Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

April 13, 2009

Adopted Video Downloads Now Available!

Filed under: Adoptees,For Parents,Site News — Catherine @ 10:11 am

Shipping Costs Too High? DVD Player Incompatible?

Now You Can Download Digital Versions of Adopted and We Can Do Better

The Adopted & We Can Do Better set includes:

  • A visual teaching guide with 5 educational sessions including more than 2 hours of expert advice and case studies for today’s adoptive families.
  • An 80-minute documentary film that delves deep into the intimate lives of two families coping with the subtle challenges all adoptive families face.

Visit our new video download store to purchase individual educational sessions and the feature film for as little as $9.99 — and begin watching within minutes.

Please Note: Digital Downloads for Private, Home Use Only. Institutions planning to use the videos for screenings, workshops or training should purchase the Institutional Use DVD set here. To inquire about licensing, webinars, group and library discounts, please send an email to info@pointmade.com.


July 2, 2008

ICASN Adoptee Perspectives: Intimate Love Relationships – Share Your Thoughts

Filed under: Adoptees,Perspectives — Catherine @ 2:27 pm

From Lynelle Beveridge at ICASN:

Our topic is Intimate Love Relationships, whether they be of same or opposite sex than yourself.  I think all people, adopted or not, find intimate love relationships challenging and rewarding but I’m interested to know how inter-country adoptees navigate this area of our lives and whether being adopted makes it easier, harder, or has no impact at all?

Feel free to write what you wish to share and in case you want some questions to jog your thoughts to begin:

  • Describe & identify any type of patterns in your intimate love relationships to date?  Eg. What types of partners do you chose?  How does their non adopted or adopted status impact your relationship? What cultural or ethnic backgrounds do you tend to be attracted to?  How does that fit with your sense of ethnic/cultural heritage?  Who typically ended the relationships?  Who pushed the most for the relationships to reach certain milestone like “marriage” or “children”?
  • Do you avoid intimate love relationships altogether?  How does that impact you?  What would need to happen to help you not avoid these types of relationships?
  • How do these words fit within your thinking and experience of having intimate love relationships – trust, security, fear, abandonment, loss, independence, over or under achiever, connection, heritage, ethnicity, shame, attraction, aloneness, anger, love, family, push, gratefulness, sensitive, …..
  • How does your adoption impact your intimate love relationships?  If it doesn’t, please also share your thoughts on this.

You can be anonymous or put your name – just let me know your preference.

I look forward to hearing from you as I know that in this topic, it is an area that we all have experience in so hoping that many of you will be able to share your thoughts.

If you’d like to view previous ICASN Perspective Papers, please go to http://www.icasn.org/perspectives.html

Regards,

Lynelle Beveridge
Founder/Director
Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN)
email: icasn@bigpond.net.au


May 14, 2008

Inter-Country Adoption Reform & The Princess Problem

Filed under: Adoptees,Articles,For Parents — Tags: , , , , , — Catherine @ 11:40 am

From Lynelle Beveridge/ICASN:

Hello to you all in the broader Inter-Country Adoption Community!
Have you read the “Orphan Angels�? website that represents Deborah Lee’s Campaign for Adoption Reform in Australia?

As an adoptee, I think the language used in the website needs to be challenged and questioned. As an example, the name of the website – am I the orphan and my adoptive parents the angels? Or, the “save a child�? concept – what about the adoptive family who mutually benefit from adopting and the birth/natural and extended family who have lost their child legally forever? Also, the launch of Adoption Awareness week on Mother’s Day – as one adoptee pointed out, the insensitivity of this when it is the one day adoptees keenly feel the loss of their natural/birth mother.

What concerns me is the Orphan Angel campaign appears to neglect the larger picture of Inter-country adoption and its complexities, for example, the adoptees, the birth/natural families, post adoption support services that are needed for all involved! The campaign seems to promote change that benefits only the prospective adoptive parents and it appears to uphold the USA model of adoption as the end goal! The USA has only just signed up to the Hague last month and have problems with unethical adoptions due to a commercialised model of adoption!

I totally believe there is a place for ethical and well thought adoptions – done in a way that doesn’t promote child trafficking or activities that take advantage of people in unfortunate situations – done in a way that is sensitive to all parties involved. I disagree with the imbalanced perspective that only the orphaned child benefits or able to achieve their full potential through being adopted as promoted by Orphan Angels!

