Monday, April 30, 2007

You & me against the world

That is such a lame ass song but I really feel that line some days.

It’s funny the way things flow in blogworld. This has happened on more than one occasion. Where someone writes about something and a similar thing pops up in another person’s life.

That happened today.

I’ve been really pensive ever since reading a post on how to overcome the ‘gratitude’ factor that society in general puts on the heads of adopted kids. I think I'm really internalizing it, and laying it over the framework of my memories.

How do we do this? What armor can we send a kid out with into the world to protect them from that double punch to the stomach when a total stranger starts to lay nonsense on them? Or maybe I'm really asking, what armor could I have been sent out with? I don't know.

I just don’t know.

I jumped over to Yahoo Answers on my lunch break today. I love answering questions from newbie searchers. I usually do it when I’m depressed about my own search. It makes me feel better. I have one answer that I tweak a bit for each person.

None of them probably take my advice. That’s OK. I know. I was there once too. Asking how to search, getting a ton of information on waivers and petitions and registries and support groups. But it’s ok. I’m the first one who told them. Maybe they’ll need to be told 50 times before they start. It’s ok. I know. You need people to tell you the same thing over and over sometimes.

I saw one question there today. The asker wrote that she just started having problems with being adopted. She didn’t know what was wrong with her.

Usually I don’t go into stuff that’s real heavy in these answers. I’m no fan of adoption dot com but there are some good articles there for beginner ungratefuls, so I sent a link to there. Also a link to Nancy Verrier’s site.

But the answers she got, holy mother of God.

Slam after slam about how grateful she should feel. How lucky she should feel. How wanted she should feel. How special she should feel. How wrong she was for feeling any other way. I took a peek at another question she had posted, and realized she was a teenager. I'm not comfortable answering questions from people who aren't adults. It's just how I feel. I wish sometimes they would find a way to filter kids off there. They don't show someone's age when they ask, and sometimes I can't tell. I felt doubly bad for her after that.

I get so discouraged sometimes. Not just for me, but for all of us. Especially the kids. I mean, I’m an adult. I can vent on blogs or forums or emails, I can go to therapy, I can read a zillion books, I have coping strategies for when it all gets too heavy.

What do the kids have? Sure they have parents who never once lay the cloak of gratitude on them, but the rest of the world will do their duty to make sure they never once feel safe enough to say, “You know, being adopted feels……. weird”

God forbid

You wretched creature

You ungrateful child

Do you ever feel it’s just us? I mean, how long have we been screaming about this? Who the hell is listening? Is it just the blogs we have linked or the forums we haunt? Are we all there is in the face of this?

Sorry, I’m bummed today.

Adopted kids should feel nothing but gratitude

Moms were promised confidentiality

It’s wrong to search

You’re wrong to be anything but jumping cartwheels

I went back to see if anyone else had answered her question. I got an error when I went looking for it. I wonder if it’s just a problem with Yahoo, or if she deleted her question after the answers she got.

One person told her it was ok to feel weird.

Everyone else told her to shut up.

I want some kid at 14, 15, 16 to be able to look anyone who lays obliged gratitude on their heads to be able to say “I’m adopted and it feels weird to be adopted and it’s OK that I feel weird and now I’m going to the mall” And believe it’s ok.

My sister took her kids to some Disney on Ice thing. They chose kids out of the audience to go up on stage. One of the kids picked was my 6 year old niece. Afterwards, everyone said to her, “You’re so lucky you got to go on stage and dance!”

She said, “They’re lucky I'm a good dancer.”

And she meant it. And they were.

She's not adopted, but she's not going to let anyone lay fake gratitude on her head. I wish sometimes I was more like her.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sorry I couldn't help you

But I hope it was an enjoyable 26 minutes anyway.


Two more sites

The list of sites that I’ve been neglecting to blog about grows ever longer. I keep a little text file in my Yahoo Notepad of them and I’m trying to get them out in groups of twos.

The first one, which is seriously overdue, has been in my sidebar for a while. But who pays attention to sidebars? OK I do, but some people don’t. So to bring it out under the beloved gaze of millions (of bytes… readers? Maybe 30 I think) for your reading pleasure I bring you:

Advocating for Change

Note: AFC has moved. The new address is here. Please update your links. You can still read the archived posts at the address above.

