Do You Ever Just Know Something In Your Gut?  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I do. There are things that I can just feel. Like meeting my daughter again. Like Her father really wanting a relationship.

Rachael and I have talked about how well my reunion was going with my old friend (her father) as compared to how her reunion was going with him. It does appear that I talk to him more than she does due to circumstances. All reasoning aside, and as much as I am enjoying my friendship it bothers me that her reunion isn't going better, faster, smoother.

We are already the odd reunion group by being able to be friends. Jim and I have been able to pick up a friendship after so many years and so many miles weathered by each of us.

Rachael was feeling unimportant and may still, due to the lack of communication between her and her father. She knows he loves her but he just isn't putting much effort into their relationship. She wants phone calls, stories, news of how his day went and she isn't getting it.

Rachael and I talked about our reunion with Jim not being a package deal. By that I mean we met him together after all those years, we each have his phone number, we each communicate with him, sort of, etc.... I posted my feelings on Staying in or stepping out of their reunion. I was willing to back out if it was what needed to happen. I never thought it would end up her saying that she would back out so that Jim and my relationship wouldn't be clouded. This stirred mixed feelings in me. I love this man, I truly do, but he is hurting my daughters feelings. How did we go from finding her dad to her backing out so him and I can get on with our reunion? This is soooo not where I thought this was going to end up.

Part of the problem is he works 7 days a week, another, they are on different shifts. I am the link between the two as far as time slots. She goes to work the same time he gets off work, She's home and winding down when he's getting up.

I did not want to believe that he wasn't interested in a relationship with her. Inside me I was torn between not letting that happen and remembering that not all things are within my control nor my responsibility.

Finally yesterday I admitted to my daughter that she might be right. I had called him twice and got no answer and no call back. I was crushed. He's ignoring my calls.

How odd that things happen within a short time slot from one another.

I finally confess to the two non returned calls and within hours Jim was calling me. You have no idea what this meant. (Neither does he.)

I asked if he thought I was scolding him for not calling Rach in our last conversation, and he said no. I asked if he was okay with meeting the parents next month, to which he said yes. I asked if he wanted me to pick him up on our way down, to which he said no. (it would be out of my way and he has to be to work early the next morning) He is still planning on going, no we don't have a specific date yet. But he is planning on going.

In my gut I knew that I could take him at his word. I didn't and don't want to believe anything other than what he tells me. I am completely loyal to this man, always have been. I am completely loyal to my daughter (now). Can't say I always have been or she would have grown up with me.

I guess it's hard between Rachael and I because I have known that voice and the integrity of the man behind it for many years. I can feel the pain in his voice when we talk. I can feel the joy in his voice when he talks about her, I can see in his eyes the love and peace that consumes every inch of him just by being able to know her. She doesn't know these things because she hasn't had the opportunity to get to know him yet. It's been a very frustrating year for her. It has been for him too. He has to fulfill previous obligations while the weather is holding out. He works a regular job now during the day, remodels by night and still is responsible for pool and landscape maintenance around his condo. Do I sound loyal to him? Am I making excuses for him? Maybe so, but the way he explained it was he leaves his phone in the truck so he can get his work done. (hence the two missed calls. ) He sleeps for a few hours in between jobs, and finally took time for himself yesterday to jump in the pool and get back to me.

I wish we could fast forward this reunion sometimes. I wish I could convince my daughter that as patient as she has been this past year, it's going to take just a bit more. The old expression "Patience is a virtue" couldn't be more true in our case. He is a patient man. Unfortunately for my daughter she inherited her mothers short comings. We are not patient people. She wants a relationship now and I want to get past this awkward stage of reunion.

But I knew in my gut that he wasn't losing interest in her, that he in fact is really busy, and that if he could change it right now he would. Maybe these two talked at 4am this morning since it is the only time that they are both available. Maybe we will get through this reunion thing after all. Because in my gut I know I will accept nothing less. did I say that out loud?

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Watch what you vote for come November  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Passed on to me by a friend and reader here. Thanks Marianne this is important news.

Voting has become more important than ever and knowing what your voting for is crucial.

contact HOME DONATE MEDIA CENTER THE PROPOSAL THE SCIENCE NEWS

Unrestricted Science Points to Human-Animal Hybrids
British scientists at Newcastle University have resorted to creating cloned hybrid embryos which are part human and part cow. Cow eggs were used for these cloning experiments because researchers have had difficultly obtaining a large enough quantity of human eggs. MiCAUSE Spokesperson David Doyle said the loopholes in the proposal would outlaw any attempt by the Michigan legislature to ban creation of human-animal hybrids for stem cell research. Human-animal hybrids experimentation, which is going on now in the United Kingdom, serves as an example of unrestricted, unethical science.
Here Comes the Clones . . .
In July, the Detroit Free Press reported that Stem Cell Ballot Question Committee Campaign Director Mark Burton said backers decided "we couldn't politically escape the label of cloning." Cloning is an issue most voters put in the weird science category for good reason. Dolly the cloned sheep was euthanized young because of complications attributed to the cloning process. Dolly deserved better and public opinion polls show people are uneasy with human cloning. The proposal has a "do nothing" clause that neither changes nor protects the current ban on cloning. According to the Detroit Free Press article, Burton suggested the ban on cloning could be revisited once the general public becomes more familiar with the science.
The Proposal is Deliberately Deceptive
The language of the proposal is deliberately deceptive. For the last two years, Representative Andrew Meisner and Senator Gretchen Whitmer have been working in the state legislature to legalize human cloning and allow for unrestricted experimentation on live human embryos. Their legislative efforts have to date failed. In January, the Stem Cell Research Ballot Question Committee announced petition language for the proposed constitutional amendment. FULL STORY PETITION LANGUAGE
The Proposal Does Not Ban Human Cloning
The proposal does not secure a human cloning ban in Michigan's Constitution. The proposal states it will do nothing to change the current law banning cloning, but it actually does nothing to protect Michigan's ban on cloning. FULL STORY PETITION LANGUAGE
The Proposal Permits Unrestricted Science
In November, voters should not be deceived by this proposal. It will allow for unregulated, unrestricted experimentation on human embryos.The proposal’s language allows for any research on live human embryos which is permitted under federal law. Federal law currently has no restrictions on research on human embryos. Therefore, research on human embryos in Michigan would have no restrictions. FULL STORY PETITION LANGUAGE

Paid for with regulated funds by Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science & ExperimentationP.O. Box 9808, Grand Rapids, MI 49509
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a sister always knows  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I had a talk with my sister yesterday. it was one I was taken aback by, because it was a very candid discussion of my adoption. I didn't pull back from it, I didn't hold anything in and I listened to what she had to say, from the 'family's' point of view.

It was refreshing and sickening at the same time. I am still wondering if i feel better or not.

The whole thing started because we were to have a reunion with Lori and Jim in August. It would be the first meeting of all my parents and siblings, biological and adopted. I have been extremely excited and nervous about this for months. We wanted to do it in June, but Jim was unable to make it and asked it to be moved to August. Not a problem, it has been almost 36 years, a couple of months wouldn't hurt. Right?

