Monday, October 29, 2012

Adult Adoptee Centric Blogging Prompts for NaBloPoMo and National Adoption Awareness Month are Here!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  The month was originally a state-based initiative meant to raise awareness about the legally-adoptable children in foster care.  Once recognized as a National holiday, NAAM has deviated from its original intentions.  Large adoption stakeholders, such as agencies and other adoption facilitators, have begun using this month as a way to market all of their adoption services as well as celebrate the institution.  Rather unscrupulous marketing has taken away the focus from the needs of kids in foster care, overshadowed the needs of those who have already experienced adoption, and spread misinformation about the institution itself.

November is also NaBloPoMo, a month where brave bloggers everywhere dedicate themselves to making one blog post per day, throughout the month of November, to support the art of writing.  In the adoption bloggosphere, many adoption bloggers use this month to put the focus back on the needs of foster kids, bring post-adoption needs and realities back into focus, and correct some of the misinformation about adoption that is spread during this month.

"Writer's block" is a challenge to those who attempt NaBloPoMo.  Various websites offer writing prompts; however, these prompts often do not address the needs of topic-specific blogs.  This keeps some adult adoptee bloggers from blogging during NAAM/NaBloPoMo. Lost Daughters wanted to change this.

Our co-editor, Jenn, was so kind as to put together a list of blog prompts, suggested by our authors, for NaBloPoMo and National Adoption Awareness Month.  Feel free to do the entire list or suppliment your own blogging plans with our prompts.  You can let everyone know you've joined the Lost Daughters NaBloPoMo/NAAM effort by using our icon.

---The Prompts---

November 1) Adoption & Stereotypes. There are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to adoption. How do you NOT fit the stereotype? What's your least favorite stereotype? There are even stereotypes in the adoption community. How do you fit into those stereotypes?

November 2) You, the Personal, & the Professional. We talk a lot about our personal lives but many of us also have professional lives. Let's assume that our personal and professional lives cross at some point (for some people this happens more than others). Has adoption also affected your professional life? If so, how?

November 3) Blogging Adoption and Everyday Life. How is blogging about adoption different from blogging about other topics? Do you maintain an non-adoption blog on top of adoption blogging? If so, how do they differ?

November 4) The Natural Father According to biology, it takes two to make a baby. However, when it comes to adoption often the natural father seems to be left out of the conversation more often than not. Do you feel that’s a valid statement? Were your natural parents treated as equals in your adoptive household? As a child, did you wonder about your natural father? Were you given any details about him? How did that make you feel? What is your view on natural fathers’ rights?

November 5) Around the Bloggosphere. Do you read blogs of other members of the "adoption triad"? If so, what do you learn from reading those blogs? When you disagree, what's your preferred method of dealing with it (such as leaving a comment, writing a blog post about it, or ignoring it)?

November 6) Taking a Break. Have you ever taken a break from adoption related things such as blogs, forums, or groups? If so, how did it help you (if at all) and why did you come back? If not, what is the biggest draw for sticking around for long periods of time without a break?

November 7) Childhood Adoption Narratives. Describe the story your adoptive parents told you growing up. What age were you? What feelings and questions did you have about this “adoption narrative”? Was it a satisfying explanation for you? Explain. As an adult, whether or not you are in reunion, comment on how much of that story turned out to be true. Has your adoption narrative changed? What story, if any, do you share with friends, acquaintances? How to others react to your narrative? Are they curious, supportive, silencing?

November 8) Adoption in Fiction. Comment on how adoption is portrayed in fiction, either as a fiction reader or writer. Adoption in classic fiction often centers on the orphan experience, from Oliver Twist and Little Men, to orphan Jane Eyre living with her aunt and cousins. Today there’s the Twilight series and others that use adoption to explain “families” comprised of various vampires. Talk about other examples of adoption used as a plot device in fiction. What types of adoption stories or adopted characters have resonated with you? Or haven't? Are the feelings and experiences described authentically, accurately? Discuss. As a writer, do you have a fictional adopted character? What issues is this character dealing with? What is their deepest secret or desire? If you have a desire to educate your readers about adoption, what do you want them to learn?

November 9) Becoming a Parent. Did becoming a parent change your perception of adoption or being adopted? Or did it strengthen what you already believe or feel? If you are not a parent, has watching your extended families expand (e.g. having nieces or nephews) changed your views on adoption or did it strengthen your views? Looking forward to your own potential parenthood: do you want kids, what strengths or challenges do you see in the future for yourself in becoming a parent? How has being adopted affected your own parenting philosophy?

November 10) Reactions to Searching If you've searched for or are thinking of searching for your natural family, what would you say to those who think your desire to search means you are unhappy in your adoptive family or had a bad childhood? If you don't have a desire to search, what would you say to those who wonder why you have no interest in knowing where you come from?

November 11) Personal Opinions Regarding Adoption What is your opinion of adoption today? Are you in favor of or against adoption, and how do various circumstances affect your opinion? Has your opinion changed over time? If so, what caused you to rethink your former opinion? What do you think is the biggest need for change in the adoption industry or is the current model for adoption fine the way it is?

November 12) Significant Others.Has being adopted affected your romantic relationships? If so, how? What is your relationship like with your adoptive family? Do you feel connected to your extended adoptive family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc.)? If reunited, do you feel connected to your extended natural family? Are there disconnects? Explain.

November 13) You & Adoptee Rights. Do you have access to your OBC? If you do, have you gotten yours yet? What did that mean to you? If you haven't, what's stopping you? If you don't have access, how does that directly affect you (if at all)?

