Forever Families Through Adoption

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July 24, 2016 - LOCAL "IRONMAN" SAM KARLINER, Esq once again SUPPORTS LOCAL ADOPTION AGENCY Forever Families Through Adoption

Debbie WolfForever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2016 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share…

Sam Karliner, FFTA’s own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2016 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 5th time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11:27:04 – Sam came in 12 th in his age group and 254 overall- a personal best!!

Sam chose to dedicate this 2016 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 24, 2016 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY www.foreverfamiliesthroughadoption.org which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA’s Board of Directors. Through his donation web link and some direct donations, Sam raised over $5,000 for FFTA.

The link is still open at https://www.crowdrise.com/ironmanlakeplacid2016/fundraiser/samkarliner Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 21 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way.

Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you’ll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere — especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends.

Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to again be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

LOCAL HEROES Debbie Wolf: Finding children loving homes

Debbie WolfNot your typical lawyer. Debbie Wolf got to where she is today one challenging job at a time. After studying psychology in college, her first job was as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. This turned out to be both wrenching and rewarding. One Thanksgiving eve, she was charged with delivering a 6-year-old boy whose mother was mentally ill and abusing drugs to his new foster home. "The place was so bad I refused to leave him there," she said. "Instead I took him back to my office and we ended up spending the night at work with another co-worker until we found a more suitable alternative." That same night, she stood up her future husband for their first date. "I just couldn’t let this adorable, vulnerable boy go to that foster home," she said. Wolf started law school a few years later with the goal of continuing her work in the public sector. After graduation, she took a job as an attorney litigating termination of parental rights cases back at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. "These were situations where staying with the biological family was no longer an option for a child due to the severity of the neglect and/or abuse," Wolf said. She found removing a child from a home, even one with abuse, was traumatic. Years later, when Wolf moved to New York with her husband and two kids, she hoped to continue her work as a child advocate. Her then 13-year-old daughter attended a job fair at the Scarsdale Teen Center and reported back to Wolf about a new adoption agency. She called up the agency immediately and has been working as an attorney there ever since.

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Annual Food/Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event at Wainwright House in Rye, NY In support of Forever Families Through Adoption and honoring Lisa & Brendan McKiernan

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 22nd, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized non-profit adoption placement agency and resource center based in Rye Brook, hosted "An Evening at Wainwright House," its seventh annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event in support of the work done at FFTA and honoring locals Lisa & Brendan McKiernan. Generous local sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success.

FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who co-founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW, was inspired by the generosity and dedication of attendees, journal donors, community volunteers and contributors. "These collective efforts continue to enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees," said Mrs. Goldstein.

Proceeds raised enable FFTA to develop new programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of adoption issues. "Our mission is to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community. We pride ourselves on offering services and support to those who need it," she said.

In addition to FFTA staff, members of its Board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event were notable guests including New York State Senator George Latimer, a local Rye resident who acted as Auctioneer and Assemblyman Steve Otis who presented the McKiernan's with a proclamation from the State of New York.

A powerful slide show was presented throughout the event featuring forever families created with the help of FFTA and documenting the number of children waiting for permanent homes in the foster care system. The presentation reinforced a simple but important fact — children belong with families. In addition a special surprise slide show was shown in honor of the McKiernan family.

Rye's Morgan's Fish House in Rye, Ruby's Oyster Bar in Rye, Euro Asian Bistro in Port Chester, Blue Moon Café in Bronxville, and Town Dock in Rye prepared delicious tasting stations. Wente Family Estates from California and Cork in White Plains provided wine during the evening. All Star Beverages in Yonkers kept the cold beer flowing while music by local band CHASER rocked the house for the evening. Additional sponsors transforming the Mansion with graceful finishing touches included White Plains Linen and Frank's House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, who donated all of the stunning floral arrangements.

FFTA Welcomes Courtney Souza!!!

Courtney SouzaCourtney Souza joined our FFTA family this past spring as our Administrative Coordinator. Courtney brings to FFTA her passion for child welfare, enthusiasm for helping others, and positive energy. We are thrilled she is part of our team.

Courtney is a graduate of the University of San Francisco where she earned her degree in Communications with a concentration in Journalism. After completing graduate studies in Child Advocacy in Boston, she returned home to Connecticut, where she currently resides with her husband. In her free time, Courtney enjoys travelling, photography, reading, and cooking.

