Adoptive Families Association of BC

Adoption Monthly November 2019


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November is Adoption Awareness Month! #LightUpForAdoption
We're so excited for Adoption Awareness Month and we've got some great events, videos, and some fun surprises in store to to illuminate the message that hundreds of BC kids in foster care are waiting for an adoptive family! Check out our website for everything going on, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you don't miss anything!

Family Stories

Jamie and Tyler Giesbrecht always wanted a big family, and for a while it didn’t seem to be happening naturally. They started fostering, which turned into adoption, and today they have the big family they always dreamed of! This is their adoption story.

Read the rest of their story.


Vince and Eric’s journey to adoption was long. But when they finally met their son, Jamestin, for the first time, they knew their family was complete. This is their adoption story.


Read the rest of their story.



The latest issue of Focus on Adoption is all about adoptee voices. Here are some highlights.

10 lessons being adopted taught me
Ambiguous loss in adoption
Finding (some of) my roots
Gotcha Day


Watch and learn from these adoptive families as they share some of their Lessons Learned.

AFABC news

Adoption Awareness Month: This year, our Adoption Awareness Month campaign revolves around the #LightUpForAdoption hashtag. We'll be using the hashtag to shine a light on adoption this whole month! On November 1, 7 and 9, landmarks across BC will #LightUpForAdoption with beautiful green lights. We'll also be using the hashtag to shine a light on adoption facts and stories this whole month—and so can you!

#LightUpForAdoption: We'll be sharing videos on Mondays and Fridays on social media, and we have SO MANY events planned this month (more on that below). We can't wait to #LightUpForAdoption with all of you!

Facebook Live with Heather: Heather Ratzlaff is the Family Support Worker for the Coast / Fraser regions. Tune in to Facebook on Wednesday, November 13 at noon, for live insight into Heather's role at AFABC, her connection to adoption, statistics on BC's waiting kids, and more! We'll also have a live Q&A at the end! needs input from youth in care: is looking for young people with lived experience in care to help us develop a youth-friendly evaluation and change model. Do you know a young adult who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health communities of Vancouver, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, or Sea to Sky? Share this opportunity with them and have them email Lucie for more information:

Adoption & Permanency Learning

AEP-Online Foundations & Refresher course

This program provides prospective adoptive parents with a strong foundation of knowledge for caring for their adopted child. Registration is open for our November and January sessions.

Trauma Informed Parenting workshop

The first year of adoption placement can be tough – especially for parents managing kids with trauma. This online workshop is designed to provide tips and tools for trauma informed parenting in the in the first year of placement.

Free webinars for November

ALL our on-demand webinars are FREE in November! No matter where you are in your adoption journey, there's a webinar for you. They cover topics such as: Adoption and classroom success, Cultural Planning in BC, DNA Testing, BC Post Adoption Assistance, and more!

AFABC events

November 1 [Parksville] Flipping for Adoption: Come and help us celebrate Adoption Awareness Month! An NCCP certified coach & coordinator will lead the way. We will spend a fun filled hour in the gym performing a variety of skills and playing a variety of games that are age and ability level appropriate. Snacks and cake provided until 3:00pm.

November 2 [Port Alberni] Tumbling for Adoption: Children will learn to use gymnastics equipment under the guidance of a certified gymnastics instructor. We will spend a fun filled hour in the gym performing a variety of skills and playing a variety of games that are age and ability level appropriate. Snacks and cake to be provided upstairs after gym time.

November 3 [Vancouver] Adoptive Families Pool PartyJoin our family for a fun filled swim time to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month. Find me in the pool for a wristband so that we can identify the other adoptive families and to claim your family swag bag!

November 3 [Kelowna] Adoption Awareness Family EventLet AFABC treat you to a couple hours of play and pizza lunch to celebrate adoption! Our gift includes: Cube, Rock Climbing and Gym, 10 tokens per child. 

November 6 [Vernon] Let's do lunchMeet your Family Support Worker for lunch! 

November 6 [Vernon] Potluck and VisitJoin your Family Support Worker at the Ellis Home, please bring a dish to share. For information or directions please contact Pam @

November 7 [Victoria] Adopt BC Kids Information SessionCome and learn about BC's Waiting Children. There are hundreds of children and youth in BC foster care who are waiting for adoptive families. Topics include: who are the children, why they come into care, special placement needs, the adoption process and key issues for families. Co-presented by AFABC and MCFD.

November 8 [Nelson] Indigenous cultural day: Please join us for a few hours of fun! Archery, crafts, and a delicious meal! Let's celebrate adoption and culture together!

