I saw this first when it was posted to the Chosen Babies mailing list and couldn't really get my head around it.
At first I wondered if maybe it was a joke posting. I didn't have time to read it in depth.
But no, no joke posting. It's official. Swiped this from Wraith's blog.
If you're an Illinois bastard and your adoptive public service parents kick the bucket, guess what? You can now receive the same death benefits as real kids! Wow!
Of course, that's if your adoptive parents don't cut you out of the will or trust when you disappoint them as an adult. The right to be a pension plan beneficiary and actually being a pension plan beneficiary are mutually exclusive. Those of us in the Disinherited Bastard Brigade know of whence I speak.
But anyway, Illinois, welcome to the year 2007!
Friday, August 31, 2007
I saw this first when it was posted to the Chosen Babies mailing list and couldn't really get my head around it.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Update 9:05 PM - Valerie is found!!! Valerie's husband called Joanne tonight!
One down - one to go!
Rose Marie and Valerie, we need to find you now
The Hamilton Spectator(Aug 29, 2007)
Andy Brouwer's family unit was shattered forever on April 6, 1962, when the Children's Aid Society moved in and scooped up Andy and his seven siblings. He has no memory of the last time the family was together. Several siblings have reunited, but Andy, who has pancreatic cancer, is eager to find two missing
Andy Brouwer knows he hasn't got much time left to meet the sisters he didn't know existed until a few years ago.
Brouwer is suffering from pancreatic cancer and was told he has months rather than years to live.
"It would be nice to have the family back together for one last shot. But we're kind of running out of time," the former Dundas resident said in a telephone interview from Alberta.
He was just a toddler and has no memory of the last time the family was together 45 years ago.
The family unit was shattered forever on April 6, 1962, when the Children's Aid Society moved in and scooped Andy and his seven siblings.
They had been living in a massive stone house on King Street West in Dundas and two-year-old Andy was the baby of the brood.
According to CAS records, their father, Percy Edwards, had deserted his handicapped wife, Viola, and the children. The 32-year-old mother, who had trouble speaking because of a cleft palate, told the CAS she couldn't look after the family on her own. She remarried and died as a result of a car accident 10 years to the day after the CAS took her children.
Except for the oldest daughter, Stella, who went to live with an aunt, the three boys and four other girls were put up for adoption.
Andy and his sister Joanne were adopted by a family in the Hamilton area. Their new parents, who were warm and nurturing, never concealed the fact they'd been adopted. But the pair didn't learn until several years later -- when Joanne started sleuthing on her own -- that they had biological brothers and sisters.
A restless soul, Andy was 15 years old when he dropped out of high school in Dundas and hitchhiked to Alberta, where he found a job in a meat plant. For the next 20 years or so, he worked at a number of jobs and moved around a lot.
"I'm not the kind of person you'd find in the phone book," he laughed.
But one day, while riding the bus in Edmonton, he ran into his sister, Joanne, whom he hadn't seen for more than 20 years.
By coincidence, she had also moved to Edmonton and they were living only seven blocks apart. She told him how she'd contacted the Hamilton Children's Aid Society and learned they had other brothers and sisters.
"She told me she was hunting for siblings. She found six of us," he recalled.
But Joanne didn't have any names or addresses at the time. She contacted her first sibling, Stella, through the Internet about five years ago. In the past two years, she's met another sister, Julie, and a brother, Richard Young, who recently moved to Alberta from Nova Scotia.
She's also spoken several times on the telephone with another brother, John, who lives in British Columbia. But she has yet to meet him face-to-face.
About three weeks ago, Andy and Joanne and their three new siblings all got together for the first time at Richard's new home in the farming community of Hugenden, near Camp Wainwright, in Alberta. During the reunion, they spoke to John on the phone.
For Andy, who has moved in with Richard, it was a bittersweet occasion. It was the first time he'd been surrounded by that many family members in 45 years. But two sisters were still missing and the family circle won't be complete until they're found.
Although he knows the clock is winding down, he isn't about to give up just yet. He believes it was a happy coincidence that brought this many family members together so far.
"It all started because we happened to meet on the bus. I'm hoping the coincidences will happen again. It would be fantastic (to meet the other sisters)," he said.
The missing sisters are:
- Valerie, DOB Sept. 24, 1951, adopted in 1964. Her adoptive father was a railway engineer, and her adoptive parents had six other children.
- Rose Marie, DOB July 7, 1954, adopted 1964. Her adoptive father may have been an accountant, and her adoptive parents had one older child at the time.
