Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Next Long Island Adoptee Meetup - Sunday 01/18/08

If you're on the Island, c'mon down.




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war is not healthy for stepchildren and other living things

It was 12 years ago tonight that I first met him.

Or was it 11 years ago, or 13 years ago? I can't remember, honestly. This old mind of mine, she ain't what she used to be.

The cool husband, at that time the cool boyfriend, had gone to pick him up.

I was a nervous wreck, I wanted him to like me so much. I was compulsively re-washing clean dishes at the sink when he came in. He was bundled under his huge jacket, buried under his oversized backpack behind and whatever the latest game system of the time was up front.

He just stared at me for a few moments after I said hello.

"My dad said you're good at Mortal Kombat," he said.

"I'm the best," I told him. I was.

He just stared at me some more.

"Do you want to play me?" he asked.

I narrowed my eyes at him.

"Prepare for annihilation," I told him. He laughed and went to hook up the game system.

He kicked my ass. Royally.

I remember watching him go down the hallway, still buried under all his gear, thinking how cute he looked in his little army fatigues.

I was thinking about that this morning, as I watched him walk out the door in his army fatigues, buried under all his gear.

And still carrying the latest game system.

Now, what on earth this young man thinks he's going to do with a PS3 in the Middle East, I have no clue, but I'm not arguing with him.

I won't be seeing him again for a very, very, very long time.



War is not healthy for children and other living things - ®Another Mother for Peace, ©1967, 2003

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hurray for economic bad times!

No comment, other than to say this is the 'loswest' of the lows

China’s Loss Could be Sweden’s Gain
Leif R Jansson / SCANPIX
Adopting a Chinese baby is the dream of many Swedes

The Swedish Society for International Child Welfare says that many Swedes are hoping that an economic crisis in China will make it easier to adopt Chinese babies.

Last year 800 children from outside the Nordic region were adopted into Sweden - but this is the loswest figure in 38 years and the figure for 2008 is expected to be even lower.

Part of the reason is that adoptions from China, which have dominated the statistics in the last ten years, have decreased due to economic growth in China and the rest of Asia.

Now Swedish couples and singles eager to adopt are calling the Swedish Society for International Child Welfare, also known as Adoptioncentrum and asking whether bad times will mean more available babies.

But for Swedes who lose their jobs, their local authority may well revoke their adoption permit.

Read more...

Monday, December 29, 2008

The results are in.........

James Face and Gloria Becerra quietly had their DNA testing done earlier this month to see if they were, in fact, separated twins. The results came in last Monday....

read more | digg story

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Maine - Adoptees await more information

Elizabeth Norcross Miller is one of 136 adult adoptees who have preregistered with the Maine Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics for non-certified copies of those certificates. When the office opens Friday, anyone who has preregistered will be able to pick up their documents."I'm going to be the first in line..."


read more | digg story

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

What was the top adoption news story in 2008?

About.com has released the 2008 Top Adoption News story poll.

Choices are:


  • The controversy of the hit movie, Juno
  • Anna Mae He
  • USA and the Hague
  • Texas polygamist raid
  • Nebraska's safe haven law
  • Gay adoption an issue for voters
  • Baby Talon



You can still review 2007's results here

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Found Them!

Oh, I've been looking for so long

Items 860-092 and 860-008

The stuff of dreams

Imported

Real goatskin

Real lambswool

(Really appalling)

But I don't care, damnit.

The must-have Christmas gifts for the finest 1960's adoptees

The one,

The only

The FAO Schwartz Horse and Sulky

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


AND

The FAO Schwartz Ice Cream Fountain

Ice Cream not included

Battery operated mixer. Freezer compartment for ice cream (sold separately). Working soda pump (sold separately) (that clogged and sprayed coke syrup all over but who cares - it's the thought that counts)

All this time, right next to each other on page 8.


You must must must check out this website, for the finest in dream-fulfilling toys and emotionally scarring clothing for dream fulfilling adoptees and real kids alike. Oh it's ephemera at it's best.

Amazing.

Merry XMas

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

July 3, 1975

Are you:

-Adopted

-Female

-Born July 3, 1975 in Niskayuna, NY

-Registered with the New York Adoption Reunion Registry a while back
....

-And have since moved?



Your mother is looking for you.

Even though you made it clearly obvious that you'd like to be found, the state can not release your name to her, nor it appears will they do the minimal of searching to find your new address.

I bet you registered, and then spent the next few weeks with your eye on the mailbox and the phone, waiting to hear back. And then you never did. I know how it feels to find out no one is looking for you. When that would happen to me, I'd try and tell myself my mother probably didn't know about the registry. Maybe she didn't have internet access. Maybe someday I'd hear back.

But still, deep inside, it really hurts.

And you know, then I'd go on. For years I'd set aside my search and do nothing. Maybe on my birthday make a quick post, but then just leave it. Time went on, I moved, and I never updated my contact information at ISRR or the state registry. Just... life gets in the way. We're so busy, and it's just so humiliating knowing that some state worker can know who we are, but we can't.

Anyway, this isn't about me, it's about you. Your mother's name is Catherine , and getting to know you would make her Christmas complete. Please contact jleadley@timesunion.com, and even more important please come on over to www.NYAdoptees.com. Anyone searching in New York, please come on over. There's good people there; they'll get you home.

Finally, in her article Catherine asks:

I urge all who read this to share this story with all those who are adoptees.


I do too.



Mom has a very special grown-up wish for Christmas

By CATHERINE TERRY, Special to the Times Union
First published: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ever since July 7, 1975 I've hoped, wished and longed for the day when I would see my daughter again. I unwillingly signed the adoption papers that day only hours after being released from Bellevue Maternity Hospital in Niskayuna.

She was only 4 days old, innocent and very unaware of how drastically her life would be changed forever. I named her Catherine Elizabeth, but I feel sure that was also changed too.

At the adoption proceedings, I brought a letter I had composed to Catherine explaining why — at the age of 15 and jobless — I was unable to care for her.

Her 17-year-old father and I loved her very much and did not want things to be this way, but had no other options. I gave the letter to the judge to give to the adoptive parents for Catherine when they felt it was appropriate.

