Friday, May 30, 2008

Could you please digg this story for Julia?

I submitted Margie's post as opposed to the news article, as the news site is by subscription. If you have a digg account, you could please add your vote? The more diggs, the more people will see this post.


read more | digg story

(And if you don't have a digg account, it only takes a second to sign up)


Adoption on KGO 810 AM Radio

Via my inbox...

Don't miss Martin Brandford of San Mateo, CA - Attorney at Law, Adoptee and Activist

Sunday, June 1, 2008 - 6:00 PM PDT (9:00 PM EST)

The topic for the hour is "Adoption - Search & Reunion"

He is the guest of lawyer Len Tillem, KGO 810 AM radio

Legal Talk Show host "So, Why Are You Calling a Lawyer?" - Click "Listen Live"


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Please don't write the President

On just about every group I belong to, there's this great idea about writing to the new president about our birth certificates.

Folks say, "Yeah, I'm in!"

I'm not.

The new President, the old President, any President to come, it's a waste of time.

Birth certificates are state issues, not federal.

Whomever assumes the position has no authority over your birth certificate, nor could they care. They've got bigger fish to fry.

So please don't write the President about your birth certificate.

Write your state official instead.

Or better yet -be there this July to greet them in person at their National Conference.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Secret, Revealed

I don’t know which emotion is stronger:

Amusement or fury.

Because I feel them both, at the same time, whenever it is alluded to.

You know, IT

Adoptees know what IT is. IT’s the holy grail of knowledge, the forbidden secret, the answer to the great mystery:

What horrible, dreadful mistake did our adoptive parents make, to make us feel the way we do.

Why aren’t I so happy to be adopted, the way their brother-in-law’s cousin’s adopted housekeeper is? Why am I so angry, so much not like that adopted co-worker who is jumping cartwheels with glee over not knowing her genealogy?

I gotta think about it. How was my adoptive mom different than the adoptive moms of today?

Hmmm. Well, I remember a discussion I read once between some adoptive moms about a young adoptee who had drawn on the walls of her house. There was a big thread going over what an appropriate consequence would have been.

And that’s when it hit me. What my adoptive mom did wrong.

Because I as well, at a very young age, drew on the walls of my house. In a very bad place too. You see, my adoptive mom was rather ahead of her time design-wise, and had a very stunning trompe d'oeil painted on the living room wall. I wanted to add a bit to it. So I drew on it. A very fine cat, if I remember correctly.

And what was my consequence? In the thread, I seem to remember various ideas from cleaning it up to taking the adoptee to see a priest.

That’s where my adoptive mom went wrong.

She took me instead, to a closet. The toy closet, to be exact.

And here’s what she did to me in that closet. Gather close, here’s where the big, deep, dark secret comes in.

She said to me,

brace yourself now,

“Here’s a better place to draw on the walls.”

I know, it’s shocking. I’ll give you a minute to compose yourself. Because it gets worse.

She let me draw, all over the walls of that closet. And she let me have friends come and draw on the walls too. When every single inch of that wall was covered with drawing and graffiti, you know what she did then?

Please, give me a moment, this is very difficult to get this out.

She had the closet walls painted white, so we could start over.

God, oh god, it feels so good to finally get that out. I feel so relieved. Years of therapy, and I’ve never told this story. There’s more to tell. This abuse continued.

When I was a little older, I went to visit the new home of one of my aunts. And my aunt had something on her bedroom wall that I had never seen before: a collage.

A collage


While the grown-ups downstairs sat at the coffee table for hours talking and gossiping, I didn’t leave the bedroom. I was fascinated. I wanted to look at every single picture, every single square inch. I couldn’t believe someone had spent this much time to make something so beautiful.

On the drive home, I asked if I could have a collage on my wall.

And I know this is hard to read, but she said yes.

It took me about six months, but from floor to ceiling, glued, yes, GLUED to the wall, were pictures cut out of magazines.

As I’ve written about before, a few years later we moved. And moved again. And moved again. Every time my adoptive dad got a promotion, we’d move. The houses got substantially bigger each time. My bedrooms got substantially bigger each time. The walls to collage got substantially bigger each time. Yep, in every house, until I moved out at 18, I had a collage.

