EXTENDED: UPDATE

CALLED HOME: A new anthology is planned for adoptees who are in reunion (or not yet in reunion) or searching for birth family and tribal relatives. Your photos and birth information will be published to help you! Please tell your adoptee friends. Send an email to tracedemeyer@yahoo.com. Deadline extended to APRIL 15, please email if you are writing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Court victory for First Nations child welfare

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tool box for Trauma!

I am sharing a blogspot by my friend Sunday that really helped me - and I hope it helps you too.
I often use EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique - to deal with my adoption trauma - you can google it for a specific one for adoptees. You tap and repeat affirmations.
Be well,
Trace


click on title to go directly to this blog...
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 02:31 PM PDT

So, I few weeks ago, I was really struggling. I was dealing with some triggers that were just flat out dragging me down. This had been an ongoing thing and I had been doing what I thought was a decent job using all of the little tricks and tools I have acquired over the years to deal the occasional anxiety that comes along when you have survived a traumatic past, usually out of the blue. But this was situational, and thing were coming up pretty regularly, and I was handling each trigger as it came pretty well, until the day that my brain snapped, crossed its arms like a three year old and said to me,
“Nope, I am not ever going back there. EVER! You can’t make me!”
I tried to rationalize with my crazy baby brain. I tried to play little games with it. I tried to trick it. I tried to cajole it. I asked it for a miracle, which is merely a change in perception. And still my trauma brain said,
“You can’t make me! You are not the boss of me.”
Well, shoot here I am stuck with this triggered trauma brain who has decided to become oppositional – defiant, and I had grown-up things that I needed to do. Every time I even thought about going back I hit that proverbial brick wall.
I can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously it is frustrating it is when your own brain choses to defy logic.
Having exhausted everything I could think of to get stupid brain unstuck, I did the only thing left I could think of…I asked for help. I reached out to Lisa, a friendly fellow blogger who has been parenting a child from trauma for several years now and I asked her what she had I their tool box I could try. She said,
Rub and tap.”
What the what?
Lisa, with her sweet-self took the time to talk me through it. That woman is something special!
Psychological Reversals (Rubbing) Think of Rubbing as rubbing out a stain. The negative thought or belief is always stated first and the opposite positive phrase is stated last. Do it 3 times by rubbing gently on the sore spots on your chest. It is a gentle circular motion.” Lisa-Life in a Grateful House
Tapping:


And this is the one specifically for trauma and abuse:

And for as silly as it looks, guess what? It worked. Not like a miracle cure and I will never struggle with anxiety from PTSD anymore. But, like I went back. I walked back through the doors. I faced triggers. I acted like a grown-up. My brain functioned like a grown-up’s. I took care of my responsibilities. I managed my instinct to freeze.
I tap, tap, tapped, Rub, rub, rubbed and hooped my way through it.
Thanks Lisa!
(and that it’s WAY better than being wrapped in blankets and sat on!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lost Daughters: Adoption Survivor, not Victim

Lost Daughters: Adoption Survivor, not Victim: Von Coates interviewed me about my adoptee and writing experience...

On Kindle and in paperback on Amazon
This interview about my book and experience was in 2011 but I do think it's still relevant to what Lost Children are facing and will continue to face with closed adoption records. The Indian Adoption Project was an act of war and we adoptees are the survivors... Trace

