Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Please Help Everyone!
« on: October 22, 2008, 07:12:47 PM »
It has been two days since Holt received this and not a peep. Typically I hear back from them within an hour.Either they have decided to cut their losses with me or they are in the backroom trying to figure out how to do damage control.Please everyone, If you can post my original post (below) on other boards,blogs, websites, that would be a great help.I have tried unsuccessfully to join some other groups over the pastcouple of months (just never heard back from some, so maybe they areinactive?) and/or I don't know what all places get the most traffic,as I am pretty new to being out of my adoption fog. Especially if youare a member of any international KAD sites, that would be helpful aswell.I think this is important for ALL Holt alumni to see what has happenedto me, because this treatment is not an isolated incident.Thank you!I have prefaced the document with background info for easier cuttingand pasting below*******************************************************************Holt Renigs on Promise-one document was found addressing two abandoned children:-the document is not officially stamped-the document has seven items which address them sometimesindividually, sometime together-transferred on the same day-from the same place-same sex-same age-the were given provisional names due to being abandoned-they were later given consecutive Holt orphan numbers,#4708 and #4709 (which every Holt orphan exhibits on their littlesquare photo)There is a remote possibility the girls could be related.Holt International located the girl's files and promised to contacther. After conferring with Holt Korea, they have rescinded their promise.Read her letter to Holt International below:Steve Kalb of Holt International,I entered into this search process not unlike most every otheradoptee, naively thinking Holt would help me out as stated on yourwebsite. However, this process, though friendly, has beencontinuously frustrated by your methods.* First, your organization told me you could not provide assistancebecause I was abandoned and there was no identifying information. Sorry.* Then, I received my child records, which are my legal right, only tofind there was important information in my records.* When pressed to receive my FULL record, which is my legal right, andwhich includes the records in Korea, I was told they were the same asthe records at Holt International in Oregon.* Then, I was told that assessment of my Holt Korea records showedthere was no identifying information so you couldn't help me. Sorry.* When pressed about what Holt Korea was looking at, I was told it wasjust one page in a log book and there was nothing important. Sorry* Only after persisting did your organization relent and send mecopies of my Holt Korea file and it proved to have two documentsinstead of one. The second document was most definitely very important.* There has been nothing but excuses and delays in a propertranslation of this important document.* When I asked to put my request for contact with Holt orphan #4709 inher passive registry you told me you could do better and facilitatecontact. You have broken that promise.Once again, you are acting as arbiters of what is and isn't valid.It is my understanding that two children on one document is NOT COMMONas you state.I find the argument that we can not possibly be related due to havingdifferent family names UNACCEPTABLE, as it states right on thedocument that we were given provisional names. Since both our nameswere fabricated, then how can you use a difference in names as theargument for BREAKING YOUR PROMISE to facilitate my contact? how canwe trust any of the other data, such as age? If Holt Korea now sayswe are six months apart, How do we know that is true if our NAMES werefabricated? How can you discern fact from fiction when there is noknown facts but known fiction? How can we trust your organizationwith an abysmal track record like the history outlined above?Your repeated frustration of my search efforts continue to be basedupon illogical premises and this frustrates locating a possible familytie that could be re-established, independent of a mother's desire toremain anonymous. If this frustration is not intentional, then thereis gross ignorance and ineptitude on the part of Holt International.You can DO BETTER. You have not handled my case well. You can do ASYOU PROMISED and facilitate contact with girl #4709, since you DO haveidentifying information for her, so that we definitively - and notjust based on your doubts - rule out that she is my sister. This isnot a matter of CAN you do it. This is a matter of WILL.Holt orphan #4709 may very well not be my sister, but it is ridiculousto not bother to find out. There is nothing to be lost by contact andeverything to be gained.I had no beef with your organization prior to this, but this charadeof what you call assisted search has inflamed my attitude towardsHolt. It's not too late to actually provide what you say you do. AndKEEP YOUR PROMISES.Once again, I must remind you that my entire search process is beingshared publicly and is transparent on this end, even if it isn't onyour end. The more you make my search more difficult than it has tobe, the less flattering it is for Holt International. And this iskey, Mr. Kalb - you could have spared all of us a lot of irritationand bad humor if you'd just ponied up all my documents up front fromday one and reviewed them with an investigative eye to TRULY assistme. I don't understand how continuously trying to send the adoptee ontheir way empty handed helps your case.I would like to close my dealings with your organization on a positivenote. Please give me reason to do so.ADDED:For detailed information on how to decipher Holt's Post Adoptionpractices, and what you can do to prevail, read the permanent pageBe Tenacious - How to get your identity back you have any information regarding orphan #4709, please contactal.most_human@...

