Changes

I think that each and everyone one of us has the capacity for change.  Heck change is what I’m all about, and what this blog is all about.  I an an Adult Adoptee Advocating For Change, after all.

It’s not just me, I feel change in the air.  We are all growing, all changing, maybe we’ll all be better for it.   

Change takes inspiration and no one has inspired me more than Marley today.  Just to think a year ago her position on adoption agencies went like this…

Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

 

And today when she says, in reference to her groups partnership with Holt International, commenting on my last post….

 

 We are partners with many groups with CalOpen. 

 

This includes 3, count them 3, adoption agencies, by the way.

 

I’ve always said that in order to get records opened up we must work with all kinds of people and organizations related to adoption, and here’s Marley living by that example.  

And I can only think that her presence will go on to inspire more good things.  More openness at Holt, an easing in the attitude that they display to natural mothers, a brand new day at Holt International.  I’m sure Marley, above all others, is working to make Holt the kind of adoption agency we’d all like to see.  Gone will be the days of half truths and difficulty reuniting.  

Change is good and I’m proud of you Marley.

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So Much I Want To Do

I want to do so many things.  I want to direct you to my other blog and show you all the fiber arts stuff I’ve been up to.  But I haven’t been up to much.  I want to tell you about the reunion I have working in my life, but that is sort of on hold too.  I’d also like to be on a beach with my toes in the sand and a drink in my hand.  This is  the least likely to happen anytime soon.

So I’m going to hit the high points here.  

As some folks are aware, my state, Missouri, has at least 2  birth certificate access bills at some stage in the legislative process.  Not to mention a couple of more bills that pop up here and there that could have some effect on adoptees.  The only bill that is still breathing is far from perfect, and has, at present, one of the craziest contact preference clauses I’ve ever seen, here’s the summary in it entirety, with the contact preference section bolded….

 

SB 53 – This act modifies provisions regarding adoption records. The State Registrar shall develop and, upon a birth parent’s request, distribute both a contact preference and a medical history form to the birth parent. The contact preference form allows a birth parent to list his or her preference for contact by the adoptee. If a contact preference form is filed with the registrar, a medical history form shall also be so filed. Upon receipt of the forms, the State Registrar shall attach such forms to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. 

This act allows for an adopted person, the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification. The adopted person shall be 18 years of age or older and born in Missouri. The adopted person shall also agree in writing to abide by the birth parent’s contact preference, if such preference is included with the adopted person’s original birth certificate. The State Registrar shall also provide a medical history form, if such form was completed by the birth parent.

 

The provisions of the act shall not apply to adoptions instituted or completed prior to August 28, 2009, except that a copy of the medical history form, which has had all identifying information redacted, shall be issued to such adopted person. For adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2009, the state registrar shall release the original birth certificate only if the birth mother is deceased. If the birth mother is not deceased, the state registrar shall, within thirty days of application by the adopted person, contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate.

 

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1132 (2008) and similar to SB 322 (2003)

 

I was not aware that the telecommunications lobby was so strong to even reach into the area of adoptees rights.  I assume this means that they will call the first parent on the phone and then send out a contact preference formhat’s what I call reaching out and touching someone.  Okaaay….whatever.   

And yes,  this is the same old tired hag of a bill that has been floating around for years.  

At any rate, Paula Benoit is coming to Missouri very soon to lobby legislators very soon.  I’m seeing this as a bright spot.  

If you’re not familiar with her work in Maine, check here….

http://www.adopteecare.com/paula/

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  A good clean bill.  

Paula has offered to keep us that aren’t hooked up with the super secret workings of the inside scene of Missouri Adoptee Rights activism up with the goings on of her visit.  If you’d like to be inclued, just leave a comment here or drop me a line and I’ll get you hooked up.  The more folks that we can get on this the better.  This means everybody.  

And yes, those who know me have already guessed, politics is making for some strange bedfellows here.  But that’s par for the course in Missouri.  Maybe not so much everywhere else.  Just to tease you a bit, what would make an adoptee rights organization who claim to be the top dog (or should I say top bastard dog) in all things adoptee rights partner with an imfamous adoption agency?  Do they want an invitation to camp too?