All adoptees! All the time! AFC is your 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year Adoptathon. We admit we are powerless over adoptee-ism. Our lives are manageable but wow does it suck unless you’ve got other adoptees in it. Nobody there sucks. On the contrary, they are quite the opposite of suckage. So if you’re feeling… adopted… head on over to AFC. Aren’t you grateful it exists? I know I am.

Second, a blog not to be read while drinking, alcoholic or otherwise, lest you ruin yet another keyboard by spitting. How many keyboards out there have a noxious brew of coffee, water, soda and saliva from spitting while reading? Here’s another one to add to the arsenal. It’s funny and sad all at the same time. Also, as I told her, not enough people use the word tararaboomdeay in their writing. Ten more bonus points on the ungrateful quiz to the first who locates tararaboomdeay in her writing.

There are only two entries there now but please read her and link her because there most definitely will be more, and you want to get in on the ground floor of this one. Permettez-moi de presenter (I don’t know if I did that right, I bable-fished it)

Mother Didn’t Want You, But You Were Still Born (ouch)


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Google PR is a friend and a foe

Google is great if you want to know who or what is a miserable failure.

Google is great if you've got a high PR.

If you don't though, forget about it. No one will know about your site unless they put quotes around an exact phrase of text that appears on your web page. But if someone is looking for a certain site, they won't know what exact phrases to use, as they've never seen it.

If your Google PR is low, you're that new kid sitting alone in the cafeteria. You may be the coolest thing in the world, but without incoming links, you're spending your Friday nights alone.

There are two sites that I'd like to see have a higher Google PR. This is where you can help.

If you have a webpage of resource links, can you please add these two if you haven't done so already?

Also, if you blog, you could please consider adding them too? Adding them in blogs is a little different. You definitely want to link to the websites above as I did, but to really push them up high so that the people who need them will be able to find them, you've got to be a little...... politically incorrect... for lack of a better phrase.

See... people are going to find them by typing in some pretty blunt phrases. Phrases attached to links are good in raising PR. So linking finding a grave or late discovery adoptee are good, but you know, people really aren't going to type that.

They're going to type i just found my birthmother and she's dead, or my birthmother is dead, or i'm adopted and i just found out my birth mom died.

Or they're going to type in finding out you're adopted when you're old, or i just found out i'm adopted, or i was just told i was adopted.

It may help.

There are many other sites and blogs that I want to write about (and I will later), but these two really need to be up there so their target audience can find them. If anyone else has any suggestions or tips on how to get them higher in Google, let me know. SEO is not my thing, so my tips may be old and outdated.


Some people don't get it

Equal access to original birth certificates and search are two separate issues.

Equal access to original birth certificates means that adoptees have the same rights as non adoptees.

Search means that adoptees and their families are searching for each other.

One has nothing to do with another.

Some people search, with or without their original birth certificates, because they want to.

Some people have their original birth certificates and have no desire to search.

Because one has nothing to do with another.

Lack of an original birth certificate does not make a searcher want to stop searching.

Ownership of an original birth certificate does not make a non-searcher suddenly want to search.


Because they are two separate issues.

I put this post up because some people don’t understand the difference. Now maybe they do.

But probably not.


Newsday article: The good

(I had to go hunting for the code to embed this. If it doesn't work right, the video can also be seen off the link in the post below)


Newsday article: The bad

Hey kids - it's OK to search - as long as you're over 50!

But the search, with all its risks and pitfalls, may be easier to handle with age, when maturity and strength combine with a sense of mortality and spirituality. Those over 50 or approaching 50 reach milestones and a special place from which to become whole or at peace with themselves and their lives, experts in the field said.

"The 50-plus generation has more patience and wisdom about who they are and what they are looking for by reuniting," said Menafra.


