Good Sunday and welcome to the show cranky and so much for joining us today I'm your host Monica he's coming up. We have lots of people who clean through and every year because they're either through options and we believe it's off to carry themselves religious person who can actually. Information on the 25 annual girls star classic. And getting volunteers of America a way to New Orleans a adoption program. And welcome the little boy moon club days this week fifteen. It has changed so. And it don't matter what about his family's experience through the VOA adoption program. Volunteers of America adoption program has created thousands of loving boy ever family through adoption. The 08 you know has a huge golf tournament coming up a big fund raiser. Peter talk about the work of the BO Agee you know our Lauren Arsenault adoption program manager with volunteers of America greater New Orleans. And I adoptive parent. David Wilkinson thank you both for being with us thank you so much happiness. The begin with Hugh Laurie how important is this golf star classic is the 25 annual. It is this is a really special year for celebrating the 25 anniversary. I'm in a nonprofit agency you know funding is always an issue for us and this golf tournament is really been instrumental. Over the past 25 years and how the history is crucial dollars. That really. Play such an a par and and has been able to provide. Many services that we do in the community and the golf tournament is. How the tournament players club but on Tuesday march 14 and what's really special about the event is and it's held. Just weeks before those are classics and determine the course itself hasn't. Wonderful shape and we have lots of people who plane determine every year because they're either touched by adoption and some way by the an adoptive parent. Adopted themselves or just have some kind of connection and feel really strongly about supporting incredible work that. We provide for decades. However families thousands of them loving families what do you think is the secret to the success. And reveal ways adoption program. Well Monica we've been and been around for over saddle five years. And I think Texas a lie about. The work that we do you to be around for as long as we have that we have been recognized as a leader in adoption in the greater New Orleans area. And we really. Feel strongly about providing good quality services. To everyone we work with his touched by adoption likeness from. They expect him earn them woman considering adoption are often times it's a scary and overwhelming time for her and we are here to offer a safe place for her. She used to talking process her feelings about what's the best decision for child. We offer free confidential counseling to her. Top explore her options aren't so that she has some insight into the decision of adoption but ultimately she has to make the best decision personals. And then also too we work we finally such as David and his wife actually. Who would love nothing more act but to become parents that they haven't been able to you and sent through adoption there are able to create their family and provide a loving forever finally teen children. David will concern is an adoptive parents and doesn't mention his wife Ashley David thank you for being with us tell us about your journey to becoming a forever family. Well thank you for having me Monica. The journey has been amazing. Volunteers of America. Has welcomed us and made us feel like friends and family ever since the day we've met Lori. We worked with a glory now for a few years. And there was a waiting process we waited for maybe a year and a half two years. And we welcome the little boy into a home five days before Christmas. Tony fifteen and it has changed outlaws how much it changed your life. And so many ways coming home to that face every day no matter how bad you dale was all war is is taken away when you walk in the door. And you know my wife's adopted so we always had the thought of adopting. So. Once we worked with volunteers of America we work of those organizations and volunteers of America is. On its own level. They also welcoming and so informative. They helped us through the whole process on how to deal with certain situations. That you just don't think about a few not in the adoption world and they have been. You know so helpful to us that you know were forever grateful is there appeared to. Processing your feelings a casino at a million journey if if you really really tried even he wanted to have. A birth child are at some point he said well you know this is something that's viable. And because your wife had an experience with it being a child I was adopted was a difficult. Easier. I mean I guess it's hard to tell him there's always the nerves you know in the beginning but. Volunteers of America settles all those and I say that because. You know I was never touched by adoption meet personally my wife was and you know volunteers of America has these classes where they go through so many different scenarios before you ever adopt they prepare you. 100%. You know to go into this unknown to some people and it's been such a great journey that you know. I don't think you could win any better. Them and those who listened to the show over the years know that personally have been touched by adoption amen amen not comment on T my my youngest sister. Adopted two Brothers and it's been on my guide I think once almost eight and the other one's almost seven and the and but you also think about thank you a lot of the what it's Laurie you know what don't we know we know it was a public adoption but still. You worry a little bit about what could be down the pike for you as a family or as the adoptive family but some of the issues. We did in its funny because I think sometimes people are more concerned about this issues. The reduction in I think it's interesting because when you have a child biologically