I don’t know.

But I am mulling it over.

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.”

I Have A Brand New Plan

Well with every adoptee rights bill introduced in the current Missouri legislative session either withdrawn, on hold, or revised into a total piece of shit, it’s time to move on.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked. This is where the new plan comes in.

What we are doing just ain’t working. We are going to ditch the kicking and crying, the victim attitude, the constant whining, and the Queen For A Fucking Day adoption beat me up so bad I can’t go on bullshit. We will also be jettisoning the back biting, the self-congratulatory boasting, and the goddamn circle jerk that the adoptee rights movement has become.

If you want to talk about your feelings, if you feel the need to cry into your dish towel, take a walk right now. You ain’t going to do that here. There are places for that, heck I administrate a couple of them, that’s the place for it. Go heal yourself and please come around when you are feeling stronger. We do have a place at the table for you, when you’re ready.

Now if you can put the pain aside and act like a grown-up for at least a little while, and truly desire your rights, let’s talk.

First let’s be honest, we aren’t even close in the state of Missouri. It’s going to take a lot of work and more than likely a lot of time. A lot of people would tell you that open records are just around the corner, it just ain’t so, right here, right now. All you have to do is look at what happened to all the bills that were considered this session to see that.

That’s not to say that it can’t be done, it can. But getting everybody’s hopes up over something that was obviously going to amount to nothing does no one any good. Expect to get beat up. There are very powerful people who do not want us to have access and the truth be told, those that do support our cause have shown no inclination to go to war recently.

We need to give the people that can help us a reason to champion our cause. While our cause is a noble one, and almost anyone can be convinced of that fairly easily, someone else’s noble cause is rarely a reason to go to war. We need to give them a real reason to help us out.

One of the best reasons I can think of to help someone is that they have helped you out in the past.

The first step in The Brand New Plan is not-so-random acts of kindness. We are going to help out those that could help us out. First go here..

Missouri Leggie Look-up

Find your legislators. Many of them are up for re-election this fall. You can go here to see if they have filed..

Who’s in the running

If they have filed, call their office. You are going to be the best johnny-on-the-spot volunteer they have ever seen. You are going to make phone calls, knock on doors, fetch coffee, eat dirt, what ever, and talk to everyone you know about voting for your candidate. You will impress your candidate with your dedication and nobility. Study up, know all the issues, not just adoptee rights. Let them know that you aren’t one dimensional. That you are a citizen concerned with all aspects of life. They will hopefully see you as the real and noble person that you are.

When you come to them later you will be more than one of the many people who wants something, you will be someone that has helped them. This may help to incline them to help you. You are noble and dedicated after all.

This approach will be most effective in the House races. The House candidates always have less people working for them. State Rep races just don’t have the glamor of the national races, you will have less other people performing not-so-random acts of kindness to compete with.

We need to focus on the already friendly leggies first, of course.

Davis in District 42

Roorda in District 102

In the State senate races, the once and maybe future friendly Connie Johnson has filed for the seat in district 5.

I’ll be throwing myself at my incumbent state rep hoping to curry favor.

This is only the beginning. We need to present ourselves as adults, with some knowledge of how things work in order to be treated as adults.

We are starting all over here folks. This is the first step.

What We Have Learned From Carolyn Pooler

If you’re wondering who the heck Carolyn Pooler is, check these links out..

 The Missouri Compromise

and

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play

The short answer, not much.

The longer answer, quite a lot.  We’ve learned that reform isn’t always about what’s best for everyone, sometimes it’s about desperation and clinging to things that no longer work.

Nobody is really sure if we heard from Carolyn or not, though I’m pretty sure that we did.  Twice.  There’s a good lesson.  If you are not willing to take credit for your actions and defend them, you probably shouldn’t be working on anybody else’s behalf.  You have to believe in what you’ve done enough to put you name on it and claim it.  Hiding behind different screen names and posting from public computers, so you can’t be traced isn’t going to inspire a lot of confidence in what you have to say.  So from Carolyn we learned to be ready to explain your actions and claim them.  If you’ve managed to fuck up royally, admit it.

