Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Brain Gone Wild

One of my greatest weaknesses is I have the tendency to allow my brain to run wild with negative thoughts.

As a child, my mom would sometimes leave me in the car if she had to run into the grocery store just for 1 or 2 items. During those 5 or 10 minutes alone in the car I would imagine that every person walking past intended to kidnap me. I pictured it down to the point of them grabbing me and I could hear myself screaming in my head.
As a teenager, watching my parents climb a ladder to clean out the gutters sent waves of panic through me as I pictured the ladder slipping and them falling to their deaths before my very eyes. My brain raced through the scenario of what I would do, who I would call, how I would help them.
Now as an adult I imagine the same thing when DH cleans out the gutters or even mows the lawn. I almost always picture him walking through the door with blood pouring everywhere, having severed a limb with the lawn mower. I hear things such as him screaming, yelling for help, or banging on the door when he is outside working in the yard and constantly have to check where he is at or what he is doing. The minute I hear the mower stop I have to look outside to determine the cause and to make sure DH is not laying in the grass bleeding to death.
Now with children it's even worse. Just taking them out to the car in our driveway terrifies me as I picture them slipping away from me, running into the road, and getting hit by a car. I actually PICTURE, in my head, the impact of the car striking their little bodies and sending them flying across the road.

This past Monday morning I experienced my worst imagining yet. I truly believed my younger daughter had died in the the night and I could not bring myself to go into the girls' room to get them up. I heard a "thunk" in the night but did not get up and check on things. So, when I woke at 8:15 a.m. on my own without hearing any noises coming from the girls' room I just knew that the "thunk" was M falling out of bed and breaking her neck. I started thinking about how I would tell the SW and how I would tell her Mom. I didn't worry too much about WHAT I would do because in my mind she died several hours previously and there was nothing I COULD do by 8:15 a.m. I convinced myself so much of the fact that she was dead that I nearly called DH for moral support before going into their room where I knew I would find her dead body laying on the floor. After about 15-20 minutes I finally decided to just go in. I found M in her sister's bed, so clearly she HAD climbed out of her crib in the night. And my mind was still so convinced she died that I actually shook her body to try and see her move or hear her breathe. She did one of those shuddery sighs, sending pangs of relief through my entire body. I nearly melted into a ball of sobs on the floor.

What is wrong with me? Why do I let it go so far? Why can I not stop these thoughts before they run rampant through my head? Just one time I want to be able to say "STOP! I WILL NOT LET THESE THOUGHTS TERRORIZE ME!" I just wish I knew how.........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Step #2....DONE!

I finally completed the form necessary to receive my non-identifying info from NY. I had the form notarized today and IT'S IN THE MAIL!

Now to just sit, wait, and twiddle my thumbs! How long will it take before I get something? I wonder what it will reveal. Has my Mom dropped off any additional information? Would such information indicate whether she is also looking for ME?!

Thank goodness I have Christmas to occupy me because I am sure I would drive myself crazy with trips to the mailbox. But then again, will the holiday season hold things up in getting the info I'm requesting?! Oh, I can only hope not! I know I'm not awaiting identifying info, but this is the first real step I'm taking in searching for my Mom! I'm so excited I can barely contain myself! I feel like yet another weight has lifted!

Hang in there Mom, wherever you search for you has begun!!!! I cannot WAIT to meet you!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Life in a Nutshell

1) Got no further in starting the search for my Mom. Still have to get myself out of the house to get to that notary. I have a good reason to get there now, so I will probably accomplish that task this week!

2) Met with my therapist 4 times. I really like her. She is easy to talk to, seems anxious to help, validated many of my feelings, and trusts my own thoughts, ideas, and preferences. After the first visit she "diagnosed" me with a long-lasting but mild form of depression called dysthymic disorder. After the 3rd visit she diagnosed me with social anxiety/phobia and together we agreed the first course of action should probably be medication.

3) Visited my family doctor, who concurred with the probable need for medication and prescribed an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication. She said to expect 6 weeks before any noticeable differences in behavior. 6 weeks can't come too soon.

4) Our foster daughter's file has been moved to the adoption unit. This has created a whole new slurry of emotions as I look into the face of her Mom who so desperately wants to parent but who cannot seem to meet her goals for doing so without taking 2 steps back for every step forward. I see the pain and anguish in her eyes as she faces the reality of the situation and I imagine that same look in the eyes of my own Mom when she lost me.

