It’s funny how life takes twist and turns and before you know it you end up in a place you never could have imagined. As a newly licensed counselor, my plan was to work within the field of marriage, family therapy and domestic violence issues. I never applied for a job as an adoption recruiter, and yet somehow, my resume landed on the desk of someone who thought I might be perfect for the job. There have been countless moments of joy in the last few years as a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter.
Often times, being a WWK recruiter means going a bit out of my comfort zone or out of my time zone. In one of my more memorable cases, I did both. A co-worker and I had a sibling group on our caseload. A brother and sister. We found them the perfect match, but it required that they make a big move out of state. Thankfully, we were able to travel with them and as we got seated and ready for take-off, the flight attendant asked the little girl where she was going. With a grin on her face and sparkle in her eyes she loudly stated, “I am going to Wisconsin to be adopted by my forever family.” The flight attendant seemed to be moved by the small voice and the innocence behind her eyes. At the end of the flight, the attendant invited the children up front to the cockpit. They sat in the pilot’s seat and we were allowed to take pictures. Moments like this make every minute of work worth the effort.
But for every child eager to find a home, there is a child who isn’t convinced…yet.
My greatest challenge is a case I’m currently working on. Miranda is a teenager who was not interested in being adopted. Each month I would ask the caseworker and the counselor if she was ready. The answer was always no. I worked with her in the past and always thought we had a good relationship, so when she started to pull away, I took it personally. I kept thinking: “Why was she so challenging? She was making a difficult job more difficult. This was totally frustrating. How could I relate to her? What was going to be the thing that made the difference?” So I thought, if she won’t come to me, I’ll go to her…in the form of a letter. I sat down and wrote her a note. I explained why adoption is important, the benefits of having a family and my desire to help her find the right family for her. You know what? It worked. Just a few weeks ago, she got in touch with me and told me she now realized family is important and asked if I would find her one. I’m hopeful that as we take this journey together, we’ll find a happy ending.
Tiffany is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter in Ohio. She works every day to find forever families for the children she serves and she’s always sharing the value of family.