Mina känslor angående min första mamma

förbi Maria Diemar, född i Chile och adopterad till Sverige; Grundare av chileadoption.se

Har du någonsin försökt gå tillbaka (i dina tankar) och lyssna på dig själv, till vad du verkligen kände när du växte upp som adopterad?

När jag försöker gå tillbaka i tiden så inser jag att jag har så många känslor och tankar som jag aldrig vågat uttrycka. Jag bär fortfarande dessa känslor inom mig.

Som transracial, internationell adopterad som växte upp i Sverige under 1970-1980 känner jag att jag var en del av ett experiment. Barn från länder över hela världen placerades i svenska familjer och vi skulle vara som en "ren skiva", som om våra livshistorier började på flygplatsen i Sverige.

Min bakgrund var aldrig en hemlighet och jag fick läsa mina dokument från Chile. Men jag kände aldrig att jag kunde prata om mina känslor och tankar om min första mamma. Jag höll så mycket inom mig och blev aldrig ombedd att uttrycka något angående mina känslor eller tankar. Jag kunde inte förstå varför jag var i Sverige, varför jag inte var med min mamma och mitt folk i Chile. Jag kände mig så oönskad och inte älskad.

Jag skrev ett brev till min mamma som om jag var 7 år gammal. Jag vet inte varför jag gjorde det, men jag skrev brevet på spanska.

Jag rekommenderades att skriva brevet med min vänstra hand, även om jag är högerhänt.

Låt oss prata om illegala och illegala adoptioner mellan länder

There’s a resounding silence around the world from the majority of adoptive parents when adult intercountry adoptees start to talk about whether our adoptions are illegal or illicit. Why is that? Let’s begin the conversation and unpack it a little.

As an intercountry adoptee, I was purchased through illicit and illegal means and it has taken me years to come to terms with what this means and how I view my adoption. I’m not alone in this journey and because of what I hear and see amongst my community of adoptees, I believe it’s really important for adoptive parents to grapple with what they’ve participated in. This system of child trafficking in intercountry adoption is widespread! It’s not just a Guatemalan, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan or Russian issue – it impacts every country we are adopted to and from, beginning back in the 1950s enmasse, through to current day adoptions. The 1993 Hague Convention came about because of the vast number of illegal and illicit adoptions. The Hague could possibly blind adoptive parents into believing their adoptions cannot be illegal or illicit because they went through the “approved” process and authority. But while a Hague adoption is less likely than a pre-Hague private or expatriate adoption to have illegal and illicit practices within, it is no guarantee because the Hague lacks mechanisms to enforce and safeguard against child trafficking.

To date, most adoptive countries have also not curbed or stopped private and expatriate adoptions that bypass the Hague processes. This means illegal and illicit adoptions are very much still possible and facilitated through a country’s immigration pathways and usually the only role an adoptive country will play in these adoptions, is to assess visa eligibility. This remains a huge failing of adoptive countries who assume a birth country has all the checks and balances in place to prevent illegal and illicit practices within private and expatriate adoptions.

If you aren’t grappling with what you’ve participated in as an adoptive parent, you can be sure your adoptees are, at some point in their lives. More so these days, as the world around us changes and country after country (Nederländerna, Belgien, Norway, Schweiz, Sweden, Frankrike) eventually investigates and recognises the wrongs done historically in intercountry adoption. Germany, Denmark och Australien are countries where adoptees are currently pushing for their governments to investigate. Support comes from the UN who last year, issued their joint statement on illegal intercountry adoptions.

It’s important we have these discussions and be truthful with adoptees about illegal and illicit practices that are our adoptions. In ICAV, we grapple with the reality, especially when it comes to searching for our origins and finding out the truth. Here’s a webbseminarium I co-facilitated two years ago on this topic. As you’ll see from the webinar, we are all impacted by these practices – adoptees, adoptive parents, and our original families.

When I first started ICAV in 1998, I didn’t want to discuss the darker sides of adoption. I blindly mimicked what I’d heard – being grateful for my life in Australia and thankful that my life was so much better than if I’d remained in Vietnam. It’s taken me years to educate myself, listening to fellow adoptees around the world who are impacted and advocating for our rights and for the dark side of adoption to be dealt with. I’ve finally come to understand deeply what the adoption industry is and how it operates.