there's certainly no guarantees you know starting on the journey to parenthood brings lots of unknowns no matter what path he take. Wanted it an interesting things though is that with openness in adoption which is you know the majority of have our options have some type of openness firm. Expectant mom being able to pick the family and meet them to have a plan for follow up contact. And what's interesting about David nationally situation is that winds. They're selling package they do have some openness with his personally and so that's I think they. Understood the importance of that probably to an even greater extent and other filings because it Nash's experience with the option to where they do have some contact. And says that over the years has backe gets older and he may have questions about his story like many children who are adopted do. They have a direct link in connection that parity forming so why hopefully he won't have to wonder about those what does. Where I come from a woman and her parents like you'll be able to have those answers and and what greater gift for him to have but I had not only the love of his adopted family but the eleven the spurs family so by. To me I mean how can you are wrong when you have all these people who. Are coming together for this taken this pretty amazing little boy and Lori not only the director of the heels of a personal perspective and experience as well with adoption. I do I have I am a daughter to act Aaron. Was adopted out like your nephew's through Foster care I mean she's seventeen in junior high school. I'm in its interesting someone recently said something about and made a comment to me about. And I and it's cringed a little bit because I it's funny that with adoption people still look at it like that and I said she is my real child you know I can't. Imagine life without I can't lover anymore if she were my biological. Child and I'm. That same person said you know what she's really lucky to have you guys and it's like now she's not liking to where the lucky ones because. You know ensor David can attest to this you know you think you know what love is and then when you become a parent it takes it to a completely different level and you didn't know he had. The capacity to be able to love. And to see her grow and learn Russian. Become this amazing young woman gets out and just couldn't. Bee patterns so for me adoption isn't just what I do for a living it's something that. For me I just it's. Volunteers Americans. Then impact on my own life because through working there is what led me to them and turned to adoption to create my finally. We're joined today by Laurie Arsenault and Lori issue mentioned is that just her job but that's where she really experienced easy adoption program manager with volunteers of America greater New Orleans. And David Wilkinson joins as a as an adoptive parents. And of course you mentioned earlier David the joy and it's like kind of a cal non take me away moment when you walk that a door and you see your sons based. What or some of the early reactions to the news that you were going to adopt and have a forever family. Well from my family were very welcoming. You know. To bring a family together and to start a family is an exciting thing and you know. To be able to bring a child into your home is just it's one of the greatest gifts in life. And you know we had trouble doing that and volunteers of America help that happen. So. Like are you aware of other VOA prior to the experience where you with a on your radar as a way to go no. We just come up to came across some through I think my wife maybe had a. Heard more on the radio we'll see them what to think it is this you know and I handed it be present through there and hit the go ahead. And you know. When we first thought and work with them you know is a waiting process not something that happens fast and you know we waited for almost two years and it. Yeah like I said five days before Christmas we got them. And this just in you know an amazing journey. And so now I'm working with the volunteers of America more you know through the golf tournament through. Trying to raise money okay for them. What's going to be year old with a golf tournament. A loss of all aboard. A committee. Where we'd. Go raise auction items and we try to sell raffle tickets we raffle off Mercedes-Benz every year at the golf tournament. And I believe in the work to raise money for volunteers of America you know it's been such a great organization for us. Has changed so laughs. And the success of our attorney asked a little earlier Monica about the success at doing this golf tournament for the past 25 years and the success. Really relies heavily to our finally is like David nationally who have been personally touched on the program and feel really strongly about wanting. To give back to the organization that they feel has given them so much and to be able to help I am. To help raise funds and to help continue to get to have the word out about the import mark that we do really helps to pay it forward for the other finally is that we able. Hopefully continue to touch in the future and this is the sole fund raising event for the adoption program correct. I'm so that's why this an annual event is so very important because without it. Quite honestly you know in these challenging Financial Times you know there's not another. Funding source for this and so it really. It really is so instrumental in us being able to continue to provide the work that we deal. I'm over the past 25 years it's definitely helped us to remain financially. Stable and be able to work with women like. David son's birth mom to be able to help provide counseling and support and really give women in that in this crisis situation. The support and assistance they need to make the best decision for their child from. Is the Davis spoke about the waiting period how challenging can that be especially