"The ability to have a caring, trained professional at the hospital to guide everyone involved through the process is paramount. A neutral third party who acts as a liaison between the hospital, birth family members and adoptive parents is vital. Having been through this before at a hospital that did not offer this kind of service and left us with a failed adoption, we can say your program is very needed and is right on the mark."
~ Adoptive Family
"Our experience as adoptive parents at Parker Adventist Hospital was truly exceptional. Rebecca Vahle, the adoption liason, did a remarkable job of supporting us as well as supporting the birth mother, during an emotional time for all parties involved. Rebecca was there for us in a supportive role when we needed someone to understand the variety of emotions we were going through as adoptive parents. We never felt alone and we feel so incredibly fortunate for our positive experience with this program. We wish that every hospital had a similar program as adoption is such a unique and emotional journey where it is so important that individuals truly understand it's diverse and life long dynamics."
~ Mike & Jody, Adoptive Parents
"Our baby daughter was born via surrogate at Parker Adventist Hospital. Our experience at Parker gets an A+ and 5-Star rating. Your awareness of and commitment to understanding the "many moving parts" that surround a surrogate birth are inspiring and admirable. Parker's progressive attitude and the non-judgmental atmosphere that always surrounded were remarkable. We felt we were in a very special place. During the pre-labor hours at the hospital, we were--all four of us--understandably nervous. But your staff made me and my surrogate and our husbands comfortable and relaxed. It was an incredible experience made all the better because we were in an incredible place. Your staff was so supportive that when we left the hospital with our baby, we actually felt confident that we could take care of her and our nerves were much calmed. Parker's program is a leader in its field. You should be very, very proud of this achievement."
~ The Davis Family
The Family to Family Adoption Program, especially Rebecca, made our experience unforgettable! The program helped bridge the gap and unify both the birth and adoptive families. The kindness, love, and support given by the staff was unmatched! I don't know of any other program that allows the adoptive family to have full access to the NICU. We will be forever grateful for our memorable adoption experience.
~ Shannon, Adoptive Mom
"Our adoption support program has increased the comfort level of our staff and their willingness to be involved and supportive of families involved in adoption. I am available to answer any and all questions that may arise and I work closely with all parties involved, including the adoptive family, the birth family, The BirthPlace Staff and the agency personnel."
~ Rebecca Vahle, Adoptive Mom and Adoption Liaison for Parker Adventist Hospital
From Sherrie Eldridge - best-selling author on adoption, adoption advocate, and adoptee
"Rebecca Vahle, Adoption Liaison, for Parker Adventist Memorial is plowing new ground in the world of adoption! As a trained professional in the field of adoption, Vahle instructs hospital staff concerning the sensitive needs of adoptive and birth parents, as well as adopted children. Through creating their unique Family-to-Family Program, they have found creative ways to restore dignity to the institution of adoption itself. In addition, they offer structure and meaning to what surely can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable process and culminating day for everyone.
It is my dream as an adopted person and an adoption expert that the program implemented by Vahle and staff will be multiplied to every state in the US. I believe Parker Adventist is a forerunner in this field and what they offer can serve as a training module for other hospitals.
Here are some of the unique aspects of the program worth considering:
- Each person in the adoption triad is treated with the utmost of respect. This isn't always the case.
- Staff personnel are trained to understand the needs of those involved in the adoption. This is amazing in itself and I've never heard of such training.
- The OB Unit in the hospital has been designed to reflect warmth and two special rooms have been designated by Parker exclusively for adoptive/birth families.
- Understanding the deepest needs of adopted children--a tangible tie to their birth parents-Vahle and staff have provided a tangible means for that need to be met through the fingerprinting ceremony and book. (Fingerprints are a genetic tie to the birth parents; they never change and can be a constant reminder for the child that they can feel close to the birth parents even though a meeting may be impossible, as with many international adoptions). These prints are also special to the birth mother because she also needs a tangible reminder of her baby. She can leave with precious prints instead of empty arms.
- Adding structure through the use of the Forever Fingerprints Adoption Ceremony provides a tool for birth and adoptive parents to proactively plan adoption day and find meaning in the midst of heart-wrenching goodbyes.
I heartily commend Parker Adventist Hospital's courage in their pioneering efforts as well as their confident belief in Rebecca Vahle's expertise and wisdom as their Adoption Liaison."
We want to hear from you! If you have any comments to share about Family to Family please email them to Rebecca Vahle.