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I made a difference  

Monday, October 20, 2008

I was in the biggest town around my parts yesterday and I ran into a woman who had been a foster parent and who had adopted a brother and sister recently. I know her from church and one day a few months back I called her to see if she had original birth certificates on her children. We talked for an hour. Mostly I talked. She kept saying "I didn't know that, I didn't know that,I didn't know that either" When we had gotten off the phone I wasn't sure if I had gotten through to her or if she was just humoring me until I ran out of wind. I wasn't sure because of her answers to my questions, or the fact that I had called her out of the blue to discuss this. I had envisioned her looking at the receiver with that who is this woman look on her face. Mozying around her house nodding in polite yeah okayness to everything I said.


Yesterday she walked up to me and told me that the adoptions on her two new family members (who were removed from their home ) were recently finalized. One a few months ago and the other last month. She looked at me with wide eyes and said " I got the boys original birth certificate" she went on to explain that the same office different person would not give her the daughters original but she wasn't done fighting for it.

I was dumbfounded. I had actually gotten through to her. She was listening. I was very proud of the fact that between the two of us we had managed to get at least one original birth certificate.

In that hour long discussion I asked her to talk to any other foster parents she knew and to repeat the things I had just told her. Even if they do not adopt the children at least somewhere there would be an original to go with the child. I suggested passing them on to the adoptive parents, sticking them in a file and sitting on them for years if need be.

Now I know that this does not change the fact that the law needs to be changed. I know that it does not help thousands of others, but it did help just one, and through this woman who does in fact know lots of adoptive parents because I live in a town of adoption, it may help even more.

Her own daughter is an adoptee light who may have passport issues in a few short years. You see my son and her daughter just graduated from modeling school together. Her daughter is ideal runway material. We both heard about another woman through the class who is right now working in Japan doing runway work, something that requires a passport. It hit home for her.

You never know what your kids career paths are going to be. My other son has a strong desire to travel and possibly work in Japan. He has expressed interest several times. Although he will have no passport issues, it just proves you never know how someone elses actions will affect the future of another human being.

I am happy on this day that a shot in the dark phone call that could have cost me a friend turned out so well for one little man. The funny part is he will never know the significance of it all. As it should be.

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The Pain of a Mother who choses Adption  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I recently responded to a question on Y/A that in turn started a back and forth email session between myself and this young mother who recently surendered her son. It has only been a few weeks and she is doing the all too familiar flip flop back and forth between changing her mind and letting the adoption continue.

As many things that have changed, evolved, progressed in adoption one thing has remained exactly the same. The pain a mother feels after letting a child go. Her words are my words all over again. Her pain has resurrected my own. I ache for her, I cry for her, I feel that empty pit in my stomach and in my arms, my empty arms. I remember through her, the sleepless nights, the prayers just to let me die in order to stop the hurt. Disfocused, disheveled inside, putting a smile on my face every day so the world will not know what a fool I feel like. That it didn't bother me to do what I did, see I'm fine, as I bite the inside of my mouth to keep me from bursting into tears.

Why is it women who have not been there can not see through the words of women who have that this is painful. This is more than painful, it's humiliating, frightening, depressing, and so much more that words can describe. Maybe that's the problem I can't find the right words to get across to them that there is more to it, so much more to it than just signing papers and walking away.

Had anyone told me how much this was going to hurt and for how long would I have listened? Would I have changed my mind? Would this young lady have listened? Would anyone have been able to describe to her in words what it feels like to do what we did? Probably not. Especially when you have so many others clammoring in your ear about how easy it's going to be. How much better it's going to be. How wonderful your going to feel about making someone else soooo happy. She feels stupid, tricked, lied to. All the things I felt but would never admit.

