Monday, December 31, 2012

was i worth it? and other thoughts...

i was driving down the road today, wondering if my parents felt like they got their money's worth when they got me.

i think yes.

haven't always felt that way, but for the most part i do.  i mean, it's such a gamble when buying a kid.  it's a crap shoot.  they won't be anything like you, and you can't change that.  so be prepared.  you never know where your new little critter came from.

yesterday i saw a documentary with dr. wayne dyer.  he repeatedly talked about how important it is to know where you come from.  it's a natural need. 

if you don't find where you came from, you become obsessed with figuring it out at the expense of moving forward and living your life.  that's how i lived until i met my witch mother.  i daydreamed of her constantly.  it really held me back emotionally and otherwise.

so to make it simple, if you're an AP, try your best to keep an open adoption.  if it wasn't open, never stifle your child's dreams of finding her mother. 

you won't win.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ultrasound tech daniel: "i need you to take off your shoe and shorts."

  me: "um, daniel, i'm going comando today...."

  daniel: "would you prefer a woman tech?"

  me: "meh- is she a lesbian and cute?"

  daniel: "ummmmm.........nooooo."

  me: "no to which? being a lesbian or being cute?"

  daniel: "ummmmmm no to both....."


Thursday, September 27, 2012

hang on.....who am i SUPPOSED to be?????????

i don't know who i am.  or maybe i do.  i don't know.

i know what i like- my family, big moose, skating, ballet, hotels, Atlanta, water skiing, hiking to billy's bald spot.

but where did i come from?  i mean, i know the woman who i was birthed to, and i know the family that raised me, but I'm still confused.

what would my life have been like "before" adoption?  would it have been "SO" bad, as everyone tells me it would be?

i have no way of knowing.  i wish people would stop asking me that question.

i hope i am nothing like her, but i see myself in her anyway.  the wishing that she would be loving is tiring.  the hoping that i don't have any of her hatred is tiring.  the lack of me being a mother like she is, is tiring.

I'm bored with being tired.  i just wanted that one mother, and she couldn't come through for me.  i can't stop the grudge.

please, do NOT ask me to.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

silent weekend at the monestery 2011

my version:
my mind is well rested, my heart openly altered and my soul forever moved.

gracie's version:

this weekend, a loud cat sang to me, i nearly fell into a reflecting pool, i met geese who politely "honked" so i'd be sure not to get run over by them. i was sprinkled with holy water TWICE and THEN a monk came down to the floor, blessed me, then he said that *I* was a blessing!!! such amazing grace!!!! God is so generous:)

so much to tell:) it's so hard to explain the feelings i had when i got there, and while i was there, but i'll give it a shot. this is my first time trying to write about this, so i hope i can do it justice.

here's a link to where we were:

anyway....leading up to the weekend, i was really nervous. i've never done anything like this before, and i was definitely worried i wouldn't know what i was doing around so many holy people! the closer i got to the place, the more scared i felt, actually. my heart was pounding like crazy when i got into conyers, ga. once the count down on my navigator started, i was truly shaking.

when i turned onto the driveway, i felt giddy! i could see the building but it was really far away. i drove slowly, because i wasn't sure where i was going or what to do when i got there.

finally, we parked outside the abbey store and the bonsai garden house. i walked my dog and then we started looking for the retreat house. we passed by some amazing catholic geese:) we finally found our check in place, met patti who runs the office and got our keys. we went up to the third floor and put our things down in the has a desk, a bed and a chair. we shared a bathroom with another lady from our church that was in the room next to us.

after, gracie and i went down to the lake and watched about 30 geese swimming around. there were also lots of mallard ducks, but the geese seemed to own the place:) we stayed down there until 5:00 and then went back to the retreat house. from there, we got directions to go to 5:20 vespers.

i haven't been in a catholic church in quite a long time, and i've never been to one like this before. very few pews, all in the back. we sat in the choir stalls next to the monks. the chanting was amazing.....with just a few prayers scattered in. it lasted about 20 minutes, and then it was time to go.

i walked out with the woman who showed me the way in. she was behind me and gracie, and she walked with one of the monks. she said to him, "did you get my email that you're speaking to a group tonight?" i almost stopped dead in my tracks! EMAIL???? email?? for a monk? monks get email??????????

