November is Adoption Awareness Month, and we want to highlight one of our amazing Adoption Services team members, who fights for every child to be in a safe, loving, and permanent family. You can also follow our Facebook page to learn more about the ways we’re celebrating this special month!
Prior to joining Mother’s Choice as an Adoption Services Social Worker in March 2012, Janice spent 10 years at the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, working closely with children and youth.
Since joining Mother’s Choice, her mom has started volunteering at Child Care Home to care for children with special needs. In her spare time, she spends time with family, and friends, and enjoys a spot of rock climbing every now and then!
What makes Mother’s Choice unique?
To me, what makes Mother’s Choice most unique is the fact that our services are very connected to one another. Other organizations may provide adoption services, or help to those facing crisis pregnancy, but what makes us unique is that we have a full range of services, and that we all work closely together. For example, a teenage girl might come to Pregnant Girls Services, place her baby in Child Care Home or in Foster Care Services, then the child is later adopted via Adoption Services.
It’s a huge benefit to be able to have the full picture of a case history and also be able to guarantee the quality of services that our clients receive. Many children awaiting adoption have complicated backgrounds and have experienced multiple placements, meaning that information may get lost along the way. At Mother’s Choice, we have the full case history, and this is particularly beneficial when adult adoptees return to do root tracing to find their biological families, and we can give them the information they are seeking.
Can you share a memorable moment/case with us?
These past three years, I have experienced a lot of firsts, experiences that are also firsts for our Adoption Services team! One case that springs to mind was a little girl who had many severe medical conditions, which meant that she lived in a hospital the entire time she was in Hong Kong. She was so weak—she had to be accompanied by an oxygen tank everywhere she went. Her condition was so severe that I wasn’t sure we would find a family for her, so you can imagine my surprise and joy when a family was identified for her! She has now been with her forever family for over a year now, and I receive photos of her learning to sit, stand, walk—it’s truly a miracle!
What do you find the most challenging about working at Mother’s Choice?
What I find most challenging is educating and empowering adoptive families along their lifelong journey, for example, helping them distinguish which of their child’s behaviors might be due to his/her history, and which are just kids acting like kids. We also encourage parents to talk about adoption as early as possible. We see so many adoptive families struggle because they’ve left it so late to tell the child s/he was adopted, and yet knowing this, new adoptive families are still hesitant to bring it up. Our challenge is in how to empower parents to talk about adoption at an earlier stage and hopefully avoid some of the related difficulties later down the line.
Where do you hope to see Mother’s Choice in 10 years?
I think the Hong Kong community generally only knows about our Pregnant Girls Services, which isn’t surprising because most of our public advertisements are related to crisis pregnancy. I hope that in 10 years’ time, when asked about Mother’s Choice, the man on the street can describe the full spectrum of our work and how it’s all connected. I also hope that we can be a leader in the adoption field knowledge and practice.
We talk a lot about building stronger families for children. What does family mean to you?
Family means love, care, and acceptance. Family means shelter and support—it means there’s always someone to hear me out. In a way, my team are also my family—we face the good and bad together. My supervisors have always supported me, not only in terms of skills and knowledge, but also emotionally.
Interested in working with Janice? Click here to see our current openings!