Adoption Travel Group Series
Helping families prepare a child-centered trip
Space limited to 12 children
Adoptive parents can expect support with:
Laura Shaine Cunningham; HarperTrophy; 2006
This story reminds us that our efforts to protect our children from the sometimes difficult truth, while generally well-intended, are often misdirected and misunderstood. New questions will continue to surface those from the past that are yet unanswered.
Zoya Blume is a 12-year-old girl who has not had an opportunity to process some questions and mysteries from her past. When her mother leaves, promising to be back in seven days and leaving a magician friend in charge of caring for her daughter, she gives Zoya a diary and instructions to write her truth and “search for her first memory.” Zoya believes that her first memory is locked up in the little plaid suitcase that she carried from the orphanage when she was adopted at the age of four.
The diary entries give us Zoya’s perspective as she struggles to make sense of her mother’s disappearance, the presence of the Astounding Armand, the power that the Buka has over her, and the secrets in the plaid suitcase. Through Zoya’s eyes, we learn about her life at Roxy Mansion, the mysteries of the Stone Girl and the midnight crying, and the truth about the Disgusting Boy.
The role of the magician seems appropriately mysterious, but in the end it is his magic and the support of Zoya’s gypsy friend that help to unlock the mysteries to give Zoya a new understanding of her own past, her mother’s past, and their life together as a family.
My 13-year-old daughter, who was also adopted at the age of 4, recommended this book to me. As our children grow, so does their sophistication to understand the truth, and so must our respect for their maturity grow.
“Zoya Blume” is an easy read, delightful and poignant. Single adoptive parents, this is one of the rare books where we can see our family represented. Zoya’s adventures and unique perspective will be enjoyed by many.Read More
The Language of Blood, Jane Jeong Trenka; Greywolf Press; 2005
I’m still processing whatI think about this book. I’ve read other reviews and it seems that The Language of Blood stirs strong feelings in every case, whether you love it or find it offensive. For adoptive parents, I think we could all learn something from it.
The Language of Blood is a creatively written personal memoir of a Korean-born adoptee. The book begins with a letter from Trenka’s birthmother explaining why she and her older sister were sent to the United States – much more information than I suspect most Korean-born adopted people have. The sisters are adopted by a Lutheran couple in rural Minnesota, who, following the conventional wisdom of the time, raise the girls as “good, white, Lutherans”, and in Trenka’s opinion, deny their Korean heritage. The book focuses on Trenka’s search for identity through relationships with her birth family in Korea. She combines a variety of writing styles – the mix of techniques mirroring her own identity struggles.
While some of Trenka’s opinions may be difficult for adoptive parents to read, we cannot deny Trenka her experience, nor that it is probably the experience of many interracially adopted people. If we are to learn what the book has to offer, I think we need to suspend judgment, at least those of us who are adoptive parents. Is Trenka unfairly harsh to her adoptive parents? Possibly. Does she give short shrift to the relationship with her sister, who seems to have had the same upbringing with less identity crisis? Maybe. Is she unduly critical of American culture, while painting a rosier picture of Korea than is due? It probably depends on your own race.
The Language of Blood is a deeply honest, personal story. Trenka shares intimate thoughts and details about time spent with her birth family in Korea. In contrast, her descriptions of her life growing up and relationships with her adoptive family leave much more implied. She does a masterful job of using writing styles that enhance the meaning of the words.
Many of Trenka’s emotions and feelings seem to be very raw and near the surface. I could imagine that some would advise that she should have waited to write the memoir, giving her a more mature perspective later in life. But I think that it would have been our loss.
As our own children are growing up, we don’t want them to have an identity crisis as an adopted person, or as a member of a multi-ethnic family. But they might anyway. Denying it will not make it go away. If we discount Trenka’s experience, we risk losing some valuable insight from a brave and creative woman. It may not be our experience, nor our children’s, but what we learn from Trenka is of value nonetheless.
