Friday, May 27, 2011

Conjectures, Urban Legends and Fantasies

Nothing could possibly be more surreal than the landscape of our dreams and imaginations, especially when fueled by half-truths, lies and rumored legends. I'm not denying that there is a visceral memory and early childhood memories that are real and true for the adoptee. But over the years, adopters avoiding questions, the industry and adopters telling convenient lies, the social perceptions of adoption and being adopted, the mythology and the deepest wishes can create a picture worthy of Charnine or Dali.

The real and valid feelings the adoptee experience are the brush, but, too often, misinformation and unrealistic expectations are the paint with which the adoptee creates an idea of what might be. Meanwhile, Mothers are often busy either trying to blank out the canvas or, at least, present a fairy-tale image of happily ever after for their lost babies. This is why we meet each other across a barrier of warped images, coping mechanisms, preconceptions and a consciousness tainted by an unnatural separation. There is nothing natural about surrender or adoption and there is nothing easy or natural about reunion from what I have seen and experienced.

When I was in treatment at the Rader institute (for bulimia), we had a wonderful group leader who made a contract with each new patient when they joined his group. We had to promise, on a scale of one to ten, to not kill ourselves, not kill anyone else and not go crazy. I managed a ten on the first two but had trouble getting past six on the last one. He kept at me until I got to a ten. I kept trying to figure out why that going crazy thing was so attractive to me that I was reluctant to let go of it. I guess, like everyone else, I was looking for an easy way out and a way to live without having to face life. I was way past insecure and into the melting clocks and purple trees of self-loathing.

I had constructed an image of what life should be, for me and for my children, and it wasn't happening. I was not ready to step out of the fantasy and learn how to enjoy and appreciate and cope, healthily, with reality. I made a lot of progress at Rader. I grew up a lot. I accepted the process and the imperfections of life, people and myself. This all happened a few years prior to reunion. I shudder to think what might have happened had I not been through that particular refining fire.

I'll be honest that reunion took me a few big steps backwards and I had to retrace my steps to reality and sanity. None of the hopes and dreams I had for my two oldest children had come true. Their expectations and imaginations had created just as unreal a scenario as mine had. And it has been so hard to admit that we can't fix each other. It's like going into a museum and looking at a piece of surreal or modern art. Each of us see something different in the painting. Sometimes I wonder if we are even speaking the same language. All we know is that the connection is there and still strong.

Someone told me that no one could understand adoptees but other adoptees. They're right. The same holds true for Mothers. So we are often at an impasse with many of our number in seeking cooperation to achieve goals. There are those that see only the dark and those that won't give up the rose-colored glasses and then there's the pain competitions. That's the reality based on the surreality. So what we need to do is find a way to accept the reality of the other, even if we don't understand it.

Once again, I have set the bar pretty high, even for myself. I can accept that the adoptee FEELS abandoned, but MY children were NOT abandoned. And it is almost impossible for people in the generations following us to even begin to understand the pressure of society and family shame. Conversely, it is hard for us to understand how it feels to be a lilac on a magnolia tree..grafted on to another family and expected to be totally okay and comfortable with that. I can't begin to imagine how it must feel to experience that "otherness" and yet be expected to behave as if it doesn't exist.

So, we would all fit right into a painting by any of the surrealists...trying to get into each others' heads, walking on eggshells and traveling through alien territory. And we are trying to do this with a road map that is drawn from lies, suppositions, our own fantasies, manipulations and the official picture of surrender and adoption presented by the industry, government and society and (all too often) the church. It takes courage to toss away that poorly-charted map and do some serious exploring without any preconceived notions to shed false light on the path.

All this is a fancy way to say that we all need to get real. Where is the logic in, for instance, saying that "my mother is the bitch from hell so I am going to hate 'em all, mistrust 'em all and call them all 'birthmothers' regardless of what they want?" It makes about as much sense as saying that "my adult child is a selfish, whining, demanding monster so all adopted people are mean and childish." But there are Adoptees and Mothers who will say just those things. These folks are still out there with Bugs Bunny meeting up with the Dodo Bird. It's a fear factor...if it is true for them, then it needs to be true for everyone...illogical but human.

I don't know how long it will take for us to meet on a common ground that is acceptable to us both. For all the mistrust and misunderstanding, there is a need for connection, love and acceptance that is just as great as any of the hostility. I just hope we get there. There are a few willing to find common ground. There are those of us who want records open for adoptees AND mothers, who want the Industry investigated and past practices put under the microscope of public and congressional scrutiny and we are willing to stand up and identify ourselves.

What really pisses me off the most is that the main architects of this surreal social experiment are uncaring of the weird world they have created. There's money in it and they are not ready to see that their "wonderful solution" only created more pain and problems. Some of these geniuses passed thinking they had left behind a perfect legacy. And the Industry and PAPs and adopters are the ones who gain along with the high-paid lobbyists and the congressional palms they grease.

Them that has, gets.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Never Too Old To Learn

Anyone who ever gets the idea that you reach a point where you have all the wisdom of life sewn up needs to be given a dose of reality. At 65, I am learning that you never stop discovering and you never stop changing. I'm a pretty stubborn "middle-aged-plus" dame, but I know it is unhealthy for me to not allow myself to continue to evolve. You're never too old to learn.

