My Upcoming Events For The Weeks Of May 16th and May 23rd

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forumHeaderTuesday May 17th from 10-11AM PST. I will be a guest panelist on KQED’s Forum Program/88.5 FM hosted by Michael Krasny.

 
books-inc-arc-2-blueWednesday May 18th from 7PM-8PM I’ll be speaking at Books Inc in Alameda located at 1344 Park Street.

Monday May 23rd from 7PM-8PM I’ll be speaking at Books Inc. in Palo Alto located at the Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.

PLEASE JOIN US!!

STAY TUNED FOR MORE MEDIA AND SPEAKING EVENTS!

Re-Post of “Adoptee Voices – Why Do We Search”

Pamela Karanova posted this very good piece on her blog, Adoptee In Recovery, where she features adoptees’ experience searching for their birth families. My teenage daughter Casey never showed any interest in her family from Poland, something I heard from other adopted teens. But as they got older, I learned that they were desperate to know, almost without exception.

YouTube Video – My Talk at S.F. Public Library, Thursday April 14, 2016

sfpl_logoLast night I gave my usual talk and book reading at the San Francisco Public Library while a video slide show of Casey’s pictures ran behind me. They taped it with production and editing quality that was astonishing. It looks like a TED talk, Charlie Rose interview or KQED production. I love they way they intersperse parts of the slide show with me talking.

Bravo SFPL! Thanks so much for this gift!

Here is the YouTube link. Note: please remember to back up the video to the beginning if it starts a bit later.

My Appearances This Week

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On Tuesday of this week I’ll be a featured guest on KWMR-FM/90.5, Point Reyes, CA., 89.9, Bolinas, 92.3, The Valley, on the local news show “Epicenter” at 5:00PM with Jim Fazackerley talking about The Girl Behind The Door.

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On Thursday of this week at 6:30PM I’ll be speaking about The Girl Behind The Door at the San Francisco Public Library, Civic Center main branch at 100 Larkin St. in the Latino Room.

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On Saturday at 11AM Mountain Time (10AM Pacific) I’ll be interviewed on “Adoption Perspectives” on KLTT-AM/670, Denver, CO.

PLEASE JOIN US IN PERSON, OVER THE AIR OR ONLINE!

Casey’s Comfort Pillow

Casey Photos 1991-96_0042I submitted this short personal essay to KQED-FM’s Perspective series which invites listeners to submit their 2 minute stories. They broadcast a couple I did a few years ago but lately I’ve been on a losing streak. After they turned this one down I listened to the essay they accepted about someone’s old cat. I didn’t get it. But sorry I don’t do “lite and breezy.” I write from the gut and go for something hopefully thought provoking and uplifting in the face of tragedy.

Unfortunately what I’m finding I suspect is that the general public doesn’t like the whole “suicide thing.” But when they let me tell the story or read the book they are totally enrolled.

So…

When you were a kid, what did you have to drag around with you all day and snuggle with at night? For me it was my Teddy bear.

For my daughter Casey, it was different. She had plenty of stuffed animals. There was Toucan, Plush Pink Piggy, Pooh Bear, Squeaky Doll, Bunny and an assortment of Beanie Babies. Like all kids, she’d play with them when she was little – having snacks, pretend tea, watching videos together – but at bedtime they were relegated to the foot of her bed.

Casey’s true constant companion was her goose down comfort pillow. My wife bought it for her just before we received her from a Polish orphanage where she’d spent the first year of her life. She was well cared for but missed the things that provide comfort to children who weren’t raised in an institution. She was never breast fed, probably wasn’t held nearly enough, and wasn’t allowed a pacifier for fear of spreading germs.

Casey had trouble self-soothing from sometimes crippling tantrums and meltdowns. So her comfort pillow was her prosthetic. On any given night we’d find her asleep in bed with that pillow over her face. She’d suck on it and rub it on the tip of her nose to calm herself down. During one of her meltdowns, she’d cry and scream into that pillow. My wife re-stuffed and re-covered it many times from all of the use it had gotten to sooth her well into her teen years.

But the pillow wasn’t enough. Eight years ago when Casey was 17, she took our car, drove to the Golden Gate Bridge, jumped and disappeared. She left her room behind neat as a pin with Toucan, Plush Pink Piggy, Pooh Bear, Squeaky Doll, Bunny, her Beanies and her comfort pillow, threadbare from use, carefully arranged on her bed.

Now her comfort pillow is my comfort pillow. I hug it and smell it but her scent is long gone. It’s all I have left of her. Meanwhile my own Teddy sits old and musty, worse for wear, hermetically sealed in a Rubbermaid container in my basement.

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NY Times The Ethicist Piece, March 6, 2016

Yesterday’s Sunday New York Times Ethicist column featured a piece titled “Should I Tell My Sister She’s Adopted?” The title alone was jarring to me. How can this even be a question in 2016? In short, the letter writer’s biological parents adopted a child, so the parents had a biological and adopted child. But the parents kept the adoption a secret and insisted that their biological daughter keep the secret as well, a terrible burden to impose on a child!

I wondered if this adoption had happened decades ago when these kinds of secrets were more commonplace. But it seemed as though the adoption happened more or less in current times.

The Times’ Ethicist responded in an overly long winded response that had little to do with the question until finally answering the writer’s question with a convoluted affirmative.

They could’ve just answered with one word: Yes!

UPCOMING RADIO EVENTS: MONDAY MAR 7 2-3PM KPFA-FM/94.1 AND MONDAY MAR 14 10-11AM KQED-FM/88.5.

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Please tune in for these upcoming radio events.

 

logoMonday Mar. 7 2-3PM on KPFA-FM/94.1 I will be interviewed about adoption and attachment along with internationally renowned adoption expert, therapist and author of the adoption bible, The Primal Wound, Nancy Newton Verrier, on the show “About Health” hosted by Rona Renner, RN. You can also LISTEN LIVE on KPFA.org or listen to the archived show.

 

KQED_logoMonday Mar. 14 10-11AM on KQED-FM/88.5 I will be on a panel discussion about survivors of suicide on the nationally syndicated “Forum,” hosted by Michael Krasny. You can also LISTEN LIVE on KQED.org or listen to the archived show.

 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE MEDIA AND SPEAKING EVENTS!

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