The following excerpt was one that
I found on the Lost Bird Society website. It is from a book written by Renee Sansom-Flood, who was nominated for a Pulitzer
for her work on the original lost bird. A link to the Lost Bird Society follows the excerpt.
HOW AMERICAN INDIAN MOTHER'S LOST THIER CHILDREN
by Renee Sansom-Flood
RENEE'S EXPERIENCES AS A SOCIAL WORKER
Below is an excerpt from Renee's book, Lost Bird
of Wounded Knee: Spirit of the Lakota, about her experiences as a Social Worker.
"But prejudice in its blatant form
wasn't the main reason I was concerned about continuing in my job. I had watched while many Indian children were placed in
foster and adoptive care away from their tribes. Due to ignorance and lack of funds there were inadequate services offered
to Indian children in foster care, and some were lost for years in the legal system, lobbed from one foster home to another
like battered tennis balls. Many had been taken from their families because the social worker, lawyer or judge did not understand
One day I went to a local hospital with another social worker. On the maternity ward, we found a
young Lakota mother holding her baby boy. She had him wrapped up tightly in a warm blanket, and he was asleep. When the social
worker barged in on the mother, she didn't look up. A nurse came and pulled the curtain around us.
"Are you having
trouble finding a place to stay?" The worker began sympathetically. She gave me a knowing look and she thought the Indian
girl hadn't noticed.
The girl was scared. Without looking, Indians can read body language like radar. "We just need
a ride back to Rosebud," She said softly, still without looking up.
Now began the barrage of questions, each unconsciously
calculated to destroy the young woman's self-esteem. "How will you raise your child without money?" the worker asked. "What
kind of life can you provide for him on the reservation? If you really love your boy, you'd give him a chance in life. We
have a long list of good people who can never have children of their own. They have money, beautiful homes. Your baby would
have everything; a good education, nice clothes, loving parents, opportunities you can never give him...."
got to the state car in the parking lot, I looked back up at the hospital window. There stood the young Lakota mother, her
open palms on the window above her head. The worker handed me the baby, and I held him, still looking up at the Lakota girl
watching us helplessly as we drove away with her precious child.
Native Adoptees Links
Here is a beginning to understanding some of the feelings
of adoptees, and the people that they touch. I have reunited with my birth family and even though I missed my parents and
grandparents, I am able to talk to others who were friends with my parents and can tell me about them. Here are a couple of
the links that I have visited and would highly recommend. Please check them out.
Young Once, Indian Forever!
Native Adoptees Page
Especially for Adoptees'
Lost Bird Society