According To Addie

Angry adoptee

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.”

Second Chances

I wouldn’t say the theme of this blog is dissatisfaction, but I have to admit it does come into play in many of my posts. It’s occurred to me that this is a bit selfish. Adoption isn’t just about me. There are more people involved, adoptive parents just don’t get enough chances with dissatisfaction here. I apologize, and it’s time for me to change my ways.

I’ve done a lot of writing about the act of adoption itself concerning adoptive parents, but paid less attention to their feelings after the fact. I should take their feelings into consideration. I realize that raising adoptees is no day in the park. Adoptive parents are entitled to their own frustrations, and yes, dissatisfaction. With that acknowledged, I do feel that I need to press on in the spirit of answers and resolution, as is only fair.

A website was brought to my attention that may offer hope to both adoptees and their adoptive parents in finding the satisfaction that we both deserve. It offer a novel approach, one that some may say is radical, the solution it offers may disturb some, but I think it could be viable in some cases. Please explore it with an open mind.

I wish solutions like this had been available when I was a child. The world was a smaller place then and the social climate wasn’t ready for such bold solutions. I have no doubt that if this ere an option it’s something that my own adoptive parents would be willing to explore. Everyone deserves a second chance, even adoptive parents.

I think you’ll find the site both informative and easy to use. I can’t imagine this won’t be the next big thing.

ChildTrader.com

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Is stupidity contagious? Does it happen to be going around like the flu?

I cannot believe the instances of just plain stupidity that I have seen today alone, and I’m not just talking about the internet here. In fact, I think that the internet displays a lower level of sheer dumbness than my everyday life.

I don’t think that the average person can find their way home consistently, though they seem to be able to find me every time. How does that work? Am I wearing some type of homing device that only the lacking in intelligence can pick up? Why are they so drawn to me?

Was I implanted with a device during those missing weeks when I was a newborn? That’s the only possible explanation that I can figure out. Did someone at some black budgeted government agency decide to take the experiment of adoption one step further? I was born in 1965, this was the era of cats being implanted with listening devices in order to spy on the Ruskies. Would it really be so odd that they might decide to implant adoptees in order to trace them through their lives?

The thing is, I fear this is working out about as well as other covert programs of the era. The Ruskie spying cats were seduced, wandered off, and were hit by cars. It was simply a silly bad idea that didn’t work. I wonder if I was set up to either spy on Regular Upstanding American Citizens like my adoptive parents? Did they want to know what Mr. and Mrs. America were discussing in the privacy of their own home? Did some bright young man in the CIA think that bugging the baby was a great way to do this? Were the details not quite worked out? Was I implanted with something that just sends a signal but doesn’t record, does this signal somehow attract the stupid?

I’m imagining a steady tone. Beep. Beep. Beep. Like some moron drawing Sputnik.

Is it possible?

OK, some idiot is going to think I’m serious. They aren’t going to be smart enough to read this whole thing before they hit the comment button. Could this be the draw of the implant?

Tama Janowitz, My Canidate for Mother of the Year

Can you believe this wonderful woman has been blocking comments from adoptees?

I can’t either. It must be a mistake, so I’m going to allow adoptees to comment here.

The Real Thing

My husband Tim and I adopted our daughter Willow, who is now 12, from China when she was 9 months old. We were told by the adoption agency that once the process was complete and the three of us were back home, many people would stop to inquire about our daughter’s Mongolian features or why she did not look like us.

It may be that having a child of a different ethnic background from yourself is more difficult in other parts of the country. And certainly that may lead to problems. But In my neighborhood in Brooklyn I see black women with half-Asian, half-black kids and I see kids with dark skin and blond hair — the mother is white, the father is not. There are Indian fathers and Caucasian mothers with their offspring. There are families with two dads. There are also Hasidic families with ten kids and Muslim women dressed in full burkas who have dressed their daughters the same way.

So here in New York City, we haven’t attracted too much attention.

Well, O.K., sometimes.

It is true when she was a baby, if I took her out on my own, sometimes people did ask me, “Is the father Chinese?” If I said “yes” the usual response was “Good for you!” This puzzled me, so then I just said, “Either Chinese, or some black dude – who can remember?”

