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All Together Now - Adoption Playgroup for 3-8 year olds, Tweens
Peer-Support Group, Parent Group Discussions, and Volunteer
Opportunity
for Teens

Registration for Spring 2012 semester is underway.

All Together Now (ATN) now in its fourth year is a fun,
multicultural, and age-appropriate peer-support and playgroup
facilitated by adult and teen adoptees for adopted kids from families
across a wide spectrum of backgrounds. We also provide a space for
adoptive parents to gather, connect, and share resources. A committee
of resourceful and committed adult adoptees, adoptive parents, and
teen adoptee volunteers organize and put together the playgroups.

For 3-8 year-olds:
35 year olds: free and group play with a craft project each session.
68 year olds: free and organized group play, as well as an
expressive discussion, which informs craft and play projects each
session.

For Tweens:
The tweens group, a related but separate offshoot of ATN, offers
children, 9-11, the opportunity to come together in a more mature
setting with the aim of fostering personal relationships with other
adoptees at similar developmental stages in their lives.  The aim of
the group is to provide a safe, secure, and fun environment that will
embrace adoption issues, as they come up, through participation in a
variety of age-appropriate activities. The tweens group is facilitated
by Kacy Ames-Heron, LCSW, who is, herself, an adult adoptee.  The fee
is approximately $175 for the semester. Enrollment for the Spring is
already closed, but will reopen in the Fall. More information can be
obtained by contacting Fran at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

For Teens:
We have volunteer opportunities for teens to assist with playgroups.
Community Service credit is available. Please contact Fran at
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  for more information.

For Parents:
ATN runs a parallel parents group, which discusses adoption-related
issues.  Our Adult Adoptee Liaison Liz Raleigh, PhD, is a key
component of these discussions. A sociologist specializing in
adoption-related issues, Liz was adopted from Korea.  She lends her
expertise and multi-faceted point-of-view to the parents group
meetings.  Parents of 3-8 year olds, tweens, and volunteers are all
welcome.  The fee for the parents group alone is $60.  (See below.)

Fee
The fee for the Spring semester will be approximately $170.  The entire
fee goes directly to our operating costs—either to pay for the
space rental or to stipends for adoptee volunteers and facilitators.

Location:
Union Temple Preschool
17 Eastern Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Time:
Sundays from 2:00 - 3:30
Spring 2011 dates February 5, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 10

To register:
Contact Amy Appelbaum at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


More on ATN’s ideas

ATN is an adoptee-centered support group for adopted children and their
families, founded by psychologists and adoptive parents, David Amarel
and Martha Crawford.  We believe that adoption comes with unique
developmental processes for adoptive families and that they differ
from biological families for that reason.

We particularly value the perspective of adult adoptees, seek out
their input, and support their concerns as an integral part of our
program.  We strive to create a community in which adopted children,
teens and adults can determine their own experience and form
supportive friendships among each other and in their own company.

As parents - in our group discussions and in our programming - we try
to understand and integrate the birth-cultures of our children into
our families’ lives. For those of us in transracial adoptive families,
we recognize the role of race in shaping not only our lives but the
lives of our children and work to help prepare them to navigate the
world as adopted persons of color.

We acknowledge the birth family as a living reality in the adoptive
family.  We are also attuned to the losses experienced in adoption,
especially those of our children and birth families, and treat them
respectfully in the context of ATN.  Finally, we celebrate the
diversity of adoptive families and the lifelong, nurturing, loving,
unconditional and irrevocable bonds they form.

ATN Parent Group Programming

Concurrent to the playgroup, ATN runs a parallel parents group, which
discusses adoption-related issues. We use various methods to get the
conversation going: guest speakers, documentary films and
member-facilitated discussions, among them.  Ideas for programs come
directly from parents.

We have three sessions planned so far for this Spring. One afternoon
Maris Blechner, Executive Director of Adoption Agency Family Focus
Adoption Services (FFAS) in Queens, will talk about ‘Abandonment and
Inducement’:  the adoptee’s traumatic experience of being abandoned
and the feelings it creates in the child.  Her talk will help us
better understand some of our children’s behavior.  Here is a link to
the FFAS website about the subject:
http://familyfocusadoption.org/inducement.html.

In two consecutive afternoons, we will show Nicole Opper’s acclaimed
and prizewinning documentary, Off and Running,
http://offandrunningthefilm.com/ and will meet the film’s protagonist
Avery Klein-Cloud.  Off and Running tells the coming of age story of
Avery Klein-Cloud, an African American adoptee growing up in Brooklyn
with white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers - one
mixed-race and one Korean. The film follows Avery’s complicated
exploration of race, identity, and family, delving into the strength
of family bonds and the lengths to which people must go to become
themselves.

There are tentatively two sessions scheduled for parents to discuss
their individual adoptive parenting experiences.


Planning Committee

Amy Appelbaum
Andrea Compton
Martha Crawford
Nanne Dekking
Jamie Levinson
Frank Ligtvoet
Carol Lutfy
Mindy Miller
Emily Morgon
Elizabeth Raleigh
Miriam Sicherman
Fran Weinstock

Replies

This looks fantastic, I wish Westchester County had something like this. I’ve had trouble finding a kid friendly adoption group here. Going into the city often is financially difficult at the moment, I would love something like this closer to my home!
But my son is only seven months, maybe by the time he is three we will be able to join this. Good Luck!

Posted by tarahj65 on Dec 29, 2011 at 11:26pm

Great to see you’re having Maris Blechner run a session!  She’s an amazing resource - which is why we are so happy she’s part of our terrific team of facilitators at Forever Families Weekend, our program for Jewish families touched by adoption, which will run June 8-10, 2012 at the NJY Camps in Milford, Pennsylvania (an easy 90 miles from NYC).  Families interested in learning more can ask Maris or visit us online at http://njycamps.org/families/html/forever_families.html.

To tarahj65 - you might want to join us at the Adoptive Parents Committe, which meets monthly in Westchester (and also in Fairfield County).  Info is available at http://www.adoptiveparents.org.

Posted by DebbieFFW on Dec 31, 2011 at 6:04am

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