Saturday, January 31, 2009

This site may harm your computer and your heart and your soul and your finances and your identity and .....

Teh google is broken this morning, with every search showing 'This site may harm your computer'

Oh, if only it would last.... at least for this keyword.....





Edit 10:20 - they fixed it. That was fast...

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cousin's hairdresser who was adopted and is perfectly fine with it ----- step aside

There is a new beauty service professional to take your place:

(brace yourself)


"The Phillipana (sic) woman who does my nails says she WISHES she had been adopted by an American family!"


I delete the ranter emails I occasionally get but just had to share that line.

So now we've got two archetypes of adoption gratitude, both oddly enough females in positions of subservience to other women. Are there any male symbols of adoption joy out there?

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Search for Survivors


While I find this website to be so excruciatingly painful sometimes I can barely read through an entire post, the site now has an added addition of a Youtube channel that, while probably one of the most triggering things you will ever see, I urge you to view.

And I urge you to view it quickly, as Youtube videos such as this have a tendency to disappear. They're bad for business, you know. Please refer to the text under "We're Back" on the Children in Therapy website.

And then I'd beg you to take action. Right now some adoptee, some child in foster care, is experiencing this.

Right now, this is going on.

There are eight simple, simple, simple things you can do to help.

Because as you read this post, right now, this is happening to some child.

Attachment disorder, my ass.

To my point of view, failure to 'attach' to adopters who would subject any child to this kind of bullshit therapy is the most mentally healthy thing any adoptee could do.




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Friday, January 23, 2009

Indiana - Call to Action

Reposting from Indiana Open ---

I am asking adoptees, first mothers and adoptive mothers to help defeat a bill in Indiana. It is SB 280 which will be merged with SB 303. The senator that we were working with has decided to go behind our backs and not go along with a clean adoptee rights bill. The bad part is that she, Senator Lubbers and Kirsh/Kirsh Adoption attorneys have been working together to make Indiana like Utah. They are seeking to remove the ICPC regulations from incoming mothers. So if an Ohio Mother relinquishes in Indiana, she no longer has to follow Ohio laws in regard ICPC. This will hurt father's rights. It encourages women to jump states where she might be more vulnerable.

Please write the legislators in Indiana and tell them NO to SB 280 and SB 303.

http://www.in.gov/cgi-bin/legislative/contact/contact.pl

You can send emails through this website. Copy and paste your email to all these legislators. Tell them we do not want fathers to have their rights violated. We do not want women who will be vulnerable in the state of Indiana. We do not want a reinforcement registry.

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Philly Phridays #21: Please Touch Museum

Apologies for the quick post this week as I'm short on time. I’ve been a little lax on family friendly attractions during these Philly Phridays, so this week I’m showing some love to one of the coolest children’s museums around.

This museum has so much going for it, this blog post would run five pages long. And to understand the awesomeness of the Please Touch Museum, it’s much better to see it than to read about it.

So, please touch here, to hear all about this wonderful building from a very wonderful girl with the very wonderful name of Kali, who always knew that this place was meant for her.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

DNA and Pinot Noir

These are a few of my favorite things.

An introduction to genomics and building a better wine all in one:









I'm rather ungrateful for his dismissal of Long Island, pfffffffffffffffft Napa Valley wineries -- you nurse a vineyard through freak unseasonable North Fork weather and still have a viable crop and a damn fine product at the end.

But I'll forgive him, because he's down with the DNA.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a day, what a day, what a beautiful day

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Texas Adoptee Rights Protests

Via my inbox...

Please pass this on to any of your friends who you believe may be interested.

On Friday, Jan 23rd, 12 noon, until 5:00 pm, please join us below the capitol building on Congress Ave., carrying signs, and marching to restore the rights of Texas Adoptees. On Saturday, we plan on marching from 10:00 AM until 2:00 pm or later, depending on circumstances. I have been told we can not go on the State property with our signs, but we can march on the sidewalks around the capitol. As you know, Congress dead ends right into the capitol grounds. This will be a wonderful place to display our signs!