But as always, if you don’t have one kind of problem, you will automatically be given another.

There are more than enough for seconds! Even fifths!

One thing I figure, whether adopted, mixed race, religious, non-religious, whether your child is biological, whether you send her to Hebrew school or piano lessons – there is no one who does not resent his or her parents, We all have this in common. Indeed, it may be what makes us human.

Everyone feels they are doing the best possible job as a parent. But apart from the most obvious types of abuse, there is little that is clear-cut in regard to child rearing. Some discipline their kids and refuse to allow them to go to school dressed in a tutu. Others allow them to eat McDonald’s. Even if your house is tidy, this could be a mistake in child-rearing! So could being a vegetarian! Or serving meat!

A girlfriend who is now on the waiting list for a child from Ethiopia says that the talk of her adoption group is a recently published book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly about being treated as if they did not come from a different cultural background. They feel that this treatment was an attempt to blot out their differences, and because of this, they resent their adoptive parents.

So in a way it is kind of nice to know as a parent of a child, biological or otherwise – whatever you do is going to be wrong. Like I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

And she says — as has been said by children since time immemorial — “So what, I don’t care. I would rather do that than be here anyway.”

My friend has a biological kid who said one day, “I hate you.” She cried and cried and told the child how deeply hurt she was.

I have heard those words, too, and my child is not biological. Like, I care? Hate me or love me, I am her mother and she knows it and since she is not getting a reaction out of me she almost immediately revises her opinion.

Is it my fault she is still angry because I kept coming home with another dog? I would have been thrilled, if I was a kid, to have six poodles! How was I supposed to know she would turn out to be the type who didn’t like dogs? And she says even if she did like dogs, she only likes mixed breeds!

“You should keep a list of everything I’ve done to you,” I have often suggested, “That way, later, you can read it to your therapist. Otherwise you might forget.”

Sometimes I think, Well, maybe I should be more of a disciplinarian. But what am I going to do, lock her in her room? She has an ensuite bath, a computer, cell phone and a Game Boy and if I say, I will take those away she says, “So what, who cares?”

Same with TV privileges. “Go watch TV!” I tell her.

“No, I don’t want to.”

“You will watch TV, young lady.” It’s no use.

I know that there are some women who have given birth who believe that the type of love they have for their child is more intense, more real, than the love I have for my kid, because they hatched it themselves. This argument makes no sense to me. After all, the fathers (until recently) never could be sure that it was their sperm that made them the dad.

You might as well say, “Listen, Daddy-O, you had ten minutes max of involvement in the creation biz, and you didn’t even get to pre-approve the winning sperm, And if your kid is the product of the fastest sperm in the bunch, that is just plain pitiful. How could you care about the child?”

However I would no more say this than ask someone with a baby if they were certain the father was human.

I also know women who never really bonded with their kid – biological, or adopted.

I figure, Willow, she’s my kid, she just got here differently. I don’t remember floating around in my mother’s womb, or coming out of the vaginal canal – but I still know that person is my mother, even if she is a little off.

And my kid knows I’m her real mother.

Not biological, but real. It doesn’t get any realer than this.

http://relativechoices.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/the-real-thing/

Have at it folks.

Fairy Tales

Cinderella has got nothing on me. Evil step sisters…Pfffft……….right.

If evil step sisters were all I had to deal with, my life would be a fairy tale. Somehow I’ve drawn the evilest set of a and b sisters imaginable.

The a-sisters aren’t actually dangerous or evil, they are only rude, dismissive, and shallow. My B-sisters, that’s where the true evil lies. And lies. And lies.

In the past I had been prone to trying to explain away all the lies my b-sister told me as a defense she used to deal with what she may have been through, or a way to overcome societal pressures that still seemed so predominate in her mind. After this last episode, I will no longer give her this consideration. I will make myself see her as she is. An evil and uncaring woman who will do anything to protect the lies that she has based her life on.

I care for her reasons for doing what she did no more than she cares for me.

