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.

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20 Things

4. You are not getting the whole picture.

Even if you’ve been re-united for 50 years you are not getting the whole picture of the events surrounding your adoption.

Think about it. Think of all the people involved. Now think about what their motivations may have been. Also think about how much or how little they actually communicated with each other. There is no way you can know exactly what really went on. Truthfully no one does.

Let’s start with your a-parents, who most likely started the adoption process long before your first mother became pregnant. We’ve already established that adoption is usually decided upon from what can only be described as a stressful situation. Exactly why did they decide to adopt? Were they truly on the same page in making that decision?

You’ve been told that they adopted because they wanted more than anything else to raise a child they could call their own. I’m sure this is true, but it’s a pretty general answer. There are a lot of reasons they wanted this, and of your parents may have wanted it more than the other. They almost certainly wanted it for different reasons.

Men and women take different roles in parenting and probably do this because they see the role of a parent through their own perspective to some degree. This also colors their reasons for wanting to become parents in the first place. I’m not sure either parent can be completely open with the other about taking a leap as big as adoption, it just brings so much more into the parenting decision. This and the fact that parenting never turns out as anyone expects, may leave them wondering about their reasoning themselves.

Your first parents were also most likely under a great deal of stress. Unexpected pregnancy doesn’t tend to make for peace of mind. Almost every first mother speaks of feeling pulled in different directions, by the baby’s father, by her family, by agencies and most of all by their own feelings. It is very little wonder that many look back and question their decision making at the time.

The clearest decision makers in all of this are the agencies. They have missions, goals, a clear mandate as to their role in all of this. This in no way means that their actions were pure, right, or in your best interest, just that they were most likely operating on a set of guidelines.

All of this means very little to you. The events leading up to your adoption aren’t something that can ever really be figured out. There is no one truth, there are many. Coming to a complete understanding about what happened is impossible. The earliest part of your life will always be surrounded by a certain amount of conflict.

The very heart of the matter is that you are the result what amounts, in many cases, to an adversarial event. Adversarial relationships are great for making laws and trying criminal, but not so good for journeys of self discovery.

The sad fact is accepting that you don’t have a neat, logical, or all together happy story, will most likely serve you well. When you gain this perspective, it allows you to move on from asking questions of others and start asking questions of yourself.

Once you have some kind of idea of the events, you need to look more at how it effected you, not everyone else. They have had many years with a much more mature viewpoint than you, more than likely they have drawn their own conclusions, and consciously or unconsciously, are invested in an agenda. Try to take what they have to offer, iece it together the best you can, and draw your own conclusions.

Better, Stronger, Faster

With international adoption beginning to tighten up and the relative rarity of domestic newborns available, lots of talk has turned to how the desperately childless will obtain children. Most of this talk centers around creating children from donor eggs, donor sperm, or both. PAPs having the luxury of being able to pick out the characteristics that they desire in their potential child. Sperm from Harvard, egg from Radcliffe.

Other than the obvious arguments that occur to me in using these kind of procedures, something else occurs to me. If we have a significant number of children conceived of in these way, what are the social implications for the children? Could things take an unexpected and frightening turn?

I imagine what most would think that these children’s reactions might be very close to those of run-of-the-mill adoptees, I wonder. As an adoptee, I was always told the standard story, that I was given up by a woman that couldn’t care for me. Other adoptees and I, to a large degree, got the message that we might tend to be somewhat genetically inferior. A good deal of our struggle has always centered around that, and I think, accounts for some of the most essential way that we view ourselves, and to a great extent the way other view us.

What if we were told something different?

What if our parents had been able to choose our traits to a certain degree? What if they were proud that they had been able to afford what they considered the best genetics for us? What if they had chosen traits that were superior to their own? What if they told us, and everyone else?

How would we react to our beginnings then?

Imagine if from your earliest memories you had been told that your genes were going to make you superior to others. That you would be smart, beautiful, and athletic. That you, and those like you, were essentially better than other children. That you knew others like yourself and that the rest of the world knew that you had been earmarked for superiority. That your were “special” in a real way.

Could that sense of entitlement become part of you? If so, wouldn’t it stand to reason that you would feel that all the things that came with your legacy should automatically be yours? Would it make perfect sense to form alliances among your own kind? Sort of a Skull And Bones Cub Scout Pack?

At some point, wouldn’t you understand that if you were made out of superior genetic stuff than your parents, that they would have very little to offer to you beyond basic needs? How quickly could inferior parents come to seen as a burden?

This is all my musing, but with the climate of consumerism so prevalent in today’s society, I don’t believe it’s impossible to imagine a generation of horrible, entitled, nasty children, created by those displaying the same traits, to a lesser degree.

MSM Look Out-I’m Coming For Ya!

I was driving home early sunday morning through bakersfield
Listening to gospel music on the colored radio station
And the preacher said, you know you always have the
Lord by your side

And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran
Twenty red lights in his honor
Thank you jesus, thank you lord

Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send
Ten dollars to the church of the sacred bleeding heart of jesus
Located somewhere in los angeles, california
And next week theyd say my prayer on the radio
And all my dreams would come true
So I did, the next week, I got a prayer with a girl
Well, you know what kind of eyes she got

-Mick and Keef

That’s right folks, Joy and I are going to be on The Adoption Show this Sunday at 8:30 pm Eastern.

Give a listen.

Since We All Need A Holiday..

Mention has been made on this blog that we, as adoptees, need a holiday, or at the very least a High Holy Day. I think that I might have come up with something.