That was 33 1/2 years ago and the void in my heart has ceased to be filled, yet life goes on. Two years after giving her up, I moved with my family to Florida, graduated high school, married, had two more daughters.

Yet still, I longed to search for Catherine. My husband, who was not the birth father, didn't want me to contact Catherine and I honored his wishes. Another deep wound.

Earlier this year, I began actively searching for my daughter after the end of my 26-year marriage. I found that Catherine had been looking for me and registered with the New York state Department of Health adoptees registry, but she has not kept her contact information updated. They can't tell me anything about her without her final consent.

So, my Christmas wish is that she is reading this right now and will update her contact information tomorrow.

I urge all who read this to share this story with all those who are adoptees.

I hope and pray to give you the rest of the story soon.

Catherine Terry lives in Luthersville, Ga.

Read more...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Law Affects Maine Adoptees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contacts:

Bobbi Beavers
Co-founder, OBC for ME
South Berwick, ME
207-748-3432
rbbeavers@comcast. net

www.OBCforME. org

Cathy Robishaw
Co-founder, OBC for ME
Falmouth, ME
207-671-1375
tmc3910@yahoo. com
www.OBCforME.org.



New Law Affects Maine Adoptees

Maine has restored a basic human right to all Maine-born adult adoptees – the right to know their identity at birth! Just as New Hampshire, Alabama and Oregon legislatures have done in the past 12 years, the 123rd Maine Legislature made the decision in June 2007, via LD 1084, to correct an injustice the Maine Legislature enacted in 1953 when they declared that the original birth and adoption records of adoptees were to be sealed upon adoption of any child after August 8th of that year and leaving adoptees access to their original identity only at the discretion of the courts and only if adoptees knew this fact, which is buried in the cumbersome adoption laws.

Excitement is building as over 130 Maine-born adoptees from around Maine, plus New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, California and other states have already submitted their info to the Maine Office of Vital Statistics. Many, including those living out-of-state, are coming to Augusta to request their Original birth Certificate on January 2, 2009.

Maine LD 1084/Public Law 409 – An Act to Allow Adult Adoptees Access to their Original Birth Certificates (OBC) - goes into effect January 1, 2009. Any Maine-born adult adoptee wishing to receive an uncertified copy of their original birth certificate in-person on January 2, 2009 at the Office of Vital Statistics in Augusta, must contact Lorraine Wilson immediately at the following address, email, or phone and provide her with the information (below) she will need to locate their records:

Lorraine Wilson
Deputy Registrar
Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics
Division
of Public Health Systems
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Maine Department of Health and Human Services 244 Water Street 11 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0011
(207) 287-3181
1-888-664-9491 (toll free)
Lorraine.Wilson@ maine.gov


The adoptee information needed:

  • Name after adoption, Date of birth, Town of birth (if known)
  • The relationship of the requestor to the adoptee (i.e., same person, son, daughter, etc.)
  • Contact information of the requestor

In order to receive a copy of his/her original birth certificate on January 2, 2009, an adoptee will still need to download the official state application form from this website: http://www.maine. gov/dhhs/ bohodr/documents /Application% 20for%20Adult% 20Adoptee. pdf. The adoptee must also bring (or mail if not coming in-person) the filled out and notarized form, a certified copy of their current birth certificate, and a $10 check made out to: Treasurer - State of Maine.

Parents of origin (also called birth parents) may also NOW submit information, confidentially, to Lorraine Wilson:

Everyone impacted by this law should read the rules compiled by the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics (Maine Center for Disease Control, DHHS), downloadable at this website: http://www.maine. gov/dhhs/ boh/_rules_ documents/ Adult%20Adoptees %20Access% 20to%20Original% 20Birth%20Certif icate.pdf.

REASONS FOR SUBMITTING THIS INFO EARLY: If an adoptee applies for the first time on January 2, 2009, it is very likely they will not get the uncertified copy of their original birth certificate that day. If birth parents have filled out their forms, adoptees will have updated medical info and possibly a current contact name and address that will expedite searching if that is what an adoptee chooses to do.

ISSUES TO BE AWARE OF:
  • Adoptees who obtain their OBC before a birth parent has submitted their forms will be able to request that DHHS send them the birth parent contact preference and medical history forms.
  • In about 80-90% of the cases, the birth fathers name will not be on the birth certificate (DNA testing has not been available until relatively recently and birth fathers were not always required to be part of the surrendering process as they are now), unless the couple was married.
  • Medical, genealogical and cultural histories are important to many individuals, yet for others, just having the document (“the deed to my person,” as adoptee Robert Hafetz says) will be sufficient at this time.
  • To help people impacted by this law to work through the emotional roller coaster that this information may stimulate, OBC for ME has two adoption triad support group formats: ONLINE at this website - http://health. groups.yahoo. com/group/ obcformesupport/ which requires a prior free Yahoo registration, and IN-PERSON with the next meeting on January 17, 2009, at Norway Savings Bank Community Room, Route 1 South, Falmouth, ME, 10 AM - Noon. There are also support groups in just about every state, province and country on this continent as well as in most overseas countries.

A private reception for adoptees and their families will be held at the Augusta EconoLodge at 5 PM on January 2, 2009. For more information contact Bobbi Beavers, rbbeavers@comcast. net.

Read more...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Someone got a facelift

It's a little plain.

But it's got a lot of heart.

Take a visit, and add as a friend?

http://myspace.com/AdopteeRightsProtest

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Philly Phridays #18: Judy is Mean

Judy hates me.

I don’t know why. I honestly don’t know what I’ve ever done to her, to have her treat me this badly. Seriously friends, she is quite abusive. I am just about at my wit’s end with her online behavior.

First, in 2007, she gave me a Thinking Blogger Award. I am still deeply wounded by the trauma this caused me, people pleasing oh no I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings by excluding them adoptee that I am. After all this time, I still wake up in a cold sweat, sitting up abruptly, as a stab of fear sets into my heart wondering --- who? who? who did I hurt, by not nominating them as a Thinking Blogger?