Anyone with information can contact Joanne Brouwer at 780-483-1072 or e-mail mailto:email@example.com
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
And the people holding any other child where there is a contested adoption
And the people who post pictures and videos of their crying adoptees sans clothing on Youtube and online photo albums
And the people who send their agents out “scouring” for another baby girl when a referral fails
And the people who are happy that their children were “abandoned” so they don’t have to deal with any "baby-mama-drama" from "Mommy Dearest" (who, by the way, moron, was an adoptive mother)
Allow me to present:
The Internet is a magical place where you can find whatever it is you're looking for. And no one knows how to use the internet better than teenagers. Teenagers loooooooove the internet. And one day, those children you kept from their parents and grandparents, or posted embarrassing pictures of, or second-choice-adopted via 'scouring' because your previous heart grown child was 'snatched' away from you before she was even in your house, will do what teenagers looooooooove to do
Yes, ego surfing, that fun pastime where you google your own name to see what tidbits are out there about you. Teenagers ego surf themselves. And what exactly will your kids find when they do?
Happy trails to you.
Of course, when your gift blows up at you over it, you can always blame it on bad genes after you take them to see a priest and pray about their bad behavior. It's a great adopto fallback position.
Oh sure you can delete your blog or forum posts, you can pull your pictures, but there's this great thing called archive.org that's keeping a copy of it for you nice and safe, just in case you deleted it by accident.
But what if you never posted anything? Don't fear! The chosen child will have plenty of other places to read about you or themselves online.
And the fun thing is, that's just what's available now. Just think of what will be available via the Google cache or archive.org of the future. There are a few limitations to web archiving right now. But thankfully there are people much smarter than me working ways around them.
The internet is just another tool that keeps adoption truly the gift that keeps on giving.
I'm so angry. The abuses never stop.
And I'm sick, I'm soul sick. I had always had a sickening suspicion that Stephanie Bennett had been sexually abused. And god, sometimes I so hate to be right. It's just abuse after abuse for Stephanie. God, she's in the same grade as my youngest stepdaughter. I'm pretty sure I'm the age as Stephanie's mom. This could happen to any of our families.
Who will be the next news story? Because you know there will be one. As long as there is arrogance and entitlement, as long as young mothers are treated as disposable breeders, as long as the emotional health of children is secondary to the profits made from selling babies, keep a blog post reserved for the next blitz, for the next Stephanie. Because you know it's coming.
But at least these kids will have someone my generation never did. They'll have the internet standing as permanent witness to the abuses inflicted upon their parents by the agencies who profited off them and the people who kept them. They'll have the truth.
You know what though, because yet again another adoptee will be hurt, because yet again another adoptee will feel betrayed by the parents who raised them, nothing in me is happy at that.
Please send donations. Thanks.
Monday, August 27, 2007
2nd International Conference on Adoption and Culture
I'm considering it. I'm trying to see if I can finagle the time off from work. It's tough - October 11th is the go-live date of the project I'm working on. I may need to come in on Friday. But that would mean missing Betty Jean Lifton on opening day. Crap! Again with this work nonsense cutting into my adoption healing time!
Also, I added a new toy to the blog.
Check out my cool sexy new event widget down in the lower right, courtesy of Widgetbox.
What this widget is doing is pulling my events calendar from Upcoming. It's real easy to set up an account at Upcoming and add your events to it. I've added a few RegDay entries already and will get more posted soon. If you sign up to add any adoption related events add me up as a friend and I'll pull your events over too. Or if you want me to post one for you, just hit me up and I'll add it for you. Just adoption related events please.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
We all get along so well because of our shared love of horror movies, and the fact that I am immature. My poor cool husband though didn't get the joke when I called him and had 867-5309 as the caller ID. How can anyone have lived through the '80's and not recognize that number? He's not immature, therefore he is often baffled by us.
But that's not the point of this post.
SpoofCard will also let you change your voice as you're making the call. I wouldn't recommend using that though because the voices just sound like you have a cold. That's not the point of this post either.
Something SpoofCard does that is so useful is, it records the phone calls. It saves them in a .WAV format and you can listen to them on the web or download them later. A few reunion advice sites I've seen recommend recording your first phone call so you have it for later. There's software or stuff you can buy that will do that if your phone doesn't offer a recording option. But for those who want something fast and easy, this works well. I had recommended this site to a friend who had a more successful first phone call than I did, and she was really happy to have her call recorded.
It's not that expensive for use as a one-time thing. As of this writing, the cost was $10.00 per hour of call time. They'll also let you make a free 2-minute test call from the website if you want to try it out. The test call doesn't offer the voice changer or recording feature, but you could still use it to call your favorite closed records or corrupt agency villain.
That's kind of immature and stupid, but then again, so is promoting adoption.
