On Thursday, November 9th 2017, Adoptions of Wisconsin held a Waiting Family Group for the families in our program. In the past, AOW has offered similar groups for open discussion, support and building connections in the adoption world. After inquires and encouragement from families in the program, we planned and offered this successful group!
The theme for our first waiting family group was "What to Do When Waiting Gets Tough". We invited Joanna Ivey, owner of Our Chosen Child, author of The Essential Guide to Adoption Outreach, adoptive parent and friend to AOW, to come speak at the meeting. She shared her personal adoption story, offered suggestions for increasing outreach efforts and gave tips for beating the waiting game. Joanna has a significant amount of experience with helping adoptive parents create successful profile booklets and manage their social media/outreach efforts. One of the main takeaways from Joanna's advice seemed to revolve around keeping yourself busy, especially after you've completed the home study and have become a family in the active program.
We also invited two families who have adopted through AOW recently to share their stories of how they coped with the wait and process. The open discussion format of the group prompted questions, laughs and even tears of joy. Both families had completely different stories, and it was encouraging to see that adoption can work in several ways, even if the path is not always free of twists and turns.
We are planning to offer quarterly waiting family groups with new topics for each group. The next, planned for February, is going to focus on transracial adoption. We are excited for our families to connect with staff and with each other! Thank you to everyone who attended and made our group a success.