NPN Has a Group for That: Adoption

Written by: Christa Reed

Did you know that NPN has more than 30 special interest and neighborhood clubs? We thought we'd tell you a little about each of them over time. In honor of November being National Adoption Month, we thought we'd introduce you to Teresa, the lovely volunteer of our very active adoption group.

1. Tell us about you and your family

My husband and I met in 2004 in a random occurrence while we both were watching the Chicago Air and Water Show alone! We were married the following Fall in Rockport, Maine, and have been married for nine years. Since we were approaching our 40s, our route to creating a family was a winding road that lead us to adoption and we couldn't be happier with how we found our happy ending! We reside in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood with our three and a half year old son, Ian.

2. Why did you start to volunteer for NPN?

After the birth of Ian in 2011, a friend suggested that I join NPN. I participated in my first event through a stay-at-home mom's group in January. At this event, my son and I met our first friends! As I took interest in the various groups that were attractive to me, I discovered the New Moms Over 40 Group (NMO40), which proved to be a wonderful connective opportunity for me! In addition to NMO40, I also attended Adoption Group activities. At the time, the group was Co-Chaired by two other NPN members, one of which I became familiar with. In July 2012, I ran into her at Adams Playlot and she suggested that I take over the volunteer Chair for the Adoption Group. I was seeking opportunities to be involved in my community and was very excited when we talked about it. I thought it would be best to have a Co-Chair and asked Karen Malsom, a friend I had made through the NMO40 group and she happily agreed to join me! We have been volunteering together since January 2013. We both love meeting the new adoptive families and treasure the relationships we have developed over the past two years! I like to think of it as an extension of our "Adoptive Family".

3. What do you think is the best part about living in Chicago?

The best thing about living in Chicago is the breadth of cultural opportunities and resources at our finger tips! For one, Neighborhood Parent Network! NPN has been a wonderful support system for making new friends and exploring the city of Chicago together! 

4. Why should a family check out the Adoption Group?

The NPN Adoption Group is a great way for adoptive families to gather! It's fun to exchange adoption stories and learn that while all of our stories vary, we have adoption as our common connection. It's also a great way to start communication with your child about being adopted. Our son Ian, has been involved in the group since before he was one year old. The conversation of adoption grows with you and your family as the child ages. As he approaches four years old, he is starting to have a better sense of understanding that he is adopted and so are many of his friends from this community. Additionally, I believe we have made some life-long adoptive friends. We have some friends from The Cradle, our Adoption Agency's community, but the NPN Adoption Group enhances our adoptive family connections and incorporates more families into our community. 

5. What was your favorite event this year?

My favorite Adoption Group event this year was Saturday, November 8. A play date at Pickle's Playroom. We had a fabulous turnout of new and old adoptive friends! We loved meeting some infant new comers too! We even took a photo of our group for #WorldAdoptionDay, which was celebrated on Sunday, November 9.

6. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory from childhood?

My favorite childhood memory of Thanksgiving spans from early childhood until my teens! We always spent the holiday with my mom's family. My mom has four sisters, so we got together with 18 cousins! It was great to play with our cousins and the food was always the BEST! Yum, I can taste it now.
I'd like to send a big hug and thank you to Teresa and all of our other amazing volunteer chairs for making NPN so special. Want to check out a group for yourself? See the list here. Don't see a group and like to start one? We can do that too! Comment below and we'll reach out to you :)
Posted on November 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM