Archive for February, 2018

Guatemala, Guatemala

Saturday, February 24th, 2018
If you’re reading this, we probably met through our connection to adoption from Guatemala. I’m in Guatemala now, in a town near Antigua, preparing to head north to Chajul, Acul, Nebaj–the Ixil area–for a textile tour. Today, friends and I hiked into the cloud forest of El Pilar, known for its public swimming pool, bird watching, and scenic vistas of the Panchoy Valley on one side, and the capital, Lake Amatitlan, and Volcano Pacaya on the other. The photo shows Susan, Gretchen, Wende and me picnicking during an al fresco poetry reading, with yes, a horse named Paloma looking over my shoulder. More later! xoxo


Two wishes

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Driving home from school yesterday, Olivia said she wished she could change two things. First, her last name so that it sounded, as she said, “more Latino.” And second, the fact that she and I look so different. “I hate that people see us and can tell I’m adopted,” she said.

Olivia’s at a new school this year–high school–a much bigger place where no one knows us and everyone does a double-take. The first day, a girl looked at the screen-saver on Olivia’s laptop, a family photo. “Who are they?” the girl asked.

“My parents,” Olivia said, and you can guess the rest of the conversation. These kinds of occurrences happen often.

I’m putting this out there because if you asked Olivia, she’d probably say she’s comfortable with being adopted, at peace with it. She’s a well-adjusted young woman who knows and loves her birth family as well as her family in California. Still, Olivia doesn’t enjoy constantly being singled out, stared at, questioned. Nobody does.

As we approached the driveway to our house, I told Olivia I could only imagine how tough it was sometimes to be her, that she didn’t ask for any of it. I said she was welcome to change her last name when she was 18–her first name, too, for that matter–reminding her it would need to be amended on her Certificate of Citizenship (!!!).

“What I can’t change is the color of my skin,” I said. Olivia said that was okay. She loves me anyway. ~


Winter Games in South Korea

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Dozens of young adults adopted as babies from South Korea will return there for the Winter Olympics. And one, Marissa Brandt, adopted as an infant to a family in Minnesota, will be playing for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team. Read fascinating reflections throughout this Washington Post article, Olympics Draw Korean Adoptees as South Korea Confronts Past, on how it feels to return. (We can relate.)

And: Go Women’s Hockey!!!