5) DH was given an actual end date for his current job. As of 1/09/2010 he will be unemployed. He has quite a few reasonable prospects, some of which might result in relocation, others that may not. This is a difficult time because of the uncertainty of the future as it relates to his job, M's adoption, and relocation, however I personally feel energized by the possible changes. I look forward to the opportunity to "start over" somewhere. I feel a need to purge a lot of our possessions and general "junk" and consider this a great starting point. I also personally believe that DH was under-appreciated at his current job and I look forward to him working in a place that recognizes his talent not only in pay but in position and accolades. He is a hard worker with a variety of skills and would be an asset to any company that hires him. I hope that he finds a place that appreciates the skills he has to offer.

6) I took part of a week to visit my BFF and then took another week to visit my Dad. It was nice to spend time with the people I love, but it was even better returning home to a DH who missed us and wanted nothing more than to have his wife and children back in his home and in his arms.

7) We hosted Thanksgiving for all of DH's family (becoming a tradition). Everyone was able to attend this year. The joy of Thanksgiving is that while some seats are vacated by the nephews who joined the military and started families of their own, those seats are now filled with the next generation of cousins. We had 4 children under the age of 7 sitting around our Thanksgiving table this year. To hear the sound of children running through the house, to hear their laughter, brought such joy and happiness to the festivities and reminded me of all that for which I am thankful!

8) Christmas is fast approaching and I have much to do in preparation. We have 2 little ones this year for whom Santa must stop. The awe and wonder I already see in their faces as they excitedly point out "there's MORE Christmas" on each decorated house we drive past warms my heart. Even in the midst of some personal struggles, how can one look at those faces and not feel the energy radiating from their entire beings? Last year Christmas was hard for me. I muddled through but for some reason never felt the same excitement I felt in the past. I expected to feel so happy as we prepared to share our daughter's first Christmas home. I let too many things get in the way of experiencing that happiness. This year I am determined that Christmas will be for me what it has always been...a time of joy, happiness, love, excitement, energy, family, and celebration. I have a beautiful home in which to celebrate this Advent Season. I have a wonderful family with whom to share it. We have the means to make this year memorable. I look forward to meeting this year's Christmas season head-on and with reckless abandon!!!! I'm ready to pull the decorations out.....look out DH, Christmastime is HERE!!!!!!

9) Ah...and then the New Year..........


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The psychologist finally called at a time when I was home and actually answered the phone.....

I have an appointment scheduled for this week!

I think I feel relief right now but I'm sure come Thursday afternoon my anxiety will hit an all-time high! Funny thing is I was most nervous about the phone conversation because I was afraid she would ask me why I felt I needed to see her. While I have a list a mile long I just kept invalidating MYSELF and telling myself that she would simply tell me, over the phone, that there is nothing wrong with me and that it would be a waste of my time and hers to meet. To my surprise she asked me no such questions. I had talked myself out of calling her for the longest time for this simple reason and it never even became a factor. Such is my life......I psych myself out of the simplest things for irrational reasons that obviously never come to fruition! And then I wonder if my need to see a psychologist is real.... LOL!

Please Don't Assume.....

.....that my sometimes negative opinions of adoption are because I had a bad adoption experience!

Life with my AP's was wonderful! I loved them...they loved me! I miss my a-Mom terribly since she passed away in 2003! I worry daily about my a-Dad and his health and know that he too will leave a huge hole in my heart when he is gone.

But AP's and my life in their home was NOT perfect. They made many of the same mistakes as parents raising biological children. I certainly can point to some of their mistakes as possible reasons for my sometimes neurotic personality and negative feelings about adoption. But I also know that not all my opinions about adoption ARE based on my own experiences. A lot of my opinions are based on ethics (or the lack thereof), the treatment and eventual coercion of many natural parents to give their children up for adoption, and what, after truly digging deep within my soul, I decided is right and wrong with the system as a whole. Very few of my opinions are based on PERSONAL experience!

So....if I post an idea or concept foreign to AP's, please do not ask for an explanation or wait for a personal story to support that opinion before accepting it as valid or rational.