While I doubt I'll ever be able to tolerate the "B" word with grace, I have learned a lot about how different we all are, even with the shared experiences we have. I'm still anti-adoption but I have a more realistic view of how and when that institution might finally fall. It won't be in one night, like the Berlin Wall. It will take the constant and concentrated efforts of many different people, Mothers and the Adult Adoptees, chipping away on all sides to bring down that monolith. I doubt that will happen in my lifetime, but I'll go to my final reward still chipping.

I have been the object of some anger that was really misdirected. I have been dismayed to see us all lumped together as a group under that nasty Barfmuggle term, and I have been frustrated by the number of Adoptees who still see us as the cause and the culprit. I have also had my heart torn by watching these same Adoptees deal with their mistrust, frustration and sadness. I am teaching myself to remember that not everyone has reached the same level of healing and enlightenment. I'm working hard at not taking it personally.

I am also working hard at trying to help others understand the Mothers of coerced surrender. I really can't say too much about those who weren't coerced or who think they weren't, anyway. But when it comes to the whys and the hows of our separation from our infants, we are the experts. We were young, for the most part, naive, without autonomy, without financial independence, shamed, abandoned, betrayed and terrified. Our burden to bear is that we were old enough to remember it. The Adoptees bear the burden of the inability of our species to remember our infancies.

I know there are quite a few Mothers who have gone so deep into denial that they suffer from a sort of selective amnesia. I tried to do that and did manage to forget a few things...things that came back to me with a sickening rush over the first few years of reunion. Others are terrified that the house of glass they have built out of lies and secrets will come crashing down or are just terrified that they will have to face that trauma, again.

Our children, in our age group, are middle-aged adults, some even with grandchildren. They don't have a memory of the time spent in our wombs or what little time we had with them after they were born. All they know is what they were told and too often what was related to them was conjecture, urban legend and outright lies. How could they help but be confused and how hard must it be to trust? Mothers have their own trust issues so, though they are for different reasons, we're fighting the same demons, there.

My last two blogs have been about putting things into perspective. I am hoping that idea can be a healing one for some. There has to come a time in our lives when we stop blaming others, even our parents, loved ones, whoever, for our personal difficulties and start looking inward for answers. The social injustice issues are another thing, altogether. There IS blame to be laid, there and it isn't on us.

I strongly believe that a terrible injustice was done to us and to our children. I strongly believe that this injustice needs to be addressed, records opened, truths told and the entire concept of breaking up one family to form another investigated, thoroughly, and apologies and recompense offered. I also believe that it is okay, permissible, even good for us to let it be the rest of the time and live our lives with humor, humility, gratitude and optimism.

I consider myself an activist. But I cannot and will not live, breathe and eat surrender and adoption trauma twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You see, this old broad learned something. I learned that I, that we all, deserved better then and we sure as Hell deserve better now. I want my "better" before I die.

So you'll excuse me if I don't rush to the altar of adoption separation pain, anymore. However, I'll be waiting at the door to the temple, ready to go get some work done and then have some fun when you get finished there.

I hope a lot of people I really like a lot are putting their best efforts into healing. I still am doing that. It's a learning process and you're never too old to learn.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Day, Another Clarification

I wonder how many who read my blog on angst, drama and terminal uniqueness realized that it is about BOTH the mother AND the adoptee? I got some good comments and then I got some that, though complimentary in nature, showed that some didn't get it at all. Here is some clarification.

I did not say that what happened to mothers and adoptees was GOOD...just that it wasn't the worst thing that could happen to anyone in this nasty world. Mothers deserve acknowledgement and redress for the injustice and adoptees deserve the right to know their heritage. THAT hasn't changed. What I was addressing was this breast-beating anguish over something that can't be changed and that isn't as horrible as some of the tragedy that could be visited upon a person. I am a big fan of the idea that you shouldn't keep carping about something when you could be out there doing something about it.

The other thing I was trying to say is that NO infant has a choice about anything. Vlad Tsepes (Dracula) had kids. Would you choose him for a daddy? We BSE moms, and many of the moms that came after, were victims of an industry that had us believing we were giving our babies a wonderful gift of "better" parents. We REMEMBER being impaled by the sharp stake of loss. (How's that for dramatic?) A good friend of mine says that every drama should have a statute of limitations. After a certain period of time, it is old news and over. While surrender and adoption are not quite in that category, the anguish, tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth over it is no longer appropriate for most of us.

The name calling and thumb-sucking just gets to me. I had two children that were taken for adoption. ONLY THOSE TWO are any responsibility of mine. I am not the bad mommies of other adoptees. I do not owe you a thing because I did not have a thing to do with where you were or are. It is NOT all about the adoptee just like it is not all about the mother. Both parties have feelings and issues that are EQUALLY important. I have found that "un-friending" is a good way to preserve my serenity.

