Adoption Blog Archives by Date Blog

Adoption Success Stories: Ben

Adoption Success Stories: Ben

As I sit here thinking of life and what our family has become over the past couple of years, I have a mix of emotions. If anyone knows me, they know how much I love my kids, but there is more to the story than most know. 

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State vs. Private Adoption in Florida

State vs. Private Adoption in Florida

Over the past eight years of working in the field of social work, specifically in adoptions through the state, I have learned a lot about the world's varying views about adoption.  When I tell people that I’m an Adoption Specialist, they automatically think that I’m finding "forever homes" for infants whose parents made the decision to give them up for adoption.  I have yet to meet a person who initially thought that I might have played a hand in many successful adoptions of teenagers, sibling groups, children with lifelong medical needs, etc.  So I take every encounter with someone who is curious about my profession as an opportunity to educate about the type of adoptions I help to facilitate and continue to spread the word about the need for quality forever adoptive homes for our teens, sibling groups, etc., as well as the need for temporary foster parents for these very same children. 

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My wife, Joy-Lynn and I became Foster Parent Mentors (FPM) through Heartland for Children in 2012. When we were approached with the opportunity to be an added support for incoming Foster Parents, we jumped at the opportunity because we saw the value in having someone who other Foster Parents could relate to as being an invaluable resource; especially, if the individual(s) were completely new to the fostering and/or parenting experience. As FPMs through Heartland, we've had the chance to interact with incoming Foster Parents on many levels including assisting with respite, providing guidance or best practices with difficult behavioral issues, advocating for a child who had to be moved from one home to another, making recommendations on working with case management, providing another vantage point through the process of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), and many other areas that Foster Parents can encounter during their first and continuing years of child advocates. What we've gained as FPMs is a heightened level of understanding of how important it is to identify the needs of incoming Foster Parents. Being able to make recommendations on how the training component has and can continue to successfully equip incoming parents with the proper training and education; is a value add that Heartland has really welcomed input on.