Our Address:
12200 Fairhill Road, Floor A3
Fairhill Partners Collaborative Campus
Cleveland, OH 44120

Meet Our Birth Mother Support Group Facilitators

Our Birth Mother Support Group provides a safe and supportive environment to help with the complexities that are often part of the adoption experience. The meetings are open to birth mothers connected by the lifelong journey of adoption and are an opportunity for birth mothers to encourage one another in their healing process through discussion and interaction. Based on our General Discussion Meeting model, meetings use an open discussion format and occur on the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a birth mother in need of support, you are encouraged to join their next meeting.  Register through our calendar.

The facilitators of our Birth Mother Support Group, Lindsey and Nikki, shared a bit about what brought them to Adoption Network Cleveland and why they chose to be volunteer facilitators.


1. How are you personally connected to the adoption community? 

I am a birth mother. 


2. How did you become involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?

I became involved with ANC shortly after I placed my son over 12 years ago. I saw that there were support groups, so I began attending the Cleveland Heights General Support Group. 


3.  What keeps you involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?

After a few years of living out of state and realizing the lack of support that was offered in the areas I lived in, I began missing the adoption support that I once had. When I moved back to Ohio in 2016, I looked up Adoption Network Cleveland and was excited to see they now offered support groups throughout Ohio, not just the Cleveland area. After years of not having the support I needed, I began attending the general sessions again. It is great knowing that each time I attend a meeting, I will be heard and understood by those who are within the adoption triad. 

4.  How long have you been a General Discussion Meeting facilitator? 

I have been co-facilitating the Birth Mother Support Group since May of 2021.


5.  What do you like most about being a facilitator? 

I love hearing all of the women's journeys and knowing that the group we are facilitating is impacting their lives for the better. No birth mother’s journey is the same but we can all relate to one another - it is very powerful. 


6.  What is your best advice for someone who is new to a Meeting or thinking about coming to their first meeting? 

Know that when you attend a meeting it is okay to just sit and listen. There is no pressure to have to share but also don't be afraid to open up. You are with people who can relate to you and the meetings are a safe space. We are all here to support one another no matter your situation.  



1.  How are you personally connected to the adoption community? 

I have been a birth mother for the last 21.5 years. 


2.  How did you become involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?

I stumbled upon Adoption Network Cleveland early last year as I was scrolling for adoption-related support. I had been searching for more ways to be connected within the adoption community. The first thing I found was the This Is Us discussion group. I attended one session, followed by a General Discussion Meeting the next week. It only took one meeting for me to see that this group was special, and I continue to attend that meeting now.


3.  What keeps you involved with Adoption Network Cleveland?

The most important reason that I remain involved (and a champion) with Adoption Network Cleveland is because of everything they do for our community. They provide support and resources for every member of the constellation. Whether that is just a space where you don’t feel alone for once, training sessions for those who want to be the best foster/adoptive parents, or speaker series where you can learn from others. There is something for everyone within this organization. 

It is important to me that I learn from other members of the constellation. As I continue to heal and grow, it is that opportunity to interact with adopted individuals, adoptive parents, and other birth mothers. This is a unique organization providing each of us a space to find support and healing.


4.  How long have you been a General Discussion Meeting facilitator? 

We (re)launched the Birth Mother Support Group in May 2021. I have been a facilitator for nine months and we are about to have our tenth group meeting. 


5.  What do you like most about being a facilitator? 

The best part about being a facilitator is the amazing women I get a chance to meet each month. I feel honored that these women take a couple of hours out of their night each month and share with us. We have heard some of the most heartbreaking stories and at the same time, we have celebrated the positive parts of our journeys. Adoption is both pain and joy, and in the Birth Mother Support Group, we see so much of both. These women are the reason I want to keep doing this each month.


6.  What has been the most meaningful or “ah-ha!” moment that you have experienced in a meeting? 

The most meaningful moment for me is probably a collection of a few moments within the Birth Mother Support Group. For me, it’s the monthly reminder that we are worthy, that we are not alone, and that we are loved. Each month I leave this group feeling empowered - like I can take on the world. This is what community can do.


7.  Has being a facilitator made you see your own experiences in a different light? If so, how? 

Being a facilitator has definitely made me see my own experiences in a different light. I have uncovered both happiness and sadness about my journey through my time as a facilitator. Each birth mother that I listen to has taught me something about adoption, our role as birth mothers, and helped me as I continue to heal. 


8.  What is your best advice for someone who is new to a Meeting or thinking about coming to their first meeting? 

No matter if you are attending the Birth Mother Support Group or a General Discussion Meeting, I would tell everyone a few things:

  • Make sure that you are in a safe and comfortable space while attending a virtual meeting. This can bring you additional comfort as you navigate these groups, which can sometimes be hard to listen to. 
  • Be ready for both laughter and tears. There has not been a single meeting I have attended where I didn’t cry and laugh my way through it. We are discussing heavy topics sometimes and being able to see the joy and pain is important.
  • Understand you do not have to share during your first meeting. It can be scary just to sign on that first time. You don’t have to let everyone in that first meeting. Sit back, take it in, and we will be here when you are ready. 
  • Most importantly, you are not alone in this journey. This is exactly why these groups are here. Join us, lean on us, and let us carry the load for a couple of hours. Although we all have different stories, we all get it so don’t do this alone.


Thank you to Lindsey and Nikki both for their compassion, grace, and resiliency. We are grateful to have you both as volunteer facilitators.