And both parties have a right to work through it and find a place of peace and happiness in their lives. You read on some sites and on FB and you would think that we all sat in our misery 24/7 and we don't need to be perceived that way. If you are miserable 24/7, then you need to seek professional help and find the answers within yourself. Ranting, raving and calling names won't change a thing.

The bottom line, for me, is this. When I was a teenager, I was betrayed, abandoned, made to feel shame, assaulted and suffered the loss of my newborns. That was awful and shame on any and all who contributed to that experience. I am no longer a teenager. I am a senior citizen and if I let all that happened almost five decades ago decide my current state of happiness, shame on ME.

To my adoptee friends, shame on all who really caused your adoption (the Industry, those who fuel it and society). But you are adults...some of you are even grandparents. If you are calling names and raging at all mothers, shame on YOU. Shame, especially, on those who refuse to accept the truth of the BSE and who lump all of us under the heading of birth things.

I have made some personal progress in recent years. There was a time when I would have likened our experience in the BSE to the Holocaust. Yeah, there were a lot of us, but most of us came out of it well-fed and alive though grieving. It is easy to over-dramatize just as it is easy to not take it seriously enough. Balance is essential. We all have lives to live and if I thought that I would be required to never know peace of mind or happiness because of that one aspect of my life, I would have ended it all, years ago.

And, of course, while the concept of a primal wound is feasible, it has, to too many adoptees, become THE PRIMAL WOUND (*terrified scream)!!!!! What has been done with a simple theory has become an excuse to consider one's pain more important and worse than anyone else's, especially the mothers. It has become an excuse for not facing issues and a way to blame others for their shortcomings. Hey guys! You are adults. The buck stops with you.

The ones who shout the loudest are the ones who want us to bow, scrape, prostrate ourselves upon hot coals while begging forgiveness for something that was as much done to us as to them. They say that they were the only INNOCENT victims and refuse to look at the times and social structure that made us vulnerable and helpless victims as well. Remember, that an adopter wrote that book.

Fine, as I have said before. Call YOUR mother anything you like, but I am not now, nor have I ever been, a birth thing. We want to help, but having it demanded of us, being told we owe this to strangers, those who are not even our own children, is not a good strategy. It just isn't the way to win our support.

Has it occurred to anyone that we have better things to do with our time than accepting abuse or dishing it out? Chicken Little says that the sky is going to start falling, today. I think I'll sit back, have a cup of Mocha Java, pet whichever dog winds up in my lap and watch the show. We'll probably grill burgers, tonight.

Now THAT's what I call "Rapture!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Angst, Drama and Our Terminal Uniqueness

I first heard the term, "Terminal Uniqueness," when I was in treatment for my eating disorder. I was learning about depression, self-involvement and how we could believe that we were worse than anyone else and hurt more than anyone else and were treated more badly than anyone else. All that negativity, that attitude, I learned, is a form of grandiosity, a claim to "ultimate specialness." I also call it the "more wounded than thou" syndrome.

We each live inside our own skins. No one else can get into our minds with us. We are on our own in there. Too often we commit the error of judging our insides by the outsides of others. Too often we don't accept our position as just another member of the human race. Way too often, I have learned to my own chagrin, we take ourselves much too seriously while not taking others as seriously as they merit being taken.

While in treatment and after years of attending Overeaters Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings, I have come to learn that Terminal Uniqueness can accompany the worst kind of self-pity. This is the kind of self-pity where we are so sure we are the Lone Ranger, that no one else but those in our position can possibly grasp the scope of our suffering and where we place blame and call names rather than pulling ourselves out of the mire of angst indulgence. This is the "warm pile of shit" they talk about in program. You sit in it so long that it becomes comfortable and you ignore the smell. This is where the fear of the unknown is too great to put aside the devil you know and reach out.

I noted, on my Facebook page, that coerced surrender to adoption and being adopted are not the worst or the only traumas people can experience. I was challenged, by an adopted person, to prove that by naming another experience that might be worse.

OK...try this one. During WWII, the Japanese invaded China. One story tells of a woman who watched the Japanese soldiers kill each of her children and her husband before her eyes and then, rape her repeatedly before taking her a prisoner and forcing her to serve as a "comfort woman" unpaid concubine for the Japanese troops. For her, rape became a nightly occurrence. She survived but was totally broken.

A friend of mine had a daughter who had fallen into bad company, was in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend by whom she had children and drugs were involved. My friend had managed to gain custody of her grandchildren right before her daughter's boyfriend beat her so badly he killed her, then cleaned her up, dressed her, put her in the tub and tried to say she went into convulsions. Right after that, this same friend lost her only son to injuries sustained long before in a motorcycle accident and her husband died a few short weeks later. They were not yet in their 60's.

In a little town in SC, three little children watched in horror as their mother put the barrel of a pistol in her mouth and pulled the trigger. Another child, coming home from school, found her mother hanging from the exposed beams in their den...she had hanged herself. A mother came home from work to find her son on the floor, dead from inhaling propane in a self-improvised gas chamber. A man went to his son's house to take him some food, hopefully to cheer him up after a painful break-up only to find him in his blood-spattered bedroom, a victim of his own hopelessness.