I totally agree that across the nation, there should be a process that is fair, equitable, and accessible to all prospective families who wish to adopt a child. It should also include comprehensive education to prospective families and the community, along with support and services after the child arrives and into the child’s life time. I also believe we do need Adoption Awareness educational events that challenge societal adoption attitudes, misconceptions, and judgements to ease the identity issues adoptees face as they grow up.
As a well informed Inter-Country Adoption community, let’s not stand by and allow this type of campaign to have the Government’s full support without advocating for changes to be done in a way that represents a more balanced perspective of inter-country adoption? Please help us tell the Government what you think of Deborah Lee’s “Orphan Angel�? campaign and what you believe Adoption Reform should include to ensure all voices in the Australian adoption community are heard.

For your views to be included in a collation that will be sent to the Attorney General and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, go to http://intercountryadopteesupportnetwork.blog.com/ and add your comments. You can remain anonymous or include your name. Alternatively, you can email me directly at icasn@bigpond.net.au .

Kind Regards,
Lynelle Beveridge
Founder/Director
Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN)
www.icasn.org/

From Anti-Racist Parent:

I take a special interest in the media images my children consume, as do most parents I know, regardless of race. I don’t rely on entertainment executives or book authors to affirm or protect my children. That’s my job. But I do seek out age-appropriate books, movies, and other media that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live, with characters who look like us and the people we know and love.

But what about fairytales and the other “classics,” those all-white, generations-old stories and characters that are presumed staples of American cultural literacy, likely to turn up as “Jeopardy” questions? We love “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins”, but quick: Name an American children’s classic featuring a black cast. The good, but depressing “Sounder”?

Should classic stories and movies be avoided then because they tend to feature all-white casts?

Read the rest of the article, which also includes a review of several wonderful children’s books, here- The Princess Problem: There’s More Than One Way Of Being Pretty.


May 6, 2008

News from ICASN – Newsboard Update & Australian ICA Peak Group Reminder

Filed under: Adoptees — Tags: , — Catherine @ 12:33 pm

From Lynelle Beveridge, Founder/Director of Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN):

Hi all,

Advising that our Newsboard will be archived for the Month of April by Friday this week … http://www.icasn.org/newsboard.html

May news will be available as of Monday next week. The Newsboard is updated on an ongoing basis so check it regularly to keep abreast of ICA news/info.

All archives are accessible at http://www.icasn.org/news/newsarchives.html

Thanks to those who continue to send through news and info to share on our newsboard!

A reminder, if anyone wishes to have any inter-country adoption issues addressed at the first Australian Peak Group meeting, held 21 & 22 May this month – I’ll be attending and you need to send through your items to me by 19 May at icasn@bigpond.net.au

For more information, visit www.icasn.org, or view our articles from ICASN.


Domestic Adoption in Korea Exceeds Overseas for the First Time

Filed under: Adoptee Articles,Articles,Korean Adoption — Tags: , — Catherine @ 10:37 am

From The Korea Times:

The number of orphans adopted last year declined from a year ago, falling for the sixth consecutive year. But a greater number of orphans found a new family here than overseas for the first time.

Also, about 77 percent of elementary, middle and high school students studied at cram schools and other privately run learning institutes, spending a monthly average of 220,000 won. It took 11 months for high school and university graduates to land a job.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO) Sunday, the number of Korean orphans adopted both at home and abroad stood at 2,652 in 2007, down from 3,231 a year earlier. It has decreased for the sixth straight year since 2001.

But more orphans were adopted by local families than by foreign ones last year for the first time. Local households adopted 1,388 orphans, accounting for 52.3 percent of the total, while 1,264 orphans, or 47.7 percent, found a new home in foreign countries.

Read the full article here: Domestic Adoption Exceeds Overseas for 1st Time


April 8, 2008

What Is The Human Cost Of Racism?

Filed under: Race and Identity,Racism — Tags: , , — Catherine @ 4:21 pm

From New Demographic & Talking Points Memo Cafe:

As I follow the discussion we’re having here at TPMCafe, I keep thinking about The Mother Teresa Effect, a concept based on her quote: “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”

Jae Ran Kim explains:

“In 2004, Carnegie Mellon University conducted an experiment to see if this quote held true in real life. They gave participants five $1 bills to participate in a fictional survey, then presented half of the participants with a fact sheet about starving children in Africa along with an envelope for a donation. The other half of the participants received the same envelope, but instead of a fact sheet, they were given a photo of a young girl named Rokia and a paragraph about how her life would benefit from the participant’s donation.”

