We want to bring you, our readers, into the day-to-day of our agency by sharing more about the people you get to work with through each phase of the process! In honor of National Adoption Month, we will be featuring two of our wonderful staff members. This week we’re featuring Megan Kautio, our Assistant Executive Director who has been with American Adoptions for 15 years. Read on to learn more about her job at American Adoptions!
What is your name and position?
Megan Kautio, Assistant Executive Director
How long have you been working for American Adoptions?
15 years. I Started as a Birth Parent Specialist, then became one of the first Adoptive Family Specialists when we created that role to provide better support to our adoptive couples throughout the entire process. Now I have been Assistant Director for over 5 years.
What are your tasks at American Adoptions?
As Assistant Director, I work very closely with our Executive Director and Director of Social Services on a daily basis to oversee client services, staff development and create policies and procedures. I also work directly with our entire team and provide supervision and guidance. I make sure our team is supported so they can provide the best services possible to those we serve. I wear many hats and I really enjoy doing a variety of tasks.
What does a typical work day look like?
Every day can look very different depending on what we have going on within the agency. I am usually part of at least one meeting if not several and spend time problem solving with employees and working on systems and procedures to enhance our operations.
What is your favorite part of working for American Adoptions?
The people. Honestly, the clients we work with have amazing hearts and we get to be witness to some of the most impactful and amazing stories of true love and sacrifice. In addition, the people who come to work every day at American Adoptions are some of the most giving and caring people I have known. We have a great team with a lot of different talents and it makes it fun and refreshing to come to work. Even when we are faced with difficulty, we are able to come together, persevere and come out on the other side stronger. It is all about the people for me.
What is your favorite time of year at American Adoptions?
Probably the holidays because we get so many cards and updates from families and other professionals we work with over the years. It is fun to look at the kids and reminisce about their stories and gasp at how fast time goes!
Do you have any favorite adoption memories?
Gosh, there are so many, it is hard to pick one. I have had a couple really special moments where families I have worked with have come to visit us and the child has wanted to meet me and learn about their adoption. I have gotten to sit down with the child and talk with them about the hospital where they were born, when I first called their parents and told them about them and his/her birth mother. Those are really great moments. I also remember one particular adoption where everyone in the room was very emotional and I had the hardest time keeping myself from hysterically crying. The words the adoptive parents were saying to the birth parents and vice versa were so powerful and the adoptive family shared with them in that moment that they were going to use the birth mother’s last name as their child’s middle name. It was a beautiful moment and wonderful union of two families.
How many adoptions have you been a part of?
I personally have been the adoptive family specialist or birth parent specialist on more than 300 I am sure. I have never actually counted all of them. Since I have been here since 2000, I have been involved in probably close to 4000 adoptions in that time.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in your position?
Probably taking from our agency experiences as well as my own, learning from mistakes and drawing upon all of that to make the agency better. I am very proud when I look back to what we had in place 15 years ago and what we have in place now. We have implemented many changes in our organization over the years that have provided better services, better education and overall better experiences for our clients.