We’re talking about birth search! In part 1 of our series, we break down some of the basics of birth search. We’ll cover the big things that we want Adoptees to know about this overwhelming and confusing topic.
Holt’s post adoption team shares about what they do, and what inspires their commitment to the families and adoptees they serve.
Sunday Silver, Director of Post Adoption Services:
I have served as the director of Post Adoption Services since 2006. Over the past 7 years, I have helped create a post adoption quarterly e-newsletter, presented post adoption webinars and have networked with other agencies to find ways to collaborate in providing services to adoptees and families.
While I have been the director for seven years, I started working at Holt 21 years ago. Even though the bulk of my responsibilities are administrative, nothing has touched me more than working directly with this population of people we serve. Through the years, I have provided counseling and referrals to adoptive parents, adoptees and birth parents who need a listening ear and resources to help them navigate through the different issues adoption brings. It has been my privilege and honor to be a small, albeit temporary, part of their lives as they share their deepest thoughts and pains.
Working at Holt as long as I have, I have had the opportunity to see children I placed as a social worker grow to adulthood. One particular case comes to mind. When I first came to Holt, I coordinated Holt’s pregnancy counseling program and provided counseling to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. One particular birth mother I worked with early in my career was about 16 years old when I first met her. Her parents were extremely angry when they found out she was pregnant. They brought her to Holt for help. I met with her throughout her pregnancy, helping her decide whether to parent or make an adoption plan. After several sessions with her — and hearing from her parents that they would not help her raise her child — she came to the difficult decision to place her child for adoption. The birth father was not in the picture. She chose her child’s adoptive parents after viewing several family portfolios, and we scheduled a meeting with them. The meeting was difficult at first, but after some time, they began getting acquainted with each other. After the meeting, the birth mother stated that she felt she found the right parents for her unborn child.
After the child was born, I went to the hospital to visit with her and discuss whether she wanted to continue her plan. With tears in her eyes, she nodded her head. We went through the task of signing the paperwork. I asked her if she wanted to see the adoptive parents and she shook her head, saying it would be too hard. So she asked her parents to hand her baby girl over to the adoptive parents, which they did, not realizing how difficult it would also be for them.