Read stories from our members, their journeys to adopt and all the joys and struggles that they entails.
This afternoon I took my boy to Xiǎo bǎo bèi (Little Treasures), the Taiwanese language / culture classes run by a wonderful adoptive mummy. As usual, my boy was very tentative when we arrived, he sat on my lap, wouldn’t sit with the other kids at afternoon tea, sat at a separate table with me close by while they did calligraphy etc. but then the most wonderful thing happened…
When the other kids (all adopted from Taiwan / China, ranging from 3-12 years old) went outside to run around and play after class, he went with them. Without me!!! He kept coming back to the hall entrance to check I was there, but he went without me and played with kids he didn’t know, in an unfamiliar environment!! The other mums were witness to my astonishment (and my nervousness as I kept trying to spy on him to check he was ok!).
It’s such a small thing to most people but such a huge step for my boy to trust that he could be safe without me, and trust that I’d still be there.
Flight home from Taiwan, transfer in Hong Kong and our very recently allocated girls erupt into inconsolable despair. We go to the most remote part of the airport we can find to ride it out and I start making contingency plans in my head of what it looks like not to board our connecting flight.
We decide to push on and I made it to the gate with 4 peoples luggage (including every worldly possession for 2 of us!) while the girls’ brand-new Mum struggles with a 4yo in arm and a terrified 5yo inseparably latched to her hand. I unload on the first flight attendant I find, explaining our situation and pleading for assistance. At that moment she went into super-support mode. She left her post at the door and escorted us to our seats; got us water and snacks and helped us get the girls settled and reassured us that we would be fine. We arrived in Brisbane after the best part of 2 days travelling with no sleep to be met at the plane door with a stroller, trolley and escort. We were guided through the crew’s express Customs line and assisted out of the airport.
I cannot speak highly enough of the amazing QANTAS crew that helped us through what was, without question, one of the most stressful experiences of our lives!
IAFQ organises various events and activities throughout the year, from major annual events like our International Adoption Day and Mapleton Retreat, to more frequent meet ups like Chat & Play days and the MOVEnSHAKE program.
International Adoption Day
International Adoption Day is an annual cultural event in Brisbane, where the adoption community celebrates adoption and the difference it has made to our lives. International Adoption Day 2019 will be held on Sunday 28 July at the Samford Community Hall.
Mapleton Retreat is an annual camp, held for five days in January, to give adoptive families the chance to make and renew friendships over an extended period in a safe environment. The retreat is held at the Queensland Conference and Camping Centre about 90 minutes north of Brisbane.
Chat & Play
Chat & Play is a fun and informal way to seek friendship and support for adoptive parents and their little ones. Meet-ups are usually held monthly on a Monday morning, alternating around some of the great parks that we have in South East Queensland.
MOVE ‘n’ SHAKE
Various events and workshops to provide opportunities for young people impacted by adoption and foster care to be empowered and encouraged through safe and authentic connections.
Cultural and Area Groups
The organisation also comprises of subgroups including regional areas, specific overseas country programs and teenage/adult adoptees. These subgroup coordinators are committed to providing an environment for our children, teenagers and parents to mix through social contacts and organised events.
The IAFQ committee represents and lobbies for your interest as an adoptive parent at both state and federal government levels, on a regular basis.
IAFQ actively promotes intercountry adoption by providing support from the initial stages of application, throughout the whole process including allocation, travel and way beyond.
The IAFQ Committee is made up of a wonderful bunch of volunteers who work together with the aim of supporting families throughout the journey of adoption and to make life-long connections and friendships.
President [Richard Dunks]
I have been very fortunate to be a part of the IAFQ community for about 10 years. We adopted our son from South Korea and the support and advice we have received from IAFQ has been invaluable both during and after the adoption process. IAFQ is made up of a special group of volunteers and friends who aim to help families navigate through all stages of the adoption process and create a community of support and friendship.
Please feel free to get in touch with me should you have any questions about what we do or where we may be able to assist you.
Vice President [Kathy Harris]
I am a Mum of a precious son and a waiting adoptive parent of our next child. My husband and I went through the intercountry adoption process years ago with Thailand, only to withdraw and re-enter this year. Our first time through, we found the information and support of IAFQ very beneficial and had no hesitation in joining again this time, even before we had done any paperwork for adoption. Just like everyone else I am super busy with work, family life and volunteering roles.
Don’t hesitate to contact me about all things IAFQ–we’re here to help.
Secretary [Jane Shea]
I have been a member of IAFQ since becoming a waiting parent back in 2007, and started by helping out on the International Adoption Day committee to help pass the long wait time. In 2014, we became parents to two beautiful girls through the Taiwan CWLF program. Through IAFQ we have made some life-long friends who have helped us through the many ups and downs of adoption, both before and after becoming parents. It’s wonderful to now see our daughters also make some special friendships through the many IAFQ activities on offer. I’m proud to be helping out on the committee this year as secretary.
Treasurer [Rita Wockner]
My name is Rita and I’ve always had a love of other cultures and children. I worked as a nanny for many years and travelled overseas extensively. It only seemed natural when I wanted to have my own family to adopt internationally, so I made the move to Northern NSW, (back in the day when singles couldn’t adopt in Queensland). I adopted my son from the Philippines three years ago and he is now 7 years of age. I have been back in Brisbane for two years and have really appreciated the support of IAFQ. My day job is in Administration at Griffith University.
For any inquiries about your financial membership of IAFQ, please get in touch.
Membership Secretary [Lane Thornton]
My name is Lane and I have been involved with IAFQ for over twelve years. In that time, I have held various positions on the committee, including Secretary, Membership Secretary, Magazine Editor and Country Coordinator for Chile. The support that IAFQ gives to families on their journey to adopt is invaluable, and I do not know where we would be without it. The first Queensland couple to navigate the Chilean adoption program, we now have two girls from Santiago.
If you have any concern with your membership, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
IAFQ is a volunteer, non-profit support group for Queensland families involved in local and overseas adoptions.
Formed in 1978, we are affiliated with other State and National adoption support organisations. We are concerned with the welfare of children and committed to the principle that every child, regardless of colour, race or creed, has the right to a loving family as prescribed in the United Nations convention on the “Rights of the Child”.
IAFQ is made up of families involved in local and intercountry adoption. While some of these families are just starting their journey, others have travelled the path for many years.
We offer a wide variety of support services and resources to our member families.