Courtney has thoroughly enjoyed connecting with our FFTA families and assisting them along their adoption and parenting journey. She has especially enjoyed helping clients navigate the approval process, from answering questions regarding parent training and updating documents to reviewing birth parent letters, and witnessing successful placements during her time with us.

She truly believes creating families is the most rewarding job there is and looks forward to helping many children find their forever families in the years to come. Please be sure to say hello to Courtney when you call FFTA. She will surely answer with a smile on her face.

LOCAL "IRONMAN" SAM KARLINER, Esq once again SUPPORTS LOCAL ADOPTION AGENCY Forever Families Through Adoption

IRONMAN 2015Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2015 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share…

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2015 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 4th time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11:46:57 – again Sam was under the 12 hours he hoped to achieve!

Sam recounts the dramatic events that took place before and during the race:

"There's nothing like a 5-alarm fire the night before an ironman race to get the adrenaline pumping. Building across the street from our hotel has been raging on fire for hours. No injuries. But we were evacuated while Lake Placid's finest battle this beast. Many athletes had to evacuate and be relocated; I ended up sleeping in the car, hoping to collect my wetsuit and goggles from the hotel room before dawn. It was a LONG night, but I managed to go back to our hotel and get some needed sleep. It was a rough race- it began with an overcast cloudy day -then bright skies, hot sun, and temperatures pushing 80 degrees, but I completed it, all the time thinking of all my wonderful family and supporters."

IRONMAN 2015Sam chose to dedicate this 2015 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 26, 2015 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY www.foreverfamiliesthroughadoption.org which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA's Board of Directors. Through his donation web link and some direct donations, Sam raised over $6,000 for FFTA.

Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment. Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 20 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way. Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you'll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere - especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends. Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to again be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

IRONMAN Sunday 7/26/15 – Lake Placid NY benefitting FFTA

Last year you so generously helped Sam to raise money and awareness for Forever Families Through Adoption as he competed in the 140.6 mile Ironman course in Lake Placid. This year on July 26th, he will be at it again; 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. Yes, a long day. Again he will be raising money and awareness for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) every step of the way and he needs your help. Why FFTA?? because almost 20 years ago Jill and Sam were able to create their wonderful family when they adopted Elliott and Jake. When Sam competes, he will have their names written on his shoes and wear a specially made FFTA shirt as well as have all of his generous supporter's names written on his bike. Everyone is with him the entire day.

In Sam's own words

It's amazing and touching that so many of you that donate have such wonderful comments about adoption, how it has effected your lives and the lives of others you know and care about. That is huge inspiration for Sam to draw upon. I had the opportunity to speak at Lake Placid Ironman Foundation about FFTA. What was amazing was the fact that after I spoke at least a dozen people came up to me to share their adoption story! The efforts Joy and her staff at FFTA put in on a daily basis to make FFTA the stellar organization it is requires far more energy and dedication then I will need on the 26th (and I will need a lot!) Please consider reposting my link (below) to your Facebook page or emailing your friends. Your friends will support causes you support. FFTA has recently had its 85th placement and more and more Forever Families are being created every day because of their wonderful work. Your support helps to educate prospective birthmothers and families so FFTA can continue to help create forever families and education the community around all adoption issues. Thanks again for all your support! Please click on the link below to make a donation:

Thank you all,
Sam Karliner, Esq.
FFTA Board Secretary

Open Adoption: A Reference Guide for Families

Open adoption is a scary phrase. When I first heard it, I wondered, would I feel like a 'stand in' or a 'rent-a-mom'?" says Christine, from New Jersey. This is the most common initial reaction prospective parents have—that open adoption is "co-parenting." Others may come to domestic adoption worrying that the birth parents will lack boundaries or want the child back, or that their child will grow up confused about who their parents are.

You will likely learn that these fears are unfounded during your pre-adoption training. Typically, birth mothers choose adoption because they know they can't parent any child at this time, children know that their parents are the ones who tuck them in at night and share in their daily tears and joys, and, no matter how open the adoption, the adoptive parents are the one who make all of the parenting decisions after placement.

Parents become believers in open adoption as they learn that their concerns won't come to pass, and about the benefits it will bring their children. As Susan, from New York, says, "My child will have answers to her questions about her birth parents and won't be left to use her limitless imagination to try to satisfy her curiosity."

But what the adoption process doesn't teach you is the day-to-day of living in an open adoption. Adoptive families and birth families often report feeling their own way through the early stages of the relationship, wondering how to handle phone calls, visits, deviations from the post-adoption contact agreement (PACA), their family's curiosity about the birth mother, Facebook requests, names for the birth grandparents, and more.

