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.

Brave New Ways To Annoy Me

 

As you know I spend a great deal of my time being annoyed.  It is a hobby.  Lately I have noticed there are a lot of brand new ways to be annoying, especially online.  
Want to piss me off?  Tweet what you had for breakfast.  Let me give you a clue here, nobody gives a good goddamn how yummy you think scrambled eggs are.  We just don’t.  Unless you have substituted live spiders for the bananas in your Cheerios, just spare us.  
Having a cup of coffee isn’t that interesting either.  Do you really expect folks to get all excited when you let us know about your latte on facebook?  You are not sending these dispatches out to a remote uninhabited island.  Most folks with a computer are familiar with both Starbucks and the intricate workings of Mr. Coffee.  
You exercised? Wow.  That’s great.  Good for you.  I’m sure everybody on your list now has an image of you as fit and athletic.  That’s impressive.  The thing is if Jennifer Lopez is not in your yoga class nobody cares.  Exercise is every bit as boring to hear about as it is to actually do.  
You are working on a blog post?  Everybody kind of already figures that you work on them before you post them.  We are all onto that.  But thanks for letting us know.  
Thanks for letting me know you are busy today and want to get a whole lot done.  I take it that posting this was one of the earth shatteringly important things you had to do?  Congratulations you can check annoying the shit out of me off your list.
Good to know that your kid just did something cute.  Everybody thinks kids are cute, you especially think your kid is cute.  It’s just an overload of cuteness out there.  You know those folks who insist on showing you every picture of their kids in their giant wallet?  Well that’s you, just on a larger scale.  
Having a bad day?  I’m real sorry.  So are the other 200 people on your list.  I’m sure all the thousands of other folks, 123 of which have let us know they are having a bad day too, that all us folks connect to,  are sorry too.  Can you see how your bad day is contributing to a planet wide buzzkill?  Think about that the next time you are feeling down.
My job sucks too.  Pretty much everybody thinks their job sucks, at least some of the time.  I am glad that you reminded me that I am not alone though.  It makes me feel as if I am connected to a whole community.  Did you not get that?  OK, let me make this perfectly clear, everybody thinks their job sucks.  Got it? Good.
Oh you’re birthday is coming up?  Somehow you’ve just happened to mention it.  Well happy birthday!  I want you to know I didn’t feel a bit pressured to say that.  Really.  I just can’t wait for your post about all the gifts you got.  
And for the love of god do not try to sell me something.  Everybody is on to you.  You may have found the greatest pair of sunglasses, the best face cream, or absolutely love that new movie, but I’m not going to click on your link to shameless promotion.  I don’t care how many widget points you are going to get toward that big layout you’ve been promised.  Actually if you do ever really have something to say, I’m probably not going to read that either for fear of being offered the lowest mortgage rate in years.  I realize that you are only trying to make a buck and give about as much a shit about these wonderful new products and services as I do, but you are reminding of those Amway zombies.  Just quit it.
By the way, I didn’t eat breakfast, just coffee, went to the gym, just finished up a blog post, and would really like the new blackberry for my birthday that’s coming up.  
As you know I spend a great deal of my time being annoyed.  It is a hobby.  Lately I have noticed there are a lot of brand new ways to be annoying, especially online.  
Want to piss me off?  Tweet what you had for breakfast.  Let me give you a clue here, nobody gives a good goddamn how yummy you think scrambled eggs are.  We just don’t.  Unless you have substituted live spiders for the bananas in your Cheerios, just spare us.  
Having a cup of coffee isn’t that interesting either.  Do you really expect folks to get all excited when you let us know about your latte on facebook?  You are not sending these dispatches out to a remote uninhabited island.  Most folks with a computer are familiar with both Starbucks and the intricate workings of Mr. Coffee.  
You exercised? Wow.  That’s great.  Good for you.  I’m sure everybody on your list now has an image of you as fit and athletic.  That’s impressive.  The thing is if Jennifer Lopez is not in your yoga class nobody cares.  Exercise is every bit as boring to hear about as it is to actually do.  
You are working on a blog post?  Everybody kind of already figures that you work on them before you post them.  We are all onto that.  But thanks for letting us know.  
Thanks for letting me know you are busy today and want to get a whole lot done.  I take it that posting this was one of the earth shatteringly important things you had to do?  Congratulations you can check annoying the shit out of me off your list.
Good to know that your kid just did something cute.  Everybody thinks kids are cute, you especially think your kid is cute.  It’s just an overload of cuteness out there.  You know those folks who insist on showing you every picture of their kids in their giant wallet?  Well that’s you, just on a larger scale.  
Having a bad day?  I’m real sorry.  So are the other 200 people on your list.  I’m sure all the thousands of other folks, 123 of which have let us know they are having a bad day too, that all us folks connect to,  are sorry too.  Can you see how your bad day is contributing to a planet wide buzzkill?  Think about that the next time you are feeling down.
My job sucks too.  Pretty much everybody thinks their job sucks, at least some of the time.  I am glad that you reminded me that I am not alone though.  It makes me feel as if I am connected to a whole community.  Did you not get that?  OK, let me make this perfectly clear, everybody thinks their job sucks.  Got it? Good.
Oh you’re birthday is coming up?  Somehow you’ve just happened to mention it.  Well happy birthday!  I want you to know I didn’t feel a bit pressured to say that.  Really.  I just can’t wait for your post about all the gifts you got.  
And for the love of god do not try to sell me something.  Everybody is on to you.  You may have found the greatest pair of sunglasses, the best face cream, or absolutely love that new movie, but I’m not going to click on your link to shameless promotion.  I don’t care how many widget points you are going to get toward that big layout you’ve been promised.  Actually if you do ever really have something to say, I’m probably not going to read that either for fear of being offered the lowest mortgage rate in years.  I realize that you are only trying to make a buck and give about as much a shit about these wonderful new products and services as I do, but you are reminding of those Amway zombies.  Just quit it.
By the way, I didn’t eat breakfast, just coffee, went to the gym, just finished up a blog post, and would really like the new blackberry for my birthday that’s coming up.  

