Thought I’d share this with you guys. Very well worth reading.
Shared via AddThis
Thought I’d share this with you guys. Very well worth reading.
Shared via AddThis
Here I’ve gone and wandered off again. For those of you who know me, I’m sure you are not surprised. If you want to read about my further adventures in Adopteeland you can check me out here.
Yeah, yeah, I know, thew place is lousy with adoptive parents. Relax, Claudia is over there too. Please direct all complaints to the comments section where they will be ignored.
I’ll still be here. Let’s face it, there are just somethings that I can’t really say anywhere else.
Somebody told me that I didn’t look like an adoptee the other day.
What the heck is an adoptee supposed to look like?
I have a feeling I know.
I think I don’t look like an adoptee because I’m much too tall. We are supposed to be big eyed waifs looking up to the world for help. Like this…
Well we are not supposed to be so furry, but you get it.
You will notice that the kitten isn’t very tall and could easily be trod upon.
Once you look like it might be a problem to squash, you no longer look like an adoptee.
I’m thinking about that one.
Joy’s post about foster care got me thinking. I was in foster care too, but I was with my adoptive parents. I was about 2 weeks old when they took me home from the hospital on a trail basis.
I had known that I was a ward of the state until my adoption was finalized when I was 2, but I had not known it was a “trail adoption” until recently when my a-mother mentioned it.
What the fuck is a trail adoption?
A-mom really didn’t know. That’s just what the social worker had told them. They were pretty much under the impression that I was with them to stay.
I don’t know the date of my relinquishment. All I have are my adoption papers and they only mention that my first mother had given up parental rights at an earlier date. Not what date.
What the hell was going on for those 2 years?
Had I been relinquished immediately after I born? Was I not relinquished until later? Was my relinquishment voluntary? Was I removed from my first mother because she was judged to be incapable of caring for me?
Were the concerns with my adoptive parents? Had they not decided if they wanted to adopt me? Did the state have concerns about their fitness as adoptive parents?
Was there some concern for my health? Were there questions about my mental fitness? What?
I’d really like to know.
If the state hadn’t placed me, and I had grown up in foster care, I would be able to know these things. But since I turned out to be a healthy little thing that somebody decided to keep, they won’t tell me. As far as the state is concerned I’m a different person than the baby they were responsible for. The foster child ceased to exist when I was adopted.
I ceased to exist. I didn’t die. I didn’t change. I just ceased to exist.
That’s a pretty good trick, being able to make a person disappear. Anything at all could have happened, then it’s all just gone. Like it never happened.
But it did happen. It happened to me.
Increasing hostilities between the cat and squirrel continue unabated. The cat has taken up a defensible position among the shrubbery ever closer to to the squirrel’s maple tree stronghold. The squirrel has declared it will continue to munch maple tree helicopters until the supply is exhausted, and has layed out future plans for nesting.
Resolution to this situation seems far away.
When the dog was asked to comment on the standoff, he would only say that both combatants looked pretty tasty.
Other than that, not a whole lot happening. I’m told that it’s Memorial Day weekend. And it must be, gas went up ten cents this morning. That’s a sure sign.
I’m not even sure that I knew that Memorial Day existed when I was a kid. My a-folks were in retail so at least one of them was working that day. My a-family has remained untouched by any military deaths since the civil war that I ever knew of, and they weren’t big picnicers. So it was just another day for us.
It wasn’t until I married thatthe concept of decorating graves was even known to me. I grew up far from any extended adoptive family, and other than losing my adoptive maternal grandfather in my early teens, I never attended a furneral. My husband’s family had a much closer connection to family and community in both life and death.
My mother-in-law, as well as other extended in laws, visit and decorate graves. The first time I went with them I was amazed at how they could walk through the cemeteries and have some connection to the people buried there. Family, friends, business associates, or someone who had died in an interesting manner, were all recalled and discussed. these stories stretched back to well before even the oldest among them could possibly remember. Some of the stories had to have been from those whose stories were being told.
Visiting these graves was not a sad excursion. It wasn’t an extension of mourning, it was simply recollection. Stories of childhood, spouses, off hand comments they had made, both cutting and complimentary, anything that recalled that person. Some graves were stopped at, some only noted as we passed by.