If you would like to join us in our Adoptees Rights Struggle 2009, please do so. You can email Linda Burns, momoburns@yahoo.com , if you have questions.

Our next march in Austin will be Feb 13-14, where we will have big red hearts and will be asking Gladney to HAVE A HEART.

In April, we will marching in Ft Worth.

We want all Texas adoptees to have equal rights. We want our legislature to change laws that have allowed maternity homes to profit due to sealed records. It is time to make changes to allow every citizen the same rights.

This is not TXCARE related. We are not adoption professionals nor are we experienced protesters. We are just everyday people asking for our State to grant Civil Rights to our Texas adoptees. The marchers will consist of birth families, adoptees, and adoptive families. All members of the Texas adoption triad believe adoptees civil rights are being violated.

We are hoping that if you can not join us, that you will make a sign and be out at the same time we are out here in Austin. If you can march in front of your County Courthouse, or your City Hall, or in front of any public building, it will help all of us. If people see we are wanting change, perhaps we can make progress.

Gladney is the only adoption agency who has fought change. They will be fighting us once again, but if we show our readiness to fight for change, perhaps we can make a difference.

Please join us. We need you!

One of my signs says, "Gladney Violates The Civil Rights of Adoptees" and another says "Adoptees Civil Rights March 2009". We are hoping that when others understand this is about Civil Rights, they will join us. After all, this is what our country is supposed to be founded on!

Linda Burns
momoburns@yahoo.com

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What I’m wearing




Alright I lied. I’m not wearing it right now. But I will be soon, because I just ordered it. And I’ll be wearing it a lot, because a really cheap no contract required gym just opened up 2 blocks away, and damn I need to lose some weight.

And I’ll be wearing this too:








Because it’s freaking freezing outside.

Yes, the beautiful Dory has the revised CafePress shop up online, and I hope you’ll take a visit, and buy an item or two or three or twenty.

And because I do love you so, here’s $5.00 towards your purchase: BECALMTORSO

I didn’t make that coupon code up by the way. It just came that way. Like a disturbing captcha. I don’t know if it means CafePress wants your torso to be calm, or if they are urging you to be calm to an organization called RSO, honestly I don’t. But just take my $5 and be grateful already. And I’ll be grateful if you use it.




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Saturday, January 17, 2009

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

Subtitled: The Facebook Dilemma - Part 2




No.




Definitely not.



Bad idea.




Really bad idea.





The truth.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Philly Phridays #20 - The Philadelphia Parking Authority!

The most hated yet often-visited tourist spot in Philadelphia is, hands down, the PPA tow lot. I wanted to spend a Friday giving you an overview of Philly Parking, because next July, at least one of us undoubtedly will be spending a day there.

It's inevitable.

I don't care if there is a flashing neon sign that says:

PARK HERE! YOU! YOU! RIGHT NOW! PARK YOUR CAR IN THIS PERFECTLY LEGAL PARKING SPOT!

As soon as you walk away, that sign will be replaced by a dented, faded, hidden behind brush cover sign that reads:

NO PARKING ANYTIME.
TOW ZONE, ASSHOLE



So - forewarned is forearmed. First things first - program this number into your cell phone before you hit Philly - 215-561-3636. When you find your car gone, that's the number you want to call to verify that, yeah, they took your car. Second - carry your registration and insurance with you when you leave the car. When, not if, when you get towed, it will save you a long line wait, unlike these unwary travelers.

Yes, the PPA is so notorious, they have their own TV show. You can catch Parking Wars on A&E, or watch clips on the website. There's even a clip of PPA employees giving their own tourist highlights in the most beyoutiful accents in the country.

That's a wrap for this week roundup of all things Philly for this summer's Adoptee Rights Demonstration. Tune in next Friday, where I'll give a review of a great place to bring kids for those of you making it a family trip in July.



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9:30 AM - #4 inside quotations, #7 without quotations

Really busy here, but when someone I admire asks to spread the word, I must comply

Please head on over to Claud's house to read her latest post regarding cool geeky intrawebnets SEO stuffs and Adoptions With Love

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rise up, Fellow Graftlings!

