Genie Gillespie, an adoption attorney, met with Holt-Sunny Ridge waiting families to discuss the legal aspects of adoption. This informative training provided our families with in-depth details regarding the adoption process. Take a look at some of the information!
In September, seven women graduated from the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families program! We honored them during a luncheon at a wonderful Italian restaurant. In order to graduate from the EWSF program, women need to successfully meet the goals they have set in order to achieve self-sufficiency and keep their families together.
We are so proud of these amazing women and all they have accomplished!
Words cannot describe how grateful we are that you are taking the time to read through our profile. We know that through this selfless act, you may be facing a very difficult decision. As you read through our profile, we want to let you know that we intend to raise your child so that they always know that their family was chosen out of love by their birth mom. We are committed to raising this precious child in a home surrounded by incredible love, endless opportunities for adventure, and lots and lots of laughs. We have been dreaming of being mommies since the day that we met, and we are so excited for the journey that lies ahead. Thank you again for opening our book. We are looking forward to meeting you!
As of May 2018, Olivia Bus is Holt-Sunny Ridge’s birth parent and adoption social worker!
My name is Olivia Bus and I am a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In order to graduate, all students must participate in an internship at a social services agency, so I am excited to be completing my internship at Holt-Sunny Ridge. I have been talking about wanting an internship at Holt Sunny Ridge since August 2016, so this has been a long time in the making. I am very happy to be at Holt-Sunny Ridge and have been learning so much about all of the programs offered by our branch.
The Saturday before Halloween, twelve adoptive families came to Holt Sunny Ridge for the Halloween Placement Party. There were twelve of the cutest babies in the most adorable costumes — the youngest was only 3 months old. We had a little Minnie Mouse, Boo from Monster’s Inc., and even an R2D2 just to name a few!
To expand our services to women, children and families in Illinois, we are excited to introduce the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families program!
Beginning in October 2017, with funding from a generous gift from Wayne and Nan Kocourek, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will provide counseling services, funding and trained advocates to help expectant mothers or new families in crisis stay together.
For qualifying applicants, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will help provide bridge funding for housing, educational scholarships, medical care and more so women who wish to parent their child will have the support and resources they need to make a parenting plan instead of an adoption plan.
Holt-Sunny Ridge works with dozens of women each year who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. For women who want to parent, but lack sufficient support, parenting skills, job skills or permanent housing, there are few resources outside of decentralized public assistance.
The Kocoureks want to help raise awareness about the need to empower women who wish to raise their children and they encourage others to join in supporting them as well. The Kocoureks feel there are some women who just need a boost up to get started in their new lives as mothers.
Women in the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will have a dedicated counselor who determines the best way to use the program’s funds to help them overcome hardship. The counselor will work to identify, contact and solidify a team of ongoing support, which may include addressing issues such as food insecurity, the need for stable housing, vocational training, daycare or more.
“Empowering mothers to parent their children will meet such a huge need in Chicagoland and Illinois,” says Nancy Crouch, Holt-Sunny Ridge’s director of domestic adoption and birth parent services. “We are so grateful to the Kocoureks for this opportunity to expand our services.”
In the first year, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program hopes to serve 20-25 women and over 30 children, with a plan to increase services in subsequent years.
Holt-Sunny Ridge began over 90 years ago as the “Sunny Ridge Home for Children” in Chicago. Over the decades, as adoption and child care policies changed, the organization transitioned from an orphanage to an adoption agency. In 2014, what was then “Sunny Ridge Family Center” merged with Holt International to further expand their services to children, becoming Holt-Sunny Ridge. Today, Holt-Sunny Ridge is a respected international and domestic adoption agency and post-adoption resource for families, dedicated to the mission of finding loving, secure homes for children and strengthening families both here in Illinois and around the world.