That feeling of connection was alien to me. It was something that I had never been exposed to. It wasn’t just a family connection that I had missed, it was the connection to people in general. My a-family wasn’t social which had to have a lot to do with this, but there was more. Nobody in my a-family ever seemed to have a desire to have any connection like this. They just didn’t seem to need it. They were satisfied with only their own company.
I still have no graves to visit. In the last few years, both of my adoptive gandmothers have passed on, as well as my natural mother. I could find the graves of my a-grandmothers, though I have never visited them. The grave of my mother is still a mystery to me. It really doesn’t matter because I won’t visit any of them. I don’t feel any connection.
I think maybe a sense of family and community has to be learned early in life. Once we are grown, it’s too late.
A conversation with a friend brought up an interesting image. She remarked, as an adopted little angel, I must require a halo welded to my sweet head. I replied that I thought that I could pull it off if I could wrap it with the trinkets of my ingratitude.
I could just see myself as the towheaded angel that I once was, clad in a white robe, resplendent with my golden halo, wrapped in jingling sparkly charms representing all of my sins. It reminded me of the charm bracelet that I had as a child that represented all my virtues.
My charm bracelet was sterling silver, and so were the charms, that was pretty impressive in those days. It was my first piece of real jewelry. I had a charm with a musical note because I was taking piano lessons. A charm with a four leaf clover because I was lucky. There was a charm with a little girl carrying books because I went to school.
My adoptive mother bought me the charm bracelet at the local jewelry store. This was a place of wonder, full of grown up things that you had to be very careful around. They had glass shelves full of fancy glass vases and candy dishes in beautiful colors I’d never seen before. Lite from the bottom, I thought they were the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. They had long cases filled with gold and silver and gems that looked like contents of the treasure chests in my books. There was a display of gold paged Bibles with illustrations in glowing colors that seemed to have had to have come from heaven.
We didn’t buy much in the jewelery store, my adoptive mom liked practical things. But one day mom decided that I needed a charm bracelet. We walked into the jewelry store, past the lite up shelves that rattled ever so slightly with our footsteps, threatening to send the precious objects to the floor. I felt butterflies in my stomach and was relived to get to the back of the store without incident.
A woman that seemed so old that she might break if touched showed us a tray of silver bracelets. There were so many to choose from, delicate ones with thin links, more substantial ones with heavy links, and one made up of delicate links fused together, I chose that one. Then there were the charms, hundreds of them, made to represent everything I could think of, and some I couldn’t figure out. My mother told me that we would pick out a few charms today and I could have new ones when I earned them. I got the musical note and the four leaf clover that day. The old lady took the bracelet to the back, attached the charms and wrapped it up on a satin lined box. I wasn’t as nervous passing the rattling glass shelves with my little box on the way out.
I was only to wear the bracelet on special occasions and to church. Mom and I put it safely in my jewelry box that played Fur Elise and had the ballerina that spun in front of a mirror when opened.
I earned more charms, a little Scottie dog when I got a puppy, a rose zircon was a birthday gift. My bracelet would jingle on my wrist now. I wore it to my cousin’s wedding, and out to dinner at The Green Circle, a very fancy restaurant where they served Shirley Temples. I always wore it to church.
There was one charm that I wanted more than anything. It was a Bible, that had a little peephole you could look into and see the Lord’s Prayer. It was like magic. Mother told me I could have it if I memorized the Lord’s Prayer.
It wasn’t easy, it took a while, and there was some controversy over if I was to forgive sins or trespasses, but I did it. I memorized the Lord’s Prayer and got that charm.
I was quite the hit at Sunday school that week. Nobody else had ever seen anything like that charm. I refused to remove the bracelet, fearing it’s loss, and made everyone peer into the little Bible while I held up my wrist. My Sunday school teacher was even impressed.
I couldn’t wait to get home from church to tell my mother, who never attended church herself, about how much everyone had liked the charm. I never got home with that bracelet, it must have slipped off my wrist on the way home. I was devastated. Mother and I retraced my steps, but the bracelet wasn’t found. Mother even hired a man with a metal detector to look for it the next week. Nothing was found. The bracelet was lost. All of the representations of my virtues were never to be found again.
I believe my friend was right, they should have welded a halo to my head. It would have been harder to lose. Would those representations of my virtues turned to trinkets of my ingratitude eventually? Who is to know?