My adoptive parents couldn’t deal with my questions or comments about being paid for in France, or the questions I had about the Vietnamese lawyer who facilitated my adoption. They jumped to his defence. But there is no evidence I am an orphan and my 40+ years of searching for the truth highlights how illegal my adoption is, to date: no relinquishment document, no birth certificate, no adoption papers from the Vietnam side, only a few personal letters written from lawyer to adoptive family and an exchange of money to a French bank account, then the Victorian adoption authority processed my adoption 16 years after I entered Australia with parents who were questionably “assessed and approved”.

I’m a parent of teenaged children and I know what it’s like to have those tough discussions on topics we aren’t comfortable with. I’m sure many adoptive parents must feel doubts and possibly a sense of guilt looking back in hindsight, for not looking into things more, pushing away doubts about the process, the costs, the facilitators, in their zeal to become a parent at all costs. If you feel guilt or remorse as an adoptive parent, at least you’re being honest about the reality of intercountry adoption. Honesty is a good place to start. What’s worse for adoptees is when our parents deny and defend their actions despite data that indicates there were plenty of signals of illicit practices from that country or facilitator. Being honest will help your adoptee start to trust you can take responsibility for your actions and not pass the buck to the “other” stakeholders who also contribute to trafficking practices. 

The difficult part for us all, is that there are rarely any supports or education on this topic from those facilitating adoption or supporting it – either as pre or post adoption organisations. Even less support exists for those who KNOW it was illegal or illicit adoption and no-one guides us as to what we can do about it except our own peer communities. This needs to change! It should not be the responsibility of the impacted community to provide the industry and authorities with education and resources on what it means to be a victim of the process and how to support us.

At ICAV, we have been attempting to fill this gap because the industry continues to fail us in this way. Here is our global paper we compiled of our responses we’d like from governments and authorities. I hope those who feel guilt or remorse will turn that feeling into an action to demand better supports and legislation for impacted people and speaking up to hold governments and agencies accountable. That is how you’ll help us in my humble opinion. The fact that so many parents who participated in trafficking practices are silent is only damning your adoptee to have to fight the system by themselves. 

Thankfully, the work I was involved in, to represent adoptees in the Hague Working Group on Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption, has concluded with a published toolkit in which Central Authorities are now provided a template for how they could respond to queries from victims of illegal and illicit adoptions. Sadly, this toolkit, like the 1993 Hague Convention is not enforceable and so, it requires those of us who are impacted to spend much time and energy pushing governments and authorities to respond to us in an appropriate manner.

If you are an Australian and you’d like to support us in our push for an investigation by an independent body into Australia’s history of intercountry adoptions, you can participate in our survey as an adoptee or as an adoptive parent. We aim to gather high level data showing the human rights abuse patterns throughout the birth countries and the ongoing lack of adequate responses from the Australian government and authorities. Prior to this, we created a letter with signatures from the community which was sent to every Australian Central Authority, every Minister responsible for Adoption at both State and Federal level, and to our Prime Minister and State Premiers.

For the benefit of many, I felt it important to provide an easy to read document on what an illicit and illegal intercountry adoption is. My heartfelt thanks to Prof David Smolin who did the lion share of creating this easy to read document. I’m honoured to know some incredible adoptive parents like David who spend their lives advocating and working with us to change this global system.

kära mamma och pappa

förbi Jen Etherington, född som First Nations-kanadensare och adopterad till en australisk familj

Kära mamma och pappa,

Det har gått 34 år sedan du lämnade denna planet . Hur jag önskade hela mitt liv att jag kunde ha träffat dig. Jag är inte säker på när sista gången du träffade mig var. Jag är säker på att du inte trodde att det var sista gången du någonsin skulle få träffa mig. Jag vet att ni visste var jag hamnade. Jag vet att pappa kände min pappa som adopterade mig.

