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.

Advertisements

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.

Rolling With It

What has become of Addie?

I have no idea.

She is still becoming.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. Everything is different, the minutes, hours, days and months are nothing like they were. I have become accustomed to being adrift, but decided to trust.

Worst case scenarios playing out can make you feel bulletproof. It’s an illusion, it can always hurt more. I figured that out when I decided to trust again. Setting that fear aside has been difficult, but I had to, loss comes regardless of intent. To fear loss is to fear life.

Yep, that means I have a boyfriend.

Well, not really a boyfriend, we have decided to put off dating for a few years until we are eligible for the senior citizen’s discount at leading establishments. We’re not getting to know each other, we met nearly thirty years ago. He scared me to death back then.

He scares me to death now, but for entirely different reasons. Now I can handle his looks, his voice, his sweetness, his humor, but his love frightens me. I never planned on falling in love again. I wasn’t sure I would find it, I wasn’t sure I wanted it, I wasn’t sure I deserved it.

I always thought I was extremely lucky to have found one true love in my life. A second love didn’t seem likely.

My life has been a series of highly unlikely events. I’m going to roll with it.

Now for something else unlikely, an Englishman with soul…

 

 

 

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 Acronyms

I was first introduced to acronyms on my first job.  This was back in the days before computers and we had to fill out reams of paperwork.  We had an acronym for everything.  On our first day we received a large binder filled with them arranged both alphabetically and by their use.  Since that time acronyms have grown to take over not just work environments, but our everyday lives.

The adoption community has enthusiastically embraced acronyms.  We are almost to the point that one needs one of those binders just to get through a simple blog post, but I wonder if we have used them to our best advantage.  I see no reason we shouldn’t co-op, change, and claim existing acronyms, as well as make up new ones.  For example:

ADD, possibly the most overused, and possibly over diagnosed acronym of all time, especially for adoptees.  Attention Deficit Disorder?  Bah.  It stands for Adult Adoptee Disorder now.

RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Rock Against Drugs, Rapid Application Development, take your pick.  Now it’s going to be Really Awesome Demonstration, thanks to..

ULB, Ungrateful Little Bastard.  Who shall now me known as Ultimate Little Bastard.

NCFA, National Council for Adoption?  I don’t think so.  Non-Compliant Frigging Adoptees has a nice ring to it.

ABC, amended birth certificate.  How about Absolute Bird Crap?

OBC, original birth certificate.  That one is ok, but Owned By Child sounds good too.

CI, confidential intermediary.  Certified Incompetent would be more accurate.

KAD, Korean Adoptee, which does work, but per Paula’s suggestion, I think Kicking Ass Daily also describes KADs very well too.  I think this one should be an either/or type of acronym.

IA, international Adoption.  Infertile Asshats has been suggested, Ineffective Acknowledgment, as to the effects of International Adoption on the adoptee also comes to mind.

BM, Birth mother, bowel movement, and several others I’m sure.  Baader-Meinhof, big mammaries or possibly big monsters when used in connection with AP insecurities.  Take your pick.

Now for some we can steal from others:

POA, Power of Attorney.  Pissed Off Adoptee.  To be used when they fond out what somebody did with the original acronym to their birth certificate.

POS, in the popular lexicon, Piece Of Shit, usually used to refer to automobiles.  Let’s just use this one for the original acronym ABC.

This is just a partial list, it is intended to be discussed, expanded and debated.  All suggestions will be considered.

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.

I Wonder If I Can Relinquish Myself?

Since my state continues to treat me like a child that can’t be trusted with my records, I think I’d like to relinquish myself, to the state.  the problem is I don’t want to be a ward of the court.   Since I’m relinquishing myself I think I should be able to pick my new adoptive parents.

I was thinking the governor would be a good choice.  He can afford another kid, and let’s face it, the prestige would be nice.  I think it would be a mutually beneficial relationship.  He could get all kinds of publicity for adopting and I could live in the governor’s mansion.

I think it would be a great way to bring adoptee rights issues home to someone who could do something about it.  At all the family photo ops, conventions, and tree lighting ceremonies I could raise my fist and yell “GIVE ADOPTEES THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES!!”.   I’m betting that could get something done fast.

We all should do it.  Just imagine if all the governors, in all the states that don’t allow equal access for adoptees, had tens of thousands adult adoptees trying to relinquish themselves to them…….

The potential news story.

Addie Pray Nixon, yeah that sounds good.