In famine-beset parts of the world, mothers watch their children die of hunger while they, themselves, slowly starve to death. People suffer long, slow, painful diseases that can only end in death while their helpless families watch. Children are kidnapped, tortured and killed by perverts. Shall I go on?

So "you got your troubles, I got mine." I refuse to pity myself and I am uncomfortable with pitying anyone else. Pity is not respect. Compassion can only go so far. I hate to see people doing what I once did...sucking on their resentment like a child sucking his thumb. Hate, resentment and derision hurt the person doing the hating worse than the hated. Resentment is a poison and stereotyping the objects of resentment is compounding the dose you consume.

I hate to come off sounding "preachy" but I am telling you what I have learned in hopes it might help you. If this causes one person to count their blessings and re-think their self-involvement, then I will be happy.

I've been molested and raped, but I don't think that all men are rapists or molesters. I was forced to surrender my two firstborn children to the adoption machine because my parents were ashamed, but I no longer resent my parents and I know that not all parents are bad. To carry that resentment with me would not be playing fair with myself or my loved ones. No one should live in pain for a lifetime over what was done to them when they were young and vulnerable.

Another mother and I were discussing how painful it was to talk about the fathers of our firstborns to them. The reasons were varied except for one...we loved these guys, very deeply, and they failed us. That was when she told me about the idea of recalling that piece of ourselves we left with these men and letting go. I thought I had done that, but I hadn't. Betrayal and abandonment was our lot, but it is not our identity. It was past time to move on with THAT one.

How much potential friendship must we much comfort and help must we turn aside until we just put on our big girl and boy drawers and get over ourselves? How many of us must shake our heads, sadly, realize that we tried and move on to living our own lives when we could have made a difference but for the resistance of the Terminally Unique?

I am sorry for such a downer of a blog post, but it was time for it. We are all special to someone and should be to ourselves. But that Terminal Uniqueness is dangerous stuff. To denigrate the pain experience of another and compare it to our own as being lesser-than is arrogant.

I am sick and tired of pleading the case of the BSE mothers to those who refuse to accept or listen because they are too busy sucking their thumbs of resentment. All you get from doing that is an unhappy life and a pruny thumb.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Adoption Can't Do

(This is Jocelyn. She thought she could improve on nature.)

It is amazing what people believe about adoption and what it can accomplish. Those of us in the arena already know that it doesn't guarantee a child a better life. We can only hope. We have to wonder, "better, how? More toys, money, and things?" Some people have searched so long and hard for "better" that they have ignored the good they have. Sometimes, you just can't improve on Nature.

It certainly is no longer a matter of saving a child from the scandal of being born to an unwed mother. Even today, many adults who were adopted as infants call themselves "Bastards" with pride. Of course, that is a good, English word that has been in effect for centuries and means, strictly, one who was born out of wedlock. It is unfortunate that it has also been used to mean a bad or cruel man. "Adopter" is also a correct, English word that has been around for a long time and means just what it who takes on someone or something to themselves as if it were theirs to begin with.

That egregious term, "birthmother" has only been around for a few decades and there are many of us who have engaged in a battle against it for years. Where has everyone been that some don't know this? We were given so little respect as single, pregnant women. Who does it hurt if we ask for a bit, now? Just an aside...back to the subject.

No, adoption is all about saving the ones who adopt...from what? It's about social engineering and making money. Here are a list of some things I wish my parents and I had known and that I wish everyone knew about adoption and what it cannot accomplish.

1-Surrender for adoption does not restore one's virginity or remove one's status as a mother. Once you give birth you are a mother and you cannot regenerate a hymen by signing away rights and responsibilities.

2-Adopting does not cure infertility. A couple can adopt until the seams of their McMansion bulges and, if it is either or both of them, the infertility is still there and the children they wanted of their union will never exist.

3-Adoption does not "create a family." Nature does that. Saying that a man-made institution can go one better on Nature is like patching together some polyester fabric and calling it a silk duvet cover. It can create attachments and generate loving relationships but that is the people involved doing that...NOT adoption.

4-Those who are adopted do not come to those who adopt as tabula rasa..a blank slate. They are who they were born to be and, if anything, adoption confuses and warps that. Personality, talents and physical characteristics are inherited, period. This idea causes so much harm to adopted children and people still insist that it doesn't. Grrrr.,

5-There is no such thing as a "birthmother" and having a child taken for adoption does not create one. For nine months, a woman's body, emotions and mind are conditioned for motherhood. Not being able to fulfill that function creates unresolved grief and escape into denial for the mother. Even the notable exceptions to the loving mother rule are, non the less, mothers. Nothing anyone calls us can make us less than the mothers we are.

6-"As if born to" is a crock!

7-Heritage and bloodlines DO matter and ARE important to the individuals. Our children had theirs stolen and we, or the image of a few of us, are being used by the industry and those who benefit from the industry, to try to place barriers in the way of our children recovering that heritage.

And what adoption CAN do is;

1-violate the civil and human rights of the mother...

2-violate the civil and human rights of the adoptee...

3-enable those who adopt to never face their issues in reference to their infertility....

