Posts Tagged ‘Adoption’

Young Writers

April 26, 2013

Editor:  Yeah, we’re still chasing that youth demographic.  Plus, it’s a change from corpse eating hogs.

Crossover Dribble

Crossover Dribble

Life Is a lot Like Basketball, the More You Learn the More Difficult It Seems.

by Thawit Nelson

I moved to US in the beginning of June. I didn’t know any English. The only word I knew was “Hello” or “Hi”. After about a week I started school. It was pretty difficult, because I didn’t know any English. I went to school about a month, and the last day of school was the twentieth of June. Where I live, which is up above the hill from Stillwater Store, I have two friends that played basketball who were my neighbors. They played for fun, and they wanted me to try. I tried to shoot, but the ball was hard to shoot.

At first, I dribbled the ball back and forward.  But where I come from there is no such thing as basketball.  It looked like a fun sport.  Still, I didn’t know about basketball.  The only thing I knew was that it was dribbling and shooting.

Summer 2011 I went camping with my parent.  And everywhere I saw basketball courts.  I started to play basketball on January 23, 2012.  There were lots of people making fun of me when I started playing basketball.  But I kept practicing and practicing until I felt like ‘I’m a lot better than the others that think they are good.’

I started to play a year ago, when I was thirteen, because I was adopted by then.  The first day I moved here, I touched the ball.  I didn’t know how to dribble or shoot the ball.  A couple months later we went camping and every time I saw a basketball court, I asked my parents to let me play there.  But I didn’t get a chance.


In the beginning of 2012 there was basketball activity at school and I started to play.  I didn’t know how to shoot, layup, dribble.  It seemed very hard.  I was always the only one who got bullied.  I was pretty upset.  I never said anything to fight back because I was still learning the language.  About 20 days later, I asked my parents for a basketball driveway hoop.  And I kept practicing and practicing.  Then I attended the NBC (National Basketball Camp), which was a good camp for me.

Knowing more basketball made it harder and harder.  There are so many moves, fakes, layups, crossovers, and all kinds of footwork.  Now, I’m 15 and trying to get up to speed so that I can play for the High School.  But there are lots of players who started playing basketball when they were little.  And some of them are big.

I hadn’t realized how hard being good would be.  But each day I wake up and continuing trying.  Just like Michael Jordan says, I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. 


Photo by Carl Nelson


From the Editor’s Perch

March 22, 2013



“We’re a couple of characters,” the bearded fellow said.

I was visiting my father over lunch the other day, in an intermediate care facility.  My father wasn’t feeling so good and wasn’t very communicative, so the bearded fellow pretty much had my ear.

“We’re both adopted,” he said, nodding towards the other guy.  Which I found a bit extraordinary, as it was both of them, and then our son is adopted.  Also, their adoption isn’t usually the first thing a couple fellows in their eighties bring up.

“He’s suffering from dementia.”  The bearded fellow nodded to the other fellow with the Albert Einstein hairdo, who smiled genially.

“He’s a banker.  But he can’t remember where the money is.  Can’t remember where the bank is, actually.”

The fellow nodded.

“Oh, well.”  We all laughed.

I told them my son was adopted.

The fellow said, “I came from a family which was dirt poor.  There were eight or nine of us, all adopted, in a small town outside of Las Vegas.  My father was Japanese and my mother was Irish.  And my wife and I have eight daughters, all adopted.”

He lived on a boat now.  “I’m hiding from the world.”

I said that I thought that sounded reasonable.

He nodded.

“My wife is a neurologist who went on missions.  And each time she went, she’d bring back another baby.  Until finally I said, ‘Honey, you’ve got to stop going on these missions.”  Back then in the late 50s and early 60s, it was very easy to adopt.  You basically just picked them up.  “In Burma, at the brothels, they had the babies stacked in the corner.  If someone wanted one, they just took it.”

It took us three years and a lot of paperwork and education and travel to adopt our son.  Things change, I guess.

“Back then, it was a lot easier to adopt children from Ethiopia.  So a lot of babies got transported north and were adopted through Ethiopia.  Everyone thinks they’ve adopted an Ethiopian.  We thought we had.  But then she grew, and grew and grew, until she was 7 feet tall!   We had adopted a Zulu.”

“She earned her way through the University of Washington playing basketball and then went on to medical school.”

Photo by Google Images

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