What a beautiful morning

Just finishing up my wrapping, yes, I still make Christmas stockings for my son, husband and mother. We cheated a little this year on our stockings, my husband and I, and were together while picking out the required toiletry items. I'm ashamed to admit hubby will have no surprises in his stocking this year even though I have a feeling he'll manage to slip a few into mine. Oh well, it's just one of the years when I didn't get anyone a really special, blow 'em away type gift. Sometimes Christmas gifts just go like that, and that's ok.

For me this Christmas will be about being with people I care about, really enjoying each and every one of them. I am very happy with what we're doing tonight and tomorrow and also have an invitation somewhere special on boxing day. After that, my husband and I are taking a vacation, a vacation that will have me by the ocean, one of my favorite places to be. The only thing that could make the trip better would be if my son could join us for part of it but that's just not to be this time.

As I sit here looking at my tree and decorations in the quiet of the morning I think of everyone I care about, those that care about me. I look forward to the visit I will have today with my son. I look forward to the good food and hearty laughs I'll be enjoying over the next few days, and the slow building excitement of taking a trip.

Life is precious and fleeting and I know I'm fortunate to know that. Fortunate to know how important it is to take a bit of time to stop and appreciate the beauty of a poinsettia, the beauty in family and friends, the beauty in life.

Seasons greetings to all and the very best in 2012.


They loved me, they loved me not. How much does it really matter?

I think it's safe to say that every adopted person will wonder why they're adopted. They may not search for their biological people, they may not try and dig up info, they may not ask questions or obviously wonder, they may only wonder a few times in their lifetime, but it will happen to us all at least once, I think.

I've read tons on the evils of telling a child they were given up out of love. That saying, "your parent(s) loved you so much, they gave you away!" causes lifelong emotional, relationship and abandonment issues. I see how it could, especially said the way I've just written it. They say the child will think, "oh no, if someone loves me it must mean they'll give me away or leave me". I can see how people make the connection, but I know it doesn't have to be that way.

I happen to believe adoption can be an act of love. I believe a mother and/or a father can choose to give their child up for adoption because they care and want something different for their child than they themselves can provide. I also believe an adopted person can understand this if they choose to.

I grew up thinking my bio mom gave me up because she loved me. It didn't affect me adversely when it came to other relationships, my mind didn't make the leap. As strange as it may sound to some, I just never took my adoption personally, never thought that it was something that I did wrong or was responsible for. Never thought that because I was put up for adoption that everyone else in my life would leave me or let me down. Never thought I was less valuable as a human being because of my adoptedness (although as a young teen I did think I was less valuable as a human because I had acne). I've since found out that my bio mom didn't give me up out of love, out of care for me personally, and I still believe there are parents who do it out of love or care, they just don't happen to be my parents (lol). Which is fine, ultimately it doesn't really make any difference if we were given up out of love and care, or given up because of religious values, or given up because it was too late to have an abortion or the bio parent(s) don't believe in abortion, or whatever other multitude of reasons people may have for freely choosing adoption.

My life value, my value as a human being, as a woman, as a mother, as a friend, as a wife and lover is not tied to my birth and circumstance of it. My value as a person is no longer tied to my parents, any of the four of them, because although my value and worth as a human being was never tied to my bio parents, it certainly was at times tied to my adoptive parents. It no longer is and hasn't been for quite a long time. Oh sure, there's the occasional tinge of "my mommy doesn't love me the way I think she should" (thats amommy for those who wouldn't know) but it's fleeting and is tossed away as quickly as it appears. A waste of energy and emotion that I could be using elsewhere, devoting to an issue or person worthy of it.

My value is not tied to any of my parents. My value is tied to me. My value is in how I live my life and how I care for and treat others. My value is in being honest. In being kind when I should and being strong when I must. My value is in knowing that it's most important I'm likable, good and true to those who truly love and care about me instead of those who are, well, assholes.

You know, you can run around for a long time trying to get an asshole to like you, to treat you well, to show you some respect, to get them to believe in, and allow you to be, your real self, but most times in the end, the person is still an asshole and you've just wasted a ton of energy that you could have used elsewhere.

And please, don't tell me this is an adoptee trait. I know plenty of real kids who run around trying to get assholes to like them. It's a human trait and may have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact your bio parents chose adoption because they cared about you.

Growing up thinking I was given up for adoption out of love and care didn't negatively affect me, perhaps it even positively affected me, who's to know for sure? I know I don't and neither can you. I do know that it's important all kids feel wanted, loved, accepted, and cared about by somebody. It can go a very long way in helping them cope and come to terms with the less than perfect existances we all experience.

Does Being Adopted Really Make One An Expert On All Things Adoption?

Been reading around blogs this morning and found much that nauseated me. Thankfully I found a few gems as well. I decided to pinch one anonymous comment I found especially interesting and share it here with you.

Nobody can be an expert on the background to every single adoption program in the world unless that's what you do all day and get paid for it. I also disagree that there's plenty of information for people to take away from the blogs; there's a lot of bickering and name calling, but little useful info. Better to do your own research and try to find out why children are institutionalized in the country where you adopted from/plan to adopt from and what you can do to enable family preservation in that country. Every adoptive parent(has)an obligation to do this IMO. But if you adopted from Eastern Europe, don't try to be an expert on China (the roots of child institutionalization in EE will keep you occupied for months or years) and don't pretend that you're an expert on all intercountry adoptees or adoption just because you were adopted in Wisconsin in 1966. There are a handful of dedicated people doing the legwork to rid the system of corruption in different regions. Find those people and those lists (mostly closed), find the research that explains WHY children and families are separated, and support the foundations that do the work, including driving some trial programs with group homes and fostering—even in places where foster parenting is not the norm. EveryChild is an example of one that does this in EE, since a couple of people mentioned that example.

You can find a link to their report here:

They view intercountry adoption as a very last resort but have nothing good to say about institutionalization. As usual, reality isn't on one side or the other.


Who is speaking doesn’t matter when what’s spoken is truth.

Like many of you I've been reading through some of the interviews at Adoption Bloggers Interview Project . I had considered getting involved myself but found I didn't really have the time to dedicate to do a good, to be honest, I was kinda chicken.

I was looking forward to reading one interview that was of special interest to me, not only because it's with a rare father blogger but also because I always enjoy reading what this particular writer has to say.

I wasn't disappointed.

I've asked the writer for permission to highlight some of what he had to say in his interview and you can find it in it's entirety here .

Here's some of what  "I am" at Statistically Impossible has to say in his interview.

There’s an annoying concept, particularly strong in adoption circles, that a child is somehow more the mother’s than the father’s. The ability to be geographically removed from the location of the child during gestation doesn’t change the relationship of a child to his/her father. The father is the father. He may be a horrendous jerk, but his child is still his child without regard to his ethical quality.

Social taboo tells us asking others to raise our children effectively makes us defective humans. People who take in children that are not of their own lineage are compassionate heroes. So giving a child to another for adoption is abhorrent, but the act of adopting is a beautiful miracle. These contrary attitudes need to be addressed and changed.

What first fathers need to be able to engage in an adoption is the knowledge that they can engage, fully, and as they wish. Understanding why it is so common for first fathers to leave adoptions is as easy as searching google. Hop over and search for “birth father resources”. Of the few links that have anything to do with birth fathers at all, one is an out of date activist site specific to the state of California. looks like a great organization, until one recognizes that it is a single page that’s a part of the pages. The article, though well written, is in fact written by a woman. I’m glad to have women’s perspective on the subject of adoption, but we are well out of balance. Susan Wadia-Ellis wrote, in her introduction to The Adoption Reader (1995): "Adoption, like motherhood, has always been a woman’s issue. It is women who give birth, and women who have had their birth children taken from them because of cultural, political or economic forces; and it is women who sometimes feel they must relinquish their birth child in order to protect that child"[p.ix].

Why aren’t more birth fathers involved? Does one sit at a table where no chair is available? What I believe will help open the door for more birth fathers to engage is recognition. It is important to realize that the emotional processes men undergo in adoption are largely the same as women! Men, too, are placing their child in the care of others. It may be a shock for some to hear that men have emotions. We love our children every bit as much as their mother’s do.


You either knew or should have known

In January 1999, an unidentified hockey player, who also played on the Swift Current Broncos under Graham James, filed a $650,000 lawsuit against 24 individuals and organizations who allegedly knew, or should have known, that James sexually assaulted some of his players, including him. Among the groups sued were the Western Hockey League and its parent group, the Canadian Hockey League, as well as the Swift Current Broncos and the Sasketchewan Amateur Hockey Association. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/17/99)

Did ya get that? 24 individuals and organizations who allegedly knew or should have known.

It's tough for me not to think about Graham James and his abuse of young hockey players entrusted to him with the Sandusky investigation that's going on. I googled James recently and found this in a Canadian newspaper.