As you might expect, those with the picture of Rokia gave more than twice as much as those with just the fact sheet.

The researchers tried the experiment again, this time giving one group the fact sheet and the story about Rokia and the other group just the story about Rokia. Again, those with just the story of Rokia donated more than the group with both the story and the facts.

In other words, not only are we more likely to do something to help an individual than an abstract problem, the inclusion of factual evidence actually reduces our ability to empathize and take action.

Am I advocating that we throw all our facts and statistics out the window? No, of course not. What I’m arguing is that there is power in the specificity of the personal narrative and we should make use of it in our anti-racist efforts.

When I think back on how my own views about race have evolved over my lifetime, I realize that some of the most profound shifts in my thinking resulted not from reading theoretical treatises, but from learning about specific individuals’ experiences.

Read the rest of the article here: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/04/03/what_is_the_human_cost_of_raci/


March 25, 2008

From Anti-Racist Parent: “T-Shirts that trivialize the transracial adoptee experience”, and from New Demographic: “Is America ready for a *real* discussion of race?”

From Anti-Racist Parent (originally published at Heart, Mind and Seoul):

On numerous occasions in the past, I’ve been fairly unsuccessful in trying to convey how many times I’ve felt that the messages and attitudes perpetuated by our society about adoption often leads me to feel that I am reduced down to nothing more than a commodity. . .a tangible item that people with the right kind of credentials and qualifications can pick out and pick up. . .a product that in theory, shouldn’t be available for return, but in fact, sadly is. . .an object that is believed to come from some other place, manufactured by another country instead of being born to two living, breathing human beings.

And time and time again, I’m told that somehow along the way I must have lost my sense of humor or the ability to empathize or that I should really try harder see other people’s points of view. After all, they probably had good intentions behind whatever it was they said or did.

So I’m trying to find the humor and the good intentions behind these t-shirts. But I have to be honest; I keep coming up with nothin’.

Read the full article here: http://www.antiracistparent.com/2008/03/19/why-oh-why-are-these-t-shirts-still-available-2/

***

In her latest newsletter for New Demographic, founder Carmen Van Kerckhove wrote this very interesting piece on the recent events in American politics:

Is America ready for a real conversation about race? That’s the question on many people’s minds after Barack Obama’s historic speech last week.

Judging by some of the discussion I’ve seen on cable news since, I’m not so sure. There was talk about Obama “throwing his white grandmother under the bus” because he mentioned that she feared black men who passed by her on the street. There was indignation when in a subsequent radio interview, Obama made reference to a “typical white person” harboring racial stereotypes.

Seriously? Is it that controversial for Obama to suggest that white people — like all of us — have internalized racist stereotypes, and that those stereotypes impact their interactions with others? If we can’t even own up to that simple fact, how on earth are we supposed to move forward?

On Friday, I spent some time on the phone with a reporter from The Los Angeles Times (read the article here). I told him that I believe one of the biggest obstacles to dismantling racism is the way each of us is only interested in our own oppression.
We’re up in arms when someone in our own community is discriminated against, yet when the same thing happens in another community, we couldn’t care less. We’re more interested in playing oppression olympics — arguing that our group is worse off than any other — than in finding a way to uplift all of us at the same time.

And that’s exactly what I see happening here. Instead of absorbing one of Obama’s core messages — that just because you have the privilege of not thinking about racism, doesn’t mean racism no longer exists — some white folks are using this opportunity to cry “reverse racism” and paint themselves as the ultimate victims.

I really hope we can break this cycle of self-absorption and get real. If we’re serious about dismantling racism, we need to go beyond the concerns of the specific community to which we belong and recognize that when one group is discriminated against, it is an affront to us all.

Warmly,

Carmen


January 31, 2008

ICASN Newsboard

The Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN) recently updated their website, and have added a new section: The Newsboard. It offers international news about adoption, as well as adoptee perspectives and information on support groups and meet-ups.

Also, don’t forget to check out the ICASN articles on this site: ICASN Articles at adoptedthemovie.com.


January 29, 2008

Why do some people discriminate against their own race?