Friday, April 13, 2012

Adoption Scandal in Spain investigated


Spain Opens Court Inquiry on Newborn Abductions


Published: April 12, 2012 New York TimesNew York TimesTop of Form

Bottom of Form

MADRID — An 87-year-old Spanish nun became the first suspect to appear in court Thursday as part of an investigation into at least 1,500 allegations that newborns were abducted and then given or sold for adoption over four decades.
The nun, Sister María Gómez Valbuena, used her right to remain silent before the judge. She then made her way from the Madrid courtroom to a waiting car amid a crowd of journalists and onlookers, some of whom jeered and shouted abuse at her.
Sister Gómez Valbuena was subpoenaed last month after being accused by María Luisa Torres of abducting her baby daughter, born in a Madrid clinic in 1982. Ms. Torres was reunited with her daughter Pilar last summer, after the start of a nationwide campaign to help parents find their abducted children, using DNA testing to confirm parentage.
While the nun refused to testify in court, she issued a statement later in the evening denying any wrongdoing and saying that she found "repugnant'" the idea that a mother could be separated from her baby. She said that she had spent her long life helping the most needy in a disinterested manner, in accordance with her profound religious beliefs.
The associations that have spearheaded the campaign met Thursday with Spain’s ministers for the interior, justice and health, as well as the attorney general, to seek stronger government support for their crusade and to push for a more speedy judicial handling of the cases.
While the associations have complained about foot-dragging by Spain’s judiciary, the attorney general and investigators have underlined the difficulty of confirming startling allegations that have resurfaced several decades after the events and that have involved several people who have since died.
The baby-snatching practices supposedly started in the 1950s under the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco and are believed to have continued until about 1990, 15 years after Franco’s death.
The investigations have also proved sensitive because many of the cases have at least indirectly involved the Roman Catholic Church, since its nuns commonly worked in maternity wards or orphanages.
Antonio Barroso, president of Anadir, an association representing parents searching for missing children, described the meeting Thursday with the ministers as “clearly positive.” The ministers agreed to take several measures to help with the investigations, including devoting more staff to such inquiries as well as setting up a national archive to help coordinate and contrast the different data.
“We have wasted a lot of time, but things should speed up now,” Mr. Barroso said. “While it’s too early to claim any victory, it’s important to have strong government support.”
Anadir also says that Spain was a hub for gangs trafficking snatched babies, with many of the newborns then sold into adoption overseas. Such trafficking dwindled after 1987, it says, when tighter legislation on adoption procedures came into force in Spain.
Meanwhile, some judges across Spain have recently ordered exhumations from cemeteries to confirm whether infants had in fact been buried there. These exhumations have been linked to cases filed by mothers who claim that their newborns were taken away from them immediately after giving birth — officially to undergo further medical checks — and that they were then told that the infant had died.
Ms. Torres recently told the judge investigating her case that she had attempted to get her baby back from Sister Gómez Valbuena, who worked in the maternity ward of the Madrid clinic where she gave birth. But according to Ms. Torres, the nun instead threatened to denounce her for adultery because Pilar was fathered by a man whom she met shortly after separating from her husband.


We know that Canada, Australia and Ireland had inquiries into the practices of Catholics and other churches who sold babies for profit. Spain is the latest on the list... Trace

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

60s Scoop survivor strong advocate today #NDN

60s Scoop child turns horrifying experience into strong advocacy

 
Lynn Thompson
Author:
By Shari Narine Sage
Contributing Editor SASKATOON
Forty-one years ago Lynn Thompson was stolen from off the Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba.
“We were told by our grandparents, if white people come around, you run in to the bush,” said Thompson.
But the three-year-old could not run fast enough and she and her two sisters, one of whom she carried on her back and the other she was pulling, were apprehended by social workers. Her eight-year-old uncle, who kicked the men who were taking her, was also grabbed.
Thompson's three older brothers made it to the bush safely. Thompson would be 40 before she reunited with members of her biological family, but they still remain strangers to her.
Thompson was one of a conservatively estimated 20,000 children who were apprehended in the 1960s through to the 1980s. The “60s Scoop,” as this action became known because the majority of children were taken in the first decade, was a government-sanctioned program entitled Adopt Indian/Métis children. These Aboriginal children were placed in foster homes throughout Canada and the United States. Thompson said the uncle who tried to rescue her was sold for $500 to a family in the US. What ensued for Thompson were 25 foster homes in Ontario and Manitoba by the time she was eight years old and two failed adoption attempts. Like many of the children in her situation, she was abused. Eventually, she ended up being settled in a German Mennonite community in Manitoba. Seventy percent of the children taken were placed in non-Aboriginal homes.
“I would have given anything to have been in a residential school, to have other brown faces around,” said Thompson, who shot herself while in care.
The pain of Thompson’s childhood, which she classifies as “pretty messed,” followed her into adulthood.
Twelve years ago, Thompson accompanied a partner to Saskatchewan. Shortly after arriving in that province, she contracted HIV through intravenous drug use.
“I wouldn’t say I was a regular user. It was just something I experimented with and I ended up contracting HIV,” she said.
That was when she took control of her life.
“With HIV, it’s either fight or flight. I chose to fight. I educated myself,” said Thompson who spent two years learning all there was to know about the virus. She turned away from modern medicine and treated herself with a traditional tea and is also under the care of a healer from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation.
“I’m kind of the White Buffalo of HIV. I’m the only one I know of in Canada that uses traditional meds (for HIV),” said Thompson. “Instead of getting sicker, I’m getting better.”
But she didn’t stop there. Nine years ago, Thompson became an advocate for those suffering from the virus, fighting against the stigma and discrimination HIV-positive people experience every day.
Saskatoon, where Thompson lives, and Prince Albert have the highest cases of HIV in the country. Young women present the highest numbers, contracting the virus through intravenous drug use. But in the next few years, Thompson expects to see those figures skewed as a larger number of older men become HIV-positive through unsafe sex. Thompson said men are paying $20 or $30 extra to do the act without a condom.
Thompson has amassed an impressive resume. She serves as consultant for such organizations as Persons Living With AIDS Network and AIDS Saskatoon; has been an advisor for working groups such as All Nations Hope Network and Public Health Canada; has spoken in schools both in the Saskatoon Public School system and Saskatchewan First Nations; has participated in the documentaries “Positive Women” (for Canadian AIDS Law Society) and “Silent Epidemic” (Indigenous Circle); and has written articles and been interviewed for various television programs.
Thompson is also one of two women named in a class action lawsuit launched last year against the federal government in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina. She and Valery Longman represent other First Nations and Metis children targeted in the “60s Scoop.”
For the past 15 years, Thompson has been collecting information and stories from and about children taken from their homes in this manner. After she was reunited with her youngest sister, who broke her back after running away from a foster home in the US, Thompson and others realized something needed to be done. It was then that a lawsuit was discussed.
Thompson is hopeful that the lawsuit can lead to support similar to what residential school survivors have received through the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. She also hopes it makes Canadians aware of another dark part of Canadian history.
Source: http://www.ammsa.com/publications/saskatchewan-sage/60s-scoop-child-turns-horrifying-experience-strong-advocacy

Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Man Champions Adoption Rights On Hartford Street Corner

CT News Junkie | One Man Champions Adoption Rights On Hartford Street Corner

Please share this story with your friends - we have to work to change adoption laws and this man is doing just that! Bravo!
Trace

Adoptee - use this search method

Search Tips: Google Alerts (ehababes)
Google Alerts can be a useful tool for individuals in the process of searching for a family member.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your queries. You decide a search query you wish to monitor. For example, if you are searching for a child born on December 1, 1990 in Illinois and surrendered to Easter House, you could set up the following alerts:
Born December 1, 1990 in IL
Born 12/1/1990
Easter House
Google will regularly search for your keywords and send you an email report containing links to any information that matches your alert. You should put in several variations of your information as you can not know how another person might enter it. You may write your DOB as 12/1/1990 and they would post to a registry under December 1, 1990.
Alerts are easy to set up. Simply visit the Google Alert page and start entering your keywords and phrases.
If you need help, visit the Google Alert Getting Started Guide.

Many adoptees who find their family name can then search on Facebook and Google - believe me, we can use all the help when we search!
Please post a comment on what search tips you recommend!
Trace

Friday, March 30, 2012

Why we have a Facebook Page SPLIT FEATHERS


Yup, it’s what all the experts say you need - and it’s the way to find new people who become new friends.

In fact, this blog Split Feathers has found many new adoptees (like Michael and his brother who are Native adoptees but don’t know their tribe yet).

That is the purpose of Facebook (FB) - to connect you with friends and let you comment and talk and like and share. I try and make time to read friend’s posts and I’m sure you do, too.

Because of Facebook I have reconnected with friends from school and college and friends I knew when I lived in various places but moved away. I have adoptees friends I have not met in person (yet) and Native American friends who are not adoptees. It’s a giant circle, really!

It’s a kind of meeting place - and you can have groups of people, business pages (like our Blue Hand Books) and lists of interests (I am figuring out Facebook like all of you are, yes.)

So if you haven’t been to our Facebook page, please do it now.

(There is a Facebook box in the right column on this blog where you can click like and it will add us to your FB list.)

Please LIKE the page so you can receive updates on your FB timeline. There will be more news and more stories in the coming days - so stay tuned!

Thank you! Chi Megwetch and Pilamaye!  Trace 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

WA #NDN tribe gain full control on Child Welfare matters

Port Gamble S'Klallam Obtain Full Control Over Child Welfare Matters

After a decade-long effort in conjunction with the federal and state departments of Health and Human Services, the state Attorney General's Office, and tribal lawyers, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has achieved a landmark goal -- complete control over the welfare of their own children. The 1,000-member Tribe in western Washington became the first in the nation to assume all control of guardianships, foster care, and adoptions for their children. Under an agreement with the federal government, the Tribe has disengaged the oversight by DSHS and is now solely responsible for its child-welfare cases.
The contemporary practice of removing Native American children from reservations in child-welfare cases has been likened to the infamous boarding-school era, when the federal government forcibly placed Native children in state or religious institutions to “assimilate” them into “American” culture.
To break away from this system, Port Gamble S'Klallam's children and families coordinator Jolene George has spent years working with DSHS to draft policies on how they would handle child-welfare protocols, which are listed under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. "We will no longer lose our children," George said. "We didn't do this with a grant. We put our efforts, our money and whatever we could to do this."
Francine Swift, a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Council, said it's vital to have children stay on the reservation so they don't forget their ancestry and traditions. She said that before the Indian Child Welfare Act, children were adopted out and lost complete contact with their relatives, ancestors, and culture. "We never want to see our kids go through this again," Swift said.
 