I think that was my first mistake or maybe delusion is a better term.

As some of you have read in my previous blog, Jim has been unable to make time in his life for me. I am not angry about this, hurt a little, but not angry. I am a big girl and knew what the risks were when I started this. I was prepared to get only my medical information and move on. To be completely honest, I kinda thought he may have forgotten about me. Blocked me out of his mind forever.

But he didn't. He remembered all too well and seemed delighted to have me back. Others were not as excited as he was. He never told me, but his mother and sister made a few passing comments that some of his friends and family were not happy to have me show up. They said it with tenderness, they were not trying to hurt me, just let me know what he was facing. I appreciated their honesty.

When I tried to ask him about the lack of support he was getting he denied it fully. He was adamant that 'everyone is so happy'.

Again, to spare pain to me, he flat out lied to me. He was afraid to wound me and I think in his mind, it would be fine-someday. So why not tell me it was? He wanted it to be a warm and heartfelt welcome, but it wasn't turning out the way he thought.

I totally respect the protection his loved ones are passing out. It makes me happy he has people that love him.

But can't they just meet me first? I am not the ogre they think I am.

So the other day, my sister calls me to discuss the meeting. She has been so excited about this. She has spent months working on a special gift for the two of them, even through her chemo treatments and double mastectomy. It kept her going. She was going to give my 'mother and father' something, from the family. It is nearly completed. So she has many hours invested in this personally, not just what this will mean to me.

The conversation began simple enough. "HI, how are you, whats been up, have you talked to Jim and Lori yet?"

{{hic,gulp,hic,SOB}} I begin to explain how I don't know what is going to happen, Lori's van is broke, Jim is soooo busy......

OH NO, here it comes, the truth. It came out before I could stop it. It raged from my lips in blubbering gasps. I can't imagine she understood much of it. But she seemed to get the general gist of what was going on.

She quietly says "I thought something was off. What happened?"

Nothing happened-that's the problem. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Not one solitary thing. No phone call, no letter, no argument, nothing. It was simply dead in the water. Period.

I told her everything. I was scared to be that honest, but I kept going. When I finally stopped or should I say was unable to talk any more, she picked the conversation. She told me it was all going to be OK, maybe it was too soon. Maybe he needed more time. She said he has never been a 'dad' before and this was all new to him. His whole life has been his work-not much time to be a member of a family.

I sat in silence. The tears quietly stopped and I felt much more calm. My biggest fear throughout all of this was they would look at him in a poor light. That they would kick into protection mode and start to bash him for being selfish, mean, uncaring or even a lower class scum. And he is none of those things. Actually, he is a tender man, riddled with much guilt of past events. Including me. He is soft spoken, with a gleam in his eyes.

And when he looked at me, uh, I felt so wanted.

But she didn't jump at the chance to make him into the bad guy, she comforted me but she also respected my love for him.

What the hell was happening? My family hasn't been very comfortable with discussing my adoption. They never ran from the subject, but it was extremely uncomfortable for them. I understand how they must feel.

But here I was, pouring my heart out and she was understanding me. SHE WAS HEARING ME. Come to find out, her and my parents had spoken about this. They all sensed something was wrong, but were afraid to bring up the subject. No one wanted me to think they didn't want the meeting to take place. All this time I thought I had been keeping such a good handle on my emotions, smiling my way through it. Boy was I wrong.

I told sister how I felt so abandoned. Like what his friends and family thought about me was more important than finding out about who I actually was on his own. Yes he loved me, but he was unwilling to allow me to love him. I told her I didn't expect anything from him but him. Just to hear his voice, see his face, learn his stories. That all I wanted was to be was PART of his life. How I felt that my chance of that was gone, possibly for good.

So when I got off the phone, I sat alone. Like I said, I still don't know if i feel better or not. I DO know I have the most wonderful family in the world. Lori is more than I could ever ask for, mom and dad gave me a life anyone would be envious of and my sister, well, if everyone in the world had a sister like mine, the world would be a better place.

Maybe instead of pining away for a father I will never be able to have, I should be more involved in the family have. The loss I feel for Jim is great and very real, but there has to be a silver lining somewhere and thanks to my sister, I see it gleaming brightly.


Thank you Lori, for the life you gave me, for the love you showed me, for never giving up on me and simply for being my mother. There is nothing more any child could ever ask for from a parent.

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The First Mom's Club  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just like adoptees feel a bond with one another stemming from their similarities, I feel a kinship with mothers of relinquishment. I have many things rolling around in my head and my heart when it comes to feelings of first mothers. I realize we are not all the same and each of our experiences and set of circumstances at the time vary as much as the stories of adoption itself.

I want to put something out there that might help other mothers new to reunion, but first the disclaimer.

I am by no means a professional concerning anything but my own heart and my own reunion. In those two areas I am the only expert. No one knows what I have been through, they do not know how I felt then, not do they know how I feel now. I do not claim to be able to nor do I intend to fix anyone elses pain or reunion. All I can do is share what happened to me, in an attempt to explain some of what you might be feeling.

With that out of the way, I want to give a brief background. I am from the baby scoop era. My daughter was born in 1972. I willingly and jointly decided with my daughters father to put our child up for adoption. I didn't see any sappy commercials or hear any 30 second spots on the radio about how wonderful it would be. I did however know a couple who inspired me. They were the only couple I knew at the time who had adopted, I studied them carefully long before my daughter was ever born. It seemed to work for them.

I remember all too well the embarrassment and shame I was supposed to feel. It worked for a while, then they went over board with it and I rebelled. I refused to go in a home for unwed mothers. I refused to stay hidden in the house like a dirty little secret. I ate well, got lots of sunshine and laughed as often as possible. Sometimes the laughter would turn into tears due to the hormones but it was short lived. I was amazed that anyone could actually do that and found it profoundly wierd. That would usually get me laughing again.

After a hard delivery which I will spare you the details of, and the being treated like I was something on the bottom of the nurses shoes, I was allowed to see my daughter but not touch. I had a private room to keep me away from all the nursing moms. Probably a good idea.

Now comes the signing of the official papers that took all rights to this child away from me and legally turned them over to the infamous June and Ward Clever. This I know because all adoptive parents were like June and Ward Clever. I saw it in the only family I knew that had adopted. (They were very June and Wardish .) I like to refer to this part as Paper and Ink. There are two kinds of paper and ink. The first kind is in reference to the relinquishing parents as I just explained, and the other kind is that which the adoptive parents have to produce in order to finalize their end of adoption. Most people refer to it as money. Paper and ink are the one common bond that first and adoptive parents have.

For the first few years, I couldn't have been more proud of myself. I did the right thing. I made someone else very happy. Which was true. Then the horror stories started to pour in. Tales of adoptees being molested and even killed by their adoptors. Guilt like I had never known consumed me. I felt sick to think I had possibly turned my daughter over to the very type people I was trying to protect her from. This was to consume me for the next twenty years.

