Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Boring Celtic New Year

Well it’s another disappointing new year here.


Another Halloween where a mysterious bulging envelope didn’t arrive in my mailbox.No reams of legal documents and the name and phone number of a lawyer to call.


I didn’t get instructed to drive into the city, to meet with a strange old attorney at dusk in a dusty small law office full of odd books and bizarre curio cabinets.

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Yet again, I wasn’t told that I was the single surviving heir of my natural father’s estate. There was no letter from my father for me, full of regret and remorse, but hinting at dark secrets and forces conspiring to keep us apart.

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I wasn’t told hazy details of my father’s life and secret experiments, nor were there any hints towards an unnatural death.


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I wasn’t told that I had inherited an estate in Ireland, along with an obscene amount of money and advised to leave immediately. I didn’t fly hours and hours, and then take a train to an abandoned train stop. There wasn’t a silent and creepy but still somewhat hot in a slightly disturbing way driver to pick me up.






We didn’t drive through a spooky ass forest

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nor down a spooky ass road,

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nor did we comment that it is getting dark in one picture and light in another, because this is a fantasy and fantasies don’t usually need to rely on public domain photo databases. Maybe it was dark when he picked me up and we drove so long it got light by that time. Did you ever think of that?


I didn’t ask the driver if he knew my dad and he didn’t answer “Yes” after a long pause. I didn’t ask him what he was like and he didn’t oddly answer “Hard to say.” We didn’t drive in silence the rest of the way until we came upon the house.

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No wait this one.
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Hang on a second.

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Yeah this is the one.

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I didn’t stand dumbstruck for a moment looking at the front of the house while the driver unpacked my bags from the trunk, nor did I turn to see he had strangely driven off without me hearing him, leaving me alone in a light drizzling rain.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI didn’t use an old key given to me by the lawyer to open the door because the door swung open on its own; that’s the kind of stuff that happens in places like this. I also didn’t spend hours walking from beautifully furnished room to beautifully furnished room until finally collapsing in exhaustion from the trip.

I didn’t spend the next few days exploring the hallways and rooms and tunnels beneath the estate, nor did I have odd exchanges with housekeepers who gasped and crossed themselves the first time they saw me or sullen groundskeepers who stared angrily at me when I would walk by. The silent and creepy but still somewhat hot in a slightly disturbing way driver wasn’t in the kitchen in the early morning and he didn’t abruptly leave every time I entered the room.






Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI didn’t come across any old painted portraits of women who looked like me and I didn’t hear footsteps late at night nor the sounds of a sobbing woman. I didn’t catch glimpses of a woman running through the tunnels or a giggling child who would dash off into the forest and disappear when I went looking for her.



I didn’t come across a secret stash of my father’s papers, and I didn’t discover any complex, intricate and sinister plot that I’m not creative enough to imagine, so just think of some complex, intricate and sinister plot and know I didn’t discover it.


I didn’t wind up having terse exchanges with the driver that wound up with the obligatory schtuping scene in gothic horrors like this because I’d need to lose 20 years and at least 70 more pounds before I threw that into my movie and anyway that would really irritate my cool husband.

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There wasn’t a final series of twists and turns where it turned out the silent and creepy but still somewhat hot in a slightly disturbing way driver was actually the illegitimate son of my father by a maid who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and instead he was raised as the adopted son of the sullen groundskeeper who was in fact the father of the maid, and I wasn’t inherently freaked out to have the schtuping scene because at the last moment it wasn’t revealed I was not the daughter of my father, I was actually the secret daughter of his beloved, insane, hidden away in an attic room until she was murdered adopted sister so there was no GSA creepiness to worry about.

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And if you think this resolution is too convoluted, you obviously were not a BSE adoptee who was lucky enough to have an adoptive mom who watched Dark Shadows when you were young, nor did you spend the summers of your teenage years on the shores of Lake Michigan reading trashy gothic horror romance novels, so that sucks for you, you really missed out on a lot.

Then a bunch of other stuff that I’m getting too tired to type didn’t happen but in the end I didn’t wind up splitting the money with my mother's adopted brother's illegitmate child and leaving him the house which I really didn’t want in retrospect because there’s no internet or cable or Whole Foods Supermarkets out there.


Anyway that was my disappointing and boring Celtic New Year where nothing fun happened. Maybe next Halloween. Hope yours was interesting.

Enjoy the fun of the day, and maybe spend a moment with a good memory of someone you loved who is no longer here. Starting tomorrow, that's when things start to get really scary...

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where I promise to blog every day for the month of November but most likely will fail miserably, and even scarier....


