To Learn Grace..

..is a hard thing.  Some folks will never get the hang of it.

To me grace is something like respect, but in a personal condition,it has to come from not just action, but approach.  It has to come from the way that you think about things, and see the world.  

To learn grace you must realize in all but the most intimate places, you are a guest.  It’s not about deferring to your host, but being just as you are while still respecting that others may not share your outlook.

To learn grace you must never taunt.  Taunting is always clumsy, always disjointed, always a demonstration of gracelessness.  One cannot display grace by pointing out a perceived lack of grace.

To learn grace you must educate yourself.  If you don’t know who or what you are addressing, you are sure to trip.  You must not think that you can lead what you don’t understand.

To learn grace you must know not to be high handed.  The graceful do not see themselves as above others.  Offers of guidance are made from wanting to help, not wanting to dominate.  

To learn grace you must not assume.  Accept that the rather course explanation of the word assume that you were undoubtedly subjected to at some point in your life does have wisdom.  To assume is to make an ass out of you and me.

And finally to learn grace, you must listen.  You must listen to both your supporters and detractors.  When you cut through the praise and censure, there will be something that you can take away.

I don’t claim grace.  But I know it when I see it.

Changes

I think that each and everyone one of us has the capacity for change.  Heck change is what I’m all about, and what this blog is all about.  I an an Adult Adoptee Advocating For Change, after all.

It’s not just me, I feel change in the air.  We are all growing, all changing, maybe we’ll all be better for it.   

Change takes inspiration and no one has inspired me more than Marley today.  Just to think a year ago her position on adoption agencies went like this…

Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

 

And today when she says, in reference to her groups partnership with Holt International, commenting on my last post….

 

 We are partners with many groups with CalOpen. 

 

This includes 3, count them 3, adoption agencies, by the way.

 

I’ve always said that in order to get records opened up we must work with all kinds of people and organizations related to adoption, and here’s Marley living by that example.  

And I can only think that her presence will go on to inspire more good things.  More openness at Holt, an easing in the attitude that they display to natural mothers, a brand new day at Holt International.  I’m sure Marley, above all others, is working to make Holt the kind of adoption agency we’d all like to see.  Gone will be the days of half truths and difficulty reuniting.  

Change is good and I’m proud of you Marley.

So Much I Want To Do

I want to do so many things.  I want to direct you to my other blog and show you all the fiber arts stuff I’ve been up to.  But I haven’t been up to much.  I want to tell you about the reunion I have working in my life, but that is sort of on hold too.  I’d also like to be on a beach with my toes in the sand and a drink in my hand.  This is  the least likely to happen anytime soon.

So I’m going to hit the high points here.  

As some folks are aware, my state, Missouri, has at least 2  birth certificate access bills at some stage in the legislative process.  Not to mention a couple of more bills that pop up here and there that could have some effect on adoptees.  The only bill that is still breathing is far from perfect, and has, at present, one of the craziest contact preference clauses I’ve ever seen, here’s the summary in it entirety, with the contact preference section bolded….

 

SB 53 – This act modifies provisions regarding adoption records. The State Registrar shall develop and, upon a birth parent’s request, distribute both a contact preference and a medical history form to the birth parent. The contact preference form allows a birth parent to list his or her preference for contact by the adoptee. If a contact preference form is filed with the registrar, a medical history form shall also be so filed. Upon receipt of the forms, the State Registrar shall attach such forms to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. 

This act allows for an adopted person, the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification. The adopted person shall be 18 years of age or older and born in Missouri. The adopted person shall also agree in writing to abide by the birth parent’s contact preference, if such preference is included with the adopted person’s original birth certificate. The State Registrar shall also provide a medical history form, if such form was completed by the birth parent.

 

The provisions of the act shall not apply to adoptions instituted or completed prior to August 28, 2009, except that a copy of the medical history form, which has had all identifying information redacted, shall be issued to such adopted person. For adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2009, the state registrar shall release the original birth certificate only if the birth mother is deceased. If the birth mother is not deceased, the state registrar shall, within thirty days of application by the adopted person, contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate.

 

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1132 (2008) and similar to SB 322 (2003)

 

I was not aware that the telecommunications lobby was so strong to even reach into the area of adoptees rights.  I assume this means that they will call the first parent on the phone and then send out a contact preference formhat’s what I call reaching out and touching someone.  Okaaay….whatever.   