Shortly after my daughters 18th birthday, I had grand illusions of us meeting. She was of age now and would be finding me any day. That took ten more years. It never occurred to me that at the age of 18 she could start looking. I thought naively that the adoption agency would just hand over my information and within weeks we would be back together again.

Fast forward to the day I got my call and the old emotions began to flood back. It's true, I finally got my phone call. The one where someone was looking for their lost relative and it was me. I had gotten several calls over the years, most looking for a man with my first initial and same last name. This is how I was listed in the phone book.

Amazing how at a moment like this when sounding half way intelligent could be a plus for me, all I could manage to say was no way, no way, is this really my call, the one I have been waiting for forever, no way, noooo wwwaaayyy. Yeah, I sounded like an idiot, but one with enthusiasm.

Now the fun stuff begins. We talked for 4 hours. I can barely remember what about, didn't matter. This was my daughter. I hung up the phone and was in a haze. I stayed that way for days. I couldn't have been more excited or more numb all at the same time. My concentration was shot. I couldn't focus on anything, and then it started. The tears. I couldn't control the tears. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I couldn't stop. I would cry for hours sometimes, but it was a different kind of tears. They were tears of joy and tears of relief. My daughter had found me and managed to have a good life. She was safe all those years. She had gotten the family I had wished for her. One that was very June and Ward Cleverish.

As the reunion progressed, I was faced with questions that I wanted to answer but in order to do that for her I had to take the bullet so to speak. Answering her questions was far more important to me than the pain I had to relive. In the beginning it was hard. I didn't want to talk about my life and the circumstances that determined her fate of adoption. I didn't want her to know the shame and the guilt I felt by being pregnant with her.

I did it anyway. She deserved to know who she was, where she came from, why we made that decision. It was like therapy all over again with the bucket between my knees trying to talk about my childhood.

Things were awkward at first. Being uncomfortable with your own child is bad enough but not knowing if that feeling was ever going to change was the worst. Maybe we would never get past the down side of everything. Maybe we would relive the past with all it's depression and feelings of guilt every time we looked at each other. I felt like the jury was out on my status with her for a long time. I would go out of my way to not say upsetting things to her. I would walk on egg shells all the time being around her or talking to her on the phone. I was afraid I would screw up and she would go away again. I was afraid to let down my guard and love her.

Every phone call got easier and less tense. We started emailing each other things we liked and disliked. Lists of things like favorite music, color, foods, (hers is cheese). We had covered the bases of who she was and were now starting concentrating on getting to know one another.

I admit something so natural as bonding with your child should not have to be so much work, but when you have been separated from each other for so long and you were told to go home and forget about it (which doesn't work by the way) and never try to contact them, it makes you feel like your doing something wrong. YOU'RE NOT.

All the junk about not contacting her was so prominent in my mind that I never would have looked for her. I thought about it, but backed away every time. It was up to her to find me.
She had to be the one, so I couldn't be blamed for breaking a promise or going against something I might have signed all those years ago.

I was worried about her parents, how angry they were going to be. I thought about the agency and was expected a call from them telling me I was in breach of my contract or something. I thought about every ones feelings but my daughters. How stupid is that? THERE ARE NO ADOPTION POLICE.

If your child is of legal age and wants a relationship with you and you want one with them make the effort, go the distance, put up with hard stuff, the crying jags, the inability to focus. Don't let anyone tell you that you are doing something wrong. Your relationship with your child has no bearing on their relationship with the parents who raised them. It is either good or bad and no matter what it is, it had nothing to do with you, they are separate entities.

No one can tell you how your reunion is going to go. It might be wonderful like mine or it might be something that you just can't make happen. No matter what it is, it is better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all.

My daughter was a little disappointed when we met face to face. I was a little befuddles myself. We do not resemble one another in the facial features. That belongs to her fathers family and another story, but it was so healing for both of us to be able to lay eyes on one another finally after 28 years of wondering. She found her hands, her body type, her temperament, sense of humor, and much much more.

I never thought she would wonder about things like heritage, medical information, siblings. I also never thought giving her away was going to reek havoc on my life like it did for so many years.

Reunion can be healing, forgiving, and just plain spiritually uplifting if you give it a chance, but understand that there might be hard parts in the beginning that lessen with time. I can't put into words how freeing it is for me to be forgiven for what I did. I have a wonderful relationship with my daughter, we were drawn to one another from the very beginning, but it still took the guts to talk about the hard stuff to make our relationship what it is today. It wasn't her who had to forgive me, she'd already done that, it was me.

One final thought.

If your family was anything like mine your pregnancy has left a fudge mark on your life card. You know the one, the family life card that has all the stupid shit you ever did on it. All the really seriously bad stuff and the sorta bad stuff. Well I was told by more than one family member that I would never see my daughter again. One reason was the infamous paper and ink. I signed the papers and no longer have the right to see her. The other reason was because she wasn't going to want to see me after what I did.

I now see my shameful, disgracing the family, teenage pregnancy as a huge, in your face, fudge mark remover. And it feels goooooooood.

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New form of birth certificate  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inspired by something I just read about adoption from the grave.

I realize it's early and I am only on my second cup of coffee, but in reading about adoption from the grave where an adoption is still able to continue after one of the adoptive parents has died. Which I can understand from an adoptive point of view, that can be viewed in Adoption and it's Triads to the right on our profile page here. (I'd list a link but I'm challenged still in that area.) It came to me that since adoption and all the secrecy and lies, all the cover ups and the confusion it causes, why not develop a new birth certificate, standard issue, to everyone, that has 4 places for parents names. One for each first parent and then one for each adoptive parent. Everyone gets the same standard issue birth certificate the only difference is that some will have four parents listed on it. I realize that adoptions are not all finalized at birth, but if the same standard issued birth certificate was used then it could simply be reissued using the same exact certificate just filled in with the names of the adoptive parents once finalized.

Do I see this as creating a win win situation for everyone. No, I don't, it would leave first parents who want privacy vulnerable, it would ruin the chances for adoptive parents to take to their grave the truth about their child's beginning, but it would give the adoptee a place to start if they chose to seek out their original parents. It would give them a chance to discover other family members, ancestry, medical info, and more. It would give them more of what everyone else has. A beginning.

I admit I haven't given this much thought because it's still early and I can see where this would ruffle the feathers of SOME adoptors and first parents, but after all who is this in the best interest of, them or the child?

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Auto Pilot or Alzheimers?  

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WARNING NOT ADOPTION RELATED

I got up this morning and went to the kitchen as always. I fed the cats and saw that the coffee pot was empty. I am the only coffee drinker in the house so I make a pot, shut it off and reheat as necessary. This morning as I was making a pot, I was looking around for my cup. I always use the same cup. It's tall and I like the fact that it can hold about 2 cups.

So I'm looking around the kitchen and no cup. I look around the living room and dining room and no cup. I start to get worried, where did I leave my cup? Did I take it out of the house? When was the last time you remember seeing it? Yesterday. I was leaving to take Cherokee home, but I distinctly remember whining about my afternoon cup getting cold before I got back.

