Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grief is subversive – Unexplored Trauma

READ HERE: Grief is subversive – Beyond Meds



Much of what is labeled psychiatric disease is grief that has never
been expressed or properly felt, or validated. If we have unexplored
trauma, then it’s likely we have unexplored grief too. Some of us need
to begin a grieving process that never started in order to heal. Some of
us have a life-time of grief that needs to be allowed and experienced.
We can choose to challenge our culture’s fear of grief and the dark
emotions and begin to heal and turn it around.



Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to
behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that
declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral
about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned
behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the
vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with
life-force. It is riddled with energy, an acknowledgment of the erotic
coupling with another soul, whether human, animal, plant or ecosystem.
It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive,
wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated. It resists the demands to
remain passive and still. We move in jangled, unsettled and riotous ways
when grief takes hold of us. It is truly an emotion that rises from
soul. – by Francis Weller, from Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World


[More than ever before, I am certain that adoptees have not been allowed to grieve their loss and that creates the fog and numbness I experienced...It's time we heal...Trace]

Monday, July 21, 2014

Adoption laws, protecting dead parents and letters to your birthchild

Trace rockin on her play pony
By Trace A. DeMeyer

I think adoption has left many of us adoptees frozen in time as missing children.  Details of our first days and births are sealed in files – leaving us without essential details of our birthparent’s lives when they made the decision to let us go or were forced to give us up. 

Our adoption records are sealed so the majority of adoptees are still unable to have a copy of our original birth certificate in all but a few states in America. Why?

If we’re adults, why are we still being treated as children?

Most of us were adopted by strangers. In my case Sev and Edie didn’t choose me. I was available. I was not “chosen” or “saved” or “an orphan.”  Those myths are repeated in blogs, ads and newspapers everywhere, as part of the propaganda by the billion dollar adoption industry. This industry is not about the chosen or saved or orphaned child. That’s the selling part. Those are sappy slogans used to convince people to continue to adopt and pay their money. It’s just a mind drug that you’ve saved someone, or rescued an orphan.

I was not saved from my birthparents Helen and Earl. They were real people, alive. My mother was 22 and my father was 27.  If my mother Helen had support from her parents, instead of condemnation for committing a sin and getting pregnant, she might have kept me. At the very least my father should have had the right to raise me, right?  He would have, I was told when we met when I was 38, but it was too late to change what happened.

Right now, Minnesota has my original birth certificate. They won’t release it to me. I’m 57.

All my parents are gone, all passed. It’s not that I do not know who they were. I opened my adoption at age 22 with a judge in Wisconsin. I know my names, their names and met my father. Why would Minnesota not release my birth certificate to me now?

Archaic laws. Old laws. Privacy? for whom? They are all dead. Why are adoption laws protecting dead parents?

This is my reality. I can’t change the laws myself but if you are reading this, you might pick up the phone and contact your state representative and ask them, who is adoption secrecy protecting? Is it protecting adoptive parents? Is it protecting dead birthparents? Why? Or is it protecting the adoption industry so they can continue their money making and human trafficking?

I know children will still be adopted, no question. The industry can’t be stopped overnight but if adoption is the only way for a child to be safe, find their kin and family (grandparents, cousins) to raise them.

If strangers must do it, give the child their name, ancestry, medical backgrounds for both parents, and a signed letter from each birthparent.

If only birthparents had to write that letter!  Then they’d have to sit down and think far ahead when their own flesh and blood reaches adulthood. What reasons would you give your child as to why you chose adoption and handed them to strangers? What are good reasons? Religion, money, marital status, mental or physical illness?

This letter to your birthchild should be the law of the land.
(That letter would a reality check and could be a real deal-breaker.)

(This was originally posted at tracedemeyer.com which I shut down - my name change is ahead.)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tribal, National, and State Leaders Convene to Develop Strategy for Improving Spirit Lake Child Protection

Director of Bureau of Indian Affairs, representatives from North Dakota's elected leaders, and others join Spirit Lake Chairman in new initiative to improve child welfare services.

