Archive for August, 2006

CHANGE OF SUBJECT: IN MEMORY OF KATRINA

August 29, 2006

The worst hurricane that I have ever seen hit the Louisiana coastline. Over a 1,000 people died in and because of Hurricane Katrina. The government at the city, state and federal levels need to be held accountable for not helping those in the most dire of times. Many are just now getting money to repair their homes. Many people still haven’t gotten any money from their insurance companies. We still have thousands of FEMA trailers sitting in Arkansas rotting and not being used. Its time that our government hears about their behavior and reaction to people in need. This is an election year. I am looking forward to the next presidential election. Guess what? They will hear our opinions then.

Advertisements

WHAT IS IN A NAME OR WORD?

August 29, 2006

What is in a word or a name that makes people so self defensive? Why is that birthmother, first mother, natural mother, and biological mother are terms that set people on fire? I can tell you from my experience that my birthmother doesn’t deserve any of the terms. How I feel about her is something that doesn’t need to be discussed right now. She got away with her secret for now. God doesn’t like secrets. I have known that one for years now. It is a shame that she doesn’t but again not the reason why I am writing.

I was talking to my CI just a short time ago. She is an adoptive mother. She doesn’t like natural mother. It makes her unnatural. I can see that one. Makes logical sense. First mother I don’t like because in my mind I only have one mother and that is my adoptive mother. She is the one that raised me, changed my diapers, wiped my tears, spanked me when I was wrong, and laughed at things we shared in life. All of it. She encouraged me to searched. She feels bad that I got hurt in this. Its not her fault. That is why I take offense at words like “adopters/adoptress/arents. She tried so hard. She took my rage when my rage wasn’t even aimed at her. She took my pain and helped me try to heal although I am a long way from it.

That leaves the other two names. Birthmother because she gave birth to me. Biological because I have her genetics even though I wonder about that. I have hudspah where she doesn’t. To me either one would work. My situation is different. She isn’t one of those that fights for the rights of adoptees and birthparents. I am a secret that she wants to keep buried. She doesn’t care if I hurt. I represent all her mistakes. Instead of owning up to them, she dumps them on me. The one term that everyone hates “birther” is one that fits her to a T. I have been patient, kind and compassionate but she hasn’t returned the favor. So pardon me if I don’t return the favor anymore.

As far as arguing who is right and which word should be used, how about allowing each person their title? Stop trying to censor what everyone is saying. I don’t go to anti-adoption sites and throw a hissy fit to get people to change their language. I believe more in adoption reform than I do in abolishing adoption. Some people should not be parents. Yes support family preservation but realize some families just can’t be saved. Judge each situation on its own merits and demerits.

There are days when I hate adoption and I hate the fact that I searched. I would have been better served being blissfully ignorant. I would have rather not known that my birther feels that I was not worthy of her love and respect. The only good thing about this psychoatic trip is the wonderful people that I have met along the way. The bad thing is that for the time being until we change the laws in this country, adoptees will always be property of that state in which they were born. All I feel like saying to those who think that they know better is FUCK YOU.

FIRST PLACE

August 29, 2006


HERE THEY ARE GANG!!!! THE FIRST PLACE WINNERS AT THE WICHITA FALLS RANCH ROUNDUP CRAFT COMPETITION.

Wow I still can’t believe it. My husband and I took first place. Sometimes I think that I need to be pinched. It was a bittersweet night for the both of us. I had to work that night. My department didn’t consider this to be important enough. This is the only roundup that I even compete in plus it is one of two rodeos that I attend all year. The ranch is associated with both of them.

Friday night was kinda a rough one. I looked around the arena. I got alittle misty eyed. I had this fantasy about her and I meeting at this event. Ya know what I am talking about my fellow adoptees!!! My husband’s family was there to enjoy the show. All the ranches put on one helluva show. I am proud to be associated with all of them. They helped me get through the night.

I hadn’t blogged much because I was getting ready for this event. I also really didn’t have much to say. I did spend a great deal of time reading everyone else’s blogs. It never ceases to amaze me how we seem to go for the throat every time. Adoptive parents attacking birthparents. Birthparents attacking each other because they don’t like the word birthmother. Adoptive parents attacking even adoptees because we choose to search and blog about our experience.