Earth Day And Adoption

Since today is Earth Day I thought it would be a good time to look at the environmental impact of adoption.

As we all know the birth of any child, anywhere, has an environmental consequence, but how does adoption effect that?

Let’s start with the first thing we always hear about when adoption is considered, paperwork.  To hear potential adopters talk there must be at least a ton of it.  That’s a whole lot of trees gone, pollution from paper mills, and all the accompanying mess.  Even if all this was done on 100% recycled paper the impact from all the energy from producing it would still make Al Gore wince.

But adoptive parents will raise their children in a more environmentally responsible way, you say.  I’m not so sure.

The standard image of the birth parent driving an older less economical, carbon belching car while throwing Cheetos wrappers and 7-11 burrito leavings out of the window while speeding to a crack house isn’t quite accurate.  Not is the image of the adoptive parent driving a vegetable oil burning hybrid compact SUV, pausing to pick up Cheetos wrappers for recycling, while driving sensibly to pick up the kids from the French Space Creative Writing Enrichment Camp.  

In fact some of the reasons frequently cited for adoption amount to environmental nightmares.  The first being that they can “give the child so much more”.  While I don’t doubt that they indeed can give them more, I’m not convinced it’s a great idea.  Have they checked where all those boring play to learn toys are made?   Lead free doesn’t necessarily mean responsibly manufactured.  Would a few less toys from Walmart really make a lot of difference?  Exactly how many chemicals are being poured into that pool?  Wouldn’t going to a public pool make more sense from an environmental point of view, even with the Cheetos wrappers abandoned along the route?  

What about the impact of the child themselves?  All those diaries filled with adoption angst don’t come cheap for mother Earth.  Not to even mention the power it takes to produce the bandwidth for the social media pages filled with really bad teenage adoption poetry that is sure to follow.  And while we are on the subject of bad poetry, any poem written by potential and/or current adoptive parents should just be banned, not just for the good of the Earth, but for the good of mankind in general.  Trust me, plenty of bandwidth get wasted with comments about the ridiculousness of these efforts.  

What all the original birth certificates that are sitting around in file cabinets all over the county.  They are taking up valuable space and consuming energy to conceal.  What about the rest of the records that seem destined to never see the light of day?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to entrust them into the responsibility of the adoptee?  To switch the carbon footprint of these papers to the one who they truly belong?  Do they not trust us adoptees to be environmentally responsible with the care of our own records?  Have the enviromentally irresponsible actions of others again stood in our way?

Are our original birth certificates even on acid free paper?  Could this be the reason we aren’t allowed to see them?  

I could go on.  There are surely countless more reasons that adoption is not environmentally responsible.  And I just might.  I am an adoptee.  I have bandwidth to waste.

Adopt-a-Adoptee

Adopte-a-Highway

Adopt-a-Manatee

Adopt-a-Classroom

Adopt-a-Minefeild

Adopt-a-Microbe

Adopt-a-Grape

Adopt-a-Watershed

Adopt-a-Lemur

 

The above are all examples of good works involving adopting a variety of people, animals and things.  It seems that everyone wants to adopt something.  As valuable as these programs my be, it seems to me something is missing.  I think we should let an anxious public go right to the source and actually adopt-a-adoptee.

