What Are My Options? Who's Going to Adopt My Baby? Frequently Asked Questions Where Can I Turn For Help? Meet Some Waiting Adoptive Parents
What Are My Options Who Makes an Adoption Plan? How Does The Process Work? What Is The Cost? What Else Should I Know? Waiting Families
For Adoptees Resources
Who Are We? Why Did We Start FFTA? Board of Directors News Archived News FFTA Memories Working with FFTA
Stories Photos
Forever Families Through Adoption
January 2012
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Donate Now!

Learn how you can help FFTA by donating financially, through time and more...

Click Here!!!

What's New At FFTA?

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 d ancers and l4 ZINs who all donated holiday gifts to local foster children.

Read More...

Bookmark and Share
Follow Us On Facebook!!! Follow Us On Twitter!!!
Check Out Our Blog!

News, Newsletters and More...

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.

FFTA is excited to welcome back Kate Hope to our staff

While Kate was studying at SUNY Purchase FFTA was thrilled to have her a part of the team as a student intern between 2009-2010. Kate has now returned to accept a full time position as our Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. She was born and raised in Westchester County, and loves working for a non-profit that helps her local community. Kate graduated with honors from SUNY Purchase in 2011 with a BA in Media, Society & The Arts and a minor in Anthropology. While in school, she integrated her work with the agency into class marketing assignments and came up with creative new ways for FFTA (still in its early years) to gain exposure. Now, Kate is able to directly apply these ideas to the agency's online presence and work towards increasing client base, community outreach, and handling public relations. Her past professional experience includes marketing, management, event planning, and publishing. Kate also plays a large role in planning FFTA's annual fundraiser, a silent auction and gourmet tasting event to benefit adoption and educational programs. She assisted in coordinating this exciting fundraising event in its first year, and is excited to be back for number five! Additionally, Kate looks forward to answering your phone calls, emails, assisting you with your social media campaign and handling various other administrative tasks for the agency. Please be sure to say hello and welcome Kate back to our FFTA family!!

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Board Member, completed the 2013 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid

IRONMAN Sam Kalriner

July 31, 2013 Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook and 2013 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting newsto share…

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Board Member, completed the 2013 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished almost two hours earlier than his first IRONMAN in 2012.

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. We continued our support into the late evening hours and for the last finishers after midnight.

A little rain did not dampen the day - with cheering fans and friends along the many miles Sam flew thru the 2.4 miles of water in 1:19, smoked 112 miles of biking in 6:31, and finished with a relaxing 26.2 miles on foot crossing the finish line before dusk!!!

Sam chose to dedicate this 2013 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 28, 2013 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 $3,600 for FFTA. . Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 18 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 be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

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

Family Fun DayRye Brook non-profit adoption agency, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), has returned to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, giving back to the community by volunteering with this special local community-based non-profit. 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 Valentine's Day, Thursday February 14, 2013, members of FFTA's staff visited with the children to provide a fun and festive art activity, inviting the children to make Valentines' Day cards and decorations for friends and family. Assisted by FFTA staff members, approximately twenty elementary and middle school children energetically crafted their cards, demonstrating focus and creativity in their work. The children showed extraordinary cooperation and gratitude, and staff at Don Bosco engaged with the children and one another with genuine care, warmth and encouragement.

The FFTA staff also assisted with dinner service and enjoyed spending time talking and interacting with the children as well as Don Bosco staff. Recognizing an important need in their own backyard, FFTA also once again provided much needed items to the Don Bosco/Holy Rosary food pantry, which may serve up to 800 individuals and families each month.

Participating staff members at FFTA continue 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.

FFTA's 2013 "Family Fun Day event"

Family Fun DayOn Sunday, February 10th, FFTA held their Family Fun Day event, the second such fundraiser 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/donated came from near and far despite the recent snow storm and had a wonderful afternoon.

FFTA was appreciative to have received such generous items donated as raffle prizes including those from local merchants such as Zaltas and Jessica Elliott Designs. The delicious food and desserts were generously donated by Hash-O-Nash in Mamaroneck, California Pizza Kitchen in Scarsdale, Club Sandwich, Rye Ridge Deli, A & S Deli and Sichuan Pavilion in Rye Brook, as well as Hand Rolled Bagels in Rye and Cerbone's Bakery of Rye Brook.

