The Blended Life

Encouraging Multiracial Identity

Posted by on 10:49 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

Encouraging Multiracial Identity

Two things that are of utmost importance to me as a transracial adoptive parent are learning from adult adoptees and gathering tools for my child that encourage her identity. That’s why when I read Sharon H. Chang’s article “Why Mixed with White isn’t White” over at Hyphen I was thrilled as she included the Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage. I have often written in this space about the pressures multiracial children face from others to define or choose their identity. So often the pressure from peers at...

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Words

Posted by on 10:14 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

Words

  Words. I recall this saying, Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. It was a lie. In the adoption world, especially in the transracial adoption world, words hurt. Intentional words meant to alienate, separate, and ‘other’ my family.  As a family, we often talk about using our words to respond in appropriate ways that both protect our physical bodies and our emotional selves. So this week, when my children heard the words adults are using to describe the ‘foreigner’ or refugee (very different words that...

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Participate

Posted by on 10:29 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

Participate

Yesterday my kindergartner came home after a discussion about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at school and had questions. I was busy making dinner, answering questions about homework requirements, checking in about tutoring sessions, and listening to voicemail – you know that weary pre-dinner crazy that unifies and terrorizes all parents. I told my son to wait patiently and carried on in that crazy space. Later at bedtime, we sang Jingle Bells (oh yes, we are still stuck on Christmas songs, don’t pretend you are not), talked about our...

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Waiting for Truth

Posted by on 10:37 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

Waiting for Truth

On December 9th I began drafting a response to the situation in Ferguson, to the denigration of black bodies, to the growing and needed conversation of race and racism in America, to the inevitable link between transracial adoption and racism. The conversation was on the main stage, in the forefront now, and I wanted to respond. I wrote words over and over again. As I wrote I watched the adoptive community respond to current events and the ongoing conversation with increased vigor – but not how I thought we would respond. We were not...

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The Best Reads from NAM

Posted by on 11:54 am in Articles | 0 comments

The Best Reads from NAM

National Adoption Month is over. The month of November can so often be a mixed bag of emotion for adoptees and adoptive families. There seems to be an unending circle critiquing one another about being too positive, not real enough, too negative, sugar-coating, or depressing. In all of the back and forth, I think this month brought the most fair, balanced and honest writing about adoption that I have seen in quite some time. So I perused my bookmark list of amazing reads and videos over the past month and created my Best Of National Adoption...

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World Adoption Day, National Adoption Month, & Flip the Script

Posted by on 8:00 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

November is National Adoption Month. Every year the month of November creates awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care. Since its formation in the 1990s, National Adoption Month has grown into an all encompassing recognition of adoption, whether domestic or international. New to this busy month, which already houses National Adoption Day, is World Adoption Day today. Typically this month features voices from the adoption triad that are educational, enlightening, and engaging. But if we are to be honest, adoptive...

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In Praise of Adjectives

Posted by on 8:00 am in Articles, Blended, Negotiations & Lullabies | 0 comments

In Praise of Adjectives

Adjectives, nouns, and verbs. Second grade begins to teach the navigation of words in the English language. My seven year old had no problem with nouns and verbs, but adjectives trouble her. As seen by this recent work assignment at school in which she assigned adjectives to the character Mog, her teacher, orange chicken, and herself. The first three she did okay, by second grade standards, but when she came to assigning adjectives that describe herself, she faulted. The day she brought it home she was sad and embarrassed. Like every kid with...

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The Truth in Your DNA

Posted by on 11:23 am in Articles, Blended | 1 comment

The Truth in Your DNA

  Her words hit me in the gut. “Mom, I don’t care if it’s my birthday and Christmas presents for the next five years. The greatest gift I could ever receive is knowing who I am.” My daughter is talking about a DNA test. Over the summer we had hoped the state legislature where she was born would pass a law granting adoptees access to their original birth certificates. They did not. The law upheld the rights of birthparents and their promised anonymity at the time of relinquishment. Disappointment is not an adequate word to describe the...

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Perfection and The Freedom Journal

Posted by on 11:03 am in Articles, Blended, Negotiations & Lullabies | 0 comments

Perfection and The Freedom Journal

Notes get sent home in her backpack. Notes from her teacher asking me to please help her speed up the process of writing; encourage her to move more quickly. I get assessment reports saying she is lagging behind the momentum of her class in her short moment story, and could I please invite her to hurry along. I am pulled aside by her teacher in the school hallway and she implores me to help her in some way to not be so obsessed with perfection but just to get words on a page. Oh, perfection, I know you too well. There are two stories about me...

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A Transracially-Adopted Child’s Bill of Rights

Posted by on 11:47 am in Articles, Blended | 0 comments

A Transracially-Adopted Child’s Bill of Rights

Last week my daughter came home from middle school full of energy and with a look on her face that I recognized. She had connected with someone at school in a significant way. But you know tweens, I didn’t want to push too hard, so I began guessing in my head just who the connection would have been. We have been gifted so many wonderful things at her middle school this year – adoptees as core teachers in her block who handle the classroom material with first hand understanding and empathy. Adoptees as administrators who run the...

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