The other day I received a message asking me to help them fill in the blanks in their family tree. They were wanting me to tell them who their ancestors were, provide any pictures I had, fill in the blanks in the family story. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: family trees
Spin-off and continuation of the last post “Family trees and whatnot…” because Beth’s comment left on the post both answers my questions, and then, spins the conversation further into the generational affect of adoption, plus so much more. Beth and I have been online friends for years, she’s funny and so much wiser than I’ll ever be. Below is Beth’s comment and tale I loved, she always tells the best stories. Read the rest of this entry »
I was mulling this morning on how I shift my language surrounding the family members in mom and dad’s family trees. I know, just a weird thought that popped into my head, but it got me thinking. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I was musing on an article written about genealogy that rubbed me the wrong way, perhaps just my take, but it seemed like it was attempting to downplay or dismiss the value of genealogy and family trees. It reminded me of the same way an adoptive parent comes off trying to downplay the importance of a family of birth to the one adopted. Later, as I was tidying up around the house waiting for a service technician to arrive, it struck me, at it’s core, what I heard was the deflection of connection, the act of being connected to another person in a personnel and interconnected way, that bothered me and struck such a discordant note in me. Read the rest of this entry »
I worked on one of my family trees yesterday trying to figure out if I had the details for one generation right. A generation I have no problem figuring out on my dad’s tree, but I’m stumped on whether I’m right on this tree, my tree, my family of birth. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve talked about seeing yourself reflected back many times over the years. Today, I’m bringing it up because yesterday I updated the family tree’s (I have one for each parent) with the details of mom passing. And, once someone’s passed, I add pictures too, something I’ve always shied away from while they are living, despite having the tree’s set to private, invite only. Once I get started, then, of course, I check to see if there are new records or details to uncover, and time slips away as I become the observer of generations. Read the rest of this entry »
I started a draft post on my birthday and intended to post it a couple of weeks later, then I forgot until the other day, and now it has morphed into a very long post because I’ve incorporated new thoughts into the post.
I don’t follow Jen Hatmaker, but from time to time I have read her posts, such as her three posts on ethics after Kathryn Joyce’s “The Child Catchers” came out, which caused the people in the Orphan Adoption Movement (or whatever they call themselves) to get so upset. Read the rest of this entry »
Growing up – I desperately wanted to know where and who I came from. I’m not going to pretend that desire was in my thoughts constantly, because I was just a kid. A kid that did all the normal everyday stuff – who had a mom and dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Yet in times of reflections, day dreaming, times when I could just be alone with my deepest thoughts – that yearning was there. That need to know – combined with knowing that I could never know. Read the rest of this entry »
I deal with insomnia – nothing seems to solve it so I watch TV quietly or read. This morning it was TV – the Canadian show – Ancestors in the Attic – that comes up with interesting story lines, and condenses it into a half-hour. Below is the episode I saw this morning – I am not great at recapping, and it will be choppy, but I think you will get the highlights. Read the rest of this entry »
Two talks from Ted but seem so right on an adoption blog. I am sure there are many marketers working hard in the background to hype adoption as the solution to everyone’s problems…the most visible is of course calling an expectant mother a birthmother (one word)…but there is so much more…
Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man
“Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.
Rory Sutherland stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment.”
The second Ted talk that strikes me as right…
Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?
“Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why.”
I’ve spent my free time today working on my [adoptive] dads’ family tree. I had a duplicate entry, and stupidly deleted the wrong one – not the duplicate – but the one that also deleted all the ancestors and sources. Joy. Good news is I am back to the early 1600’s again, and also took the time to refresh my knowledge of his ancestors who first came to the Colonies and the road they had to travel to just eek out a life. Knowing the type of people they had to be to survive and carry on – I see dad in them because that was the type of person he was as well.
Every single time I work on any of my trees – it reminds me that so many adoptees have no ability to do that – to know the road travelled by those who went before. Donor conceived face the same struggle as adoptees, and yet the industry keeps creating more and more without giving a damn what the donor conceived will face. It is all so very wrong, and no one seems to care, or if they do speak up they are shot down. People are so desperate to get what they want – they forget they are choosing to go forward knowing their children – will be denied the right to know where they come from, and they may want that very much as well. Seems so very ignorant.
November 16th prompt…Knowledge About Your Adoption
Some adoptive parents share more than others for various reasons. How much of your adoptive parents’ story was shared with you? If they shared details about your adoption, how did that make you feel? If they did not, do you wish they had? Did your parents share with you why they choose to adopt? Did they share that story with others in your life? If so, did it affect you in any way?
Mom and dad shared exactly what the SW told them, and that part of my story was they were asked to adopt me, when they weren’t looking to adopt again. Everyone knew we were adopted – there wasn’t anyway they could have hidden it if they had wanted to, so I am sure my entire four sentence story was shared with at least those close – really how could they have abbreviated it anymore than that…
Every time talk about an adoptee’s story comes up – I am drawn to look back to the posts I have done about Chimanda Adichie – “The Danger of the Single Story”
This is a snippet of what I said in my post on November 20th 2011…about what Chimanda Adichie says in her talk – and how I related to it.
In the talk she shows time and time again with anecdotal personal stories how our impressions and views on an individual are shaped only by what we know about one part of who they are.
She states “It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word an evil word that I think about “oncarli” (my phonetic spelling), it’s a noun roughly translated “to be greater than another”. Stories to are defined by the principal of “oncarli”, how they are told, who tells them, when they are told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power. Power is the ability to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person.”
As an adoptee in a closed adoption with knowledge that I would never know my family, my ancestors, my nationality I had one Single Story of them. A Single Story passed to my mom and dad from the social worker. That story consisted of four sentences. Once the court opened my records and I met my family, I learned that story had no truth to it at all. But it had been MY Single Story of my family for over 40 years. The power was held by the social worker who crafted my story, each sentence had the smallest grain of truth and a liberal helping of borrowed or changed information designed to ensure that even if I searched, with those facts I would fail.
I think Chimanda Adichie provides the very best advice to adoptive parents in her talk. What I took away in part was – be aware that you are telling only one story of another person – tread very carefully with the terms you choose to use, and how you tell the story, and how limiting that story actually is. Recognise the power you hold over making that single story – the only story anyone hears and remembers – you don’t know all the stories – just the one story you were told.
This is what I said about this ted talk back in 2010…
Adoption is not part of this video but it speaks so loudly about it that every single person involved in the adoption world must hear the words in this video. Please take the time to listen to her words they are important. None of us comes with a single story, nor is one story the only story you must hear on anything.
Even if you have listened to the talk before – it is worth listening to it over again, I can’t stress that enough.