FORT TOTTEN, N.D., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 

This week 26 key decision-makers from the Spirit Lake Tribe, federal and state governments, as well as local and national private organizations met to kick off a comprehensive strategy called the "Spirit Lake Child Welfare Improvement Project." The purpose of this gathering was to convene decision-makers to craft a vision and an initial plan for the improvement of the child welfare system at Spirit Lake.
"No matter what culture, race, or background we come from, children are sacred," said Spirit Lake Chairman Leander "Russ" McDonald as he opened the convening. "This meeting is critical to bringing together assessment information and available resources to build a strong foundation for addressing child safety."
Attendees included leadership from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (US Department of Interior), Administration for Children and Families (US Department of Health and Human Services), the state of North Dakota, representatives from elected officials in North Dakota, Casey Family Programs, and the Center for Native American Youth. All are committed to working collaboratively to improve the lives of Native children.
"I am very excited about this group coming together to develop an action plan to address needs within the Spirit Lake Tribe's child protection services, tribal social services, law enforcement, and judicial services," said Spirit Lake Chairman Leander "Russ" McDonald.
As a result of the leadership meeting, a plan and timeline was created and implementation teams with representatives from across the participating agencies and organizations. The efforts will include: technical assistance, community engagement, leadership engagement, coordination of emergency services, strategic mapping and planning, and assessments of child welfare, law enforcement, and social services.
"The fact that we had all of these stakeholders here together with the same mission and focused on moving forward for the benefit of the children of Spirit Lake is a positive move toward building a more collaborative, meaningful partnership," said Michael Black, leader of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who attended the meeting. "As the director of the BIA, I am proud to be a part of it."
"One meeting will not solve all the issues, so additional sessions over the next several months will refine the vision, add detail," remarked Anita Fineday, managing director of Casey Family Programs' Indian Child Welfare Program. Casey Family Programs provided the support to hold the leadership meeting as well as two-days of training with those involved in the hands-on child welfare work at Spirit Lake.
"We are proud to be a part of this collaboration and effort drive new resources to address the needs of the children at Spirit Lake," said Erin Bailey, executive director of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. "Former US Senator Byron Dorgan who created our organization has long worked with the Spirit Lake Tribe."

Spirit Lake Dakota Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe in North Dakota. The tribe's reservation was established by Treaty between the United States Government and the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Bands in 1867. The Reservation is located in East Central North Dakota. According to the Spirit Lake Tribe Enrollment office there are approximately 7,200 tribal members.

Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America. Founded in 1966, Casey Family Programs works in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to influence long-lasting improvements to the safety and success of children, families and the communities where they live, including in Indian Country.. For additional information, please call (206) 282-7300 or visit www.casey.org.

Center for Native American Youth is dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan in February 2011, the Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. The Center works to strengthen and create new connections as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the challenges facing Native youth. Visit the Center's website for a comprehensive list of resources available to young Native Americans, tribes and the general public. For more information, visit www.cnay.org
SOURCE Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute


RELATED LINKS
http://www.cnay.org/

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Catholic groups lose residential school argument


Catholic groups lose residential school argument  By Kathleen Martens
 APTN Investigates

