Today we’d like to introduce you to Irene Riley.
Irene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In the 70s and early 80s, my husband and I were foster parents in Orange County. We were considered an Emergency Shelter Home for mostly infants. During the years, I became disillusioned with the foster care system. I wasn’t happy with how they treated women and children involved with social services.
I felt that parents whose rights were being terminated had a right to participate in the placement of their children for adoption. I felt it was unfair of social services to make such an important decision on behalf of parents without giving them any information or updates on their children.
I developed relationships with many of the women whose children were in foster care. Eventually they were coming to me for advice on their current unplanned pregnancies or referring friends in the same situation to talk me about their options. My priority was to keep children out of the system, as well as, inform these young mothers of their options such as programs available or if they had family members willing or able to parent. If these were not options they wanted or could pursue, we would then talk about adoption and what that meant.
As an adoptive mother, I knew several families that wanted to parent through adoption and I was able to connect birth parents and adoptive families together. That is how A Rainbow’s End came to be.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has been more like a roller coaster, and at times not my most favorite ride! My career has rewarded me beyond anything I could imagine, but has also challenged me like I never thought I would ever experience.
I could give you a laundry list of obstacles and challenges of the adoption field I have struggled with over the last 35 years. The challenges have ranged from impossible expectations to difficulty of working with people of all different backgrounds to the perception of adoption to indecision.
If you ask my family, they would say my biggest challenge is getting too involved in the stories of my adoptive families and birth parents.
I want nothing more to make their dreams of becoming parents come true, but it can be hard because that pressure is on me to help make this happen. I know they have already been through so much, emotionally, mentally and financially that it can be challenging to have the right words to ease their fears or meet their expectations.
As I get to know and work with my birth parents, their stories affect me in ways I never thought possible. Many of the birth parents I have worked with have an unwillingness to trust because of the experiences they have been through so it can be a challenge to the adoption process. But the hardest have been the women that have a history of drug use. Drug use can make someone’s behavior unpredictable and can make it difficult to get things accomplished. It’s really hard to see what drug use can do to a person of the years.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with A Rainbow’s End Adoption – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a registered and licensed adoption facilitator specializing in domestic newborn adoptions. I have been working with families for over 35 years in helping to facilitate adoptions and formed A Rainbow’s End Adoption at the advice of several family attorneys 30 years ago.
We are known and what separates us from others in our field is our hands on approach, keeping it small and personal, and our experience and longevity. We are the glue that keeps the adoption together – we work with the adoptive families, birth parents, attorneys, social workers and other adoption professionals to help in any way we can.
I’m proud that I have been able to do what I do for all these years, but nothing makes me happier than to hear from adoptees and birth parents to hear their success stories.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are going to keep doing things the way we have been doing them. We will continue to network with other adoption professionals and educate ourselves on adoption. This has been our recipe for success.
We are a family run business and I hope we continue to be one with my daughter taking over in my place.
- Address: 7755 Center Ave.,
Ste 1100, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
- Website: www.rainbowsendadoption.com
- Phone: 724-839-3283
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Size Render – 1 – Adopting Couple with their son. PC: A Rainbow’s End
Full Size Render – Birth Mother and Adoptive Mother with their son. PC: A Rainbow’s End
Img_977 – Birth mother, Jennifer. PC: A Rainbow’s End
lobby 2 – Lobby of our offices. PC: Coast Huntington Executive Suites