How to Use this Blog

Howdy! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

ALSO, if you buy any of the books at the links provided, the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

2017: 3/4 million Visitors/Readers! This blog was ranked #49 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1...

Search This Blog

Standing Rock

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.

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

#323 - Milestones in Blogging


Book cover photo
Three years ago, a blog about American Indian Adoptees was a dream and the  history of the Indian Adoption Projects was buried.  Now it’s out there.  
Three years ago, this blog was born.  I set it up in 2009 but I didn’t blog much that year since I was just getting my feet wet - it seemed daunting at first. It was the technical parts of blogging that were new to me. But I had plenty to say and lots of research, news and history to share.

This is my 323rd post. It’s hard to wrap my head around that and how this one little blog has had over 43,000 visits.
The most important thing for me to say is this: Thank you. I don’t think I say it enough. That you all come back here week after week, reading, commenting, and sharing this blog means the world to me. That you’ve spent your hard-earned money on my memoir One Small Sacrifice, told your friends about it, talked about it on Facebook, visited my Book Page, you’ve taught me my vision for this history to be told - it was not wrong.

It’s not every day I get to say this  - thank you.
To recap the life of this blog, I thought I would highlight some of the biggest milestones of the past three years.

Top Search Engine: Google (they referred 4,500 people to this blog)

Most Searched Word:  Split Feather Syndrome

Most Page Views: Split Feathers Study (1,253 people have read this study on Native American adoptees called Split Feathers which is incredible!)

Most Visitors from another Blog:  Cassi’s blog “Adoption Truth” http://adoptiontruth-casjoh.blogspot.com/

Visitors around the world who regularly read this blog:  USA, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Australia, India, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

 I could go on and on, but for now let me just say that you all are the best.  Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Order a copy
Read an excerpt
Watch the trailer

Friday, March 16, 2012

Coerced Adoptions in Canada NEWS

‘You suffered just as much’: Adoptees gain new insight into parents’ choices as coerced adoption stories come to light... Read this news story from Canada here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/15/you-suffered-just-as-much/

Since a National Post investigation began uncovering stories about coerced adoption among unmarried women from the 1940s to the 1980s, several adoptees have contacted the newspaper saying the reports have validated their mothers’ accounts and helped prove that the choice to surrender was not fully hers. Some women had told their stories on the record for the first time, and they said their children have since expressed shock and compassion.

Friday, March 9, 2012

10 Things You Need to Know About Native American Women

February 5, 2012 by
It’s no exaggeration to say that American Indian women are missing from most media coverage, history books and classroom discussions. But at least journalism students, instructors and state educators in Nebraska are doing something to help end America’s ignorance of Native women and the contributions they make to their communities, their tribes and to the nation as a whole.
Last year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications published the magazine, Native Daughters. With a grant from the Carnegie Foundation and under the guidance of five university professors, students spent 18 months reporting and writing about American Indian women who are artists, activists, lawyers, cops, warriors, healers, storytellers and leaders.
Now the Nebraska Department of Education has also released a companion curriculum for the magazine. You can download it for free here.
Can’t wait even one minute more to learn about Native women? Here’s a teaser of what you can learn more about in Native Daughters—and what you can share with your students via the new curriculum.
1. “A lot of people think that us women are not leaders, but we are the heart of the nation, we are the center of our home, and it is us who decide how it will be.”–Philomine Lakota, Lakota language teacher, Red Cloud High School, Pine Ridge, S.D.
2. The art forms Native women practice stand as reminders of cultural endurance. “Their crafts survived the Greasy Grass (Battle of Little Big Horn), Wounded Knee One (1890) and Two (1973),” writes Christina DeVries in Native Daughters. “Their spirits survived the Trail of Tears, the Relocation and Termination program and continued struggles against cultural annihilation.”
3. In 1997, Ms. magazine named Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabeg) Woman of the Year. That same year, the activist also debuted her first novel, Last Standing Woman.
4. Of nearly 2 million women enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, 18,000 are American Indian women. Their representation in the military is disproportionately high—and Native women are more likely to be sexually harassed, which increases their chances of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
5. The number of Native women applying to medical school has increased since 2003, peaking in 2007 when 77 Native women applied nationwide.
6. In 2007, when Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet (DinĂ©) was named president of Antioch University, she became the first American Indian woman president of a mainstream university. Not only that, but about half of the nation’s tribal colleges are led by Native women presidents.
7. Cecelia Fire Thunder (Lakota) became the Oglala Lakota Tribe’s first woman president. She has fought against domestic abuse, saying it’s not a part of traditional culture, and been a leader for women’s reproductive rights. In 2006, when the South Dakota state legislature prohibited abortion, Fire Thunder announced plans to build a women’s clinic on the reservation, and therefore beyond state jurisdiction. She was impeached by the tribal council, who said she was acting outside her duties as president.
8. Women lead nearly one-quarter of the nation’s 562 federally recognized tribes.
9. “Through the late 1700s, Cherokee women were civically engaged. They owned land and had a say during wartime,” writes Astrid Munn in Native Daughters. “But this changed after the tribe ceded large tracts of land to the U.S. government in 1795.” Since the mid-1980s, though, a generation of Native women activists, lawmakers and attorneys have been changing that history and working to empower women again.
10. Indian Country could never survive without Native women.

