Seen. Valued. Chosen.
The year 2020 has brought many different things to different people. For many of our families, it has brought the opportunity to welcome a child into their home. Barker truly believes that every child deserves a family, and we strive to be inclusive of all families who can create a safe and loving environment for a child through adoption, and who can commit to meeting the needs of that child.
For some family structures, the wait time for welcoming a child home can be longer than most. Single individuals and same-sex couples wishing to adopt, tend to wait longer than their heterosexual counterparts (2-3 years as compared to 12-18 months), and this is a reality that we often discuss with families early in the process to help manage expectations. This information is received in stride as our families buckle up for the ride and prepare for the wait!
This year, we saw expectations shattered, and with each match and eventual placement, we celebrated with our single and same-sex adoptive families who were bringing their wonderful children home in less than half the wait time! Out of 19 infant placements so far, 8 of these children have gone home with single or same-sex parents, some of whom waited just a few months! In our Project Wait No Longer (Older Child) program, 3 out of 4 of our recent matches are with our single families, and within the last 12 months, we have seen increased placements that included our same-sex families.
It was a lovely Tuesday afternoon in February 2020 when our pregnancy counselor, Sami, made the second placement call of the year to John and Rob. While on the edge of her seat, she shared with them that they would be the new parents to a precious baby boy. They had been selected by his birth mother who remained eager to hear their reaction to the news – a mixture of shock and sheer elation! She felt honored to give them the gift of a child, bringing higher meaning to an otherwise emotional decision. This mirrored the calls to other same-sex families, including Cassie and Beccah, Jessica and Melissa, Steve and Roger, Edward and Taylor, as well as our single-parent families including Rachel, Ayanna, and Lisa. All of these families shared similar feelings of immense gratitude and adoration, embracing the children who would in turn embrace them for a lifetime.
For older children who are included in choosing their forever family, it brings such joy and excitement as they look through the pages of the thoughtfully crafted family books. In January 2020, Eileen, our searching and matching specialist, made the call to William to share the wonderful news that he was about to be a father. His 13-year-old son agreed that they would be the best new pair in town, and he was excited to begin his journey with his father! What a priceless moment for them both. Other single families including Selina and Donovan, also shared similar excitement as they welcomed their children home this summer! Newly formed families, all experiencing the joys and warmth of connection.
Expectant parents and older children are a pivotal part of the adoption process as they make thoughtful considerations about their future, the largest of which is choosing a family. They value your stories, and they embrace your journey. As they reflect on their own circumstances, while it often includes grief and sadness, there is a ray of hope when they consider what it means to add to someone else’s joy. In a year where there was been so much turmoil and unexpected loss, we wanted to pause and remind you that for children waiting to be adopted, and expectant parents seeking to make an adoption plan, you are seen, you are valued, and you are chosen.
If you are exploring adoption, we invite you to learn more about Barker's programs and services or call our office at 301-664-9664 to speak with an adoption specialist today!