Kerry och Steve (mamma och pappa) är två av de mest fantastiska människor du någonsin kan träffa. De är, tror jag precis som ni, älskade av i stort sett alla de möter. Jag fick en lillebror av Kerry och Steve när jag var tre år gammal. Han heter Josh och vi kom så bra överens när vi var barn. Vi hade väldigt få slagsmål. Jag tycker om att tycka att det är en fantastisk kombination av våra personligheter och att den är uppfostrad av Kerry och Steve.

Du kommer att bli glad att veta att jag hade en fantastisk barndom. När jag var 7 fick vi en annan lillebror som hette Brody. BroBro och jag var mer lika eftersom vi båda är mer sociala och extroverta. Josh, Brody och jag kom väldigt bra överens. Kerry och Steve uppfostrade oss med stora värderingar. Vi uppfostrades och flyttade nära Theravadas meditationscenter på Australiens östkust. Jag träffade några underbarn där som jag anser vara kusiner. Jag tänkte att om jag blev adopterad fick jag adoptera min egen familj också.

Jag hade några svårigheter i barndomen, inklusive skoningslös mobbning för rasism samt objektifiering. Det var alltid av ett barn som heter "Johnno" oavsett vart jag gick . Jag hade turen att ha starka vänner runt mig som hjälpte mig att inte låta det förstöra min personlighet.

Vi växte upp med nästan varje semester med hela familjen eftersom det var viktigt för dem att ha mycket tid med familjen. Vi åkte på underbara semester och campade, bodde på husvagnsparker vid stranden, gick på milstolpeutställningar som expo 88 med familjen och bodde i ett härligt hus. Vi kom till Kanada för många helgdagar eftersom Steves mamma bodde i Victoria. Jag vet att Kerrys dröm för mig var att träffa dig när jag var redo. Jag vet att hon var knäckt när hon hörde nyheten om att du dog. Jag var förvirrad. Jag visste att jag var adopterad hela tiden eftersom jag såg annorlunda ut än Kerry, Steve, Josh och Brody. När jag fick frågan om jag ville gå på din begravning var jag 9 år och inte säker på hur jag skulle bearbeta det och ångrar nu att jag inte kom dit.

Jag hade en ganska bra skolupplevelse förutom mobbning och sexuella övergrepp. Jag får höra att jag är smart som pappa. Jag anstränger mig sällan för att använda intelligensen. Jag är inte säker på om det är självbevarelsedrift att inte sticka ut mer än jag gör.

Det var en tredje person som uppfostrade mig och hon var fantastisk. Hon var min faster, Nanette. Jag älskade henne så mycket och hon var en otrolig person. Redan innan nummerpresentation på telefoner visste jag alltid när hon ringde. Nanette gav mig också bort på mitt bröllop. Mitt bröllop var för 20 år sedan för två dagar sedan. Mannen jag gifte mig med var ingen trevlig person. Jag hade mycket övergrepp från honom. Vi separerade som tur var 10 år efter att vi träffades. Jag hade inga barn och jag hade terapi i 12 månader för det. Jag kämpade för att vara ok med om jag någonsin skulle få barn. Jag kan inte föreställa mig hur det var för dig att förlora mig och jag var så orolig att jag skulle återuppleva den upplevelsen och hur det var för dig.

Jag är inte säker på var min empati kommer ifrån men det är en välsignelse och en förbannelse. Jag fick två missfall och bara det andra hörde jag hjärtslag. Detta är en bild på mig igår på jobbet. De hade harmonisdag och de satte upp vår totem.

Jag har så mycket att jag ville fråga dig och berätta. Jag älskar dig mamma och pappa. Jag har en underbar familj nu – min mamma och pappa (Kerry och Steve), mina bröder, mina syskonbarn och min partner James. Min moster gick tyvärr bort men jag är så tacksam att jag fick tid med henne.