10/3 Updated this page. Yes, that is an affiliate link. Yes, I do get money if you purchase an account. I'm trying to fund my New Orleans trip!
Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvO75R-QrqA
Friday, August 24, 2007
I'm trying to get some old items out of my inbox and posted.
The whackadoo UK social services adoption quota monstrosity continues on. How do people who have done a domestic adoption in the UK right now feel? Or, how can anyone in the UK adopt a baby or toddler with this nonsense going on? We see these parents posting their stories, we hear the stories of those who were forced and silenced in decades passed, this is insanity.
Anyway, here are some links and updates
Families Anti-Social Services Inquiry Team
John Hemming's Weblog
System taking hundreds of babies for adoption
By Andrew Alderson, Ben Leapman and Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph
There are so many more stories and links, many newer than these. I just feel guilty because these have been sitting in my inbox for a while.
Snagged via Google news alerts. It's good to see Unsealed Initiative getting some press. Personally I'm not overly thrilled with some of the wording in this article, and I wouldn't give the same advice as what's at the end, but that's no surprise, right? I just wanted to post it for the UI reference.
Friday August 24, 2007
Endwell adoptee seeks truth about her biological parents
She wants state to change laws on closed adoption records
Rebecca Smith of Endwell is looking for her biological parents and siblings, but has been frustrated at every turn by the status of her files: "closed."
VALERIE ZEHL / Press & Sun-Bulletin
| TO LEARN MORE |
Visit www.unsealedinitiative.org to find out more information about current efforts to implement adoption reform.
Rebecca Smith of Endwell doesn't know much about her biological parents. Even what she thinks she knows may not be true:
Her mother was 23 at the time of Rebecca's birth, which occurred in Broome County, and had born two other children one and five years earlier. She hadn't gone past the sixth grade in school, had been raised in foster care and wasn't married to Rebecca's father.
Smith knows even less about her biological father: He was "part Indian," although she doesn't know if that means Native America or Asian. He had dark hair, brown eyes and dark skin, and he may not have known her mother was pregnant.
Both of them lived in the Chenango Bridge or Port Dickinson area.
"It's very, very vague information," says Smith, of Endwell.
But because her adoption records are sealed, she may never know more.
New York state runs an adoption registry, which matches up those looking for their biological families with any of those family members who request reunions. So far, Smith hasn't been told that anybody is looking for her.
She also put her name on several online sites of those searching for their families of origin.
So far, no luck there either.
That's why she's ardently lobbying for the New York State Adoption Reform Unsealed Initiative, which would remove what she considers an outdated, unfair and discriminatory law.
"How do you know you're not marrying your brother or your sister?" she points out. "You don't know your blood lines ..."
When she discovered she was carrying a child with serious medical problems, she contacted the courts, begging them to let her find out as much of her medical history as she could, she says.
"Sealed records are sealed records and they don't open them," she says. "New York has taken it upon itself to say, 'You're not allowed to know.'"
Baby Andrew John lived one hour and 27 minutes before dying in her arms as a result of serious birth defects.
She has three other children, and finds great satisfaction in her job as an aide at the Broome Developmental Center.
Smith, now 43, was put into foster care shortly after her birth. Six months later she was adopted by the Kurbanicks, who now live in another state. She always knew she was adopted, she says, and it has always aggravated her that she didn't know her family of origin.
"You walk down the street and you wonder, is that my mother or father, brother, sister or grandparent?" she says.
Adopted persons should have access to their records when they turn 18, she says.
Her adopted mom, Elizabeth Eddy, has no problem with Smith wanting to know her roots.
"At her age, she can decide what she wants to, can learn what she wants to," says Eddy, of Spring, Texas, Young adults should be prevented from seeing their records, though, she feels. If there's something in there that isn't positive, that might adversely affect a younger person, she says.
For Smith's part, she doesn't care if there's anything ugly in those sealed files.
"People ask, 'Aren't you angry at your birth mother for giving you up?'" she says. "My mom could have been a prostitute, a whore on a street corner, but I'm here. I was not aborted."
For that she would say "thank you," rather than cast blame that she was given up for adoption.
"To lose a child is to rip your heart out," she says, speaking from experience. "Whether or not my mother wants anything to do with me, that doesn't mean she doesn't love me. She loved me enough to give me up.
"That's the greatest gift a mother can give her child, if she cannot take care of it."
A young woman recently found herself unexpectedly pregnant, and her mother asked Smith if she suggested giving the child up for adoption.
"By all means," she said. "But have an open adoption."
if I found out I had a twin.
Whom I had been separated from.
As part of freaking study!!!!
