journey and a family made by Hope Cottage. 

Seven years ago Joe and I sat in separate steel chairs as the doctor leaned forward, resting his elbows on his desk, his words betrayed his smile..."I give you no more than a 5% chance of ever having children."  We were devastated.  The dream of our curly, red-headed, freckle-faced, green-eyed child smashed against the white walls.  It wasn't supposed to be this way...but it was.  After that hour passed, we looked at the pieces of our dream that were left.  Our hearts and our hopes had survived in the shards and we held onto them as we made a new path for our journey.

According to our doctor, adoption was our only option.  It was also the safest bet that we would end up with a child.  My search ended at Hope Cottage.  I loved the name.  A name is a bizarre reason to choose an adoption agency, I know, but the reality of our family was dependant on that idea, the idea of hope.  Joe and I combed through the website and absorbed all the information.  Soon we made the initial call.  That call was followed by other calls and orientations and informational sessions and huge binders full of materials.  We made a scrapbook of us to show to perspective birthparents and wrote letters telling about ourselves.  Once a month, we attended a Hope Cottage support group along with other waiting families.  We attended one, then two, then three and so on learning about the legal side of adoptions, birth-families' feelings, and adoptive families' feelings.  We loved learning how to be parents, but wondered along with all the others in the room when we would be.  We jumped when the phone rang hoping it was "the call".  We looked deep into our hearts during the times of helplessness and held strongly to hope that someday all of this would result in a child. 

Eleven months passed, and the phone rang and it was "the call".  We drove anxiously to Dallas wondering what we would say.  When we arrived we learned that Janine, the birthmother we were scheduled to meet, had gone into labor that morning.  We knew we had to meet this little baby boy.  Before we laid eyes on him though, we had to meet with his birthmother.  We called Hope Cottage and set up the second meeting with Janine. 

We met her at a Starbucks in Dallas close the the hospital after she was released.  Scariest first encounter I have ever experienced.  She was tall, blonde, loud, gregarious and just as scared as we were.  The conversation was easy and the answer then was simple.  It was a match.  We met our baby the following day.

The first time we saw him he was hooked up to tubes, but breathing on his own.  Joe held him.  I fed him.  He pooped and I changed him.  Janine was there and smiling.  She asked us what we were going to call him and we told her the name we had decided on during the drive down.  She even asked the nurses to start calling him that name.  We continued to visit daily for the next four weeks.  Joe would work a full day, drive to pick me up and we would drive to Dallas and spend time with our baby.  We held him and sang to him and read to him.  I brought Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little and Baby Island and we went through all of those.  Slowly but surely the tubes came off, and it was time for us to take our baby home.  Years of trying, 11 months of waiting, and now, instant baby.

It didn't matter that he didn't have my curls or green eyes or Joe's red hair and freckles, he had our hearts, our hopes and our dreams.  The shards had come together to make this family.  This is exactly how our life is supposed to be.  We are grateful for the heartache and the frustration and the wait.  We are grateful for Janine.  We are grateful for the feeling of hope. 

Hope Cottage is the oldest non-profit, non-sectarian adoption agency in Dallas.  Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through education, counseling and adoption services.  To learn more call 214.526.8721. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Can All Use A Little Help Now and Then

As parents we can all use a little help now and then.  Here is an article entitled Common Parenting Myths Debunked

Hope Cottage is the oldest non-profit, non-sectarian based adoption agency in Dallas, Tx.  Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been building strong families through education, counseling and adoption services.  If you would like to know more about adoption, call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721 or e-mail info@hopecottage.org

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hope Cottage is Looking for the Most Joyful Baby

Dallas adoption agency, Hope Cottage, is looking for the Most Joyful Baby around. 

Post a picture of your child enjoying his/her most joyful self on the Hope Cottage Facebook page.  Children depicted must be age 3 or under at the time the picture was taken.  The  contest is free to enter and open to all.  Photos must be posted by 5 pm August 10th.  Winner receives a prize and all decisions of the judges are final. 

Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been building strong families through education, counseling and adoption. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why Birthmothers Deserve Our Respect

I once sat in on a meeting where adoption was described as needing to have a state of "graciousness".  How very true that is.  Birthmothers must be gracious with the adoptive parents.  Adoptive parents must be gracious with birth families.   In the best interest of the child, all must be granted a place at the table and respond to each other with graciousness.  A recent article in Newsweek gives us food for thought on birthmothers. 

What are your thoughts?  Give us your comments.

Hope Cottage is the oldest, non-profit, non-sectarian based adoption agency in Dallas.  Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been building strong families through education, counseling and adoption services. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dallas Adoption Agency Finds Most Patriotic Babies

Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, is pleased to announce the winners of the Most Patriotic Baby Photo Contest.
Each month proud parents post pictures of their darlings on the Hope Cottage Facebook page. The rules of the contest are simple:

  • Picture must follow the theme for the month
  • Picture must be posted on the Hope Cottage Facebook page.
  • Child(ren) depicted must be aged 3 or under in the photo (they can currently be older than 3 now, they just have to be age 3 or under in the photo posted)
  • Photos must be posted by 5 pm on the tenth of the month
  • Decisions of the judges are final

Grand Prize Winner





















Little Miss Liberty
Theme for the August Photo Contest is Most Joyful Baby.  Post your entries now and tell your friends. 