I felt tricked for a different reason. Now a days you can't help but know that adoption costs a lot of money. Believe it or not I didn't know that. I didn't know people paid money for babies let alone more money for healthy babies. When I was told that I almost went insane. A woman asked me if my child had all her fingers and toes, limbs,etc... and was excited because she would go for a good price. I remember that day like no other. It changed everything for me.

I still stand behind my decision of adoption being the better choice for my daughter, just like this young lady stands behind hers, most days. But to know what someone is headed for and not be able to explain it to them in words adequate enough to understand is frustrating. All I can do is be there and try to help them pick up the pieces of their shattered life. Sit with them without words having to be exchanged because words fail to accurately describe. Let them know that someone stands next to them and completely understands. Accept them into the club no one wants to join. Help them work on themselves so that their sacrifice is not in vain. Get them to that next level, help them through that one day that seems to never end.

I have heard people talk about saving that one child through international adoption. In a sense I can relate. I want to save that one mother who is in pain beyond words. I want to get her to that next class, get her to work the next day, get her out of bed and in the shower. I want to keep her from that early morning drink, that next dose of make it go away pills. I want to hold her hand through the next 18 years only to realize that the real wait has just begun.

I have always said that I do not belong to the sisterhood. Meaning I don't automatically stick up for women just because they are women. Especially when it comes to things they do to men. I am more ashamed to belong to the species most of the time. But this is a sisterhood I feel I belong to. This one I can relate to. This one I can't turn my back on.

My young friend, if you are reading, I want you to know you have found a sister. One that will hold your hand from far away and help you through all the initiations of this club you now belong. I will drag you out of bed, get you in the shower, send you off to class or to work on time. I will be there when you get home and can't hold back the tears. I will listen when others have had enough and feel you should move on, because I remember, and I had those who were there for me.

When you are strong, and I assure you that day will come, maybe you can be there for another who has made the same choice we made. Maybe you can find the words that seem to escape me. Maybe together we can find a way for others to get through the one thing that has not changed in my 35 years. The Pain of a Mother who choses adoption.

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To the man who made the most sincere offer I have ever had  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have known this man almost my whole life. He was a high school friend of my older brothers. He fell in love with me and offered to marry me in order for me to keep my daughter. Yes there was another option for me, but it would have been a lie. A lie to him. I could have married him, kept my child, and made all of us miserable because I did not marry him for the right reasons. It would have destroyed the love I genuinely do have for him.

No other person has ever made my heart smile and ache at the same time. I have never met a sharper wit, or one who was more spontaneous. Voted class clown in high school, he is a true master of comedy. Sometimes dark comedy, but dark has always been my favorite shade. He is an excellent writer, words truly are your forte. He taught me many things over the years, the most important being how to turn a bad thing around. I learned from a master.

He could have walked away from me and never looked back after my rejection of his offer, but he chose to stay. He stayed for another 40 years and counting. He has disappeared on me for lengthy periods of time (something that drove me crazy) but he always returned.

This last time I honestly thought he had moved on to the the next level. I had not heard from him in quite some time. But he's back. I found word of him on Seeing him again is so important to me that I left a message on my brothers site whom I have not spoken to for many years just to have one more conversation with this amazingly funny and lovable guy. This man who has earned and gained my trust. A man who I know in my heart I will see again because we are not finished with one another.

I no sooner found him and he was leaving again. We only had time for telephone conversations and a few brief emails but it was enough to exchange verses, slapsticks, and contact information. He called the other day and I was too busy with my kids to stay on the phone. We talked briefly but promised to talk again soon.

He called again today. He is headed back my way in November and we have made plans to see each other then. How I wish my daughter could get to know this man. One who was an intricate, positive part of my life. One who made an offer knowing that the love would be unbalanced in an attempt to spare me what he could not spare himself, the loss of a child. He too lost contact with his first born. I have not had a chance to ask him if he ever heard from her again, we have had so many other things to talk about in the short amount of time we get on the phone.

I want you to know you have been loved most of my life, far more than you will ever know. You have been missed all the time you were away. You have been prayed for, cursed at, (under my breath), and thought of more fondly than any other. I want to thank you for all you have given me and all you have offered that I refused to accept.

I loved you then, I love you now. I will love you next time we meet.

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a friend by any other name.....  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recently I recanted a story of a friendship lost to a new friend. It was a very hard story to write, especially since I was making an effort not to swear every other word. I surprised myself with the amount of venom I still harbored. I have to admit I was a little ashamed of myself for holding a grudge as passionately as I had. But when someone hurts you to the core-you carry that for a long time.

