Sue Reardon discusses her role as Adoptive Parent Mentor and how her personal experiences impact her job.
It’s no secret that I am passionate about being an adoptive parent. My three children have brought me an immeasurable amount of joy and it’s hard to fathom a life without them in it. But I remember life before them as well. And I remember stepping onto the road to adoption with so many hopes, fears, apprehensions, and excitement. 10 years ago, I could have never predicted the highs and lows that were to come. And, although I forged friendships with other families along the way, the road wasn’t always easy and was sometimes lonely and fraught with self-doubt. My hope is that no one feels that they are going this route alone. I’d be honored to walk along side you on your journey.
Here are 5 ways that my personal adoption experiences impact my role as Adoptive Parent Mentor:
- Empathy. When I meet with a client, I often know what they are thinking or, more importantly, feeling. Being able to identify with them is so important when establishing trust. They know I “get it”. And sometime words aren’t even necessary.
- Inspiration. I can encourage a struggling client because I fully believe that adoption can and will happen for them. And I often draw on my own experiences as examples.
- Relatable. My clients know they can be candid when we talk about adoption. I’m not their Social Worker. I don’t decide if they pass or fail their home study or how quickly they get “the call”. I’m not going to judge them for having a bad day or struggling with areas of the process. I’m just a friend, and hopefully a mentor and encouragement.
- Experience. Because my husband and I have successfully completed three adoptions, I have a variety of experiences under my belt. I know what it’s like to spend hours pouring through pictures trying to create a perfect profile. I’ve completed all for the paperwork and agonized over the implications of every “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe” on the Child Interest Grids. I know the considerations it takes when you consider adopting transracially. I also know how it feels when the phone doesn’t ring and the calls don’t come. Or worse, when they do come and then you aren’t selected.
- Resources. I can offer clients the trusted tool that I have gathered throughout my own journey and can attest to their effectiveness.
Being on staff at Adoption STAR is a true joy and I am thankful for the opportunity to play even a small part in the lives of so many families! Beside my roles with the Private Track and Profile Solutions, I’m always here to serve as a resource throughout your adoption journey. You can email me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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