I’m Back and In Trouble Already

I’m Seeing Double and have been sent to the principal’s office over at Grown In My Heart….

Seeing Double at Grown In My Heart.

Other than that, I’m adjusting.

I’m a freshman at a small mid-western university.  I always thought these things were made up, until it happened to me……

Actually I have managed to get myself enrolled in school.  We’ll see how that goes.  More later.

Ward Of The State (Slight Return)

Due to my recent employment situation, I am again dependent on the state.

It’s triggering.

As an adult adoptee most of my contact with the state has been adversarial.  I want my original birth certificate and they refuse to give it to me.  This because they think of me as a child that cannot understand my position.

The fact is, I understand my position very well.  Obtaining my OBC will not change a thing about who I am or what has happened to me, but it will make me feel like an adult.  It’s simple, but they won’t help me.  I’m  supposed to be fine with all that.

The state does  feel that I might need some help with my joblessness.  It’s been explained to me that losing a job can be very traumatic.

I get that.

The state has told me that’s it’s unfair and I shouldn’t be able to understand my situation.

I think I have a pretty good grasp on the situation, actually.

They tell me that I may feel like my identity has been taken away.

Um no.  I know what that feels like and this isn’t it.

They say this could be the most significant transition in my life.

Trust me, it’s so not.

They want me to know if I start to feel out of control or that I fear I might hurt myself, counseling is available.

Oh where have you been all of my life?

They even offered to set up a “rap session” for us to dicuss what we are going through.

No, in the name of all things holy, no.

I’m not trying to minimize  job loss here, it is hard, but it’s not like the end of my world.

Honestly I’m offended that they take unemployment so much more seriously than adoption.  I lost a job here, not my biological roots, not my name, not my identity.  I’m supposed to be just fine with being adopted and not require any kind of assistance dealing with it, but lose my job, and it’s time for intensive intervention.

What the hell ever.

Adoption and Adaption

First off, tweet for adoptee rights and a free Mary Gauthier “The Foundling” CD today with Claudia and The Adoptee Rights Coalition.  Good cause, free stuff, why wouldn’t you?

Second, get to work on your submissions for  Pieces Of Reunion.  A chance to tell your story, and get published, why wouldn’t you?

Now, what have I been up to?

I don’t even know where to begin.  Let’s just say that the next few months are going to bring a lot of changes for me.  Good changes, I hope.

But one thing is never going to change, I’ll always be adopted.  I can change my shirt, my hair color, my religious affiliation, my status on Facebook, but I can’t change that.

Some folks seem to think that they can deal with all the adoption shit and move on.  The thing is dealing with it doesn’t change it, it just gives you a different perspective.

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately.  Events beyond my control have forced me to to.  By no decision of my own, my life is going through a major rearrangement. I wouldn’t have chosen this right now.  I would have been just as happy to continue as I was, for at least a while.

I knew things would have to change eventually.  It just never seemed like a good time.  But changes  never seem to happen in good times, and because times are bad, I’m out of a job that I’ve held for over 20 years.

I never meant to stay there this long, when I started I thought I’d be out of there in less than 6 months.  It’s complicated, and it involves my adoptive family, and I couldn’t explain it in less than 100,000 words.  Let’s just say the whole situation of late has left me feeling very adopted.

But, I’m OK with it.  I’m unsure, nervous, but not devastated or paralyzed.  I’ve no choice but to roll with it.  I wonder if some of this feeling of acceptance has something to do with being adopted.

My life has been subject to change from the very beginning.  I was born into one family, and through circumstances beyond my control I was given to another.  That’s as big a change as I can imagine.  I don’t think that being too young to remember this kept me from learning from it.  What are adoptee issues but the universe telling you that some adaption is in order?

As adoptees we are hyper vigilant, always looking out for something that’s different, something that’s changed.  But just because we are aware of changes doesn’t me we have problems reacting to those changes.

I’ve seen adoptees handle life changing experiences almost as if their plans for lunch had been canceled.  I suppose once you take away someone’s identity, they figure they can handle just about anything. Not to say any of these changes are easy for us, I just wonder if many of us have developed mechanisms for dealing with change, through our experiences.

Maybe I’ll get through this alright, maybe I won’t.  But I know it will be the circumstances the event brings on, not the event itself, that cause any future breakdowns. That may seem like a slim distinction, but it’s not. I don’t fear change.  I’m OK with uncertainty.  I expect it.

