February Newsletter

(Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)


Quick Links!

Dear Everyone:


I was aiming for a January Newsletter and before I knew it, it was February!  We are deluged with snow here in Cambridge and have missed many working days. 


This has not prevented us from working at home and getting lots of writings done.  However, it has caused huge financial issues, as we have had three weeks of closings and cancelations due to the State of Emergency, parking bans, and suspended public transportation.  It has been a mess.  Our own parking lot has devolved from having six spaces to hardly having two, because there is nowhere to put the snow.  You all know this challenge if you live in Eastern MA and especially in Boston/Cambridge.  So we are working hard to get up to date on all reports, assessments, articles and other writing projects.


During this crazy month of that four letter word: snow....


The kinds of challenges that people are facing in January/February are as follows:

  • Divorce and adoption: how children with existing fears and losses are further confounded when their adoptive parents divorce and remarry
  • Identity confusion: when children are trying to figure out what it means to have come not only from another mother, but also from another country
  • Adolescent angst: when kids end up with multiple hospitalizations and residential placements, because they fight within themselves in unsafe ways and cannot be contained safely at home.  Some of them wonder, "If I was told that my birthparents couldn't keep me safe and that is why I came to my adoptive parents, what does it mean when my adoptive parents can't keep me safe either?"
  • Not knowing: implications when a child and his sister are both adopted, but neither has been told that they are adopted.  The brother is hospitalized and might think that only he was adopted - he thinks that the reason his sister is "the favorite" is because she was not adopted.  This is not true, but it is in his mind.
  • Birthparents who need help understanding why, when we open a closed adoption, everyone isn't automatically ready for unstructured, casual, and frequent communication.  Relationships take time to grow; just because two people are related, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have a relationship.
  • How to deal with an older foster child who doesn't adhere to the foster parents' rules and whose behavior impacts the younger adopted and foster children in that home
  • How to negotiate connections when there is a language, cultural, and/or economic difference between people
  • How to negotiate connections between adoptive parents and birthparents in order to build a foundational relationship in which to involve the child in the future
  • How to understand a child who is so very different from you that it is often hard to be open, let alone kind (while the child feels the same way toward you)
  • How to talk about adoption and birth family
  • How to prepare for a trip to the homeland and/or to the birth family
  • Adult adopted people coping with search, reunion, and guilt while working to balance home life, career, and relationships


These are some of the issues that we are working on with folks.


In addition, we are doing consultations for the Department of Mental Health and for Riverside Community Care.  We are also consulting to the Donaldson Adoption Institute in NYC and working on grant proposals.


We are busy planning for the annual ARC summer intensives - save the dates, June 21-23 in Provincetown!  Just the thought of it seems like a dream as we're buried in all this snow!








If you live anywhere, but especially in New England, you should catch the AAC Conference on March 25-29 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge.  The conference promises a great few days with excellent exposure to current thinking on adoption.  It is geared toward those who live and work in the world of adoption, but all are welcome.






PACT (Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

Emily Adcox, Executive Assistant

Deirdre Jimenez, Intern





 A Little Day About Adoption in NYC
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 10am-1pm
New York City (Upper West Side)

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, Ed.D, LCSW, LMFT will be joined by Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW, and Penny Callan Partridge to lead this workshop covering:
  • what adoption is and what it isn't
  • what the developmental issues are for all parties
  • what is normal under the circumstances for adopted children and adolescents
  • what you might want to know about adoption to be the best professional, parent, friend or relative to those in the world of adoption.
Click here for event flyer with full details
Online registration available here.
With questions, please email eakinnect@gmail.com or call 617-547-0909


An Opportunity to Intern with PACT and AACT

June 2015 - June 2016


Clinical Intern:

The Clinical Intern will be responsible for providing clinical services to clients and associates of PACT and AACT. Responsibilities also include providing planning for, coordinating, and participating in training/events.  The Intern will report to the CEO.

For full internship description and qualifications, click here.

If interested, contact Emily at eakinnect@gmail.com or 617-547-0909 to schedule an interview.  Interviews will be held in January and February 2015.  Final interview dates are approaching!

In keeping with honoring Dr. Martin Luther King on his recent birthday and Black History Month, hear the words of my dear friend Imani Perry: The Fabric of Our Identity

by Angela Tucker

by Mirah Riben

Please don't tell me I was lucky to be adopted
by Shaaren Pine

by Robin J. Landwehr

by Tara McNamara and Addison Cooper


Be sure to visit the new website for OBC (original birth certificates) for MA!  Also join us on Facebook.

Call for Study Participants

I am conducting a research study that I hope will provide support and guidance for families raising transracial adoptees. The research will focus on adult transracial adoptees' perspectives of the ways their parents dealt with matters of race. The research will explore adoptees' reflections on their experiences. The goal of this research is to better understand how parents' management of racial differences in the family has affected adoptees. It will look at how this has impacted adoptees' identity development and navigation of racial discrimination.

I am a 4th year doctoral student at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). I am writing to ask for your help in locating participants for my dissertation research project. Participants will be asked to complete a brief survey and engage in a thoughtful and focused discussion with this interviewer. The discussion will last about one hour. The discussion will occur at a time and place that is convenient for the participant and all information will be held in strict confidentiality.

In order to qualify for this study participants must:
1.      Be over 21 years of age
2.      Have been adopted at age 2 or younger
3.      Identify as non-white
4.      Have at least one white adoptive parent

If you are interested in participating, know of any contacts that might be of help in my search, have any questions about the study, and/ or wish to know the results when I have compiled them, please feel free to contact me at 617-863-7565 or via email at transracialadoptionstudy@gmail.com. Additionally, I have attached a "call for participants flyer" with the above information. Thank you very much!

Dorothy Kelleher, M.A.


PACT Client Satisfaction Survey


If you have used PACT services as a professional or as a parent or other individual involved in complex blended families, please complete this brief survey.  We are working to ensure that our services are tailored to your and your family's needs.  Thank you for your time and your feedback!



The Journey to Adoption:
A Support Group for Individuals and Couples
New York City

See complete details here.

Did you know Emerson College offers pre-college 
programs for high school students?

Emerson offers challenging three- and five-week summer programs for advancing high school students. If you have high school students at home or know of any young prospects who are interested in communication and the arts, you should encourage them to apply!

The College is now accepting applications for these exciting Summer 2015 programs:

      Musical Theatre
      Stage Design
      Creative Writing
      Political Communication

During the programs, high school students are offered opportunities to pursue creative ideas, acquire new skills, and prepare audition materials or portfolio pieces. Pre-College students at Emerson also meet other individuals who share a love of arts and communication.

Residential and commuter options are available.

For more information, visit the Pre-College webpages

If you know any high school students who love the arts and communication, please don't hesitate to tell them about Emerson's Pre-College Summer Programs!


Cambridge Therapy Office Space for Rent

For Adoption-Competent Therapist or for use as a Writer's Room


220 Concord Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138

On the bus line, and a brisk walk from Porter or Harvard Squares


The space has a shared bathroom, a full kitchen for employees only (available when not in use for groups), and a small waiting area. 

The office is fully furnished. No phone and no other supplies/materials provided.  We do not provide any administrative, billing, or other services.


To be rented one day per week (Monday is available)

$375.00 per month, utilities included


Call or email to set up a visit and interview.

Executive Assistant, Emily Adcox: eakinnect@gmail.com


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao: kinnect@gmail.com


"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


Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training
Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao
220 Concord Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-0909