Archive by Author

IAG033: Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey with Rachel Garlinghouse & Madeleine Melcher

Posted on 23. Apr, 2015 by .


Hope, inspiration, encouragement, endurance, patience, reassurance.

These are some of what we need as hopeful adoptive parents trying to build our family through adoption. The journey can be overwhelming. It can (and usually does) test our faith and hope as we try to become parents. The journey does not end once you’ve adopted – it has only begun.

On this episode, we talk with two amazing women – Rachel Garlinghouse and Madeleine Melcher. They are both talented writers, authors, and adoptive moms. Now, they’ve teamed up to write a book that is MUCH NEEDED for all adoptive families.

The book is called Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey – 52 Devotions and a Journal.

I’ve been able to review this book and I can tell you I LOVE it! Here’s just a few reasons why I think it is a must-have for anyone considering adoption, already on the journey to adopt, or has started parenting.

1. This book is full of 52 short devotionals that will carry you through an entire year of your journey. The best part is that the messages and verses in the book are timeless – so you can go through it again and again.

2. Rachel and Madeleine did an incredible job sharing their heart, their faith, their troubles, their triumphs, and so much more. They will grab your heart, make you laugh and cry as you go through each devotion.

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Why Madeleine and Rachel decided to write the book – and why they wanted to write it together.
  • Find out what is in the book and why it is something you need on the adoption journey.
  • How the book can help families – no matter how they are touched by adoption.
  • Find out how many different ways you can use this book.
  • Find out how to become a part of their Facebook page where you can share your thoughts and get support.

Links we talk about in this episode: – Here’s a special link to Amazon, where you can buy the book today! - Be a part of the online discussion with Rachel & Madeleine to get additional support. - You can find some amazing jewelry that Rachel & Madeleine talk about in the interview. - Rachel’s blog where you can learn more about her and her family’s story. – Madeleine’s site dedicated to designing adoption profiles. Her unique designs have helped lots of hopeful adoptive parents since 2005. – The podcast episode where Madeleine talks about how to create a successful adoption profile. – The podcast episode where Rachel talks all about trans-racial adoption.

CLICK HERE to BUY the book!


adoption devotional book cover


Continue Reading

IAG 032: Adoption Coaching with Gayle Swift of Gift Family Services

Posted on 19. Mar, 2015 by .


“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” 

In domestic adoption, there are so many paths to parenthood which can have you overwhelmed and unsure how to start.

Having an adoption coach who’s survived what you are facing can be an amazing partner to help you realize your dream. They have experience, training and a commitment to families.

This episode’s special guest is Gayle Swift, an adoptive mom, author, and co-founder of GIFT Family Services – which is an adoption coaching firm dedicated to helping families on their adoption journey.

I’m so excited to have Gayle Swift on the show.

She is a certified coach with GIFT (Growing Intentional Families Together). They partner with adoptive families to achieve success before, during and after adoption.


Continue Reading

IAG 031: Transracial adoption with Rachel Garlinghouse

Posted on 04. Mar, 2015 by .


Have thought about or considered adopting a baby from a different race? Are you prepared?

Transracial adoption can be an amazing journey that can still sometimes having you feel alone and unsure of what to do. This episode’s special guest is Rachel Garlinghouse, who is an adoptive mom of three. She and her husband have adopted all three of their children from the U.S. and all are of a different race than their own.

Rachel is a gifted author and loves to share her passion for transracial adoption. Through her experience, she says “I believe adoption is complicated, intricate, evolving, and bittersweet.”

Rachel doesn’t believe transracial adoption is for everyone, nor should anyone enter into it lightly. Her prayer is to help open hearts and minds so families will better understand and consider transracial adoption.

If you are new to adoption or you are already an adoptive parent, this interview with Rachel will increase your understanding and appreciation for transracial adoption.

Rachel is the author of several books. Her most popular one so far is called Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children

This is an excellent book that will help you understand transracial adoption. She covers a lot of ground – from just getting started and preparing to adopt transracially – through parenting and raising children of a different race – to navigating open adoption, handling racism, and finding the support you and your children need.

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Rachel tells her family’s incredible adoption story.
  • She shares her heart about what it is like to raise children of a different race.
  • She will explain why she wrote the book Come Rain or Come Shine.
  • Find out the most important things you need to know about transracial adoption.
  • Hear about Rachel’s newest project – a devotional/journal book called “Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey” which will be released soon! 

Links we talk about in this episode: – Rachel’s amazing blog where she writes about her experiences (and you can find her books).
Follow Rachel on her Facebook page: WhiteSugarBrownSugar
Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children - Rachel’s popular book.
Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey - Rachel co-wrote this with Madeleine Melcher (adoptive mom and adoptee). – check out my 4 FREE ebooks to help you adopt faster, safer, and cheaper. – my new site that will give you a step-by-step guide to create your adoption profile video.


Continue Reading

9 things you need when adopting from another state

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .


When adopting a newborn from another state, it is extremely important to be prepared. You will likely have to stay in that state until the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) paperwork clears and you are allowed to legally bring your baby home.9 things you need when adopting from another state

Every state has their own adoption laws, but you can expect to stay in the state where the baby is born for at least 7 days. For our two adoptions, we stayed 10 days for the first one and 12 days for the second. 

It is hard being away from home for so long – especially having to take care of a newborn in a hotel room. Based on my experience – and hearing from many adoptive parents – there are plenty of things you can (and should) bring with you. It is sometimes easier to bring less and buy what you need when you get there. 

With that in mind, I’ve gathered 9 things you need when adopting from another state.

1. Swaddle wrap or Moby wrap.
We found these baby wraps work beautifully to keep your baby warm and help them sleep.

2. Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper.
OK – I admit it. This is more of a want than a need – because we had our little ones sleep in their car seats in the hotel room before we went home. I wish we had this sleeper because it is perfect to keep your baby safe in the bed with you.

It has a sturdy metal frame that folds compactly for travel. It has mesh sides for a clear view of baby and helps air circulate to prevent baby from overheating. It includes a mattress pad and soft, comfortable cotton fitted sheet.

Continue Reading

IAG 030: Adoption tax credit update with Becky Wilmoth

Posted on 26. Jan, 2015 by .


The adoption tax credit.

It’s a huge financial tool for hopeful adoptive parents to use. Something that can help offset the large cost of domestic infant adoption.

The credit has changed over the years – and may change again in the future. There are a lot of rules that go with it, which makes it hard to understand.

It’s tax time again – so we wanted to bring in an expert to explain the credit.

Becky Wilmoth is our guest on this episode and she will break down the adoption tax credit so you can understand it and take advantage of it. She is an adoptive mom, an Enrolled Agent, and adoption tax specialist at, so this is a very personal issue for her.

Becky has a passion for helping hopeful adoptive families understand and get the adoption tax credit. Many of us feel like we can’t start the adoption process because we aren’t sure how to find the funds we need.

This episode will explain what you need to know about the tax credit of over $13,000 in 2014.


Continue Reading

5 Things to Consider Before Adopting Transracially

Posted on 15. Jan, 2015 by .


This is a guest post from Rachel Garlinghouse – an author and adoptive mom of three shares from her experience about the 5 things you need to consider before adopting transracially. She writes with lots of wit and humor – and you’ll see her passion for transracial adoption. I know you’ll enjoy this! Take it away, Rachel…5 things to consider before adopting transracially

Six years of transracial, adoptive parenting has taught me a thing or two about the interesting, complex, and joyful situations that can arise along this journey. I shared the many intricacies and possibilities in my book Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children.

One thing is for certain, parenting transracially isn’t for the faint at heart. One needs an incredible amount of patience, empathy, drive, and education.

If you are considering adopting a child whose race is different from yours, here are five things you need to consider:

1: Adapt to your child, not make your child adapt to you.
You are the parent. Your child didn’t choose you or your race, culture, and environment. The parent’s job is to step up the proverbial plate and demonstrate to the child that he or she is wonderful as-is.

Not only is the child wonderful as-is, but the family is adapting and evolving to embrace and incorporate the child’s racial heritage and culture in the home. This might mean making many changes and even big changes. You might need to move neighborhoods or towns or even states. You might need to choose a new place of worship.

You may need to have some serious heart-to-heart conversations with family members who might not been keen on your adoption announcement. Many transracial adult adoptees have shared that the best way a parent can mess up a child is by ignoring racial differences, the child’s individual needs, and refuse to adapt to the realities of the adoption situation.

Too many adoptive parents work to stay personally comfortable rather than make the necessary changes for the benefit of their child’s well-being. […]

Continue Reading

IAG 029: You CAN Adopt Without Debt – an interview with author Julie Gumm (+ 2 signed books to give away!)

Posted on 29. Dec, 2014 by .


Do you think it is possible to adopt without DEBT?IAG 029 You CAN adopt without debt with Julie Gumm

I know you can – and so does Julie Gumm. She is an adoptive mom, a speaker and author.

She has been on the Dave Ramsey Show – which is a nationally syndicated talk radio show (really cool).

She and her husband have adopted twice – and they did it without going into debt. They are debt free because they’ve paid off over $200,000 – including their home

Julie is our special guest on the show today – and the first to be on the show two times!

She was our guest back on episode 10. Here’s why I wanted to bring her back – because she has a new book called You CAN Adopt Without Debt – Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption.

There are lots of costs and variables that can make it hard to figure out if you can afford to adopt. With domestic infant adoption, there are costs for your adoption agency, your attorney, the home study, possible travel expenses, and so on.

It really hurts to hear from folks that get so discouraged about the cost – even losing hope that they can become parents through adoption – only because of the costs.

This is why I’m so excited about talking with Julie today! She is going to give you HOPE – because that is what her new book is all about. So, have a listen and enjoy this interview with Julie Gumm. 