Dallas Adoption Agency, Hope Cottage, is the oldest non-profit, non-sectarian adoption agency in Dallas.  Since 1918, Hope Cottage has been building strong families through education, counseling and adoption services.  If you have questions about adoption, contact us at 214.526.8721.

Hope Cottage Founders Day Picnic 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hope Cottage and the United Way


Hope Cottage has a long history with the United Way - in fact, Hope Cottage is one of the thirteen original United Way agencies, when the United Way was called Community Chest. (Now you know where that came from in your Monopoly game!). Of those original thirteen agencies, Hope Cottage is one of the few still in existence today. Did you know that at one time, donors to the United Way provided the lion's share of the Hope Cottage budget? Try 85% of the monies raised to place children in loving, permanent homes through Hope Cottage came from United Way donations. The United Way of Dallas-Metro will be changing next year. But what doesn't change is that it will still be individuals, like you, who through your donations to the United Way make positive changes in the lives of our fellow citizens. On behalf of these and all the other Hope Babies, we thank you for your support!















Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Biggest Hat Photo Contest Continued




Here is the winning photo in our Biggest Hat photo contest in the over age of 3 category. Isn't JJ a cutie?







For July, we are looking for photos of the Most Patriotic Baby. Details on the Hope Cottage Facebook page.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Hats Rule


Hope Cottage put out a call for pictures of babies in the biggest hats, beating the heat and shielding themselves from the rays of the hot Texas sun. Here is one of the winning photos - baby Chloe in her swim hat. Isn't she a cutie?
For July, we are looking for the Most Patriotic Baby. Post a picture of your little patriot on the Hope Cottage Facebook page by July 10th. Most patriotic baby wins a prize!




Thursday, June 10, 2010

All the Little Babies




This is one of my favorite pictures from Hope Cottage - probably because it says so much about our rich history. It was taken in the 1940's and says much about Hope Cottage at the time because we have black and white babies in the same crib. While Dallas was segregated, Hope Cottage was not. The sign is thanking those people who made gifts to Hope Cottage through the Community Chest. For those of you who always wondered what Community Chest was in your Monopoly game, it is what is now the United Way. Hope Cottage is one of the original thirteen agencies in the Dallas Metro United Way and one of only three or four still in existence.
When I first came on board, I would joke about the picture saying "Oh, where was this? At Northpark right next to the SPCA booth?" (laugh and giggle) "Did we put our babies on display?" (giggle, giggle). You can imagine how my giggles stopped when I ran across the articles below. Evidently Hope Cottage DID put their babies in the window. Enjoy another piece from our history.


Hope Cottage Babies Shown in Window Display
(December 1, 1921) One of the most novel features of the Welfare Council campaign is the Hope Cottage window of the Goldsmith Company, corner Ervay and Elm streets. Real babies from Hope Cottage, in charge of nurses, were in the window all day Thursday and each day, including Friday and Saturday.

The purpose of the exhibition is to impress the public with the importance of saving the babies of the poor, as well as the foundlings, that are from time to time placed on door steps. Hope Cottage shares in the proceeds of the welfare campaign. The Goldsmith window is especially heated to take care of the babies, some of whom are less than three months old. Great crowds gathered and blocked sidewalk traffic all day long. The hours for the exhibition of children Friday and Saturday are from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Babies in Store Window Draw Big Crowds
(December 1921) Babies from Hope Cottage had a lark Saturday.
Hope Cottage is one of the 10 agencies supported by the Welfare Council, and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. five bright looking youngsters asked the public to help them.
No, they didn't talk , for they can't. Only "nurse" could understand their language. But out in front of A. Harris large baby display window, men, women and children crowded up close, almost entirely blocking the sidewalks.
In the unusual surroundings, the babies seemed to think it great sport.
"We keep the window heated at the right temperature," said Issac. I. Lorch, secretary of A. Harris & Co.
The nurse heats the milk required by the babies at the lunch counter. The babies are delivered at the new playground by taxi. The girls in the store are "just crazy" over them. "They could pretty near have anything we've got," said Lorch.
On Christmas, the store will remember Hope Cottage babies, in addition to contributions from 50 cents to $5 made by employees for the welfare drive. "I think the babies are the most important of all," declared Lorch.
Each Christmas, the store gets its odds and ends together, dividing perhaps 50 dozens of children hosiery, baby garments and articles taken from broken lots. Last year 16 different charitable organizations, including Hope Cottage, each received a big box.

Hope Cottage Babies Do Their Bit for Charity in Windows of Store
(December 1921) Seven bouncing baby boys from Hope Cottage proved an attractive window display for Goldsmith's store Monday. Mrs. Emma Wylie Ballard, assisted by two undergraduate nurses, transported the tots in taxicabs to and from the home. They are advertising the charity drive.
The youngest boy in the squad was Ben Ward Duncan, born in July, and found three days after (article stops here)
(article continues) We are grateful to the Goldsmith management for making it possible for the Dallas people to see a few of our babies. We invite all interested to visit Hope Cottage and get acquainted with many other darling little ones.