All adoptions are different. All circumstances leading up to adoption are different. All adoptive families are different. All adoptees are different. Some adoptees feel more strongly about certain topics than others. For some this is based on personal experience. For others this is based on research. For still others this is based on conscience and inner struggles.

The feelings of adoptees should not need substantiation in order to be deemed real and honest. If an adoptee chooses to provide evidence to support their opinion then that is up to the adoptee. If the next adoptee chooses to just voice an opinion without offering personal experience as proof, AP's need to still accept those feelings as true and in turn respect the adoptee for sharing those thoughts!

Adoptees do not demand personal stories from AP's to support their positive opinions of adoption. Why should AP's not afford adoptees the same respect?!

If You Don't Want to Know.....

.....DON'T ASK!

I am so sick and tired of AP's who ask for adoptee opinions regarding certain subjects who then either disagree with that opinion, discredit that opinion by citing the thousands of adoptees they know who DON'T feel the same way, or who completely ignore the opinion once posted.


Feeling Stuck

My life seems to be in a rut right now.

The excitement and relief I felt at my a-Dad's response to my e-mail about searching for my Mom lasted about 2 days. I discovered I need a notary for the form from NY requesting non-ID info and just have not moved forward since. I hate that I was so excited and then *poof* - it's gone.

I sent an e-mail to a psychologist, never heard back from her and never followed up. DH called her for me 2 weeks ago, she returned the call, leaving a message with DH for me to call her back. I finally worked up the nerve to call her back, left a message for her to call me, she called the same day, leaving a message with DH AGAIN for me to call her back. That was last Thursday. I have yet to call her. For me to call ANYONE takes such an act of courage and I really have to get my psyche in the right place, and it was there....LAST THURSDAY. Today......not so much.

Laundry has piled up...2 bathrooms need to be are everywhere...the freezer is empty.......I go in spurts that last about 6 hours. I get as much as humanly possible accomplished in 6 hours, collapse in a state of exhaustion, patting myself on the back for a job well done, and then in celebration, put off getting to the next chore for 2 weeks, while things continue to pile up around me.

I feel like I'm in a terrible cycle that just keeps getting worse and worse the longer I neglect it. With every passing day I feel like my list for the psychologist gets longer and longer and yet my drive to call her and actually set something up comes and goes.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything normal again. I'm not sure where that "normal" would begin. At birth? At my adoption? At marriage? At the death of my a-Mom? At the adoption of my daughter? I just don't know. I just feel STUCK!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Given Up", "Abandoned", "Relinquished", or "Placed"? Thoughts?

Quite some time ago I posted my thoughts regarding the terms "birth mother", "biological mother", "first mother", and "natural mother". However discussion over proper semantics and language when referring to adoption does not stop there.

Just recently I found myself considering how best to describe the Natural Parent's role in an adoption. Do they give their child up for adoption? Do they abandon their child? Is it an act of relinquishment? Or do they simply place their child for adoption? I think depending on the person and their state of mind at the time, each of these terms might be appropriate. I've heard arguments from all sides explaining their use of one or more of these terms.

AP's seem to lean toward the term "placed". I think for AP's this term has a nice ring to it and it sounds neater and prettier when thinking about the Natural Parent. It makes it more of a willing choice on the NP's part. It takes away the fear and discomfort of thinking that the Natural Parents were coerced. "Why, of course 'our birthmother' wasn't coerced. She made the decision to 'PLACE' _____ on her own"

Adoptees tend to choose the word "abandoned" because that is what they feel most accurately describes what happened to THEM. Even if they learn that their Natural Parents were coerced they still feel it was an act of abandonment, betrayal. This person who was supposed to love them unconditionally turned around and walked away leaving them to be raised by mere strangers. Unfortunately for many that's just how it feels and quite honestly, NOTHING can change those feelings of grief, loss, and abandonment.

Now, Natural Parents, I recently learned, tend to prefer the term "gave up". Similar to the reasons why adoptees say they were "abandoned", many Natural Parents feel the term "gave up" most appropriately describes what happened....they gave their child up for adoption. When looking at the definition, it fits. The term suits for situations that either involve or do not involve coercion. It certainly makes more sense than "placed" which devalues the grief and pain experienced by the Natural Parent. It certainly makes more sense than "abandoned" as many Natural Parents mourn the loss of their child and hope in their hearts their child NEVER feels abandoned as a result of their decision. "Relinquished" sort of makes sense. After all, it's a synonym for the word "give up". I think for some it just sounds too sterile and more like actually GIVING up, resisting the fight, walking away.