was going to be a year or two years are in some cases longer perhaps. The waiting period is probably the hardest part of this process because obviously by the time finally skits lastly they've. Have probably already gone through. A lot to become parents and so they wanna become parents you know today yesterday earn one thing that I try to stress to finally says god. Once they're working with us and once they're waiting to adopt. It's not a question anymore if they're going to be apparent they're going to be apparent that if is no longer on the table now just a matter of wind. And not party is a little tricky because that's kind of out of all of our control. As I mentioned because birth moms are the ones actually pick if only for their child. Current sometimes that we can be a little longer depends on what the mom looks for in a particular family know we do work with a smaller number of families at a time so why aren't definitely helps a little bit too. But you know wing the right situation. Comes along it's venue sometimes an apple distrust of that weight. Kind of melts away because I'm short for David nationally like many families they wish it would have happened you know in a week. Com and nail I'm sure if you ask David back it was actually worse. Every waiting. Every waiting dating experience you know because nail U can't imagine anybody else being your child but that this person. I'm so it's definitely worth the wait and and to come. Because being an apparent really need you know what greater gift designed to waive veteran worth the wait. They do it every day chemical you know you have these questions when you're trying to have a baby you're trying to create a family have why you know why you're here. You know all these things and you just like why why not me you know well I can tell you. You know why when you finally adopt and you finally bring them into your home you know was meant to be. Romans and then your situation in your life situations in which it's funny because they will arm them. Birth mom specifically picked them because it actually being adopted. And so she looked at as if if anybody can love my child has their own I feel like they can because she knows what it's like and she looked at it as way. What Yeltsin a powerful connection was not for her child to it because sometimes for people who are adopted they. Sometimes feel like you know other people don't always understand their journey and so for packet as he canceled or may have questions. Who better to understand his journey but his mum whose. Who's been in his shoes and so far for his birth mom and making her decision. That was definitely a huge factor on that she you know felt really strongly about so it's interesting that that's you know that's a big reason why she picked them so. Hum and seeing Ashley and David went back at you it's like that's exactly where he was meant to be allied to actually believe that absolutely. When you bring you choose as the them. Mom and opened in or famine it's going to allow this new family to farm. What's the process like I mean are far far they don't really understand that you know when you pick and choose is just given the parameters on what the person would like. For the adoptive family to be like. Right adoptive family is put together a little picture book in scrapbook of themselves and that's what mom looks had to pick a famine for her child. And it's interesting because often times I hear. The birth moms say that it's actually a much harder decision name in the anticipated. Because they see Sammy great qualities in our finally news. But often times it's something in particular that speaks to her about the finally. As I mentioned David national's case it was the fact that I actually was adopted really. Spoke to her because I think there's a fear with women considering adoption wolf well this family love my child as much. As I let my child because it's not their own biological child. And one of the things that we ages as David mentioned we worked with with him and his wife der every step of the process we really work with. Burst monitor every step of the process tee because. As you can imagine and appreciate considering adoption for your child is not an easy decision by any means and thirteen years of working with volunteers of America I've yet to work with imam. Who said you know Gloria replacement child for adoption because I don't wanna be bothered at a celebrity mom. It's always if only my circumstances were different I love this child so much. I want what's best what I feel is best finish child and I'm running position to be able to provide that and I'm not I'm continually amazed and an on as the selflessness. And a lot that it takes to say I love you so much I want. A different path for you. Earned him my daughter like your nephews was adopted and Foster care and so. You know I think about the first eight years of her life and how different it would have been. If she hadn't had to experience just things that she did and snow and into Indian able to make my decisions say I don't want it. My child's view perhaps experienced things because of my situation not being what it. What I wanted to be in this child gets to have a completely different. Passed some remember you know for many things but in number one my sister just saying. Can you believe. I'm somebody's momma. And it was just the way she said it I was like it just opens up some staying in how high is she was doing their she was divorced than they had tried to have children and and and didn't. And and the fact that she was not the only ones with two kids two Brothers it was just always amazing and how we just. Wanted to make sure that they knew that they would not different the you know there are nephews you know they just fit right hand and really younger this my Brothers get judged it a little bit older. But you know we just want to make sure that we open our hearts. And