Charges against former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James have been remanded to Dec. 1. Last month, it was suggested dates would be set for the case to proceed but that hasn't happened. Instead, court has been told the defence and Crown are continuing their discussions. James has been out on bail for almost a year and living in Montreal after his arrest on new sex assault charges involving young hockey players he once coached as juniors, including former Calgary Flames forward Theo Fleury.
Fleury went on to become a star in the National Hockey League and wrote about the alleged abuse in his book. He then made a complaint to police, which prompted the second investigation after James had served almost two years in jail for assaulting other young hockey players, including former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy.

I was just a kid when I knew Graham James and I knew there was something bad about him. Of course, I was safe as his molestation preference was boys. In fact, I clearly remember the disdain he had for me, his attempts to keep the likes of me out of the picture, to be alone with and everything to his players.

If I knew there was something wrong as a young girl, surely the adults knew. So disappointing, so dangerous, the reverence and blind trust given to sports figures, at all costs, at any cost. The same thing happened in the Sandusky case(s). Why?

Accountability cannot be placed on the young victims. What are they supposed to do? Think about it. This comment made by Sheldon Kennedy was very striking to me.

"'You do not have a clue what to do," Kennedy said. "You tell your mom and she makes you come home. You tell your friends and they will just portray you as a gay guy. It is just a very scary thing.'" (Detroit News, 1/7/97)

It's true, you know. There will always be those around who are less vulnerable, those friends who would never quite understand. Those kids who can somehow just say no, or who aren't even approached. Maybe they have supportive, strong families who have provided a solid start, given them a sense of security, self-esteem. Maybe they just have this natural ability to be strong willed, or just come across as confident. In any case these kids will not be preyed upon, may not even be able to understand how their victimized peers can consider themselves victims.

Nobody held a gun to their head, right? Right, just brought one into the room.

Sheldon Kennedy says of the Sandusky investigation, “I don’t see this as a failure at all — I think if anything this is a success,” said the former NHLer who has dedicated his life to abuse prevention and education. We've got all these victims coming forward against one of the most powerful organizations in that state. To me, that’s what we want — we want people to disclose, step forward and make sure this sort of stuff isn’t institutionalized.”.

If you're a victim of this kind of abuse, I hope you can find a way to tell someone. It's not your fault.

If you are suspicious or aware that someone in power is abusing children, do something about it and stay on it until there has been a stop put to the abuse.


Adoptee encounter

I had a live and in colour fellow adoptee encounter the other day.

I'm sure it happens more often than we know but contrary to what one might think reading about adoption online, it's not easy to detect someone is adopted unless they tell you. Our murderous tendencies and festering primal wounds are nearly impossible to detect in the everyday exchanges that occur on an average day between human beings.

This particular person's adoptive status was revealed in a rather interesting (to me) exchange. I only know this lovely lady through the service she provides, a very common service most everyone utilizes from time to time.

So how it went down was as she and I were talking one of her co-workers interrupted to ask her if she was going to do something or other once she was done with her sister....referring to me! Now although I was flattered to hear the co-worker thought that I looked like my service provider, as I said she is quite lovely, inside and out, we of course both immediately said, "we're not sisters!".

And then, she said it, said those words I've often said myself, "but then you never know, we could be related. I'm adopted".

And then it went something like this.....

" am I!"

"What? Really?! Are you serious?"

"I'm serious, I'm adopted too"

"Have you met your birthmother?"

"Uh, yeah actually, I have".

My service provider then went on to ask her name to which I had to answer sorry, I don't say her name. I'm a secret, nobody knows about me.

SP (service provider) went on to ask me a few more questions, I asked her a few, and then she quickly said her bio mom's name. Nope, I say, not the same woman, which is as I suspected. I was pretty certain if SP and I were related it wouldn't be as sisters although that seriously would have been cool with me. Although I already have the best sister, it wouldn't hurt to have another who lives so close by, excels at the particular services she provides, and is, as it turns out, an amazing woman who rose above the crap dealt to her by all of her parents.

See, SP was adopted by a family that already had a few boys who were biological to the adoptive parents. The a-mom wanted to adopt, the a-dad did not, a circumstance that I think is pretty common. Anyway, a-dad gives in, a-mom adopts SP, and then turns around and ditches all of her kids when SP was 5 years old. Just....takes off. I'm outta here. See ya suckers.


I cannot wrap my head around that. Who could do such a thing?

To make SP's story even worse, a-dad never ever comes around. She spent her entire childhood in a home where she was unwanted, not even finding a connection with any of her brothers. She is no longer in contact with anyone in her adoptive family.

Knowing all of this it should come as no surprise that SP searched for her 'real' mother, maybe more accurately put would be to say she searched for 'any' mother. Whatever the case, she found her, and found another piece of work.

I won't share all the details. Suffice to say that the woman she found is no mother, except for biologically. SP has nothing to do with her now and it's not surprising given what the bio mom acted like. I'm still blown away by the way she treated SP, not the least of which was intentionally lying five different times about who SP's father is.

I kid you not. 5 times!! We're talking, "so-and-so is your father". SP calls the dude up. The guy has no clue what SP is talking about. SP calls up bio mom and tells her what the guy said. Bio mom says yeah, I know, I lied. 5 freaking times people!!

Yup. Blown. Away.

Sad story, right? It struck me, that's for sure. I feel terrible things went that way for SP and I told her so. Thing is, she doesn't feel bad for herself. She said she had her days of being pissed off, and she's done with them. Her two daughters are her family now.

One of them was with her at work. It happened to be bring your kid to work day. Her daughter is lovely and it's simple to tell that SP has broken the cycle. A mom who never had a mom or dad stepping up and being a better parent than many of those who had the ideal intact family.

Damn I am in awe of that. People who make it, against all odds, in spite of crap parents.

I've thought a lot about SP since our discovery. I've been wondering what she does on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I wonder if her daughters have people they think of as aunts or uncles, people they think of as grandparents.

Perhaps I can offer to adopt SP and her girls, invite them to be a part of my family.

That's what adoption is supposed to be, right? Providing family for those who don't have one.

If so, SP certainly qualifies.

Oh yeah. One last thing. SP was adamant about wishing she'd known not to expect much when she searched for her bio mom, wishes she'd been better prepared for the outcome she actually experienced. It would have made things that much easier, much less of a disappointment.

The lesson here? Keep it real people. We don't do each other any favors when we spread false information about all or most adoptees and parents. One can never know what prize they'll find in the bottom of the box.

It could very well be a toy they already have.


And that's the truth

This morning I read a post where a non-adopted blogger discusses adoptee obituaries, how not including in the obituary the fact that the subject of it is adopted renders the obituary an untrue story. "Case closed".

The blogger goes on to say that by not including adoption in the obituary it relegates the adoptee's biological mothers to "uteri passing by". Seems to me if this is a concern for a mother it's a problem easily solved. Include the child you gave up for adoption in your own obituary.

I've decided to write about this here for two reasons, one being I have quite a bit to say and the second is that the blogger asked adoptees to allow birth/first/natural mothers their own emotions and feelings on her blog. Fair enough.

See, what the blogger seems unable to grasp is that for some of us adoptees our adoptive parents are in fact our parents. True story.

The lack of adoptive status in my obituary won't be an attempt to feel "more" a part of my family. I couldn't possibly feel any more a part of my family than I already do.

If I were to drop dead tomorrow and my obituary read that I am predeceased by my brother and father, survived by my mother and sister, son and husband, it wouldn't be a "fairy tale version with white-washed facts". That's what these people are. My parents, my family.

Why would I in death start to preface what they are to me with the word "adoptive" when I never did in life? Not only would it not be something I'd have to "request" be left out, it wouldn't even occur to anyone to put it in my obituary.

I agree that the dead often give up the best clues in searching, in fact I've taken advantage of the dead in that way myself and the word adoption wasn't mentioned in any of the obits I've found helpful. If after I'm dead someone searching or doing genealogy is interested in knowing if I'm adopted, they are more than welcome to ask my family and friends. My being adopted is not a secret to any of them.

Not mentioning being adopted in my obituary will not obliterate the reality that I am, and it doesnt say that being adopted didnt make a difference in my life. What bigger difference could there be than having an entirely different group of people than I am biologically related to named as family in my obit?

My not saying I am adopted in my obituary has absolutely nothing to do with original birth certificates nor does it feed into an idea of "sacrosanct right" of "privacy" and "anonymity" for mothers from the children they gave up for adoption.

I can understand adopted people who want to address their adoptedness or biological family members in their obituaries. I can think of numerous scenarios where it would make sense and the blogger's I've referenced scenario is just one of them. If my sister asked me to be sure her bio family was mentioned in her obit, I would do everything in my power to ensure it happened.

The truth for me though is that my parents are my parents and my brother and sister are my siblings. In my obituary, there will be no need for the word "adoptive", just as there is no need for it in life.

If your son or daughter is adopted and you tragically outlive him or her, don't just "say so" in their obituary, as the blogger referenced here suggests.

If it's not something you've talked about, go with your gut. If its not been your practise to refer to your child or yourself as adoptive, why would you start now?

If it's something you've talked about and you know your son or daughter wants their adoption addressed in their obituary, do all you can to make it happen.

Perhaps it's one of those things that people should talk about with their loved ones, especially if one feels strongly either way.

