July and August were absolutely packed for me, hence my online absence here and elsewhere. First, there's work. I love my job, but there's sure a lot of it these days! Days are long and literally packed, to the point that when I leave the office, usually after a minimum of 10 hours and often more, my brain is mush.
Weekends were far from the respites from work. There was the big family wedding celebration in Des Moines the second last weekend of July (way too much partying and drinking), followed by a long weekend for the 2012 KAAN Conference (way too much partying and drinking), followed by The Girl's last weekend home before her return to L.A. for her senior year at UCLA.
I hit the wall the weekend after that, which was last weekend, and finally today feel like I'm getting back to normal. So let me put my tootsies back into adoption blogland with two important things.
First, HUGE shoutout and thank you to KAAN (which you also find on Facebook here) for a fabulous conference up in Albany, New York! The sessions were wonderful, the camaraderie invigorating, and as usual I left with a full heart and buzzing brain. I owe KAAN a special thanks for including Third Mom in its list of adoption blogs to read, an acknowledgment that is particularly meaningful to me, and also reminds me that I have to take what and how much I write more seriously. Extra special thanks to The Girl and my friend BSC for organizing that birthday cake at the start of my session - that was great fun, and meant a lot to me. Thank you!!
Second, thanks and congratulations to several groups and individuals who were busy this summer with conferences, demonstrations and other adoption-reform activities:
- Congratulations to NACAC for a successful conference (sadly for me, the same weekend as KAAN), and especially to the group of adoptees who conducted a session I would have loved to attend, Beyond Panels: Adopted Persons as Professionals: Susan Branco Alvarado, JaeRan Kim, Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter and Paula O’Loughlin.
- Congratulations and thanks to the group of adoptees who met with legislators and policy makers in Washington, DC on July 27, and presented them with a list of important issues in need of urgent attention, including one that's particularly near and dear to my heart: intercountry adoptee citizenship. I hope this meeting is the first of many that will take place in the coming months and years, and also hope it was a wake-up call to the Hill and the adoption lobbies that adoptees, not adoptive parents, should be in the driver's seat when it comes to adoption policy.
- HUGE shoutout to the Adoptee Rights Coalition for another successful Adoptee Rights Demonstration, this time in Chicago, IL from August 6 to 8. The demonstration is always held at the same time as the National Conference of State Legislators' Legislative Summit, and reminds state legislators that a portion of the majority of their constituents lack parity with other citizens. The work that the individuals and organizations supporting the coalition and demonstration is making a real difference by elevating this important issue into the national limelight. Many thanks to everyone who planned and attended the demonstration this year!
It has been quite a summer, one that I hope encourages many more adoptive parents to get involved in these issues by speaking out and taking action. I single you out, my fellow APs, because even though adoptees are taking control, rightfully, of these policy issues, they need our support and efforts to spread the word and do the work. Please do what you can, and most of all, don't be silent!
As for me: between work, Korean Focus, KAAN and adoptee citizenship activities, I'm busy. I'm making a fall commitment to keep up with the online adoption community better and write more here!