Friday, April 16, 2010

Adoption, The News and Hope Cottage

When you work for an adoption agency, people talk to you about adoption. They ask questions. They want your opinion. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE to talk about adoption and how Hope Cottage has been nurturing and building strong families since 1918. I do not purport to be an expert in the field. I leave that to the wonderful social workers and clinical staff Hope Cottage is blessed to have. But, you can imagine, there have been many, many questions asked this week concerning the tragic saga of the young boy, sent back to Russia alone, by his adoptive mother.

Everyone agrees this is a horrible, sad situation. And I must point out that this is an isolated incident and not indicative of most adoptions, foreign or domestic. I cannot imagine the despair the adoptive mother must have felt. Our hearts go out to the families, waiting to adopt from Russia, who are now in limbo because the Russian government has suspended adoptions. The Russian government is perfectly justified in their actions - they want and should protect the most vulnerable - their children. We don't know the whole story and we may never know all the details.

What stands out most in this whole situation is the apparent lack of counseling. We don't know why Austin didn't receive counseling. Maybe his mother didn't know where to go. Maybe none was offered. We just don't know. The thing we do know - help is available for adoptive parents. One of the things that makes me so proud of Hope Cottage is our commitment to post adoption support. Hope Cottage provides counseling, at any time, for any age, at any point in the adoption process - even years after the adoption has been finalized. Parents, children, siblings, extended family - all are welcome. No one is turned away for inability to pay. AND you do not have to have adopted through Hope Cottage to receive our services. Counseling is not just available for the adoptive families. Birth mothers receive free counseling from Hope Cottage for life if need be. We provide support groups for families who are waiting to be matched with a child. We provide support groups for birthmothers, before and after that baby is born.

Hope Cottage has been committed to serving the community since 1918. If you or someone you know is struggling, call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721. No one is alone and Hope Cottage is here to help.

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