by Brian Campbell, Creative Services Director
On the first official day of discussions at the International Forum in Washington D.C., adoptees and adoption advocates —laughing and chatting — created a loud bustle in every room they entered. Some connected with each other for the first time, others reconnected with old friends.
More than just a look back into the 55-year history of international adoption, the discussions served as a tremendous resource for
adoptees and the adoption community — a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and look to the future of international adoption and how to best serve children.
When the welcome plenary began, chatting and laughing gave way to intense silence and devoted attention. Speakers shared stats
and figures that represented everyone in the room in one way or another. The attendees listened closely, taking notes and nodding as
topics about the importance of post adoption services and ongoing support for adopted children were discussed.
After the morning session concluded, a parade of forum attendees made their way from the hotel, down the street to the Russell Senate building and into the Kennedy Caucus room, where Senator Jim McDermott prepared to speak to the guests. An advocate for children and adoption for several decades, McDermott — between voting in the Senate —dashed across the street, eager to speak to the forum group about an issue for which he is passionate.
The Kennedy Caucus room has served as the setting for many significant events, trials and political gatherings that helped to move forward policy and legislation. And on this important day — in a room alive with history and the voices of people moving forward with one goal in mind — over 200 adoptees and adoption advocates spoke out and became one voice for children, moving forward together to do what’s best for every child.