Dear The Adopted Life readers, As 2015 comes to a close, I'd like to thank you for being so loyal. I've been on quite the incredible ride since the premiere of the documentary. I'm fortunate to have met so many of you who share my belief in critical thinking and reaching outside of our comfort zones as one small way we can improve lives in our society. As I reflect on such a momentous year in my personal life, I want to share some of my favorite moments that happened in the world around me. These are a few of my favorite things:
Favorite Article: How To Be An Interrupter wins this award. Pegged as "The White Person's Guide To Activism" this article is one of my top referenced articles when I teach workshops and trainings to white folks who desire to be considered an ally to the Black Lives Matter movement and want to be on the right side of history in our "post-racial" world. Yes, the author of this piece, Aaryn Belfer may be a personal friend, and I might be in love with her daughter, her San Diego home, her husband's wit and their dog, but if you think that her winning this award is a conflict of interest, then present your argument after digesting that it was shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest a few thousand times.
Favorite display of human intelligence: In my full-time professional work, I often preach Einstein's words about equality vs. equity. I'm glad to know I'll have a new example to add to my soapbox in James at Jim The Trim Barbershop. His actions rivals Einstein's brilliance, as he individually accommodates his clients to reach the same outcome: a fly haircut. Now that's equity!
Favorite speech:Viola Davis accepting her Emmy award and her powerful statement that the reason for the lack of black talent is not that we aren't talented, but rather "you can't win awards for roles that aren't there."
Although not technically a speech, Cecile's Richards (Planned Parenthood) shutting down representative, Jason Chaffetz is a runner-up.
Favorite interview: Alright, I've gotta shamelessly self-promote, here. One of my favorite interviews was speaking with a bright 10 year old girl after she saw Ava Duvernay's movie; Selma. I was also excited (Note: "excited" is an understatement - she is my girl crush) to have been contacted by Cipriana Quann, who asked to feature the video on Urban Bush Babes website.
Favorite Instagrammer: The beauties behind FosterMoms exemplify much of what I teach and stress in my adoption advocacy work. They share honestly and frequently, while keeping their little ones' lives private. I know them as "Tiny" and "Mr. Toddler." They've kept the boys' faces off of social media while educating on the power, struggle, love and tiring life of being LGBTQ foster parents.
Favorite Twitter feed: In 140-character gems, my Twitter feed can be inspiring, informative, and helps change the way I look at the world.@Deray is my source for on the ground truths of Ferguson, Charleston, Baltimore and other cases of police using excessive force. The 30 year old's reflections after meeting with Hilary Clinton was gracious while putting pressure on our Democratic front-runner. He is changing the world by demanding police officer accountability, and doing all of this while being black and gay. No easy feat.
Favorite display of public honesty: Monica Lewinsky's TEDTalk entitled "The Price Of Shame," exemplifies one of my professional missions. I strongly advocate for those marginalized within our society to learn how to own their own story and share it in a way that feels most true to them. This is not easy for folks who have been subjected to vitriol, hatred, abuse or other damaging interactions to their self-esteem. Monica Lewinsky endured years of public abuse, beautifully took back the reigns of her narrative by boldly sharing the story we all know too well in her own words. I'm thankful the folks in that room created such a safe space for her.
TheSerena Williams press conference after she beat her sister Venus is runner up in this category.
Favorite proud wife moment: Watching Bryan's creative process as he conceptualized, produced and edited this tear-jerker of a music video. I loved his purposeful choice to focus the story on showcasing powerful women in the minority black ballerina, single motherhood, adoptive parenting.
Favorite viral video: Passing time in the airport can be exasperating. Between the plethora of germs, the searching my afro for weapons, eavesdropping on conversations, witnessing tearful hugs and kisses it can be enough to swear off airports for life. I will continue to travel in 2016, and would be impossibly happy to get the great fortune to witness a magical scene like this.
RELATED: I've spent far fewer hours on the New York subway, but still, why couldn't thishave happened?
Favorite binge-watch: The Newsroom. This show made me think about the ways media portrays "news." I'm too embarrassed to admit the number of consecutive hours spent on the couch. Next up? Season 4 of House Of Cards.
Favorite moment of justice: Watching Daniel Holtzclaw bawl like the weak little child that he is, and hearing some of the survivors speak out and having the whole world hear them and believe them.
"Amidst the suffering and mourning for Black lives lost and brutalized across the nation, we can finally celebrate having "won" one. At last, we can sit back and revel in our oppressor's suffering." -For Harriet
Favorite Fans: YOU! Thank you for your belief that adoptees should have a place at the table when discussing issues related to adoption. It's been an honor to build a community of thinkers who show a deep respect for humanity, engage in challenging dialogue with a willingness to be vulnerable, and modeling how to respectfully disagree with someone on the internet. I am greatly looking forward to hearing the voices of our adopted youth through The Adopted Life series in 2016 - thanks again for helping to make this a reality.
P.S. Did I miss something? Let me know!