WELCOME NEW BABIES AND A NEW “NORMAL”
It is hard to believe that April is over and how different our world looks from six short (or long?) weeks ago. Even though much has changed, our commitment to serve expectant, birth and adoptive families is unwavering. Although there is still so much uncertainty right now, one thing is for sure: beautiful families are still being built through adoption. This year, we have welcomed EIGHT sweet babies and their birth families to the AOI family. Please join us in welcoming August, Bennett, Izaiah, Joshua, Julian, Lucas, Mina and Riley!
As we navigate this new world, we have received many questions about how COVID-19 has impacted the adoption process. Here are some things you may be curious about:
- Can I still find a family for my baby with all that is going on? Absolutely. We know this is a very stressful time for everyone, especially a pregnant mom. You probably have a lot of questions, but may be nervous to leave home right now. We are here for you 24/7 to answer your questions by text, phone or even videochat. If you decide you want to proceed with an adoption plan, we have home study approved families ready and waiting to virtually “meet” you. Please call or text us if you need to talk.
- Are you still doing home studies? Yes, we are still completing adoptive home studies. During the month of April, we put actual home visits on hold, but our families have been busy completing the other portions of the home study and our social workers are conducting virtual meetings via secure telehealth software. As social restrictions are lifted, we will continue to evaluate when and how home visits will be conducted safely.
- Are hospitals changing their adoption protocol when a baby is born? Each hospital is monitoring the status of their individual facility and responding accordingly. This means that protocols can change as the situation changes. We are grateful to have excellent, established relationships with hospital social workers and we are proactive to work directly with them to be as prepared as possible for delivery and potentially placement. As with all hospital plans, plans can change and we will be there to help navigate any challenges that arise as a result of the current health crisis.
- Are you still holding your adoption education workshops? In an abundance of caution and to make the education process as streamlined and consistent as possible, we are not holding in-person adoption education workshops for the remainder of the year. We are developing a comprehensive curriculum that will allow our clients to complete their education requirements online. We will release more details as soon as they are available.
- Has anything else changed? Most courts are not currently holding adoption finalization hearings in person. The finalizations ARE happening virtually and families may have an opportunity to visit the court in the future should they wish to commemorate the event with photos.
As always, we are here to answer your questions and support your family. We will continue to stay apprised of community health guidance and update you as things change. We appreciate your continued support.
AOI FAMILY SPOTLIGHT:
Meet Abby, Kevin & sweet baby Riley. They shared their family's adoption story with us:
“In 2018, after a few years of fertility treatments we decided to look into adoption. We had already been open to the idea and had been researching agencies through adoption support Facebook groups. AOI was recommended over and over again, and so we decided to start there! During our first meeting with Amy we knew right from the beginning AOI would be the agency we wanted to work with! It was obvious to us the passion the agency held for adoption, support for birth families, and were most importantly child centered.
Through our first few conversations with Amy and education workshops we learned so much about adoption! We are so grateful for those opportunities because it really helped us to understand the complexity of adoption. We were lucky enough to work with Allison for our home study, she was so supportive, compassionate, and made us feel extremely comfortable.
On Saturday January 25, 2020 we had a surprise call from Allison informing us about a baby girl who had just been born. She told us this could possibly be a match for us and would let us know as soon as they knew more. Later that night Becky and Amy called us with the amazing news that we were going to be parents! We were able to meet with Riley and her birth mother and we had an instant connection. We have been able to start a wonderful foundation to our relationship and can't wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.
We had quite the journey to become parents through adoption, at some point down the road everyone at AOI played a role in our story! Everyone was always kind and supportive to us, even during some of the unique situations we were trying to navigate, we never felt alone. We will forever be grateful to AOI for their support to use, Riley, and her birth mother.”
We are so happy to be a part of your beautiful story. Thank you for being part of the AOI family!
If you are interested in sharing your family's story, please click here for more information.