1. In the comments below (OR on the Domestic Adoption Support Network group on Facebook) tell me how or why Julie’s book will help you adopt.
2. I will pick 2 of the best entries – letting you know the winners in the comments – and on the updated part of this post.
3. You have until January 12th at noon CST to leave your comment.
4. The winners will send me an email with their address so I can send you the signed copy!

UPDATE: Winners of Julie Gumm’s autographed books are: Caitlynn from Oklahoma and Carissa from Iowa! Congratulations!

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Why Julie wrote her new book – and what is different from her last book.
  • What 3 things YOU can do to adopt without debt.
  • Julie’s favorite adoption fundraising stories and ideas.
  • Get Julies’s TOP TIPS for saving and fundraising for your adoption.
  • Hear what Julie tells people that think they aren’t the type of person who can raise money for their adoption.
  • How you can get a FREE SIGNED COPY of Julie’s new book: You CAN Adopt Without Debt!


Continue Reading

How to make a great adoption profile video (and do it in 5 simple steps)

Posted on 15. Dec, 2014 by .


Have you heard of adoption profile videos?How to make a great adoption profile video in 5 simple steps

In my experience, videos are the secret ingredient for reaching out and connecting with a potential birthmother. Videos are easier than ever to create, edit, share, and especially watch – on the internet from your phone, tablet, or computer.

This means expectant mothers who are considering adoption can learn more about you faster when they watch your profile video.

Most hopeful adoptive families have not created a profile video – but you should. Here’s why.

In both of our infant adoptions, my wife and I made profile videos and each time our kids’ birthparents LOVED them. They said our video is what separated us from the other families because they could see more of who we are and felt a quick connection with us.

When you make a profile video, viewers get to see you in a way completely different than just from photos and text.

With the click of the play button, a prospective birth mother will instantly see what makes your family unique and she’ll want to find out if your family matches her plans for adoption.

While a printed profile (with just text and photos) can describe a family pretty well, the profile video provides sooooo much more detail on important things, such as…

Sense of Humor
Excitement of becoming parents
Love for one another

The benefits of the adoption profile videos can’t fully be described – you have to see them for yourself. Check out these videos of families from Lifetime Adoption.

OK – so hopefully I’ve got your interest up about profile videos – and now you are thinking “great, now how do I make one?”

Here are my 5 simple steps for making a great adoption profile video:

1. Get the equipment you need.
–You need a camera (I’m Captain Obvious, I know). A really nice camera (such as a DSLR) will make the video look great, but it isn’t necessary. You can make the whole video using your iPhone or other smartphone. Most phones have great cameras that take really nice video.
–You’ll need a computer to edit your video.
–You might like to get an inexpensive tripod to hold your camera still.

Continue Reading

4 Ways to organize your adoption journey

Posted on 20. Nov, 2014 by .


Are you a natural organizer?

Do you regularly have to-do lists, checklists and spreadsheets to help you get things done?

If you are a fabulous organizer or not, when navigating the rough waters of your adoption journey, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have some way to keep your “to-do” list on track.

I know what has worked for me through two adoptions, but I wanted to ask my friends on our domestic adoption Facebook groups to see what they’ve done to organize their journey.

So here are 4 ways to organize your adoption journey:

1. Use Evernote or OneNote.

Both of these are free software downloads that automatically sync your notes on your home computer, your phone, and even your tablet so you have access to these notes anytime, anywhere. Personally, I LOVE Evernote and use it ALL the time to organize my lists and notes.

Here are some specific uses:

⇒Create a notebook called “Our Adoption” or something you come up with that makes the notebook easily found among your other notebooks.

⇒Inside your adoption notebook, create a new note for each “to-do” item such as: homestudy to-do’s, profile to-do’s, agency to-do’s, and anything else you need.  

⇒Create a new note for your adoption budget so you can keep track of expenses and the money you have left. You can also take photos of receipts and store them – which can be handy for tax purposes.

Continue Reading

IAG 028 – New York adoption law with attorney Anthony Zurica

Posted on 13. Nov, 2014 by .


“Adopted children have become some of the most notable personalities to ever walk the planet. John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and of course Superman himself, were all adopted.” Anthony Zurica

Every hopeful adoptive family needs an adoption attorney. Every state has their own set of adoption laws. It gets confusing to know what is allowed and who to trust when it comes to adoption law.

Anthony Zurica is our guest on the show today and he will answer questions about New York adoption law. He is an adoption attorney based in New York City and he has a passion for helping families hoping to adopt.

I know there are a lot of you that come to the Infant Adoption Guide blog and podcast who are living in New York. So in this episode, I wanted to bring in an adoption attorney that will help you learn all about the legal guidelines for families.

You’ll hear about the ways you can adopt and the differences in adopting with an agency or an attorney. You will get the answers to the most common questions about New York adoptions.

Even if you don’t live in New York, Anthony shares some great info and advice for all hopeful adoptive parents. He definitely has a big heart for helping families with their adoption plans. You will enjoy listening to and learning from him.


Continue Reading