Direct link: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eXG8Y8qfCF0
Elyse Schein had always known she was adopted, but it wasn't until her mid-thirties while living in Paris that she searched for her biological mother. When Elyse contacted her adoption agency, she was not prepared for the shocking, life-changing news she received: She had an identical twin sister. Elyse was then hit with another bombshell: she and her sister had been separated as infants, and for a time, had been part of a secret study on separated twins.
Paula Bernstein, a married writer and mother living in New York, also knew she was adopted, but had no inclination to find her birth mother. When she answered a call from the adoption agency one spring afternoon, Paula's life suddenly divided into two starkly different periods: the time before and the time after she learned the truth.
As they reunite and take their tentative first steps from strangers to sisters, Paula and Elyse are also left with haunting questions surrounding their origins and their separation. They learn that the study was conducted by a pair of influential psychiatrists associated with a prestigious adoption agency. As they investigate their birth mother's past, Paula and Elyse move closer toward solving the puzzle of their lives.
In alternating voices, Paula and Elyse write with emotional honesty about the immediate intimacy they share as twins and the wide chasm that divides them as two complete strangers. Interweaving eyeopening studies and statistics on twin science into their narrative, they offer an intelligent and heartfelt glimpse into human nature.
Identical Strangers is the amazing story of two women coming to terms with the strange and unbelievable hand fate has dealt them, an account that broadens the definition of family and provides insight into our own DNA and the singularly exceptional imprint it leaves on our lives.
The book's website is at Identical Strangers, and you can hit them up on Myspace too.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Is there any more often repeated phrase in adoptionville than “I don’t know”?
I don’t know. But I don’t think so.
So what’s my next step?
I don’t know. I’ve got one final letter to her all ready. I’m thinking of sending it. (Registered mail this time) But I don’t know. Do I want to go through the wait again? I don’t know. Do I want to set myself up for having another unanswered letter? Or even worse, having the response this time be a restraining order? Don’t laugh. These things happen. How much do I want to chase after someone who has twice shut me down? I don’t know.
I have one natural aunt who lives far away from her. Do I just want to give up on mom and maybe try to contact my aunt? I don’t know.
I don’t know how I feel right now. I know I can pick some words:
But they don’t really touch the surface. So how do I feel? I don’t know.
All my life people were dubious of me when I said I was never mad at her. I was mad at everything under the sun, but never her. To do so felt unloyal. In therapy I touched on being angry with her and worked some of it through, but my anger with her was always so tiny compared with my anger at everything surrounding adoption. I think I can say this: I am mad that she chose not to talk to me or answer my letter. But now people tell me not to be! Go figure: little adoptee – you have no right to your own emotions no matter how old you are.
People say this is abandonment speaking. Get angry but get angry with adoption, with the system, with the church, with 1963. Cut this off at the pass before you get bitter.
I’m sick of people telling me how to feel. If I want to be angry at her behavior right now, it doesn’t mean I don’t love her. It doesn’t mean I don’t understand her fear. It doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with her circumstances. It means I’m mad and I’m fucking entitled to it, thank you very much. And I’m not going to get un-mad unless I get honest about my emotions and work through them.
And I do feel rejected too. Now, there’s not an adoption therapist around who won’t tell you that you can’t be rejected in this. And they are right. Seriously, someone who does not know me cannot possible reject me.
But oooooooo nelly, the feeling is something entirely different.
I’m jealous and scared. I’m jealous and scared of my half siblings. Do they know about me? Do they not care? I don’t know.
Or what if… what if it wasn’t even her on the phone? I don’t know. Two people have brought that up already. What if she and her husband broke up a while back? What if that was another woman in the house? What if what if what if? I don’t know.
But I don’t think so. I think it was her. If it wasn’t, man will I be embarrassed. Ha-ha silly me. But still, I think it was.
Finally - what about her. No matter what, I love her. I. Love. Her. And I always will. And you know, love to me means accepting someone even if you don’t like what they do or did. So, what if she’s someone who seriously had no interest or feelings for me whatsoever, from day one? All my life people have been speaking for her. Oh she loved you so much, she put you up for adoption. She wanted you to have a better life, blah blah. And now here again there are those who will speak for her. Telling me she loves me. Telling me she wants to talk to me. And god, I eat that up, I do, I want to believe it so much, but isn’t it the flip side of the same coin? People again speaking for her.
When you know, she’s spoken twice already.
I don’t know.
How much of what I’m feeling is real and how much is abandoned baby head? 20/80? 40/60? 50/50?
I don’t know.
I know I’ve got to get better, and working through my emotions no matter how ugly they are is necessary for me.
