Updates & Connecting With me These Days

Black and white image of Amanda from the chest-up with the backdrop of a large studio room in her new practice

Welcome to a space on the web that I have considered to be home for more than one third of my life thus far. I have reshaped this space and its purpose around the adoptee voice repeatedly for the past thirteen years. My readers probably realized something long before I was able to. That is, the capacity to produce long-form content, like blog entries, is something that has not fit my ever-evolving lifestyle in years. However, I have been able to provide (nearly weekly) content on Instagram. Although I will always maintain this blog space here (and post from time to time), it's time to shift the active face of The Declassified Adoptee to Instagram. 

Honestly, it's time to admit that Instagram has been my primary platform for a while now. It's time to release disappointment with myself that long-form blogging, my original form of activism, no longer fits my life.

The reason why long form content just does not suit me right now is a positive one. I am working full-time with adopted and fostered people and their families through a variety of projects. Recently, I opened an adoption competent therapy, coaching, and consultation practice with friend, fellow adoptee, and colleague, Stephanie Oyler (@adopteelit on Instagram and TikTok). It's called Therapy Center for Transformative Growth. We developed an adoption competent training program there for college students. We currently have three students in our program. We are working steadily on developing a post-adoption support program for the local community (with accessible reach into online communities as well). 

It will be the first ever practice of its kind in this region that is adoptee-developed, adoptee-led, adoptee-centered program that serves the needs of adopted and fostered people (and their loved ones) individually, in groups, and at broader advocacy levels.

I am also so pleased to make child welfare and adoption an integral part of my journey through my doctoral program. Not only do I aspire to contribute to Critical Adoption Studies literature, but my doctoral program provides me with space to do deep dives into the research and theory adopted people need most to live fulfilling lives. Thus far I have had the opportunity to learn from a professor who is an adult adoptee, a professor who is an abolitionist, and a professor who now works to mend families in symbolic reparation of the time as a caseworker when they watched families be destroyed by unjust systems. Although I have loved all of my social work education experiences thus far (BSW, MSS/MSW, and now DSW), this is the first time I have had the opportunity to learn from professors who are adoptees and who understand the nature of my work without any needed explanation from me because they're living it. I am so thankful for my past educators and colleagues who helped me access this opportunity.

I'm always working - even if it's not visible. I've learned that, as a white private domestic infant adoptee, sometimes it's best not for me to be the adoptee that's visible. There are so many adoptee and foster voices (especially queer femme BIPOC voices) that are heard so much less often than mine. I hear quite often how some folks miss me writing regularly. But please know that for every blog post that I haven't written, I've still been sending adoptee-focused energy into the adoption community in some capacity all along. 

Here's to an empowering 2023.