Despite understanding the Natural Parent's explanations for using the term "give up" I recently discovered that I HATE that term. To me, being given up for adoption doesn't just mean handed means that my Mom GAVE UP! It means she stopped fighting. It means she truly DID turn her back on me and walk away. In truth, being "given up" means I was "abandoned".

Only, at this point in my life I need to believe something else. I need to believe she DID fight. I need to believe she WANTED me with all her heart and soul, but just "lost me". I need to believe that she lost as much as I lost when she lost ME. I need to believe that I mattered enough and was worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears she lost in the fight to keep me even though she still lost. I need to believe that I was NOT "placed", that I was NOT "abandoned", "relinquished" or "given up". I NEED to believe that I was merely "lost" and that someday, when we find our way back to each other, that we will both be made whole once again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thinking They Could Make a Difference

There are few things in this world that effect me so deeply and personally that I actually react physiologically. Today, one of those few times occurred.

As I read through an AP's post I began to feel my breathing become more heavy, my body begin shaking, and my heart start beating practically out of my chest. The room began spinning as my brain tried to wrap itself around what I was reading.

The words that hit me like a ton of bricks.....7 years old, little hope of returning home, nothing more the professionals can do, residential treatment, more than anyone or any organization can handle.

Is this true? How can this be? What trauma must this poor child have suffered to have reached the end of the line? The end of all possible hope? Just those words....just those thoughts bring tears to my eyes.

I understand parents doing all within their power for their children and that some situations just require more than any one family can provide. And at the risk of sounding judgmental of those families who call it quits maybe sooner than even they imagined, I wonder at what point is it really OK to throw in the towel and say this is it...nothing more can be done?

I ask these questions knowing full-well the ramifications of living with a troubled child. I know the ramifications because I lived it as the SISTER to one of these children. For 7 years I lived with an older brother who did everything possible to get himself kicked out of our family. No sense waiting around for the inevitable to happen when lying, cheating, stealing, getting kicked out of school, running away, and abusing me helped achieve that outcome faster. In the end the same thing happened that he expected to happen. He knew he was a failure. He knew he was broken. Worst of all, he knew he was unlovable. And sure...our parents least as much as we could recognize "trying" through our eyes as children. They disciplined him, pounded into him their expectations and the consequences of breaking those expectations, and I'm sure loved him as much as their hearts were able. But in the end the love they showed him was not enough to break through the shell of a child who considered himself unlovable. The many trips to the juvenile delinquent center proved to him what he already knew. They gave up on him...he gave up on himself.

So, when was enough really enough? Should it have been sooner than 7 years? Later? Was sending him to Juvenile Hall considered "tough love" or was it "giving up?" As the sister who suffered at HIS hands, I wish more had been done. Perhaps at the time I breathed a sigh of relief when we waved goodbye to him for a final time. But now, today, THIS day I wish they fought a little harder, tried a little longer, did for him the UNEXPECTED through keeping him home and insisting that all was NOT lost and that they would not, COULD NOT, be broken by a child who had already been broken more times than they could count.

I will be honest and say that I believe our parents adopted my brother thinking that somehow THEY could save him...THEY would defy the odds and break through where all others failed. I think all AP's (including my parents) need to go into ANY adoption, whether with a troubled child or not, with the expectation that lives are not perfect and that children experience all different situations when in the homes of other people, whether with their Natural Parents, Foster Parents, or in an orphanage and regardless of how long they spent elsewhere. All children are different, all homes are different, all situations are different. There is no telling how a child will respond when thrown into a new family and home. AP's need to be prepared for all the possible outcomes that might arise when they welcome a new child into the family. They need to take the time necessary to prove to their child that they DO love them and that they will not, CAN NOT, give up on them as their child expects, almost WANTS, them to do.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

He Replied!!!!

