Sunday, September 28, 2008

Virginia has a RegDay site!



Considering helping out? Join the RegDay mailing list. North Carolina and Rhode Island have interested parties, but help is needed.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Philly Phridays #8: Philadelphia Museum of Art

You guys, I’m totally wikipedia-ing out on you this week. It’s because I broke my ass. It’s true, my ass is broken. Totally true. My ass. OK not totally true, it’s my tailbone. But the pain is in my ass.

I had an outline of stuff I wanted to write, but all I can think of is my poor sore ass. So relying on YouTube and wikipedia to pick up the slack for me and my ass:



The Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year and is now among the largest art museums in the United States...

Widely regarded as a world-class art institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art includes not only its iconic Main Building, but also the Rodin Museum (also on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway) and several other historic sites. The recently acquired Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building (across the street from the Main Building) opened in 2007 and houses for public display a few of the Museum's more popular collections. It includes five new exhibition spaces, a sky lit galleria, and a café overlooking a landscaped terrace.


Alright that’s kind of dry, so here’s a very pretty short promo:









As well this cute one. You didn’t think you were going to get away without hearing the Rocky theme, did you? There was a boatload of running-up-the-stairs-ala-Rocky videos, but I liked this one the best:







OK I’m signing off. Next Friday I’ll be back with a real tourist writeup for next year’s Adoptee Rights Demonstration. Sorry for wimping out, but as I said earlier, I broke my ass.



View Larger Map

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emotional Cost Analysis



I'm so pathetic

The saddest thing is, this is no joke.

I actually did sit down and do this for real.

As a member of the Twice Rejected Club (TRC), you tend to weigh out your odds of going through it again very, very carefully.

As my sister lives with my mom, she I figure has the greatest chance to know about me. If she's a snooper and if mom didn't throw away my letter, then she could have found out. But knowing about me is a bad thing, because if she knew about me but didn't contact me, whoa that would suck.

Since I've got cousins who were adopted, chances are pretty high everyone in the family thinks adoption is all peaches and cream. I gave the members of my generation a better score, but not by much. Thinking adoption is all that and then some is not a good candidate.

Chances they are mom's aforementioned happy happy hip hip happy hurray nonsearching adoptive nieces and nephews also raises the rejection bar.

As does the possibility that one may be an adoptive parent, who if contacted by a wayward searching bastard secret, may freak out.

I don't like overly sanctimonious catholics, having grown up in a family of overly sanctimonious catholics. Finding my own mother to be an overly sanctimonious catholic was a drag, therefore overly sanctimonious catholicism is a bad deal.

Geographic closeness to mom is a no-no. If you've got family that still live in the same place they were born, and the entire family all lives within a 5 block radius, and no one has ever moved away from said 5 block radius, then you know what I'm talking about. Especially if said 5 block radius is populated by overly sanctimonious catholics

I'm making tons o'assumptions here, but when you're adopted, assumptions are all you got.

So weighing this all out, it appears the aunt I found on Facebook has high odds of being a rejector.

The best bet by my calculations still seems to be my brother.

Crap.

Read more...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Argh! This is for Pat --

the person who left me the message on my Meebo chat widget.

I closed the window without copying your email address by accident.

Can you please email me? My email address is in my profile link off to the right there.

Thanks and sorry.

Read more...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When you come across your aunt on Facebook who also happens to maybe be the adoptive mother of an allegedly grateful non-searching adoptee

what exactly would one write in a note?







No, that doesn't work.



I'll start over.




Nah.




Pffffttttt





Gaaahhhhhhh



Why did I even look?

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California, Louisiana, New York and Texas

cordially invite

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin and Wyoming

to join the list of the coolest states in the country.

Remember, even the shining star states where birth certificates are available to the illegitimate and real alike need tables. Just because someone is lucky enough to live in an equal access state doesn't mean they were born there. Also RegDay reunites family separated for any reason, not just adoption.

Volunteer!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Philly Phridays #7: National Liberty Museum


Continuing on with the Friday series of places to visit during the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in Philadelphia next year…

Totally, totally, totally school age kid-friendly, for those of you bringing your kids. The National Liberty Museum is a gem. Contrary to what some may think, this is not the building that houses the Liberty Bell. Four floors of exhibits dedicated to expressing the concept of Liberty, without a single rah-rah-rah USA #1! sentiment.

