Optional “Connect & Chat” for adoptees and “Talk Times” for parents are opportunities for program participants to gather in a group to discuss and process their journey as it unfolds. Groups are facilitated by an adoption specialist.

Adoptees are grouped by age, or sometimes by gender, and the parents and siblings meet in their own separate gatherings.

Arrangements can also be made if you prefer a more private meeting. Our staff is there to meet with you in your comfort zone.

These times, like all activities, are completely voluntary.

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We are pleased to offer airline arrangements via Tempo Travel Service, making it easier for you to coordinate everything under one roof. Once you have registered, if you desire, Tempo Travel Service will prepare flight options for you to consider. You are welcome to make your reservations with Tempo, or handle your reservations directly with the airlines or other sources. The choice is yours.

Have frequent flyer miles you are trying to use? Hooray! Families who have frequent flyer miles work directly with the frequent flyer desk of the airlines.

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CONSULTING

You may be planning to travel several years from now, in the next year, or perhaps you’ve already experienced a homeland journey. At each stage, there are unique issues and questions. We are excited to provide families and adult adoptees with resource professionals who:

  • Have traveled extensively on adoptive family heritage journeys so they understand the unique issues at hand.
  • Have their Master’s degree in Social Work or other degree/life experience qualifying them to assist you.
  • Have extensive personal and professional experience with adoption.
  • Are enthusiastic and passionate about helping you prepare for and process this amazing experience.

Some of the MANY important questions….

  • What can we do to prepare for a heritage journey?
  • What age is the “right” age?
  • What kinds of adoption exploration are possible?
  • How can we explore our adoption in a healthy way?
  • What is “adoptee loyalty” and how might it impact our family?
  • What if we have difficult information? How might we explain that to our child? Or, if you are an adult adoptee, you might be wondering, “How much do I want to know and what will I do with the information if I find it?”
  • How does poverty affect the journey?
  • What might it be like to meet birth family?
  • What if we search, but don’t find out anything?
  • What if we have or find information for one of our children, but not all of our children?
  • How do kids and families continue to process a birth country experience?
  • What is reverse culture shock and how does it impact us?

How to get answers…  

First, we suggest you talk with our staff. For more detailed discussions, we suggest you contact Jaclyn Skalnik, founder of Adoption Wellness. Jaclyn is a transracial, internationally adopted person. She is also Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a World of Diversity trainer, adoptive family homeland journey social worker and has facilitated international birth-family searches and reunions. Jaclyn has traveled with Adoptive Family Travel both as a participant when she was a teenager, and in a social work role as an adult (multiple times!)

Jaclyn earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin. She has assisted adoptive families throughout their adoption process for nearly two decades, and has presented at global conferences on matters concerning adoption. She is passionate about counseling adopted persons and adoptive families seeking support.

Additionally, she is a trained Hague Accreditation reviewer for the Council on Accreditation, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

For international adoptees and their families, birth country travel is NOT about travel.

It’s about identity building, understanding culture, and discovery.

Travel is the fun stuff that happens around all the other truly important “stuff.” It’s the “cake topper,” not the cake.

So, pull up a front row seat to what will be an up close and personal look at the discoveries of the homeland journey—from preparation to long term processing. You’ll hear about a variety of topics from a variety of perspectives.

We hope you’ll share your feedback, and be part of the discovery, because that’s what discovery is all about–learning about ourselves and others. When we do that together as a community, all the more meaningful.

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IN MY HUMBLE OPINION WRITERS’ CIRCLE

Welcome to a writers’ group where YOUR humble opinion has found a home!

The Ties Program Writers’ Group was created informally a few years ago by Ties Program Founder, Becca Piper, who frequently writes articles for publication. Feeling articles are more interesting when adoptees’ and/or adoptive families’s voices are heard, Becca frequently asks alumni travelers for input. Gathering these reactions provides readers with another opportunity to process the messages discovered while traveling, and gives insights to others on a similar journey.

The feedback she has received has been overwhelming in its quantity, and both insightful and meaningful in its quality.

If you would like to write an occasional answer to an occasional question that:

  • helps you process your birth country experience
  • helps the adoption community’s collective knowledge
  • is fun and…
  • looks great on your resume

Please email Becca to indicate your interest.

You don’t have to be a perfect writer to be a perfect writer.

Don’t worry about your grammar and punctuation. It’s your thoughts that count.

Thankfully, Becca’s degree is in journalism, and she can help with the parts you may need help with,without changing the essence of your thoughts. 🙂

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