Well, probably just within minutes of my earlier post, Daddy sent a reply to my e-mail! I totally lost it as I cried and shook for several minutes before even opening the darn thing! When I did I couldn't even read it. I had to forward it to myself on my other computer so I could send DH an IM letting him know! Only then did I take a minute to read through his response! AND IT WAS GOOD (I had to convince C that Mommy was crying happy tears and there was no need for her to get upset).

First, he was very supportive in his response, letting me know that he would do all he can to help me search. He apologized that he doesn't have much information, and probably what he does have won't help, but just the fact that he took the time to get back to me and provide me with some small clues about where to begin means the world to me!!!!

His exact words...he would be happy to help me try to make contact with my birth mother. Not just search mind you...MAKE CONTACT!!!! He informed me that I was adopted through Albany County Department of Social Services. I was in an institution and apparently needed a home fairly quickly. He said they were very secretive and would not even tell them where I was born. The only reason Mommy and Daddy suggested my birth name was Irene was because when they adopted me I arrived with some medication that had the name "Irene" listed on the bottle. However, at this point he is not sure if that was the name given me by my Mom or if it was an alias provided by the orphanage so that my parents and their families would not be able to find me. He has some other paperwork he will look through for information, but doubts any of it will help.

I cannot believe the weight I feel lifted off my shoulders! He KNOWS I want to search! And he's OK!!!!! His response did not come across as anxious or upset or hurt in any way. He is "happy" to help me search!!!!! I have spent my entire afternoon looking through registries, listing my info on registries, googling different orphanages and institutions open in 1976/1977 (I was born in 1974 but not adopted until late 1976/early 1977). As Daddy suggested, our first place to start is by calling Albany County Department of Social Services. I have also started registering with ISRR (International Soundex Reunion Registry) and filling out the form requesting "Non-Identifying Information" from the State of NY (they don't make it easy...I NEED A NOTARY!!!). I'm not sure if I'll ever sleep again! My friends at AAAFC all assured me that this frenzy is normal and that life will pretty much be put on hold while I search! Sorry girls...sorry DH!

I just cannot describe how I feel right now. Give me a couple days to come down off cloud 9. I'm sure many right now would think I was going a little crazy just to have gotten a response from Daddy after letting him know I'm ready to search. But folks...let me tell you...if you knew me in person you would KNOW what a big deal it was that I sent that e-mail on Monday, and, for me, what an even BIGGER deal it is to now know that biggest hurdle is behind me!!!!! I'M FREE!!!!!!

Sinking In

The gravity of what I did on Monday is finally sinking in. The numerous possible outcomes plague my heart and soul every waking AND sleeping moment of my day.

Will Daddy even see my e-mail? He checks his e-mail so infrequently...what if he never sees it? And how will I know if he does? Will he respond immediately upon reading it? Will he wait to gather his thoughts before replying? Will he simply put together all the information he has and just quietly ship it to me with no warning?

And to that...what information DOES he have? He MUST know the agency or organization through which he adopted me! But what information, if any, does he have about my Mom? Supposedly she sent my parents a letter a year after I was adopted. Does he still have that or was it thrown away and forgotten as an insignificant piece of MY history?! More importantly than any bit of information he has, does he know her NAME? All I really want...all I've ever her name! WHO IS SHE????? Why, on God's green earth, do I not know the name of the woman who gave birth to me? WHY????

All these questions got me thinking about the world of adoption as I know it (here is where all the AP's who read my blog need to start paying attention). So many times I read and hear AP's discuss how open they are with their children about their adoption. They talk about this openness thing in the same breath they utter THE phrase. You know the one. The one that means they are open to discussing adoption with their children. Yeah...I know you know. THAT phrase. The "our children will always know that when they are ready to talk about their adoption and ask questions we will be here for them. All they need to do is ask" UH-HUH! THAT PHRASE!!!!! "ALL THEY NEED TO DO IS ASK!"

Well, guess what Moms and Dads. It's WAY easier for YOU to say than it is for us "children" to do! My parents used that phrase. They had 1, maybe 2, real, "honest", "lengthy" conversations with me about my adoption. They ended the conversation(s) with "if you ever want to search or ever want to know more about you Mom all you have to do is ask. We can help you with anything you need." Aaaahhhh yes. Sure. Do you know how old I am? That phrase was used on me when I was 16 years old. I am now 35 years old and still know nothing about my adoption OR my natural family! And what's worse? I feel AWFUL for having asked! It took every ounce of courage in my being to send the e-mail I sent on Monday! I am 35 years old and still worry about hurting my Daddy by asking about my adoption. Why? Why should I be so scared? After all, I'M 35 YEARS OLD!!!!