FFTA is proud to introduce staff member Bruno Borges

Think of someone in your life who is always optimistic, enthusiastic and likes to lift
people's spirit up. If you've done so, then you must know FFTA's Administrative Assistant
Bruno Borges. His heart's biggest passion is reaching out to others. Currently in his junior
year as a Psychology major at Nyack College, his goal is to continue his studies to
obtain a masters degree in Social Work.

In 2008, Bruno was appointed as a missionary by his church and put his studies
on hold to join a six month missionary program in Brazil (where he was born and lived
until he was 8 years old) with Operation Mobilization (OM – www.om.org); a Christian
based non-profit organization whose focus is to reach out to the less fortunate around
the world through a diversity of humanitarian services. The six month program was
extended for another year when Bruno was invited to work with OM Brazil as Executive
Assistant and Personnel Manager. OM Brazil holds the Missionary Training Center for OM
Latin America, which also provided Bruno the opportunity to teach English to transcultural
missionaries.

During his time in Brazil, Bruno also co-founded and co-coordinated AIDSLink
Brazil; a national branch of AIDSLink International (www.aidslinkinternational.org) whose
mission is to transform lives and communities by mobilizing and equipping people to
impact the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. What this means in practical terms is:

  • Equipping local people to respond through training and educating
  • Mobilizing: making people aware of the need and how they can help
  • Networking: getting alongside those involved
  • Supporting and strengthening local responses
  • Prevention
  • Helping children affected by HIV and AIDS
  • Reaching out to those who are vulnerable

Bruno continues to work as a volunteer when not in school and working full time
at FFTA, with AIDSLink International as a member of the steering committee and training
team. However, lately most of his free time focuses on upcoming wedding plans, as
he is getting married in July of 2010 to his beautiful Giselle.

Bruno is thrilled to be working as FFTA's Administrative Assistant where he assists
clients through the ins and outs of the application and approval process and
continues to contribute to making a difference in other people's lives. Be sure to say
hello when you call FFTA as Bruno will be answering your call with a smile on his face.

ZUMBAthon Charity Event - December 2014

ZUMBAthon December 2014

ZUMBAthon Local Charily Event Sunday, December 9, 2014 - Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted a special Holiday charity ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Sunday December 14, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of dancers and l4 ZINs who all donated holiday gifts to local foster children.

Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Andrea Robinson, Brien Ling, Erika Bustamante, Gustavo Lopez, Junixsa Henry, Lailina Nadell, Lydia Magnoli, Martha Oceguera, Olga Osorio, Rufus Gibson, Shalaine Mac, Tatiana Flowers Robinson and Tony Santiago, and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance for the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ Hopeton Lemon was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd! Read More.

FFTA News You Can Use!

As we welcome the Holiday Season and the New Year and look ahead to 2015, we are excited to share a few highlights from 2014: We have had a wonderful year and helped many children find their forever homes!!!

We also had great success with our new "Family of the Month" Facebook/website promotion program and are happy to share information with you if you are considering this as an additional option. We have expanded our outreach to include additional adoption service providers, advertised in new publications and locations, and continued to connect with colleagues across the country to collaborate and exchange resources.

FFTA has recently been approved by the Irish Central Authority as one of the Hague Accredited Entities in the USA to work alongside Shane Downer from Arc Adoptions to assist Irish families to adopt "harder to place" American born children. This is an exciting new collaboration and we look forward to adding more smiling faces to our success stories!!

Although the "wait," particularly a longer-than-anticipated wait, can be filled with frustration and uncertainty, we encourage you to work alongside us, in partnership, in the coming year. With patience, persistence and a positive approach you will achieve your goal of adopting.

Check out our ideas below for some innovative ways to reach those who may be considering their options or who may know someone who is considering adoption.

For those waiting to adopt: Be proactive! Write a networking letter and send an "adoption" card. Share it with your dentist... your hairdresser... your cousin... your clergy... your colleagues... you never know which path may lead to your success. Post your Birth Parent Profile on a NYS approved profile sight such as Adoptimism.com, Adopting.com, Adoptimist.com or Adoption.net. Be bold! Post a free advertisement on Craigslist. Create an adoption Facebook page or even post a video on YouTube and don't forget "Family of The Month"!!