From what I can see declaring holidays is a pretty easy thing to do, you just say it’s a holiday, send a card, and your done. Just look at Mother’s Day, founded by anti-civil war activist Julia Ward Howe. She basically bugged the President until he issued a proclamation. Some say it was merely an attempt by Lincoln to revive the lagging knick-knack and bathrobe industries, but never the less, it’s still a holiday. One only has to look at the popularity of Festivus to realize any joker can come up with a holiday these days.
Since this holiday will be to celebrate our gift from God status, I thought it would be nice to name it after a Saint. I considered using Jesus, as many have pointed out his adoptee-lite status, but he already has too many holidays in his honor, if you ask me. Now, I’m not catholic, so I pretty much had to rely on Google search to find a good candidate to be our patron saint.

I started with the obvious, I typed in “adopted saint”, not too fruitful. I just didn’t turn up any holy people that had the right pizazz for an adoptee’s holiday. I did notice that many maternity homes were named St. Elizabeth’s, so I did a quick read in the Catholic dictionary on her. Too boring, and pious for our purposes.

I then typed in “Pray to saint adoption”. I came up with this gem:

St. Gerard.

Memorial
16 October
Profile
Son of a tailor who died when the boy was 12, leaving the family in poverty. Gerard tried to join the Capuchins, but his health prevented it He was accepted as a Redemptorist lay brother serving his congregation as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. Wonder worker.When falsely accused by a pregnant woman of being the father of her child, he retreated to silence; she later recanted and cleared him, and thus began his association as patron of all aspects of pregnancy. Reputed to bilocate and read consciences. His last will consisted of the following small note on the door of his cell: “Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills.”

Born
23 April 1725 at Muro, Italy
Died
16 October 1755 at Caposele, Italy of tuberculosis
Beatified
29 January 1893 by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized
11 December 1904 by Pope Saint Pius X
Patronage
childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; good confessions; lay brothers; motherhood; mothers; Muro, Italy; pregnant women; pro-life movement; unborn children

Seems that this possible birth-father could be our guy.

Gerard was reputed to bilocate, which is defined as being in one place physically and another spiritually, would seem to work for our purposes. And come on, that possible birthfather thing is just too good.

So, let’s call it St. Gerard’s Day. I haven’t quite worked out the details, but I know It’s going to be all about us. Some possible activities and traditions that I ‘d like too see become associated with St Gerard’s Day are:

Drinking of the sacred Mojito’s while dancing to Sam The Sham and the Pharaoh’s hit song Wooly Bully around the St Gerard’s tree. This tree would be a money tree that adoptive parents decorate for us in remembrance of our adoption fees.

The airing of grievances (yeah, I stole that one from Festivus, sue me) to all those that have hurt us over the last year, this, of course would be extended to our lifetimes during the initial celebration. The targets of our grievance would be made to stand in a kiddie pool, wearing a mumu, while the airer of grievances, and other adoptees, shot at them with Super Soakers full of Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red.

That is all I have come up with for now. I’m open to suggestions as to dates, and celebratory traditions.

Spotaneous Record Combustion

Why is it that adoptees records always seem to catch on fire? The phenomenon disturbs me deeply.

I don’t know how many times an adoptee has told me that someone has told them that their records burned. In fact it happens so often, I wonder if we a dealing with some type of recurring event.

I was told my own records burned. A very nice lady told me that the hospital I was born in had burned to the ground in 1968. The thing is, I don’t live that far from that hospital, I had driven by it many times. It appeared to me to have been standing for at least fifty years. Never the less, I searched newspaper records and didn’t find a thing. I saw reports of a couple of house and barn fires in my birthplace that year, but not the hospital.

Considering I was born a town of about 2000 people, one would think that a hospital fire would be a big event. I know in my own little town it was news for weeks when a cigarette left in a stack of Styrofoam cups ignited the Gas And Grub convenience store, it made the TV news and everything. But small town newspapers are more known for wedding announcements and high school sports scores than hard edge reporting, So called up the local library and asked the lady who answered the phone if there had been a fire at the hospital.

She had been born in the same hospital as me, and was about ten years older, she didn’t recall a fire. Her Uncle had been the Volunteer Fire Dept. cheif during the 60’s and 70’s and she promised to ask him for me. I called her back the next week, he didn’t know about any fire at the hospital. He had, in great detail, described a fire in a hatchery that happened about that time, but we agreed that probably wasn’t helpful.

I called the nice lady at the hospital back. Under questioning she revealed it wasn’t the WHOLE hospital, just the records room. Well maybe not the WHOLE records room, just a cabinet. Maybe it was just the birth records. She reallty wasn’t sure.

This would be almost amusing, if I were the only one, but I’m not. Not by a long shot. I can only conclude that something else is at work here. As we all know, none of these people would lie, and may, in fact, be in danger if they handle this records regularly. Imagine if your job involved working with object that appear completely safe, but had potential to spontaneously burst into flame at any moment. Wouldn’t you want to know?

The people that work at hospitals, adoption agencies, and State departments of health, need to be warned. They could so easily be disfigured or even killed by burning adoption records. There needs to be some type of safety procedure put into place. At the very least all adoption records should bear a sticker warning the handler that they are flammable.

If the government was aware of this potential danger to it’s employees, I have no doubt that they would take quick action.

That is why I ask you to alert your state and local authorities of this danger, immediately. Ask them how many more people need to be hurt by incendiary adoption records.