Halloween Text Generator - http://www.halloweentext.com


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Real Mothers: The Faces of Loss



OK I'm hysterical after watching this.

You will be too I think.

Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENMZZdaHI64

Same drill as with the other video, can you please take a moment to rate, leave a comment, and save to favorites? When these three things happen, they are tracked at YouTube. The more that happens, the greater chance a video will make it to an honors list, which increases the number of people who will see it. Thanks so much.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

GrandCentral

I run across so many cool web services and want to write about them, but I always get wrapped up in other stuff. I’m going to try and make a point over the next few weeks to get all of these things out of my inbox and posted.

Back in May, I signed up for service called GrandCentral. It’s been around for a little over a year. This service gives you a phone number in an area code of your choice, which is pretty cool I think. When you live in an area that has unlimited free long distance like I do, you tend to forget that this service isn’t available everywhere.

This is an incredibly cool web service, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how they are making any money. I know they were purchased by Google (of course), but other than that, I don’t understand how they keep afloat. There are a zillion and one features there, such as having a phone call ring directly to your house or having it go into a voicemail, depending on where the call is coming from. You can put a little button on your website or give out your direct fake number.

This is a really considerate thing to sign up for if someone is in regular phone contact with a friend or relative in another part of the country who doesn’t have unlimited free long distance, and you want to give them a way to call you locally. It's also a good way to screen who you really want to give your home number to as well.

I got a Philly area code for mine.

I’ll never give up hope that the person I got it for will use it some day.

Anyway it’s still in semi-private beta, which means if you want to give it a try you need an invite or you need to wait for it to launch. If you’d like an invite just drop me an email (address is in the profile) or hit me up over at MySpace.

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11-26-07 ---- One Voice, No Secrets! I Vote!

Saw this on Blue Moon this morning and couldn't wait to spread the word. How awesome if everyone would participate and repost. We've got a cool momentum going here after the Honesty in Adoption video - I love that this is coming up right after the excitement.

The Post Office has a service where you can create and send your postcards online if you're lazy like I am and don't want to go out to the store. Another alternative is AmazingMail. Both will let you create the post cards and specify the mail date. It doesn't get much easier than this!

The text below is taken from the FAQ. I hope you can help!




"I Vote!" is the first campaign launched by One Voice, No Secrets!

The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness in legislators at the federal and local levels about the need for open adoption records. This is the first of what we hope will be an annual campaign to begin the process of changing the legislation that prevents those affected by adoption from having access to their original, un-amended birth records.

· What do I do?

1. Get postcards! You can go buy them or you can make them on cardstock. The US Postal Service sells postcards, so you can go to your local post office to pick some up. More info about postcards can be found here.
2. Fill out the name and address of your congressperson on the right hand side.
3. Place the stamp in the upper right hand corner (unless your postcard is already stamped!)
4. Fill your return address in on the upper left hand corner.
5. Write out your message. Click here for sample messages.
6. Sign your name below your message.
7. Mail your postcard on Monday November 26, 2007.
8. Repeat the process for each of your federal and local congressional representatives.
9. Ask friends and loved ones to get involved and do the same, even if they are not directly affected by adoption. Just ask them to send the message that they support open records!
10. Send an email to One Voice, No Secrets


· Who can participate?

Anyone can participate!

Ideally, anyone who is affected by adoption in any way will join with us and send their "vote" for open records. You do not need to be an adopted person, natural/first mother or an adoptive parent to participate, you simply need to have an interest in human rights.


· How will this campaign work?

By sending postcards you are sending a short, clear message to your legislators. They will be aware of the range of people concerned with open records and they will know that by addressing your needs they are addressing the needs of their constituents - the voters! The more people take part the more our collective voice will be heard. After all, every voice counts when we speak as one!


· Why are we sending postcards rather than emails?

We are sending postcards for a few reasons. Sending “snail mail” takes more effort than email. By making the little bit of extra effort we are showing that we have taken the time to send a piece of mail rather than simply typing and email on the spur of the moment.

Secondly, a legislator will actually be able to SEE the quantity of mail received. Numbers of emails in an email box don't have the same visceral impact as a stack of postcards from around the country.


· Well then, why don’t we send letters?

We are not sending letters because we want the postcards to be read! Our congressional officials are likely to be busy and may not have time to read letters in depth. A postcard has a short message that is visible without having to take time to tear open an envelope, unfold paper, and then read. We want to make it easy for our congresspeople to know what we want.


· How can my organization support the "I Vote!" campaign?