For those who have already adopted: Send us photos to brighten up our days and to share on Facebook or our website, and don't forget our annual holiday book. While you are sitting around the Christmas tree or having a cup of hot chocolate with your child thinking back to the time you were waiting to become parents and worried it would never happen, consider being a mentor for a prospective adoptive parent waiting to adopt – what a wonderful way to give back ~ let us know and we will gladly pass your name along!!!.

To ALL: Remember to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, send us a story for our blog and enjoy every day as it is a gift!!!

We wish you all the best for a joyous Holiday season. May 2015 be a year filled with peace and may it be one in which your greatest wishes are fulfilled. We would love to hear from you and welcome you to contact us anytime!

From all of us at FFTA,

Joy, Debbie, Jenna, Kate, Stephanie, Jackie, Amanda, Sacha, and Devin

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Sixth Annual Food/Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event at The Crawford Park Mansion

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 9th, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized non-profit adoption placement agency and resource center based in Rye Brook, hosted "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion," its sixth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event. Generous local sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success.

FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who co-founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW, was inspired by the generosity and dedication of attendees, community volunteers and contributors. "These collective efforts greatly enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees," said Mrs. Goldstein. Proceeds raised enable FFTA to develop new programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of adoption issues. "Our mission is to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community and we pride ourselves on offering services and support to those who need it," she said.

In addition to FFTA staff, members of its Board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest Maria-Alana Recine, Court Attorney Referee to the Honorable Kathie E. Davidson, Supervising Judge of the Family Court/Ninth JD and New York State Senator George Latimer, a local Rye resident who acted as Auctioneer.

During the event there quests watched a powerful slide show of forever families created with the help of FFTA and which also documented the number of children waiting for permanent homes in the foster care system. The presentation reinforced a simple but important fact — children belong with families — and highlighted the critical fork in the road when states and government attempt to become substitute parents to these 125,000+ children.

Seven local restaurants prepared and displayed delicious tasting dishes for the event. Participants included Rye's Morgan's Fish House in Rye, Ruby's Oyster Bar in Rye, Euro Asian Bistro in Port Chester, Westchester Burger Co. in Rye Brook, Blue Moon Café in Bronxville, Lisa Catering and Creative Bakes in Port Chester, and Acuario's in Port Chester. The wine was provided by Aries Wine and Spirits in White Plains. All Star Beverages in Yonkers and BrewSA in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ kept the cold beer flowing while music for the evening was provided by rock trio "Pat and The Hats" from New Hampshire and string duet "Bluefox" from NYC. Additional sponsors transforming the Mansion with graceful finishing touches included White Plains Linen and Frank's House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, who donated all of the stunning floral arrangements.

ZUMBAthon Charity Event - August 2014

Zumba - August 2014

Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted their first ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Thursday, August 7, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of more than 70 dancers and 10 ZINs and attendees traveled from up to an hour and half away to take part in the charity event. Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Judy Slominski, Jessica Frasca, Junixsa Henry, Luz Angelica Mendez, Martha Oceguera, Lailina Nadell, Olga Osorio, Tracie Lopez, David Diaz, Toni-Michelle Rubio and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance For the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ LuisDavid Oceguera was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd!

Forever Families Through Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption.

Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted their first ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Thursday, August 7, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of more than 70 dancers and 10 ZINs and attendees traveled from up to an hour and half away to take part in the charity event. Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Judy Slominski, Jessica Frasca, Junixsa Henry, Luz Angelica Mendez, Martha Oceguera, Lailina Nadell, Olga Osorio, Tracie Lopez, David Diaz, Toni-Michelle Rubio and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance For the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ LuisDavid Oceguera was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd! Forever Families Through Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption... Read More.

LOCAL "IRONMAN" SAM KARLINER, Esq SUPPORTS ADOPTION AGENCY Forever Families Through Adoption

IRONMAN Sam Kalriner

July 30, 2014 - Forever Families Through Adoption Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2014 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share...

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2014 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 3rd time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11 hours 38 minutes - way under the 12 hours he hoped to achieve! What an exciting event to be a part of! As a spectator the role is thrilling...supporting and cheering for many hours not only our own Sam, but also doing the same for the thousands of others that passed by our cheering section on the way to or from their many miles of biking and running. Our goal at the end of the day is to have no voice left--- meaning we did a good job cheering on all the IronMen and IronWomen. We continued our support into the late evening hours and for the last finishers close to midnight.

