We Lead and Lean on Each Other

Date: November 1, 2018 Author: ACO Administrator Categories: AAM 18 - Support Groups | Adoption Awareness Month | Guest Blogger | Permanency and Adoption Competency Training


Parent Group Leader:

My involvement with the Adoption Council of Ontario started in the Pathways to Permanence 2 course in January 2016. It has been a fantastic journey ever since. This course set a new path with new ways to view children with trauma. I have three adopted children and this course was so valuable with my own children and the residual effects of their early traumas pre-adoption.

I have also attended and Volunteered at Education Day in 2017 in Brampton, and recently attended the Developmental Trauma Action Alliance (DTAA) round table.

I could not express the gratitude of the consistent support that I have received from the ACO so I thought it was time to "join the team" and I am now a volunteer parent-leader of a support group in area. ACO continues to help our group connect with resources and ideas to build our group. Recently, the ACO assisted in the connection with CAS for space to meet. Building parent groups in local communities will make the difference for so many new adoptive families. It takes a village and we are excited to welcome new families to our group as we grow.

Lisa, Parent Group Leader:

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to take the Pathways to Permanence workshop in my community. I am so glad that I participated and how fortunate I was to be part this series of workshops. This training allowed me to learn so much about adoptive children and how to better support them on a daily basis. Along the way I have met a lot of other wonderful parents who share so many similar stories as myself. It’s such a comforting feeling knowing that I’m not alone in my adoption journey and there are other parents that are a part of this amazing journey as well.

I never thought I would be where I am today co-facilitating an adoption support group with my wonderful co-facilitator who is also an adoptive parent. I believe in our group and am so grateful to have this networking team. I get so much out of every meeting and always take at least one very helpful and inspiring piece of information home with me from each meeting.

I am also so proud of what we are doing in being able to advocate for our children and families within the community. Our support group is always growing and we all see how beneficial it is to be part of something so special.

I am proud to be a co-facilitator of our group and be able to share my experiences and to hopefully help guide others.  I can be a leader and not to be afraid to put myself out there and share my own stories. We are building long lasting relationships with one another that I know will last a lifetime.

Adoption is such a beautiful thing but also comes with many challenges. Being able to connect with others who understand your story and what path you are coming from is truly a support system that is required and appreciated.

Maggie, Parent Group Leader:

My adoption story began with a strong need for support. Surrounded by biological parents, I was tired of feeling isolated and misunderstood. My anxiety was heightened as a new parent in general, but especially as an adoptive parent on probation. As a result, I was very eager to connect with other parents who had been through similar experiences with similar feelings. 

When I found out that there was no existing adoption support group in my area, I was shocked and disappointed. I felt that I was missing out on something vital to my life. 

Over two years later, I was lucky to connect with Sylvia Gibbons from the Adoption Council of Ontario. [Sylvia’s job is to coach and support people to set up parent-support groups in their community.]

From the first moment Sylvia has been an incredible resource and has changed my life. She introduced me to my phenomenal co-facilitator. Together, we run the monthly meetings for our Adoptive Parent Support Group. Starting out small but with the same vision, we felt so positive about the opportunity to form a group together. We are so motivated to make a difference that we are overjoyed if we can touch even one person's life in a supportive and encouraging way.