There are a few things you can do to help us.

First, you can notify members of your organization about the "I Vote!" campaign and provide a link to our website that they can participate. You can also simply print this page to send to members of your organization who might be interested in supporting the campaign.

If you wish to support the "I Vote!" campaign, send us an email and we will have you listed as a supporter on the www.onevoicenosecrets.org. Eventually the site will be placing banners on the main page that link to the organizations that support and partner with us.

Finally, you can also notify other organizations that support open records to participate. Spread the word! Every voice counts went we speak as one!

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Get Firefox already

Just as an aside, I'm on someone else's computer right now and saw what this page looks like on Internet Explorer.

Blech.

Get Firefox, seriously.

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Video Updates


Muchas gracias again to all who rated, commented and faved the video produced by Honesty in Adoption. Current standings as of right now are 4792 hits and 133 comments. I'm so thrilled. Thank you!

In addition to the zillion and one adoption lists I subscribe to and don't have time to read, I also subscribe to and skim lists on DNA and genealogy. These always make me sad and I really should either stop reading them or find a way to deal with my bastard shame. It's incredible really, but I still have it no matter what I do. Adoptees in genealogy are like cellulite - both genetic and unwanted.

Playing with census lists and immigration records makes me feel like I'm indulging in some shameful secret online behavior, like I have no right to be there. And I feel that way on both sides too.

I like to trace my adoptive family because it's fun and interesting, and I like the idea that if anyone in that side ever gets interested in it, I can give them a ready made tree. But you know, these are not my ancestors, so I don't feel any great emotional tug when I get make a find. Just that succe-eess! and then I move on.

I like to trace my real family, because it's fun and interesting, and these are my ancestors. But after the succe-eess! I feel depressed. I don't have anyone in my family to share this with. And then I get scared that those in my family will find out I'm tracing and slap a restraining order on me. I know it's irrational. So is adoption.

There are those in genealogy who think adoptees shouldn't trace or do that newfangled DNA testing because of the shameful family secrets they could unearth. So far I've got the email addresses of 60 low resolution matches over at FamilyTreeDNA and I haven't emailed a one of them. Too scared. Even with 1000 years distance between our mutual ancestor I'm still convinced they'd scream "Bastard!" and put me on a block list.

Anyway via one of my genealogy lists came an announcement that DNAHeritage is offering a video contest. Make a video about your experience with DNA Testing and if they think it's the best, they'll give you three free tests. Two runners up will each get one free test. Pretty nifty.

I'd make one but it would just entail me staring angrily into the camera and defensively sputtering and stammering my right to be in Haplogroup V. Then I think even Velda wouldn't want me. 12,000 years ago she'd probably have left me exposed on a hillside at birth.

See what I mean? I just can't shake this crap.

I'm a-scared of real kids in genealogy so I avoid them and just lurk on their lists. I'm afraid if I ever made any post, they'd all gasp and point at their computer monitors in unison, making some odd sound like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, unsubscribe me and report me to the Ministry of Legitimate Descendants who would take me away to an adoptee re-education camp where I'd emerge 6 months later as an employee of Holt International spouting how beautiful adoption is.

OK that was a weird brain drift but anyway...

Here would be a better video on my feelings about my DNA testing. I chose George Bush as my opponent in honor of the truly coughcough inspiring coughcough video that came across my Google Alert this morning.



But I don't think that's what they are looking for.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Sleep-Walking Wounded

This started as a comment to Julie's recent post: The Trauma of Separation, but it grew too long.

I believe that the entire country is in the midst of unacknowledged trauma. I think that's the only way they can continue to minimize this loss and call it beautiful.

Unless someone had a home birth, or a birth in an enlightened birthing center or hospital, almost everyone was separated from their mother immediately after birth for a period of time. I can remember 18 years ago when my son was born, the majority of the babies in the hospital were in the nursery while their mother recovered in her room. Hospital stays then were 2 days postpartum, but that's only out of managed care guidelines. I can remember in the '70's and early '80's relatives having 4 or 5 day hospital stays. So that's days of sporadic on and off contact with mom: she's there / she's not / she's there / she's not.

How terrifying is that to a newborn?

So my belief is that this is a nation of the walking wounded who never talks nor thinks about their own separation. The only time it's brought briefly to their consciousness is in the context of adoption. Is there still that baby in them, confused and terrified at the lack of their own mother, that causes them to deny this trauma?

I believe so.

