Moving forward in the year of 2015 brings ample reflection on the years past and planning for the busy year ahead. We take this time to stop the phones and the hectic attempt to answer each and every email that pops into view so that we can assess what we are going to do for the parentless children around the world, our families, our staff and the agency as a whole. No pressure or anything. We are always so focused on the day to day that it really is an eye opening moment when we get to stop and count up all the boys and girls that we can now say are officially sons and daughters. We matched over 150 children with their forever families this past year through plenty of long long days, nights, blood, sweat and most definitely tears. We’ve given our best and we have relished the reward of just being a part of a family’s journey through adoption. It’s kind of hard to describe or pinpoint just what makes all of this worth-while. I’m positive it must be different for everyone. Of course the best part is the joy of seeing those little faces of all ages, needs and circumstances at home in the arms of their smiling moms or dads. If you ever wanted to believe in miracles, just ask. When you’re ready, I’ll show you about 150 recent occurrences. They’re really cute too.
The most promising prospect I’ve noticed as a consultant is the realization that the basic information families are starting to educate themselves with reflects a genuine understanding of the realities in International Adoption today. It is starting to sink in for most that this ever evolving process, from thought to fruition, is so much more than just adoption. How such a simple concept could hold so many different meanings for so many has always been a challenge for International Adoption Consultants like me. But now, it is clear more families are coming to the table with the ideal child in mind being actually someone we could deliver. They know that any child without a mom and dad is a child of special need. Any child that has not been given the abundance of love, attention and care that we all desperately not only need but crave, is globally lacking. Their delays are a given and their developmental challenges are expected and even embraced. No child is easily categorized in one way or another. They can only be labeled as one thing. Deserving.
One way of enabling more families to experience this passion is to give more people the opportunity to be involved no matter what connection they have or wish to have with the adoption world. We have developed and are currently developing a variety of services that provide an open door to anyone who is interested in being a part of a wanting child’s world. You can now host an orphan in your home either to get to know a child before adopting or to help them find a family. When a child is brought out of the country of their birth and literally placed in your arms, it takes all the mystery out of what is meant to be. Innocent bystanders see this and can’t help but want to be a part of it too. Suddenly, they are telling their friends who then tell other friends how easy it can be. The spirit of wanting to help a child have what we all know is paramount to a human being becomes a viral sensation. Who knew going viral could be good anywhere else but on YouTube! By the end of 2015 hosting will be available from 4 different countries where older children, children with special needs and sibling groups seem to be languishing the most.
In some countries the lack of resources has inhibited them from getting orphaned children legally ready and available for adoption. In response to this, we have put our talents to work and developed an adoption network system that can be used by country ministries to keep track of all children available for adoption. We have given this system as a gift to two countries, Guyana and Burundi and are providing training for the government staff therein as well. Our President and Board of Directors hope that this will help more children get adopted by more families, more easily. Bottom line.
And last but certainly not least, we have developed the CONNECT program. This helps families with adopted children they cannot continue to be parents of, find a safe and legal path to a permanent home for their child. We connect the family with all the resources they need to cope and if necessary, find a new vetted family fit for the child. We vow to help any family who adopted any child from any agency find the way to peace again. No one asks for dissolution, so therefore no one should have to bear that burden alone or be forced to take drastic measures, just because they want their family to be happy. We feel as an authority and a staple in the world of International Adoption, it is our absolute duty to set this example.
I know what you’re thinking. How amazing is that! How smart are they, those folks over at GWCA and Children of All Nations. They will have tons of business coming to them in 2015. What’s even more surprising is that these programs will probably not make us a dime. That’s right, you heard me. We are investing in you, the children and these countries because that is what we want to do. It’s as simple as that. Our love for you and children has made us absolutely loose our minds with passion. Of course we know and hope more than anything these programs and new services will inspire families to adopt, but it is absolutely true more than ever that what we do here and what you contribute to this organization goes far beyond the surface value. It is so much more than adoption. If you are ready, we are here to carry you along and surround you with our warm hopes for you, your future and the future of all children everywhere.