Summer Camp holds a special place in my heart. Working there all throughout my college years, I never exhausted of watching kids grow, play, and overcome challenges. The activities were endless- kayaking, sailing, crabbing, archery. But my absolute favorite, without a doubt, was aptly titled: the Need-a-Friend Course.
All around camp there were low ropes obstacles that could only be conquered by campers processing the obstacle ahead and working together. No challenge could be completed alone. Campers were forced to recognize their individual need for help, ask for it, and learn to receive it. Every time, each camper was surprised that not only did they need help, but they were crucial in providing it for someone else as well! It was beautiful.
Support Groups are my adult version of the Need-a-Friend Course. Just showing up to a support group is a non-verbal "I can't do this alone." Stepping into a space with others facing the same challenges can be a beautifully humbling experience. Hearing others share their successes and struggles offers permission to name my own struggles and successes. Each member leaves feel seeing, known, validated, encouraged.
Adoption Support Alliance offers a support group for parents of adopted teens. Meeting the first Monday of each month, Erin Nasmyth, wisely leads parents to consider a topic and how it intersects with adoption. The week prior to the meeting, Erin will send out a podcast or article introducing the topic--in March it was social media and teens, and the internet's transformative effect on adoption. Other articles recently discussed include these on race and identity. Invariably, the conversation begins here but then meanders to sharing life, concerns and successes.
Meeting from 6:45-8:15, the ASA office in Elizabeth is hallowed ground, a safe space to share, encourage, and to say "I need a friend." The obstacles faced in parenting never go away; they change as our children grow. This group could be the encouragement you are looking for as you parent your adopted teen.
If you are interested, email us and we will answer your questions about what to expect. There is no cost for your first meeting. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable, and that the group will meet your needs before you commit financially. If it does in fact prove to be a fit, there is $20 fee for each group meeting you attend. There is no long term commitment; just come when you can. We would love for you to join us!