Category Archives: parties

Birth Mothers Day is Here!

Have you guys heard about our upcoming Birth Mother’s Day celebration? We’ve only mentioned it 5,000 times or so. (Wink!) In case you somehow missed it before, it’s this Saturday! More details on the invitation below.

If you know a CPO birth mother, please encourage her to attend! She can RSVP to rhonda@cpotulsa.org, or you can do it for her if she likes.

Thanks for helping us spread the word. It looks like it will be a wonderful day for our wonderful birth mothers! (It’s kind of totally a big deal!)

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Birth Mother’s Day at CPO

Below is another beautiful article written by a CPO birth mother, Angela McLaughlin. It is meant to be informative about our upcoming Birth Mother’s Day celebration at CPO, but it is also insightful, as she shares her thoughts about the important day.

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I’m going to be frank. I kind of dread Mother’s Day. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but in case it does, I’ll tell you why. We’re talking about a holiday that celebrates the joys of motherhood. For a birth mom, it can feel like a public reminder of the pain caused by placing her child for adoption. Those feelings are also conflicting, as many birth moms are very close to the adoptive parents, and your feelings can feel like a distraction from their joy.
These reasons, and the overwhelming love that she feels for birth moms, are why Cheryl Bauman, Executive Director and founder of CPO, decided to start celebrating Birth Mother’s Day. As she says, “Birth Mother’s Day is my favorite celebration! It is a time set aside to honor the women who have made Adoption Plans for their Birth Children. It is a time to acknowledge the courage that it took for Birth Mothers to make these loving plans. Historically, Mother’s Day has been one of the hardest days for Birth Mothers. At church, when the pastor would ask for all of the Mothers to stand up, they weren’t sure if they should stand up or stay seated. I am so grateful to a group of Birth Moms in the Pacific Northwest who decided to honor Birth Moms by having a day that is just for them. Birth Mothers are our heroes!”
For some, this is a day when they can celebrate their motherhood, even without parenting. It’s a unique opportunity to be recognized as a birth mom for your part in bringing life and love into the world. As birth mom Amanda told me, “The meaning of the day is so special, because it’s the day I’m celebrated for my part in [my birth daughter] Milly’s life. I’m a mother to my 6 year old son, Shaun, and we celebrate Mother’s Day, and I can tell you that this is very different.”
For some who are struggling with the grief of placement, this day is an opportunity to reflect on the joys of their adoption plan, especially their birth children. My first Birth Mother’s Day is an especially fond memory. I was asked to speak at the celebration, and I chose to read the following selection from poet e.e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
—————————————-i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

This poem reflected the way that I, and so many birth families, feel after placement. As birth mom Dakota explained to me, “It’s hard to deal with a lot of the emotions that come from being separated from my baby. I don’t even really call him my baby because I feel like he’s [adoptive mom] Summer’s now.”
There’s a space where your child was, and it’s a constant struggle to fill that space with love. Speaking and sharing fellowship with other birth moms is a way to do just that.
And this year’s Birth Mother’s Day is going to be more celebratory than ever! After realizing that things sometimes felt a little too “heavy,” CPO has changed things up a little! As event coordinator Rhonda Fisher told me, “Previously, Birth Mother’s Day was a very somber ceremony. There were speakers including adopted kids, birth mothers, and adoptive families. There was worship music and a candle lighting ceremony. There were many tears. It was a day to remember the birth mothers and it was very respectful of them. But we heard from quite a few that they would like something a little more upbeat. So this year things will be radically different.”
This year’s event will feature “Steaks and Cakes,” with adoptive dads manning the grills. There will also be a special birth mom pampering area, with mini-manicures and pedicures, facials, and massages. And, the best part (in my opinion) are the mini-photography sessions. It’s difficult to look at all the adorable family photos of your adoptive family sometimes. It’s another, albeit tiny, reminder. But thanks to CPO, birth moms will have an opportunity to take photos with their adoptive families or birth children, or both! It’s an opportunity to take home a fabulous memento, as well as relax and be pampered.
Below you’ll find the birth mother version of the invitation for the celebration. We urge all CPO birth mothers and CPO adoptive families to keep an eye on their mailbox as their personal invitations should arrive any day now.

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Join Us at the CPO Easter Party!

You’re invited to the CPO Easter party! It will be held April 4th from 2-4 at CPO.
This party is for everyone involved with CPO: parenting girls, birth moms, adoptive families, and volunteers! And most important: KIDS!
Come join us for food, fun, and our annual egg hunt!
Plus, this year there will be a very special guest! No spoilers here, but he has two floppy ears and a fuzzy tail!

Here are some pics from last year. Look at all the fun we had!

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Hope to see you there!


Meet Tracie, The CPO Parenting Coordinator

Written by Amie Vetscher, this article introduces you to one of the vital parts of our ministry: our Parenting Group. Now that you’ll have met Tracie Roesslein, we will occasionally profile one of our many parenting success stories. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming months to see those!