It’s shocking, but I saw nothing wrong with it. When you’re abused like that, it becomes normal. You think everyone lives like you do.

There was one house that we knew would be temporary. That we’d only be there for about 9 months to a year before moving again. In this house, I was not allowed to glue magazine pictures to my bedroom wall. She made me do something else instead.

She got huge sheets of butcher paper, and had them thumb tacked to the wall. I had to glue my pictures on the butcher paper instead. And when it was time to move, she had the movers carefully take the collage down, and pack it up inside stiff cardboard so it would be safe inside the truck, so that it could be put on the wall of the next house.

Please take this to heart. The key to having a happy adoptee is never, ever, ever allow them to draw on walls unconsequenced. Otherwise, when they grow up, they’ll be just like me.

In truth, my adoptive parents did make mistakes. Just like their parents made mistakes. And their grandparents made mistakes. Just like I made mistakes, and just like my kids will make mistakes, and my grandkids will make mistakes. Blood related or not, the one thing that draws us all together, has been and will be that look, eye to eye alone with the mirror, with only ourselves and our conscious to know. When we feel that rip of guilt in our hearts as we remember something we said or did as parents and think: “My god, how could I?”

Because we’re human and frail and faulty and we make mistakes.

None of which have any impact whatsoever on my feelings about adoption.

So please don’t write me nice emails nicely insulting my adoptive parents, asking what they did wrong. I just delete them and add your address to my blocked senders list. Instead I’ll answer it here once and for all

Here it is, no snark, no snide, no joke

The #1 thing my adoptive parents did wrong:

They thought they could love the adoption away.


Jen's Story

Jen Thu Ha Fitzpatrick describes, "growing up in an adoptive family in Australia and reconnecting with my Vietnamese heritage".
Jen's digital story was created as part of the State Library of Queensland's Queensland Vietnamese digital stories project - 3-4 minute mini movies by Queenslanders. More information about Jen's story here


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unlocking the Heart of Adoption

Direct link:

Please visit, favorite and rate. Thanks!


How the adoption scam works

You get an email from someone. They say they are a search angel. They say they were hired by your son / daughter / sibling / aunt / parent to find you. And they found you. Your relative will be contacting you shortly.

You can’t believe it. All these years, all these registry postings. All the money you’ve spent on court fees or registry fees or public records database fees.

You’re over the moon happy.

Then you get the phone call, the one you’ve been longing for. You cry together over the phone. It is the reunion of your dreams. This person is so interested in you. They want to know everything about you.

You can’t believe it's finally happened for you.

You’re emailing constantly. You’re on the phone with each other. You’re sending pictures back and forth. And then they let it slip. Oh, they wanted to find you so bad, they did everything, everything, everything to find you. And they paid that search angel. They would have paid anything to find you, honestly, but money is so tight. Could you help reimburse them a little for their expenses?

Or – they can’t wait to see you. The emails and the phone calls are great, but they want to see you face to face. They want to be able to hug you, to look into your eyes. They want to fly out to see you, but money is so tight. Could you please paypal them $200 or so for travel fees?

Be careful.

There’s scum in them there search lists.

Update: Please see the comments, and especially this post by Suz: Scam I Am, for more information. The thread on she refers to is here.


Monday, May 26, 2008

I couldn’t say it any better myself.

Thank you, Lori Tay, whoever, wherever you are.

Anti-adoption advocates hate infertile couples in general, seeing us as the problem. What they fail to realize is that many, many infertile couples have NO desire at all to adopt. For us, adoption would only be a VERY LAST RESORT.

That’s right, birthmothers - your child would be a last resort for us, whether you like that or not. Your child is not the great prize you may think he is. What most of us want most is our own biological child!

Thank God for advances in reproductive medicine. IVF success rates are improving all the time. I predict in the future there will be a lot fewer people adopting or fostering children, because they will be able to have their own child.

You see, this is what I’ve been saying all along.

I’m dismissed as having had a “bad adoption experience”, whatever that means. I’m dismissed by people who are not as honest as you.

I didn’t fully comprehend this truth until I really understood reproduction. Until the summer of my 13th year, that I spent living with my beautiful pregnant aunt, and was witness to the welcome, wanted and planned arrival of my beloved godson.

And the realization almost did me in.

