i'm not real?!?  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

for all the time i have spent on my adoption reunions, reform and general life, i forgot one crucial aspect. and boy was it a doozey.

my niece went to 5th grade camp last week and while there she met a little friend. let me explain something first-my niece has aspergers syndrom. it is a high functioning form of autisim. mostly she is a normal almost 12 year old, but her social skills are very off. i fear she will be doomed to be the 'weird kid' for a good part of her life.
now that being said, for her to find a friend she can connect with is a feat upon itself. so i was very happy to hear this little girl accepted my niece and her oddities. (if anyone can understand being the odd one-i can).

this little friend had quite a story to tell my ever so innocent and naive niece. she was born in russia, as a toddler watched her father get drunk and kill her mother. he father then left her alone with her dead mothers body. she was implemented into an orphanage and lived there for a few years. then she ended up in the states with a new adoptive family. quite a past for such a young soul.
but out of all of that-my niece was stuck on the part about her being adopted. she felt it was "so SAD" that she was adopted, her family was gone and she was put with strangers. simply "how SAD" the whole thing was.

my sister then said to her "you know aunt rachael is adopted-dont you?" NOPE she didnt. had no clue.
in the last 12 years she never picked up on it and we never thought to tell her. we werent hiding it-it is just a normal part of our lives, we ASSUMED she knew.

poor niece-her first response was "you mean she isnt my REAL aunt?!"
oh boy, this is gonna get sticky. her personality makes life black or white. there is no grey area. either you are real or you are not. period.
my desperate sister tried to explain that i am her aunt, i am family, i do love her, nothing was different. but, it fell on deaf ears. in her mind, real is real. not is not.

as you can imagine my sister was beside herself, she felt she had slipped some horrid secret. she didnt-we honestly never thought about it before now. i think she felt almost ashamed or that she had betrayed me. she didnt, its just gonna be a rough ride for a while.
i assured her it was fine, i am ready for the questions. but i wonder, am i really? am i ready to try to make her understand that i AM her aunt just like before?

i am doubting myself. but what can i do?

i hope i can make her understand. i have a funny feeling that i wont be able to. there is no real analogy to give her that compares. and she needs some solid proof of something else in life that can be REAL without being REAL.
so here i am not real aunt rachael, pondering my future place in her heart, mind and life. i cant be angry if she shuns me, i cant lash out at her, she is a child. but i also need to protect my own heart and ego.

i know i am real, but now the challenge will be to convince her. keep your fingers crossed for me.

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Paper and Ink  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Did you ever wonder what makes adoptions possible?

To a relinquishing parent, it's a form and a signature. To adoptive parents it's paper and ink of a different kind. I'm sure they, like me, never forgot about what made their adoption final. They just never reduced it to it's simplest form.

To all those who think because you raised the money to purchase your adoption, there fore own a pound or 6 of flesh, and to all those who think a signature takes away any feelings, emotions, or connections that exist between a parent and a child. I say to you IT'S ONLY PAPER AND INK.

It may be legally binding but it has no magical bonding OR erasing abilities what so ever.

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Lori's myspace  

Friday, June 27, 2008

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=379641744

I am posting this here so people can get into my myspace and take a look at the units I sell.

Allergy season is a nightmare for so many people and these units have documented proof that they kill mold mildew bacteria and viruses. If you are having allergy problems that include mold mildew pollen or anything that is airborn please take a look. I have seen it kill mold in my own bathroom and my son and I used to suffer from headaches every spring and fall. I can show you how to imrove your indoor air quality and breath better.

These units also help people with asthma, COPD, and emphazyma, not to mention pet odors and other odors that get trapped indoors.

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Some of the nicest letters  

Since we started this blog I have received some of the nicest letters thanking Rachael and I for opening up and sharing our experiences. I have to admit, I never expected that.

One in particular got me thinking. It was from a friend of mine in high school, whom I had long lost track of until I started looking for Rachael's father. Funny how looking for him brought some real quality people back into my life. I thought it was just a bonus until today. These people knew me when I was in high school. They knew me through all the partying, the pregnancy, the insanity of the 70's. Now they are reading my musings 35 years later and inspired by my journey, my reunion and how Rachael and I have brought to light for them a new perspective on adoption. Not slanted one way or another, not all sappy good stuff or depressing self pity. Just things they had never thought about before. What it must have been like for me all those years. What it must have been like for her. What it must be like for all of us to be back in each others lives. Even though these people didn't know who Rachael's father was, because I wasn't telling, in the end, after reunion with her father, and the secret of 35 years could be told, they did know him, some better than others, but all enough to know where she gets some of what she has. By knowing not only me at that time but him too they can see through her musings that she inherited some "strong stock" I think was the term one person used, in reference to both her father and I.

