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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lost Siblings

    My definition of being lost is being separated from your natural family, your genetic first family. I know a few Lost Birds who were placed into adoption with a sister or brother. In many ways I consider them fortunate because they had each other. But being adopted is no less traumatic. If you don’t believe me, read my memoir.
      I had a dream this morning about an adoptee in Australia has 20 (?) siblings who are also lost. Now they are searching for each other. Can it be true?
            This was enough to get me out of bed at 4 am. Then I thought: how many siblings are separated, lost, and not together?  Why would social workers and adoption agencies separate siblings?  That seems inhuman.
            Their answer is somewhat obvious: they can’t find or place that many kids with one adoptive family. A social worker might place one or two children together but not often. Why? The childless couple only wishes to adopt one. The agencies and adopters didn’t put much weight on our blood connection and how we are a natural family who would never choose to be separated nor would we wish to be adopted out separately.
            Being separated from your natural parent(s) is hard enough but being separated from siblings – that is a nightmare - especially when you knew them and remember them. This feeling of being lost can truly be a nightmare for those in a closed adoption.
            I feel this way because I was told I have a sister. She was lost to adoption, when my natural mother Helen had her four years prior to me, and she was adopted out. Then a psychic told me Jewel-Jules-Julie was already dead. The psychic saw their family tombstone that read Russo. I dreamt about this sister a long time. I wanted to know what she was like and see her face. I wanted to know she was ok.
            Really, I love stories about reunions with siblings, when you meet your long-lost brothers and sisters.
            In my reunion with my natural dad, he had five kids after I was born so I have five in my dad’s family, 4 boys and 1 girl. They never knew about me until I met them.
            When you meet someone who looks like you, it’s PRICELESS.
            When you hear their stories, it’s like a place in your heart is finally filled. This made me feel less alone in this tough cruel world.
            Why states and provinces in North America have not opened adoption records and files to reunite lost siblings – it’s not just a crime of humanity, it’s absolutely obscene.
            So a dream of lost siblings in Australia was the reason I woke up early. Siblings need to find one other. That alone is reason enough for countries to change their laws and open adoption records.
            It’s not about privacy, it’s about love.

American Indian girls should be with siblings

 (online source Red Lake Nation News)

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -- Twin girls with American Indian heritage should be placed in the custody of their mother's third cousin in keeping with the guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the state Appeals Court ruled Wednesday.
The opinion overturned a decision in 2001 by Van Buren County Circuit Judge Linda P. Collier to award custody of the 9-year-old sisters to their mother's fourth cousin in Arkansas.
The appeals court said the girls should be with their four siblings, who live with the mother's third cousin, also in Arkansas. The court noted the Indian Child Welfare Act gives preference in child custody disputes to extended family members, other members of the Indian child's tribe or other Indian families.
While neither cousin is Indian, the appeals court said the third cousin has custody of the twins' four siblings and their Indian tribe recommended they be together. The court pointed to a brief the Tohono O'odham Nation filed that said: "The only family the children have in Arkansas are each other, and their placement together is the closest approximation of placement with 'extended family' intended by the Act."
The twins' mother, Tina Gaspar, has at least 13 children, the appeals court said. The twins and four other children have the same father, Ruben Sanders, who is a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
Gaspar sent the girls to live with her third cousin in Van Buren County in August 2002 after Sanders abandoned the children, and Gaspar gave her relative "a signed, written statement conveying the guardianship of all six children," the court opinion said. Gaspar made the arrangements because of concern the state of Arizona would take the children from her when she went to prison in that state, the court said.
Because Sanders fathered the six children and then abandoned them, they qualify for enrollment in the Nation and the Indian Child Welfare Act applies to the custody issue, according to the opinion written by Judge Robert J. Gladwin.
Gaspar's fourth cousin then visited her in Arizona in late 2002, and obtained the mother's signature relinquishing custody of the twins to her. The fourth cousin filed the document in Van Buren County and got custody of the twins with the help of law enforcement officials.
The appeals court questioned the legitimacy of the second document and noted that "the Nation clearly and repeatedly states that its preference is for all six of the siblings to be together with appellant."
While both cousins "are on equal footing when it comes to the preferences," Gaspar's third cousin had an advantage because she has custody of the twins' four siblings. The court said she also has remained in closer contact with the Tohono O'odham Nation.


  1. Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 7
    "Education is the new weapon of Indian people." --Eddie Box, SOUTHERN UTE

    People have the ability to adapt. In these modern times we must get educated so the people don't lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning, we need to remember to keep the culture, learn the dances, sing the songs, learn the language and maintain the Red Road for future generations.

  2. Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 7
    "Education is the new weapon of Indian people." --Eddie Box, SOUTHERN UTE

    People have the ability to adapt. In these modern times we must get educated so the people don't lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning, we need to remember to keep the culture, learn the dances, sing the songs, learn the language and maintain the Red Road for future generations.


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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.