The trauma is horrible. I was just beginning to make slow progress, could catch a glimpse of a Thinking Blogger award on someone’s site without making a beeline under my desk, shaking, trembling –

UNTIL NOW.

Check this shit out:


4. Ungrateful Little Bastard by Theresa. It’s not just because Theresa does things like this and this — and then I bust out into tears — although those don’t hurt. It’s also because she keeps on top of adoption’s top stories and writes about them in such a succinct fashion that I’m always learning from her. OK, and she also can be funny as hell. She’s just the best; what can I say?



She thinks she can do it to me again. She thinks she can cause me more stress, more aggravation, more fear, more need to eat bag upon bag of potato chips in an attempt to self-medicate with a carbohydrate rush to the brain.

Well Mz Judy, Mz Just Enjoy Torture --- not this time. I have a secret weapon I’m pulling out. A certain Philly Phriday that I had planned to publish sometime in the early Spring, but that now I’ll reveal, now that you’ve forced my hand.

So without further ado, this week’s Philly Phriday:



Philly Phridays #18: Uber Amazing Philadelphia Blogs You Want to Read

I’m taking a break from the usual adoptee’s-eye-view of Philly tourism this week to bring you a few blogs you want to add to your reader. There are seriously hundreds of Philadelphia bloggers that are hysterical, informative, moving, fantastic, you name it, but these are some of my absolute favorites. Subscribing now will give you a daily glimpse into the awesome city we’re visiting for the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in July and the even more awesome minds that live there.

As always, in alphabetical order because I’m nothing if not obsessive, and blatantly quoting their “About” blurbs, because I’m nothing if not lazy:

Philadelphia Metblogs: Metroblogging started off as a more locally focused alternative news source in Los Angeles and has turned into the largest and fastest growing network of city-specific blogs on the Web. We got sick of reading local news that was syndicated from the other side of the country, or was just repurposed national chit chat that had nothing to do with our city. We created our first blog as a throw back to the days when a local news paper focused on local issues, and you could walk down to the corner coffee shop and chat up the reporters whose column you read earlier that day. This idea didn’t stay in one city for long and before we knew it there were Metblogs in Chicago, Portland, Karachi, and Vienna. Today there are over 50 Metblogs in countries all over the world. Local politics, event reviews, lunch recommendations and ways to avoid that big traffic jam downtown. If it’s happening in our cities, we’re on it.

Philadelphia Will Do: Philadelphia Will Do is a blog about Philadelphia and the wacky and wonderful characters who inhabit our 135-square mile city. Your guide to the funniest city on earth is Daniel Hall McQuade, a 25-year-old who has never spent more than a week outside the city borders since his birth in Fox Chase.


Philebrity: Philebrity is published several times daily during the work week, and sporadically, drunkenly on the weekends. It is a weblog that acts as a media filter and gossip/tipsheet for discerning livers of life in the Philadelphia area, but it is certainly also of interest to others.

It is our aim here to offer our readers an easy guide to navigating this city’s often murky waters. Politicians are corrupt, but funny; artists need love, but not too much; the city’s media are a curious mix of bag ladies and spoon men. Shit is weird. Philebrity wants to help you.


Philly Future: Learn about and share the diversity, history, sites, sounds, joys, concerns, and news of the Philadelphia region. Philly Future is a compendium of the best online writers, narrators, blogs, and commentators in the greater Philadelphia region. Our goal is to empower people to learn of and communicate the diversity, history, sites, sounds, joys, concerns, and news of the Philadelphia region. It's what you consider to be important and in need of being heard. It's the news YOU write, for the city and the world.


Phillyist: Phillyist is a website about Philadelphia and everything that happens in it. That means news and events, restaurants and bars, happenings and goings-on.


There are more, way, way more honestly, but these are some of my favorites.

That’s all for this week’s roundup on the wonder that is Philadelphia. C’mon back next Friday and we’ll return to touristy spots you’ll want to see next July when you head on over to the Adoptee Right’s Demonstration.




Consider yourself bested, Judy. I am impervious to you and your award-giving ways.



PS Thank you!









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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

108

108

108

108

108! 108! 108 adoptees signed up so far to get their original birth certificates in Maine.

Oh it's a beautiful thing. Usually I endure these two weeks until the new year with varying degrees of bah-hum-bugness and ill-will towards fellow man -- the majority of whom are making my usually congested highways even worse with their holiday gift shopping -- but that number is enough to warm this misanthropic old heart.

Hark the herald angels and all that. 108.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

run...... Run....... RUN!!!!!!!



Go, go, go, get out of here, go now!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Philadelphia Adoptee Rights Demonstration - July 21, 2009

We propose a one day ADOPTEE RIGHTS DEMONSTRATION at the National Conference of State Legislature’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, on Tuesday July 21st, 2009.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is the largest group of its kind, the national organization of STATE LAWMAKERS, the people who DECIDE whether you may access your original birth certificates… OR NOT.

We propose a gathering of adoptees and all supporters of the rights of adoptees to unrestricted access to their own records of birth, representing all fifty states, a one-day rally that will be an opportunity for adoptees to demonstrate their commitment to adoptee rights and to meet their state delegation.

Please join us!

http://AdopteeRightsPhilly.blogspot.com

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adoption: Kills Grief on Contact

I think a lot about my genealogical field trip back to Philadelphia, and my experiences on the last day.

The person I think the most about, oddly enough, isn't my mother, but the woman in the chapel.

Not so much her really, more her reaction.

I made a complete stranger burst into tears with just one line:


"I never knew her."


I find it amazing, really, how adoption magically washes away the abject misery of never once in your life seeing the face of your own mother.

If I had said I was adopted from the start, she would have never reacted like that.

If I had said I was adopted after I made her cry, I believe her tears would have dried up immediately.

I believe she may have even felt angry that I made her cry over such a trifling thing. Adopted! Why, that means you were very, very, very much wanted!

What I can't believe, however, is how difficult it is for people to understand this.

The reaction of that real kid in the chapel is fascinating and validating to me. Here was a grown woman in her sixties, a complete stranger, immediately transformed into a sobbing child at four little words: "I never knew her." This, I believe sometimes, is the real reason the denial in others to adoption runs so deep.