While I fought daily with my adoptive parents, these were the parents I loved with my entire heart and soul. And the full weight of this reality, that I was their second choice, is a reality I’ve struggled with every day since.

When I first read that comment, it had such a profound effect on me that the pretty pink fog swirled up again, and I was the one ready to dismiss her. Oh that’s just a nasty person; Oh I’m so sorry they made that comment.

See? This is a forever fight – to stay awake, to stay aware, to stay unfogged. It’s exhausting; it takes up so much emotional energy.

Which is why it’s so validating to hear it from someone who wasn’t adopted.

Thank you Lori.

And thank you Lillie, for this very powerful post.

Mother is the name of God on the lips and hearts of all children.

When you are unwanted by the first, and last resort of the second, the world itself is a spiritual wasteland.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

My heart hurts

Source: US State Department


Another Safe Haven Failure

So many hopes destroyed.

Image Hosted by

read more | digg story


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Adoption process definitely FAILED Guatemalan kids - but who cares, right?

Adoption process likely OK'd Union pair

5/24/2008 6:11:35 AM
Daily Journal

By Emily Le Coz
Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY - It's still unclear how the parents arrested in the death of their adopted daughter Monday obtained custody of the 2-year-old and her six adopted siblings.

Union County investigators would not release the name of the family's adoption agency or agencies.

What is clear is that Janet and Ramon Barreto of Union County would have had to pass a grueling series of home visits, questionnaires and background checks before being able to legally adopt the Guatemalan-born children.

They also likely would have paid between $25,000 and $35,000 for each child – the going rate for that country, said Tom Velie, executive director of Tupelo-based adoption agency New Beginnings.

"It's pretty in-depth," he said of the adoption process.

The Barretos, who also have two biological children, have been charged with seven counts of child endangerment in connection with the girl's death and care of her siblings. Law enforcement officials expect other charges, but they aren’t providing specifics yet.

Enna Barreto, 2, died Monday at a Memphis hospital from a blow to the head, according to an autopsy. The family claims the girl fell from a shopping cart Sunday, but doctors who treated her at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis suspected child abuse.

The other children are now in protective custody. Since the girl’s death, many have questioned how the Barretos were allowed to adopt so many children - especially considering reports that the rural family home was filthy, the parents did not have traditional employment, and they bred more than 200 pets in a backyard puppy mill.

To legally secure the children, Velie said, the Barretos would have had to go through the typical channels: hire an adoption agency, submit to the home visits, prepare a dossier and travel to Guatemala.

New Beginnings conducts home-site visits for international adoptions, but when asked if it had worked the Barreto case - or if Velie knew which other agency did - he declined to comment.

"Because a possible criminal investigation is going on, I feel it would be better not to respond to that question at this time," he said.

Also declining to comment on that question were spokeswomen for the Mississippi Children’s Home in Oxford and Bethany Christian Services of Columbus, which both perform international adoptions or home-site visits for international adoptions. They said their agencies' client lists are confidential.

A spokeswoman for another agency, Harden House Adoption of Tupelo, could not provide information because the director was unavailable.

Two other Northeast Mississippi adoption agencies contacted do not handle international adoptions or home-site visits.

International adoptions typically "involve four visits where we’ll talk about your motivation to adopt, your past experience with adoption or international adoption in particular, a family history and marital history, background on each individual in the family," said Velie, adding that they ask questions like "What was your childhood like? What was your relationship with your parents? What activities did you participate in?"

It also involves a medical evaluation, criminal background check, home inspection and income verification, he said.

But, somehow, adoption officials missed signs of the Barreto’s large-scale pet breeding operation in the backyard, where hundreds of dogs and cats were kept in cramped, dirty cages surrounded by feces and flies.

Velie said after the visits are completed, the report goes to the state Department of Human Services, which reviews it and sends it to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. That bureau can approve or deny the adoption request.

After the child is adopted, it is considered part of the parents' family, Velie said, and the state of Mississippi does not require follow-up visits.

"As an adoptive father of two Korean-American daughters who we raised, and knowing so many wonderful adoptive families who truly love and care for their children," Velie said, "it saddens me that situations like this occur, bringing adoption and international adoption into question."

Contact Daily Journal reporter Emily Le Coz at 678-1588 or


When Adoption Turns to Murder

Enna, oh Enna! aka When animals outweigh a dead Guatemalan ‘adoptee’.

