I admire and have GREAT respect for Dr. John Raible. He and others like Michelle Johnson (who lives in MN by the way) are true pioneers in the adoption community. He has been, and continues to be, a lot of things to a lot of different people; it’s difficult to remain relevant for so long. Because of this, I was excited to see the announcement about his lunch time Adoptees Have Answers (AHA) webinar, which will happen on July 13th. I was also honored when he agreed to talk with me for Land of Gazillion Adoptees. And I about lost my sanity when he sent me this TOTALLY AWESOME photo:
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Did you really turn 50? You still look like that fresh faced guy from “Struggle for Identity.”
John: Ha, ha. Thanks, Kevin. Yes, I really did turn 50 on my last birthday. I still think it’s kind of funny (and insulting) to hear people describe the movie as “featuring six young people” because I was 35 at the time it was made. I mean, at what point are transracial adoptees allowed to be seen as adults? Think of it this way: I was already raising TEENAGERS when “Struggle” was made.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Although you’ve accomplished a tremendous amount since its release, many individuals, particularly adoptive parents in the process of adopting, are introduced to you through “Struggle for Identity.” What do you think about this, the idea of people “meeting” a younger version of you for the first time?
John: That doesn’t bother me, but I am glad that they made the “Conversation 10 Years Later” as a follow up to “Struggle.” The feedback I get is that audiences appreciate the contrast between the two versions of my message across the two movies. And I’m looking forward to making a third version ten years after the second movie!
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: You’re “presenting” in Minnesota via a webinar for Adoptees Have Answers (AHA). Can you share a little bit about what you’re going to discuss?
John: Well, they asked me to talk about parenting. Apparently, there is a lot of interest in the topic of adoptees as parents. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, but I haven’t written about it yet. So I see this as an opportunity to put my thoughts into writing in preparation for the webinar. I do my best thinking when I’m writing, so the webinar audience will hopefully find something in my remarks to spark some discussion or generate some controversy. I promise it won’t be dull!
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Nice! What do you love the most about MN? It can’t be the weather.
John: I have not spent too much time in Minnesota yet. But my trip to the Twin Cities a few years ago was amazing. I could not believe that everywhere I went, I would run into a transracial adoptee. Usually, a Korean adoptee. As someone who grew up rarely seeing another transracially adopted person, it must be very cool to live in a place where there are so many other adoptees. That’s my idealized image of Minnesota.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Thanks, John! And for you, dear reader, I encourage you to please attend John’s webinar on July 13th. You can register here.