Category Archives: In the News

Global-Mindedness and Action

“The people of the world see each other and can protect each other.”

~ Jason Russel, “Kony 2012″

Joseph Kony has been the hot topic in our car-conversations since last week. At the constant urging of my kids I watched the 30-minute “Kony 2012” video this weekend, produced by filmmaker and activist Jason Russell. Released on the Internet on March 5th, “Kony 2012” has already been watched via YouTube by more than 74,000,000 at this posting. (There are no numbers representing how many times the video has been shared.) This is impressive.

The International Criminal Court indicted Ugandan guerilla group leader Joseph Kony for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2005. The documentary was made for the group nonprofit Invisible Children, Inc. for the purpose of bringing attention to the mind-blowing and ignored atrocities that have and are said to continue to happen in Uganda, DR Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic, and arresting Kony and bringing abducted children home. (There are reports that Kony is no longer a threat and that his army numbers several hundred.)

Our youth are part of the campaign, demanding justice for the hundreds of thousands of people that Kony and the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) have emotionally and physically maimed or killed, many of them children (over 30,000 of them), who have been kidnapped and forced into becoming sex-slaves (girls) and child soldiers (boys) who have often been forced to kill their parents.

For those of you who may still be unaware of what our youth are rallying around, and the scope and power of social media, watch the embedded video or go here to learn more about the plans.

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Advocacy, Cultural Awareness, Family, In the News, Multicultural Families, Multiracial Families, The International Mom

The Adoption Interview Project

This past September I presented “Tips from the Trenches: Finding Middle Ground in Open Adoptive Parenting” at the Open Adoption Symposium: Realities, Possibilities and Challenges in Richmond,VA. I had a lot of time to converse with other professionals, adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents outside of presenting and attending the sessions. I was profoundly touched by my experiences, the people I met and the stories they shared—of openness, closedness, pain, joy, and hope.

As a follow-up to the symposium and to create more awareness about adoption during National Adoption Awareness Month (November), I am participating in The Adoption Interview Project, an initiative by Heather Schade over at Production, Not Reproduction. I became reacquainted with Heather and met her rappingly-gifted husband Todd at the symposium.

Heather aptly states that during National Adoption Awareness Month, “… we’re bombarded with media pieces and events that try to compress adoption into shiny, tidy sound bites that don’t match the complex realities of adoption as I’ve witnessed it (and often exclude birth parent and adoptee perspectives altogether).” The purpose of The Adoption Interview Project is to shed some insight, differing views and perspectives about the complexities of adoption. I will be one of many who will be interviewed and offer my insights and viewpoints.

The interviews will be posted on participants’ blogs, including right here on The International Mom, on November 17th.  I’m looking forward to introducing you to a remarkable young woman, so please remember to check back then…or better yet, subscribe to The International Mom so that you receive posts when they’re published (upper right-hand corner).

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Filed under Adoption Issues, Advocacy, Events, In the News

So What

In our family you never know what’s going to be up for discussion. Any topic is fair game, so Mark and I have learned to be ready to field questions and comments on anything from oral sex to how long farts linger (Aubry’s choice of word) to other varied and interesting observations.

Trust me; we long ago dropped any pretense of being shocked and chose to embrace the openness. In the process we’ve learned a great deal and on occasion laughed so hard we’ve cried. I believe that our kids have learned to speak their minds and express some fascinating perspectives.

The other night we were treated to a number of trailers while we waited for our movie to begin. I’ve simply found it surprising that the movie industry inserts trailers that aren’t necessarily the same rating as the movie you are preparing to watch with your kiddos (hint!).

On came a trailer for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Even as clipped as the trailer was, the sexual overtone was evident. The younger kids missed the innuendo.

Josi didn’t; I could see she was uncomfortable. She shared her discomfort the way most girls her age would, “I think he’s ugly.” (Referring to Mr. Pitt.)  Note: Mama strongly disagrees with her daughter.

And Holden? Well, he planted himself of the couch with his popcorn and offered a resounding, “She’s sooooo HOT!” (Referring to, of course, Ms. Jolie.) Note: Dad very strongly agrees.

Aubry said “Why do people think they’re so special with their kids?”

That was the unexpected.

I didn’t know she knew about the Jolie-Pitt clan. Mark and I don’t discuss or follow celebrities.

“How do you know about their family, hon?”

“I don’t remember, Mama. But, what’s the big deal?”

“Ahhhh… You mean because some of their kids were adopted?”

“Yes. So what… What’s the big deal?”

Oh, my. Out of the mouth of my babe.

“Honey, there are some people who can’t get their heads around a family made up of more than one race or understand why adults adopt a child, especially a child of another race.”

 “It’s not a big deal. They’re like us.”

Indeed they are.  Aubry’s comment made me think of the countless times I’ve been told by well-intentioned people that we are “just like the Jolie-Pitts.”  There are a few differences though: we created our family earlier, we have gazillions of less income, and we are of no interest to the paparazzi.

I really love her perspective that although we are a multiracial family we’re not a big deal. We’re just a  regular kinda family. (Smile.)

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Filed under Growing Tweens & Teens, In the News, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Multiracial Families, The International Mom