Celebrating National Adoption Month and the Resilience of Adoptive Families
The words resilience and adoption go hand in hand. The birth parent, adoptive parent, and child, all build resilience during their adoption journey. From supporting birth mothers and adoptive families through the process to the providing a post-adoption support network through the Georgia Center for Resources and Support (GACRS), Families First serves as first point of contact to keep families on track. The Georgia Reunion Registry, another division of Families First, post adoption, strengthens adoptive families by providing adopted persons and birth families a chance for a reunion. Families First partners with families every step of the adoption journey.
Each November we celebrate National Adoption Month. For over two decades, National Adoption Month has been celebrated across the county. National, state, and local agencies—as well as foster, kinship care, guardianship, and adoptive family groups—join to educate their communities through programs, events, and activities that celebrate the forever families brought together through adoption and helps raise awareness about the thousands of children who are waiting for their own permanent, loving families.
“With our adoptive families, we work to ensure they have the tools, support, and network to build a resilient and strong family. By focusing on building resilience, we can help these families navigate the joys and challenges they encounter during their adoption journey,” shared Brenda H Gillespie, Program Manager, GACRS. “Our partnership with The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services helps us support our families across the state and continue to come up with new and innovative ways to meet their needs.”
GACRS, run by Families First since 2002 and contracted by the Georgia Department of Human Services in partnership with The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, provides Georgia adoptive families the opportunity to celebrate each year with our National Adoption Month Celebration. Families First also supports all our families including those brought together by adoption with our new navigator care plan which focuses on building resilient families and communities. Our family approach is grounded in strengthening resilience so that families can better cope with the stresses of everyday life and have the tools and resources to pick themselves back up when life’s challenges come their way.
This year’s program brought together more than 150 caretakers and children to celebrate forever families. Our theme for this year’s event was “Resilience Forever” and celebrated the families grown through adoption, as well as bringing awareness to the 275 children in Georgia in need of adoption. During the Adoption Celebration, the Favors’ family shared their adoption journey. Cassandra talked about the power of her support network to help her with her four adopted children and Jammal, the youngest of the four shared, “I love my momma because she is so helpful, and she helps me every day. I love you so much!”
“The last 18 months have shown us the strength and resilience of our adopted families. We have seen our families pivot in beautiful ways. From the challenges of getting to know each other virtually to having their lives interrupted to the complexities of school and working from home, our families have been creative in meeting these challenges and getting to know each other to create family bonds,” shared Evangel D. Wicks, Adoption Program Manager, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. “Looking forward, we want to really hone in on what it takes to foster a spirit of resilience for families. We want our families to feel strong and prepared to be a family.”