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November is Adoption Awareness Month

By Lori Titsworth, Adoption Social Worker for Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas

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Most people have little reason to think about the subject of adoption.  However, for those facing an unplanned pregnancy, or couples who are unable to conceive or maintain pregnancy, or an adoptee longing to find his or her birth parent, the topic is always in the back of their mind.

I had always dreamed of being a mother, but after several years of trying to conceive and each and every time being heart-broken, my husband and I came to the realization we were going to have to try another avenue to be parents....  

As the subject of adoption became our main focus, we researched different agencies. Factors considered when choosing our agency included the cost of adoption, number of families in the adoptive pool, average wait time and most importantly for us, whether or not the agency supported open adoption. After selecting Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas as our agency, we went through the home study and education process.   At that point, we had done everything within our power to become parents and now it was in God’s hands.  It gave me comfort to know that we as a couple would be fine with or without a baby.  Our love and commitment to each other would remain unchanged regardless of a child. This realization provided us peace and the ability to go on with our everyday lives.

I will never forget the day that my husband and I were notified that a birth mother had selected us to parent her child and the baby was ready to come home with us.  All the education in the world did not prepare us for the emotions that came over us.  While we were instantly in love with the baby, we both felt such compassion, unconditional love and protectiveness for the women who gave us the gift of life.  Saying “Thank You” seemed so inadequate.  We were honored that she had chosen us to care for this little life.  At that moment, our families were forever entwined.  Our son, who is now almost 10 years old, knows he is adopted, is very aware of who his birth mother is and is excited when he sees her.  We check in with each other regularly, send pictures and have visits that are occasional due to distance.   

I have heard countless times, “I could never GIVE UP my child!”  The fact is a birth mother is not giving up her child but rather, she is making a decision to place the child’s needs before her own.  In other words, birth parents are not abandoning their child, they are making a conscious decision to give their child the best life possible. We are forever grateful to our son’s birth mother and as adoptive parents, we believe we have an obligation to educate others about adoption.  

Three years ago, I was presented with the opportunity to become an Adoption Social Worker with Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas. I can only describe this employment as another “God thing.” I now have the pleasure of getting to know couples wishing to start their families through adoption.  In that capacity, I have the responsibility of educating families about open adoption and walking with them through their adoptive journey. I believe it helps the adoptive couples to be able to openly converse with a person who has navigated and lived through the adoption process. We currently have several families who are waiting to make their house a home to a child, as you can see here on our page of couple profiles.  As we celebrate National Adoption Awareness month, we hope you'll take some time to read, watch, and most importantly share these couple profiles by email or social media. You never know when your sharing of one of these stories is just the connection that's needed to help a birth parent and a forever family find each other.

Finally, if you are an adoptee or birth mother who longs to reconnect with your birth parent, or birth child, respectively, I can help with that, too. There are certain limitations to what I can do, especially if your adoption took place through a different agency, but I may be able to help point you in the right direction.

If you are interested in learning more about adoption, or creating an adoption plan for your child, click here to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

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