So I’m off to adapting again.  I’ll figure it out.  I’ll probably subject you to a lot of my figuring it.  I have learned that I’m not alone.  That’s been a lot of my adaption of the last few years.

I have over 20 years experience in retail, and over 40 as a bastard. The job market should be my oyster, huh?

Stay tuned, this could get interesting.

Adoption Poetry and The Earth’s Final Destruction

It’s Carnival time again at Grown In My Heart, this time it’s all about poetry.  You can participate by writing a blog post on the subject and clicking Mr Linky (that always sounds kinda dirty to me, like “Come sit on Mr. Linky’s lap, little girl.” ) right here.

OK, here we go….

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy defines Vogon Poetry as such….

“Vogon poetry is the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent, of his poem, Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning, four of his audience members died of internal hemorrhaging, and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council, survived by gnawing one of his own legs off… The very worst poetry in the universe died along with its creator, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex… in the destruction of the planet Earth.”

Though very little of Mrs. Jennings poetry survives, I am certain that she was must have had some connection to adoption.  There could be no other way The Guide would have granted her the distinction of worst poet in the universe.

Adoption brings out the most evil of muses.  That muse that would tempt one to compare not just body parts but bodily functions with the act of filling out paper work.  To entice one to draw parallels between celestial occurrences and bureaucracy. Between one’s arms and a dumpster.

It is almost impossible not to fall into the many traps that lay in wait for the aspiring adoption  poet.  The more passionate the writer, the more dangerous the pitfalls.  The state of mind responsible for one poet to rhyme ‘orphanage’ with ‘mother’s gaze’ is nearly unimaginable.

If for any reason you are tempted to pen a poem about adoption, first call a trusted friend, or seek the support of family or clergy.  You don’t have to be responsible this.  Help is available.

Adoption Reunion Stories Needed

You’ve probably already heard about this since Claudia is the Undisputed Queen of the Internet, and beat me to it, but we’re going to edit a book.  A book about adoption reunion.  A book that is going to feature stories from you.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  When I started searching, I found a lot of information on how to find my birth parents, I got lots of help from search angels, first parenrts, fellow adoptees, even a social worker and an adoptive parent or two.  I would have not found my first mother without them.  They gave me a map, let me know what to expect, and provided me with a sense of community. It was good and I’ll forever be in their debt.

But once I found my first family, I felt like I was on my own.  There were a few blogs out there, a few folks on message boards who were talking about their reunions, but at that time it was still pretty thin.  I couldn’t find many books that dealt with how to handle reunion, so many just stopped at found.  So I proceeded without much of a map.

Luckily when things really started to go south in my reunion I had found a community.  At the time there weren’t many of us but enough to get me through a rough patch. I think those folks saved my life.

Now there is a lot more information out there.  More people are talking about reunion past the first hugs and honeymoon period, more people are blogging, more people are sharing.  That’s good. Their stories are wonderful, painful, amazing, inspiring, crazy making, and every other feeling imaginable.

I wanted to bring these stories together, in one place, for those just going into reunion, and for those who are finding their way through reunion.  Some of the best stories can be hard to find, and I know, there are new stories out there that need to be heard.

I knew that I would need help with this, another perspective, someone knowledgeable that had been through the experience.  Claudia was the first to come to mind. She was a first parent, in reunion, and has a deep understanding of issues surrounding adoption.  She’s also a hell of a writer, gorgeous, and way cooler than me.  I wasn’t sure I could get her on board., but I thought I’d give it a try.  I was pretty sure if she thought it was a dumbass idea, at least she’d tell me nicely.

She liked the idea and we were off.  I had contributed an essay to Pieces Of Me; Who Do I Want To Be, the teen book from EMK Press.  I loved that book, it let adoptees say what they needed to say, it was honest.  I wanted the reunion book to be like that.  So I put on my confident writer persona and brought the idea to Carrie Kitze, the publisher at EMK Press.  She’s way cooler than me too, so I figured if she thought it was a dumbass idea, she would also tell me nicely.

Carrie liked it.  I can’t thank her enough for giving all of us this opportunity to tell our stories.

So now we are really off.  I need your help too.  I need you to write about your reunion, the good and the bad.  I need you to be honest and not hold anything back.  I need you to tell others what you wished you had known.  This book is about you, and your experiences, your feelings, your stories.

