I Could Have Been A Kingpin

I hadn’t had a chance to amass much of a criminal record before I was adopted. Being only weeks old, I was still too green to score a gat on the street, it limited my scope of mayhem.  Good thing adoption got to me before the criminal element did, or I could be running a cocaine fueled, weapons dealing, legitimate government overthrowing, human trafficking racket.

Adoption saved me from all that, and I’m grateful. Instead of worrying about stuff like the price of hand held rocket launchers and social engineering, I can worry about my mortgage and if I need a new pair of shoes. It’s brilliant, I’m comfortable and complacent, instead of planning my next move, I’m writing a blog post that will be read by a bunch of comfortable, complacent, mortgage holders.

Adoption works. It wins the hearts and minds of adoptees, it turns us into members of society with something to lose. It’s successful nation building on a micro-scale. It makes us part of the thing that took our identities in the first place. They even give us a month to celebrate our status.

Having a month devoted to your social status is a real good way to determine that they did something really shitty to you at some point, and they still haven’t made up for it. So welcome to Adoption History Month , er National Adoption Month.

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If It Saves Just One Child

If it saves just one child, it will all be worth it. Nope, I’m not talking about adoption. I’m talking about an adoption ban.  Because this…

3-year-old Russian boy killed by American adoptive mother in Texas

After being brutally beaten by his American adoptive mother, who gave him psychotropic medication for an extended period of time, a 3-year-old Russian boy named Maksim has died in Texas, Russian diplomats have said.

This is not the first one. It probably won’t be the last. It’s not just Russian kids.

It’s time for a moratorium on all international adoptions. If American born children were being murdered by adopters from outside the U.S., you can bet your ass everything would stop.

This speaks to the real value that American society places on children, especially foreign born children, and adoptees in general. We aren’t worth much.

I talk a lot about adoptee rights, I don’t don’t talk a lot about basic human rights. Maybe I should.

If I can save just one child…

Adoption Doesn’t Feel Real (all the time)

A lot of adoptees pull back from adopt for periods of time. They head back to “real life” where they are like everybody else. I do it. It makes sense, being adopted can be exhausting. All the searching, activism, and thinking about hard stuff can wear you down.

Society, adopted family, our friends, our significant others, the government tells us our adoptions are something we don’t need to think about. It’s done, it’s over, it’s not relevant to our lives. It’s easy to believe, even comforting, but it’s also dangerous.

Adoption is real, it does matter, it is relevant to our lives. Every single adoptee could have truly been someone else. Think about it. More than just having a different name, we all so easily could have been someone else. Real life would be a different life. When we are engaged in being adopted, or ignoring our origins, we are always in real life. It just doesn’t feel that way.

I think that’s why when adoptees refer to their “real lives”, many times it’s a life they have built much more for themselves than most people. Most adoptees are very aware of the circumstances leading to where they are, be it for good or bad. We are much more aware  of the  conscious decisions that contribute to the way we live. We attribute less to luck, accident, or faith and for this we pay a price.

We think everything is our fault, and rarely take credit for the actions that lead to positive things. That makes it easy to return to “real life” where maybe it’s not all our fault. We can’t see things are no more our fault, in real or adopted life, than in anybody else’s life. We don’t have a real life. We just have a life.

Sometimes It’s Worth It

This morning I got up even earlier than usual, got bundled up, and went outside to watch the stars fall. It was so worth it.

 

In the past most of my meteor shower watching experience have been less than stellar, I’d sit out there for hours and maybe see just one or two. This morning I saw more than I could count, and each one filled me with a kind of childlike glee that I haven’t experience for a while.

 

The simple things in my life have gotten covered up in the complicated things, the things we try to do to make things simple, the things that lead us to forget why we are doing them in the first place. Even when you try to do things one-step-at-a-time, with pure intentions, the right way, you can lose track of the original intention. That’s just the way it is, life is complicated.

 

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that some things are simple. My planet moves through space, it encounters a cloud of dust, the tail end leftovers of a comet, and just for being here, just for showing up, you get to see something amazing. Not complicated, amazing, they are different.

 

The problem is, if you show up for anything beyond a meteor shower, things get complicated. Everybody thinks they can do whatever it is better, they think they can improve upon the experience.  This is a prime example of the capacity of the human mind in relation to the universe. It just doesn’t measure up.