Personally, I am strongly against using the word adoptive when describing familial relationships or connections....unless it's necessary in order to differentiate or is what the adopted person wants.


Awww...what a cute baby!

In yapping with my son yesterday I was reminded of something I've wanted to write more about.

I can't remember exactly what we were talking about but he said, "yeah, that's back when grandma used to love me". Now, to keep this in perspective, it was said lightly in a joking manner. We weren't having a serious conversation and my son, who is 21, wasn't upset and feeling unloved.

Even still, him saying it in that moment kind of took me aback. I answered him, saying, "you mean that's back when you didn't have a mind of your own and blindly adored your grandma, worshipping the ground she walked upon. Grandma still loves you tons, she doesn't like you having a mind of your own".

Watching my mom with my son as he grew, watching her with cousin's children and my brother's daughters helped me see what happened with my mom and I as I grew up. I came to realize my mom is one of those women who LOVES babies, is actually fantastic with them, but finds they lose their charm as they grow up into little humans with minds of their own. My mom is the type of woman who pines for the days when the kids were little and wishes time could stand still when it comes to babies. Just the type who could love any baby, even babies that aren't biologically hers.

I think if I were to say what I'm about to say now, my mom would say it isn't true, but I feel so certain many years back she told me a little something from the days her and my dad were attempting to adopt their second child, me.

I'm sure she told me that the woman interviewing my parents almost didn't allow her to adopt again because, if you can imagine, the woman felt as if my mom wanted a baby exactly like the first one she'd adopted. I remember having a wow moment when she told me, not receiving the moral of the story quite the way my mom had intended. My mom's intent was to suggest "can you believe some crazy woman thinking such a thing of me? We almost didn't get you because of her!" whereas I had a light bulb moment because there was a time (sorry sis if you're reading) that I suffered through countless comparisons to my old sister, countless times I stomped my feet and refused to bow at the altar of the reluctant golden child. Eventually my older sister also got too big for her britches and she too pissed my mom off (although not sure ever as bad or as much as I did) and I know I had my turns as golden child but never again like the days as a baby and toddler, where carrying the ketchup to the table or drying a dish is a treat, doing a chore for mom is an honour and a privilege.

Some women really only like babies, are not ideal parent-for-life material. Hey, to be fair, there are some women who aren't fond of babies but blossom into pretty cool moms as the kids grow up. Not to say these people can't do a perfectly acceptable job parenting but the whole thing works a whole lot better if moms can enjoy every age, embrace the entire parenting experience. If we can't, we should at least be honest with ourselves about it so we can better compensate for our shortcomings as parents.

Yes, believe it or not, we moms do have them.

Some people's mothers

I can now see how an adopted person could get so fed up dealing with their biological parent that they would say screw it and just go ahead and contact other family members. I'm not saying they should, and I haven't and likely never (never say never) will, but I can now see how it all could evolve.

This October marks a year since I met my biological mother. This January will mark 2 years since our initial contact via email. At the moment I am going on week number, ohhh let's see, maybe 4 or 5, and unanswered email number 3. Email number 1 was a pretty nice mail (I solicited opinions) in which I asked point blank who my biological father is. I haven't heard squat since. No "eff off and die", no "sorry Campbell, I will not tell you", no "I need more time", not a damn word.

I realize something could be wrong with her, she may have no Internet access, she could even be dead for all I know but it's not likely since I haven't seen an obituary yet in my daily searches. Also, based on the past 2 experiences where I worried something may be wrong and it turned out all was well, she'd just not bothered to mail back, it's more likely that she's just ignoring me again. If I'm wrong and she's ill or dead, I will not feel the slightest bit of guilt for being ticked off and that's her doing, not mine.

I have done all I possibly can to prove my dedication to protecting her privacy. She has no legitimate reason to fear I will betray her if she gives me the information I'm entitled to, which is knowing who my biological father is.

I write this post not to solicit my reader's pity but rather to inform those thinking of searching. To tell those who've gone against their mother's wishes and contacted family members that I can see how it can happen. To let in the closet mothers know how frustrating it can be from the adopted person's side of it all. How disrespectful it feels to be ignored when you've taken great care with your mother or father's feelings and circumstance.

How tempting it is to just say screw this.

Why should I continue to care how you feel when how I feel is apparently meaningless to you?


Your mother wears army boots

Campbell's soup, makes you poop
Down your leg and in your boot,
On the floor, out the door,
Now we're ready for some more!

We gooooooooo to pizza place
To get the flavor...of
Campbell's face

I was (unpleasantly) reminded of childish, elementary school taunts and name calling this morning. These were a couple of mine. Although they mean nothing to me now and haven't for years, it was interesting to have a fleeting moment where I was reminded of what it felt like to be in grade school.

What childhood taunts and name calling did you have to endure?


Thinking outside our own little postage stamps of experience

I have been drawn to the thread I'm linking to on this post on and off over the past month or so. It's a fascinating contrast to posts about auto-mommies and their auto-love, how blood conquers all.

I imagine the OP didn't expect to generate so many comments from those who can relate. Or maybe she did. I am not surprised by the huge response. I've seen a few moms IRL over the years who likely/maybe love their kids but clearly do/did not enjoy being a mother. If I noticed, you can bet their kids notice too.

Now, my intent in this post isn't to say all these kids should be, or should have been, adopted. My intent is to try and bring awareness to those who believe in auto-mommy magic. To do my part in encouraging women who don't want kids to not feel pressured to have them. To maybe help a woman who is feeling inferior as a mother to realize she is not a freak, that there are others who aren't feeling the mommy thing, or worse.

I worry about mothers, biological or not, being set up for failure.

It's ok to not want kids and I applaud those who don't go ahead and have them anyway. If you figure out you didn't want kids after the fact, don't have more. If you love your kids but are struggling or are struggling with the fact you feel you may not, I wish there was more understanding and support.

I wish the myths and fairy tales about women and motherhood would become extinct.


Honesty is such a lonely word

I just read a blog post about a mother telling an adoptee acquaintance how it was for her when she gave her child up for adoption. This particular mother's experience sounds horrible and she seems to be the kind of woman who wants a mother/child type relationship after reuniting with her adopted, now adult, child.

I've come away thinking about that adoptee and how he may be processing the info imparted to him. I came away wondering if this mother also spoke of the mothers who were not coerced or drugged, the mothers who didn't want their baby, the mothers who have no desire to know or have a parent/child relationship with their adopted out, now adult kids. The mothers who put it all behind them and went on with their lives.

This particular adoptee has to date not searched. He will be affected by this new knowledge, in what manner is anyone's guess, but it will have an effect. If the mother who shared her experience only shared her own and made no mention of the various other scenarios that exist, I think she may have done this adoptee a disservice.

Ever since I've started blogging my way of talking about being adopted has changed. I still talk about it, about myself, but I also talk about all the other people I've learned about. If I share how I feel about something, something like the Primal Wound theory or open records or access to OBC's, I will always add that not everyone feels the way I do. If I talk about my family and how my adoption worked out, I make sure and add that that's not the case for everyone, that it's literally a crap shoot. Some adoptees end up with horrible families, adoption isn't a guarantee that we won't be like everyone else.

I think as adoptees we have a responsibility to be honest and open about what we know if we decide to talk about our experience. I think parents have that same responsibility. 

I think we set each other up for failure when we withhold information.


Concrete proof

On my post previous to this one, I was asked to further explain what I meant when I said, "Maybe, just maybe, part of the key to all of this is to have concrete proof that we're important to our biological families before investing emotionally in them, before handing them our hearts."

I guess I'm saying that adoptees who are reuniting and having relationships after years of no or minimal contact should protect themselves from disappointment or pain by assessing their biological/first/natural parents' and siblings' attitudes, perceptions, interest, toward the adoption and the adoptee his or herself before investing (further) in them emotionally. I would think this would also apply in reverse, to parents who have searched and found adopted out adult children.

Having said that, I realize for some adopted people connection and feelings of love aren't things they feel they have control over, so perhaps for them it would be wisest to not get their hopes up too high for finding a familial connection? To be prepared to not have feelings of love or importance reciprocated.

I was also asked what I would call concrete proof that I am important to my bio family. my case, likely the biggest thing would be for my bio mom to tell her family about me. That would say a ton about my importance.

Other things would be asking for photos, interest in meeting my son, quick emails or phone calls when she is busy saying that she's busy without me having to ask if everything is ok.

Oops, almost forgot the other biggie. I think it would be concrete proof that I am important to my biological mother if she told me who my biological father is.

Adopted people reading here, what would be concrete proof to you that you're important to your biological/first/birth parents or family? As always, anonymous comments are welcome.


Relationships with biological family

I've found myself in a strange reunion-relationship with my biological mother. I guess my new terminology for what I'm in is really the relationship, as I've recently been reading a series of really good posts on another blog where the blogger pointed out the reunion is the initial contact or physical meeting and everything thereafter is the relationship. Makes sense to me, my reunion (a word I was never really comfortable with since to me reuniting happens with people who knew each other) has passed and now I am navigating a relationship.