What else could make an entire nation not only blind to the horrors of mother/child separation, but to go, at the risk of being horribly politically incorrect, fucking RETARDED at the thought of it? (Sorry, but people's reaction to adoption brings out my inner 13-year old and I've found it best to give her free reign.) What else could cause an adoption professional to call adoptees 'quality product' - at a conference on adoption ethics - without a blink of an eye?

Trauma.

That's my belief, at least.

I don't care how long a baby was separated from mother as an infant. What's 3 hours to someone with no concept of time? It's still a separation, and it's frightening. And damaging. And traumatizing.

But what do I know? There was no one around during the BSE ensuring quality product. I could be irregular discount store material for all I know. Adoption is so different these days, you know.

Anyway, real kids, this part's for you. If you were separated after birth from your mom, for 2 hours or 2 days or whatever - I'm sorry. That sucks. That must have been really terrifying. If no one else in your entire life will acknowledge it was wrong, know there's a whole bunch of defogged adoptees who do. Because it was.

Now wake up.




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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Illinois - Adoption Records: Unraveling the Red Tape (November 6)

Via Google Alerts...

Adoption Records: Unraveling the Red Tape (November 6)

The Library welcomes Dawn Saphir, representative from the Des Plaines-based Midwest Adoption Center, for a 7:30 p.m. program Tuesday, November 6, designed for individuals and families touched by adoption. Participants will discover how to obtain non-identifying information and adoption search assistance, and learn more about the Illinois Adoption Registry. Register online or call 847/253-5675.

Mount Prospect Public Library
10 South Emerson Street
Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

St. Vincent's in Philly?

Quick question here 'cause I'm in a rush.

I just got a note from a totally cool real kid over at Classmates.com that his mother was a prisoner patient of a St. Vincent's Maternity Jail Home in Torresdale during the BSE.

Out of curiosity, anyone reading here stay there in the latter half of 1963?

If so, I'd be so grateful if you'd drop me a line. You can hit me up over at Myspace, or my email address is in the profile.

Thanks.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Adoption Show Sunday October 21, 2007 Ron Morgan & Kali Coultas

THE ADOPTION SHOW - VOICES ENDING THE MYTH...

Sunday October 21, 2007
9:00 PM (EST)
www.theadoptionshow.com

Join guests and friends in The Adoption Show chat room after the show!


ADOPTEE RIGHTS PROTEST - NEW ORLEANS JULY 22, 2008!
www.adopteerights.net



Guests

Ron Morgan & Kali Coultas These two dynamic people are the organizers of the Adoptees Rights Protest Day at the National Conference of State Legislature’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, on Tuesday July 22, 2008. We'll hear about Ron & Kali's idea to bring adoptees, their families, friends, and supporters together for a demonstration in New Orleans to fight for adopted persons' right to their birth certificates.

About Ron...

Ron Morgan was born and adopted in Los Angeles, California, in 1954. His adoptive parents kept his adoption a secret that they took to the grave. Ron discovered that he was adopted shortly after their deaths in 1991, and experienced shock, excitement and anger, followed by years of confusion and depression. As a means of processing his own experiences, Ron began reaching out to others like him, and named these adoptees Late Discovery Adoptees www.latediscovery.org

Ron's journey of discovery led him to Open Records activism. He served on the Executive Committee of Bastard Nation from 1997 to 2001, and chaired the California Open coalition from 1999 to 2001. Ron now works as a professional organizer and campaign consultant.

Ron reunited with his family of origin in 1998, and found that although he had been raised as an only child, he was actually the fifth of thirteen brothers and sisters. The first biological kin he met were his three daughters, born before his discovery.

About Kali...

Kali Coultas is an adult adoptee, in reunion since 2001 with her paternal and maternal families. She first got involved with adoption activism after her reunion, and sought out other adoptees (online) who shared similar experiences to hers.

Check out Kali on The Adoption Show with her segment, The Angrates Action Alerts, where she delivers world-wide legislative updates and covers controversial topics surrounding the legal sealing of adoptees' birth certificates. email Kali at: kali@theadoptionshow.com

___________________________________________

The Adoption Show updates:

New segments will be coming up in November 2007! Julie Rist with The Lizard Chronicles and Kali Coultas with The Angrates Action Alerts. Denice Bradbury-Powell joins The Adoption Show as Associate Producer. More information about these new segments will be available on The Adoption Show's new web site, which will be up and running next month.

Starting in November the site will have a member section to join and get a log in name/ password. As a member of The Adoption Show you will have unlimited access to all shows for a fee of $25.00 a year.