WINNIPEG – Priests, nuns and oblates have lost a small court battle related to residential school documents.
More than 30 Catholic organizations across Canada tried to stop the new National Research Centre (NRC) from participating in a hearing on the future of survivor testimony.
But Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court decided otherwise. On June 14th, he granted intervenor status to the centre which will be located at the University of Manitoba.
Groups including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat are at odds over whether to archive or destroy documents collected through the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). So Perell will hear arguments from the centre and other groups seeking his direction on what to do with the documents. The hearing will happen July 14-16 in Toronto.
The IAP is a confidential, legal process where former students disclose the abuse they suffered to be eligible for financial compensation. It was created to help resolve claims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and other wrongful acts perpetrated by school staff and students.
The agency in charge of the IAP argues these highly personal and sensitive accounts should be destroyed. But the TRC wants to preserve them as part of the historical record.
As APTN Investigates reported last week, some survivors favour saving their stories, so their suffering is not forgotten.
The NRC will be directly affected by the decision because it is mandated to archive information collected by the TRC.
The 33 Catholic groups argued the NRC didn’t meet intervenor status due to self-interest. But argued it could be a “friend” of the court and only offer information, without the legal standing that intervenor status would give. They also said Perell’s court did not have the authorization to add the NRC to the case.
But the judge, who is one of nine national supervising judges of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), disagreed.
“In my opinion, the NRC satisfies the criteria for being added as a party to the [Request for Directions] RFDs and that it would assist the court in having its evidence and argument. In this regard, it is worth noting that the court in providing directions pursuant to an RFD is not just exercising its adjudicative function, but it is also exercising its administrative authority to supervise a class action settlement,” the judge said in the nine-page decision.
“While not a party to the IRSSA, the NRC is already a participant in the administration of the RFDs, and it has an interest that may be affected positively or negatively by the outcome of the RFDs. Depending on the outcome of the RFDs, which remains to be seen, responsibilities, and obligations may be imposed on the NRC.”
Perell also said the administration of the IRSSA is an ongoing responsibility of the courts across Canada.
“The court has an ongoing obligation to oversee the implementation of the settlement and to ensure that the interests of the class members are protected. Where there are vulnerable claimants, the court’s supervisory jurisdiction will permit the court to fashion such terms as are necessary to protect the interests of that group,” Perell added.
The Catholic groups, who are a “party” to IRSSA and oppose NRC involvement, are:
Les Oeuvres Oblates de l’Ontario, Les Residences Oblates du Quebec, Soeurs Grises de Montreal/Grey Nuns of Montreal, Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns) of Alberta, Les Soeurs de LaCharite des T.N.O., HotelDieu de Nicolet, The Grey Nuns of Manitoba Inc.- Les Soeurs Grises du Manitoba Inc., The Sisters of Saint Ann, Sisters of Instruction of the Child Jesus, The Sisters of Charity of Providence of Western Canada, Immaculate Heart Community of Los Angeles CA, Missionary Oblates-Grandin Province, Les Oblates de Marie Immaculee du Manitoba, Oblates of Mary Immaculate-St. Peter’s Province, Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the Province of British Columbia, La Corporation Episcopale Catholique Romaine de Grouard, Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Keewatin, The Catholic Episcopale Corporation of Mackenzie, Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Prince Rupert, Sisters of Charity Halifax, The Roman Catholic Bishop of Kamloops Corporation Sole, Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax, Sisters of Presentation, and Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Corporation of Winnipeg, Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, Les Soeurs de Saint-François d’Assise, L’institut des Soeurs du Bon-Conseil/Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Chicoutimi, Les Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe, Les Soeurs de Jésus-Marie, Les Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge, Les Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Saint-Vierge de l’Alberta, Les Soeurs Missionnaires du Christ-Roi, and Les Soeurs de la Charité de Saint-Hyacinthe, andThe Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie.
The Adjudication Secretariat says it has received 37,716 IAP applications and resolved 20,413, so far, with 17,303 in progress. Approximately $2 billion has been paid in compensation and legal fees.

Monday, June 30, 2014

#BabyVeronica discussed in new anthology CALLED HOME

By Trace A. DeMeyer

Break out the cigars!  We have a new baby -- the brand new anthology CALLED HOME [Book Two: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects].

Whew - it took way more than nine months to make this baby!

I do treat books like babies, giving them love and attention while they grow. Eventually I let the book go off and travel on its own.  It's not hard to watch it travel to new hands and lands.