Photo of magazine cover. To order copies of the magazine, contact Joe Starita. You can also visit nativedaughters.org to watch video clips and extended raw footage of the interviews.


Link to Native Daughters: http://cojmc.unl.edu/nativedaughters/

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adoptees deported by US? Yes

By Kim Sung-soo
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2012/03/137_106204.html

Until 2001, when Korean children were sent to the U.S. for overseas adoption, it was their adoptive parents’ responsibility to naturalize them as U.S. citizens.

In addition, adoption agencies both in Korea and the U.S. were responsible for post-adoption services that should monitor adoptees and their adoptive parents until the children are fully integrated into U.S. society. This is a key principle of overseas adoption.

However, the reality is not the same as the principle. The U.S. deports foreign adoptees aged 29 and older who haven’t been naturalized when they commit certain crimes. Washington must stop this practice immediately.

Unlike European governments, the U.S. government did not automatically grant citizenship to overseas adoptees until 2001. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 came into force on Feb. 27, 2001, allowing all internationally adopted children under 18 on that date, and all those adopted in the future, to become U.S. citizens automatically. However, adoptees 18 or older on that date could not be covered by the act.

Many adoptees discovered, usually when applying for federal student loans or a passport, that they had never been naturalized by their foster parents. I know three Korean adoptees ― Monte, Tim, and Matthew ― who could not benefit from the act.

Monte was born in 1970 in Korea and was sent to the U.S. in 1978. Although he served in the U.S. military, he was deported to Korea in 2009. Monte claims that when he was arrested, he did not know that he had been set up by his truck driving partner to transport drugs. Like most other Korean adoptees sent to the U.S., Monte is culturally American and does not speak Korean.

Tim was born in Korea in 1974, and in 1977 he went to the U.S. as an adoptee. His adoptive parents cut their ties with him after he graduated from high school, so he left his home and wandered throughout the U.S. He became homeless and addicted to drugs for over 15 years. Ultimately he was arrested, imprisoned, and deported to Korea, where he became homeless again in April 2011. He has no trace of his birth family on his adoption records.

Matthew was born in Korea in 1978 and he went to the U.S. at the age of six months, but his parents did not naturalize him. He was not deported, but willingly returned to Korea in February 2011 to be close to his family and experience Korea as a young man.

When the Seoul government discovered that Matthew, technically an “overseas Korean citizen,” was back in the country, he received a compulsory enlistment notice from the Korean military. After a prolonged struggle over paperwork that reflected both his permanent residency in the U.S. and his Korean citizenship, Matthew was finally granted an exemption from military enlistment because he is also technically an “orphan.”

Matthew would like to have dual citizenship, just as other adoptees have that option. But because he received his Green Card only in the past few years, he would be in his 40s by the time he gains U.S. citizenship. In the interim, he would be required to live within the U.S. Meanwhile, adoptees with only U.S. citizenship may live in Korea indefinitely on an F-4 visa.

As the U.S. leads the world in terms of the numbers of children adopted from other countries, it should also lead the world in the humanitarian treatment of them. However, we are now seeing that adoptees from not just Korea, but many other countries, are being deported from the U.S. even on minor charges.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), amended and expanded by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996, non-citizens may apply for “waivers” to deportations, based on factors such as length of residency in the U.S. and potential hardship if deported.

However, no such exceptions are available to “aggravated felons.” Aggravated felonies include crimes such as drug trafficking, but may also include misdemeanor charges. For instance, the IIRAIRA expanded the INA so a person may be treated as an aggravated felon for committing a theft punishable by only one year in prison. This opens up the risk of adoptees to be deported for petty crimes such as shoplifting.

While recognizing that non-adopted people who immigrated as children are also subject to this law, I believe that the U.S. Congress, through passing the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, has already shown its belief that international adoptees should be automatic citizens.