I'm scared because I don't want to hurt him. I'm scared because I don't want him to think I don't love him anymore. I'm scared because I don't want him to relive the pain he and Mommy likely faced before making the decision to adopt. I'm scared because I don't want him to be angry with me for asking. I'm scared because we didn't openly discuss adoption in my family and I don't know if that's because THEY didn't want to talk about it or because I NEVER ASKED!

So please, Please, PLEASE...whatever AP's are reading who want to "get it" and want to "do the right thing" for their children....PLEASE discuss adoption with your children! No matter how hard it is for YOU, just remember how much harder it is for your child! They have the weight of being perfect, of not hurting Mommy and Daddy, on their shoulders. YOU are the adult...allow your child to be a child. Don't place the adult burden of seeking their OWN information on them when they are so young. Talk about it. Allow them to live it. It IS who they IS how they joined the family! PUSH for it to be real...PUSH for it to be discussed!

In these last few years of research,I have never ONCE heard an adoptee express that their parents talked TOO much about adoption. I HAVE, however, heard on more than one occasion, adoptees express pain and sadness that adoption was NOT discussed more openly and honestly in their home.

So, the gravity of what I accomplished on Monday is finally sinking in! At 35 years old I finally said "I have a right to know and I HAVE A RIGHT TO ASK!" If only my parents had made it easier for me........

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hurdle #1 - JUMPED!

Not as gracefully or smoothly as I hoped, but I jumped it nonetheless!

I sent Daddy an e-mail today telling him that I'm ready to start searching for my Mom. There might have been a hint of "asking permission" in my words, but really it was just straightforward with an "I'm ready to do this and am prepared for the hurt" feel to it.

My Daddy is a strong man who shows very little emotion. I know he loves me...he tells me that all the time. And I know he cares for me more than words could ever express. He has always recognized my sensitive side and knows that I can sometimes take things harder than someone else might. For that reason, he has always tried to protect me from as much as he can control. When Mommy was dying of cancer he often minimized the severity of her disease and the pain she was feeling as it ravaged her body. Even the night she died he never suggested that the end was only hours away. When he had his own heart attack, 2 years after Mommy's death, he waited to call me until he was in the hospital, just hours from open heart surgery. He never asked that I come be with him, knowing how much I fear sickness, pain, and even death. Admittedly, it took his assistant pastor to call and encourage me to come before either he or I recognized the NEED for me to be there with him.

Knowing my Daddy, the details surrounding my adoption fall under this same category. He has protected me for as long as possible from the pain that might surface as a result of searching for my Mom. But I have reached a point in my life where I am ready to face that potential pain. I'm also ready to embrace that potential joy and freedom! And for that reason, I finally shared with him that whether it brings tears of joy or tears of sadness, I am now ready to know more about my Mom and her family!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Drum Roll Please.......

That big conversation I was planning to have with never materialized. Partially cuz I'm a wimp...partially because I saw him maybe a total of 10 hours the whole time we were together, and only 2 1/2 of those hours were we alone! I got up a tiny bit of courage when we were driving to and from the grocery store together but before I could work up the nerve to start he began asking me about DH's job concerns and that was that...nerve just plain sucked right out of me. I could have also brought something up the 1/2 hour we were together in the car on our way to and from dinner Friday but that was our last evening together and I just couldn't bring myself to spring it on him with no other time to sit alone and talk after the fact.

Oh, I'm sure I could have forced a way to have the conversation. I probably could have just crawled up on his bed one afternoon and just poured out my heart. And we sure did enough talking about his girlfriend this past week that I'm sure it would have been a relief for him to talk about somthing ELSE. But, once again, I chickened out! It's all such a big, silly, cyclical mess! I won't really actively start searching until I talk to him about it but I won't talk to him about it because I'm either too nervous to break the news to him or I'm actually more anxious about searching and this is a passive-aggressive way to continue putting it off!

