March is Mental Health Awareness Month

March is Mental Health Awareness Month

One of the most important concepts we want families to understand as they enter the adoption process is there is help post finalization. We want our families to understand and feel they are never alone in the process and we are here to help.

Jean and Bob adopted their son, James, when he was two years old. Everything went well for the next ten years and then James turned 12. Suddenly things seemed to be turned upside down. They didn’t know where to go for help so they called the agency where they adopted their son. What a relief! They were connected to a host of services ranging from mental health services for their son and the family to joining a parent support group for themselves.

Matt and Linda adopted their children when they were 4 and 6, siblings, who had been in foster care for a number of years. Matt and Linda knew their children would need a variety of mental, medical, and educational support services throughout their lives. They were well versed in the range of services available to their children, as well as the financial support they would need in order to provide their children with the needed services. They learned about these before completing the adoption process.

We know some families are dissuaded from adopting children out of foster care because they think they will be on their own after the legal process is completed or the challenges may be too great to face. This is far from the truth. Whether, like Jean and Bob who didn’t need any help until their son began his teenage years, or like Matt and Linda, whose children needed services for the long term, families are not alone after adoption. There are a range of services available, depending on the needs of the child and the family. They range from mental and medical services, educational support services, adoptive parent support groups, and financial support.

Sierra Forever Families runs adoptive parent support groups monthly, addressing the needs of all types of families and children. We also host an LGTBQ-focused support group. In Sacramento and Placer counties, the parents help guide the topics for discussion and the facilitators may suggest various topics depending on the current trends noticed in the agency. In Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, and Yuba counties the post adoption services also include family recreational events, as well as guest speakers.

If you were hesitant about adopting children from foster care because you thought you would be on your own, you are not. Like Jean and Bob, and Matt and Linda learned, no matter what supports you need or when you need it, there is help.

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