- Split Feathers Study
- Adoption History
- Canada Timeline
- Survivor Not Victim (my interview with Von)
- Interview with Land of Gazillion Adoptees
- Interviews 2011
- NEW: Study by Jeannine Carriere (First Nations) (2007)
- Adoptee Rights Infograph
- 2013 Readings/Talks
- Adopt an Elder: Ellowyn Locke (Oglala Lakota)
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for your stories is Nov. 1, 2013.
Monday, January 10, 2011
NIGHTWOLF SHOW 2011-01-07
It was an honor to speak with J. Nightwolf in Washington DC about history and my memoir One Small Sacrifice. Nightwolf is a Cherokee and my new brother. Listen to him each week on "the most dangerous show on radio."
One thing I want to add and did not get to say in the interview: not only are we the lost generation but our children become lost to their traditions, too. Unless adoption records are opened, we shall all remain lost...
Wado, Jay for everything...
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I will be discussing my book on Friday, January 7, 2011 on “The Nightwolf Show” WPFW-FM, 89.3, Washington, D.C.
www.wpfw.org (listen live) Eastern time zone 7 - 8 p.m.
"It's the most dangerous show on the radio!" Jay's radio program addresses issues and concerns of the indigenous people of the Americas. Please tune in to hear me talk about my memoir One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Mary Weilding: It describes me. It also stands for Independent Confidential Adoption Research Efforts.
When it was founded?
What was the main objective?
MW: To reunite those in search and end their inner pain at no cost to them.
Are you adopted?
MW: No. I am a birthmother.
Did people mail you requests before the website was up?
MW: Yes, and word spread by mouth who sent more people my way.
Tell us about you and this search registry?
MW: I have devoted 30 years to helping others, before and during the ICARE Registry. I have reunited 1000's of people over the years. I say touched their lives. I did the Pilot TV episode search for “Find My Family” on ABC. I have reunited people of all walks of life and professions, including I helped to find my doctor's sister for her. I am a Birthmother and know the pain we feel/felt. I understand adoptees, having found my own birthdaughter first.
How many family members have you helped?
MW: Over the years I never kept a count. Success was far more important than keeping numbers. Once a search was completed, I always felt the file findings were theirs and I never kept duplicate copies. They were private and confidential, belonging to the person I was helping.
Do you have a few reunions that stand out in your memory?
MW: The best is Kevin who ICARE REGISTRY is dedicated. I did the eulogy at his funeral.
Mary, you’ve been doing this work 30 years?
MW: Yes, finding my birthdaughter first and then realizing the methods (ALWAYS legal) would work for anyone.
What lead you to start a registry for others?
MW: It was a quicker easier way to reunite others without financial cost to them. MANY reunions have occurred because of ICARE REGISTRY.
Do you do this with a team of people?
MW: I worked alone most of the time with help now and then from my daughter. Over the 30 years I was able to establish contacts (other Searchers) in all States except North Dakota. I was helping them for free and they did the same for me. I was always trying to hold costs down for Adoptee or Birthmother. I never felt the need to make a living and only charged expenses. We accepted donations, which often helped if someone else couldn't afford even a tank of gas or reimbursement.
Are you working from an office or home?
Are you supported by advertising?
MW: No. I only charged what it cost me. Often over the years I got stiffed because I trusted too much, giving the information then waiting for reimbursement. As recently as my 2nd to the last search, I didn’t get reimbursed. But someone else will come along and send in a donation, making up for the one who didn't. I think it all worked out in the end. Even if it didn't, I will never know because I didn't keep track. I left it up to God to guide me in giving..... It was a no-pay position, often unappreciated and taken advantage of, which reminds me of many mothers. :)
You did not make an income from all this work?
MW: No, I really didn't but as one grateful person said Sunday night after matching a Registry reunion, “…another jewel in your crown when you reach Heaven. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” OMG… that sounded so wonderful to my ears. I felt so good inside. Reuniting two people and never leaving my chair!!!!
I have been asked many times--what can an adoptee do when their records are sealed?
MW: Contact the State Search Program or contact a Judge for a court order.