Oh ok the Liberty Hall Gallery on the top floor does get a little rah-rah, but there are seven other galleries to balance that out.

From the site:

Why we created the National Liberty Museum

For more than 300 years, men and women from all over the world have come to America seeking the freedoms and opportunities denied to them in their homelands. Together, we have formed the most productive, creative and multi-cultural nation on earth.

But... freedom is a very precarious balancing act. For every right we are granted as citizens of a free nation, there are corresponding responsibilities. Most important is our obligation to live peacefully with others and respect those who are different from ourselves....

The National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving America’s promise of freedom. We invite visitors to celebrate the diversity of the American experience and remind them that we each have the “Power of One” to make a difference.


Do you believe that a state that can house a museum like this, thinks adult adoptees are too dangerous and irresponsible to see their own birth certificates? Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Exhibits touch on racism, women’s rights, political freedom, violence, bigotry, and my own personal favorite, the genetic journey of our race as traced through our DNA. The gift shop sells Genographic Project kits, and the museum’s kid-friendly DNA gallery is a good introduction to genetic genealogy.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10-5. Admission is $7.00/adults, $6.00/seniors, $5.00 students, $2.00/children over 5, and under 5 are free.

With the exception of Sundays - Sundays are always free for everyone.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bastard. Bastard. Bastard. Bastard. Bastard. Bastard. Bastard.

and bastard.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I'll tell you that she is, even if Google won't.


This is funny: Google censors out 'bastard' to protect children from the naughtiness of the word, but strict search thinks this is OK:


Sigh. We're even lower than ass tattoos.



Read more...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The BEST bookstore in the WORLD




Is the Farmingdale Borders

From their store site –

Step into Borders in Farmingdale on a Friday or Saturday evening, and it will appear that you've gone to a coffee house in a college town - and you have. We always have live music sweeping the store, from a local acoustic guitar player to an alternative pop band. We have a reputation for featuring top notch musicians and have become a destination for entertainment. Alison, our resident music expert, books aspiring musicians and authors to come showcase their talents. We're located near two major movie multiplexes so we're a great place to stop before or after the show. We have all the best-sellers, a wide array of magazines to browse and a young enthusiastic staff to show you where to find the books, films and music you're looking for.


Did you know that every Friday is BEAN FRIDAY at the Farmingdale Borders? That’s right! Buy a bag o’beans and receive a FREE medium drink.

Why so much love for the wonderful, the fabulous, the scrumpdillyicious Farmingdale Borders?


Because Saturday, November 8th is the 14th Annual RegDay, and the Long Island table will be held at none other than


Farmingdale Borders
231 Airport Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735

I loved, loved, loved last year’s RegDay, but this year I’ve got to keep it closer to home. So – onto the next thing:

HEEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!

I need volunteers. Come for an hour, come for two, come for the whole day, but if you’re in or near Farmingdale, I could use the help!! Drop me an email if you can help, or leave me a voicemail at my GrandCentral account. Just click the button, punch in your phone number, and GrandCentral will call you!









Not lucky enough to live near the Farmingdale Borders? Sucks for you, but you can still help. The RegDay site list this year looks a little *cough*cough* sparse – so get jumping to organize a table of your own. Maybe you can have the gift of a coolio, generous, big-hearted, friendly Borders near you to host your own site. Here's some highlights from past years, courtesy of RegDay's Myspace page:






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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Loss, loss and more loss

One lost his mother, his father's whereabouts are unknown.

The other was an intra-family adoption.

There aren't enough words to express how soul-sick this makes me.

read more | digg story

Edit: Gersh says it best:

Can you imagine, losing your mother and your father (I can) and acting out because of it (I did) testing everyone around you and becoming incredibly hard to deal with (I did.) You want to see if everyone else around you will leave you too, you want to see if they will stay and how long they will stay for, what circumstances will the accept you in? I am SO glad California didn’t have safe havens when I was growing up.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

1st Annual Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alums of African Descent

November 7-9, 2008

1st Annual Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alums of African Descent:

Healing Ourselves, Making Connections


Announcing the 1st annual gathering of adoptees (transracial/international and same race) and foster care alums of African descent in Oakland, California, November 7-9, 2008.

