After working at two different pregnancy clinics for eight years, Mallory Fogas decided it was time in 2018 to step back from the pro-life community and be home more. She had a plethora of experience in home-life circumstances, so she worked for a few months providing families with educational resources. After all, she was a partial adoptee, had worked with women who had untimely pregnancies and personally had five siblings with Down Syndrome.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Leah Outten started talking to Mallory through Instagram as they got to know each other, and she started writing some educational pieces on Arrow and Root, Fogas’ new adoption support website. Leah had her own story when it came to adoption, as she had a baby girl at 16 years old, chose an open adoption, and maintained that relationship over the past 16 years.
Eventually, this connection grew into a merger when the two realized they could bring adoption preparation and support to the next level by merging their knowledge into a faith-based online adoption course. And in 2019, they had Woven Together published.
“Much like the name Woven Together, we envision the adoption community to become separate threads that are stronger together,” Fogas and Outten share on course’s webpage. “We want to see a community where all voices of the adoption triad are lifted up.”
This adoption triad includes the adoptive parent, adoptee, and birth parent. But often, Fogas and Outten have worked with families that had minimal knowledge of each member’s needs. Professional agencies and social workers take parents through the logistical process, but (according to their quick revelation) not the emotional, spiritual, and mental circumstances long after the baby was delivered.
“They’re preparing for the wedding, but they’re not preparing for the marriage,” said Outten in regards to most other adoption preparations. Which is why sharing resources is not just part of the undertaking. Woven Together authors are now pioneering for new change, reteaching adoption needs and advocating for healthier protocols and mindsets—not just for the adoption communities, but for the pro-life communities as well.
“We’ve seen a huge lack of education,” said Mallory. “Many adoption professionals might be doing things legally correct, but their standard of ethics and morals are actually not to the degree that they need to be right now.”
A few of their advocacy targets include revising adoption language, dismantling the mindset of the savior mentality in Christian circles, and shining a light on the blind spots in the system. They’re passionate about covering the entire adoption journey from newly recognized mothers considering their options to birth mothers’ needs in an open adoption.
And because recently recognized non-profit status, every donation goes right back into creating more resources. They have plans to serve counseling, host retreats and hospital training, and create even more resources for each member of the adoption triad.
“It’s not the end of the relationship,” Fogas and Outten share passionately. “It’s the beginning of the relationship.”
Featured Image by Aditya Romansa