TRA Gratitude Project 2013: Days 1 and 2

November 2nd, 2013

Ok, it's November. For those of us who live in the U.S., it is the month where we take a day to celebrate Thanksgiving. Now, aside from the slightly warped way that this holiday came about (that's material for a blog post of different kind), I've decided to embrace the "good" of this holiday -- the essence of why this holiday was made: taking time to be thankful. Particularly as an adult transracial adoptee (TRA), I feel that thanksgiving is an important topic. I tend to encounter a lot of other TRAs who have mixed feelings about their adoption. Some can be quite angry about it. Some go through ups and downs of bitterness and happiness. Others are blissfully happy -- and sometimes… [more]

The Questions People Ask: Question # 2

September 19th, 2013

4600250364_9cf4b5261e_qIn a recent post, I wrote about practicing answers to questions that people will ask about an adopted child.  I'm always surprised at the questions that people will ask in front of my child.  This series of posts is my attempt to give people creating a family through adoption the chance to think about what they'll say in advance so that they don't get mad or, like I often want to do, laugh in someone's face. "When did you get her?" is the question I'm most often asked about my daughter.  Then there's the next question. Question #2:  "Where did she come from?"  Or less politely phrased, "What is she?' She's a little girl who was born from my heart, not from my… [more]

Listening to a Transracial Adoptee

August 5th, 2013

JBH-07-19-08I noticed that in the "Transracial/Transcultural Adoption" section of this website, most of the posts are from the adoptive parents. Well, I'm here to change that. This is my first post to Adoption.com. I'm glad to be part of the blogging team, as I've been wanting to re-dedicate myself to blogging about adoption. You see, I was blogging through my own site called Adoption Fusion. But through a series of life events, I had drifted away from blogging. Not that I ever stopped thinking about adoption issues...I just stopped writing about them. Until now. I have a strong belief that the transracial adoptee voice must be heard, and as you read my posts, you'll see that I'm "pro-adoption" but I'm also "pro-education." That's… [more]

Soccer Players

August 31st, 2011
Categories: Transracial Family

542906_soccer_schoolWell, soccer season started again in earnest last weekend!  (So far we're 1-1: Daughter's team won, son's team suffered a tragic loss...)  My daughter is playing in an all-girl league--it's more recreational and is pretty laid back. My son is in the more competitive league and he's been with this same group of boys for several seasons now so they have gelled as a team.  But this year there is a new player on the team--a girl who was adopted from Ethiopia about three years ago.  This girl is a sweetie--she's energetic, she's joyful....and most importantly, she's a cracker jack soccer player!  When I heard she was going to be on the team, I decided to hang out at a couple practices… [more]

Your Sister’s Race

August 12th, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized

four kids holland state park 2011 I’ve been answering tricky questions about race lately. And, for the record, I’ve not been as prepared or eloquent about them as I’d like. With the release of my book, Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter this past week, I’ve been surprised at how often my daughter’s race is what grabs people’s attention. When my husband and I were going through the process of adopting her, we gave careful thought to the fact that her race would be different from ours. We’re Caucasian; she’s Latina. We talked with friends who had “mixed” families themselves about the challenges and issues that difference presented. We read books, examined our own feelings, and looked around the community… [more]

Daughter from Dananag

August 10th, 2011

1355527_hue_vietnam_2010_2I watched a wonderful movie last night; it won a Sundance Award for Best Documentary in 2002 so you may have heard of it: Daughter from Dananag.  It is about a young woman who had been a part of Operation Babylift, the 1975 removal of thousands of Vietnamese “orphans” from Vietnam to the United States.  Of course, not all of the children were orphans, which was one of the tragedies of the event.  The girl--born Mai Thi Hiep, but who became Heidi Bub--was taken to the orphanage because her mother, like so many Vietnamese mothers at the time, believed that her daughter, born to an American GI, would be burned to death by the North Vietnamese because she is mixed race. Heidi is… [more]

Just My Luck!

August 9th, 2011

568814_for_luck-1A friend of mine, Susan, recently asked me for my opinion on something that happened at her house.  One of Susan's daughters has a friend who has been adopted from China. This little girl was at their house recently and said she was "so lucky" to have been adopted. Susan said that the comment made her a little uncomfortable and she asked me what I thought of parents who told their adopted kids that they were "lucky."  She wanted to know if I had ever told my kids that they were lucky. Now, I understand that the in today's adoption parlance, most adoptive parents say that when it comes to "luck" it is the parents who are the lucky ones.  But when Susan asked… [more]

In their own words….

July 26th, 2011

548022_black_haired_portraitLast week a couple of other adoptive  moms and I hosted our second annual heritage camp.  I blogged about last summer's experience with our camp a couple weeks ago, and now that the second one is over I thought I would share some of the activities and insights that the other parents and I got from this year's event. One thing I learned?  Less is more!!   Last Wednesday about twenty kids--campers and their friends--converged on my house to prepare a traditional Indian meal, and I'm STILL eating leftovers!!   We had a LOT of different food and it all tasted good, but it's clear that we prepared too much.  But while the girls were here, it was crazy--girls were making mango fruit… [more]

Tabernacle and Georgina

July 23rd, 2011

kids playing"Their names will be 'Tabernacle' and 'Georgina,'" my daughter's friend Molly announces. "My children, someday. A boy and a girl." "Is Tabernacle even a name?" my daughter Mia asks, with no small measure of disdain. She's nine and doesn't, as they say, suffer fools. "Anything can be a name," her friend says. I'm glad Molly hasn't backed down. "That's right," I say. "Anything." The names of several celeb-u-tots pop into my head. Jermajesty. Audio Science. Tu Morrow. Pilot Inspektor. Um, yes, those are all real given names. I must admit, though, I've always been fond of Moxie Crimefighter, the name Penn Jillette and his wife gave their daughter. I find it appealing, and empowering somehow. I make a mental note to remind my daughter to be… [more]

An Intersection of Hope and Loss

July 7th, 2011

boy at window In my mid-twenties, it was weddings. Every time I turned around, another friend was marrying. There were gift registries to navigate and parties to plan. The baby showers came next and before I knew it I was chipping in for strollers and collecting birth announcements in my desk drawer. Sadly, a decade or so later, too much news of separations and divorce started slipping in the inbox. Seasons, right? I’m in that last season right now – no, not getting divorced, thankfully – but journeying through divorce and second marriages with others. I see what it takes to create complex child custody plans. I witness the numbing heartache. And then I watch as happiness and relief surrounds friends when they take a… [more]