Category Archives: adoptive families

Volunteers Matter: Brooks Parker

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from another dedicated volunteer, Brooks Parker.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I work in the office occasionally, gather and organize baby/maternity donations so they are easily accessible at the CPO storage unit. I helped with donations for the gala in April and I will soon be writing some blog posts.:)

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering the end of November, 2015.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I heard about CPO from various people over the past several years.  When my niece was pregnant a friend recommended she utilize CPO’s services since she was young with an unplanned pregnancy.  CPO was helpful for her at that time in her life.  There are also several CPO adoptive families at my kids’ school and I have several friend/acquaintances at CPO that are heavily involved in volunteering at the organization.  I have always heard wonderful comments.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: Well, I wouldn’t say “versus”.;)  I still volunteer a lot at my kids’ school and I also assist with computer work and am on the finance team at my church.  I have wanted to get involved with CPO for some time but the main motivator at this time is because we are now a waiting adoptive family.  I love that CPO requires volunteer hours to complete an adoption.  For someone like me that may be reserved to jump into a situation I am not familiar with, it has pushed me to put myself out there and learn the ropes of CPO.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO cares for many facets of ladies in crisis and I love that.  Again, it is the love in action.  It’s not only showing the girls alternatives to abortion but helping them walk it out..for life.  Help doesn’t end at a free pregnancy test or delivering a baby or placing a baby for adoption.  The CPO girls are offered counseling and support for life and that is huge.  I am excited to be able to participate in a ministry that doesn’t just focus on one small area of an unplanned pregnancy but that it offers an all encompassing level of support for women.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I have solidified my introvert status by realizing I really don’t like to talk on the phone. Haha!

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: I am very new to being directly involved with the CPO ministry, but what I have always seen through friends that have been involved and what I see now that I am there is: true love and care for the girls that come to CPO for help.  I see love in action and that is what God calls us to do.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Do it. The likelihood of CPO being able to put your God-given gifts and talents to use is pretty high.

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Retro CPO: Cheryl Said

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. 
This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Cheryl Bauman, our founder and executive director. It was written in fall of 2009, and explains her feelings about open adoption.

As most of you know, I have hd a heart for adoption all of my life. My sister was adopted, so I always knew about adoption. But in those years, it was shrouded in secrecy. My mom never spoke of it in a normal tone of voice. She whispered the word.

When I founded CPO 26 years ago and we became a licensed adoption agency, my vision was for none of the children to grow up having to fantasize about their birth mothers. I have such a passion for open adoption.

Surprisingly enough, none of my children are adopted, and none of my grandchildren were, until—a wonderful day in January, when my daughter, Natalie, and I flew to Hawaii to meet three-year-old Ziona!! The story is long and miraculous, and ended in my 15th grandchild being adopted through CPO!! She is beautiful and precious and such a wonderful addition to our family.

God has blessed our family so richly and I am so very grateful.

1O9A0605(Here’s little Ziona, speaking and singing at the CPO Celebrate Life Gala in 2015.)


Volunteers Matter: Kate Wicar

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from another dedicated volunteer (even from a different state!), Kate Wicar.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I have volunteered in several ways over the years, but I currently serve on the leadership team, mentoring out-of-state adoptive families who are waiting to adopt. I am also going to start coordination the Waiting Families Workshop. The Waiting Families Workshop is a time for prospective adoptive couples to come to Tulsa for a three day intensive, to learn about the heat and ministry of CPO, as well as the beauty of open adoption. The Waiting Families Workshop was an absolutely life-changing weekend for me and my husband, so I am excited to help facilitate that same beautiful experiences for other couples who are new to CPO.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I have been volunteering with CPO since the beginning of 2009. Actually, one of my favorite parts of our season of living in Tulsa was being part of CPO. I absolutely loved it. When we moved back to Colorado in Fall of 2011, I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to volunteer with CPO anymore. Thankfully, Cheryl thought to ask me if I would be willing to mentor out-of-state families who are waiting to adopt. I was thrilled to get to stay plugged into CPO, and truly love getting to encourage adoptive families.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: A lady in the nursing mothers room at our church told me that she answered phones for CPO and told me a little about the ministry. I had wanted to get involved with a pro-life ministry for a while, so I was really excited to see how I could volunteer. Some close friends of ours were starting the process of adopting through CPO around that same time too, and they told us that CPO really needed Native American families. Really?! Since I am Cherokee, this was very intriguing. We started praying about adopting through CPO, just as our biological son was turning 1. We both felt strongly that the answer was “yes” and “now”, which didn’t seem entirely logical since our little guy wasn’t even walking yet, but we were so excited and turned in our application a few weeks later. And we’ve been on an adoption adventure pretty much ever since!