What could be more horrifying than being separated from your mother as a child? What real kid wouldn't fear that?

“This was my family’s church. I came here from New York. I wanted to see it. Seeing it makes my loss that much more real. I never knew my family”

Oh sure, sure, oh yeah sure, oh you never knew your family

“I just wanted to say a prayer for my mother. I didn’t want to cry like this”

Oh sure, sure, of course, you miss her, you only have one mother.

You miss her so much

sobbing

I bet she was your best friend

sobbing

“I never knew her, but yeah, she was in my mind. I always loved her”

You never knew your mommy”, and she started to cry



"Mommy," she said.

A grown woman.

I love that woman, whoever she is. And I'm sorry I made her cry. No adult should ever tap into that deep fear of a child separated from their mother. There's just too much grief in that to bear.



web statistics

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Opening the Vault: Adoptees’ Access to their Birth Certificates in the U.S. and World Wide

Joyce Bahr and Carole Whitehead from Unsealed Initiative guest blogged on Adoption Under One Roof last Friday.


Please take a visit and read the full post.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Philly Phridays #17 - The Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum is........



Hm. How to describe?



The Mutter Museum houses one of the.....



Well, I'm not exactly sure what to write next.


The Mutter Museum, a landmark Philadelphia attraction for enthusiasts of the offbeat, is the only place in the country where you can see....

Oh the hell with it. Just watch the video. Video is semi-safe for work but definitely not mind safe.





I love this place.

Like so many of us old school adoptees, I was marketed to be the standard issue of the 'nursing student mother / medical student father' combo that was so attractively presented to circa 1960's prospective adoptive parents. I used to think of my own imaginary medical student father studying gross abnormalities with great interest. Feeling like a gross abnormality myself, I felt quite comfortable visiting.

There really is no hope for me.

But I have good company! There are 21 reviews over at TripAdvisor, and 11 reviews at CitySearch, the majority favorably rated by fans of the bizarre like yours truly.

That's all for field trip suggestions when visiting Philadelphia next year for the Adoptee Rights Demonstration.

I promise -- nothing too gross for next week's Philly Phriday.








View Larger Map

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

#1 All Time Favorite Commercial



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Help Origins-USA Produce an Educational/Promotional a Video

Please share!

Adoption is not about unwanted babies, it’s about unwanted mothers. We know this and now we have an exciting opportunity to tell others.

Award winning filmmaker Sara Aderhold has graciously donated her time to produce an Origins-USA promotional video featuring mothers telling their stories of surrender, loss, and reunion. Presenting these experiences is the most effective way to change societal views about adoption and birth. Messages of the video include:

  • The power of the bond between infants and their mothers.
  • Adoption should be a last resort.
  • Options to adoption that preserve natural families.
  • Adoption does not guarantee a better life, just a different one.
  • The right of mothers to know their children.
  • The negative impact of adoption on mothers and their children.
  • The extensive and expensive marketing by adoption industry to coerce mothers into surrendering their babies.
  • Open adoption is not a solution.
The video will be distributed to national news media, posted on the Origins-USA website and YouTube, and linked to blogs and other websites. It will also be sent in DVD format to Origins-USA’s members to share with family planning clinics and civic groups as well as women considering surrendering their baby for adoption, mothers, and their family and friends.

Origins-USA cannot complete and distribute this very important video project without your help. Although Sara is generously donating her time and talent, there are additional costs for transcribing the interviews and duplicating the final DVD.

For as little as $20 per member, Origins-USA can cover these costs. The names of those who donate $100 or more will be listed on the film credits.

Make your tax-deductible donation through the Origins-USA website, http://www.Origins-USA.org/. Just click on the “donate” button. Or mail your donation to Origins-USA Treasurer Kathy Aderhold, 2961 S. Kearney, Denver, CO 80222 and mark it “video”.

You can also help by donating some of your time to do some of the transcribing from video, as Origins-USA member Kay Johnson has generously done.

And, as you do your holiday shopping online, please be sure to use Origins-USA's CafePress, iGive and Amazon links.

Sara Aderhold - Producer & Director / Writer / Editor
Sara has been producing and editing award winning programs for six years. She was honored with a Heartland Emmy in 2004 for her documentary work and nominated for a National Emmy for co-editing a special for HBO. You can see her work on PBS, HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, Disney, and in educational settings around the nation. She is dedicated to storytelling and thrives on shedding light on otherwise unnoticed parts of the world. Sara has firsthand experience with adoption loss. Her mother is Origins-USA Board member Kathy Aderhold. Kathy and Sara have reunited with Sara’s half sister.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday, we wait


And hope

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Stay tuned....

Please take a moment to rate and favorite at Youtube, if you're so inclined









A new website is on the horizon...

Read more...

Around the web....

Announcing Indiana Open:

Indiana Open is a grassroots organization that is comprised of adoptees, first families and adoptive families. We are seeking to give unfettered access for all adult adoptees and their families to the original birth certificate. We are currently working with Senator Patricia Miller in getting a bill together to gain equal access to the original birth certificate.


The site is under construction so check back frequently


Also new on YouTube, there was a rally last month in Trenton for New Jersey's bill. Check it out below and... hey! Wait a minute! Who's that handsome gentleman at 0:44 and 1:16 and 1:51? I could swear I've seen that face before...



Read more...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Maine Watch: Maine's New Adoptee Rights Law

As of the new year, Maine becomes one of only eight states in the nation to allow adoptees open access to their birth records. Jennifer Rooks is joined in the studio by State Senator Paula Benoit and retired psychotherapist Martha Hulbert to discuss this new law.


Please watch and share.

And digg.

And smile.




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Hey New Jersey Adoptees ---

News of a new Adoptee Meetup group in Bergen County hit my inbox today. There's an organizer looking to connect with others in the area.

Meetup groups are a great way to get support offline, and network with other like-minded adoptees.

Read more...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Philly Phridays #16: Christ Church




I feel very guilty about slacking off on Philly Phriday last week, with the holiday and all. So when thinking guilt – what’s better than to write about church!