Filed under: Race and Identity,Racism — Tags: , , — Catherine @ 4:19 pm

From Race In The Workplace:

We’re used to thinking of racial discrimination as something that occurs between people from different racial groups.

But is it possible for a person to engage in racial discrimination against a coworker of his own race? It’s not as common, but it can happen. I recently spoke to the restaurant industry trade publication QSR on this topic.

So, what would possibly cause a person to engage in same-race discrimination?

1. They buy into negative stereotypes about their own race

All of us have been inundated throughout our lives with racist stereotypes perpetuated by the media and other social institutions. It’s impossible not to have internalized some of these racist beliefs — even those about our own racial group.

But some folks have internalized these negative beliefs to a far greater degree than others, turning these beliefs into outright racial self-hatred. These people genuinely believe negative stereotypes about their own race, and this leads them to discriminate against those like themselves.

2. They think it’s a good career move

If you can’t beat’em, join’em, as the cliché goes. In a workplace where people of a certain racial group are already being discriminated against, joining in the discrimination could be seen by some as a way to climb the corporate ladder:

Van Kerckhove says some instigators might also see race-on-race harassment as a way to politically advance themselves in the company, but that racial discrimination—even if it’s inadvertent—has to be present initially.

“That could happen in a workplace where there already is racial discrimination”


January 22, 2008

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Alienate People of Color at Your Meeting

Filed under: Adoptee Articles,Adoptees,Articles,For Parents,Race and Identity,Racism — Tags: , , — Catherine @ 7:05 pm

From Race In The Workplace:

The next time you plan a meeting — whether it’s an internal meeting or a full-blown conference — take a minute to think about how people of color will perceive your efforts.

It may not seem as if diversity plays much of a role in meeting-planning, but you’d be surprised.

Check out Association Meetings magazine’s cover story this month, titled “Bias? What bias?”, in which the editor was kind enough to include some of my thoughts on the subject.

So, what are some things you should not do if you want to make people of color feel included at your meeting?

1. Create a discussion panel that is a veritable diversity ghetto
Another common way associations attempt to diversify their meetings is to include what Carmen Van Kerckhove, co-founder and president of New Demographic, an anti-racism training company in New York, calls “the panel of marginalized people.” This is a panel that features, for example, a black person, a Hispanic person, a young person, and a person with a physical disability put on display to discuss their issues as members of a specific group. Instead of creating “the ‘diversity ghetto,’ planners could include those issues in the main topics of the conference.”

You have no idea how many conference organizers have asked me to be on their diversity ghetto panel. And this doesn’t just happen at conferences where the organizers are mostly white — Asian-American conferences are often guilty of this too. Many a time I have found myself, The Half-White Asian, on a panel along with The Bisexual Asian and The Disabled Asian. Of course no one used those labels explicitly, but it’s what the audience was thinking as they looked at us.

2. Force the person of color to talk about race and nothing else
And include minorities among your mainstream topic speakers, she adds. “It’s more powerful if you have a panel of top executives that includes a person of color discussing a business issue, than it is to just plop that person of color up there to talk about their race.” The Association Forum of Chicagoland, Chicago, is very attuned to this, says vice president and COO Pamm Schroeder. But, she adds, it takes more work to find new, diverse voices than it does to just fall back on speakers you already know and have good evaluations for.

Organizations have a tendency to think of diversity as a thing that is wholly separate from the day-to-day matters of business. So instead of thinking “Joe has some great ideas about where our industry is headed, let’s make sure he speaks,” the meeting planner thinks: “Joe is black, let’s show some diversity by having him speak about what it’s like to be a black man in this industry.”

3. Don’t reach out to people of color because you assume that your industry “just isn’t that diverse”
…Another common misperception made by dominant-culture planners, says Van Kerckhove, happens when people look around at a meeting and, seeing that there are few people of color, assume that it’s because there are few people of color in the profession or interest group the meeting serves. In fact, it may be that “many of the people organizing the conferences haven’t stepped out of their comfort zone to do a more thorough search to find people who are different from the mainstream” of attendees, she says.

Just because there was little diversity at every other meeting you’ve been to doesn’t mean that there’s no diversity in the industry. It could be that people of color are turned off by the meetings and opt to stay home. It’s up you to create an environment that’s inclusive to all people.

Read the original article here: http://www.raceintheworkplace.com/2008/01/17/3-sure-fire-ways-to-alienate-people-of-color-at-your-meeting/


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