THE CHANGING FACE OF ADOPTION

Pam Wolf

Pam Wolf, Founder and CEO of Harmony Adoptions

The face of adoption has changed. The kids are older, the impact of abuse and neglect is more severe, and the scars left behind by emotional and physical traumas are deeper than ever before.

For kids, adoption begins a journey of healing. Adoption provides a forever family, a safe and loving place for children to face their demons and slay their dragons. But all too often, the adoptive family has very little understanding of the child’s history of abuse and how this impacts their family. Many families are not fully prepared to provide the complex care the child needs. The family’s road to health and well-being is riddled with challenges, and each year hundreds of families across the state turn to Harmony for the professional treatment they so desperately need.

Harmony Adoptions has redefined what treatment, support, and education mean to adoptive families. Our post-adoption services program is nationally-recognized, evidence-based, and the most comprehensive in the country. Less than 1% of the children we work with go back into foster care compared to a national rate of 10% or higher. What we do at Harmony works, and it makes a difference to the children, the family, and the long-term health of all of us in Tennessee.

And yet, there is still so much more we can do. Each year, far too many kids came back into foster care because their adoptive families gave up on them. These are kids we were not able to serve. Last year in Tennessee, over 700 youth aged out of care with no plans, no family, no future. Almost one third of the homeless people in our state report spending time in foster care, and 25% of Tennessee’s prisoners were formerly in foster care.

Each year, hundreds of children begin their adoption journey, leaving foster care for their forever family, and each year hundreds of Tennessee’s precious children are left behind, waiting for a family to call their own. As the needs of Tennessee’s children continue to grow, Harmony must respond to meet these needs.

Harmony’s next chapter is dawning at the base of the Smoky Mountains. Here in a rustic woodland setting lies the property once known as Camp Montvale and the ideal location for Harmony’s expansion. The 364-acre property includes cabins, a dining hall, kitchen, barns, ropes course, and facilities for outdoor learning. It is here that Harmony plans to establish a one-of-a-kind treatment center where children and their families can work together to learn, grow, and face their challenges – all with the help of our highly trained clinical staff. This residential adoptive family treatment program expands the number of families we can serve AND keeps families together rather than sending the child alone to treatment. Once the Harmony Family Center is fully developed, it will be self-sustaining, building on our existing funding and public utilization of the property.

Over the next year all of us at Harmony will share this amazing journey with you through the words of our children, parents, staff, and donors. You will learn more about Montvale – the difference this one-of-a-kind property can make in the lives of our families — and how you can participate and support our efforts. We hope you will share your thoughts and ideas with us and find ways to join us on this amazing journey!

Published on March 22, 2012 by .
Posted in Adoption