anyway, we then went to dinner and ate in silence. very simple meals, but tasted great and there was always just enough. after dinner, our group of 8 met with that same monk! he told us how to find our way around and what to do if we needed anything. all of a sudden, i saw under his robes...........he had on jeans and sneakers!!!!!!!!!!!!! i chucked a bit....and he saw me looking at his feet and said, "i'm just a regular guy!"

one of the other girls in our group asked him if he was allowed to leave and if so, what did he wear when he went into town. he told us that he normally would wear regular clothes, but the following day, he was going to the circus, and would wear monks clothing because he wanted the free parking..:)

anyway, after that get together, it was time for grand silence (8p-4a). we all went to our rooms, and i, of course, tried to see if i could get a signal on my laptop. didn't happen. i can't say i'm sad, either. i decided to just lie there and think. the silence around me was positively deafening. my dog was on the twin bed with me, just staring into my eyes. i tilted my head back to take my medicine and there was jesus hanging on the wall above me. to be honest, it startled me for a second, then made me giggle with nervousness for another second, then made me feel rather calm.

to be honest, i didn't sleep much at all that night. i was awake until 3:30am. i missed the 4am prayers, but made it to 7am. it's very dark in the church, which at first was a little odd, but i really grew to love it more with every prayer session.

saturday was filled with more silent meals, group sessions, down times, dog walks, the lake. gracie and i found ourselves watching a wedding with just a bride, groom, minister and a witness. it was on a hill in the middle of the grounds. the beauty of the simplicity was incredible...... after, i watched the couple walk around a bit, holding hands and not talking, just 'being'. that afternoon, i found some of her bouquet petals down by the lake. they looked so elegant, lying there in the midst of so many pinecones and needles, right next to the water.

we went to our last evening prayer service and we were both blessed with holy water, and then we stayed after by ourselves. i was up near the alter and a monk came close. i asked him if he would bless my dog, which he did, and then he blessed me, too. we went upstairs to bed and had no trouble sleeping. we woke up bright and early for a prayer service, final meeting and then church in the old crypt, lunch and then it was time to pack. we stayed for 2 more hours, just walking around the grounds taking pictures, and then we started home...........back to normal life.

or so i THOUGHT..........

a little back story- many moons ago i left the hotel after work one night. i parked in front of my house which was only 4 blocks away. a man put something over my mouth and took me to an empty apartment where he fucked me over, quite literally.

the initial charges ranged from sodomy, rape, and kidnapping to attempted murder. he pleaded down to kidnapping and rape and got life in prison. in GA, that means ten years. he's just failed his first attempt at parole, but will be getting released unconditionally february 12, 2012 due to over crowding.)

onto the part two:

saturday morning, our group met to discuss what we wanted from life in terms of our futures, both immediately and in days, months and years to come.

i was listening to some ladies who were a couple of generations ahead of me as they spoke mostly of feeling they had gotten to a place in their lives where their thoughts in that moment were mostly geared toward a specific goal. the ideas, in their own words was they felt the lives they had lead up to that point were made up of thoughts and actions and enough "check ins" at sunday services that they felt they had earned a RIGHT to be seated close to god in heaven when they arrived.

they also included things like the pain of divorce, a husband lost to suicide, one woman with health issues....each of them concluded these events were their ticket to heaven, with a great seat! i listened to their words, i wondered whether their experiences and expected outcomes were to come true.

all of this made me sort of examine what i wanted or expected from life and, really....from death as well. what's the goal? what's the reason to live the way i live? actually, more importantly, IS there a reason to live the way i live? am i supposed to feel obligated to behave in a way that will get me a good seat? do i want a good seat? quite honestly, i don't particularly care. i don't sit still very well anyway.

before i left friday to go to the retreat, i printed out the prison mug shot and rap sheet of the man who assaulted me. i recently found out that he is, in fact, due to be released in 11 months. he's failed parole already last november, but come february 2, 2012, the state can no longer keep him as a prisoner. when i saw that, i was absolutely petrified.