 

I’ll get on with my complicated day now, trying to keep in mind, once in a while, they are still simple things, amazing things, that aren’t complicated at all.

So like, WTF?

Admittedly, I’ve been kinda out of the adoption reform loop for a while. I had some serious life and death stuff come up that just wouldn’t wait. But, seriously people, WTF? Why do I not have access to my OBC already?

Somehow this country has managed to re-elect a democratic president in nasty economic times, move forward with health care reform, and legalize weed in a couple of states, and your telling me, I still can’t get my birth certificate. Jim Fucking DeMint is quitting, and a guy that hosts a fake news program is the top pick to replace him, and folks still don’t trust me with a piece of paper? Seriously? You want me to believe that I’ll be able to buy health insurance through a state exchange and marry a girl before I can have my birth certificate? We have a major problem here.

Attitudes seem to be changing about a whole lot of things. Except adoption. Now why is that? All the adoptees I know are nice people, we aren’t threatening. We aren’t asking for anything that will effect other people, we just want to be treated like everybody else. Why the heck are we one of the last groups that it’s OK to discriminate against?

Think about it.

Why? I dare anyone to come up with one single reason that doesn’t amount to some bullshit. All the arguments have been made and answered. I’m sick to shit of being treated like a second class citizen here.

So, I’m going to pout on my up-to-my-knees-in-bullshit boots and get back into it. I’m starting right here, right now.

It seems to me most arguments against adoption reform come down to, it’s always been this way. Secrecy makes adoption work because it’s always been this way. We have to protect those who relinquish, because it’s always been this way. We have to continue to prop up the “as if born to” myth for adoptive parents, because it’s always been this way. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

It hasn’t always been this way. Sealed birth certificates came into being, for the most part, in the mid 20th century. They’ve never really protected anyone. And even if it had always been this way, it’s a crap argument. You’ve got to be able to show it’s working, that can’t be done. There is absolutely no reason it should remain this way. We have to convince people of that. We need to let them know it doesn’t work.

It’s time to start bitching again over here.

 

 

My New Underwood-Olivetti

I bought a typewriter this weekend, an Underwood-Olivetti from the 1960’s. It is in working order, no sticky keys, good hard letter strikes, and it even has a good ribbon. It even looks perfect, and it’s going to stay that way.

I can’t type on the damn thing. All those months of high school typing class are wasted. Hitting the keys on the IBM Selectric as the teacher droned out, “FFF, FAD, FFFAD.” Are, and have been for nothing. I spend a good deal of my time sitting in front of a keyboard and I cannot type.

I’m the Wizard of Word, I can format like nobody’s business, heck I even know what the Review functions do. If you send me a document, I’ll probably reformat it before I read it. I’m picky that way.

Almost nothing I’ve written, or read, has been printed for years, it’s all on hard drives, and thumb drives, and somewhere up in the clouds. I can send you anything you want, anyway you want it, attachments? shared docs? .rtf? PDF?  No problem. Just don’t ask me to snail mail it to you. I wouldn’t know where to start.

I used to know how to write a business letter, all the girls did, we took business classes that really weren’t about business at all. We were taught how to type, use an adding machine, and to take shorthand. This was to prepare us for the world of work. Those poor business teachers could never imagine just how quickly all of that would be obsolete.

In my case, it was my very first real job. At 19, I was a sales rep for one of the Bells, (remember phone companies?), I started out with a secretary that worked with several reps, she did all the typing. Then a monitor the size of a VW Beetle was put on my desk, and everything changed. I still had a secretary, but she didn’t type anymore, she entered. We had both been lied to.

I left that job before my secretary did, but everybody knew she didn’t have long. Technology progressed from there, along with my screen time. My environments changed, I went from big glass buildings, to small cubbies carved out to make room for the “computer stuff”, to nothing. Now, my business is contained in a device roughly the same size as the nifty leather bound notebook I used on my first job. I sit at my kitchen counter.

If my business classes were designed to keep me in a subservient role in business, and I have no doubt they were, then eliminating those skills has put me all the way back to the kitchen.

Funny how that worked out.

Anybody want to buy a typewriter?

 

 

The End Times

Yesterday I heard a woman say she didn’t know what she was going to do. She knew that we were at the end times, just like in the Bible. Then in the same breath, she said something about moving to Canada. And this is why I know Canada will be safe from the wrath of God.

