Similar Paths, Different Journeys

Julia Alfano, an intern with RG Adoption Consulting, is a student finishing her Junior year at Elmhurst College in Illinois. She is a Sociology major, with a double minor in Social Work and Criminal Justice.

By, Julia Alfano

IMG_5880May is always so crazy for me as I scramble preparing for finals, completing big projects and getting ready for the end of another school year. Even though I approach those last two weeks of the semester with high anxiety and worry about my grades being good enough, I remind myself about the importance of education for my future and my career. I think, no matter what transitions we go through in life, we experience similar stages to get to where we are going – whether deciding on adoption to build our family or even our education and career paths.

I have not always known that I wanted to work in adoption, as I’m sure many of you didn’t know this would be your journey to parenthood. But, ever since I’ve started learning and working in this field, it’s felt right. I have close family friends that adopted their two children. They too didn’t always know they would adopt, but after experiencing some health issues, they were led down that road. At first, they adopted a little boy and then a few years later they knew they wanted to adopt again and ended up adopting a little girl. Their story inspired me to learn more about their adoption process and the field in general. The more I looked into it, the happier I felt that there was adoption in the world giving people the chance to have the family they always dreamed about, without having to give birth. Family is the core of all of us and that is what we all have in common. I have worked with kids since I was young and always loved seeing families together and now I want to help bring families together through adoption as an adoption social worker.

Calling around for internships I equate to calling different agencies to find the right fit. And actually, I did just that…called many adoption agencies and struck out! (I learned that they don’t offer internships to bachelor students) When I called RG Adoption Consulting, Becca was so welcoming and very interested! I began to feel encouraged. We talked over email for a few days and then we met and she explained to me a little bit about what she was looking for and about her company. I was finally chosen and immediately felt like this was the right match for me. I was ready to get started.

If it is the right fit, you will know it in your heart and soul…whether about an agency, an expectant mom…or an internship.

I started my internship a couple weeks after meeting with Becca and immediately began this immense new education about the IMG_1183world of adoption. While adoption hasn’t touched my family personally, I have learned many new things during this adventure, as I’m sure you have learned since immersing yourself in the adoption process. It’s been great to learn about what a prospective adoptive parent is going through and hope to remember this side when I become an adoption social worker.

Faith made me keep trying to find the right experience in this industry and what kept me from just giving up after a lot of rejection. Faith is also what you as prospective adoptive parents need on your path because you know that if you continue on your journey, you will have a baby. Remembering why you set out on this journey in the first place will keep you focused on building the family you dreamed of.

We all set out on various journeys throughout our lives and even though they seem drastically different, the paths are similar. It is these journeys that bring people together, the people on our journeys that give us courage to stay the course and it’s that courage that brings us hope. Hope for that moment I graduate and get my dream job, and hope for the moment you bring home your baby.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Lisa May 19, 2016,

    I taught Julia and I know what a quality human being she truly is. You made a wonderful decision. Good luck to the both of you in your very important journey.

    • Rebecca Gruenspan May 19, 2016,

      I feel lucky that Julia crossed my path! Thanks for your well wishes and for taking time to comment. 🙂

    • Julia May 24, 2016,

      Thank you! You taught me so much and showed me the importance of helping others.

  • Laura May 21, 2016,

    My very dear friend found out when we were kids that she would never be able to have her own child. I went down some very difficult paths with her. The adoption process is not always easy. There were states she traveled to and parents who changed their minds. I am sure those experiences are hard on the agency as well. As we all kept faith she ended up with three beautiful boys to complete her family. The oldest being my godson. This was so nice to read. Julia I am so proud of the woman you have become. Thank you for reminding me to keep faith while we travel these paths. I feel I have just experienced that moment they say the teacher learns from the student. Becca, thank you for giving Julia and other students the chance to learn and grow.

    • Rebecca Gruenspan May 23, 2016,

      The journey isn’t always a smooth one, but those who can endure typically come home with the baby they are meant to be with and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Thank you for sharing. I’m blessed to be working alongside a wonderful young woman!

    • Julia May 24, 2016,

      Thank you so much! It is always important to keep faith and continue to look forward when the going gets rough. You have always been someone I look up to and am grateful for it.

Leave a Comment