When I knew for certain that the printed version of Adoption: More Than By Chance would arrive before the Tucson Festival of Books in March, 2015, I imagined holding my first book signing event that weekend, in Tucson, since many of the stories in the book involve families from southern Arizona and Arizona Children’s Home Association where I started my career in adoption.
Following the suggestion in Laura Orsini’s book Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You, I imagined pairing a book signing with a fund raiser for Arizona’s Children Association (their current name).
I pictured the co-sponsored event with the attendance of many families I had worked with in Tucson, learning of their now grown children. I knew the setting where we’d have it: the gym at the Theraputic Center (yes, the copper plate of dedication has a misspelled word on it!) where we’d held annual Adoption Celebration events in the 80s and 90s.
Alas, when I contacted my friend Marcie Velen from AzCA to obtain the name of the current public relations person for the agency, she said she doubted they would be interested in promoting anything related to adoption. After all, they no longer have an adoption program, and they probably wouldn’t support such an event. They do maintain the adoption files (because it’s an Arizona law), which Marcie still updates when called upon.
It’s a sad commentary on the times that traditional adoption agencies like Arizona Children’s Home and Catholic Social Service (now known as Catholic Charities) have failed to support the adoption programs they were once known for.
The truth of infant adoption today is that most placements happen when a pregnant woman finds a profile of a hopeful adoptive couple on a website, and subsequently obtains support from a web-based service (often in a different state from where she lives, and rarely a licensed adoption agency). The traditional agencies, by and large, have refused to enter into this new age of web-based services. When we workers suggested our agencies provide our waiting families with an on-line platform to be seen by pregnant women, our ideas fell on deaf ears. More’s the pity!
So my first book signing has still not happened. It was only a fantasy