If an adoptee wants to find their natural mother in Wisconsin, what do they do?
MW: Contact the Wisconsin State Search Program but the adoptee will have to pay $75 per hour and accept results based on Wisconsin laws in regard to release of information. The birthmother must be willing and sign an “Affidavit of Consent” when she is contacted. Or if an adoptee has their Adoption Social History from the State of Wisconsin - a separate charge - and with enough clues... I can do the search for my expenses. There is NO provision in the Wisconsin State Search Program for Birthmothers but that's ok. I can do those or guide them to do their own. Of the 72 counties in Wisconsin, 64 are searchable.
Do you work in other states?
MW: I mostly refer to other State Searchers or work through them to do a search.
As a search angel, and if you've been doing this 30 years, you are among the first ever.
MW: Yes, and proud of it!!!
Did you read about Florence Fisher and ALMA or other notable adoptees when you started?
MW: Yes. I read anything and everything I could find.
It's tremendously important people utilize the search angels and registries.
MW: I agree. Post everywhere you can and as often as you can. Utilize the State Search Program if you can afford it. Contact everyone you can find in the movement. Ask for help. Offer to help. Do what you can for legwork to keep costs down.
Do you have someone running the website in your absence?
MW: YES...two other people whom I trust to match have access and free rein.
Did ABC’s “Find My Family” television show utilize your services and your contacts when they were producing their program? Why do you think the program disappeared?
MW: ABC only had a 6-week slot to fill after “Dancing with the Stars” concluded. “Find my Family” got those slots. I am hoping for its return as all the reviews were favorable.
Have others mentioned your work with ICARE?
MW: I did the pilot show for “Find My Family.” I am referenced in two privately written books and adoption blue books, adoption sites, etc. I had three featured newspaper articles about me.
Do you believe lawmakers are going to wake up and open adoption records in Wisconsin?
MW: Yes...but not in my life time. I am 65 and have terminal cancer. Hopefully within the next 10 years.
What can we do to speed up the lawmakers?
MW: Keep nagging your State Representatives. Keep it alive on Facebook or wherever… tell them your plight and your need to KNOW.
Have you done any campaigns for opening sealed adoption files?
MW: I lobbied and testified at every hearing in Madison, Wisconsin concerning adoption over the years and I got what we do have with the State Search Program. I asked for the Sun.... and settled for the moon.
From the ICARE website:
To Searching Adoptees without Birth name: We suggest that you contact the State of Wisconsin Search Program. When doing so, you will receive a Search Packet that must be filled out and returned by you. The packet will detail your options, whether it is just requesting your Medical/Genetic/and Birth family Social History or asking the State to actually do your Search and contact your Birth Mother to see if she is receptive to having contact with you. There is a fee for their service. Be sure and ask up front what will be required of you so that you will know what to anticipate. You may qualify for a reduced rate based on need. Please inquire. You can make your initial request for a Search Packet to:
Adoption Records Search Program
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
E-mail - email@example.com
Include your adoptive name, DOB, Adoptive parents names, place of birth, a current phone number, your current address, and the Agency that handled your Adoption, if known. Tell them ICARE referred you to them. Should they complete your search for you, let us know the results so we can post accordingly. Good Luck!
Visit ICARE at http://www.icareregistry.com/start.asp.
I wish to thank Mary Weilding for her many miracles and her tireless work on behalf of adoptees and birthmothers. Mary, you are appreciated more than you know. You are a true hero and inspiration to me.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The plot twist is how two adoptees have an affair - and you are left to wonder if they are brother and sister. As I have blogged before - Hello! Isn't it time to open records so this kind of incest can't happen? Dah! But who am I?
Just an adoptee! I didn't make the stupid secrecy laws!
It's worth the time to see the movie. It was filmed in Binghamton, New York. (I have good friends there.)
