Monday, April 29, 2013

The Backseat Radio: Perfect Moment Monday

My car radio is broken. Well, not broken, exactly. Just not working. What I need is the code, but I can't remember it and I'm to lazy or busy or whatever to call the dealership, or whomever I need to call, to get it.

Also, I'm in no hurry.

Without the radio, my daughters (ages 11 and 12) have taken to providing the musical entertainment themselves. On Saturday afternoon, as we drove around doing errands, Mackenzie was the radio, and Ashley was the human in control of it. Every time Ashley "changed the station" (and she did so frequently), Mackenzie would slide effortlessly into a new song, hitting a range of genres as she did so. (My husband Paul has made a point of exposing both girls to a diverse selection of musical styles.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sea Glass & Other Fragments: Why I've Changed My Blog

Whoa! Wait a minute! What the [insert expletive of choice here] is going on here?

I thought this blog was called Love Is Not a Pie. What's with this "Sea Glass" stuff?!

Calm thoughts. Deep breaths. Especially you adoptees! (I know some of you really don't like change!) Everything is going to be okay.

So, why have I suddenly changed my blog title, nixing one that was perfectly fine to begin with?

I'm glad you asked.

I love the title Love Is Not a Pie, and it seemed a perfect fit for a blog that focused on open adoption and adoption reunion. But lately I've been coming to the realization that I want to broaden the focus of this blog somewhat. The new title and look of the blog are my way of announcing my intention to branch out a bit with my writing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bad Seed Vs. Blank Slate: Why Must Adoptees Be One or the Other?

I suspect that most adoptees are conscious of a tension in adoption ideology -- an undercurrent that is rarely raised to the surface but is present nonetheless. In the eyes of others, we are often viewed as either "blank slates" or "bad seeds." At different times in history, one view or the other has prevailed. When my adoptive parents brought me home, during the baby scoop era, they were told I was a blank slate. The prescription: raise me as their own and nurture would prevail. But during a recent online conversation with some adoptee friends, many of whom were of the same era, it became apparent that the blank-slate doctrine was not universally accepted, even in our time period. All of us had experienced the situation of having false, prejudicial assumptions made about us because of our supposed inherited "bad character." And then there are the adoptive parents I've conversed with who have changed their views over time. They speak of how they once bought into idea of the blank slate, believing nurture and love would prevail, but then the child grew up differently than expected -- began to struggle and make bad choices, spiraling into dysfunction beyond the parents' control -- and they realized they'd been sold a false idea. Clearly, the adoptee must have been flawed from the start, in a way that nurture couldn't correct.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Adoption, Trauma, Addiction, Etc.

Thanks to TAO for bringing this Paul Sunderland lecture to my attention. Many of my readers may have encountered it before, but it is new to me. It's long, but very much worth a listen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why I Write What I Write

I write about adoption because adoptee voices have been left out of the conversation for too long. I write because an entire system has been created, supposedly with the "best interests" of adoptees in mind but with very little input from those most affected. I write because it took me so long to find my voice and now I am determined to use it. I was given a map by others that was supposed to guide me through my experience of adoption, but it was inaccurate and more-or-less useless. It was a map created by people who hadn't walked the territory. So now I am a cartographer, drawing on my experience and the experiences of others to help create a truer map.

Click here for the latest Lost Daughter's Round Table to read what others have to say on this topic. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adoption as a Joining of Families

Credit: K. Dahlquist & R. Bangert 

Dahlquist & Bangert continue to be on a roll with their adoption-themed graphics. I'm sharing this one today because it hits on some of what Erica and I will be talking about today when we present at the Rudd Adoption Research Program's annual New Worlds of Adoption Conference. We are looking forward to sharing our personal story of joining families.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Adopt a Family

The first time Erica and I had lunch together, at the beginning of our open adoption relationship, we discovered that we shared a vision, and it is something that we have talked of numerous times since then. Though in our case open adoption has worked well as a means of creating a non-traditional family structure that encompasses both a biological and a non-biological definition of family, we are both also drawn toward the possibilities of another model: supporting mothers together with their children. I believe in family preservation; I believe in keeping children connected to their biological parents, siblings, and other family members whenever possible. But I also recognize that sometimes families need support. Yes, it's true that there are times when it is necessary to separate the child from a dysfunctional family situation for the safety and well-being of the child, but that is not the case in all of the situations the result in adoption. Sometimes, it's not that the parent is unable to parent so much as it is that the parent is unable to do so alone, without support. Is the separation of the parent and child really the best solution in such cases? What if a model existed that would pair them with people who were willing to help them both? What if instead of adopting a child alone you could adopt a family?
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