These programs are set up to help provide needed volunteers and funds for a good cause.  I would be willing to put a sign in my yard that designated the kind individual or organization that had volunteered to clean up and beautify my yard.  I would love to attend a banquet and auction dedicated to better the lives of myself and other adoptees by collecting money and donated gifts.

All adoptees reading please leave a breif desrciption of yourself and any needs that you have so we can get the ball rolling.  Anyone interested in adopting an adoptee, please contact me, so we can get a sign made and get you scheduled to help out.  I’ll start…

Addie is a 43- year-old adopteee who could use some help with her landscaping.  She would also appeciate any help with vacation funding as she is long over due for a holiday in the sun.  Please help.

 

Right Here.

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.

I’ve Been Around, Just Not Around Here

If anyone has been wondering, yes I’m still alive, and still adopted.  

I’ve been busy, alright.  Things to do, people to see.

I wanted to update on a few things that I have been neglecting.  First My favorite Ungrateful Little Bastard would kill me if I didn’t plug the demonstration (have you noticed there’s a demon in every demonstration?).

Go here…

Everything you need to know about the Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Sign up. Donate. Attend. Let your adoptee flag fly.

 

Second, there’s an  in Mother Jones about corruption in international adoption, called “meet The Parents”.  It’s is written by this dude, Steve Carney, who seems to know his shit.  It should be available online soon and it promises to get even more interesting from there.  

 

Third, as I said before I’m still adopted.  Not everyone seems to understand this, I’m on Holt Internationals mailing list.  They seem to think that I still want to go to adoption camp.  I’m thinking of taking them up on it, as an adoptee.  They didn’t have that kind of thing when I was a kid.  I wonder if they have a pony rides?

Do You Know Who I Am?

I don’t know who you are.  Well I do know who some of you are, but not all of you.  I don’t know how you found me or why you came here.  Are you looking for information, entertainment, a good laugh, or a shoulder to cry on?  

And what do you really know about me?  It’s pretty easy to see that I have an agenda.  But what exactly is that agenda?  And where does it come from?  Childhood trauma? A desire to do good? Brain injury?  

Do I have anything to say that is worthwhile?  That’s for you to judge.  You could look at my associations.  But you’ll never really know if that seek me out or I have come to them.  Would that make a difference?  Should you judge me by them?  Do you think that I would always agree or defend them?  

What’s the point of this post anyway?  I’m not sure that I even know.  But I do know one thing, you need to ask yourself these questions.  Everybody has an agenda, and at the end of the day, it is all their own.  We are all privateers.

Cooperation only comes when the goal serves all involved.  Working together for a common goal is the coming together of the best and worst of our natures.  It is a worthwhile pursuit, but much like sausage, you don’t really want to know what’s in it.  

Ask some questions about who I am.  Ponder why I’m here.  Then do the same with everybody else.  But don’t tell me or anyone else what you see.  Some things aren’t meant to be shared.   

I don’t really want to know who I am, or who you are.

Hard Realities

It has been commented that I may not be able to distinguish fantasy from reality.  This may be true, I think we all live in our own worlds, everything we see is interrupted through our own perspective.   This has nothing to do with being able to recognize satire.  In light of recent comments it also has nothing to do with reading comprehension.  If you’ll look to the top of the page, this one’s tagged satire.  That means I know that I’m writing about something that isn’t serious or real.

For example, I ran across this site just this morning..

http://4hillary.wordpress.com/

There is some pure gold right there, Arlen Specter questioning anyone’s sanity is brilliant.

And I won’t even mention the Ricky Martin post, I want you to enjoy it for your self, She Bangs indeed.

Also be sure to check out the comments section, this is where the bloggers are in their element, I don’t know how they come up with this stuff.  The daily show has nothing on these folks.

The writers of this blog have brought together the nuttier side of this election for all to enjoy.  When taken as a whole, one can see just how silly the blogosphere can really be.  Though purely satirical, it can be used as an excellent resource to point out just how desperate some of the unofficial Clinton campaign workers have become.

Check it out, and don’t blame me if you end up spitting your latte all over your computer screen.

Identity Theft

In some recent posts, I’ve explored some of the lamer attempts of adoptive parents, and others involved in the adoption community, to identify with adoptees.  These have ranged from evoking the Gods to symbolically killing off their own parents.  Not one of them made a bit of sense.

The astute Coco commented that this was an attempt to roll us all into The One Big Happy.  This is true.  But why do they feel the need to do this?  What is it within them that wants to make us like them, or them like us, to identify with us?  And why aren’t they willing to give up anything to get this?