Thursday, April 26, 2007


Please redistribute and post is the
free national registry. This organization requires the form to be completed and mailed in.

com is a paid searching company. This company allows you to register on line. At the bottom of its home page, has a disclaimer that it is not connected to ISRR.NET

Please.. don't confuse the two!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For new readers and old readers

and others I know, or others I don't know, who have come to the end of a search, only to find the one they were searching for has passed.

Please visit here.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What does an adoption bill hearing look like?

Watch here for SB221. Fast forward to the 38 minute mark.

And watch here for HB525. Fast forward to the 50 minute mark.

Extremely emotional testimony.

What kind of heartless fools turn down these bills?

Edit 6/5/08

As this old post is getting so many hits, thought I'd update it a bit. I'm not ashamed of my lack of knowledge when I put this post up, nor am I ashamed of my uninformed acceptance of compromise measures at this point. It stands to show the progress of my education, and reminds me how much I still have to learn. I appreciate all the traffic though, it shows me that I should have put this edit before.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Today I paid $65.00

to find out how much it will cost me to get my non-identifying.

Only in America.

They offer a CI service. I am not a fan of CI services, but it's all I've got.

I think they charge $450. for that. Time will tell. Most likely I may need to pay another $65.00 to find out what the cost is.

If there's anything good that's come out of this, it's that if my petition format works this time (round four), I'll be able to help further PA Orphans. It could save someone a lot of time if I could pass this knowledge on.

The clock is ticking. I'm not getting any younger. Neither is she.

Sometimes... I think she's dead. I don't know why, but I do. I hope I'm wrong.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

14 Chapters of Bullshit

Major moo-alert on this post. Consider yourself warned. Also in case you're coming in late, it's best to read the prior post first.

While “The Family That Grew” made me cry, “The Adopted Family” just pissed me off.

Sometimes, I much prefer being pissed to crying. This is one of those times.

“The Adopted Family” was, I believe, hung around our necks and sent home with us from the agencies or the hospitals. “The Adopted Family” was the hot!hot! book for parents to read.

“The Adopted Family” is so full of shit I can barely think straight.

They loved this book; the parents did, because it wrapped everything up nice and clean. Swept away any fears and made it all so much better.

You couldn’t have a kid. You got one now. Everything’s coming up roses.

Oh, there’s a brief glitch in the teen years – more about that later – but adoption is here and it will take away all your woes, aches, complaints, moldy bathroom tiles, and the heartbreak of psoriasis in one fell swoop.

Here’s you kid. Here’s your book. Off with you now.

This is a long read, and it’s a hard read. If you don’t have the stomach for it, I don’t blame you. If you’ve got the stomach but not the time, here’s a blow by blow of what you’re in for. You can decide after reading this if you want to see it in all its grey and orange glory afterwards.

This book is slowing down at an accident scene. This book is looking at crime scene photos. This book is a horror show.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And copies of this book. Welcome to the Malleus Maleficarum of raising an adopted kid.

I’m so glad I read it.

This was an important book for me to read. I can really see why my mom preferred this book to all the others. We all want to read stuff that makes us feel better, and that’s what this book is entirely about. Oh it’s all wrapped up nice and pretty under the guise of raising a happy, well adjusted child, but this book has one goal only:

Adoptive Parent Validation.

It does it well.

Disclaimer: Your miles may vary. These are my interpretations seen though a rage.

Chapter One: Growth of a Family
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

This book gets right to it, right in the very second sentence: “The newborn infant has no way of knowing which of the many faces that hover about him belongs to a parent.”

Chapter Two: Family by Adoption
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

Adoptive families are better than natural ones, because the parents have put so much time and preparation into them! So go tell all your family members with their own kids to fuck off, because you rule, they drool.

Chapter Three: Preparation for Adoptive Parenthood
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

A brief moment of levity in the historical context of marriage before feminism. It’s talking about how having a child changes your life. “Father, who always enjoyed fishing trips on his vacation, and Mother, who went along to please him, finds that either Father goes alone or the whole family, including the baby, goes along.” WTF??

Chapter Four: Legal Protection for the Adopted Family
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 1

Yawn. Interesting tidbit though in a paragraph about how adoptive parents should be grateful (heh) to their lawyer. “He informs them whether the birth can be registered in their name at the time of the legal adoption, or whether some other provision can be made to protect the privacy of the original birth certificate.”