November 9 [Nelson] Adoption Awareness Month CelebrationJoin us for fun at the Nelson Rec Centre as we spend time together celebrating our families! Lunch and Wristbands provided by AFABC: enjoy full use of the facility after lunch!

November 13 [Terrace] AAM After school Family SkateJoin us for after school snacks at the Rec Centre and then a skate afterwards! Multi-purpose room rented for snacks and visits: ice open until 4:30pm.

November 14 [Prince Rupert] Cultural Family EventJoin us for a fun night of entertainment, crafts, and a traditional meal to honour and celebrate our indigenous families! Held on the unceded territory of the Tsimshian people in Prince Rupert, BC.
November 16 [Ladysmith] Swimming for AdoptionCome and help us celebrate Adoption Awareness Month! Pool time will be followed by snacks and cake in the gym.

November 16 [Gibsons] Sunshine Coast Adoptive Families Skating EventSunshine Coast Families: come on out for some FREE family skating and cake to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month. Join us at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre on November 16 from 2-4 pm. Questions? Call Heather Ratzlaff at 604-320-7330 ext 105 or email

November 17 [Kamloops] Bowling for Adoption AwarenessCome out and enjoy a game of bowling on us to help celebrate Adoption Awareness Month! Drop in for a game, coffee, or just to meet with others.

November 20 [Vernon] Adoptive Families GroupOur group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month to socialize in an atmosphere of trust and friendship. Join us to chat and support other families wherever they are in their journey of adoption. For more information please contact Pam Ellis
November 21 [Vancouver] Adopt BC Kids Free Information SessionJoin us for this interactive information session about the types of adoption in BC and the children available through the Adopt BC Kids program.

November 24 [Fort St John] AAM Family Skate and PotluckJoin us during Free Skate for a potluck lunch to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month.

November 27 [Prince George] Bowl for AdoptionJoin us for cake and a bowling game to celebrate adoption! We have four lanes reserved from 4:00 - 6:00pm: first come, first serve!

November 28 [Burnaby] Waiting Parents Voluntold OpportunityWe will be hosting a Family Art event (see below!) that gives Waiting Parents a chance to meet some adoptive families. Families and kids will sign up for this activity and Waiting Parents will get the chance to interact by hosting the art stations.This way Waiting Parents can chat with the kids and parents.

November 28 [Burnaby] Magical Arts and Adoption EventAre you up for a little bit of craft magic? Join us with your kiddos to make arts and crafts of the magical variety. Herbology, Potions and Muggle Art to name a few. This event will have volunteers from the waiting parent program so that parents can grab a butterbeer and sit down for a spell. Space is limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment. Questions? Call 604-320-7330 ext 105 or email Heather Ratzlaff at

December 13 [Coquitlam] Lights at Lafarge Adoptive Families WalkJoin us at for a wintery walk around Lake Lafarge. We will be handing out green glowsticks to identify our families. Dress warmly. This is a lovely 1 km flat walk. Dogs are welcome. Please register so I know who to look for!

Community news & events
  • CHOICES Adoption & Pregnancy Counselling: October 21, 2019 – VICTORIA — Six months after reversing its decision to shut down, CHOICES Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling has announced it has closed its doors.

  • Office of the Premier: Indigenous human rights recognized in B.C. law with new legislation: Legislation introduced Oct. 24, 2019, creates a path forward to recognize and uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples in B.C.

  • CBC: Why Jenny Heijun Wills wrote a book about reuniting with her first family in Korea: Jenny Heijun Wills was born in Korea and adopted as an infant by a white family in southern Ontario. In her late 20s, Wills traveled to Seoul to look for her first family. She chronicles this emotional, rocky reunion in her memoir Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related., written as a series of vignettes and letters.

  • Mentorship opportunity: A Home for Every Child Adoption Society is starting a new program called The Hangout! They are currently looking for mentors for the program to support youth in the adoption and fostering community! Rates are $25/hr with training beginning in November and the program starts up in January! Please e-mail with your resume.

  • Métis Roots Practitioner: Here's an event for caregivers of Métis Children/ Youth on Saturday, November 23, 2019, 10am - 3pm at the Ookankane Friendship Centre in Pentiction, BC. With special guest Bev Lambert. For more information and to register please contact Sheila Martial Ridden - Métis Roots Practitioner:

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Adoptive Families Association of BC
200 - 7342 Winston Street
Burnaby, BC V5A 2H1


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