The Adoption Show will be donating a portion of the membership fee to various organizations involved with legislation to unseal adoption records, as well as global organizations that support adoptees and families separated by the practice of adoption. Currently we are sponsoring: Adoptee Rights Protest July 22, 2008 Lafayette Park New Orleans, LA

To be a guest on The Adoption Show, email us at:
info@theadadoptionshow.com

Michelle Edmunds
Host, Producer
michelle@theadoptionshow.com

Thaddeus PedroRecording Producer
thaddeus@theadoptionshow.com

Thanks for listening to the The Adoption Show - Voices Ending the Myth!

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you! Please keep the links, ratings and comments coming!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyu4E9Bhi9E

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Who's better than bastards?

Bastards on YouTube!!



Here's a playlist of videos related to equal access to our birth records. Please go show them some love for their hard work. Comment, rate, favorite and share!

Some direct links:

Honesty in Adoption's submission for the 'Thick as Thieves' by Dashboard Confessional video contest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyu4E9Bhi9E
Do you believe the attention this one is getting? I think because it's linked up with the contest, it's getting views from people who ordinarily would never have seen anything related to adoption. Very exciting! Please post a comment and share so this gets more exposure.


Adoptee Rights Demonstration Ad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O8IJHeJxho
I cry every time I watch this video. Because it's in my sidebar I see it almost every day, and it never fails to get me all weepy. I'm so thankful to be going to this. To let those who decide on my records see me face to face is an important opportunity I wouldn't miss for the world. Gersh did such a beautiful job on this video and she's such an inspiration. Please drop a comment!


Phone in program with Ron Murdock, Canadian activist for open adoption records in Nova Scotia and in Canada
http://www.youtube.com/vaneijck
If you have the time, get a cup of coffee and settle in to watch this talk show. It's really important. It's so wonderful Ron got these all online.


Comments off on this post - please comment at YouTube to those who took the time to post! If you don't have an account, you're missing out on the fun, it only takes a second to sign up. And add me as a friend! I'm very friendly.

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$2K by 11/7 - can you please help?


OK it's not just for those guyz, but them's the rules.

You want a demonstration - you gotta pay City Hall for it.

Can you please help?

Thank U!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Adoption Study - Please participate

There's not too many questions on this, and it won't take too much time. Thanks.

My name is Brittany Goin, and I am a student at Maryville College.

For my senior thesis, I am conducting a study regarding differences in adult attachment between adopted and nonadopted individuals. I will also examine attachment differences between individuals from both open and closed adoptions as well. Each participant will complete a series of questionnaires and surveys regarding demographics, adoption status, adoption satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete all forms. Additionally, all information received from each participant will remain confidential, and all data will be destroyed after the completion of my study.

If you are 20 years old and older and would like to participate in my study or would like more information please contact me via email at brittany.goin@maryvillecollege.edu or Dr. Crystal Colter at crystal.colter@maryvillecollege.edu. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Brittany Goin
Maryville College
brittany.goin@maryvillecollege.edu

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wow

Joy finds the best quizzes




You're Invisible Man!

by Ralph Ellison

Most of your life, people have either ignored you or told you that you were wrong. You've been duped, mistreated, misled, and neglected. Maybe it was because of your race, or some other uniqueness that people were quick to condemn, but now you just want to crawl into a hole and disappear. After all, nobody knows your name. But you just might speak for everyone.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Dear Mom

Hi Mom, I hope you're OK.

I just got in a little while ago. I have to travel again next week. I really hate this job lately, Mom. I'm so tired of the long hours.

I hope you're OK Mom. I'm really worried about you this year.

I used to wonder if you thought about me on this day. I think some years you forgot what day it was. I'm not saying that to be mean, it's just the way I feel. I think you were busy with the kids and with the house and with working, and maybe it all of a sudden came up on you, that you forgot the date.

I'm not saying this to sound conceited Mom, really, but I do know that this birthday you'll be thinking about me. I'm just about positive. It's alright, I'm thinking about you.

Back in May when I finally found you, I had this thought that maybe this year, we'd all spend the day together as a family. Maybe next year, OK? You know my door's always open to you.

I gotta go to bed now Mom, I'm so wiped. This week was brutal and I'm going to be working crazy hours over the entire weekend. I just think you're awake right now watching the clock, and I wanted to be up at midnight to wait it out with you.

This is for you Mom. Every #1 song from 1963. I hope some of these make you smile. That 'never make a pretty woman your wife' one always cracks me up. I know it was a crappy year for you from January on, but I hope at least you liked the music. I do.



Happy day Mom. I love you.

