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Monday, June 30, 2014

#BabyVeronica discussed in new anthology CALLED HOME

By Trace A. DeMeyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

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

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

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



48 contributors who are First Nations/American Indian Adoptees:

Table of Contents




    • PREFACE
    • INTRODUCTION
    • HISTORY: Split Feather Syndrome
    • QUOTES
  • Called Home

    • The Indian Wars are Not Over
    • Sooner or Later, All Lost Birds Come Home
    • Caught in the Middle
    • Two Families
    • Blue Bear
    • In Search of Julio
    • Finding the Truth
    • 5 Siblings—Found in the Wind
    • White Earth Adoptee…Who am I?
    • Maybe El Reno… Somewhere Near Oklahoma City
    • Split Feathers
    • Welcomed
    • Josie/She's There In My Bones
    • It's a Wild World
    • When Love Cannot Conquer


    • Michelle's Spirit Can Now Rest
    • On the Red Road
    • I am Cynthia with Two Birth Certificates
    • Wolf Clan
    • Lost Bird Jefferson
    • Baby V
    • The Holocaust Self
    • History: Project Papoose
    • History: The Rainbow Project
  • Updates TWO WORLDS adoptees

    • Finding Our Meaning
    • UUTUQTUA, COMING HOME
    • Family Gatherings
    • Lost and Now Found
    • Eleven Months/Eleven Years
    • Unringing the Bell: Annulling My Adoption
    • Seven Year Cycles
    • Finding Peace, Coming Home
    • “Home at last, Thank God I am home at last”
    • Knowing You Are Not Alone
    • Lost


    • She Went Home
    • I Am Home
    • Fresh Flesh: Ronni and me
    • The Path from Separativeness to Oneness
  • SEARCHING

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 Ottawa

Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 Ottawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Proud To Be and Resilient

Apache Wisdom

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



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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Not getting better, Native kids in foster care

NCJFCJ Disproportionality Report of Children in Foster Care for FY 2012


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

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

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Adoptees getting results with Facebook Pages

what adoptees are doing on Facebook
By Trace A. DeMeyer

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Why some adoptees chose to do DNA

By Mary Charles

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

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


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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

COPING TOOLS: No, I'm not crazy

Reposted and edited from 2013

By Trace A. DeMeyer

I still think about integrating parts of my persona that were buried or stunted or created under stress as an adoptee growing up with biological strangers called mom and dad.

I posted on Facebook in 2013 how I'd experienced huge chunks of CRAZY, patterns of unhealthy behavior and even how big blocks of memory seemed hazy or gone. This does not make me special at all or any different (or better off or worse off) than other adoptees.  But if I am to heal myself, I need to know how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion so I can let her go.

My crazy hazy chunks of time were in fact self-preservation – it was the only way I could handle what I had to face to avoid fracturing or destroying my delicate developing mind. (And this did happen to others living in a dysfunctional setting in childhood.) I am now aware I had various coping tools, as did my friends.

One of the best tools was a vivid imagination. Another one: listening to the voice inside, a voice of sanity and clarity. Another tool was determination. I was determined to survive and very determined to create a safe environment for myself as a young adult, when I could move physically and emotionally away from where I was raised.  I was determined to open my adoption and find my relatives and my ancestry. I never lost that determination. I grew resilient and strong.

I had a conversation with my friend and co-author Patricia [Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects] about this process of integration, how we created little people who could handle situations, a character and persona tougher than us – and now as grown-ups, these little people are no longer needed.  I am not suggesting we had multiple personalities. That is too psycho-speak for us.  As babies and toddlers, we were confronted with strangers who called themselves our parents and they had their own instability. (Both of us had an alcoholic parent). Their imbalance caused our childhoods to be terrifying and unstable. That can put us in a situation of weakness and vulnerability. Our real fears made us very unstable and distrusting.

We chose to survive so we had to be outwardly creative in some way.  Being creative is an outlet for a grief this enormous. Patricia is definitely an artist and I was a musician – and we both kept journals. Add to that we are abandoned as infants and not nurtured and denied the bonds with our mother-creator. That also created an instability and frailty that carried forward from childhood to adulthood. This trauma is the PRIMAL WOUND (coined by Nancy Verrier).

Remember the movie The Three Faces of Eve? Though Eve was an adult, she had created personalities who could stand-in for her. One movie that terrified me was SYBIL. Sally Fields played a child who was terribly abused and created numerous personalities who stood in for her while she underwent the abuse.  In therapy, these movie characters found out they had created stand-ins, what I call the little people. When they are no longer needed they can melt away. Or integrate back into the soul.


There are couples right now holding a bake sale, asking their friends to raise money so that they can adopt an orphan. That is crazy – dangerously crazy! Why? Adoption has serious side-effects and the adoption industry is careful not to disclose this. (One of the reasons adoptive parents are re-homing their adoptees is because they were told babies are blank slates but as we grow into kids who don't and can't adjust and be the child they want.)


The fact is adoption is human trafficking.  If a child is taken from their natural parent(s) and sold to strangers, that is trafficking.  If money is exchanged for children and babies, that is trafficking. If lawyers and judges and adoption agencies charge money to handle babies for sale, they are trafficking in humans.

I do write this as a survivor of human trafficking, what was a closed adoption that I opened.  I write this from a place of sanity and balance, after years of working on myself, knowing myself, finding my relatives, and yes, learning the truth.

No, I am not crazy.

Across North America

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.

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

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