Fall Enters In

Its been a long, cold and busy busy summer. I just came back from visiting my parents in WA state and it was warmer up there than it has been in the Bay Area all spring and summer! I just hope we don’t skip what is usually a warm fall for us and head straight into the rainy winter season.

I’m in full, unabashed production and promotion mode for the October 6, 7 & 8th shows of “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black girl’s story of being adopted into a White family… that aren’t celebrities” at La Pena Cultural Center here in Berkeley. I’m thrilled that for the first time, other than excerpts of the show, I’ll be performing the entire piece for my East Bay family. I also have a history of producing work at La Pena, so I’m doubly excited that they believed in my work enough to commission and fund the piece to help me get it up.

There’s gonna be stage, light and sound design – yeeee! I’m continuing my collaboration with local activist and visual artist Isaac Ontiveros for the further development of the multi-media aspects of the show and also with the talented dancer/movement artist Colleen “Coke” Nakamoto on choreography. There so much more, but ultimately, I just hope you all come out and check the full, finished piece. I hope this will be one of the final iterations before I do a full run in 2012 and head to festivals around the globe. Please let people know and buy your tickets here!!

What else is up? Well, its that time of year when AFAAD is in full swing planning mode for the Fourth Annual Gathering, November 11,12 &13th this year at the 2100 Building in Seattle, WA! For all of my supporters, all of you parents of black, brown and multiracial children, we continue to develop this organization for your child! and we continue to do this as an all volunteer board. Please spread the word to any Black/Multiracial/African/Caribbean – adoptee of African descent over 18 that you know and tell them to join us in Seattle!! Here is the Call for Sessions, so people can submit panel or discussion ideas and also so potential participants can understand the depth of the weekend! Finally, here is the full information about this year’s Gathering. Don’t forget, if you know any families or organizations in Seattle that support adoptive families and foster care alumni – let them know about our Education Event that is open to EVERYONE on Saturday night, November 12th!

In addition to spreading the word – WE NEED YOUR FUNDING SUPPORT!! Please, please DONATE TO THE FOURTH ANNUAL GATHERING! The only way we are able to continue our work is through generous donations from people like you. We need at least $15,000.00 to cover basic expenses, and what is especially important for this year, to cover special guest speaker travel, hotel and honorarium fees, to keep our Public Education event low cost and accessible to everyone in the adoption triad, and to provide scholarships to at least two Foster Care Alumni who otherwise would be unable to make it to join us and have access to the network and the activist space of the weekend. We have 28 days! Please help us spread the word.

Crazy busy my friends. School has started, teaching, students, academic work as well as balancing my creative work. You know how artists do. I have two or three other creative projects in the works and all I will say about that is one is adoption related and the rest, thankfully, are not! In academia, we call it “racial fatigue”, I think we adoptee writers, activists, scholars need to come up with the right phrase for us. “Adoption fatigue”? I don’t know. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much my personal life is part of my professional life, and its great, but its also very tiring. I look forward to the weekend of the AFAAD Gathering where we will spend time talking together about being and adoptee or foster care alumni and being a professional and ensuring we are engaging in ‘self-care’, so we don’t burn out.

What seems contrary to what I just wrote, (ha!) I recently noticed that my subscribers to the blog have increased. I’m so excited about this – welcome to the blog. I look forward to engaging in conversation with you and answering questions! I’m here as a resource for parents as well as for my fellow adopted folks.

Finally, I have a special gift for the first 10 people who donate $50.00 or more to the AFAAD Gathering Campaign! I’ve recently finished a writing project that I want to share with folks who support AFAAD, its a secret, so you will be privileged to it before anyone! Donate, and I will get it to you in the mail asap!!


Women’s Magazine Radio Interview & US Social Forum Updates

I was honored to be on KPFK Berkeley’s Women’s Magazine for the second time talking about transracial adoption and about this current run of the “Ungrateful Daughter” show.

Please check it out and have a listen!

Also want to let you all know that AFAAD is collaborating with other adoptees of color and going to the United States Social Forum and presenting! Its very exciting. The workshop title is, “Where have all our children gone? Linking child removal from communities of color to larger social justice movements” and is going to be on Thursday, June 24th, 2010. 10:00am – 12:00pm, at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel: WB3.

AFAAD member, and MN AFAAD chapter co-founderShannon Gibney will be writing us up a report from the USSF on our activities there

Harlow’s Monkey hipped us to another adoption related panel discussion, “Poverty Is Not Neglect & We Are Not Powerless: Mothers reclaim Our Children Back from the Child Welfare Industry” that will be on Wednesday, June 23rd, 10:00am – 12:00pm.

“Ungrateful Daughter” at MIT Fri April 30th

As part of the ASAC’s “Adoption: Secret Histories, Public Policies” 3rd International Conference, 2010, on Friday April 30th I’ll be performing UD and sharing the stage with some other writerly folk impacted by adoption, Martha Gelarden, Adam Lazar, Ned Balbo, Rosemary Starace, and Craig Hickman.

Friday April 30th
Bldg 32-Room 123

I’m so excited! I hope if you are near you can come out and say hello.

2nd Annual AFAAD Gathering Nov 6-8, 2009!


Time again for another Gathering of adoptees and foster care alumni! I’m so excited to be working towards another event that brings us together. Check out the info below and please pass on to your networks, other adoptees and foster care alumni that you know and if you are a supporter – PLEASE SPONSOR or DONATE!!!

Full information is on the AFAAD WEBSITE HERE.


For Immediate Release (to be included in your newsletters and calendars)

2nd Annual Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African Descent:
Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences

Friday through Sunday, November 6-8, 2009
8am-5pm, with some evening activities – Oakland, CA

Announcing the 2nd Annual gathering of adoptees (transracial/international and same race) and foster care alumni of African descent in Oakland, California, Friday – Sunday, November 6-8, 2009.

