Look before you leap

I hope other people will read this and learn something about adopting and that this boy will finally have somewhere to live that’s good for him. If the boy truly was begging not to be there and meant it, I’m glad he’s getting out.

It’s a huge deal to adopt kids. They are already without a family. Don’t adopt unless you KNOW you’ll be seeing it through to the end.

I'm glad this post is there. I hope potential adoptive parents reading it are honest with themselves while doing so and ask themselves tough questions instead of just reading and saying, “wow, that sucks but it wouldn’t happen in my house”. IT COULD, and there are ramifications for every single person involved in the adoption which includes the kids you’re already raising.

I wrote a post to a friend who is thinking of adopting and here’s the link in case it helps someone avoid this type of situation.


Says who new

 I quite often read something on a blog and think love that! Or yes! Or chuckle out loud. Then I have to decide whether to bother commenting just to say, "love that", and then I forget where I read it after, so I've decided to start collecting little gems. Sometimes great things get lost in the shuffle of a great discussion.

If you see something below you've written and care to claim it and/or expand upon it, please do.

If you see something you like, let the author know why.

"The notion that "not talking about it" means a person has not thought about it or experience difficulty, or that their silence means that there is no different experience or difficulty for anyone, is absurd"

"It is not fair what happened to us. It is not our fault! But we are the ones left wallowing in the shit, and we are the only ones with the power to change it now."

"We have reached the point in our society where we no longer allow anyone a difference of opinion for fear that ours will be wrong."

"I do not have to agree with everything someone says or believes to know when they have a good point."

"I am absolutely a "bad" adoptee. Angry, bitter, ungrateful, totally anti adoption, but I don't think that all adoptees have to be like that and I have plenty of adoptee friend who are not like that and who accept me as I am." ~ Unfortunately the person who said this didn't actually mean it and I thought about changing my mind about using it on this post but hey, it would have been a cool thing to say! It's also a good example of how full of shit people can be.

"My hope is that adoption decisions are made based on facts and arguments and not on lobbying activities of subsets of the interest groups. And I go back to lobbying."

"That thoughts of ‘my place’ in my sons life came second to his needs, and they always will. That’s what you do when you love someone, suddenly, it doesn’t matter that you are not the one meeting that persons needs, all that matters is that they are met."

"Classy...another "C" word"

"I don't think any adoptee should have to feel guilty or wrong regardless of what their stance is on being adopted."

 "It is hard for people not to accept your perspective as valid when you are the one living it--and they, are not."


Answering anonymous

 A question was asked elsewhere and since it was asked anonymously and in a place where the blog owner had stated "Time to stop" I thought I'd answer here in my own space.

The question, "Can I ask if those who critique the work of Nancy Verrier have actually read her literature before forming their opinions as well?"

My answer...

Anonymous, I critique and haven't read her books.

Wrong or right I need to read no further than her position page on her website that says, "..the connection between biological mother and child is primal, mystical, mysterious, and everlasting. Far more than merely biological and historical, this primal connection is also cellular, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. So deep runs the connection between a child and its mother that the severing of that bond results in a profound wound for both, a wound from which neither fully recovers. In the case of adoption, the wound cannot be avoided, but it can and must be acknowledged and understood."

Since I am adopted and this is not the case for me or, from what I can tell so far, my mother, I cannot be anything other than critical. I believe it can happen to those that say it has (why would they say it if it wasn't true?) but why would I put great stock (or any stock) in what a non adopted person says is the unavoidable experience of all adopted people, when it isn't mine?

I have a question of my own. Would you put stock in a primal wound theory if you were me?

In the eye of the beholder

I came across a blog yesterday that has a post entitled Adoptee Cliques and it got me thinking about how this group phenomena occurs. I think I know what some of the perceived reasons or impetus for the dissension are, I just have no clue how to resolve or dispel them. Perhaps it's not possible to put an end to online adoptee cliques.

I'll start out by mentioning some adoption scenarios I've had personal experience with and a few I know of by reading around the various online resources that exists. By no means will I or could I list them all. There are far, far too many and really, every single situation is unique to the individuals involved which in turn affects the experience of the adopted person.

