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The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Road Trip: BOOK TOUR 2010

By Trace L. Hentz (formerly DeMeyer)

I hear this: “Oh, you wrote a book? When do you hit the road to read it?”
            I plan to share the story about American Indian adoptees with my hometown of Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota on my “book tour” next week. 
            Hardly anyone knows this story, unless you’re an American Indian adoptee or an American Indian family who lost a child to adoption during the Indian Adoption Projects.
            Back in 2008 I read from my manuscript at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. My friend Mark Anthony Rolo (Bad River Ojibwe) read from his book The Wonder Bull and we had a great big audience with great big questions. One young adoptee came up to me afterwards and said he’d never heard anyone say that adoptees have a “gratitude attitude” which we’re expected to display on demand, our entire life. And he thanked me!
            I told him, “Trust me, when we’re adopted, it’s expected. Once you move past gratitude, you’ll find yourself in unchartered waters, torn between acceptance, anger, love and despair…you might even have to break a few laws to find your own parents.”  This young man was afraid to move forward and open his adoption because he imagined it would hurt his adoptive mother.
            How perplexing, I thought, since I’d been there myself, as I handed him my email address. I advised him to be totally prepared and do his adoption search without telling anyone in his family. I know. I wish every day I didn’t have to say this. 
           
If you’ve read One Small Sacrifice, you know that many parts of the book are truly painful.  My 89-year-old neighbor Karolyn read my book and calls the Indian Adoption Project an atrocity and an outrage.
            What my hand wrote down at 4 a.m. – it was the best I could do. Every page was a canvas, a place to exorcise trauma and stir up ghosts.
            Slowly, the topic of adoption has shifted away from what I call “the gratitude attitude” to a more realistic discussion. Simply look at the numerous articulate writings by adoptees out there. This topic has grown up as we have grown up. Adoptees have sprouted new wings. Adoptees just need other people to hear us and read us. Perhaps then archaic atrocious adoption laws might change.
            So I’m planning a road trip. I am not managed or sponsored by a giant publisher…I’m simply a journalist who scoured adoption history and blended in some personal experience for a book.  
            That is really where the road trip began.  I had to look for strangers. I had to stop being afraid I might hurt someone if I found my family. I had to stop worrying how I might make people uncomfortable. I had to stop being afraid of the truth. 
             I decided I had to grow up.

            Trace’s reading schedule:
            Superior Public Library (on Tower & Belnap) Superior, Wisconsin, Wed., Sept. 29, 6:30 p.m.
            Jitters Coffee, Superior Street, Duluth, Minnesota, Friday, October 1, 5 p.m.
             (Trace will blog again after her road trip!) 

Check out my friend Mark's new book: THE WONDER BULL

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful Trace! Wishing you beautiful, marvelous, memorable connections ahead. XOXO Anecia XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful Trace! Wishing you beautiful, marvelous, memorable connections ahead. XOXO Anecia XOXO

    ReplyDelete

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