AFAAD (Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora) was formed specifically to support adopted and fostered people, to share our common and divergent experiences around race, adoption, joy, loss, family, search and reunion, and self identity and to celebrate our unique creativity, stories and community. AFAAD’s Second Annual Gathering, Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences is designed with you mind.

The purpose of our annual Gathering is to make connections, network, educate, provide healing space, and to celebrate the diversity of our amazing diaspora of transracial, international, domestic adoptees and foster care alumni. AFAAD uses “Black” in the widest diasporic sense, which includes African, African American, AfroAsian and AfroLatino, bi-racial and multi-heritage peoples. Growing and Creating Together: Organizing Across Differences will continue to develop our own contributions to the conversations about adoption, foster care, race, social welfare and African diasporic identity – not to mention just bringing all of us together for community. It is time to share our stories with one another, rather than always teaching other people. We will also take some time for the strategic planning for the long-term goals of AFAAD as a social justice and community support organization.

AFAAD’s 2009 Gathering is being hosted by the Washington Inn, at 462 Tenth Street, ideally situated in the center of downtown Oakland, CA; close to all forms of public transportation. Individuals visiting the Bay Area must make their own hotel reservations separately from AFAAD Gathering registration. Please see the website for more details about the Gathering schedule, hotel and conference registration information and for more information about our mission, community and legislative advocacy work and how to donate to our work.

Contact Info:
AFAAD – Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora
PO Box 24771
Oakland, CA 94607
Website: afaad.wordpress.com
E-mail: afaadinfo@gmail.com
Phone: 510.836.0133

Adoptee Rights Demonstration July 21, 2009

Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Join us July 21, 2009 at the Annual Summit for the National Conference of State Legislators for the Philadelphia Adoptee Rights Protest.


The National Conference of State Legislatures is the largest group of its kind, the national organization of STATE LAWMAKERS, the people who DECIDE whether you may access your original birth certificates OR NOT. We propose a gathering of adoptees and all supporters of the rights of adoptees to unrestricted access to their own records of birth, representing all fifty states, a one-day rally that will be an opportunity for adoptees to demonstrate their commitment to adoptee rights and to meet their state delegation.

Your Rights – Your Protest

AFAAD Bay Area Drinks and Dinner Dec 7th

Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora – AFAAD dinner.

Its time for another AFAAD Bay Area dinner! If you are an adult adoptee or foster alum from the Diaspora, we hope you will join us!  We had such a great time last time, this time we plan to chill a bit, then eat dinner and make a night of it! So, even if its just about getting together and being in one another’s space, I hope you roll through. For many of us – it will be the FIRST time we’ve been in a room with this many other black adoptees. Wow.

Please bring other adoptees and foster alum that you know!!

DINNER and Drink Details –

Friday December 7th
Drinks 7-8pm
Dinner and Chillin 8 – on
Oakland, CA (Restaurant Details to be announced over our email list)


To join AFAAD email list:

Asian Adoptee Event in Berkeley

a colloquium
Sunday November 11, 3-5:30 p.m.
at the UC Berkeley Art Museum

Museum Theater
2621 Durant Avenue (between Bowditch and College Ave.) Berkeley Free with museum admission Reception following

What are the identity issues facing adoptees from Asia? How do they experience being Asian American? How have they expressed their experience creatively? These and other questions about Asian American identity comprise the subject of this timely and multi-facetted program, presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Art Museum’s major fall exhibition

“One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now,” on view through Dec. 23.

The presenters represent Korean-American, Vietnamese-American, and Chinese-American perspectives. They will explore Asian American identity as it is experienced by young adult adoptees from Asia, as well as probing other issues related to adoptions from Asia. Scholars specializing in transnational adoption will be joined by a poet, a musician, and a filmmaker, all of whose work has been influenced by their personal experiences.

Sara Dorow, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, is the author of a book on transnational adoption from China, and a former social worker who specialized in adoption. She will discuss how Chinese adoptees in the US and Canada narrate intersections of race, kinship, and the spaces of “home,” and how they have become “poster children” for adoption.

Rebecca Hurdis, UC Berkeley PhD candidate, Korean adoptee, and author of a book on Korean adoption, will examine how ideologies about race are shaped and transmitted through family structures.

Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University Teachers College, is co-founder of the Asian American Psychological Association. Bringing an important psychological perspective to the discussion, Dr. Sue will address the multiple dimensions of Asian American identity confronting adoptees from Asia.

Lee Herrick, poet and Professor of English, Fresno City College, will read from his new poetry collection “This Many Miles from Desire,” and discuss how notions of identity, time and ambiguity in his poetry relate to his adoption from Korea.

Jared Rehberg, New York based composer and musician, will perform “Waking Up American”, written to his Vietnamese birth parents, and “Scrapbook,” composed for a new generation of adoptees, and talk about the relation between his life and his music.

Deann Borshay Liem, filmmaker (“First Person Plural,” 2000), will present an excerpt from her new film-in-progress, which features interviews with Korean adoptees from all over the world, and discuss the political, social, and ethical dimensions of international adoption.

Catherine Ceniza Choy, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley, has published on adoption from Asia and social constructions of American childhood. She will introduce the program and provide historical context for it, as well as moderate the discussion.

Following the colloquium, the audience is cordially invited to a reception, which will offer the opportunity to talk further with the presenters.

This program is supported by UC Berkeley’s Consortium for the Arts, the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Asian American Studies Program, and co-sponsored by Asia Society Northern California.

For further information, please consult museum website bampfa.berkeley.edu, or call Director of Education Sherry Goodman at (510) 642-8344.