  1. Domestic, closed, infant adoption. (That's me)
  2. Domestic, closed, infant adoption to a good family (That's me too!)
  3. Domestic, closed, infant to a crap family
  4. Domestic, closed adoption of an infant willingly given up. (Me again)
  5. Domestic, closed adoption of an infant who was coerced or abducted from it's parents(s)
  6. Replace domestic with international on the first 5
  7. Add transracial to the first 5
  8. Subtract closed from the first 5 but add toddler/older child from foster care
  9. Take 1 but subtract domestic, add international, and divide by life and death medical circumstance
  10. Take all 10 and multiply by 20 years ago. Then by 30. By 40.
There are adopted people who feel abandoned, there are those who do not.
Some that feel like they never fit in to their adoptive families, some that feel they did.
Some believe they suffer from a primal wound, some who feel they don't.
Some were born in different countries than they were raised, some who were not.
Some who feel the need to search, some who do not.
Some search and are embraced, some search and are rejected.
Some who have always known they were adopted, some found out as adults.
Some who feel being adopted was a negative in their life but still love their parents.
Some who can't stand their parents but don't feel being adopted was a negative.
Some who feel their god was instrumental, some who don't think their god had anything to do with it.
Some feel relieved to have been adopted, some feel it was completely unnecessary.
Some who feel like their adoptive family is their "real" family, some who do not.

There are many, many more ways adopted people feel and possible reasons for why they feel that way. I could take much of what I've already listed and interchange them and it would apply to someone.

I personally think we do each other a disservice by dismissing each other's realities. I understand it's human nature to gravitate toward those who are of like minds. It's comforting, it assures us we're "ok", normal.

How can we get to a place where we don't mock one another? Gang up on each other? Present a place where people who are adopted can truly say how they feel about being adopted without fear of being rejected or attacked by other adopted people?

Some may think I am the kind of person who is annoyingly eternally optimistic. The "turn that frown upside down" type, and they'd be mostly right. Except for in the adoptee vs adoptee ring. I am not optimistic at all.

I think there is innate desire to categorize ourselves into good and bad adoptees. I think we've been told they exist, and deep down we want them to.  Don't get me wrong, I believe a person can be in a situation where they want to be or are expected to be a "good" adoptee, that if they aren't they won't be as loved or accepted. They must appear grateful, or else. I also believe that an adopted person can honestly and freely be totally fine with it, be almost fine with it, kinda ok with it, have fleeting moments where it's not the worst thing in the world, or just downright think it's the worst thing that could have happened.

Good and bad is in the eye of the beholder. Don't you dare slip from grace.


Says who?

 I quite often read something on a blog and think love that! Or yes! Or chuckle out loud. Then I have to decide whether to bother commenting just to say, "love that", and then I forget where I read it after, so I've decided to start collecting little gems. Sometimes great things get lost in the shuffle of a great discussion.

If you see something below you've written and care to claim it and/or expand upon it, please do.

If you see something you like, let the author know why.

"Family is not about genetics.  Family is about love.  Family is about growing together.  Family is about commitment and navigating through life together.  Family has nothing to do with DNA.  DNA is just how people are produced.  DNA does not produce families.  DNA produces people.  People make families.  Love makes families."

"Acceptance of what I have versus what I dream of is a welcome change to my weary heart and soul."

"Being an adoptee is NOT a deficit! It’s simply a part of who we are. Owning up to this identity comes with challenges and baggage, but who doesn’t have challenges and baggage?"

"Sarcasm doesn’t always translate well through the written word, so be careful when you use it".

"Exaggeration and sarcasm were used in making my point, but no actual parents were injured in the making of this post." 

"That is why I personally can not be totally against adoption, against foster care, think that kin-ship care is the only acceptable solution, and so fourth, because there so many variables involved in each situation".

"The solution has to fit the problem and real individuals involved, not theoretical formulas of the "right" answer for all."

"Biological, kinship, and adoptive families can all be equally detestable or admirable. As far as I can tell we're all just humans. That makes us capable of amazing things, both great and terrible."

"Bottom line: Be honest, ask for what you need, and if it isn't possible, WALK. I feel more liberated already."

"First of all, it’s 2011, so I’m changing the font. Fuck yeah."


I am still coming to grips with it all

In a recent post  I talked about bringing up to my bio mom the possibility of her telling her family about me and have since done so through one of our regular emails. In this post I'm going to share an edited portion of my latest reply to her reply to me. I personally find it very interesting and insightful when I get the opportunity to read other people's reunion communication so I share this here with the hope that it may help someone else to see a different perspective and approach. Also, in including her brave and very honest words about how it feels as a woman who relinquished and did expect confidentiality, I am providing proof positive that this scenario does exist even though some first/birth/bio moms try and convince us all they do not. 