then i spent some time with him in my pocket at the retreat. i began to wonder what had happened in his past that made him capable of even thinking about committing such crimes. i felt more and more firmly rooted in my knowledge that an average person doesn't run around assaulting people, raping them and attempting to murder them. something HAD to have happened to him long, long before i was ever on his radar. how could i not begin to have compassion for someone who lived such a tortured life? someone must have harmed him in a way that was irrevocable and life altering in the most damaging of ways.

with that in mind, how could i wish "hell" on such a person? i had been so busy harboring my own anger, fear, helplessness and guilt. if i kept hanging on to those things, how would there be room for the forgiveness for him that i wanted for myself???

i suddenly began to feel love and compassion and forgiveness. there was a place in me that became so incredibly open to welcome him in so i could keep him near me and pray for him. the more i opened my heart to this idea, the more free i became.

my soul was always something that i thought was on reserve for when my body ceased to live, and something needed to go to heaven. that was my soul's job- go to heaven to represent me, right?

not really. that weekend, my soul literally opened up. i saw god in there and he moved over a little. shortly thereafter, my soul just grew big and wide enough to make plenty of room for this man to dwell also. i keep him in the safety of my soul and i pray for him.

none of this means i forgive the harm he caused me, but it DOES mean that i recognize that he is a human being, and i am allowed to hate the acts and still have compassion for the person. i must have compassion for him.

that's what i wish for him. to find forgiveness for himself and live with a soul that is free from torment, of anger, fear, violence, hatred and loneliness.

so what i learned was not only that i didn't need or want a seat up close in heaven. i feel firmly grounded in the fact that THIS person needs god to hold him, keep him, and remind him every day that he can be forgiven......

i'll gladly give up my seat for that.!/media/set/?set=a.1649171942550.2088861.1034495925&type=3

Saturday, July 7, 2012


so i started a new medication about a month ago.  my friend said, "you know that's going to make you gain weight, right?"  no, i don't KNOW it's going to make me gain weight.  everyone is different.  some people have side effects, some people don't.  surely i would be one of the people who don't gain weight.

well, i gained weight.  like 5 pounds, which shows itself on me like a big tatoo across my face.  at first, it made me feel completley terrible.  i felt like a failure for some reason, and i hadn't even done anything wrong.  i was simply taking the medicine as prescribed.

i was struggling a little bit with the fact that i had these extra pounds that i resented like crazy, but at the same time, i was feeling SOOOO good.  better than i had in years.  nothing over the top, just feeling very steady and happy.

finally, it occurred to me that my happiness doesn't have to be attached to how much i weigh.  5 more pounds doesn't make me a bad person.  in fact, i'm a better person than i've been in a long time.

so screw you, extra padding.  i WIN!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


To all adoptive parents, hopeful adoptive parents, and anyone who has ever even considered adoption:

Being adopted hurts. Being adopted is hard. It is not beautiful; it is brutal, it is tragic, it is a cause for great sadness. For in order for a child to even be available for adoption, that child must first go through some sort of tragedy; whether that be abuse, hunger, homelessness, neglect, or even the simple fact that he or she is losing the life and family he or she was born into. This makes adoption a thing to mourn; not a cause for celebration or joy. To be joyful about adopting a child is to be glad that this tragedy happened.

I don't think there's a soul alive who would actually choose to be born into a situation where being relinquished for adoption, voluntarily or otherwise, was necessary.

Of course there will always be a need for children to be removed from their parent(s) and placed in safer, more stable, loving homes - but please understand that no matter how good and loving and wonderful the adopting parents are, nothing will ever erase the pain, the grief, and the loss that comes with being adopted.

The very foundation of adoption is that of loss - a child loses his or her mother, father, and entire family; a mother, father and family loses one of their children. And, yes, even a loss for the adopting parent - sometimes the loss of the expectation of having their own, biological offspring, the loss of a dream of having a baby of "their own." A separation of one family MUST occur before a new one can be built through adoption. Maybe it isn't a voluntary destruction, maybe the destruction is necessary for the health and safety of the child - but it is still a destruction of the very core, fundamental foundations of that child's life that will forever be altered.