Help me out here, please.  I know we can do something wonderful.

Below is a link to the call for submissions, it will give you some ideas, and the information you need to tell your story.

Pieces Of Reunion-Call for Submissions

Thank you.

Getting To Know You

When I was child my a-mom made me sing “Getting To Know You” from the musical The King And I every time someone new came over.  This was made even more traumatic by dressing me in a little fake kimono. It  made it more authentic, she said.  I suppose she figured that Japan was a whole lot closer to Thailand than Missouri, I don’t know.  I’m pretty sure I don’t really want to know what was behind her reasoning on that.

I’m thinking about that experience today because my first natural family reunion is approaching.  It’s a bit scary.  I fear that I may revert back to my grade school self and spontaneously break into show tunes.  That would be bad.  It would only take a few seconds of “Seventy-Six Trombones” to derail future relationships.

If I can overcome one of the very unique ways that adoption has scarred me, and don’t break into song, I’m not sure what to do.  Part of me would love to lay low and just observe.  Just watch them, see what they look like, how they move, hear their voices.  But I have a feeling I won’t get much of a chance to do that.  People are going to ask me who I am.  Ugh.  I’m not looking forward to that.  I suppose I should have some prepared.

How am I suppose to prepare something like that?  What am I  supposed to say?  And more importantly, can I set it to music?

Some days…..

..I don’t feel adopted at all.

I do have a life.  All of my days aren’t spent in front of the computer fulfilling the role of adoptee angst referee.  For instance, right now I have over 300 heirloom tomato seedlings on my sunporch just waiting for the soil to warm enough to be planted.  Mortgage Lifter, Pantano Romanesco, Pineapple, Principe Borghese, Cour Di Bue, etc.

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with 300 tomato plants.  I have enough room in my garden for maybe 100 of them.  I may have to set up with a sign at my town’s only stop light and sell them.  Let’s see, if I can get a dollar a piece for them that makes how many Bloody Marys?  I’ve always figured my garage sale profits in Margaritas, so I’m using Bloody Marys in this situation.

Oh course my gardening may not be as enjoyable as I had anticipated, my neighbor has obtained a pack of foxhouds.  Baying, cat chasing, foxhounds.  My neighbor seems to as unaware of leash laws as his dogs are the subtle differences between a cat and a fox.  The scene in my yard over the last week has consisted of hearing a disturbance, seeing the cat run by, followed by the pack of fox hounds, followed by every other stray dog in the county. This display followed by my husband, whatever he may be up to,  doing a fairly good impression of The Old Man in A Christmas Story.  “Damn Bumpes’ dogs!”  It begs a yakkity sax soundtrack.

Efforts to contain the dogs are underway.  In an ideal scenario they would decide it would be much more fun to chase my neat freak neighbor around (you know the one who powerwashes his roof and vacuums his yard) but I’m doubting this pack of hounds is trainable.  Pity.

And then there’s the whole pepper situation…..but that’s another post.

Poor Reviews For Addie’s Story

As most of you have noticed, I don’t write about my personal experience with adoption much here.  There is a reason for that.  I don’t know what my personal experience with adoption really is.

I know what I experienced, but I don’t know why it happened.  I’ve never assumed that I know others motivations.  Without knowing why people did things, I don’t feel like I can give an accurate account of my own experience.  

I’ve heard the stories surrounding my adoption.  They don’t make sense to me.  I know the players, the time line, the basic events.  I just don’t know their motivations.  It’s like a movie without direction.  There is a story, but there is nothing to make me care about the characters.  It comes off as one dimensional.  

There would be no Academy Award nominations for anyone involved in my adoption biopic.  The actors all seem to be totally without conviction.  They speak of desires, regrets, and deep feelings, but come off cold.  It’s as if they are only reciting.  

Maybe they had told to the story too many times before I could ask.  Maybe it was over rehearsed.  

It is hard to pull off a piece where the title character doesn’t speak.  It leaves the other characters to struggle for relevance.  It is easy for the actor to forget that it really is about them, not the title character.  They forget that it’s all about their reaction to the situation.  The title character is only a catalyst.  They approach the role not realizing that it’s an ensemble piece.  It makes for a poor performance. 

Whatever the reason, I am unmoved.  

If I had known, I would have never taken the role.

