My name is Elaine and as a counsellor with After Adoption my role is to support any person with an adoption connection. That includes prospective adopters and adoptive families.
I see my role as a listening ear; to help to address any problems in a positive way, by clarifying any issues, exploring options, developing strategies and increasing self-awareness. The people that I work support can expect empathy, patience and respect; my role is not to judge or advise but to help guide and empower them to find the best way forward through the issue or issues they’re experiencing.
A lot of adoptions run very smoothly and do not encounter any concerns, however, sometimes situations arise where someone can find they need a little guidance. There can be challenges both before and after adoption, not least the feeling of loss. An adopted person can experience many losses, loss of birth family, loss of personal history and genetic history in regard to their birth family and loss of identity and self worth in some cases.
Prospective adopters and adoptive families may feel a loss of not being able to conceive their own child or not being able to have the exact family unit they always pictured. While being an adoptive parent brings many rewards, the difficulties in parenting a child with complex needs can take its toll on adoptive families and family relationships. The first few months after placement can be a time of excitement and joy, but feelings of guilt, fear and depression can also be felt by a new parent.
The immense joy and satisfaction of becoming a family can more than compensate for any hiccups that may arise along the way. However, if a concern does arise professional help through counselling may be a useful option.
As a counsellor with After Adoption since 2005 I feel privileged to be on hand to help and guide our service users.
I am often asked “do I find the job rewarding?” Absolutely, it is very rewarding when someone you are working with is able to work through their issues and move forward with their life.
I recently reached a milestone birthday and reflected on my career and I can’t think of any other job I would rather do. And I look onwards and upwards my next milestone birthday!