Think of it this of your parents dies, and your surviving parent eventually goes on to remarry. Though you might grow to love and have a great relationship with your parent's new spouse, no amount of love and happiness in this present situation will erase the grief you feel over the loss of your other parent. So please, if you have adopted or are considering adoption, keep this in mind.

Adoption should be the very last resort after all other options have been tried. Ask yourself this - does an adoption HAVE to happen? Is there anything I can possibly do to help this young mother keep her child? Are there resources I can direct her to, items I can supply her with, can I offer her the support and encouragement she needs to be a good parent? If so, then pursuing adoption is not the right choice. Too many unnecessary adoptions happen as a permanent solution to a very temporary problem. Adoption, after all, is forever - while a current living situation, job situation, etc., is temporary and can be changed and improved. Most women who relinquish their children do so because they feel they have no other choice...but what if she does have another choice, and only needs the support and encouragement to make it?

Adopted people know we are a second choice, a "Plan B," a solution to someone else's problem. While there are some people out there who would choose adoption first, most only do so after failed attempts at pregnancy or to "complete" a family of all boys or girls or to give their current child a sibling. Adding to your family through adoption should never be about meeting some need of your should always and only ever be about providing for the CHILD'S needs. Please don't put the added pressure on an adopted child by forcing them to live up to the unspoken standard of the child you couldn't concieve or the son or daughter you couldn't produce. Adoption is not a cure for infertility, nor are adopted people "gifts" to be passed around in order to complete somebody else's life. We are human beings in our own right, with our own feelings, needs, and wants. Don't add to an already painful situation by expecting us to be something we weren't born to be.

Please be willing to be completely open and honest with the child you may someday adopt. It doesn't matter how horrible of a situation they came out of; tell them the truth, and tell them early. For the truth can be dealt with, it can be processed and closure can be found; but nobody can get closure from fantasies and daydreams. Adopted people are stronger than you give them credit for; believe me when I say, we imagine and prepare for every possible scenario when it comes to our families or origin. Don't think we haven't entertained the idea that our biological parents were the worst of the worst, or idealized them as some sort of saintly creatures, and everything in between. We have already survived the loss of our original families; don't for one minute think we can't survive knowing the reason why. And on that note, if an adopted person ever chooses to search, reunite, or just know more about their family of origin, don't guilt them into not doing it or make them feel beholden to you. It has NOTHING to do with you. NOTHING. Human beings are born with an innate curiosity about who and where we come from. For some adopted people to feel whole, they need to know their own personal history and explore their roots. There's nothing wrong with that. After all, you, as the parent, are responsible for your adopted child's happiness and well being...not the other way around. Swallow your pride, put away your jealousy, and support your adopted child in any quest for truth they may wish to undertake. Believe me, they will thank you for it.

Don't fall into the terminology trap. Adoptees know they have more than one set of parents...two that created them, and the parent(s) who are raising them. ALL are real to the adoptee. Don't get caught up in who is "real" and who is more important; let your adopted child choose the terminology that suits THEM. If you have been a good and loving parent, that's all you need. Besides, a parent can love more than one child, so why can't a child be allowed to love more than one parent? The heart has an infinite capability to love. Don't begrudge your adopted child the possibility of loving people he or she may not even remember.

And don't disparage the biological parents or family either. They may be evil people, the scum of the earth...but to say anything bad about the biological family is the same as saying something bad about your adopted child. The child did come from these people, after all; and better or worse we did inherit parts of ourselves from them. The old saying applies here more than anywhere else...if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Adopted people experience a range of issues from having been adopted...many suffer from the fear of rejection and abaondonment, have problems trusting others and forming relationships. After all, our very mothers could walk away from us, so what's to stop anyone else? Though not all adoptees experience these, many do, and to varying degrees. Just because the adopted person in your life hasn't mentioned it, don't think they don't feel it. Many will never, ever talk about their negative adoption issues for those exact reasons...fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, and just the overwhelmingly negative response they expect. If the adopted person in your life (your child, a friend or other family member) ever does talk about it, take your personal feelings and judgments out of it. Resist the temptation to say things like, "But you had such wonderful [adoptive] parents!" or "but you could have been aborted/thrown in a dumpster/etc.!" Adoptees are the only subset of society who are wholly expected to be grateful for our very lives, and with this expectation comes the need to try to suppress any negative emotion or feeling. Most adoptees won't even admit to themselves, let alone other people, that they are hurting. After all, we got this "better life," didn't we? We don't have the RIGHT to feel sad/angry/depressed. So many adoptees choose to stay silent and instead live a lie.

