Warwick author Amanda Mottola’s new book highlights her emigration from Paraguay to discovering opportunities here in the States.
Try to imagine growing up in a world full of turmoil. You have no idea what each day brings or whether the next moment defines you. Issues within and outside the family can change constantly. Besides fearing the unknown, your home country is living in a seemingly-endless dictatorship.
One woman saw what was happening around her and vowed to make a better future for herself and to help others find their voice.
Amanda Mottola envisioned a place of opportunity and making a difference. She wrote things down in real time hoping to inspire other people to triumph over adversity.
Her new book, “Learning as a Lifelong Journey: Being Your Leader, Overcoming Your Fears, Succeeding in Your Fears,” chronicles being adopted as a baby and growing up with her adoptive family in Connecticut before finally landing here in Rhode Island to grow her family and pursue new adventures.
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.
“It was far from a normal childhood from any metric,” Mottola said, saying how much stress and uncertainly was around to remind her of such issues. “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.”
Being a child 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 a backdrop for achieving success, she forged her path toward realizing “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 her needing a release. Something like that can be trying on a person looking for direction.
Fortunately for Amanda, she found that answer on an adventure down to South America to reunite with her biological family.
“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 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 outreach.
She achieved her dream of becoming an owner, as her company continues to flourish in 13 states. Amanda also discovered something fulfilling in 2018: her birth parents. She traveled thousands of 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. She also got married and has two boys that also changed her perspective on life.
“When I had children, my life changed in a profound way; I actively committed to creating a better life for them, which, in turn, committed me to a better life for myself because if I don’t take care of me, then I can’t successfully care for them or inspire anyone else,” she said.
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 helping 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 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.