expat, mommy, laura dennis, memoir
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Mar 6 14

Announcing a New Writing Project: Adoption and Therapy

by Laura
Forthcoming in early Summer 2014: “Adoption Therapy, Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues”   Wait, wait! Before you get your panties in a bunch, I know … I KNOW how fraught such a project is … You may be thinking ... But Laura! Adoptees are not damaged! Not all adoptees need therapy! By constantly self-victimizing, we perpetuate our “adopted child-ness,” and keep others from giving us the rights we deserve! You’re Read more [...]
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Jan 30 14

Adoptive Parenting: Is Love Enough?

by Laura
Executive summary: No. At first I planned on writing a response to the recent conversation, Kristen Howerton Talks Transracial Adoption and Raising Black Children [INTERVIEW] I wanted title the post: “Dear Adoptive Mom: Some Advice for When Life Is Confusing” I planned to answer such confusing questions as What is so wrong about featuring prominently the photos of me and my beautiful blended transracially adoptive family? What is so wrong about talking about dealing with racism Read more [...]
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Jan 27 14

What Do Adoption Glasses Have To Do with Activism?

by Laura
Heard around the Internet this week: If I hear “primal wound therapy” one more time … I am so sick of adoptee self-victimization … Not everything is because of adoption … I get it, I really do.     Here's the reality of fog-emergence: Self-examination a vital part of the Adoption Fog Emergence Process. Without it, it is difficult—possibly impossible, for anyone (not "just" adoptees, first parents and adoptive parents) to work for social justice.   In Read more [...]
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Jan 16 14

NPRgate ~ I’m White. Am I Qualified to Discuss the Transracial Adoption Experience?

by Laura
White Privilege is hard for Whites to understand.   But I'm colorblind, I don't discriminate! But I have Black friends! But my kids' school is so diverse! But I thought we lived in a post-racial society! But I voted for Obama! And of course ... But I listen to NPR, I'm super progressive! Check out #NPRgate on Twitter; it's totally a thing (coined by the unflappable Deanna Doss Shrodes).    The White Experience We are blind to our own White Privilege. Read more [...]
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Jan 9 14

Laura Dennis: Adoption’s House Slave?

by Laura
The blowback from last Thursday’s post, Should Adoption Be Illegal?, was felt all the way in the mountains of Bulgaria.* And it wasn't from the New Year's fireworks. I had a vague idea that it might be a controversial post, but not in the way I thought. Then I was insinuated? implied? that I was doing the work of a house slave, calling for reform as opposed to abolition of adoption. At first, I was upset. It felt like I'd been insulted somehow, but wasn't exactly sure what it Read more [...]
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Jan 2 14

Should Adoption Be Illegal?

by Laura
There are many in adopto-world who take (what I call) a hard line on adoption (and I get why, I totally do). They believe that adoption should be illegal in 100% of cases. I recently tried explaining why this is a slippery slope, that it’s a logical fallacy. Any time you argue for 100% of anything—in this case that adoption should be 100% illegal—you’re opening yourself up to having your argument negated, not taken seriously, dismissed. Why can't we just say adoption should be Read more [...]
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Dec 19 13

Christianity and Adoption ~ an Atheist’s Perspective

by Laura
Yeah, I said "atheist." During the holiday season, no less. But don't worry, this is not a trigger-inducing, Scrooge-worthy post. Quite the opposite (in my opinion). *  *  * In young adulthood, my boyfriend-at-the-time was endlessly exasperated by my "insistence upon always being different." Even what I considered mere "timid-outlying" exhausted and frustrated him. Full disclosure: this was in my Pre-Search Life, otherwise known as an identity-creation-limbo which occurred after I turned 18 Read more [...]
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Dec 16 13

Hypocritical and Hyper-Critical ~ Not the Best Combo

by Laura
  I haven’t been posting in this "Monday-expat-mommy-writes-about-shenanigans" space. It’s not that stuff hasn’t been happening; rather, it hasn’t been all that funny. Just when I thought I had this “living-abroad, dealing with cultural differences and raising kids” gig under control, the rug was firmly whisked out from under me. It’s hard to be funny when you feel like a sucker-punched hypocrite. I’ve written about my daughter’s resilience in succeeding Read more [...]
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Dec 12 13

The Adoptee Voice: Solidarity vs. Conformity

by Laura
Heard around social media and IRL (in real life) this week … Oh, it is just soooo great to hear some positive stories here in this Facebook group about adoption! It always seems like everyone had a bad experience! It really seems like you focus on having been adopted more than is necessary. Why can’t you just get over it? I’m afraid that this person's experience sounds too much like a typical ‘angry/whiny adoptee,’ perhaps it shouldn't be published. And then this … A Read more [...]
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Dec 5 13

When Emerging from the Adoption Fog, Secure Your Own Mask First

by Laura
When I was a jet-setting/child-free/business woman (turns out, not as fabulous as it seems), and well before the prolonged U.S. recession, I ignored the pre-flight safety warnings, frantically typing one last email before the airplane doors closed. But, man do things change when you become a parent. Travelling with my kids recently, we sat enraptured as the flight attendants (somewhat sarcastically) described the safety features of our 'roomy seven-thirty-seven.' They'd barely finished Read more [...]
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