Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Don't Know If I Should Be Here Anymore

Christmas was good. Life is good. I was a bit concerned after reading a blog post about the holidays that I might feel bad on Christmas. But I had a nice holiday season.

Which brings me to this post. I thought I would check out the adoptee/first mother blogs today. And I got a really bad feeling. It was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like I shouldn't be here anymore. That coming to these places where we talk about the pain of being a first mother is the normal.

It doesn't feel normal anymore. At first I was resigned to the fact that I had lost my daughter when I relinquished her to adoption. That was a given when I was denied any information about her in this "open adoption." When she contacted me my whole world changed. The possibilities of a new life with her in it seemed infinite. Then that too changed when once again, I was denied any information about her.

More grief, more pain and tons of rage. Rage that things were not as promised but again.

I couldn't control that anymore than I could control the promises that people made to me. I had to live through the emotions that washed over me and stayed with me for years. But for everything there is a season. My season of rage has ended. My season of hope that my life would include my relinquished daughter has ended. I grieved. I lived through it.

Now there comes a decision for me. In my very core I feel it is time to stop feeding the grief, the rage, the sadness. I have become satiated with those emotions and to feed them when they don't want to be fed, is only going to make me sick.

I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to end this blog because in the future there may be something relevant that I need to communicate. Or perhaps I will wake up and find myself needing to be here again. But for now, it seems wrong. I can no longer define myself as the woman who lost her daughter to adoption when there are no ties to that in my real world. It was real, it happened. But it doesn't mean a damn thing when I get up in the morning and need to feed the dogs and get ready for work. It doesn't add or take away from the fact that I need to pay my bills, make dinner, kiss my children, or plan an event. It is a ghost that lived beside me when I went about the day to day of living my life. I made room for it when it demanded my attention. Now giving it attention when it gives nothing in return feels abnormal.

Right now I can't live with ghosts any longer. I hope it stays that way. Because I dare say I feel happy in my life, criminal as that may be.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sometimes the Truth is Revealed

Things have been really, really good in my life recently. The family is great, the house I have fallen in love with. I do keep up with some adoption related topics, such as the case with the little girl named Sonya. I want to know how that plays out in the end.  I also check with Adoption.com every few weeks because that is where I started when I came out of my fog.

It was horrible. There were so many posts that to me seemed fake but I wasn't sure. First time posters who would write about how they could only love their adoptive parents, and us abandoning birthmothers could basically rot. Or how reunion just made them understand how insignificant everything about us was. There were also tons of responses from adoptive parents that their adoptee never wants to search or reunite. It was painful because I wanted to believe I had a chance of a relationship with my relinquished daughter.

The forum changed. I think it went under new ownership but I am not sure. But the most striking thing I have found is that instead of up to seven pages of new posts in 24 hours there is now usually only one, and this trend has been going on for almost a year. Also observed is that the birthmother shaming, and warnings to stay away have dried up to. Where did all that go? The forum hadn't changed that much in it's appearance or ease of use, so that doesn't appear to be the reason. The majority of posts are by foster parents which is what I always suspected was their main base of members.

I think the reality is that the site which advertises heavily for adoptive parents lost it's most dedicated posters. Were they the ones who had an interest in keeping the site potential adoptive parent palatable? I think so but I don't have official proof.  I have unofficial proof though, and that is good enough for me.

I am not saying there were not honest posts by people sharing their honest feelings- as painful as that might been for me. But when I saw a pattern of the same topics, written in the same writing styles by one hit topic posters I just started to believe there was an agenda.  In the past I believe members of that forum read my blog and sometimes wrote about (in a passive aggressive response) something I have shared on my blog. So it will be interesting if I see an increase in the type of posts of the past. Maybe they don't know how evident the changes are and would like to correct that. But if they do- I will keep score for a future blog post.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.........


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Do Unecessary Adoptions And Paypal Scams Have In Common?

What do unnecessary adoptions and Paypal scams have in common? First there is the want. Somebody wants something from you that you would not willingly give if you knew the facts. So instead of facts you are given lies that are disguised as the truth. Next there is the expectation and hope that you will quickly respond due to emotion, therefore clouding your judgement.

For example, a common Paypal scam counts on a knee-jerk emotional reaction to steal from you. In a particular scam you will receive an email that appears as a receipt for payment for an item you have recently purchased. However- the dollar amount of the purchase will be vastly different and much higher than you paid. It looks like a correspondence from Paypal. It is designed that way. The email that looks authentic has a link for you to click on if you have questions or need help with your account. You may feel panicky and look for the promised help from that link.

Don't click that link. That link will infect your computer with the intent to steal your personal information and money.

Unnecessary adoption is designed that way as well. It counts on your emotional response to misinformation to steal from you and your child. It counts on you being alerted that you have a problem with your motherhood (financial, family, illness, societal) and asking for help.

