Meet Jamie! Jamie is a bubbly nine year old who has a passion for all things Minecraft and for taking things (including her foster parents electronics) apart to see how they worked. Jamie came onto my caseload after her Children's Aid Society adoption worker requested that she be added to the AdoptOntario Databank after another permanent plan for her failed to materialize. She sometimes had a harder time trusting adults, so her worker was looking for an adoptive family that had a good understanding of attachment. Her worker really wanted her next adoptive family to be “forever”, so he referred Jamie to AdoptOntario to see what families would come forward to learn more about Jamie.
The first step in the plan to find Jamie a family was writing a profile on her for the Waiting Child Listing which appears on the AdoptOntario website. Jamie’s worker and I made that decision because Jamie needed a cultural match and by putting her on the Waiting Child Listing we would reach the largest number of families that were registered to view AdoptOntario profiles. After a long phone call with Jamie’s worker to learn all that I could about this young lady, I got to work writing a profile that would make Jamie come to life for the families that read it. When Clinical Coordinators (like myself) write profiles, we try to balance talking about a child’s needs with the information about the child’s personality. Once that profile is posted to the Waiting Child Listing, we ask families to get in touch with us if they’d like to know more!
One week after I posted the profile, the call from the Gillman family came! I had spoken with the Gillman family before as they had adopted two children previously and were beginning to look for a third child. Jamie and the Gillman’s were culturally compatible and since they had adopted previously, they appeared to have a really good understanding of what an adopted child needs to successfully transition to a new home and build new attachments. The Gillman’s kept telling me that something about Jamie just kept tugging at their heart strings so they were excited to learn even more about her. Immediately after I shared some extra information about Jamie with the Gillman’s they filled out an Expression of Interest Form. Upon receiving the Expression of Interest form, Jamie’s worker who reached out to the family’s worker to learn more about the family.
In the meantime, I tried some other techniques to connect with other families that might be able to meet Jamie’s needs and got a few other Expression of Interests, but didn’t anything about the Gillman family specifically. A few months later I got a call from Jamie’s worker, the Gillman family had been chosen for Jamie! Moreover, they had met Jamie and Jamie’s worker was VERY excited about finding this match.
The Gillman’s learned about Jamie through the Waiting Child Listing, one of many strategies that Clinical Coordinators at AdoptOntario use to make those vital connections between the families that use our website and children or youth who are waiting for permanent families so please take a look! Perhaps someone on there could tug at your heart strings!
Author: Emily Dekker RSW, AdoptOntario Clinical Coordinator