November 14) The Things People Say What is the strangest thing anyone has ever said to you or asked you about being adopted? What is the most insightful thing anyone has ever said to you about being adopted? Has anyone ever shared your story without your permission? If so, how did that make you feel? Who “owns” your story and what part of your story do you share with others in your adoption “triad”? Is there a line when it comes to sharing? If so, where is that line drawn for you?

November 15) The Unexpected Is there an area of your life that most people would not suspect has been affected by your adoption in which being adopted has been an issue? How do you handle that area when discussing with other people?

November 16) Knowledge About Your Adoption Some adoptive parents share more than others for various reasons. How much of your adoptive parents’ story has been shared with you? If they shared details about your adoption with you, how did that make you feel? If they did not, do you wish they had? Did your parents share with you why they choose to adopt? Did they share that story with others in your life? If so, did it affect you in any ways?

November 17) Adoptee connections: Did you know many adoptees growing up? Do you know more now? How have adoptee friendships (online or in-real-life) impacted your experience? How do you generally make adoptee connections?

November 18) Siblings. Do you have siblings in your adoptive family? Were they also adopted or not? What was your relationship like in regards to adoption? If you are in reunion, did you find siblings as part of your search? How you been affected by your sibling relationships? If you searched and found siblings, and had adoptive siblings, what has that been like? If you don’t have siblings, have you found any benefits to being an only child?

November 19) Adoptee Writers - Every adoptee's experience is different. Even so, the more we learn and read about other adoptee experiences, we realize we are not alone. Choose a book, paper, or blog written by an adoptee about adoption. If you're adopted, comment on similarities, or not, with your experience growing up, searching and/or reuniting. If you're non-adopted, could you relate personally in any way to the writer's emotions? Generally, were your views on adoption confirmed, changed, enlightened?

November 20) Jealousy. Nobody’s perfect and sometimes we become jealous of other people (just as others become jealous of us). Has a non-adopted person told you they were jealous of you (due to adoption)? If so, how did that make you feel? How did you respond? If you are in reunion, has jealousy come into play at all? For example, if you have siblings, have they expressed jealousy about a difference in lifestyle? Are you jealous of them? How do you handle this? If you are not in reunion, do you harbor any jealousy toward anyone? If not, why do you think that is?

November 21) Biology. According to science, we all inherit something from our natural families. If you are in reunion, are there any traits or characteristics you know you inherited? How does that make you feel? If you are not in reunion, what do you hope to share with your natural family? How important is genetics to you personally?

November 22) Open-Adoption. How was your adoption classified (open, semi-open, closed)? Do you think that the method of adoption made an impact on your views of adoption? Explain. Do you wish your adoption had been done differently? What are your thoughts on open adoption? Do you think that an adult adoptee will face some of the same issues as those in closed adoptions? Can reunion level the playing field? Explain.

November 23) Terminology. What do you call your natural/first/birth/biological mother/father/family? Why? Are there different rules for different family members? What term(s) is not acceptable to you? How do you refer to them to others? If you're in reunion, do you introduce them the same way? How does your natural/first/birth/biological mother family feel about the term? Does it matter to them? What about your adoptive family? Do you use a qualifier when speaking about them? If not always but sometimes, when do you use it?

November 24) Love. As an adult adoptee what are your thoughts on marriage, love, and family? What are your thoughts on sex before marriage and common law marriage? If you're an interracial adoptee do you think it matters of your partner is the same ethnicity as you are? Have you ever been in a relationship with another adult adoptee? If yes, what was that like? Was it harder or easier than other relationships you've had? If no, would you ever consider dating another adult adoptee? Do you think it would be easier or harder?

November 25) Understanding. How important is it to you that your friends and/or spouse can understand you and support you? Do you think they can ever really know what you're feeling and going through? How do you help them to understand things from your point of view? Do your friends and/or spouse seem interested in furthering the discussion? Do they read books, blogs, or otherwise educate themselves about adoption issues? Do you disagree about any of the fundamentals? Do you agree? Do you think that your relationship with that person has altered their view on adoption in general?

November 26) Feminism. As a female adult adoptee, how has the fact that you're adopted shaped you in terms of feminism and women's rights? Do you find the two related? If so, how? Explain.

November 27) Diversity. Adult adoptees are a minority group in surrounding society. Historically, we have been both small in size and limited in power. Our diversity as adoptees intersects with our other diversities in many ways. We here at LD are women. Many adoptees are people of color, gay/lesbian/pan/poly/bi, transgendered, differently abled, transracially adopted, etc. How do your elements of diversity intersect in adoption? What are the strengths you’ve found in your personal diversity? What are the challenges? What can you or have you learned from adoptees who are different than you are?

November 28) Reunion. Are you reunited? Do you hope to be? Are you thinking of reunion but not quite ready? Are you just not interested in reuniting? What are your thoughts on reunion, the experiences you've already had in reunion, and your hopes for reunion in the future.

November 29) Culture Clash. Have you ever experienced culture clash? If so, what kind of cultural clashes have you experienced? If you're an intercountry adoptee have you dealt with language barriers, different cultural values, or prejudice? If you haven’t experienced any of these things, what do you perceive to be differences in your adoptive culture and your natural culture and how do you reconcile those differences?

November 30) Policy and Politics. Do you consider yourself an “activist” of any sort? If so, what areas of policy and social justice are you most passionate about? What outlets of activism (petitioning, blogging, writing op-eds, fundraising, etc.) have you done or would like to do?  What do you wish others would understand about causes that are important to you?

So, who's in?
Whether you are doing our blogging prompts or not, feel free to add yourself to the blog hop below to let others know they should check you out for NAAM/NaBloPoMo.

Happy Blogging!