Supporting the Adoption Journey

Supporting the Adoption Journey

By Andrea Jacobs, Jewish Community Liaison

November is National Adoption Awareness month, a time to shine a spotlight on families formed through foster care and adoption. There's a good chance you are touched by adoption through family, friends, or community. How can you best support those on this lifelong journey?   In more ways than you can imagine! 

Here are 5 things those impacted by adoption would welcome.  
1. Celebrate adoption 

Despite the prevalence of families built by adoption, many still view it as “Plan B”.  Regardless of how a family comes to choose adoption, it should be celebrated the same way you would when a family grows by any other means.    

2. Take cues  
Prospective parents may find it difficult to answer questions about how things are going – the process is often fraught with delay and uncertainty. Don't take it personally if someone doesn't want to share updates. Give space, validate frustrations, and celebrate milestones. 

3. Use adoption positive language 
My children resemble one another. Often, when someone learned they were both adopted, they asked, “are you real siblings?" From a young age, they learned to say, “We are not biologically related, but we are real siblings.”  Here is a guide to adoption-positive language. Learning and educating others is a great form of support!  

4. Celebrate the joys and have compassion for challenges 

Joyfully celebrate firsts and new traditions with families who may have waited years for their child. At the same time, be there with empathy when challenges arise. Adoption brings additional complex and unique issues.    

 5. Learn more 

If you’re touched by adoption or someone you love is, reach out for information, support, connection, and community. JCFS Chicago provides programs, consultations, and resources for adoptive families throughout their lifespan. For more information, please look at our website or contact Andrea Jacobs