Wednesday, September 9, 2020

"Better Times Will Come" (Janis Ian), by an Adoptee and Birthmother


This song is "Better Times Will Come," by Janis Ian, sung by my birthmother and myself. Janis Ian wrote the song at the beginning of the pandemic. One article described it, "For those of us who are losing sleep, worrying about the death count and financial concerns—and feeling restless from the isolation of social distancing—the song is a welcome relief." The artist shared the song with the world, encouraging others to sing it and share it. She shares the many renditions on her Facebook page. It's been covered by famous artists, out-of-work musicians, and people like us just needing to feel hope right now.

The feelings of isolation, yearning to connect with family, and the hope for better times resonated with us as a birthmother and adoptee in reunion.

About once a week, my birthmother and I play music together. We've been in reunion over thirty years, since I was eighteen. We now live in the same town, only a few miles apart. Although people on the outside may see our relationship as the ideal of reunion because we are part of each others families and integrated into each other's lives, the truth is that our reunion has been—and will continue to be—a struggle throughout our lives. Reunion means coming to terms with the loss and trauma that is so carefully hidden away in the adoption and relinquishment stories we are told. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Getting this MD is my Form of Protest: Being in Medical School During COVID and a Pandemic of Anti-Blackness (Part II)


SPECIAL NOTE: Brittanie is now halfway to her fundraising goal. Please continue to give generously. These funds are needed to help Brittanie afford tutoring so that she can pass her exams to receive her Medical Doctorate. Her Cash App is: $Brittaniefloyd. And, her Venmo is: @Brittanie-Floyd and her PayPal pool can be found here.

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By Amanda Transue-Woolston, MSS, LSW

"While this year hasn’t been easy for most of us, it has been especially hard on the black community." These words echo in my mind as I continued the rest of my interview with the incredible Ms. Brittanie Floyd. I had already learned a bit about her adoption story and how it played an important role in her aspirations to become a psychiatrist. Her origin story is one we don't hear of often in the adoption community. The exact circumstances of her story may not be rare. However, late-discovery, same-race, infant adoption surrounding infertility is not a perspective often voiced from the BIPOC adoptee perspective. 

Her tales of childhood and the nuances and experiences shaped by the United States' history of racial oppression were compelling. I found myself wanting to ask her so many more questions. But, it was time to move forward in the interview and ask Brittanie about who she is today. She is a black female MD candidate with a recent ADHD diagnosis working as an essential worker during two global pandemics of both medical illness and anti-blackness. How does that even work? How does she not only survive but thrive in an exclusive, high-intensity, competitive academic environment? These are just a few aspects of her life that Brittanie and I discussed, next.