It’s adoption day. Everyone is dressed in their finest and excited to hear the judge declare everyone officially a family. Fast forward six months later – the honeymoon is over and a few cracks are beginning to show. Maybe your adopted child believes he or she is treated differently than your biological children. Or, perhaps your adopted son or daughter confided in a friend about being adopted only to be told that you aren't their “real” mom or dad. Whatever the concern, you want to find a support group of other adoptive families – the only group to truly understand what your family is going through. Finding one in the Tampa Bay area won’t be an easy task.
While there are several groups listed on the Internet, most are not operational or are actually adoption agencies, not support groups. One group that is in operation is the Sylvia Thomas Center (www.sylviathomascenter.org), an agency dedicated to assisting post adoptive parents with finding the resources they need. It also provides a place for adoptive parents to discuss challenges and offer one another support. While the agency works mostly with families that adopted through the State, families that chose to adopt privately or internationally are also welcome. The group meets the second Thursday of each month, however, there are staff members available to assist Monday - Friday.
There are also very few adoption forums for Tampa families; Adoption by Choice Tampa FL is one option. A new group, Florida Adoption Helpers (https:/www.facebook.com/groups/168619539974390/) can be found on Facebook. Right now the group posts information that is mostly relevant to parents who adopted through the State. Florida Adoption Helpers began about 3 months ago and so far has posted information about Medicaid, the school system, and home studies. Many have posted important information about resources families can use and offered encouragement to some who are still in the process. Many groups and forums, like Florida Adoption Helpers, are started because families can’t find places to connect with other adoptive families. Have you found any great forums or support groups you want to share? Florida Adoption Helpers will post the information for other adoptive parents to take advantage of. And, for more information on the Sylvia Thomas Center, visit their website www.sylviathomascenter.org