I have this thing about coffee cups. If I like the cup it never leaves the house. I don't want to lose it and I have had others fall out of the van door when opened only to smash into pieces. I can keep a coffee cup for decades if I never let it leave the house.

I'm fighting panic mode now, Where is my cup!!!!

The coffee is brewing, the cats are eating, no one is up but me. What could have possibly happened to my cup?

Someone broke it. Must be that someone broke it and they didn't want to face me and tell me. I glance in the garbage, no cup. They did, they broke it and they put it somewhere so I can't find it. Now mind you the whole time I have the little voice in my head telling me that it's just a cup and not one of any significant value other than it holds more than the rest of my cups. It is possible that the handle just broke off while washing, it's happened before, even to me.

Then I start thinking about my very favorite cup. The one I never use. It hangs in the cupboard and everyone knows not to touch it. It is the last of a set and I have had it for 20-25 years. I don't even use it any more it's so special. I tell myself at least it isn't my very very favorite cup.

I slowly start to come to grips with the sad reality that my morning ritual is about to change forever. I am going to have to find another morning cup or go back to using my very favorite. As I take a cup out of the cupboard, (not my favorite) and start to pour, I remembered that I have left my cup in the microwave on several occasions. I heated a cup in the afternoon, got busy and forgot about it.

I open the microwave and there it is. There's my cup. I left it in the microwave, must have forgotten about it yesterday. I reach inside the microwave, wrap my fingers around the handle and gently pull the cup out to see how much coffee is in it.

To my surprise, the coffee was hot. I was so confused that I actually put my hand on the side of the microwave to see if it was hot. As if it would be. I looked inside the microwave to see if it was catching on fire. I looked in the cup, for what i don't know. HOLY SHIT HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED. I didn't hear the buzzer go off. I didn't hear the humming of the microwave the whole time I was wandering the house looking for my cup. I don't remember locating my cup, pouring coffee in it, opening the microwave, putting the cup in, punching the buttons, hearing it heat my coffee, the timer, nothing. HALF A DAY LATER and I still don't remember doing any of this.

As a kid growing up, I ate my fair share of Teflon flakes from our fading frying pan, I have used deodorant all my life, I have killed a few brain cells through recreation and I have wondered before if Alzheimer's isn't going to be the thing that gets me. This is the first time (jokes aside about Alzheimer's getting to me) that I have done anything that actually shook me because I can't remember. I have absolutely no memory of going through those motions this morning and I wonder, is it auto pilot or the beginning stages of Alzheimer's?

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To Step In or Stay Out  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

After reading Rachael's last post, my heart ached. She called and forewarned me. But it didn't change the way I felt. I have a dilemma here that has been weighing on me since her and I first found Jim last October. That would be to step in or stay out of their reunion.



I try to stay out of it but seem to keep stepping into it and I don't know if that is fair to either of them. Unlike most, I have an unbelievable relationship with my daughter. We don't have just a good relationship, we have a phenomenal relationship. And again, unlike most I don't have just an average tolerable relationship with her father, I have a great relationship with him. I have been reunited with one of the most talented, loving, unpredictable people I have ever met. We are truly friends and I have no problem talking to him about most anything.



Hence the problem. I have a great relationship with both of them and the two of them don't seem to be getting their relationship off the ground. I have to admit, Rachael has been MOST patient with him. She has been chomping at the bit to devour every fiber of this mans being. She wants to know everything about him and she has wanted to know since last October when she first laid eyes on him. He on the other hand has truly been so busy that it is hard for him to get time for her. He being on a very early day routine and her on an afternoon shift, makes things even harder. I have suggested that 6am is a very good time for the two of them to chat for even a few minutes. She is coming off work and he is usually just getting started. Neither of them has taken advantage of this time slot.



I know he loves her. I can see it in his face and hear it in his voice. He just hasn't made time for her like she would like him to. She adores him, but is feeling like he isn't interested. She doesn't want to push, she doesn't want to invade. She wants to give him enough time to digest the enormity of reunion, but she is her mothers daughter in this respect and if it were up to her, she would have known everything but where the scars were that earned him 3 purple hearts by now. She may of even know that.



So once again I pick up the phone and ask him we are still planning our get together in August? His response: yeah, I'll try. I stick my neck out even further and ask him if he is still interested in a relationship with his daughter? THAT GOT HIS ATTENTION. We talked briefly about how her biggest fear is standing at his funeral hearing about how wonderful he was from everybody else because she never got the chance to get to know him herself. I gently reminded him that it has been almost a year since they met, and that I never did tell her the story about the garden and the steaks. He chuckled a bit as I told him that. I pointed out that it isn't my story to tell and she is still waiting to hear it. I told him how the closest thing we can come up with as far as describing us as parents vs her adoptive parents (who are the Cleavers all the way) is Bonnie & Clyde. He found humor in that, even though we weren't quite that bad. I pointed out that since meeting me, she has a pretty good idea of what we were like back in the day and he wasn't going to shock her with any stories of his life.



I know how much "I" want this reunion to work between them, but it's not my reunion. I always feel like I'm intruding on their relationship by doing these things. On the flip side, I feel like if I don't, an otherwise good relationship between a "one time only father" and a "didn't fall far from the tree daughter" who have confessed their love for one another, may slip away silently.



Our conversation was wonderful as usual. It is always good to hear his voice. The problem is I seem to hear more of it than Rachael does. So I ponder, do I keep stepping in and try to nudge their relationship along, or do I step out and watch it silently slip away?

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the unread letter  

Friday, July 18, 2008

i have been struggling lately with my impatience. last october i found my biological father and was on cloud nine. he is a wonderful man, i fell in love with him immediately. he is different than lori and i though. he is very laid back and calm. he doesn't rock the boat-unless absolutely necessary-then he is ready to stand up and deal with whatever has crossed his path.
he is a silly, lighthearted man and loyal to the death. a former bad boy that has discovered the joy of the simple life of work and family. if he starts something, he finishes it. he works with his hands and makes beautiful things for the ones he loves and also makes a decent living out of it.

at least that is what lori tells me of him. i live my relationship with him through her. she is our link to each other.
which is ok with me somewhat. they have a bond that is fierce. they lost each other for years, until i came to lori and asked her for help to find him. **note, never ask lori for help unless you honestly want it. she is a very driven woman and will not stop until the task is done. wonderful trait, i envy that one.

lori pushed forward in the search like a freight train. she would not rest until he was found. i think there were several reasons for her determination. her own loose ends in her life that she needed to tie up. a medical reason my son was facing that we feared may be genetic. closure or renewal for both of us-depending on his reaction. but mostly i think it was simply because i asked for help. i turned to my mother for help and a mothers instinct drove her to help her daughter. maybe even a slight bit of remorse for the 28 years we lost to my adoption. maybe she wanted to give me something to help ease the hole we had in our lives by our separation. i don't know for sure, but she was a bull and i thank her for it.
she found him and we set up a reunion. it was very healing for all of us. she was able to tie up the raw nerves that had been lurking in her life. i was able to put my final piece in the puzzle of who i was and where i came from. he was able to see that positive outcome of the choice he and lori made for me.
many open wounds started to heal that day.