There was a time, before I started my search, that I thought of myself as unique, as not being tied to any other person on the Earth in any kind of biological way. Then I found people who looked like me, talked like me, and all this changed. I felt that at least in a distant way I was part of something.

I think that I’ll go back to thinking of myself as unique. They may look like me, talk like me, but they cannot be like me. I am made of better stuff than that. I do not have it in myself to do to anyone what that woman did to me.

So I will go on as I did for many years before, an orphan, unique, and without ties. Maybe thinking of myself that way for so many years made me into a better person. Maybe only having to answer to the mirror, not some past that I had no responsibility in, made me stronger. I don’t know.

I do know that I am not evil.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Hold up on the wake, folks.

When you die your your identity ceases to exist, in more than the obvious ways.   The fact of your death becomes a matter of public notice.  Your social security number is no longer a not really so closely held secret to be hidden from all but those who would extend you credit.  Your name no longer belongs to anyone, it’s published in the newspaper, no matter if anyone cares enough about you to have a service, or even pay to have an obituary written.  In short, you are immediately outed as a non-person.

No matter if your remains end up in a great marble tomb in one of the better cemeteries, or in an unmarked hole surrounded by the bones of hobos, your name ends up on a list that anyone can see.  There really is no way to hide this.  It’s all very democratic.

If you don’t make the list, you are not dead.

I’m not on the list.  Neither is my mother.

It’s a great day to be alive.

The Big Sleep

Much has been made of faking one’s own death in fiction and film. It seems to be a subject that fascinates. Something about being able to start over with a completely clean slate, being able to leave past transgressions behind.

As an adoptee I’ve never found the concept that appealing. Maybe because something very much like this was done to me. I was innocent, I didn’t have anything I wanted to leave behind. My death was faked, in a way, in order to allow others to leave things behind.

On some level I can see where this could be satisfying. With one action, the problem just disappears. I can even see how this could become addictive.

The thing is, like everything that seems to solve all problems, you have to be very careful with it. If you use it too much, it will come back to bite you. The use of this clings to you, like the smell of bourbon, like the acrid woodsy smell of weed. Somebody is eventually going to know your using.

They say an addict can always spot an addict. I think that those who have had death, even in this guise, forced upon them can also always spot an addict. A little bit of that smell always clings to them too. It’s familiar.

How many times can someone expect to be able to get away with something like this, killing people for convenience? Once, twice, even three times?

I think that just once. With every use this power becomes weaker, the high less satisfying, the risk for exposure greater.

Yep, it will turn around on you, but fast.

Candy-Ass Adoptees

That’s right, I’m come up with a whole new category of adoptees. These adoptees are bit harder it identify by the casual observer. They may appear to be dealing with their adoptee experience in a healthy way. They talk the talk, hell they even walk the walk, sometimes to an extent that they become deeply involved in reform.

But don’t be fooled. They are still doing everything they can to please Mommy and Daddy. If they have realized that there is nothing on this Earth they can do to please their own adoptive parents, anybody else’s will do just fine. Yeah, it’s a real sweet defense mechanism, just because their experience was bad, they think they can make up for it by licking the boots of any adoptive parent that shows them one bit of kindness. There is nothing in the world they won’t do to please them, even turn on their own. This has been known to exhibit itself in the form of martyrdom. Let’s face it, adoptive parents with a confidence problem respond to nothing more happily than adoptee martyrdom.

It’s cheap and it’s weak. If you have to point out over and over again how much you’ve done for everyone, how much is it worth, really? It tends to make you look like you did it more for the adoration than the substance. Let’s face it, if you really believe in what your doing, all pats on the back and atta boys are nice, but you would keep on doing it without them. If you are going to base the continuation of your work on the number of affirmations you get for it, why even bother?

Grow the fuck up. Follow your own vision without apology, or cowing down. If you truly have anything worth a good goddamn, it’s going to make some people feel uncomfortable, it’s going to piss some people off. Learn to live with it.