4-make a lot of money for the Industry....

5-give smug satisfaction to those who wish to be social engineers...

6-tear apart a potentially viable family to meet the needs of others with more money, a marriage license or the right connections......

That's my list, can and can't. It saddens and sickens me to see it still causing rifts and wedges in the ranks of those who should be working together for the benefit of both the mother and the adoptee. As I get older, I lose the incentive to keep fighting. I get tired and I get frustrated and I want to chuck it all and say, "you're on your own, Kiddos!"

For instance, lumping together all mothers and calling us all barfmuggles is not right. Yes, there are some who are decidedly un-motherly, a minority to be sure, and it is sad that some of my adopted friends had to draw the bad ones. But tarring us all with the same brush is the same as saying, say, that all teenagers are irresponsible just because some of them are. It is demeaning and untrue. We all deserve to be judged as individuals and not by the lowest common denominator in our populations.

You see, in the battles for records, recognition, redress, and the disagreements concerning terminology, it seems to escape the notice of many that we are all just asking for the same damn thing....respect. Is it too much to ask or do I hang up my activist's hat and enjoy San Antonio with my friend as a vacation?

Do we just let adoption, which cannot do so much, win this one?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I'm just doing some mental meandering, today. Perhaps, if I get these scattered thoughts out of my system, I can get a bit of focus going. For instance;

Why is it that almost every nasty, belligerent, argumentative comment on a blog is posted by some cat named "Anonymous?"

Why is it that misery not only loves company, but insists on repeatedly inviting you even after you have declined all previous invitations?

Why is it that so many people resist taking responsibility for their own responses and emotional welfare?

Why do adults continue to blame their parents for their bad behavior?

Why is it that we note other people with their heads up their butts while peeking out of our own anal orifices?

Why is it that some do not learn that the only ways to get respect are to (a) give respect and (b) respect yourself?

Why does it take us repeated attempts and failures before we realize that we cannot reason with (a) a drunk (b) a bigot (c) a door-to-door evangelist (d) a fanatic of any religion (e) drama queens and kings (*see the misery loves company question) (f) ultra-conservatives (g) an adopter or potential adopter (h)Donald Trump?

Why are there conspiracy theorists when there is no conspiracy and none to be found when there IS one?

Why are we, in the 21st century, having to fight to have our children taught pure science without religion? Creationism is NOT science.

Why would anyone vote for a guy named after a salamander for president?

Why does a biased media insist on calling itself "fair and balanced?"

Why do some people think it is OK to execute a prisoner but a sin to terminate an early pregnancy?

Why does anyone think it is any of their business what a woman does with respect to her own body?

Why does it take us so long to understand that we cannot "fix" other people or fix things for other people?

Why do Face book gamers think I want to mess with their farm, their fish, their questions or accept applications that will screw with my computer?

Why do I respond to demands by digging in my heels?

Why does anyone think they have a right to make demands of me?

Why are fanatically religious men so afraid of women?

Why did Princess Beatrice wear that hat?

And, Why, WHY does my female Rat Terrier go roll in the dirt the day after we bathe her?

An inquiring mind knows a lot of the answers but still likes to ask the questions.

Monday, May 09, 2011


While I don't have the problem with Mother's Day that I used to have, I am still glad it is behind us..glad for a lot of people I know for whom it is a painful day, a day just to get through in one piece.

My Mother's day was lovely. While I had moments of missing my Mama, very much, I am more into being grateful that we had her for the time we did. She was special. And I have no regrets about my own motherhood, anymore. I did the best I could with what I had to do with at the time and, in the case of my two oldest, did the only thing I was allowed to do. My children were lovely, attentive and treated me like a queen. It was so nice. Hubby even came across with a nice gift, I didn't have to cook or do laundry or anything and it was Heaven.

But for so many people who were adopted and so many mothers who had their children taken for adoption, Mother's Day is torture. If they are still searching, closed records are a special source of irritation to them. Closed records, though, are irritating to all involved, Mothers and Adult Adoptees, reunited or not.

I can remember when every Mother's Day was bittersweet for me...sweet because I was raising two wonderful children, and bitter because there were two others that were not with me. It also took me a while to deal with Mother's Day after my own Mother suddenly passed away at the young age of 46.

I know Mothers and Adult Adoptees who have been rejected and have no reunion, even though they now know who and where. For them, the second Sunday in May is not a happy day. So much in their lives is unresolved. I have a dear Mother friend and a sweet (but effectively bitchy..LOL) Adoptee friend about whom I have special thoughts on Mother's Day. Hope is hard to have in some situations. They have pretty much been shown the door, thanks but no thanks, don't call me, don't come around, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye! I personally cannot understand such  behavior and think it is execrable, but it happens.

That's when we have to look within to find what we need in life. I had a friend whose Mother died in childbirth and her father just sort of wandered off. She was raised by an aunt. She managed. I have a friend whose daughter was beaten to death by her boyfriend. She has, since, lost another adult child and her husband. She manages.  My own husband's world was rocked by the suicide of his only child, a confused teenager. He has gone on to make his life mean something as a tribute to his son.

