Taking Stock of Our Accomplishments
As the year concludes, On Your Feet Foundation’s staff is reflecting on the strength found in connection & community. “I found my people!” and “I feel understood,” are sentiments expressed by birthparents after connecting with On Your Feet Foundation. These words mean so much because having a support network can change one's trajectory in life, especially following the trauma of placement. A community member recently told us that she used to feel like an outsider and On Your Feet changed that by surrounding her with other women who recognize her lived experience. This powerful sense of belonging, combined with the coaching, resources, and mentoring offered by On Your Feet Foundation is unparalleled and has proven critical for the thousands of birthparents who have accessed our services. And, we could not do any of this work without our tremendous community of supporters.
Access to comprehensive post-placement services for birthparents has never been more important. On Your Feet Foundation’s neutral position in the adoption constellation remains unique. As our reputation as the authority on post-placement support has grown, so have requests for services by birthparents located throughout North America. Our community of supporters has been integral in keeping up with this demand for our services. This year we launched our Birthparent Support Alliance for adoption professionals to demonstrate their commitment to ethical adoptions by ensuring that the birthparents they work with will be able to access post-placement services through On Your Feet Foundation. We shined light on our mission through an increase in outreach. By attending conferences, hosting networking events, and continuing our adoption education series, Activism in Adoption, we were able to connect with members of the adoption constellation, enabling collaborative opportunities for best practices for ethical adoptions. Recently, an adoption professional who regularly participates in Activism in Adoption, credited On Your Feet Foundation with laying the groundwork for all sides of the adoption constellation to thrive. She also thanked our staff for sparking change within the practices of their agency. The impact of our work goes beyond our direct services, though we are so proud of that too.
In 2022, On Your Feet Foundation:
- Hosted nearly 200 birthmoms at 75 BirthmomsConnect Calls with themes ranging from Effective Communication to Taming Anxiety, all with opportunities to share personal stories and develop a support network.
- Through case management, we worked individually with 78 birthparents in the form of 1:1 coaching and customized resources.
- We connected 10 mentors and mentees for the 2nd year, witnessing how those relationships grow and benefit participants.
- 52 birthmoms attended retreats, offered in both in-person and virtual formats which eliminated barriers to participation.
- We awarded 8 grants for counseling and provided gifts to nearly 70 children through our Holiday Assistance Program.
- We connected with hundreds of adoption professionals throughout the United States to answer questions, engage support, and instill the urgency that birthparent needs are prioritized.
- We had over 180 attendees participate in Activism in Adoption, an educational platform which creates a safe space for open and honest conversations on challenging topics.
- More than 300 birthparents are connected through closed Facebook groups, including our birthfathers support group
We are optimistic about the positive impact our work will have on the adoption constellation in 2023. Your support of our work is greatly appreciated.