Since 1976, when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced Adoption Week, the idea of raising awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care has spread.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week and in 1995, President Clinton, expanded upon that to proclaim the month of November National Adoption Month.
During National Adoption Month, community groups and organisations host events and activities that challenge adoption myths, draw attention to the children in foster care who are awaiting permanent families and provide a forum for positive adoption stories to be shared.
Marcia Hall, a professional nanny and owner of Strong Roots Family Coaching based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has one such story. Marcia and her husband Scott, adopted their now three year old daughter Nadia days after birth through the Safe Haven Program. “For us, adoption has meant being able to give a child the love, affection and understanding that she needs and deserves. It has been a way to give back the love we have so generously received from our close family and from God.”
Like every pregnancy, each adoption journey in unique. “Technically every child that is adopted in this country must be a foster child in your home for roughly 6 months before they can be legally adopted” shared Hall. “Nadia was placed in our home days after birth and before the court performed a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR). During those 6 months we had social worker home visits and had to keep our foster care license current. In August of 2009, we officially adopted Nadia. She was 6 months old.”
And the Halls are prepared to continue their adoption journey, recently beginning the adoption process to adopt a second child. “In preparing our daughter for this life changing event, we often talk about how our family has so much love to give and that there are children out there that are in such great need of that love. We hope to adopt many more children.”
“Adopting through the foster care system is difficult and you are putting your heart and emotions on the line. At times the tears may outweigh the cheers, but it is worth every tear to be able to look at a child and know that you have made a difference in their life.”