I won't bore you with the details of the saga, honestly, there is no way I have the energy nor patience to do it all over again. But it brought up a point that has been gnawing at me. TRUST. What exactly is that anyway? What traits in a person make you trust them? Or better yet-what flaw in my personality allowed myself to be subjected to such abuses from someone? We are not talking a couple of months here people, this went on for 20 years. Twenty years I hung in there, clinging to the idea that she was a true friend, she cared for me, that I could trust her.
Ends up, she was a leech and many had warned me about her. I, of course, defended her like it was purpose in life. I loved her. She used me. I ended it. She drug my name and life through the mud. Now I wanna kick her ass. But I won't, because she is not worth the effort I would put into it. Or the bail money-definitely not worth the bail money.

I have heard many say that adoptees in general have trust issues. But is that really true? Is it a trait widely found in adoptees or is it a learned response from life itself.
Maybe it's both.

As parents we abuse that trust. "DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS, JR." to "here honey, sit on Santa's lap" ( a big, urine smelling stranger in an obnoxious suit)

Is trusting someone really the basis for a good relationship? Or does it leave us open to potential doom?
How can we ensure we don't take the hurt out on someone else that is not connected to the betrayer? Or condem them for the evils of others?

Trust-such a little word with such a huge impact on our quality of life.

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When you see what you want to see  

Monday, October 13, 2008

I just got off the phone with my mother. She called to see how I was doing with my new college class. I had not told her that I cancelled it, why would I, she made it sound like I was stupid for taking more classes. I want my bachelors degree and now seemed like a good time to get started on it. Well as the conversation went on we started talking about remembering things from our past. She asked me if I remembered taking a friend school shopping with us one year. No I don't remember that but supposedly the friend did remember and had recently repeated how spoiled I was to my niece, who of course repeated it to my mother. I don't think my niece meant anything by it, she was just repeating a story about a girl who came from such a large family that she rarely got new clothes. My mother offered to buy her something and the girl had never forgotten.

This is the same girl who has been here in my town a dozen times and never once called to say hello, or lets have coffee. The same girl whom I hung around with exclusively for a few years. The same girl who married well and divorced even better. Telling my niece how spoiled I was for getting new school clothes when she couldn't, and how wonderful my mom was for buying her a pair of shorts. I know that you are supposed to be grateful for what you get and remember the things people do for you, and I'm sure she really didn't mean for me to have my nose rubbed in it for getting so many clothes, but the way it came back to me was probably much different than the way it was originally said.

The part that no one wants to look at though is that she had 5 older sisters. Five, for crying out loud. Clothes could have been passed down. I had no sister, none, and at that particular time I had picked up eczema from somewhere and was put on steroids to relieve it. Steroids over a few months time turned a small framed girl into a chipmunk. My cheeks were so fat that I was unrecognizable. My clothes didn't fit at all. I couldn't wear one thing that was in my closet before the brain surgeon dermatologist put me on steroids. And I was always good at crossing things over into another outfit, not to mention that my mom got child support to pay for those cloth and if she didn't buy them my dad would have been all over her.

This girl came from a large in tact family, that was always an envy for me. What was happening to me was not happening to her. I was alone inside most of my growing up years, where she was running free, being a kid, having fun and living the childhood some of us could only dream of. She had the support of her father, mother, 5 sisters and 6 brothers. She had more clothes available to her on any given day than I had my whole teen years. She was constantly telling me I was spoiled and obviously still feels that way as she lives in her 3,000 sq. ft home with her beauty shop, manicured lawn and all the golf lessons her kids can take. She has done very well for herself but still sees me as a spoiled child.

Unbelievable, that she can't see what was happening to me. Her sisters know, and yet she still sees a spoiled girl. I would have given anything to be as poor as she was growing up, to have sisters to protect me, to have a mother and a father who cared about me. To have male relatives who acted like they were related instead of using me for practice and letting their friends do the same. Like I said she was probably repeating a small story that she remembered in a fond way yet by the time it got back to me, all I got was how spoiled I was. I had always known that my family was a bunch of surface dwellers. By that I mean, things look good on the surface. All the nasty stuff was hidden and obviously still is. I wonder what she would of thought if we had traded places for a while? Would she still be focused on all the clothes? Or would she of wanted to go home?