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 in parenting and adoption issues.

FFTA is looking ahead at an exciting new year, having achieved successful Hague reaccreditation, expanded intercountry services, and a continued commitment to giving back to the local community, there is much to be excited about. Please keep in touch and continue to visit FFTA's website, blog and upcoming calendar of events. Remember, FFTA is on Facebook and Twitter!

~ Joy, Debbie, Anna, Dustin, Jackie, Anika and Bavani

FFTA's WGCH 1490-AM Radio Interview

Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of FFTA was interviewed this morning on WGCH 1490-AM radio in Greenwich, CT by Tony Savino. Joy spoke about the upcoming FREE information session being sponsored by FFTA on Monday, February 4, 2013 at the Port Chester-Rye Brook library. Joy continued by speaking about the mission of FFTA and the overall trends in adoption.

Local Adoption Non-Profit Proud Recipient of
Westchester Toyota Give Back

January 25, 2013 -Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) was the proud recipient of the grand prize of the Westchester Toyota 6th Give Back charity campaign on Facebook. The awarding of the winning donation of $1,500 took place at 2:00pm on January 22, 2013 at the Westchester Toyota Dealership at 2167 Central Park Avenue in Yonkers. Members of FFTA's staff were present to receive the award presented by the Westchester Toyota Team and were interviewed by local media outlets. FFTA's co-founder and Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW expressed appreciation to Westchester Toyota and all those who showed their support by voting on Facebook, "We have an amazing network of support and Toyota made it easy for them to get involved with just a few clicks. We are truly appreciative and couldn't be more pleased." Funds donated to FFTA will help support the agency's community outreach and educational programs in the community. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA) is a New York and Connecticut-authorized, Hague accredited, private, not-for-profit, adoption placement agency and resource center located in Rye Brook, New York.

FFTA was founded and is staffed by social workers, attorneys, adoptees, and adoptive parents, and believes that every child eligible for permanent adoption, regardless of racial or ethnic background, age, or physical oremotional challenge, has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home.

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.

FFTA Volunteers at Local Don Bosco Center

On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, members of the Forever Families Through Adoption staff visited the local Don Bosco Center to spend time with the children in the after-school program.  The Don Bosco Center serves the underprivileged community in the Port Chester, NY area.  The staff hosted a holiday craft activity where the students were able to create their own holiday cards for their families and friends.  Approximately 30 elementary and middle school children, who were full of energy, enjoyed crafting their creative cards and the FFTA staff enjoyed assisting them in doing so.  After the craft time, the FFTA staff assisted the staff of the Don Bosco Center in serving the children their dinners.  As the children ate, the FFTA staff were able to spend time talking and interacting with the children.  In conjunction with their volunteer efforts, the FFTA staff generously donated a trunk-load of food and supplies to the Don Bosco Food Pantry.

Local Adoption Agency Runs Free Art Group for Adoptees

November 21, 2012 - Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a local adoption agency and resource center in Rye Brook, is running the second session of the Art Group for Adoptees.  The groups are led bi-monthly by Becca Leitman, MSW, adoption counselor and Dustin Lindsey at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rye Brook.  Participants range in age from seven to ten years old.  The group focuses on the expression of emotions through art, and creating an open forum for discussion about the participants' feelings about adoption.  Adoption is the common thread that holds the group together, and is addressed as it is brought up by the participants.

The participants are given art directives during each session which include, creating a group mandala, paper mache masks, and creating superheroes out of clay.  The goals of the Art Group for Adoptees are for children to have fun participating in art related activities, to get to know peers and adults who share the experience of domestic or international adoption, to normalize these experiences and the accompanying emotions, and to develop the skills and self-esteem of each adoptee.

In addition to the art group, Forever Families Through Adoption has been providing workshops on adoption education for hundreds of middle and high school students throughout New York and Connecticut as part of their community outreach programs since 2007. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about registering for FFTA's Art Group for Adoptees or any of the school outreach programs available, please contact Joy at FFTA at (914) 939-1180 or JoyG@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org.  All correspondence remains confidential.

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Annual Food Tasting
and Silent Auction Event

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 11th, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT- authorized nonprofit adoption placement agency and resource center held its fourth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event, "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion."