Hey, We Need the FBI and the CIA

The Death of Enna

(Edit: links will be added as they are found. If I missed you, please let me know)


Friday, May 23, 2008

A Trip to Romania


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Predatory PAPS

AAARRRGGHHH!! Just read it. I'd say it's unbelievable, but we already know it isn't.

read more | digg story


E is for Excruciating Decisions

Sang-Shil at Land of the Not-So-Calm, a blog I love and I’m sure you do as well, awarded me an E for Excellent Award for my three part series on my genealogical journey back to 1963 Philadelphia, to see with Mine Own Eyes the land of my soul.

I am extremely touched and honored. That award came yesterday, which was a day I got yet another envelope without a return address from Philly, which prompted the same epileptic fit as did the previous one. But inside was not a letter from my mother, but rather an invitation to a wedding shower from one of my adoptive cousins. The lack of a return address was an oversight on her part, as was the fact that she forgot to put the time this shin-dig starts. I just love this woman. She’s so forgetful, you’d think we were related.

Anyway, I’m very, very moved to get this (the award, not the invitation. Fuck, weddings are expensive), but I’m not going to forward it on to another blogger. I don’t know if y’all remember that Thinking Blogger brouhaha of last year, but it just about did me in. I drove myself nuts freaking out over who to give it to and was practically bleeding out my eyeballs with stress after I finally posted it.

So I’m going to do something a little different. I know it’s an award for an excellent blog, but I’ve never been one to color inside the lines. Instead I’m going to award it to four sites. Four websites which, gentle reader, I know you already know about, but that I want to send some love to anyway. I’ve been getting a ton of new traffic from that Alltop site which I ungratefully have YET to make a blog post about, so for any new-ish type folks – these are places you want to be (in alphabetical order of course):

1.) AAAFC (Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change), which started as AFC (Advocating for Change), but with the influx of Aussies I still think should be AAAAAAFC (Australian and American Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change) and then I think they should do more outreach to transracial adoptees and we could be AAAAAAAAAAAAFC (African American and Asian American and Australian and American Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change) BUT that would leave out folks adopted from other parts of the world so never mind.

So AFC – join it. Now. There is no other adoptee forum like it on the web, never has been, never will be, forever and ever amen. And look for our new children’s book, my chapter is called Cockroaches in Kensington. If you want to know why that is funny, you have to join. NOW.

2.) – Go. There. Now! Sign up for the demonstration. C’mon, New Orleans in July, you wanna miss out on all the steamy fun? No way! Sign up, get your plane tickets, get your hotel, we’re waiting! If you can’t come, please make a donation, every little bit helps and there are so many expenses left and time is growing shorter.

3.) Adoption Show. I love Michelle I love Michelle I love Michelle I love Michelle. Did I tell you I love Michelle? Well I do. Blogging is awesome and you get to sort of kind of know people through their writing, but when you hear their voices, that’s a whole new thing altogether. And be on the lookout for this show, which I am just chomping at the adoptee pony bit to hear:

4.) RegDay. Please start thinking about it now. November will be here before you know it. I know we’re all going to be keeping our collective eyes on the elections and working ourselves to the collective bones for the candidate of our choice this important year, but RegDay 2008 is important too. It hits people without internet access, or those with internet access but who don’t have an idea on how to search. For a lot of people, it’s the first step towards waking up. Can you imagine a year with a RegDay in every state or province? How about every county? I can. Think big, and please please consider hosting or volunteering at a table this year.

5.) Y! Answers. A-hahahahah I’m doing five instead of four. You can’t stop me. Y! Answers – the adoption category to be specific. The place where the ignorant go to spout off about shit they know nothing about, as evidenced by the answers to this question.

Sign up and answer a few, help balance out flotsam and jetsam of the internet why don’t you?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please Vote For Dian Wellfare!

Via my inbox...

Please cast your vote for Dian Wellfare, former founder and President of Origins, Inc. NSW in Australia... who tragically passed away on April 16th.

Quick and easy - two steps:

1.) Type her name in the box
2.) Enter your email address and click SUBMIT VOTE



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"These children were just products"

Thank you, Richard Cross.

And thank you, Neils. I had not seen this video before.

Please watch.


