We have a group zoom call for AIN members on the 1st Thursday of each month that focuses on story sharing and practice.
We are using guidelines originally written by Dana Chapnick for AdopteeSpeak Support Group.
- To provide a space to be heard, without the burden of educating or being asked to explain ourselves. We felt the need in many of our group meetings for people to simply tell parts of their story, so this time is dedicated to that.
- Those who are more experienced can test or workshop content and get feedback. Those who are new can get started opening up and finding words by listening to others.
- To get to know other AIN members and build connections with real people, not just social media profiles. No business or influencer talk.
- Respect: We all have different backgrounds, ways of thinking, and ways of living. If we disagree, please do so with respect, dignity, and tactfulness.
- Speak from the “I”: We are not a monolith and do not represent all of our values, communities, and identities.
- Listen: Listen to understand (rather than listening to respond).
- Move In/Move Out: If you are normally someone who is more reserved or holds back, challenge yourself and speak up. Alternatively, if you are someone who readily participates, challenge yourself to listen.
- Resiliency: We discuss difficult topics related to adoption. When you feel yourself being triggered or uncomfortable it is helpful to pause and ask yourself- “where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this way?”
- Emotional Safety & Boundaries: If at any point you feel emotionally unsafe or uncomfortable, you have the right to leave the group chat at any time. Keep yourself safe and respect your personal boundaries.
- Time: We value your time. We will have a hard stop at 9:30PM EST (1hour and 30 minutes).
- Please raise your hand if you would like to contribute to the conversation so we do not speak over each other.
- Prior to speaking, please preface what you’re about to share with a label.
- Example: “Trigger Warning: Suicidal Ideation” – or whatever the triggering content might be.
- This gives others the opportunity to excuse themselves or mute the discussion to protect themselves.