Archive for February, 2006

OBSESSIONS

February 28, 2006

Again, I apologize for not writing. I have become obsessed with searching for my birthparents. I have even let my families’ needs slide because of it. I am very sorry as well for that lapse in judgement. Most adoptees and birthparents understand but the outside members of our groups don’t always understand. Why can’t we just let it go? Most people don’t understand the anger and the pain that we feel but then their rights aren’t being violated as ours are. It is probably one of the few times in our lives where we are actually selfish.

I have written several people recently in key states that are putting new adoption laws on the law books. These people have the opportunity to open our records and free us from the secrets that bind us. What is really sad is that these aren’t even our secrets. Many of us don’t want them as secrets. We want them out in the open where they can be allowed to heal.

There were two interesting stories recently in news. One was about a member of Ohio’s state government. It was about a new law not allowing gays to adopt or foster. The Congressional member’s response was a delightful way of telling the Republican members that they are being just goofy. He proposed a law that would forbid Republicans from adopting children. I died laughing at that one. It has been proven that sexual orientation has no effect on a child. This study was done by a group of pediatric doctors. Its funny. My husband is disgusted by gay stuff but he does believe that they deserve equal rights. They don’t deserve to be treated like they are a leper of sorts.

The other new law being proposed is about abortion. South Dakota is the first state to abolish abortion. They proposed jail sentences for the doctors who perform it. I wonder if this is not attack on privacy issues concerning a woman’s reproductive medical history. I wonder if this is a way to find out what any woman does to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Her medical history will be exposed for the world to see. Maybe this is a way for the pro-lifers to finally attack women who use birth control and women who have had an abortion. They find out their names and haunt them for eternity. What gets me is that the pro-lifers think that all women want is to have an abortion. It is a decision that is never entered to lightly. It is a very difficult decision to make for any woman. In my mind it belongs in the hands of God, the woman, and her doctor. This is more the norm than the other extreme. I do believe that we need to prepare though for all possibilities. I wonder though do they plan to prosecute women who have an abortion. What about the ones who have already had one? From what I understand, there is no exception for the woman’s health, rape or incest. What about all the adoptions this will result in? Will they be open or closed? Will the secrets be allowed to proliferate again? Will the women and children in this be made to dirty all over again? It doesn’t help our case when Planned Parenthood tells the world that fifty percent of American women have had an abortion. I know that little fact is just plain false.

We all need to stand up and fight back. If they are attacking us on reproductive rights and sexual orientation, it is a matter of time before we all will be sent to the dark ages. I don’t want to go back to that. I want to move forward. I want the wounds of adoptees, birthparents, and adoptive families to be healed. So lets all stand up and write our senate and congressional leaders both on the state and the federal level. We will not take being pushed back into the dark ages.

FATHER’S RIGHTS AND OTHER THOUGHTS

February 20, 2006

Sorry I haven’t written in a few days. I am out there searching. I feel like I am almost there. I found a fellow Coleman adoptee who is now helping me. I am searching every obituary in the state of Indiana. I wasted three dollars on a good obituary. I researched everything I could about that name but it was nothing. It didn’t have enough kids in it. I have been looking at all possibilities. How many tire plants can there be in Indiana right? It is turning out to be very cumbersome. I feel like I am almost there. I also feel like it is right there in front of me. Call it a feeling I guess. The reason why I have intensified my search is to find my father. I can understand why my birthmother doesn’t want contact. I just want to find him now. He wanted to adopt me from the time he found out that I was going to be entering the world. He even went back and told his wife about the affair. I don’t know what his motivation was. I can only guess. I do understand why he wanted to adopt me though. He lost three children to some kind of joint disorder. I can’t get the records opened up because they are all listed in her name. Even if I went to court, as long as she refuses I can’t get the records opened up. They weren’t married at the time.

I guess I am lucky in some respects. I have a father that I can honestly respect. It takes a lot of courage to go to your wife and own up to the indescretion that created me. It also takes courage to want to take responsibility for that indescretion. He even called the agency after the adoption.

Even though most men aren’t like my birthfather, I do contend that we need to allow for the possibility for him to step forward. We cannot shirk this right because the adoption industry wants to put a child up for adoption faster. In this arena, adoption needs total honesty. No lies at all. Those lies just hurt people further. Closed records are just about covering up the lies. There are three people that want to find each other and we can’t because of the lies and the pain of adoption. It is not a reproductive right to continue the lies. It is not a reproductive right to dictate what happens to a child/fetus once he/she becomes an adult. I think the adoption triad is the only group of people that are controlled by those “who know better than us.” Adult Adoptees and their birthfamilies are adults. Let us decide what is best for us.

