This summer, I am largely working on two long term projects. First, I am designing an Ambassadors program, to gather more volunteers who can go out and spread the word about Amara without staff members being present. I am also working with Angela to help her develop a new area at Amara focused on post-adoption services. Angela is a fascinating individual because she was in fact adopted through the foster system, and I even watched a movie about her and her journey to find her birth family.
It really is amazing how much I have learned in a short week and a half. I feel like I have such a more thorough understanding of the foster system and its complexities, although I know there is so much more I am unable to grasp at this point. Today, Wednesday June 29th, was a particularly poignant day of learning. Krystal and I watched a documentary called "Tough Love." This film was especially interesting because it presented the other side of foster care, reunification, where the child returns to his or her birth parents. Often times this is the best scenario for the child, which can seem confusing and wrong given the differences in resources and conditions of the birth parents. After watching this, I had the chance to talk to Angela Tucker, Amara’s Post-Adoption Support Manager, about my feelings, thoughts, and questions. She then showed me a short film called ReMoved, which was extremely powerful and displayed many issues involved in foster care beyond just finding a foster family and pairing them with a child. Abuse and neglect can have immense effects on children that do not disappear with a new home and parents. Identity challenges can be a major hardship for these children as well. Rewiring a child and being a persistent foster parent is incredibly important in order to provide the child with stability and support. I have really had my eyes opened through working at Amara and have become really appreciative of the family that I have at home.
By Danielle Ezratty