AN-YA PROJECT: CONTRIBUTORS UP-FRONT
Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Tennessee. I live in the Greater Philadelphia Area in Pennsylvania.
How and why did you become involved with the AN-YA Project?
I became involved with the AN-YA Project when Diane Christian emailed me asking for my ideas and support. I believed in the project. I felt it was important for those reading An-Ya to be guided by the voices of adult adoptees who are knowledgeable professionals, if they’d like to learn more about living adoption.Tell us about a personal accomplishment that brought you deep satisfaction.
Having the privilege of raising my two children is my greatest accomplishment in life. I am also extremely proud of my graduating from a BSW program and entering into graduate school in social work.Imagine you are sitting on your childhood bed. Look around your bedroom. What do you see?
The look of my room changed quite a bit during my childhood as my parents encouraged me to explore my creativity and surround myself with things that I liked. When I was very young, I had pink carpet and bedding and curtains with pink and purple flowers. When I was in middle school, my walls and ceilings were midnight blue and adorned with glowing stars. On one wall, my parents had allowed me to paint an ocean with fish. As an adolescent, my walls were tan with murals of flowers that I had painted. My bedding was an array of animal prints.
Favorite book(s) when you were a child?I loved reading The Babysitter’sClub. I also enjoyed the classics too.
Do you have any pets or a special memory of a childhood pet?I have two, large, loveable and ridiculous Golden Retrievers.
Do you have any hobbies outside of your career?I cross-train a few nights a week in three different martial arts and kickboxing. I have a brown belt in karate. I also like photography.
What things do you not like to do?I am not a fan of watching sports—other than baseball. I am also not especially fond of cooking.
Was there a teacher, for better or worse, who influenced your life’s path?
I have told each of my professors at West Chester University that they’ve changed my life. They have helped me on the way to becoming the best social worker that I can be and I could not be more thankful for how they’ve helped me achieve a career that I am proud of.
Tell us about your dream meal...all of the courses and who you would like at the table with you.There are so many people I would love to dine and chat with. There are so many family members that I have that are spread out across the country that I would love to share a meal with. But truly, my absolute dream meal is a meal I already get to have several nights per week. It is when it sit outside on my deck with my husband and children and watch my 4 year old try to build things with his French fries and giggle at my two year old who has decided to try to eat his cheese burger without using his hands. It’s the dogs resting in the sunlight at our feet, waiting for any morsel of food that the kids drop.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading a book called Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy. Reedy is a colleague of my cousin, Jessica, who just received her MFA degree. It is a captivating tale of a young girl in Afghanistan.
Favorite Film with an ‘adoption narrative’?Matilda.
What projects are you working on now?I am currently working on my contribution to the AN-YA: Strengths Based Mental Health Guide. I am expecting articles I wrote to appear in two different magazines. I am working on editing an anthology and finishing up the final manuscript of my own book for publication.
Anything else you would like to share with readers?Be passionate. Advocate for the things that matter.
(This interview is the first in our on-going interview series AN-YA PROJECT: CONTRIBUTORS UP-FRONT)