November - Fall Newsletter
Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training
220 Concord Ave. Cambridge MA 02138
617 547 0909 [email protected]
Quick Links!

Hello to followers of PACT (Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)! 


We have had a tumultuous fall.  The weather has been stunning, but the office has had its ups and downs. A big challenge for us was finding the 'right' person to take over the Exec. Assistant job. 


Finally, we found her.  Amy Lynne Grzybinski started in the office on October 22 and we are thrilled.  Mary has been in and out to help train her a bit, and will be returning to do so in the coming week.   Jen and Mary updated the "How To" book, which has been a useful resource for Amy. Caitlin, Jen and Mary are at the ready to help Amy with any questions, and Alex keeps the finances for the office. Thanks to the team at PACT!


Please be gentle and understanding as Amy gets the lay of the land and figures out how things work here.  She is a quick study and so it shouldn't take long before we are sailing along again.  Amy has degrees in Journalism and Women's Studies and she comes with a great deal of skill in office management and public relations.  We are thrilled to have her here.   Her email is [email protected] Amy is also answering the main phone at 617 547 0909.  Remember to leave your email as we do most of our scheduling and sending of information via email.


I traveled to Budapest in September and learned a great deal about their adoption practices while I was in Hungary. The presence of birthparents and discussion of open adoption was not as vivid as it is in some other places like the UK and USA.  I had a great time getting to know this wonderful city and many of the very knowledgeable and caring professionals, adoptive parents and adult adopted people.  I also stopped in London to visit a new publisher and some friends.    A week later I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan for Bethany Christian Services to keynote and workshop about post adoption services. Grand Rapids is a very sweet city, and we had an excellent conference with the efforts of more wonderful people.


Here in Cambridge, clients are seeking mediation in divorce and open adoption, as well as adoption expertise on cases with court involvement. We have also been doing several consultations for DMH and for Riverside AACT. We are seeing a lot of families seeking ways to address depression, anxiety and identity issues for teens. Several of these families have teens that have been behaving in an unsafe manner and have been subsequently placed in "boarding" schools in order to take the pressure off parents. Families are having difficulties with schools that are failing to understand their children and often pathologizing them as adopted kids. There has been an influx of couples seeking coaching as they enter the adoption process, as well as adult adopted people who seek coaching to help make sense of the emotional and psychological issues around melding their two lives.


Below is our personal pizza delivery cat, Maisie. 


PACT (Pre/post Adoption Consulting and Training) 

and Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao present




The Boston/New York Post Adoption Competency 

Training For Clinicians and other Adoption Related 






 Using lecture, videos, classroom discussion, panel presentations, and consultations, this eight-month program is designed to help therapists develop the clinical sensitivity, and more important, competency needed to treat the mental health

problems of children who come from a background of abuse and neglect and who are being raised in a family other than the birth family. The course emphasizes the development of a framework of understanding about the complexity of being a child or adult in a family by adoption and the therapeutic skills that will enable practitioners to work at the individual, couples, group, and family levels of clinical practice. Woven into each class is the impact that trauma, separation and loss-- as

well as multiple moves --can have on children's development and wellbeing.






For more information please contact:

[email protected]


Presented by: Adoption Resource Center (ARC) and Riverside


Link here For Full Course Info 


Dates Scheduled for 2014 January 10, February 28, March

21, April 25 Fridays from 9:00 to 2:00



Cambridge location to be announced depending on class size.





For more information please contact:

[email protected]


Co-Host and Associate Presenter: Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW


Dates Scheduled for 2014: January 19, February 8, March 8, 

and April 5, 2014, and Saturdays from 9:00 to 2:00


Consultation/Supervision Course also offered Saturdays 2:30

to 5.



Upper West Side Location -- to be announced

Consultation Groups New York and Boston
For Questions or Registration 

Please Contact:


Consultation, Supervision and Training for mental health professionals, in specialized theories and practices for working with all members of the adoptive triad, including birth mothers and fathers; adoptive mothers and fathers; and the adopted persons. The continuum of care from foster care (or orphanage) to kinship, guardianship or adoption is an important foundation of understanding necessary to be competent in working with families and children in the world of adoption. All of these family constructions will be discussed and included in the program. 



I will be supervising two Marriage and Family Therapists - I am an Approved Supervisor. Contact me if you would want supervision with the specialty of Adoption and Complex Blended Families. 


Coaching and Supervision for professionals is also available here at PACT.


November 1 was a busy day!  I taught a class on the Ethics of International Adoption at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and then in the evening I attended the BLANK performance that I helped to sponsor. The class was lively and interested - some students were in the Kennedy School, others in law school. The BLANK performance was terrific. Brian Stanton and Patti Hawn brought many issues to the forefront and the Q + A was wonderful. 