Surpassing a twenty-year milestone in any field of work is a hallmark achievement. Devoting all of those years solely toward one organization is an exceptional form of loyalty that seems virtually extinct today. Prevailing through the perennial disappointments and triumphs of the same job, with the battle scars to prove it—that sounds like a buoy of strength in a sea of burnout.
But…doing all of this without ever cashing a paycheck? That may either be an oddity looming upon insanity, or the making of a real-world saint.
Sustained by faith that God has led her to be doing “exactly what [she’s] supposed to be doing”—and the occasional Braum’s hot fudge sundae— Tracie Roesslein has been the Parenting Coordinator at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach for the last sixteen years.

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Seven years before that, Tracie started handling the food and beverage component of all of the CPO parties. When a CPO girl has a baby, her parenting mom support group or birth mom support group, along with the many families involved in CPO’s ministry, shower her with baby gifts or personal gifts. Each year, CPO also hosts two Waiting Family Workshops, four days of informative speaker panels and training for adoptive families. In addition to supporting CPO’s Parenting Moms, Tracie volunteers her to time to make sure all those events are filled with fellowship and some great food; she has been doing this for the last twenty-three years.
“You could actually say,” explains Tracie, “I’ve been a part of CPO from the get go.” Founded by her mother, Cheryl Bauman, in 1983, CPO has been a part of Tracie’s life since she was a teenager. In the years of CPO’s infancy, Tracie found herself in a circumstance very similar to those women she now supports in the Parenting Group. Tracie was sixteen when she found out she was pregnant with her son Jay (now age twenty-nine), and became a working teen mother with an unsupportive birthfather at age seventeen. During that difficult time, Tracie would pray, “Lord, how are You going to redeem this in any way?”
Today that answer is clear. Empathy.
“I really do get where these girls are at,” Tracie says. “I get the addiction. I get the rotten boyfriend. I get that.” Some of the members of the Parenting Group, which meets weekly every Tuesday night, have been going for the last six years. They know everything about each other’s lives. Newer members of the group have three-month-olds on up. “If they’re going to parent,” Tracie believes, “they need the best advice and the best things they can do.”
Now there are fifteen women who meet regularly, and Tracie has two assistants, Jenni Anthamatten and April Walter. Nutritionists, nurses, therapists and many others have presented as guest speakers to speak about child nutrition, milestones in child development, and dozens of useful and relevant topics to moms trying to raise healthy kids on their own.
After sixteen years and still counting, nearly two-hundred women have been touched by the grace of this women’s group. “I have lots of moments that I’ve just been in awe of how God has moved through CPO and moved in these girls’ lives.”
No one can know what the future will hold or how God will exactly move through these interconnected lives. But they can have fun together. They can be welcoming and empathetic to the next young woman who needs good advice and a solid network of dependable friends. They can celebrate new births and their children’s developmental milestones. And, in the case of their resilient and committed leader who feels she has “been there and has the kids to show for it,” they can always be there for each other. That is Tracie’s plan. “I never see myself quitting,” she says. “Never.”

Photo credit: Alaina Butler of Inspired Life Photos


The CPO Gala: A Night of Huge Importance

Written by Angela McLaughlin

When a woman comes to Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, a tremendous weight can be lifted from her shoulders. She will receive love, understanding, compassion and assistance throughout her entire journey. This assistance comes in many forms. It may be something as simple as clothing to wear during her pregnancy, or something as large as a safe environment to live in during and after choosing to make an adoption plan for her child. Some women need help to keep the lights on at their homes; some women simply need the comfort of a shoulder to cry on. Whatever the needs of the women who come through CPO’s doors are, they will be met. I write from experience, as someone who has been truly touched and changed by the help I received from this organization.

Like many non-profits, CPO holds an annual fundraiser, which allows them to continue their amazing ministry. It’s an inspiring evening, filled with stories from birth mothers, adoptive families and their children, volunteers, and women who are parenting their children. It’s a chance for the many lives that have been transformed by CPO to come together and celebrate this amazing, life affirming organization.

Unlike many other organizations, no one at CPO receives a salary. Volunteers who care deeply about the mission and the families they serve are the driving force behind all the amazing things that CPO accomplishes. And the same goes for the Gala. As Stephanie Johnson (a member of the gala planning committee) told me, “The secret to putting the gala together is volunteers! There is a committee each year that works for months on every little detail. Other volunteers help by picking up donations, working at basket wrap day, setting up the day of the event, working the event and even cleaning up afterward. If it weren’t for our CPO volunteers and the team at Hampton Creative, the Gala would not be possible.”

One of my the most extraordinary and inspiring moments of the Gala each year is the video testimonial. Volunteers work to put together a video, capturing the resilience and strength of the women who have been healed, helped, and loved through their crisis pregnancy. The video is always a show stopper, bringing tears and laughter, and reminding everyone in attendance of the tremendous impact of their help, whether the donation comes in the form of time or money. Stephanie describes it as “the moment we at CPO can share what our ministry is all about and why it is so amazing!”