Movie description: Two affairs, a generation apart. Nick (Kevin Anderson), a professor of architecture in upstate New York, comes to an Illinois town to be with his birth mother (Kim Novak) in the final days of her illness; he was adopted and has never known her. On the first day, he runs into Paul (Bill Pullman), a college friend, whose construction company is demolishing an old, downtown department store where a murder-suicide happened 30 years' before. The building is of beautiful cast-iron construction, so Nick wants to study it before the demolition. Paul introduces Nick to his wife, Jane (Pamela Gidley), and over the next four days, their attraction grows as Nick explores the old building, attends his mother's bedside, and unravels the past.
Background: The title is taken from Franz Liszt's composition Liebesträume (German: dream of love). Much of the movie, especially its external shots, was filmed in Binghamton, New York. The plot centers on a building with a cast iron frame, and Binghamton's downtown area includes one of the few cast-iron buildings still standing. When Liebestraum made its VHS debut, it was released in two editions — the R-rated theatrical version and an unrated director's cut. The DVD release, part of MGM's Avant-Garde Cinema series, features only the R-rated version. However, the deleted scene that marks the single difference between the two edits is included as a bonus feature on the disc.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I read this quote by Doris Roberts, 80, who played Ray’s mom in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Doris praised strong women and joked, “What’s the alternative? Being a weak woman? What do you get from that? Nothing. I am strong because I believe in what I do. When I put my head on the pillow at night, I know I have not hurt anybody. That’s my message to people: Don’t hurt anybody. Know what you’re about. Keep learning. Don’t shut down. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Find what you like to do and do it.” Doris is right.
I don’t think we learn to be strong, I think we choose to be strong. We face what we face every single day when we get out of bed. Some days we might falter or lose balance or confidence or want to stop trying. Some days we may wake up and find our strength is bigger than we realized. It’s how we respond to what life throws at us. I do believe suicide is a person’s desire to change their life and their surroundings. If you are able to leave the situation, you won’t need to kill yourself. If you can change, do it.
I plan to fix what I can in my own life. I plan to be as brave as I can be and do what I can do. I can’t fix the world or other people but I can fix me.
I know how easy it is to hurt and cause hurt. I have worked for demon bosses who took joy inflicting pain on others. I was bullied in many jobs. I’ve experienced people who are insensitive, rude, or exceptionally needy, but they may not realize it. I have watched one unkind act ripple out and cause pain, panic and destruction. I also know the kindest people on the planet who are generous with their words and their time.
Yet critical words can and will devastate people. I know life is about choice and words carry power. So I watch what I say. I am going to think on moments when I was hurt, then see the source, then take it as a lesson. I will decide what lesson to keep and what to throw out. I am going to be kinder and watch my words and not hurt anyone intentionally. If I do hurt someone, I will apologize.
I will learn to be more assertive.
I am still learning how to feel. I know this sounds strange but it’s true for me in my life. I blame part of it on being adopted as an infant then forced to pretend everything was ok when it was not ok. I buried the hurt so deep there were many years I could not feel – good or bad. It was not safe to feel – trust me. I would have gone crazy.
That’s changed in me over the years. I am still learning how to feel my feelings faster, or cleaner, and know when to let go. It requires patience and tenderness. Every single day I learn what feelings need to be released fast (or slow) and realize what caused them. I will respond to them rationally and intelligently. In other words, I plan to be more alert, more mindful, and more aware. I plan to be prepared for strange new feelings but not shut them out. The more I do this, the better I will feel. Feeling your feelings sounds so easy but it’s not. Disappointments with people, politics, even poverty, can cause a deep lasting depression for some of us. I will do what I can to be prepared.
Back in Oregon in the 1980s, I took up recycling. I didn’t want to throw anything in the trash-can that could be recycled or reused. I still shop for used items or get things from Free-cycle. (I hate paying full retail on anything so there is always EBay!) I joined a local organization to cut our home energy use and plan to make better greener choices when I buy anything. I will reduce our carbon footprint. Clean water and safe food are becoming an endangered species on our planet. I will buy local food, do more to reuse and recycle, and do everything I can to be green.
In 2011, I resolve to create a stronger kinder life, be prepared for all that life throws at me and yes, be more green.
[This will be my last blog post for 2010. Please comment and leave your resolutions for 2011. And -- Have a Happy New Year!]