I’d like to take up a bit of space to introduce myself. My name is Hannah Andrews, and I’m AKA’s current newsletter and blog editor. I’m a Baby Scoop Era US domestic adoptee. I was born in Chicago, adopted at five weeks, raised on a farm in central Illinois, and now make my home in San Diego. While I grew up knowing I was adopted, I didn’t dive into what that meant until just a few years ago.
In 2019, I attended a writing conference. I wasn’t writing (or even reading) about adoption. I signed up for one presentation, not realizing that an author writing about her experience as a birth mother was the guest presenter. It was dumb luck and serendipitous. A whole new world opened up to me. I requested my OBC and began a search for my natural mother that very day.
Unfortunately, my search yielded a grave. Along the way, though, I found a half-brother, cousins, my ancestral lineage, stories, and photos. Best of all, I found THIS COMMUNITY. I’ve been fortunate to meet adoption constellation members through social media, support groups, and conferences. It has made all the difference to me. It changed my life.
I discovered AKA in 2020 when they moved their support groups online. I joined the board in 2022. I volunteered to take over the newsletter last year, and now, I’m trying my hand at blogging. Please be patient with me. I am a writer, but as far as blogs go, this IS my first rodeo. Marci Shull, our Program Administrator, is always there to help me polish and post (THANK YOU!!!), and AKA has a great team of volunteers, but still…
I need you! I’m reaching out to you— adopted and donor-conceived people, birth/first, adoptive, and foster parents, NPEs, and MPEs—our community. I’d love to share your words with our readers. Our support groups have a monthly topic, and we can use that as a guideline for the blog, but feel free to reach out with your thoughts on anything constellation related.
December's theme is “Navigating the Holidays,” and January’s will be “Goals and Intentions for 2024.” Themes are listed on the events calendar. Please reach out with questions and submit your work to me at BlogandNewsletter@adoptionknowledge.org.
I’d also like to invite you to read our most current newsletter and I invite you to write with suggestions for future issues.
On that note, I want to send a special hello and thanks to one of our conference sponsors and an organization we work closely with, STAR (Support Texas Adoptee Rights). STAR is a statewide non-profit comprised of over 2000 Texas adoptees, birth and adoptive parents, and agencies that advocate for legislative change. STAR’s goal is to restore access to OBCs for all adult adoptees in Texas. Here’s a link to their most recent newsletter.
One more note. That birth mother I met? The one that started me on this journey without realizing it? Her name is Laura Engel. I reached out to her, and we became friends. I was honored to feature her memoir at AKA’s Summer Book Club. We also carpooled to the Concerned United Birthparents 2023 Retreat. I’m so thankful our paths crossed. You can read more about her or order her book here.
Finally, during this holiday season, practice good self-care, and should you need it, please don’t hesitate to call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Holidays are joyous celebrations for some, but can be difficult for many of us in the constellation. Personally, my losses feel more profound this time of year. In fact, they did long before I even realized I was feeling loss, before I knew I was grieving. I value the knowledge and understanding of this community. I hope to help pass that along.
Thanks for listening and I hope to hear from you soon.