I believe it's important to acknowledge all points of view, to think about the many ways people feel about adoption. 

To deny those who feel differently is to deny our own unique feelings and experience.  

My reply.... 

Morning (bio mom), thank you for this mail. It just feels so honest and real, and I appreciate that. I certainly appreciate your last sentence, "remember I traveled to _______ forty-eight years ago to keep this secret and expected it to remain that way.  I am still coming to grips with it all."

It's easy for me to forget how we're both coming from different perspectives, perspectives we can empathize with each other about but never really truly relate or know how the other feels. I like to know how you're feeling and appreciate you telling me. I hope it's of interest to you to know how I feel too, and that it doesn't make you feel uncomfortable. I am encouraged to know that you haven't entirely ruled out telling your family and that it's possible given the "right" moment. Like I said in the other mail, I know for sure I'd want to know. Also, if you think about (bio mom's daughter's son) and (my son), they are both only children. I wonder if we have the right to keep secret the fact they have a first cousin in each other. Haha, it would be much more interesting as far as (bio mom's daughter#1) and (bio mom's daughter #2) are concerned if I were a "dude", that they'd have a brother and not another stinkin sister.

I won't badger you about telling your kids. As you know, I respect the position you are in in all this, and it's really your best interests and well being that are most important to me. I don't want to cause you extra stress or to worry. 

You know what I think about it all so there's no need for me to bring it up again. Thank you for discussing it and if there's anything I can ever say or do to help you in coming to grips with it all, I hope you'll let me know.


You're raising your child's child and you wish you weren't? Bullshit!

 An anonymous comment by an alleged grandmother is making the rounds lately. The reaction to what she said shouldn't, but does, surprise me. The following is my comment to the first post I read regarding this.

I actually think it's kind of funny that you posted this. It screams of what's wrong in pressuring women to keep babies because they "ought to". This grandmother is raising this child. You speak of enabling, seriously, talk about having no "real" choice. What should she do if the child's mother doesn't step up to the plate? Tough love? Ignore the child? As if. Grandma has every right to resent having to raise a baby she didn't have or make the choice to raise. The baby has the right to be raised by people who don't resent raising it. Sounds like the mother HAS completely abdicated her responsibility and the child is being made to "suffer such rejection simply for convenience", right in front of it's face. Thank goodness for this grandma who obviously thinks about the situation plenty, likely every day.

Boy, I sure wish I'd have gotten to watch my mom leave it up to my grandma to raise me. That'd be so cool! Maybe I'd even be able to tell that grandma was pooped and wishes I wasn't her responsibility, even though she loved me so much that she enabled mom to keep me....sorta, kinda. I mean, it's obviously better than being loved so much I was given way, right?

The big issue with anti-adoption activists is that the alleged grandma said, "I’ve basically been the parent, and while I adore my grandchild, had adoption been the choice, I know it would have been the best one for this child". They protest, how could she know?!?! It's obvious she can't know for certain, but maybe the grandma happens to know people who have adoption situations that are better than the situation her grandchild is in, people who are just fine with having been adopted, like me. Or maybe like my sister. Or like countless other adopted people who are fine with having been adopted. Or just maybe she knows her own reality better than all those speculating on what she thinks and feels!

On another blog, (big surprise) anti-adoption people are calling "fake!!" on a person who has a different life experience and as a result has a different outlook. Perhaps she should have instead just found the highest building around to jump off of. It never ceases to amaze me how some people who feel so dismissed can't wait do it to others.

Are you all saying you do not believe a grandparent might wish the grandchild they are being forced to raise would have been adopted into a good family? Even if this particular woman isn't real, do you really imagine there aren't people who feel this way? Here's a comment I found elsewhere,

I raised my granddaughter till she was 5 because my adopted daughter had mental disabilites.I had enough energy to raise her and did not crawl into bed exhausted. The problem was that my friends did not have any children and there were no children on the street. I was my granddaughter's playmate.I was able to afford daycare so she had socialization with children her own age.I did not receive any financial help.I worried about my mortality and did not want her to find herself parentless in her teens or early twenties. I loved my granddaughter more than life itself and I wanted her to have parents and siblings that could be there when she graduated, got married,had children etc so I placed her for adoption.I see her 4 times a year for 2 hours.There is no law that protects this visitation.The government needs to start providing financial support and caregiver relief to grandparents.Ontario needs to legalize open adoption to protect visitation of the child.