And yes,  this is the same old tired hag of a bill that has been floating around for years.  

At any rate, Paula Benoit is coming to Missouri very soon to lobby legislators very soon.  I’m seeing this as a bright spot.  

If you’re not familiar with her work in Maine, check here….

http://www.adopteecare.com/paula/

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  A good clean bill.  

Paula has offered to keep us that aren’t hooked up with the super secret workings of the inside scene of Missouri Adoptee Rights activism up with the goings on of her visit.  If you’d like to be inclued, just leave a comment here or drop me a line and I’ll get you hooked up.  The more folks that we can get on this the better.  This means everybody.  

And yes, those who know me have already guessed, politics is making for some strange bedfellows here.  But that’s par for the course in Missouri.  Maybe not so much everywhere else.  Just to tease you a bit, what would make an adoptee rights organization who claim to be the top dog (or should I say top bastard dog) in all things adoptee rights partner with an imfamous adoption agency?  Do they want an invitation to camp too?

I don’t know.

But I am mulling it over.

A Day For Adoptee Fights

I suppose I should say something about the whole Bastard Nation living up to there name concerning the New Orleans Protest, but truth be told, I never much gave a shit for them anyway. It’s all been said. I think it’s safe to say, after this latest display of incompetence with a twist of arrogance, nobody else that matters gives a shit for Bastard Nation either.

You’d rather hear about what my adoptive folks have been up to anyway.

A-mom and pop stopped by the store as they were headed to visit some family graves last weekend. Mom was in her perennial pink pant suit, looking very much like the big pink peonies that bloom this time of year. Dad was wearing one of his “better sport shirts”, so I was pretty sure they were planing to make a day of it.

They were in full “lively discussion” mode.

Mom: (minus her pine scented air freshener spray, spring is in the air, after all) We need to get some flowers for your folks graves.

Pop: (looking desperately for a place to hide out and keep a Marlboro company) We don’t need any damn flowers. They just steal them anyway.

Mom: Who would steal flowers off your folks grave? Who are they? Nobody disliked your folks.

Pop: They all steal flowers.

Mom: Who are they, Bob? And why are they targeting your parents grave?

Pop: They steal from everybody’s graves and put them on their own graves.

Mom: How do they put them on their own graves? You’re just a clown, Bob.

At this point they spot me, the magazine rack did not provide sufficient cover.

Mom: We’re going to decorate your father’s folks graves and he thinks someone will steal the flowers.

Me: Oh, (as if their previous conversation couldn’t be heard all over the store) I don’t think they’ll steal the flowers.

Pop: Yes, they will, they just wait for you to leave and they take them.

Me: Why would they be targeting your folks graves? Everybody liked Nanny and Grandpa. (Sometimes I just can’t help myself).

Mom: Your father thinks they put them on their own graves.

Me: How could they do that?

Mom: They are apparently ghosts.

Pop: No they put them on their relatives graves.

Me: Ghosts put them on their relatives graves?

Pop: No! Other people do.

Mom: Well, that makes more sense. Ghosts put them on their relatives graves.

I give a knowing nod.

Pop: No people steal them and put them on their dead relatives graves.

Me: Well that does makes more sense. I have a ton of memorial flowers, pick out a couple.

Pop: No, someone will just steal them.

Me: What’s it matter, you put them there for yourself anyway. It’s not like you are going to come back and pick them up anyway. The cemetery just throws them away after Memorial Day anyway.

Mom: Yeah why does it matter? Just pick something out.

About this time Pop heads to the bathroom for a cigarette and Mom gets interested in the new flavors of diet soda in the case. I get distracted by a customer and the next thing I know I see Pop’s truck pulling out of the lot. About five minutes later the truck pulls back in, and here they come.

Mom: You were just trying not to get any flowers, weren’t you Bob?

Pop: They’ll just steal them anyway.

I grab a couple of memorial arrangements and head out and put them in truck. Mom and Pop continue around the store, discussing the rate of flower theft. I went to the back.

A few minutes later, I get a call. It’s Mom on the cell phone. “You did put a couple of flower arrangemnts in the back of the truck, didn’t you?”, she screams (she still thinks you have to scream into the cell phone).

“Yes mom I did.”