I urge the U.S. government to correct defects in the U.S. legal system by quickly passing an amendment that would allow all overseas adoptees ― even adults like Tim, Matthew, and Monte ― to rightfully receive their U.S. citizenship. This would stop the deportations and also give the benefits and protection of citizenship to all law-abiding international adoptees.

Dr. Kim Sung-soo is the author of a biography of Korean Quaker Ham Sok-hon and executive director of Transparency International-Korea. Reach him at wadans@empas.com.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blog Week: Biological Curiousity

BLOG WEEK: What bothers you about the Adoption Establishment?

Excerpt from ONE SMALL SACRIFICE: A Memoir (2nd Edition)

Never before had I experienced such difficulty with one story.  I repeat: never.  I took to writing like a duck takes to water.  Most days, writing and doing research is like breathing.  This time was different.  I struggled.  I knew I’d hit something so I had to slow down, to process, to dig. This history, my history, similar stories, had to be somewhere.

How many countries do not allow adoption?  Several.  Iraq is one.  No children from Western Europe, Australia, or Canada are eligible for adoption by Americans right now.

Nonetheless, America’s adoption reach has been global, widely publicized, some insist saintly, God-like of those who adopt orphans, even if money is exchanged for babies.

International adoption really began after the Korean War, when American GI’s left numerous orphans with their poverty-stricken mothers; then Korean and American-Asian orphans were brought here to be adopted in the United States.  After that, Americans adopted thousands of children from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  There is no bigger adopter.  In 2002 alone, U.S. families adopted over 20,000 children from various Third World nations. 

The overall topic of adoption begged one question for me. “Wait, how do adoptees feel?”  No one had asked me when I was young or old.  I wanted this answered so I dug in.

An adoptee movement makes headlines these days.  Adoptive parents are usually shocked to hear their adopted child say they need to know who they are and what happened.

My Alaskan Native-Celtic friend Anecia says, “The power of identity is stronger than fear.” That’s a powerful statement about adoption, yes.  Anecia went full circle as an adoptee and met her birth mom and dad.  Her adoptive dad helped her.

The reality is adoptees do have a strong biological curiosity. It’s awful scary not to know who you are.  My first goal was discovery how I lived a mystery and solved it, and I survived spiritually intact and remarkably well.  Other Split Feathers need to know how this is possible, even after our pain.

This memoir is not about my recovery from depression or addiction or self-mutilation or suicide attempts, not at all.  Apparently adoptees do suffer from these more than the rest of humanity.

Facing my own situation head-on, what choice did I have? I was an abandoned babyit was my initiation into being human.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Blog Week: Propaganda aimed at teens

Continuing with Blog Week: What bothers you about the Adoption Establishment?
I found a website (http://starcasm.net/archives/145898) that featured teens who used Bethany Christian Services. Teens are not educated about Birth Psychology or the life-long health effects of trauma on the infant who is given up for adoption. What bothers me? How the adoption industry plants propaganda to influence teens and we can see their profits are their priority, not keeping young families intact.

Excerpt:
Teen Mom's Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra Appear in Adoption Agency Commercial (VIDEO)  by
Catelynn Lowell and now-fiance Tyler Baltierra made the tough decision to give their baby daughter up for adoption. But in this commercial unearthed by Starcasm, they say the time was made easier by adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services.
At first, we were both really nervous," Catelynn says. But, "Bethany cares a lot about the birth parents ... they'll help the birth parents through anything."
 "When you walk into that office and talk to one of the counselors, the feeling you get is warmth and care," Tyler adds.

To see the commercial go to : http://starcasm.net/archives/145898

In Indian Country, young children are raised by aunties and grandmas if mothers cannot - that practice has been going on for centuries - Everyone is your relative in your tribe so kinship adoption was not destructive or disruptive to the child.
America's Adoption Industry cannot grasp the importance of keeping families intact....Trace

Thursday, March 1, 2012

BLOG WEEK: My beautiful sister Teresa

Teresa (1961-2012)
Meeting and getting to know my sister Teresa was the greatest gift in my life. I met her in 1994 when I met my dad Earl for the first time. She died yesterday at age 50.
I always wanted a sister and she was the very best for the past 18 years. I will be attending her funeral and conclude BLOG WEEK "Adoption Establishment" with this.

