April Newsletter

(All Adoption Consulting and Training)


Quick Links!

by Kirk Johnson

Four Birthmothers - For Mothers
Four Birthmothers - For Mothers

Our identity changes with each day and each hour - it is shifted, shaped, questioned, honed, edited, and celebrated in every move we make.  Alice says it well:



We hope that April is bringing you into a new spring identity and that the winter of our discontent is fading away (phew!).


Our winter has been rough with so much snow, ice, and cold, and so many cancellations and the inability to park!  All of that has melted away, and we are finally back to normalcy.


Last month we lost our name, and this month we are sad to learn that Riverside Community Care is cutting back on some programs, and the Riverside AACT (After Adoption Consulting and Training) program is one that will end in late September.  We had high hopes to bring post-adoption services into the wider community through Riverside, but that was not possible without greater funding.


So here we go with more changes!


It has been a pleasure working with Riverside, and through them we have done great things with the Department of Mental Health and their Children's Behavioral Health Knowledge Center.  We will continue to contract independently with DMH and the Knowledge Center.


We are hoping to find a part-time "home", so that we can keep our structure as it is and serve more families, children, and professionals.  Without some kind of regular, part-time, salaried job, we may have to change our structure dramatically.  


If anyone has ideas for part-time consulting and coaching, I would be glad to hear them.


If we can't find something, I may have to give up our office space and change things in order to keep surviving and thriving for the sake of families and children.


We have not only lost, but have also gained!  We have gained funding from generous supporters for our summer conference and for writing/education.  We are deeply grateful for this support and for the belief in the importance of the work that we do.  Thank you so much!


This funding will allow us to give partial scholarships to professionals from public and private agencies and to parents (by birth, adoption, and ART) and adult adopted people for our ARC summer conference.





AACT (All Adoption Consulting and Training)

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao


Still I Rise

Maya Angelou


You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air,

I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.



Seeking Part Time Work

I would like to create a part-time position for myself with an agency, a law firm, or an innovative place like Google or Facebook.  I would do coaching and consulting to staff along with supervision.


My brief bio is below, and I have over 45 years of experience.


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, Ed.D, LCSW, LMFT

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao (Founder and CEO of Center For Family Connections [1995-2012], Adoption Resource Center [1978-present], and Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training [PACT; 1982-present]) is a consultant and coach, as well as a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  She has consulted to and provided trainings for various agencies, schools, and court systems.  She has worked closely with individuals and families created by adoption, foster care, reproductive technology, and other complex blended family constructions.  She has developed models for treatment and for training using her systemic, intergenerational, and developmental framework, The Normative Crises in the Development of the Adoptive Family; her book, The Family of Adoption, has received high acclaim. Dr. Pavao has received many awards and honors, including the Adoption Excellence Award for Family Contribution (2003), and the Angel in Adoption Award (2000).  Dr. Pavao is an adopted person.


Detailed CV can be provided upon request.


Cambridge Office for Rent on Observatory Hill


220 Concord Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138

Great space for a therapist, writer, or consultant.  This is also a great address and office for a group or agency that wants a presence in Cambridge/Boston.


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


The space has a shared bathroom, a full kitchen for employees only, and a small waiting area.  The office is fully furnished (no phone and no administrative services or use of other supplies/materials).  Cleaning services once per week.


Available now 5 days a week


$1,200.00 per month (includes utilities)


Contact us for an interview:

Executive Assistant, Emily Adcox




Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao





AACT and ARC present the
29th Annual ARC Summer Intensives
Adoption on the Edge: Talk About Adoption

June 21-23, 2015
At the Provincetown Inn and Conference Center
1 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
See brochure for full details.
Register via brochure or online.

With questions, please contact 617-547-0909 or eakinnect@gmail.com


Don't forget to tell the Inn that you are attending the ARC summer conference to receive reduced room rates!  Folks are signing up now to be sure to catch these special discounts!




How can AACT help YOU?



Dr. Pavao is doing consultations and 50,000-mile check-ups for families in adoption and other complex blended families and for the professionals that serve them.  She has times available for face-to-face visits at her office, as well as phone and video conference appointments for folks who are out of the country or out of state.


Please call 617-547-0909 or email eakinnect@gmail.com to schedule an appointment. 


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, Ed.D, LCSW, LMFT

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao (Founder and CEO of Center For Family Connections [1995-2012], Adoption Resource Center [1978-present], and All Adoption Consulting and Training [AACT, formerly known as PACT; 1982-present]) is a consultant and coach, as well as a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  She has consulted to and provided trainings for various agencies, schools, and court systems.  She has worked closely with individuals and families created by adoption, foster care, reproductive technology, and other complex blended family constructions.  She has developed models for treatment and for training using her systemic, intergenerational, and developmental framework, "The Normative Crises in the Development of the Adoptive Family"; her book, The Family of Adoption, has received high acclaim. Dr. Pavao has received many awards and honors, including the Adoption Excellence Award for Family Contribution (2003), and the Angel in Adoption Award (2000).  Dr. Pavao is an adopted person.



Introducing Rachel Blum Cantone


Rachel Blum Cantone comes to Boston from Washington State, and I am supervising her as she transfers her license to Massachusetts.  She has experience with foster care and adoption and is participating in a year-long course that I teach here.


She will be seeing some clients here at 220 Concord Ave. starting with Tuesdays only and expanding over time.  Please call 617-547-0909 or email eakinnect@gmail.com if you would like to set up a time for her to work with your family or your child.