Oh wait, that was from an evil adopter, not a blood relative. So she won't count. Let's consult this website on Kinship care found here

Wtf is the compassion for people who find themselves in this predicament? The empathy? And what about the contradictions? How it's always twisted to suit the anti-adoption agenda. One minute old people shouldn't be raising kids and love isn't enough. Only the natural mother will do!! The next minute, if it's convenient to the argument, old people are just fine, if they're blood related that is.

But...but..the grandma didn't give birth to the child! How can she possibly be enough?!

With the premise of the primal wound theory, it would apply in kinship situations too. Problem here is, not only will the child suffer a primal wound, it is also being neglected by it's natural mother and being raised by an old person!

Seems ridiculous, I know, but these are just a few of the contradictions in this discussion.

Personally I think grandparents who are ready, willing and able to raise, AND ARE CAPABLE of raising, their kid's kids and do so deserve medals. I do not however believe grandparents who can't, do not want to, or are and resent it and wish their grand kids had more then they can offer, deserve our scorn. Grandparents deserve to be grandparents, to enjoy their grandchildren as well as their senior years. When they don't get to because of things their kids have intentionally done or are doing, at least let them comment about it anonymously without vilifying, presuming, and judging.

On a parting note...I shudder at the thought of having been raised by my maternal grandmother. Gawd.


What to do if you wake up with out a hangover

It's 2011. At first it sounded funny but now it's just rolling off my tongue, like nuthin. It's seems it always goes like that, kind of like with age. With age I start preparing well ahead of time, practicing the new number a few months before the looming birthday so that when it comes it feels just right, no shock 'n surprise.

I'm enjoying this new year morning. I do not have a hangover, and it rocks! Had a nice evening with my husband, chowed down on the biggest lobster tails I've ever had in my life. In fact, I have a small piece left over to treat myself to today. Mmmmm. It was fun to watch Mr Campbell enjoy the hell out of the food I whipped up, for sure more enjoyable to him than my Martha Stewart turkey I romanced. Turkey is good, but crustaceans are the way to that man's heart.

I think about past New Years Eves, usually only the prior year's and one from what seems like a million years ago. If I were to guesstimate, it was likely about 30 years ago! I think it may have been one of the first times I didn't "have to" babysit on New Years. The memory is of friends from that time, waiting for cabs, and watching a particular friend from Montreal freeze his fashion conscious ass off while doing so. Hey, we warned him! By the time this guy moved back to Montreal he was sporting moon boots and down filled parkas. The cold will eventually win over vanity every time.

Maybe temps of minus 30's with windchills have got something to do with me being thankful. Perhaps those of us who experience hellish cold are just happy to be alive. Our furnace groaned and stopped working last night only to be fixed within a few hours for under $200. Now THAT'S a happy new year's eve! Ahh there, it just kicked in again : D

I don't make new year's resolutions. I have in the past, only to fail. I do much better when I resolve to do something in the moment. Unless of course it's a hangover. I don't know how many times I've resolved to "never drink again" only to forget in the moment, when "perhaps there's time for just one more". Always seems like a perfectly logical thing to do at the time...but then again, after a couple of drinks, everything I think of to do seems perfectly logical at the time.

For those who have stumbled here who do have a hangover and are looking for a cure, a few things I've done in the past that help or I've seen help others.

A can of cola. I have a friend who must have this, and I've felt the need myself to down great amounts of Coke or Pepsi.

Milk. I know for some the very thought will make them hurl but for me, it's always a saviour. I love milk! It's my preferred beverage with anything. From salt and vinegar chips to pizza and homemade chicken noodle soup.

Chicken noodle soup! With tons of black pepper. What a bonus if I happen to have some of my mom's homemade chicken soup on hand when I have a hangover! Lace it with extra pepper, pour a big glass of cold milk, chow down, grab an Advil, then go back to bed. Doze off and on watching a The Real Housewives of somewhere marathon, and all will be well by afternoon early evening.

Some swear by something greasy, like a big juicy hamburger or fried bacon and eggs. I've done this too, but for sure would do soup if there was a choice.

Are you a little hungover? What are YOU gonna do about it?