How weird it is for me to have a comment like that made. Our lives, although far from blank slates, have been pretty much about who we have been for the last 9 years. It isn't about back then because we didn't have a back then. Life with her father is only 6 months old. She's just getting to know him, and here is someone talking about us and what we were like as people back in the day.

I thought all the reference to her talents, her behaviors, her mannerisms were reserved for the parents who raised her. I thought they were going to get credit for all the good things she possesses as a person. Even though I have heard her say many times they never understood her. They loved her, treated her like one of their own as much as they could, but just didn't understand her zany side, her craziness, her love for rock and roll.

How interesting that I would be taken back by a comment linking her to me, my strengths, my thick skin. A comment made by someone who knew me back then, who knew her back then, although not in person, had been around her, watched her grow from fetus to full blown infant in the womb.

But there was an us back then, we did have time together, all 3 of us. We have people who remember parts of our story. People other than my family who were not the least bit humored by my keeping Jim a secret, or the way I paraded around town in all my unholiness. People who remember us as us.

Now they're reading her stories, her journey's about being separated from each of us. They are reading her ramblings about what it was like, how it affected her and how most everything came together after finding me, and how full circle everything is after finding Jim.

How odd that this would strike a cord with me. That I would be inspired by people being inspired by mine and my daughters stories.

Who'd of thunk!!!!

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"not one of us...."  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

as i have posted before, my afamily was a wonderful brood. most of them accepted me and my personality oddities. for the most part they liked that i was so much different and my adoption was a source of gently teasing. not hurtful, just silly ribbing which i enjoyed very much. i have never been ashamed or hurt by being adopted. it just was the way it was. part of me as much as my curvy nose and quick sarcasim.

for the most part they were like that. except one. one awful, hurtful person that took great pleasure in drawing attention to my difference and belittling me into silent rage. her words cut into me and will forever live in my soul and i hate to admit this, but there were no tears of remorse at her funeral, only hidden smiles and warm feelings of glee.

all this hostility is focused at a person that, in normal social circles, is looked upon fondly. even the title brings to mind loving memories for most, but to me-i get a cold pit in my stomach. GRANDMA. my grandmother on my fathers side was an abomination of the human spirit. the root of what meager hatred i do hold in my heart.

i bring this up now, because, while talking with friends, the topic of grandparents came up. they all told of warm cookies, bear hugs, justified punishment and generally beautiful stories of unadulterated love they all had for their grandparents. and they love they got back from them.
but not for me. something else comes to the surface when i think of mine. something i have to swallow back down and keep in check-for fear of startling them with my raw nerves.

grandma was a mother to 8 children. 6 boys and 2 girls. my father was 4th oldest. they lived on a large farm and plowed the fields in between tending to the animals, that ranged from pigs, cows and chickens. it was a huge dairy farm where i chased stray cats, collected eggs and helped my uncle drag oats to the cows as they were being milked. it was such an interesting process, i remember standing under the lines as the milk flowed through into the collection bin to begin the homogenization process.
as much as i loved to be with my uncle and scratch the cows noses as they ate while being milked, i hated going there. because of her. she tarnished everything. and i wasnt the only one that saw it.

let me try to explain some background on this family. there were two things these people could do. 1. cook, OMG, could they cook. wonderous arrays of the most wonderful food. and the desserts-ugh, my mouth waters just thinking of the dessert table. 2. they could make babies. each of the 8 children married. every one of them had at least 2 children, up to 5. now you take this and times that by all of them being married with children-it was one massive gathering. i was the 4th from the youngest cousin. my sister was right in the middle of the majority. (most of my first cousins are in the 40ish ot 50ish age group)

all of them had babies at will. except for my mom. she was able to get pregnant but carrying full term was usually a failure. after several devastaing miscarriages she was able to have one daughter. cynthia. unfortunately her preemie little body and the lack of medical technology back then, lead to her death at 3 days old.
i have been told when the funeral was over and the family gathered after to eat and rally support to my parents, grandma couldnt be bothered. supposedly she was too busy to lend a hand of condolence to my grieving parents. her and grandpa left early. (he was a puppet to her orders. poor man had to be to survive)

when my mom became pregnant with my sister, it was a miracle. she carried full term and my sister was a weak child, but a survivor.
but mom still had a hole in her heart. the loss of cynthia was a crushing blow to her. the doctors said she could never be pregnant again. the devastation her body had endured over they years was simply too much.
ENTER ME INTO THEIR LIVES.