I know I can say is this right now: Nothing makes you feel more alive than staring into the one thing that terrifies you the most, and living to tell the tale. No matter how badly you stutter and stammer when you’re in it.
I can also say this: I have my name. I have my genealogy. I have the names, addresses and phone numbers of living relatives whom I may decide to contact in the future. For 58 seconds last week, I spoke to my mother on the phone. I have hope that someday I will speak with her again.
There are millions of adoptees now, in the past, and in the future, who will never have that.
And for that I’m grateful.
And I have friends who would never, ever, ever in a million years tell me how I should feel 1 week after denial.
For that I'm really grateful.
For that I'm really grateful.
I need to run. I'm off on the road again. Thank you again.
I need to run. I'm off on the road again. Thank you again.
Monday, August 20, 2007
It's really smart to take an entire week of vacation off when you're planning on calling your mom for the first time. I learned that from my friends.
But it's really dumb to take an entire week of vacation off when you're in the middle of a new project. I learned that from the 243 unread emails in my work inbox this morning.
But then again it's really smart to take an entire week of vacation off when you're planning on calling your mom for the first time plus when you're in the middle of a new project, because the catch-up will keep you so busy you can avoid thinking about adoption from 7AM to 8PM.
You also can avoid thinking about adoption when your son, taking the train back to college, sleeps through his stop and calls you from a deserted train station in Maine at the end of the train line asking how he's going to get back to his dorm in New Hampshire on a Sunday night. You know, when something like that happens, adoption doesn't cross your mind once. When that happens, all you can think is:
OK actually I just lied. What you really think is:
(oh. Maine. They just opened records)
So no, you can't avoid thinking about adoption. But you can get so busy you can pretend.
I must get to work. I just needed to say thank you again. I am so lucky to know you.
Friday, August 17, 2007
We're heading up to spend the weekend with my son. It'll be the first time I've seen him in 6 weeks!!!
College. What a trip.
Thank you for everything.
Have a good weekend.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Dear Mom, this is the baby you left behind in the hospital.
Do you ever think of her? When they wheeled you back to the recovery room, could you hear her crying in the nursery before they drugged her? Did it bother you? Or had you already made her a nonperson by that point so you could bear to leave her behind? Just as they gave you drugs to dry out your milk, did you also dry out your heart?
Right now as she lays alone in the nursery, wanting and needing you, she’s learning hopelessness and despair. She’s learning futility. She’s learning desperation and rage. She needs to nurse from you, but instead she will be given an artificial nipple on a regular 4 hour schedule. She needs to be held by you as she feeds, but instead her bottle will be propped up. She’ll feed alone. She’ll be changed and kept warm and dry. She’ll learn that which is most vital and necessary is not what she’ll get. She’ll learn to accept that. She’ll learn how to give up.
But it’s OK, because I’m here for her. I’m still standing. I’m still strong. I’m in the nursery with her now. And I’ll say to her:
I can’t give you what you need. I can’t mother you or nurse you or be your mommy. But I’ll hold you and let you cry, for as long as you need to cry. I know your heart is broken but you are strong, and you’ll survive. I love you.
And I’ll sit with her, holding her in my arms in a rocking chair in a dark and deserted hospital nursery, and I’ll let her cry all night. I’ll say to her what I whispered to my little sister the day she was brought home: I’m sorry you miss your mommy little baby. I’m sorry.
Dear Mom, this is your daughter at seven years old.
Do you ever think of her? When she was seven, your little boy was three and your little girl was two. Late at night, when your real children were sleeping, did you think of your firstborn off and alone in the world? When your seven year old lay awake a night afraid of monsters and ghosts, making an imaginary force field in the walls of her pretty canopy bed for protection, did you lay awake at night making an imaginary force field of your own heart for the same? Did you box it up to keep it safe from your monster ghost child? Or was it boxed up to begin with?
She needs you. She needs you to tell her why. She needs to see her own eyes in your face. She needs to be around someone who looks like her. She needs to be around someone whose vocal tones match her own. She needs to feel she belongs. She needs to know her mommy. But what she’s learning is how to lie. She’s learning never, ever, ever to tell the truth. She’s learning the truth causes a stiffened back. The truth causes a pursing of the lips. The truth causes a warning flashed in the eyes. The truth causes pain.
But it’s OK, because I’m here for her. I’m still standing. I’m still strong. I’m in her pretty French Provincial bedroom with her now. And I’ll say to her:
I can’t give you what you need. I can’t mother you or mirror you or be your mommy. But I’ll let you trash this bedroom. Go ahead and rip the covers off the bed, smash the lamps, throw your Snow White radio out the window. You can act out around me because I am safe. And when your rage is over I’ll hold you and let you cry, for as long as you need to cry. I know your heart is broken but you are strong, and you’ll survive.
