The Lifelong Journey of Adoption: Traveling back to birth country
Posted by Deb Shrier
In my professional work at JF&CS, I have had the privilege of connecting with families at various stages of adoption. While there is always great focus on an individual or couple in finally becoming parents, the impact of adoption on a family does not end at that point. The experience for all triad members (birth family, adoptive family, and adopted person) continues.
On Saturday, July 31, I will be traveling to Russia to join a group of adoptive families as they visit their child’s birth country. This trip has been organized by the TIES program – an organization that has assisted adoptive families in this incredibly rich experience. The “homeland tour” is a concept that has been growing in popularity with families who are eager to deepen their child’s sense of self and identity. As a multicultural family, adoptive parents are also interested in exploring their own connection to their child’s birth heritage – these trips allow for that to occur and for families to experience this together.
My clinical role in the trip is to support families during their journey. As a social worker, I will be involved with the children as well as the adults through support groups and, on occasion, individual meetings. Check back for an update about the trip.
Would you like to learn more about TIES and homeland travel? Check out this article by Becca Piper, founder and co-director of TIES, which appeared in Adoptive Families magazine.
Deb Shrier is the DIrector of Post-Adoption Services at JF&CS.