ABORTION VS ADOPTION

February 16, 2006

Today, I got an email back from Planned Parenthood basically denying me any rights what so ever about open records. They feel that a woman’s rights to privacy supercede my right to know my medical information, my history, and my birthfamily. It set me on fire. I was also lucky enough to read a few other emails today that put things into perspective for me about open records. It was difficult for me to wrap my brain around what exactly I wanted to say. Both sides of this issue just don’t seem to get it. They both won’t give women the autonomy that they have earned.

Pat Robertson was claiming at Sunquist that open records was a pro-abortion stealth operation to drum up abortion business. Neither side supports a woman’s autonomy but the liberals put nice words on their version. In this day and age, there is little correlation between adoption and abortion. In fact there are studies out there now that state that the economy has more of an effect than anything else. When the economy is good, abortion and adoption is down. When the economy is down, abortion and adoption is up.

I am going to quote a friend from Concerned United Birthmothers group. She is absolutely fantastic. Even my confidential intermediary supports open records. She hates having to tell either party bad news. Maire Ainne said it perfectly:

Prolifers worship the fteus, deify it in some sense, and then do not much care what happens to kids once they are born. They cannot see the difference bwtween the adult adopted person and the fetus. On the other side, pro-abortion groups demonize the fetus and all the rhetoric about it being just a parasite, etc. Both sides assume an adversarial situation between the fetus ad mother and extend this to the situation of adult adoptees and open records. Those who are pro-abortion and anti-open reocres are just defending the mother’s rights against the fetus’ rights…. forever, not just until it is born. The anti-aboriton crowd think they are “saving babies” at any cost by opposing open records, because of their misreading the desires of mothers who carry a child to term and those who choose to abort. Both think that mothers should have absolute say about what the “child” gets to know about his birth forever or else there would be a chink in the armor of their respective agendas. Neither the Holy Fetus nor the Demon Fetus is helping the adoptee rights cause.

Another thing that I deal with every day is when I look outside my home. I see the horses, cattle, and my pets. Many members of my pet club have papers. Those animals have their parents’ names listed on their records. The cattle have their history traced every year. The horses’ lineage can be traced all the way back to Poco Bueno, who was a champion stud quarter horse on the ranch that I live on. He is even buried at the head quarters of this ranch with a huge monument standing over his grave.

I believe that a woman has the right to choose over what she does with her body. A pharmacist, Congress, Doctors, and many others to include Pat Robertson and President Bush have no right to force a woman to make a decision over her body. I believe that a woman has the right to choose whether or not she should have an abortion. Once that pregnancy comes to fruit though it is a whole other ball game. I also believe in a child needing protection. A child doesn’t have the capacity to understand what open records mean. There by protecting it. Once that child is an adult, an adopted adult should not be force to honor a contract made about them by others. If an animal has the right to know their heritage then so does a human. Many in our country feel differently such as ACLU, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the National Council for Adoption, President Bush, Planned Parenthood, and many others. I guess children in this country will continue to be “ITS” just like the women in this country.

Another thing that ticked me off with Planned Parenthood. They stated that 50% of American Women have had abortions in this country. Now yes I have used Planned Parenthood for contraception but not to get an abortion. If that were the case, then two of my sisters supposedly got abortions. Now I know that isn’t true. I look around me and wonder. That also means that one in every two women have had an abortion and again I know that this isn’t true. I would really like to know where they got their information from.

OPEN RECORDS

February 13, 2006

I got an email from the chosen babies group list today. It was a real refreshing read. It was from the 90’s time frame but I feel it applies today. Please check this out. The site is http://www.openadoption.org/brosnan.htm It was written by Father Brosnan. I don’t know if he still does conferences or not. I hope that he does. I like his way of thinking.

Its funny when you read about a young teenager’s search for identity and belonging. It is considered part of the human experience to learn about oneself. It is such a struggle to discover that sense of self. It is painful to watch. I know when my own daughters begin their journeys that it will be a heartwrenching trip for me and my husband. As an adoptee or a birthmother begin their search, no matter what their age, it is a traumatic, painful, yet very healing trip. It is often described as a roller coaster ride. As adoptees begin their search, we are considered ingrates. I do know that the sense of loss and the need to belong are universal experiences especially amongst the adoption triad. I think it is more profound in us. I know that my own birthmother buried the experience of my birth along with all of her secrets and shame when she relinquished me. A birthmother is expected to forget but I know from the CI used that she always thought about me and that she could not forget and always wondered about me. She said that much in the first call that Katrina made and even in her call back to Katrina.

