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2019: This blog was ranked #50 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1... We hit 1 million reads! WOW!

2019: WE NEED A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Commission in the US now for the Adoption Programs that stole generations of children... Goldwater Institute's work to dismantle ICWA is another glaring attempt at cultural genocide.


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Lost Children Book Series

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Missing Chapter: A new series about hidden histories

How the US stole thousands of Native American children

In our latest episode of Missing Chapter, we explore this long legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. And how native families are still fighting back against the impacts today.

For decades, the US took thousands of Native American children and enrolled them in off-reservation boarding schools. Students were systematically stripped of their languages, customs, and culture. And even though there were accounts of neglect, abuse, and death at these schools, they became a blueprint for how the US government could forcibly assimilate native people into white America. At the peak of this era, there were more than 350 government-funded, and often church-run, Native American boarding schools across the US.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Illegal Adoption Scheme


Here and here.
A public official in Arizona has been arrested in connection with charges that he ran a multimillion-dollar scheme in which he smuggled pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to profit from their newborn babies. Authorities say Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen's fraudulent adoption enterprise left a trail of forged documents and violated U.S. and international laws.
Petersen operates an adoption law firm. For years, he has connected American families seeking to adopt with women from the Marshall Islands — but state and federal prosecutors say Petersen falsified documents and lied about the mothers' residency so he could enrich himself.
Federal indictment here.
We posted previous coverage of the Marshallese adoption schemes from the Hololulu Civil Beat.

Adoption Attorney Charged in Illegal Adoption Scheme Involving Marshall Island Babies

by Kate Fort

Staggering Adoption Industry Profits

reblog from Musings of the Lamb blog:

By 2012, Adoption Will be a 5 BILLION Dollar Plus industry

Even the banking and insurance industry has more regulations applied to then than adoption and we know what they do to try and make money at all costs.
An industry analysis of Fertility Clinics and Adoption Services by Market Data Enterprises of Tampa, FL, has placed a $1.4 billion value on adoption services in the US back in’ 99. No other government or private agency has bothered since then. With a projected annual growth rate of 11.5% to 2012, this makes adoption the largest unregulated industry in the US.
Do the math; even if we follow those conservative projections, because the market has exploded since this last study was done making 11.5% is very mild of a percentage, we have a number that is in excess of 5 billion dollars by the end of 2012 with a growth rate of at least a half billion a year and growing.
Adoption is a billion dollar business
Let’s all repeat: NO REGULATIONS PLUS LARGE SUMS OF MONEY EQUALS CLIMATE FOR CORRUPTION. That, folks, is human nature.
http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/its-not-about-you-but-it-is-2/#more-3268

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Dawnland wins EMMY

Documentary co-produced by NAS professor wins Emmy

by Emily Zhang | 10/8/19

10-8-19-duthu-courtesy-eli-burakian
Duthu began his involvement in the project as a consultant.
Source: Eli Burakian/Courtesy of Dartmouth College
“Dawnland,” a documentary co-produced by Native American studies professor N. Bruce Duthu, recently won the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Research.
“Dawnland” tells the story of indigenous child removal in the United States during the 20th century — when child welfare authorities forced Native American children to live in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes or boarding schools. The documentary follows the first so-called Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States for the contemporary Wabanaki community in Maine.
Duthu said that he believes “Dawnland” serves as a cautionary tale about “state power being misdirected against vulnerable populations.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

Brackeen seek new court hearing

Families Seek A Fresh Court Hearing In A Case Related To The ICWA

US News: Brackeen v. Bernhardt

Families and states seeking to replace the 1978 ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) that favoured Native Americans in the foster care system and procedures in terms of an adoption involving native American children want a fresh court hearing. On October 1, the people seeking a fresh hearing, want their problem to be addressed in front of an entire panel of the appeals court judges. The challenge included non-Native American families in a lot of states who have legally adopted or want to adopt Native American Children.

The Choctaw girl case

In a case related to provisions set by the ICWA, the Supreme Court declined to mediate in settling a case on account of a Choctaw girl who had been sent to foster care with a non-Native American family in California after her biological parents were unable to provide for her.
The couple attempted to adopt the young child, infringing upon state laws and the ICWA, in spite of the fact that the state and courts had cautioned them that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma had jurisdictional authority and that the objective of family reunification was very important.