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I love how pure the ministry is at CPO, and how it is all about loving the birth moms. An adoption agency where no one receives a salary–just incredible! I also love that CPO serves both women who are parenting and women who are making adoption plans.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I started out volunteering simply because I wanted to help with a pro-life effort. I had deep convictions about protecting life in the womb and being a voice for the voiceless since I was a young girl. But now, the cause is even closer to my heart because I am the mother of four boys, three of which were adopted through CPO. Since we live in Colorado, people sometimes ask why we don’t adopt a baby locally. We tell them that after working with CPO, other adoption agencies kind of pale in comparison. We have such peace adopting through CPO, because our sons’ birth mothers have access to free counseling for the rest of their lives, a weekly support group, a doula for their births, a wonderful community, and so much more. There simply isn’t a place like CPO where we live, and that is why we wait a little longer and travel a little farther to adopt our babies.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I’ve learned that God can use me even with my quirky personality and inadequacies. I still get a little nervous each time I speak to a group, or interview a prospective family, but God is faithful. Once I push through a bit of fear, I’m always so glad I did. I’ve learned that it is okay to just be me, and that I don’t have to be perfect or have it all together for God to use me.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Oh, where do I start? God is awesome and being involved with CPO is like being on the front row of a really good movie. There are twists and turns, and ups and downs, but in the end God is good! I am always impressed at God’s attention to detail and encourage the families that I mentor to keep a journal while they are waiting. It is pretty amazing to see some of the timing that occurs, and to see what God was doing behind the scenes all along. His goodness is consistently weaved throughout the fabric of this ministry.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: I would say with my whole heart: do it! Many hands make light work, and it is so fulfilling to be part of what God is doing at CPO. Even volunteering in the office for just two hours a month is a huge help. Also, don’t be afraid to involve your children or to drive to an unfamiliar part of town. Being part of CPO is being part of a family, and we are all there because we love Jesus and want to cheer women on who are choosing life. So if you are thinking about volunteering, I would encourage you to go ahead and jump in. You will be blessed and God will use you in mighty ways. And when you are volunteering, it might not always feel super significant, but with many volunteers working together in small ways, the overall results are pretty remarkable!

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Retro CPO: Meet Paige Tooman

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. 
This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Paige Tooman, one of Cheryl’s assistants at the time. It was written in fall of 2009, and is her personal testimony. 

I am so honored to be part of such an incredible ministry! I love serving alongside Godly women who have been doing this for so many years and I continue to learn more and more each day! Being an Assistant Director never crossed my mind as we began our journey with CPO.

My husband Brent and I were baptized together in 2002, and we were on the amazing road of Christianity together. We had just found out that we were pregnant, after one round of Clomid, a fertility drug. We were so thankful that God had blessed us and couldn’t wait for our newest family member. Our 34 week check up went great, but then I began to get very sick. I tried to play it off as part of being pregnant, but after a week of sleepless nights, I called the doctor. I was admitted to the hospital and they determined that my liver had shut down and my kidneys were next. This was part of the HELLP Syndrome, something I had developed during pregnancy. Needless to say, we were rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section and Hank was born! He was a strong baby and he and I were both in the hospital for about 10 days. After arriving home, I basically was on “lock down”, as I didn’t want my preemie to get any kinds of sickness at all! He is now a strong, healthy six year old, no one would ever even know about his early arrival if I didn’t tell them.

We decided we wanted to add to our family, but we were told that I could get HELLP again. We had heard about CPO through several different friends and we decided to give Cheryl a call.That is when it all starts happening. We received a call several months into the process about a baby that was being born in three hours. THREE HOURS?? This was out baby, Barrett, or as we call him, Bear. His birth parents rode to the hospital on a motorcycle, in the rain, so we knew they were a spirited pair! We started to get to know them in the hospital and then we lost touch with them after the hospital stay. We were so sad about not having the open adoption that we had thought about so often. We wanted to minister to a girl and help her find God and get her life on His path. Fortunately, God had His plan in place and Bear now has a baby brother that was adopted by the Hiseys and we have an incredible Christian family to share our lives with!