Somehow a bunch of overly polite, socialized medicine utilizing, hockey playing, Canadians, many of which who speak French on a daily basis, will somehow escape the destruction of our planet by a wrathful God. I’m not sure why. I suppose I should have asked for the details.

The thing is, this woman isn’t crazy. I don’t know her well, but I do know she’s a working mother of 3, she’s married, she drives an SUV. She’s what passes for middle class in this rural slum. She went to the same schools I did, she’s around my age, we’ve had a lot of common experiences. She not stupid, nor is she educated, but there seem to be enough lights on up there to give her the ability to see through fear mongering hooey. Why do her and I see the world as such a different place? Why am I certain no matter what happens, economic recovery or apocalypse, nothing will change either of our views?

I wonder too if she would think of our common experiences if she knew how I see the world. I fear she wouldn’t. Preparing for Armageddon must take a lot of dedication, a lot of focus. I suppose one only has time to think about the important stuff, not leaving a lot of room to consider other points of view. It has to be a hard thing to keep up, this living in a constant state of trauma. I fear she would only see me as a poor soul left behind, or an enemy set on stopping her on her way to the Canadian Zion.

It would be easy for me to dismiss this as nothing but a load of redneck ignorance and bible thumping stupidity, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to accept that many see my country as such a different place than I do. It hurts my heart to think a presidential administration would drive people to think it’s all over. I was pretty worn down by the second Bush administration, but had enough faith in my country, and common experience and knowledge, to know that it wouldn’t last forever. I wish they understood this. Even when the Obama era ends without the complete destruction of the Earth, less Canada, I know they’ll think the world just hasn’t ended yet.

Choice and Want

Sometimes I really want to write something great here. I have it all worked out, then it just doesn’t come out right. I just don’t have the strength to make it clear, to knock down the objections, close the holes that could put me in danger of being misunderstood, distill my thoughts into something someone would want to read, much less debate intelligently. I’m not 100%.

Today I was inspired by Amanda and Claudia, I wanted to write about choice, and want. But I just can’t. I can’t get my thoughts organized, I can’t get them down here, I can’t lead you to the place their thoughts took me. I don’t have the words right now, I can’t choose the ones I need.

I haven’t written down a decent thing for a year and a half. I’ve had a thought here and there, I haven’t chosen to write them down.  The prospect of doing it has been too daunting, I’ve settled for just existing. I’ve even felt good about that. Just existing. Maybe that’s the point, why thinking about choices, and the ability to make them struck me.

Hell, I don’t know. Just see this a link post and go read them. I’ll be over here, breathing.

God Fucks Up Again, Film at 11

I’m an internet news junkie, so I’ve been reading a lot about God lately. He seems to making the news at least a couple of times a week letting us know exactly what he intended. Most of the time it has something to do with women’s bodies. From what I can tell, God has a hard time talking to girls, so he does the spiritual and/or physical equivalent of beating them up to lead them to what is best for them.

Just today an Indiana Representative, running for the Senate said that pregnancies resulting from rape were something God intended to happen. It’s not hard to imagine this guy’s train of thought would lead to the the statement, “they can just give it up for adoption and allow a deserving couple the right to raise a child.”

This is very dangerous thinking, and not just in te obvious God-thinks-rape-is-OK way, which is as bad as it gets. It’s dangerous in the God-lets-very-bad-things-happen-to-some-people-so-other-people-can-have-what-they-want way. While rape is one of the most heinous examples, this kind of thinking extends to everything. If you believe if one good thing comes out of a bad situation, it must be OK, it can lead to allowing all kinds of bad things to happen. Things like human trafficking, war, and limiting the rights of certain groups start to look like something ordained because, in some horribly obvious, or roundabout way, something good comes out of it.

Bad things aren’t OK, alright? If something bad happens to someone and they later say they are stronger for what happened, doesn’t make it alright. I have no doubt those stronger people would still not wish the bad thing had happened to them, or anyone else. Bad things must be recognized for what they are, not the good thing that may have resulted from the situation. This is especially true when the perceived good result benefits someone else. Just saying, “Oh well, at least, blah, blah, blah,” is dismissive, and often cruel.

I’ll shut up now.