The couple was represented by a lawyer who has challenged the tribal jurisdiction in other ICWA cases. The couple declined to let go of the young girl in 2016, regardless of a court request. This resulted in the concerned court giving an order of forced separation of the girl from her foster family.

read 

The Court has asked the federal and tribal parties for response briefs, which are due October 23rd.

State and Individual Parties File for En Banc Review in Brackeen v. Bernhard [ICWA]

by ilpc

Goldwater is attempting dismantling ICWA and tribal sovereignty.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Indigenous author shares painful memories of residential school

Guelph event organizer Dianne Dance said the turnout shows a sincere wish for reconciliation

“Dawnland” Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Research



Published September 29, 2019

DAWNLAND will stream live globally in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 14

BOSTON — The Upstander Project film DAWNLAND won the Emmy® award for Outstanding Research at the 40th Annual News and Documentary Awards this week. DAWNLAND composer Jennifer Kreisberg was also nominated for Outstanding Music at the ceremony hosted by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on Tuesday, September 24th . Accepting the Emmy® award, codirector and producer Adam Mazo said, “DAWNLAND is a story for the Wabanaki people – the people of the dawn land. Our film presents testimony from Wabanaki people who are being separated from their families, nations, tribes, and communities by Euro-American settlers like me. The greatest recognition belongs to the Wabanaki people who have lived that experience and showed immense courage in telling their stories or holding them in their hearts.”

In DAWNLAND (PBS Independent Lens 2018), viewers witness Wabanaki people revealing their stories to a historic truth commission. The commission’s headline finding is that cultural genocide persists in Maine because the child welfare system continues to remove Native children from their homes and tribes at an alarmingly high rate.

Maine-Wabanaki REACH created the truth commission, both they and the community are at the heart of DAWNLAND. Wabanaki film participants and leaders from REACH, Denise Altvater and Esther Anne, joined the filmmakers on stage in accepting the award. Maine-Wabanaki REACH board member Esther Anne (Passamaquoddy) said, “The recognition of Wabanaki people through DAWNLAND helps Maine-Wabanaki REACH in our work to engage Wabanaki and non-Native people in learning history, understanding intergenerational trauma, and creating paths to healing.”
DAWNLAND co-director Ben Pender-Cudlip said, “The award truly honors everybody who shared their stories with the truth and reconciliation commission. We want to uplift Maine-Wabanaki REACH, who carry the responsibility of seeing through the TRC recommendations, and working toward restoration to Wabanaki and non-Native communities.” Pender-Cudlip, Mazo, Upstander Project learning director Dr. Mishy Lesser, and editor Kristen Salerno share the Emmy® award for Outstanding Research. Lesser said, “This award applauds researchers everywhere, those who scour ignored documents and transcripts for clues that tell a fuller story. We kept digging until we found archival images and hidden information, and appreciate the Academy’s recognition of our effort.”

“In this moment where the notion of fake news seems to dominate it is especially heartening to be honored for the years of journalistic research and fact-checking that our team put into DAWNLAND. We are proud to be part of growing and strengthening field of independent filmmakers who are telling vital underreported stories through ethical cocreation and collaborative practices for and with the communities being documented,” impact producer Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole) added.

A special free global livestream of DAWNLAND will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday October 14th at 3pm EDT. The filmmakers will be present for a Q & A.
RSVP here
Details for all upcoming screenings here: https://dawnland.org/screenings DAWNLAND can be purchased here:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

How Do We Mend The Hoop?

REBLOG FROM 2018

By Trace Hentz (Winyan Ohmanisa Waste La Ke)

This is an essay I wrote in the anthology The Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace was edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Karen Pickell, and Jennifer Anastasi. (published in 2011)