When I say this relationship is strange, I'm not talking about the obvious reasons, I'm talking about being in it yet at the same time observing it, comparing it, reacting to situations within it as not only myself but also as someone who reads about other people's reunions and relationships. I feel like I'm incorporating my life experience and philosophies as well as my observations of how other people describe their relationships with biological family. I look at things two ways, the first being my natural instincts and reactions and the second way is wondering what other people would think about things my biological mother says or does or doesn't do and how they might react or feel.

I wonder at times how different it would be had I not stumbled into the online adoption discussion. Ok, I realize discussion is a far too positive word to use to describe what actually takes place but since that's what I wish it was, we can pretend. And, if you sort through the bullshit and mean girl antics, there is some helpful info to be found, even if much of it is to learn about what not to do, how not to treat people, what not to expect.

I also think about how differently the 48 year old me is reacting in the relationship than the 38, 28, 18 year old me would have. I'm a mother myself of an adult now as well as an adult child to my mother. I've had romantic and platonic relationships, workplace relationships, familial relationships, many many sports team relationships, and have maneuvered my way through a divorced relationship. I've volunteered on a teen helpline, experienced sudden deaths of two very close faily members, and have been the wife and stepmother figure in a blended family for 8 years now. All of this plays a factor in how I look at and conduct myself in relationships I'm currently in, including the one with my biological mother.

I've just experienced a replay of these posts without the phone call. It's once again turned out ok, nobody is dead, and the latest email reply from bio mom is very normal, well, normal to me. As I read it this morning I couldn't help but think about how certain things she'd said would have been hurtful to some other adopted people, right or wrong. They would have come away feeling less important than the kept kids, now adults. They would have come away feeling less important than aunts and uncles, friends and associates of their biological mother. In fact, the whole experience would have left them feeling not important at all and if they had, rightly or wrongly, built themselves up to be an important part of their biological mother's life, I can empathize with how hurt they'd feel.

Maybe, just maybe, part of the key to all of this is to have concrete proof that we're important to our biological families before investing emotionally in them, before handing them our hearts.


Deal With It

What are you doing? Don't you see your actions betray your claims of love? How can you love yet not defend? Why is the joy not a good thing? Why aren't you happy for those who are happy, the ones you claim to love? Why isn't there a sense of relief in simply knowing? There would be if you truly cared in the first place. Can you not see how your behaviour makes it seem like it's all about you?

I'd rather know the truth. My truth may be easier, knowing my adoption was wanted. I don't know how I'd feel if it were the opposite but I know I'd be angry at being made to feel guilty for being ok. If it's really about your long lost child, them being ok would be a good thing. Be honest, it's the pain of being left behind. The pain of knowing it didn't have to be you as mom for things to work out.

What is so wrong with being happy to be alive? To be grateful the roll of the dice came up a winner? A roll of the dice that was thrown on an innocent child's behalf.

Why can't you see how hurtful it could be to dismiss another's reality? To make it about you, to be closed-minded, to stubbornly stick to a script when there isn't one.

You can have your pain and loss. It's obvious, it makes sense. Why must you be blinded by it? Conjure up evil where there is none, exaggerate and make false comparisons. Aren't the real issues enough? Aren't the actual injustices horrific enough for you?

Listen, and learn. Respect and admire. Speak for yourself and allow others to do the same.

There are babies and children who are unwanted. They deserve families. They deserve to have a chance. Be honest with yourself so you can be honest with others.

Why must you set people up for failure? Mislead, misinform. Do you not realize in doing so you grant people the freedom to blame the innocent? To point fingers at their child instead of themselves? Do you realize you're setting other up people's unkept children for disappointment by saying their mothers think daily about them and would give anything to know them? That mothers who reject their adult children are a rarity? That unkept children are the same as the kept children? It's not true for everyone.

You're perpetuating what you claim to be against, the marginalization of unwanted children. It obviously wasn't enough that you wanted your child, if you did. Too many others in your life did not, for whatever reason.

And so your now adult child is fine. You won't believe it though. If they love their parents, this is a bad thing for you. You secretly feel good if they had bad parents. If they say that they had good parents, they are not to be believed. They must be afraid to say otherwise. If they had bad parents and still don't like you, again it's everyone else's fault. It couldn't possibly be you and the things you say and do.

How disappointing it must be to not like the adult your child became, but really, not all that uncommon. You're no different than your children's parents whom you detest. In fact, you may even be worse. It's comical how you blame each other, each using the other as an excuse for the disappointment you feel in this adult you all claim to love but who will never measure up, will never fill the void you are unable to fill yourself. Our kids don't exist to build us up, make us whole, kiss our boo-boos. It's supposed to be the other way around.

Biology doesn't matter, unless you are disappointed in the kid you got. Nurture doesn't matter, unless you are disappointed in the kid you created.

You want to support adoptee rights? How about also supporting the right to be ok? The right to be whatever we are, as children and adults. Honour the experience without using it as an excuse to label, to dismiss, to predict, to assume. To insult.

Is your adult child that you didn't raise not good enough for you? Maybe you should look at yourself. Maybe you should look at those who have managed to develop relationships and instead of envying them and dismissing them, learn from them.

My deepest sympathies to all adoptees who search and find nasty, bitter, biological parents who are not happy for you if you made it through ok. My deepest sympathies to all adoptees who got stuck with crappy adoptive parents who aren't happy for you if you searched and found decent, good, biological parents. My deepest sympathies to all parents, biological or adoptive, who have narcissistic, self-absorbed, bitchy adult kids who take advantage and refuse to see how fortunate they are.

Although it angers you to your core that I say it, many of us adoptees are ok.

Deal with it.


Don't forget to remember

I watch some weird tv. The names of shows I watch will be withheld to protect the innocent, namely me. It's funny how there is stigma attached to what a person watches on television, how we tend to look down on each other for what our tastes in entertainment are. I'm as guilty as the next person although I certainly don't have any right to be considering some of the trash I watch. See? I'm judging myself!

Yesterday I was half watching a program discussing kids being mean and part way through my son and his fiancé arrived and sat down with me. I explained what the show was about and added my two cents on an aspect I thought was being missed in talking to the children who thought it was cool to be mean and it's why they were popular. It was my thought someone should be telling this kid that the other kids aren't friends with her because they like her, they're friends with her because they're afraid not to be.

The show fell by the wayside as my son and I began to talk about kids and parenting. We talked about how his desire to be friends with the class asshole(s) was thankfully short lived, that I'd taught him he need never be so pathetic as to need "friends" so badly that he'd put up with anything just to hang with the cool kids. Of course this is much easier when you have a home where you're loved and feel safe, a place to forget for a few hours the evil deeds of school peers. Yes, he did suffer through this age of constant contact with social media but I was savvy and aware and monitored his online behavior as well as that of his "friends".

As we talked, a child of six years was discussed on the now ignored program, a gorgeous little kid who doesn't listen at all to her mom. Time outs, spankings, yelling etc. be damned, this kid was having none of any of it. As we semi watch, my son (half)jokingly asks his fiancé and myself if it would be so wrong to just tie a kid like that to a chair to which we responded with a resounding YES it would be wrong, which led to talking about what I did with my son when he was little.

I was never a mom who went to someone's house and asked them to childproof their home. It was my job to watch my son, to tell him "no" and remove him from whatever had caught his eye. I remember being at my mother-in-law's and feeling exasperated, feeling like I'd be doing this for the rest of my life. I'll never forget her supporting me and encouraging me to stick with it, that it would pay off eventually, and it did.

I asked my son if he remembered my taking his doorknob out of his bedroom door. He didn't remember and asked how that wasn't like tying a kid to a chair. I explained that it was a consequence he knew would happen if he came out of his room for the seventh time and that there was a big difference between free reign of a bedroom and physical restraint. I've never believed in forced sleep because I remember how I hated that as a kid, laying in bed wide awake for hours. I did have 'bedtimes' for my son but what that meant was him in his room with a book or listening to a bedtime tape with the only expectation being that he stay in his room and sleep when he was actually ready to. When he was very small but first in a real bed, he, like most kids, would continue to come out for this reason or that. I would get the first glass of water, chase away two or three boogeymen, enjoy two or three more hugs and kisses and then I'd lay down the law. "This is the last time you are allowed to come out dear. If you come out one more time, I will take the doorknob so you can't." Of course he had to test it, it happened, and that was it. Consequence laid out, enforced, and as a result, believed. It was up to him to make the decision about whether or not his doorknob was intact or not.

The three of us talked a bit more about parenting strategies, things we thought were cool and things we thought were not so cool. My son talked about how now when he looks at the things kids struggle with it seems like they should just should know better than to succumb to peer pressure or push matters until their doorknobs are removed, and because of that maybe his fiancé should do all the parenting of any kids they may have in the future.

Hell no, we both said, kids need both their patents to be in on the action. Hey, I asked my son, have you forgotten to remember what it feels like to be a kid? I've always taught you how important that is. That although kids' problems may seem trivial or silly to adults, they are very real and as much if not more of a burden because kids are just learning to problem solve.

