November is a special month for our family. It is National Adoption Awareness Month. I recently received a calendar that gave a list of things you should do each day in November to celebrate and promote adoption. One was to write a blog to tell people about adoption.

Easy enough I write about adoption and how it has changed my life pretty frequently. So today I decided to take a different approach and instead of celebrating all of the amazing ways that Nolin and adoption have changed Jenn & I’s lives, I’d like to celebrate all of the people who made it possible.

First and foremost, I’d have to thank Nolin’s birth parents. We are lucky enough to have an open adoption, so we still keep in contact with them. It was their care and love that helped them create an adoption plan for Nolin that changed our lives. As invested as I am in this process, I still can’t imagine how difficult and selfless that decision was.  It always feels rewarding when we meet with them and see how much they truly love Nolin and how they have peace with their decision.

I also have to thank our social workers at Catholic Charities, who made this process so easy. Through the classes and counseling they provided, I have to say I think I felt more prepared to welcome Nolin into our lives with 3 weeks notice than if I had had 9 months to prepare. They work countless hours (and all hours of the night) to work with both birth mothers and adoptive families to create positive outcomes. While I think situations like ours provide subtle rewards for these individuals, I wont begin to think I could ever truly understand the emotional aspect of their day-to-day jobs. I would have to say, that they could never be thanked enough.

Of course I have to thank our family and friends. We could never have imagined how much support and love everyone has shared with us. I know that no matter what, Nolin will always know he is loved and as a parent that is all you can ask for.

Next I’d like to thank everyone who has ever asked a question or sought advice. I know that sometimes it can be intimidating because people are afraid they may say something that will offend or be insensitive. Just know that the fact that you are asking shows you care and has provided opportunities for both Jenn and I to share our positive experience with adoption.

I’d also like to thank all of the families and people we have met (and have not met) that have been or are involved in the adoption process and/or have chosen to become foster parents. Unfortunately some kids are faced with difficult challenges during their lives, and this process and these individuals have opened my eyes to what a difference can be made when children grow up feeling loved and supported.

Finally, I need to thank Nolin.  My son as you get older I hope that one day you understand how you have changed my life, attitude and perspective.

For more information on Adoption & Foster Care:

Adoption Council

Catholic Charities Central Florida

President Obama’s Adoption Proclamation

Transracial / Transcultural Adoption

U.S. Infant Adoption

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