When I first came to WACAP, I was, I admit, a bit of a doubting Thomas. I had doubts whether we really could find a family for every child. It’s a nice thought, but is it reality? I thought, “Maybe we could find families for most children, but not all children.” However, after being proven wrong over and over again, my direct experience has taught me – it can be done! What it takes is passion. Putting passion to work yields great results.
My particular job involves finding families in some of the most challenging situations, and I have experienced that there is a family for every child out there. We just need the resources and time to find that family. Over and over, amazing WACAP staff have found families within impossible time limits when a child is reaching their country’s adoption age cut-off, or needs to be quickly adopted to get life-saving medical care. We have found families for children who are much older, children with five siblings that need to stay together, and children with serious medical needs. I’ve seen adoptions that I didn’t think were possible-families reaching out to adopt a child with neither arms nor legs; children who have been abused and are working through trauma; children who are missing part of their brains; older children who are both blind and deaf; children with very rare diseases; children with short life expectancy, and children who have lived on the streets and not even received orphanage care for much time. Over this time, I’ve also seen and celebrated many relatively healthy children go home to loving families. With each new day, so many of the children we serve continue to astonish and inspire me.
Once you have seen repeatedly that there is a family for every child, you really develop a passion for finding families. Somehow you just keep trying until you know that child is home with his or her family. These children move your heart and you just get hooked – you know the family is out there somewhere– and you know you are the last chance a child has for a family.
What happens if an adoption worker doesn’t believe the child is adoptable and doesn’t have that passion and inspiration to find a family? Research shows if an adoption worker thinks a child is “unadoptable,” then this attitude will greatly impact that person’s ability to find a family for the child. Research indicates that with special efforts, permanent families can be found for any child. I know from personal experience that if a worker views a child as “unadoptable”, he or she is doing such a great disservice to that child.
Rest assured, WACAP staff (including me, a recovered doubting Thomas) know every child is adoptable and we make heroic efforts to find each one’s permanent family. We have become increasingly passionate about our work with children.
A family I worked with recently said to me, “Adoption is not for the faint of heart- it is for the lion hearted.” I watch closely as families familiar with a certain medical need are genuinely able to manage this need for their child and other children they adopt with the same or related need, and it compels me to keep moving forward, looking for the next family. Are you open to adopting a child with a medical or age-related need, who has a brother or sister, or who needs support while overcoming a difficult past? Please let us know. We believe each child, no matter the individual needs he or she has, deserves a family. You might be just the family we’re so passionate about finding!
Interested in learning more? Visit www.wacap.org and follow this blog feed for a new post each week through July to read more about our organization and the concepts that drive us forward for children.
About WACAP’s Research and Recruitment Manager, Lynne Mason: Lynne Mason has worked as WACAP’s Research and Recruitment Manager for over 8 years. In this role, Lynne helps find adoptive families for children across the globe, many of whom are passed by because of challenges in their past or because of health or age-related needs. Lynne is committed to being a daily advocate for these children and finding each child the family prepared to meet his or her needs. A member of hundreds of listservs and Facebook groups, she shares these children’s stories across communities, states and networks. She believes that if time were no object, she could find the family who is right for every waiting child.