Adoptive Families Association of BC

Adoption Monthly December 2019


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The holidays are coming
The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but it can also be stressful for adoptive families dealing with transitions and possible traumaversaries. We've complied some holiday tips, as well as a helpful holiday gift guide!

Family Stories

When the Forsyths decided to adopt, they were planning on a child who was around two years younger than their ten-year-old biological daughter. When the social worker called and said she had an 8-month-old for them, they were shocked. But their daughter wasn’t. She said she knew that the family would adopt a baby brother because that’s what she had prayed for. This is their adoption story.

The Whiteheads adopted their son, Thomas, as a baby, and while he was born premature and with health complications, he has grown up into a healthy, sports loving teen. The Whiteheads have an open relationship with the birth family, and that has helped them to keep  their son close to his Indigenous roots. This is their adoption story.



Here are some articles to help you prepare for the holiday season!

Holiday joy! Tips from the AFABC team to help with the holiday season.
Help for the holidays Here’s our guide to making it through the season with a smile!
Making the holidays happy for your family We ask a family of 16 children for their holiday tips.

A Christmas gift list for adoptive families Stuck on gift ideas? We've got suggestions for you!


Check out our new videos, originally shared for Adoption Awareness Month: Q&A Videos and Faces of Family Videos.

AFABC news

Adoption Awareness Month: Thank you to our wonderful adoption community who made Adoption Awareness Month such a success! We had 20 landmarks across the province #LightUpForAdoption, had the chance to share stories with local media, held a ton of events, and, most importantly, had the chance to illuminate the need for adoptive families in BC. 

Holiday Tips Facebook Live: Join us on Facebook Tuesday, December 10 at 12pm for our Holiday Tips Facebook Live. Andrea Chatwin, founder and clinical director of A Child's Song, will share tips and tricks to help you through the holiday season.

AFABC Holiday Hours: Please note that our office will be closed December 25 - 27, and January 1. Our Family Support Team will also be working reduced hours from December 23 to January 6. All inquires should go to our toll-free line 1-877-ADOPT-07, as this will be checked twice daily except for Dec. 24 to 27, and Jan. 1.

Timberline Ranch Adoptive Families Camp 2020: Registration for Timberline Ranch 2020 opens late January! Camp dates are May 22 to 24, 2020. Hope to see you there!

We're hiring! Are you our new Family Support Worker? Our Family Services team ensures that adoptive and permanency families are strengthened and supported from day one. We provide information, education, connection, and supports, and respond to the evolving needs of the adoption and permanency community. We are hiring a Family Support Worker for our Burnaby head office to replace Heather Ratzlaff, who is transitioning into a new role in the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program here at AFABC. See the full job posting here!

Celebrate your family milestones in Focus on Adoption magazine! Send a 75-word description and a high-res photo of your finalized adoption, reunion, home country visit, citizenship, graduation, or other special news to Allie Davison at Please submit by Monday, December 9.

Adoption & Permanency Learning

AEP-Online Foundations & Refresher course

This program provides MCFD-approved prospective adoptive parents with a strong foundation of knowledge for caring for their adopted child. Registration is open for our January, February and March sessions for eligible applicants.

Safe Babies online workshop

Learn about infant development, substance exposure, sleep issues, household and infant safety, support services, self care and more in this online workshop. Starts February 13.Sign up today!

*NEW* Predictable Adjustments on-demand webinar

It's common for children who have spent time in care to release their feelings of grief and loss when they feel they are in a safe place. When the child begins to release these feelings the family will begin to feel it too. This is called inducement, and you can learn more about it in this free webinar. Available now!

AFABC events

December 5 [Victoria] Adopt BC Kids Information Session: Come and learn about adopting from foster care. There are hundreds of children and youth right here in BC foster care who are waiting for adoptive families. Topics include: who the children are, why they come into care, special placement needs, the adoption process, and key issues for families. Co-presented by AFABC and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

December 13 [Coquitlam] Lights at Lafarge Adoptive Families Walk: Join 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 we know who to look out for.

December 18 [Vernon] Adoptive Families Group: This group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month to socialize in an atmosphere of trust and friendship. Join them to chat and support other families wherever they are in their journey of adoption. For more information please contact Pam Ellis:

Community news & events
  • From the Embers Photography: Room in our hearts: "These days blended families are the norm and adopting has become much more common in the last few decades however, I still feel like the topic of adoption is not something we are all well enough versed in. With 750 children waiting to be adopted just in BC, I think this is a topic that maybe we should all know a little bit more about."
  • New Westminster Record: This adorable New West family knows the power of adoption: "Adoption Awareness Month – promoted through the Adoptive Families Association of BC - draws attention to the number of children and teens who are waiting for permanent homes through adoption, guardianship, or a kinship placement. Families in B.C. adopted 1,400 kids from government care in the past five years, but more than 750 children and youth currently have adoption in their care plans."
  • CFJC TodayKamloops families share journeys to adoption: "Adopting a child comes with its own set of unique challenges, but for Kamloops couple Joshua and Shanti Claycamp, the rewards of parenthood far outweigh any difficulties. The Claycamps are sharing their story of adopting their three children, and are encouraging others to consider a similar path to parenthood."
  • Creative Intergenerational Drop-In: Hosted by the Broadway Youth Resource Centre and the Front Step Project: Come create and connect over painting, board games, crafting, and more! Snacks and art supplies are provided. Takes place the first Tuesday of every month at the Broadway Youth Resource Centre: 2455 Fraser Street, Vancouver. Questions? Contact Daniela at | 604-870-8208 #225
  • Holiday Open House: Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks hosts their annual Holiday Open House on December 14: Join them for food, crafts for kids, stockings, a photo booth, and Santa! Drop in on Friday, December 14 between 4 and 8. Santa arrives at 6! RVSP to Shannon at by December 7. If you're bringing kids be sure to include their names an ages when you RSVP (so Santa knows what to put in their stocking).
  • Pit Stop: Men's Night Out December 3: Home for Every Child Adoption Society hosts a men's night out for adoptive dads: Join other adoptive dads for a fun night out at virtual realty escape room (VRKADE: Abbotsford). RSVP is required. 
  • Shuswap Adoptive Families & Friends Pool Party: The annual Shuswap Adoptive Families pool party is this Saturday, November 30. Join them at the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre (2550 Trans Canada Hwy, Salmon Arm BC) for swimming, pizza, and cake starting at 1:15pm. For more details and to RSVP please contact Kathi at 250.832.2170. 
  • Centre for Research in Family Health: The Strongest Families Neurodevelopmental Program is looking for families with children aged 3 - 14 who are diganosed with a Neurodevelopmental Disability to participate in a study for a new online parenting program designed to help you deal with challenging behaviours. Participating and eligible families will receive up to an $150 honorarium (cheque or gift card) in $50 installments as they complete the three study questionnaire sets. 
  • CBC: P.E.I. government tables legislation to open adoption records: "P.E.I. is currently one of two provinces with closed adoption records. Nova Scotia recently launched public consultations on whether to open its records. Similar to how records have been opened in other provinces, P.E.I.'s legislation allows birth parents and adoptees to file for a veto to keep their identities private for adoptions that took place prior to Jan. 31, 2020."
  • CBC4-year program aims to keep Toronto kids out of foster care: "Child welfare organizations in Toronto have launched a new four-year program aimed at supporting at-risk families so children can stay home instead of going into foster care. The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada and the Children's Aid Society of Toronto say the program will focus on early intervention in specific neighbourhoods of the city."

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


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