families | Connecticut Public Radio
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families

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The word "bastard" hasn't always been meant to offend. Used simply as an indication of illegitimate birth at first, the label "bastard" didn't bring with it shame or stigma until long after it first appeared in the Middle Ages.

Today, while its original meaning has not been forgotten, its use is largely reserved for insult. Yet, ironically, the underdog status once associated with a person of illegitimate birth is now something our modern culture celebrates.

From Alexander Hamilton to Game of Thrones's Jon Snow, the bastard's ability to rise above his or her unfortunate circumstances to achieve greatness has become something to root for.

Pereru, Wikipedia

What happens when you do a DNA test from a company like Ancestry.com or 23andme, and you get some life-shattering information, like your sibling is really your half-sibling, or that you may have a life-altering medical condition, or that you thought you were half Black, but the test says you’re barely Black at all.

Before you spit in that tube, hear from people who’ve been stunned and spun around by DNA tests.

Betsy Kaplan

Francisco Goldman made a big choice as a young man. He chose to spend a year in Guatemala living with his uncle instead of pursuing the MFA he could have had from a prestigious school offering him a full scholarship. It turned out to be one of the most consequential decisions of his early life. 

Today, Colin talks with Francisco about his new novel, Monkey Boy, a story about the legacy of violence on a family, and much more, including how his decision to go to Guatemala has shaped his life. 

File: Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield.
Connecticut Public Radio

A report released last month says that too often, young people nationwide are permanently separated from their incarcerated parents. By separated, the report means put up for adoption with the rights of the birth parents terminated. And this happens to families of color at a disproportionately high rate, the report says.

Denali National Park and Preserve / Creative Commons

We're not the same people today that we were before covid upended our lives last spring. We found ways to survive a deadly and invisible virus, even as it threatened our survival. We learned to work from home, sew masks, Zoom, and create new words to describe our unique situation. And scientists developed vaccines so we could adapt faster than the virus could mutate. 

Now, we're realizing that we don't want to leave behind all of our new "normal" as we prepare to return to the routines of our pre-pandemic "normal."

We talk about that and play some of your essays. 

Jill Snyder’s parents carried on a long-distance courtship through letters.

After her mother’s death, Snyder found these letters, and compiled them into a book, called Dear Mary, Dear Luther: A Courtship in Letters.

This hour, Snyder joins us to talk about her family’s story. It’s a lens into the lives of African Americans in the Northeast before the start of World War II.

Snyder tells us why it’s especially important for Black families to document their own family history.

Black and white image of Mary and Luther with their first born, Roy, on Easter Sunday 1941 in New Haven
Courtesy of Jill Snyder

Jill Snyder’s parents carried on a long-distance courtship through letters.

After her mother’s death, Snyder found these letters, and compiled them into a book, called Dear Mary, Dear Luther: A Courtship in Letters.

This hour, Snyder joins us to talk about her family’s story. It’s a lens into the lives of African Americans in the Northeast before the start of World War II.

Snyder tells us why it’s especially important for Black families to document their own family history.

Tim Sackton / Creative Commons

Is it safe to gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving? Local health experts say no.

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

Much has been made about how the pandemic we're all living through has severely hampered things like air travel, dining out and gathering for holidays. Something that’s not talked about as much is the chilling effect the pandemic seems to have had on adoptions and foster kids in Connecticut.

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For the last several months, nine African American men -- fathers -- have been workshopping their own personal stories of fatherhood. “The Fatherhood Manologues” is a Moth-style storytelling project that has its virtual debut on Father’s Day.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families.

Have you or a loved one come out as transgender? We want to hear from you.

Aah-Yeah / Flickr Creative Commons

Grief is everywhere. Whether a loved one has died, you lost your job, your wedding is cancelled... It’s all grief. There are things people say that are meant to help, but can really hurt, so Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, has some ideas about how we can all be better grievers.

Two wedding rings
Jeff Belmonte / Wikimedia

Love is what most people are looking for in a spouse or life partner. But this hour, we take a look at marriage, an institution that for much of history had very little to do with love at all.

We also talk about the right to end a marriage by divorce. And we want to hear from you, too.

Pxhere

What’s it like being a dad in 2020? On the next Where We Live, we’ll talk about social expectations for fathers as caregivers, and the impact an involved father has on the entire family, emotionally and financially. Are you a father? We want to hear from you.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

She started as a social worker in Connecticut more than two decades ago. Now, Vannessa Dorantes is the Commissioner of the state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF). This hour, we sit down with Commissioner Dorantes. What questions do you have for the leader of DCF?

Two wedding rings
Jeff Belmonte / Wikimedia

Valentine's Day is around the corner, which means it’s the season for chocolates and cheesy Hallmark cards.

Love is what most people are looking for in a spouse or life partner. But this hour, we take a look at marriage, an institution that for much of history had very little to do with love at all.

Pxhere

What’s it like being a dad in 2020? On the next Where We Live, we’ll talk about social expectations for fathers as caregivers, and the impact an involved father has on the entire family, emotionally and financially. Are you a father? We want to hear from you.

Russ / CreativeCommons.org

Standardized tests, application forms, campus visits. The path to college can be a daunting one, especially when you add tuition to the mix. Then, of course, there is the cost of room and board, meal plans, textbooks...feeling stressed yet?

This hour, we tackle the realities of affording a college education, and we also hear from you. Are you the parent of a college-age student? Are you, yourself, working toward a college degree? How has this impacted you financially...emotionally? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families.

Derek Morrison / Flickr Creative Commons

Today's show might get a bit dicey. In fact,  it's almost certainly headed for Trouble. And all we can say is Sorry, that's Life! Okay, fine, let's drop the Charades. Today's show is about board games. Is that a big enough Clue?

Kwasi Kyei / Wikimedia Commons

For some single adults and couples, the path to adoption can be winding and difficult. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the realities of open adoption in the U.S.

We also learn about legislative efforts to improve adoptees' access to birth records in Connecticut. And we want to hear from you. Have you adopted, or were you adopted yourself? 

Russ / Creative Commons

Standardized tests, application forms, campus visits. The path to college can be a daunting one, especially when you add tuition to the mix. Then, of course, there is the cost of room and board, meal plans, textbooks...feeling stressed yet?

This hour, we tackle the realities of affording a college education, and we also hear from you. Are you the parent of a college-age student? Are you, yourself, working toward a college degree? How has this impacted you financially...emotionally? 

Deb / Creative Commons

The music begins - it's coming. I see it. The ice cream truck is here! Can I have some money? HURRY! We're gonna miss it. 

Dans / Wikimedia Commons

Constantin Mutu was four-months-old when he was separated from his father, Vasily. The elder Mutu was arrested while seeking asylum at the southern border. So far, Constantin is the youngest child to be separated from his family.

Kwasi Kyei / Wikimedia Commons

For some single adults and couples, the path to adoption can be winding and difficult. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the realities of open adoption in the U.S.

We also learn about legislative efforts to improve adoptees' access to birth records in Connecticut. And we want to hear from you. Have you adopted, or were you adopted yourself? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families .

Anthony Kelly / Flickr Creative Commons

There are a group of Connecticut parents who feel they must relinquish custody of  their “high needs” children in order to get them into residential treatment programs when in-home services are inadequate to meet their needs. 

Nir Paldi (left) and George Mann are creators of "No Kids."
Alex Brenner / Ad Infinitum

The question of if or when to start a family is something many adults ask themselves at some point in their lives.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The only thing that’s now in between Connecticut workers and a paid family medical leave program is a signature from the governor.

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