And I’ll sit on the floor with her, in a trashed and ruined bedroom, while she sobs all night. I’ll say to her, You don’t need to make a force field anymore. All you need is to cry and have someone say they are sorry and they love you. And I’m sorry, and I love you.
Dear Mom, this is your daughter at thirteen.
Do you ever think of her? You must have been so busy at the time, with your nine and eight year old real kids. They must have kept you running. Did you work at that time or did you stay home? Did you ever sit in your kitchen on summer days, having a cup of coffee and looking out the window? If so, did you ever see this girl walking by? Did she make you think of your discarded daughter, or was she so invisible to you by then she had ceased to exist except in nightmares?
She needs you so bad right now, standing on the edge of womanhood as she is. She is being confronted daily with the power of motherhood and pregnancy, living with a pregnant woman. She sees the baby move in his mother’s stomach. She sits on the couch with her pretty aunt, her hand feeling little arms and legs moving. She goes to a hospital and says, “Oh how sweet” when she sees him, and his head turns towards her voice. She realizes he recognizes it, that he heard it before he was born, that he had awareness and consciousness.
She’s learning self-hatred and fear of her own sexuality. She understands completely the dynamics of fertility and conception. She know what happened to you could happen to her. She thinks of what it would be like, to be held hostage to a child you never wanted. To have your body grow warped and distended while you are helpless to a parasitic intruder who has ruined your life. To hate the child that robbed you of your summer and your teenage years. To be a breeding machine for a couple in the suburbs.
But it’s OK, because I’m here for her. I’m still standing. I’m still strong. I’m in the forest with her now. And I’ll say to her:
I can’t give you what you need. I can’t mother you or mentor you or be your mom. But I’ll just hang with you here for a while. I’ll watch you dull your pain with drugs. I’ll watch you puke after eating. I won’t judge you for it. I’ll just tell you these things aren’t the problem, they are just a symptom of something much deeper. It hurts so fucking much, I know. And I’m going to stay here with you until your buzz dies down and the hurt comes back, I’ll give you a cheeseburger and fries from your favorite restaurant and tell you it’s ok to keep it in, you don’t need to abort this food, what you need to do is cry.
So I sit on the grass against a willow tree with her in the dark forest. There’s a cold bong on the ground and an empty takeout container nearby and she’s crying so hard she can barely breathe, tears and snot running down her face, while I hold her and say, over and over, it sucks, I know, it sucks, I love you, I know.
Dear Mom, this is your daughter at forty-three.
Sorry she doesn’t look so hot. It was a rough night. She didn’t feel like putting any makeup on today, because makeup is a mask. Today she’s not masking anything.
How did it feel to hear her voice? To hear her hope die? To hear her start to cry? To deny you existed to her? To say over and over, no, sorry, no, sorry, no, sorry, no, no, no, no. How does it feel to say no to your child in need? I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t know. I’d never know.
She’s learned so much, but right now, she need to learn how to heal. She needs you so badly. She needs you to recognize her, to admit she exists. But she knows that won’t happen. At least for now. She offered you a gift, a chance at healing. You chose to refuse it for your own fear. She doesn’t know what that fear is, be it fear of losing your man, fear of losing your real children, fear of scorn, or pain, or shame. The gift is always there for you Mom, should you ever grow up and choose to take it.
But it’s OK, because I’ve got people there for me. See those links off to the left and the right? I purposely chose a template with that format. They and my family of my own creation are what hold me up. They are what keep me grounded. They are what keep me afloat when I stare at the ocean sometimes and a fragment of an old poem I wrote whispers ”there is no suffering under the sea, so sweetly the waves, they call to me.”
I’m alive, I exist. I’m still standing. I’m still strong. I have a cool t-shirt from one of my favorite authors that says so. I will heal from this.
I love you Mom. I hope some day you call me.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
So, the topic for today is contact denial.
But I'm not going to have the words to write about it until I return to my body.
So in the interim, if I only post news related items, that's the reason why.
Good night. I really appreciate you guys.
Direct link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=oN2H6TenplI
also - if you have any interest in being featured in a video regarding search with a picture of yourself and a brief blurb on your search, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
A mother's plea draws nothing but decades of silence
A small ad leads to a tale of teenage pregnancy and adoption in the 1950s
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Last week, on page C12 of the Aug. 4 edition of The Vancouver Sun, on the back page of the Review section, this tiny message sat buried in the very bottom right-hand corner of the "Celebrating" announcements:
To My Strawberry Blonde Birth Daughter
AUG. 6, 1958
GRACE HOSP., VAN., BC
How Are You?
