Leading includes following

Sep 26, 2019

A few years back I was working on a project in a remote area of Zimbabwe.

I was walking with the children to Mazwi Primary School and making a mental note of how I got there so I could find my way back to Tshelanyemba. I’m directionally challenged, at best. I spent the day meeting with elder in the community, the school development community and interacting with the children. It was a fabulous day of learning and building relationships.

At the end of the day the headmaster took me to the outskirts of the school grounds and pointed down a dirt path and told me to go straight down the crooked path and I would reach Tshelanyemba. I started down the path and it was indeed crooked with many side paths intersecting it. I was soon lost.

At one of these intersections I came upon an elder, who was somewhat bemused as to where I had come from and how I ended up where I was. She soon pointed in the direction I was supposed to go and said, IKEWA, go straight down the crooked road and you will find Tshelanyemba. I was somewhat amused in receiving the same directions for a second time and equally amused as to where those directions led me and the amazing people I met along the way.

The analogy of going straight down a crooked road is very fitting for where we are today.

In my mind’s eye it should be a pretty straight path to go from where we were a few years ago to where we are now. But as life would have it, it’s never a straight path. There are always bumps and bruises, kinks, twists and turns on all journeys. That made the one in Zim and the current one at the Evermore Centre rewarding.

The Evermore Centre started down the path of building a case for additional funding a few years ago. We also made an attempt at rebranding. That’s where the analogy of the crooked road comes in. It wasn’t just a matter of thinking this is what we want to do and just go there. It took connecting with the right people and building trusts and relationships. That process continues as we look to build relationships with the communities of the children finding permanency through adoption.

It took our board looking seriously at what our role was as an organization and with the help of Charlotte, Bill and Sue building a vision for the future. The process and follow-through took a lot of commitment from our board, staff and those we’ve had the opportunity to partner with. As challenges came and went, I was reminded of my journey down the crooked road in Zim, those I met along the way, and the reminder from the elder to keep going straight or focusing on the end goal.

This is Adoption Awareness Month. It’s a time to recognize all those connected to and impacted by adoption who have each travelled their own path: Birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees. As an organization we support and advocate for the various forms of permanency for children. Permanency is essential for all children.

So here we are, celebrating the launch of our new logo, our website and soon to be the live integrated database, all of which are geared to position us to better support the adoption community.