At Gift of Life Adoptions, we are always looking to develop new relationships with other resources and agencies in Florida. Today, I decided to jump into my car and introduce Gift of Life Adoptions to some new faces and new facilities in Sumter County.
My first stop was at the Bushnell Health Department, in Bushnell Florida. Bushnell is a small, quaint town approximately an hour north of Tampa. If you blink, you might miss it.
When Gift of Life comes into a new health department we usually ask for the social worker or the Healthy Start Worker. These caring workers are the ones that help mom’s figure out their options if they are struggling with resources. They are often the ones that inform moms about their adoption possibilities.
The Bushnell Health Department does not have a Healthy Start office in this particular building, however, they do have maternity services.
I spoke with the nurse and the receptionist about Gift of Life and our adoption services. They listen eagerly and graciously took our folder of materials. The folder contained brochures to hand out to women who may be considering making an adoption plan.
The Langley Health Department in Sumterville is literally 6 miles down the road. Some health departments are mazes of hallways and offices. The staff couldn’t have been more friendly as I navigated the labyrinth to their Healthy Start office.
At the Langley Health Department I met Abigail. She had the same sweet spirit that we often find in Healthy Start Workers. We discussed Gift of Life, our services, and adoption in general. Healthy Start Workers always have particular stories and cases on their hearts. She listened intently as I explained how our services could serve her clients.
We also talked quite a bit about intervention. Interventions are when a parent has a child or children in dependency and the state is moving toward terminating their parental rights. The parents have the right to make a private adoption plan. A private adoption plan allows the parents to select and meet the adoptive family that they want, as well as receive picture and letter updates until the child or children are 18 years of age.
Gift of Life Adoptions works avidly to create transition plans for the child/children, as well as to keep the siblings together or at least with families who will keep the children connected.
Heading up US Highway 301, I made my way to Leesburg where I stopped at the Christian Care Center and Pregnancy & Family Care Center. I introduced myself to Wanda and Twila who are the Director and Assistant Director of the pregnancy center, and they were kind enough to give me a tour.
There were car seats as far as the eye could see. They also had maternity clothes, diapers, bottles, formula and whatever else one might need for a new baby. They utilize a program called Earn While You Learn where parents can take different courses to earn points to obtain needed items. They also offer pregnancy tests, counseling, parenting classes and other services. It was awesome to see We chatted a long while about all that they do for women and families in their community, and how Gift of Life could partner with them when they are working with an adoption minded mom.
We look forward to working with the Bushnell Health Department, Langley Health Department, and Pregnancy Care Center in the future. They are doing great things for their community and we are honored to be their partner whenever they are looking for adoption services and information.
I am not sure where the road will take me next, but I look forward to meeting like minded people that work hard for their community and telling everyone about Gift of Life Adoptions!