When you think about the eleventh month of the year, what comes to mind? For many, November evokes memories of jumping in piles of fallen leaves, enjoying a hearty meal with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day, watching big balloons float down the streets of New York City, or forgetting to change your clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. For adoptees, their families, and all who are invested in finding permanent homes for children and youth in foster care, November is also about much more. In courtrooms around the country, judges will issue adoption decrees for infants and toddlers, sibling groups, teens, and everyone in between — just as they do every other month. But there will be additional celebrations and events to acknowledge November as National Adoption Month.
We take the opportunity in November to celebrate children and youth who are being adopted, to thank adoptive parents for their commitment to growing their families by choice, and to raise awareness of the ongoing need for forever families for children and youth in foster care. You may ask, “Don’t people already know about adoption?” Yes, they may know that adoption is one of the ways to create a family, and they may know that there are children and youth in foster care who need adoptive families. But people may not know how many children and youth there are still waiting for their forever homes, or how many people in their community have been impacted by foster care and adoption, or how they can get involved. National Adoption Month – an entire month dedicated to adoption – allows us to educate our communities, dispel myths about adoption from foster care, and assist potential adoptive parents through the process.
National Adoption Month also gives communities an opportunity to publicly support adoptive families and adoptees. It gives adopted children and youth an opportunity to share what adoption means to them. The focus is not just, or even primarily, on the adoptive parents. It’s on the adoptees – each of whom has their own unique story, interests, reasons for wanting to be adopted, and desires for their new family. National Adoption Month affords us all the opportunity to learn from and try to understand the intricacies of life as an adopted child.
So this month, in addition to the meals and parades and football games already on the calendar, we encourage you to find ways to support and celebrate adoption in your community. We have a calendar of events here on our website, and you can follow Indiana Adoption Program on Facebook and Instagram. We’ll be featuring adoptive families in Indiana, giving our followers a chance to win cool stuff, and sharing news from adoption events around the state.