when mom and dad told grandma that they were going to adopt, i have been told, she replied "if you bring that bastard baby into this family i will have nothing to do with it" dad told her-so be it, and proceded with the adoption.
mom was never good enough for dad, she couldnt bear children, so she was inferior. worthless. absolutely nothing. grandma took great delight to make sure mom understood this. just for her own entertainment.
so when i made my appearance on the sceen she vowed to make me as unwelcome as humanly possible. she was a great success. every picture of her with me was an awful display of disgust. she hated being near me, and it showed. easter was always a big 'basket' hunt. it was actually styrofoam plates filled with candy and goodies wrapped in saran. each was named for the grandkids and hidden. mine was religiously under the hutch against the wall, where my little child arms could not reach. or on top of the towering piece of furniture. even my over 6 foot cousins struggled to see it.

i remember pulling into her driveway every other sunday and watching her half crippled body run past the pictue window to the living room. where she promptly unplugged the radio, tv and vcr. telling me they were broke-go away outside. she would lock the toy room, stating someone else had done it and the key was lost. grandpa would just seethe at her. fuming in his silent disapproval. there was a few times i remember he really let her have it. he laid into her like a sledgehammer. "there is no reason that girl cant watch tv or play with toys."
dinner was always a treat too. when we came it was always the black and white package of hot dogs, boiled, cheese chunks that she didnt properly wrap so it was hard and beans.

i later found out she cooked full meals for the others. fried chicken, steaks, homemade cookies, the whole nine.

so as i grew her insults and venom did too. she didnt make a single effort to hide her loathing of me. she would say "you can tell you arent 'one of us' because....." and continue with some obscure point of how i was different. my hair was too light, i didnt like pie, i talked too fast, i creaated stories out of thin air and acted them out. whatever she could latch onto at the time.
to which, in my later teen years i replied "THANK GOD FOR SMALL FAVORS!" i would rather pluck every single hair out of my head than share a gene pool with that woman.

>>sigh<< amazing how narrow minded some are. she hated me because i was adopted. because i wasnt "one of them". of all the things i have done in my life, her rage toward me came from something i had no control over. and something i viewed as a positive in my life.

maybe i should thank her. thank her for showing me the evil of humans, for giving me thicker skin. for instilling in me that i was perfectly content with being the outsider of the gene pool. maybe........NAH! aint gonna happen. i will never give her the satisfaction. alive or dead. i will use my meanspirited anger toward her to remind myself what kind of person i NEVER want to be.

"hi, my name is rachael, i am adopted. there is nothing wrong with me. my bmothers problems in her life at the time of my birth are not and never will be my problems. i am not defective. i am loved and respected by the people that mean the most to me. i adore all 4 of my parents, my siblings-genetic or not, and the friends i have aquired in my time on earth. im rachael-a fighter and a survivor. a sister and a daughter. a wife and a mother. a loved grand-daughter to others and a friend to many."

take that grandma-you didnt break me after all. (((ppplllllllltttttt)))

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a home is.....  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

i have been thinking alot lately about home. where is home? what is home? many seem to feel it is where you let your hair down. relax and just be you. some feel it is wherever your loved ones are. and some consider it where you contain your belongings.

i cant say i do or honestly ever have felt "home". i always feel i am visiting somewhere. not a permanent resident. this, i believe is one of my adoption issues.
growing up i was the oddball. i did not fit into my family. they are wonderful, solid people that truly did make an effort to welcome and support me. but they just did not understand who or what i was. they thought if they loved me that was all i would ever need. a mentality that the general population has, because they take their roots for granted. if i knew nothing else i would too. but i do know something else.

i will not bore you with details, but i will be moving from my house sometime this year. probably by the fall. this house is my first attempt at home ownership. for 6 years i have struggled and fought to make it work. i failed.
at first i condemned myself for every mistake made. i blamed hubby spending. i pointed the finger at the government. then i realized-what difference does it make? who the hell actually cares who's fault it is or why? no one, including me.

so now i am faced with yet another pack, haul and unpack. yehaw...... taking your entire life, cramming it into apple boxes from the store and schlepping it into the back of whatever vehicle is available only to arrive, break your back to remove the generically marked containers of your life and place them somewhere foreign. nothing has a place, you cant find the silverware and you seem to have lost 90% of your towels. and did you remember to pick up toilet paper on your way.......probably not.

so this pending circus of events brings me to my question. where is home? my hubby feels it is wherever the kids and i are. the shell does not matter. so long as we are together. (he is such a softie at times. love that)
the kids think it is wherever they have their toys and clothes. (very practical they are)
but i simply don't know. i don't. in my mind, you should FEEL home. it should encompass you in security. it should listen to your laughter and tears. it should carry the brunt of the outside world. it should give you peace.
maybe i am putting too much empathises on all this. over thinking it-but maybe i'm not. i honestly don't know.

