The Amara Blog

The 2016 From Hope To Home Luncheon

Amara's Annual From Hope to Home Luncheon Monday, February 29, 2016  – 11:30 am – 1:00 pm The Sheraton Seattle, Grand Ballroom Click here to reserve your seat online today! To become a table captain or learn more about corporate sponsorship, please contact: Claire Dunbar at 206.452.1249 or at

January 1st, 2016|Categories: Amara Event, Announcement|

Amara Honors Local Education and Civil Rights Advocate

Amara is proud to honor the late Louise Jones McKinney this month by naming the Beacon Hill location of the Amara Emergency Sanctuary program “Grandese’s Place.” Currently located in a home in the historic Seattle neighborhood, the Sanctuary provides a safe, nurturing place for children during their first several days in foster care. Specially trained Amara staff and volunteers welcome children 24-hours a day, 7

July 28th, 2015|Categories: Amara People, Announcement, General Information|

Celebrating Dads

This week we celebrate dads of all kinds – birth fathers, adoptive fathers, step-fathers and father figures. All fathers are an integral part of a child’s identity – from giving them the genes that determine how high they grow, to giving them the esteem to determine how high they reach. Amara would like to encourage all foster and adoptive families to honor dads on behalf

June 18th, 2015|Categories: General Information|

Tiny Ferocious Boy

During my last sleepover shift at the Sanctuary, we welcomed a sibling set. After getting everyone settled and into their beds, we anticipated the coming of a busy morning. I found myself caring for the youngest boy of the group. Barely a toddler, he seemed so small to me. He wrapped his thin little arms around me, and pressed his cold hands to my chest.

May 7th, 2015|Categories: About the children, General Information|

Reese and Jared: 2015 Stella Mae Carmichael Award Winners

The Stella Mae Carmichael award honors families who open their hearts and homes in exceptionally kind and selfless ways to our community’s children in foster care. This year, Amara was proud to have Daniel Bryson-Beane and his adoptive mom and Amara board member, Anne Bryson Doyle, present the award to Jared Mills and Reese Umbaugh at Amara’s annual luncheon From Hope to Home. Jared Mills

February 24th, 2015|Categories: Amara People, Announcement, General Information|

My journey as Damien’s birth mother

To answer the question What Makes a Family, we invited one family to share their story. Judy wrote about becoming a mom through an open adoption. Damien wrote about meeting Judy and joining her family. This is part three, from the perspective of the birth mother, Diane, as told to Judy. Can you tell me about your pregnancy and Damien’s birth? When I had Damien, I had

December 23rd, 2014|Categories: Birthmother's Journey, Blog|Tags: , , , |

The Amara Emergency Sanctuary

Amara serves children who have been removed from their homes due to suspected abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 700 King County children, most under the age of 12, are removed from their homes by Child Protective Services or local law enforcement. Amara is working to meet an urgent need created by these unplanned removals by establishing the Amara Emergency Sanctuary. The Amara Emergency

November 30th, 2014|Categories: About the children, Announcement, General Information|

Adoption: A Grandmother’s Perspective

Dorothy has 16 grandkids, 5 of which were adopted by her daughter, Julie and son-in-law, Matt. My daughter and her husband have adopted five children over the years, and we haven’t always been sure how to best support them on their journey. Being involved with Amara has enabled me to better understand the challenges adoptive parents and grandparents face.

Our courts: through the eyes of a child

When I was removed from my birth family at age 15 and placed into foster care, I felt conflicted, isolated, and that my feelings didn’t matter. I had no idea what was happening to me. I just knew that I would be living with strangers, away from my sister, my family, and my pets. It was terrifying. These feelings heightened when my first foster family required me to attend all of my court hearings. The insensitivity in the courtroom alienated me. I heard docket numbers, court lingo, and attorneys speaking, but I didn’t know what they were negotiating. I often wondered when I would get to go home. I missed my sister. I didn’t even know that I could ask the judge for visits with my sister. These adults were making all the decisions for me, without me.

August 10th, 2014|Categories: General Information|

Born this Way, Cynthia’s 28 years (and counting!) at Amara

Cynthia Williams has a pretty good handle on the Top 40. When asked whether she always wanted to work in social services, she references the popular Lady Gaga song. “I think I was born for this…Who’s the one who says I was born this way?” Cynthia’s been serving children, teens, and families for 36 years, 28 of those with Amara. As our longest tenured employee, she’s earned the title of the “Amarasaurus,” made official with a plaque she keeps in her Tacoma office.

July 29th, 2014|Categories: Amara People, General Information|
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