not. Stuck with the what air so we don't know and what is this and what of that. Is that really wasn't important at that point I jobless to rally around them in Gaza link and really young you know they. I trash just to people here that remember that adoption is not a label you know I remember. Even my daughter would sometimes struggle with the terminology. As saying you know real child are likely if you had your own child and literally in a real child I would like. Poker arming like you seem pretty really mean you know winds adoption. She's not my adopted child she's my daughter and just you know with David they know him actually don't introduce acted as this is our adopted son his there's time. On your your heart is no difference with adoption it's just. Adoption is just how the person came into the finally it doesn't define who they are it's just one ounce and one small aspect of who they are. Ride it act as struggled with that because I like to like shot at look at my sister she did a great staying. That ball will stop you know you when you say all that in make a big goal production about it the SI at the Sonoma nephews as opposed it. My sister who adopt them one losing a six month up at the time the apple tell its story can even though I'm still very very. Amazing and courageous as to what she did as a single. My Al Aqsa rallying absolutely and I'm short hue when we're talking about you know that label of adoption and short within your family you know aunts uncles nieces nephews everybody looks at this two little boys is just a part of the family is everybody else and the same thing with back and we if you would CV. He he has his own entourage that the people who love and support him in and passion David you know he's not any different than any other member in the family and and that adoption is just can be such a loving beautiful thing not only for for the mom who wants to pass for her child. But Didier adopting firmly who just mail has experiences. Incredible gift to becoming parents but then for the child and styles because like I said at the beginning of wind. That's its birth mom is deciding on adoption she obviously RD lasting caring about him and so when he was place with his adoptive parent. It to me I just I remember thinking like this is a pretty amazing here you have this little guy. There's only a week old and look at all the people who already love him and how many kids can say Ryan can say that cannot experience it's. Adoptions just a pretty amazing pretty amazing thing. Celebrate my dad infect my dad to me that we need to be training went to Atlanta where my sister was living and it was still gaunt at a process and it took longer even with the the public adoption. And the instantaneous. Love that I saw in my dad's eyes for those two little boys mean the moment Nissan. And he just became their champion. And and you know so he set the tone and so after that about it the fall in love it you don't print is gonna happen then and we're gonna love mom and that he used to teach him things and you know they called simple Paula and just love them dearly so. I'm just so happy that they had an opportunity to to be a part of my dad's life you know before he passed on so it's a tremendous thing. So openness in adoption and so what to. A some of the things that the parents. Of the birth mom or dad need to know about that to make sure that they're going through the process emotionally as well when you know adoption. We explain that with openness it's it's my co parenting you know it's your not necessarily. Can you be involved in day to day decisions. And that's her thing adoption is forever decision you're saying. Time and trusting someone else to forever raise this child but openness enables the birth mom too. For adoption to not have to be different Africa by the that was years ago you know as you can imagine Preston adoption for 75 years adoption is very different. Saturday 515 even 25 years ago where women didn't necessarily have a part in the decision making process. I'm in May ill. You know act as time has gone on and people have looked that adoption they realize that it's really. Hey good and healthy thing for there to be openness sometime people so isn't that confusing to the child. Well no because Beckett will not call his birth mom mom literally has one mom and dad. I'm but it enables him to be able to put the pieces together. And so we X yet through counseling and support with the mom. We while she's make in the plan for for the child we explain. How that relationship is just like any other relationship big grows and develops over time and so arm. I just think it's just see it in action to see the inaction and even Ashley's case. With their relationship they're developing and went back expert Stanley it's just a really special thing. Arm I heard a quote about adoption years ago that stuck with me and it said. On how can have peace within yourself until you have all the peace says Anthony's through openness it's like gift for the child to be able to have more pieces to their story. And Beckett is howls now only days at fifteen months he's fifteen muscle a lot of things that he's not even thinking about is like some nice people. But have you thought about how that's going to be explained our you know why these people in my life this X and that kinda sort of family but my family but. My mom and dad really here. Yes we will have talked about it we gonna be open with them from the moment he can speak and understand what we're telling them. But my wife being an adopted. You know we just develop a relationship with her parents. A year or two ago and it's something that was always missing in her life and you don't understand that if you're not adopted but it's important. So we started developing a relationship with back its birth family and it's been amazing process. His grandparents. And you know Motley it is not taken away from my mom or anything