Years ago I was embarrassed to say I was adopted. I did not feel lucky. I did not have a clue that my adoption hurt me so badly, its tentacles reached into every aspect of my life, even as an adult. My hoop, my connection to my ancestors, was broken by my adoption.
I ached to know my own mother, the woman who created me.
One expert wrote, “Loss of the most sacred bond in life, that of a mother and child, is one of the most severe traumas and this loss will require long-term, if not lifelong, therapy.” (now called toxic stress)
Really?  No one helped me with this. I had therapy twice. The counselling I received in my 20s or 30s concerned my dysfunctional childhood and yet all my issues stemmed from my adoption wound and loss. They missed it or didn't inquire or connect the dots. Why is that?
For close to 20 years, on my own I searched and simply wanted to find answers and the truth. I made calls before I showed up anywhere; I did not disrupt anyone’s life.  If I was invited to meet relatives, I went. In 2011 alone, two cousins have filled giant gaps in my ancestry. Prayers are answered, even the unspoken ones.
I can see how adoption loss can last a lifetime. For some friends, they're stalled with sealed adoption records, not knowing which tribe, and suffer greatly with grief and depression.
For them, I wrote my book as a journalist and adoptee and now I write a blog for other American Indian adoptees, raised by non-Indians.
For those who attempt to open their own adoption, or simply want to understand, I explain many stages, steps I had taken: some good, some hard. 
Sharing stories is how we heal, how we mend the hoop.
Even now there is persistent rampant poverty in Indian Country. Even now it isn’t easy being Indian, on and off the reserves. But it is definitely better to know who you are, which tribe, and not live in a mystery. 
Someone needs to build a bridge for these adoptees. 
Open adoption records will accomplish this.
It's hard to admit but adoptees with Indian blood find out soon enough their reservations are closed to strangers. Without proof, without documents, you’re suspect.
We don’t always get our proof since state laws prevent it.  Just one Minnesota tribe, White Earth, decided to call out to its lost children/adoptees; this made news in 2007.  Just a few adoptees showed up. Why? Adoption records are still sealed in Minnesota.
America’s Indian Adoption Project was not publicized or well known, just like a few more secrets I found out. Congress heard Indian leaders complain in 1974, “In Minnesota, 90 percent of the adopted Indian children are placed in non-Indian homes.”
I was born in Minnesota.
For any adoptee going back to their tribe, this requires a special kind of courage. Adoptees know this. Rhonda, a Bay Mills Tribal member, an adoptee friend of mine, was told early on – be happy, be white.  Ask yourself, how would you react?
When did Indian Country become such a bad place to be from? When did this happen? How did this happen?

My mission is to find these answers and build new bridges... it is time to mend the hoop for all adoptees.

The Hoop symbolizes the never ending circle of life which starts with birth, then goes to maturity, then to old age and death with the completion of the hoop in rebirth here or in the spiritual world. The individual who has his life in order stands in the center of the hoop to see, to understand, and to be guided by the various paths of life around him. The best compliment one can pay an individual is to say that he stands in the center of the hoop of life or that he lives on the correct path of life. http://www.grandfathersspirit.com/Hoop-of-Life-Buffalo-Skull.html

A MUST READ BLOG POST:

#Adoption911 • decolonizing adoption

by Daniel Drennan ElAwar


The experiments aren't the earliest record of abuse; as far back as 1928, Indian schools in Canada were forcibly sterilizing First Nations girls. And as a 2007 Amnesty International report lays out, severe abuse was widespread at Indian schools in both Canada and the U.S., where children were forbidden to speak their language (to "civilize" them) and used in "experiments" that were sometimes fatal: there is ample evidence and testimony, as Amnesty says, of "beating, poisoning, electric shock, starvation, prolonged exposure to sub-zero cold while naked, and medical experimentation, including the removal of organs and radiation exposure."
Source: Canadian Scientists Did Psychic Experiments on First Nations Kids 


MORE:
Fighting toxic stress in children is tough but possible | MIT ...

MDHHS - Trauma & Toxic Stress

Trauma and Its Impact on Children and Their Families . Information about trauma/toxic stress and their impact; the ACEs study & building resilience

European colonizers killed so many Native Americans that it changed the global climate

European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate. The increase in trees and vegetation across an area the size of France resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, according to the study. 
University College London researchers estimate that settlers killed 56 million indigenous people, causing farmland to be reforested. That increase in vegetation resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

READ: European slaughter of Native Americans changed the climate, study says - CNN

