Adoption Network Cleveland is incredibly lucky to have an energetic core of volunteers who add greatly to the capacity of the organization and our ability to provide services. Our General Discussion Meeting and Support Group Facilitators are an especially committed group of volunteers – they give of their own time, energy, and spirit to provide support for others through facilitating our meetings each month. It takes an individual with a patient ear, calming demeanor, and understanding heart to guide others in an exercise of listening to perspectives. For those who have attended a General Discussion Meeting, DNA Discovery Support Group, or Birth Mother Support Group, it can be an empowering and thought-provoking experience. They provide both a safe space to be among those who understand your adoption experience, but also at the same time challenge long-held beliefs about ourselves and other members of the adoption constellation.
We would like to say, “THANK YOU!” to each of our facilitators – you are changing lives and building an essential community of support.
As a way to provide an introduction to our facilitators for those of you who may not have been to a meeting or a meeting with different facilitators, we asked all of our facilitators to share a bit about themselves and why they chose to be a volunteer facilitator.
Kim and Denice lead the General Discussion Meeting, which takes place on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm ET. To register for an upcoming meeting facilitated by Kim and Denice, see our calendar.
Adoption Network Cleveland is so grateful to have facilitators like Kim and Denice, who are so full of energy, compassion, and empathy. Kim was able to share a bit about herself by answering the questions below.
How are you personally connected to the adoption community?
I’m an adoptee.
How did you become involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?
I found Adoption Network Cleveland when I began my search in 1996. My first meeting was at the old Cleveland Heights library. I grew up on that street and spent a lot of time at the library in my youth. It felt like going home.
What keeps you involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?
The people. Whether the staff, the volunteers, or members, their passion for Adoption Network Clevelandshines through…
How long have you been a General Discussion Meeting facilitator?
I can’t remember! More than 20 years
What do you like most about being a facilitator?
The connection with the people that come through the meetings. Some are here for an immediate need and then move on, others stay and become regulars. They all have something important to contribute.
What has been the most meaningful or “ah-ha!” moment that you have experienced in a meeting?
Many of our meetings can feel quite heavy. However, there are also moments when we’ve laughed until we cried. We are all traversing this human experience together.
Has being a facilitator made you see your own experiences in a different light? If so, how?
What is your best advice for someone who is new to a Meeting or thinking about coming to their first meeting?
Come! My first meeting was a little scary, but also the very first time I was surrounded by people speaking so openly about adoption. You may choose whether to participate.
Thank you Kim for being one of our fabulous volunteer facilitators. You are appreciated!