Thursday, May 2, 2013

why I have the best job in the world

I had someone ask me yesterday how I got started in adoption. I smiled as I thought of the journey I've taken to this point.  

I started out fresh out of my undergrad in a family preservation program working with families with kids on the brink of needing to be removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. It was intensive; working with a family almost every day for a month on everything from substance abuse issues, domestic violence, parenting, and homelessness. During that job I testified in court dozens of times and knocked on doors with my fingers ready to dial 911. Then I went on to work with pregnant and parenting teen girls in a residential facility. I spent my days meeting with them, counseling them, and teaching them life skills, healthy relationships, and parenting techniques.  I loved walking closely with the girls and their babies. From there I moved to working in a clinic primarily for low-income women and facilitated prenatal groups teaching breastfeeding, parenting, and healthy life choices. It was here I developed a real passion for breastfeeding and became a Certified Lactation Consultant.

And then we moved to Kansas City.

After a quick stint at a local foster care agency, I was drafted to help start Hannah's Dream Adoptions. And it was here I found my love and passion for adoption. For years I had been working with families and birth mamas, but adoption seemed to be the perfect niche. Working with birth parents choosing life. Working with adoptive families with a heart for the orphan. And bringing the two together and watching them mirror the Gospel.  

Before we closed the doors to Hannah's Dream, Christian Adoption Consultants asked me to come on board. I knew from the start it would be a perfect fit. They share my heart for adoption and for families. They have a passion to see families grow.

It's also a perfect fit for my family. My office is typically my dining room or a local Panera or Starbucks, allowing me to be available to the families I serve as well as my own. Between phone conferences and emails I can throw a load of laundry in or meet a girlfriend for lunch. I can easily work in the evening if I've spent the day on one of the kids' field trips. My work day ends when I pick up Isabelle and Jackson from school but I can take a call in the middle of the night to help a family hop on a plane when they hear their birth mama is in labor. The flexibility as a mom myself is invaluable.

I've spent most of this week in awe. I work with an amazing team of consultants who truly love what they do and live it out in their own lives (as many are adoptive parents themselves). And my clients are amazing. I see up close how families dream and wait and plan and save and work and pray to bring their little one home. I cry with them over losses and pray with them for birth mamas and babies. We laugh together at the crazy timing and goodness of God.  

We're planning a family reunion of sorts this summer for my clients. I have families in the area and traveling out of state to gather at our place to share stories, snuggle babies, and encourage each other on the journey. We all gathered here last fall and already it's been too long since some of us have seen each other.

I didn't expect this. I never anticipated being so passionate about a job. I never knew that clients (birth parents and adoptive families) would be my heroes and friends. I never really anticipated that God would bless me this much.

But I shouldn't have been surprised...

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