Sam recounts the dramatic events that took place during the race:

"About 40 minutes into the race a violent thunderstorm began, shooting lightning bolts right over the lake! It got so bad Race Officials cancelled the second lap of the swim and started pulling people from the water. Crazy! Fortunately for me, I was already out of the water and onto my bike. The storm was more violent, with wicked crazy winds. I was holding onto my bike and struggling to stay balanced in the wind. Needless to say, when it's pouring and 60 degrees and you're on the bike - I was freezing as well. If the wind didn't try to knock me over my shivering did. Did I say I was having fun yet? Not exactly, but I kept at it. All the time thinking of all my wonderful supporters. This kept up for about 90 minutes. Then the rain stopped and I was able to warm up and really get going."

Sam chose to dedicate this 2014 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 27, 2014 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA's Board of Directors. Through his donation web link, Sam raised over $4,500 for FFTA (Click here to donate).

Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 19 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way.

Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you'll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere — especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends.

Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to again be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

~ Joy & Michael Goldstein Co-Founders FFTA and support team of Sam Karliner

Pride Week 2014

This past week the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community and their allies celebrated Gay Pride throughout the country. On Monday, June 23, 2014, located nearby in Yonkers, NY, Mayor Mike Spano proclaimed that last week was Gay Pride Week in Yonkers and proceeded to raise a rainbow flag in front of City Hall—a historic event for the local community.

About 50 people attended the flag raising ceremony, myself included and we are all hopeful that the flag raising will become an annual event to show support of our local LGBTQ community.

Following this historic and exciting event, the 19th Annual Gay Prom took place across the street at the Grand Roosevelt Ballroom on Friday, June 27, 2014. Westchester Jewish Community Services' (WJCS) very own, Center Lane hosted the annual prom with first-time co-sponsor, Pride Works.

Center Lane is the only program in Westchester County dedicated to LGBTQ youth, ages 13-21 living in and around Westchester County, NY.

Debbie S. Wolf, agency counsel for Forever Families Through Adoption is accepted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)

Family Fun Day 2014May 1, 2014 Debbie S. Wolf, agency counsel for Forever Families Through Adoption is accepted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys(AAAA).

We hope you will help us congratulate our very own Debbie Wolf, for being accepted into The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)! All of us at FFTA are so proud of Debbie, who has been FFTA's agency counsel since 2008.

AAAA is an Academy of approximately 340 members throughout the US and Canada who are experts in the complexities of adoption law and the variety of interstate and international regulations surrounding adoption.

Members of AAAA must maintain their practice according to the highest standards of ethics, competence and professionalism.

CONGRATULATIONS DEBBIE!!!

FFTA's 2014 "Family Fun Day event"

Family Fun Day 2014On Sunday, March 30th, 2014, FFTA held their annual Family Fun Day Bowling event, at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley. In attendance were many FFTA "forever families", along with staff, members of the board, friends and FFTA supporters. Those who attended came from near and as far away as Canada and the Hamptons, despite the bad rains and had a wonderful afternoon.

FFTA was appreciative to have received food generously donated from local restaurants such as Rye Ridge Deli, Starbucks-Rye Ridge, Panera Bread-Port Chester, Cosi's-Greenwich, EuroAsian Bistro-Port Chester, Villa Rustica-Rye Brook, Park Deli-Port Chester, Club Sandwich-Rye Ridge, Frank's Italian Restaurant-Port Chester, and Andy's Pure Food-Rye.

Funds raised continue to support the agency's passion for finding children their "forever families through adoption", as well as to help fulfill FFTA's mission to provide free education, awareness and outreach programming to hospitals, schools, prisons, OBGYN clinics, mental health clinics, and other community based service organizations, as well as to serve prospective adoptive parents, expectant parents, adoptees and adoption professionals with parenting and adoption issues. FFTA is looking ahead at an exciting year, having again achieved the Seal of Recognition from the All Children-All Families Human Rights Campaign.

~ Joy, Debbie, Kate, Mark, Devin, Anna, Jackie, Sacha, Jake and Bavani

Human Rights Campaign Awards Seal of Recognition to New York Adoption Agency for Work with LGBT Families

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. earns All Children – All Families (ACAF) Seal of Recognition for LGBT best practices

Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized adoption placement agency and resource center in Rye Brook, NY, was awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition again by the Human Rights Campaign.  The Seal signifies that FFTA is an organization that is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has once again demonstrated skill and competency in 10 key areas of best practice.