Leave your identity behind!

Discard your origins and ancestry.

Much like the the branch, oozing sap, is grafted onto the living tree - so are you grafted to your adoptive family.

But yanno, asexual propagation does leave an odd mark behind. I'm just sayin'.

Grafting on to the family tree
Humboldt Beacon
Posted: 01/15/2009 08:51:12 AM PST

Dear Editor,

While I appreciate Ms. Rigge's courage in coming forward with some of the challenges she has faced as an adoptee, I must take issue with regards to what she states with regards to her child's ancestry.

As the parent of four children that were brought into our family through the miracle of adoption, we have had to deal with similar issues; our oldest two kids have had to create their family tree as well.

Both of them had questions about their roots as it pertained to their adoptive familiy, and I explained to them that they were grafted onto the family tree, and like a branch that is grafted onto a living tree, it is just as much a part of the tree as one that had grown naturally.

My kids are not "bastards,” nor are they part of any "Bastard Nation" and while I sympathize with Ms. Rigge's plight, I strongly resent such implications. Adoption is a different journey to the same destination, a child united with parents as a family.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DianWellfare.com

Via my inbox....

Please visit:


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Monday, January 12, 2009

Family seeking support as adopted son faces deportation

Noe Wilson, a Rome High School and Shorter College alum, was cited for several traffic offenses – including an expired tag, no insurance and driving without a license – and was arrested when his illegal status was discovered. Now his father is asking for help and support as they fight his impending deportation.


read more | digg story

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Orphan Manufacturing Chain

"The idea that the developing world has millions of healthy infants and toddlers in need of new homes is a myth. In poor countries as in rich ones, healthy babies are rarely abandoned or relinquished.. The vast majority of children who need adoption are older, sick, disabled or traumatized. But most Westerners are looking for healthy infants .."

read more | digg story

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Via Nicole: The mental health system and adoption: questions for triad members

I started this last night, and got so wrapped up in it I totally forgot to publish my Philly Phriday on the most despised tourist spot in all of Philadelphia, so apologies. Wait 'till next Friday for the hatred.

Anyway, I hate really long comments in blog posts, so I decided to do this on my own blog instead. Reprinted via Nicole:

Do you feel the mental health system is adequately equipped to support you in issues relating to adoption/relinquishment/abandonment?

No.

I could go on and on and on about this, but they don’t have a clue. Not one, single, solitary clue. They do far more damage than good, some damage worse than others, but all in all, damage. The combination of alphabet letters that young adoptees are diagnosed with pisses me off from here to eternity, and it's professional suicide to speak out against it.

Example: at a special education meeting attended by my husband for a Korean-adoptee student once, various letter combination were thrown around to describe her. After reading over her file he made the fatal mistake of saying, "I don't think she's suffering from any of these, I think she just has adoption." One guess how that was received.





If you have ever sought counseling for any adoption-related issues, how long did it take for you to find a counselor who was competent with addressing your adoption issues?

It’s hard to remember, going to therapy has been like being a serial monogamist, with occasional cheating from time to time. I do remember my very first therapist, who I went to see in my early 20’s because I was wondering why I was such a screw-up, immediately jumped all over adoption. But I wasn’t ready to hear what she said and dismissed her.

When John Bradshaw’s inner child work was all the rage, I did have a therapist who advocated that type of therapy, and while I found that personally helpful, I felt guilty for benefiting from it. I remember saying over and over that there were people who had real issues, abuse, incest, one of my best friends was passed around by her own father to his drinking buddies for crissakes, etc, and why should I be pissing and moaning. The therapist had said something along the lines of, “Don’t you find not knowing who you are abusive?” and while that was validating, I still dismissed it. The hardest thing was, it was adoption that made me dismiss it. Being adopted to me means that I come last, nothing I say matters, nothing I need matters, I am the least important person in everyone’s life.

I had said to Nicole before that many times I’ve found myself compartmentalizing my therapy, hence the cheating comment from above. I’d see a so-so therapist who knew about adoption issues, while at the same time seeing a great therapist who knew nothing about adoption issues. Which only left me feeling more fragmented than before.

