Why Did I Become The Adoption Mentor?
Like many families, my husband and I chose adoption as a means to build our family after experiencing infertility. As a former teacher and self-proclaimed "knowledge junkie", I dove headfirst into researching adoption before making this decision, and found the amount of information available was both overwhelming and often not helpful. I'm the kind of person who makes pro-con lists, Excel Spreadsheets and does a lot of thinking before making any decision, and this was possibly the biggest decision my husband and I had ever made. After I completed and compiled a staggering amount of research, it was evident that domestic infant adoption with a national agency was the best choice for our family. However I often found myself wondering, why isn't there someone who counsels adoptive families so that they don't each have to go through this process each time? There is so much to consider when adopting, and then once one does decide what type of adoption is best for them, the great "paper chase" begins- home studies, dossiers, creating a profile that will be viewed by expectant mothers. Once you've signed with an agency they can provide some guidance in these areas, but they often have so many prospective adoptive families they are working with that it can take awhile for emails to get returned, info to be sent, and advice to be given.
Once we were signed with our agency, I found it hard to navigate the process essentially alone. I wanted to be able to connect with other families working with our agency who could answer each other's specific questions, share in our joys and support each other in difficult times. In February 2015 I created a Facebook Group for families working with our agency expecting to find about a dozen families who I could form relationships with. As of today, July 2017, the group has over 250 members and I have had to select 4 other admins to help me keep the group running. I found myself spending many hours of my free time talking to prospective adoptive families who felt overwhelmed, and felt like they had no one else other than the other group members who truly understood the emotions they were processing as they worked through the process.
Our daughter arrived to us in May of 2016 and I decided to be a stay at home mom for at least the first year of her life. When she was four months old we moved from one end of the eastern seaboard to another to be closer to family. I wrestled with the concept of when I would go back to teaching full time. During a trip with my sister and a friend, as they saw me spending the majority of a 3 hour drive working on the Facebook Group and having private conversations with group members in need of guidance and support, I had an a-ha moment. My daughter was, and always will be, my #1 priority. Without adoption, I wouldn't be a mother. My second priority was in helping these prospective adoptive families navigate the system so that they too could become parents as I had. In the spring of 2017 my idea for The Adoption Mentor LLC was born. I began writing parenting and adoption-focused articles for websites like Scary Mommy, Popsugar and Sammiches and Psych Meds. In 2018 I became a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com.
I consider it an honor and a blessing to be able to help shepherd other families through the adoption process. I have the resources and knowledge to provide you with the information to help you make informed decisions, and I also understand on a very deep and personal level the variety and extremity of emotions one feels during the adoption process, and even after your child arrives home. While this is a professional endeavor for me, I also want to ensure all families have access to my services. I understand the adoption process already comes with a hefty price tag, so I have provided a variety of packages at a variety of price points to make my services accessible to all families. I look forward to meeting and helping as many families as I can.