You Can Do More

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

June 24th of this year marked the beginning of one of the most remarkable journeys of my life. 16 years ago our family became the adoptive parents of a bubbly, sparkling 2 year old girl. Who knew that someone so little could turn our world completely upside down! Here we were a quiet family of 3, a mom, a dad and a son. Emphasis is on the word quiet. Our son was entering the pre-adolescent stage where interactions with parents were very low on his list of priorities. You know the scenario, homework, dinner and a long evening of Nintendo and talking on the phone with friends. My husband and I were not much better, as a musician he was always practicing for the next gig and I had just returned to college to work on my Masters in Social Work. So usually the only noise you heard in our house was the sounds of a flute coming from the basement, or the refrigerator door opening when our son came out of the room for a snack or the turning of pages while I studied for the next test!

While this scene seems pretty tranquil, we all realized that there was a void in our life. Something was missing. We had been blessed with so much and yet every day we were faced with the question of what were we doing for others? All of our family worked in professions that served others; we were social workers, teachers, ministers, nurses, soldiers and sailors. Our purpose was to make a difference in the world and while we went out each day to do just that, there was this small voice that was saying “you can do more”!

As soon as the decision was made we realized that this was the “more” that we had been called to do! We began the process of learning all we could about adoption. We completed pre-service training and submitted all of the required documents necessary to become approved by our state. We also worked closely with our social worker during the home visits and home study process. We learned so much about ourselves and our abilities during our family preparation. As an adoption social worker, I had a unique opportunity to view adoption from the “inside out “and it has made all the difference in my own work with families adopting from a child from the child welfare system. After a period of waiting, this introverted family had the awesome blessing and responsibility of loving and caring for an outgoing two year old. What a match, but truly a match made just for us! She has given us more joy then we can ever know; she has made a difference in our lives and all who know her. And to think that our desire to make a difference in the life of someone else could end up being the best gift that we were ever given!

Has this sixteen year journey been easy? Of course not, but those opportunities that we truly treasure do not come to us with ease. It has at times been an uphill climb, but I have never looked back down the mountain and wondered, “Why”? I have asked “How” and the response has always been “You can do more”! The need for adoptive families for waiting children is great everyday for the more than 130,000 children are waiting across the nation for a permanent family. Won’t you join my family and scores of others in answering the call? “We CAN do more”!

For information about special needs adoption in Indiana contact

For information general information on adoption contact the Dave Thomas Foundation @ or AdoptUSKids @

Alfreda D. Singleton-Smith , MSW LSW

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