In a corporate environment, progress toward achieving a goal is often measured by Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s. KPIs often have time or distance as a measure but the actual measure ultimately depends on the goal. For example, one might say that by the end of the year we will have increased our customer satsification ratings but 50%. This is a goal with an associated KPI.
Once you have set your goal, you determine the denominator (usually a time frame) and a numerator (the percentage decrease, the ultimate result). You then start monitoring your efforts and at regular intervals you re-calculate your metrics. Perhaps you check once a month, or maybe every six months.Â By monitoring and recalculating you can make any adjustments that may be needed. You can also identify barriers to achieving your goal and take steps to remove them.
I was reminded of KPI’s last night when I met with my expectant mother friend.Â Her knowledge, her awarness and the research she came to our dinner meeting with proved to me that we are making progress. Individuals who blog, speak, share, write, create material related to family preservation are making a dent in the lies and half truths served up by the adoption industry.
My friend, a recently pregnant 20 year old young woman, met with me to discuss her options as they related to her unplanned pregnancy. She had already spoken to someone about abortion. She had been in contact with Planned Parenthood. She wanted to talk to me about adoption. I left feeling she wanted more validation of her own assumptions and research than to learn something new from me.
She knew so much. She was already aware of revocation periods (or the lack thereof), she was aware of the varying laws by state in terms of surrender periods, she knew that open adoptions are rarely, if ever, enforceable and that the concept is used as carrot to bait mothers into surrender. She knew about abandonment issues. While she still had much to learn, she knew so much. She knew far more than I did when I was in her situation.
She is thinking about her situation, talking to others, reading, talking with her boyfriend (who is riding the fence on what to do, having softened his previous position).
I left our dinner with a warm feeling in my heart.Â Not only do I think this Mom will be okay (as much as one can be “okay” in such circumstance) but she was an example, to me, of our progress. Things may be slow to change but they are changing.Â As I have always said, save one mother and child from the horror so many of us have lived and you save generations of that entire family.
I have a sense I know what she is going to do.Â Time will tell.Â I left her with a hug and told her, above all else, trust her own instincts. Trust that feeling that hides in the pit of your stomach underneath everyone elses advice and judgement. Trust that when you feel angry at someone for telling you what to do it is because they are fighting against your own instincts.Â Trust. Trust that the best gift you can give to your child is yourself.
Whatever she chooses, I am confident she will be better off than I was.Â That fact is my own personal KPI.
photo credit: Joanna Fisher