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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


By Trace A. DeMeyer (author of One Small Sacrifice)

Be Strong
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.

Be Kind
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.

Be Prepared
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.

Be Green
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!]

Trace A. DeMeyer

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Apology for Abuses at US Indian Schools - The Petition Site

Please sign this. Their goal is 15,000. It should and could be a million people who sign, right?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 60s Scoop Lawsuit

This is the blog and website for Canadian First Nations Adoptees to get the latest updates and information concerning the class action for survivors of the Sixties Scoop. If you are a First Nations adoptee, you can contact them and add your name to the lawsuit. One of these days, America will have its own class action lawsuit... (that's my prayer it happens in my lifetime).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ok, you remember me writing on this blog I wanted my adoption file. (“My Top 5 Reasons”)
Back in September I had mentioned this to Jackie, who I visited on my recent mini-book-tour. Jackie helped Ben get his adoption file so she gave me the email for the state office in Madison, Wisconsin. I live in Massachusetts so this was super-convenient. I’d simply write an email!
Wisconsin, by law, allows adoptees in a closed adoption (like mine) to request and receive their non-identifying information. You simply fill out their form and request it (and pay them $75 an hour).
Let me clarify: your non-identifying information is a bit of history with no names.  It will not help you locate your tribe or your missing natural parent(s). In fact, it’s so vague, it’s really no help at all!
I decided to request my identifying information (aka the real deal, my sealed adoption file.) They emailed me that I would need a court order. I needed to fill out their form, have it notarized and mail it back to them so I did.
Within a month, I spoke to a woman on the phone who proceeded to fill out the paperwork for a court order. She would present it to the judge and I didn’t need to be there.
Now this was weird. She asked me why I wanted my file? Why was this so hard for me? I have a million reasons. But I didn’t know what the judge wanted me to say. What was a good reason?
I said I wanted my adoption file to help me understand my early history and where I was the first months of my life: that is what I think she wrote down. (I told her I was nervous).
Ok, I’m sure the most used reason for such a request is the need for family medical history.
(I could have said I was nervous dating strangers who might be my real brothers but this was too twisted a reason for a judge. And I’m married.)
There are many good reasons, yes. But what did the judge want to hear? I didn’t know.
If the judge read my form, he’d see I already knew the names of both my natural parents.  (Remember I read my adoption file when I was 22.) Heck I knew their birthdays and when each of them died.
So like all adoptees, I waited and prayed. The un-named judge would review my request. He or she could deny me.  But the judge didn’t.
Because I wrote my birth parents are deceased – that is why I believe the judge granted my request.  It’s only a guess. And if they considered my age – 54, I’m no kid. Maybe that is why.
So this white envelope arrived the day after Thanksgiving and I was too emotional to open it. Yes, I was a wreck! I knew it would hit me like a ton of bricks. It did.
My friend met me for breakfast on Sunday morning and since Loud Blood is an adoptee, she said she would read it to me. That was better, we thought. It was best to do this with a friend who was also adopted. So she read and I cried (in a restaurant)!
The worst part was not my crying. There was family history on one page and a small post-it note that said the next part was not on microfilm. Pages were missing. I did not receive the entire context and testimony my natural mother Helen gave to the social workers. I do not know what more was written down.
So I am processing that I am the daughter of Helen - who, by the way, did want to keep me. This broke me up so hard - my emotions are still ragged and raw. It was 1956 and she was not able to keep me, no way. There was no support for keeping me.
So, if someone in
Wisconsin does want to do this - and if they need tribal information - it is on the form in Wisconsin and the only way an adoptee can do this is through a court order. And pay $75 per hour.
When I was 22, I’d asked a judge to read my file but the one I have now (this file) is different than the one he let me read. He had more legal paperwork in his file.
The effect on me now is greater - plus my fathers version was different than my mothers.
One of the reasons I didn’t mention: 
I was in a foster home. Who were they? Now I have their name and address. That was huge for me. Now I know where I was the first days and months of my life.
I feel so fortunate, so blessed I was able to get my adoption file when so many are still in the dark about their identity and name.
Every adoptee on the planet deserves this information, absolutely. And it's criminal that we can't in all but 6 states in the USA.

NOTE: I do not have a copy of my OBC- original birth certificate. Wisconsin said I'd have to get it from Minnesota where I was born. Minnesota is a sealed record state so I may never see it.

Lauren emailed:  6 states have unrestricted access- Alaska and Kansas never sealed, Oregon was opened by the ballot measure appealed up through the courts; (Bastard Nation, among others, were very key to sparking effort) Alabama, New Hampshire and Maine all opened legislatively. The other conditional access states, IL, TN, & DE all continue to treat adoptees as second class citizens, forcing them to jump through hoops like confidential intermediary systems and parental vetoes. The states and their subcontractors- often religiously based maintain control and dole out whatever number as they see fit. TN has actually criminalized contact if a veto was signed. OH, MI, and MA all have tri-black hole systems, that grant access to some at the direct cost of access for others. None of them can be considered "open records" states.