— Debbie KaufmanRead More
Facilitator: Astrid Dabbeni
When: March 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm
Where: SE UpLift, 3534 SE Main St, Portland, OR
Cost: $4-$10 sliding scale
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the e-mail list for this group.
Three times a year, our adult adoptee Movie Night is open to other constellation members and the adoption community (March, July & December). Through the viewing and discussion of mainstream movies, the adoption experience is shared and normalized. Adoption Mosaic Movie Group seeks to create a collective space where the adoption constellation can learn from each other, build community, and contribute to enhancing the lives of other constellation members.
Join us for a movie, popcorn and a facilitated discussion.
Our Adoption in the Movies booklet is now available! For more information, or to purchase click here
Also check out our Movie Reviews!Read More
The Adult Adoptee Discussion Group will explore a variety of adoption related topics where adult adoptees can share and normalize their experience. This group seeks to create a collective space where adoptees can learn from each other, build community, and contribute to enhancing the lives of other adoptees.
Cost: $15 at the door
Facilitated by: Nina Yates
Nina Yates, LMFT, CHT is a practicing therapist at Portland Adoption Counseling. The focus of her work is supporting adopted adults who wish to explore how being adopted affects their identity, relationships and experience of being in the world. She also helps all members of the adoption constellation navigate open adoptions, search, reunion and post reunion challenges and feelings. Nina is adopted and has been in a relationship with her first family for over twenty years. You can reach her directly at 503-752-9982 or nina@PortlandAdoptionCounseling.com
~ A note from Nina ~
“Unfortunately at this time, Adoption Mosaic is cancelling the discussion group meetings until funding is available to sustain this group. I have so much enjoyed connecting with all of you over the last several months and we have travelled through some interesting territory together. If you need any support individually or in finding your way to other resources please don’t hesitate to call me directly. I would be happy to see you any of you in my therapy practice or to help you find a connection with another adoption savvy provider or group for further support and exploration.
~ Warmly, Nina Yates LMFT
Contact email@example.com for more information or to be added to the e-mail list for this group.Read More
Adoption Mosaic youth activity groups are for adopted youth in 1st – 6th grade and are designed to include teen helpers. Adopted Youth Activity Groups are led by a team of adult adoptees who bring with them years of experience in the adoption community, as well as experience working with youth.
Groups are generally scheduled once a year. Groups can also be formed by request, and be arranged by a group of parents, a school, or other organization. Minimum of seven participants necessary.
Parent Orientation – September 20, 2014 in Beaverton, OR from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Youth Group – September 22 and 29, October 6, 20, 27 and November 3 in Beaverton, OR from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Parent Debrief – November 8, 2014 in Beaverton, OR from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
COST: For one child to attend it costs $225 (breakdown below)
Parent Orientation – 4 hrs (required): $60 per person
Youth Activity Group: $135 per child
Parent Debrief 2 hrs (required): $30 per person
Astrid Dabbeni & Lindsay Young
Adopted youth share a unique experience. Adoption Mosaic’s Youth Activity Groups are designed and facilitated by adult adoptees to encourage the exploration and sharing of the adoption experience within a fun and structured environment. Through age-appropriate art, discussion, camaraderie and group activities, youth are encouraged to celebrate and explore their own experience as an adopted person.
Topics covered depend on the age and interests of the participants. They can include:
At the beginning and end of every Youth Activity series, parents are required to attend a 4-hour orientation and a 2-hour debrief with the facilitators. The intention of the orientation/debrief is to meet the facilitators and to encourage everyday family activities that support the curriculum. The parent workshop will be presented by Astrid Dabbeni.
LOOKING FOR two Teen Leaders (adopted). Adoption Mosaic’s Youth Activity Groups are designed to take full advantage of the benefits inherent to a mentorship relationship. Youth ages 14-18 are invited to volunteer to be Teen Leaders for our Youth Group series. Teens will receive a community service certificate for their time. Contact our Office Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Groups can be scheduled based on interest. Please contact email@example.com to indicate you are interested in participating in the next scheduled group or if you are interested in arranging a group.