After all of the love and time that Cheryl and Kelly showed us, I decided that I wanted to give back to CPO and I got involved with the fundraising banquet. I loved sharing CPO’s vision with others and trying to get funds for our “all-volunteer” agency! When I became an Assistant, I knew that this was my calling. I am the type of person that needs to be involved. I also knew that if I was going to be volunteering and away from my kids at times, this would be perfect because when I am volunteering for CPO, I am multiplying His kingdom. I can truly see God each day as I look into the faces of the birth mothers, the babies, and the families. My you all find your place in CPO, as I did. It is truly a blessing!

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Volunteers Matter: Thom and Christine Crowe

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from Thom and Christine Crowe, one of our adoptive families who have become very involved.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: Christine and I [Thom] love CPO and have looked for any way to volunteer. I help with social media and we both volunteer with the girls at the CPO Transition House and Christine did a brief stint as the house mom and I helped quite a bit with the recent gala fundraiser.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: We started volunteering with CPO in March of 2015.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Kinda funny story, Christine was cleaning out her old emails a few weeks ago and came across an email thread between the two of us about adopting and we talked quite a bit about CPO back in 2006. We weren’t ready yet but, unbeknownst to either of us, the seed had been planted in our brains. Fast forward to 2014, we decided we were ready to begin the adoption process and a family we knew had adopted through CPO recommended that we fill out our application. We applied and were accepted as a waiting family. As we learned more and more about the organization, we fell in love. The mission was something we could get behind and we jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back!

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: My mom had me when she was a teenager and my sister had our nephew when she was 18, just out of high school. One thing I learned from this was that when a girl has an expected pregnancy, she needs love and support. There are other agencies that do that, but something about CPO just stuck with us. Once we learned it was a 100% volunteer agency and no one was paid so that all the money raised goes straight to the girls, I was sold.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Having a family is really important to both Christine and me and adoption has always been something on my heart. As we’ve been able to work with and get to know the girls in the transition house, we’ve grown to care for them. They’re special girls and they are why we do what we do. We started out volunteering because we were supposed to, but now the birth moms are our passion.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I’m a huge pushover!  I’m not the best at saying no which is why I think we’re a great fit to befriend the girls and do fun stuff with them.  I should probably work on that before I have a teenager at home, but there’s plenty of time for that.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: For me, probably the best gift we could have asked for came in the form of our birth mom and we know God was involved with how we met her. On a Friday night back in August, Christine and I had plans to go out.  A message was placed on the CPO Volunteer Facebook group about a girl who needed a ride from a dance back to the Transition House. Neither of us could shake the need to go, so we canceled our plans and got ready to go pick her up. We were waiting to meet a birth mom who was living in the house and wanted to interview us so we made sure it wasn’t her or any sort of conflict of interest for us to go, which it wasn’t but I’m a bit paranoid and a rule follower. We picked up who would be our birth mom and hit it off with her. She and Christine clicked really well and when we dropped her off, Christine, who is not a terribly emotional girl, started crying. Some connection was made. We were supposed to meet with the other birth mom and got the call while waiting for her at a restaurant that she picked another family. While there, we ran into Cheryl Bauman who had wonderful words of encouragement for us. The next day we got a call that the girl we had driven wanted to meet us. We went to dinner and she picked us as her adoptive parents. Since then spent time with her, we have been able to get to know her and now love her so much. She’s an invaluable part of our lives and our family now. We know God put it on our hearts to meet her that night and we’re so thankful we answered.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: In whatever capacity you can, do it. If you can volunteer, there are unimaginable ways to make an impact. If you want to adopt and have a heart for the birth moms, this is the place to do it. CPO gives them and you the resources you need for a successful open adoption. If you don’t have time but have financial resources, give. CPO is a good steward of the gifts they are given. Just get involved. If you’re not sure or have questions, reach out and come see what CPO is doing. You’ll be sold hook, line, and sinker just like we are!

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Nathan’s Story

Needing inspiration? Watch the video from this year’s gala. It is so good!


Birth Mother’s Day at CPO

This year’s Birth Mother’s Day celebration at CPO was on April 30. It was a wonderful event!