Läs Jens tidigare blogg: Pengar tar aldrig igen det jag har förlorat som First Nations-kanadensare

Resurs

Första nationerna i Kanada

Över 200 stulna First Nations-barn hittades i kanadensisk omärkt grav

The Stolen Generations – Kanada och Australien: arvet efter assimilering

Kära Korea, om Mia*

*Name has been changed to protect identity

förbi kim thompson / 김종예 born in South Korea, adopted to the USA, Co-Founder of The Universal Asian

This article was written for Finding the Truth of 372 Overseas Adoptees from Korea published in Korean

Artwork: Gone But Not Forgotten by Amelia Reimer

Dear Korea,

I want to tell you all about my friend Mia, but I am limited in how I can tell you her story as she is no longer here and cannot give consent to my re-telling of what is hers and hers alone.

And so, Korea, I will tell you about my experience and observations of her and of our friendship.

Mia was a fellow adoptee and my friend. We met in your city of Seoul around 2013 or 2014. I was in my fifth year of living there. Mia was, as is the case for many adoptees in Seoul, trying to learn your language and doing various freelance jobs related to writing and teaching English, as well as working as a journalist for publications in the country she had been adopted to and raised in. She was an immensely talented writer and photographer.

Mia was quirky. For example, she loved marshmallows more than any child or adult I have ever met. She loved them to the point of ecstasy–we used to laugh at how deliriously happy it made her to roast a marshmallow on a rotating spit over hot coals where we’d previously been cooking our 양꼬치 (lamb skewers). Mia was her own unique self. When it came to your food and cafes, Mia loved everything about you, but the fact that you could get marshmallows from 다이소 made her love you even more, even if they weren’t (according to her) quite the same as she could get in the country where she’d been raised. She laughingly said it made her life with you that much easier.

Mia was funny, kind, thoughtful, and incredibly generous both with her time and money. She once hunted down and gifted my then-partner and myself with two specialty sakés from Yoshida Brewery because we had told her how much we loved the documentary The Birth of Saké. She cared deeply for others, freely and easily expressed gratitude, and was just an all-around fun person to hang out with. She had a laugh that I can still easily recall.

Mia loved the band 넬(Nell) and used to, needlessly, thank me constantly for “introducing” them to her. “They’re sooooooo good~~~” she’d earnestly exclaim when talking about an album of theirs she’d been listening to on repeat. She was an intelligent, articulate, and creative mind who had a delightful hunger for life, art, travel, new experiences, and good food… and marshmallows.

Mia also had a very deep awareness and understanding of her mental health struggles and was as proactive as one could be about working to be healthy. She sought out the professional help she needed. She used her very real diagnosed depression as a positive in that she allowed it to make her an even more empathetic being, which was so evidenced in her professional career as a journalist and how she conducted her personal relationships. Mia had lived through traumas and tragedies that are all too common for adoptees and had profound sorrows and losses.

Korea, I am writing to tell you that Mia was such a good friend to many, including myself. She was genuinely interested in and curious about the lives of those around her. When one was with Mia, one felt seen, heard, loved, and cared for.

Four years have passed since she took her life, and I still and shall always love and miss her.

Something else I can tell you, Korea, with as much certainty as possible, is that if the adoption agency through whom she was exported from knew of her suicide they would quickly blame her adopters, her circumstances, her environment, her traumas, her mental health, and Mia herself. They would never think to own their responsibility in being the root cause for all of the “reasons” for why she felt she could no longer stay in her life or this world.

Korea, chances are, the agency would tell you that while it’s an unfortunate reality that “every so often” “bad” adopters manage to get through their system–that it’s a “rarity.” They would dig their heels in, feigning willful ignorance and dismissal over the well-researched and known statistic that adoptees are four times more likely to attempt or commit suicide than non-adoptees. They would tell you that they are not to be held accountable for Mia’s mental health, and that she should have gotten the help she needed. They would say that what happened to her is too bad, and I do not doubt that they would mean it, but they would in the same breath tell you that none of this is their fault.

And yet, Korea, it was the agency that placed Mia in the family she was raised in via a system that has been empowered and enabled on both societal and governmental levels to prioritize and value financial gain over keeping children with their ummas and appas. Mia’s physical and emotional safety and support she needed were not prioritized, nor were they valued.

