When you adopt an older child who pushes you away in anger, you learn a different way to parent, to give love without immediately receiving it in return.
Janice Goldwater is executive director of Adoptions Together in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1990, Janice Goldwater founded Adoptions Together, a non-profit organization that finds loving adoptive families for children in need of a home. At the time, there was little hope that medically fragile infants whose birth families could not care for them would quickly find their way to loving adoptive homes. African American infants waited for years in temporary placements because there were so few resources available to them. Families who had already adopted had no place to turn when their children asked difficult questions and struggled with adoption issues. Since founding Adoptions Together, Ms. Goldwater has led her non-profit agency's efforts to find permanent adoptive homes for more than 2,000 children. She has fostered a child-centered approach to adoption that welcomes all children — regardless of their age, health, or race. No child in need has ever been turned away. Ms. Goldwater has nurtured her agency's development of family-strengthening programs that make counseling, education and support available to all birth parents, adoptive families, educators and family health professionals. Additionally, Adoptions Together provides counseling and other help to women facing unplanned pregnancies, whether or not they chose adoption for their child. Adoptions Together offers its programs devoted to building families and keeping them strong from offices in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC and Moscow, Russia. Recognizing Ms. Goldwater's personal commitment and contributions to helping children and families through adoption, Representative Connie Morella nominated her and she received the Congressional Coalition on Adoption 2001 "Angel in Adoption" award. Ms. Goldwater began her career as a social worker as a marriage and family therapist before moving into child welfare in 1984. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Ithaca College and a Masters degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Ms. Goldwater is married and the mother of four children. In 2002 she and her husband adopted their youngest child at the age of 10.