The 49 writers in this new anthology (plus one poet who is not an adoptee) didn't spare us any details of what it was like growing up outside of their culture and trying to fit back in. They are not "angry bitter" but changed by their experience of being adopted outside their culture and tribal families. (Many were small children and separated from their siblings too. This is heartbreaking to read.) Finding your way back is usually the most challenging part, then come the reunions!  Generations of families were affected and adoption does change all of us. That is the dilemma: adoptees feel we don't know enough to fit back in but we have to be back HOME to re-learn what we missed!

Writing personal experience actually heals you in many ways. The changes I have noticed in the writers in TWO WORLDS (up to now) is significant.  Each has grown more secure in themselves, most are still in reunions, and they have developed a unique voice as gifted writers! Some new adoptees had never been asked to share these personal details and for some, yes, writing was scary.
There is no shortage of talent in Native Americans, and these writers are from across North American (and one Lost Bird is from Ireland via Newfoundland and another is a LAKOTA living in Germany.) As much as I have changed in the past 10 years, you will see that clearly in the updates from Two World anthology adoptees in part two of CALLED HOME.

We cover topics like DNA tests, Baby Veronica (in depth), the movie PHILOMENA, Stolen Generations (60s Scoop history) and historical news like OPERATION PAPOOSE, one of Arnold Lyslo's Indian Adoption Projects.

My husband was saying that the book press release needs to interest people who are not adopted. He said lots of people have difficulties being with their own family members. That is definitely true.
So is the question: will the general public care to know that thousands of American Indian and First Nations children were adopted out to white families prior to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978??  Will they care not every adoption was magical or perfect?  Will they care that adoptees have opinions about their own experiences and the BABY V case which stunned many of us Lost Birds? Do Americans and others want to know what happened to the LOST BIRDS in this adoption history? That remains to be seen.

As a matter of record, every adoptee in CALLED HOME wanted to find and reunite with their tribal relatives. These are mini-biographies with twists and turns and so much courage!
Part Three, there is a section in the book for adoptees who are still searching and have been told that one or both birthparents are Native American.

They are all excellent essays, so I cannot begin to choose a favorite but Levi's THE HOLOCAUST SELF will definitely stop you in your tracks. It applies to many humans who are marginalized, but especially Native Americans and adoptees in general.

Co-Editor Patricia Busbee's introduction in the book is brilliant and heart-wrenching as she shares her reunion with siblings and shares pieces of the past in her adoptive mother's diary.
Cynthia1970Here's an excerpt from a new writer Cynthia Lammers (who has found she has 5 brothers and they are Lakota.)
...My case worker told me I had to write a letter to my birth mother, explaining why I wanted to know her. I did this and sent it to her. Then I had to do some legal paperwork for the State of Nebraska and pay $15 to have it processed. Then I later received a phone call from my case worker, telling me to come to Omaha on a certain date. That I was not to come alone, to have a friend or family member come with me. My best friend Susan went with me to Omaha. We had no idea what this was about to happen? Was I finally going to meet my birth mother? We arrived at the address that I was given at the time they told us to be there. We were at a College Campus, in a classroom, filled with about 50- 60 people, sitting at round tables with 6-8 people at each table. We ate lunch. Then a Native American man started the meeting with a prayer. Then several different Native men and woman got up to speak, each one telling a story about their lives. The strange thing was, almost every story was almost the same about how they grew up and who they grew up with. Native people growing up in white families. We were all adopted. We all had alcoholic mothers who couldn’t take care of us. We all felt lost at some point in our lives and maybe some of us still did. We all had questions about who we really were.   What was our Indian Culture or Heritage about, we didn’t know. Were we all related? Probably not, I thought to myself.   Then suddenly, it hit me, I turned and looked at my caseworker from the Children’s Home. She had tears running down her face. I said to her, “You have been lying to me all these years, haven’t you?” She began to cry. I began to cry. Once I got myself back together, I told her it probably wasn’t her fault, that she was just doing her job. She’d been telling me what she was told to tell me..."
I am honored to be in this anthology too.  The new book CALLED HOME (ISBN: 978-0692245880, $15.99) is on Amazon NOW. The e-book version will be on Kindle and all the e-readers in the next week or so.  We have a Media Blog here with a link to buy the book on Create Space or Amazon.
Help us get the word out and tell your friends. Patricia and I and all the adoptees in this book are available for interviews, too.
As I wrote in the Preface:
"For Lost Birds/adoptees coming after us, when they find this new book and the earlier anthology TWO WORLDS, adoptees themselves documented this history and evidence.  We have created a roadmap, a resource for new adoptees who will wish to journey back to their First Nations and understand exactly what happened and why.  There is no doubt in my mind that adoption changes us, clouds the mind and steals years of our lives, but there is something non-Indians can never steal and that is our dreams and the truth we are resilient!”
From my heart to yours, I am so grateful to be able to do this work.  Mitakuye Oyasin (We are All Related) and Megwetch (THANK YOU)....Trace/Lara

