Adoption Therapy 2
Announcing the Contributors for Adoption Therapy 2!
Kimberly Bain is a first mother who relinquished her son to adoption in 1990. Her son contacted her in 2010 and they have been in reunion since that time. Kimberly is a Bachelors Degree Registered Nurse practicing in the field of behavioral health (Child/Adolescent/Adult- acute and long-term) since 2000. Kimberly has been active on various birth parent panels for local adoption conferences as well as guest blogging on the emotional roller coaster that is reunion. Kimberly is a strong advocate for erasing the stigma of mental illness and addiction.
Karen Belanger is an adult adoptee and the author of Assembling Self, an adoption poetry book, and writes at her blog of the same name. She contributes at The Lost Daughters and was recently included in the Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace. Karen has held various leadership positions within the adoption education, reform, and activism community over the past fifteen years. She is currently submitting pieces for two other adoption books and is working on her second book.
Sara Blubaugh is a mother who, as a teenager, surrendered her first born son to adoption in the late 1980’s; they have been navigating their reunion relationship over the past few years. She also has the privilege of raising four children with her husband. Sara has a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and is a Licensed Social Worker. She credits the love of her husband and children, friends, and the support of fellow Ohio Birthparent Group members with aiding her in finding her voice.
Cherish Asha Bolton, MA is an Indian American transracial adult adoptee. Adopted from Kolkata as an infant, she received the surname of an English town from her American family. This merging of Indian and Anglo backgrounds foreshadowed her interests in multicultural identity formation. She completed graduate studies in history at the University of California, Irvine, where she researched the lives of Indian women who forged new social spaces for themselves in British-ruled South Asia. Her career aspirations are to help international adoptees and other immigrant populations in discovering and negotiating their cultural and national identities.
Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen, stage name Lucy Sheen –Made in Hong Kong, exported to the UK as a transracial adoptee in 1960s. A dyslexic actor, writer, filmmaker, who loves Dim sum, Yorkshire puddings and a nice cuppa cha! Lucy trained at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and drama and graduated in 1985. Her first professional job was the female lead in the ground breaking British-Chinese feature film, Ping Pong (1987). Her film credits include Secrets & Lies, Something Good: The Mercury Factor. Her published writing includes, The Dance is New, Perpetual Child, An Adult Adoptee Anthology, and Adoptionland: From Orphan to Activist. Lucy is currently developing several writing projects for stage and screen.
Veronica Chenik Gilmore, is an adoptive parent and writer/advocate. She lives outside Washington DC with her husband and their seven children. They are an official spokes family for AdoptUSkids website. Veronica draws from her personal experiences regarding humanist values, adoption and stories of identity and parenthood. Her articles have been featured in Salon, Alternet, ChicagoNOW, The Friendly Atheist and The American Humanist Association. She contributes to a blog at Chronicles for Social Change. She is a contributing writer on a book, titled We Are All Adopted.
Laura Dennis (Editor) was born and adopted in New Jersey and raised in Maryland. She earned a B.A. and M.F.A. in dance performance and choreography, with a certificate in critical theory. She gave up aches and pains and bloody feet to become a sales director for a biotech startup. Then with two children under the age of three, in 2010 she and her husband sought to simplify their lifestyle and escaped to his hometown, Belgrade. While the children learned Serbian in their cozy preschool, Laura recovered from sleep deprivation and wrote Adopted Reality, A Memoir, available on Amazon.
An adoptee activist in reunion, she writes at The Lost Daughters, Adoption Voices Magazine and her own blog, Expat (Adoptee) Mommy. Her essays have been published in Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace; The Perpetual Child, Dismantling the Stereotype, Adult Adoptee Anthology; and Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth Around the World. She is passionate about giving voice to the adoptee experience and is proud to have edited the popular anthologies, Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age and Adoption Therapy (Entourage Publishing), along with several forthcoming titles.
Becky Drinnen (Contributor) is a baby-scoop-era adoptee who searched for and found her birth parents. Reunion with her birth father and family is a fresh, exciting development in her life. She is also an advocate for adoptee rights. Becky works in corporate America and loves her role as a wife, mom and grandma. In her free time, you’ll find her immersed in genealogy research, reading a good history book, or enjoying the great outdoors. Becky blogs about adoption at Puzzles and Possibilities.
Tracy Hammond is a baby scoop era adoptee and adoptee rights activist. She writes about her experiences as an abused adoptee on her blog Adoptee Path. She was able to successfully enter reunion with the surviving members of her biological family in 2013. In addition to writing projects, she works as a business analyst in the insurance industry. Also a part-time college student, she devotes her remaining energy into her work as a metalsmith and jeweler. She is widely known for her broken heart adoption pendant.
Jodi Haywood is an international adoptee raised by relatives, reunited with both parents; a wife, mom, stepmom, writer, and marathon runner. Recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Jodi is working toward a psychology degree, with the goal towards a career in post-adoption therapy. Her published works include contributions to Adoption Therapy and The Adoptee Survival Guide, and her memoir/case study, Attachment Unavailable, will be in print later this year.
Danielle Meadors has published this essay under a pen name, was born out of wedlock in the United States during the “Baby Scoop Era.” Despite her multi-racial background, she was adopted to European-Americans parents in a closed adoption facilitated by a social service agency. As an adult, she was able to reunite with both of her first parents and has as active, deeply meaningful, relationship with one of them. Feeling out of touch with Americanness, American values, and her assigned “family,” she has spent much of her adult life outside the United States.
Brooke Randolph, LMHC, is a parent, therapist, and adoption professional with 25 years of experience working with children and families. She is a private practice counselor in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the mental health expert contributor at DietsInReview.com, a national diet and fitness column. She was a founding member of MLJ Adoptions, Inc., where she served as the VP of Social Services for seven years. She is a Young Professionals Advisory Board member for The Villages which is Indiana’s largest not-for-profit child and family services agency, serving over 1,400 children and their families each day. Brooke adopted an older child internationally as a single woman, which she considers one of the most difficult and most rewarding things she has ever done. She is a contributing author to the book Adoption Therapy: Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues (2014). She has authored adoption education materials and presented at numerous conferences and workshops throughout North America. Brooke is primarily motivated to encourage, equip, and empower parents and individuals to make changes that strengthen their lives, their careers, and their families.
Catana Tully entered this world as Adriana. She was born in a humble abode at the end of a Central American jungle river. However, she was raised by a German family and grew up well educated, privileged and fluent in German, Spanish, and English. She attended excellent private schools and after 4 years of boarding school in Jamaica, completed the AL Higher Schools Certificate from Cambridge University, England. Expecting to become an international interpreter, her studies continued at a language academy in Munich, Germany. Because of her exotic appearance and fluency in German, she was called to work in a play and discovered an affinity and talent for the dramatic arts. As Catana Cayetano, she worked on Stage, in Films, and TV in Europe. In Munich, she met and married her American husband and after the birth of their son moved to the United States where she gave up her acting career. In upstate New York she completed various degrees including a Doctor of Arts in Humanistic Studies. In 2011 she retired from her position as Associate Professor at SUNY Empire State College to dedicate herself to publishing her first book: Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity. She wrote her story, Catana tells us, as a gift to parents who have adopted interracially and to those children who are growing up removed and alienated from their ethnicity and culture. Her current home is in Sedona, Arizona. You can learn more by visiting her website www.splitattheroot.com, and following her blog on www.catanatully.com.