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 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.