More than an internship

Interning with CCAI means more to me than just a way to expand my skill set and enhance my resume. As a member of an adoptive family, this internship is yet another opportunity to be a part of the cause of finding families for every child. I’ve been a part of the adoption cause since I was four years old when I first overheard my parents discussing the prospect of bringing a sibling into the family—a moment I still vividly remember. Before I knew it, Thanksgiving Day 1996 had arrived, and I was waiting at the airport for what seemed like hours to finally see my brand new sister come off the airplane and into our lives.

Other adopted kids, adoption agencies, National Adoption Day…I’ve been exposed to it all for fourteen years now. Our summers were filled with picnics and pool parties with other adopted children from Russia, Vietnam, South Korea, and dozens of other countries. The highlight of my experience with adoption came last summer when I travelled with my sister and mom to my sister’s orphanage in Rostov-on-Don. I was familiar with the look of the building after years of watching the home videos my dad had taken, but nothing quite prepared me for the dozens and dozens of little children who were all so excited to see the visitors from America. I was moved to meet “mamas” and nurses who could still remember my sister from more than a decade before. The most overwhelming emotion for me was that, for once, I felt as though I had been adopted. I was greeted with as much enthusiasm as my sister by our hosts even though I am not an adopted child and had never met them before.

Last week at the events for Angels in Adoption, I was faced with the same heartwarming feeling of the adoption community. Angels that I had communicated with over the phone and by email were even more gracious in person, and their excitement was infectious. I was repeatedly impressed with their efforts to find permanent homes and families for children the world over, and I constantly wished that I had more time to talk with them about their personal stories. It was so fulfilling to finally meet someone who had formerly been just a biography or a slideshow photo. Every smile and hug made my hours at the office seem like nothing.

In particular, I came away with an even greater appreciation of what my parents did for our family in adopting my sister. I feel so grateful to not only CCAI but the Angels for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution back to the adoption community. I’ve learned so much already, and I can’t wait to see what this internship has in store for me for my next two months.

-Charlotte McCoy, 2010 Fall Intern

Charlotte: bottom row, 2nd from right