Oh no, he replied, for sure I remember, it's just that it seems sort of separate now from what appears obvious.

I tell him not to worry. As long as he doesn't forget to remember what it feels like to be a kid, he'll be a great dad.


Adoptees wanting to control the adoptee narrative

"*Sorry Campbell, I won’t be reading or responding to your comments on this issue. I see your name and hit trash button."

It's so common to read about adoptive parents wanting to control the adoptee narrative and sometimes the accusation is justified. Other times, it's so not. In fact, something happens the other times that is far worse. Adoptees wanting to control other adoptees' narrative.

It's an adoptee that said what I've quoted above, an adoptee who said my thoughts aren't worth reading or responding to, that just seeing my name is reason enough to consider my opinion trash.

I wasn't entirely surprised, or rather shouldn't have been. I was told what I had to say in defense of yet another person being very publicly and maliciously maligned by this particular blogger would be removed and that's fine, it's her blog. She is entitled to censor as she sees fit, just as I'm entitled to address the hypocrisy in her doing so.

Over the past while I've watched someone I respect and admire be raked over the coals and have said nothing. It didn't sit well with me and even though I know Mary Anne is more than capable of speaking up for herself, she didn't. The juicy little morsel that set off the missiles of hate directed toward her this time was her comparing Primal Wound THEORY to alien abduction and Big Foot sightings while she was involved in a discussion on counseling approaches. Personally, I understand the comparison. It is the same thing. You would think that people who believe in something that isn't common place would be supportive of others who also truly believe in something that not everyone experiences but no, again the dismissed dismiss the dismissed. They're crazy, but I'm not. What I believe is real, don't compare me to those nutters.

Anyway, time goes on and I stay away from the fray. Others pick up on it all, run over Mary Anne, put it in reverse, back up and run over her again. I stay silent along with the others who are silently cheering her while cringing each time the force runs over her again, making horrible, personal assessments of her, all the while repeatedly putting her full name in print, just to make sure the tread marks leave a permanent scar.

Most recently, a discussion on rights and needs takes place on a blog where one of the authors made claims that adoptees who aren't curious have lower IQs, a claim she never takes responsibility for or backed down from. She isn't taken to task by her adoptee supporters, something that I for one can't comprehend but the venom is instead focused on another woman. A mother whose daughter is adopted who at one time had adoptees proclaiming their love for her, "I love you O Solo Mama". Of course, adoptees' love is ever fleeting. It's all dependent on how tenderly you kiss our adopted asses. The minute you look away and have a thought that is contrary, some of them slap your face, put your name up in lights, and publicly declare war. Nothing is off limits. In the instance I refer to in this post, the blogger goes so far as to say that she herself is more protective of Jessica's daughter than Jessica is. As I said in my trashed comment quoting the blogger, THAT is "some serious fucked-upness". Protective is beating the hell out of someone's mother? Protective is making false derogatory comment after false derogatory comment about a child's mother publicly online? Just because she defended Bastard Nation's position that knowing your origins should be an entitlement guaranteed by law but may not be a universal psychological need?

I've gotten to know Jess and Mary Anne quite well and can assure you they are fine parents. They are intelligent, reasonable women who have contributed greatly to my and others' awareness of the need for adoption reform.

We don't always see issues in exactly the same way but here's a newsflash, that's normal. What's not normal is throwing a tantrum and very publicly attacking good, decent people just because they happen to have balls enough to put their true identities out there.

There's still time to grab some balls of your own and show some support for these fine women who you may not agree with all the time but you know are good caring people who not only support all adoptees' rights but also support and take great care in loving and supporting the adopted persons that are in their personal lives.

Anonymous comments are necessary recommended welcome and your identities protected, as always. I will not however publish anything negative as I will be controlling the narrative on this one.


Lady luck

Spent time yesterday visiting with a special aunt, one to whom I'm very close. She and my uncle were very influential in my teen years and continue to be to this day.

Our conversation wound it's way to parenting, specifically mothering, and we talked about two women we know well who've demonstrated repeatedly that they are far more interested in themselves than in their children. We talked about a couple of other women we know who made the decision to not have kids, something I in particular admire.

Eventually we found ourselves talking about my mothers, and how my mom had again recently asked my aunt if I'd said anything about my relationship with my biological mother. We had a chuckle about that, I of course rolling my eyes as I explained again to my aunt that there's really nothing new, just regular contact via email about everyday things going on in our lives. Nothing I was keeping from my mom, except of course my bio mom's name, something my mom doesn't like and to which my aunt agreed was important to keep to myself if I wanted to continue to keep bio mom's confidence. My aunt had either forgotten or not realized that my bio mom's family knew/knows nothing of me and I went over the story of her pregnancy and relinquishment of me, as she'd relayed to me when we met in October.

So she could have kept you, my aunt asked. Yup, I replied, she sure could have but she didn't want me. How old was she again, aunt asks. Quickly doing the math I answer, 24 I guess.

As we sat there processing all we'd been talking about, mothers who can't or won't put their kid's needs first and my mothers, one who had me and one who raised me, it occurred to me that I was a lucky lady. That given the circumstances of my conception and birth, and the fact my bio mom left me in the hands of people she didn't know, I was fortunate indeed to have as good a family as I did. Things could have been much, much worse.

Of course I still, and always will, roll my eyes at my mother.

Who killed the cat?! Curiosity, stupid.

Are adoptees who don't feel especially curious about their biological heritage suffering from low IQ's? Are they unnatural, brainwashed, shut down, or paralyzed by feelings of abandonment?

No. They're not.

They say curiosity is a sign of intelligence. That may be so. I know something else that is a sign of intelligence, the ability to look outside your own experience. The ability to learn new tricks.

There are many, many people who just aren't that curious about their heritage. Some of them need only talk with their parents or visit an aunt or uncle to learn about it. Some can easily hit or a local library and find all sorts of family background and info. But, they just aren't all that interested, not that curious. Does this make them stupid? Of course not.

I know some will say, well, that's because they can, they know who their real parents are. To that I say, so what? Some adoptees feel like their adopted parents are their real parents, end of story. They feel and see themselves no differently than other people. Why should they be held to a higher standard than everyone else?

Curiosity about circumstances of birth and relinquishment is not surprising, but it isn't a reflection of intelligence. A person uninterested in "what happened" or who their immediate or distant biological relatives are could very well be curious about many other things, things that are far more important to them personally.

It seems to me that when it comes to curiosity about one's own circumstance of adoption and/or heritage, it can vary in degree. It can be nonexistent. It can be mild. It can be all-consuming. It can be both mild and all-consuming from one day to the next, from one hour to the next. It can be stifled due to outside influences. Lack of curiosity can remain in spite of outside encouragement to be curious. It can be there when we're young and vanish when we're older. It can be nonexistent in our youth and then overcome us when we have children.

I've read harsh judgements on adoptees searching for such a frivolous reason as "just being curious". I have had to question myself about this, if simple curiosity was a good enough reason to potentially disrupt the lives of others. It's a big fat no-no in some circles to search out of curiosity as opposed to searching to find and embrace our real parents and/or a new or different family.

For some adoptees just seeing a picture of their parents would suffice. For others, an explanation for having been adopted and a picture, never really feeling the need to actually meet anyone. There are adoptees who want full blown familial relationships with their biological relatives. None of it is wrong or an indication of intelligence or necessarily a reflection on anyone else. To say so, at best, is not very nice. At worst, it's not very smart.


It never has and never will

Been a little laid up lately and found myself caught up in the murder trial of Casey Anthony.

Wow. Just wow.

Between the media coverage, media of all kinds, it's quite a spectacle. There is live coverage of the trial itself, nonstop coverage and discussion on television, Facebook, and Twitter etc. I haven't noticed really anything about it in adoption blogland but then why would there be, far as I can tell adoption isn't part of the whole sad, sordid story.

The jury was sent to deliberate yesterday and it's my feeling they won't take too terribly long to come to a verdict. What a horrible responsibility they have. Necessary obviously, but still horrible. The prosecution has gone for the death penalty and the pressure alone that that puts on everyday people who make up a jury is part of the reason I am against capital punishment.

Fortunately the jury has options other than the death penalty because Casey Anthony is clearly guilty of plenty and is no doubt involved somehow in the death of her little girl. One can only hope all the people Ms Anthony has taken down with her deserve it, but that's unlikely.

So many innocent people are affected by people like Casey Anthony every day, all the time. Not everyone who has a personality disorder like hers end up involved in the murder of their children but they do wreak havoc on the rest of us in some shape or form.

People who only think of themselves and build themselves up by bringing others down are all around us, and yes, they become parents all the time. Wouldn't it be nice if conception and giving birth could magically transform everyone into caring, responsible, selfless human beings who put their children's needs before their own?

Sadly, it never has, and even more sadly, never will.


Womb fresh infants and foster kids

Adoption is such a strange (impossible) thing to discuss, online anyway.

I quite often see adoption reformers talk about leaving the womb fresh babies alone, that people should be adopting from foster care instead. Every time I see those words, or some version of them, I can't help but think about the reasons why there are kids in foster care in the first place. If one is to end up being adopted anyway, why would it not be better to be adopted as a womb fresh infant?

