Four years ago, a couple at the local county fair came upon Sherri, an Adoption Champion, who had set up a table promoting Indiana Adoption Program. At the time, the couple had no idea what adopting from foster care was, or that they were even interested in expanding their family. After talking with Sherri and learning about Indiana’s waiting children, they requested more information and continued their research at home.
To Sherri, it was an ordinary interaction — one of many she’d had as an Adoption Champion. But little did she know that her conversation with the couple would set them on their entire adoption journey.
Flash forward several years. Sherri was at another event when a family eagerly ran up to her table. The parents shared that they were adopting this sibling group of 4, and thanked Sherri for continuing to spread the word about the need for foster and adoptive homes throughout Indiana. As it turned out, this was the same couple from 4 years earlier, and when they said “If we hadn’t met you that day at the fair, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” well, they meant it literally!
Much like the couple who happened upon Sherri’s table at the fair, there are many people who haven’t thought about adoption, or who are considering it and have questions about where to begin. That’s where Adoption Champions come in. All around the state, they help Indiana Adoption Program by raising awareness and educating people about the need for foster and adoptive families in Indiana. They host educational events at churches and community organizations, and can often be found at local events like the 4-H Fair or a summer festival.
Every Adoption Champion believes that children need families, and each of them has a personal connection to foster care and adoption. Some have fostered, others have adopted, still others were in foster care as children. Individually and as a team, they use their experience and perspective to help others in Indiana understand why adoptive families are so important, and the impact that opening your home to a waiting child can have. They have a wealth of information, and are the perfect people to talk to when you’re starting your adoption journey.
There are over a dozen Adoption Champions in the state, and each holds awareness events throughout their region. From community events to parades, educational meetings to social media posts, Adoption Champions utilize every opportunity to find families for the children and youth in our program. And during November – their favorite time of year – they can be found partnering with judges and attorneys, local DCS offices and agencies to coordinate the many National Adoption Month events to honor adoptees and their families.
People often ask how they can support Indiana Adoption Program. There are many ways, but an easy one is to connect with us about opportunities in your community to recruit foster and adoptive families. Do you have an event coming up? Or are you part of an organization that is interested in learning more about adoption, and how to get involved? Contact your local Adoption Champion about setting up a table or coming to talk to your group—you might just be the reason for someone starting their adoption journey!