Hello, New Year

At the beginning of every new year, I like to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m heading in my life. This past year was a regrouping year for me. I spent a lot of energy investigating whether or not I’ve been on the best path, how I got to where I am, how to redirect myself toward more authenticity.

I continue to struggle, as I always have, with simply being comfortable in my own skin. I realize the phrase has become cliché, but it describes well how I literally experience my life.

I tried some things in 2016 that were new for me, but overall it was a year of laying low, of going within, of retreating. I suppose, then, that I shouldn’t be surprised at not having accomplished as much as I would have liked. I’m not surprised, yet I’m still disappointed, because letting myself off the hook continues to be one of my challenges.

Learning how to be enough just as I am would be the ultimate achievement, I think. Learning to be brave in all of my words and actions would be a worthy accomplishment as well. Continue reading “Hello, New Year”

Year of Reading

I’ve been on an expedition of reading this year. In January, I committed myself to reading fifty books in 2016 and to using the Goodreads reading challenge tool to track my progress. I’m proud to say that as of June 30, I was right on track at 50% achieved. And that’s not counting the many articles, essays, and poems I’ve read in journals, magazines, and newspapers, both online and on paper.

I’m reading deliberately, in order to broaden my knowledge and understanding of literature and craft, and I’m also allowing myself to follow my deepest interests, which draws me toward certain books and away from others. There will never be enough time to read everything I’d like to be able to read in my lifetime. I have to make hard choices about what material I allow to take up my precious reading time. I purposely choose to alternate between genres and mediums. I purposely choose to read authors who are both similar to and different from myself in obvious ways. I purposely choose to read what interests me the most right now, at this point in my life and at this point in the history of the universe.

There is no way to consume the amount of information I would like to be able to digest. I find myself interested in so many varied topics and I’m not inclined in this moment to focus too long on any one thing. Still, there are patterns in my reading, ideas I return to or come at from different angles. Loss, being lost, choosing to get lost. How to move through the world, to be fully present without being destroyed, to participate in an authentic way. Connection. Fear.  Continue reading “Year of Reading”

A Conference, a Website, and a Book

20150311_125506Whew, it’s been a long time since I posted here about what’s going on with me. Here it is March and I’m just finally feeling recovered from the holidays. I always think I’m not making enough progress in this endeavor of writing and advocacy–until I put down what I’ve been up to.

The next big thing coming up on my schedule is the American Adoption Congress Conference, where I’ll be moderating a panel discussion with my adoptee sisters from Lost Daughters on March 28. Ten of us will talk about diverse narratives within the collective adoptee voice. Early-bird registration rates have been extended, so there’s still time to make your plans to meet us in Boston. We’ll also have copies of our anthology on hand and our signing pens ready!

At the end of January, I launched a new website I’ve been working on for some time, called Adoptee Reading Resource. My goal with the site is twofold: to catalog every book written by an adoptee that I can identify and to also list adoption books authored by non-adoptees that adoptees recommend. In other words, it’s an adoptee-centric book site, to enable adoptees–and everyone else–to discover adoptee-centric books. (Yes, I can work in the word “adoptee” a few more times if you’d like.) Now that it’s live, I’m excited to see how it grows.

Continue reading “A Conference, a Website, and a Book”

Announcing Adoptee Reading Resource: New Website for Books by Adoptees

One of the requirements for my master’s thesis in creative writing was that I compile a list of books pertinent to the thing I was creating, references that might inform either the content or the form of the stories and poems I was writing. My thesis revolved around the lived experiences of adoptees, so I wanted to find published books by and about adoptees.

Have you ever tried searching for adoptee books? If you have, you know that they’re lumped in with the books explaining how to prepare to adopt a child and the books by adoptive parents about raising an adopted child and the books by professionals advising how to deal with an adopted child. Under “adoption” you’ll also find stories of birth parents and accounts of how adoption as a practice began and reports on how adoption as an industry has evolved.

It’s nearly impossible to filter out the adoptee books from the vast number of adoption books sold by major retailers or housed in library systems. Equally impossible is locating the adoptees writing poetry or literary fiction–these works often don’t even make it into the adoption category. I found lists compiled by others who were also interested in adoptee books. A list over here, another list over there–none of them comprehensive. Continue reading “Announcing Adoptee Reading Resource: New Website for Books by Adoptees”

ear-Wonderful-You-2500x1563-Amazon-Smashwords-Kobo-AppleAhead of schedule, the adoptee-authored anthology Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth is now available in paperback format!

I’m very grateful to editors Diane Rene Christian and Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman for inviting me to take part in this project. I hope that this book will find its way into the hands of young people in adoptive and foster homes, so that they will understand that they are not alone and that a great, big world of love and support is available to them.

A unique aspect of this particular book is that it includes contact information for each of the contributors. Adoptees and young people in foster care are welcome to write to us and share their own thoughts and feelings.

We are your sisters and brothers, and we are here for you.