I know some will say that kids in foster care are only there because of social wreckers (is that the proper derogatory term?) yanking them from families whose only crime is a dirty home and while I'm sure it's the case sometimes, it's less often than not. At least here in Canada.

Where I am familiar, it's the opposite. Kids are kept in families too long in name of family preservation. Sometimes so long it results in the deaths of children.

Another thing that occurs to me is that, because I do believe that some women who place babies for adoption DO care about or love their babies, either as human beings or as their children, women who consciously and intentionally seek out good families for their baby are the ones who are more likely to become good parents themselves given time and adequate resources.

Mothers who do not consider adoption or abortion (or birth control) and just keep having and keeping kids they have no genuine interest in parenting, have no means to properly support financially, continue to abuse drugs or alcohol and make repeated bad choices when it comes to paternity putting their lovers before their kids, are crap mothers, if one can even call them mothers, whose kids are some (most?) of those that end up in foster care.

Are we as mothers society's responsibility? If so, after how many kids? Is there a limit? If we're relying on society to support us financially, does it not then give them the right to butt into our business? And finally, why must womb fresh infants have to wait until they're damaged and in foster care to be adopted?

Oh yeah, I watched 20/20 last night and it was about Diane Downs and the baby (her fourth) that was taken from her at birth, now an adult, was interviewed.


"I don't believe it is my secret to tell"

We haven't met, and it seems unlikely that we will. I am your older sister, born in 1972 and given up for adoption. Our parents were unmarried teenagers at the time and felt unable and unprepared to raise a child. I was with them for one week in hospital before they went through with their plan to have me adopted and I was moved into foster care. They married six years later and went on to have you both. Less than five miles separated our homes as we grew up, and even now I live less than an hour away from you.

Read the rest of this letter at The Guardian, series: A letter to...

 A letter to … my secret siblings


This one IS all about you

I wrote my last two posts to put my experience out there for people to read.

I'm using this post to defend myself in writing them.

Seems some have taken issue with what I wrote, as if what I'd written was to them, at them, or about them.

It wasn't.

For the record, again, I did not experience postpartum depression. Not a smidgeon.

I would be one of those fortunate females who did feel an instant bond with my son, possibly even prenatally, hell, maybe even pre-conception. Being a mother came very naturally to me and my desire to be a good one has been the driving force in my life since conception but because it was/is this way for me doesn't mean it must be like that for everyone else. To say so would be insulting, to believe it's so would be ignorant.

Upon getting pregnant, the nutritional value in every morsel of food I ate was considered and not one prescribed or over the counter drug was ingested. Prior to pregnancy, parenting choices such as circumcision and corporal punishment were discussed, kinds of schooling were considered, parenting style agreements were reached. I took becoming a parent very seriously, joyfully, excitedly, and oh so willingly.

The bond my son and I have is unbreakable, unmatchable, and enviable to some. The respect, trust and familiarity we enjoy is such a pleasure and worth every ounce of thought, consideration, and energy that's gone into developing our relationship. To this day I still carefully consider how to conduct myself as a mother of a young adult son. Being a good parent is ever evolving, ever selfless, best performed without ego, without preconceived ideas or fantasies, and without bitterness toward our own childhoods. Remembering how one felt as a child is essential to effective parenting but is entirely different than being dictated to by it. And don't even bother to try and convince me it would be the same way had I put no thought and effort into being a mom, that the act of giving birth in itself would have been enough. I have first hand experience with that alternative.

My son is not the only person with whom I have a strong connection and meaningful relationship with. I have life long relationships with friends and I am regularly in touch with and close to my mother, my sister, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins. I enjoyed very close relationships with both my father and my brother, both of whom are now deceased.

I have a very loving and well cared for relationship with my husband, and my son and I are fortunate to have been welcomed with open arms into his family. My husband and I have a blended family which has successfully avoided the common step family pitfalls with our sons. These fine young men are friends as well as step brothers, and the five of us have managed family get togethers such as weddings and birthdays with my husband's and my ex family members, including ex spouses, with class and grace, much of which is a direct result of how I personally have chosen to conduct myself and treat others.

Nope, you won't get away with calling this woman, by name in public, someone "with deep issues" who doesn't feel connections to her family. You will not get away with claiming I have a "very sad little life" and declare falsely and publicly that since I don't "know how to form bonds with people proves the PW case tenfold." You will not get away with turning a post about my experience into a slight against you.

Even in my most narcissistic, paranoid, egotistical moments I would never publicly declare a post was about me, unless of course my name was blatantly used in follow up commentary and words from my post quoted, misconstrued, distorted, and given false, conjured up meaning.

The idea to use "Husha husha, we all fall down" as my last post's title came from the last words in my last sentence in which I said, "Conceiving and giving birth has no real power without all the rest and I really think choosing to believe or rely on it having so much stand alone importance is sometimes where we all fall down.".

The thought of using the title, "Husha husha, we all fall down" to call anyone infantile never crossed my mind, although the adjective "infantile" certainly figured prominently in my mind as I read the crap written in the post and comments I'm referring to here.

My posts weren't written with intent "to mock those who express their view of connection as childish, and that all would be well if we would stop singing rhymes and clinging to babyish ideas". What an incredible, self absorbed stretch.

To close, I would like to provide you all with an edited version of a sentence written by my detractor, edited to remove the words "some immediate bond for her newborn infant" and replaced with "didn't,".

It's an interesting sentence in which contradiction is obvious, the applicability to the writer and her supporters amusing, as well as, coincidentally, perfectly in line with my case against some primal wound sufferers and how they dismiss those of us who didn't experience one.

"But to say that you had it and your experience is the norm and that if another woman didn't, SHE had pathology? That's projecting a bunch of weird onto others."

I couldn't have said it any better myself.

P.S.  Don't fuck with me.


Husha husha, we all fall down.

Well, I called. I only hmm'd and hawed for a couple of seconds and then just did it.

Bio mom answered and we talked for quite a while. Seems my last email to her was on the short side and she'd decided to wait to mail me back until I'd sent something more substantial. Not really knowing her it would be hard to say for sure, but I got the feeling her nose was a little out of joint. In her defense, seems she hadn't gotten around to reading the second short mail I'd sent asking her to please mail me because I was a little worried. In my own defense, I thought it was her that was due to reply with a longer mail, not me. And so it goes.

We actually talked for quite a while and the conversation was pleasant. I couldn't help but think about other parents and adoptees as I carefully chose my words, making quick decisions about what I should and shouldn't say in conversation, and how easy it would be to mess it all up.

Oh crap, did what I just say sound like I was judging her kids? Damn, did I just talk too much about myself? Uh oh, did I just make myself sound like an alcoholic? Oh no, does she think I'm a whiny bitch for complaining about my sister-in-law?

Prior to calling I had a most excellent visit on an outdoor patio with my oldest and dearest friend. The conversation flowed, words were spoken without fear, intimate details of our lives were exchanged with complete trust in one another. There would be no judgement, no betrayal of things said in confidence, no need to weigh every word prior to uttering them out of fear of offending each other. That's the way things are when you really know someone, have concrete history with them, and have nurtured a relationship for 40 years.

When we adoptees meet our biological people, we are doing just that. Meeting them. There is no mystical or automatic relationship, no instantaneous knowledge of each others' way of thinking or doing things by virtue of being genetically related.

I think sometimes we're all led down a garden path when it comes to genes and biological connections and get set up for disappointment and failure. Parents and their children have unrealistic expectations of what things should be like, and I don't just mean those of us who are in adoption situations.

Healthy, trusting familial relationships take dedication, time, and commitment, by both parties.

Of course in the beginning it's up to the parent, the adult, to do all the work but that's where the stage is set. It's not set prenatally by a mysterious primal connection, it's developed gradually through consistency and trust, familiarity and shared experiences.

Conceiving and giving birth has no real power without all the rest and I really think choosing to believe or rely on it having so much stand alone importance is sometimes where we all fall down.


Double the mum, double the weirdness

Today I start the day worrying about two women, both of whom are my mothers, one whose house key is on my key chain, the other I hesitate to call.

It's been longer than normal since I've heard via email from my bio mom. I've mailed twice this week to ask if all is well and to say it's difficult not to worry something is wrong, could she just send a quick note to say she's ok. Having experienced sudden death of loved ones twice, I know shit happens. I wait for it to happen.

Last night I received a call from an old family friend of my parents. It had been so long since I'd talked to her that she started out the conversation with, "you likely don't remember me". Of course I do remember, although I was very surprised to hear from her.

She called because she was worried something was wrong with my mom and just wanted to check in with me to see if my mom was starting to experience dementia or was perhaps over medicating herself. That the last few times they'd talked my mom hadn't seemed herself some of the time, repeating herself and forgetting previous conversations.

I really appreciated the call and we had a good talk. It wasn't the old friend's intent to worry me and although I was truly thankful for the call, it was striking to be contacted out of the blue and hear an old friend's perception of my mom's behavior. In a way it felt validating, but in another it felt a little ominous.

