Betty Betz, Barker's International Programs Case Manager, joined the Barker Adoption team in 2014. As you'll read, Betty is driven by far more than a paycheck; she's truly passionate about the key role she plays in connecting and supporting families.
What is your role at Barker?
Barker has 5 programs that we currently offer for international adopters: China, Colombia, India, South Korea, and our international home study and post-placement services program, which supports families adopting from other countries. The International staff is diverse with many years of experience in international adoption.
A large portion of my time each day is spent answering emails and calls from prospective, current and past families, orphanages, social workers, government authorities in the US and in other countries. I spend a lot of time supporting families through the paperwork and the waiting period. I keep a close eye on the families’ status while they are in process to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. I also get to “match” China waiting children with families, which are fun calls to make.
Often I find myself sharing stories of my own personal experiences with my daughter and her adoption. I hope there is a little piece of advice in my stories that helps them along their path.
What inspired you to work in adoption?
My inspiration was my daughter. My experience adopting her as an older waiting child from China was so wonderful that I found myself advocating for older child & special needs adoption. In fact, I spent so much time advocating that the agency I adopted her through asked me to join them! I started working in the China Waiting Children program 3 years after adopting my daughter. When that agency closed I began working with Barker at the beginning of 2014, which allowed me to continue my work in adoption.
What do you love most about your work at Barker?
Without a doubt it’s the children and the families. A great day is when I get to tell a family about their new child. I have helped around 500 children unite with an adoptive family and I remember them all. It never gets old seeing a child come home and just blossom into a healthy, happy child. Of course, there are some hard times, but the thing that drew me to Barker was the support that we offer families throughout the process, before, during and afterwards.
Tell me a fun fact about you, something that might come as a surprise to others.
Up until I moved to the DC area in 2014, I spent my entire life in a small town in Indiana (go Hoosiers!) and my degrees are in Accounting and Business Administration. I obviously took a different turn somewhere along the way, but working in international adoption has been the most fulfilling pathway of my life.