How Being Adopted Sparked My Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Entrepreneurship has been art of my heart and soul since I was a kid.  It recently crossed my mind that maybe adoption prepared me for entrepreneurship in some way.  Maybe it prepared me for the adversity?  Maybe it gave me a hunger for doing things differently?  Maybe it made me more able to face rejection?

I thought about it a bit and shared my thoughts on America Adopts!  Check it out here.  Share with anyone you think might relate and please give me your thoughts!  Can being an adopted kid really influence your career choice?

And remember to support That Adopted Girl in creating self-worth empowerment events for girls in the foster care system by sharing on social media and making donations (100% of which go towards the organization) at thatadoptedgirl.com/donate.

All the best,

J

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That Adopted Girl Events Update 2016

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HERE IS AN UPDATE ON THE SELF WORTH EVENTS POWERED BY YOUR DONATIONS IN 2016!

WE WANTED YOU TO KNOW WHAT WE WERE UP TO WITH THIS TINY BUT POWERFUL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION!  BECAUSE OF YOU, THAT ADOPTED GIRL WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE FUN EXPERIENCES AND GIFTS FOR GIRLS IN THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM IN 2016!

JANUARY – SWEET

Self-Worth Encourage Empower Thrive

20 girls

Started the morning with a self worth exercise (“shadow box”) where the girls made a collage of everything the show to the world on the outside of the box and everything they hide from the world on the inside of the box and we talked about why they hide what they hide, and what they could potentially gain and give by sharing their truth.

Next had mac make-up artists lead a tutorial and he gave amazing mac makeup gift bags.

We then had lunch catered by a local sandwich shop and headed to JM Hair Galleries for hair styling and positive life advice.

After the salon the girls headed to the Jeff Civillico family friendly show at the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip.  It was a blast!

Finished the night off with family style dinner at Lindo Michoachan.

FEBRUARY – SELF LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT

25 girls

Italian family style dinner, dancing, roses, boxed chocolates, cupcakes and a presentation and conversation surrounding the importance of loving one self and knowing one’s worth.

 

MARCH – EASTER BASKETS

Hand crafted 26 Easter baskets for girls in the foster care system!

 

JULY – BIRTHDAY WINE FUNDRAISER

Being an adopted kid, Founder Juliana Whitney can get bit emotional on her birthday.  Instead of focusing too much on herself she wanted to use her day of adoption to help kids in the foster care system by turning her birthday celebration into a fundraiser.  Wine tasting fundraiser at Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits.

 

 

NOVEMBER HOLIDAY GIFT BAGS

30 gift bags

Youth helping youth.  Gathered 30 high school students to build 30 holiday gift bags filled with candy, fuzzy socks, face masks, manicure kits, hair ties, and more.

Make a donation at thatadoptedgirl.com/donate

or through paypal to: thatadoptedgirl.com

You can also add That Adopted Girl, Inc to your smile.amazon.com account (it’s the same as your amazon account, you just add a smile in the front)!  Don’t know about amazon smile?  You use it just the same as amazon but overtime you shop a portion of what you spend goes to the charity of your choosing!  Choose That Adopted Girl, Inc!

What is Worthy?

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The guy wearing this wristband had a moment where someone commented on his sexuality in a derogatory manner, saying “that’s homo.” He looked at me and said “did you hear what that guy said?” I saw a glimpse of serious pain on his face so I took this WORTHY wristband off of my wrist, gave it to him and told him all about the WORTHY mission…the message in my heart being, “you are worthy.”

Let me tell you about WORTHY….
***This is a bit long but if you start reading it, please read it to the end. It’s worth it.

WORTHY: It’s a tribe, a philosophy and a movement. Everyone is welcome.

You may or may not have noticed that I focus on promoting self worth and ‪#‎TheWorthyTribe‬, especially through That Adopted Girl

WHY out of all the words in the world did I choose worthy to represent the company, to be a motto in my life and to create a tribe around?

First let me tell you that a person with a sense of self worth is more likely to be joyful, successful and fulfilled. They are more likely to maintain their boundaries, walk away from toxic situations, go after what they want, treat themselves well and treat others well.

Self worth is a sense of one’s inherent value as a human being. 

*This isn’t all about foster and adopted kids so hang with me.*
Adopted and foster kids struggle immensely with self worth for numerous reasons.It might be sadness and confusion about why their biological parents (the people who are supposed to have an undying love for them) were either unwilling or unable to care for them. It might be physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or relinquishment. The Worthy message was created partly for them. So that they may be told they are worthy, so that they may experience being treated as a worthy person, so that they may find their sense of self worth as they hear the message repeated and so they may feel like they belong by being part of the tribe.