~Theresa





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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Salt Lake Tribune - A Deadly Path

Salt Lake Tribune - A Deadly Path

This story is so sad, on so many levels.

I hate these adolescent training camps, why are they still around?

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pittsburgh and Philly get stalked

So I'm reading in PhillyBurbs this morning that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have joined the ranks of cities stalked mapped via Google Street view.

And what to my wondering eyes doth appear, but a lovely image of one of my relatives in front of the house. Unfortunately though, it wasn't exactly a very flattering shot.

Word to the wise, do your gardening at night from now on. Don't go get the newspaper in your bathrobe. Keep your curtains drawn. Googlevan is coming

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Long search for birth family bears fruit

Happy Birthday, Jennie


Long search for birth family bears fruit

BY CARRIE CASSIDY / Of The Patriot-News, 09/05/07 11:15 PM EDT

Jennie Maresca always longed to find the woman who stood at the train station as her new family whisked her away to America.

From her early teens, Maresca has been searching for that woman, her birth mother, whom she knew as Elfriede Marta Kate Ropke. She never knew her mother's married name, hindering her search for decades.

About a year ago, Maresca, 54, formerly of Susquehanna Twp., found information that she said made her "feel whole again." She found her biological family, after years of feeling like she didn't belong.

"No matter who raises you, you still possess your birth parents' genes and that ultimately controls who you are inside and who God intended you to be," she said.

Maresca was born in October 1952 in Bremen, a harbor town in West Germany, to a housemaid whose financially tough times prompted her to put up for adoption her youngest of two daughters. Maresca was adopted two years later by a soldier stationed in Germany and his wife.

The family left Frankfurt, West Germany, by train and eventually returned to the United States, to Penbrook. They moved to Susquehanna Twp. when Maresca, whose adopted name is Martha Jane Hall, turned 5 and became a U.S. citizen.

Maresca lived in Susquehanna Twp. for most of her life until she moved to Florida four years ago. Her adopted parents, Elmo and Josephine Hall, still live there.

Maresca always knew she was adopted and, over the years, the need to find her birth family grew. She started searching at 13 and spent years with the painstaking and often disappointing quest.

She tried everything -- blindly writing to other Americans who shared her birth name. Searching Ellis Island records. Surfing the Internet.

While doing research on the Internet, Maresca found a story about a woman who reunited members of a German family.

Maresca's search ended within six months of contacting Angela Shelley, the family detective mentioned in the story.

Shelley, who lives in southern Germany, gathers information from records offices in Germany for her clients, mostly German-born adoptees adopted between 1945 and 1969.

Shelley's $1,400 fee, paid only if she succeeds in finding the client's birth family, includes "countless hours" of translating letters and e-mails for her clients, relaying phone messages and helping the families get to know each other.

With Shelley's help, Maresca learned most of the information she had wondered about for years, such as whether her mother ever wondered about her, too.

"My half sister has told me [my mother] always thought about me especially in October, at the time of my birthday. She would get depressed," Maresca said.

She learned that her mother died of breast cancer in 1984. But through phone calls and letters, Maresca has come to know the rest of her family -- two uncles in Germany, and three aunts, three half sisters and a half brother, all of whom live in the United States.

Maresca plans to meet her younger sister and her family this month, and the rest of her family in October.

"My search was worth it, although, at times, very frustrating," she said. "I am so happy. I feel whole and so loved."

CARRIE CASSIDY: 255-8244 or ccassidy@patriot-news.com

TO LEARN MORE

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bastard Air - Part 2

Tune into THE ADOPTION SHOW - VOICES ENDING THE MYTH and listen to the recording of Dan's show! It's great to have Michelle back on the air. There are extremely exciting things in the works this season. I'm just a giddy bastard with anticipation.

DAN TAYLOR - Dan Taylor is a recently reunited adult adoptee and a completely frustrated amateur writer. His posts as Reunited Dan at www.bostonuncommon. wordpress. com chronicle his reunion with his biological mother and his quest to learn more about his deceased biological father.

Join Michelle and Dan as they talk about searching, non-identifying information, finding a grave - and how it feels to finally be with people with whom you share a similar appearance, personality and essence.


Also, tune in live this Thursday, October 11th at 12:00 PM EST to hear Denise from Found and Lost Support on 1320 AM WARL. Unfortunately I'll be on the road when this airs, so hey - WARL - how 'bout some archives!?

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Today is send $10 to Pennsylvania day

At least it used to be for me.

It was a quasi-bi-yearly event. Sometimes I'd skip a year. Sometimes I'd skip two years. Sometimes I'd do it three times a year. It's gone up in price over the years. It used to be $4.00. Inflation, you know.