If something has happened to my bio mom, it will be strange. I barely know her, her family knows nothing of me. To date she's not told me who my bio father is which is something I want to know. I'd have decisions to make regarding revealing myself, an action I cannot take lightly.

I foresee looming decisions to make regarding my mom and her care and well being. I can't help but wonder how the future will play out, or if the future is now.

Strange times these.

You think that's not objective

Amanda has an interesting post up about open adoption. There is much in it that I agree with as well as an aspect I'd not thought much about before which is the idea that open adoption was created to make it easier for parents to relinquish, something that could very well be true.

Problem with that is, from my non objective point of view, is that I just can't see open adoption being easier or better, for anyone. Not in my personal experience anyway.

I mean, unless the parents are blatantly incompetent for the rest of time and it's obviously a case of lucking in to a better familial situation, how could it not be weird for a young child to see perfectly capable people functioning, perhaps parenting further kept kids, and not be negatively affected? I would imagine more often than not the people who give up a baby eventually get their act together, if they didn't already have it together but just didn't want kids, so how is a child's mind to perceive it all?

Maybe it would be easier for an adopted child in an open adoption to stomach having bio parents who didn't want kids at all and never had any more. I don't know, it's just so hard to picture having grown up knowing my bio mother, watching her parent her kept children. It's quite likely I'd have at some point wanted to go live with them. Would I have been told no? What would that have done to my brain, my self worth, my attitude toward my adoptive family?

I'm glad I was in a closed adoption situation. I knew the score, who my family was. Yes, while growing up I didn't know what had happened to land me in an adoption but I just can't get my head around the alternative. To this day I've never felt abandoned but can't honestly say I'd feel that way had I been exposed to a lifetime of observing a perfectly intact family who just didn't want me, or weren't allowed to get me back if they did.

For me, having the option of finding my biological people, with all the tools to do so being easily accessible, if and when I felt the urge is the perfect scenario to my adoptee mind.

Maybe Amanda is right. Maybe without open adoption, in this age and part of the world where unwed parents aren't that big of a deal, less people would be inclined to choose adoption.

My disclaimer to this post is for all those people who work extremely hard to parent children in open adoption situations. For the people who have chosen adoption but do the best they can to cooperate, love, care for and support their children. I know they are out there and my perspective is based on my personal experience with the parents and circumstance of birth that I was dealt.

I am in agreement with the sentiment that there are far worse things in life than adoption, open or not.

Children who are loved, shown respect, and have parents who put their egos aside and children's needs before their own will survive, even thrive, no matter how unique the family circumstance.



I read quite a few adoption blogs and it's pretty much the same old, same old most of the time. Yesterday though I ran across a little tidbit that made my blood boil, and then run cold.

"I've always prepared for my adopted child to say "You're not my real mommy, I hate you, I want my real mommy." And do you know what I will honestly think? "You're not my real daughter, and I DO want my real daughter. But I LOVE you. No matter what.""

I have a few problems with this, not the least of which is that this person adopts period.

Who says shit like this? Who says to their kid who is adopted that they aren't their real son or daughter? Who tells their kid who is adopted that they want their real daughter, their daughter who died?

I note that the person said they will honestly "think", not necessarily say the words but you know what? Thinking it is bad enough.

If you don't intend to think of your adopted kids as your real kids, really, don't adopt.

"Think before you breed"

I know, kinda sensational for a blog title but it's a direct quote taken from one of the many comments on this article.  Quite a variety of perspectives going on over there.

The article itself isn't surprising to me but it appears that it is to some of the people commenting which is why I wanted to mention it. I've talked about postpartum depression and very normal, less than storybook maternal feelings and reactions to motherhood here before. How myths place unrealistic expectations on females, how the myths themselves create standards and judgments that prevent a mom from telling someone she feels overwhelmed, nothing, or even homicidal.

We don't do ourselves or our children any favors by building each other up to automatically be perfect mommies just by the virtue of giving birth. Hormones, the sound of our heartbeats and voices in utero, and eye and skin contact upon birth aren't enough to carry us through the day to day realities of parenting and life.

In the article they talk about isolation being one of the factors linking cases of mothers murdering their children together.

What could be more isolating than being pregnant or parenting and not having the expected, supposedly natural and always present, conception and birth induced, perfect, sweet, protective, maternal feelings being perpetuated by motherhood myths?

I mean seriously, just who exactly are you going to tell? Sadly, sometimes tragically, probably nobody.


The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.(Quote by - John F. Kennedy)

I don’t subscribe to the Primal Wound Theory as it's presented and the reason that I don’t is because I was adopted as an infant and I don’t have a primal wound. Not sure one could have a much more valid reason for being a non-believer. It’s basically the same as believing a primal wound exists because one has a primal wound. Except for, my experience negates Nancy Verrier’s declaration that a primal wound is inescapable, universal and that means something.

It means you don’t automatically have a primal wound if you were not raised by your biological mother. Phew, eh?

I am however a believer in adoptee rights. 

I think you can be unwounded and still be concerned with discrimination against adopted persons when it comes to closed records of the adoptee’s own life. 

I think you can be unwounded and still care about kids being born today to parents that aren’t going to raise them. I care very much about who ends up raising them and how they go about it. In fact, I care about how people are raising all kids, kept or not.

Something else I care about is biological parents’ feelings. Their fear, their shame. I believe their feelings should be taken into consideration when opening up records to adoptees. I really do. I’m well aware that the online community say repeatedly that parents, mainly mothers, were not, by law, guaranteed privacy, anonymity. I guess that’s most likely true, I’d be surprised to see a mother pull out documentation proving otherwise. They also say though that mothers weren’t even verbally made promises of confidentiality, not led to believe they’d never be found, led to believe that their secret would always remain a secret.

Don’t believe it.

As with the Primal Wound Theory not applying in my case, I am here to say that my biological mother did believe I’d never find her, that her secret would never be threatened. That it was up to her to decide who in her life would know about me, about what she did 48 years ago and me finding her was “never supposed to happen”. Yes, she was done a great disservice, a disservice I don’t think should be taken lightly.

I’m not sure what the answer is. I’m not sure any legislation will ever be fair to all parties, but I don’t think it does anyone any good to think it’s just adoption agencies and adoptive parents who don’t want open records.

Maybe if we could all just be honest about adoption and how it means different things to different people there could be some progress made.

Not every mother and father wants to be found, regrets having chosen adoption, dreams of the day they will meet their long lost son or daughter. It’s just not fair to perpetuate that type of myth, not fair to anyone, and most especially not fair to the adoptees who yearn to reunite and think it will make everything all better, just as myths and dishonesty are not helpful in achieving open records.

Even though I truly believe we’re the only ones who can make ourselves feel better, it would be nice to get some help along the way and I think a little honesty and a lot more realism would go very far in doing just that. 

How many kids in your family?

Kids. Children. Offspring?

Nothing to differentiate between adult or non adult. How many kids in your family? How many kids do you have? What year was your child born? How many kids does your sister have? Is so-and-so your oldest child? I'm a middle child, are you the youngest child? He's an only child. There are three of us kids in our family.

If one were to insert grown or adult, as in "how many adult kids does your sister have?" it would suggest the sister has some non adult kids. Nobody ever says, "Is so-and-so your oldest adult/grown child?" or "I'm the middle adult child, are you the youngest grown child?".

People use the words kids and children all the time when referencing people's offspring or siblings. It's not meant to infantilize and as far as I can tell, normally doesn't.

Am I missing something? Is this subject a source of angst (Angst as in the English, German, Danish, Norwegian and Dutch word for fear, or anxiety) for everyone but me?


It's a privilege and an honour to make yer aquaintance, ma'am

Want to share a link to a really good post. Check out Amanda here

I think she really nailed it, this sense of obligation between parents and adoptees.  I agree when she says the adoptee really doesn't owe anyone anything. It would be swell if everyone treated each other with kindness, respect, patience, and generosity but as far as the adoptee having an obligation to any of their parents? Well, I like how Amanda put it.

"Many first parents are fond of reminding us that we don't owe our adoptive parents loyalty..that we should not make the decision not to not reunite to save their feelings. But can't the same be said about natural parents? We shouldn't reunite just to satisfy their feelings. Just as I owe my adoptive parents nothing for adopting me,  I owe my first parents nothing for giving me up."

Check out the rest.


Oh sorry, I lied

Kids have to feel it's safe to tell the truth, or they won't.

When you tell them it will be easier on them if they fess up to the major crime of not having really brushed their hair, you better not be lying yourself.

Offering them an out, a way to come clean with dignity works. Tell them you want to start over, give them the opportunity to re answer whether they really washed their hands or brushed their teeth, pretend they didnt even answer yet. No repercussion (or lecture for having lied) just a fresh start as a reward for having been brave enough to have told the truth.

Kids need to value honesty in order to be honest. If lying is a way to survive, it has far more value than telling the truth. If our kids need to lie to maintain their dignity, they will. If kids need to lie to do the normal things kids like to do, they will.