Who enforces cyber crime and who enforces adoption crime? Well no-one really. Only the most blatant of offenses will addressed and even then the penalty is anemic at best. Society had decided that these crimes are not very important, and even if they are there is an allocation of resources to consider. In adoption there is too much money available to launch a defense. In cyber crime there are too many criminals to keep up with as well as the new technology they use.

A criminal is a criminal. Some will be well educated, and have resources that their victims do not have at their disposal. In unnecessary adoption the criminals may be well educated and have support from agencies, family and lawyers to assist them in obtaining victims. In cyber crimes the criminals are educated on technology, and usually operate in groups to obtain their victims. Another commonality they have is that they hurt people and they get away with it. Victim beware.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Open Adoption- When The Birthmother Drops Out

Recently I have read some posts where people speculate why a birthmother would become MIA in an open adoption. We hear the usual reasons such as the mother doesn't care, or it is too painful for her. What I don't see is any recognition that many of these birthmothers may be pressured to drop out of their relinquished child's life. Not with a gun to the head of course, but there are many subtle ways to let her and her family know they are not wanted.

For example I did not opt out of a post adoption relationship with my relinquished daughter by choice. The open adoption closed before she was two years old which has been speculated is the norm in the majority of cases. But the warning signs were very clear from the beginning. First was the coercive pressure to relinquish while I was ill. People who actually care about anyone other than themselves do not try to trick a mother into relinquishing her child. Next came the attempt to hide information. The adoptive parents did not want us to know their true names but later that became a moot point.

Shortly after the adoption our requests for promised pictures and letters were met with apologies and promises to send them. Later those requests were treated as hostile attempts to gain information about their daughter which invaded their privacy. We were sent emails back in which we were asked crazy questions such as did I still feel revolted at the thought of my daughter. Yes, that was a question asked and it was crazy. Was it an attempt to build a case later through her saved emails that I was disgusted with my child and proof she was saved by the adoptors?

The open adoption slammed shut. But for a moment let's speculate what may have happened if it had not. Imagine being the adopted child who has three visits a year with her birthfamily by adoptors who really don't want an open adoption at all. Besides the potential pain that seeing your birthfamily may invoke there is the adoptive family to deal with. The weeks or months leading up to the visit may become tense as the adoptive parents handle their feelings of resentment and insecurity. It won't take long before the dread that the adoptive parents feel before a visit becomes the dread the adoptive child feels before a visit.

For the birthfamily it may become very tense as well. There would be so much excitement at the thought of seeing your child. But with it may come the dread of being treated as unwanted, with everything you say or do scrutinized and being collected to use against you. For example any tears may be a sign of "emotional instability" or proof that you have not "accepted" the adoption and the adoptors roles as parents. It may be expected that you will act overjoyed and grateful with them as your child's parents and any sign of grief is proof of your ungratefulness.

If the child appears sullen or unhappy during the visits who will get the blame? Perhaps the child has reacted to the stress of her adoptive parents. Perhaps she is afraid to show emotion or perhaps the emotion she feels is unhappiness or confusion. In any case many adoptive parents will use this to stop visits and blame it on the child not wanting to see the birthfamily any longer. And really- who could blame the child? Who wants to deal with that?

Or the birthfamily is treated as unwanted and an outsider. People who are only to be tolerated while they fear reaching out to hug their child, or doing or saying anything that may anger or threaten the adoptive parents. They are reduced to being treated as something to be feared and by proxy their raised children are treated the same way. Not only would this do a psychological number on the birthfamily, they may not want to put their relinquished child through this type of stress. It may seem better to stop these visits. However, it will most likely become ammunition by the adoptive parents to prove that they were the saviors who were there when the birthfamily did not care enough to keep contact.

There are always two sides to the story. The adopted child and others may only be privy to one side of the story. The side that informs others that the birthmother or family closed the open adoption without any acknowledgment of pressure put on them or their relinquished child to cease contact by the adoptive parents.

I suspect I will always be grateful that our open adoption closed no matter how much anguish it caused me and my family. Not because closing and open adoption is a good thing, but because the adoptive parents had decided that we were adversaries as soon as they wanted our child. No good could ever have come out of that situation.

I do not think making open adoptions legally enforceable is the answer even though some people believe it is. I think the answer is education. We need to educate mothers that relinquishing their child through unnecessary adoption is not the answer. That all promises are based on the need to separate their child from them for financial gain or to fulfill the desires of people who care only about what is good for them. It is all about the mother producing a marketable product for the consumer. Once that is understood and we get rid of all the rainbows and unicorns, we are left with the cold hard facts of unnecessary adoption.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Love Lost or Lost Love

Losing someone or something you love can be incredibly painful. But losing someone whom you loved and loved you back with the same intensity is excruciating.

If I choose I can open my heart and love again. But to find someone or something that loves me as much is not so easy. To lose that connection is to lose a part of myself and who I am. I become who I was.........