Another thing, if you want to change things, you are going to make mistakes, and you are going to have to acknowledge them, and those of the people who help you. Ignoring your own shortcomings, covering them with a cloak of martyrdom, doesn’t work. Your work is closely scrutinized, if you drop the ball, people are going to notice. Glossing things over make you appear to have zero credibility.

If you have a change of heart, admit it. The fact is, you are going to have to start over, but some will follow your vision, others won’t. If this is what you believe in, you should start from an honest place. Trying to keep everybody happy when your heart’s not in it will only serve to weaken what you are trying to build.

And finally, if you built it, you bear the responsibility for what happens there. Change is not a turn-key operation. The buck stops with you.

Our Petunia

If you are not already familiar with our Petunia, here’s a link to her blog.

http://stupidstuffithink.blogspot.com/

Just copy and paste. Sorry.

I first made the acquaintance of Petunia when she found out that her bio-sister was a heavy metal listening, tattooed, Satan worshiping, bar tending, potential vampire. I, of course, took it upon myself to defend Vampira Jr., and this lead to a spiffy little exchange on my blog.

I don’t hold any animosity toward Petunia, in fact, in light of recent discoveries, I feel a bit sorry for her.

As you know most of us don’t blog under our real names, Petunia is no exception, she has used a very common device and bogs under her birth name. Petunia. Kind of an odd name isn’t it? I began to wonder why someone would give their child that name. It must mean something. I had a feeling I had heard a name similar to that somewhere before, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then it came to me…

“The Boookay residence, the lady of the house speaking.”

Yes, our Hyacinth.

Petunia must surely be the lost birth sister of Hyacinth Bucket. It only makes sense, Hyacinth, Rose, Daisy, and of course Violet with a Mercedes and room for a pony, all sisters, but there must be just one more, our Petunia.

Petunia must be the result of one of Daddy’s adventures after the war. He had a brilliant mind, you know, I’m sure he was quite one with the ladies. A young woman could easily be drawn into a tryst with such a man. I have no doubt that Petunia was adopted to keep shame from Daddy’s name, and that of the love struck young girl who had feel for his charms. The family never speaks of it, of course.

Did Petunia ring up Hyacinth on her white slimline telephone? Was she rejected or asked to a candle light supper, or possibly a nautical buffet? Has she met her nephew Sheridan? Would Hyacinth serve her on the Royal Doulton with blue periwinkles?

One thing is for sure Hyacinth and Petunia would share an opinion of Onslo’s vest.

The show is called “Keeping Up Appearances”, folks.

Thank God For Adoptees

I just saw an adoptive Mother tell one of my good online friends that she doesn’t see a need to thank her adoptee, she thanks God for them instead. Seems that her adoptee was a great blessing bestowed on her from God.

Gee kid, no pressure.

Since any of the blow sunshine up your ass type adopto parents will tell you that blessings come in all shapes and sizes, I’m beginning to wonder if, I too, am a gift from God. Since my A-parents were rather lazy Christians and only bothered to thank God for anything on Thanksgiving, or after a particularly close call with another automobile, I’m just not sure. They never confirmed anything.

How does one go about determining if they are a gift from God? Did I come with a card? Did my parents keep it? I suppose it would read something like this:

Dear Addie’s Adoptive Mom and Dad,

Sorry to be out of touch for so long. I’ve been kind of busy with the Presidential assassination and that whole state of Israel thing. The Catholics and Jews are my first teams, but boy they require a lot of attention (ha ha). I’ve put Jesus in charge of some of the Saints, and he’s looking after admissions for me, so I’ve freed up some time for adoptions.

Hope you like this one. They tell me she’s a little firecracker and smart to boot. Sometimes they are a little colicky at first, leaving my bosom tends to bit rough on their digestion.

Got to close now, but please do enjoy your gift.

XXOXO,

God

Since I haven’t found a card, I’m going to have to find another way to find out if I was actually given out by the supreme being. I don’t think I’d be marked, from my reading that is more the modus operandi of one of His former employees. I wondered about maybe having a gift on my own, you know, healing by touch, blood that smells like violets, etc. So far I can find nothing.

I’m beginning to think that maybe I wasn’t a gift from God, and just came from the hospital, like my a-parents told me.

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