AFAAD (Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora) was formed specifically to support adopted and fostered people, to share our common and divergent experiences around race, adoption, joy, loss, family, search and reunion, and self identity and to celebrate our unique creativity, stories and community. AFAAD’s First Annual Gathering, Healing Ourselves, Making Connections is designed with you mind.

The purpose of this historic gathering will be to make connections, network, provide healing space, and to celebrate the diversity of our amazing diaspora of transracial, international, domestic adoptees and foster care alums. AFAAD uses “Black” in the widest diasporic sense, which includes African, African American, bi-racial and multi heritage, Afroasian and Afrolatino peoples. Healing Ourselves, Making Connections is the first of its kind for Black adoptees and foster adults and we know it will make a huge contribution to the conversations about adoption, race, social welfare and African diasporic identity - not to mention just bringing all of us together in one space is going to be amazing! It is time to share our stories with one another, rather than always teaching other people. We will also take some time for the strategic planning for the long-term goals of AFAAD as a social justice and community support organization.

Where:

AFAAD’s 2008 Gathering is being hosted by the lovely Washington Inn, at 495 10th Street, Oakland CA a luxury boutique hotel ideally situated at the center of downtown Oakland, CA, close to all forms of public transportation. See http://www.thewashingtoninn.com/ for more information, or call 510.452.1776. Individuals visiting the Bay Area must make their own hotel reservations separately from AFAAD Gathering registration.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Silly ritual$ can cure ungrateful LDA's!

Subtitled: It's not because you used her to replace a dead baby, then lied to her.

Oh just read it.

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The Adoption Show - Vanessa Pierce

THE ADOPTION SHOW - VOICES ENDING THE MYTH

Sunday September 14, 2008
9:00 pm est
www.theadoptionshow.com

VANESSA PIERCE

At 4-years-old Vanessa was stolen from her family in India. After living for a few years at the Holy Angels orphanage in India, she was sent to Canada to be adopted. Decades later, she still has no idea who or where her parents are.

Vanessa talks about the abuse she has endured as both an adopted person and while in the foster system in Canada. Vanessa is looking for her mother and father in India and has friends, supporters, and professional searchers helping her to locate her family.



You can read Vanessa's story at Adopted-Abused.com and subscribe to her videos at YouTube

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Not human

At the last Long Island Adoptees Meetup group, I was talking about a memory I had.

When I was going to childbirth classes, the instructor repeatedly drilled into us how important it was not to be separated from our babies after birth. Again, and again, and again we were told how frightening it was for them, how damaging it was, keep your babies with you, don't let the hospital keep the baby in the nursery, keep your baby in your room, for the love of god don't separate from your baby or it will self-destruct!

Alright she didn't say that last part, but it was implied. Like confidentiality, yanno?

Anyway needless to say after each class I'd rush into the bathroom and cry hysterically. Ha-ha-ha I never put two and two together and couldn't figure out why my natural childbirth classes would upset me so much, must be those pregnancy hormone thingies.

And this wasn't some wacky fringe new age the only right way to give birth is in water swimming with dolphins while Enya plays in the background type class. This was just a regular hospital natural childbirth class. (OK I know 'hospital natural childbirth' is an oxymoron but it's what I felt comfortable with, alright?)

What kills me is this was 2 decades ago. And it wasn't a new idea either. The previously mentioned (ad-nauseum) summer I went to live with my beautiful pregnant Aunt M, her pregnancy and childhood books said the same thing. Keep that goddamn baby with you and if you don't you're the worst mother on the face of the earth. And that was 1976.

So it's been known for no short period of time that separating newborns from their mothers is a really shitty thing to do.

So how come it's OK to do it to adoptees?

If we're marked in-utero for adoption, does that somehow make us less than human?

And these young women who are matched with adopters by agencies, what kind of childbirth classes do they get?


Read more...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Philly Phridays #6: Liberty Bell & President’s House Site

Directly across from Independence Hall is the Liberty Bell

And yes

  • the lines are large

  • you can’t make timed reservations

  • you wait a long time

  • and there’s just a Bell in there

But c’mon already. It’s the freaking Liberty Bell. Of course you have to see it.

Also the building and grounds are a vital site, as we remember that the Bell didn’t ring for:

Austin
Christopher Sheets
Giles
Hercules
Joe
Moll
Oney Judge
Paris
and
Richmond

Among others. The entrance to the Liberty Bell Center is directly over the slave quarters of the original President's House.