Christ Church, founded in 1695, was the Sunday morning hangout of Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, George Washington and other notable figures. The building that stands now was built in 1744. I remember visiting it on several school field trips, and always found it dead-ass boring. Growing up Catholic, the plain white walls and lack of statues, incense and (my own personal favorite) gory Stations of the Cross plaques along the walls baffled me. How could anyone possibly go to church here every Sunday?

Associated with the church are the famous Burial Grounds located two blocks away, which offer guided tours on the hour between 10AM and 3PM. Guided tours are offered at the Church as well, and they provide special lectures on history and genealogy throughout the year.

Speaking of genealogy, the Church has fantastic genealogical archives including parish records and correspondence.

Just a short walk away is National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant, who want you to know right off the bat when you visit their website that their menu is god-damned tasty. Not only that, but when you check out their bar menu, they let you know they’ve damn near achieved Utopia.

Damn.

So prayers for restoring access, famous dead people, damn good food and damn better drinks, this is a definite must see next July when you come on down to the Adoptee Rights Demonstration.

Be back next week for one of the creepiest museums you’ll ever visit. Have a good weekend!

Read more...

Update on the Walgreen's Plan B story

I'm curious as to what type of 'adoption literature' this pharmacist gave out, and where the source was.

Was this adoption literature from one specific agency?

A healthy newborn is $$$$$$. I hear the phrase 'adoption literature', and sadly Stephanie Bennett's story comes to mind. As well as the Stephanie's we haven't heard about.

The comments over at the post are 5 pages and growing. Other women have voiced their own experiences with purchasing Plan B at other pharmacies:



I had the same problem with a Walgreen's in St. Louis. Not only did THREE pharmacy employees claim not to know what I was talking about, one of those three actually yelled to someone in the store that "this girl needs the morning after pill!" and they made a big deal out of photocopying my license.




I got a username just to comment on this story. I had a very similar experience at Walgreens. I waited in line for awhile, and the guy behind the counter refused to tell me if they sold Plan B and loudly told me that if I didn't have a ring on my finger, I shouldn't have engaged in premarital sex. When I started to leave, he yelled "WE DON'T CARRY PLAN B" loudly after me. I was furious, and quite honestly, in tears. It made me never want to shop in a Walgreen's again.



Further down in the post, a comment was left that Feministing.com readers did some complaining to Walgreens Corporate, who stated they researched the allegations and discovered them false.



Honestly, if you don't hear something with your own ears, it's hard to know where the truth is.

Would a consumerist.com reader make up a Plan B story for a few moments of internet notoriety? Could be.

Would a pharmacist lie when confronted by upper management in order to save his job? Could be that as well.

Unless the transaction was videotaped there's no way of knowing for sure.

People will do crazy things in order to get a healthy, fresh off the placenta newborn. Certain agencies are not above contracting out to 'finders', especially those with access to young women. Finally, there are those so die-hard in the anti-abortion arena who view even birth control to be an affront, and who simply cannot understand the difference between adoption and abortion. Lone rangers standing outside reproductive health facilities with signs urging adoption are not unheard of.

If I read any followup, I'll update this post with more information.





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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Side effects of this medication include adoption literature

Via digg....

Walgreens Jerks You Around When You Try To Buy Plan B

consumerist.com — Young couple needs emergency contraception at a Mississippi Walgreens. What they get instead is a waiting period, adoption literature and a conversation with the manager.

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“You only got her because she was abandoned. And she knows that, at a younger age than you could ever imagine….”



Adopted - The Movie went on sale today.






Although I grimaced at the price tag, I purchased a copy and hope that initial sales of this film are positive. This film has been a long time in the making, and I’ve been keeping an eye out since last spring.

I’ve read some criticisms of this film, mostly directed at the trailer. While on first glance I can understand; I think there’s much more here than meets the eye. I could be wrong (I often am!), but to me the sequence of the trailer feels a lot like adoption. It appears all glee at the onset, but not so many squeals of happiness once you look past the packaging. In addition to the discussion on adoption, I’m also very interested in the observations on racism and the objectification of Asian women in American culture that this film explores.

If you’ve never seen their YouTube page, they’ve got a series of film clips posted there.

I had thought I’d see this when it hit the festival circuit, preferable in the company of fellow adoptees. But maybe it’s better I view it at home alone. That way I won’t be reacting off the reactions of others; it will be more authentic that way. I’m going to be very interested in reading the views of other adoptees on this film. That last line from the trailer; it just haunts me.



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December 4th, 10:30 AM



Everyone is coming along with you for the ride this morning.

I heart Judy

Hope you got room in the car.


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Monday, December 01, 2008

Can an adoptee inherit his adoptive parents’ lands?

A story out of the Cook Islands hit my google alert today – a court case involving adoption and inheritance.

Heh, yeah, tell me about it.

Nothing brings out the worst in people more than inheritance – unless one of those up to inherit is a bastard. Even in cases where the adoptive parents have specifically made provisions for an adoptee, I’ve heard of money hungry aunts, uncles or real kid siblings singing a different tune entirely once it’s time to divvy up the proceeds. Sometimes it’s nothing so large as a house or share of a retirement fund. It could be an emotionally significant piece of ephemera – a rosary, a china set, a ring. Things people feel best to “keep in the family” , the real one mind you, not the forever one.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an estate in the Cook Islands or an old prayer medal. These ugly reminders of difference are painful to read.



Lawsuit in the Cook Islands over adoption and inheritance. The question before the Court of Appeal was whether a legally adopted child has the same rights of succession to lands from their adoptive parents as the natural children. In other words, does the legally adopted child qualify as a ‘direct descendant’ ?

read more | digg story

This reminded me of a related older post by Wraith - Somewhere to Belong.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heartwarming advice from Yahoo Answers

Now that's kinky

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Childless Couple Seriously Thinking About Abducting



Don't you just love The Onion?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brazil joins list of countries unsealing birth certificates

In the September 2008 edition of the magazine Encontro ( the name means meeting) The article Busca Da Indentadade (means Church of Identity) by Racquel Ayers celebrates passage of a new Project of Law 1756/2003–Bill 1756 introduced in 2003.



read more | digg story

Please give a digg and add Unsealed Initiative as a friend as well. Thx!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Philly Phridays #15: Antique Row

Located just a few blocks away from the Convention Center, Antique Row is four blocks of shops and restaurants.