I like the guy I’m seeing now, although it’s only luck of geography, socioeconomics, insurance and a flexible work schedule that I have access to him.


If you have ever sought the services of a mental health professional for adoption-related issues, what was your experience like? And was it through the private mental health system (ie, you used private insurance to pay) or through the public mental health system (ie, you used government insurance to pay)?

Private insurance – see here for the angina associated with that.



Would you define adoption as a culture? As in… if there were a cultural sensitivity training for mental health professionals, do you think adoption would be an appropriate topic to include? If so, why? If not, why not?

Oh absolutely, but how do you do cultural sensitivity training about adoptees? Do you take a group of people, change their names, force them to live with people who look nothing like them, and have them live in a climate of secrets, where everyone around them knows the truth except for them? If so, for how long? A weekend seminar with continuing education credits just wouldn’t cut it.

Adoption is a hidden culture that ripples out. I’m sure my half-siblings are living in it themselves, even though they don’t know it. They grew up with a mother who was haunted by the outline of her secret firstborn. How can any woman be a fully connected mother with a secret demon ghost child haunting the nursery? I know I couldn’t be a fully connected mother with a secret hidden ghost mother of my own, as well as being raised around the ghosts of the biological children my adoptive mother wanted to have.


Would you be more likely to get counseling for adoption-related issues if you knew the counselor you’d be seeing shared your triad status?

Nah. I mean, if Betty Jean Lifton were here on the Island I’d be venting on her couch weekly, but I’d be wondering if they were working on their own adoption issues through therapy. I’ve also witnessed hiphiphappyhurray adoptees being therapists which scares the bejesus out of me. The best therapy I’ve had has been with shrinks who were unusually empathetic real people. Honestly, what has helped me the most has been, in this order:

  • blogging
  • being in the company of other adoptees online
  • getting active (i.e., RegDay, Adoptee Meetups, hopefully heading up to Albany if weather permits, volunteering with Philly, etc.)
  • therapy

The therapy is necessary, because you know, there is just some shit that I just won’t share, but self-awareness and the ever-onward struggle towards one single self is coming from a combination of the four.

I'd like to hope and believe one day I would have a sense of an authentic self, but if I have no pre-traumatic identity to draw upon for comparison, I'm terrified of spending a lifetime in search of it. Jesus, I'm too old for this.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

An Accidential Reunion

Via AdultAdoptees.org....

Reunion story in two parts. Embedding is disabled by request, but you can watch both videos back to back at this link.

Pre-stocking of Kleenex prior to hitting play suggested.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some perspective on the Ontario vetoes

Via LookingInOntario, reposted with permission:

Canada Statistics doesn't hold any numbers for adoptions
(no surprise there) but from old articles that I have, it is
estimated that there have been approx. a quarter of a million
domestic adoptions in Ontario.

Although 921 out of 250,000 is not high, it is still a significant
number (and sad for adoptees who will not be allowed any personal
information whatsoever).


This works out to less than 1 percent of the total adoptions in
Ontario. I hope that some will take some comfort in that.

That 0.4 percent is still much lower overall when compared to some
other places where it is much higher.

*For example, British Columbia has had a total of 70,000 adoptions
but there were 3,000 vetoes applied for back in 1996 to 1998 when
they started opening their records. That represents 4.29 percent -
that is much higher than Ontario.

*stats from
http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/9606/canada/bcstats.html

It would be interesting to see what the breakdown is but I have not
seen any so far.

However, the numbers from British Columbia could give a clue to that
(the stats are from the above link mentioned earlier).

Disclosure Vetoes for BC as percentages and breakdown

Bio mothers - 75 percent
Bio fathers - 2 percent
Adoptees - 23 percent

Read more...

I have no title for this. Just read it ....

The article isn't breaking down by percentage of mothers/fathers/adoptees, but........

