I’ve had the pleasure at working at Adoptions From The Heart for over thirteen years. My job is very much behind the scenes however I have the opportunity to see AFTH social workers in action on a daily basis. Let me just say, I’m in awe!
In honor of National Social Worker Month, I want to share what I see from behind the scenes:
I see that to our social workers, it’s so much more than just a job.
I see the evenings and weekends they spend away from their families to help bring new families together.
I see them drop everything and rush out the door for an emergency placement from a hospital.
I see them connect deeply with women who feel so alone and lost and are facing difficult decisions.
I see them sit in support with a family who has just learned they have been disappointed.
I see their smile when they join a family at court for finalization.
I see them offer true options counseling to women who are on the fence and unsure of how to proceed.
I see them repeatedly explain the adoption process on the phone to new prospective adoptive parents while at the same time connecting with each person’s unique journey.
I see them picking up the pieces and regain their footing after very difficult situations.
I see them deeply touched when a birthfather overwhelmed with joy saw a picture of the daughter he never knew he had and then found out his desire to parent her was coming true.
I see them regularly adjusting to new information and pivoting in a new directions when called for.
I see them talking on the phone with women they helped years ago who just need someone talk to and know they can trust our social workers.
I see their heartbreak when a former client goes back to using.
I see their excitement when one of our longest waiting families is placed.
I see how much paper work they juggle and how many miles they put on their cars.
I see their happiness when a woman decides to parent and works hard to make the best life she can for her baby.
I see how they grieve when a child is given a bad medical prognosis and their joy when they find a match to be that child’s forever family.
I see their gratitude to our donors when they hand deliver gift cards during the holidays to parents who are struggling to make ends meet and would otherwise be unable to purchase gifts and clothing for their children.
I see them celebrate when a birth mother graduates college and starts her new career.
I see their excitement when they are making “the call” to tell a family they are picked.
I see their sadness after making the “other” call to tell a family a disruption is happening.
I see the patience they must have to navigate the red tape of the health care system.
I see them empower women to choose on her own accord what she thinks is best for herself and her baby even when she’s receiving pressure from all those around her.
I see their faces light up at the summer picnics to see reunions and reconnect with families they had a hand in bringing together.
I see them advocate for expecting parents at hospitals when a nurse just doesn’t “get adoption.”
I see their tender approach as they help expecting parents and families navigate the bittersweet process.
As a proud co-worker and an adoptive mother who worked with AFTH social workers to adopt, I can say without a doubt that AFTH has amazing social workers who are able to BE all that is required of an adoption social worker and so much more! It’s not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. They experience triumphs and heartbreaks as they work alongside men and women during times of vulnerability. They provide comfort, guidance and much needed support each step of the process through the ups and downs. It takes very special people to navigate the complexities of adoption and respect and serve all those impacted, particularly those who, more often than not, go unheard in the larger world of adoption. You are not only in great hands when working with AFTH social workers, you are also in their hearts. And while it might sound cheesy, from my professional behind-the-scenes point of view and personal experience, it’s true. That’s what makes them amazing at what they do.