Their secret is no secret. They cherish life. They know that they are responsible for their own happiness and they don't lay the burden of their self-worth on the shoulders of others. It is when we immerse ourselves in the erroneous idea that the rejections we receive reflect on us rather than the rejectors, that we lose ourselves in pain. Adopted or not, Surrendering Mother or not, life is a crap shoot and we take the numbers that are thrown. We have the ball and we have to make the game a good one. No one else, no one event or person, can fill the cup. We fill our own cups and the better the attitude the more palatable the drink.

I am not trying to diminish the pain of anyone else. It is what it is. All I am doing with this post is offering a way to build a ladder and climb out of the pit. For some, like me, it takes a lot of counseling and some painful, personal epiphanies to get above ground level. It also takes a real and strong desire to get past the pain and learn how to deal with life. If you are there and are not fearful of being honest with yourself, it can be done. Things won't be perfect, but you will know how to sail the sea of life and how to patch your boat when your run into the reefs.

As I watched the devastation unfold in Japan, and the twisted wreckage of the American tornado outbreak, I had to realize that our trauma, while painful and worthy of recognition, is not the only kind of pain that can be visited upon the human psyche. It is not the worst or the just is one among many. None of us are the Lone Ranger of emotional pain and suffering. What about the Mother in the famine areas of Africa who watches her child starve to death while she starves, too? There's an abundance of suckage, there.

Yes, there is a dark side to life, everywhere, just like we have learned about the darkness of surrender and adoption. But there are also macaroni necklaces, little handprints, double flowers, "edible bouquets," jokes, silliness, good books and music to dream by. You lose some, you gain some. I'm sitting in our doctor's office, right now, while hubby is getting his check-up. He has some problems, but he IS 71. He is actually in pretty good shape and the doctor is far. Yay...small miracles and tiny bits of sunshine. I am learning to keep these things in my pocket and pull them out when the gray days hit.

To all my friends who struggled through Mother's Day, it's MONDAY!! It's over and you might want to look for something about which you can be happy as your self-assigned, Monday chore. It's there if you look hard enough. It won't make the bad part go away. But it balances those scales and life IS a balancing act. I also send you all the warmest and most sincere hugs I have to give because I know what it's like.

So, that is my post-Mother's Day wish for all. May you have balance, hugs and happy moments.

In the final analysis, what else is there?

Friday, May 06, 2011

Flat Earthers, Birthers, Good Beemommies, Adopters, PAPs and Mother-Hating Adoptees

Now what do all of these have in common? Willful Ignorance with a capitol "I." The Flat Earthers believe, contrary to centuries of scientific evidence, that the world is flat..not a sphere and many still opine that the earth is the center of the Universe.

"Birthers" believe, despite all legal evidence to the contrary, that our President is not a native-born American. Maybe they weren't aware that Hawaii is a state and has been for many, many decades? These are the same staunch Righties that believe Bush took down Bin Laden and that Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are viable presidential candidates. THAT is a shudder-worthy thought.

Those mentioned above also hold that a woman isn't really a rape victim unless she has been beaten, stabbed and near death. If she has a weapon used against her and submits to save her life, then it isn't rape. If she went out on a date with the Prick that assaulted her, then she asked for it, especially if her clothes were, in any way, what, say, Pat Robertson would consider "provocative." HR3, the bill that has, very recently, passed the house that calls for "rape investigation" before a victim can be granted an abortion, proves that we even elect the willfully ignorant to national offices.  Somebody either isn't voting or our nation is in deep ignorance doo-doo.

Good beemommies refuse to think, contrary to all they have been told, all the warnings they receive and all the good advice they receive from those of us who have been there, that surrender to adoption is harmful to both them and their children. They are of the "I'm different so that won't happen to me" school of thought. Yeah, right. Go live in La La Land and feed off the approval of adopters and religious pundits and see how happy that makes you in the long run. Call us older Moms bitter and angry. You'll get there, eventually. Meanwhile, I hope you can breathe with your head in the sand.

Adopters and PAPs? Well, what can I say? They are also "different." Their desire for a child is righteous, to them, and they cannot see the potential damage to the child and the pain of "their (blech)mother" for the strength of their own self-entitlement. The children they adopt are "grateful" and "happy" and have been saved from a fate worse than death...being who they were born to be. A good many of these candidates for faux sainthood still believe the human infant is a blank slate and that they will bond with whomever gives them nurture. The reject the idea that attachment is a survival instinct and that the adopted child is always dealing with abandonment issues, identity issues and general confusion while trying to do their job of keeping the adopters happy. Even a book written by an adopter that tells, well, most of the story, is ignored by the more rabid. Personal desires overcome education and THAT is willful ignorance.

The Mother-hating adoptee, and these are not as prevalent as they once were, are the ones who drank the Kool-Aid served by their adopters and society that says they were unwanted by their mothers. Some have some pretty bad natural mothers and have a reason for how they feel, but tend to want to tar us all with the same brush. Some stay angry at Mom regardless of how nice she is, how welcoming she might be because, like most who are willfully ignorant, thinking any other way is scary. I have to say that many of these people have learned a little and are not as resistant to the learning process as others. But there are still the die-hard haters who firmly believe we want confidentiality and anonymity and are fighting their quest for open records and little we can say will change their minds.