It was poignant as it was enigmatic. The touching detail of a baby's hair colour, an indelible memory after 49 years. The short, questioning plea, an arrow hoping to find its mark.
No one reading it at the time could have known it, of course, but that very same message had run in The Sun every August for the last seven or eight years.
Maybe -- as one caller who had spotted the message suggested -- there was a story there somewhere.
So I phoned the number given in the ad.
There was no answer.
But seconds later, my phone rang, and at the other end of the line was a woman. She sounded expectant, as if she had been hoping for the call. She said, someone at your number had just phoned her line, and she had seen the Vancouver area code on her call display, so she had phoned back right away.
It was "Phyllis" of the message. Her full name was Phyllis Fix. She was 69. She was retired and lived in Calgary.
She was trying to find her daughter, she said, the one she had given up for adoption 49 years ago. She had been in her late teens when she gave birth to her, she said.
"I had come to Vancouver to live with my aunt and uncle in 1956, when I turned 18, because I had never been anywhere. I was from London, England, and I wanted to get out and see a bit of the world.
"I was not used to being on my own. I had a pretty solid family background."
Maybe that naivete led to her predicament. She had been in Canada for about a year and a half, she said, when she found she was pregnant. She never told her parents, she said.
It was 1958, when it was common for girls in her delicate condition to disappear for a time. The father, it seems, was not in the picture.
"I ended up going to a home run by the Salvation Army for unwed mothers," Phyllis said.
"I had her at Grace Hospital, Aug. 6. I saw her the first day she was born, and I had spoken to a social worker and we decided that the best thing to do was give her up for adoption. I guess back then I was pretty ashamed of what happened."
Shame was soon replaced by remorse.
"Every time I would see a baby afterwards, I would cry. But I didn't know what else to do, and I really didn't have any emotional support from anyone."
She stayed on in Vancouver for another nine years. She worked as a stenographer. She married, but it ended badly, luckily without children.
She decided she would get away from Vancouver as far as she could, which, on a steno's salary, was Banff. She lived and worked there for a year, then moved to Calgary. She worked in a lawyer's office, met a man, married, had two children, a girl and a boy, now in their 30s. They know, she said, of their half-sister.
Over the years, Phyllis said, she had tried to contact the girl, and through the efforts of an adoption reunification agency in Calgary, a woman from B.C. once answered the agency's queries, though she didn't leave a name. And once, she said, using a B.C. government agency (the name of which Phyllis couldn't recall but was probably the Adoption Reunion Registry at the Ministry of Children and Family Development), she was given a last name of the adopting parents, though no address was given. To her dismay. she lost or misplaced the papers, she said, and can't remember the name, so will have to reapply to the registry.
In the meantime, she places the annual message in The Sun.
"Put it this way," she said. "Because it's been so long, and this year she's 49, deep down I just want to know that she's happy, and just let her know that I'm thinking about her.
"I just hope her life's been good and her parents who adopted her were loving and cared for her.
"I hope in her heart she can forgive me for doing this."
I asked her if she had had any other calls.
"No," she said, sighing. "Just you."
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I'm backlogged in my email. I should have posted this a few days ago. Please sign and repost. I don't know what the cut-off date is on this one, but I think it's soon. Thanks.
Please sign the comments and circulate the link widely. We need a lot of signatures, so that CARA really considers our comments.
Basically CARA acknowledges that many of us Adoptees do want to search for Roots and specifically open the records. But sadly they explicitly close the records in case of children born to unwed mothers. Practically that means many of us- if not most- are effectively stonewalled from any search and prevented from knowing our original identity.
However since there is a chance of our voices being considered, before that comes into effect, let´s all try our best to achieve positive change.
Since the comments have become a bit long, here the three main points summarized.
a) Birthrecords: that Adoptees, do also get an original Birth Certificate, with the names of their biological parents
b) Right to access to our files and records, even in case of children born to unwed mothers
c) Support and Setting up of independent Post Adoption Services
Thanks for your support!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Wow. Just wow. Please sign up. And distribute.
The Faces Of Project
My heart lies in Adoption and my first series will be The Face of Adoption – likely in three parts: The Birthmother (Face of Relinquishment), the Adoptee, and the Adoptive Parent. Talk runs amok in the online world about each of these groups and they are usually beyond inaccurate. Who are birth/firstmothers? They are teenagers, they are women in college, and they are married women. They are women who are poor, women who are wealthy. They are women who have support and some who do not. How do they feel? Some are happy, some are not. Some are 2 weeks post placement, some are 10 years post placement, and some are into reunion. What did they go through? Some had closed adoptions, some have open. Some have something in between.
