Transracial Adoptive Parent Support Group

On-line Support Group for Transracial Adoptive Parents

Who: We welcome all families that identify as transracial regardless of racial differences.
When: 3rd Thursday at 7:00 pm EST
Where:  Zoom (info sent after registration)

Co-Hosted Monthly Support Groups

Adoption Network Cleveland and Transracial Journeys are joining forces to hold 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 sessions will take place from 7-8 pm EST.

Learn more about our parent support group and your facilitators in this video:

About Transracial Journeys (TRJ)

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.

About Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC)

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 January: Live with Authenticity, Purpose, and Joy - January is a time when folks traditionally take stock of where they are and may even make some resolutions for a new diet, more time exercising, or commitments to spending quality time with family and friends.  For families that extend through transracial adoption, January can offer a time to think about the year ahead and together as a family, continue the expansive journey of authentically navigating family and differences together with purpose and joy.

o February: Bring a Higher Love - At the intersection of St. Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, this short month brings so many foundational elements of identity, relationships, and differences for families to explore. Love is a vital ingredient for all families, but adoption and difference of race make it imperative the love moves beyond the transactional and into the transformational

o March: Adoption Microaggressions...Lucky Me? - Have you had strangers ask inappropriate questions of you and your family? “Is she/he/them yours?” - “Where are they from?” - “Your child is SO lucky”.  These invasive questions are part of being a family that does not match and where differences of race are obvious to the world around you.  It is important to be prepared for these intrusions.

o April: What’s in a Name? - Your name is central and significant to who you are and, in essence, can be the keystone of identity. When your child is adopted, there’s another world, another narrative, and perhaps another name that accompanies them along with their “who am I?” journey. The way in which we build a strong and healthy identity often begins with our names as one of our central and original “keystone” building blocks.

o May: Mothers’ Day: Claiming Family Realities - As a country we have been celebrating Mother’s Day since the 19th century, honoring women who play a pivotal role in the lives of children of any age.  For some, Mothers’ Day can bring feelings of both celebration and complexity in very poignant ways.  We can both celebrate the mothers/mother figures that are active in our lives, and we can also wonder and have emotions surrounding the mother that is not in our lives as much or at all.

o June: Fathers’ Day: Claiming Family Realities - Father’s Day came a bit later than Mother’s Day and there are many of the same things to think about and reflect on as we come to this day and the men that are part of our lives as fathers and father figures.

o July: Exploring our Unique Identities - As we all learn more about our history and what freedom really means, July 4th gives us much to contemplate.  Who is really free and when?  Freedom related to adoption and exploring the truth of who we are as individuals and families is foundational and important.

o August: Always Learning and Growing - It’s back to school time but not just for kids! Parents can and should stay curious and committed to learning and growing, especially when they are parenting children of another race.  There will always be so much to learn! Having intentional and planned conversations about adoption and race will give everyone in the family an opportunity to get in touch with their thoughts and feelings and will augment the conversations you are already having. 

o September: Reclaiming the Calendar - The calendar is the perfect tool to: Celebrate the special moments and prepare for the harder ones. Honor all of the family that is connected to your child and you. Ensure you are making time each month to talk with intention about adoption and differences of race, culture, and class.

o October: The Masks We See and Those We Don’t - 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: Food and Family at the Table - 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:

April Dinwoodie

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 Poskocil

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.