Transracial Adoption from one black girl’s perspective

Archive for October, 2006

Vote for me & Help me get a Scholarship!

Ive been selected as one top 10 finalists for the The Blogging Scholarship!  (Cheese!) I totally need your support in the next 5 days – come vote for me! Winners will be annouced Nov 6th and its $5000.00!!! I SO need this!

- It will only take a few clicks! so VOTE HERE!!!

- You can only vote once from your IP address

- If you have time – please leave a comment about me and my work on the voting page so folks see your support!

- Please tell your friends to support!

- You will go to heaven (or afterlife place of choice) for your love a grad student

- Here are the other contestant blogs . Some amazing work. All of us are different and everyone is strong.

Ya’ll know I’m in grad school, tryin to finish up my work, trying to balance all of the work I do – writing, theatre production, research, speaking, workshops, all my multi-media projects, teaching and support of my students! I could SO use this funding to assist me this semester!! I’m broke and always at the end of semesters its a struggle to pay bills, eat and get simple things like toilet paper!!!

Thanks for voting for me!!!

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If you care – Here’s what I wrote for my application:

I began “A Birth Project” over a year ago with specific goals. As it reads on my blog, “This blog began with a two-pronged focus: One – my personal search for my birth parents and Two – as a place to consider my experiences as a Black girl adopted by white parents, or ‘my life as a TRA’”  (transracial adoptee).

I had no idea that my writing would connect me with a powerful group of transracial adoptees, adoption activists, scholars and performers. This connection became central to how the blog evolved. I post and comment on current news stories, post my own struggles continuing to let the world see my own search and reunion process as I find ‘parts of me’ that I never knew existed.

The most profound impact the blog/blogosphere has had on me is first, I have found support from an online community of transracial adoptees from all races and cultural backgrounds. Women and men from across the globe have written me personal, painful emails, thanking me for being vocal about my experiences and have given me love for saying things they always felt, but either were afraid to speak or could not articulate. Second, I was inspired to create an international non-profit organization “Adult Adoptees of the African Diaspora”. AAAD brings together adult adoptees of African descent across the globe and provide support, research and outreach for this widespread population. We hope our voices add to the strong voices of Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese transracial and international adoptees. Many TRA’s are isolated, the only person of color for miles, forced to struggle against uneducated assumptions about skin color or culture. This organization provides comfort and strength to a TRA who may be alone in her or his town. I hope my blog continues to do the same.


Stone

 

her thighs

sore with memory

shift back and forth as she walks

uphill toward the train

she is all tears and fog

left alone to soon

captured by ten years of

photographs transformed to

what now looks like regret

 

her body has been an earthquake shift

tectonic plates sliding out of place

revealing hidden earth, graves and bodies

 

she walks crooked

asphalt under her cracked now

like the day she is about to encounter

loss stinging her cheeks

like the fog in the air

 

she is demented metal

sidewalk trash fury

on the side of skyscrapers

ill-fitting and torn

 

the train is coming

breeze sucking air from tunnels

she stands spine tall to keep her

chest from caving in

hollow from giving voice

to echoes, ghosts

and orange desire.


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Haiku for Layla

this feels like school time

she grumbled but took a pen

beauty and stars came out


Madonna Madness

(sigh)

Here’s an article about Mr. Banda, the baby’s father. I cant even respond to this yet. More soon.


My First Review! Yay!

Check out my first review in the Berkeley Daily Planet!

I think one of the interesting things about my solo show is the title. “Ungrateful Daughter” seems to be a sharp-edged title in the way that it grabs people’s attention – what does she mean? I think that most of my reasonings for choosing this title are connected to the discourses that surround adoption and loyalty to family. In most popular cultural imaginations of the way that adoptees should be responding to adoption is indeed either a “one or the other” response. So many of us adult adoptees have talked about our resistence to this “grateful/successful” vs. “ungrateful/failure” binary already that I wont go into it again here, but this dialouge is really what this title attempts to speak to, the complexity of this experience.

In this review, Kassof mentions me being “disenchanted” – its an interesting word. I dont know if I even was “enchanted” with being adopted or being the only black person in a white world. I think another word might be ‘critical’, which is something I think many white parents are unprepared for when their child grows up to understand the world in a particular way, and begin to respond to them in a particular way because of this understanding.