Thursday, September 19, 2019

How differently the Canadian government engages with Tribal Nations

Somehow the final passage ("royal assent") of this bill in Canada slipped our attention back in June. Initially, we saw it referred to as a "Canadian ICWA", but it seems fair to say that it doesn't quite achieve that level of protection for Native children and families. If nothing else, it illustrates just how differently the Canadian government engages with the tribal nations within its borders compared to the U.S.. We want to add a large caveat, which is that none of us are experts on Canadian law or child welfare.
However, those that are put together a really helpful publication which is available here, and is well worth your read (it made us think about if ICWA would get passing grades):
From the Jurisdiction section of the report:
Why We Give the Bill a ‘D’ on this:
IN A HISTORIC FIRST FOR CANADA, the Bill purports to recognize Indigenous peoples’ inherent jurisdiction. For example, section 8(a) of the Bill affirms “the rights and jurisdiction of Indigenous peoples in relation to child and family services”. This positively worded language is also noted in the Bill’s introduction and summary. Similarly, section 18(1) states that the “inherent right of self-government recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 includes jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, including legislative authority in relation to those services and authority to administer and enforce laws made under that legislative authority.” Section 18(2) affirms that this right includes the right to “provide for dispute resolution mechanisms.”
As there are no section 35 cases that recognize an inherent right of self-government for Indigenous Peoples or that have recognized an Aboriginal or Treaty right over child and family services law-making, this is a significant step forward.
This is not, however, a recognition of jurisdiction that removes all federal or provincial oversight, power or intervention. By recognizing jurisdiction over child and family services as a section 35 right, the federal government immediately re-asserts its power to unilaterally infringe or limit that right, a power upheld by court cases such as Sparrow. The legislation sets legal limits in terms of Indigenous laws being subject to Charter and Canadian Human Rights Act and the BIOC. It also sets practical limits in terms of the virtual necessity of negotiating coordination agreements with the federal and provincial governments, and in the glaring absence of any provisions for funding. At best, this could be interpreted as an acknowledgment of concurrent (or shared) jurisdiction, a matter on which Bill C-92 should be more clear.
***
Further, section 23 states Indigenous laws only authoritative if they can be applied in a way that “is not contrary to the best interests of the child.” As previously stated, Indigenous laws have upheld the best interests of Indigenous children for thousands of years. The concern about this limit is how the BIOC doctrine has been interpreted and applied by courts, non-Indigenous governments and decisions makers to apprehend Indigenous children and separate them from their families, communities and territories for the past 50 plus years.

Bill C-92, An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families

by Kate Fort

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The New Normal: DNA

I feel like I'm a victim of a witness protection program called closed adoption , though I didn't ask to be... Trace
Reblog from 2014


By Trace L Hentz, Blog Editor

Whenever I have a birthday I think of all the years I searched for my parents. It's true that laws prevented me from ever finding them. Laws didn't stop me. I met my dad in 1995. We did a DNA test to prove paternity. It was 99.9% that Earl was my dad.


(2014) Patricia and I are still finishing up the new anthology CALLED HOME, very important history as a collection of adoptee narratives and the historical truths about adoption in Indian Country.  These voices of adoptees are at the heart of what I do. They are the reason there is a blog AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES.

Right now Karen Vigneault and I are working with about 20 adoptees who are trying to find their families. Because of the adoption laws in the USA, we are seeing the “New Normal” for adoptees is having a DNA test.  They have no choice with the laws not allowing adoptees to have access to our own names, our parent’s names and our tribal nations, and we are still denied our basic rights as human beings and citizens of sovereign nations.

Our adoptive parents who raised us may or may not realize that we NEED information and our ancestry and medical background.  (An adoptee can love more than one set of parents and there is no need to panic!) Adoptees tell me they are afraid to search because of their adoptive parents! That fear has to stop because if you wait, you may never get to meet your mother or father!

One of the adoptees in the new anthology talks about finding new cousins who are trying to figure out who her mother is.

This is the new normal. This is not right but because of the adoption industry and their billion dollar earnings, we adoptees are still at the bottom of the totem pole as far as our rights.

I don’t know how many times I have said to an adoptee do not delay your search. If you do get a name or phone number, make the call. Have a friend with you to keep you calm. Write a set of questions. Just make contact then offer to send a letter explaining what you know about your first family. Send them your phone number so they can call you back.

Give people time to adjust to the truth that you are definitely one of their family members.

If you get your DNA results,  which is the new normal, make contact with cousins who share your DNA! Give them your birth date and let them help you try and figure out how you are all related.

The new normal isn’t fair but we’ll use this until the laws change.

Update: One of the adoptees in the book Stolen Generations is moving to Michigan to start a new life with his parents. He found them using a DNA test. Both his parents were looking for him but didn't know how. Drew found them. He's finally in reunion after 40+ years.

The 2nd Edition of Called Home: The Roadmap has a chapter about using your DNA results to do a court order to open your records.  ICWA has a provision for this. Please read this book.

