Okay friends…for all of you that have been prompting me to start a blog for years now, here we go. I feel like I need to warn you, though, that this blog is going to be a bit of a departure from my status updates. Surely I’ll still share funny tidbits about the kids, they’re too rich not to share...but this will be a place for sharing other kinds of writing too.
After riding the high of getting my writing featured first on Chicago Now in November and again on the Huffington Post in January I decided I really wanted to get some more of my writing out to the world. I have a lot to say about adoption, specifically of course the kind of adoption that my family has experienced: post-foster care, trans-racial open (as much as possible) adoption. I’d always heard adoption was complicated and I tend to agree. This is going to be a space to talk about that. Some of it is sad but I’ll try to make sure I follow up sad stories with happy ones so I don’t depress you too much.
Previously I had done a lot of writing about surviving a break-in and sexual assault at Rutgers in 1995. At first it seemed the only thing I could do with that writing was to try to get it published as a book. That didn’t work out and I gave up on it for awhile—about a decade, really. Then an encounter with an old friend from my Rutgers days inspired me to dust it off and this time really do something with it. I began giving speaking presentations at Rutgers (once for the entire football team) and for local high school students. I’ve also been interviewed about my experience by the New York Times and also on a nationally broadcast live radio show.
I’m proud of this work and when I get feedback from audiences letting me know that they’ve learned something from hearing me speak or that they are survivors as well and it emboldens them to hear me speak publicly…I know that I am doing the right thing by sharing.
However I am most proud of my speaking and performing with The Meta Theatre Company The stars aligned (as they do for me, always) and this opportunity fell into my lap at just the right moment. It had never occurred to me that I could combine my love of acting with my commitment to social activism. Finally I found a space to publicly present not only my rape survival experience but to begin to dissect the racism that I witnessed as a result of being a white woman who happened to be raped by a black man. No, the racism was not directed at me, but as a white ally dedicated to the fight against racism, I felt it was imperative of me to acknowledge both the racism I witnessed and the white privilege I benefitted from.
So now you know the two main topics I’ll be tackling in my blog. It may sound totally heavy and depressing, but I promise you it won’t always be. There are even funny stories about surviving rape if you can believe it. Humor has always been what has kept me afloat. I really crack myself up. A lot. And I hope if you can stick with the heavy stuff you can learn a little, feel empowered, challenge yourself to new ways of thinking and laugh along with me.