Member Spotlight: Mary Kulp, Program Manager

There's a new face on the Adoption Support Alliance team. Mary Kulp has stepped into the role of Program Manager and Content Creator for the ASA blog. She brings fresh energy and timely encouragement by providing support to director, Erin Nasmyth. From being on the receiving end of ASA services to now helping implement them, Mary has always been a cheerleader for Adoption Support Alliance.

How did you first get interested in adoption?

Mary: Growing up, I was aware that my parents struggled with infertility before my brother and I were born. They actually began the adoption process in the midst of that but eventually put it on pause after conceiving. However because of their experience, adoption was just a typical part of our family conversation growing up. We did have a few friends who were adopted and more over the years that added to their family through adoption.

Moving into adulthood, my heart broke more and more as I began to see the brokenness of families in our country and around the world. The number of children needing safe families was staggering. The courage of birth parents placing their children into adoptive families gripped my heart. The desire to get involved in some way was only increasing.

Tell us about your family.

After meeting at a summer camp in 2000, my husband Dave and I have now been married now for 17 years, and we have five children (4 girls and a boy). We have three bio daughters and decided to pursue adoption through foster care as dear friends of ours had added to their family through foster care. When the big girls were 6, 8, and 10, our littles came home and rounded out our family to completion. Now being parents to minority children, we work hard to make connections with other families that don't match. We continue to see that there is such a need for our family to be surrounded by families and friends of color. This is a community that we continue to seek for our family.

How did you first connect with Adoption Support Alliance?

Mary: It had been about two years since my husband and I brought home our youngest two children when I was just sinking. Despite having great friends, a church that supported us well, family that cared for us well, I was struggling. I could barely keep my head above water. After googling "Post Adoption Depression Disorder" for maybe the tenth time, I heard about a group in Charlotte that was hosting a support group. I remember sitting across the table from Erin and feeling like maybe someone was going to understand my everyday battle. Maybe there was a place I could find people who could speak the language of adoption, and I could be seen and known. It was a breath of fresh air to listen to other moms and dads share openly and vulnerably about how their family had stretched and grown to come around their little loves.