Sometimes I Feel Like an Athiest

A FaceBook friend of mine posted the clip below. It’s from a public access TV show in Austin called Atheist Experience. This episode is hosted by Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples,both are calm, well-spoken,  and offer sound arguments for their position. The caller seems to be willfully ignorant. It wasn’t so much the subject of the exchange that struck me, but the tone, it all sounded much too familiar.

Te clip was like too many discussions many of us have had concerning adoptee rights. First, the caller assumed the host had had a bad experience, that they just hadn’t found the right church, because if they did, they would agree with him. Sound familiar? Ever been accused of having a bad experience with adoption? When Tracie Harris mentions that she actually had some good experiences in church and her atheism was the result of knowledge she had acquired, it was so much like an adoptee rights activist telling someone that they do love their adoptive parents.

Moving on to the “Why do you even have to have this show?” section, I got that one 100% too. How many times have we been asked the same thing. Just like the hosts, when we point out all the wealthy, well-established institutions (many of the same institutions the atheists are pointing out, in this case) who promote adoption, and justify our right to express our own differing position, it doesn’t matter. We still should just shut up and go with conventional wisdom, because they say so.

Then there’s the whole “it’s a miracle that Gabby Giffords is going to live and recover” thing. To my ear this sounds so much like the “if we can just save one child” argument. I agree with the hosts, it’s great Mrs. Giffords is going to be OK, but it’s no miracle, it’s a tragedy. Many people aren’t OK because of that act, they matter too. The caller just can’t see that. Much like many adopters can’t see that they participated in a system that hurts many, that their little miracle doesn’t make that OK.

Anyway, here’s the clip…

So, anybody else feeling like they’ve been there, done that?

 

 

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The Widow’s Debutante Ball

I made it through yesterday, through the last year. If on this day last year, you asked me if I be around in a year, I couldn’t have been sure.

Like so  many milestones, I don’t feel a bit different after its passing. Now I don’t feel the all encompassing, debilitating, agony of fresh grieving, I still grieve, and it still hurts. I can go to the store, club meetings, doctors appointments, without feeling like everybody is looking at me, feeling sorry for me, watching to see if I’ll lose it. I’m no longer the woman whose husband just died, I’m just a widow.

I still don’t know what being just a widow means. Since a year has passed, I know I’m supposed to rejoin society, whatever that means  I almost feel like I should have some kind of weird widow’s debutante ball.

At this ball people could gather and wait for the widows to enter. We’d all be veiled and covered in black, once entered we would remove our black garments to reveal colorful and stylish clothing beneath. We would be welcomed back with dances, gifts and good wishes. Everyone of us widows would be gracious and smile. But the smiles wouldn’t be because we were truly happy or ready to rejoin the world. We would smile because we all would have learned to take anything offered. We would know how little we have and to never turn down any act of kindness, they are few and far between. We would smile because, for one night, we would be distracted from the loneliness that is, and probably always will be, our constant companion. After the party we would go home and everything would be the same.

OK, the above is too bleak, too negative, too dark. I have moved on. I’m not alone. I do really smile and laugh. I’m blessed and loved. Loved more than I could ever imagine, and I can return that love.

But part of me will always be at that ball.

 

Being Generous with Character Flaws

Everybody says they never want to say anything bad about a family member. They say that, but I’m not sure it’s always true. I’m working on a novel written by an author who has based all of his characters on real family members. It’s reading flatter and every bit as boring as the the Kansas turnpike. He knows this, but still doesn’t want to attribute bad qualities to people he loves.

Yesterday evening we discussed solutions to the problem. I suggested he redraw his characters to make them less recognizable, and that’s what he probably end up doing. But in the discussion, he came up with an interesting suggestion. He had thought about asking the family members what less than flattering attribute they would like to display, dishonesty, greed, tendency to infidelity, etc.  I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t help the author out much in the end, he would still end up pissing everyone he wrote about off, but it would be fascinating to see what flaws folks might pick out for themselves.