 
 
This is one excellent example of tribes in action - and it is happening in more states! Happy Dance!
Trace

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Utah officials on Native children foster care statistics

American Indian children too often in foster care
Utah Officials try to keep children in their homes, out of system.

More than 33 years after Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, American Indian children in Utah are still being removed from their homes and placed in foster care far too often — a troubling statistic that is the focus of the state’s tribes and government officials.
True, there has been a vast improvement in out-of-home placements over those decades. In 1976, two years before passage of the act, American Indian children in Utah were 1,500 times more likely to be in foster care than other children in the state, said Utah Appeals Court Judge William Thorne, who spoke March 16 at the first Indian Child Welfare Conference to be held in Salt Lake City.
Read story here:
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/53755655-78/indian-foster-american-care.html.csp?page=1

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act to prevent breakup of American Indian families after a 1976 report showed “an alarmingly high percentage” of children were in “non-Indian” foster and adoptive homes or institutions. It governs what is supposed to happen if an American Indian child is placed in state custody, giving tribal courts jurisdiction for children who are members or eligible for membership in a recognized tribe.

Broken Circle: What is an orphan?

Adoption was invented for orphans, children who lost their parents and needed immediate attention and help - to save their lives literally. The family circle was broken with the death of parents.
Children were orphans because there were no other relatives to care for them.
We know how "adoption" created new families for these orphans. That makes sense - it was a safety net.

Ask yourself:  how is the word orphan to be interpreted today?
In the Third World and Indian Country, those places on Earth where the most destitute live in poverty, an orphan is not necessarily without parents: some of these children are without necessities: food, water, medicine and clothing.
We know Americans will rescue the child but not their parent. Americans will call these children orphans. Is that true? Is it not selfish for an American to choose a child over the parent of that child?
Are Americans OK with separating that child from their parent via closed adoption?
The numbers of adoptees (7-10 million) today answers that question - yes.

In Indian Country kinship adoption means an orphaned child is raised with an auntie, grandparent or other relative.  Families remain intact and the child will not lose their family, language or their culture.
America's closed adoption model for Indians was purely destructive, severing a child's contact with culture, language and tribal kin, erasing their sovereign membership and their treaty rights. A few Americans involved in the Indian Adoption Projects have apologized, so we know they admit they did this heinous thing.
Can you imagine - Native children (thousands!) removed by the Indian Adoption Projects for the sole purpose of destroying families and tribal nations? It happened and yes, it was devastating.

America still places a stranglehold on Indian people with its judgement of us. This has gone on many years. Every treaty that was made was broken; all because American leaders wanted to secure more land and what was on those lands (minerals, water and food).
Plot after plot, year after year, you see the American government screwing Indians and stealing from tribes, or turning us against one another, one way or the other.
It's about control. It's about creating poverty and making us fight each other over scraps. This America goverment does not want us to be united in our struggle. They'd prefer us fighting each other over what little we're lucky enough to be granted or given by them.
A Northern Cheyenne friend said they start a fire in your front yard so you don't know what they are doing in your backyard.  They divert our attention this way, and have used it many times successfully.
That is why states historically do not deal with Indians - only the federal government. This is supposed to mean the feds are more fair or the feds have a better grasp of treaties and history - yet they control us with their beauracy, laws and delays.

Fast forward. Do you see American kids being sent to Africa or Russia for adoption? No.
Americans are the biggest adopter in all the world.  It's their savior complex. Americans believe they offered a better life for Indians, International and Third World adoptees.
As an adoptee, it was real pain for me. I cannot grasp how deep that pain went or my confusion and fear when my mother disappeared after I was born. She never returned.  Eventually I stopped crying. I blanked out the hurt yet that deep pain reached into every aspect of my life. It took many years for me to step into the circle and rejoin my relatives... My mother was not dead but I was orphaned.

