Holding Hands, Diving In: The Amara Blog

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

Hot Off the Press – Our Very First Issue of The Crossroads

Katherine Joseph, Partnerships & Events Associate The very first issue of The Crossroads – Amara’s Quarterly Bulletin has now hit inboxes. We’re launching this new community newsletter to prompt dialogue, collaboration, and innovation throughout the child welfare field. This forum will be a platform to share inter-organizational news and resources, and to highlight original writing from professionals and stakeholders advocating for children and youth. What to look

More than Just Fun: Achieving Better Outcomes For Kids Through Positive Activities

John Moore, The Children’s Fund Executive Director Amara is proud to be partnering with the Children’s Fund to expand opportunities for children who stay at our Emergency Sanctuary in Tacoma. In the interest of raising awareness about resources for our community’s kids, we’re pleased to highlight the Children’s Fund. It's not easy to recover from childhood trauma. Yet research has shown that through positive experiences,

Reaching for the STARs: Launching the Amara Adoptee Mentorship Program

By Angela Tucker, Amara Post-Adoption Program Manager On my first day at Amara, I was greeted by an Excel spreadsheet: A program outline created by 12-year-old adoptee Davon Carroll. The document was entitled TSSP, which stood for “The Stay Strong Project,” and it was a proposal for a new mentorship program for Amara adoptees, many of whom were in foster care. Davon’s detailed outline included

The Magic Is in the Method: How Data Will Help Our Kids

Aaron Edwards, foster/adoptive parent and data professional Last November, when Governor Inslee's Blue Ribbon Commission recommended sweeping changes to their human services branches, I was all ears. Their proposal to combine related but disparate departments into a unified, cabinet-level Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) resonated with me for several reasons. As a foster-adoptive parent and longtime advocate and caregiver for children, it makes

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+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Categories: Big Kids Little Kids|Tags: , , |

No Stork Needed: There are Alternative Pathways to Parenting

By Suzi Mohn, MA No matter how we get there, becoming a parent is life-changing. But when traditional ways of starting or expanding our family are simply not viable, and we have to look at alternative paths to parenting, it becomes even more important to not go it alone. Having a safe space to talk about the process and challenges is crucial to our

2017-01-20T11:19:56+00:00 January 20th, 2017|Categories: How Do I…|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

Happy Kids = Happy Volunteers

By Britt, Amara Emergency Sanctuary Volunteer I discovered Amara while researching volunteer opportunities, specifically ones where I could have a positive impact on vulnerable children in my community. I was a little nervous on my first day as an Emergency Sanctuary volunteer, as it had been several years since I had last worked with children professionally. My concerns were immediately put to rest when I

2017-02-24T15:20:48+00:00 January 12th, 2017|Categories: Big Kids Little Kids|Tags: , , |
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