The responsibility for her mental and physical wellness was placed directly onto her shoulders. The responsibility for her surviving her childhood; learning how to thrive; and later, as an adult, trying to adapt to life in Korea; to explore and embrace her cultural and racial identity; to try and learn the language; and to search or not to search for her first family were also all placed directly onto her shoulders. Mia’s birthright to family, culture, and identity had been sold right from under her without her consent when she was a baby, and she was then left to pay the price for someone else’s immense financial profit.

Dear Korea, I want… I need you to know that Mia, like so many adoptees including me, had to constantly navigate statements from the agency, adopters, and non-adoptees like: “You sound so bitter and angry. You should be more grateful.” “Your life is so much better than if you’d grown up an orphan in South Korea.” “You don’t know how poor South Korea was.” “You’re so lucky to have been raised in the West. Your life is so much better.”

I need you to know… to feel… to somehow understand that no matter how emotionally or mentally strong or proactive we as adoptees are in advocating for ourselves, no matter how “perfect” some of our adoptive parents might be, these kinds of statements, which embody attitudes and perceptions of denial, dismissal, and diminishing, take a toll on our mental health. They are forms of what is now known as “gas lighting.” They can cause us to question our sanity, goodness, love, gratitude, self, and sense of worth. They make us feel like we really might be ungrateful, unloving human beings who should be good with not knowing our parents, our ancestral roots, language, or culture because: “We got to grow up in the ‘rich’ West.” These are things that no adoptee I have ever known, myself included, is truly equipped to handle, and yet the responsibility to do so, is always on us.

I think about how all of this must have worn Mia down. I think about how even though she knew on an intellectual level that her traumas were never her fault, she bore the emotional toll.

Dear Korea, when Mia took her life, your citizens did not wail aloud in the streets wearing black and white. The adoption agencies operating on your soil that to this day export children to the West for financial profit did not fall to their knees asking the gods and Mia’s soul for forgiveness. 

The ones who were wailing, the ones left falling to their knees under the gut-wrenching sorrow and ache of Mia’s suicide were and remain the same ones who also live as survivors of adoption–us adoptees. You see, when any one of our 200,000 is lost to suicide or addiction or abuse, the loss is deep and the loss is a collective and a permanent one. Four years later, and I still feel the absence of her presence not just in my life, but also in this world.

I am writing you Korea, because it is imperative that you always remember that Mia’s decision to end her life was not her fault. Yes, she made that choice at the very end, but in so many ways that choice had been made for her the day her agency got their hands on her and sold and sent her away from your shores to her adopters.

Yes, it’s true that chances are, Mia would have always struggled with aspects of her mental health even if she’d been able to grow up in the family and place that was rightfully hers. But, I am also confident in saying that her taking her life in her late 30s most likely would not have happened because she would not have had any of the traumas inflicted by coerced abandonment and adoption to carry in her heart that was too big and beautiful for this world.

When Mia died, not only did I lose a dear friend, we the collective of adoptees lost yet another of ours, and whether one can or wants to see this or not–you, my beloved South Korea, you lost a great woman, a great creative mind, a great friend, a great daughter, a great sister, a great aunt, a great partner, a great heart, and a great Korean who had all the potential to significantly contribute to the richness of your literature, arts, and culture.  

But more than anything dearest Korea, when Mia lost her life to the wounds and traumas of adoption inflicted on her by her agency, you lost one of your children.

Resurser

Intercountry Adoption and Suicide: A Scoping Review

International Conference for Verifying and Guaranteeing the Human Rights of Overseas Korean Adoptees (English – Korean translation, Research Overview of the largest study done on Korean intercountry adoptees)

Intercountry Adoptee Memorials

Research on Adoptees and Suicide

Adoptees and Suicide Risk

R U OK Day? – It’s time to talk about adoptees and attempted suicide

Adopterad sorg och Zen Meditation

In Indianapolis, I recently started practicing Zen meditation with a sangha in the lineage of Mahayana Buddhism from the Kwan Um school of Zen, started by Zen Master Seung Sahn. I started my studies with sitting with a community of practitioners at the Indianapolis Zen Center. Practices consist of sitting and walking meditation, listening to Zen dharma readings and participating in light-hearted dharma discussions in the waiting room.