Monday, May 19, 2008

GI Bill 2008

I try very hard to be politically neutral on this blog, because restoring access has supporters on both sides of the political spectrum.

I also try to keep it just adoption, because hey, this is an adoption blog after all.

But sometimes, some things are just so important, I just have to say something:

I mean, come on now, really. I have to go back to work now, otherwise I'd vent more. And that's probably a good thing.

I'll just end with this: PLEASE.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Is your workplace adoptee-friendly?

Every year The Dave Thomas Foundation publishes their list of the top 100 companies that help separate families and fund the adoption industry.

Their criteria includes:

* Financial Assistance per Adoption
* Additional for Special Needs
* Paid Leave
* Unpaid Leave Beyond FMLA


There are a lot of programs out there for potential adoptive parents, but not so much for those prior purchases once their warranty period wears out.

So I’d like to come up with my own list of the Adoptee Friendly Workplaces.

My criteria includes:

  • Paid time off for meeting with that adoptee-aware therapist you finally found who is not only on your insurance plan, not only taking new patients, not only under a 40 minute drive away from you, but only has office hours from 9-5

  • Financial assistance for therapy co-pays, and also for paying for that adoptee-aware therapist you finally found who is taking new patients, is under a 40 minute drive away from you, but not on your insurance plan.

  • Per year annual reimbursement benefit for costs of
    • petitioning courts for non-id
    • state registry fees
    • confidential intermediary fees
    • private investigator fees
    • online public records database registration fees
    • language classes for learning the language of the country you come from
    • and any other search related expenses

  • Corporation contributes and lobbies actively towards repealing sealed birth certificate laws

  • Sponsors attendance at one adoption conference per year, to include cost of admission and travel fees

  • Paid leave of absence including
    • Annual birthday
    • Day after Mother's Day / Mothering Sunday
    • Anniversary of adoption date / ‘gotcha day’
    • Entire month of November

This is a win-win situation for corporations and employees alike. As most adoptees I know are hyper productive and successful, this helps retain that valuable employee who consistently outperforms their peers.

The winners for 2008 are:

Oh. No one.

Oh well, this prestigious award is brand new, so it will probably take a few months for word to catch on.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Again Mary

Here's a repost of a post I made last year. I feel bad I'm repeating it.

We all just keep on searching. Send a thought that this year Jenny finds her sister.


Today, May 15th, is Mary’s birthday. I really hoped this year her sister Jenny would be able to wish her a happy birthday in person.

Maybe next year she will.

Take a quick peek at Jen’s page? Jen is hands down the hardest searching real kid in all of adoptionville. Let’s all hold an image for her that next year, she and her sister will celebrate her birthday together.

ISO my older female sibling 5/15/68 Do you know my sister? Her birthday is getting near!!!!! Maybe she is a friend of yours? A neighbor? Someone you went to school with? She may not even know she is adopted!! Could it be you??

She was born 5/15/68 in Bronx, NY at Misericordia Hospital. Her name at birth was Mary McGrail. She was then surrendered at birth to Nassau County for adoption. She will be turning 39 this year! Her mother, my mother too, was 23 at the time of birth. She was 5’5, 130 lbs Blonde and Blue eyes. She worked for the airlines. She entered the Catholic unwed mothers home 4/17/68 to receive prenatal care and shelter. (To be hidden from the world) She never wanted to give this child up. Times were so different back then and she would have never been allowed to keep her. She never forgot about her first daughter she had to give up. She loved her and mourned her loss her entire life.

Please help me find my sister. I bet she has blue eyes!!! Please help me get the word out that I am searching for her. Please add me as a friend to help me with my search. Please Show this to everyone you know!!! I would be so happy to know that she is well. If you know anything please contact me. If you would like to help me in my search... just getting the word out there for me would be awesome. If you could post this on your bulletin on MySpace that way many more people would see it :) I have posted all over the net.... I am a registered sibling with the state of NY. I have left letters with Nassau County for her. I have joined every adoption registry group I can find. I am also registered with ISRR. I hope and pray I can find her.

Thank you,



Bloggers Unite - My Birth Certificate - My Identity - My Right

Bloggers Unite Day:

I did not have these rights when I was under 18. Adults did not do what was best for me. My government did not make my right to my identity a reality. My name and my nationality were hidden from me for life. My opinion was neither listened to nor taken seriously.