Some psychologists call this an abortion in itself because it denies both the mother and the child in this situation. It denies that a connection even existed. Depending on what legislation or ideology is used. Closed records were used to protect the child or the birthparents. In all actuality they were used to protect the adoptive parents. These decisions were made by other people about children who were just that children. These decisions still affect the child as an adult. These decisions still make the birthparents pay for a sin that in many eyes is no longer existent. From what I have read in the Bible, not even God makes a person pay for a sin that long so why does society still make birthmothers pay?

Love may not eradicate biology but it sure helps in the healing process. All of us need that healing process desparately. What confounds me continually in our society is man’s inhumanity to man. I have read stories about how women and children are abused. It seems like to me that our government just puts a bandaid on the gapping wound or turns a blind eye. Number one and foremost in my mind, I believe that Americans should adopt only American children. Those children need our love and support more than anything else. Number two people who harm children need to be held to a higher standard. Like the many stories that I have been reading about adopted children being hurt and even murdered, those people should be put to death. If the right wingers feel that abortion should be outlawed, then the men who abused, maim and kill women who are pregnant should be put to death. If the right wingers support abortion, then we need to put into place laws that support a woman’s right to raise her own child. We need to promote true family values. That means financial support at times until a woman can get on her own two feet. If a child is put up for adoption, then the adopting family needs to be thoroughly checked out and monitored to make sure that everyone in that family is okay. That means hiring enough people to ensure the safety of the family involved. We can’t outlaw abortion because it is wrong thing to do and the child involved must be allowed to live. Then abandon the child after its birth. That is what is happening in our society. Health and Human resources are being cut by the rightwingers. These people in this department are being overworked and underpaid for their work. Many are so discouraged by the system. I found out here recently that the mental health system here is Texas is one of the most underfunded in the country. If there is an adoption, there needs to be open records. A human being deserves the right to know his heritage, medical history, and his extended family. It is all part of knowing his/her sense of self. If it is a basic human right for every one else, it needs to be that way for adoptees across the country. Like I and many others have said before, an animal has its papers and its history, why can’t humanity give that right back to humanity?

FEAR

February 12, 2006

I guess everyone can tell with the way that I am writing. I am still down in the dumps. My husband says I have become obsessed with searching and finding her. In a way I have done exactly that. I am royally pissed off about this entire scenerio. Another part is I do have a fear. I fear that I am not a product of a extramarital affair but of something so much worse. A product of incest. She won’t even talk about the “evil” that her father has done to her. I know he was physically abusive. If that is the case, my daughters have the right to be tested extensively for those kind of defects. I need to be tested for those kind of defects. I don’t want to worry about this for the rest of my life. If it wasn’t, then I really need to find my birth father. He is 78 and I don’t have time to waste. I really don’t care what transpired between the two of them. As she said that was forty years ago. If it was, then I need to go knock down his gravestone and totally destroy it. He doesn’t deserve to even be recognized for anything he did good in his life. At that point I can accept the no contact stuff. I wouldn’t be able to contact me.

Fear is something that I face head on. I fight back with it. I don’t like to be cornered. My biggest fear is that I will be caught in a situation where I can’t fight back. For example, a patient goes berzerk and takes aim at me. Or another is, someone on this ranch gets drunk and goes berzerk and does the same thing. Fear in adoption on the other hand is of rejection. Rejection and facing old issues can be a strong motivator. I wish my birthmother could read and understand me through this blog. Thanks to a few blogging friends, she just might get to see it. I don’t want to destroy her life. I just want my questions answered. Then I will let her be and let her choose what and where she wants me to be in her life. I wish she knew that I have cherished, honored and respected her all my life. I am lucky in the sense that I have many many surrogate birthmothers out there ready and willing to take her place.