What has been a game changer in meditation practice has been meditating with my eyes open. I decided to try and have been struck by its functions and usefulness. I’m fully alert rather than traversing in various sleeping, subtle stages of meditation that I usually find inner peace with. I’m awake in the mindfulness I gain with my eyes closed, and what advances my meditations, is that I develop a mindfulness in my waking life instantly rather than closing my eyes, doing all this work in the dark, and later integrating it with the world.

What’s come up since my recent move in this new city is the living grief that I’m immersed in when I close my eyes. I feel it as a ferocious, all-consuming ocean in my mediations. And from it, there is a heaviness in my mind. And I look through that heaviness like fog or dirt on a window. But it does clear, which I’ve achieved in split seconds of temporary clarity. And then I feel exact vividness in the present moment, and I have no mind at all. I’m just awake in the room I’m sitting in.

During a Zen retreat I had yesterday, I was able to have an Interview with a teacher. I brought up my grief in mediation and my experience when it clears.

“Where does it go?” The teacher asked.

“It disappears,” I said.

“Then you have a choice,” he said, smiling.

I described the grief and the heaviness, the way it can pull at me and makes me sleepy, and how the feelings of sadness and this heaviness can obscure my clarity, seeking Zen advisement on meditating with these difficult sensations revolving almost like a circle. I described that I have a strong attachment to it, that I might have been making it even bigger by focusing on it in my mediations throughout the years, unknowingly concentrating my mind in it and feeding it, but now see how it lingers in me with eyes open, and I can only imagine how it could also influence my waking life unconsciously. So, I was troubled because all of this is like taking on my lifelong karma as an adoptee, which the teacher knows a little about thankfully.

“Learn from it,” he said, “And when I experienced it, I would thank it. I thanked it for the lesson.” He described his own life experiences in grief, mentioned a book titled, How to Be Friends With Your Demons, and said it did go away for him.

I felt a sudden burst of hope in this conversation.

“So I can try appreciating its presence and continue with practicing,” I confirm to him.

“You have to feel it,” the teacher said to me towards the end of my Zen interview. “You have to own it.” I stared at him, now understanding that there is a way to practice Zen even with grief. And that there is a way to own it and to not let it have control over my life.

In my new apartment in Indianapolis, I’m seeing the grief in my life as it is today and the heaviness that it creates, with eyes open, and I’m journaling about what it teaches me. I’m asking critical questions in myself from what I observe even though it’s hard. Instead of focusing entirely on my grief, I’m giving space to thank it and appreciate its presence in my life and waking world, and all that it teaches me. From my experience with grief, it’s a wounded, intoxicating companion to me especially with the death of my Filipino American brother last year. But I also realized that I am not abandoning my grief by appreciating it and connecting it back to the love inside me.

Read Desiree’s previous blog: Moving on in a new city

Resurser

Trauma in adoption resources

Your grief is your gift

Nya mål som adopterad i en ny stad

Greetings! I made it to Indianapolis, Indiana. To recap: In my recent ICAV blogs, I was blogging from Oahu, which has been my home for half a decade. After my fellow Filipino American brother, a previous Honolulu resident, unexpectedly passed away last year, my life changed for me. And after that summer, I knew I had finished my time in Hawaii. All in all, I was ready to settle down. It was time to grow roots of my own as an adoptee.

After a lot of research and recommendations, I chose Indianapolis because of its affordable cost of living. This city was in the Midwest and I missed the Midwest since I grew up in Wisconsin. I missed the trees of the Midwest, and the four seasons, especially after living in Arizona and Hawaii most of my life.

To transition to the mainland, I moved from Hawaii to Southern Arizona to be near my adoptive family so that I could make visits with my grandparents. For one, rough school semester, I substitute taught, made visits to Phoenix and experienced my grandmother’s passing. After this loss, I gained more clarity on relocating to Indianapolis. Offhandedly, I secured a few part-time teaching gigs in the city. I found and contacted a Zen Center for residing in and practicing Zen downtown. It was the last days of my lease when I started driving to Indiana. Because somehow by then, I was able to secure a full-time job at the Indianapolis Public Library.