Chapter Five: Setting the Social Scene:
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

Subtitled how to tell the Jones’ you got a kid without getting pregnant.

Chapter Six: Introducing the New Family Member
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 3

People are nosy fuckers, and will ask you about this new kid’s parents. Tell them you were assured they were from a “good background” and to piss off. And print up one of these fun announcement cards!

Chapter Seven: Adoption and Your Community Through the Years
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

“It is wise to advise a child’s doctor of the adoption”. Geeze, y’think????

Chapter Eight: Introducing Your Child to Adoption
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 1

Without naming names, because we’re just too polite to do this in the enlightened year of 1965, the authors obliquely let it be known that “The Chosen Child” sucks major hobo ass and that “wanted” trumps “chosen”.

Other than that, just more nonsense. Adoption is happy happy happy. Your child will be happy, happy, happy. Everybody won in adoption. Everybody made a decision. Everybody is just so filled with bliss I can’t stand it. Just don’t ever lie to your adopted child, and everything will be fine. Tell him the truth. You wanted him. His biological mother wanted him to go to a good family. Case closed.

Chapter Nine: Use of the Story Book.
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 3

This is upsetting. It sets the stage for use of the book, and getting it into the head of that new kid of yours that you are his real parents. Also the use of the “nice lady” in the story who is the adoption intermediary helps set you apart from the association with the biological parents. Phew! Glad she was there! And we're going to call them "the man and the lady" because after all, you are his real parents.

Chapter Ten: Answering the Growing Child’s Questions About His Adoption
References to their child’s parents in chapter: Lots. Finally. But none of it good.

Subtitled: Oh shit, now it’s getting tricky.

We start off this chapter by just letting you know that kids ask lots and lots of questions! Oh my god they never shut the fuck up with these questions! Where the hell are those pills from Dr. Solomon? This kid is driving me up the fucking wall with these incessant questions!

We’re telling you again and again that kids are going to ask so many fucking questions, so that when they finally ask that question you’ve been dreading, it’s not going to freak you out. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to handle it.

When your kid asks who his parents were, what he really means is what kind of people were they. That’s a hard concept to grasp so it’s important to get it out. It only happens in adoptees.

So when then next time I ask you, “Whose blog did you say I should check out?” what I’m really saying to you is, “What kind of hosting does the blog have?” You need to know that, because I’m adopted, and that’s what I really mean. So, our conversation should go like this:

There’s another new blog you should read.
Really? Who wrote it?

Or we could talk like this:

That new system admin is a real ass
Who is he?
About 5’9.

Thankfully again to the making-it-all-go-away powers of Super Intermediary Lady, you also have a good out to answer “I don’t know” if you kid keeps up with the questions. You just don’t know, you wanted them, case closed. Your child will be satisfied with that.

Chapter Eleven: Adolescence in the Adopted Family
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

Subtitled: Oh, fuck

Seriously, teenagers are fucked up. They really, really are, Moms and Dads. Yeah the kid is cute now but they get weird. It’s not because they’re adopted. Really. Honestly. Everyone has a hard time with teenagers. We swear, OK, they’re just whacked in the head. They’re so whacked in the head, we’re going to give you an entire chapter on how bizarre teenagers are, and not even mention adoption. Just remember this. It’s just teenagers. Best to send them off to boarding school at this time. (PS I got kicked out. heh-heh-heh) (PPS No it doesn't really say to send them to boarding school, but it's a good way to get rid of teenagers. But yes, I really did get kicked out. heh-heh-heh)

Chapter Twelve: Answering the Adolescent’s Questions About His Adoption
References to their child’s parents in chapter: Lotta bullshit

Um, yeah, they’re going to ask a little more than before. But, like, he knows that both you and his biological parents planned his adoption, so it’s just more of a clarifying type thing, ok? Yeahhhhhh…. just, um, kind of get it across that just because he’s illegitimate, doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with him….