Short on time and shorter on words again tonight, so enjoy this cute video courtesy of WSquareW.com:



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Nurturing ACS in your Adopted Child

Fires are lovely


Whether fertilized in a fallopian tube or grown in your heart, we all want our children to be stars. We dream of news interviews, made-for-TV-movies, and true life documentaries that will record our offspring's rise to fame.

This collection of quality adoptive parenting guidebooks, lovingly cataloged by Addie, will help you bring out the best ACS qualities in your adoptling. A library stocked with these titles, followed to the letter, will ensure your adopted child's mark on history, and on another human being.

Please visit, and be sure to order in time for Christmas for yourself and your favorite prospective adoptive parents!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nebraskan Writer's Block






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Friday, November 14, 2008

Do you believe this?

Click for full size....

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Philly Phridays #14: Macy's

Yes, Macy’s

I know what you’re saying.

WTF Theresa, what kind of crazy adoptee crap is this? I can go to Macy’s in my own state.

Listen, I know, I know. I live on Long Island, where there is a Macy’s on every street corner.

But this Macy’s is different and you want to visit it in July.

Long before it was Macy’s, it was Wanamaker’s. To many in Philly it’s still Wanamaker’s. And it’s nuts because twice a day, something so different, so odd, so beautiful, so incredibly out of the ordinary happens. Something a little like this:









You just don’t see this in your Macy’s, do you? No. Do you have the largest pipe organ in the world in your Macy’s? No. Besides the oddness of a pipe organ in the middle of a department store, you can’t image how beautiful this Macy’s is. Not even from this gorgeous picture.







Less than a five minute walk away is The Melting Pot Restaurant, which is another off the wall experience in itself. All fondue, all the time. I'm not kidding. The Melting Pot is not a Philly tradition, they've got them all over the country, but it's just so different, I wanted to throw that in. Fondue not your thing? Want something a little more alcoholic? Apothecary. Just check out the link.

So if you're sitting at home right now, bummed, saying to yourself, 'Goddamn it, why can't I go shopping, hear world class organ music and have a fondue meal all within one block?,' turn that frown upside down, and make your travel reservations for next year's Adoptee Rights Demonstration in Philly.





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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Long Island Adoptees Meetup - Wednesday - 11/26





If you need to brace yourself prior to the holiday, c'mon down. It's a friendly group.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Damn my feet hurt

Yanno when you're getting ready for an event, and you pull your prettiest shoes out of the closet, and you look at them, and you say to yourself, 'Fool -- do not put those shoes on, you know they're going to kill your feet", but the shallow bitch in you says, "Shut up moron, these shoes are gorgeous" and you put them on anyway?

Seriously, listen to that first voice, OK?

Alright, kvetching out of the way - RegDay Report!!

During setup....







Just as last year, I went into major disassociation mode but at least made some notes throughout the day so I could piece together what went down when I was on auto-pilot.

First up was an adoptee who just wandered by, saw the signs and shouted, "My people!"

She was in reunion, but took two sets of forms and handouts for adoptee friends of hers. Cool.

Second packet was for a store employee, again gathering for an adoptee friend.

Third, a Florida adoptee now living in New York who saw us on the web.

Fourth a fellow AAAFC-er with a search-from-hell situation. She's already registered with Soundex but is going to send an updated information form.

Fifth, two adoptive parents taking home a packet for their adult son.

Last, a volunteer from the AdoptionDatabase group who grabbed a few sets for his adopted siblings.

Definitely not a great turnout, however far better than the zero attendance I was afraid of. I got a few calls during the week and was able to mail out packages to adoptees in New Jersey who heard about it on the radio but couldn't make the drive out.

Borders was fantastic, they offered tons of help during setup and takedown, which they really didn't need to do at all. Most amazing were the moms from Empty Arms who really made the day.

The hopeless reunion romantic in me was holding her breath for a miracle for Joanie....



Believe it or not, we actually had a visit from a man whose wife's birthday was yesterday, and yes she's an adoptee. Sadly though, not the adoptee we were hoping to come across.

Two odd reactions to the event. First an adoptive dad with a grown son who struck up a conversation about it with me. He said he knew the name of his son's first mother, but said he would never tell him. And yet, he took a flyer. Que?

Second a singularly unpleasant woman who could just not stay away from reading the Unsealed Initiative / Support Group stuff, and yet loudly let us know YES AND WE ARE NOT INTERESTED when she was asked, "Do you know anyone who is adopted?"

Hmmmm someone's a little insecure.

So all in all, not a great turnout, but considering it was my first go-around at being a site coordinator, I'm feeling pretty good. Handout-wise I improved on the things I missed last year, and have notes for the things I need to include next year. The biggest improvement needs to be promotion, because at that I suck. I'm more of a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am type of promoter, where I'll send out announcements to the world but then not follow up if I don't hear back. Either I've got to get better on the follow up, or Long Island needs someone to coordinate next year's table who is excellent at promotion. Because I'm shy as all hell, I'm hoping for the latter.

Please consider doing RegDay in your area next year, honestly no matter how many people show up, the magic is around the table itself. It raises awareness in the people walking by, and it raises hope in yourself. Knowing that I had this Saturday to look forward to has gotten me through some pretty dark days. Here's to the light in all of us, to reach out to someone punched by adoption, and let them know they're not alone.











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THE 2008 ANNUAL DEMONS OF ADOPTION AWARD WINNER

THE ADOPTION SHOW
VOICES ENDING THE MYTH
PRESENTS
Sunday November 9, 2008
9:00 PM EST
THE 2008 ANNUAL
DEMONS OF ADOPTION AWARDS

Tonight the winner of the second Annual Demons of Adoption Awards will be announced on The Adoption Show by Niels Hoogeveen of www.poundpuplegacy.org

The winner was chosen from a list of 10 nominees submitted by members of PPL, the adoption community and visitors of Pound Pup Legacy.

