This is the time of year to think about all we are thankful for and the many blessings we all have – even when sometimes it is hard to focus on all the good things in our lives.
As an adoption professional, the last couple of years have been full of challenges and disappointments. Our team at FTIA has been stretched, frustrated, and exhausted at times. The unbelievably long waits for China, the increasing extra paperwork for Russian adoptions, the wait for Nepal to get really started, the children we have in Vietnam waiting to join their families, the list goes on through the many challenges and frustrations we are facing.
With all the problems/issues facing international adoption, we can still be thankful for the children that have come home in 2009. If you are a family still working on and waiting to get through the journey to bring your child home, I hope you can try to be thankful that we at FTIA are here and working for you. It may not seem like much to be thankful for because of your disappointment that your child has not joined your family yet, but I hope you can know we are here for you.
Over the years, all of us at FTIA have appreciated working hard to bring children home to their parents. With the increasing challenges facing international adoptions, our work has been much more difficult. For example, we recently had an adopting family withdraw from FTIA because one time when they called and spoke with their coordinator and asked when the coordinator thought they would bring their child home from China, our coordinator laughed and expressed although we would love to be able to tell them when they could expect a referral and travel, it was impossible. The laugh was interpreted as an insensitive reaction. As we all know, there is a thin line between laughter and tears. This particular coordinator is an adoptive parent with a tremendous passion for the children and parents we serve. Instead of tears, she laughed out of exasperation – everyone here at FTIA is so upset, frustrated, angry, etc., with the long waits for China and the other problems we face in almost every country. We do understand how tremendously emotional the adoption journey is for our adopting families, especially right now. Unfortunately, there are times when we may not respond with the right words. It is not because we don’t care – I can say, as the leader at FTIA, I am overwhelmed with our team’s commitment to you and the children. If I or anyone at FTIA has at one time or another not responded with the sensitivity you expected or needed, let me express my sincere apology. I don’t think this has happened often, but one time is too many.
Let me conclude by expressing for all of us here at FTIA that we are doing all we can to get your little ones home. We are committed to doing all we can for you, in spite of the many challenges we are now facing. We are thankful for the trust you place in us and we will continue to work for you and your children.
In this holiday season, please try to think of something you can be thankful for. And know we are thankful for you.