Being allowed to pick out your own flaws, as your story is written, is a very generous concept. Controlling how we are perceived isn’t something we are ever allowed in real life. The most basic things about us come with preconceived notions about our flaws. Woman, adoptee, birth parent, adoptive parent, all have their own set of flaws, according to your perspective. It’s natural that we try to use our good points to neutralize the perception that we don’t like. I wonder if this makes us come off flat, set up to be given another set of attributes that are no more accurate than the others.

If you were asked to come up with a fictional character flaw, what would you choose?

I’m think I might like vanity. LOL.

Today is a Good Day

Today should be a good day. I’ve got plenty of work to do, good work, no one will probably die, and my Love is coming to see me tonight. It’s sunny too, that means a lot.

There are lots of things I should be doing today, mowing the lawn, organizing my cabinets, getting rid of all the junky stuff around the house, but I’m not going to get to that, and that’s OK. I’ll get to it when I’m ready. One thing I’ve learned in the last year is things happen when they happen. If I can find a place where there is a sort of flow with any kind of ambition, I’m in good shape. You don’t have to do all the hard things at once.

As an adoptee there is always the feeling you need to fix everything, right now.  All be damned if the fixes come with problems of their own, just do it. It’s a dangerous and wounding way to go, but very hard to let go of.  Adoptees tend to miss their own experiences taking care of everybody else.

Today I’m going to go with my own experiences. I’m going to play with words, create something, and most importantly let myself really feel the love that is in my life. Letting myself go to that love has been difficult, it’s not really a trust issue, it’s a being overwhelmed by own feelings issue. The sheer depth of feelings that I have is frightening, I have to will myself to let go. But it’s good, even if I have to do it one day at a time.

Still here, Still Adopted.

There is nothing like an adoptive family crisis to make you feel all the more adopted. My a-dad had a bit of a health scare recently. He was diagnosed with cancer, luckily, it looks like it’s treatable. This is good, really good, but waiting to hear that was an awful experience. It’s a feeling of just waiting to panic, or not.

We didn’t have to panic. Big sigh of relief there. But not panicking and getting my a-dad through cancer treatments is going to be challenging enough. Long time readers of this blog have got to know my a-dad a bit, so you can imagine the challenges ahead. For those who don’t know, let’s just say a-dad is very outspoken (that’s a nice way of saying he’s a bitchy old man).

Then there is the whole adoptee thing. My a-famiily once had a family dinner, complete with relatives from out of town, on my birthday, and “forgot” to invite me. But who is the first one they call when they need a ride to the hospital for surgery, or wreck their car, or can’t figure out the cell phone? You guessed it, the adoptee. I know they do it because they see me as being the one who can handle it (or possibly because I’m alone right now and might not have anything better to do. Ha.), but it’s still hard. Sometimes it feels like you get all the responsibility and none of the good stuff.

There is nothing to do but deal. And deal I will. I always do. Adoptees are like that.

It’s an Adoptee Thing

I haven’t been adopted much lately. I’m blowing off more Adoptee Rights Demonstration meetings than I attending, I haven’t blogged, honestly I haven’t given adoption much thought. It will always be there.

Adoption is always there, it runs like a current below everything thing else. Below the big losses that everyone experiences, below the day-to-day bullshit, even below the happy. Adoption is just there and I know it’s not going anywhere. I’ve dealt with it long enough I can ignore it, for a while.

There are, however, some things I cannot let go. I can’t sit back and see the work adoptees, and their supporters, have done collectively be co-opted, corrupted, or used to leverage an unrelated goal. So many have worked so hard, so tirelessly, so long, and that work is really beginning to pay off.

The right to identity is a civil right, an adoptee’s civil right. It really is all about us. Don’t forget it. Don’t make me get all adopted again.

I’m Back and In Trouble Already

I’m Seeing Double and have been sent to the principal’s office over at Grown In My Heart….

Seeing Double at Grown In My Heart.

Other than that, I’m adjusting.

I’m a freshman at a small mid-western university.  I always thought these things were made up, until it happened to me……

Actually I have managed to get myself enrolled in school.  We’ll see how that goes.  More later.