And, um, like…. you know he’s going to keep it in his pants because you are obviously better parents than his biological grandparents were, after all, it’s their fault their kid got knocked up in the first place, without the “stabilizing help and guidance of loving, interested parents”

Yeah, everything will be ok. We promise. And we’re going to throw that real word out there a few times just to make it all ok. Look! Here it comes again!

Chapter Thirteen: The Adopted Family as a “Real” Family
References to their child’s parents in chapter: 0

Everything is ok. You read this book. You done did it all right. Everyone is happy. Go away now.

If you want it, here it is. I think I scanned one page set twice. Sorry.


Friday, April 20, 2007

A very special post for some very special BSE adoptees....

What's the smallest thing you ever saw?

Think about that for a moment before you scroll down.

Does that line ring any bells with you?

Funny thing is, it didn't with me either. No bells, no triggers, no tired old synapses firing in recognition.

When this came and I tore open the package, the reaction I had to reading it was.... nothing.

How odd.

Maybe because I have spent so many years looking for this, or even wanting to know just what the title of it was. Maybe because I freaked out so majorly when I finally did see it posted on another blog.

Or maybe it's a defense mechanism. Maybe shutting down is a way of protecting myself.

I honestly don't know. I remember LOVING this book as a child, and then HATING it with a passion when I would talk about it later. Maybe it's a delayed reaction.

It's been a few days since I got this. Between the blogger blitz and work and kids home on vacation I haven't had time to scan this first one until last night. The house was empty as my cool husband was at school and the kids were out at a party, so I had a few hours to really take a good look at this while I scanned it.

Still, no reaction. Hm. Whadda ya know?

I'll start off with this one first, and get the super secret parent's book scanned later this weekend. And that one, well, there are triggers a plenty in that.

I actually am telling just the smallest of fibs here. I did have a reaction to this book, but it wasn't in the publishing.

It was in the dedication written inside.

You see, this book was given to someone just like me. Someone tried to scribble the name off as hard as they could. We don't want that adoptive shame out there, do we? I don't know if the scribbler was the person who wrote it, or if it was scribbled off by the bookseller.

But I'll say this much. If you come across this blog and:

- If you are adopted
- If you are a girl
- If your name is Luann
- If you have a brother named Kevin
- If your dad's name was Fred
- I think you were born around 1964

Then I have your books. I got them on eBay. Drop me a note if you'd like them back, and I'll get them off to you. These are yours, and you should have them.

This below, however, is for all of us. Here it is, friends. You'll need Adobe to view it. Click here if you need to install it, it just takes a second. (Uncheck the Adobe Photoshop® Album Starter Edition before you do, unless you really want that program. It will make the download go much faster if you uncheck it.)

Looking at this, what do you think? I'm adding this to this post just as a caveat. When I first saw this book a few weeks ago, it had a powerful, strong and sudden emotional reaction for me. It has for others as well, so I want to put that out there. I found the tears I cried after seeing this for the first time incredibly validating. I felt like I was crying for the 4 year old me who loved this book, but didn't know yet the groundwork of denial and invalidation it laid down. This book is triggering for some. If my freak out over it in my prior post didn't get that across coherently, I wanted to add it again.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Adult Adoptee Health Survey

Are you a female adoptee at least 40 years of age? If so, you’re invited to participate in an important research study about how adopted persons take care of their health.

To participate online, visit the following site:

At most, the survey should take only 15 minutes to complete.

This research is being conducted by an adult adoptee who is a doctoral candidate in the College of Public Health at The University of Georgia.

If you have any questions, please contact the researcher, Rebecca Glover-Kudon, by email at The researcher
will make research findings available upon request.

Thank you!
Rebecca Glover Kudon


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Strike Three

You are all going to be so well versed on Pennsylvania S2905 by the time this is over, you’ll be able to pass the Pennsylvania State Bar Exam. I’ll set up one of those widgets so you can PayPal me your tuition fees.

Sports fans will recall that back in February, I sent to the court the following

1.) Formal request to the Judge and the Clerk of Orphans Court a request for certified copies of both the interlocutory order of adoption and the final order of adoption

2.) Formal petition for release of non-identifying information.

3.) Formal petition for release of identifying information.

