Adoption: An Intervention

Adoption: An Intervention
By Candice S. Watkins, MS
Foster, Kinship, and Adoption Services Program Supervisor

The word intervention has been brought to the forefront of our society because of the popularity of shows like Intervention, Hoarders, and Celebrity Rehab. The notion behind these shows is that there is an individual that is headed on a path that is not healthy for them and someone or a group of people step in, offer the support needed, and steer the individual in a healthier direction. Simple enough, right? Well, if you watch the show or have seen brief advertisements, you know that it really is not that simple; the subject of the intervention may be resistant, in denial, combative, manipulative, mean-spirited and feel sorrowful, afraid, shameful, angry and perhaps much later on…thankful. Meanwhile, the person’s steadfast, caring and often battered supporters bear down and stick it out because they are convinced that if they are consistently supportive and offer the person the resources that they need, the intervention will be a success and the subject of the intervention will soon be on their way to a healthier life.

The choice to adopt a child is often very much like the choices that the steadfast and caring supporters make in Intervention, Hoarders, and Celebrity Rehab – adoptive parents intervene – they step in, come in-between, and interrupt an unhealthy path. Children that are not able to form permanent and secure attachments to a loved one run the risk of relationship difficulties, challenging behaviors, emotional and health related problems, developmental delays and poor educational achievement. Adoptive parents interrupt this, and provide a permanent environment for children to thrive in. Some children are available for adoption because of adverse and traumatizing conditions within their birth families that can arrest their development. When they are in a family where there is a loving relationship that is consistent and predictable, where they feel connected to their loved ones and have a sense of belonging, they shift from survival mode and begin to thrive. However, this path is not paved with flowers, unicorns, rainbows and whimsical music – it is often excavated by loving hands, tired hands, hands in need of love and support, hands that hug, hands that reassure, hands that need reassurance, hands that are sore, hands that are clenched, hands that hold and rock during the wee hours of the night, hands that come between a calamitous path and connect a child to a wholesome and favorable path. Much like the supporters in Intervention, Hoarders and Celebrity Rehab, adoptive parents ARE the intervention that brings about change in a child’s life.

Staff in our Foster, Kinship, and Adoption Services programs work to provide essential therapy, education, and support to adoptive, foster, and resource parents in order to strengthen family functioning and improve the overall stability and well-being of the family unit.