is my need for a place to call home irrational? is it something deeper lingering in my heart? do i just need to shut up and hang my family pictures on the wall and make it something?
i feel almost guilty. like i should be comfortable and content wherever i land. i have the people i love in my life and they love me back-what difference does it make where we are? but in my mind it does make a difference. i crave that stability and "aahhhhhh" feeling when i wolk in the door. i want to be excited to pull in the driveway and here that voice in my head say 'finally'.

i will continue looking for my home. where i belong. and until then, i will simply relish my shell, with my loved ones with me, surrounded by my belongings. one day i will feel it. and i can hardly wait.

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The lie that keeps working  

Monday, June 16, 2008

I wanted to point out that there is a great post here titled "the lie that keeps working" I highly recommend reading it. Nothing could be more true. Although I am for adoption, I am for Ethical Adoption, and this story is about how one single statement can work in so many different situations.

Please give a read.

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my first b-fathers day  

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today was Father's Day and i called my biological father. it is our first since our reunion. i honestly didn't know what to expect, but i picked up the phone and rang anyway. i knew the conversation would be short, he works ALL the time, but i wanted him to know i was thinking of him. even if i could only have him for 5 minutes, it would be OUR 5 minutes.

he answers and i loudly sing into the phone "happy fathers day!!!!!!" first i am met with pure silence. then i hear that silly little giggle he has (no matter what he says-he DOES giggle). he was able to muster up a 'i have never heard that one before!' through his honestly delighted chuckles. all i could do was smile. a big goofy smile. just to hear that much pleasure in his voice makes me melt.

he admitted i took him by surprise, which was my goal. i knew he never thought i would call. that i would have my day with my adad and he would not be thought of. but he was. he always is.

i got my expected 5 minutes with him. he was in the middle of building something or another at work, as usual. but the amount of time i had his attention was the point. the point was that i had his attention at all. that he stopped, even for just a moment, to talk to his new-found daughter so she could wish him a happy fathers day was enough. the glee in his tone of voice was all i wanted. i know we may not have much of a relationship yet, i know our lives are like traffic passing in opposite directions at breakneck speeds, i know that this will all take time and work.
but i also know that i am loved. that he may not talk to me often, but it makes him happy just to talk to me at all.

i do not hide my impatience about wanting him more. i want to hear his voice all the time. i want to see him every week. i want to know all his life story. i don't hide that, but the tone he takes with me lets me know it all will be ok one day. that we are in this for the long haul. and that, i can live with.

to both my wonderful dads, i love you and thank you for giving my the opportunity to be a part of your lives. happy fathers day.

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Looking for help with Identity  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Since I am computer challenged I am listing this here instead of a permanent link off to the side somewhere. There are two parts to this story. Please make sure you listen to both parts. Any information would be greatly appreciated. http://www.youtube.com/iwasstolen

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Talk about Triggering  

I read a blog this morning that immediately brought back my own voice. The one in my head that kept saying over and over, stop it-stop it-stop it, push it away, think about something else. I heard that voice for 28 years, and it sometimes made me think I was insane. It's been almost 9 years since Ive had to listen to that voice, and I've had some of the best fortune in those 9 years.

I have developed a strong and I mean fiercely strong relationship with my daughter. I found her father and introduced the two of them. I unlocked so many mysteries and had so many question answered by the man who disappeared. Some that took my breath away. But how fast something can return, and how real it can all be all over again is overwhelming for me today.

Even though I have what so many others despirately desire, I still can't shake the voice in my head. Meer words on paper can bring back the echoeing sounds of a young girls voice, being mean and demanding of herself to not shed a tear, not show a sign, not even so much as flinch. These memories are so strong and so real, the voice so loud, so familiar, so full of pain, that I can almost taste the blood in my mouth from biting the inside of my cheek, in order to keep my composure.

I guess my point is even reunion can't take away the pain of separation.

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Dona Nobis Pacem  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Even though I don't' think I got ours registered in time I wanted to blog on this day about the form of peace that is important to me. It is the peace of the adopted soul's.

There have been those who searched but never found before their time on this earth expired. Those who lived a life of physical and emotional pain bestowed upon them by someone who was trusted to take care of them, nurture them and love them. Those who died at an early age due to medical problems compounded by sealed records. Those who had everything they wanted and needed but still could not fill the emptiness inside. It is peace for their soul's and the soul's of those who follow in their footsteps that is important to me.

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