Overall – Its cool to get a review. I love that she was willing to take the chance to come to the show. I like that she was disturbed. That means I did something right. Cool. 

I want to thank my director, my workshop mates, my friends, countrymen… and my TRA familia. lol…. you like me.. you really like me! 

:)  


They Just Dont Know

but imma tell them.

I’m on my way out the house to the airport to pick up my homeboy comin in from IL for the American Studies Conference. Im late already, but my mailbox is full. My copy of “Outsiders Within” has arrived. Im so excited I put down my bag and right on the porch, open the copy and read the dedication. Its to me. To you. To us.

I am in tears on my front porch so overwhelmed I cant stop them. This is why I write. Why I speak, why I perform. Im so tired of someone telling me who and what I am.

thank you. thank you. thank you.

(P.S.  I expect updates from all of you at the conference in NY!!! Im sending love and I wanted to come, but was already committed to ASA Conference!) 


“un-adoption”?

This article can be found here.

US parents try to ‘unadopt’ son

An American couple are reportedly trying to “unadopt” their 16-year-old son, saying the state did not tell them of his disturbing history of abuse.

According to the Washington Post, Helen and James Briggs adopted the boy six years ago, after Mrs Briggs – a foster mother – fell in love with him.

But in 2003 the boy, who cannot be named, sexually abused a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. Mrs Briggs said it was only then that she discovered his troubled past. The newspaper said confidential files revealed that the boy’s biological parents, who were alcohol and drug addicts, had physically abused him to the extent that his brain stem was damaged – hindering his ability to gauge the passage of time. The files also suggested that he had been sexually abused.

The boy had been in and out of five foster homes since he was 16 months old, in psychiatric institutions seven times and diagnosed as possibly psychotically bipolar. Mrs Briggs said she had not been told any of those details before she adopted him. “They just told me he was hyperactive,” she told the Washington Post. Under Virginia policy, caseworkers must provide the full facts about a child to adoptive parents. State child welfare officials have not commented on the case, due to confidentiality. But the newspaper claims some caseworkers do not believe that Mrs Briggs was uninformed.

A Fairfax County court has allowed Mrs Briggs to relinquish custody of the boy, but she is still bound to pay $427 a month in child support and cover the court costs when a judge makes a decision on his future. Mrs Briggs, 57, could have filed a “wrongful adoption” lawsuit within two years of discovering the boy’s true history, but failed to. She had wanted to bring the boy home after his sex offender treatment, following the case in 2003. But then psychologists labelled him a sexual predator, meaning she would have to give up being a foster parent, which she sees as her livelihood, and would no longer be able to allow her three grandchildren in the house or keep a young girl she had fostered from birth.

Mrs Briggs decided to dissolve the adoption, which requires the consent of the boy, who is now back in foster care. But so far he has refused. She is said to be asking politicians to help her find a way out.

“At first blush, you think ‘What, you’re trying to give up your kid?'”, Virginia politician David Albo told the Washington Post. “Then you find out this lady has received awards for all the foster work she’s done. And that she never would have adopted the boy and put other children in danger if she had had the information that was withheld from her.”

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hmmmm. those kids with that bad blood. send that kid back.


Im so cool!

Hey ya’ll. I got my first publicity “stuffs” in the East Bay Express, our weekly rag. Yay! I’m excited and uhhhh.. grateful all at once. Thank you all for your love and support. You inspire me to keep moving forward! and hey – come see the show on the 18th and if you cant make that – come see the Circus this week!

Article

 

my director.. he’s such a smart ass.

and gee – I cant wait until I get some reviews of the show . . . (ahem!)


Oh and there is just one more thing….

I realize I’ve posted 3 times today. But thanks to Racialious (deep breath) I found this article right here. Our favorite culture vulture has jumped on the celebrity accessory bandwagon.

I’m done being a TRA activist. I officially quit.

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UPDATE: Thanks to DAWN below – Not that I trust ANY publicist as far as I can throw them – but they are denying she adopted. Hmmm. we’ll see in about 3 months when the baby is caught in a photo op. I’m not holding my breath.


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