If knowledge is the best tool pre-placement, community seems to be the sharpest weapon after the battle to adopt has taken place. For many families, another battle begins at this point. Like the baby blues or postpartum depression many women experience after giving birth, according to PAC—Pre-Adoption, Post-Adoption, Permanency Advice and Counseling—in England, “60% of adoptive parents experience post-placement blues.” Feelings of sadness, anger, and disillusionment can occur within families who have completed a smooth adoption. These can compound if the process felt more difficult than expected. The need for these families to find friends, family, and church support cannot be overstated.
Tapestry, a volunteer-based adoption ministry of Irving Bible Church in Texas, began seven years ago with 20 people who wanted local churches to help people going through the adoption or foster care process. With the motto “inform, equip, encourage,” Tapestry embraces a different emphasis than most adoption ministries: They don’t recruit people to adopt. They focus on the “back-end” of the adoption process.
Now, 1,500 people—20 percent of whom are “unchurched”—annually take advantage of informative classes that show people what Michael Monroe, a member of the Tapestry leadership team, describes as “how to wait well.” Their website, Empower to Commit, partners with the Institute of Child Development and offers a free online study guide with parenting tools.