And what is really behind willful ignorance? Fear? Flat-Earthers fear not being at the center of life. Birthers are racist and fear any change, even for the good, in our society, especially if it involves those who are different from them. Good Beemommies are just scared, period. They fear the loss of the approval of those around them and doubt themselves in a big way. They are afraid of themselves and would rather remain insecure than growing a set and stepping up to the plate of their responsibility. Adopters and PAPs fear the loss of their fairy-tale and the Mom-haters fear the great unknown of their beginnings.

As we have seen, fear can make people vicious. It, like ignorance, is a weapon wielded by politicians, proselytizers and dictators to keep people in line and with the program. Some soak it in more readily than others. Racism, elitism, dogmatism are all Little Red Books of fear. HR3 brings out the fear of women having any autonomy in our society. The Good Old Boys Club is alive and kicking.

And coercion and warm, fuzzy propaganda still spews from the Adoption Industry and those who benefit from it. Willful Ignorance lives.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Shutting Out The Noise

I've been going through some notes taken while in counseling/treatment for an eating disorder. I've applied the twelve-step program to a lot of things in my life. Sometimes I get off track, but I usually have a good friend speak up or a word on a page stand out to get me back into what works for me. Lately, it has been hard. The world has been overwhelming.

We  have been overwhelmed by our own struggles as well. At times, there is so much real life happening that it's hard to stand back, look at things objectively and get back to work on that for which we can do something worthwhile..ourselves.

I read something from my didactics notes, something simple that has been said in so many different ways but is true no matter how it's said. "I can only deal with one life at a time...MINE." Those among us who are terminally unique might think they can control the flood but all they do is stir the waters. Those who go into emotional melt-down at every occurrence or fly off the handle at the reactions of others are making it all about them.

Late Sunday night, a number of euphoric crowds burst into celebration. It was cathartic. It was the marking of an action that closed the era of a mad man, a  resurgence of national pride, and it gave hope to these people. It wasn't done to offend any sensibilities. It was also not up to anyone else to judge their reaction as appropriate or inappropriate. Should all the OBCs be made available and the issues of mothers whose children were taken for adoption be addressed, we would probably have a bit of a wing-ding, ourselves and that would probably offend a lot of adopters and adoption professionals. But, Justice is a heady thing. So, it would suck to be them.

Making all that happens all about oneself is the truest form of ego run rampant. I have seen people brought to their knees in fear and angst or spurred to aloof criticism by the execution of Bin Laden, like they are the only people with any interests or involvement or even a valid response in and to this event. The fact that this will have a major historical and cultural impact seems to have passed by the radar of many. They seem too busy judging and finding something lacking in the responses of others.

People are "tired of this" and "sick of that" and I have to wonder what is beneath that emotional elitism. Yeah, I get sick and tired of a lot of things. I dislike ugly, partisan politics but it is a part of our real lives so I chose a party that comes the closest to what I believe without following blindly, and say what I truly think about the other guys. If you don't like it, don't read it. I would normally think that I am the last person on anyone's mind if I hadn't been "semi-quoted." That's always a shock to my system but, hey, I calls em like I sees em.

In examining my own tendencies towards terminal uniqueness, I have had to remember something I sometimes tend to forget. We might all be together on the issues of surrender, records, adoption, etc., but we are all individuals with our own political, religious and social ideas and opinions. I cannot please everyone or be everything to everyone. I do not have to think, feel or believe down the line with my sisters and brothers in this arena for what I believe or what they believe to be valid.

Meanwhile, we are living our own lives, each of us. We can face disappointment, worry and frustrations on an individual basis without taking on the emotions and trying to control the responses of everyone else around us. We are arrogant when we cry the tears that rightfully belong to another. And another's criticism/judgment of me is not really about's about them and there is not a damn thing I can do about that. Conversely, others can be sure if I disagree with them, it is about me. My opinions, ideas, thoughts and actions are my own, for good or ill. But I will not go into a tailspin of psychological angst over any of it. That makes me as guilty as anyone else of making it all about me.

So, the killing of Bin Laden is only about me insofar as I am a patriotic American. There, it ends. I am a Senior Citizen and a woman with daughters, a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter. I am a mother whose two oldest children were taken for adoption. Those issues that affect those areas of my life are important to me.

It's open season on Donald Trump and Sarah Palin for comic relief. Oh, and dark humor is appreciated...well, here, anyway.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

How To Get Back On Track?

I have been feeling completely off the rails the past few weeks. So much has been happening in the world from the terrifying to the completely inane. The economy has had everyone on edge and notables and the infamous have been putting on a show of major magnitude. I feel like I and all my surrender and adoption issues have been buried under a boxcar load of heavy cargo.

