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A “forever family” remembers foster kids by volunteering with Seattle nonprofit Amara



Photo: Joshua Huston

 

When Fred Swanson and Adam Diamond met, one of their first conversations was about how they both wanted to be parents. Eventually, they chose to adopt through Amara, a Seattle foster-care organization. They adopted biological siblings Jaylen, now 10, and Jade, now 6, when Jade was an infant. Noah, 5, joined them three years ago as a toddler. 

Adam and Fred’s intention was always to be a “forever family” for the children they brought into their home, so the kids they fostered they adopted. Now, as Fred jokes, their “tubes are tied.” 

Their family is still involved in Amara, but the relationship has become one of two-way support. “We’re invested in the organization,” says Fred, “because they’ve been invested in us.” 

Amara has helped them with legal and emotional support, and provided a place for the kids to visit their biological parents. In turn, Fred and Adam’s family contributes to Amara with their money, time and expertise. 

Fred has lent his writing skills, and through his work he organized a clothes and toy drive for Amara’s emergency sanctuary, a safe place for children who have been removed from their homes to stay temporarily while they await a foster home. 

Their kids are involved in Amara, too. Jaylen and Jade helped make the wish list for the drive and provided expertise about what the sanctuary kids might need. The entire family collected donations for the drive outside of Target. 

Jaylen and Jade weighed in on the designs for Amara’s new playground, where foster children can visit with their biological parents — a playground they get to use as well. 

Fred feels it is empowering and healing for his children to be involved with Amara. It gives them the chance to navigate their history and feel connected to their own story, while also helping kids like themselves. 

Says Fred: “They feel like ‘Wow, I’m doing something to share my knowledge and create something we can enjoy, but that will also help other kids.’”

amaraparenting.org

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