Showing posts from January, 2018

Shopping With a Soul: Why I Severed My Ties with LuLaRoe (Part II)

Yesterday, I began detailing just some of my concerning experiences with the cult company, LuLaRoe. I broke the post up into two parts after discovering I had much more to talk about than I imagined. Part I covered the concerning psychological atmosphere of the company. Today, I am diving into the cultural incompetence and outright racism, disablism, and misogyny. As a LuLaRoe "Coach," I attended several LuLaRoe events for retailers and for leaders. My attendance was a requirement, despite not technically being paid. I began to feel physically ill at these events. It was to the point that I required multiple prescription medications to stand up without vomiting. This was due, in part, to the toxicity of the personal life experiences my business partner and friend brought with her. It was also because I continued to be torn apart at the seams between my growing financial obligations and my large team--and--seeing so many things that seemed wrong so with LuLaRoe.   De

Shopping With a Soul: Why I Severed My Ties with LuLaRoe (Part I)

If you don’t own any LuLaRoe, I'm sure you have seen a party or had someone prop up their leg and demand you feel their buttery-soft leggings. LuLaRoe, a multi-level marketing company nearing its fourth birthday and reaching over one billion dollars in value, benefits from a dedicated cult following eager to share the brand. I found LuLaRoe two years ago, and fell in-love with the fit and the company’s then-dedication to ethical manufacturing. But lately, it’s not all fun and unicorns. LuLaRoe was founded by Deanne Stidham who began the company by selling home-sewn Maxi skirts to friends of her daughter, Nicole. The brand grew under the oversight of Deanne’s husband, Mark. They employed most of Deanne’s children (who happen to be adopted), and extended family. LuLaRoe is now an overwhelming white and wealthy company whose privileges and narrow lens seem to be the culprit behind an increasingly concerning company culture. This culture has caused many of we former retailers onc

"What if I Don't Want to See the Child I Gave Up for Adoption?" & NY Times' Troublesome Answer

For some of us adoptees, adoption feels like a chapter of a story that the author abruptly stopped writing. No one knows what should come next for that chapter. Sometimes it takes significant moments to give us a clue. For me, that clue came from my first moment alone with my first newborn in our hospital room, on the day he was born. As I've written so many times, the words burned into my memory, "Oh my God. I am a mother. And now I know." And by that I mean I was now tapped into part of the collective human experience with those who have given birth and those who call themselves "mother," and how very complex it all is. It gave me new empathy for my original mother, and the next move in that chapter was to find her to relay this to her. I did not see complexity reflected in the advice given to one mother who wrote into the New York Times Ethicist column,  penned by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Her daughter, whom she surrendered for adoption, contacted her. She wr

Hello. It's Been a While.

Hello there. It has been a while, hasn't it? For those of you new to Team TDA, my name is Amanda. I was born in Tennessee, fostered there for several months, and adopted across state lines into New Jersey, in 1985/86. I grew up along the shoreline of the Jersey state, sucking on pickle grass and coaxing fiddler crabs out of their burrows. I was raised in a predominantly Christian community with my mom and my dad. At the age of 25, I started blogging as a way to try to find my original family. Once reunited with my original mother, two brothers, and 26 first cousins, I transitioned this blog to writing about my experiences within and perceptions of adoption. I have been known somewhat for writing about my personal experiences, but more so for my focus on a socio-political lens, research, and theory. There is a reason for this. As a white, middle class, young-ish adult adoptee, adopted through private domestic infant foster/adoption, I am subjected to highly specific biases fro