Meet Lori, our program coordinator for Adoptive Families Together, Kid’s Net, and KINnections.
- How did you become involved with MSPCC?
I moved from Buffalo to Boston in 2003, with my son Adam, who was 3 years old at the time. I didn’t know anyone in Boston and I was looking for resources for adoptive families (I adopted Adam when he was 5 months old). I luckily found out about MSPCC’s Adoptive Families Together (AFT) program and started going to their support groups. It was life changing for me to meet families that had similar concerns, understood me, and could help me with resources and support! I also became good friends with many of the members so I wasn’t lonely anymore. My son even met his best friend through AFT and they have been best friends ever since – my son is now 16 years old. I was so impressed by AFT that I asked if I could be a volunteer and after a few months I was lucky enough to be offered a job by MSPCC! I have been working with AFT, the Kid’s Net program that works with foster parents, and the KINnections program that works with kinship families ever since.
- What is one success story you’ve had working here?
One of the programs I work with is called KINnections. We support grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. One grandparent came to us upset and overwhelmed after taking custody of her two young grandchildren when her daughter was unable to continue to raise them. We really listened to her concerns and needs, gave her several resources, and invited her to come to our support groups. At the first few support groups, she was very upset and shared a lot about her challenges. The other members of the group were extremely understanding and gave her wonderful, compassionate advice and tons of support. We also connected her with our clinic program at MSPCC, where she got a counselor to meet with her grandson who was having behavioral issues. Over a few months, I could see a huge change in this grandmother. She was smiling and laughing a lot and telling the group that things were getting a lot better thanks to our support. She also described how her grandson used the techniques he learned from his counselor at MSPCC when he was upset one day at school. The teacher told this grandmother how happy and impressed she was that the young boy was developing skills to help him calm down. Today, this grandmother is a very active member, comes to our groups, and is even helping other grandparents. It was so wonderful to see this incredible change in her and hear her tell us how much the KINnections groups and the counseling from the clinic helped her.
- What is your most child-like quality?
I love to laugh and joke around a lot! Hopefully my 16 year old son isn’t too embarrassed by all of my “dumb” jokes. I also especially love going with my son to amusement parks and riding all of the rides!
- What do you love most about this job?
I love the people I work with who are extremely caring, compassionate, and so brilliant! All of my co-workers, especially Sybil Turk and Denise Ocasio and my supervisors, Deanna Forist , Ashley Pepoli and Michele Benkis have been so supportive of me and have really helped me to learn so much and I continue to learn new things every day! I continue to learn new things every day! I also love the clients I work with. I admire them so much for their incredible strength and resiliency in taking on the challenge of raising their grandchildren and having to go through parenting all over again! I work with foster and adoptive parents and am so impressed by these amazing parents who care for and love these children as their own, despite some of the challenges the kids have gone through. It’s so exciting to see these kids thrive in a healthy environment filled with so much love.
- If you could grant one wish to help MSPCC, what would it be?
I would love to have more resources to help all of the families that I work with. Often, these families are very low income and struggle with basic necessities like getting enough food, clothing, affordable housing, childcare, and transportation. I would love to be able to help them with all of these necessities to decrease their stress and help their families to thrive!