Every year in November, we celebrate National Adoption Month. Given the fact that November is a time to give thanks, it has always seemed apropos that adoptions are celebrated during the same month as Thanksgiving. The fact that these two celebrations fall together just feels right, especially when considering adoptive families, without fail, will tell you how thankful they are for the child they have added to their family.
The road to adoption can take on many forms and can be smooth sailing or a viable roller coaster ride. Families can adopt internationally, domestically, privately, through licensed adoptions agencies, local social service agencies and as a step-parent. For some families, the process, while important and at times filled with angst, goes smoothly. Everyone is in agreement, minimum time requirements are met, the cost associated with the adoption is what was expected and all parties involved feel that they would do it all over again given the chance.
For other families, the process is long, fraught with doubt and uncertainty, becomes far more expensive than anticipated and, at times, feels as if the adoption will not be completed. What I always find striking in these more difficult situations is that after some time, adoptive families will tell you they would do it all over again given the chance. What this says to me is that there are many people and many things to be thankful for. While the following is not an exhaustive list, these are a few of the people to thank for the part they play in the many adoptions that happen every day.
- Biological parents. Parents who recognize they are unable to raise their children and place those children for adoption knowing they are giving the child the best opportunity for success.
- Agency case workers. Next are agency case workers in both private adoptions and adoptions through local social service agencies who not only have the intelligence and work ethic necessary to navigate what can be treacherous waters at times, but also the dedication to stay the course and the compassion to do the work they do.
- Adoptive parents & families. Of course, adoptive parents and their families top the list for bringing a child into their home who is not biologically theirs, but is theirs nonetheless, all while loving that child, raising that child and providing that child with the best opportunity for success.
- Attorneys & paralegals. I am thankful for my colleagues that do this type of work, and for their never-ending dedication to performing adoption work at the highest level, ensuring that children and families find permanency and that birth parents rights are protected and respected.
- A warm thank you to the judges who have adoptions as part of their docket, as they have to make extremely difficult decisions that have long lasting ramifications on families, children and future adoptions, as they set precedent every time they make a decision.
So, this month we celebrate adoption and all that it can do and be for adoptive children and the families that they become part of. More simply put, we celebrate the option of adoption and those that make it happen.
Happy National Adoption Month and may those who touch adoption in any way be thankful for their part in the miracle of adoption.