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Monday, March 7, 2011

UNCOVER YOUR HISTORY (Thanks to everyone at the Pequot Museum)

Having just visited the Pequot Museum on Saturday [March 5] to read from One Small Sacrifice, I know the history of American Indians and First Nations is one of the most neglected (or blatantly ignored) in these United States.
Few Americans care about the Pequot or other Native Americans or our struggle or our truths of what happened since First Contact. The Pequot in Mashantucket built a museum to tell the world their story of their bravery and their survival, despite the odds stacked against them by various invaders and colonizers.
The genocide of the Pequot didn’t happen. The genocide via assimilation of American Indian adoptees didn’t happen either.
I am proof of that, along with the many Lost Children/adoptees I talk to regularly. The colonizers did attempt to erase us (via SEALED ADOPTIONS) but they didn’t succeed in erasing our blood. In fact, they failed miserably. Like I told the audience about my friend Jess, if your Mormon adoptive mother says “you are no longer Lakota, you are a Mormon” – in fact she is wrong. You are Lakota forever, despite her adopting you and converting you to her Mormon religious beliefs.
Our Indian blood is our memory. It can never be erased.
Adoptees who are American Indian are regularly getting around the laws of sealed adoption records and many find their tribe, despite the odds stacked against them.
I was happy to see friends in this audience and I made many new friends. There were people who already read my book. This was good to hear. One beautiful Taino man asked me how my book can become a best seller. I told him my book was written for Indian people – so that they learn about what happened to Lost Birds/adoptees. I told him my book will not be a "bestseller."  I never expected my memoir to hit the New York Times bestseller list.
It's ironic I found this advice on a blog today and it struck me how true it is -- for adoptees!
This was the quote: “Uncover your history to discover your current mystery. Patterns and habits can be deep. Look at your early childhood experiences. Are you a people pleaser? Why? How did this start? Are you shy and withdrawn? How did this start? Finding the root of your emotional habits will equip you to make different choices. Conscious choice is incredibly empowering.”
OK. Many ADOPTEES are not exactly able to uncover their history. We were supposed to remain a mystery, right? Our status as adopted human beings is a monster of a mystery. I hated being that mystery. I opened my adoption at 22 to solve my mystery. Then I did years of self-study to see how my patterns set me up for low self-esteem and deep dark attachment issues. I was a shipwreck, sinking and suffering many years.
YES, I was a “people pleaser” – but not anymore. I think I was a “people pleaser” because I feared more rejection. I didn’t want anyone to not “like” me. This is serious stuff for adoptees to overcome.
Writing about your life helps to reveal patterns and habits. I found that sitting with a pen and paper at 4 a.m. could release some very painful memories of my childhood. I had years that were blank. I know other adoptees with this same experience.
Uncovering your history is so important. If you start with the idea you began your life at Chapter Two, something rapper Darryl McDaniels recently said in an interview, then you realize you need to find out what is in your Chapter One. You must open your adoption to do that.
I did open my adoption and it did change me. In fact, since I started writing One Small Sacrifice and doing this blog, I found there are ways to open your adoption and get around these inhumane archaic  laws. There is plenty about this in my memoir. And I have found search angels who do this work and help adoptees (and first families) for free or for small fees.
Please know adoptees, you are not alone. There are perhaps 10 million adoptees in America. 10 Million! If we stand together for open adoption records, we can win this human rights battle.
Many thanks to all who came to hear me read at the Pequot Museum. It was a day to celebrate my book was even published and how adoptees do survive against the odds, just like the brave Pequot did.

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Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

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Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

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.