|Jane & Julie at Chinatown Gate|
San Francisco always has special meaning for me because my first daughter, Rebecca, who I surrendered, was born here. While awaiting her birth, I lived only a few blocks from the hotel hosting the Conference. I don't find myself stressed out over this, no grief, no sighs of sorrow. I am happily living in the present, at least now.
My experience at this conference is totally different from my first AAC conference in 1998, a few months after Rebecca and I connected. Then my long held secrets were exploding, bursting to come free. I found myself telling strangers things I had never told anyone. I was so excited to hear others say what I had only thought and was never sure if my thoughts reflected truth or
neurosis. I'm calm now; I see old friends, I sit back and listen to the speakers without my heart pounding; I don't have to restrain myself from shouting Yes, yes!
|Lisa Marie Rollins|
Raible is a professor of Diversity and Curriculum Studies at the University of Nebraska. He's also gay and the father of two African-American boys adopted from foster care. He's brilliant, articulate--and angry about adoption which has been used by the dominate race to destroy other cultures. He excoriated the adoption industry for exploiting the less fortunate to make a profit. He urged listeners to be an ally of social justice, rather than a perpetrator of injustice. Help families stay together, resist imposing our cultures on others. Both speakers got standing ovations.
During the lunch break, I stopped by a table staffed by John Brooks and his wife, a couple of the saddest-looking people I have ever met. They were promoting John Brooks' book about their daughter, adopted from Poland at 18 months, who killed herself at age 17 just before she was to leave for college. From what they said, I understand they lay the blame for her suicide on therapists who didn't understand attachment. I promised to download the book The Girl Behind the Door: A Father's Journey in to the Mystery of Attachment, into my Kindle.
I closed out the day with an Italian dinner with my husband and daughter in the North Beach area which was popularized by the beat poets of the 1950s and 60s. These writers, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Ferlinghetti, were shocking for their time--kind of like unwed pregnancy--but likely not so much today.--jane
Loving across the Color Line: A White Adoptive Mother Learns About Race by Sharon E. Rush
But white parents do adopt mixed race children....When Sharon Rush adopted an African American girl, she quickly discovered the need to throw out old assumptions and start learning all over again. This is the moving, heartfelt memoir of a mother and daughter's loving relationship that opened the author's eyes to the harsh realities of the American racial divide. Only by living with her daughter through the day-to-day encounters and life passages did Rush learn that racism is far more devastating to blacks than most whites can ever imagine. Some of the stories are funny, others are sad, a few are almost unbelievable. But they all are poignant because they illustrate how insightful a little black girl of three can be about race and justice. With love and spirituality, Rush and her daughter live a deeply joyous life, just as they both have become increasingly active in working publicly and privately against racism. Dr. Sharon Rush lives in Gainesville, FL, where she is Professor of Law at the University of Florida.--Amazon
Repossessing Ernestine: A Granddaughter Uncovers the Secret History of Her American Family by Marsha Hunt
The memoirs of an African-American singer, writer, model, and actress, who discovers that her long-lost grandmother, Ernestine, is alive in an asylum, describes the process of recovering her family's past, discovering a multicultural legacy--as in, a white grandmother--tthat she never knew she had. Trust me, this is a fascinating story for anyone with a mixed race family, whether or not adoption is involved.