Rachel Blum Cantone is family therapy practitioner based Cambridge, MA, where she shares her time between AACT (All Adoption Consulting and Training) @ Pavao Consulting and Coaching, and The Guidance Center Family Outpatient Clinic.  She has also worked at child and family clinics in Washington State, where she is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Rachel's master's degree in Couples and Family Therapy is from Antioch University Seattle.


Rachel is dedicated to working with families experiencing adoption-related issues, and she is currently participating in AACT's Certificate Program in Adoption Competency. Rachel supports people struggling with relationship issues, life transitions, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and trauma.


Rachel lives with her husband and young son in Somerville, MA.







What will you receive with this package?   

  • You will have appointments with three experts in adoption who have worked in the field for many years and who know the resources and suggestions that will help solve family dilemmas.
  • You will be bumped up on waitlists to have your consultations done as soon as possible.
  • You will have a thorough intake and a genogram created representing your complete extended family ($300).
  • You will have two consultations with Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao ($600), one consultation with Dr. Lisa Albers Prock ($500), and two at-home consultations with Wendy Schmidt ($500)
  • You will receive written evaluations and recommendations from all three experts and any necessary referrals ($600).


Who: Three of the leaders in adoption and clinical issues:


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, Ed.D, LCSW, LMFT


Dr. Lisa Albers Prock, MD, MPH, FAAP


Wendy Schmidt, OTR/L, MPA


Full details available here



Contact 617-547-0909 or kinnect@gmail.com



Anxiety in Kids: How to Turn It Around and Protect Them for Life
by Hey Sigmund

by Jessenia Arias

Attention Must Be Paid to the History of Adoption
from Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW


This article highlights the importance of the mental health professional's understanding of the history of adoption.  The mistakes in adoption are being repeated in today's family building options of donor gamete, surrogacy, gestational carriers, and embryo adoption. 

While there are differences, the shame and guilt of individuals and couples not able to have their own biological child is the same.  It is the responsibility of the professionals - especially the mental health professionals - to speak out on the importance of grieving for the lifetime loss of not having one's own biological child.  The inability to grieve for one's own fantasy biological child places the real, present child (by adoption or ART) in the shadow of the biological child to never be known.

The mental health community knows that family secrets do not lead to a healthy family environment.  Children learn to trust their parents by being treated with respect, which includes honesty.  Advances in the technology of DNA will lead to individuals knowing the truths of their beginnings. These truths need to come from the people that the children had believed placed their best interests as their top priority.  I believe these are self-evident truths. - Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW

From Jean Strauss:

Four Birthmothers - For Mothers
Four Birthmothers - For Mothers

Visit Nicole Burton's YouTube Channel for some short videos on adoption, created as a project for this year's AAC Conference.


Our fabulous Emily is going to take what she has learned and continue her learning in a Master of Social Work program this fall.  She will be here much of the summer helping to train a new person and finishing up the great work that she has done so gracefully.  We will begin advertising the position and interviewing in May, and we will have some overlap of the new person and Emily in June and July.  If you know of anyone fabulous, please have them contact us!  The job does not pay very well, but it is like a paid internship, as the person will learn a great deal while here.



Full Time Executive Assistant/Marketing Coordinator

in Cambridge, MA


AACT (All Adoption Consulting and Training, formerly known as PACT [Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training]) is an internationally recognized organization specializing in training, treatment, coaching, and consultation around issues of adoption, foster care, and complex blended families since 1982.



Reports to Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

  • Provide a wide range of complex and confidential administrative support to the CEO
  • Devise on-going support processes for correspondence, email, and phone calls from/to CEO, major contacts, clients, and funders
  • Manage all logistical details in the coordination and operation of meetings, information, trainings, correspondence, and travel
  • Maintain the CEO's schedule, including coordination of all appointments and tasks relevant to deadlines and billing for services
  • Coordinate appropriate meetings deemed necessary by the CEO and often attend, take notes, and draft reports
  • Organize conferences, trainings,  and events
  • Coordinate all marketing materials for AACT such as newsletters, brochures, press releases, flyers, annual reports, business cards, ads, etc.


  • College degree
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to think ahead, pre-plan, and be flexible
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, and an eye for graphic and artistic flavor
  • Proven interpersonal skills with tact and diplomacy
  • Ability to work with colleagues and with a variety of projects and constituencies
  • Competency using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and graphics applications (InDesign and Photoshop)
  • Confidentiality and professionalism are essential. Minimum 1-year work experience as an Executive Assistant or similar position preferred
  • Experience in developing marketing materials preferred
Other Information
  • 40-hour work week (20 hours per week to start, then moving to full time)
  • Ambassador for AACT
  • Room to grow and cultivate new skills!
  • Salary discussion at interview - hourly pay and assessment after three months

Please send cover letter and resume to:

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

Email: kinnect@gmail.com

Fax: 617-497-5952


Volunteers Needed

Need volunteers to revise bibliography and to conduct post-service surveys


Specialized Donation Needed


I have many, many old videotapes of some of the pioneers in adoption reform.  Some of these are precious and important history, and they would be amazing resources for teaching about the history and movement.


I have done some research and have learned that it will cost approximately $5,000 to have these videotapes digitized.  It is my hope that once digitized, we can make a YouTube station for education and upload these and other videos so that people can learn from the past.


If you think this is a worthwhile project and would like to contribute, please contact AACT at eakinnect@gmail.com or 617-547-0909.  We are able to accept contributions by credit card over the phone or by check (made payable to "Pavao Consulting and Coaching" and mailed to PCC/AACT 220 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138).


Thank you!

"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


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