Voices from Foster Care: Lisa Blackmore

"No Such Thing as Too Loved..." In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month and Mother’s Day, we are sharing the stories of seven amazing parents through foster care. These parents inspire and challenge us! We are so grateful for their dedication and love. Lisa Blackmore has been passionate about foster care since she was a teenager. That’s when her family started welcoming babies into their

Voices from Foster Care: Katie Biron

“Walk Alongside Them...” In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month and Mother’s Day, we are sharing the stories of seven amazing parents through foster care. These parents inspire and challenge us! We are so grateful for their dedication and love. Katie Biron is a mom many times over. She is the adopted mom of two children; she is the biological mom of two children; and

How Adoptees Are Shaping Post-Adoption Services

by Angela Tucker In early April, I journeyed to Amherst, Massachusetts to present at the UMASS Rudd Adoption Research Program Conference. The conference is an annual gathering of academics from all over the United States where the biggest names in research, including Ruth McRoy and Ellen Pinderhughes, were on hand to represent their work on family preservation, openness in adoptions for birthmothers, minority recruitment, and racial identity development. Armed with

To Tell or Not to Tell: When Adopted Children have Difficult Histories

Adoptive parents often worry about how to talk to their children about the difficult history that may be part of their life story. Is withholding information ever the best choice? How could hearing bad/sad news ever be in a child’s best interest? Whose story is it? What are we afraid of? This workshop for adoptive parents will provide a child-centered framework for building deep trust when

Let’s Talk About the Term “Foster-to-Adopt”

The term “foster-to-adopt” is a very common phrase. It refers to the process that many families go through before adopting children for whom they were first foster parents. At Amara we try to avoid the term “foster-to-adopt”, instead using “fostering and adoption”. And while this may seem like just semantics, it is much more important than that. Amara is a foster care agency. Our mission

Helping Her Son Stay Whole: Karen and Kelvin’s Story

Karen Pillar knows what it means to put a child first. In raising her son Kelvin, she has put every emphasis on embracing the threads of his past and present, self and family, that make him who he is. "I believe very strongly that you cannot expect a child to thrive if you do not allow them to be their whole selves," she says. "Kelvin

Going With the Flow: Our Foster Care and Adoption Journey

By Tatiana and Derek, Amara Alumni parents Tatiana & Derek: We had been in the child search phase, but decided to put referrals on hold a few weeks before our wedding in order to plan. And then just after that, two weeks before our big day, we got a call from Quenby, our Amara caseworker. She told us that a State caseworker remembered us from

Love Letters: My Work On Amara’s Adoptee Correspondence Project

By Claudia Marchen, Work-Study Program Intern As the Post-Adoption program intern, I often act as a mailroom for the heart: I forward correspondence between Amara birth and adoptive families, acting as a hub for these connections. The correspondence we receive and forward all year, and the stream of Christmas letters and packages we handled during the holidays, is a testament to families’ desires to know

2017-02-24T15:39:32-07:00January 25th, 2017|Categories: Big Kids Little Kids|Tags: , , |

[VIDEO] Why Birth Family Connections Matter: The Story of Three Sisters

By Angela Tucker, Post-Adoption Program Manager Just three months into Amara’s Post-Adoption Program, I received a phone call: “Hi, my name is Mariya. I think my biological sisters were placed for adoption through your agency about a decade ago. I’d like to know what I need to do in order locate them, and possibly meet them? And, by the way, my mom – their

2017-02-24T15:39:47-07:00January 18th, 2017|Categories: Voices from Families|Tags: , , , , |

2016 Stella Mae Carmichael Award Recipients

Dan and Alicia always wanted to have kids, but they never really expected to have five. “I think we kind of dare each other along,” says Dan about how their family grew, although Lyle was a surprise. “There are choices for building our family that would be easier but we are committed to not making choices out of fear.” When their second placement was reunified

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