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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
those who attempt to open their own adoption, or simply want to
understand, I explain many stages, steps I had taken: some good, some
Sharing stories is how we heal, how we mend the hoop.
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.
Open adoption records will
Someone needs to build a bridge for these adoptees.
hard to admit but adoptees with Indian blood find out soon enough their
reservations are closed to strangers. Without proof, without documents,
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.
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.
A MUST READ BLOG POST:
Daniel Drennan ElAwar
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|
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
Fighting toxic stress in children is tough but possible | MIT ...
MIT Picower Institute for Learning and Memory symposium speakers say fighting toxic stress in children is tough but possible.
Why Kids Should Be Protected from Toxic Stress Sustained stress has negative effects on child wellbeing. Posted Dec 17, 2014
Trauma and Its Impact on Children and Their Families . Information about trauma/toxic stress and their impact; the ACEs study & building resilience
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