When my husband and I first got married, we had talked about adoption. I grew up with many family friends who were adopted so it was just a typical way that I knew people chose to build their families. But when we first began thinking about adoption, we didn’t know where to begin. It was a big, complicated process that didn’t have a guide. Then, one of our friends invited us to Adoption Support Alliance’s Adoptee Panel. Hearing the stories of adoptees helped us decide that this was something we wanted to do.
After the panel, we pulled Erin aside and introduced ourselves and practically begged for her help. She graciously gave us information on classes that ASA offered, and we quickly took her up on her offer of help.
When you first enter the world of adoption, it seems scary and complicated. What’s the difference between a placing agency and a home study agency? What’s a home study? How do we make sure that we are working with an agency that is ethical? We didn’t know where to begin.
The first class we took with ASA was Adoption 101. It was the perfect class to take at the beginning of our adoption journey. It gave a helpful overview of the process and was informative without being overwhelming. We felt like it gave us clear direction about what our next steps should be and what to expect along the way.
In talking about adoption, transracial adoption was something we knew we needed to learn more about. Thankfully, ASA provided us with several opportunities to educate ourselves both through reading as well as connecting with other families.
This past summer, we were able to participate in the Race & Culture class as well as be a part of the Be the Bridge: Transracial Adoption study group. Both classes were transformative in our thinking. Because we are both white, we do not understand the reality of living as a person of color.
These groups provided us with the opportunity to actively engage and educate ourselves about the history and experiences of people of color and the additional considerations pertaining to cross-race parenting. They also gave us the chance to dialogue with transracial adoptive parents to better understand transracial adoption.
We are so thankful for Adoption Support Alliance. It is the only organization that we have been able to find that supports the adoption community before, during, and after the adoption takes place. We are grateful that we discovered this community and look forward to being involved for years to come!