Showing posts from March, 2013

"My Name is not Mom": Why Identity is so Important to me

"Hi, are you mom?" "My name is Amanda.  I am W's mom." "OK mom.  I'm your son's nurse.  I'll be taking care of him today." My son recently returned home after both of us had a week-long stay at the hospital.  He was the patient recovering from the effects of a virus on his little body.  I was the worried parent by his side.  During our ordeal, the above scenario played out over and over again, with a few exceptions, each time I would meet a new professional that needed to interact with my son. All of the professionals were both kind and knowledgeable.  The people who stood out to me the most were the ones who called me by my name, not "mom."  Calling me "mom" may have been their way of affirming an important role I have in my son's life.  However, calling my by my actual name instead is a matter of showing respect.  I am not their mom, I am my son's mom.

Why New York City's Anti-Teen Pregnancy Campaign is a Terrible Idea

If you're visiting a New York City subway anytime soon, you might take notice of new posters featuring small, tearful children.  "Dad, you'll be paying to support me for the next 20 years" one poster reads.  New York City has embarked on a campaign aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates.  The city hopes that by informing teens of the statistics citing poor outcomes for teen parents and their children, fewer teens will get pregnant.   Proponents of the campaign maintain that shame is an effective tool to keep teenagers from becoming pregnant.  Opponents point out that the campaign perpetuates gender stereotypes and misleads the public into believing that teen pregnancy is the cause of poverty.

My 40,000 Ancestors: the Defense of Adoptee Genealogical Research

The use of the Internet to disseminate news has brought with it a new and revolutionary platform for opinions about current and historical events to be shared.  The relative anonymity that the internet provides allows readers to comment on these events in ways they might never speak in everyday life.  These comments express both what people really feel as well as harshness that few would ever unfurl before another person were they standing face-to-face.  In adoption news articles, this new reality is no exception.  Harsh feelings, double standards, and hurtful themes unfold before the eyes of the adoption community.  At times, this conjures a sense of hopelessness.  Will the general public ever truly come to understand the people of adoption? In adoption articles, we see the public's reaction to adoption issues, and we see how the reporting itself influences and conjures biases from readers.  Articles about happy reunions, for example, carry happy, congratulatory comments.  Art

The View from the Outside: My Aunt Stephanie Speaks

You've read the story of how I first connected with my original family on Facebook three years ago, when I finally wrote about it in this post in 2011.  What you've never seen is the story from the other side of the computer.  My aunt has been a support to my original mom and was there when my mom received that Facebook message from me.  This is the story from her perspective. I still remember the day we decided to set up a Facebook account for my dear friend and sister-in-law. She was curious as everyone she knew had one, and asked me for help. It was a week before I could when she told me that she had a message and didn't know how to look at it. In fact, she didn't even know the person who sent it. We sat down at the laptop and opened it. We started reading it together and stopped after the first line and just looked at each other in shock. You see, my sister-in-law had given up a baby for adoption when she was 14. This unknown person was her daughter, who was