I hope you will leave a comment.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The day they took my baby...Australia news

The day they took my baby - ABC Sydney - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

As Australia and Canada reveals what coercion happened in their news programs, when will the USA admit what happened to our mothers?
One can only hope we see this happen here and soon... Trace

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fight to obtain our Original Birth Certificates: Unsealed Initiative: NY's Adoptee Rights Bill

Adoptee Rights Coalition - the Fight to obtain our Original Birth Certificates: Unsealed Initiative: NY's Adoptee Rights Bill: Google+ Tweet This page was updated in March 2012; please refer to Unsealed Initiative for more information.

As some of you know, many Native adoptees were placed with Lois Wyse and Spence Chapin Adoption Agencies, who were part of the Indian Adoption Projects.  New York needs to open their adoption records - let the secrets and lies be exposed and made truth... Trace

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Illinois Adoptees can open their records!

http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/vital/non_certified.htm

Information on requesting a Non-Certified Copy of an Original Birth Certificate or filing a Birth Parent Preference form in Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Original Birth Certificates

Public Act 96-0895 became effective May 21, 2010 and makes it possible for an adult adoptee or surrendered person to obtain a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate under certain circumstances. This same Public Act allows some birth parents to specify their wishes with regard to contact and the release of their identifying information. The bill includes the following provisions:
  • As of May 21, 2010, any adult adopted or surrendered person who was born in Illinois before January 1, 1946, may request a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate using a special form (see link below.)

  • Beginning January 1, 2011, birth parents of children born on or after January 1, 1946 who were surrendered may file a Birth Parent Preference form with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE). This form allows the birth parent to express their wishes regarding the release of their identifying information on the original birth certificate and regarding contact.

  • Starting on November 15, 2011, any adult adopted or surrendered person who was born in Illinois on or after January 1, 1946, may request a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate.

  • The ability of an adult adopted or surrendered person born on or after January 1, 1946, to obtain identifying information listed on their original birth certificate may depend on whether his or her birth parents have filed forms with the Illinois Adoption Registry stating a preference regarding the release of their identity.

  • If an adult adopted or surrendered person is deceased, their adult child or spouse (if there is a minor child) may request a non-certified copy of the adopted or surrendered person’s original birth certificate. Please note registration with IARMIE will be required before the non-certified copy of the original birth certificate can be released. Click here for the Surviving Relative of a Deceased Adopted Person registration forms.
THIS FORM is to be used by adopted or surrendered persons to submit a request for a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate. Once completed, the form, along with a legible copy of identification (driver's license, state issued identification card or passport) and a check or money order for $15 (made payable to Illinois Department of Public Health) should be sent to IARMIE.
THIS FORM is to be used by birth parents to specify their wishes regarding contact and the release of their identifying information on the original birth certificate. This form, along with a legible copy of identification (driver’s license, state issued identification card or passport) and either a completed IARMIE Medical Questionnaire form or a check or money order for $15 (made payable to Illinois Department of Public Health) should be sent to the IARMIE .
Either of these forms and required documentation should be sent to:
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
Attention: IARMIE
925 E. Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737
Questions may be directed to the Illinois Adoption Registry at 877-323-5299.
Get more information about the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.

Link to Chicago Tribune story:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-adoption-birth-certificates-20120318,0,7825341,full.story

STOP CHIFF

STOP CHIFF

Baby Traffickers: Nightlight Adoption Agency

Nightlight Christian Adoptions has been the subject of at least two investigative articles by The Charleston Post and Courier where they looked at Nightlight in Greenville and attorney Raymond Godwin.
Just go to http://www.postandcourier.com/and search Nightlight Christian Adoptions and look for "The Price of Adoption" on Sept 21 and "Attorney Says Oklahoma Tribe Never Expressed Interest Before Infant's Birth" on Sept 14.

Raymond's wife Laura Beauvais-Godwin heads the Nightlight offices in Greenville SC. Both Nightlight and Godwin's law offices share the same building address at 1527 Wade Hampton Blvd in Greenville, SC 29609.

One of the articles said, "But the larger issue, according to skeptics, is the allegation that some birth mothers, agencies and attorneys conceal adoptions and prevent birth fathers from asserting parental rights." and "Once these agencies and lawyers get the birth mother on the hook ... they tell these birth moms not to answer any calls from the dads," said Shannon Jones, the Charleston attorney who represents Simmons and Brown. "Of course, then they argue the dad is a deadbeat."

Which is exactly what happened to Dusten Brown.

Source: http://pullthisblogover.blogspot.com/2013/09/an-open-letter-to-matt-and-melanie.html (comment)

Keep Veronica in your prayers