After a successful career in corporate marketing, branding, and PR and a lifetime as a transracially adopted person, April is devoted to elevating our collective experiences of family and working together to build stronger relationships. Dinwoodie’s podcast Born in June, Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World! helps facilitate an open dialogue about identity, family, and differences of race, class, and culture. April is the former Chief Executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute and the founder of AdoptMent, a mentoring program that matches foster youth with adopted adults.
(Conference Session: Transracial Adoption Through the Lens of a Global Pandemic – Developing a Deeper Understanding of Identity, Connections, Race & Trauma)
Cynthia Cubbage, LCSW-C, LICSW
Cynthia is the Director of The Barker Adoption Foundation’s Family and Post-Adoption Services and Counseling Departments. She provides oversight of Search & Reunion Services, Support Groups, the Clinical Counseling Program, and Training & Education Services. She has more than two decades of experience dedicated to serving children and families in leadership and clinical therapy positions through non-profit work and county government agencies. Cynthia has focused her career on child advocacy efforts, analyzing public local policies, developing innovative programming for youth/children, and providing clinical therapy to children and adolescents. Cynthia’s area of expertise is in providing pre and post-adoption services in various local, national, and international agencies to anyone touched by adoption. She and her wife are parents by adoption of two wonderful children.
(Conference Session: You’ve Got Mail: The New Realities of Adoption Reunion)
Saara McEachnie, LCSW-C, LICSW
Saara is the Director of Domestic Adoptions, the integrated program of Project Wait No Longer (PWNL), and Infant Adoptions at The Barker Adoption Foundation. Saara has nearly 15 years of s of experience working with children and families. She spent the first years of her career working with children who were diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and assisting families of soldiers who had served overseas in the military. The majority of Saara's experience has been with the public child welfare system, helping children achieve permanency either through reunification with their birth parents or through adoption/guardianship with a loving and able caregiver. Saara worked on supervisory teams to implement evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment models to best serve the vulnerable population of children within the foster care system in the District of Columbia. Her passion is mostly found in ensuring happy, healthy, and loving families for children.
(Moderating Conference Panel: Longevity requires some Levity)
Sarah Saffian, MFA, MSW
Sarah Saffian, MFA, MSW, is an adoptee, a therapist, a writer, and a teacher who returns to Barker by popular demand. Her memoir, Ithaka, chronicles her experience of being found by her birth family – both parents and three full siblings. Sarah teaches at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and Sarah Lawrence College and works independently as a writing coach. As a therapist, she counsels individual clients and runs support groups with Spence-Chapin.
Services and in various private practice settings in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her clinical experience also includes New York University’s Counseling and Wellness Services. Sarah earned her BA in English from Brown, her MFA in creative writing from Columbia, and her MSW from NYU. For more information about Sarah’s work, visit www.saffian.com.
(Conference Session: Therapeutic Writing for the Adoption Constellation)