FFTA originally received the seal in November 2011 during National Adoption Day at the Westchester County Family Court with the Honorable Judge Kathie E. Davidson presiding. National Adoption Day is recognized throughout the United States when an unprecedented number of courts open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children and celebrate all families that adopt. Judge Davidson has been recognizing and finalizing same-sex adoptions for many years, and joins in congratulating FFTA as the agency once again receives this important honor.

FFTA is truly proud and pleased to continue to place children with LGBT families and to always focus on the best interests of children in need of their forever family. Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of the agency stated, "As we celebrate the awarding of the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition we are not only supporting the LGBT community, but are standing up for ethical practice by removing barriers to LGBT adults who dream of becoming parents and to children in need of a safe, permanent and loving family."

Every day FFTA is committed to treating all persons with respect, dignity and compassion and welcomes all families regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or disability.

The All Children – All Families initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. The program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. More information about HRC and the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.

Local Non-profit Gives Back to Support One of its Neighbors

Family Fun Day

Rye Brook non-profit adoption agency and resource center Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), has returned to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, giving back to the community by volunteering.

Don Bosco serves hundreds of children and youth each week in its after-school and Kids Café programs, providing the children with enrichment, safety and a hot meal, until a parent or guardian returns from work or school. On Thursday December 5, 2013, members of FFTA's staff visited with the children to provide a fun and festive art activity, inviting the children to make Christmas cards and holiday decorations for friends and family. Assisted by FFTA staff members, approximately thirty elementary school children energetically crafted their special creations, demonstrating focus and creativity in their work.

The children showed extraordinary cooperation and gratitude, while staff from Don Bosco and FFTA engaged with the children and one another with genuine care, warmth and encouragement. The FFTA staff also assisted with dinner service and spent time talking and interacting with the children. Recognizing an important need in their own backyard, FFTA also once again provided much needed items to the Church's Holy Rosary food pantry, which may serve up to 800 individuals and families each month.

Forever Families Through Adoption continues to be impressed by the services and programming offered to families and the community and feel honored to have connected with such a deserving organization providing such essential services to children and families in need. FFTA is committed to continuing to partner with Don Bosco, and has been inspired by sharing in the spirit and values central to Don Bosco's mission. For more information about the services of Don Bosco, please visit www.donboscocenter.com.

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Fifth Annual Food/Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event at The Crawford Park Mansion

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 3rd, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized non-profit adoption placement agency and resource center based in Rye Brook, hosted "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion," its fifth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event. Generous local sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success. FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW, was inspired by the generosity and dedication of attendees, community volunteers and contributors. "These collective efforts greatly enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees," said Mrs. Goldstein. Proceeds raised enable FFTA to develop new programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of adoption issues. "Our mission is to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community and we pride ourselves on offering services and support to those who need it,"she said.

In addition to FFTA staff, members of its Board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest Judge Kathie E. Davidson, Supervising Judge of the 9 th District of the Family Court, and Maria Recine, Esq, Court Attorney and Referee. The Judge, who is running for re-election unopposed, spoke about the valuable work of FFTA and the positive impact it has on those it serves.

The event also featured a powerful presentation of families that FFTA helped create, as well as the number of children waiting for permanent homes in the foster care system. The presentation reinforced a simple fact - children belong with families - and highlighted the critical fork in the road when states and government attempt to become substitute parents to these 125,000+ children.

Several local restaurants prepared delicious tasting dishes for the event. Participants included Rye's Morgan's Fish House and Ruby's Oyster Bar; Roasted Peppers in Mamaroneck; California Pizza Kitchen in Scarsdale; Blue Moon Café in Bronxville; and Acuario's in Port Chester. The wine was provided by Aries Wine and Spirits in White Plains. All Star Beverages and Yonkers Brewing Company, both in Yonkers, provided the beer. Gourmet desserts were provided by the Melting Pot in White Plains, and Cerbone's in Rye Brook. Music for the evening was provided by Fred A. Hudson, lll of South Carolina. Additional sponsors transforming the Mansion with graceful finishing
touches included White Plains Linen and Frank's House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, who contributed stunning floral arrangements.

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LOCAL "IRONMAN" SAM KARLINER, Esq once again SUPPORTS LOCAL ADOPTION AGENCY Forever Families Through Adoption

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2016 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share…Sam Karliner, FFTA’s own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2016 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 5th time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11:27:04 – Sam came in 12 th in his age group and 254 overall- a personal best!!

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