Native American Culture, Transracial Adoption, and Acculturation Issues
I have worked with local bands of Southern California Native Americans, first in the capacity of an MSW intern, and then, after receiving my Master in Social Work from San Diego State University 1999, as a social worker for Child Protective Services with the County of San Diego. Additionally, I, myself, have Native American heritage. As an Indian baby born before 1978, when the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) came into being, I have an intimate knowledge and a highly personal understanding of the impact of being Native American, but raised white within a white culture. I have struggled all these years to connect to my “roots,” and have experienced difficulties, as I may “look” like a Native American physically, but I think and feel like a white person. I, too, understand what it is to be an “apple,” i.e., white on the inside, red on the outside, and how hurtful it can be to lose your true self. Let’s take the journey together.
A Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit Connection
I have struggled, off and on, for much of my life, with weight and associated health issues. I have tried nearly every diet known to man, and some, rather unorthodox. I am familiar with Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Opti-Fast, and, finally, weight loss surgery, most specifically, gastric bypass surgery.
I understand the impact that extra weight can have on one’s life, socially, economically, behaviorally, medically, and even in professional ways. I also understand what it is to be diagnosed with multiple health issues, i.e., as the doctors call it, comorbidity, such as Type II Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Asthma, bone and joint issues and diseases, COPD, and, I believe my personal understanding of many of these issues makes me an empathetic and kind listener. Rather than just saying, “I understand how you feel…” I actually DO understand, and indeed, know how you feel.
During my personal journey, I’ve become convinced of a mind and body connection, and work daily on achieving “balance” in all aspects of my life. My physical health is tied into my emotional and mental health, and I find it impossible to separate these states of health from each other. I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds from Roux en Y Gastric Bypass Surgery in June 2013, and now strive to be active, utilizing any number of physical and spiritual practices to improve my overall health. My life since mid 2013, has shown me that health and fitness is a daily focus, and some days are more successful than others. I’ve maintained my good health, with the exception of continued injuries to my right knee, which has proven to be a source of frustration and occasional hopelessness. I do recognize that a healthy mind, body, and spirit requires an ongoing commitment, so I work on keeping motivated and positive, and am eager to join you on your own personal journey towards emotional, physical and mental health.