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For those that don’t remember, Birth Mother’s Day is an event planned to honor the women who have made adoption plans for their birth children through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. It is a day set aside to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice it took for them to make a loving adoption plan for their birth child.

As birth mothers arrived, they were greeted with a smile by some of our volunteers.IMG_0790

They received gorgeous custom-made tote bags filled with fun make-up, accessories, and coupons to a local salon. The tote design was hand-drawn by one of our very own CPO birth mothers, Angela McLaughlin, and printed by a CPO adoptive mother, Carrie Jones.

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Birth mothers were also encouraged to sign up for door prizes. Among the prizes were designer bags, robes, bath supplies, gift certificates, and more. Wow!IMG_0789

After being greeted, birth mothers were treated to a delicious meal. Dedicated volunteers Tracie Roesslein and Jeff Bauman (along with a crew of others) served fresh smoked BBQ meats, salad, baked potatoes, and mini bundt cakes for dessert. Of course, there were hot dogs on hand for the many kiddos in attendance, too. The food was absolutely perfect. Yum!IMG_0936

After the meal was devoured, the “pampering and photos” portion of the day began. The CPO Day Spa officially opened.IMG_0788

There were sign up sheets for nails, massage, and make up. We had 5 professional pamperers who graciously volunteered their time, supplies, and skills to make our birth mothers feel special. IMG_0791The lobby outside of the “spa” was full of birth mothers, adoptive families, and volunteers all chatting as the girls happily waited for their turn to be pampered. Some adoptive families chose this time to give Birth Mother’s Day gifts to the women they love.IMG_0934

Meanwhile, a nursery was provided for children under 4 years, and a volunteer-supervised bounce house was available to entertain kids of all ages.

We also had 3 professional photographers volunteer their services: Melissa Barnes, Melinda Hunley, and Ashley Ledbetter. IMG_0792They each had their own style, and birth mothers were able to choose what kind of photos they wanted: indoor or outdoor, lots of props or simpler, etc. They were also able to choose who would be in the photos with them: just their birth child, all of their children (those they placed for adoption and those they parent), or the entire adoptive family. This variety made for some beautiful photos the birth mothers (and adoptive families!) will cherish for years to come.

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In all, it was a wonderful day, and we couldn’t have done it without an amazing set of about 30 volunteers. We hope the birth mothers from CPO felt as special as we all know they are!


Celebrate Life Gala 2016 Recap

The recent Celebrate Life Gala was a huge success. The event was held at the Mayo Hotel on Friday, April 30th. What a beautiful venue!
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The evening began with a silent auction and light hors d’oeuvres. This year our silent auction utilized software from GalaBid.com. This allowed our attendees to bid on their phones, which made the whole experience very fun and interactive!
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Thanks to the interactive software, the silent auction continued as dinner began. This allowed users to visit with their tablemates, eat their dinner, and continue bidding on their favorite auction items.

Dinner was delicious, and everyone had a great time!
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Meanwhile, a dessert auction was ongoing. What a fun way to decide what your table will enjoy after the meal!
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During and after dinner, Karen Larson again served as our emcee. She explained our mission and our needs. There were other speakers as well as videos and live music.
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The final part of the evening was perhaps the most exciting: the live auction! What a fun way to get some awesome items and support CPO at the same time!
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In all, it was a lovely evening. If you missed it, check out even more photos on our Celebrate Life Gala 2016 page, and be sure to attend next year!


Coming Up: Birth Mother’s Day 2016

Birth Mother’s Day has always been a very special day at CPO. It is likely the most important CPO event all year, as our birth mothers need and deserve all the love and appreciation we can show them.

If you know a CPO birth mother or adoptive family, please pass this blog on to them so they can make plans to attend. If you are not a birth mother and/or adoptive family that plans to attend, please consider volunteering to help with this fun event. The volunteer sign up page can be found here.

It will be a very fun, celebratory day and we’ll be sure to post photos of the festivities after the big day. Until then, enjoy the photos from last year’s Birth Mother’s Day

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Easter 2016 Party Pics

This year’s CPO Easter party was last Saturday. It was awesome, as usual! Here are some great pics of all the fun we had!

They are also posted here: Easter Party 2016. Check back to that page in a few days as we plan to upload more and more as they come in from our fantastic volunteer photographer, Ashley Ledbetter.

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