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 2023, On Your Feet Foundation:
- Served 582 birthparents — a 40% increase from 2022 — including 102 new clients, in 46 states and 2 countries.
- Hosted 67 BirthmomsConnect Calls, providing support to over 280 birthmothers
- Connected more than 325 birthparents through closed Facebook groups, including our birthfathers support group
- Had 12 participants in our Birthmom-to-Birthmom Mentoring Program
- Welcomed 36 birthmoms at either an in-person or virtual retreat
- Had 6 women participate in our BirthmomsToday Cohort, led by Kim Noeth
- Reached 46 birthmothers at special events such as our Vision Board event and holiday gathering
- Mailed pocket heart hugs to more than 30 birthmoms and hosted a virtual gathering to honor them for Birthmother‘s Day, providing birthmoms the kind of care and support they need on a difficult holiday
- Provided 27 birthparents with grants for counseling, education, retreats, arts, and more
- Provided ethical adoption education to more than 80 members of the adoption constellation, via Activism in Adoption
- Launched the Spanish language version of our Birthparent Journal on Amazon, one of the few secular journals available that focuses on adoption with a birthparent focus
- Provided gifts for 49 children through our Holiday Assistance Program. Since 2020, this program has provided over 245 gifts for the children placed by our birthparents, along with children they are parenting
We are optimistic about the positive impact our work will have on the adoption constellation in 2024. Your support of our work is greatly appreciated.