UGH!!! Why can't this be simple?! Why does being adopted have to be so stinking hard sometimes? It's situations like this that just make me HATE adoption! Natural kids don't have these issues...WHY DO I????????

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm a Big Girl...He's a Big Boy....

That's what finally occurred to me as I considered if I would EVER break it to my Daddy that I'm ready to search for my Mom.

I've always thought about whether I would ever look for my Mom. Ever since I was a teenager I thought about it for fleeting moments before the thought quickly vanished. It always seemed such an improbability. Excuses always came to mind for why I SHOULD not or WOULD not ever search. Excuses that always put everyone's feelings ahead of my own.

~I didn't want to hurt my parents
~I didn't want for my dying mother to think I was already looking for her replacement
~I didn't want to make my grieving Daddy think I had moved on so quickly after Mommy's death to eagerly look for someone or something new
~I didn't want to barge into and interfere with my Mom's life, especially had she moved on without sharing news of my existence with her family

I also was not ready to prepare myself for the worst. For not finding her, for finding she had died, for....REJECTION.

But something happened a few nights ago, somewhat in the wake of the Adoptee Rights Demonstration held on July 21 in Philadelphia (an event I was unable, for a variety of reasons, to attend). As I was laying in bed thinking about the emptiness I sometimes feel in my heart, the longing to know the person who brought me into this world, the enormous guilt I feel for even thinking such occurred to me that I am 35 years old. I am not a child. And my Daddy, who I worry so much about and who I would hate to hurt in any way, is, in fact, an adult himself.

It finally dawned on me that if he has enough confidence in our relationship and love for one another to be upfront and honest about the new lady in his life, then why can't I be upfront and honest about my desire to finally know my Mom? I mean, after all these years, would it even really surprise him? Probably not!

So, I have reached a decision. Next week we will be on vacation with my Daddy. I hope, at some point during our time together, to sit down with him and have a real heart to heart. I hope to share with him how much he means to me, how much joy it brings me that he has found a lady with whom he finds happiness, and how, at 35 years old, I think I'm ready to take that first step in finding my Mom. I don't need his help...I know that. And honestly, I don't need his blessing, support, or encouragement. I don't NEED those things. But gosh, it sure would feel great moving forward if I had them. I don't NEED them...but I WANT them with every fiber of my being! And why not seek them? After all.....I'm a big girl and he's a big boy, right?!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Officially Done....

.....posting and reading at Bethany Christian Services Message Board.

I frequent 2 Message Boards on a fairly regular basis. I typically read and post wearing my AP hat when at BCS and wearing my adoptee hat at AAAFC. More often than not I leave my other hat at the door, as I recognize my status as an AP can make many of my adoptee friends uncomfortable while some of my views as an adoptee can make some AP's uncomfortable. However, on rare occasions, I find it necessary to don my adoptee hat while at BCS in order to provide a different perspective to a particular discussion (I don my AP hat on even rarer occasions at AAAFC because no one really ever asks for the AP perspective on a particular topic, nor do I feel it necessary for adoptees to UNDERSTAND the AP perspective).

So, 2 threads started at BCS, one entitled "Needing a Break from Adoption", the other regarding the need to open ourselves up to the perspective of "anti-adoption". Some of the posts in both these threads really rubbed me the wrong way. AP's began expressing discomfort at reading the hard-core negative stuff about adoption. They began relating "anti-adoption" only to natural parents, once again leaving the adoptee perspective completely on the sidelines.

Foolishly I decided to respond to the thread about "needing a break". I posted my previous 2 posts from this blog. And guess what?! After 569 views and 29 posts (2 of which were mine, as post #24 and post #27) the thread seems to have fizzled. Surprise, SURPRISE!!!! An adoptee adds her perspective that might make a few AP's squirm a little in their seats and the thread dies!

As you can tell, I am NOT surprised. But I'm still angry! Angry that these AP's seem to always WANT the adoptee perspective, but then when it's there for all of them to see they turn a blind eye. I've raised this issue on more than one occasion and all I seem to get is "oh, it happens to everybody. People very rarely respond to my posts!" Oh, is that right?! Your thoughts are directly responsible for ending nearly every thread in which you post? If I had time or an interest, I would go back and find each thread in which I posted as an adoptee and find where my post falls compared to the number of total posts in the thread. I can guarantee that over 80% of my posts, when written from the adoptee perspective, end the thread within 4 or 5 posts of my own.