Doesn't it make more sense to know what our kids are really doing than basically force them to lie? How does a young teen phone mom and/or dad when they're in a jam if they've lied about what they are really doing? They can't, so you won't even know they're in trouble until it's maybe too late to help them.

I believe honesty is something to be taught early in life, that parents need to provide their kids with an environment that rewards honesty. That honesty is about respect for others and ones own self. Honesty is admired and applauded, recognized as an act of courage many times.

I feel it's also important to talk about the times it's ok to lie, because such times exist. I straight out told my son if he ever needed to lie to get out of a situation involving drugs or alcohol or any of the other precarious situations our kids are exposed to regularly that it was ok to do whatever he needed in the moment. I gave him the example of being offered a cigarette. If it's easier to say, "nah, thanks man but I just put one out", go for it.

I promised him early that if I knew from him about something that happened in school instead finding out from another parent or teacher, things would be much easier for him, as far as I approached the situation anyway. I really respect the courage it takes for a child to be honest in the face of certain punishment or consequence and delivered my *sentences* accordingly.

I'd just like to close this post with something I did when my son was in kindergarten or grade one. He had lied to me about something silly the day before, I'd busted him and we'd talked about it. I was trying to figure out a way to get him to understand how it feels to be lied to, to not trust someone you love and care about. So, I decided to lie to him. I picked him up from school, all bright and cheery announcing we'd be hitting McD's on the way home to get him a happy meal (it was always all about the toy, not the food). When we pulled up to our home and he said, hey, I thought we were going to get a happy meal I replied, oh, sorry, I lied.

We had another good talk about it, I assured him that would be the only time he'd ever experience a lie from me and I can honestly say lying was never a big problem in our home.

It took effort and consistency and I'm not naive enough to think I know everything thing there was and is to know about my son's life but I do know that one of the things he takes most pride in is being an honest man. One of the things I take the most pride in is knowing he knows he has always had a safe place in this world to be honest, and that's with me, his mom.


What are you?

Out tonight with a bunch of people at a very informal banquet.

The food being served led to me being asked, "what are you?". My darling husband chimes in with "Scottish!" to which I say, no, I'm Irish and...uh, and..I think maybe French. He looks at me with a "huh?" and then a "oh, yeah" and I go on to say yes, Irish for sure and I think French with a definite Scottish, Ukrainian, and Polish influence. And then, nothing. Only a slight glance from one dinner partner and much to my disappointment, not one, "what do you mean influence?".

Such as it is. Sometimes it's kind of like people asking you how you are. It's more like a pleasantry, they really don't care how you are. Just like nobody really cares what we are, what our cultural background is. If we're lucky enough to be something exotic, sure, it can impress the odd dinner partner but for the most part, who really gives a shit?

It would have been far more interesting if anyone I was having dinner with had given enough of a shit to ask me what I meant by influence.

Oh well.

We entertained ourselves instead by talking about people who weren't there.



When I was 15 or 16 I ran away from home. Not one of those overnighters to a friend's place, I mean the 1200 km to a very big city for a couple of months with a boyfriend kind of running away from home. Many of the details have faded from memory and as with most things, actual facts have likely become somewhat distorted over time. Also, my memories are just that, mine. Anyone else affected by my actions will have their own memories, their own version of the story and how what I did impacted them. To this day I do not regret what I did, I think it was necessary, I just regret that I hurt people who didn't deserve it.

I write this post in the attempt to maybe help those thinking of running away as well as parents who may some day have a child who feels their last resort is to run away from their problems, with their problems more than likely being one or more of their parents.

Since I had run away myself, starting at a very young age I talked to my son about running away. I didn't tell him that I had until he was grown up because it wasn't necessary and I did not want it to influence the relationship he had with his grandparents, especially with his grandma since it was because of her that I had run away.

When I talked to him about it it wasn't a big production. I kept it very simple. I told him that as kids grow up they sometimes feel like running away. That sometimes they feel like it's the only way to deal with whatever problem they have. I told him that if he ever felt this way, even if I was the problem he wanted to run away from, to come to me and I would help him figure it out. That if it was because of me, I'd believe him and find someone to help us figure it out. I talked to him about how I would feel if I didn't know where he was, how it would be the worst thing that could ever happen, me not knowing if he was ok. We talked about how dangerous it can be for a runaway, how there are people who just wait to prey upon young kids who are alone and vulnerable. We promised each other regularly that if he felt like running away, no matter the reason, he'd tell me and that I would believe and accept his feelings as valid and help him through whatever was going on.

Son, if you're ever feeling like you need to run away from home, tell me first and I promise to help fix whatever is wrong, even if it's me. I will be there for you no matter what the problem is. If you're going to run away, promise to tell me first and I will do whatever is necessary to help you get through what's going on

If you're a young person reading here and thinking of running away, if you feel you have no other choice, that if you don't get away you'll go crazy, I understand. My eyes tear up at the thought of it and I'm sorry you feel that way, but I understand.

I guess my questions to you are, as a person who has been there, are you absolutely 100% sure there is no other way? Are you positive that you can't tell one of your parents, a friend, a sibling, a teacher, an aunt or uncle? Just tell them you can't hack it anymore and you need to live somewhere else, with someone else, even for a short time. That if you can't get someone to hear you and take how you're feeling seriously, you will have to run away. Or as I preferred to call it, leave home.

I've already said I had no other choice, I needed to leave to save my sanity. I cannot regret doing what I needed to survive but there were consequences I will forever feel badly about. I will never forget the look in my father's eyes when I finally came back home. I remember pulling up to our home, getting out of the car, and my dad barely glancing at me as he did his yard work. You see, I wasn't running away from my dad, but he still paid the price. At the time my dad was coaching my softball team, had for a few years, taking time out of his life to do something for me. When I left home we had made the playoffs for the very first time and do you know my dad carried on coaching the rest of the girls, through his pain and likely humiliation of everyone knowing what I had done. My dad loved all of his kids very much, dedicated his life to being there for us, no matter what. It took a long time to regain his trust and respect, but eventually he allowed me to. He even went so far as to tell me that he understood why I needed to do what I did and forgave me for putting him through the pain of not knowing where and how I was. My dad went through hell when I ran away, and I will forever feel badly about that. When he was dying and I was taking my time alone with him I whispered in his ear that I was sorry for the things I'd done that hurt him. I hope he heard me.

It affected my siblings when I left home. I can't and won't speak for them but it doesn't take much of an imagination to picture what it may have been like for them, stuck in a home of worry with two parents possibly blaming each other, sick with worry, one or both dealing with "what the neighbors might think". My brother and sister didn't do anything to deserve to suffer the repercussions of my leaving, but they did.

I had friends who didn't know I was leaving, didn't know what to say when they were asked questions about my whereabouts. One friend actually brought my mom a card and flowers.

The worst thing that happened to me when I was gone was starvation. When I left I drained my bank account but that money only lasts so long, and not as long as a teen imagines it will. Something always comes up unexpected, something only life experience can teach us which is the thing as teens we are kind of short on, life experience. I was fortunate in that the boyfriend I ran away with was a very good and kind person. He is the one that got his mother to call my parents when I wouldn't, or couldn't, just to let them know we were alive. There was no drugs, alcohol, or manipulation. I somehow always knew that I couldn't do drugs. That I wouldn't be able to handle the effects of them, or that I would love the effects and never be able to stop.

It's near impossible to get a job with no address. When you're living in a car, you have no address and back then without cells, no phone number. We did try, especially him, but under the circumstances it was impossible to get work and make some money, just to eat. It was this, not eating for three days, that forced me to "phone a friend", a friend who lived in that city who came as soon as he could, took us for food and left us with a bit of money and helped us to make the decision to call family that lived close by and ask for help. Please believe me when I say that if there were any other alternative that didn't involve something dangerous I would have taken it, but there wasn't. It's very, very difficult to make it on your own without a penny in your pocket and no address or phone number.

I was fortunate to have been born with or somehow develop, let's call it a street smartness. An ability to somehow keep myself safe in very unsafe situations that I put myself in. I was fortunate to have friends and extended family who loved me and were there for me when I needed help. I'm fortunate to, as a teen and an adult, have never been the vulnerable type, the kind of person predators prey upon, which are all factors in my not becoming just another statistic when I left home. This is not the case for most young people who run away so I guess my message to young people is to please, please think twice and three times before doing something drastic. It's a scary world out there with scary people just waiting for those of us having a bad time at home. Your story will likely not end up like mine, coming out for the most part unscathed with only the scars of guilt for hurting those who didn't deserve to be hurt.

Parents, don't think "not my child". Talk to your kids about running away. Tell them their problems matter to you, and mean it. Show it. It's not easy being young and although your children's problems may seem trivial in comparison to your own, they are not. They are as big, if not bigger, and they need you to care, listen, and be real. Entertain the thought you may just be one of their problems and allow them to be honest with you. At the time you may wish you didn't know, be tempted to be unwilling to own your part in their struggle to grow up but it will be a hell of a lot harder not knowing where they are and who is doing what you should be doing.

What you should be doing is making them feel worth, heard and believed, and valued for who they are, not what you want them to be.