Ottawa ordered to compensate First Nations children impacted by on-reserve child welfare system

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, left, and Cindy Blackstock, head of the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society. The groups filed the original human rights complaint that led to Friday's ruling. (Canadian Press)

Ottawa must pay potentially billions of dollars in compensation to First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system, following a ruling Friday by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that also called for payments to some of their parents and grandparents.
The tribunal ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 to each child — the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act —  who was apprehended or taken from their homes on reserve, no matter what the reason.
The ruling covers all children in the care of the on-reserve child welfare system at any point from Jan.1, 2006, to a date to be determined by the tribunal.

'Racism, colonial practices and discrimination'

Cindy Blackstock, who heads the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, said this latest ruling shows Ottawa learned little from what happened in residential schools and during the Sixties Scoop era.


"They knew better and did not do better resulting in tragedy for First Nations children, families and [First] Nations," said Blackstock in a statement.


"We must demand Canada stop its piecemeal approach to remedying cross cutting inequalities in First Nations public services by fully implementing the Spirit Bear plan to end all of the inequalities once and for all."

READ

++
National Native News Listen

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Billion Dollar Adoption Industry

US Gov’t Spends 10 Times More on Foster Care and Adoption Than Reuniting Families

The name “child protective services” would lead one to believe that these agencies exist to protect children.

By Emma Fiala, The Mind Unleashed
(TMU) — Whether experienced in the foster care system or not, most Americans have at least some idea that the system is flawed and, at times, more harmful than helpful. But just how bad is it, really? As it turns out, according to talkpoverty.org, it’s worse than we thought.
The situation is so bad that some find it simply unbelievable and chalk the idea that government provides an incentive for foster care placements and forced adoption over reunification up to a mere conspiracy theory when in truth, the federal government spends nearly 10 times more on foster care and adoption than it does on reunification.
Some people do phrase it as a conspiracy theory,” said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. “When they say the government makes money on foster care, that’s not true … on foster care they still lose money, but they lose less money.” Adding that “private agencies do make money on foster care in many cases.”
The common agency name “child protective services” would lead one to believe that these agencies exist to protect the children of the United States. Unfortunately, as they are funded by a host of sources from the federal, state, and local levels, a lot gets lost in translation. These various agencies that exist across the country are not in fact a cohesive national system. Instead, they are simply linked by a set of federal guidelines and loose definitions of child maltreatment.
Thanks to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), financial reimbursements exist for foster care programs, including “adoption bounties”—thousands of dollars that paid to states for successfully adopting out a child. And thanks to the Federal Foster Care Program (Title IV-E of the Social Security Act), states receive a reimbursement ranging from 50 to 76 cents for every dollar spent on “daily child care and supervision, administrative costs, training, recruitment, and data collection,” according to talkpoverty.org.
Government funds foster care and adopts, that much is clear. But what about family reunification?

While the foster care and adoption funding noted above isn’t capped, under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, family reunification funding is. And Title IV-B isn’t even solely for reunification services as provisions allow for funding of foster care programs as well as the promotion of adoption.
Another misappropriation of funds away from services that would assist families exists within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a source of federal funding for child welfare programs. While the program is supposed to be a form of cash assistance for low-income families with children, the funds can also be used to support programs and services designed to help children in need, including “child protection” agencies providing foster care and adoption services.
According to Richard Wexler, at least eight states use TANF funds to pay for adoption subsidies, 23 states use funds to cover CPS investigations, 27 states use funds for foster care, and three use TANF funds to pay for residential treatment facilities for children.
In effect, funds designated to help impoverished families with children are instead being used to finance the separation of impoverished children from their families.
Regardless of situation, under the ASFA, states are required to terminate parental rights after a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months. This sometimes led to children bouncing from foster home to foster home, so the government created an adoption incentive—or adoption bounty—of $4,000 to $12,000 per child. But before a state can collect, they must first exceed the number of children adopted the previous year resulting in an incentive for states to adopt out an increasing number of children every year rather than reunifying them.
Unsurprisingly, the number of adoptions increased and the number of reunifications declined following the implementation of ASFA. And thanks to the Bush administration’s Adoption and Promotion Act of 2003, states that increase the number of adoptions from foster care year to year receive even more money.
According to Wexler, private agencies dealing with foster care placements are probably “paid for each day that child remains in foster care … So the private agency has an incentive to convince itself that the child really, really can’t go home and has to stay with them for a long, long time.”

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)

click to listen

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.