Duke Student Reflects on Her Experience Working in the Post-Adoption Program

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I have the pleasure of hosting two Duke Students this summer at Amara within the Post-Adoption Program. They are here through the DukeEngage program - a program where students engage in an immersive service experience to organizations both in the U.S. and abroad. John and Julia are living in the University of Washington dorms and take public transit to our office in M-F 9-5. I am impressed with Julia’s reflections on her time with us thus far, which I’ve copied & linked to below:

My supervisor at Amara, Angela Tucker, the director of the Post-Adoption Program and an adoptee herself, introduced me to the concept of ‘adoptee rights’ on my first day of work. I had never heard of this before, and, honestly, had never considered it…

Every day at work, while reviewing these files, I can’t help but reflect on my own family and identity. Now more than ever I feel so privileged that I know my ancestry, my family history, my cultural background; I feel privileged that I have unrestricted access to my own birth certificate and my own medical records. I have baby pictures of myself; I have a strong sense of place and belonging in a loving family; there is no uncertainty in or redaction of my life’s history; I know who I am and where I come from. These are privileges that millions of adoptees—both children and adults—do not have.

Read her full post HERE.

New Episode coming soon!

Bryan and I are co-producing an episode about a Pittsburgh family and their inclusive adoption. We are aiming to have the full episode completed within a month. Hope you enjoy the trailer!

To stay on the forefront of future trailers and videos that I produce, feel free to subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Teaser for the upcoming episode of The Adopted Life, hosted by Angela Tucker.

Music featured: "Walk" by Joy Ike MB01JVD4RVTM56E

Rest On a Bed Of Flowers, Sandy Bell.

One week ago I recieved a call from my aunt, who was at the hospital, listening to Sandy take his last breath. Her call came after Sandy had complained for a few days of chest pain, and having a hard time breathing. Sandy died at the young age of 61. He died having known that he had a daughter for just 10 years.

My mom, my husband and I flew down to Chattanooga, Tennessee to mourn with the community. The wake, viewing, funeral and memorial services were emotional and powerful. I heard from so many of you, recounting the stories of ways that Sandy impacted you as he rode around town with a big smile, emanating a kind spirit and a bundle of flowers in his hand. The photo series below captures only a handful of the incredible tributes and stories.

Thank you Chattanooga for loving Sandy so well. Leah and Eddie Bridges, thank you for being the glue of the downtown community - I treasure knowing that he had such beautiful friends.

“I was honestly struck when I saw you smile; you look so much like him.. and like him, your spirit just radiates sunshine somehow; light that I so desperately needed came in the form of that same smile a few years ago. I will never be able to adequately put into words how much his kindness meant to me then and now.”

-Brittany

After living so many years not knowing for whom I resembled, it now feels like I’m giving a gift when I smile - the gift of keeping Sandy’s spirit alive.