Really Bad Titles For Adoption Books

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month I was perusing the adoption titles available at Amazon.  I’m not planning on reading any of them and certainly don’t recommend that you do.  I just wanted to see what passed for kiddie grab lit these days.  I just have one question.  What the hell were these people thinking?  

 

A Blessing from Above  (Little Golden Book) by Patti Henderson and Elizabeth Edge

Seems to perpetuate the stork myth.  Well might as well, at least from an APs perspective, hell babies might as well grow on trees, money trees from their perspective.


The Complete Adoption Book: Everything You Need to Know to Adopt a Child by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond Godwin 

Yeah right, get back to us in about 20 years.

 

I Wished for You – an Adoption Story by Marianne R Richmond 

Well if wishes were horses….blah blah blah

 

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr

Yeah, just keep telling yourself that…

 

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport

Does it come with a map?  How about both hands and an ass?

 

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae

Seems to combine adoption with DIY, interesting concept.  Did anyone tell them they can’t just pick up baby’s in front of the Home Depot every morning?

 

Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon and Julie Paschkis

Do I even have to comment here?  Come up with your own.  It’s just too easy.

 

 

Adoption Is for Always (An Albert Whitman Prairie Book) by Linda Walvoord Girard and Judith Friedman

Unfortunately they are right.

 


I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze

No, you don’t.  Duh.

 

Adoption for Dummies by Tracy Barr and Katrina Carlisle

Well that should make them feel comfortable.


Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

Because we all know that it’s the APs who need all the reassurance. 

 

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption by Elizabeth Swire Falker 

Funny, I wasn’t consulted.  Guess I’m not really an insider.  

 

The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforseen Challenges of Adoption by Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson

All I can say here is just shut the fuck up.  Please.

 


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adoption, Second Edition by Christine Adamec

Seems that there are lots of idiots and dummies adopting these days.  It’s a second edition, did they lose the first one?  

 

Who Are My Real Parents? by D. L. Fuller

Let me guess.  

 


All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It by Marc A. Nemiroff, Jane Annunziata, and Carol Koeller

Please tell me ALL about it.  Especially how I feel.  I can’t fucking wait.  

 

Adoption: The Essential Guide to Adopting Quickly and Safely by Randall Hicks

Wouldn’t want to get a paper cut.  

 

Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: Stories Celebrating Forever Families (Chicken Soup for the Soulby Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and LeAnn Thieman L.P.N

Are forever famlies subject to salmonella ?

 

So I Was Thinking About Adoption…: Considering Your Choices by Mardie Caldwell

There you go thinking again, don’t hurt yourself.

 

Launching a Baby’s Adoption: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Isn’t baby launching still illegal in several states? 

 

Riding on Angels Wings: My Spiritual and Physical Pregnancies: The Tale of our Two Sons by Cynthia Mae Burris

There is so much here I really don’t want to know.  

 

Sasha’s Little Red Box: An Adoption Story by Sandra Jones

Hmmm…sounds dirty and not in a good way.

 

Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent 

No thanks, I just ate.





 



I Wonder If The Lady From Holt International thinks I’m Stable?

Ok, yeah I know, it’s been a while.  Let’s just say I’ve had a lot going on, and I’ll get to that.  But forst I need to tell you abou the end of our Holt experience.  

 

Lillie asked the bad Holt lady about reunion when adoptees became adults.  that is to say what she meant, it took a few tries for the Bad Holt Lady to quite get what she was saying.  first, we found out that it was completely wrong, as well as impossible for children to be reunited.  Duh, we get that part.  I’m not sure it had ever occured to Bad Holt Lady that adoptees actually grow up. 

When Lillie really pinned her down and asked the Bad Holt Lady, very slowly and and using very small words, what she thought of adult adoptees reuniting with their firstparents she said something like, “Well that would be up to the parties involved…if both parties thought it was alright, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt..”  Bad Holt Lady looked very confused at this point.  And by both parties she meant both sets of parents, it seems that the adult adoptee should have nothing to say about this.  

When pressed harder she thought it would be OK if “both parties were stable.”  By this she did mean the first parent and adoptee.  I found it a bit odd that she would even think that any All American perfectly adjusted adoptee would have any chance of not being stable, I guess the Bad Holt Lady missed that contradiction too.

Take what you want to from what I’ve written about this experience.  It is presented as it actually happened.