And that's the truth

This morning I read a post where a non-adopted blogger discusses adoptee obituaries, how not including in the obituary the fact that the subject of it is adopted renders the obituary an untrue story. "Case closed".

The blogger goes on to say that by not including adoption in the obituary it relegates the adoptee's biological mothers to "uteri passing by". Seems to me if this is a concern for a mother it's a problem easily solved. Include the child you gave up for adoption in your own obituary.

I've decided to write about this here for two reasons, one being I have quite a bit to say and the second is that the blogger asked adoptees to allow birth/first/natural mothers their own emotions and feelings on her blog. Fair enough.

See, what the blogger seems unable to grasp is that for some of us adoptees our adoptive parents are in fact our parents. True story.

The lack of adoptive status in my obituary won't be an attempt to feel "more" a part of my family. I couldn't possibly feel any more a part of my family than I already do.

If I were to drop dead tomorrow and my obituary read that I am predeceased by my brother and father, survived by my mother and sister, son and husband, it wouldn't be a "fairy tale version with white-washed facts". That's what these people are. My parents, my family.

Why would I in death start to preface what they are to me with the word "adoptive" when I never did in life? Not only would it not be something I'd have to "request" be left out, it wouldn't even occur to anyone to put it in my obituary.

I agree that the dead often give up the best clues in searching, in fact I've taken advantage of the dead in that way myself and the word adoption wasn't mentioned in any of the obits I've found helpful. If after I'm dead someone searching or doing genealogy is interested in knowing if I'm adopted, they are more than welcome to ask my family and friends. My being adopted is not a secret to any of them.

Not mentioning being adopted in my obituary will not obliterate the reality that I am, and it doesnt say that being adopted didnt make a difference in my life. What bigger difference could there be than having an entirely different group of people than I am biologically related to named as family in my obit?

My not saying I am adopted in my obituary has absolutely nothing to do with original birth certificates nor does it feed into an idea of "sacrosanct right" of "privacy" and "anonymity" for mothers from the children they gave up for adoption.

I can understand adopted people who want to address their adoptedness or biological family members in their obituaries. I can think of numerous scenarios where it would make sense and the blogger's I've referenced scenario is just one of them. If my sister asked me to be sure her bio family was mentioned in her obit, I would do everything in my power to ensure it happened.

The truth for me though is that my parents are my parents and my brother and sister are my siblings. In my obituary, there will be no need for the word "adoptive", just as there is no need for it in life.

If your son or daughter is adopted and you tragically outlive him or her, don't just "say so" in their obituary, as the blogger referenced here suggests.

If it's not something you've talked about, go with your gut. If its not been your practise to refer to your child or yourself as adoptive, why would you start now?

If it's something you've talked about and you know your son or daughter wants their adoption addressed in their obituary, do all you can to make it happen.

Perhaps it's one of those things that people should talk about with their loved ones, especially if one feels strongly either way.

Personally, I am strongly against using the word adoptive when describing familial relationships or connections....unless it's necessary in order to differentiate or is what the adopted person wants.


Awww...what a cute baby!

In yapping with my son yesterday I was reminded of something I've wanted to write more about.

I can't remember exactly what we were talking about but he said, "yeah, that's back when grandma used to love me". Now, to keep this in perspective, it was said lightly in a joking manner. We weren't having a serious conversation and my son, who is 21, wasn't upset and feeling unloved.

Even still, him saying it in that moment kind of took me aback. I answered him, saying, "you mean that's back when you didn't have a mind of your own and blindly adored your grandma, worshipping the ground she walked upon. Grandma still loves you tons, she doesn't like you having a mind of your own".

Watching my mom with my son as he grew, watching her with cousin's children and my brother's daughters helped me see what happened with my mom and I as I grew up. I came to realize my mom is one of those women who LOVES babies, is actually fantastic with them, but finds they lose their charm as they grow up into little humans with minds of their own. My mom is the type of woman who pines for the days when the kids were little and wishes time could stand still when it comes to babies. Just the type who could love any baby, even babies that aren't biologically hers.

I think if I were to say what I'm about to say now, my mom would say it isn't true, but I feel so certain many years back she told me a little something from the days her and my dad were attempting to adopt their second child, me.

I'm sure she told me that the woman interviewing my parents almost didn't allow her to adopt again because, if you can imagine, the woman felt as if my mom wanted a baby exactly like the first one she'd adopted. I remember having a wow moment when she told me, not receiving the moral of the story quite the way my mom had intended. My mom's intent was to suggest "can you believe some crazy woman thinking such a thing of me? We almost didn't get you because of her!" whereas I had a light bulb moment because there was a time (sorry sis if you're reading) that I suffered through countless comparisons to my old sister, countless times I stomped my feet and refused to bow at the altar of the reluctant golden child. Eventually my older sister also got too big for her britches and she too pissed my mom off (although not sure ever as bad or as much as I did) and I know I had my turns as golden child but never again like the days as a baby and toddler, where carrying the ketchup to the table or drying a dish is a treat, doing a chore for mom is an honour and a privilege.

Some women really only like babies, are not ideal parent-for-life material. Hey, to be fair, there are some women who aren't fond of babies but blossom into pretty cool moms as the kids grow up. Not to say these people can't do a perfectly acceptable job parenting but the whole thing works a whole lot better if moms can enjoy every age, embrace the entire parenting experience. If we can't, we should at least be honest with ourselves about it so we can better compensate for our shortcomings as parents.

Yes, believe it or not, we moms do have them.

Some people's mothers

I can now see how an adopted person could get so fed up dealing with their biological parent that they would say screw it and just go ahead and contact other family members. I'm not saying they should, and I haven't and likely never (never say never) will, but I can now see how it all could evolve.

This October marks a year since I met my biological mother. This January will mark 2 years since our initial contact via email. At the moment I am going on week number, ohhh let's see, maybe 4 or 5, and unanswered email number 3. Email number 1 was a pretty nice mail (I solicited opinions) in which I asked point blank who my biological father is. I haven't heard squat since. No "eff off and die", no "sorry Campbell, I will not tell you", no "I need more time", not a damn word.

I realize something could be wrong with her, she may have no Internet access, she could even be dead for all I know but it's not likely since I haven't seen an obituary yet in my daily searches. Also, based on the past 2 experiences where I worried something may be wrong and it turned out all was well, she'd just not bothered to mail back, it's more likely that she's just ignoring me again. If I'm wrong and she's ill or dead, I will not feel the slightest bit of guilt for being ticked off and that's her doing, not mine.

I have done all I possibly can to prove my dedication to protecting her privacy. She has no legitimate reason to fear I will betray her if she gives me the information I'm entitled to, which is knowing who my biological father is.

I write this post not to solicit my reader's pity but rather to inform those thinking of searching. To tell those who've gone against their mother's wishes and contacted family members that I can see how it can happen. To let in the closet mothers know how frustrating it can be from the adopted person's side of it all. How disrespectful it feels to be ignored when you've taken great care with your mother or father's feelings and circumstance.

How tempting it is to just say screw this.

Why should I continue to care how you feel when how I feel is apparently meaningless to you?


Your mother wears army boots

Campbell's soup, makes you poop
Down your leg and in your boot,
On the floor, out the door,
Now we're ready for some more!

We gooooooooo to pizza place
To get the flavor...of
Campbell's face

I was (unpleasantly) reminded of childish, elementary school taunts and name calling this morning. These were a couple of mine. Although they mean nothing to me now and haven't for years, it was interesting to have a fleeting moment where I was reminded of what it felt like to be in grade school.

What childhood taunts and name calling did you have to endure?