Michele Fried, CEO and founder of Adoption STAR, shares a special Holiday Message:

Each holiday season and approaching New Year, I reflect on the past…. calculating statistics, planning for the future, reassessing goals, celebrating growth and evaluating the year we are leaving behind.

I also think of those whose memories include family gatherings that highlight a missing member. Although these family traditions of togetherness give us some beauty it is also tempered by the acute awareness of the missing loved one.  This loved one could be absent due to an adoption plan, miscarriage, death, divorce, substance abuse, mental illness, or family strife.

Instead of peace and joy as the holiday commercials insist upon, we often can’t help but think of our losses.   For those who are hoping to become parents, the loss is just as painful.   The dream of becoming a family may feel more difficult to hold on to.

Missing someone whether they were real or “hoped for” can be relentlessly palpable.  I don’t believe any one person or family is without these realities.  All I know, especially from the very real losses many of us experienced in 2012, is that life offers us amazing gifts… but sometimes we have to take the time to look for them.

So my wish for all of you is that…

Whatever is beautiful,
Whatever is meaningful,
Whatever brings you happiness…
May it be yours this Holiday Season
and throughout the coming year! 

 I treasure the gift of knowing each of you. Thank you for the pleasure of working with you and for supporting the work we do.