It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that I will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of the month. I have been extremely honored to have served birthmothers and this organization and am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this community. We have grown so much together over these past four and a half years and I am so proud of everything we have accomplished in improving the lives of birthmothers in California and beyond.
With few resources our small team has transformed the lives of so many birthmothers. Our work has encompassed creating new programs and initiatives that elevate the voices of birthmothers from a range of communities, that tailor our services to align with the unique needs and circumstances of birthmothers, and that reach out to the adoption community with an call to action to embrace ethical, birthmother-sensitive practices.
Just during COVID, our small team has achieved a considerable amount of impactful and innovative work to raise awareness of the need to support birthmothers post-placement, reach more birthmothers in need of our services and connect with the adoption community to call for the adoption process to incorporate birthmothers’ needs and interests. And, this was on top of completely retooling our birthmother services to meet the emerging needs of our birthmother community due to the stress, isolation and demands brought on by dealing with the pandemic.
One of our most recent achievements is our collaboration with Dr. Cammy Froude on developing “Growing into You”, an online coaching program that empowers our clients with emotional and practical tools to map out a healthy future. Our Integrity Initiative, which builds an ethical pathway guiding adoptive parents and adoption professionals by embedding long-term support for birthmothers in the adoption process, also comprises an accomplishment that we can feel good about. Together with our Adobe marketing experts, we launched a compelling new website to promote and elevate awareness of our vision and invite the adoption community to join us in changing norms that lead to more positive outcomes for birthmothers.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we launched the new MPower Alliance brand after engaging in a long and thoughtful consideration of how to improve our visual representation of our unique work empowering, uniting and supporting birthmothers in an inclusive community. I am especially grateful to Grace Flannery, our recently departed former Board President and outspoken birthmother advocate, who led this initiative with her characteristic passion and kindheartedness. She was most enthusiastic about “MPower” because of its strong emphasis on the empowerment of birthmothers so I see the formation of our new name as a true embodiment of her legacy.
That we survived as an organization through COVID was only possible through the generous contributions of our donors. I want to thank you for making all of our programs and initiatives a reality and ensuring that MPower Alliance was viable throughout this unprecedented time. Because of you, we were able to improve the futures for birthmothers from all backgrounds across the country and even the world. Your impact shows in every birthmother who now feels she has her own personal support network, who now feels she has a voice and who now feels she has defined her own pathway to heal.
All of this could not have happened without Pearl Chen, our incredibly dedicated program and development coordinator, who enthusiastically teamed up with me on every single project. I also want to thank our board of directors for their valued collaboration. Please continue to give the MPA team your support and involvement in any way you can through this transition to welcoming a new Executive Director.
Most importantly, I want to let all of you birthmoms know that I will remain grateful to you all for the kindness and community you have shown me throughout these past years. I am humbled by all of your personal stories and the strength you bring to meeting the challenges in your life with resilience and dignity. You are all an inspiration that I will carry with me from here forward!
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