2019 was quite a year for Indiana Adoption Program. A few of the things we accomplished:
We hosted: We hosted more Meet & Greets than years prior, so that recommended parents could interact with waiting children and get to know them better. We played basketball. We hung out with furry mascots. We made (and ate) gingerbread houses. All with the goal of introducing potential adoptive families to children and youth who are looking forward to being adopted.
We launched: We launched a Parent Portal for recommended parents, where they can get the most information possible about a child and inquire directly about that child or sibling group. Recommended parents have already completed their training and home study requirements, and have been approved to adopt by Indiana Adoption Council – and this website gives them a central place where they can see all legally-free and TPR-pending children and youth in Indiana. This is a significant accomplishment that involved a lot of planning, a lot of programming, and A LOT of patience! It’s been well-received and well-utilized so far, and this is just the beginning!
We changed: We said goodbye to one director of adoption recruitment, and hello to a new one. Our previous director of adoption recruitment helped develop this program into what it is today, and we are grateful for her dedication and hard work over the years. Our new director of adoption recruitment joined us in the fall, right before all the activity of National Adoption Month – and she’s been learning fast! She has big ideas and high expectations, and we’re excited to see how Indiana Adoption Program grows in the near future. We hired an administrative assistant to help keep us all on the right track – he might be the most appreciated person on staff! And, we filled two open Adoption Champion positions, for Region 8 on the western side of the state and Region 17 in the southern part.
We celebrated: We celebrated over 300 adoptions in Indiana during National Adoption Month. Cake, balloons, therapy dogs, face painting, photo props – if there was an appropriate way to celebrate in a courthouse, we did it!
And…. Here we are, facing a new year (and new decade!) and setting goals for the next 12 months. We plan to build on our successes, learn from some recent challenges, and stay focused on the ultimate goal of a safe, loving, permanent family for each of Indiana’s waiting children. This year, we’ll reveal a new website and digital picture book. We’ll host even more Meet & Greets, and aim to make them even more meaningful for the kids and the potential families. We’ll celebrate all the big things – like adoptions, hundreds of adoptions! – and all the little things – like database enhancements that can help us be more efficient and effective. We’ll collaborate, brainstorm, learn from others, share knowledge, and contribute to statewide efforts to find homes for hundreds of waiting children and youth. We’re sure to encounter things we’ve not planned for, so we’re committing to encourage each other, inspire positivity, and persevere together.
Ambitious? Absolutely. Unattainable? Absolutely not. We’re excited for what 2020 will bring, and all the opportunities we will have to contribute to a child being welcomed into their forever home. We look forward to having you join us on this journey, and invite you to learn more about what role you can play in finding permanent families for children in the Hoosier state. (Also, to those of you who decided that “eat more ice cream” didn’t need to be on your list for this year’s goals: we look forward to you sharing your extra dairy dessert-y goodness with us!)