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I’m so very excited to announce this particular call for submissions.  We are looking for entries from Vietnamese Adoptees across the globe.  Please help spread the word!

“Vietnamese Adoptees 2.0: In Our Own Words”
Online Submission Deadline: March 1st, 2014
Type: Essays, Poetry, Short Stories, Art & Photographs
Theme: Adoptees/Adoption
2500 words (Maximum)

Submission And Guideline Details

“Vietnamese Adoptees 2.0: In Our Own Words” is a forthcoming anthology of Vietnamese Adoptees. We are looking for adoptees of any age who wish to share a piece of their story and journey, their reflections, mindsets, critical analysis, blurred poetry, photographs and sketches – anything you want to share as a Vietnamese American Adoptee. Previously published work will be considered, but we prefer new entries. 

In compiling this anthology, the hope is to show the many diverse stories and faces from a community in a dispersed population: a lens on who we are as individuals, and from a larger, more communal focal point.

The book will be edited by Vietnamese Adoptees, Sumeia Williams and Adam Chau. Sumeia Williams has blogged at the New York Times for the section “Relative Voices” as well as for the blogs “Misplaced Baggage” and “Ethnically Incorrect Daughter”. Adam Chau is co-editor of “Parenting as Adoptees” and has posted his thoughts up on the MPR, Gazillion Voices, Slant Eye For The Round Eye, and MyxTV blogs.

Submission should be no longer than 2500 words, double spaced, and in Microsoft Word format in an attachment.   Photographs and artwork should be at least 300 DPI in jpg format.  All submissions are due by March 1st 2014 and should be sent to vietadopteeanthology@gmail.com (as well as with any questions).

Submissions from all countries are welcome.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vietnameseadopteeanthology


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Lisa Marie has put up her Kickstarter page to bring Ungrateful Daughter to The NY International Fringe Festival.  Please support my sister and hero.  Ungrateful Daughter touches on issues that exist within the sphere of international adoption and goes to the heart of what it is to be a transracial adoptee.  You can view a trailer HERE.

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Yay, a trailer!  To learn more about Deann’s project and how you can pledge a contribution, check out the project’s kickstarter page.

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Please help post and forward to your respective groups! Many thanks! ~Charlie
If you are an adult transnational adoptee (age 18+) or a parent of one, please take our on-line anonymous survey before FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10!

So far we’ve collected 450 surveys — representing adoptees/parents of adoptees who were adopted from China, Colombia, El Salvador, Equator, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela & Viet Nam, born between 1952 – 1992. Our goal is to reach 500 surveys by the end of the next week! Mahalo.

Adoptee Survey: http://www.facebook.com/l/MAQEk-PerAQF6rLFNQpprsU34Qg_mXb8MAvYBCLvp883YxQ/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.surveymonkey.com%2Fs%2FStories_Adult_Adoptee

Parent Survey: http://www.facebook.com/l/OAQHqIK4kAQExc707-IEUmx0j0X1y8geo7P4DC1aQmfIneQ/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.surveymonkey.com%2Fs%2FStories_Adoptive_Parent

For more info: http://www.facebook.com/l/ZAQFOnzKxAQGyIBMDTLcZAtlieXdo1eHP8tbGVUcZlQspJQ/www.transnational-adoptee-parent-study.webs.com/

PS: We’ll be soon sending an update on Stories of Transnational Adult Adoptees and their American Parents — outlining the past few months & letting you know where we’re planning on going for 2012.

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To another year…

It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging since 2004.  Reading back over my old blog, it’s even harder to believe the direction that blogging has taken me.  Blogging has affected my life in ways that I would find hard to describe.  I can hardly picture myself without having a blog somewhere out there.  Lately, I’ve thought it might be time to close this one down.  Life doesn’t leave me much time to spend on it anyway.  As I sit here, trying to foresee a direction in which to take it, I see nothing definitive.  Still, I can’t seem to make myself walk away from it.

Anyway, knowing me, the day will never come when I say, “I’m done.”   I’ll just walk away without saying anything.  So still here and sending thanks again to all those who’ve stuck with me over the years.   Thank you for all the support and encouragement.

Sending warm wishes for the holidays and the coming new year!

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The Noisy Road Home

pic by sume

The road to the house was long, dark and noisy.  Very little was visible except for the dusty tunnel of illumination created by the headlights.  I could see the scattered lights of nearby houses but they seemed dim and insignificant.  What stood out to me most was the noise.  Even at thirty miles per hour, the crunching of the tires against the rock road was so loud, I could barely hear K on the phone.  I wanted to describe the scene to him, but all I remember saying was, “Oh my god.  When does it end?”

We’d arrived late after overshooting our destination and ending up near Fort Worth.  I felt ragged but wired after the long drive from NC.  I was excited to see everyone, but couldn’t push away feelings of arriving as the guest, the near stranger, the intruder.  This was their home, not mine.  Almost ten years had passed since the last time I’d seen my dad and his new family.  So much had changed while I’d been away.  I’d changed and changed again.

I’d traveled this road many times before as an 18 year-old.  Dad had bought land in the area not long after we’d moved back to Texas from Nebraska.  When time allowed, I’d come out to help build the barn or whatever project he had going on at the time.  I moved to Irving before he built the house and only visited three or four times after leaving Texas to live in Florida.  I’d missed almost all of my new siblings’ adolescent years.  New sister #1 had magically turned 18.  New Twin Brother and Sister were 15.

A few years ago, Dad sold the land and the house they’d built in favor of building a new house on the neighboring property.  I didn’t really have much of a history with the old place and none with the new one.  It would be my first time to see the new place with my own eyes.  Time had gotten away from me.   The years had flown by so quickly but thinking about all that had changed drove home just how much time had passed.  I was going home, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more lost and disoriented.  Displaced again.

As we continued down the road, my dad in his car leading the way, me in the middle and my friend following in the moving truck, the grinding seem to get louder.  Somehow it added meaning to the moment.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe because I felt that as I traveled further down that road, my chances of going back were slowly being ground away.  And I wanted to go back.  It was as if I were being escorted to a prison cell after so many years of being on the run.  I’d escaped this place only to be brought back blindfolded with my hands tied.

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ADK’s recent interview with

Through the Lens

She appeared a little shy when asked to strike a pose for the camera. That might explain why Anh Dao Kolbe, a gay and lesbian activist, said she felt more comfortable behind the lens.

“I used to be desperately shy and my camera has always been my security blanket,” says Kolbe, now 38. “Photography is a good way of meeting people and pushing through that shyness.”

Kolbe, who self-identifies as a queer, believes in the power of photography to create public awareness on gay and lesbian rights. A self-taught photographer for over a decade, the Vietnamese activist uses her images to educate people about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) issues, HIV/AIDS prevention, and to make the GLBT people more visible in the community.

“I like to document people’s lives, trying to capture their true spirits,” says Kolbe, now a health program manager at MAP for Health. “When people look at my photographs and ask why I took them, I take that as a compliment. It means I can explain and teach them my perspective–no matter what you are, either straight or gay, you can be proud of yourself and be successful as who you are.”

Kolbe says she takes a lot of pride having triple identities: being lesbian, Vietnamese and adopted. Born in Vietnam in 1970, she was adopted by her Greek artist mother and German architect father when she was 6 months old. The young Kolbe came to New York City in 1972. Two years later, she moved to the Middle East and spent four years in Qatar and nine years in Oman, where she had a blessed, carefree childhood with her adopted parents.

continue reading

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