now it is almost a year later and i am feeling like a needy child. i want my 'daddy' i want to know--FROM HIM--who he is, what his personality is, favorite color, foods he hates, scars he has, loves he has lost, does he have pets, stories of his youth. i want his voice to relay to me the person he truly is.
i appreicate lori for giving me a glimpse of the person my father is. without her i would have nothing. not that he doesnt want contact with me, not that he doesn't love me, he just doesnt have the time for me in his life. his friends and family are putting pressure on him about me. they think i want something, i do. i want HIM. but they feel i have an alterier motive. funny thing-i respect that about them. they love him and want to protect him. how could i not respect them wanting to make sure he doesnt get hurt?
i know he loves me, he tells me. but i dont think he knows what to do with me. i am too much for him to handle.
this is exactly what i did not want to happen. i did not want to disrupt his life. i just wanted to assimilate into it. but he does not do well with change. although he would NEVER tell me these things, i can feel it. i believe with all my heart that he would like to have me be a bigger part of his life, but simply doesn't know how.
so this revelation brings me to the letter that will follow this. i will not send it to him. he will never read it. i could never tell him the things i feel inside. it would hurt him. it would hurt him to know he is hurting me. but since his eyes will never lay upon this, i have the ability to be totally honest. i can pour my heart out and not fear bruising our relationship.
so here it is. raw, uncut and real.

"to begin with i want to thank you for all that you have given me in life. that may sound silly since it was 35 years later that we found each other, but you and lori gave me the greatest gift and there are no words to express the magnititude of your selflessness.
over the last few years i have met many people that have horror stories of failed adoptions, abuse, neglect, pain and heartache. i never realized how lucky i truly was until i was forced to see the other side of adoption. my soul aches for these people that have endured a lifetime of pain, while i was whining i wanted some bigger and better toy or clothing. i have found i was more spoiled than i first thought. they loved me, like their own.

that could never have happened without you.

now, years later i have you back. i have found all the missing pieces to my past. to be honest with you, it was better than i ever imagined. i feel so much more peace with who i am. with what kind of person i am. i am more confident all around.

many in your life have warned you about my motives. i respect their love and commitment to you. they want to protect you from any harm that i may inflict. i know many think i am out for some financial gain or some deep seeded revenge for my abandonment.
i do want something from you, i am not totally innocent in my motives. i want YOU. i want to hear your voice, know your habits, learn your personality. i want to know it won't be months before i can talk to you. i want to hear how much you miss me, how we will see each other. i want to make plans to get together and actually follow through on them. i want to feel confident that i WILL see you again. that you want to see me again.

so you see i am not innocent. i do want something from you. your loved ones are right, but not about what i want. your material things mean nothing to me, and as for revenge....for what? i had a great life, i now have all 4 of my parents-what would i want revenge for?

i started the search for you with a legitimate reason. my son's medical health. but deep down i wanted more. i did want you in my life. i had daydreams that you and i would be close and love each other. we would be a family. an odd family it might be, but a family none the less.

i never wanted to disrupt your life, i do not want to interfere with what you have spent years to establish. i would have been willing to accept only getting the importent information i needed and walking away. if that was what you wanted i would have done it. but you said you wanted a relationship.
now it has been a year, and i think your opinion has changed. which you have the right to do. i will harbor no anger toward you, i do understand. becoming a father of a full grown woman can be daunting.

so here is what i am going to do. i am opening my heart and releasing you. i am freeing you from any responsibility or obligation you have tied to me. you took the steps 35 years ago to release me and i am doing the same for you. i will not force you to maintain any relations that obviously make you uncomfortable or consume too much time in your world. that was never the intent. i wanted to meld into your life, not drive over it like a steam roller.
i feel rather selfish now that i look back on the last year. your world was filled with the things you love and i came along and asked you to share. i tried to squeeze in the sparce cracks you had left. i have no right to ask you to take time away from what you have worked long and hard to build up. i also have no right asking you to give me a place there. i am ashamed of myself for only thinking of myself and what i wanted. i hope you can forgive me for this. even if we part ways for good, i want it to be on good terms. i dont what our brief time together to be viewed as a horrible disaster ending in a bitter aftertaste.

you will always be in my heart and on my mind. the very thought of you makes me smile. i will fondly keep a picture of burned on my very being. how could it not be? each time i look into the mirror i will see your mother. crinkly nose and all.
my heart is feeling heavy and my eyes are welling. but this is the right thing to do. it is unfair to keep you as a hostage. i know you feel much obligation to me, but i am releasing you from your confinment. i will ALWAYS be here. if ever you come to a point in your life where you can find the time to share yourself. i will be here. and my arms will be open.

you will always be my father and i will always be your daughter. no distance or time can change that. but being a family takes more time than can be spent right now. every ounce of my being hopes that will change one day. for now, i will slip back into the shadows.

i will miss your voice, i will miss your silly giggle, i will miss you. but thank you for giving me a fleeting sight of what it is like to be 'home'. it was a once in a lifetime experience and you were able to give me that. there are no words to make you understand how much that means to me.

i love you. always have and always will.
forever your daughter,
rachael."


so there it is, honest and true. i can no longer allow myself to force this man to have me in his life for my own selfish reasons. its not fair. he has given me more than he will ever be able to know. i can disrespect him no longer.

sometimes love just isn't enough. it sucks, but its true.

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What dreams may come.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I started watching this old movie the other day and something occurred to me. In the story the children die first, then the father, then the mother commits suicide. While getting used to his new surroundings the father (Robin Williams) meets a young man, (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and a lovely stewardess (name unknown at the moment). These two young people in their late 20's early 30''s befriend the father and help him get adjusted to how things work in this new place.

while alone with this stewardess in a row boat, the father finds out that the girl had chosen this particular look because her father once told her that oriental women were graceful and intelligent and beautiful. He then realized that it was he who had made that comment and the the stewardess was in fact his daughter. He later finds out the the young black man (Cuba Gooding) was in fact his son, and the reason he had chosen his looks was because the fathers mentor many years before was an elderly black man whom he admired and deeply respected. The son knew that his father would listen to this man because he was the only man the father had ever listened to.

At first I thought it would be really great to pick out any look you wanted in this type situation. But then I started thinking about how if I was in this position as the parent, how warm and comforting it would be to see my children's real faces. To be once again in familiar loving company, not as something they had picked out but who they were or had become. Then it hit me. Adoption. How I had longed for the company, the companionship of my daughter for so many years and I didn't have a face to go with it. I longed for someone whom I had not seen since she was 6lbs. with slightly olive skin and a head full of dark brown almost black hair. This was a hard realization for me. Although my son's, I would want to see in a familiar form, I accept and form my daughter comes in.

I was taken back by this double standard. I pondered it throughout the movie.