Why, you ask, did I have this burning need to fork over money to the beautiful state of Pennsylvania?

Glad you asked.

It's the rule of the Official State of Pennsylvania Adoption Reunion Registry. Let's take a little peek at the rules here:
What happens if a biological parent files a consent form after the Division of Vital Records processes a request?
If consent is received at a later date, the identifying information will not be sent to the adoptee. Therefore, an adoptee may wish to request periodically to determine if a consent form has been filed.

Sounds mundane, right? It's not, it's anything but.

If you're an adoptee registering with the State.... well, that in itself is wrong. Adoptees are not allowed to register. Only natural parents. Adoptees are invited to send $10 to the state to see if their parents have registered. They'll cash your check either way.

But remember - YOU are not registering. You are paying the state a fee to have a data processing clerk with access to your personal information and the personal information on your parents pull up your birth certificate record in the computer, and see if there's a field flagged saying mom or dad even knows about this non publicized registry.

Even better, this means, if Vital Records gets your form on a Tuesday, cashes your check, peeks in their computer, send you off a Sorry! letter, and then on Wednesday gets a registration form from your mom or dad - they will not notify you.

Anyone else think this is the cruelest system on the face of the earth? Anyone else think it's purposely set up that way? You remember that heartache when you find out no one has registered to find you. The fact they probably didn't know about the registry is a moot point. It hurts. Horribly. And when you're hurt like that, rejection sensitive scarred already from adoption, the last thing you want is to repeat the process, and pay $10 for the privilege.

I could do it again this year to see if my dad has registered to find me.

But I don't believe he has. Anyway, Pennsylvania got $10 last year, and they got $10 again from me last Spring when I felt a need to check twice in a year.

I'm keeping my $10 this October, but I wanted to get this posted. I get so many google searchers from people looking for Pennsylvania reunion information, so I felt it was good to get this reminder up.

If you're new to Pennsylvania adoption search, I'd really urge you to take a look off to the Pennsylvania section to the left there, and join up with the groups listed. We have such a hard search, and a hostile state. We really need all the help we can get.

And if you haven't done so in a while, as a Pennsylvania Bastard, you have the right to pay them $10 to look at your record, should you so choose to take advantage.



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Saturday, October 06, 2007

RegDay PSA's are posted

It’s getting closer!

RegDay is just around the corner! There’s still plenty of time to help, no matter where you are.

Please check the site listings at

http://www.regday.org/2007_sites.html

New sites are being added frequently. If you live near any of these sites, help the day of would be greatly appreciated. You don’t have to volunteer for all day. Even if you volunteer for an hour or so, it will be greatly appreciated by those staffing the tables.

No site near you, and you don’t have time to organize? There’s still plenty you can do!

Check the promotional materials listing at

http://www.regday.org/2007_promo.html

for printouts and flyers you can place around town. The more the better! Just imagine if your flyer helps reunite separated family members. We all have a chance to make a difference.

You can choose one of the RegDay sites to help promote, and contact radio stations and newspapers local to where the site will be held to see if they’ll donate air time or ad space. You can refer to the promo site for some beautiful and professional Public Service Announcements. If everyone affected by adoption would write, just imagine the impact we could make! Don't worry if you're duplicating the efforts of someone else, the more letters the media outlets get, the better the chance they'll say yes.

Here’s how to help with PSA’s –

1. Go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/

2. Enter in a zip code close to the RegDay site you wish to help promote and click GO

3. You'll get a list of local media outlets you can contact.

Or even better, if you have the time and live local, why not see them in person? Check out the RegDay Coordinators mailing list archives for suggestions in getting Public Service Announcements distributed.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/regday/

Above and beyond the reunion registry, RegDay is a fantastic opportunity to help raise awareness for those who feel alone, to let them know there are others who care. Registering at Soundex for so many is that first step out of the fog - I know it was for me. I hope you can help!


And please feel free to repost!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

I'm guilty

The following online things make me feel really guilty:


Myspace. I feel really guilty when people leave profile comments for me. I always want to post something pretty and witty back but I never have time. I think I'll make a mental note to comment back but then I get wrapped up in other stuff and forget.

Also if I get one that goes past the right margin. I delete those and feel guilty about it.

I feel guilty when the comments page gets long and I delete one because I don't know if the person notices.

I also don't understand people who have incomprehensible Myspace pages. If they have a huge light colored picture background with pale beige text set to 90% transparency, how can you read it? I can't, and then I feel guilty.