I did not have a right to an identity. Under the laws of the state where I was born, I still do not have the right to my identity.

Possession of my own birth certificate is considered a crime.

Possession of the death certificates of my grandparents is considered a crime.

Knowledge of my own last name and nationality is forbidden by law.

This July, I'll be in New Orleans to work towards correcting these for all adoptees whose identities are locked away.

Adoptee Rights Demonstration
July 22, 2008
New Orleans, LA

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 1 Everyone under 18 has these rights

Article 2 You have the right to protection against discrimination

Article 3 Adults should do what’s best for you

Article 4 You have the right to have your rights made a reality by government

Article 5 You have the right to be given guidance by your parents and family

Article 6 You have the right to life

Article 7 You have the right to have a name and a nationality

Article 8 You have the right to have an identity

Article 9 You have the right to live with your parents unless it is bad for you

Article 10 If you and your parents are living in different countries, you have the right to get back together and live in the same place

Article 11 You should not be kidnapped

Article 12 You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously

Article 13 You have the right to find out things and say what you think, through making art, speaking and writing unless it breaks the rights of others

Article 14 You have the right to think what you like and be whatever religion you want to be with your parents guidance

Article 15 You have the right to be with friends and join or set up clubs, unless this breaks the rights of others

Article 16 You have the right to a private life, ie you can keep a diary that other people are not allowed to see

Article 17 You have the right to collect information from the media

Article 18 You have the right to be brought up by your parents if possible

Article 19 You have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated

Article 20 You have the right to special protection and help if you can’t live with your parents

Article 21 You have the right to have the best care for you if you are adopted or living in foster care

Article 22 You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee

Article 23 If you are disabled, either mentally or physically, you have the right to special care and education

Article 24 You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information

Article 25 You have the right to have your living arrangements checked regularly if you are living away from home

Article 26 You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need

Article 27 You have the right to have a good enough standard of living

Article 28 You have the right to education

Article 29 You have the right to education which develops your personality, respect for other’s rights and the environment

Article 30 If you come from a minority group you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practice your own religion and use your own language

Article 31 You have the right to play and relax by doing things like sport, music and drama

Article 32 You have the right to protection from work which is bad for your health or education

Article 33 You have the right to be protected from dangerous drugs

Article 34 You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse

Article 35 No one is allowed to kidnap you or sell you

Article 36 You have the right to protection from any other kind of exploitation

Article 37 You have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way

Article 38 You have the right to protection in times of war. If under 15 you should never have to be in the army or a battle

Article 39 You have the right to help if you have been hurt, neglected or badly treated

Article 40 You have the right to help in defending yourself if you are accused of breaking the law

Article 41 You have the right to any rights in laws in your country or internationally that give you better rights than these

Article 42 All adults and children should know about this convention


GOING HOME - Screening this weekend

Wish I could be in Boston this weekend.

Hopefully they'll come to New York soon!

Hey everyone! We're finally having a screening of GOING HOME!

FIRST screening at Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Friday May 16th, 12 PM.


SECOND screening at Emerson College, Walker Building, RM 233, Sunday May 18th, 5:30PM.


Admission is FREE and open to EVERYONE!

GOING HOME is a part of the general screening for all BFA films from the past year and a half! Seating is on a first come first serve basis. Hope to see you all there!!

Visit Third Cat Productions at:


Would you like fries with that?

I've come across yet another BSE adoptee whose point of transfer was a passenger side car window. While highway rest areas have been mentioned from time to time, the most frequent transaction I've heard mentioned is a shopping center or hotel parking lot. Usually during off hours. Usually in the back.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No trace of long-lost sister taken to Coombe orphanage

Al Miller is searching his half-sister, a woman he's never met and doubts is still alive. Raised as an only child, Miller only learned he had a sibling after his mother died in 1958. The reality nagged at him since.

read more | digg story

This one came into my inbox, it makes me so sad. Please digg if you're so inclined.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I hope this stage passes quickly


Monday, May 12, 2008

Reality show plans to reunite lost loved ones

I received this blurb in my inbox. I’m mixed, to tell the truth. I guess it all depends on how adoption will be addressed in the show. I don't like TV reunions generally. They gloss over the issues and rarely if ever address restoring access. Anyway, it’s news, and I know people who would be interested in this type of thing, so I’m giving it a shout out.