She has asked twice why now after forty years. That is my age. I wasn’t ready until now. I had to get this computer to be able to do this. I needed to be totally informed before I began my search. I needed to be ready even for rejection. I needed to be ready to face all my fears with her. I am still willing to help her face her fears. I have walked a mile or two in her shoes. I was taught at an early age to face my fears. When we do meet, I worry about her coming out here. The women and the men on this ranch could react very strongly to my crying. Even though I am not well liked out here, I am still one of their own and they will defend anyone with fists unfortunately. A few of them even know the entire story. I think those will be the ones that stand in between and keep anything from happening. When she and I do meet, we will need all the time in the world to get to know one another. After all, we have forty years to catch up on. Then I will do the same with my brothers.

Fear in our country is what is running it. Fear of women speaking out and being taken seriously. Fear of mothers speaking out for truth. Fear of that the lies that are being told to us by the administration are in fact lies. One thing that I have always learned truth always prevails. Truth can and is very healing. Injustice in this country will be overcome and beat out by the truth. I see so many blogs speaking out about the truth. One of these days these blogs and the news being reported will be one. Then and only then can we win as a society.

WHAT I WISH MY BIRTH MOTHER KNEW

February 11, 2006

I wish my birth mother knew that I have walked a mile in her shoes. I, too, have been physically abused. My step dad was a cruel and evil man at times but as I got older I realized that it was the alcohol and his childhood talking. There were days and years that I don’t know how I made it. At times, like her, I was a downer. I guess unlike her I had friends that guided me and made me stronger. They helped me to face my issues. I wish that she knew that I was in the military as was my husband. That he and I both fought for the rights of all even if we disagreed with the way those people express those rights. I wish she knew that I worked as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. I wish she knew that I busted almost every good ol’ boys club that I ever ran into. I wish she knew that I enjoyed reading, crochet, crosstitching, playing with her grandchildren, and being a wife to my husband (even though because of this search I haven’t been all that great of one lately, lol). I wish she knew that I did complete 160 hours of college credit. I may not have finished my degree but I did give it the old college try. I may still yet finish but I may have changed my mind on the area that I may go into.

I also wish that the many birthmothers that are being contacted now could read the information that I have read over the last few months. I have become very well educated in this adoption realm. I know the laws in many states concerning adoption. I helped my sister find her husband’s family. Like me, the father’s family wants to have open contact. Like me, the mother doesn’t want contact. To me, a good mother takes care of all of her children even the ones that were given up. I guess over the last months I have met so many of them. If there is one thing that I could hook my birthmother and my brother-in-law’s birth mother into for a source of help, healing, and support, it would be the Concerned United Birthmother’s group and the Adoption Triad organization. They have helped me and many other people across our country and Canada.

The laws of this country need to change. The laws need to open to the needs of the child even as an adult. Its sad when I know more history on my cat than I do myself. Its sad when I know more about my dogs’ families that I do myself. We have no right protecting secrets that no longer matter any more. General society understands that we are human and that we do make mistakes. The greater mistake is in lying about one’s heritage. If animals get more respect than the human child, where is the family values that we hear so much about?

A perfect example of this is a story that I read in a friend’s blog yesterday( http://www.royallycranked.blogspot.com/ ) . It amazes me that a child is considered evil and needs to be sent away while his mother can stay here. It amazes me that people go outside of our country and adopt children especially when we have children here in the United States that are in desparate need of a good home. Could it be that they don’t want the families of these children to contact those children later? Everyone deserves the right to know their medical history and their heritage. As mental health worker, I see so many cases of abuse in my hospital. I don’t think that is right. We as a country don’t see the value of women, children, and the true value of the family. I see so many groups on the internet now who still devalue women, children, and the family. Groups like the National Council for Adoption, Pat Robertson, and others use religion to put the family even further down.

ADOPTION, ABORTION,TERMINOLOGY AND NEW LAWS

February 4, 2006

As I read about the new and upcoming laws of both Massachusetts and Maine, I am so amazed at the logic used by groups like National Council for Adoption, Pat Robertson, the Gladney Adoption Center, and even President Bush. These groups equate people who search (adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families) with antiadoptionists and abortionists. Its funny they use the logic that women who have abortions have privacy. They want to place that same policy on birth families. Trust me, if they had the private information on those women who had abortions they would hound those same women to their death about their abortion. They would not be forgiving to those women.

