Former board chair, Anita Miller and her husband, Joe, currently live in Shaker Heights with their four children, the three eldest having joined the family through adoption. Having adopted interracially, she wanted to learn more about what being a transracial family really meant. A google search for adoption resources in Cleveland led to Adoption Network Cleveland. What stood out to her was that it was the only organization she found that represented and served all members of the adoption, foster care, and kinship care communities.
Throughout the years, Anita and her family attended events together, such as the annual picnic, as well as the General Discussion Meetings which gave them insight on the experiences of other people connected to adoption, foster care, and kinship care. This involvement led to her being invited to sit on the board from 2009 - 2020, an invitation she happily accepted. Anita also served as Board Chair in 2015-2016. Through her service on the board and committee work, Anita was able to help shape programming for future Adoption Network Cleveland families.
As a family formed by transracial adoption, the Millers were drawn to the Weaving Cultures program, and they “never missed a meeting for years.” As the needs of her family changed, she found herself getting involved in different ways. When Anita and her family first began attending the Weaving Cultures program it was more of a “play date” environment. As the children got older and the parents faced different challenges with their children's schools and social lives, they utilized the space as a support group. Anita is grateful that the organization is always adapting to the needs of its community throughout the years.
Adoption Network Cleveland has helped Anita and her family navigate the realities and difficulties of being a transracial adoptive family. Through family programming and events, Adoption Network Cleveland provided the family with opportunities to interact with families that look like them and share similar experiences. Anita explained that the informal and formal connections that were made through Adoption Network Cleveland have prepared her for all the changes in her family’s adoptive journey.
Having gained experience and a new perspective, Anita shared her advice for prospective transracial adoptive parents. She stated how important it is to do your homework and prepare yourself to provide support throughout this lasting relationship. She advises young families to reach out to Adoption Network Cleveland to get the resources and support needed to handle every twist and turn on their lifelong journey with adoption.
For information on our Weaving Cultures Transracial Adoptive Family Group and other services for families, please visit our website.
Kim Rednour recently completed an internship with Adoption Network Cleveland in our Development & Communications Department. Kim is a student at Cleveland State University, in the Levin College of Urban Affairs.