I’ll be watching this show when it airs.

But here’s my open letter to WE-TV:

Adoption hurts. Please be respectful

The Locator

Are you looking for someone important who you just can't find? Birth parent? Sibling? Lost Love?

Over the last two decades, The Locator, Troy Dunn, has found over 20,000 "unfind-able" men, women and children - be it an adoptee seeking their biological parents, someone looking for a lost sibling, or anyone with a heartfelt need to reunite for a personal and compelling reason.

Troy is currently looking for individuals who have a desire to be reunited to be featured in his new WE tv series, "The Locator". If you want to say: "I love you", "I'm sorry", or "Thank You" to someone you can?t find, Troy might be able to help you do it.

Apply now on our website:


Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Adoption Show - Sunday, May 11th

Yeah, I bit the bullet.

I had a post typed in advance about how if you’re not already a member of The Adoption Show, this would be a prime time to join.

But Michelle will have the show up for free today, because she’s awesome like that.

However – if you’re not a member of The Adoption Show – why not?

You get –

  • Unlimited access to the shows
  • More archives of past shows
  • All your wildest dreams come true

Anyway, yes gentle reader, yours truly has 3 minutes and 27 seconds on The Adoption Show tonight. I humbly join great company in going on the intrawebsnets radio.

It was recorded the night be-fooooore, you know what I’m talking about, so the next day I almost called Michelle to ask her to scratch me off the list ‘cuz I was feeling all vulnerable and shit.

But then I thought, nah, let it stand. I’m a saint, you know. I had already second guessed myself to death over the segment and when it was all over and done with, second guessed myself some more (Wait! I threw the word ‘emotional’ in there and I didn’t mean ‘emotional’! I meant ‘disgusted’!) But enough.

So you get to hear me and my scratchy gravely unpleasant voice talking about how I hate Mother’s Day. Plus, as an added bonus, you get to hear a little snip of my stuttering first contact call. Real tiny, just one line, but I threw that in there, because I just give ‘till it hurts.




Sunday May 11, 2008

9:00 PM (EST)

No subscription is needed to listen to this May 11th segment

Tribute to Dian Wellfare (1951-April 16, 2008) and to Mothers who lost their children to the system of adoption.

Michelle Edmunds and Celeste Billhartz share with listeners a variety of thoughts and poetry from adoptees about Mother's Day, and tributes from the adoption community in remembrance of friend and adoption-justice advocate, Dian Wellfare.

Thank you to the following people for their contributions on this segment: Celeste Billhartz, Phil Mouch, Barb Morra, Sandy Whitehawk, Theresa, Cameron, Karen Lynn, Leslie, Karen Wilson Buterbaugh, Sandra Jarvie, Robin Westbrook and Gale Munden.

Tribute site for Dian Wellfare:



Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient.

And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Silence broken

Paraphrasing here....

Dude, I can't believe you looked for me for so long. I wouldn't have done that. Oh and you know I have adopling nieces and nephews and they're all like "yo I'd never search, my adoptive parents are my real parents" the way it should be.

Here's the medical info on your grandparents I didn't know you already knew. Note that I'm totally ignoring your question about the birth certificate. I'm also ignoring the pictures and won't send any back in return. I now know what you look like but you can't know what I look like.

Don't even think of calling one of my sisters because they don't know about you. My dead parents wanted it that way and I'm honoring wishes that dead people made. I'm a saint, you know.

I had the choice to keep you or to have an abortion but I did the right thing and gave you away to strangers. I prayed about it a lot though, so again with that saint business.

Don't write again. I've got a full life and no room for you and you'd like totally upset my family and my real kids. But you know I always thought about you and will always think about you and pray for you. Pray for me too, especially that I be canonized for what a saint I am.

I know I'm being uncharitable but it's my blog so I'm allowed to be. The actual letter was either nicer than that, or more dismissive than that. I can't decide yet the real tone.

It's better than silence though, it sucks, it hurts, but god it is so much better than silence.


Monday, May 05, 2008

The kids are alright

Oh noes!!!