Volunteers help adoptees connect with their past - Winnipeg Free Press

Canadian adoptees! This is a good resource! Use them!

Friday, November 26, 2010

March to memorialize Native children lost in foster care

March to memorialize Native children lost in foster care

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Four Traumas

1st day of grade school

     More and more of this adoption reality is coming out on the internet, which means more and more adoptive parents and natural parents are in for a few more surprises. One study claims adoptees are more traumatized than a prisoner of war. We suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. A prisoner of war may escape or be released, but an adoptee will suffer its effects our entire life. There is no known cure for PTSD.
     Now I believe there are four distinct traumas in being an adoptee.
     They are: 1) in utero, when you hear what is happening to you or sense what is coming; 2) when you are delivered, abandoned, and handed to strangers; 3) later when you are told you are adopted and realize fully what being “adopted” means; and 4) when you realize you are different, from a different culture or country, and you can’t contact your family, or know them, or have the information you need to find them.
     It took me years to get this. There were more traumas, too – like when I’d fill out forms at the doctor’s office. I had no medical history. I had no idea if I was sitting next to someone who could be my biological brother, mother or father. To think I could marry my own relative and not even know it, that idea was horrifying.
     I could carry a gene that I pass down to my own children – but I wouldn’t know until it’s too late. My child could suffer since I didn’t know. If my birthparents were alcoholics, then I really shouldn’t drink. I could be pre-disposed to diabetes or heart disease or cancer or depression and not know this.
     My list went on and on.

     This is an excerpt from my book One Small Sacrifice. 

Equal Access to Birth Records for Adoptees

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Casting Call

Casting Call
Are you still searching?

Decolonize with John Kane

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
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#defendicwa #nicwa .#ap .#cnn .#abc .#nbc .#ict

A photo posted by defendicwa (@defendicwa) on

“Cherokee Nation ICW (Indian Child Welfare) is supporting the campaign #DefendICWA developed by the National Indian Child Welfare Association. Our department is asking individuals to express their support by writing down how and why they support and defend ICWA, with a snapshot of their self holding their document of support. Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribal nation. We also have the largest ICW department. ICW has around 130 employees who work continuously to ensure our Native families and children’s rights are protected and the ICWA is enforced. The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) has published ICWA regulations, which will be in full effect this December 2016. These regulations address issues in the past that were misinterpreted by state courts and blatantly ignored. The regulations make the ICWA stronger, give it teeth and (makes) more clear for state courts understanding. The regulations also address the so-called ‘existing Indian family doctrine.’ This doctrine is no more. Unfortunately, there is still misconception and misunderstanding as to why the ICWA is so significant to tribal nations. There is a constant struggle with the media whom paints tribal nations so horrific and develops a very negative perception of ICWA. We are here. We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to fight for ICWA to ensure our future by taking care of our children. Every Cherokee child matters no matter where they reside. This campaign puts a face to supporters’ words. This campaign shows Indian Country’s strong supports of ICWA.” Heather Baker, Cherokee Nation citizen on the “I support and defend the ICWA because” Campaign #RealPeopleSeries

A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on


National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

Customer Review

Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

from pinterest

click for more info

click for more info
Native American sex trafficking resource

Hilary Tompkins, adoptee

Support ICWA

“I came to California in 1956. I am 83 years old. I will be 84 in October. I was born in 1932. I am one of 12 children. I am the great-great-great granddaughter of Chief Richard Fields of the Texas Cherokees, and also my grandmother, who married Walker Fields, (1876-1902) was Annie Bushyhead (1885-1902). Her father was Jesse Bushyhead(1854-1906). Jesse was the first cousin of Ned Bushyhead (1832-1907), the first editor of the San Diego Union newspaper. Ned Bushyhead went to California in 1849 for the Gold Rush. The Cherokees did not do too well in the gold fields. The Cherokee women did excellent because they did laundry and things for the miners, and they made more money. I moved to San Diego from Grove, Oklahoma, actually Peter’s Prairie. I was born one-half mile from where John Ridge died, murdered or assassinated, whatever you want to call it. I was also born only a half-mile from the cemetery (where John Ridge, his father Major Ridge and Gen. Stand Watie are buried). It’s called the Polson Cemetery (Delaware County). It’s now a National Historic monument, and my parents and grandparents, and my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and my great-grandmother Bushyhead are all buried in the cemetery. All of my relatives were allotted land in that same area. I still own 16 acres of my dad’s allotted land. My ancestor on the Fields side came (to Indian Territory) with Major Ridge before the Trial of Tears.They came in 1837. The Ridges had slaves, and one of the slave’s names was Peter, and he cleared this prairie. It’s called Peter’s Prairie. I was born right in the middle of that prairie. Our house was a three-room house that daddy built in 1922. Six of us were born there, and the last six of us wereborn at the Claremore Indian Hospital.” Etta Jean Fields, Cherokee Nation citizen from San Diego #RealPeopleSeries

A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on