Interview with Maxine Chalker: Executive Director and Founder of Adoptions From The Heart
We all have those causes near to our hearts – charities that we support on a yearly, monthly, or even weekly basis. Everyone has their stories of how the organization was started – in the basement of a home, after a meeting with a prominent political figure, the list is endless. For Maxine Chalker, the founder and Executive Director at Adoptions From The Heart, the cause was definitely close to her heart. As an adoptee herself, Maxine cultivated an organization that has flourished since 1985 in the realm of open adoption. She has taken her own personal background and experience, and channeled it into something extraordinary – Building beautiful families through adoption.
What is your role in the company and how did it get started?
I am the CEO and Executive Director at Adoptions From The Heart. I am an adoptee myself, and started off working in a public agency. What inspired me in starting AFTH was my own search for my birth family. I was involved in a closed adoption, and I wanted more openness in the process. I started in a small office, as one of the only open adoption agencies in the area. From there, it only grew.
What motivates you?
AFTH has been very successful at creating beautiful families. For over 30 years, I have watched us grow from a single office in Ardmore, PA to eight offices in the northeast. The most rewarding part of our work is hearing the stories – both from adoptive families and birth families.
What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
One of the most fulfilling moments was seeing the first open adoption placement at our agency. The adoptive parents and birth mother came into the office at the same time (each for a different reason), and the birth mother ended up choosing them in the end. It was very heartfelt.
What separates Adoptions From The Heart from everyone else?
Adoptions From The Heart prides itself on being open in our adoption process. We strive to emphasize the relationships in the adoption triad (adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptee) throughout the child’s life. This is very important to us, as many adoptees will grow up not knowing their biological roots. We also have a strong connection to adoption – I was an adoptee myself. Lastly, we have a high presence on social media, which definitely sets us apart from the rest. We love to engage with our community.
Do you have any upcoming events in the next few months?
We have our 6th Annual Find Her Footing 5k on Sunday, April 15th at Delaware County Community College in Media, PA. This event raises funds for our Expecting and Birth Parent Support Fund, which helps birth parents who are struggling financially. We can provide support with anything from monthly rent to transportation costs. This is one of our funds at AFTH.
What do you love most about what you do?
Hearing all the success stories solidifies my love for this type of work. Adoption can be a bumpy road, but it certainly has its ups. It’s another way to build a beautiful family, and the number of letters and thank yous we get is overwhelming. People love sharing their stories.
We are so grateful for our work here at AFTH. If you ever have any questions about adoption, the process, or any upcoming events, do not hesitate to reach out.
We were happy to participate in an interview and blog post with our friends at Fortified Roofing. To see the interview Maxine had with Fortified Roofing, follow the link here: https://www.fortifiedroofing.com/adoptions-from-the-heart-interview.