Words as Seeds of Change

It only takes one word to begin a conversation that could change lives for the better.

Rebecca Tillou November 18, 2014
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Every morning, my coworkers and I huddle around a white board, and discuss our “numbers” and where we stand as a team.  I am a No Fault Claims representative for State Farm Insurance.  I love my job, and I love the opportunities I get to speak about adoption, if only one sentence.  One sentence, even one word can impact someone’s entire life from that moment forward.

One Monday morning, my teammates and I lumbered up to the whiteboard.  Every week our boss asked a team member to come up with an uplifting quote for the week.  I looked at the white board and saw that we still had the same quote from a month ago.  My manager finished going over our statistics and asked if we had anything to add.  I hesitated to bring up National Adoption Month, even though I am very close with my team and consider them my “other family.”  I decided I wanted to spread the word about adoption and National Adoption Month.  So I began to speak: “I know many of you probably do not care about this, but November is National Adoption Month.  I just wanted to share the information.”  I did not expect what came next.  I heard the expected, “ooh” utterances, but then my manager spoke up.  She had a smile on her lips and in her eyes when she revealed that in the future she would like to foster a child.  Just a short sentence and I had spread the word about National Adoption Month.  My speaking had led to words about fostering children.  I am hopeful this brief discussion will lead to more in depth discussions about foster children and adoption.

I spend more time at work than I do at home.  I work in a cubicle.  I have tried to make it comfy and cozy with photos of my family, and I have even let dust settle on my shelves and on my desk.  Just like home!  I decided to put up a photo of my biological mother Joan. I am hoping someone will ask who it is, and it will lead to a conversation about adoption, search and reunion.  I have a necklace that has three symbols on it.  It has a sun, a star and a heart engraved on it.  Each symbol has a meaning.  One stands for the birth parent (s), one for the adoptive parent(s), and one for the adoptee.  There have been a couple occasions when I have worn the necklace and been asked by a coworker what it stands for.  I gladly take the opportunity to explain the adoption “triangle” and which part of the triangle I am.

I work for a large corporation.  Every single day adoption is part of my vocabulary.  My adoption and reunion story had been told by a work friend to a coworker I had never met. This enabled me to meet with this coworker and hear her adoption story, through the eyes of an adoptive mother.

I hope I can continue to spread knowledge about adoption during November and every month after.  It only takes one word to begin a conversation that could change lives for the better.  Adoption and fostering can complete multiple hearts with unconditional love for a child.

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Rebecca Tillou

Rebecca was adopted as an infant. She found her birth family in May of 2013 and continues to keep in touch with them. Sadly, her birth mother passed away in 1999. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of two beautiful little boys, Dominic and Nicolas. They also have a German Shepherd mix named Chester. She was recently diagnosed with FASD at 34 years of age. She is currently working with nofas.org and thearg.org to get the word out that there is hope, and that you are never too old to better yourself.


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