Facebook: CALLED HOME LOST CHILDREN (please click like if you visit)
MEDIA BLOG: http://lostchildrencalledhome.blogspot.com/ (lots more details there if you are interested!)

Friday, June 27, 2014

BOOK LAUNCH: Called Home: Book Two: Lost Children ...

CALLED HOME: BOOK LAUNCH: Called Home: Book Two: Lost Children ...:   List Price: $15.99  Blue Hand Books...

(click above for Media blog and HERE to buy a copy)



48 contributors who are First Nations/American Indian Adoptees:

Table of Contents


  • Called Home

    • The Indian Wars are Not Over
    • Sooner or Later, All Lost Birds Come Home
    • Caught in the Middle
    • Two Families
    • Blue Bear
    • In Search of Julio
    • Finding the Truth
    • 5 Siblings—Found in the Wind
    • White Earth Adoptee…Who am I?
    • Maybe El Reno… Somewhere Near Oklahoma City
    • Split Feathers
    • Welcomed
    • Josie/She's There In My Bones
    • It's a Wild World
    • When Love Cannot Conquer
    • Michelle's Spirit Can Now Rest
    • On the Red Road
    • I am Cynthia with Two Birth Certificates
    • Wolf Clan
    • Lost Bird Jefferson
    • Baby V
    • The Holocaust Self
    • History: Project Papoose
    • History: The Rainbow Project
  • Updates TWO WORLDS adoptees

    • Finding Our Meaning
    • UUTUQTUA, COMING HOME
    • Family Gatherings
    • Lost and Now Found
    • Eleven Months/Eleven Years
    • Unringing the Bell: Annulling My Adoption
    • Seven Year Cycles
    • Finding Peace, Coming Home
    • “Home at last, Thank God I am home at last”
    • Knowing You Are Not Alone
    • Lost
    • She Went Home
    • I Am Home
    • Fresh Flesh: Ronni and me
    • The Path from Separativeness to Oneness
  • SEARCHING

    • Brit Reed
    • Kim Dupre
    • Catie Ransom
    • Drew RedBear Rutledge
    • Karla Mena
    • Lisa Bos
    • Michael Pintozzi
    • Marylyn Jean Chrismer
    • Doreen Evelyn Sinclair
    • Mary Thompson
    • Amelia Cagle
    • DNA: The New Normal

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 Ottawa

Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 Ottawa

A few of us got together and decided it was time to gather and share some knowledge, learn from each other and support each other. We have so much knowledge to share but with that knowledge we understand there is pain and healing that needs to happen.  Preperations are happening to make sure adoptees/survivors spiritual, emotional and physical needs are met so that that gathering is a safe enironment for all adoptees are in different places of healing. 

It is time to come together and talk, share and support each other on our journeys. This event is exclusively for adoptees and foster care survivors and created by adoptees/foster care survivors.

September 20th and 21st, 2014  promises to be a weekend of sharing, healing, tears, hugs, ceremony, talking, listening, eating and laughter!