  1. Getting to meet siblings is life-changing.
  2. Knowing my first family and siblings helped me go full circle on my adoption journey to healing.
  3. Finding family who looked like me and loved me unconditionally was priceless.
I am glad I never gave up the search for my first family. My reunion happened 16 years after I started looking for them. I don't regret opening my adoption, despite the laws that prevented me and unwritten rules that said I should never search because it would hurt my adoptive parents.

Adoptees, please start your search if you haven't. FIND YOUR FAMILY! Write your legislators and tell them to open your adoption records. Contact Soaring Angels on Yahoo Groups and get your non-id paperwork. Don't wait, start today.

Trace/Laura Thrall-Bland

(I have a few more BLOG WEEK posts scheduled in the next few days)

Blog Week: Toxic Stress & Adoptee Health

patient rights
BLOG WEEK: What annoys me about the Adoption Establishment continues...

TOXIC STRESS is an integral part of adoption in my mind.  The Adoption Establishment doesn't mention effects on the baby who is orphaned and put up for adoption. That annoys me!
Being adopted affected my health as a child and as an adult. I call myself Super-Sensitive....the trauma of being abandoned is one of the greatest pains you will ever feel and impossible to heal...


ADOPTEE HEALTH
          Adoptees are truly a unique and diverse group. Some adoptees know they were traumatized as babies and now are plagued with emotional and physical problems...A few adoptees I know were adopted as children so they spent time with the natural mother, and many were breastfed.

          I did not spend any time with my natural mother and went directly to an orphanage. By the time I was adopted, I was a wreck. How do I know this? My parent’s memories and home movies. My immune system struggled continuously, and I struggle with adult allergies. You name it: weeds, grass, molds, dust, trees, and many foods.

          I admit I was running on high speed as a kid and taxed my adrenals to the max. When you’re in a heightened state of fear, in my case, this is called the fight or flight response. Doctors call it adrenal overload.

          In an earlier blog I posted information about the ACE STUDY and how childhood stress becomes an adult health problem.

          Now this: "Could your flight-or-fight response be giving you cancer?"

That question is answered by Alice Wessendorf on the
Healthier Talk website.

Alice: "When you find yourself in a difficult situation, hormones are released that up your heart rate, quicken your breathing, narrow your vision and, in general, prepare your body to clash or dash.

"This process, known as the fight-or-flight response, is supposed to save your life. But it turns out that it may also be giving you cancer.

"We already knew that this stress response could increase the risk for illnesses like heart disease. But now, new research out of the University of Texas points to stress hormones directly supporting tumor growth and spread.

"They do this by flipping the switch on the stress- activated protein known as focal adhesion kinase (FAK). FAK protects the detached cancer cells from dying. Allowing them to spread through your blood system finding places to re-attach and grow new tumors.

"And, as you may have already guessed, the higher your stress hormones are the higher your FAK levels become and the quicker tumors can grow and spread.

"So what can be done to stop the spread? Reducing the stress hormones circulating in your system is critical. You can't rid yourself of your natural fight-or-flight response. But what you can do is manage your stress levels."

The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health hosted an event to discuss the long term toxic stress consequences on children.

From the Summary: Evidence suggests that for the youngest children, prolonged or severe exposure to abuse, neglect and economic hardship – exacerbated by a dearth of stable, supportive relationships with adults – can provoke a “toxic stress response” with lifelong consequences. Such stress may influence brain development and increase the risk for illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. While efforts have been made for decades to intervene early in children’s lives, the results have not always been resounding.

Quotes: “What the science is telling us is that what happens early on affects lifelong health… So this is a game-changer for how the policy deals with toxic stress. This is for the health committees as much as it’s for the education committees. It’s as much for the Secretary of Public Health as it is for the Secretary of Education because what happens early on affects both, lifelong.” - Jack Shonkoff, Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and Professor of Child Health and Development, Harvard School of Public Health
“Rather than saying to the parents, ‘You are a problem,’ what we have to say to the parents is, ‘There are some things going on in your life that are having a tremendous effect on you and your child. Let’s see if we can figure out a way to help and make that situation better.’" - Robert Block, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
“There is no silver bullet solution here. I think it really requires us having a more systemic look at the well-being of our kids and putting that front and center. So our Administration is going to remain committed to that goal. “ - Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy, The White Houses
Link to videos: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/toxic-stress-of-early-childhood-adversity.cfm

mp3 file: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/files/audio/20120207_toxic_stress.mp3

Every. Day.

Every. Day.
adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

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.

Three Years already

Join!

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.

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
click image

ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

Our Fault? (no)

Leland at Goldwater Protest

#defendicwa

A photo posted by defendicwa (@defendicwa) on