WORTHY goes so much further. Human beings in general struggle with self worth. You, me, the family down the street. It may be a deep struggle and it may be a slight struggle that pops up from time to time. It could be triggered by rejection, failure, disappointment. You might start feeling unworthy when you go through a break up, when you get in trouble at work, when your loved ones don’t believe in your dream, when you don’t get an invite, when an audience doesn’t respond to your performance the way you thought they would, when an investor doesn’t think your concept is worth investing in, when someone makes a derogatory comment about your race, sex, sexuality, physicality, intelligence… On top of that, we are inundated with advertising, media messaging and societal norms that are designed to point out things that make someone worthy, and of course point out that you don’t have those things. But you could have those things, and be worthy, if only you X and Y and Z.

The point is that there are a lot of things in life that challenge our ability to recognize our own worth. Because of that, on some level we can understand how low and heavy a lack of self worth can feel, how much it can hurt and how much better life is with your sense of self-worth in tact.

#TheWorthyTribe is for you. For everyone who on some level understands what it’s like to question ones worth. Everyone who deeply struggles with finding their worth. Everyone who only questions their worth from time to time. Everyone who can maintain their sense of self worth through thick and thin, come rain or shine. Everyone who wants to promote self worth in others. Everyone who wants to live in the positive rather than the negative, in love rather than hate, in WORTHINESS rather than degradation.

EVERYONE

If we all worked on developing a strong sense of worth in ourselves and others, imagine how different the world would be. Seriously, think about how many debates, fights and political issues are actually about who is worth more and who is worth less.

The Worthy Tribe – a tribe of people internationally who believe in and promote the worth of themselves and the worth of others. None more, none less.

Everyone is welcome.

One of my favorite parts of this tribe is that, by being part of the tribe, the people who feel invisible, who feel like they are on the outside looking in, who feel like they are forgotten or like they have been thrown away by society (like foster kids)…..they can feel like they belong again

You are worthy.

#TheWorthyTribe

To learn more and support, visit www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

 

6 Year Old Donates to Charity To Help Other Kids

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A little girl named Jade, 6 years old, painted these pictures in her art therapy session and donated them to the That Adopted Girl National Adoption Month awareness art gallery show. She really wanted to help the cause and we were MORE than happy to add her pieces to the show heart emoticon. Jade unfortunately lost a parent to illness a couple of years ago so when she heard what foster kids experience she connected to it on some level. She said that she could be in foster care if she had lost both parents, which she really hopes never happens. Both of Jade’s paintings sold today!!! Imagine, 6 years old with a huge heart wanting to help raise awareness for other kids, and now also having sold her first art pieces!

Thank you SO much Jade for your contribution!

YOU can join Jade by making a contribution to the awareness campaigns, empower hours and other life changing programs at www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com.

(* Name has been changed to protect identity)

National Adoption Month Awareness Project 2015

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The That Adopted Girl ‘ Forgotten Futures’ gallery opening last night held at EDEN Art Studio and Gallery in The Arts Factory was awesome! We are immensely proud of this awareness campaign during National Adoption Month. The campaign and the opening night manifested almost exactly as we envisioned! The vibe was just right with music by Vertex, wine from Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits , gourmet popcorn from Popped and incredible people from across the Las Vegas Valley.

The pieces in Forgotten Futures were created from the hearts, minds and experiences of foster youth, former foster youth and local Las Vegas artists. They are inspiring and powerful, and they speak volumes about the kids in the foster care system and of adopted kids across the U.S.

Guests were looking at the paintings, reading the stories that went with each painting and raising their social consciousness. More than once we heard “I didn’t know that kind of thing happened” and “WOW.”

A BIG thank you to everyone who came and showed support, made generous donations and purchased some of the art pieces. We had so much fun and are excited for the next 2 weeks of the show! Take some time this week to experience Forgotten Futures by That Adopted Girl.

– The team at That Adopted Girl
Learn more and contribute at www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

PS
You can visit the gallery anytime between now and December 4th at EDEN Gallery at 107 E. Charleston Blvd.
Also on closing night December 4th the whole team will be at the gallery 6-10!

For more information contact coordinator@thatadoptedgirl.com

To learn more about That Adopted Girl and to make a donation to the cause, visit http://www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

If you would like to visit the gallery show, it is up until December 4th (First Friday) at the EDEN gallery at 107 E. Charleston Blvd!

 

Why helping people is badass

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I founded That Adopted Girl in 2014.  If you don’t know about That Adopted Girl, it’s a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed to inspire, empower and uplift kids in the foster care system, as well as to raise awareness about adoption and foster care in the United states.

Since founding That Adopted Girl I have been called sweet, cute, etc.  I understand that these classifications are coming from a good place.  But…these words make me cringe a little every time I hear them.  It takes everything in me not to show my discomfort through my facial expression.  If I don’t have much time to stay and chat I smile and say “thank you.”  If I do have time to stay and chat I smile and say, “No, I’m a badass.”