To register as an adult adoptee or foster care survivor please visit our registration page: http://adopteegathering2014.wordpress.com/registration/

To register as an Indigenous Arts and Craft Vendor : http://adopteegathering2014.wordpress.com/get-involved/indigenous-arts-crafts-vendors/

To register as a volunteer : http://adopteegathering2014.wordpress.com/get-involved/volunteers-and-support/

To register as a artist, musician or performer for the free sober entertainment evening: http://adopteegathering2014.wordpress.com/jam-sessiontalent-show/

To donate please visit our site: http://adopteegathering2014.wordpress.com/how-you-can-help/

Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Committee: adopteegathering2014@gmail.com (email)
#IAG2014Ottawa on Twitter

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Proud To Be and Resilient

Apache Wisdom

Wisdom of Coyote: Apache Wisdom: Nana: LOOK AT HOW THE ANIMALS CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG: Paul Ortega is a longtime friend, and is a Mescalero Apache.



We have a responsibility to all children.. this speaks to that... Trace

Monday, June 9, 2014

Not getting better, Native kids in foster care

NCJFCJ Disproportionality Report of Children in Foster Care for FY 2012


Page 9 of the report has Native American Disproportionality Rates by State.  21 states have over-representation of Native kids in care, including Michigan (1.3, and 1.9 in entries to care), Wisconsin (4.1), Minnesota (13.9) and Iowa (4.5).  Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have worse numbers than 10 years ago (page 3).

Report Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care for Fiscal Year 2012 (pdf). Website here.

[Note: There were 16 states who grabbed Native kids (85%) at an alarming rate pre-ICWA. Who were they? Those with the largest Native tribal populations like Michigan, South Dakota,Wisconsin and Minnesota. Things must change so Native foster families are now being recruited but the states are not cooperating - Is this racist?  Trace]

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Adoptees getting results with Facebook Pages

what adoptees are doing on Facebook
By Trace A. DeMeyer

Soaring Angels on Yahoo Groups is a fantastic resource for adoptees. They offer help and hope.
This just posted about an adoptee who used Facebook to find his mom or rather she found his page.
To me, there is a cruelty in the ignorance of lawmakers who deny us our own families and information.
Use Facebook to create a page today. Use the word ADOPTED and details from your non-identifying information like Dan did.  You can also get a special gmail email from google like the woman did above....


My Mom has found me!!!!!!
Her friend found my Facebook search page!

I created a page titled with my birth name, date of birth, and the word ADOPTED
I posted snippets of my non-ID as well as pictures of me throughout my life.


I had burned out hard on the whole search and politics of adoption, and had left the page just in case, but rarely looked at it.
Mom sent a message with her phone #, and by the time I had reverse searched on white pages, she called me!

We've been seeing each other at least weekly, this being the first weekend we missed.
It's been about a month, and all is well.
I've met a bunch of in-laws that have taken me in as family.
I also found that I have a half brother that grew up within 10 miles of me, same school system, same middle school, cross town rival high school. He doesn't know about me, but our father skipped out on both of us, though he did marry half bro's mom.

Thank you for helping and putting up with my 'tude over the years.

I would like to suggest a similar page to augment the many poster pics people are sharing on FB. Those pics are great, but can get lost in a timeline very quickly. The page stays constant, and a good way to get messages, as well as providing a place for more info and clues for who's being searched for.

Thank you all again, and bless your search efforts!
Dan

Monday, June 2, 2014

Why some adoptees chose to do DNA

By Mary Charles

I somehow don't believe the intention was for us (adoptees) to find our homes using DNA. But when I came across these "family" finders, my journey went full speed ahead.

Being an adoptee, I originally just wanted to know my ethnicity. To confirm what I felt in my heart but I never had access to the truth. I was told my birth father was 1/4 Aleutian Indian from Alaska. At the time, the DNA company also offered medical evaluation to help see if you may possibly carry genes to hereditary diseases. The government stepped in and laid that service to rest.  I literally had no concept of having a relative who shared DNA with me.  I didn't even hope to find anyone when I submitted my spit.
     