Confidentiality was not a guarantee to most birthmothers. Birth families were never given a copy of this so called “confidentiality agreement” let alone a copy of the adoption paperwork. Open records provide a line of communication between both sets of families. It gives adoptees the right to information but not a right to a relationship. At the same time, I have heard it said “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Proper terminology is another hot topic. This is the way that I look at it. My birthmother gave me life and my adoptive mother taught me how to live it. I honestly believe that if my own records were open I believe it would have been very healing to both sides of the family. Maybe my own birthmother would have been allowed to heal instead of the guilty punishment she places upon herself daily. I honestly wish she would stop punishing herself for the transgressions she made when she was younger.

The closed adoption laws treat adoptees like a commodity. They take away a child’s rights before that child even becomes an adult. Those same laws apply when that child becomes an adult. Even a dog gets its papers when it is adopted.

I also find it interesting that Gladney, NCFA, MBNA and others state adoptions cost $10,000 to $28,000. I have researched their site and many others which state adoptions cost more than that. The number $50,000 is the usual cost. I also don’t think celebrities should be adopting outside this country. I think it needs to be kept inside of this country. We have so many children in our country that are floundering inside the foster care system. The only time that I think an adoption should be closed is when there has been extensive abuse to a child. I have a friend that suffered that. Her birthmother is the one who did it yet she has tried to make contact with my friend repetitively. Most standard adoptions don’t follow this situation. It is the rarity not the commonality.

This is all just my opinion. We need to fight the repressive laws that are out there. The only way to do that is to vote out the morons that are in office.

FUNDIES POLITICAL RHETORIC

February 4, 2006

Sorry everyone I have been so busy with switching to shift work, taking my mental health worker certification class, and constant phone calls to Katrina up in Indiana. This past Monday, I was read my entire adoption file without names. Its a wicked web that we weave type of thing. Shocking and scary. On Tuesday, my bmom contacted the agency. She was still freaking pretty badly. She initially wanted the pics and letter that I sent and then she changed her mind again. She then asked if I could end up hiring a private detective, hunting her down, and showing up on her front porch. Katrina in her wisdom told her “yep she could.” This is now getting ironic and funny. I have decided to kick back and enjoy the ride. I am actually enjoying the status quo.

I am a regular visitor at the Courttv message boards. Almost every week there is something about abortions on there. The Religious Right groupies are always on there. It is amazing to me that no one really gets what is going on here. In order to discuss abortion, you need to discuss the other end of the spectrum adoption. The argument always comes down to whether a woman is a slut or not if she has sex. Explain that one to me. Lord knows I don’t understand. Having sex is a normal function in life. Men are glorified if they have it and women are denigrated if they have it.

When there is 500,000 foster children out there, why are people being allowed to adopt outside this country? I got an email from a friend in the Concerned United Birthmother group. Somehow they got a copy of a National Council for Adoption e memo. This is one of the many cronies that want closed adoptions. They even say that open adoptions cause more abortions. I recently ran across a study done on both issues. The reason why they climb in certain times and why they decrease in others is based solely on economics. Not one or the other. Maybe initially when the Roe vs. Wade law first came out but it is not the case now. What these clowns don’t realize is that most parents want to know that their kids are safe and they most want to be found. They claim that open record laws violate privacy laws concerning birthmothers. Even my own birth mother wondered about me. Most of the time adoptees and birthmothers need each other to heal each other. Just like my own birthmother has issues which desparately need healing. I honestly feel that facing me might be the only way to do this for her. She was so hurt by all the damage her family did to her.

The NCFA actually advertised a new program from them and MBNA. They are actually advertising a line of credit up to $25,000 to help prospective adoptive parents. These people are also connected to the Gladney Adoption Center, Pat Robertson, and President Bush. Where does all this extra money go? I bet to certain republican parties and charities. They state adoptions run about $12,000 to $28,000. I know that is a crock because I know that Gladney charges upwards of $50,000 and more. They recommend financing yourself into the ground. My own adoption agency goes from $5,000 and upwards. They have a sliding scale.

I don’t believe bashing adoptive parents is the answer. There is some good and some bad. I think that if we as adoptees, birth parents, and good adoptive parents got together and worked on informing people. We need to put stories out there that are helpful to all sides of the triad. I honestly wish my birthmother had access to the CUB group. They would help her so much. We need to advertise the good, the bad and the ugly of the adoption mess. If everyone knew that adoption is just as bad at times as abortion, then maybe everyone would help change laws. If everyone in mainstream society could understand that we could make change happen. Adoptees and birth parents need to have their access to who they are. They need to be treated like human beings not commodities to be bought and sold.

We need to change the laws. We need to put the fundies in their place. They need to realize that their arguments are useless against ours.