FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Indian Adoption Projects survivors write new history in new book Called Home: The RoadMap
Indian Adoption Projects survivors write new history in new book Called Home: The RoadMapGREENFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS (2016) --- Blue Hand Books Collective in Western Massachusetts has published a second edition of CALLED HOME: The RoadMap Vol. 2 [in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series]. This edition has been revised and updated with a new book cover. It includes a new essay The RoadMap: DNA and ICWA, devoted to those adoptees still searching, offering tips on how to open sealed adoption files, how to use DNA tests and the services of search angels, and how the recently-revised Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 could help them.
The Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series [Two Worlds Vol. 1; Called Home: The RoadMap Vol. 2; Stolen Generations Vol. 3; and a new poetry collection In The Veins Vol. 4 to be published in 2016] exposes a dark chapter of North American history when First Nations and American Indian children were forced to attend residential boarding schools, or were taken from their tribal parents under the government-sponsored Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA. These actions and programs were largely overlooked this past century by historians and scholars. Canada did issue an apology for its Sixties Scoop of adoptees in recent years, but the US has not.
Book series editor, journalist and Native American adoptee Trace Lara Hentz, explains, “Americans and Canadians are only now becoming aware of these genocidal programs specifically targeting Native American and First Nations children. Adoptees called the Sixties Scoop in Canada are filing a class action lawsuit in 2016. For me, it was essential to find these children-now-adults and give them a voice, to write their own story in first-person narratives.
“These writers don’t spare us any details of what it was like growing up outside of their culture then trying to fit back in. They are not “angry bitter” but changed by their experience of being adopted, losing contact with their culture and tribal families. (Many were small children and separated from their siblings, too… heartbreaking to read.)
“Finding your way back home is usually the most challenging part. Then come the intricacies of reunions with family members. Remember, generations of families in Indian Country were affected and adoption does change all of us. That is the dilemma: adoptees feel we don't know enough to fit back in but we have to be home with our relatives to learn or re-learn what we missed!”
Writing personal experience actually heals you in many ways, she said. “The changes I have noticed in the writers in Two Worlds, Called Home and Stolen Generations (the series up to now) is very significant. Each has grown more secure in themselves, most are still in reunions, and they have developed a unique voice as writers. Some of them had never been asked to share these personal details and for some, yes, writing about being adopted was scary, not easy at all.”
There is no shortage of talent among Native Americans, and these writers are from across North American (and one Lost Bird is from Ireland via Newfoundland and another is a Lakota Dakota who was living in Germany and is now back living on his reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota.)
“As much as I changed in the past ten years, readers of this book series will see this clearly in the updates from the adoptees/writers in part two of Called Home,” Hentz said, who wrote her own memoir One Small Sacrifice over a five-year period.
Called Home covers topics like DNA tests, Baby Veronica (in depth), the movie PHILOMENA, Stolen Generations (and 60s Scoop) history and historical facts like OPERATION PAPOOSE, one of Arnold Lyslo's Indian Adoption Projects.
“My husband Herb was saying that our press release needs to interest people who are not adopted,” Hentz said. “He said lots of people have difficulties being with their own family members. That is definitely true.
“So the question is: will the general public care to know that thousands of American Indian and First Nations children were adopted out to white families prior to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978? Will they care that not every adoption was magical or perfect? Will they care that adoptees have opinions about their own experiences and about the BABY V case which stunned many of us adoptees called Lost Birds? Do Americans and others want to know what happened to LOST BIRDS in history? That remains to be seen,” Hentz said. “As a matter of record, every adoptee in Called Home wanted to find and reunite with their tribal relatives. These are mini-biographies with twists and turns, filled with such courage!”
In Part Three, there is a section in the book for adoptees that are still searching and have been told that one or both birthparents are Native American.
“They are all excellent essays, but Levi's THE HOLOCAUST SELF will definitely stop you in your tracks,” Hentz said.
“It applies to many humans who are marginalized, but especially Native Americans and adoptees in general.”
Hentz said her co-Editor Patricia Busbee's introduction in the book is brilliant and heart-wrenching as she shares her reunion with siblings and shares pieces of the past in her adoptive mother's diary.
***Here's an excerpt from a new writer Cynthia Lammers (who has found she has 5 brothers and they are Lakota.)
...My case worker told me I had to write a letter to my birth mother, explaining why I wanted to know her. I did this and sent it to her. Then I had to do some legal paperwork for the State of Nebraska and pay $15 to have it processed. Then I later received a phone call from my case worker, telling me to come to Omaha on a certain date. That I was not to come alone, to have a friend or family member come with me. My best friend Susan went with me to Omaha. We had no idea what this was about to happen? Was I finally going to meet my birth mother? We arrived at the address that I was given at the time they told us to be there. We were at a College Campus, in a classroom, filled with about 50- 60 people, sitting at round tables with 6-8 people at each table. We ate lunch. Then a Native American man started the meeting with a prayer. Then several different Native men and woman got up to speak, each one telling a story about their lives. The strange thing was, almost every story was almost the same about how they grew up and who they grew up with. Native people growing up in white families. We were all adopted. We all had alcoholic mothers who couldn’t take care of us. We all felt lost at some point in our lives and maybe some of us still did. We all had questions about who we really were. What was our Indian Culture or Heritage about, we didn’t know. Were we all related? Probably not, I thought to myself. Then suddenly, it hit me, I turned and looked at my caseworker from the Children’s Home. She had tears running down her face. I said to her, “You have been lying to me all these years, haven’t you?” She began to cry. I began to cry. Once I got myself back together, I told her it probably wasn’t her fault, that she was just doing her job. She’d been telling me what she was told to tell me..."
“I am honored to be in this anthology, too,” Hentz said, writing as an adoptee with her own reunion with her mixed Native American father Earl Bland. “With this series, the writers share what they want, how they want. I look forward to see how these incredible stories reach new hands and make new history in North America.”
The second edition of Called Home: The RoadMap (ISBN: 978-0692700334, $12.96) is on Amazon. An e-book version is on Kindle. FMI: www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com
"For Lost Birds/adoptees coming after us, when they find this new book and the earlier anthology TWO WORLDS, adoptees themselves documented this history and evidence. We have created a roadmap, a resource for new adoptees who will wish to journey back to their First Nations and understand exactly what happened and why. There is no doubt in my mind that adoption changes us, clouds the mind and steals years of our lives, but there is something non-Indians can never steal and that is our dreams and the truth we are resilient!”
PHOTOS Available: All the adoptees in this book are available for interviews.
CONTACT: Publisher/Editor Trace L Hentz firstname.lastname@example.org, Message: 413-258-0115
Facebook: CALLED HOME LOST CHILDREN (please click like if you visit)
Publisher: Blue Hand Books Collective, 442 Main Street, #1061, Greenfield, MA 01301(email: email@example.com) Website: www.bluehandbooks.org
MEDIA BLOG: http://lostchildrencalledhome.blogspot.com/