Jill Larson, WACAP’s Midwest Director shares some thoughts about her work with WACAP and why she does what she does.
Somebody asked me the other day, “Do you like what you do?” I didn’t hesitate—of course I like what I do. . .helping and supporting families in their adoption journeys, observing kids with their families as they thrive and blossom! I’ve found that the process of adoption comes with joys and concurrent disappointments. When one door closes or a path is blocked, families often find that there is another door to reach out to or a different path to follow. Somewhere there is a child waiting, perhaps in a place or in a situation they had not thought about.
Just yesterday, I received a phone call from a woman who wanted to thank me for helping put her in touch with the correct resources to help her locate her birth mother. She had been thinking about doing this for years, but it wasn’t until she found out that I work in adoptions that she finally got up the courage and pursued it. She asked if she could come in person to thank me and give me a big hug, as she had just experienced a wonderful reunion with her birth mother. That sure put a smile on my face.
With November being recognized as National Adoption Month, I wanted to share some of this year’s accomplishments here at the Midwest office. With gratitude, we celebrated and continue celebrations with the ongoing arrival of children from numerous countries including China, India, Taiwan, Bulgaria, and the United States, coming home to join their families. We thank you for inviting us to share in your family’s adoption journey which is always a constant source of inspiration. We also held out first Midwest WACAP Family Fun Day in August, enjoying a great day at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
There has never been a better time to become a parent and grow your family through adoption. Yes, it is a commitment that requires accepting support, being flexible, being patient, and having faith. But for most families who choose adoption, it truly becomes a rich journey of a lifetime that culminates with children finding loving parents and a home that supports a hopeful life together. I invite you to share this good news and information as our nation honors adoption in November.
For many adoptive families, National Adoption Month is a great reason to have a celebration. Colleen M. Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer at the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families in Wisconsin, offers these suggestions to adoptive families:
Talk with your child or children about adoption—and their adoption stories, in particular. By keeping an open conversation about this topic, you can send the message to your child or children that he or she can come to you anytime to talk about questions, fears, worries—or share happy news too. Maybe you can read adoption-related books or stories together, or set aside some time to work on your child’s lifebook.
For more ideas, check out the National Adoption Month Awareness Guide from the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC). You will find various ways for your family to celebrate, including a month of adoption activities to keep you busy throughout November.