Everybody else sacrifices.  Our natural families sacrificed their own flesh and blood.  And so much more, they many times sacrificed peace of mind, confidence, and security.  Even if they went into his arrangement knowing full well what they might be giving up, I doubt any of them guessed the extent that this would continue to effect them.

We, the adoptees, sacrificed.  We were taken from the life that we were destined for and given something else.  No matter how well, or how poorly, things went for us, we will never know what could have been.  Who we would be.  At the very least, adoptees have more “What if?” questions than anyone raised in a natural family could imagine.

I can’t go into everything we gave up, it’s all really bee covered .  But I do think we can agree that adoptees give up a lot, and no one even asks us if it’s OK before they take it away.

Even if this need by adoptive parents to find wht that they have given up, something that makes them the same as the adoptees, comes from acknowledgment of our losses,  it’s still lame and unnecessary and comes off as patronizing.

Just face it, being adopted is not something you can identify with unless you have been through it.  Because you may understand some of it does not ean you understand all of it.  You are not like us.  You never can be.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot love us, raise us well, or come to know us deeply.  But please do not claim to understand.  It lessens you.

Adoption isn’t like anything else.  It is a unique experience.  Saying that it is like something, especially something that isn’t absolute, or even real, does not make sense to us.  It might be fine for you to discuss with your monthly adoptive mommies playgroup, but don’t expect us to swallow it whole.  Adoption is a life long situation, we’ve had much more time and motivation to think about it.

Like the man says, “They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

I Have A Brand New Plan

Well with every adoptee rights bill introduced in the current Missouri legislative session either withdrawn, on hold, or revised into a total piece of shit, it’s time to move on.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked. This is where the new plan comes in.

What we are doing just ain’t working. We are going to ditch the kicking and crying, the victim attitude, the constant whining, and the Queen For A Fucking Day adoption beat me up so bad I can’t go on bullshit. We will also be jettisoning the back biting, the self-congratulatory boasting, and the goddamn circle jerk that the adoptee rights movement has become.

If you want to talk about your feelings, if you feel the need to cry into your dish towel, take a walk right now. You ain’t going to do that here. There are places for that, heck I administrate a couple of them, that’s the place for it. Go heal yourself and please come around when you are feeling stronger. We do have a place at the table for you, when you’re ready.

Now if you can put the pain aside and act like a grown-up for at least a little while, and truly desire your rights, let’s talk.

First let’s be honest, we aren’t even close in the state of Missouri. It’s going to take a lot of work and more than likely a lot of time. A lot of people would tell you that open records are just around the corner, it just ain’t so, right here, right now. All you have to do is look at what happened to all the bills that were considered this session to see that.

That’s not to say that it can’t be done, it can. But getting everybody’s hopes up over something that was obviously going to amount to nothing does no one any good. Expect to get beat up. There are very powerful people who do not want us to have access and the truth be told, those that do support our cause have shown no inclination to go to war recently.

We need to give the people that can help us a reason to champion our cause. While our cause is a noble one, and almost anyone can be convinced of that fairly easily, someone else’s noble cause is rarely a reason to go to war. We need to give them a real reason to help us out.

One of the best reasons I can think of to help someone is that they have helped you out in the past.

The first step in The Brand New Plan is not-so-random acts of kindness. We are going to help out those that could help us out. First go here..

Missouri Leggie Look-up

Find your legislators. Many of them are up for re-election this fall. You can go here to see if they have filed..

Who’s in the running

If they have filed, call their office. You are going to be the best johnny-on-the-spot volunteer they have ever seen. You are going to make phone calls, knock on doors, fetch coffee, eat dirt, what ever, and talk to everyone you know about voting for your candidate. You will impress your candidate with your dedication and nobility. Study up, know all the issues, not just adoptee rights. Let them know that you aren’t one dimensional. That you are a citizen concerned with all aspects of life. They will hopefully see you as the real and noble person that you are.

When you come to them later you will be more than one of the many people who wants something, you will be someone that has helped them. This may help to incline them to help you. You are noble and dedicated after all.

This approach will be most effective in the House races. The House candidates always have less people working for them. State Rep races just don’t have the glamor of the national races, you will have less other people performing not-so-random acts of kindness to compete with.

We need to focus on the already friendly leggies first, of course.

Davis in District 42

Roorda in District 102

In the State senate races, the once and maybe future friendly Connie Johnson has filed for the seat in district 5.

I’ll be throwing myself at my incumbent state rep hoping to curry favor.

This is only the beginning. We need to present ourselves as adults, with some knowledge of how things work in order to be treated as adults.

We are starting all over here folks. This is the first step.