On-line Support Group for Transracial Adoptive Parents
Who: We welcome all families that identify as transracial regardless of racial differences.
When: Thursdays at 7:00 pm EST 10/19, 11/16, 12/14
Where: Zoom (info sent after registration)
Co-Hosted Monthly Support Groups
Adoption Network Cleveland and Transracial Journeys are joining forces to pilot a series of co-hosted monthly support groups for parents who have adopted children outside of their own race. This collaborative effort aims to provide an intentionally structured and supportive space where parents can hear from leaders with lived expertise and come together to share their experiences, challenges, and successes in raising transracially adopted persons.
The support groups will be conducted virtually via Zoom, allowing participants from different geographical locations to connect and engage in meaningful discussions. The pilot sessions will take place from 7-8 pm EST, starting in October and running through December.
Learn more about our parent support group and your facilitators in this video:
Transracial Journeys (TRJ) brings expertise in facilitating conversations on transracial adoption and promoting cultural awareness and competence. With their experience in organizing support groups, creating original content, and hosting a yearly camp, TRJ centers on the best interests of transracially adopted persons to provide practical tools and post adoption support for parents of a different race than the Black and Brown children entrusted to them and fosters supportive relationships for transracially adopted persons of all ages.
Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC) is celebrating 35 years of connecting and empowering individuals, organizations, and communities impacted by adoption, kinship, and foster care. ANC provides a source of healing, through education, advocacy, empowerment, and peer support for those impacted by adoption and family separation. The partnership of Transracial Journeys and Adoption Network Cleveland offers a unique opportunity for parents of both communities to benefit from the shared expertise and knowledge of both organizations.
Together, our two organizations aim to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where parents can build connections, find support, and learn from one another. By offering these co-hosted monthly support groups, Adoption Network Cleveland and Transracial Journeys hope to empower parents to navigate the unique challenges and joys of transracial adoption while promoting understanding and acceptance within their families and communities.
What parents can expect:
Each month’s meeting will have a theme/topic that will guide the conversation. Following norms/”rules of engagement” and a brief overview of the theme/topic by the facilitator/s the floor will open for parents to ask questions, share their thoughts on the topic/theme, and/or offer any personal experiences that are coming up.
o October: Revealing What’s Under the Mask? - Whether you participate in Halloween or not, October 31st has many children and the young at heart dressing up in costumes and wearing masks. Today, the pandemic has given many of us cause to wear masks to protect ourselves from the Covid-19. But what is behind the masks you don’t see? What do they reveal?
o November: Nourishing and Sustaining Strong, Healthy Families - The month brings us one of the more complicated historical holidays (Thanksgiving) and for many in the US, one of the more family and food-centric. Whether you are a family that marks Thanksgiving or chooses not to in a traditional way, this month we are thinking about the family table and what might be true when there are differences of race and culture with transracial adoption. November also brings National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM) which can be challenging for some adopted persons.
o December: Reflections, Evolving Traditions - The December holidays give us an opportunity to think about traditions tied to different cultures and religions. Regardless of what you and your family honor and celebrate, we can be inspired to take a closer look at what traditions mean to us and how we can expand our thinking and actions.
What We Expect of Parents Coming Into the Space:
o A -- Actively listen -- ask as much as you talk; avoid assumptions and seek true clarity.
o B -- Be present -- do your best to structure your environment to limit distractions and ensure that children in your care understand that this is a space for grown-ups to share their perspectives and feelings not to speak for their children. It is OK to have children pop in and say hello at the beginning but having them stay in the room or in close proximity is not recommended.
o C -- Commit to the community -- be aware of how others are experiencing the space; if you realize someone you know may need a check-in after the group, reach out to them if you are able
o C -- Confidentiality – any personal testimony or sharing, stays in our session (except in the case where there is a danger to another human being).
About Your Facilitators:
After a successful career in corporate marketing, branding, and PR and a lifetime as a Black/bi-racial, transracially adopted person, April is devoted to elevating our shared experiences of family and humanity one conversation at a time. Dinwoodie’s podcast Born in June, Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World! helps facilitate an open dialogue about identity, relationships and diversity. With the calendar as a universal tool, April guides systems, corporations, individuals and groups on a more purposeful and practical diversity and inclusion journey.
Janelle brings over 20 years of experience in education and social services. She loves to support families by creating supportive communities that empower and encourage. She is mom to four transracially adopted children who are now young adults. Her journey over the past twenty-two years has taught her that adoption is complex. As Program Coordinator for Families and Youth at Adoption Network Cleveland, Janelle is responsible for implementing responsive support and education opportunities for parents, caregivers, and youth in adoptive, foster and kinship families.