Wednesday afternoon I wrapped up my time with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. I had an amazing time and the afternoon on Wednesday was absolutely tear jerking, amazing and touched my heart.
I am quite sad, for many reasons, but mostly all of my notes from Wednesday afternoon are gone – it is amazing with all the technology we have that one little keystroke and *poof* important information is gone into thin air.
So, I have been racking my brain trying to recall all of the amazing quotes, stories and my feelings as I heard them, which is why I have had such a hard time writing my final post.
First up were Denise Hoskins, Indiana Department of Child Services and Ray Hoskins, Specialized Alternative for Families and Youth. They were discussing Surviving disruption: helping youth and the team recover when an adoption fails.
The objectives of their discussion were:
- Participants will be able to describe 5 key principles for successful adoptive placements
- Participants will understand a process for helping the teams and young person talk through adoption disruption
- Participants will be able to use specific questions for each stage of talking through the process of understanding and re-motivating the team.
We started off by discussing as a table previous adoption failures, what happened, how did it affect you as a worker and what you plan to get from the workshop.
We discussed the high risk characteristics of children, parents, families and agencies and how that can affect disruption in the adoption process.
I was quite interested in the five key principles for successful adoption placements:
- Asses the children
- Asses the potential parents
- Prepare all parties
- Develop a plan based on assessments and two year stability goal
- Provide consistent support and services (after “finalization”) until family stability is reached
When there is a disruption, it is all about processing it, learning from it and make decisions about the next steps.
The entire conversation was uplifting and really did answer some of my questions, since I am not in this field and I am not a case worker, but in the back of my mind I always wondered what happened with adoptions, foster families and what happens if things just don’t work out for everyone involved.
We all hope and pray for successes and we all want to share in the joy of a forever home, sometimes things go awry, but we pick ourselves back up, asses the situation and do what is best for the child(ren) involved.
Just as an aside – you can follow or read the tweets from the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Summit here: Twitter Feed
The afternoon Keynote speaker was Shawn Hessee of Rolling Through Adversity, who was there to speak to us about how he was saved by adoption. Shawn is confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, was considered unadoptable and was then adopted by his preschool teacher.
Shawn was an inspiration to listen to, his story was one of courage, caring, love and he was so genuine. Everything he spoke about made your heart ache, when he told us of his family situation it made me cry with joy. I mean how many times could a young boy be so lucky as to have his foster family next door to his adoptive family. Sure he got in trouble twice as much, but he also got twice the love to show him just how amazing he is.
I tweeted a lot of Shawn’s comments and I hope he has a moment to read them – he was such a joy to listen to, I sincerely hope I get to listen to him and hopefully speak with him again.
We took a moment to view this video prior to closing remarks by Rita Soronen:
You Tube Video
Then…we were finished – lots of hugs given business cards exchanged and sentiments shared about what a wonderful time we had and how we are all looking forward to next year.
I want to thank Anthony and Staci for giving me this opportunity to get to know more about the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. I had a wonderful time and hope to be invited back in the future.
Pictures from the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Summit: (you can view my online album HERE)