----------------------


As the province prepares for a new era of openness, more than 900 people have formally requested that their personal adoption records remain sealed. Beginning June 1, most adopted adults and birth parents will be able to access information that will help identify each other. But the ministry of community and social services has received 921 disclosure vetoes as of Dec. 31 from people who do not wish this personal information released.


read more | digg story

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Adam Herrman: Age Enhanced Photo Released, Adoptive Mother Denies Abuse Allegations


The Wichita Eagle publishes an interview with the adoptive mother of Adam Herrman:

Adoptive mother denies she abused missing boy

The article is astonishing in the constant denial of abuse allegations, sprinkled in with anecdotes of belt 'spankings'. Also in the article is the reveal that many who know about adoption were already aware of: the $700 month stipend that the Herrman's continued to receive even after Adam was missing. Although hey, she claims she sent back the check she received after he turned 18.

Meanwhile, KWCH posted an interview with Adam's adoptive uncle:

Missing Boy's Uncle Blames Sister

And KSN posts fragments of an email sent to them by Crystal Herrman, biological daughter of the Herrmans, who hints it was she and her brother who first tipped authorities to Adam's disappearance:

The biological daughter of Adam Herrman's adoptive parents contacts KSN




Yesterday the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has released the age-enhanced photo, which has prompted more than a few calls from people who believe to have seen him on Myspace, Facebook, etc.


What do I think happened to him? It's hard to say right now. I'm leaning towards the scenario where he ran away, and somehow got hurt or lost in the woods surrounding his home, but at this point it's anyone's guess.

In the midst of all this coverage, what hasn't come across my Google alerts yet is any type of oversight into post-adoption monitoring, or criticism of the lack thereof. Adam Herrman's sad life, like too many other adoptees, is yet another litany of adult failure. And what gnaws at me is in spite of all the attention right now, in just a few months his name will be forgotten when the next news story comes up. Everyone will ask oh, how could this happen? How could this be? And doesn't this story remind you of that one, oh what was his name - that kid who went missing for ten years?

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Adopted and abused?

Because of the unusually high traffic this blog is receiving due to the Adam Herrman story, I just wanted to add a quick post for any visiting adoptees who were also abused by their adoptive parents.

You are not alone.

Please visit www.Adopted-Abused.com

Also, if you were labeled delinquent, a runaway, difficult, RAD, ODD, or other similar adjectives, and submitted to abusive attachment therapies, please visit A Search For Survivors.

Or if you're like me and don't fall into either of the above categories, but just want to hang with your own people, I'd suggest www.AdultAdoptees.org.




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More relatives speak out

This case frustrates me beyond words. I mean, they all do, but this one just gets me. How can someone be missing for so long, and no one bats an eye?

These stories shock me out of my comfort zone and send me spinning. It makes me wonder if one of the Herrman's biological children suddenly disappeared, would no one think to ask about them, or try to find them? How can family members just disappear? We had a close family member go into rehab. There wasn't a person in the family who didn't know how he was doing and exactly where he was at all times.

And his name is bothering me too. Really. His name is Irvin Groeninger. He was two years old when he was adopted. How do you change the name of a two year old? How does anyone feel that's OK? For a two year old who just lost his entire world, can't he even keep his own name?


Relatives say missing boy was abused
On Super Bowl Sunday in 1999, the year Adam Herrman went missing but no one reported it, one of his aunts says she saw the 11-year-old chained to a bathtub faucet at his Towanda mobile home.

It looked like he had handcuffs on, said his aunt, Kim Winslow. Winslow, now 48, said it was the last time she saw Adam.


read more | digg story



Biological father of Kansas boy missing since 1999 anguishes over loss
The biological father of a Kansas boy missing for 10 years from the home of his adoptive parents says officials unjustly terminated his parental rights.

Irvin Groeninger II is the boy’s biological father. The Indiana truck driver says he last saw his son when the boy was 18 months old.

He was divorced when the child was removed from the biological mother’s home because of alleged abuse. He says he was cleared of any wrongdoing and tried to get the boy back.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Missing Boy’s Brother Talks of Abuse, and KWCH Speaks With SRS Regarding the Adoption Process

Adam Herrman's adopted brother speaks with KWCH in Kansas.....