Study: Adolescents adopted as infants are more likely to have psychiatric disorders

Adoptees More Likely to be Troubled

Did anyone ever stop to think, maybe they are reacting normally to an abnormal situation?

I’m glad three letter acronym disorders weren’t around when I was a teenager. Given my behavior between the ages of 11-21, starting with telling outrageous lies at the beginning and going through my first divorce at the end, I am convinced I would have been diagnosed with both ADHD and OCD. I’d have been sent off to school each day with my brain awash in a neurochemical concoction of the latest drug du jour to help me concentrate and/or trapped underneath a sweaty smelly pseudo therapist while my adoptive mother licked my face in order to make me behave.

I’m not knocking the study.

I’m just not overly convinced of the diagnosis.

Are they really suffering from ADHD and OCD?

Or are they suffering from adoption?

Note at the end of each article the saccharine calming advice not to worry about adopting.

I just have to laugh, really. We know this is harmful, but we don't think you should be discouraged from doing it.

I have to laugh, because otherwise I'd start to scream.


PLEASE READ THIS! Free marrow-donor kit and registration

Via BoingBoing....

Free marrow-donor kit and registration

Tamu sez, "The National Marrow Donor Program is running a campaign from May 5 to 19, but I don't feel they are really emphasizing that registration is free to the first 10 000 people who register with them online during this period.

The rest of the post....


Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Adoption Show Sunday May 4, 2008 Addie Pray/Mari Gallion

Sunday May 4, 2008

9:00 PM (EST)

Listen up! Addie Pray joins this segment to share her feelings about "Dear Birth Mother" letters (and other bizarre adoption stuff). She's even written one that she'll share with listeners.

This segment's guest:

Mari Gallion has been an advocate for single mothers-to-be since her own pregnancy in 1998. After a traumatic interrogation at her local pregnancy center, unable to find any honest and unbiased resources for single women on the brink of parenthood, Mari wrote The Single Woman's Guide to a Happy Pregnancy and founded the antithesis of the traditional Crisis Pregnancy help site.

Since the birth of her son in 1998, Mari has earned her Master's degree from Alaska Pacific University, is on the Steering Committee for the Bioneers in Alaska conference for sustainable communities, and works as a tour guide for Kenai Fjords Tours.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

My mother's silence

My mother has my home address. She doesn't write to me.

She's got two self-addressed stamped envelopes from me that she's never used.

She has my home phone number, but never calls.

She doesn't call my cell phone number either. She's got that too.

My mother has my work email address. There's nothing in there from her.

She also has my Philly voicemail number I set up just for her so she wouldn't have to call me long distance.

She's never called it.

Not once.

Not even to hear what my voice sounds like.

Not even curious enough to dial it.

That's the worst part of it. I mean, wouldn't you be at least curious? If you knew it was just a voicemail number (because you had been told that is exactly what it is, you knew that the other person wouldn't pick up, you knew 100% that it was just a recording) wouldn't you at least want to hear the other person's voice?

Just once?

If you cared?

Or if you didn't want to talk to them, wouldn't you at least have the courtesy to call it and say, "Leave me alone."

But I haven't even gotten rejection. All I've gotten is silence.

If I saw a hang-up call on my account, at least I'd know there was some type of connection, that there was something there.

Even if it was that she was just curious.

I feel guilty bitching about it. I have friends who went through or are going through years, or even decades of silence. My silence has lasted just under a year and it doesn't get easier. It gets harder with each passing day.

Just as a brief backstory for any new readers, my fizzled no-where reunion went like this:

June 07 - Send mom a letter with no reply
August 07 - Call mom, who when she answered the phone, told me I had the wrong number and she had moved away (she didn't. That was verified.)

And that's that.

I sent her a second and I think my final letter last week. I'm not expecting anything different. But I can't help hoping and wishing. I wish I could but I can't. I hope someday I can stop wishing. I wish I didn't care. Hope is the evilest emotion.

I don't know if rejection is worse than silence, because I haven't experienced rejection. If I had, I'd probably be saying rejection is worse than silence, but just for me, just for today, silence is worse by far.

Silence keeps me in fantasy and daydreams and hopes and wishes. Silence makes me somewhat irrational. Rational enough to know it's too soon for despair but just irrational enough to feel it anyway.

Silence says, you're not even worthy of a fuck-off. You don't even rank that much.


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