Assembling Self

Friday, May 28, 2010

Feeling Grateful - Relentless Questions

Ok I've bitched, whined, moaned, and complained about my adoption plight enough this week after my rejection (and if I had a dime each time that word came into play in my life we ALL could retire) from the courts for a search for my birth father for updated medical information and or contact.  So, while I wait another 6 plus months I'll shelve the depression, frustration, and anger and do what I always do reach down and grab those proverbial boot straps and tug hard and lift myself back up.  Nothing has changed there.

Most people know I am not close, never have been, and probably never will be to my adoptive family that is a great understatement.  The details of that situation many know as well but I also feel if I continue dwelling on the past I get stuck there and it makes it almost impossible to live fully in the now which is the only part of life we really have.  All sides of my birth family, including birth grandparents, wanted and still want nothing to do with me.  It is one of the most indescribable and overwhelming senses of loss and pain I could even begin to try and explain but words can't sum it all up.

As I was arguing in a very unhealthy way, which we tend to do when under great duress, with another adoptee who was expressing great displeasure about the adoption community I realized how extremely lucky I was to have people in my life now that support me emotionally, unconditionally, and without doubt, hesitation, or question.  After years of feeling unworthy of any kind of real love I now know that this fallacy I believed in for far to long, that was the bane of my existence, simply is not true.

In changing some of the words in Sally Field's Oscar nomination comment I have to say "People LIKE me they really LIKE me".  It still surprises me to this day.  What a GREAT surprise!  No one can truly fathom the extreme importance of a positive personal belief system as an adoptee rejected by two families.  After years of living in doubt and darkness, decades actually, I have connections now that are healthy and nurturing.  I work with, and around, the most amazing people I could ever have the pleasure to meet.  It's a priceless gift I'll never be able to repay.  It has been an unexpected turn in the road called life and I wouldn't go back and change the bad things now because it never would have led me to the good.

So below is a poem I wrote 10 years ago.  It is still applicable to this day.  I'll always treasure the heart felt letter my first (natural or birth) mother wrote to me.  I was wanted, I was thought of, and I was prayed for.  For now, it'll have to be enough.  Maybe one day she'll get to know what she's been missing out on.


Relentless questions drive my soul how many hours have the wondering stole?
Like pounding waves that wear away the strongest rock day after day.
My weary bones nearly gave in and let the persistant pounding win.
But there are those that lend me power when there is no sun in my darkest hour.
When the doubt hounds daily at my door and I feel I can't take any more.
They whisper the truth into my ears with hope and love resolve my fears.
I hold the goal within my sight and remember the reasons I continue to fight.
To find what was lost so long ago the place from where those questions grow.
How many hours have been lost in days and years what was the cost?
The time I've spent in somber thought and sorrowful reflection preplexed about,
what I'm to do with all I feel when unseen bonds remain so real.
I had a taste of reality when fractions of truth I was allowed to see.
Fate has brought us back together the soul deep ties could not be severed.
To know the tragic parting was not, in the end to be forgot.
And someday soon they'll find a way to share with me those missing days.
I'll wait until the time I'll know the place from where these questions grow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Stranger In The Dark - Living in the Closed Records Adoption System

Sometimes it seems so close and yet I stand so far away.
I seek the signs along the road to help me find my way.
Long distances I have traveled yet so many miles to go.
Against all odds I search around these obstacles that grow.
Traversing unknown territory I pray someday I'll find,
solutions to enigmas that will ease my burdened mind.
Like Alice through the looking glass I strive to understand.
How to unravel mysteries in this strange unfamiliar land.
Clues are few, no indications pointing to an end.
Lost track of all the hours and the time that I have spent,
revealing truths in this journey upon which I embarked.
To unearth secrets that keep me a stranger in the dark.

I spent alot of time these past few days trying to get people to understand the strange, unhealthy, dysfunctional world of closed records adoptions.  I have been told I am very intelligent, and so I'd like to believe.  I am complimented constantly for my ability to take a subject matter, research it, and turn it into understandable terms for others.


I have good, sound, credibility with almost everyone I know.  People I work with, are friends with, and even employers seek me out for advice, guidance, and input.  I am known for my honest, forthright nature, and ability to communicate.  Then why oh why do I continually fall short in getting some people, alot more than I care to count, to even fathom the information and facts I give them about the closed record system of adoption?  Not even my personal story which many seem to believe, or want to believe, has to be an anomaly within the adoption system.  So, I must be exaggerating, overreacting, and or God forbid they think I am lieing?  And why would I?  But, the facts and figures are out there, the evidence is in, and the results are overwhelmingly evident the closed records system of adoption does not work!

The social experiment of the past decades in taking a child and cutting it off from its roots and grafting it into a family without recourse to have access to biological family information is unhealthy, unnatural, and unnecessary.  It hasn't worked, it is not working now, and it won't work in the future.  In the words of my teenage son "EPIC FAIL"!

I have quoted stories, statistics, facts, figures, books, legislation, and history and still it just seems to fall on deaf ears.  Is it too shocking that we come face to face with the fact that this hearts and flowers and teddy bears system of adoption is not the pretty picture the industry creates?  That the truth is that adoption is full of faults, and secrets, based on lies and deceit, and ridden with fraud and falsifications?  That adoptees and their children are dieing trying to get decent medical and family history from agencies and courts that deny their petitions, make them pay outrageous amounts of money, or wait unacceptable amounts of time to even try to obtain vital life changing information?  That first mothers are living with the unending gut wrenching pain wondering where their children are, if they are dead or alive, or if they will ever see them again?  Or, how about all of the above?

