Every semester, AFTH welcomes two students from local universities to work alongside our marketing team. It helps students gain hands-on experience in their field of study in the non-profit sector- more specifically all the behind the scenes work
that goes into the open adoption process. This summer we have two rock star interns Ana and Liv, who will be college seniors this fall. Both women have incredible work ethics and dedicate their time spreading awareness of Adoptions From Heart’s mission.
We sat down with Ana and Liv to find out more about what interests them about this internship, and how they plan to advocate on behalf of open adoption.
1)What was it that interested you in pursuing an internship with Adoptions From The Heart?
Ana: I would have to say that I was curious about the adoption process from the other side. I’m an adoptee and I know my story from my perspective. I wanted to see everything that makes the adoption process happen.
Liv: My interest was definitely the description of the internship, it was something in college that I knew I wanted to pursue and see if it was something I really liked. Just the idea of a nonprofit and what Adoptions From The Heart was all about was very interesting to me. It was a field I wasn’t familiar with and I like the idea of branching out.
2)How much did you know about adoption before you started interning here?
Ana: Not a whole lot. I knew from my side (of adoption from being an adoptee). But I didn’t know much about (adoptive parents) making profiles and what goes into the process.I also didn’t know much about how the birth parents meet with and make the decision of who she will place her baby with.
Liv: Mostly just a lot of personal stories I would read on Facebook or some blogs I would come across online. The most I’ve ever known about adoption was in relation to animals, I’ve been taking care of rescues for years, I’ve adopted all my dogs but that’s the most relevance I’ve had to that concept.
3) What’s an important fact about adoption that you’ve learned so far, that you didn’t know before?
Ana:My favorite thing that I have learned was how to correctly refer to birth parents and being mindful of everyone’s story.
Liv: Definitely the terms was something that was completely new to me because before I wasn’t educated in the correct terms wasn’t going to hurt others. I honestly was not too familiar with the important roles that both the birth parents and the adoptive parents play. In my eyes I assumed because I wasn’t too familiar with an open adoption agency, that if you didn’t want to raise your biological child that the caretakers would take it from there. It is interesting to learn about the open process and how involved both parties get to be.
4) What are some skills you would like to hone by the end of the summer pertaining to public relations?
Ana: The written aspect of public relations is what I want to be good at. Make sure we are spreading a positive message about adoption.
Liv: I want to become a stronger writer and work on being outside of my box and branch out with the skills I’m learning in this position. I would also like to hone my skills in planning events from beginning to end. I did a lot of event planning in my sorority with my position but this a lot more involved considering it’s a community based event and it touches a lot of people. The skill of event planning is a huge part of what I have learned at AFTH.
5) What are some of things you’ve done so far in your internship that you never had experience doing before?
Ana: The whole planning of events process from beginning to end is a new experience for me. I’ve done pieces of event planning before, but I haven’t done whole thing straight through.
Liv: I would say a lot of the fliers I’ve been making, marketing through email blasts and the assistance I’ve been giving Sara, AFTH’s event coordinator, with social media. I’ve never tried to gain sponsorships either so that was all very new to me as well.
6) Do you have any personal experiences of adoption within your family or amongst you friends?
Ana: Aside from being adopted myself, my boyfriends cousin was adopted and we have very similar stories. We are both Hispanic and we are both Mexican, we also look alike too. We’re each other’s doppelgangers. I keep running into more and more people who were adopted, my former store manager, his children were both adopted.
Liv: Before working with and connecting with Ana, not many.
7) What is one thing you want people to know about AFTH and/or adoption?
Ana: Adoption has played a really big role in my life in a positive. I’m grateful for the opportunities it’s given me, and everything about it to be honest.
Liv: I want people to know how important both sides are in adoption. If you ever have the opportunity to work or intern with Adoptions From The Heart, take in every moment and gratitude that people express for this agency.