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Support groups are great resources for all sides of the adoption triad. They offer support, friendship, understanding, and acceptance. They offer assistance, help, and guidance. But sometimes finding a close-by or relevant support group can be difficult. And sometimes the number of support groups from which to choose is dismal. When this is the case, it may be time to create your own support group.
This is a big commitment. You have to be committed to not only getting the help you need, but helping others as well. You will need to help others along the paths of healing, acceptance, and progression--just as you are proceeding down the path. Creating your own support group takes work, dedication, planning, consistency, and commitment. But the benefits you'll receive will stay with your for the entirety of your life. You will be able to witness other members of your support group growing, progressing, and healing. What's better than that?
If creating a support group is something that sounds interesting or exciting for you, here are some things for you to consider before you begin:
Meeting Place: The first order of business is where you meet. It doesn't necessarily have to be a physical location; creating an online support group is also a viable option. Pick a place that is in a safe neighborhood, easy to find, and spacious enough for all your members. If you don't have a budget to pay for a monthly fee for using a building, have it in someone's house. It can give your meetings a more homey/comfortable feel--encouraging others to open up and share their story and advice for others.
Meeting Time: Pick a time that is both convenient for you and your support group members. Any time will work as long as everyone can agree on it. Choose a time or a specific day, and be consistent.
Group Goal: What will be your support group's goal? Towards what are you all working? If choosing one large goal towards which to work is overwhelming, start with smaller, more achievable goals--having everyone in the group share his or her story, for instance. Choosing a group goal can encourage unity within your group. And unity can inspire trust. And trust is essential to any successful support group.
Advertise: Get the word out there about your new support group. You can put up flyers or business cards at local grocery stores or church bulletin boards. You can put the information on your blog or on Facebook. Do what you can to get the members you need. There are many people out there--just like you--who need support throughout their emotional healing and recovery.
Meeting Topics: You can arrange for a guest speaker to join you for a few weeks. Or you can assign each week to a different support group member to run. Make sure to keep all members involved and active. Let them know they're needed.
Make the commitment to start your own support group and help others along the path to emotional healing and hope for the future. You no longer have to rely on other people to find the right support group. If you can't find one that fits you perfectly, create your own. And embrace it!
If you have read much about adoption practices during the 60’s and 70’s, you might be familiar with the concept of wage homes. Maternity homes were so crowded with young pregnant women during the 60’s and 70’s that there was often a waiting list before a young women could get into a home...[more]
Today a person asked me what it was like to find my birth mother. I had a good experience so I described what it was like and it wasn’t a very exciting or emotional story. The person seemed a little disappointed it was just a rather dull story about how we exchanged letters and then eventually met in person. For me it wasn’t like a light bulb was suddenly switched on and my life was magically changed. There was no sun breaking through the clouds, no music playing and no fireworks exploding in the sky...[more]
Before beginning your search, learn about common myths about the reconnection process. That way, you'll have realistic expectations, and you can move forward from there.
Robyn writes, "How do I begin? I want to be available for my son to find me if he wants to. Which sites do you recommend I sign up on? " If you have feedback for Robyn, feel free to use the contact form below and we'll forward them to her.
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.