So, I spit in the cup and sent if off last fall. My results were astonishing. My DNA read 51% European and 49% Native American and Asian. That was news.
The biggest shocker was a 25% DNA match that the company saw has me being this man's aunt. We had the same exact birth date only a year apart. He was 99.9% European and an adoptee as well. I did my little chromosome research and quickly concluded that he was my half brother although every search angel, friend and even my half-bro could not believe our connection. I went with my instinct, we made quick friends and he helped me out.  At some point, he was given the name of our birth mother and some notes from Catholic Charities about her. 
     
It took a few months and I did locate her which was also confirmed through another 2nd cousin on my DNA listed from her family tree. But, this is where making connections and contacting your closest cousins on your DNA list comes in handy. Also, contact cousins who have taken the time to make family trees and have a genuine interest in genealogy. E-mail as many as you can. Some will be so happy to help, others you will hear nothing. When you get names, just send quick emails like, "Hi cousin, do you have so and so on your list?"  Friend them on the social media as well. 
In time my birth mother furnished me the name of my birth father and acknowledged she did indeed adopt out my half brother a year later. When I posted my fathers name on the social media it flew like a wildfire. In a matter of hours I had a gazillion Alaskan Native relatives who wept, called me on the phone and sent photos of my father who died in 1992. They know about us. They do want us back. 
     
I am now in the process of doing even more DNA tests with my relatives. The State I was born in has closed records and are still defiant. When I sent for my non-ID, they would not provide me with any information on my birth father when I specifically asked for his ethnicity. Concluding, they are still trying to keep us unaware and I find it so very racist. To give me the white card and to think it's OK. 
My father was full blood Koyukon Athabascan. My birth mother has since told me that the hospital asked her what my ethnicity was because they were not sure if I was half "black" at the time. She told the hospital my father was full blood Native and to this very day are still trying to hide it by not providing me with my records. Records they probably falsified anyway by lowering his blood quantum and changing his tribal lineage. Man, wish I could sue their asses. 
OK, back to DNA... my family in AK and I have submitted DNA to provide lineage. The tribe understands that the government won't be of help and will accept our DNA samples for enrollment purposes. I am waiting results. Like I said, go for it. They want us home.
     
For those who are apprehensive about searching and being non-loyal to your adoptive folk: Get your wings on. Your life is about you. You cannot be the best person in this life unless you fulfill your inner calling. Take control of and start the path your feet are ready to walk. There you will feel fresh wind in your hair and lift your wings to take flight.


Thank you Mary! Mary is one of the contributors to the new anthology CALLED HOME which will be published soon! I posed this question on Facebook, asking Native adoptees why they chose to do a DNA test...Trace

Two Worlds

“Do our people belong in the corporate world?” The elder paused and then began teaching. He told the story of an old prophecy about the "blue-eyed" ones – those of our people that were of mixed blood that would build bridges. He told how they will have the gift to walk with a foot in both worlds. When they are in the non-native world, they will be able to learn those ways but their spirits will always be Anishinabe. They will teach non-native people how to understand and respect our way of life. When they are in our communities, their spirits will be home but they will be able to teach us how to work in the non-native ways and prosper in a system that has oppressed our people for so long." - by Karen Bird, Ojibwe, 2008

Please Sign This!

Hi,

For almost an entire century, Adopted Adults have been denied access to their medical history, their culture, their genealogy and ancestry and the answer to the age-old question - "Who Am I" -- this not only affects them, but it also affects their children and their children's children.

That's why I signed a petition to President Barack Obama, which says:

"For the President to enact an Executive Order which would restore the Original Birth Certificate to every ADULT ADOPTEE in America in one fell swoop because it is a civil and constitutional right! "

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/an-executive-order-to-1?source=s.fwd&r_by=10707322

Thanks!

Jean Strauss FILM

Jean Strauss FILM
click photo for website