In the interview, he mentions calling the police once regarding the abuse he states Adam was subjected to by his adoptive parents, but by the time the police came he told them he was lying.

He was 9 years old at the time.

In other news, KWCH spoke with SRS in Topeka. While they could not comment on adoptive parents Doug and Valerie Herrman, they did provide the following....

We learned adoptive parents go through an extensive background check. However, once an adoption is finalized, the state is out of the picture.

That all changes if money is involved. Many adoptive families in Kansas receive Medicaid to help them raise a special needs child. Those children with significant medical, emotional or developmental needs.

The state and parents come to an agreement prior to the adoption.

The assistance can be a one-time payment or reoccuring. If it's the latter, Medicaid requires the parents submit an annual written report to verify the money is still needed.

Their word is Medicaid's only source. They never go in person to check.

So how does this apply to Adam Herrman? According to family, his adoptive parents received state assistance, possibly thousands of dollars. Right now we don't know why.

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Human band-aid / marital therapy

Courtney Cox and husband David Arquette are planning to adopt a baby in a bid to keep their marriage alive, it has been claimed.









Jesus Christ.

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Adam Herrman Press Conference


KWCH broadcast a live press conference this morning with Sheriff Craig Murphy --

From the website:

Sheriff Craig Murphy says they are investigating the disappearance of Adam Herrman as a missing person's case.

Someone recently reported that Adam had not been seen since 1999. Investigators started a bio-historical data search on Herrman. Investigators looked for whatever they could find on Herrman from birth through today.

Murphy says investigators were unable to find any historical data on Herrman after 1999. They don't know what happened after 1999.

Sheriff Murphy would not go into what investigators found in the mobile home park last week, but he did say that it provided one of the answers they were looking for.

Authorities are asking for anyone who may have seen something or known something in 1999 to please contact Butler County Investigators.


An age-progressed picture will be made available soon.

KWCH spoke with Adam's sister Tiffany Broadfoot yesterday. Video starts after the jump:



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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Where is Adam Joseph Herrman?

What would you do if your kid was missing?

Suppose he was 11 or 12. How long does it take before you call the police?

These adoptive parents never did.

Never.

They 'assumed' he was either homeless or had run away to be with his first family when he disappeared in 1999.

Funny thing though, they seem to have forgotten that assumption around 2005 when his older sister called to ask how he was doing.

His adoptive mother told her not to call anymore; she didn't want Adam to know he was adopted.

In 2002 though, they remembered him long enough to list him as a dependent on their bankruptcy papers.

Horrible

Long-missing boy is subject of search
kansascity.com — He came to his foster parents when he was about 2 and a few years later that family adopted him. And then, nearly 10 years ago, the boy disappeared when he was 11 or 12, while the adoptive family lived at a mobile home park in Kansas. After receiving a tip, Butler County authorities searched part of the mobile home park last week.


read more | digg story


Update: Via When a child goes missing, another article titled 'One answer found in missing-boy case'

On Friday, Murphy said that investigators "did get an answer that we were looking for" during a search earlier this week of the Towanda mobile home park where Adam lived.

But Murphy stressed that it was only one among a number of answers that investigators are seeking. He wouldn't say more.


I'll be keeping an eye out for any updates between now and the press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning.




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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Change.gov has adoption issues

Oh I crack myself up.

Anyway, more than a few people have brought adoption to Change.gov.

You can go here and search for 'adoption' or 'adoptee', and vote on the questions posted.

While personally I still believe that any President would have less than a kthxbai interest in this state issue, I don't see any harm in voting up or down on the questions. As long as while folks are at it, they send off a letter or fax to their state representative reminding them off the beautiful goings on in Maine, and wouldn't they love to be part of making their own constituents this happy?

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New York Foundling Hospital Reunion and Gathering - October, 2009

Via my inbox comes word that New York Foundling Hospital is holding a reunion and gathering weekend October 9th through October 12th, 2009. They are also hoping to create an online community of anyone associated with NY Foundling at their website.