WHYY Arts and Culture
Video featuring ushistory.org historian
Edward Lawler, Jr
.

For more information, the Philadelphia Inquirer's President's House series is fantastic.


Information courtesy of ushistory.org

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Personalized Medicine Collaborative (PMC) at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research

Again, from The Genetic Genealogist (which is such a great blog, honestly - subscribe if you're interested in this kind of information) comes the fact that The Coriell Institute for Medical Research is offering free personal genome scans to 10K participants through 2009 with the ultimate goal of 100K participants total. The results are not as extensive as the ones provided at 23andMe, but you can't beat the cost.

This is located in New Jersey and you have to attend in person, but I've enrolled. It's worth the hike to me.

From the site:

Information for Potential Participants
The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative will take an evidence-based approach to determine what genome information is clinically useful. Participants may benefit from this research study by utilizing potentially medically actionable information about their personal genomes in their medical care. Participants may share their genome profile with their physician(s) in order to use this information to help determine appropriate medical interventions and/or recommended lifestyle changes.


From the FAQ's:

How can I benefit from Personalized Medicine?
Personalized medicine will eventually improve the effectiveness and lower the cost of medical care. Instead of a "one size fits all" approach to treating disease, care will be tailored to consider information about your personal genome, your DNA. Today, this approach is not routine. Our study is designed to determine what genetic information is useful in medical care in an effort to determine best practices for the implementation of personalized medicine.

In principle, you could benefit from personalized medicine by having a doctor decide to treat your breast or prostate tumor with drug A and not drug B because it is more likely to be effective given the presence of specific genetic variants in your genome. Additionally, knowing your potential risk factors for disease may allow preventative measures to be taken before disease onset. This is possible because most genetic markers are simply "risk factors" and will not cause a disease outright.



Also from the FAQ's. I'm not overly thrilled with the 'adopted children' line, but that phrase is so par for the course from the nonadopted:


Can the CPMC benefit adopted children?
Potentially. Adopted children often do not know their birth parents and thus, are unaware of genetic conditions that they may have inherited. By participating in the CPMC, an adopted person may gain insight into his/her previously unknown genetic background.



Considering that us first crop of BSE'ers are staring into the abyss of middle age, considering the arduous task of search, and considering the large number of closed era adoptees who honestly may never know their origins and/or medical history, personally I give this study two ungrateful thumbs up. Also, a successful search does not automatically grant access to genetic medical history, as evidenced by yours truly. You can't force someone to do the right thing and let you know the truth, but your genes don't lie.

If you're interested read over the entire site, and understand you are donating your DNA to this study. Other good blog posts about this study are at ThinkGene here and here

Read more...

Bah too depressed

I seriously should have taken the day off.

Do you believe I'm scheduled for a three hour training class today?

What kind of a jackass schedules training on this date?




Read more...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

23andMe Lowers Price

Via The Genetic Genealogist this morning comes the announcement that 23andMe is lowering the cost from $999 to $399, and also partnering with Ancestry.com

This is great news for DNA nerds and/or I-don't-have-all-of-my-freaking-medical-history-thanks-for-nothing-mom ingrates like me who found the $1K pricetag unfeasible.

$399 still isn't pocket change, but it brings access a little closer to home. Also, truth be told, if their Odds Calculator shows I have a lower than average risk of colon cancer, I can put off another colonoscopy for the next 5 years.

$399 to avoid unnecessary medical sodomy for five years?

I'll take it.

Bonus time is right around the corner and I am so signing up.

There's a fun demo account you can try at the site to see what it offers.


Read more...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We do not recommend that adoptees are shipped

This site tends to come up in my google alerts from time to time.

I always visit it when it does, and read it over bemusedly.

I think it takes a big heart to have so much love for hermit crabs. It makes me look back on my own childhood and the callous treatment of hermit crabs in my life.

Every summer, we'd make a family jaunt to Ocean City, MD, a/k/a going downyoshun. It was a very big deal. There was some type of trucking convention each year that my dad used to go to, so we'd make a family trip of it. Lots of relatives came too, and we'd get rooms at this incredibly wonderful fun funky beach motel. (On a whim, I googled it, and was beyond thrilled to see it's still in business). Once there, digging for hermit crabs became priority #1.