And, yes, that goes hand-in-hand with the child-parent relationship thing...remember, the PARENT is repsonsible for the health and well being of the CHILD, NOT the other way around. Only in adoption are adoptees somehow expected to always be careful not to "hurt" their adoptive parents; not to rock the boat or bring up something about their adoption because their PARENTS might not like it. This is another reason so many adopted people don't speak about adoption...we are afraid of hurting our adoptive parents. I know that as a parent myself, I would never expect my children to be responsible for my please, don't ever place that expectation on adopted people either. After all, their adoptive parents WANTED to adopt, they WANTED a child, and chose this path for themselves. The adoptee most often did not choose it and had no say in the matter. Don't expect gratitude. ANYONE could have been aborted, could have been abandoned, could have been abused. These are not phenomena that are solely related to adoptees. Just because a person was adopted doesn't automatically mean they were unwanted, that they "could have been" anything...they are just people who are being raised by a different family and are living a DIFFERENT life, not necessarily a better one.

Please, if you are considering adoption or have already, educate yourself. Read books such as the Primal Wound. Read blogs by adopted people and relinquishing parents. Go into it with an open mind and open heart. Understand that there is the very real potential that the child you someday adopt might just struggle with it. And while you can be a terrific parent, a wonderful guide and mentor, the damage has already been done. Be prepared to do the hard work of helping your child deal with any grief, anger, and other issues he/she may feel. TALK to them about it. Adoptees are notorious for keeping things bottled up...let them know it's OK to talk with you about them. Reassure them that you will NOT be hurt, offended or damaged by their feelings. ALLOW them the freedom to feel whatever they feel.

If you are considering an open adoption or have entered into an open adoption, HONOR that. Unless there is some clear and present danger to the life of your child, KEEP THE COMMUNICATION OPEN. Don't cease contact with the biological family because it's an inconvenience for YOU. Understand that yes, at times it might be emotionally trying for your adopted child, your child may come away from visits or reading letters and feel depressed and angry, but don't take that as a reason to cease contact. TALK to your child. Help them understand WHY they are feeling this way. It's only natural that this might happen; and in the same breath, the biological mother/father/family may also feel overwhelmed at times and pull back, but do what you can to keep the lines of communication open. Remember, adoption is based on loss, and being reminded of that loss can be overwhelming. But that doesn't mean it should be avoided. Your adopted child will thank you someday for sacrificing your own happiness and comfort to allow him/her to keep this very important connection.

Try not to make a big celebration out of your child's adoption day (and PLEASE don't EVER use the horribly offensive and insensitive term "Gotcha Day). The same goes for birthdays. For while it may be a happy occasion to remember, keep in mind that it also marks the day that the adopted person was permanently and forever separated from their mother, their father, their original family. Birthdays are especially hard; for most adoptees have the knowldedge that our births were not cause for celebration; nobody was bringing our mothers flowers and balloons and offering congratulations; our entrance into this world was one of sadness and trepidation. And it marks the day we were phyisically separated from our mothers; for many of us, it was the last time we ever saw her. So if the adoptee in your life withdraws around his or her birthday or doesn't appear to like celebrating, respect that. Understand that to many of us, it is not a cause for celebration.

I am not trying to tell anyone not to adopt. I am not saying, "shame on you" to anyone who already has adopted. What I am saying is, please step back and really think long and hard about the ramifications of adoption on the very person who is at the center of it all - the child you hope for or the child you have brought into your home. Be ready and willing to put a lot of hard work into helping this adopted child heal, to feel whole and complete in themselves. Be prepared to put your own needs and wants on the shelf and to put away your expectations, do what it takes to attend to the needs of your adopted child. All the love in the world, all the toys and gadgets and material things you might provide will never replace or erase what was lost.

