In October of 1971, April’s mother of origin, Helen June, a 33 yr old single mother of three, gave birth to and named her June Elizabeth. June was her maternal grandmother’s first name – everyone called her “June Bug”.
Soon after she was born, she was placed in temporary foster care while Helen took some time to think about whether she could take parenting her 4th child.
After several months in temporary foster care as Helen got closer to making her decision to relinquish parental rights, ‘April’ was placed in a foster to adopt home with Tom and Sandra Dinwoodie, a white couple from a small town in RI that were parenting three children born to them. They simply wanted another girl, race did not matter in their eyes, and they liked the name April Elizabeth. When ‘April’ was adopted many months later, her name was changed on her amended birth certificate.
Over time, as a transracially adopted person, April has realized she experience the calendar in different ways than her non-adopted peers. In essence, the calendar has always been both grounding and confounding. Plot twist, she was not born in April or June!
Today, April deconstructs the calendar to construct content that candidly and practically explores the importance of healthy identity development, the power of building strong relationships, and the urgency of facing differences of race, culture, and class. She does this via her long-running podcast Born in June, Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World, April Dinwoodie, now in it’s 8th year.
April never got to meet her biological “Junes” as an adult so the work of enlightening parents, professionals and the general public is as much a healing journey for her as it is educational output for others.
Currently, she is the DEIB Lead at Steve Madden, work on federal grants supporting adoption education, facilitate adoption affinity groups in NYC schools, deliver key notes, host trainings, and am a regular contributor for The Imprint and Fostering Families Today.