I was freezing a lot of the time in Seattle. Surely a unique experience for me to wear a long coat outside a sweatshirt outside a T-shirt in late June. Things are worse some days when the temperature varies from 50 to 80 and my dress code has to switch from late-fall to mid-summer in a day.
Seattle is very dog-friendly. You can see so many of them on the street, on the bus, on the link, in the restaurant, outside the restaurant, with the homeless, with the street artists, in the car, on the beach, swimming in the lake, rolling on the grass, dressing up during Pride fest, watching independence day firework next to you, waiting in line in the ice cream shop, etc. My co-worker told me that there might be more dogs than children in Seattle.
My favorite foods are ice cream and yogurt, and Seattle feels like heaven with its incredible delicious local ice cream (Molly Moon’s) and Greek Yogurt (Ellenos). The picture shows a single scoop. Very people-with-a-huge-stomach-for-ice-cream friendly. And I’m feeding myself a family size yogurt (35 oz) every three days.
Seattle really deserves the “Sea” in its name.
I work at a children-adoption non-profit called Amara. People are super welcoming and helpful, so I was able to settle in pretty quickly. I had a 30-minute talk with the person-in-charge of almost every department and looked through every packet, report and brochure in use (programs, social workers, communication and outreach, volunteers, family outreach, fundraising, post-adoption support, emergency sanctuary and even Executive Director’s biennial report). I’ve gone from knowing nothing about children’s welfare to relatively knowledgeable about fostering and adoption in a week.
I’m helping with communication and outreach, and during one of the projects I found that there are tens of children welfare organizations in Seattle alone because of the larger number of children in foster care. There are far fewer foster families in comparison, and many families tend to have a preference--many prefer newborns, a certain gender, no requirement for special care, maintain contact with the born family, etc. Child adoption is not only about walking through the legal adoption process. The crucial part is about recruiting more interested families and educating them to be more open about what kind of children they want to foster/adopt. This is also a new perspective that I’ve learned from Amara’s mission: to be child-centered. Instead of finding suitable children for families, we are finding suitable families for children, or training families to stay open and accepting to those children.
While I was arranging digital photos, I saw so many really cute family photo-shoots and they were really touching. Due to the lack of special training, I can’t interact directly with children or join any placement processes, but I do believe that my work of outreach is very meaningful in raising public awareness of the need of the foster families and recruiting them.
By: Krystal Zhai