This will surely be an Easter and Passover like no other, but let us rise to the challenge and make it a holiday to remember.
(Even if it seems, for now, like coronavirus has forever changed life as we know it.)
Adoptive families are understandably frantic about delayed finalization proceedings, of course. Expectant moms planning to place are panicked about staying healthy and finding prenatal care appointments harder to schedule. Abrazo’s adoptees are worried about the pandemic impacting the Camp Abrazo schedule, a question still pending at this point. Homestudies and post-placement supervisory visits are getting more complicated. Our staff has experienced a vast increase in calls from women seeking abortions, homeless parents, and addicts in need of shelter, as community resources become more and more scarce.
This month, Abrazo has dealt with a vast array of needs above and beyond the usual call of duty. Notes of encouragement and complimentary hand-sanitizers were sent by the staff to all local hospital social workers serving on the frontlines. Zoom socials were scheduled for Abrazo birthmoms and for Abrazo adoptive parents, to help keep the community feeling connected, and another is pending for our families-in-waiting, to help keep them informed, also.
We’re mourning the passing of a beloved birthgrandma and adoptive grandmother in Georgia this week, and we’re praying for the healing of a stepgrandpa and adoptee fighting cancer in Sugarland, even as we celebrate the coronavirus recovery of a birthmom in Philadelphia. We’ve also heard from multiple birthfamilies worried about their children’s adoptive families in the wake of coast-to-coast lockdowns. (Some of those birthparents have been out of touch for years.) Many families are worried about finances these days, and prospective adoptive couples do, too.
It’s easy to fall into a state of discouragement and despair, as the quarantine gets extended and seasonal events get cancelled. These are difficult and uncertain days for everyone. But let us remember: there is always (always!) reason for hope! This is a season for change, after all, and there are brighter days ahead. Let us rise!
All across the AbrazoNation, we see some amazing things happening. Parents and kids stuck at home are creating new opportunities to enjoy each other’s company; in Washington, D.C., an AbrazoKid named Mike made pancakes for his parents’ breakfast, while in Austin, an Abrazofamily in need of fresh air went on a Poppy Walk. An Abrazo birthmom in north Texas celebrates the birth of a new grandbaby, an adoptee in Virginia whose husband is deployed is teaching their daughter to walk, and a New Jersey Abrazo family is proudly sharing their son’s acceptance into a renowned ballet company. Abrazokids who know each other from Camp Abrazo have launched their own group on social media, just to keep in touch.
Despite the pandemic sweeping the globe, the Abrazo staff has weathered the storms of change with hope and determination. The office has remained open, under the state definition of social services as “essential.” We are thankful for the dedication of Amy, Martha, Ximena, Elizabeth and volunteer Jan, who keep things going here, and for our Board of Directors for their guidance and support, as well.
But there’s more! All across the Abrazo community, folks are doing amazing things to help others in the midst of this national crisis. In Houston, an AbrazoMom who’s a fashion designer is mass-producing doctors’ gowns and face masks for medical professionals in need. Abrazo teachers and school administrators are continuing to guide their students’ educations online, while Abrazo parents pitch in at home. Countless Abrazo parents who work in the medical profession are selflessly caring for others, and one Abrazo birthmom who recently graduated from truck-driving school is now traveling coast-to-coast to help keep groceries in stores.
This is why, this Passover and this Easter, there’s still ample reason for hope. No virus lasts forever, and every epidemic ends, eventually. However dire the night and however frightening the tragedy, Passover and Easter remind us of the promise of renewal.
Let us rise to to brave the storm, and prepare for the beauty of that which still lies ahead, because we can get there from here… so let’s do it together.