Located in Rye Brook, FFTA hosted the event in the community again this year, following the success of last year's event and in keeping with FFTA's community oriented mission. Generous local participating 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 of those participating and by the dedication of local volunteers and contributors. "All of 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." Proceeds raised will enable FFTA to develop new opportunities and programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of issues of adoption. "We pride ourselves on our mission to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community," Ms. Goldstein stated. In addition to FFTA staff, members of the board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest New York State Assemblyman George Latimer, who bolstered live auction bidding and spoke about the impact of participation on those served by the non-profit agency.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Honors Executive Director and Founder of Local Non-Profit With Prestigious Angel in Adoption Award

Joy Goldstein & Senator GillibrandForever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized, Hague Accredited, private, non-profit, adoption placement agency and resource center located in Rye Brook, New York, is pleased and honored to announce that Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, has been selected by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as a recipient of the prestigious 2012 ‘Angel in Adoption' award. The Angels in Adoption award is presented by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to select honorees who exemplify the goals and values of the program, of raising awareness about children in need of a permanent loving family.

Recipients were chosen based on their commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent loving homes, and are honored for their dedication to adoption and positive child welfare practices. On September 11 th in Washington D.C., Joy was presented with the Angel award by Senator Mary Landrieu, a founding member of the CCAI, and instrumental in creating the Angel in Adoption award, believing in the need to raise public and congressional awareness about issues of adoption.

As an adoptive parent of three sons and an adoption professional with over 28 years in the adoption field, Executive Director Joy S. Goldstein co-founded FFTA in 2007 to realize her goal of not only serving children in need, but also to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community. As a Westchester native and life-long resident, Joy has worked tirelessly to fulfill FFTA's mission of uniting children in need with their forever families, and to positively contribute to her community. Joy inspires those around her and is widely recognized in the field for her compassion and her expertise. "I was truly honored and humbled to receive this award. It was heartening and moving to be among so many devoted ‘Angels,'" Joy stated.

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. was founded and is staffed by social workers, attorneys, adoptees, and adoptive parents, and believes that every child eligible for permanent adoption, regardless of racial or ethnic background, age, or physical or emotional challenge, has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. 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.

Drawing from Joy's leadership and vision, with a focus on professionalism and service excellence, FFTA seamlessly blends private placement services, community education and awareness programming, and a progressive, inclusive approach to family building through adoption.

To learn more, visit FFTA on the web at www.ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org or contact FFTA by email at adopt@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org or by phone at (914) 939-1180. To learn more about CCAI and the Angels in Adoption program, visit www.ccainstitute.org and www.angelsinadoption.org

FFTA is 5 years old!!! 

5 years!!!!FFTA celebrated its 5th Anniversary yesterday May 20th at a fundraiser held at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley. Those that attended/donated had a wonderful afternoon along with several staff, Board members, adoptive families, friends, relatives and FFTA supporters. We are proud to have been involved with helping 56 children find their "forever families through adoption". In addition to our placements we believe very strongly in our mission to provide free in-service/education/counseling and outreach to hospitals, schools, prisons, community based agencies, OBGYN clinics, mental health clinics, prospective adoptive parents, expectant parents, adoptees and adoption professionals in all aspects of parenting and adoption issues. This year we began our free art group for adoptees and have received very positive feedback from the parents as well as the participants and plan to offer this free group again in the fall. As we move forward to our next 5 years we are looking towards our COA/Hague re-accreditation to continue to be able to provide international adoption services, both incoming and outgoing, and look to expand the countries in which we work. Please keep in touch with us by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from all of you and hope you will consider joining us at our next fundraising event {Save the Date} on September 13, 2012 at Crawford Park for our annual wine/food tasting and silent auction. ~ Joy, Debbie, Becca, Anna, Dustin, Jackie, Lizbeth, Ben, and Bavani

FFTA has been interviewed and published in Its Conceivable magazine! 

LGBT Adoption: Interview with Forever Families Through Adoption  ~ Forever Families Through Adoption is a New York authorized and Connecticut-licensed, non-profit 501c3, adoption placement agency and resource center located in the Rye Brook/Port Chester area of Westchester County only 35 minutes outside of New York City. The agency was recognized as a 2011 leader in supporting and serving LGBT families by the Human Rights Campaign's All Children-All Families Initiative. Below, they answer our questions on LGBT adoption, including transgender adoptioninternational adoption, and what to expect if you are a gay or lesbian couple looking to adopt.