Helping people is badass.  It is what we should all be doing.  It is a hustle, it’s a grind and it helps society as a whole.  I’m not sweet.  I am determined to reduce human suffering and increase the amount of positive energy in this world.  Changing lives in a positive way is my passion.  Passion is power.

Helping humankind progress to be as powerful, strong and loving as possible is a PRIMARY human purpose.  #Alpha

Love always,

Juliana Whitney

Founder & President

That Adopted girl inc.

http://www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

What Are You Supposed To Say During National Adoption Month?

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It is National Adoption Month – an entire month dedicated to the population that That Adopted Girl Inc. serves and I have been struggling.  I have been struggling with determining the way to powerfully get the message about foster care and adoption across to the general population this month.  Truly I have been struggling with what in the world “the message” actually is or what it should be.

Is “the message” that we need more foster parents in the U.S.?  Is it that we need more people to adopt children from the U.S.?  Is it that we as a society need to look out for these kids and care for the kids while they are in the system, whether we are foster parents or not?

OR

Is “the message” about the effect adoption has on kids?  Is it about the effect that foster care has on kids?  Is it to focus on WHY there are so many kids in the system each year and how the root of the problem can be dealt with?  Is it shining a light on the stats about adoption/foster care and mental health, suicide, eating disorders, learning difficulties, addiction and attachment issues…?

OR

Is it about the issues within the foster care system?  Is it about the experiences of children within the foster care system?  Is it about the experiences of adopted kids?

Do any of these messages have power without the others?  Is there one in particular that would get more people to really care?  Most causes have one strong message, and everyone who cares deeply about the cause stands together and perpetuates that one message.  Then, over time that message becomes well-known among the general population.

When it comes to foster care and adoption there are so many issues to focus on. Everyone who cares about foster care and adoption recognizes each of the issues within the cause, but do not all agree on which issue is most important.  Therefore, unlike many other worthy causes, this cause lacks a solid single message.   Then, is it possible that it is difficult to get people to act because they are not sure what they can do to help?  They don’t know where to focus and they believe that if they aren’t going to foster or adopt that there isn’t much they can do?  Are foster child advocates confusing people by having so many different issues within one cause?  Is it overwhelming?  Is that why we are struggling to get more people to care? I’m talking autism awareness/breast cancer research/animal rescue – level caring.

HOW do we get people to care?  How do we get people to do more than say “oh that’s so sad” when they hear about foster kids?  How do we get people to DO something, to take action, to pay attention?  Or at the very least to donate so other people can do something about the issues?

WHAT do people need to hear in order to realize that it is really important to our society as a whole that we collectively give a $#!+ about our kids in the foster care system?

Have foster kids been written off as a First World problem?  Are they not important enough to care about?  Or is it that when people donate to care for orphans in Third World countries, the people pitied are “others” – separated from the great U.S.A?  Is it that if people were to focus on our foster kids they would have to pity their own, and admit that there are some Third World status issues happening within our First World, family values oriented country?

PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.  I think it is crazy that there are hundreds of thousands of children without permanent families.  Seriously.  As a child, isn’t having parents a natural-born right?  A human right?  What is it about the kids in the system that makes them unworthy of that human right?

Children are our future.  Right?  How can we as a society justify forgetting hundreds of thousands of futures every year?  How do child advocates raise social awareness to remind everyone about the large population of forgotten futures?

We should be doing EVERYTHING possible to help these kids while they are in the system and to help these kids get out of the system.  Focus on their personal development and self-worth while they are in the system like That Adopted Girl Inc. does.  Pair kids with supportive families like the Dave Thomas Foundation does.  Provide some dignity by replacing garbage bags with duffel bags for carrying belongings from home to home like Together We Rise does.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, how do we get people to realize that this is a HOPEFUL cause?

How do we explain the dichotomy of intense struggles with an immense desire and potential for light, growth and success?

How do we enlighten people to the fact that foster parenting is not the only way to make a positive impact in the lives of these children?  Yes, there is an immense need for more quality foster homes.  But, if you are not able or prepared to foster a child, there are other ways to help!

Our overall goal with any cause is for people to act, donate and care.  If we can reach people and get them to act, donate and care…then those people can tell other people and the movement to improve the lives of America’s children will grow exponentially.

What is “the message?” 

Any ideas?

I guess, take whichever issue that you think is most important and compelling within the cause and frame your message with “Act. Donate.Care.” in mind.

For newcomers, choose whichever issue you think is most important and compelling within the cause and stick to that for now.

The That Adopted Girl Inc message this year will be: There are some great kids in the foster care system.  It is really important to our society as a whole that we collectively give a $#!+ about these kids.  Let’s join together to raise social awareness and improve the lives of America’s children!

Make a donation at ThatAdoptedGirl.com

xoxo

Juliana Whitney

Founder & President

That Adopted Girl Inc.