Forever Family: voices around the web #2

Anatomy of a Trauma Trigger: Responding to My Child’s PTSD | Herding Chickens and Other Adventures in Foster and Adoptive Care

I slept until 11:00AM!  Instant panic on my part.  Was Carl OK?!…Thank goodness my husband was awake to care for Carl in the morning and meet his needs.  It doesn’t matter that Carl is 11 and not 5 anymore.  This can set off the trigger alarm.

You see, my kids come from a home with a junkie mom.  She was an addict.  She had mental health conditions.  She would go to bed and not get up for weeks.  Sometimes she would lock the kids out of her bedroom and let them take care of themselves.  Mary was 4 and Carl was 5 when they were removed from her care during a drug raid.”

Dear Sugar: 5 Questions to Ask When Making Parenting Decisions After an Adoption: white sugar, brown sugar

“Becoming a parent for the first time is overwhelming, but becoming a parent via adoption puts on a whole extra level of pressure, expectations, and dilemmas.  I talk about Super Parent Syndrome in my first book: the idea that since you’re a mom-by-adoption, you need to live up to it (says society, says relatives and friends, says birth family, says yourself and your partner).  But the truth is, you really are JUST a parent: you’ll have your strengths and faults, and living to impress others will leave you deflated and discouraged.  
I want to encourage you, when facing a parenting decision, not to make your choice out of guilt, suspicion, guessing, projecting, or to impress others. Instead, ask yourself these five questions, and you’ll most likely arrive at what is right.”

 
Let’s Be Brave, White Parents of Future Black Men: Coffee Colored Sofa

“My husband, Matt, is an excellent story teller. He comes alive in every detail of each moment in such a way that his stories can often be longer than the event they’re describing. He’s engaging and people hang on his every word.
However, there is one story I despise hearing from him- the story of how he and his friend Ryan were roughed up by police officers outside of Chicago.”

 
White privilege, and what we’re supposed to do about it: Rage Against The Minivan

“White privilege is a difficult concept.  It can cause a lot of confusion and defensiveness.  In the diversity class I teach to graduate students, this topic is more heated than any other topic we touch on.  Similarly, this week I’ve seen people pushing back against the idea of white privilege as if it’s an indictment that they are a racist (it’s not.)  I even watched a blogger (who is white) criticize my friend Kelly (who is black) for her suggestion that people confront their white privilege.  The blogger suggested that Kelly called white people “white supremacists”…as if “white privilege” and “white supremacists” were interchangeable terms (they’re not.)  Confusion abounds when we talk about white privilege, and I think it’s confusion that often leads to offense at the term.”

“What are you, exactly?”

One biracial man’s views on the fallacy of a post-racial America.  Pure, thought provoking, honest, and brave.  Please take a few minutes to read his story, then share it with your friends.

“…when it comes time for them to attend school, will my sons be confronted with that same question: What are you?   And when they answer, will they be doubted…?

That kind of doubt and disbelief can run deep in a child.  I know, because I experienced that disbelief, no matter how loudly I protested.  I didn’t dress right, I didn’t talk right, no way was I “mixed” with black.  As a child, more than anything you want to belong, and so the constant disbelief and invalidation of your identity wears you down, to the point where you don’t want to argue anymore, where you almost begin to question it yourself.”

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being | Cognoscenti

home of the free, because of the brave

We’ve had a whole lotta flag talk going around lately.  Folks jawing about disrespecting the flag and our country…other folks jawing about the country our flag represents disrespecting human rights and basic freedoms.

Where do you fall?

“Let’s fast forward a bit from those childhood days of mine, to a few years ago.  I had a neighbor and she flew an American flag in front of her house…Sally flew her flag proudly.  She was very vocal about her patriotism.  Home of the free because of the brave, and all that jazz.  One day, Sally got a new next door neighbor.  This neighbor was part of the American dream, coming from another country and establishing roots in the neighborhood, starting a flourishing local business.

I’ll call this new neighbor Lou.  At first, she was excited about Lou moving in.  ‘Oh, yeah, you know Lou?  He runs the so and so store down the corner!  He’s great!’  So, cool.  Lou is great…

Not long after Lou moved in, so did his wife, a hijab wearing Muslim from a middle eastern country.  The exact same middle eastern country Lou is from, but I guess that didn’t matter until a woman in a hijab moved in with him, because that’s when Sally’s talk of “terror cells” began and never ceased.”

What The Flag Means To Me – I’m Sick and So Are You

Forever Family: voices around the web

After A Traffic Stop, Teen Was ‘Almost Another Dead Black Male’ : NPR

“Alex Landau, who is African-American, was adopted by a white couple as a child and grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver…

“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter,” Hathaway says.  “I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you.”