While there's not a whole lot online right now, you can visit the Homecoming registration site at http://donors.nyfoundling.org/homecoming

My google alerts occasionally contain stories of gatherings by agencies or organizations. While personally I tend to bristle a bit at some of the 'saving children' wording, I think these gatherings are a good way to network with others.

Registration and all events during the homecoming weekend are free. The press release is up on Reuters here



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Friday, January 02, 2009

Philly Phridays #19: The Mummers!


When I first moved away from Philadelphia, I was appalled that no one in Illinois knew what The Mummers were.

Unbelievable.

The Mummers were such an integral part of my childhood, it was like someone not knowing what Christmas was.

Unreal.

Anyway, for those of you who have no idea of the beauty, joy, exhaustion, revelry, rivalry, and general drunken Philliness that is the 8 hour long New Year's Day Mummer's Parade (only 6.5 hours this year though, WTF?), here’s a brief synopsis. I could paraphrase it, but why on earth should I, when Wikipedia exists for the sole purpose of lazy bloggers such as myself?

The Mummers Parade is held each New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Local clubs (usually called "New Years Associations") compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and movable scenery, which take months to complete. This is done in clubhouses, many of which are located on or near 2nd Street (called "Two Street" by some local residents) in South Philadelphia, which also serve as social gathering places for members.

You can read the rest of Wikipedia's entry here.

New Year is a year round event, seriously.

It starts with the hangover on January 3 (January 2nd is spent sleeping).

Then the majority of the year is fundraising, planning, organizing, choreography, rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals and more rehearsals. In between all that are appearances at other parades and performances around the country.

After Christmas, you go to MummersFest at the Convention Center and watch the floats being finalized and the musicians and dancers rehearsing. After Midnight Mass on New Year’s, a decision is made between the City and Presidents of the Four Divisions if the parade will take place on New Year’s Day, or be moved to a different date due to weather conditions. This usually happens around 4AM ish. If all is a go, then New Year’s Day in Philly looks and sounds a little like this:












and a little like this







and a little like this (my favorite video):






And by the time it’s over, if you hear ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ one more time, you swear you’ll kill someone.

Down on Two Street you can visit the Mummer’s Museum and then head on over to Snockey's for great seafood.

That's all for this week's round up on Philadelphia in preparation for next July's Philadelphia Adoptee Rights Demonstration. Me personally, after genealogical research has uncovered that my adoptive and natural families were affiliated with competing clubs of the same Division, I'm awash with conflicted adoptee loyalties. I have to go lay down now.

Happy New Year!






View Larger Map

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Beautiful day in Maine




Images: Portland Press Herald


Adoption Records Open Up
Shawn O'Neill gives back to his community by serving on the Old Orchard Beach town council. He's held a seat for 12-years. As we head into a new year, he's doing something for himself. He's finding answers to the many questions he has....


Maine adoptees get access to birth records
About 20 men and women, each raised by parents who adopted them, lined up outside a state office building this morning to get a first look at their original birth certificates.

Some choked back tears as they learned the names of their birth mothers, the places where they were born and, in some cases, the fact that they have siblings they've never met

"This is a pretty special day," said Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, an adoptee who proudly held her birth certificate for the first time. A former state senator, Benoit helped pass a new state law making birth records accessible to those adopted in Maine. The law took effect today, and 141 people had pre-registered to get their birth certificates....





Adoptees flood records office for certificates
AUGUSTA, Maine — Amid tears of joy at the state’s Vital Records office, scores of people who had been adopted as children got their long-awaited wish Friday to receive copies of their original birth certificates.

“It was a lovely moment to be a part of,” said Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, one of those who received her birth records under a law she was instrumental in getting passed while serving as a state senator. “It’s just been quite a day. People are so full of joy.”






Restrictions Lifted On Original Birth Certificates
It was a day of discovery as more than a dozen adoptees braved cold temperatures to be the first to get their original birth certificates under a new state law. They stood in line waiting for the doors to open at the Maine Office of Vital Statistics in Augusta. Once inside they secured the document, that up until now, could only be obtained under special circumstances through a court order.

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