The last time many of you heard from me was during my introduction post back in April, an amazingly fast 6 months! While I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you since that time at various support groups or events, CDC guidelines have unfortunately continued to alter some of our programming. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? Let's hope so! However, I can't wait for the day that we can offer all the programming we hope for with all of you. In this continued limbo phase, we thought it would be beneficial for Erin & I to share a little more openly about what we have been up to when we are not able to gather as we all hope.
Our mission at ASA is to help adoptive families through the unique challenges of building their forever family. As many of you may know, our counseling program has continued to grow extensively during COVID. Erin Nasmyth has been able to serve many families through teletherapy. We are currently working off a waitlist and therefore hoping to add an additional part-time therapist to our team soon too (let us know if you know of anyone with interest!).
Our support groups are also evolving and growing, which is so encouraging! Diane Adams generously volunteered to serve as the leader of the group for Parents of Adopted Teens. This means the group is now free and able to dynamically flow to meet the needs of the group with a fresh set of eyes. The adult adoptees group also continues to meet monthly and even had two new members last week, one of which joined virtually from Seattle. We also have two new groups, one for Hopeful Adoptive Families and one for all families. What a blessing to have so many new faces!
Another area we are actively trying to pivot is our educational classes. While in the past the Adoption 101, Race, Culture & Adoption and Talking with Your Kids About Adoption classes have been some of our most consistent offerings, we have found ourselves altering the format or cancelling due to low registrations. I have had the pleasure of entering into some of our families homes (some virtual) for individual Adoption 101 classes. This has allowed more flexibility for us to serve our mission, but also means we feel like we may be missing the mark in connecting with more of you.
Throughout the next month, you will see us extending invitations to several Gather to Grow conversations. These one-hour discussions are intended to gather those of you willing to come and join with us to shape our vision for the future. For those that prefer to give feedback in a less direct manner, we have also created a survey to ask similar questions and provide you with the opportunity to offer feedback.
While we hope that the physical circumstances will eventually change with improved health standards and guidelines, we also acknowledge that our programming may also benefit from other adjustments to serve our community.
We would love for you to come and talk with us at one of our upcoming in-person or virtual sessions to share your experiences as well as your hopes for ASA. Feeling the need for another type of class? Ideas for another support group? Interest in volunteering to serve other hopeful adoptive families? We are open to all of your ideas! While we have many of our own (especially thanks to the wonderful Cultivate program that Erin Nasmyth was selected to participate in this year), we can't do it without each and every one of you.
Together. For Families. Forever.