I suppose there is a an argument riding into town, hoopin’ and hollerin, killin’ all the women and rapin’ all the cattle.  Hell, I’ve done it myself.  But if you are going to do that, you need to case the place you are ridin’ into first.  Carolyn didn’t do that.  And because she didn’t do her research, all she managed to get done was fall in a pile of shit.  Hell my blog was right there.  If she had even read the previous post to The Missouri Compromise, she would have found that I’m staunchly anti-whining.  As to the other folks she managed to insult, she didn’t check up on them either.  There’s a lesson.  Do your research.  I don’t imagine she’s researched adoptee issues, or the current state of reform actions, any better than she researched me.

Lastly, and most importantly, we learned the price of alienating those that can help you in your cause.  I can tell you it will be Frozen Margarita Night In Hell before I’d piss on her if she were on fire.  I’m guessing there are a few others that feel the same, most of them in a better position to help her than I am.

Yes,The Carolyn Pooler Affair, as it will from now be known, because I say so.  Has been an excellent lesson to us all.  All the lame newbie internet insults, all the pathetic kicking and crying aside, Ms. Pooler has given us something to learn from.

There will be a test afterward.

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play..

I’m still waiting here.  See this post The Missouri Compromise.  So far absolutely no explanation. And I’m not the only one who wants one.

Amy wants to know.

Gershom wants to know.

And Marley really wants to know.

Oh and these folks are curious too Nullius Filius.

Along with a lot of other people.

Exactly who do you claim to represent? Are they all Missouri adoptees? Were they all on board when you refused to support Representative Connie Johnson’s bill?

Oh and is it MO CARE that you represent, like you signed your letters with, or is it more like mocoare? Because through a typo I did find that group, with 5 whole people in it. Which is it?

Or are you speaking for the American Adoption Congress? Or Adoption and Triad Support Network? Or The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks? I can’t tell. And you don’t seem to have any friends that are forthcoming.

C’mon set me straight here. Educate me. And everybody else.

BTW, I see you’re having a meeting Thursday evening. Would you be more comfortable explaining this to me in person? I promise to listen very slowly.
Again comments section is below.

The Missouri Compromise

Missouri is the “Show Me” state. Legend says we got that name because we’re kind of slow. There must be some truth to that because I don’t know what the heck is going on.

Representative Connie Johnson was set to introduce a bill that would grant Missouri adoptees access to their original birth certificates. Then I get an email in which representative Johnson expressed her offense at , “the dialogue that has taken place regarding this bill and my intentions”. I was taken aback.

My first thought was that those who would wish to limit adoptee access had offended Mrs. Johnson. Scrolling down revealed something else entirely, it was a member of the group MO CARE, more specifically a Caroline Pooler who had caused the offense.

I had never heard of MO CARE. I Googled them. As far as the internet is concerned, they have never heard of them either. A little closer examination revealed a close allegiance with the American Adoption Congress. Now we all know that the American Adoption Congress ” comprises individuals, families and organizations committed to adoption reform. We represent those whose lives are touched by adoption or other loss of family continuity”.

This explained who these people were, but not what they had done to make Representative Johnson feel that she needed to pull the bill from the legislative session. Why would a group that seemed so supportive of the rights of adoptees oppose this bill to the point of offense and possibly jeopardizing the support of a friendly legislator to any future bills?

Nobody knew. As far as I can tell Ms. Pooler’s motives have not been revealed to anyone outside her group.

A larger question in my mind is, who gave her the right to speak for all Missouri adoptees? I certainly did not. I am not a member of MO CARE, if it does indeed exist. I am not a member of The American Adoption Congress. They do not speak for me or many others. Honestly I’m a bit offended that anyone would think that they did.

I appreciate Representative Johnson’s effort on my behalf. Even if the bill was not perfect I did support it as it was written. It would have given me access to my original birth certificate.

Caroline Pooler, never again think that you can speak for me. If I can give you a piece of advice, it does our cause certain harm to offend friendly legislators. I don’t know what your problem was. You seemed to think it was your place to speak for me, but didn’t think I needed to be informed of your reasons. I am also offended.

So please Ms. Pooler outline your reasoning for me. Right now. Right here. The comment section is below.

By the way, MO Care will Google now.