That was in 2009, when Landau, then a college student, was stopped by Denver police officers and severely beaten.”

Adoption Stigmas: A WAP attempt to talk about White Privilege and Transracial Adoption — 2 Peas from Different Pods

“So, what does white privilege have to do with adoption, specifically transracial adoption?  Matt and I stepped into the adoption world extremely quickly.  In fact, it was more like a dive.  I didn’t have time nor did I realize how much I still needed to educate myself.  Basically, I did everything backwards from how I wish I did it.  So for my friends that are looking and in the process to adopt, here are some things I wish I would have known about transracial adoptions.”

parents, please educate your kids about adoption so mine don’t have to: Rage Against the Minivan

“I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversation that occurred between Kembe and several older kids.  At first, I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but something about Kembe’s posture caught my attention.  Typically, he’s a relatively cocky over-confident kid with a lot of swagger, even around older kids.  But in this setting he looked . . . almost cornered.  He seemed intimidated and a bit helpless.  As I strained to hear, I though I heard one of the kids saying, “That is NOT your real mom.” “

Continuing on from: Hey, that’s how I’ve always felt… – The adopted ones blog

“Some things are easy to identify with being adopted, things like being little and hiding away crying because I wasn’t kept, and that there had to be something terribly wrong with me that others could see, but I couldn’t.  Those type of feelings that are specific to being adopted are what people not adopted seem able to accept…

What people can’t seem to grasp are the more subtle connections to being adopted that they dance around, try to explain away, can’t accept it could possibly have a basis in that event that happened when we were mere babies.

But it does, perhaps only in part, but nevertheless, it is related to being adopted.”

The “Where’s Your Mom?” Microaggressions: Okayest Mom

“It happened again.

People who know us forgot that I was his mother.

I am white.  My son is Black.  This is a tremendous invisible burden for him.  Being asked to explain yourself or justify yourself as an adoptee is called “narrative burden.”  It’s not fair to him, but it is his albatross.”

our whirlwind road trip back in time

Our family ran away this week.  In what can only be called a whirlwind road trip we drove to D.C. on Tuesday afternoon, spent the night with BrightSide’s sister, and then we all went to the African American Museum on Wednesday. 

We drove back Wednesday night and got in well after midnight, so my apologies if you dealt with any of our short tempered exhausted selves today.

But the museum…my word, the museum.  Tomorrow’s Forever Family will have our reflections on the experience.  I strongly recommend visiting when you’re able to plan a trip to our nation’s capitol.


Please note:  Entrance is free since the museum is part of the Smithsonian, but due to demand you must obtain a timed entry pass.  There are several options.  Same day timed entry passes are available online beginning at 6:30am ET until supply runs out.  There are a limited number of walkup passes available beginning at 1:00pm daily.  Advance online passes are released monthly and are claimed quickly.  The next release will be for January 2018 passes and is on Wednesday, October 4th at 9:00am ET.  Click here to read more or for links to pass availability.

what we need vs. what we’re expected to settle for

Painful, poignent, and a brutal truth.  Please read this story today and think…what would I do if this were my child? 

“My son was berated as an “N-word” at camp this week.  Some of the kids have been asking him if he is Mexican and if he is here “legally.”  Carl is much darker than I am so sometimes kids ask “how he came out like that.”  This kind of ignorance permeates our society today.  I have no problem gently educating people that our nation is made up of all kind of different people.  Some children are born into families and some are adopted.  Not all Mexicans are “illegals” and not all Hispanics are Mexican.  Yada yada yada.  At this point I realize my lip service is doing nothing whatsoever.”

Ice Cream and The N Word | Herding Chickens and Other Adventures in Foster and Adoptive Care

“I’m not like those other ‘bad’ white people.”

Come on, folks, click over and check this post out.  It’s a must read.

“Hey. Friends. Addressing this part directly to other white folks. Hey, there. Hello.

When I say that “Nazis are bad,” I’m not actually calling YOU a Nazi. Unless you personally have worn a swastika, marched through the streets with torches, or run a vehicle over a group of counter-protestors, you’re fine. Sit down.

What I am saying is that white people need to wake up to what’s happening in this country. And the first way we can determine the root cause of this is to check your reflexes.

Remember that test that the doctors did at your physical? They’d hit your knee with the little hammer? Let’s give it a shot.

Fellow white people: I think Nazis are bad. Respond!”

A brief note for my fellow white people on what to do after Charlottesville | I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog