Adoptee-centric programming is coming to Amara! Angela Tucker, our new Post-Adoption Support Manager, is developing platforms for Amara alumni families to network, build a sense of community, and access resources. She’s also developing adoptee-centric programs, developed by and for adoptees and foster youth, drawing on her deeply held belief that adoptee connections can provide a unique source of empowerment and connection.
The adoptee mentorship program is a perfect example of that philosophy. Davon (pictured above), an Amara adoptee who pitched the idea to Amara, is now working with Angela to develop it. Adoptees will mentor each other, creating a bond from their shared experience. Being part of the program “will provide skills to get through those angry moments and not bottle them up,” Davon told us, “and it does it in a fun way not by writing down how I feel, but talking and expressing it and having fun!”
“Historically, our society has looked to adoptive parents to understand adoption,” explains Angela, “and we haven’t done enough to affirm to adoptees that their story is valid and crucial to any conversation about adoption. It’s important for adoptees to learn how to share their stories, but to also know they don’t have to share it with anyone who inquires – their story belongs to them.”
Angela, who joined Amara in June, is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and advocate for adoptee rights. Having grown up in a transracial family under the terms of a closed adoption, she later searched for her birth parents, and her story was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, Closure. She continues to use visual media to bring adoptee stories to light in her miniseries, The Adopted Life.
Angela is currently preparing invitations to all Amara alumni families for a “Town Hall” meeting. This event is designed to capture their ongoing support needs and programming interests, as families have reported feeling unsure of where to turn when challenges arise after adoption, or how to stay connected to Amara. That’s a gap Angela’s here to fill. “When kids feel safe, challenging behaviors can arise – whether that’s five months or five years after adoption really depends on the kid and the family,” says Angela. But more fundamentally, she adds, “Adoption is a lifelong journey, and we want to support this truth in a tangible way.”
We at Amara are thrilled to welcome Angela and to be able to offer continuing support to our alumni families, as well as bring her expertise on transracial and transcultural caregiving to our community.
Angela’s Town Hall will be held at Amara in late August. Watch our calendar to get the date and further details – we hope to see all of our alumni families there.