We celebrated our twentieth anniversary in 2021, and that is an incredible milestone in the non-profit world, one that can only happen when you have a Board of Directors that is enthusiastic about your mission, and committed to sharing their expertise. As we enter 2022, we are pleased to welcome Monica Tsikretsis as our new Board Chair. Monica is birthmom to Jack, and enjoys an open adoption with her son, his two dads and younger sister, and she has spent the last few years educating hopeful adoptive parents on how to navigate a healthy open adoption for all members of the triad. You can find her formal bio on our Board page, but our 5 Question interviews are always a fun way to learn a little more about our staff and Board.
How did you first get involved with On Your Feet Foundation?
I was first introduced to On Your Feet Foundation (OYFF) as a resource my counselor shared with me after placing my son. Soon after, I attended a fundraiser and later on, a retreat. I was so in awe of the work and passion from everyone in the organization, I knew I wanted to become more involved. I started working with OYFF helping with smaller fundraisers and events in 2016, and joined the Board in 2018.
What is On Your Feet Foundation doing for birthparents that you are most proud of?
The community that OYFF provides to our birthparents is invaluable. I have always loved seeing the connections birthparents make with each other at retreats and events that extend beyond the shared experience of being a birthparent.
Why is it important to you that On Your Feet Foundation exists for birthparents?
As a birthmom myself, I understand the complex feelings that come with placing a child for adoption. No one else understands the emotions quite like another birthparent!
OYFF is so important because we meet birthparents where they are on their journey. Our case management staff works tirelessly to understand the unique needs of each of our birthparents and help provide the supoort to each of them.
If you could make a New Year's resolution for On Your Feet Foundation what would it be?
My New Year's resolution for OYFF is to reach more birthparents that may otherwise not have post-placement support. While the past two years of the pandemic have been challenging, we have been able to virtually connect with more birthparents on a national level that we may not otherwise have been able to, and I hope to continue more of that in 2022.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2022?
A couple of things!
I am a huge music nerd and I have missed going to live concerts during the pandemic. My boyfriend got me tickets to see one of my favorite musicians (Brian Fallon) live at one of my favorite venues in Chicago in January.
The other thing I'm super excited for is to make a trip out to San Diego again this year to visit my son and his family.
We are so grateful to Monica for taking the time let our community get to know her better, and we cannot wait to share with you all our vision for 2022 and beyond, as we continue to find innovative and much-needed ways in which to provide birthparents with the comprehensive case management services, community, and support they deserve.