You’ve Got Yours, We Want Ours

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

This phrase should sound familiar to most folks reading here. It’s the chant repeated over and over as we march in the annual Adoptee Rights Demonstration. After demonstration day its so ingrained in your mind, you hear it in your sleep.

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

This isn’t the kind of statement that demands an answer, it stands alone. You don’t really expect a cadre of legislators to emerge from their meetings and answer, “Well gee, okay, you can have your original birth certificate, you’ve made a hell of a point there. We’ll get right on that.” They are simply words that you want to be heard.

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

The thing is I’m starting to hear an answer.

I’VE GOT MINE, SO SCREW YOU!

We live in a world where, at least a vocal minority, cheer at the thought of someone being allowed to die for lack of health insurance. Do you think that bunch is going to give a good god damn if you have your original birth certificate when you’re dying, at home, from a fully preventable cause, because you didn’t have the financial assets to find treatment? They won’t, being adopted, in their minds simply marks you as another useless member of a permanent lower class who didn’t fully embrace the American dream.

Empathy is in short supply these days and empathy is essential to our cause. Those who cannot put aside their own perceptions and feel the plight of their fellow man are sadly becoming more of a force in politics. Their number among state legislators is significant enough it must be dealt with. For that reason, I propose we add a new chant along side the others.

ABANDONMENT IS NOT FREEDOM!

We must make people understand that being abandoned by your government does not liberate us from our our origins, but creates a kind of inequality that will never allow us to be truly free. We are at our very essence people, citizens, even entities completely created, without our consent, by our government. If some would see our government as promoting freedom above all others things, shouldn’t we, the creations of this government, be allowed the truest freedom, that of our identity? If our government judged that we would better enjoy the benefits bestowed upon citizens of our county with revised identities, shouldn’t we allowed all the advantages of citizenship? What possible argument can be made for shrouding our origins in secrecy?

ABANDONMENT IS NOT FREEDOM!

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Battle Fatigue

Activism of any kind is exhausting. Being the flea biting, the would-be slayer, the acceptor of hopeless mission, the one who journeys again and again into the lion’s den, will drain away the very stuff that sent you down this path in the first place.

If we look at the on going struggle as warriors, why shouldn’t we tire from battle? Traditionally those that chose warrior as a profession did so not just because it appeals to a need to do good, to protect those that cannot protect themselves, and a baser instinct to apply the force within ourselves to strike at those that do wrong, it was understood that this dangerous work had advantages. The righteous joy taken in the defeat of an enemy, the very things which they defended spread out for the taking, a time to celebrate with comrades all glorious in triumph, and the returning home as subject of honor and praise. Without these things, the warrior life can be a grim one.

When we must band together as guerrillas, few in number, poorly equipped, fighting an enemy so large to be beyond comprehension even by those who are part of it, or be the even more foolhardy one who goes alone, our victories, slight as they are, give us no plunder, no salt, no gold, only the celebration of our own band of fools. Is it any wonder that we tire? Should we not feel we are only receiving half measure of our commission?

There is no wonder in that we tire, the constant battle leaves no time for laurels. We must settle for our scars and scraps. But through that, are we not the truest of warriors? Those that sign on for the fight alone express the purest, most divine, of our guild. And what shall we do when we tire? Return to the fields, the dwellings, the people we defend and advance, and take comfort in them, knowing they surely need us.

We must find satisfaction, if not glory.

 

Adoption and Poilitics Before I’ve Had My Coffee

Disclaimer: This is a humor piece, it is not meant to influence or inform, only to be amusing. Please do not use my comments section to post actual facts. You’ll just piss me off. Thanks.

I woke up way too early this morning. My life in the last few weeks has included falling way too hard for the media coverage of the political events in Iowa (I’m right next door) and adoption activism. No wonder these things got mixed up in my mind being up at this ungodly hour.

I began to think about the current crop of GOP candidates in terms of adoption, specifically what role they would fulfill if they were part of the adoption community….

(insert soft focus and the dream music from any 1970’s sitcom here)

Mitt Romney-Birth father, adopter, envies adoptees, duh, he’s Mormon.

Michelle Bachman-Adopter, with a blog and a website, working on a book, will tell you how important she is to the adoption community, known to troll adult adoptees reminding them how grateful they should be while misquoting Margaret Mead, who she thinks wrote a baby book.

John Huntsman-Adoptee, but nobody has noticed.

Newt Gingrich-Late Discovery Adoptee, claims to be grateful, but is troubled by sexually charged homicidal fantasies involving his adoptive mother.

Sarah Palin-Adoptee that wants to adopt, already has really bad ass names picked out, but has been turned down by every agency in the country. She can see Russian babies from her house.

Ron Paul-Adoptee, nobody listens to him, compensates by overachieving, but just can’t please his adoptoraptors by becoming president, destined to fail. Also wonders if his children are actually his. He still truly believes he came from the hospital.

Rick Santorum-definitely not a birth father. Google it.

Herman Cain-Adoptee, look at the group picture.

Rick Perrry-Sperm donor, but underutilized, has probably not fathered any children, intelligence means more to potential buyers than good hair.

(Que end-of-dream-sequence music)

The Turn Continues

First, thank you everyone for you kind words. No, you can’t say anything to make me feel better, but just that you want to say them means everything. Like so many of the things many of us are way too familiar with, there just isn’t a bright side here. There is a strange comfort in hearing from people who get that.

I cannot tell you how important my adoption friends have been through all of this. Some I know personally, some who are no more than words on the screen, but all real good friends in a much closer sense than even my local friends and  family. People who understand how hard it is to build trust, a life, find a place you feel truly loved, and having that go away might mean.

I feel like I’ve been thrown out alone in the world, but this time there’s not a line of bright successful young couples just dying to give me the new life I deserve. Considering how that worked out last time, it’s probably a good thing.

My family attorney pointed out something that froze me to the bone the other day. I am no longer David’s wife. I don’t belong to him and he doesn’t belong to me. In the legal sense, our relationship ended  with his last breath. Somehow he’s not considered my forever family. I get to keep the name, the ring, his stuff, I’m responsible for his legal disposal, but we are not related. Just as I was made part of a family, I did not choose, by the stroke of an official’s pen, I’ve been taken from one, that I chose, by nothing more than another signature on another certificate.

David (or at least the smashed-up bone fragments that constitute his “ashes”) are on their way back to me. I’ll carry out his last wish by burying them under the same tree where our dogs and cats have found their rest early next week. He’ll be home forever. I think I’ll miss him more for being so close.

 

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.

Getting To Know You

When I was child my a-mom made me sing “Getting To Know You” from the musical The King And I every time someone new came over.  This was made even more traumatic by dressing me in a little fake kimono. It  made it more authentic, she said.  I suppose she figured that Japan was a whole lot closer to Thailand than Missouri, I don’t know.  I’m pretty sure I don’t really want to know what was behind her reasoning on that.

I’m thinking about that experience today because my first natural family reunion is approaching.  It’s a bit scary.  I fear that I may revert back to my grade school self and spontaneously break into show tunes.  That would be bad.  It would only take a few seconds of “Seventy-Six Trombones” to derail future relationships.

If I can overcome one of the very unique ways that adoption has scarred me, and don’t break into song, I’m not sure what to do.  Part of me would love to lay low and just observe.  Just watch them, see what they look like, how they move, hear their voices.  But I have a feeling I won’t get much of a chance to do that.  People are going to ask me who I am.  Ugh.  I’m not looking forward to that.  I suppose I should have some prepared.

How am I suppose to prepare something like that?  What am I  supposed to say?  And more importantly, can I set it to music?