Miriam’s Promise – 2007

The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church express our belief as United Methodists that family is a crucial element in the nurturing of children. Our Principles state that “we believe children are a gift from God to be welcomed and received.” Statements about the family include that “we believe the family to the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect and fidelity.” Here at Miriam’s Promise, these values and principles are at the core of our ministry. Our mission is “to ensure the well-being of children; before, during and after birth.” Children are indeed a gift from God and years of experience remind us that God’s precious little ones need a family of caring persons around them every day of their lives. Here at Miriam’s Promise, these little ones come to us with a variety of needs. Some of our children come without the most basic need met; a family. Others come because their family has ceased to function in a way that allows for their dayto-day care and stability. Still others come because the child about to be born will come to a family that is in despair or crisis. Each year, Miriam’s Promise provides help to more than 200 families through a variety of services. The heart of our ministry is to ensure the well-being of children through pregnancy counseling, parenting and adoption services. In 2007, the 8-member staff provided 74 domestic and international home studies and was involved in 47 domestic and international adoptive placements. We were in ministry to 73 expectant parents and 57 incarcerated pregnancy clients. We provided therapeutic services to 19 counseling clients. We believe strongly in preparation and training for prospective adoptive parents, providing 45 training and group events for clients. Miriam’s Promise continues to experience an increased need for our services. The three programs experiencing the most growth are “Expecting the Best” (ministry to pregnant inmates), attachment therapy, and support services for families adopting children over 2 years of age, and older child adoptions. Ongoing programs and services of Miriam’s Promise include: Pregnancy Counseling: • Helping young women and families with unplanned pregnancies cope with emotional, health and long-term issues • Preparing them for making mature life decisions for themselves and their child • Providing practical assistance for medical and housing needs Mentoring (Expecting the Best): • Providing one on one counseling to expectant mothers in jail and prison • Practical teaching on nutrition, decision-making, pre-natal care, labor and delivery and related issues • Providing emotional support

Facilitating one on one mentoring by older women willing to visit and correspond with inmates

Infant Adoptions: • Training for prospective families • Completing home studies • Supervising adoptive placements • Preparation of appropriate legal documents • Providing healing, caring support for pregnancy clients choosing adoption for their infants International Adoptions: • Training for prospective families • Completing extensive home studies and dossier preparation • Guidance in choosing appropriate country and international agency • Supervising adoptive placements • Preparation of appropriate legal documents Older Child Adoptions: • Recruiting and Training Families • Completing home studies • Counseling older children and their birth families considering adoption • Continued monitoring of adoption placements for one year after finalization of the adoption • Specialized counseling for attachment and grief issues along with support groups for children and adoptive families Post-Legal Services: Individual and family counseling for adoptees struggling with issues related to adoption, often issues of identity, family of origin, etc. Specialized Training : Educational Groups designed for domestic adoption, international adoptions, transracial adoptions, Specialized attachment training Support Groups for: Birthparents, Waiting Families, Transracial Adoptions, Attachment The Board of Directors is a strong, committed group of individuals. They participated in an energetic and effective Strategic Planning Session in November. The Mission, values and goals of Miriam’s Promise were reviewed and refined. A three-year vision based on growth projections for staffing and funding was established. The Board also looked at potential new sources for income and methods for increasing funding from current sources including the hiring of a development officer. This position will be responsible for developing donor relationships and soliciting major donors.

The projected 2008 budget for the agency is $575,950 income; $571,894 expenses. Funding for Miriam’s Promise continues to come from 4 primary sources: 38 % Fees for services 22% Church Giving (United Methodist funding and gifts from local churches of other Denominations) 37% 3% Events and Contributions Grants/Other

The 2007 Golf & Walk Challenge was an amazing success. The Event Team, led by Mary Cooper and B.J. Brack, did a remarkable job – resulting in approximately $140,000 for the ministry of the agency. This year, we added a Walkers Event prior to tee-off for the golfers and were thrilled to have 42 walkers join the 120 golfers. We are extremely grateful to be blessed with golfers and walkers with hearts for children working hard on our behalf. The 2008 Event is scheduled for Monday, September 29th. Come join us!

Pasta & Promises completed its 8th year in 2007 and was also blessed with a fabulous turn-out and attendees who committed to helping the ministry continue. The Art Show and Dinner was chaired by Jami Hill and Susan Vincler and saw a 25% increase in proceeds and attendance. Once again, volunteers gave their tremendous talents and time – and made a remarkable difference in funding for the ministry, making sure that the work of Miriam’s Promise goes on.

We are grateful to our Board, our volunteers, staff and to our churches for the growth and stability we continue to experience. Thank you to individual churches and to the Conference for apportionment and funding support. We are grateful that you believe in the work we do. Relationships with the Conference and individual congregations encourage and enrich our ministry. Thank you in advance for your continued support and prayers.

Respectfully submitted,

Deborah H. Robinson, M.A. Executive Director

2008 Board of Directors:

Dr. Dan Elkins, Chair Ms. Catherine Collins, Chair-Elect Mr. Paul Gilliland, Treasurer Ms. Janice Boyko, Secretary Mr. Robert D. Tuke, Legal Counsel Dr. Betty Alexander Mr. Carl Boon Rev. B. J. Brack, Jr. Ms. Nancy Chilton Rev. John Collett, Jr. Mrs. Mary B. Cooper

Mr. Dennis Dorris Ms. Beth Harmon Mr. Mike Hendren Ms. Donna Mattick Rev. Roland Scruggs Rev. Garry Speich Ms. Kathryn Stephenson Ms. Claudia Torrey Dr. Jan van Eys Ms. Susan Vincler Rev. Michael Williams