When you see what you want to see things look so much better.

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The Other Shoe  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's been a while since I have written anything but I haven't really had much to say. I have been lurking in my least favorite Internet hangout and was inspired by conversations of infertility. I want to write about that but not now. I want to share my feelings on something else.

I have been trying to get one of my units into a local school for almost 3 years now and think I have finally broken their will with my sheer determination. I am not going away any time soon and I think they realize that.

I was sent to the new Athletic Director to talk about a petri dish test that had to be done in order to prove that my unit was working. Now this man has known me for at least 5 maybe 6 years as he has been my boys teacher and coach. He has formed a bond with my one son and if I dare say doesn't care much for my other son. Which is okay, my other son doesn't care for him much either, and this teacher is no longer his coach so its all good.

I was talking to this man who has seen first hand what my units can do. He had one in his classroom last year. He was there for my presentation to the principle and told him he wanted two of them, which surprised me because when you live in a small town popularity contests exist everywhere and I lost out in one 3 years ago when I refused to leave the Superintendent's office. That was a long heated argument that didn't win me any teacher friends. They have to work there. But since he retired and died, (yes the man dies shortly after retirement) I have been a steady pain in the rear to the new Superintendent, Principle, and A.D.

Things looked good in the spring when school was getting out. There was to be a shelf put up to test my unit properly and everyone seemed interested. Well long story short, the shelf still has not been put up, but instead we found a make shift place to put it to test it out. Now keep in mind that school budgets come out in the spring. That's when they have money.

Well with the economy being what it is, and my business barely squeaking by because of the economy I felt the urge to gently nudge these people into not wasting any more time and getting the unit set up right away. If not I may be the next person to leave here and take my kids out of their school system. Not out of meanness but necessity. They have lost their share over the past year, year and a half and they need every student they can get.

I explained what I was looking for in the way of repeat business and the new A.D. actually wrote it down. No one had done that so far in my 3 year quest to outfit this school with my handy inventions. No I didn't invent them, but they are sweet.

So I'm thinking that I am really getting somewhere with this new A.D. who already knows me and my reputation. I'm thinking that I might be able to turn my finances around and go back to actually having a life not just an existence. With one kid in modeling school, one graduating this year, and a husband who wants to go pro on the natural body building circuit, I'm constantly stealing money from places I shouldn't and putting it in places I have no business putting it. For the first time in months I may see a glimmer of hope at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

Here it is folks, here's the punch line I have been building up to. What I refer to as the "other shoe". In case you are not familiar with the term it implies hitting the floor and simultaneously bursting your bubble and either sending you right back to where you were before or worse.

My son comes home from practice and says he has a message from the new A.D.
I sit down in anticipation, dollar signs flashing before my eyes, and he says. " The coach wanted me to tell you that if you have to move and I don't want to go, which I don't, he will adopt me for the next two years." I could hear the music from the shower scene in the movie Psycho repeating in my head. I had no words for what seemed like a very long time.

Finally I looked at my son and not wanting to over react I told him that although I know this mans heart is in the right place and he is only trying to offer something truly genuine, he used the WRONG WORD. My son looked at me and said "what adoption?" Yeah, adoption. There is no way in hell I am going through that again not even for two years. My son didn't say anything more about it. He knew I would not allow that unless I was in between a rock and a hard place. I have to admit it gets pretty tight at times but I always manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat.

Needless to say, days later I still can't shake the words. I even went so far as to see in my head CPS getting involved now that they know I am struggling. I envisioned this teacher using his position to twist my financial status and anything else he can to get his hands on my son.
I know in my heart that what he was offering was genuine. My son is a great athlete and has a great bond with his coach. The coach not only wants to keep the student but the athlete as well.

So I have to face this man again, probably tomorrow. I have to keep my composure and not let what was said interfere with getting these units into this school. I know what I have to do but I am afraid I will be unsuccessful at doing it. I have told the principle several times that because I have kids in the school system we need to keep our issues separate. Now I have to follow my own advise and I'm not sure I can look at this man the same any more. I am both flattered that he cares enough to offer, and offended that he would suggest such a thing all at the same time.

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