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Showing posts from 2015

A Look Back Over 2015

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Can you believe it?  Another year is drawing to a close and like many of my friends and readers, I am looking back in amazement at 2015.  December in Ohio has been unusually warm and I have been loving it. (Not a fan of winter!).  My daughter received a bike for Christmas and was riding it around without a coat on Christmas Day!

Today, this New Year's Eve, I want to focus on the changes in the adoption community I have witnessed in 2015 because truly, it has been a momentous year in that regard.

March of 2015 was HUGE for adoptee rights when the state of Ohio opened up original birth certificates and adoption files to adopted adults who were born in the years 1964-1996. This new law finally righted a discriminatory three-tiered law withholding original birth certificates from some adoptees based on their years of birth.

I was excited that the Dayton Daily News had front page coverage of the law change and other articles in major cities around Ohio were also writing about the chan…

An Ohio Adoptee-Penned Christmas Letter

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When Are You Going to Get Over Being Adopted?

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As National Adoption Month comes to a close, I want to address a very common question that most adoptee-activists/writers/artists endure:
"Why are you so obsessed with adoption or why haven't you gotten over your adoption yet?"
I can only answer for myself but I am certain others have felt the same pangs of misunderstanding every time they are asked these questions, which I suspect is often.
As I have stated on this blog and to people in my life, "adoption has colored and affected almost every aspect of myself from birth onward."
Adoption is not just a legal status that created a forever-family. It is an action taken upon me that changed the entire course of my life. There is no pre-adoption me that I have any conscience awareness of. Kristy Lee Unger (my alter identity) never had a chance to live or exist in this world as I became Kathryn Lynn Wetherill at age 11 months at the time of my adoption finalization.
This life-altering circumstance is always with m…

Kristen Chenoweth Does Adoptee Community a Disservice By Her Recent Article on National Adoption Day

I have seen Kristen Chenoweth live at the Women of Faith tour in Columbus, Ohio.  I admire Kristen’s musical talents and abilities.    I respect that she loves her parents and that she believes that heradoption is the biggest blessing of all.
However, I just cannot bear that on National Adoption Day she thinks it is o.k. to refer to herself as “an adopted child," tell future adoptive parents that their child is a gift and that they were chosen to be their child’s parents.  I cannot bear that she describes herself as “chosen” in 2015 and tries to tell other adoptees how to feel.  She writes:
“And then, lastly as an adopted child I encourage other adoptees to remember what blessed lives we have. We weren't abandoned; we were chosen. We were given a chance. I'm not saying it's not hard or that it's easy for people to understand. But it really isn't for the world to understand; it's for the people who are involved.” Not every adoptee had a blessed life because…

What We Gain When Adoptees Tell Their Stories

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I was searching through a notebook and came across these words.  I don't remember when I jotted them down, but I decided to put them in a meme and use this meme for National Adoption Month on my Facebook page.  Lots of people reacted to it.  Many people commented underneath it as to how they were still too afraid to share they own personal stories of adoption, reunion, loss and gain.

I started to look back on my own journey of adoption and how I have progressed from good kid ("well adjusted adoptee") who rarely got in trouble, to the "outspoken, angry, adoptee" I have transformed into.

Truth is, I'm not angry today.  It's the beginning of my weekend and I woke up inspired to write. However the misconception is alive and well that adoptees who "speak out" are viewed as angry, and ungrateful for all they have been given.  When really adoptees who speak out should be viewed as brave.

And while we are on that topic, here are some other common rea…

Introducing a First-of-its-kind On-line Adoption Summit for National Adoption Awareness Month #flipthescript #NAM

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: VARIED VOICES FROM ADOPTION COMMUNITY UNITE IN FREE ONLINE EVENT FOR NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH Tuesday October 20, 2015 (Los Alamos, NM) 
Question: What do you get when you bring together adult adoptees with parents by birth and adoption to talk about their relinquishment and adoption experiences, family building practices and views on needed legislative reform?  Answer: Usually an assortment of passionate opinions, raw emotions, misunderstandings and "unfriending" on Facebook. But something different is coming during November, National Adoption Month, this year. Adoptee and former foster parent LeAnne Parsons has teamed up with birth/first mother Ashley Mitchell to
assemble an impressive collaboration of speakers for a free online seminar called "Come Climb With Us: the 2015 Adoption Summit Experience." "Our goal is to create an opportunity for anyone, anywhere who is interested in adoption to lean in and listen to conversations from dif…

Barriers to Adoptees getting Medical History and Proper Medical Treatment

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To help focus attention on the importance of family history, the Surgeon General, in cooperation with other agencies with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has launched a national public health campaign, called the Surgeon General's Family History Initiative, to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health history. -- Surgeon General

This is a topic that has been renewed for me as I was recently interviewed by a news reporter. She genuinely wanted to understand how she could engage her readers in understanding how adoptees could get their medical history and records.  Today I want to discuss the barriers to achieving this.

1.   Lack of Oral History

The best way to determine what diseases and conditions run in your family is to speak to your family members.  That seems obvious to most people; however, adopted people in the U.S. may not have that luxury.  Why you ask?

All states in the U.S. amend and seal (with the exception of 2 states that do…

Common Traits of Adoptees

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Have you ever wondered what makes adoptees tick?  Well, wonder no longer!  I hope to answer some of your curiosities today.  In an effort to reach both adoptees who may think they are alone in addition to my other aspiration to educate those of you who are still ascribing to traditional myths about adopted people, today is the day you can learn the inside scoop!

"Traditionally, American culture has communicated
to adopted children that aside from the fact that they
are “chosen children,” their lives and experiences are
just like that of those who are raised by their birth
parents (Silverstein & Kaplan, 1998;Wegar, 1997). In
more recent years, however, theorists, activists, and
adoptees themselves have contested this perspective
and argued that the experience of being an adopted
person is unique and worthy of attention
(Brodzinsky, Smith & Brodzinsky, 1998; Rosenberg,
1992; Wegar, 1997). -- Unique Issues of Adult Adoptees
by Jennifer Carizey

I don't personally identify with every…

Using Your Strengths to Overcome Difficult Circumstances

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My husband and I were chatting this morning over coffee, reliving in a sense, the search for my birth father.  He reminded me of how far we have come from knowing nothing to knowing so much information, including a psychic vision he received involving a few letters in the alphabet.  We were trying to decipher how this vision fit in with the stories we have gathered from the people who knew my family 5 decades ago.  We relived the psychic vision he had around 2005 about my birth mother's family before I even knew who she was.  (Mark knew ahead of time that my mother lived in the NW part of the U.S., including identifying the state of her residence and that she had a very unique name.)

One thing is clear to my husband -- he stated that, "you and I are strong people".  Not really understanding where he was going with this line of thinking, I probed him further.

"What do you mean exactly?"

"Well, I am a man of faith and all of these situations and experiences w…