Activism in Adoption: Race, Relationships & Resilience
PRESENTED VIA ZOOM Throughout 2021, On Your Feet Foundation will be hosting a speaker series for all sides of the triad that continues to expand on key topics explored in our first 4 sessions in October 2020: Race, Resilience and Relationships in adoption. The series is being presented in 4 chapters with each chapter covering the three topics with renowned speakers.
Our first chapter launches with Hope Baker, Isaac Etter and Billy Kaplan. Chapter 2 follows with a screening of Found in Korea, and discussion with writer and producer, Nam Holtz, LMSW; an adaptation of our critical training program on supporting expectant mothers considering adoption. The series will take a pause for the summer and resume in the Fall with Vicki Twomey, Jess Figlio, Kevin Hofmann and Katy Finn. Sessions are 90 minutes long and feature a Q&A where participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speaker and panelists. This series is relevant to all members of the triad, as well as adoption professionals, no matter where they are in their adoption journey. Families hoping to adopt are encouraged to attend this unique series and will receive one hour and thirty minutes of Adoption Education Hours per session attended. Attendees who request Adoption Education Credits will receive certificates to show attendance and a session outline can be provided to agencies.
On Your Feet Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and registration fees for this event will directly benefit the birthparents we serve. Please contact Allison Jones for more information. Thank you to our series sponsor, Friends in Adoption, for their support.
In Activism in Adoption, speakers and panelists will engage attendees in unpacking self-identity within the framework of adoption. International adoption, becoming a multi-racial family, combating bias and systemic racism, and honoring birthparent and adoptee perspectives in transracial adoptions will be cornerstones of this topic.
While all adoptions have unique structures, they consistently involve navigating and understanding relationships. In Activism in Adoption, we go deeper into understanding trauma and how trauma-informed parenting can impact all sides of the adoption triad. By engaging all perspectives in this training, we are equipping ourselves with the tools to move forward. As a community, we will focus on strategies for communication, healing, and advocacy.
We take challenges and overcome them on a daily basis. But, adoption presents opportunities for strength and struggle in a unique landscape. In this topic, our experts have both wisdom and life experience to share and inspire our audience. Attendees will be given opportunities to seek answers to their own questions about tools for building resilience in themselves or others.
Panelists will discuss ways to be an activist for yourself and your child. Together, we will learn how to address and talk about sensitive topics with your family, children, and community.
About Our Speakers
Katy Finn is a theater artist, educator, writer, and mother via open transracial domestic adoption. Since the birth of her two children, Katy has become passionate about using creative means to explore motherhood, transracial adoption and open adoption. Katy is currently a consultant with Spence-Chapin adoption agency in New York City, where she primarily works with the birth parent outreach team. Her personal essays have been featured on numerous websites including, Motherly and Coffee and Crumbs. She has been featured on adoption podcasts and shares her story with the hopes of destigmatizing birth mothers and educating prospective white adoptive parents on transracial adoption.
Katy believes in a deeply self reflective process when working with groups of parents who wish to investigate parenting and race, that is rooted in accountability, action steps, and a curiosity to uncover and unpack the role race plays in everyday parenting. While Katy has an extensive background in facilitation, she brings her own curiosity and willingness to learn to every session she runs.
Katy lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Ethan, and their two children, 6 year old Rory and 2 year old Desi. Katy shares about her parenting journey, on her blog, www.ourfamilytriad.com. You can also find her on Instagram @Katyfinn33.
Accomplished writer and public speaker Kevin Hofmann has appeared across the United States sharing his experience and guiding parents, students and professionals through today’s multicultural landscape. His perspective and light-hearted yet contemplative view resonates with people of all cultures and is sought by many. Kevin has been interviewed by media including Nightline ABC and NPR and is quickly becoming a trusted voice on the topics of race and adoption.
Kevin’s layered racial resume led him to write Growing Up Black in White, a compelling memoir revealing his difficulties and joys growing up in a diverse family –particularly during a time and in a location where acceptance was tentative and emotions regarding race ran high and hot. Because his story also addresses the impact of race and culture in society, it serves as a catalyst for open discussions
on diversity and inclusion as well as race and culture. Kevin has worked with several K-12 school districts, colleges and universities, and adoption agencies as a diversity consultant.
Vicki Twomey is birthmom to Kevin, age 27. She has known him his whole life and even goes on vacation with him every spring! Vicki has worked at an adoption agency as an expectant mom counselor, case manager at On Your Feet Foundation and has been on the boards of various adoption organizations. She is the Director of Retreat Programming at On Your Feet and loves every minute spent connecting with others moms from around the country! She is very open about her story and passionate about helping other birthmoms!
Upcoming Speakers & Sessions:
Sunday, October 17th, 2PM CST: Vicki Twomey & Jessica Figlio
Beyond the Early Years: Growing with Our Adoptee Children
In the adoption community, we hear a lot about preparing for openness in the early years of the adoptees life. But what does the relationship look like when the adoptee becomes a teen or an adult? How do we prepare for a healthy open relationship through those years?
Join two seasoned birthmothers, Vicki Twomey and Jessica Figlio who have each experienced over 20 years of openness in adoption as they share their stories. Their met and unmet expectations, challenges faced, and growth experienced over the years. Learn what it means to grow with an adoptee child in an open adoption alongside their parents and build lasting, healthy relationships.
Wednesday, October 27th, 11AM CST: Katy Finn
Shifting the Adoption Narrative: The Role and Power of Adoptive Mothers
Through reflecting on the theater piece, Placing Home, which centers birth mother’s stories, Katy unpacks the powerful role adoptive mothers can play in shifting the pervasive adoption narrative. Katy will speak about her own journey in understanding why this matters and how prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents can take clear actions towards shifting the power dynamic in the adoption triad.
Wednesday, November 17th, 11AM CST: Kevin Hofmann
Lessons From The Life
My white mother had an affair with a black co-worker in Detroit in the late 60's. Soon after, I was adopted by a white family and from this unique beginning my purpose was born. I was genetically engineered to create hope and positivity around our differences. In this 90 minute presentation I share about the many lessons I have learned from Growing Up Black In White.
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