Google YouTube etc. and see this movie Girl, Adopted. It is a very good and real rendition of what it is like for a young girl coming from Ethiopia and about her parents and their challenges. 


"Girl, Adopted is a contemporary coming-of-age story that follows 13-year-old Weynsht from her orphanage in Ethiopia's capital city to an adoptive American family in rural Arkansas. The film captures an irrepressibly adolescent Weynsht as she works to figure out who she is in the aftermath of her adoption. The film follows her struggle to find love among strangers in the U.S. and to understand what to make of this love on an unexpected return trip to Ethiopia. Weynsht's story offers a real-time, child's-eye view of being adopted across race and culture. Without taking a pro- or anti-adoption position, it acknowledges the complexity involved in this increasingly common experience. The film revolves around the central question: what is it like to get everything you need but to lose everything you know?"



POV | Adoption Stories . Documentary Films on PBS
POV | Adoption Stories . Documentary Films on PBS



This PBS webpage on adoption has trailer videos for three different movies on adoption and other adoption related information as well.


The Indian Child Welfare case about Baby Veronica has caused an outcry from most adult adopted people in the nation. Here is an article about the amazing gesture that the birthfather has made.


"During this four-year fight to raise my daughter, I had to make many difficult decisions-decisions no father should ever have to make. The most difficult decision of all was to let Veronica go with Matt and Melanie Capobianco last month. But it was no longer fair for Veronica to be in the middle of this battle. It was the love for my daughter that kept me going all this time. But it was also the love for my daughter that finally gave me the strength to accept things that are beyond my control."


See this discussion with Linda Spears of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to hear more about Indian Child Welfare and the Baby Veronica case.



On August 23, 2013, U.S. Immigration and CustomsEnforcement (ICE) issued a directive on Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Immigration Enforcement Activities, or the Parental Interest Directive. The Directive is a response to the large and growing number of U.S. citizen children with immigrant parents or guardians who have been detained or deported, and is meant to ensure that detained and removed parents and guardians can maintain a relationship with their children and make decisions in their best interest.


First Focus shared a fact sheet on the new directive, download it at: 


Also, see this recent news clip on the issue.


Here is a link to a Gazillion Voices interview with Mari Steed about Ireland's Magdalene Laundries and these children being exported illegally from Ireland. In order to see the video you must subscribe to the Land of Gazillion Adoptees magazine, which you should do anyway to learn more about important topics to the adoptee community!


Check out this trailer for a new show on MTV about a teenager's search for her biological father - a sperm donor - and the 15 half-siblings she uncovers along the way!

Helping a Student....




I am a student at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work conducting a study to better understand how the relationship between adopted and birth (non-adopted) siblings growing up in the same adoptive home evolves from childhood through adulthood.  Specifically, I am seeking assistance in locating adult birth (non-adopted)/ adopted sibling pairs in which the adopted person came into the adoptive family under 2 years of age and the non-adopted (birth) sibling was no more than 5 years at the time the adoption occurred.  Ideally, the siblings are now adults between 20 and 40 years of age.  I am interested in the possibility of interviewing both the adopted and non-adopted siblings and their parents. Interviews will be either face to face or over the phone, will probably take between one and two hours and will ideally be conducted beginning this fall.


A 20-dollar Target gift card will be provided to each participant at the end of the interview as a recognition of the time and energy you spent volunteering for this study. If you are interested or know any adult sibling pairs of adopted and not-adopted persons, please contact me for more information about the study.  Thank you in advance for your support and interest.


Claire Madden
[email protected]
Tel. (617) 997-5906




1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.


2. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!


3. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.


4. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.


5. To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.


6. For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.


7. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.


8. Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yum!


9. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy pizza! I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.


10. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.


11. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.


12. Reheating refrigerated bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.


13. Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.


14. Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.


15. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.


16. Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.


17. Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.


18. Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and guess what! Static is gone.


19. Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. (Or spray the measuring cup or spoon with Pam before using)


20. Foggy Windshield?

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!


21. Re-opening envelopes

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.


22. Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.


23. Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!


24. Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!


25. Dryer Filter

Even if you are very diligent about cleaning the lint filter in your dryer it still may be causing you a problem. If you use dryer sheets a waxy build up could be accumulating on the filter causing your dryer to over heat. The solution to this is to clean your filter with a toothbrush and hot soapy water every 6 months.

-- "I believe the only true way to guarantee that children are where they are supposed to be is by doing open adoptions both internationally and domestically. Mediation and education should be done, and clear understanding by sending and receiving parents and countries/states so that ALL adoptions are ethical, legal and in the very best interest of each and every child." Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao