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.