Taking a leap of faith, I drove with all of my possessions packed into my new Kia Soul. After living at the Indianapolis Zen Center for a week and starting my Zen studies, I found a cute apartment a few miles away in a quaint, walkable area called Broad Ripple, and made a permanent move. Old trees surrounded my patio. I furnished my place with enough furniture for one and settled in with Pualani, my cat that I brought from Hawaii. After a few more days, I brought in tropical plants. I re-started my junk journaling and letter-making, bought food from local Farmers Markets, and even started making friends with the Filipino and Asian adoptee community here.

My Goals For Next Year in Indianapolis: I hope to purchase a small, basic house where I can have a wood stove. I want to be able to burn wood and make fires everyday for myself. I envision having a small dog so that Pualani will have company. In this small house, I’ll have mostly re-used furniture and plants. I will be forever solo, just working full-time until I retire. I will have vacations where I can travel and teach English in other countries. I will take pictures and maybe publish my visual journals one day, from the collaging that I’ve been doing therapeutically. And lead a simple, peaceful life.

Wish me luck! And please follow my life journeys, meditations, mixed media and letter making at http://www.instagram.com/starwoodletters.

UK Intercountry Adoptees Webinar

Den 30 januari 2023 deltog en liten grupp interlandsadopterade i Storbritannien i ett panelevenemang för webbseminarium för att dela sina tankar och erfarenheter med adoptivförälderorganisationen, AdoptionUK.

I det här webbseminariet får du träffa Sarah Hilder adopterad från Sri Lanka, Joshua Aspden adopterad från Ecuador, Emma Estrella adopterad från Brasilien, Meredith Armstrong adopterad från Kina och Claire Martin adopterad från Hong Kong. Tillsammans svarar vi på några frågor som adoptivföräldrar kl AdoptionUK fråga.

Se webbinariet och nedan finns en tidskod, nyckelmeddelanden och relevanta resurser.
Obs! Om du tittar i Chrome klickar du på knappen Läs mer för att titta på videon

Tidskod för webbseminarium

00:20 Intro från AdoptionUK
01:03 Intro från Lynelle från ICAV
02:44 Sarah Hilder
03:35 Claire Martin
05:34 Meredith Armstrong
07:39 Emma Estrela
09:39 Joshua Aspden
12:17 Hur man skyddar mig från bedragare när jag söker efter familj – Lynelle
17:23 Tips för att närma sig livsberättelsearbete – Meredith
20:54 Känner du att livet skulle ha varit bättre om du hade blivit adopterad av en familj i ditt födelseland?
21:27 Josua
24:56 Emma
28:00 Vad vill vi att adoptivföräldrar ska veta när vi börjar med en internationell adoption?
28:24 Claire
32:25 Meredith
35:12 Sara
38:24 Emma
40:24 Josua
43:34 Lynelle
45:30 Vad förbinder dig mest med ditt arv?
45:45 Sarah
48:23 Claire
49:30 Joshua
51:07 Planerar du att besöka fosterfamiljen, några tips eller råd för att hantera de stora känslor som kommer att dyka upp för den adopterade?
51:30 Meredith
52:24 Emma
54:25 Lynelle
56:24 Jo slut och tack

Sammanfattning av webinariets nyckelmeddelanden

Klicka här för en pdf dokumentera

Relevanta resurser

Kan vi ignorera eller förneka att rasism existerar för adopterade av färg?

Att få kontakt med färgade personer är inte automatiskt för transracial adopterade

Rasresurser för adoptivföräldrar

Kulturresurser för adoptivföräldrar

Global lista över stöd efter adoption som är specifikt för adopterade mellan länder

Vikten av stöd före och efter adoption

Sök och återföreningsresurser

Tankar till adoptivföräldrar

Reagerar känsligt på rädslor för att bli övergivna

förbi Lyla M, Chinese adoptee raised in the USA

“What’s that key around your neck?” – I get that question as much as I get questioned about where I’m from.

I wear a golden key around my neck. I’ve been wearing it that way for ten years.

It says, “Togetherness is love, 10.02.62” on one side and “M. T.” on the other.

