Assembling Self

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mother Unknown

Mother Unknown

Time moves so slow and minutes last like hours passing, never fast.
The days roll on months seem like years, I lose the count of falling tears.
An endless cycle of seasons flow and questions continually unanswered grow.
It never ceases nor does it stop, I'm bound by calendar and clock.
While prayers and dreams have only grown, for a mother never known.
Futile attempts to change this fate though hope burns dim, I still will wait.

It's just the strangest thing ever not knowing who your biological mother is.  I never really thought about my bio father much, not until the courts found him in 2003.  Both however, want to remain unknown.  So, here I wait to hear back about my court petition. If all I get is updated medical at this point in time with my health I'll take it.  In limbo again waiting on this for the fourth time.  It could be days, or weeks, or months who knows.

I hate how weak I feel about it sometimes.  And, throw in health issues, pain, and a virus, and I'm reduced to a sniveling, and literally too with this cold, whimpering, blubbering fool.  I am so not proud of that. 

Of course my situation with adoption search for biological family is magnified with the rejection from my adoptive family.  So, I've lost two mothers.  I remember telling my marriage counselor once jokingly "I have double mother rejection syndrome".  And in all seriousness, being an adoptive mother and understanding the issues she went through with her biological daughter, stated matter of factly "No Karen, you really do".  And, the truth shall set you free.

I think it was then, before owning my first computer and getting online to meet and greet and world of adoption, I realized how largely these rejection issues played out in my life.  Why I chose people who abused and rejected me.  Why I picked people I had take care of because of the dysfunction of having a mentally ill adoptive mother unable to cope with life.  I actually believed I could make someone love me.

It's not that I am looking for parents anymore it's not about that.  It's about having the truth, being able to see photographs, know names, and where you came from.  Relationships with them are secondary to me now.

I got a look inside "myself" in the non-id letter I received from my biological mother 12 years ago.  My bio father was found as well.  So, I have given them the chance to want to know me.  I'm getting weary of this long high stakes game of adoption search and wait with my bioligical parents.  My poker face is starting to fade.  Let's see if they are willing to ante up, show their cards, or fold and walk away again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Angry Adoptees!

Of the many labels, like ungrateful and bitter, given to us adoptees angry is one of the most used.  Anytime we appear unhappy with our adoption situation in almost any capacity, and voice our angst with anything about adoption, immediately we are branded "angry".

There was a recent debate on an adoptee support group about us angry adoptees.  This is not unusual with the exception that it came from a fellow adoptee.  Also, not that unusual.  There are many adoptees who are perfectly happy to have been adopted.  I have no problem with that if it works for you more power to ya.  For a great amount of us adoption is ridden with emotions we work to understand.  And, anger is a large factor in those emotions.

Below I will adress some of the statements about our anger as adoptees we hear often.

1.  Put it in the past get over it and move on.

Adoption is not a one time transaction it is a lifetime event.  Many of us we would love to do just that, put it in the past.  Unfortunately, when you are dealing with adoption court petitions, search and reunion issues (or lack thereof), being unable to locate your biological family, Holidays, birthdays, and the deaths and loss of biological relatives you will never get to know, this is in the present obviously.

2.  You should be grateful.

Grateful we had our biological families taken from us?  That we have lost our roots, our heredity, our family histories?  That no matter if we find our first families we can never get back that time, who we might have become, and the connections we did have the chance to form with them.  And, I am grateful for MANY others things in my life.  Adoption is NOT one of them.

3.  I refuse to live my life being angry.

There is a difference between being an angry person and being angry ABOUT something.  If you are spewing hate and animosity at the world THEN you have a problem.  Venting and discussing how you feel about your anger is a another animal.  People can be angry about something and still be fully functioning healthy adults.  Quit judging a portion of the person you see in regards to adoption and don't know in totality.

4.  You could have been aborted or left in fostercare.

Everything in life is perspective.  Adoption is no different.  Some people are happy they were adopted.  For me left anywhere else as in in foster care, an orphanage, or a home probably could have been no worse than the adoptive family I was placed with where I was abused in every way, and then rejected.  And yes, many days I wish I would have not been born.  People don't want to hear that, but that is how many of us feel.

5.  Get counseling or therapy.

Who says we haven't done that?  Ummmmm and I thought that part of "healing" was a good support group.  That is why we are here.  If you don't need support or to talk about your adoption issues why are you there?  And lastly, are you a psychologist or do you must play one online?

6.  I don't see you doing anything but wallowing in your anger.

Then you've got your eyes closed pretty damn tight!  And yes I AM angry so are MANY of us and we ARE doing something about it!  My apologies to my fellow adoptee activists in advance, but I would like to also speak for many of you too.

