When I first found my birthfamily, I needed a safe place to process the roller coaster of emotions. As a founder of AKA, I yearned to hear first-hand perspectives from ALL parts of the triad. Hearing enlightened professionals and the experiences of others helped me contextualize my own story within this life-long and ever changing experience of adoption. Now it is many years later and I still find AKA a solid and skilled place to be with friends who "get me."
My husband and I learned of Adoption Knowledge Affiliates in 1997 from a newspaper ad promoting an upcoming conference. We were interested in learning more about making a family through adoption. We were immediately welcomed with open arms. The learning curve was phenomenal. The most unique aspect of the organization which we have come to appreciate is the Triad. People who are adopted, the birth families and the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents. We learned so much from many different prespectives. Due to our association with Adoption Knowledge Affiliates we did pursue adoption; an open adoption. Our daughter is now 12 years old. We have a very close relationship with her birth family. In fact, my husband and I often say, "we are the ones who have been adopted." Meanwhile, since 2000 I have volunteered with this organization in many capacities; Member at large, Vice president, President, Past President of the board of directors, co-conference coordinator and advisor, but my most important role is mother to my wonderful daughter. There have been many topics of discussion in our household regarding adoption and there is never anything discussed that has not been a topic at AKA. This organization is all encompassing and provides an avenue for ANYONE to learn about adoption. There are SO many people who lives have been forever changed by Adoption Knowledge Affiliates. I HIGHLY recommend this organization to anyone, especially those whose lives have been touched by adoption.
5 years ago, I received the letter that would forever change the course of my existence. My biological son was seeking to reunite with me. While I was beyond grateful just to know that he was alive and living in Texas, the literal upheaval of emotions that were bursting through my carefully constructed wall of 26 years was far more than I could manage alone. I was mandated by the state of Texas to receive 1 hour of counseling to ensure my readiness for reunion (like 1 hour would be enough-ha!). My angels were keeping a watchful eye on my delicate soul and guided me to a wonderful counselor who would steer me to AKA. My first AKA meeting was surreal, as people were talking about being adopted and having adopted and about experiences with their birth families. At this particular meeting, I remember being the only one representing the birth family. However the next meeting, they were excited to introduce me to another birth mother who had also just recently reunited with her biological son. As you might expect, we have become very dear friends. AKA is my safe place. It is emotional, enlightening, and empowering. My shoulders have relaxed over these 5 years and while I give most of the credit to my son and his amazing family who have opened their hearts and include me as family, I must also credit AKA. Through their generous spirit and amazing talents, I have learned so much. I never gave myself permission to think that I could be included in open and positive conversations about being one who, at the age of 15, decided to place her child in the loving arms of a family who would call my son their son – who we now call… our son! I am so grateful to AKA for helping me understand and accept that I too deserve a voice in this wonderful triad of love.
AKA is an incredible resource for individuals and families touched by adoption. As a prospective adoptive parent, I find the monthly meetings both inspiring and supportive. All members of the Triad hear a guest speaker on a relevant topic and then smaller, break-out support groups follow for adoptees, birth parents and adoptive families. Having the ability to share stories with other adoptive families who have been through an adoption last year and over five years ago or more gives us both the knowledge and courage to move forth in our journey. I highly recommend this nonprofit organization!
After I decided I wanted to share my life story as a reunited adoptee and reach out to all members of the adoption triad, I discovered Adoption Knowledge Affiliates. And on April 16, 2007, I gave my presentaiton, "Blessed Beyond Belief." This nonprofit has remained near and dear to my heart and I'd attend their events more frequently if I lived much closer to Austin (I'm in Dallas-Fort Worth area). But, I returned again the next year for their annual conference and was a member of an Adult Adoptees panel. Both experiences were life-changing for me. I can never thank AKA enough for helping me reach out to others but also touch my life as well forever more! They do so much for the adoption triad members. I highly encourage you to check them out iand attend one of their meetings f you have not already.
Eight years ago, following fertility treatments that were unsuccessful, my husband and I decided to explore adoption. A friend recommended that we attend an educational meeting at Adoption Knowledge Affiiates. We received amazing peer mentoring, education from Internationally recognized experts and ongoing monthly support for the journey that we undertook to build our family. Through so many twists and turns, AKA has been a source of strength and learning. We now are blessed with a beautiful 6 year old daughter and have developed relationships with the biological extended family which would not have been conceivable had we missed out on the opportunity to grow our hearts and minds through the sharing of perspectives so unique to AKA. AKA brings all sides of the adoption triad together to help bring awareness, sensitivity and appreciation for the lifelong issues of adoption. I have continued to volunteer with AKA to pay forward all that was given so generously to me in our earlier stages of parenting. Stories from adopted adults who have searched for and been reunited with bio families, birth parents who have courageously offered their tales through grief and joy, and common fears admitted by prospective adoptive parents all contribute to making AKA a special source of education and support. Nobody understands better than those who have lived or are living the challenges and triumphs of adoption.