That is true loss. Everything else pales in comparison. I reflect on that, and how this simple fact changes the very core of what we are. This is how we change. Can I lose someone or something I love that does not love me and grieve? Absolutely. Will part of me die when it goes away? Not always......

I think it was important for me to learn that distinction.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

OT- I Hate My Kitchen

I hate my kitchen. I hate it so much that I kick it every time I walk in there. I like the tile, I like the cabinets, I like the appliances but put it all together and I hate it as much as a fat kid hates gym class. No offense to fat kids because fat kids are at least cute. Cute my kitchen is not.

I have a Sawzall...........

I dream of removing some of the cabinets and counter and relocating the appliances. I see myself in the kitchen, working in a growing funeral pyre of wood and tile with a mad grin on my face. Then the dream becomes dark as my husband walks in and gives me that look of "what the hell are you doing now!" Which of course wipes the grin off my face as I pretend to not grin.

I need a plan. The first plan should be to remodel the kitchen. Here is where it gets sticky. DH did remodel the kitchen. He just did it without totally gutting it. See where I am going with this?

The second plan that came to mind was to sell the house. I have been lusting after pics of Zillow of a cute Craftsman house about a mile away. The lot is much smaller and there is not a park next door which my husband will not like. Plus there is the whole renovation thing. Sometimes men get mad when you plan to sell your house after all the blood they have spilled renovating it has not yet dried.

Next there is my DD who will not like having to get in a car and drive to my house in a panic to tell me that I must come over IMMEDIATELY to get rid of flying insects that have invaded her home. In her defense my husband did leave her door open which was their point of entry. 

Somebody is going to end up very unhappy about the kitchen. I imagine I will hear him cuss and throw things while I ask him to please be quiet so I can finish my school work.........

Sunday, September 7, 2014

OT- Off To The Market

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and I never intended to find that strange, mysterious market place called "Craig's List." I had heard about it- didn't somebody get murdered there? But where was this dangerous place and why do people go there?

I had to look, although in all fairness I had been warned. Whispers of corruption, death and "good deals." How could I not look, I have a bucket list after all. Craig's list sounded like it had all the promise of a good crime novel and after all I was just going to take a peek...

Hence the beginning of my doom. People sell stuff on Craig's list no doubt. But they sell VICTORIAN FURNITURE there! They sell it under "antiques" and want to make a pretty copper coated penny, unless they are selling copper in which they want tons of pennies. They also sell it under "furniture" with descriptions such as "old", "grandma's" and "OBO" (which is my favorite description so far). 

Today "OBO" was not an option because I saw the dresser I wanted for the cost of half pennies and I  needed to hurry before somebody beat me to it and painted it shabby chic for resale. Must....go....now. So I yelled over the sound of hammering as my husband spends another day of week 6 restoring our second floor. "Hey honey, I am going to the city, the worst part of the city, the hood in fact to go look at this dresser so I will see you later, and maybe you can come with me later with the truck if I buy it." Hammers that are dropped quickly make a really loud thud- but you know that don't you? So after the thud I hear "wait a minute!" Then we are off....

To his credit my husband did not ask me why I wanted another antique dresser, or where I was going to put it. I like that about him, but I did not like the quite on the drive or his stone face because he does not want to do this. I used to tell him "this is the last time" when I have taken him on a journey that is no more fun then splinters under his fingernails but we have been married a long time. There is always another time, absolutely.

So we get to where we are supposed to be and before we get there I tell my husband that this place must be by the most glorious mansion turned apartment building in the city that I had been to once in my lifetime. And it is. But the dresser is not there which I expected because I knew something was wrong and that is why I wore my running shoes instead of sandals. A miscommunication she said. But if we meet her somewhere else in an hour it will be there......

Adventure! But my spidey senses are not tingling so we go home and I take the old dog for a walk to pick some wildflowers which is another mistake because they are mostly goldenrod or other wild things covered with bees and the bees don't like me. My phone pings a message and we are off again........

Glorious!!! The mirror of the dresser is ornate and glorious...and huge. But not to worry because I have a screwdriver in my purse and we can just take the mirror off. My husband does not bat an eye at this because it is not unusual for me to pull a screwdriver, a hammer, or even a power tool out of my Coach bag. He has no response to this. At this point I could happily drive away with just the mirror but that seems just rude so I take the whole thing. All my husband has to do is carry it to the truck and off, and into the house, and take one of my other dressers upstairs. Now I expected some push back here and I was not disappointed. "Why can't we put your other dresser in the living room?' Silly, I get claustrophobic with too much stuff in a room so let's put it at dear daughter's house. For some reason this statement strikes fear into his heart. "But we'll never get it back" he says with.........a whine? I swear I heard a whine there. "I'll put it upstairs."

Upstairs........I have a whole upstairs to furnish I think to myself. I mentally prepare my tool kit. Craig's list check. Foam mattress topper for the truck bed, check. Assortment of tools, check. Husband who does not like me going to the hood alone, check. I think I'm good.