The Annual Demons of Adoption Awards was created to to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self-congratulatory practices of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institutes's annual Angels in Adoption AwardsTM

In 2007 the National Council for Adoption had the "Honor" of winning the Demon award for "pushing the adoption agenda in pregnancy consultation".

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

I am ungrateful for RegDay volunteers

I have no gratitude for the people who are giving time out of their busy lives to sit in Borders with me today.

I have no gratitude for Joan from NYAdoptees.com who gave me such incredible support and advice when I started organizing the site. I’m ungrateful for the National RegDay Coordinator Petra, who has been keeping this event alive for years.

I’m ungrateful for them all, because behind each volunteer, every RegDay, is someone who knows what it feels like to search. And searching makes me feel very, very ungrateful.

But out of everyone, I’m most ungrateful for my beautiful friend Joanie. I wish she wasn’t coming to volunteer with me today.

Joanie heard about RegDay on the radio last year, and came to the Kingston site to register with Soundex. She was signing up to find her older brother and sister lost to adoption, and she’s been searching for them since. I wish Joanie wasn’t driving 125 miles to volunteer today, because today is her sister’s birthday. I wish she was spending the day with her instead of me.

If you are a female adoptee born in Nassau County, Long Island, New York on November 8, 1963, Happy Birthday. Your younger sister would very much like to get to know you.

Same goes for a male adoptee born in Brooklyn on or about May 5, 1961.

The thought of Joanie sitting at a RegDay table,

in the very county of her sister’s birth,

on her sister’s birthday,

makes me very ungrateful indeed.







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Friday, November 07, 2008

Why would anybody who was raised in a loving home be unhappy about being adopted?

Reprinted with permission from Anti-Adoption.

Please read, and then join in the discussion at the original site.


Why would anybody who was raised in a loving home be unhappy about being adopted, or opposed to the very nature of adoption?

This was asked to me today in the comments on the “About Me” page I have here. Its a genuine question that I think a lot of people who aren’t effected or maybe even are effected by adoption ask themselves once they come across someone who’s views towards adoption, are similar to mine.

I do not support it. I don’t condone it, nor do I believe in adoption. I have many reasons and I think it will do me some good after this long break to put it into a post and get it into the concrete form of some kind for others to read when wondering why the hell I feel the way I do.

As I have said, i had and still have good parents, adoptive and natural. I wasn’t physically abused, sure my aparents made some mistakes just like all parents do, but nothing to be held by a noose and hung for and not much to blame or hate adoption for.

The little bit being the uneducated state of mind they were encouraged to have and left with after taking me into their care. I don’t support encouraging people experiencing infertility and desperate for a child to adopt. Adoption is not a band-aid for infertility and it never should be. It doesn’t heal someone’s infertility and putting that responsibility onto a child grieving the loss of their mother is dismissive and not honoring the emotional well being of the child.

When a child is born she/he is attached emotionally and physically to the mother. Everything that child wants, loves and needs is provided for from the mother whom he/she has grown with in utero for 9 months until birth.

Everything should be done to keep these beings together, and poverty although one of the leading factors to surrender, should never be a leading factor to surrender because money never makes someone a good parent.

I don’t believe in adoption because it has become an industry that provides babies to couples willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a child. With no care of the child’s well being they have price tags put onto their heads that differ according to race and age. Priority has been put on getting the commodity to make billions annually off of the couples willing to pay, instead of helping the children stuck in foster care get homes. Foster youth are rotting away because they have become least valuable and marketable and so they have been swept under the rug.

All the while the rights being given to the adoptees are the least of any and all other parties involved in adoption. We do not have our birth certificates although not one single document promising anyone a right to privacy has yet to be found. Study after study fails to find them (because they don’t exist) and yet millions of us are being discriminated against daily by the denial of our birth certificates.

Our names are changed without our consent all to help fill the dream of the adoptive parents of having and naming their “own” child.

Too many mothers have been coerced and forced to surrender their children via pressure of society from the social stigma of illegitimate born children, forced into unwed mothers’ homes and raped of their motherhood and children. Now even today mothers are still being pressured to surrender in different ways through threats of not being able to pursue their dreams or college or never finding someone who would want to care for a woman and her child born to a diff. man. Marketing in every parenting magazine, in dr’s offices, gyno offices, high schools, counseling centers and yet the real issues, the complexity of adoption is rarely shown. How is it an informed decision if all angles are not being shown?

Not to mention giving surrendering parents rights to veto and keep our records sealed which is unconstitutional by withholding our vital information from us at their beck and call even though their documents did not say anything about privacy rights is discrimination and a slap in the face from the very industry that makes billions annually from us.

There are many ways to care for children, but i do not support in the ownership of them and that is what adoption is to me. It is buying, selling, renaming and falsifying their documents to make the sale legal. It is exploiting and profiting off of the adoptee with no intention of helping them in any way shape or form.

Adoption isn’t doing anything for humanity. It isn’t helping end third world poverty, it isn’t helping children with AIDS, it isn’t reducing the number of children in orphanages, it isn’t reducing the number of children who are being surrendered, it is only helping the adoptive parents get the child they wanted. It is a consumer driven industry that has been built off of the trauma separation and loss of mother and child and father. It is creating unnecessary loss and separation in thousands of families. It is raping people of their ancestry, culture, history and self. It is violating the sense of family too many are advocating for the preservation of in my state of California right now for diff. reasons, but I’m bitter about that too so I’ll throw in my disgust of proposition 8 in as well.

Non profit adoption agencies are making MILLIONS annually and if you don’t believe me, look at their 990 forms online that are public access. I realize that some mothers can’t, for whatever reasons raise their children, but that is not even close to the level of mothers and fathers losing their children each year around our world to be adopted into the families of Americans and European and Australians. (Yes i realize others adopt, but i see these families and countries adopting more than others.)