My mom, being a rebel, decided to skip school with a childhood best friend. They wandered the streets of New York City. They found the key. They tried to find the owner/place it went to. However, it had been thrown into the middle of street, so they were unsuccessful. My mom and best friend always thought it was a lover’s quarrel. Key thrown away in anger.

Fast forward to when my mom adopted me.

When I was little, I had a fear my parents would not come home to me after a date night.

My mom would say, “Take this golden key from this tower, keep it with you. We’ll be home when you’re sleeping and you can personally give it to me in the morning.” It gave me a sense of security. Like my mom and dad were with me and would return.

When I graduated high school, I had chosen to attend college out of state. As a gift, my mom had the golden key strung and gave it to me as a gift, as a promise to always be with me, that my mom and dad would always be there, at home, waiting for me to come home, key in hand (or around neck, to be precise).

A little story about a key shaped like a heart in honour of Valentine’s Day.

Ett privilegium, inte en rättighet

förbi Kamina Hall, en svart, transracial, sent upptäckt adopterad i USA

They say it’s their right, their right to create and own a life,
Interestingly enough, this is a perception as old as buying a wife.
Are we nothing more than cattle, to be traded and sold?
Or we are the light of the Universe, sent through her womb, more precious than gold?

Interesting the amount of studying and toiling that goes into obtaining degrees,
Yet, when forming life any and everyone is allowed to do as they please.
Change your mind, wrong color, or simply too young? 
With the swipe of a pen, that new soul changes hands, and their life comes undone.

I knew your heartbeat, your voice, your smell, all before I ever saw your face,
Though their arms might have attempted to replace you, no one ever took your place.
There was a dark empty yawning void in my soul I never knew existed,
Drugs, sex, alcohol, and self-sabotage; still the madness persisted.

Vi förklarar bestämt, du kan inte äga ett liv, och att skapa det är inte din rättighet,
Själen är helt enkelt i din vård, utlånad från universum, tills den kan utkämpa sin egen kamp.
Ta på allvar de konsekvenser och krusningar du släpper ner i livets damm när du skapar,
Barn vi är för bara ett ögonblick, vuxen ser oss med högar av traumasederande.

Du kan följa Kamina på hennes Youtube-kanal – Koachen Kamina
Läs Kaminas andra gästers inlägg på ICAV:
Healing som en transracial adopterad
Din sorg är din gåva

Din sorg är din gåva

förbi Kamina Hall, en svart, transracial, sent upptäckt adopterad i USA

Det handlade aldrig om dig, mitt kära söta barn, 
Din själ har alltid haft ett syfte, även om du har fruktat att den är förorenad.
Hon övergav dig, sorgen är giltig och ack så verklig,
Men det här är inte för evigt, det här är inte din evighet, känslor finns där för oss att känna.

Så sörj, kära själ, mitt syskon i kärlek och ljus,
Låt sorgen och smärtan skölja över dig, men vältra dig inte för länge i fel och rättigheter.
Behandla dina känslor som besökare, välkomna dem med öppna armar och ta hand om dem vänligt,
Ta sedan farväl av dem, tacka dem för att de kom och underkasta dig dem aldrig blint.

Se på din smärta, skada, sorg, ilska och rädsla,
Fråga dem vilka lektioner de har för dig, men vägra att låta dem blanda sig.
Din själ valde denna väg, just denna resa, för ett syfte,
Så titta på dina känslor med nyfikenhet, inte identitet, eftersom de bara existerar för att varna oss.

Allt du längtar efter bor inom dig just i denna sekund,
Du är inte ofullständig eller felaktig; så stå stark och vägra att känna dig hotad.
Familjen, mamman, kärleken outtalad,
Ingenting och ingen håller kärlek till dig som du blir, med vidöppna armar.

Så sörj vackra själ; sörja det som gick förlorat,
Kom ihåg att du valde denna väg, även om den kommer med den mest värdefulla kostnaden.
Du valde denna svåraste väg för att dela din kärlek, ditt ljus och din själ,
Du är här för att skina ditt ljus för räkningen och för att vara med och göra oss hela.

Du kan följa Kamina på hennes Youtube-kanal – Koachen Kamina

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