Then comes a part when another man, who had been along for the search of the wife who committed suicide, who the father also knew previously, says to the father "do you know why we choose these different exteriors in this place?" and the father started to rattle off the obvious choices when the man stopped him and said no, it's so the rolls don't get in the way. The roll of who the father is, who the child is, who the teacher is supposed to be and the student.

Again I relate this to my own experience with my daughter. We met as grown adults. There was no mistaking or confusing who held what position in our relationship. Her parents are her parents. She is a grown woman who does not need a mommy, but could use a blood relative and a friend. There is no teacher student relationship between us. There are no parent child rolls. There is nothing to get in the way of us being who we are. There's only two grown people who listen to one another as friends, and accept the package each one comes in.

How I managed to twist this movie into my own reality is beyond me, but it makes sense in a way. Rachael is my child, but she came in a package that was unfamiliar to me in the beginning and I had to accept her as a woman. A woman who needed to be respected as an adult, as a stranger, as a new friend, and it worked, just like in the movie.

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a reunion in the cards....  

i was at work tonight and on a job that allowed me plenty of time to think of many things. some unwelcome thoughts, others very warm and wonderful. one such thought was of the first time i laid eyes on Lori.

about two years before i found Lori, i went to the bar with some friends for some drinks and socializing. it just so happened to be 'psychic night'. i thought it would be fun, so i paid the woman and sat down across the table from her. she laid out her cards and with very few questions began to weave a web of some interesting things. she touched on my boyfriend (hubby now) and our relationship, kids, loved ones that passed on, a mixture of lots of things. then she asked me if i had any questions for her.
i told her i wanted to know about my parents. my amom had been having a very rough year, her health was a constant yo yo. the whole family was exhausted and worried. i wanted some small amount of hope that it would be alright soon. that we would be able to breath again without fear.
what she said next was so crazy i almost fell off my seat. good thing i had a drink, because my mouth went dry.

she spread the cards on the table. a puzzled look consumed her face. she kept laying out cards, staring at them with confusion. then she divided them into two separate places on the table and continued to add more to each. finally she said, "i simply don't understand this"
i asked what was going on, i couldn't imagine my little life was so complex that a person claiming to have a gift of insight couldn't figure it out.
looked at me, still very confused and said "i see two. two mothers, one older one younger. i don't see how that is possible."
i was intrigued. i let her go on for a bit, just to see what she would pick up on without my input. it was downright eerie. she told of the older one having an awful year. her health was poor and she saw much fear and heartache within the family. she then assured me it was going to be fine, she would rebound and make a strong recovery.
i felt some relief from her vote of confidence. after all she had been right on target with the rest of the reading.

after this i let her off the hook and explained i was adopted. her eyes lit up like fireworks. she understood who the younger mother was in my cards. she told of much strife in her life, a passionate need for me, her love and her strength. she said i would meet her before i was 29, there would be water involved, maybe a bridge or over and ocean. maybe even by a lake, but there was LOTS of water. and she saw lots of travel. all around the reunion was travel. her message was clear, she was waiting for me and needed me as badly as i needed her.

then she said "she has felt you too" a very unsettling yet comforting statement. my whole life i felt Lori, i cant explain it fully, but she was always with me. we may have been separated, but we were never apart, not totally. we clung to the imaginary threads of one another.

so time passed and her other predictions came and went with some amusement to me. i am not a firm believer in all of that. it is fun, but i 'base my life on the outcome of a bar tarot card reader. but one day, i got a phone call that would change my world forever. it was from carol, the woman that was helping me in my search for my birthmother. a wonderously kind and sweet woman.
she had some things to show me and discuss, i needed to come to her office as soon as i could. so away soon to be hubby and i went. i was nervous, scared and excited all at once. i had no idea what was in store for me.
when we got to the office carol was beaming, her cheeks red as cherries and a smile from ear to ear. i knew then, my life was on a brink of utter upheaval. and i couldn't wait.

we sat and she slid the envelope to me, there, inside was not only her name, but her signature. she was right there. i saw something written with her own hand, 28 years earlier. (yup, before i turned 29, just like seer woman predicted)

as we left and drove home, i simply sat in awe. carol had found out that Lori had moved and we did not have a current address or phone number. it was disappointing, but i had so much to work with now, i didn't even care.
after a few calls to information, we came up with a name we thought to be her father. it was actually her nephew and his wife, but i called anyway. the woman on the other end was so warm and friendly. i didn't tell her who i was or what i wanted Lori's number for. i just simply said i "knew her a lifetime ago and wanted to get in touch with her again" not exactly a lie.

so there i sat. with her name and now a phone number staring me in the face. now what? what if she changed her mind? what if she no longer wanted contact with me? what if she had a family she never told of me? what if i call and i have to hear her say "dint call me again, goodbye forever"?
we decided my soon to be hubby would call. that way he could soften the blow to me and i didn't have the sound of her voice echoing in my head forever.
it was a fantastic conversation. she was open, warm and just like me. all i could do after the first few minutes of the conversation was giggle. I FOUND THE OTHER HALF OF MY BRAIN

we decided to met soon. she lived about 4 hours away (by the way, the agency said i was in another state and told my family Lori had run away and was missing)
her friend was flying home from Europe and she was going to pick her up at the airport, we could meet there before hand.

the day FINALLY came and as we drove a storm rolled in. the rain was insane. it came down like a waterfall. the roads were running with water, visibility was almost zero, but we plugged away.
hmmm, lets see, my reading said 'before i was 29, lots of water and travel'. yeah, a 28 year old, driving in monsoon conditions to the international airport to meet her long lost mother. yup, guess we covered all the bases.

we arrived, waterlogged, but we arrived. we waited. i searched the crowds, assuming she would stand out like a glowing beacon. i would recognize her immediately. there would be no questioning it was her. i would just know.
i stepped into the bathroom for a moment and when i came out i plopped down next to my soon to be. we chatted and i noticed him looking out the corner of his eye. i followed his gaze to a woman standing at the end of the row of seats we were in. she was a normal woman, no aura of light, no familiar sense of her, just a woman.
she was staring back.
my breath caught in my throat. my lungs ceased. my stomach lurched. i could feel my pulse race, i could hear my blood rushing in my ears. my palms became damp and i think every hair on my body stood at attention.
never breaking her stare i leaned in and whispered to him "is that her? is that Lori?" she read my lips and began to nod. the look of fear and anticipation was evident. she noticed me, she knew me, she found me.

the embrace was rib crushing. people stared, but because they thought we were just meeting up after a short separation, like the rest of them. it was an airport after all. little did they know they were watching the first embrace of a mother and daughter-28 years late. i smiled until it hurt, she cried. then we went to the lounge for a much needed drink.
there wasn't as much talking as you would expect. we were in such awe of one another all we could do was stare. it didn't take long to realize--we looked nothing alike.
i was slightly disappointed, i had this idea in my head that we would be borderline twins. exact faces at different stages in life. i had never had anyone i looked like. but it didn't matter-i had her and that's all i cared about.

