Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Adoptive Parents and Misidentified Jealousy in Reunion (an Excerpt from the Book!)

Working on the cover.
(c) Carlynne Hershberger
After blogging for over 3.5 years, I have been given the unique opportunity to re-work my best blog posts into a series of short stories and essays. These freshly edited pieces will be collected together and published as a book. As I go through over 660 posts for the purpose of this book project, I am struck by the very physical representation of my growth as a person, especially where my adoptee identity intersects, over these years.

As I posted yesterday on Facebook, to me, this book project isn't just a collection of things I've mused about over the years. Each post is being re-worked, and part of that re-working enables me to breathe new life into my old ideas. I am able to come back to good thoughts that I had and redevelop them using what I've learned so far. I am representing in this process what I've said since day one of blogging: being adopted lasts a lifetime and what that means to me will change and grow as I change and grow.

I wanted to give my readers an exclusive sneakpeak of what this looks like by publishing one of the new essays.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Giving Myself Permission to Start New Traditions

Our tree this year
When I was nine, Christmas break was much more than a rest from school.  It was an escape from incessant bullying that lasted for two years of my life.  My job in December was to go to school and come home and enjoy Christmas.  And I loved it.  My favorite room of our apartment had bright red carpets and deep brown wooden walls.  It also housed our stereo.  I would go into that room, turn on Christmas music, and sing Christmas songs while dancing and spinning happily in a circle.  I tried to fill as many senses with Christmas at once.  My eyes tried to take as many decorations as possible.  My ears relished in the brassy, classic Christmas tunes.  My nostrils filled with the scrumptious scent of cookies baking in the next room.  My entire being felt warm by the Christmas glow around me.  I remember thinking how Mrs. Claus must feel at the North Pole surrounded by the wonders of Christmas all year long.

It's a thought I kept to myself.  My family did not incorporate the Santa tradition into our Christmas celebrations.  Part of my parents' religious belief system is the idea that Santa takes the focus off of Jesus.  They believe that Santa puts the focus on what we were going to receive, rather than what we could give.  My conservative Christian school echoed this.  All Santa "paraphernalia" was banned.  No images of Santa.  No mentions of his name or songs about his reindeer.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tough Conception Circumstances & How I Decided Not to Know

I was sitting in a small diner on the outskirts of a rather depressed town.  In between patient home visits, I munched on my sandwich while enjoying the harmony of clinking glasses, forks tapping against plates, and spoons chiming as they swirled through cups of coffee.  The stream of light that poured in from the window made my hand feel warm as the sun cast its beams across the case notes I was reviewing.  One of many news shows attempting to forecast the Presidential election was humming lowly on the flat screen that adorned the boldly painted stucco wall.  The gentleman at the table across from me was engaging a woman who was sitting across the room from him in conversation.  The TV screen broadcast something about the latest abortion debate, and a loud conversation between the two ensued.

"I do not think women should be able to have abortions.  That's a life and you shouldn't just be able to get rid of it!"  The woman called across the dining room.

Monday, December 10, 2012

NASW Media Awards: What Adoption Community Social Workers Would You Want to See on the List?

It's that time of year again. The NASW, through their blog Social Workers Speak, is giving out awards in 11 categories as a part of their "NASW Media Awards." Greg Wright writes at Social Workers Speak,

"NASW invites you to nominate newspaper articles, newspaper columns, magazine stories, websites, blogs, radio segments, television news programs, TV entertainment shows, TV reality shows, commercial films and documentaries that you think best portrayed the social work profession in 2012"

You'll notice that quite a few winners from last year had a connection with adoption or foster care in what they were nominated for. As we all know, there are so many adoptee social workers who write, blog, and create other media that reflects the knowledge, skills, and values of the social work profession--not just in adoption and foster care but other areas of social justice as well.

You'll also notice that the winners from last year either (1) did something to dispel a social work stereotype in media or (2) portrayed social work well by put social work core values into practice in the public eye.  So wait a minute, don't our fellow adoptee/original parents/adoptive parent social worker friends and allies in the bloggosphere do this every single day?

Friends, I encourage you to nominate your favorite social workers who represent the faces of both adoption and social work to the public/media and acknowledge them for their hard work.  Here are a few of my favorites and I apologize in advance if I missed anyone or got your credentials wrong.  I may be nominating more but these are the individuals I started with.  My brain is still recovering from this past semester....