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Amanda Mottola’s new book highlights her emigration from Paraguay to discovering opportunities here in the States.
Try to imagine growing up in a seemingly-endless dictatorship. You have no idea what each day brings or whether the next moment defines you. Issues within and outside the family can change constantly. Beside fearing the unknown, you are taken from your biological mom and put into foster care to be adopted.
One woman has looked back at her past and birth country’s history and vowed to make a better life for herself and to help others find their voice and live their life to the fullest.
In her new book, “Learning as a Lifelong Journey: Being Your Leader, Overcoming Your Fears, Succeeding in Your Fears,” Amanda Mottola chronicles being adopted as a baby and growing up with her adoptive family in Connecticut before finally landing in Rhode Island to grow her family and pursue new adventures and business.
As anyone can imagine, being adopted isn’t easy. Learning how to accept who she is and thrive in a new environment while adapting to change drove her to succeed and give back.
“Growing up adopted didn’t always feel normal to me,” Mottola said. “There wasn’t a war; it was a 35-year regime that wasn’t always good for the people. It was very corrupt and poor. My biological mother said I was taken from her after she had me. She was only 15 years old, and profiting off of adoption was normal. The country’s court and adoption system was riddled with corruption.”
Discovering your identity can be challenging, but being a child coming from another world has different parameters. Because her adoptive parents, Daniel and Patricia Doerr, provided Amanda with the backdrop toward achieving success, she forged her path toward living “The American Dream.”
Amanda discussed her feelings growing up during those turbulent but eventually gratifying times. She felt empowered but scared; satisfied, yet looking for the answer to the question of, “Why Me?” All of those feelings were locked inside herneeding a release. Something like that can be trying on a person looking for direction.
Fortunately for Amanda, she found that answer from an adventure down to South America to reunite with her biological family. She traveled 5,331 miles to find them and reconnect. She recalled the reunion to be understandably emotional and cathartic for having some type of closure on that part of her life.
“A big part of my success is due to my childhood, upbringing, and values. I was
adopted into a strong, loving, moral, and supportive family. However, growing
up and figuring out my purpose and where I fit in was an emotional struggle. Physically, I was living the dream, but mentally, I was in a battle against my own mind.
“Over the years, it led me astray. However, through a positive mindset, and despite getting deterred at times, I have kept returning to my destined path,” she said.
While living in Connecticut, Amanda got involved in the community. She ran for School Committee as the first elected Paraguayan-American, despite being a first-time candidate with little name recognition. She made herself available and shared her story. Her efforts resulted in her earning one of the seats. She served one term before stepping down to start a family and a new career.
After graduating from the University of New Haven, Amanda worked in several ad agencies only to find something was missing. In 2019, after being laid off, she founded Otraway, a Warwick-based company specializing in promotional items, corporate gifting and event marketing. The business name means “another way”, and she strives to help others by sharing the word through branding and community connection. She also got married and has two boys that also have inspired her to continue growing.
Amanda loves giving back as a sign of her success. She donates some of her efforts to Dare to Dream Ranch in Foster and Foster Forward in East Providence. The Ranch is a working farm that helps veterans and their families get the help, support and services they need. Foster Forward is a nationally and locally- recognized leader that ensures all children and youth impacted by foster care have safe, healthy, and nurturing families.
Also, November is Adoption Awareness Month. Because of Amanda’s story, she wants to give back by sharing her journey and aiding in having more kids find a new family and home.
Her book is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble. She is also doing book signings around the state. Amanda also will be scheduling meetings and other events to help share her story and hopes to inspire others to follow their entrepreneurial dreams and life passions.
For more information about Amanda Mottola and where you can book her for speaking engagements, please contact her by calling 203-535-5003 or emailing her at Amanda@otraway.com.
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