I think Myspace is awesome for spreading the word about stuff via Events and Bulletins, but I don't reply to a lot of those quiz and survey bulletins. Actually I don't reply to any of them. And then I feel guilty.


Facebook. I don't get it. According to my son prevailing wisdom now is it's a signifier of socioeconomic levels. I don't know who decided that but I think it started here. I could be wrong. If I am, I feel guilty.

I don't know, it could be true. My tax bracket may put me at Facebook, however by the time I'm done paying my bills I've got nothing left over, which might be why I like Myspace but not Facebook. Sometimes people want me to add them to my Facebook and I look for them but can't find them, and then get caught up with something else and forget. And I feel guilty.

Replies. I feel guilty about replying to people all the time, be it email or blog comments or whatever. A lot of my online time is stolen in bits and pieces and I jump all over the place. I reply to everyone who writes to me but sometimes it takes a bit. I got a second email from someone who I was planning on writing back, mentioning the first email that I didn't get a chance to write back to, and that made me feel really guilty.

I know I'm massively needy and overly sensitive. It's kind of like when I was a hypochondriac. I thought I was sick all the time, but I also knew I was a freaking hypochondriac, so I never paid attention to my symptoms. Problem was, a few times times I was actually sick. Har har joke's on me. I get like that with replies. I think everyone doesn't like me, but then again I know I'm freaking nuts, so if someone doesn't write back to me I figure they're busy. Ooo but what if they really don't like me. Har har joke's on me. And then I feel guilty.

Oh and by the way, please don't leave a comment telling me you like me. I feel guilty when I write stuff about how I don't like myself and then people tell me they like me, because I think I made them feel bad. I feel really guilty writing that last sentence.

Writing about religion. I think I'm the most spiritual lapsed catholic pagan agnostic atheist I've ever met, so I feel really guilty when I hate on the catholic church as an institution. But I do hate it, really. I think they're nasty. But then through work I give money to a catholic organization run by a real kick ass nun that keeps incarcerated moms and their babies together and provides housing and support to them after they're released. I don't think they are connected in any way to adoption. I hope they're not. That would make me feel really guilty. A friend today reported about a slimy agency going after incarcerated pregnant women. And it just so happened that next week at work is contribution elections. So I'm planning on upping my contribution to the catholic program that works for family preservation, and I feel really guilty about how little I gave them before.

Social networking searches. It makes me feel like a stalker. But god, I'd give anything to see a picture of a member of my immediate family. Cousins and second cousins are cool, but I have siblings, damn it. What do they look like? I don't know. I really should call my little sister, if for nothing else to tell her to get a skin cancer screening if she hasn't already done so, and I feel guilty that I haven't. But I'm scared. And I feel guilty at my weakness.

tl;dr. I know a lot of my posts are that. Sorry. I'll make it up to you. I'll cut this one short. I gotta go get some laundry done. I'm pissed that I'm doing laundry on a Friday night. And then I feel guilty about that, because if I had been doing laundry before work instead of blogging, then I wouldn't have had to give up my Friday night to get caught up. Not to mention find the time to reply to comments and answer that email and figure out Facebook.

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It's getting colder. Better buy a new sweatshirt.



100% of the profits of sales will be donated to help fund the 2008 Adoptee Rights Protest in New Orleans.

Check back frequently for more items to be added.

See http://www.adopteerights.net/nulliusfilius/ for more details.

Thank you for supporting open records!

PS Dory is one creative bastard.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bastard Air

Two quick tidbits shamelessly stolen oops I mean gifted from other blogs, because I'm so excited about them.

  • Via Dan's blog comes the news that he is soon to appear on The Adoption Show. I can't wait. I had the true honor of having dinner with Michelle and other beautiful bastards during her vacation and am really anxious for the show to start streaming once again.

  • Via Bastardette the announcement that Donna Montalbano has moved to WARL 1320AM - and it's a streaming site! I was completely bummed when Marley was on the old show from Donna's former station in August, because I couldn't hear it.

Another streaming radio station that I'm usually out of the house when it's on is The-Seeker. Now that beach season is over I really need to make a commitment to listen in. Have you heard that show? Taking a quick peek through the archives makes me feel really guilty that I haven't listened before; there are some really interesting shows in there.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Who the hell are you, anyway?

Just curious.





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Monday, October 01, 2007

Pledge. Donate. Sign up.

What: A Day for Adoptee Rights

When: July 22, 2008

Where: Lafayette Park, New Orleans

Who: You!

Please join!

http://www.adopteerights.net


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