We are angry we are denied their OBC's.  We are angry we are continually lied to from birth by our adoptive parents, by adoption agencies, and our birth certificates falsified.  We are angry there are biological parents who can not find their children relinquished to adoption.  We are angry adoptees will languish ill or die, or their children will, trying to obtain current family medical background.  We are angry that biological parents will try to have important family medical history passed on to their natural children and will be denied this by adoption agencies and courts and instead it will be tossed into an old dusty file.  We are angry that adoptees are pawns in a system that profits off our pain and loss and then are expected to be thankful someone "took us in".  We are angry adoptees have to spend vast and enormous amounts of time, energy, and money searching, seeking, and begging for any and all information we can get about our biological and family backgrounds.

Anger is a natural human emotion.  What we do about it makes all the difference.  Many of us in adoption activism and reform use our anger to speak out about, and work towards, the absolute NEED for truth and honesty in adoption.  For many of us online and offline support groups nurture and support us in a world that casts our dilemmas with adoption aside as exaggerated and unimportant.

We can look to many leaders that have changed and revolutionized the world out of their anger over injustices and mistreatment of  themselves and others.  Like us, misunderstood and judged, we work for our cause and let anger light our fuse to facilitate positive change.  Perhaps this is a good time to post this in honor of Martin Luther King day.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable.  Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sick and tired of being sick and tired about adoption and ill health!

Thank God for the understanding I get from the adoption community.  Just about the time I think it's "enough" and that I can't take anymore someone steps in and clarifies for me that it's not "us" it's "them".  (Thanks to Kara again)  Being rejected by two families is hard enough most days, but being continually ill while navigating life "alone" and sick is pretty unbearable.

I was almost in the ER Sunday but unfortunately without health insurance they don't do much for me except make sure I'm not going to die, do blood workup, give me pain meds, and tell me I need expensive follow up and send me home and charge me $5,000.  I am nearly bankrupt as it is in the last 30 years from medical problems.  And, in being sedentary for two health issues makes the other two, high blood pressure and rheumatoid, flare up.  I live where I am unable to obtain state help because I am married and that income puts health help out of reach.  Being chronically ill means being unable to work as others can and afford luxuries like health insurance.  Disability is out of reach for now.

I have two families, adoptive and birth, both who know I have been ill since age 15 in and out of doctors and hospitals and NONE of them give a crap or care.  It drains the life out of my relationships, who wants to be around someone who is always sick and never feels good and has no one else to rely upon.  Hell, I don't want to be around me!  I got lucky enough to marry an adoptee lite from a crazy family of nuts like mine who has his own issues he needs to deal with.  I've tried to help "save" him too but I am trying to keep myself from drowning in issues as it is.

I have not heard from my adoptive family in over two years maybe more.  I am the one to call, send photos of myself and my kids, trying to extend the olive branch of healing and forgiveness.  I get bitter comments and judgemental attitudes back.  I put myself out there once again over the last three years calling and with a visit because I know my adoptive parents are aging and not well and won't be around much longer.  I heard later from my husband my adoptive mother sat up and bad mouthed me to him after I had gone to bed.  He had not told me immediately because he was so shocked that a mother could be that hurtful, but I can't say I was surprised.  I just didn't want to live with the fact I did not try my best to build a bridge over the hurt, pain, and anger.  I did and I tried and now, I am DONE.

The fact remains that I am not their child and I never will be.  I did not put myself out there for the usual family Holiday letter going on and on about their wonderful biological child and their extraordinary grandchildren with the one sentence at the end "Karen is still living in Dallas".  I don't think they remember the names of my children.  Out of sight out of mind.  It's obvious we don't matter.

I am petitioning the court for updated medical records again for the fourth time in twelve years.  I have stopped waiting and believing that my biological mother will ever step up to the plate and release her name and allow me to have a relationship with my siblings she can't let know I exist.  I only hope my biological father can step up with the other half of my family medical background.  Hearing through the courts from him in 2005 "I understand her need for information but everyone in our family is healthy" falls in the same category for me as the pack of lies the system of adoption tries to sell the world and I'm just not buyin it.

Please don't tell me to "think positive" I am POSITIVE this all sucks and is unfair.  Please don't tell me to "hang in there" I have hung in there far longer than most other people could.  Please don't tell me God only gives us as much as we can handle and then throw bible quotes at me, I have studied the history of the bible and read it back to front several times and I have my own faith and spiritual beliefs thank you very much.   There is an monumental amount of depression that stems from adoption rejection.  There is an overwhelming depression that comes from chronic illness.  The two together can be a near lethal combination.

What I need is understanding, support, and unconditional love.  I have finally stopped looking for that from my adoptive and biological families.  I get it from people whose faces I have never seen in person but whose hearts I know better than my own.  The adoption community is amazing.  If I ever believed anything was God sent they certainly are to me. 

It's hard enough for people to understand adoption, but even harder still for them to grasp the depth of agony it can cause being rejected...and twice no less.  I truly can't fathom not caring if your child or sibling by adoption or birth was ill and suffering.  I may never fully know the reasons why I was unlucky enough to be so burdened in life by ill health and adoption rejection and abandonment.  I only know how devastating it can be and will continue to do what I can to help change the system, stop the industry that profits from selling children to others, and support those going through the hell we know as adoption.