The response is equally amazing. In 2013, CPO raised $80,000, enough to pay off the Transitional Home, ensuring that women who choose to make adoption plans for their children are able to rest and begin the next chapter of their lives in a safe and loving environment, something some of them have never experienced before. In 2014, CPO raised $100,000, enabling the organization to purchase a van, allowing them to provide reliable transportation to counseling, group meetings, and doctors appointments. This allows the mission of CPO to be delivered in an even more efficient manner, ensuring that no woman has to miss an opportunity for help and healing due to transportation issues.

As a birth mom whose life was changed dramatically by making an adoption plan for my beloved Samuel, I hope to lend my voice to this event for years to come. While the most valuable services provided by CPO are indeed free, it’s difficult to focus on healing when you’re unsure of your living situations, burdened by medical issues, or unable to attend much needed counseling because you don’t have transportation. The CPO Gala is a wonderful and beatific event, with a silent auction, delicious food and fabulous decor. But it’s more than that. It’s a request, a request for the ability to continue to provide birth moms, adoptive families and the children they love with the support that they need and deserve. It’s a party, definitely, but it’s also a vital fundraiser for a cause that truly transforms lives. And what could be more important?

Want to get involved? There are still opportunities to help with this year’s gala. We will have a silent auction prep session (wrapping up the baskets and items) on February 19th from 10-2 at the CPO office. Childcare and lunch are provided.
Help is also needed the day of the gala setting up for the night, working the event and cleaning up. If you would like to help please email stephanie@cpotulsa.org.

Want to attend? All the info you need is included on the invitation below. Here’s the link to purchase tickets: cpotulsa.org/rsvp.

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At CPO

At CPO, women feel safe.
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At CPO, children play freely.
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At CPO, volunteers are dedicated.
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At CPO, women learn to trust.
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At CPO, we are together.
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At CPO, we celebrate accomplishments.
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At CPO, we mourn losses.
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At CPO, we live.
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At CPO, we thrive.
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At CPO, lives are changed.
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Birth Mother’s Day 2014

This article and the fine photography are generously provided by Alaina Butler of Inspired Life Photos.

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Last Saturday was Birth Mother’s Day nationwide and at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. Celebrated at CPO since the 1990s, it is a day set aside in celebration of the courage and sacrificial love of women who have chosen to live separately from their children in order to give them their best possible chance at life.

Before the ceremony, each birth mother received a rose corsage to wear.

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Of course, CPO would be nothing without the countless volunteers who willingly give of themselves to make days and stories like these possible.

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The ceremony started off with a welcome and prayer from Lynn Clutter, an adoptive mother with CPO.

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Lynn was followed by praise and worship time led by Liliana Ross, a birth mother who placed her son several years ago.

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LaChelle Diggs (Birth Mother) and Kate Wicar (Adoptive Mother) shared their story titled, “I Love You to the Rocky Mountains and Back”.

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Liliana sang for us again, this time her original song titled, “Caleb’s Song”, which she wrote to her son (also pictured) after she placed him for adoption.

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Ziona Webb was adopted through CPO and shared the story that she wrote for her school titled, “When I Was Adopted.”

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Toni McCorkle told her story of being a Birth Mother to her son titled “The Greatest Comeback Ever.”

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The final testimony shared during the ceremony was given by Rhonda Fisher (Adoptive Mother) and her daughter’s Birth Mother, Amanda Smock. It was titled “God for the Win.”  

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Here is Milly enjoying listening to her story.

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Amanda also led the Birth Mothers in reading an adaption of Isaiah 49.

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All the Birth Mothers then took place in a Candle Lighting, and those that couldn’t be at the ceremony were represented by their children or family. 

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In closing Chris Dow, Pastor of Christian Chapel, prayed for the Birth Mothers and Shawnda Kirchmann, the Transitional House Mom, gave a few closing words.  

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Jody Landers once said, “A child born to another woman calls me Mom. The depth of the tragedy and magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me.” 

CPO is full of stories of the magnitude of this privilege. If you were blessed to be present at Birth Mother’s day, you saw these faces and heard these stories first hand and know how truly wonderful and special open adoption is.24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

The Ceremony was followed by a lovely reception, coordinated by Tracie Roessien. 

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In special recognition, Cheryl Bauman has been the Executive Director of CPO since the beginning. Her time and love put into this organization has helped and ministered to countless children, their Birth Mothers, and their adoptive families. 

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CPO Easter Party 2014

Everyone had a blast at the CPO Easter Party last week! Special thanks to all who came and had fun, to those who coordinated the event, and those who cleaned up afterwards! See below for tons of fun!

There was plenty of yummy food and neat table decor!

Even the babies were there!

LOTS of eggs to hide!

Adoption is beautiful!

Yummy snacks=happy kiddos!

Fun with balloons!

Looks like the kids are ready for the egg hunt!




Ready, set, GO!!

Outdoor fun!









What’s inside?

Tiny friends!








Eggs!!

Back inside for cake, cookies, and goodie bags for each kid!

*Photos graciously provided by Alaina Butler of Inspired Life Photos.