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It’s been a busy time and I haven’t posted in so long! I have been posting on the Finding Forever blog where things are heating up for the November show. Cups are coming in, we are about to sign the lease, and our kickstarter project is doing well. I’ve got some wedding commissions in the kiln as we speak and cups to make. Never a dull moment!

Here are some of the cups that have arrived for the exhibition….

I like the sound of that….Finding Forever. I’ve been rolling it around in my head and off my tongue to see if it is the right name choice for the November show I am championing in honor of thousands of kids in the foster care system throughout our state and our nation. (I am in pursuit of what the actual number is.)

The vernacular in the adoption/foster care system is an interesting one.  Finding a child’s Forever Family is how the quest for home is defined. Finding the best fit for the child.  It is not about blood, race, gender….it is about forever.

For my daughter there were several different homes, one of them twice. I share her story to shed light and context on just how important finding a forever home is. Her first foster home said they would adopt her. Then mom got cancer and they gave her back. I still can’t fathom that. So life gets hard and you return a human like a couch that doesn’t fit in your living room? On to the next foster home for her – a Spanish speaking family we know nothing about. This was a short term placement as foster mom #1 goes into remission and decides, sure, we’ll take her back. Why the system (i.e. social worker, attorney, etc.) didn’t question the viability of this is beyond me. Guess what, cancer returns, as does my girl to the foster care system again.

I am infuriated just remembering this detail. I actually talked to this foster parent at one point and did all I could to gather information and not show my disgust. I understand difficulty. I understand lots of things. But these decisions were dramatically affecting a LIFE. A child’s fragile, trust-violated, life.

There was one more foster home where her brother was in placement that agreed to take her under detailed conditions. It was there we met. And fell in love. We were in love with them the first moment we saw their picture. (Those details are for another post).

So perhaps Finding Forever is the right title for the exhibition. It is the most important experience of these children’s lives. Right now they float in an anxious place of not knowing, wanting, missing out on trusting love. Wondering what they’ve done wrong, wondering what they could do to get someone, anyone, to take them home and love them forever.

I will show your beautiful faces, say your names, show all I can that you are indeed so worthy, so lovable, and that there are arms and hearts waiting to take you home if only just to find you.

Click below to see some of the kids searching for their forever homes

Today I spoke with the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (M.A.R.E.). My hope was to have each cup represent a child in foster care awaiting their Forever Family. We spoke at length and I am excited to say we will be working together in creation of this event.

November is National Adoption Month. I can think of no better time to have such an exhibition.

More details to come!

No single event has changed my life as continually and deeply as adopting my children.  It was an incredible process, consuming and intense.  Right now I know four couples going through the process of becoming foster/adoptive parents and am reminded again of what it was like eight years ago (and then some) as well as being reminded of my continuing desire to do something of relevance about this great need.

I am not a social worker, lawyer or legislator who could affect change in the increasingly difficult to navigate social service system where the the kids are the last to have their rights respected and their needs met.  I am not in the position to take kids in though I so much wish I could.

The number of kids in the system, the number of parents whose right come before their offspring’s rights, the over-burdened staff statewide, the appalling rate at which kids are shuffled around or returned to less than ideal living conditions.  I’m disgusted. Disheartened. For a long time now I have thought I didn’t have anything to say with my work. I realize now I do. I want to give them a voice.

Every potter invariably makes a collection of cups or mugs with one that just doesn’t fit with their others. Different size or shape, they collect dust on the shelf – orphaned cups. I am curating an exhibition along with artist Greg Aubin to gather orphaned cups from far and wide, each cup representing a child in the foster care system in search of their Forever Family. My hope is to give a voice to as many children as I can who deserve to be seen, to be heard.

Today is the first step. This blog announcing our intention. More to come!

Life has such intensity that rises and falls with conflict, challenge, unexpected crisis or doubt. But if you find that one thing, that one calming, connected, beautiful thing, hang on to it. Let it be the rooted tree to hold on to when the wind blows and rain rages. It will nurture and support the growth of your own strong Sequoia within you.

General_Sherman_tree_looking_up

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