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Thursday, February 21, 2019

One Small Sacrifice: Four Traumas #ICWA


The Special Place of Children in Aboriginal Cultures
Children hold a special place in Aboriginal cultures. According to tradition, they are gifts from the spirit world and have to be treated very gently lest they become disillusioned with this world and return to a more congenial place. They must be protected from harm because there are spirits that would wish to entice them back to that other realm. They bring a purity of vision to the world that can teach their elders. They carry within them the gifts that manifest themselves as they become teachers, mothers, hunters, councillors, artisans and visionaries. They renew the strength of the family, clan and village and make the elders young again with their joyful presence. Failure to care for these gifts bestowed on the family, and to protect children from the betrayal of others, is perhaps the greatest shame that can befall an Aboriginal family.  It is a shame that countless Aboriginal families have experienced some of this repeatedly over generations.  

 By Trace Hentz (formerly DeMeyer)

I saw a photo today (see below) This book cover reminded me of this excerpt and chapter in my memoir.
via



Four Traumas (published in 2012)


            Now that we have the internet and many ways to find information, I read that adoptees are more traumatized than a prisoner of war. That’s right. It’s called post-traumatic stress disorder. A prisoner of war may escape or be released, but an adoptee may suffer their entire life.
             
I believe there are four distinct traumas in being an adoptee. They are: 1) in utero, when you feel what is happening to you or sense what is coming; 2) when you are delivered, abandoned, and handed to strangers; 3) later when you are told you are adopted and realize fully what it means; and 4) when you realize you are different, from a different culture or country, and you can’t contact your people, or know them, or have the information you need to find them.
            

 It took me years to get this. There are more traumas, too – like when I’d fill out forms at the doctor’s office. I had no medical history. I had no idea if I was sitting next to someone who could be my biological brother, sister, mother or father. It was terrifying to think I could marry my own relative! I could carry a gene or trait that I pass down to my children – and I wouldn’t know until it’s too late. If my birthparents were alcoholics, then I really shouldn’t drink. I could be pre-disposed to diabetes or heart disease or cancer or depression and not even know. My list went on and on.
             
In 2006, I found out my birthmother had diabetes, which came as another shock.
             
I realize a powerful link exists between what I’m feeling, and what happens in my body. Years ago I’d use emotional binging, working more than one job, creating drama, just to numb my emotional pain. By 18 I was a total workaholic!  I blamed myself and hated myself for everything.  What grief, too young to understand. My birthmother’s rejection destroyed my ability to trust anyone.
           
There may be some adoptees who do not wish to heal this and go on as they are, holding on to these sad feelings and self-pity, rather than do the mental work to heal. Recognizing a pattern of belief is tough, partly because you gain sympathy by stealing (or sucking) energy from others when you act sick. That is no way to live. You need to be your own person, self-energizing, and not steal energy from anyone.
            Adoptees are meant to survive this, no matter who we are or how we were traumatized. It’s a test.
            Can we heal our own minds? Yes.
            Can we love two families? Yes.
            Can we take our recovery and story back to our families? Definitely.
           
Some adoptees believe that when we meet mother or father, all pain and agony will disappear. That sadly is just hope. That is not the way it works. A reunion is just one step on the journey and it helps, but there are many many more steps just as difficult. It’s truly a test.       

Regardless of ancestry, creed or complexion, adoptees can heal this. The only one who can fix it is you.
            
 I’m uneasy around new people, reserved and shy at times. I’ve lived through many disappointments. It’s very upsetting to find out about orphan trauma now, years later, knowing no one bothered to tell me or help me while I was experiencing it. 

After multiple traumas, which I’ll describe, I came to terms with it… eventually.


P.S.
I am working on a new book with some memoir in the coming months. I wrote a research paper "Disappeared" and I want to add some of this paper to the new book.
I have a doctor appt. next week, my cancer check-up. I am not worried, I feel fine. 

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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.

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.