Kelly Cline fights back tears as she explains how post-adoption support services have helped her family.
In the fall of 2015, Kelly and her husband Charlie traveled thousands of miles internationally to bring home their newly adopted son Nicholas. They spent two weeks abroad bonding and connecting with 4-year-old Nicholas before returning home, where their two biological children were anxiously awaiting their new brother.
As they traveled back home, they were excited, imagining all the beautiful moments their new family would now have. But a difficult reality soon set in as they stepped foot back on American soil.
“We had a lot of training on the difficulties he would have, but not a lot of training on the difficulties our entire family would have,” said Kelly.
The adoption adjustment period was overwhelming, frustrating, emotional—so much more than the family had been prepared for. Kelly and Charlie relied on their faith, praying every day that Nicholas and their family would find peace together.
Soon after, they heard about DePaul Community Resources and Amy Burns, a licensed professional counselor and regional manager of community-based services.
“I didn’t know there were services for us since we adopted internationally,” said Kelly.
That connection provided the hope and support the Cline family needed to persevere.
Nicholas, who has developmental delays, began meeting with Ben, a clinician at DePaul. They worked on Nicholas’ social skills, the way he acted and reacted, the language and cultural barrier, and relationship building with his family. At the same time, Amy was meeting with Kelly, providing strategies and activities for bonding, listening, and helping her feel less alone. Kelly finally felt the freedom to admit she and her family were struggling.
“I learned to accept that I’m not a bad mom,” said Kelly.
Years passed as the Cline family was learning and growing… together. Post-adoption support services were lighting a path for the family that was once filled with darkness.
This year, the state of Virginia cut funding for a grant that covered the complete cost of post-adoption services, like the ones the Clines count on every day.
DePaul believes in the power of these services and the ability to change lives through them. We do not want funding to be a barrier for families who are in desperate need.
“Behavioral and mental health care can have life-changing impacts on youth and families,” said Jason Poston, director of community-based services. “Funding issues can force families to have to decide between counseling services and other services, like speech or physical therapy.”
What if Nicholas and his family do not have these services? What will his future look like?
“I cannot imagine where we would be if we didn’t have the support that DePaul has given us,” said Kelly.
DePaul’s hope is that you, the generous donors who support our organization, will see the power of these vital services too. We are establishing a fund that will help cover the costs of needed mental health services for those who have barriers. The fund will reduce the financial stress families experience as they struggle to cope with periods of difficulty and transition. Our goal is to remove the financial barriers that still exist for families fighting for the help and support they need. Will you join us to help these families fight for a brighter future?
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.