Help in Tough Times

Julie Kloster,  Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling Services

A lot motivates licensed social worker Julie Kloster. But for her, nothing compares to helping families make educated, well thought-out choices when it comes to bringing new life into the world.

Kloster, who has worked with Adoption Services at The Village Family Service Center for ten years, works with individuals, couples and families experiencing unplanned pregnancies and helps them process and confront their thoughts, feelings and the realities of childbirth and child rearing.

“I work with a big range of human emotion. Huge highs and devastating lows,” Kloster says. “You never know what combinations will appear with each situation.”

Some families have more difficult situations to endure than others, as in the case of a 22-year-old pregnant woman who came to her office fresh out of jail. The woman, who was well into her first pregnancy, was living with her parents, didn’t have a job, and had broken ties with the birth father. She had nowhere to turn, and that’s when the young woman contacted Kloster.

Kloster helped the young woman make an adoption plan, which included walking her through the process of choosing the perfect family for the baby. Things ended well, as the birth mother was able to forge a healthy relationship with the adoptive family. They are still in touch today.

But troubles didn’t end there. Kloster says many times clients don’t quite fulfill the goals they set out to make after the adoption process. “Three years later, this same birth mother came back to me. She was pregnant again and thought she had nothing to offer her child,” Kloster says. “She was very fearful that if she released her second baby for adoption she would again spiral into depression and turn to alcohol and partying.”

Kloster says it’s important for young women in situations like this to set goals and timeframes to meet those goals. With this particular client, she also helped her connect with many community services to help get the right nutrition and medical care for the duration of her pregnancy.

“After lots of processing, the birth mother decided adoption was again the best option for herself and her child. We set up a detailed plan to ensure she would have proper support after the adoption so she would be less likely to spiral into depression and alcohol use,” Kloster says.

Today, after two open adoptions and some positive life changes, the young woman works full time and is getting ready to graduate from college. She says she is excited to start looking for work in her chosen field and is happy about the plans she made for her children.

“The Village has been a great support to this birth mother,” Kloster says. “Initially, without support and encouragement, she had a hard time putting plans into action. Without support or assistance, she likely would have made a second adoption plan but continued with the harmful lifestyle.”

Kloster says she enjoys her job at The Village, not only because she gets to help people, but also because the quality of service the organization provides to people throughout the community.

“In the work we do, the families we work with become so much more than just clients. They become special to us just as much as we become special parts of their lives,” Kloster says. “I want donors to know that the support they give goes right back to our clients. They help us support clients at the darkest moments of their lives. Without our donors, we would not be able to provide the support, guidance and caring to so many families.”

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