like that because that's the thoughts that go through you had not been adopted and not been touched by adoption. It doesn't do that. All it does create more people love them and would who wouldn't want that. So it's been an awesome process. People are naturally afraid of it. But there's no reason to be afraid drive if that if the relationship was inevitably come on healthy will Wear out whether his parents and would make a decision at that point. But it's been. Awesome I'm a little does Beckett under you know obviously doesn't understand rain dampen. Davone Ashley aren't laying the foundation for this relationship so that overtime making continue to grow in and hopefully you evolve and that sort of thing. And he won't be able to net. We know more about his at his story and much younger age to where he won't have to be like his mom. Ashley and wait until she's an adult to be able to finally get some of those answers. To a lot of questions and adopted children hug and it's interesting because I think sometimes people misunderstand. When children who were adopted wanna know about their story they feel like they're missed they've been missing something like what did you what are you love by your adoptive parent. And has not been in do ways than missing any thing. On this side of their adopted finally it's the natural curiosity. You know you're RI who aren't adopted can look in the mirror and say we had you know we have moms are Ireland downsized. And children who are adopted don't have that frame of reference and so it shows that natural curiosity. To me I'm more concerned when people who are adopted don't have any questions because to me it's completely normal and natural to have questions. Right we're joined by Laurie Arsenault adoption program manager volunteers of America greater New Orleans. An adoptive parent David Wilkinson and sharing his journey. And David what do you use it valued and we worked with a golf tournament you've been doing that you volunteering what do you say to parents going through the process. What's your advice to that. Just be patient be patient because. This so much excitement when you first get the meeting when you start set up the process and you know it's a waiting process because you're not just saying oh policy would only eat for dinner coming your creating a family. And you wanted to be perfect and you just have to have patience and that's the that's the hardest thing to do that could just wanna love of a baby so that. And it's hard and like Laurie said that you've been exhausted him much options you've already been through the ringer you know it's emotional process. And the best Americans elements it's just have patience and know that. God will place the baby in your home when Thomas Wright and you'll understand at that point. You'll be instantaneous absolutely. So again the golf tournament and I know you make in the big pitch for David so. It's gonna be exciting young golfer. Yeah last ought to go from a few years ago. So I'm excited about that but I essentially giving back a case of how to people find out you find out more about the golf tournament and how that they be apart of it. Shark we aren't absolutely still looking for people who are interested in helping out whether it's by playing in the golf tournament and ending an auction item. I'm being able to come and support as the day however people feel compelled to be able to get back they came this our website at Debbie Debbie Debbie died. VO AG and anti pork for by the acronym for volunteers of America creating New Orleans and if they aren't able to help and not wait another way to give back is where rosling. A beautiful 2017. Mercedes CLA. Come and their raffle tickets are fifty dollars each we're only selling 15100 of them say have a one and 15100 chance of winning this beautiful car to John will take place on the day of the tournament Tuesday march 14. And then when it does not need to be present to win. Come in so people can also purchase a ticket to the raffle on our web site as well also with not to have people aren't. It is they're able to help to get back in and what. Great awakened black but to know you're helping to you create. We your support is helping to create finally such as David nationally it's. Will the will concerns are stars in my book my sister the store in my book but an actual celebrity star just recently. Made the announcement put a copy that she's adopted a beautiful beautiful little baby. Let's sped due to those who had been deciding now really waffling on whether or not they should go this route. I think can I think win. Adoption is mentioned I think it'd be just another. Opportunity for people to have conversations about adoption. To realize it doesn't have to be scarier overwhelming or this. You know unusual thing that it's it's just another way of creating your family and you know obviously the social worker in me thought about when I heard a story about how it made me think I wonder what her daughter's. Birth story as meaning obviously her purse mom had to be going through something that she felt like. She wasn't able to parent her and so what an incredible gift that she choose adoption. Come what a gift for the child and then ultimately for her and nail to become a mom so it's. I think it's a great way to keep the conversation of an option. I'm in our minds because it's not something that obviously. Everyone's touched by and so it's not something that's always brought up but I think it's a great opportunity to hop continued those conversations. Of. Thank you both for being with those who have been John mylar Arsenault adoption program manager of volunteers of America great in New Orleans and David Wilkinson an adoptive parent thank you for your. Wherever families from my previous announcement contains links him. That is our show for today thank you so much for joining us until next time we enjoy this Sunday and the rest of your we.