the three of us walked side by side, making our way back to where we were to meet her friend, she lifted her hand to tuck the hair behind her ear and i grabbed her wrist. she stared at me as if i was slightly nutty. all i could do was whisper "that's my hand"
right there, it was my hand on her body. she smiled and indulged my amazement. she held her hand out in front of her while i did the same. side by side. they were so much alike they could have belonged on the same body. her fingers were short, her palms were broad and they were slightly wrinkled showing the years of work they had done. JUST LIKE MINE. it may not have been the facial features i expected, but it was real and tangible proof-i was hers.

we parted ways that day, not knowing exactly where this would lead. i hated to leave her, i wanted to be with her. but life was still moving on and i was a grown woman with children of my own. being a child wanting her mommy was not an option.
as we pushed open the door to leave, my soon to be grabbed my hand. and together we trudged our way through ankle deep water rushing through the parking lot like a roaring rapid. our shoes were soaked, our jeans clung to us like a second skin, the rain pelted us like stinging nettles. but we didn't care. he had lead me to my mother, i felt her arms around me, i saw my hands, i put another piece into the puzzle of my past. in my mind, it was a perfect sunny day, warmth washing over me, the smell of flowers in the air and a warm breeze rustling my hair.
it couldn't have been more perfect.

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Counting my reunion Blessings  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I feel guilty almost every day when I read about the adoption nightmares and the reunion flops that happen all around me. My heart sinks and I sometimes wonder if I'm not in a fog myself about my reunion with my daughter. I have talked to her about this and we both agree that for some reason we have escaped the eternal heartbreak that comes with less fortunate reunions. Not to say that we have not had our share of heartaches without one another, we have.

although I secretly took it pretty hard, I always held out for the fairy tale reunion that one day was going to be the end of all my sadness. She was going to have nice things, not too spoiled but a little advantaged. Her parents would love her like June and Ward Clever on American television back in the 60's and she would be happy, funny, loving and most of all loved and accepted. She would look for me one day and we would be in each others lives once again forever. Her father would be there too. I would have a relationship with him through our daughter. If I was lucky I would have a relationship with him on my own, not needing my daughter to be our catalyst. Secretly these were my dreams.

I seldom shared my dreams with any one because I didn't want to hear all the negative feedback from everyone who knew better than I what my life was going to in tale. How my daughter was never going to look for me. How I was never going to see her again. How her father is probably angry with me for getting pregnant and doesn't want anything to do with me. I have to admit I could see their points. I did get pregnant all by myself, it was my responsibility as a female to control that situation. I did believed that signing those papers meant I would never see her again, that she would go to a good home with normal parents. Not someone like me, all screwed up and single. But I still held out for that chance that one day my version of a perfect ending to a perfect story was going to reunite me with that family.

Fast forward to present day and I wonder if my story hasn't progressed almost letter perfect to the way I had imagined it. I had my problems over the years, but I always held out for the day I met my daughter. I wasn't going to be this used up hag that no one wanted. (The image I got from my peers.) I was going to see her again and her father too. And I was going to be proud of myself and my accomplishments.

Well, she did find me, and we had this unusually strong thirst to be around and get to know one another. We did feel like we belonged in one anothers lives. It started slow. I still think our reunion is slow. It's been almost 9 years to the day and I still feel like we don't see enough of each other. We talk as often as possible and probably more than most. We grab every opportunity to see one another, which has been a steady once or twice a year. We have had very few if any bumps in our relationship. We simply fit back together like two broken pieces.

She did get the great family, she was slightly spoiled. She is witty, and accepted, just like I hoped she would be. Most of all she is very loved by them and they by her.

As for my family, they are the ones I have become estranged with. I see and talk to as few of them as possible. Her father was found last fall. He couldn't appologise enough not only to my daughter but to me for not being more responsible. I have my relationship with him, just like I hoped I would. I did need my daughter and her desire to know her father to bring us back together, but I didn't need her to reaffirm the friendship between us. We are friends once again, and in a wierd way my family is complete.

I have read about reunions gone wrong and adoption nightmares and I wonder if I am fooling myself, if everything isn't as wonderful and as easy as it seems for us. If there isn't something lurking beneath the surface that I just refuse to accept. Then I relive the first moments of our reunion, the reunion with her father, and the last lunch we had together. I think about the way all three of us can never seem to let go when it's time. I can't bring myself to believe that any part of that wasn't real and honest and from the heart.

Altough I feel guilty about how our reunion seems to be so different from most, I am going to count my blessings, accept it for what it is, and not try to muddy the waters with stuff that may not be there to begin with. How I got so fortunate I will never know ,but I am truely grateful that our reunion is what it is.

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ok, ok, heres my take on juno  

Friday, July 4, 2008

lori opened the subject in her last post, so i will follow suit with her. in my opinion, it was a movie. period. and overall, it wasnt half bad.

they have made thousands of movies on regular events, and those didnt cause half the reaction that juno did. my only reasoning for this is that adoption has been such a taboo subject for so long that people dont know how to respond. adoption has been played out to be a wonderful and loving gift to and from so many people. and dont get me wrong-it CAN be, but overall it is a heartwrenching experience for everyone it comes in contact with. the relinquishing parents are faced with a life time of "what if's". spending their lives wondering if what they did was the right choice, if the baby they gave up is ok, are they loved?
the adoptive parents are given a line of eminent demise for the child if they dont 'save' them. lies about who they are and where they came from are presented from the very start. and the adoptee-the one that gets to live this rollarcoaster every day-is left with a jumble of crap others has thrown at them. never allowed to know the truth and never allowed to grow up.

it effects all of us.

now that being said-its still a movie. a spoof on real life events like the old "airplane" movies. its not a true interpretation of what it is really like. is it triggering? probably. is it hurtful? sure, at times. (the consatant referrals to the baby as "it" and the lack or remorse on juno's end) but does is honestly depict the reality of adoption? not by a long shot.
there were a couple of parts that i laughed right out loud. my favorite scene was when her step-mother told off the ultrasound tech. she lit into her like it was her job-and me being a step mom raising them full time-could relate and i loved it.

maybe my response to the movie has something to do with how my life turned out. my adoption is not a horrible mess like so many others i have found. i have 4 parents that love me, siblings that i adore and a contentment with being the oddity in my adoptive family. i dont mind being the weird one.
now if i was in a different place in my life and my reunion-i honestly believe this movie would hurt. it tackles the subject with a very cold heart, to gleens over the emotional issues. its like they are picking out a pair of shoes and then giving them to a friend. all in all JUST NOT A REAL LIFE VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENS.

so, in my mind, the more attention we give to this movie, the more steam it builds. this movie would not have gotten the press it did if it wasnt for the members of the triad reacting with such passion. people heard and read the things said about it, and then ran out in droves to see it. they wanted to know what all the hype was about.
let it rest, let it die off and go away. if people are stupid enough to believe this i an honest display of what its like-well-then our society is already doomed.

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Juno  

I have seen the movie Juno. I have read the the controversial comments about how witty the movie was, warm and heart felt, how up lifting and funny it is. I have also listened to adoptees who are enraged by the concept of the movie and many others like it, speak of how it is not so funny if you live it. How every time they turn around this highly publicized movie is shoved in their face as a constant reminder of who they are or who they aren't.

