This week on AK we take a look at adopting children overseas and adopting culture right at home. We’ll meet a grandmother who’s parenting all over again, and a woman who, against all odds, helped save her adoptive father’s life. Plus, adapting to new circumstances, when life throws you a curve ball. All that and more coming up this week on AK from APRN.
Trisha Makaily was adopted as a child, moved to Juneau in her teens, and then was adopted again in her mid-twenties, into Tlingit culture. AK’s Scott Burton met up with her at Tlingit and Haida’s Community Center in Juneau.
- Music Button: “Family Affair” performed by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers from Go Go Swing Live
How To Save a Life
Many adopted kids struggle with their identity: wondering where they came from, who they are, and why they ended up where they did. As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, Anchorage resident Kristin deSmith she wondered all those things – until a medical emergency helped answer her questions. Kristin and her father, Roger, share their story with AK’s Jessica Cochran.
- Break: “All My Life” performed by Marian McPartland from All My Life
Parenting All Over Again
5,500 grandparents in Alaska — and 1.5 million grandparents in the U.S. — are raising their grandchildren. Patsy Parker took it one step further, and adopted hers. AK’s Rebecca Sheir visits the new family, and the office of Alaska’s Grandfamilies Network Project, to learn about the rising phenomenon of parenting all over again.
- Music Button: “I Will” performed by Alison Krauss from Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection
When Juneauite Seth McBride broke his neck, he became a quadriplegic with limited use of his hands. At the University of Oregon, he was introduced to wheelchair rugby – or “quad-rugby.” Now, at 24, he’s among the youngest members of the US Paralympic team headed for the Olympics in Beijing this September. Seth chatted with AK’s Scott Burton while watching a recording of one his games.
- AK Calendar of Events (Music: “It Had To Be You” from When Harry Met Sally Soundtrack)
Wish I Were a Real Alaskan Girl
Sometimes it takes a while to adapt to new circumstances. Anchorage singer-songwriter Marian Call may be experiencing her fifth Alaskan winter, but will she ever be a Real Alaskan Girl? Check out her song and find out.
- Break: “Family Theme” by Sondre Lerche from Dan In Real Life – Original Soundtrack
When searching for that child who will fill their hearts, couples in this country often look beyond the U.S. Anchorage has several agencies and support organizations — like the Alaska International Adoption Agency and Families With Children From China — that help families find, and care for, children from abroad. AK’s Ellen Lockyer takes a look at international adoption.
Unintended High Roller
While some families search the world to find a child to adopt, for others, they just arrive. Such was the case for Anchorage writer Scott Banks Poem.
- Music Button: “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon from Surprise
Anchorage’s Bird Treatment and Learning Center seeks to rehabilitate injured birds, before returning them to the wild, or keeping them to promote education. On January 11th, the Center received a new flock of foster charges: the bald eagles that attempted to feed on a truckload of fish waste at Kodiak’s Ocean Beauty Seafoods. In this audio postcard, volunteer Greg McDonald discusses the birds’ progress.
One Big Musical Family
Here in Alaska, we like to say we have a deep sense of community. But you don’t have to be born here to experience the closeness. In fact, as David Waldron discovers, sometimes all it takes is a good concert.
- Closing: “We Are Family (Salsa Mix)” performed by Birds of a Feather from The Music from the Birdcage