Our families are no stranger to change.
Every adoption story starts that way: Children change caregivers. They can change their state or their country. Adoptive families change to integrate their newest family member, sometimes having to adjust their expectations about what parenting looks like. Adoptees have to change their identities to incorporate birth culture and adoptive culture and what it means to have a first family. And, again and again, all members of the adoption triad are changing the assumptions of adoption, through openness, communication and respect of one another.
Change has been on our minds at Adoption Support Alliance the past few months, even more than usual. That’s because we’ve been in the midst of a profound transformation as an organization — a sort of secret project that has involved a combination of volunteers, board members, writers, web developers, graphic designers, parents and supportive spouses (mine, for one). And today, on our fifth anniversary, we’re proud to “officially” unveil the fruits of all that labor: the new and improved AdoptionSupportAlliance.org.
Before I dig into the details of how we’ve revamped our brand and digital presence, I want to explain why we went down this path in the first place.
We are a small, grassroots organization that exists because the community we’ve created is committed to supporting the work we do. We don’t have large corporate donors or a billion-dollar endowment; we have thoughtful, generous donations from individual donors who give whatever they can to keep Adoption Support Alliance alive. That inspires us to put everything we’ve got into creating programs and providing resources for our adoptive parents, children and families. And in the end, that’s what fuels us: providing much-needed support for the local adoption community.
But over time, we realized we’d become the quintessential parent, putting on everyone else’s mask before pulling on our own.
We want to continue serving our families forever, and that means we’ve got to put on our mask. We had to focus part of our energy on strengthening our organization and building it up from within. In the end, that’s the only way we’ll be able to grow beyond the services we provide now to offer more resources to more families in the Charlotte region and beyond.
So, in an intentional way, knowing ourselves better after five years, Adoption Support Alliance invested time and energy into our brand and communicate our organization more broadly. We adopted a new tagline, mission statement and vision statement. We commissioned a new logo to more accurately reflect who we are, and we redesigned our website to more accurately and effectively convey what we do. We want to reach more people, tell our story more powerfully and have a greater impact on the adoption community. This is our first step in that direction.
So, what’s new? Here goes:
It’s the first thing you see when you visit our new website, in large type across the top of the page: Together. For families. Forever.
It’s amazing how much work can go into selecting four little words to convey the essence of your organization (and we’ll spare you all the options hanging out on the cutting room floor), but we knew we had to get it right.
When we landed on this one, there was just something about it. It seemed to encompass everything we are in one concise statement: “Together” means we are building a rich, deep community because we understand that services alone are not enough to provide the support that changes lives in the long-term. “For families” means we serve every member of the family unit — adoptive parents, adoptees and even birth parents. And “forever” means exactly that: We are in this for the long haul, to serve our families as long and as best as we can.
It was powerful and simple, and we knew we had it.
The Adoption Support Alliance community has wrapped so many people in love and support over the years. Our new logo is a perfect reflection of that.
The designer we chose created an image of a bright yellow center, surrounded by blue and green swirls. She wanted it to look like one big hug as seen from above, and it does. It’s like the arms of this community folding over any one of us on any given day, and we love that.
When you know you’re supported, you find strength you didn’t know you had. It’s enough to weather the challenges adoption may bring, and help you find hope in the hard.
The first change you’ll see at AdoptionSupportAlliance.org is the new look and feel. We have new colors and fonts and imagery. It’s beautiful in its simplicity.
The second thing you’ll notice is the improved user experience. We wanted to make our events, classes and other resources easier to access to encourage more people to know about and take advantage of what we offer.
The last thing we did was change the way we tell the Adoption Support Alliance story. We use different language to talk about what we do. We continue to transform the blog to highlight more personal stories from our community and provide connection and encouragement. We provided statistics about adoption that educate visitors on why we exist. And we added a podcast to the mix to find new ways of reaching new audiences.
Our mission & vision statements
To the average person, the mission and vision statements of an organization may not matter much. But for us, they are a North Star. They guide us as we move forward in building this community and ensure we stay on track as competing interests and urges arise.
Given that, we put tremendous amounts of thought into crafting each individual statement. Our mission needed to convey who we are and what we do. Our vision needed to illustrate our ultimate goal. Here they are:
Our mission: To help adoptive families through the unique challenges of building their forever family.
Our vision: To ensure all adoptive families get the support they need to thrive.
We are thrilled to put our new identity out into the world. We also know that this is only the beginning. We want to continue to evolve as our organization grows, and that means we want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts, your stories and your feedback. We exist to serve this community in the best possible way, and while some things can (and should) change, that never will.