I have memories of sloshing buckets in the motel room containing sand, ocean water, and an array of hermit crabs. I also have vague memories of my adopted sister and I carefully holding said buckets on the long drive back to Philly, at least when my monstrous demon-child sister wasn't torturing me by putting her finger on my side of the back seat. Despite, I must add, our adoptive mother carefully stacking pillows between us to create a barricade.



But always, somewhere between the beginning of the ride and the time we pulled into the driveway, the hermit crabs mysteriously disappeared. OK not so mysteriously actually. The Sunday morning packing routine was the same each year:

Girls, now it's time to put the crabs back on the beach

Me: tears

Sister: tears

Girls we go through this every year

Me: But-but-but!

Sister: We LOVE our crabs!!

We have a long ride home and you will not want to hold those buckets the entire way

Me: Pleeeeeeaaaaassseeeeeee! (howls)

Sister: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (screams)

No and that's that.

Me: But this is my FA-FA-FA-FAVORITE crab (sobbing)

Sister: (incomprehensible demonic roars)

Do you promise you'll hold those buckets?

Me: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Sister: (still incomprehensible, but nodding)

Alright but this is the last time we're going through this.

It never was.

Being totally serious for a moment, I actually do feel really bad about any defenseless creature being dug up and then left unceremoniously at some highway rest area. Because that's just what happened. With a "Free crabbs!" (sic) sign drawn in crayon taped to the side of the bucket.

Maybe that's why I keep reading this site over and over again when some update triggers it into google alerts.

Or maybe it's just that one line. It always comes up that way in the email I get:



I don't either.

Although you can, for a fee.

Read more...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Philly Phridays #5: Independence Hall


It’s against the law in Pennsylvania to visit Philadelphia and not take a tour of Independence Hall.

Yes, I know we’re going to Pennsylvania to protest an unjust law, however this Visiting Indy Hall Law I agree with.

It’s veritably inhuman not to see where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were...









wait for it



















wait for it
























adopted.


Sorry I had to.

Anyway here you go, watch this:







I’m sorry, I think that’s inspiring, even if candy-ass New York did abstain, with that kind of beginning no wonder we can’t get 2277 out of committee.

Moving on…..

Although it’s “just a goddamned a piece of paper” to our current *cough*cough* leader, there’s this holy hymn from the Saturday morning cartoons of many a BSE adoptee.







Tickets are free, but only if you get them in person. If you make a reservation in advance the cost is a whopping $1.50.

Nearby are some outrageously cool restaurants, my own personal favorite being Buddakan… however it’s another Pennsylvania law that after touring Independence Hall, you have to have lunch at The City Tavern, where the Continental Congress boys used to hang. I think it's kind of cool to hang in the same place.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mean, mean Jon Stewart bullies poor Primal Wounded adoptee Karl Rove

Poor Karl.

Why won't bully real kids like Jon just leave him alone?



Doesn't Jon understand, Karl can't have a consistent opinion.

He's adopted.

He's just trying to be a people pleaser, like so many of us.

Sad, sad, sad Karl. He can't help himself and all the naughty things he's done. He just needs a weekend with a teddy bear getting in touch with his inner child.




It's OK Karl. I love you.

Read more...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

In dreams, I mess with you

Last night I dreamt I got the following letter from my mother:



But even then, she didn't put any pictures in the envelope.

Read more...

Monday, September 01, 2008

I actually am very pissed

about the whole Cheerios thing.


It’s the belittlement and insignificance of loss that can be so neatly summarized. Take along Cheerios when you remove a child from their country and language and heritage and fly them across the world. Just give ‘em finger foods, and all will be a-OK.


There’s a whole industry that wraps adoption up so neatly, that diminishes loss and grief and shock. And too many people who buy into that industry of invalidation without a second thought.



Here’s my tip:



Based on a true story. In fact, when people go to other countries to meet their adopted children, it is suggested that they surrender their US citizenship and become citizens of that country, never speak English again, never speak to their extended families or friends in the US again, get new names and have their original identities sealed forever to help break the ice.

And shut up and be grateful for it by the way. Maybe they can visit the US again some day in 20 years or so, as long as it doesn't hurt their adoptive children's feelings.


Read more...

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