This blog post hinges on my denial from the adoption court my chance to petition my birth father for any medical information (he denied me in 2003).  I was told I would have to wait another 6 plus months since I had petitioned two and a half years ago and can only petition every 3 years.  I only requested the search for updated medical be done for my birthmother not my birthfather in 2007.  The confidential intermediary told me I was only allowed one every 3 years.  I told her I did not request a search from my birth father but I certainly WOULD have if I had of known I had to wait!  No one has told me in the 12 years that I have been searching this fact.  What they do know is that I have been in the hospital three times over the last three years with further health issues, serious ones.  And, that now in the last 6 months I am having heart issues with chest pains and atrial fibrillation.  The CI even seemed confused about the information that was in my file.  Big surprise, she is the fourth CI I've had the "pleasure" to work with.

I guess I should consider myself "lucky" compared to other adoptees I know who have to pay hundreds of dollars into the court or agency first to even have an attempt at updated information or contact with their birth parents.  Somehow, this does not make me feel any better.  It makes me feel worse that the whole system of adoption revolves around ownership of children and future adults.  We are held hostage by a system and expected to feel grateful and happy we were "chosen".  I do not feel grateful or chosen.  I feel like a commodity bought and sold.  I feel ROBBED.  Robbed of a life that could have been so much better and so much different.  I feel so many things so many people don't want to hear.  But, I refuse to apologize.  So, I will do what I always do.  Suck it up and put my energy into adoption reform and education with the people I admire and value and learn from everyday.  One day we can hopefully retire from this work knowing that we have turned our pain into triumphs for others.  And when I do retire holding my original birth certificate while lieing on a beach would be the "piece de resistance".

Saturday, May 15, 2010

So Many Years

So many years left in the dark struggling against the raging tide.
Disputing what they say to me the hope that they deny.
I'm told to go about my way and forget what I could know.
The answers hide within sealed files the lies they tell just grow.
Go away they say and carry on but life is not the same.
The stranger staring from the mirror what used to be her name?
Where do I get these emotions that run so deep inside?
And why the facts about my life do they feel they have to hide?
What is the fear that lurks below the surface that I see?
The truth that we are asking for why can't they let it be?
And understand that they don't have the right to keep from me,
the names of those who gave me life and seal my destiny.
Would you not find that just like us you search faces in the crowds?
So many times I want to shout "Where are you now" out loud.
Attempt to fit the pieces to a puzzle missing parts.
The links gone are most important.
They're the ones that fulfill our hearts.
I can't believe that they insist that we can live this way.
Like an albatross it hangs about our necks most every day.
As mariners who are lost at sea we search for clues and signs.
To questions that will be forever asked until the end of time.

I've put if off long enough and I feel strong enough to tackle contacting the courts to do another request for information from my birth father.  He did not admit to being my birth father in 2003 but he did not deny it either.  And, although stating he understood my need for updated medical information for myself and my children, he claimed everyone was healthy.  I don't believe that at all what I believe is that it was an attempt to just get me to go away.  Well, I guess he doesn't realize somewhere I inherited the stubborn gene.  My stomach feels sick thinking about it but I know it has to be done.  With further medical problems in the last five years I have the right to my medical history!  Who knows in 7 years perhaps his attitude has changed.  Perhaps not and for that I am prepared, as well as anyone can, in being denied by your own blood relatives.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This One is for Dory! Unhappy Birthday

And, maybe it's alot safer (for me) that I post this on a non-birthday month for myself.  I get too close to these poems sometimes and even 10 years or more later they still hit me in the gut.  But, getting it out is good too.  Along with Mother's Day, birthdays are hard for adoptees.  And, as are most Holidays which bring up emotion, connections, or the lack thereof with our birth families, hopes, dreams unfulfilled we tend to ostracize ourself from showing how we feel and the ensuing so very well intended advice we will receive about how we should react and the uneducated comments about being grateful.  Not many know the stories and scenarios we create wondering, waiting, watching from afar while the "real" world revolves leaving us so far away, yet so close.  We want to touch it, feel it, live it, but we remain silent for the most part or distant.  We hide, we pretend, we walk the walk but inside we know all the while this is not normal.

We get told it doesn't matter BUT IT DOES!  Period, end of sentence, paragraph, and story.  So, Dory this is for you because without the people like you I have met my life would not have changed drastically for the better.  No longer do I have to live in a world of denial and self hatred for not being able to endure under the rules and regulations of the closed records adoption system.  I have been empowered to fight and continue to change the world and for that even on the hardest of days...I am finally glad I was born.

Unhappy Birthday

There were no birth announcements.
No cigars were handed out.
No newborn baby pictures.
No parent's joyous shouts.
No counting toes and fingers.
No comparing eyes and chins.
No nursery decorated.
No proud grandparent grins.
Instead the day that I was born,
a mother silently wept.
While in a room close to her,
her newborn daughter slept.
So close we were together.
So far we're now apart.
Two lives were separated.
A love doomed from the start.
And so each year since I was born,
this day has been the same.
No one can know the sadness.
No one can know the pain.
No candles ever bright enough
to light my darkened soul.
No happy birthday party.
No heart that can be whole.