My hope is that through this project, one can SEE the reality of Adoption. A picture, of someone just like you, or maybe not what you’d expect and a story that will hopefully show you that we are all unique, as is how we live our lives.
I’m currently looking for participants in the project. Participants will be asked to complete an in person interview and photo shoot with me in your location. I am currently planning trips to Washington, DC area, Southern California and of course I can travel anywhere in Florida. I will plan trips to other locations as the need arises. Participation can be as open or anonymous as you wish. I will be starting with The Face of Relinquishment. I’m also interested in collecting interviews for other campaigns. You can see the current list on the right sidebar.
If you are interested in discussing further how you can participate in this project, feel free to comment below or send me an email at email@example.com
I sincerely believe that we change the world by changing one person’s perception at a time. With knowledge, we can alleviate fear and without fear we can instigate change. Let’s start by showing our faces, our real faces and giving name to the issues we carry in our thoughts and hearts.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Shhhh, don't tell -- I'm posting from a teensie tiny window right now so no one can see me
slacking off blogging - I'm seriously here, just so busy at work it's unreal. By the time I'm done, all I can do is crash. This happens every now and then that things go nuts.
I'm hoping to have free time to get caught up soon. Thank you for the comments and the emails and for caring. I am seriously so lucky to know you. I'm still here, and I'm still cranky and ungrateful.
P.S. I still hate being adopted.
P.P.S. And I hate that in IT, whenever you roll out a new service to end users and try to get them to use it, it's called "embracing adoption", or that I have to make a presentation this afternoon about my "adoption strategy"
P.P.P.S. I don't embrace adoption.
See you soon.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
My cool husband is off in Florida spending time with his brother and uncle and meeting some lost members of his family he found last month via Ancestry.com
I'm alternately thrilled for him, insanely jealous of him, and imagining countless disaster scenarios that will leave me widowed and abandoned.
I couldn't go with him because I can't get the time off from work now. I had already scheduled time off for the end of the month, and anyway, my time off is when I have planned the phone call, unless I chickenshit backslide off.
He asked if I minded him going. Of course I said no (yes!!!), go ahead (no please don't!!), this is a great opportunity (how could you leave me now?), have a great time (and be prepared for the emotional pound of flesh you'll need to pay upon your return).
He called for the fifth time tonight worried because I sounded "off" on the phone (ha). I told him I was fine.
I'm such a liar.
I'm so jealous I can't stand it.
I was re-reading Journey of the Adopted Self tonight, and the chapter on The Painted Bird. For those of you who haven't read it (and you really need to buy it now, if so), the painted bird comes from the 1965 novel of the same name. In one section, a bird is taken from the wild by a cruel man. It is painted bright colors. Then, it is released off into the wild again when the man is bored. It flies excitedly and anxiously towards its own flock. The flock, not recognizing the bird, at first flies away, but it pursues them nevertheless. Eventually the flock turns on it, pecking and tearing the bird to death, not recognizing it as one of their own.
I'm so scared I can barely breathe.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I may be a little scarce over the next few weeks while I get this new project at work off the ground.
I wanted to get this posted though, because it's a repeated news item that keeps coming up in my google alerts. I don't understand this at all. I've tried several times to write about it, but words fail me. So I'll let the news stories tell them instead.
Here are two articles from Sue Reid at The Daily Mail:
Councils making millions in incentives after snatching record numbers of babies for adoption
Councils are being offered bonuses of millions of pounds if they meet controversial State adoption targets.
Confidential figures obtained by the Daily Mail show that £36million in 'reward grants' has been promised to English councils in an attempt by Labour to increase adoptions of children by 50 per cent.
The money-earning targets were introduced by Tony Blair in 2000 and were intended to lift more older children out of the care system.
But critics say it is the most 'adoptable' babies and children under four who are being removed in the biggest numbers.
Give Us Back Our Children
A Welsh grandfather complained that his grandson of three weeks was earmarked by social workers. The mother, a 21-year-old with a mild learning disorder, was told that she might - just might - get post-natal depression and neglect her son.
To her great distress, her baby was put in the care of Monmouthshire social services within minutes of birth.
The grandfather said: "Our entire extended family - including two nurses, a qualified nanny and a police officer - have offered to help her care for the baby. I believe my grandson has been deliberately targeted for adoption since he was in the womb."
This is insanity. Try googling forced adoption britian - the results are endless. Stories similar to what happened to Erika are happening every week. If I had a young child in Britain right now, I'd be terrified. I've found several videos at YouTube regarding this.
What is going on?