Greetings to Colleagues in Adoption
Many responsible, concerned prospective adoptive families will want to choose an agency that goes the extra mile, and offers the option of post-adoptive placement coaching to the birth mothers who place through their programs. Read on for other ways referring clients to me can help you in your own work, in addition to helping your clients.
Greetings from someone with a lifetime of experience in the world of adoption.
Some of you know me. You know I have been involved in adoption for a very long time, as a parent and as a professional. You know me personally, or by reputation. It’s a reputation of which I continue to be very proud. What you may not know about is my coaching practice, or what coaching is all about.
A few years back, I made a decision, along with my board of directors at Thursday’s Child, Inc in Bloomfield, CT, to close the licensed agency I founded about 30 years before, with my late first husband. Our decision was not an easy one to make, but it seemed like the right time. The changing adoption environment, and my own plans to expand my practice as a trained, certified and credentialed life coach who specializes in helping people grow from loss, trauma and hard life stage changes, made it necessary to make some hard choices and changes of my own.
Adoption is one of the areas in which I provide coaching. It is not my exclusive focus, but it is impossible to simply turn off my lifelong interest in, and passion for adoption. Of course I am no longer involved in studying families, developing adoption resources or placing children now, but I can provide a different kind of support and service. I still derive a great deal of satisfaction working with the adoption community, and particularly from working with birthparents of all ages.
While we never completely “heal” from significant losses in our lives, we sometimes need extra help in moving on, and in transforming our learning into something productive. I help people find their new normal and make plans for their futures. I also work with teen and adult adoptees, and sometimes with adoptive parents who need support in dealing with issues that crop up at different stages of development, or who need some extra support in raising multicultural families.
With the advent of open records, (finally!) I am having very good success in coaching some older birthparents who are apprehensive when their adult adoptees find and contact them, and don’t know how to handle it. This has been quite rewarding to me.
My experience has been that many birthparents refuse counseling beyond the pre-and early placement phases, because they feel there is a stigma in receiving counseling, and/or because they don’t really feel there is anything wrong with them, though they are hurting, confused, and are sometimes stuck with their lives. They can be very receptive to coaching, because coaching does not label them, and helps them strategize and plan in a very practical way.
I am hoping you will consider referring birth parents to me, whether before or after placement. Sometimes the cost of a coaching package can be paid by an adoptive family, as part of a pre-placement agreement, and sometimes agencies can add this on to their placement fee and offer it to birth families. Doing so sends a clear message to both birth moms and to prospective parents, that you are the type of agency that really wants to offer comprehensive services to your birth mothers. This can definitely be a positive for you in attracting clients to your agency.
Read on, if you want to learn more about how coaching can help you and your clients.
Hand-Holding, Stress-Reduction, & Confidence-Building in Parenting
I also work with adoptive families. Can you really afford to do the amount of hand-holding that seems to be an expectation these days? Nowadays, agencies don’t have the budgets or staffing to provide the support that some adoptive parents need after a child is placed, and sometimes find they need, many years after placement has occurred. Even families who are working with therapists on serious behavioral and emotional problems of their children, find that working with a coach to set goals, to find practical strategies and tools for dealing with their own stress, for learning good self-care, and for communicating with their kids, is highly beneficial.
I know you want to do the hand-holding, but that you often just can’t find the time. I know how stressful it is to direct and/or to work at an adoption agency nowadays, in spite of the wonderful, though sometimes intangible rewards you get from doing the work.
I won’t ever speak for your agency, and will always be careful to promote good communication among all parties.Please be assured that at no point will my coaching services conflict with, or detract from what you do as an adoption agency. In fact, our services can greatly complement each other.
I can provide a very personal and meaningful level of support, tools and exercises to help clients at various points in their adoption journeys, to move successfully through this amazing, ongoing and life-changing undertaking with the least amount of stress. I help them do this with increased confidence and positive results, as their children enter different developmental stages
With waiting families who need extra support and help getting through their process and preparing for the changes that will happen in their families, I can also do some of this hand-holding, while coaching them
The bottom line is that I can alleviate some of your investment in cases, can help the clients be at a healthier and happier place and ready to parent when the child finally gets home, or at any point beyond that. In this day and age, hand-holding and support of this nature results in fewer disgruntled, anxious clients.
If you refer a client, please have them tell me you made the referral. If you want to talk about this, do contact me, please.
Geography Is Never An Obstacle
Clients can get support in the safe, comfortable environment of their own homes. They may choose a group, private call or event, at a time that is convenient for them. They get to form relationships with the other parents on the group support calls, if they choose that option. (Groups are formed as demand arises)