So, I'm done. I'm done opening myself up just to feel rejected OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN! I'm done trying to educate, as it's impossible to educate those not interested in being educated!

Oh well, I guess such is life. I kind of feel relieved knowing it's over. It's kind of like a bad relationship that keeps going and going and going because no one is strong enough to finally call it quits, but when they do, a huge weight is removed and a great peace ensues! That's how I feel.....AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

AP's "Needing a Break From Adoption...."


Last week I posted that I am just "tired" of all this adoption stuff. And I am...I mean "stick a fork in me...." because I'm DONE!!!!

But of course there is that rational side of me that knows no matter how sick, tired, and done I am with adoption stuff, it will always be there.

It will always be there because first, I'm adopted! That pretty much says it all. I CAN'T get away from it because 33 years ago several people made a decision on my behalf, about which I had zero say! My Mom, a social worker, my a-parents...some or all of these people decided FOR me, that my life would be better with my AP's than with my Mom. Unfortunately we will never know the truth to that assumption because an irreversible decision was made that affected my life and will continue to affect my life AND the lives of those around me until the end of my being.

Adoption will also always be there because I adopted!!! As an AP I have a responsibility to keep adoption research, information, statistics, and ethics at the forefront of my life. I cannot take a break from adoption because I owe it to my children to keep myself informed. I owe it to my children to KNOW what and how their Moms felt when they relinquished so that I can share with them how much they are truly loved and missed. I owe it to my children to KNOW the challenges they might face as a result of their emotions so that some day I can sit and cry with them without judging the validity of their thoughts. I owe it to my children to accept that they might hate me and that they might hate adoption. I owe it to my children to understand the importance of developing a relationship with their Mom and their natural family and then guiding them in building that relationship. I owe it to my children to keep myself informed so that when they have questions or issues that need answering or addressing I am there for them, either able to hold their hands and lead them in the right direction, or to merely show them where to search and find answers for themselves. I owe it to my children to know where THEY can go when they choose to not talk to me about their pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear.

Yes, being an AP is not always a picnic in the park, and I do not begrudge anyone feeling as if they "need a break" from adoption, but you know what?! My children will NEVER get a break. As their parent, I made a choice on their behalf. Because of that choice, I owe it to my children to face the pain of just KNOWING!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


It's been quite some time since my last post. I guess I've just been TIRED! Tired of all this adoption stuff. Tired of it all just being there in front of me when really I just wish it would go away. But it won't go away. EVER.

Before we decided to adopt I never thought about it, never cared about it, never considered the ethics, the grief, the pain associated with it. It was just something people did to grow their family and was perfectly normal, acceptable, and RIGHT! It was the GOOD and DECENT thing to do. However, adopting as an adoptee opened my eyes to a whole world that, honestly, at this point in my life is just so life-draining and depressing.

I'm so happy to have my daughters in my life and, even knowing what I know now, wouldn't change a thing in the world, despite this overwhelming sadness that envelopes me from time to time.

But I'm still TIRED! I want one day in my life to NOT be about adoption. I want just one day in my life to be about belonging and knowing.

I'm just TIRED!

Tired of missing someone I may never know.
Tired of wishing I knew a person who might not even remember me or want a relationship with me.
Tired of thinking "maybe today I'll do it...maybe today I'll start the search" and then walking away, once again.
Tired of feeling drawn to those stories and videos showing the immeasurable grief associated with relinquishing a child.
Tired of putting myself into the shoes of EVERY child ever adopted and wishing for something different for them...for me.
Tired of feeling silenced by the adoptive parents who just really don't want to know the truth.
Tired of feeling like a traitor to the adoptees who knew the truth about adoption way before I even knew a "fog" existed.
Tired of looking at my daughter and wondering if our openness with her about her adoption will help prevent her from becoming me.
Tired of associating every little cry, every little unhappy toddler moment, every bit of defiance with attachment and adoption and worrying that I screwed my daughter up from day one.
Tired of wondering what is wrong with me.
Tired of thinking that everything I do is a failure.
Tired of chalking my negative self-worth up to being adopted.
Tired of guessing what she looks like, sounds like, acts like.
Tired of thinking about HER......