I am not a movie critic by any means. I'm cheap, and only see movies when they make the dollar rack, but I made an exception for this one. I liked Juno. I found it funny. It has some great one liners in it. It is warm and fuzzy, it's a feel good movie. Your supposed to feel warm and fuzzy when it's over.

Let me point a few things out about this movie.
FIRST of all, it is simply a movie. I have spent years telling my kids that "they" can do anything they want in movies and television. That does not make it real life. I can remember falling asleep watching one of the nightmare on elm street movies and waking to both my boys frightened half to death by what they saw when they awoke from their nap. I spent days finding pictures of Robert England to show them that this is the guy behind the mask and makeup of Freddie.

SECOND This is someones job and they are obviously very good at what they do if they can take such a sensitive subject and turn it into a feel good movie. They don't get paid unless they can pull off the warm and fuzzy aspects of the film. Or they don't' get paid much I should say. The movie needs to be liked, and for the most part I liked the movie. Because I could pull myself out of my situation and just watch it as a movie. If I had not been in reunion it is highly possible that I would not have been able to do that.

THIRD this is not by any stretch of the imagination how a first mother is going to feel about relinquishing her child. Take it from someone who has lived this, the warm and fuzzes just weren't there. I'm not a bitter first mom. I am from the baby scoop era where almost all adoptions were closed. I still do not feel like I was coerced into my decision, but my circumstances were different.
I do however remember regretting my decision, and missing my daughter almost every day. I remember having things like adoption conversations come up and instantly turn my stomach into a knotted mess as I try to keep my mouth shut and not let anyone know that I was one of those women they were so freely bashing, and expecting me to join in.

This movie, that is just a movie, is a gross misrepresentation of what adoption is really like. For the people who live it, I can see why they are so upset by this film. There is way too much that is left out. Too much that has been twisted to get that feel good response in the theater. No follow through to years down the road and how everyone is affected by the warm and fuzzy decision to complete someone elses life through the gift of adoption.

I am not against adoption. I believe there will always be a need to provide children who have no home, a place to grow and be safe. I believe in Ethical Adoption. What I don't believe in is adoption done through coercion, bullying, and misrepresentation on film.

JUNO IS A MISREPRESENTATION ON FILM.

If you can watch the movie and keep in mind that this is just a movie presented to get a particular response from the audience, I say enjoy the film. But if you are going to walk away thinking that this represents real life, if your going to compare adoption to your family and friends as a win win situation for everyone based on the movie you paid a few bucks to see, I beg you to do yourself and anyone else you may infect a favor and do research on real life adoptions. Ones that have for the most part taken more than they have given. Ones that no matter how normal and good the arrangement was for the adoptee, first parents and adoptive parents, stil leaves gaping holes, unanswered questions and lives scared.

JUNO although a funny film with good one liners IS A MISREPRESENTATION OF REAL ADOPTION.

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No one noticed how different we were  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

As I have broadcast across the different forums and personal emails of friends, I had lunch with my daughter yesterday. Sounds so simple, but lunch for us is anything but simple. I had to hitch a ride with a friend who was already driving past there to pick up her grand daughter. It wasn't to the next town or the next county, it was to Ohio from Northern Michigan. We left at 3:30 in the morning, drove right through my daughters town and on to another small town 2 hours past the Ohio line. That in itself took 7 1/2 hours. Then back in the car for the return to Michigan trip and lunch with my daughter and her family. There were 8 of us total and we had to shuffle tables and chairs to accommodate us all. That drew a small amount of attention but then something wonderful happened. Once we were all seated, after all the shuffling and scuffing sounds of tables and chairs being jostled about, we blended in. I looked around a few times to see if we were drawing any more attention, and we weren't. NO ONE NOTICED HOW DIFFERENT WE WERE, different from them that is.



I have always imagined how reunion would be for us. The first time around we were different and people did seem to notice. We were the center of attention for about 50 people in the boring and all to quiet International airport terminal. I'd of been staring too if I wasn't part of the entertainment. There isn't much to do there. But we didn't mind.



We selected park and outdoor settings for the nest few gatherings. Lots of room to move for everyone and things to keep the kids busy so the big folk could talk. Even screaming doesn't draw attention in a setting like this. Kids are always screaming in parks.



Yesterday we bombarded a restaurant, had ordering questions flying back and forth across the tables and at different points, 3 conversations going on at once. No one was being too loud or unruly. No one was thoroughly disgusted or dissatisfied with our waitress, (even though I had something very white and creepy mingling with my Pepsi from the side of my glass, and that it was replaced with a diet Pepsi, which I despise) we seemed to everyone else to just be a large group of people varying in ages from 5 to 53. No one saw the obvious difference between us and them. We had been estranged from one another through adoption.

I barely know my grand-children. I don't feel like their grand-mother. I did however feel something very special from them. Love. The twins couldn't be there and it was mentioned that they will be disappointed to have missed it. The boys were great. What fine looking young men they are. The oldest is my grand-daughter and she was looking much healthier than the last time I saw her. She had unwillingly dropped several pounds that she couldn't afford to lose. I should have such a problem. She looked great. my daughter was smiles from ear to ear. We ordered the same sandwich and split the onion rings. She tried my soup, I declined on trying her cream of broccoli. I've had it before and although it's okay, it's not something I can eat more than a few bites of.

When my husband and I go out to dinner with the boys we do the same thing. There are always forks and spoons reaching across the table. Not in an obnoxious manner, but in an attempt to broaden ones horizons to new tastes. This very much felt like dinning with my family. It felt so good.

I still struggle with titles and this one is no exception, my son in law. I don't feel like a grand-mother let alone a mother-in-law, but if you had to put a title on it he is my son-in-law, and I adore him. He tried so hard to get time off work yesterday to be with us and it looked like it wasn't going to happen. As it turned out, as we were leaving the house for the restaurant, he called and said he managed to get the afternoon off and would be meeting us at the restaurant. We held a seat for him and it was wonderful to see the man who made the call that brought me back together with my daughter. The fact that he really wanted to be there was inspiring enough for me. It was an absolute bonus to have him there in person.

Why this all means so much is because back in the dark days of teen age pregnancy I was told I would never see her again. That if I tried to see her again bad things were going to happen to me. I was paraded around town being humiliated in front of anyone who would listen. I was sneered at, had noses turned up at me, I was shunned to the point that I took it turned it around on them and was utterly obnoxious about it. But I did believe them when they said bad things would happen to me. I did believe that she belonged to someone else and they would come after me, hurt me, to protect her from me. Even though I believed them, in the back of my mind I thought we would over come this and meet again.

Two hours of food and conversation is all we could manage this time, but it was worth every minute of it. I was treated like family and the roof didn't fall on my head. I was looking. No angry mob ready to do bad things to me. No being escorted out by police for breaking the legally binding signature I sprawled at 16.

The best thing of all is that no one noticed how different we were from them.

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