Adoption should be about the child. Where the child’s rights and feelings are first, are foremost and as the original asker of the question that triggered this post said, should be paramount. But in adoption, of today, it isn’t. The child’s rights and feelings are last. As an adoptee I lost everything and it was never even thought about. I was told to be grateful for it and happy i wasn’t aborted. My loss has been dismissed by society more times than I’d like to remember. The mindset of adoption in this country is unhealthy and frightening, where the leading profit makers in adoption are running the adoption awareness campaigns painting in this beautiful light full of fake love, fake flowers and artificial kindness that is all coming from greed for more money, even if it sacrifices the child’s soul.

It is possible to care for a child without having to rename them, buy them, take away their history, ancestry, records and connection to their family. The “politics” and “industry” of adoption has ruined the very core of why it SHOULD be beautiful. If adoption was for the child, would foster children even be in the system? Or would they already have a home? Would they have to be legally adopted and have their rights stripped and taken from them? Or would they be allowed to be who they are and honored for exactly that and raised with love and respect for being just them. Is it possible to give a child shelter, safety, love, nourishment, care, food and a home without having to exploit them through the industry of adoption? It should be possible and is possible but rarely happens. It definitely doesn’t happen in adoption. Adoption stopped being about the child long ago




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Philly Phridays called on account of RegDay

Will be back next week. To fill in, here are 97 reasons you want to go to the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in Philly next July. I've posted this one before but it's just so nice, I'll post it twice:



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Help Pennsylvania genealogists with death certificate access

From the kinda-sorta related file and via my email....

Genealogists * Researchers * Family Historians



We are asking for your help in a grassroots effort to have Pennsylvania make its older state death certificates much more accessible and available online fee-free



There are millions and millions of people who are into genealogy but unless we all speak up we are allowing those who don't care about genealogy decide what records we may or may not have access to. But this will not happen on its own. We need you to personally let the State of Pennsylvania know you support this cause. The more of us that speak up the more likely we are to succeed. Otherwise we could be stuck with the same old existing archaic system indefinitely.


Hope you'll lend a hand and speak up for PA. They've done a great job with this site and have lots of sample letters for ideas. They've even got a sample letter for those who live out of state.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Real Kid on my Blogroll

Take a peek down there on the lower right.

I think it's pretty obvious who the new kid is.

There's only one post up so far, but I think this new blog is going to be around for a while.

Hope you'll subscribe.

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Santa Claus in Illinois wants you back to work too

Crossposted from Rights of Adoptees:

Adoption Reform Illinois Needs Your Help

WANTED: Letters to Santa Claus

Adoption Reform Illinois wants to raise public awareness that adult adoptees cannot legally obtain an original birth certificate in Illinois.

Those who should write letters are:

adoptees

birth parents

adoptive parents

relatives, i.e. spouses, children, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and those who have found an adoptee on their family tree

friends who are aware of the need someone is feeling to have an original birth certificate

Letters should be addressed to:

Santa Claus
% Mary Lynn Fuller
109 W. Illinois St., Apt. 506
Urbana, IL 61801

Letters can be signed with just a first name or your full name. Just keep in mind that your letter could be selected to submit to the news media.

Although Christmas is a few weeks away, write now. "Santa" will deliver the letters to Vital Records in Springfield before Christmas.

The more letters, the better!

Example letters but please use your own words:

1)

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is my original birth certificate. 50 years ago when my adoption was finalized, it was sealed. I have family and friends who were not adopted and they have their OBC.

Sincerely,
Mary (last name optional)

2)

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for my wife/husband/sister/brother/daughter/son/niece/nephew/granddaughter/grandson to have their original birth certifcate.

Thank you,
Mary (last name optional)

3)

Dear Santa,

While tracing my family history I've discovered that my great-grandmother was adopted. All I want for Christmas is her original birth certificate so that I can prove lineage to join societies.

Thank you,
Mary (last name optional)

4)

Dear Santa,

My friend Sandy is adopted and has been denied her original birth certificate. All I want for Christmas is for Sandy to have it.

Sincerely
Mary (last name optional)

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Back to business in Indiana --

From Coleman Mom and Babes:

TIME TO GET BUSY WRITING
All of the key legislators in Indiana have been re-elected. There will be an adoptee access bill introduced. Please start writing legislators letting them know that its time to restore our access to the original birth certificate. By the end of this month the bill will be downloaded onto the site. We will know what is being said and done about the bill.

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Back to work in Rhode Island too

John Greene of Rhode Island will be meeting with state legislature representatives throughout the month of November.

Please show your support by writing to your elected representative and let them know you'd like to see a clean and simple equal access bill - you're born, you grow up, you get your OBC just like anyone else. John will be bringing with him a printout of support, so please take a few seconds to sign this petition he'll be printing.

It just takes 10 seconds to sign, and ten minutes to send a follow up snail mail note - please give a hand for Rhode Island!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dancing in the Streets

I've been waiting all day for someone to get a video of the impromptu Electric Slide in the Philly streets posted. Thanks to YouTuber'er macscotchale for getting these two clips up.

Philly last night:






And in the streets:

#1) Hit play on this and turn the volume up


Electric Slide -



#2) Hit play on this and turn the volume down (but not too far down!)





#3) Hit Replay again, and again, and again...

Don't you just love Philly!

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nay


My personal feelings on adoption aside, this is just plain evil.

While Arkansas Initiative 1 bans heterosexual unmarried couples from becoming foster caregivers or adoptive parents as well, methinks it was the GAY that caused this to pass.

This sucks, and I offer my sympathy to the 43%.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

yay

Where I've set camp:





Where I was raised:





Where I was made:




I fucking LOVE you, Philly.




I am happy

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This election is a stalking bastard's dream, I tell you!

with TwitterVoteReport.com, you can stalk Nationwide...



Peek in on your neighbors...




Or drill down to the land of your birth, in hopes some family member participates!




You can even grab an RSS feed of the action




And with Youtube's Video Your Vote, you can peek in on local voting spots in hopes of catching a familiar face.

So Twitter or YouTube your vote - you never know who's stalking you.

Fair's fair - if you want to stalk me, here's my little contribution to the fun

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I'm a Fan of Adoptee Rights


I Digg Adoption News

All adoption news

Adoption news RSS feed

Don't like feeds or widgets? Rather read the news in a blog format? Here you go.

Who I'm Stalking


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