“Our desire would be for them to gain the knowledge that they’re not alone in any parenting issues that they might have, because we’ll have those that have grown adopted children as well as those who have just adopted,” said Cindy Smith, director of Bartow Family Resources’ Relationship Center. “And then we can glean from the wisdom of those that have already raised adopted children. We’ll also have grown adults that have been adopted, so that they can give their perspective.
“But we want our moms to be able to ask the hard questions, like when do we tell our child that they’re adopted or what do you do if your child is bullied for being adopted or made fun of because we deal with that. ... So we feel like [it is important] to talk [about various issues related to adoption]. It’s so healthy. [Adoption is] a beautiful thing. Adoption is one of the most beautiful gifts for everyone involved.”
Held the first Tuesday of the month, the informal gathering — which kicked off April 1 — meets at 6:30 p.m. at Los Arcos, 966 N. Tennessee St. in Cartersville. Along with talking with other mothers, Taco Tuesdays also features guest speakers, who share their adoption journeys.
“We have a great need for adoption parent support and also for those that are fostering,” Smith said. “... We just feel like since we really stress the importance of choosing life for our children, for our babies, then we want to make sure that the families that have adopted or want to adopt are healthy, so that those babies can be placed in good homes. That’s the heartbeat of who we are.
“We believe that every family needs support at different times and adoption just adds a new arena to the family atmosphere, to the family dynamic. We believe that there’s really healthy ways to parent adopted children and we want them to have as much community support as possible.”
For Adoption Support Coordinator Amy Barkley, Taco Tuesdays is a natural extension of Adoption Education Support Ministry’s existing services, which also include social events and free adoption education classes. At Tuesday’s gathering, 10 mothers were in attendance.
“It’s a great opportunity for moms,” Barkley said, referring to Taco Tuesdays. “We had a couple of moms that had never adopted and were just hoping to adopt. So they were able to talk to moms that have already been down that road and get a lot of advice.
“But then also there were moms ... with teenage kids and moms there with toddlers. So [we want them] to get encouragement and advice ... on the issues that adoptive parents face [that] are different from regular parenting issues and some of them are the same. Another mom and I talked about tantrums of a 2-year-old, so that’s kind of [an] across-the-board parenting issue. It’s just a great opportunity to kind of get feedback and get to know moms in different stages of the adoption process.”
The Adoption Education Support Ministry is one component of the Bartow Family Resources’ Relationship Center, which was formed in January 2013. In addition to its existing services, the adoption offering also is preparing to start holding parenting classes in the fall. The next adoption education class is scheduled for May 3.
For more information about Taco Tuesdays, visit the Adoption Support for Bartow Families’ Facebook page or call the Relationship Center at 678-894-6545.