Volunteering is hard work - but do it anyway!!

It's 5:15 and I'm wrapping up what's been a very productive day. I didn't set foot outside of this house (yet - going out a little later), and tackled a couple of projects that I haven't been able to get focused on. I started with my linen closet. Now when I open it up, I'm don't get draped with tablecloths and kitchen towels. I paid some bills and caught up on my checkbook. I did a little laundry.

Then I moved to Korean Focus. My dining room table is no longer covered with piles of KF paperwork. It has all been sorted, and put into binders or the recycle bin, as appropriate. I figured out a new way of organizing it all so I can keep up. I've now got a main folder with everything I am likely to touch or need on a weekly basis, plus several additional folders to organize the information that comes in from the adoption community. The files all fit in a bag I can carry with me every day, too. I also put soft versions of the key files onto a flash drive that I carry with me on my key ring. I can now do a little every lunch hour to keep up.

Doing all of this reminded of how hard it can be to give our time to the causes we care about. It takes time from already-overloaded schedules, and keeps us from other things we might want to do. Sometimes it feels just like work. But if my experience with Korean Focus is any gauge, the rewards - knowing you've contributed to your community, accomplishing something out of nothing - outweigh the effort.

Adoption is an issue that gets no support from the mainstream. If we in the adoption community need support, we need to provide it ourselves. And so, my fellow adoptive parents, I encourage you to do just that. Get involved. Find an organization, found an organization - get involved.

I know many of you already are working hard for the adoption community, and I'd like to hear about it. What issues are you working on? How? Where? With what organizations? Tell us all about it!!


Suz Bednarz said…
You know my stuff but I welcome the opportunity for shameless plugs.

As owner of ehbabes dot com and the associated yahoo support group for search and reunion support, I am working towards reuniting those that were separated by Kurtz adoptions. We have been quite succeessful (I have lost count of how many reunions we have had now).

In a seperate, but related effort, I am working towards family preservation efforts. I have sponsored three moms (to date) that have required emotional, financial or informational support to prevent their children from becoming available for adoption. One mother ended up surrendering her child to a kinship adoption, the other two are happily parenting their children. I continue to support them as needed.

My group - ehbabes - also regularly organizes support drives of food, clothing, etc for mothers at risk. One of the moms above was a recipient of their efforts. I cannot tell what you what it feels like to see a 20 year old college student/adoptee send $200 worth of food via peapod to a struggling mother. When questioned how/why she did it her response:

"If someone had helped my mother she would have been able to raise me. I have to do what I can to stop this horror from happening to future generations"

And of course, I am trying to be as public and open as I can be (conferences, blogging, writing letters to legislators) to help educate the public on the damage of adoption. (The pro side needs no such help).

Margie said…
Hey, there, I'm so glad you posted that Suz, I'm hoping more people do the exact same thing. That's how the word spreads about what we're all doing.

Happy Monday!
I have been gone from online adoption land for awhile.
In real life though I have been busy "sponsering" young women who are new to recovery and wanting to get thier lives back on track for themselves and thier kids.

Good to see you are still here and writing.
Ansley said…
I help with Attach Oregon. We are a yahoo group for online and in person support of parent's with children who have attachment difficulties. We provide emotional and intellectual support as well as group meetings, play dates, and educational meetings.

Our passion is to help kids and parents form a strong emotional self so they have successful relationships throughout their lifetimes.

The families of Attach Oregon are amazing and knowledgable on so many subjects relating to children's mental health.

If your child is struggling with attachment issues, or you have a new child at home who is forming an attachment with you (and you live in the Pacific Northwest), please look us up! We want to help.

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