4.) A copy of my driver's license for identification

5.) Waiver of confidentiality

I waited patiently like a good little girl, and Saturday got this.

OK, the fee in the amount of $65.00 I get, but what on earth is an Order for Petition?? Kinda sorta sounds like what I sent them. Like… twice already.

Do they have seminars on how to purposely make this difficult for adoptees? And I swear they purposely mailed this on a Wednesday knowing I'd get it on a Saturday and have to stew about it all weekend before I could call them.

All these many many hoops. I still do have the Pennsylvania lawyer to fall back on, but I honestly don’t have $750.00 for her fee.

So, Monday I was too busy to call, but I called yesterday… let’s listen in!

Hi, this is Theresa D----. I’m calling you about the letter you sent me last week on the papers you received March 1st?

Oh, yeah, hi?

Hi! I have a few questions. First off, the $65.00 fee? It was my understanding that the County charges around $150.00 for non-identifying? What’s the $65.00?

Oh, that’s the fee for the petition. If there is any
additional charge, they’ll get back to you on it.

OK, thanks! Second question – the “order for petition”… um? That’s what I sent? You sent the whole package back to me?

Yes, it does need to be in an official petition format.

OK, but…. it was.

It was?

Yes, I had sent a request for my adoption decree, a petition for my non-identifying information, a petition for my identifying information, and a waiver of confidentiality in the event anyone is looking for me.

Oh, ok, well, the waiver won’t apply unless they request it with petition.
They used to allow them, but then a few years ago a biological family
went looking for their child and it didn’t turn out good. There was a
problem. (Sing with me, sisters: One bad apple don’t
spoil the whole bunch, girl.

OK, so, the petition….

Well I showed it to the legal clerk and they said it
needs to be in formal petition format.

Are you talking about a regular numbered petition?

Do you have access to a Pennsylvania Law Library?

No, I’m in Long Island.

Oh, well if you could find some Pennsylvania Law books,
that would have the format for you.

What about the generic petition format that comes as a template in Microsoft Word? Would that work?


(Editor’s note: Sports fans will remember that back in January when I first called, I was told I only needed to write a letter. It was only with the support of fellow PA Orphans and the Department of Social Service that I learned I needed to send it in petition format. The DSS was positive that the petitions over at Adoption Forum would work, but sadly, they didn’t.)

OK cool, so what’s the next step?

Well he’ll review your case and decide first off if he can send
your non-identifying, and see if there is anything in there?

Doesn’t 2905 state that these items need to be kept on permanent record?

Oh, yeah, well, a lot of times, there’s really nothing in there.


Yeah, there’s nothing, just the names and dates.

Well, for example, I don’t even know my nationality. I’d be thrilled to know that.

Well (brace yourselves) before about 15 years ago, that wasn’t recorded.


Yeah, it would just say, “Race: White”

So there you have it folks. I finally have learned my nationality.
I’m white.



So, after that, how long is the normal turnaround time. Is it say, 2 to three months?

Yes, I would say that, well more like three.


Yeah they need to get all the reporting stuff together and then
assign a representative from Children & Youth services to contact
your biological parents, and act as an intermediary to see
if they want to meet you. This can take like around four months.

OK four months I’ll put down

Or sometimes more like 6 months or 8 months.

OK. So I’ll send a check for $65.00 and use the petition wizard in MS Word.

Yeah, oh, the copy of the adoption decree is $20.00.
Can you send that as a separate check?

Will do. Thanks for your time.

You're welcome. I'm so sorry this is so
difficult. We just never get these requests.
Nobody ever searches for their biological
parents in this County.

Do you wonder why, friends?
I do believe she was sorry. She sounded very genuine.
I'm telling the truth.

There are friends to adoptees within State and County offices.
But they are tied by the same red tape we are.

Stay tuned.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Calling all Mommy bloggers

Mommy bloggers are a force to be reckoned with. Mommy bloggers tip the scales in bandwidth weight.

I wish Mommy bloggers would blog about Stephanie.

This isn't really an ungrateful rant, but it's tagged that way so the LJ folks who read my posts with that tag will see it. Can you please help?


Monday, April 16, 2007



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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