From the Japanese quake and tsunami to the Royal Wedding, from The Donald showing his combover to the tornadoes in the south, from the stupid Sheen meltdown and the Flying Spaghetti Monster Hat to a group of Navy Seals storming a compound...from the ridiculous to the sublime...we have been inundated with a mudslide of important and unimportant events. From funny to frightening, we have run the gamut in such a way as to leave us gasping for breath and hoping things will quiet down for a while.

If someone with a lot of power had deliberately set out to distract me, they couldn't have done any better. I have watched the world go crazy and seen mountains move. Mother Earth really got into the act. Thousands of Japanese and hundreds of Americans were killed by Nature run rampant and I cried. One evil man and a few of his cohorts were killed and I nodded in satisfaction.

That last one was a problem for a lot of people. So caught up were some, in their moral compasses or religion, that they wanted to condemn those who celebrated. I see it as different strokes for different folks, but I, personally, celebrate Justice. It was a righteous mission and a meteing out of justice that was long in coming.

JUSTICE. That is such a big word. It means different things to different people. Mothers of coerced surrender from the EMS have talked about it for years. Is justice a public apology, an inquiry, acknowledgement, or a class action suits taken all the way to the Supreme Court? Is it the ultimate take-down of adoption as we know it?

Most don't see it as something for which we can accept money as a recompense. This issue goes to the heart of how this nation treats women and children, especially the more vulnerable among us. It also shows the worst of what can happen in a system that is so heavily capitalistic that everything has a price and the bottom line is more important than the family and the rights of ALL the people.

I think that the idea of justice, as a value, is bringing back my focus. I have seen the field from which the GOP might select a candidate for 2012. If any of those people make it into the White House, then I hope the Mayans are right and the end of the world happens then. If not, then I will look into immigration in a hurry. Any sliver of a chance we have to re-direct or reform this cluster f**k called adoption would be out of sight, totally. In my opinion, we still have a chance that someone will listen to us, but, right now, the movers and shakers have bigger fish to fry. Keeping Planned Parenthood going with my support is about the best I can do right now...that and saying my piece here on my blog.

They say you're never too old to learn. I have finally learned the true meaning of "special interest group." That's what SMAAC is. That's what the Open Records campaign is. Those things are important, YES. VERY important. But sometimes, life comes along and de-rails you in order to let you know that you are not the only petunia in the onion patch....that some things are bigger and worse than you think your personal trauma is and was. We are not the only ones to experience bad things in our lives.

And sometimes, the best way to get back on track is to count your blessings and realise that it's not always all about you.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Judgment, Criticism After All This?(A Non-Adoption Blog Post)

Seriously...I am so tired of the Conspiracy Theorists, the racist detractors, Trump and Tea Baggers and the tired efforts of corporate America, the Religious Right Wing and Wall Street to remain in control of all our lives and ability to make our own personal choices.

For those who think it is inappropriate for me to celebrate this event, the death of a self-proclaimed enemy and murderer of Americans and others, I am sorry you feel that way. I care about American lives as much as anyone else, but this was an important and well done action. We are flying the flag today, in honor of all who perished and in gratitude for a modicum of justice.

We have had precious little to celebrate in a long, long time. If celebrating the demise of pure evil is wrong, then count me among the wrong. Yes, I know there will probably be reprisals and our people are being alerted and our security systems and armed forces are on alert. I am hoping that our traveling citizens will not be so arrogant or careless as to ignore the warnings and that the watch is increased here at home.

Yes, I care about the lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq and everywhere else. But those soldiers fought for our right to celebrate even a small victory. Those of us who celebrate have no less regard for the sacrifices made and the innocent that were killed than those who are taking the somber but no more contemplative road.

This is not a day for judgment, criticism, and division. It is a day for reflection, hope, facing some hard realities and, yes, celebrating. We cannot continue to judge each other by our religion, or any other yardstick as to what "should be" the appropriate response to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Let's each just live and let live and do our own thing. Besides, this is "rendering unto Ceaser" if ever there was such.

As far as the role of our President is concerned, he has been in the loop and directing things since the first intelligence reached him in August. Whatever you think of him, this didn't happen on Dubya's watch. President Obama just made a simple statement to the press. He didn't fly in as a fighter jet passenger, in a flight suit, to deliver erroneous information. He's the one who gave the order. I am proud of my president. I am a hard-working, patriotic liberal. I support and respect the decision, the action and the man who gave the order AND HIS OFFICE. Special thanks to the brave SEALs and other military personnel who put the order into action.

To those who want to party, don't let the critical comments get you down. Sing the national anthem, sing "Hey Hey, Goodbye," wave your flags and be glad you're an American. To those who feel quiet reflection and silence are a better route, go for it. You all have my support. But for Pete's Sake, let's allow this to further unite us, not divide us.

Oh, and I do not post comments from those who call the President a liar or act like Trump. As an unmarried, pregnant girl in the early 1960's, I got my fill of elitist moralizing at the expense of the vulnerable, people playing the blame game and everyone sitting in the stinking status quo and seeing commies under every rock. I refuse to play any part in my country going back there for more reasons than just my personal experience.

Everybody get down from your high horses and give this day whatever you feel you should. But stop with the criticism, already. Some things are bigger than the individual and this is not about any one of us. It's about all of humanity.