Family preservation should always be the goal. Adoption should never, ever be utilized unless it is the last and only option left. Because adoption should be about finding homes for children in need; NOT finding children for people to fill a need. Jesus commanded us to help the orphan AND the widow...we as a society should do more to help famlies stay together instead of tearing them apart. Nobody really wants to be adopted...if given a choice, they'd rather their family situations could improve so that they wouldn't have to be separated. Would YOU have liked it if your mother gave you away?

An adult adoptee

Saturday, October 22, 2011

letter to my birthmother


I have thought about you everyday of my life. Before I met you, I thought you would be a famous actress, a doctor, or a princess. I always thought that you were this perfect person who would love to have me find her.

Every time I saw a woman with brown eyes and brown hair, I thought it was you. I thought that maybe you were checking on me to make sure that I was OK.

I dreamed of you since I was little. I don't even remember being told about you, but I always remember having a sense of something missing, even before I knew about you.

I spent so much time and so many years looking for you that I was convinced I would be looking for the rest of my life, like it was never going to happen. I never really thought I would find you.

Sometimes, I wish I never did. At least I would still have thoughts of you being a perfect person who secretly missed me everyday. I always thought you must be thinking of me, especially on my birthday. I just assumed you loved me.

Then I met you. At first, I thought you were in too much shock to show me any affection. The very first thing you said to me when you walked in my door was, "Don't hug me." Then you made some crass comment about my long curly hair.

I tried for a while to like you. I even assumed I loved you. I figured the reason I felt so stupid and not good enough around you was my own fault.

I never felt good enough around you. Not even when I was on the phone with you. I always felt like I was pulling teeth to get you to talk to me.

You even told me you would have never looked for me. That devastated me. I felt like you threw me out all over again. Like I should never had tried to find you, because I was invading your space. Like I went against your wishes.

Well, you went against mine. No one ever asked me if I wanted to be deserted. No one ever asked me if I wanted to live with strangers. No ever one asked if I wanted to live in a foster home, only to get ripped out of that family, too.

No one asked me if I wanted to live in constant fear of being "given back" if I made a mistake. After all, the only mistake I made with you was being born, and I didn't even do it on purpose. Look where that got me. In some cold, unemotional agency that simply wanted to get me out of their hair just as fast as you did.

Throwing away, dumping, dropping off, giving up, no matter what you feel like calling it, it is the most devastating thing you can put on another human being. Even with all the anger I feel toward you, I would not wish adoption on you in a million years. It's far too cruel. It wrecks a person. It breaks a person. It creates a second guessing of yourself, everyone, and everything around you.

Everyone I know knows where they came from. It was their birth right. They take it for granted. Like it's some legal right they have. I never had that. I had a piece of paper that came with me saying that you had a bunch of brothers and sisters, a zillion aunts and uncles, and that you were some sort of competitive swimmer. I even thought your father lived in another country, simply because there was a typo on that paper. I grew up thinking I was from something. That I was someone that I wasn't.

Can you even imagine my shock when I learned the truth about you and me and where I came from? You can never understand it, nor would I wish it upon you to.

I wonder if you were angry about me, or about being pregnant. It seems like you must have been, and still are. I feel your anger all the time. From the very day I met you. You resented me for finding you, because I interrupted your life for a second time. You cannot deny it, because I know it in my heart. You are ashamed of me. I know you feel it with every fiber of your being. I know I do.

I have never been anything but an inconvenience to you. You have made that very clear, not just on one occasion. I wish that I could be a big enough person to say I don't hold that against you, but I do.

YOU are the one who ran away. YOU are the one who slept with a stranger at a party. YOU are the one who abandoned me.

I am head strong, and I got that from you. I know you could have kept me if you felt like it. I am aware that the circumstances would not have been perfect, but I am also aware that throughout my life, my circumstances have not always been perfect either. But I do not run from them. I don't give my issues to someone else to fix.

I believe that every person deserves to know who they are. You stole that from me. You tore it away. You took it. You stripped me of the very thing that makes a person a person. Who they are. I still don't know, and I hold you personally responsible for that.

Even my own mattress has a tag that shows exactly what it's made of. It also says, "DO NOT REMOVE." Maybe you could learn a lesson or two from something so simple.