Prospective Adoptive Parents Day was a huge hit this year in Orlando, Florida! Parents braved the rain as they came to the Buena Vista Palace with open hearts and minds to learn about and embark on an adoption journey. It was a delight to see everyone’s smiling faces bright and early and we certainly are thankful for the dedication these families have for children in need of permanent homes.
The day kicked off with an insightful session led by Ryan Hanlon from America World Adoption and Daniel Taylor from Lifeline Children’s Services. Their presentation provided prospective adoptive parents with the knowledge they need to have in order to choose the correct adoption agency for them and their families.
|Ryan Hanlon and Daniel Taylor|
We also had the pleasure of hearing from Lori Ingber of Parent Match, whose discussion corresponded well with Hanlon and Taylor’s. She provided prospective parents with knowledge on appropriate adoption language, the process involved with adoption from the perspective of an adoptive parent, including communicating with one’s agency and understanding financial concerns. From there, representatives from America's Christian Credit Union and Your Adoption Finance Coach shared the various financial options available for parents considering adoption, specifically touching on what loans and grants are offered, as well as creative ways to fundraise for your adoption.
While enjoying lunch, participants heard the intriguing personal story of Tanya Wilkins, Governor’s Child Advocate for Foster Care and Adoption for the State of Florida. She shared how her mother faced a world of domestic violence and how meeting children through Florida Baptist Children’s Home showed her that, like her mother, these children needed the love and compassion they did not receive in a broken home. This background filled her with a passion for foster children and she soon became a foster mom herself and started her advocacy on their behalf.
|Tanya Wilkins |
After this heartwarming lunch hour, we heard from Paula Freeman of Hope's Promise who encouraged parents to gain the insight and skills needed for adoptive parenthood during the most tedious and difficult part of the adoption process, the waiting period. We then tackled some of the scariest questions lingering in the minds of prospective adoptive parents — Will my child love me? Will I love them? Daniel Nehbrass of Nightlight Christian Adoptions beautifully addressed these worries, emotions, and questions as he allowed for the parents to ask their questions and share their stories.
The last session of the day was presented by Brooke Randolph from MLJ Adoptions, Inc. and Kris Faasse of Bethany Christian Services. They touched on the emotional issues present in the life of an adopted child, the consequences these emotional issues can cause, and how adoptive parents should work with their child to overcome such issues. Parents then had the opportunity to mingle with the exhibitors and connect with adoption agencies.
We could not have been more pleased with the outcome of this day! We want to thank all of you who helped make it happen and the prospective parents who showed their dedication and passion for children who need families by attending! We hope to see you next year!
Category Prospective Adoptive Parents