Adoption Prep &
When the world says
"but you chose this...."
After leading the Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation for more than ten years, I've personally served hundreds of parents who chose to bring foreign-born, disabled orphans into their own families through the gift of adoption. I have helped children from ages 3 months to 17 years, and experienced all of the horrors that ignorance & institutionalization render upon them.
Adoption is born of abandonment and loss. Those factors alone figure intimately into a child's ability to adjust to life in a family setting, in addition to any congenital complications they were born with. That loss and lack of trust, as prolonged childhood trauma, can manifest itself into behaviors that both child and parents struggle to deal with. It DOES take more than just love to adopt. It takes adequate preparation. It takes faith. It takes transparency & raw truth from adoption professionals & advocates. It takes a LOT of honest self-reflection. And it takes a village of experienced support behind you from the moment you even decide to step into the arena. This applies not only to children who are already diagnosed with special needs, but the "special needs" that loss and abandonment create in typical children in their development. As Christians, we are all called to "defend widows & orphans", but what does that mean in your life? There are many roles to be played in support of orphans, and in support of the families who raise them.
Families who adopt and foster hurting children NEED MORE THAN WHAT THE SYSTEM IS GIVING THEM. Families who struggle post-adoption often do so in isolation and fear of judgment. They are criticized, and feel obligated to explain to, their friends, family, church, colleagues....people who know nothing of the realities of adoption. "Auntie" understands. I hear you.
Through A Mother's Rest, I will plan retreats nationwide to supplement the online support groups in place. I will develop these programs *with you*, to meet your needs, answer your questions, be the place you turn for confidential sharing. Adoption IS hard. When you need a break (not if), AMR is here to support you without judgment. Nothing you can say will surprise us. We've heard it all. No one understands you better than those who are also struggling. It's never "too soon" to vent. It's never "too soon" to be concerned or worried. It's never "too soon" to reach out for help. Asking for support does not make you weak, it makes you SMART. When your faith is shaken to the core, this community can lift you up. We are here to give you the rest you need, and make it affordable. Take time for yourself to recharge through recuperative, uninterrupted sleep. Restore your spirit so you can go back home with a renewed sense of purpose and energy, Invest in your own health so you can be the best parent possible to all of the children you're raising in your family.
Prep Retreats: 4 days of intense education and fellowship, in a bed and breakfast, small group setting, hosted by adoption professionals and experienced special needs adoptive parents. Licensed social workers, adoption counselors, clinical pediatricians, and others can provide you with real-time, personalized support from the very beginning. Totally customizable based on intended country of adoption, age range, and/or diagnosed special needs. Know from the beginning that you will never be alone! This is a journey AMR takes with you, to the very best of our ability and your needs.
Post-Adopt Retreats: 4 days of intense rest and stress release, in fellowship with other parents who understand what RAD and PTSD mean for your child and for you. Customizable. Moms only, Dads only, Mommy & Me, and Couples. Contact us to schedule a retreat close to you!