The whole thing started with three words: “adoption near me.”
That was what she googled, the day she realized her baby deserved more. More than a life of hardship. More than a future with no father. More than an unemployed, stressed-out single mom who didn’t know who the father was and wasn’t planning to raise another child alone.
That’s what led her to contact Abrazo, having found our ad on Google. She’d seen the link for another local agency that features dozens of New York adoption profiles, but that wasn’t what she wanted. She’d read bad reviews on another agency in town. And she thought the “choose us, choose us!” ad from the facilitator who claims to be local but isn’t even a licensed adoption agency was just plain tacky.
She wasn’t quite sure what to expect, she said later. She’d figured she’d get a hard sell for adoption or something, but that wasn’t what happened.
Abrazo’s staff reminded her that she had options, and she couldn’t (and shouldn’t) make any decisions right away. She was offered counseling, and reminded that she could be enough, if she wanted to add another child to her home, as there are resources available to help. At Abrazo, she received prenatal care referrals, options counseling, peer support, hugs and more.
“The Abrazo ladies made me feel better about me,” she said. “It wasn’t all about the baby. It wasn’t just about adoption. They welcomed me and my kids, and made it clear they cared, no matter what I decided.”
The added advantages of local adoption support
That was several years ago. She still stops in occasionally, to share photos of the child she placed here, to talk about the adoptive parents’ latest visit or to show off how the kids she’s parenting have grown. She’s always welcome here and she knows it.
It would’ve all been very different, had she not worked with Abrazo. If she’d worked with a facilitator or attorney out of state, she wouldn’t have a local “home office” close by to offer support over the years. Had she chosen another agency that didn’t offer families closer to home or doesn’t advocate for open adoption like Abrazo does, she could’ve potentially lost contact with the child she placed forever.
Any adoption program other than Abrazo would not have the private Facebook group we offer, the continued free counseling services, the annual ranch reunion, the birthmother scholarship program or the biennial birthmother Homecoming retreat that are all unique features of the Abrazo community.
There’s something to be said for Texans helping Texans, after all. (And for knowing that your adoption professionals are licensed, nonprofit, and committed to your wellbeing, longterm.)
Choosing an adoption near me
Abrazo works only with placing parents in Texas because we know that’s who we’re best qualified to serve. We truly care for the birthparents that entrust their children to our agency, which means providing personal service (not just sending out financial support and doing everything long-distance through attorneys.)
Like most licensed adoption agencies, we place with adoptive families with documented infertility from across the USA (except NY.) One major difference, though, is that Abrazo advises all adopting parents of our open adoption priorities upfront. Couples are told that the adoption process at Abrazo typically entails 4 trips to Texas in the first year, and that at least annual trips back should be expected thereafter. (Don’t want to do this? Feel free to adopt elsewhere.) We want the children adopted here to know their first families and to know us, too.
Beyond that, though, we want our adoptive families and birthfamilies to know they are surrounded by the support of a loving adoption community in which transparency, trust and connection are lifelong values. That’s what choosing “adoption near me” is really all about: it ensures that the isolation and secrecy that used to make adoption such a lonely and detrimental experience are a thing of the past.
When you place or adopt or get adopted through Abrazo, you become part of a nationwide kinship community. Abrazo’s staff continues to be available to you and your family. Our alumni are so connected, they look for opportunities to stay in touch and keep connected, whether through regional reunions like the Wisconsin Dells one each year, or Camp Abrazo, or local birthparent meet-ups. And open adoptions at Abrazo typically do stay open, when the parents involved are all people of their word.
Because for adoptees, life is truly a matter of “adoption near me”– so having a close and positive connection with the place and people where your adoption occurred is always a good thing.