Sunday, November 22, 2009

10th Annual National Adoption Day in the U.S.

Saturday, Nov. 21, is the 10th annual National Adoption Day, which began as a coalition of law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates and courts to complete hundreds of foster care adoptions in nine cities across the U.S. Today, hundreds of events are held in all 50 states to finalize adoptions of children in foster care and to celebrate the families that adopt. To find an event near you, visit:
To all those who were adopted yesterday and to all my friends whose lives have been touched by adoption, I lift you up and hold a special place in my heart for you.  As you continue on your journey, may your life be full of health, happiness, strength and courage throughout your adoption experience. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Celebrities and Adoption: my personal dilemma

OK - so I was in the supermarket, saw the headline and couldn't resist purchasing this October 2009 issue of People Magazine!  Then, after I returned home to read the article, I remembered why it is that I only read People magazine in the doctor's office *sigh*.  Not quite the depth I was looking for.  If only this story could have been covered by Newsweek!  Nevertheless, I'm still intrigued by Katherine Heigl's family - past and present.  Now on a mission to discover the truth!
Katherine Heigl, best known for her current role on TV's Grey's Anatomy, is a newlywed and a new mother!  She and her husband, singer Jason Kelley, adopted a special needs Korean baby.  She even announced it on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. What I didn't know is that her older sister, Margaret (Meg) is a Korean-born adoptee, which had a big influence on her decision to adopt. "It's something I've always wanted to do...", she says. Interesting!
So this leaves me with a personal dilemma: do I think that celebrity adoption is a good thing or not?
On the one hand, I'm encouraged to see transracial adoptions get a lot of positive press.  Hugh Jackman seems to have the right attitude; when he expressed his desire to adopt, he asked, "where is the greatest need?" and adopted two multiracial kids. Stephen Spielberg and Kate Capshaw also seem like a good role models for people seeking to adopt.
On the other hand, there's a part of me that cringes when I see celebs like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (However, in recent news, Angelina wants to adopt without Brad!), Madonna and, yes, even Katherine Heigl suddenly make headline news because of their adoption.  They make it look so easy.  Walk in and adopt.  Everyone is so happy, happy. (Although, in Katherine Heigl's defense, she does talk about the major application they had to fill out as parents.  And the agency states that their adoption was processed so quickly due to "good social work practices.").
One end of the spectrum: I have the good-intentioned adoptive parents who genuinely want to create a family by providing a permanent home for a child.  Even the celebrity can fall into this category.  On the other end of the spectrum, I hear terrible stories of human trafficking and adoption agencies or countries that exploit children so they can benefit from the money they will make off the adoption fees.
So, I really am torn.  How should I view these celebrity adoptions: friend or foe? And will the media ever provide truth and depth to these celebrity stories - or will they forever be a mystery?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot off the press...Beyond Culture Camp!

Well,  I've had a lot of blog ingredients for November (National Adoption Awareness Month), but it's been stewing and simmering and has not been posted yet!  So while you are patiently waiting for my new posts, I give you this exciting appetizer!

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has just released the results of their research: Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption. To quote from their website, "This study, released in November, is the broadest, most extensive examination of adult adoptive identity to date, based on input from the primary experts on the subject: adults who were adopted as children."

The release of this report is perfect timing for my other big announcement: I'm presenting a workshop on my identity formation as a transracial adoptee at the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference on Friday, Dec. 4 in Denver, CO.  Based on the principal recommendations  listed on the website, I am eager to read it and incorporate it into my presentation! 

Enjoy, my friends. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

Wow - I just found out that November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

Here's a little history from one of the MANY adoption sites:

"The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system occurred in Massachusetts. In 1976, then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed Adoption Week and the idea grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation. President Gerald Ford made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating and the number of events.

During the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously. (emphasis mine)"
So, this month I will post about adoption from my perspective as an adult adoptee! However, the posts will probably be holistic, covering the complexity of an adopted family.  

Check back often for featured stories.