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Engaged Community is Behind Growth at ASA

This month, we are thrilled to announce Molly Mayhoff has joined the ASA staff (again) as our full-time Associate Director! But, Adoption Support Alliance has a number of professionals and volunteers who have taken on roles in the organization to help us prepare for the addition of a full-time staff member. We want to thank each of them for their contributions as well.

Molly Mayhoff, Associate Director

Molly joined the ASA team as a full-time Associate Director on June 5, 2023 but she is a definitely familiar face around Adoption Support Alliance! Molly first connected as an adoptive parent; her two sons joined her family through domestic infant adoption. As a volunteer, she's helped organize several of our Fall Photo Fundraising events and facilitated Be the Bridge groups for transracial adoptive parents. Pre-pandemic, she even worked part-time with us part time on administrative tasks.

Molly has a great deal of respect for and a deep connection to the mission of Adoption Support Alliance. As an adoptive mother, she sees firsthand the need for professional voices speaking into the adoption triad. She admires the fact that ASA steps in to fill a gap within the adoption world, understanding that adoption is a lifelong relationship and not simply a one time event. She appreciate ASA meets individuals and families where they are, but cares enough to make sure they don’t stay there. Compassionate, yet well informed, the work ASA does challenges Molly to be a better parent.

We are so excited that Molly will be able to use her skills working for a growing small business for over a decade and her recent experience in Human Resources to make the operations of the organization more effective and efficient. We are pretty certain that Molly’s passion for our organization and its work will touch all aspects of the organization in the very near future. Please join us in welcoming Molly to the ASA team!

Tanya Varanelli, Nonprofit Consultant

Tanya Varanelli partners with nonprofit and social impact leaders providing contract management and operational support. Most recently, Tanya served as Director of Operations and Talent Recruitment at Next Stage, a Charlotte-based consulting firm focused on strategy and implementation for nonprofits and corporate clients. Tanya began providing consulting services for Adoption Support Alliance in February 2023 and her work has paved the way for our ability to add another full-time staff member to the organization.

Over the last four months, Tanya has helped Erin to identify, develop and implement project management processes, think through volunteer support and engagement, get our files in order (Google drive folders galore!), find and purchase a database management software (getting rid of 307 spreadsheets) and prepare to refresh our website. Some of these projects are still in progress- but we have Tanya around for a few more weeks! Be on the lookout for all the ways she has helped Adoption Support Alliance function so that Erin could focus her time and energy on serving clients. Tanya, your time and expertise has been invaluable to ASA- thank you!

Joy Mays, Volunteer Co-Chair of Birthday Auction

Joy Mays is also no stranger to Adoption Support Alliance; her mother served on our board in the early stages of the organization and she did an internship with us in high school. Joy is now a graduate student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working towards her Masters of Healthcare Administration. She reached out in February for ways she could volunteer to gain experience with nonprofits as well as to give back to an organization whose mission is important to her and her family. Joy was adopted from China as a young child.

When someone asks to help, especially someone who is already familiar with the organization’s programs, we jumped at the chance to plug her in. When talking through projects that might be of interest, we shared that ASA had done an auction in the past but weren’t planning on it this year due to decreased capacity. Well, Joy was all too happy to help! She has almost single-handedly solicited $4,000 worth of donations towards this year’s birthday auction and is planning us a party. Hope you can join us on June 17th to celebrate and see the culmination of all of Joy’s hard work. Also, stay tuned, as the online auction will be live on June 9th! Thank you, Joy, for helping us to celebrate nine years of serving adoptive families!

Rebecca Cook, Volunteer Facilitator of

Connect & Create Events

Rebecca Cook found Adoption Support Alliance in late 2022 as an adoptive parent of three children from foster care (she also has two biological children), looking for support and community. This month, she is finishing up the Being With parenting course. Rebecca realized the shift from foster parent to adoptive parent was a more difficult one than she anticipated (read more about her thoughts around this on our blog). However, she is embracing her new identity as an adoptive parent and is open to learning all that she can to help her children heal and to be the best forever family that they can be together.

Rebecca is passionate about building connection and community with other adoptive families. This summer, she is using her artistic skills to facilitate two Connect & Create events for adoptive parents. Rebecca has identified two beautiful art projects (no artistic skills needed) and adoptive parents will gather in July and August over snacks and summer mocktails. It’s creativity as self-care and we hope that you will join us. Thank you, Rebecca, for using your gifts of creativity and hospitality to benefit the ASA community! And, stay tuned, as Rebecca is working on some other ways to expand our connection groups across Charlotte.

Diane Adams, Volunteer Facilitator of Connection Group for Parents of Adopted Teenagers

Diane Adams has been a long-time member of the ASA community. You may have seen her on a volunteer spotlight in recent months, as she facilitates our monthly support group of parents of adopted teenagers. Even though Diane’s own daughter has graduated from college now (CONGRATULATIONS!), she continues to give back to our community by creating a space for parents to gather, share stories and resources and support one another as they parent teenagers and young adults.

In addition, in May, Diane hosted her group and the greater ASA community at The Independent Picture House to watch the movie Return to Seoul (now available to rent on Prime Video) and helped Erin facilitate a conversation on this impactful film. We loved being at The Independent Picture House and think that Diane’s idea to gather around adoption in film is one that we will be replicating in the future. Thank you, Diane, for your ongoing service to our organization!

If you have an idea for a community event, a desire to help plan a fundraising event, a story to tell on our blog or want to share with others about ASA as an ambassador, please fill out this form. We look forward to the ways this organization is going to continue to expand and grow deeper with our community in the coming months & years thanks to individuals like these dedicating their time and talents to the work of Adoption Support Alliance!


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