I try to be compassionate when it comes to the individual. I can finally see why certain adoptee groups just stay out of all of it. I as an adoptee don’t want to be in the middle of it. I see the “birthparent” vs. “first, natural, biological parents” as a very stupid argument. It takes away from the true mission for the two groups. One of which is to abolish adoption. The other is reform adoption. For the most part, many of the objectives are similiar. Why can’t we just join together and tackle those similiar objectives together? Why does everyone have to quibble over words? Everyday that we argue over words and their meanings a mother and child are being separated. Someone’s rights are being violated. A child’s voice goes unheard. I guess those words are just more important.

The last couple of days have been a little off for me. I found a couple of baby pictures of me. One that I am thinking is shortly after I was brought home. I was thinking that I wished I had more information about my health. I was having chest pains the other day. It has nothing to do with the old ticker. It is fine. I suspect it might be allergies. Everything else has been checked out. The only that isn’t is the old allergy thingy. I know that I will never know anything more than what I know now.

The thing that I learned about this stuff is that I have a wonderful husband and two great kids. I have a Mom that truly loves me. Yep she gets this adoption crap. I have a wonderful adoptive family that thinks I hung the moon even if they are super angry at me. My family is truly saddened by her refusal. Me I just don’t care anymore. I feel anger and hurt but in time they will fade. I have to give it the Man Upstairs else I go insane. Sorry I guess I am just rambling right now. Oh by the way I also quit smoking and my job. I want to do something else. So I guess I am throwing it upstairs again.

INDIANA AND OTHER STATE LAWS

August 9, 2006

Indiana is a very interesting state. Lately they have been getting lots of rain. So I imagine it is a very green state these days. Here in Texas we have a very serious drought. I have long heard that Texas has interestng politics. Texas pales greatly compared to Indiana. Only in the state of Indiana would you have an adoption agency in the same building as Planned Parenthood.

To actually be able to read the Indiana’s adoption code is a walk in the huh world. Some of it just plain doesn’t make any sense. There are some loopholes that they don’t tell you about and you would not find out about it until you hit the wall surrounding them.

WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION:

The adoptee age 21 and over
The birth parent or sibling
The adoptive parent
The spouse/relative of a deceasede adopted person
The spouse/relative of a deceased birth parent.

(comments: If the birth parents were not married to each other, this restricts the information that both the adoptive parent and the adoptee receive. If a birthmother refuses contact (as in my situation), you CANNOT have access to any information contained in the adoption file except for non identifying. This includes the adoptive parents, birthfather, any siblings, and the adoptee.) This prevents other members of the adoption triad from contacting each other legally. Many of the laws in Indiana are there to protect the birthmother point blank. Adoptees aren’t even afforded this much protection in the state of Indiana.

ACCESS TO NONIDENTIFYING INFORMATION

The person, licensed adoptive agency, or county office of family and children shall release all available social, medical, pyschological, and educations records concerning the child to: The adoptive parent and upon request, the 21 and older adoptee. This changes completely for the adoptee who was born after 7-1-93. Adoptees born before that date are given that information in a report form minus identifying information.

MUTUAL ACCESS TO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION:

Here is where they separate the adoptees. For adoptees born before 12-31-93 Identifying information shall be released if requested by person only if both parties (birthparent mainly birthmother and adoptee have consented) For adoptees born after 12-31-93, the adoptees are given the identifying information as long as there is no written nonrelease form on file. There is also a passive registry. All members of the triad can sign up for it. If the birthmother has refused contact, no one is given information. Like my situation, my birthfather, his daughter, my birthmother’s sons and any of her relatives, and I can all be on it but since she has refused contact no one is given identifying information. Now reading the actual code doesn’t specify which parent. Evidently the state was sued because the birthmothers in the lawsuits named the wrong father. Then you have a case like mine who did want me and fought to get me. I don’t believe he had adequate information to really fight the adoption. I wonder who did their best to keep him in the dark. As soon as I get the cases that affected Indiana law, I will post them. Pre adoptive siblings can also make contact but again that only refers to the birthmother’s children. The adoption code again doesn’t specify to either parent.

ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE:

The original birth certificate is withheld from inspection except for a child adopted by a stepparent or as provided in the statutes pertaining to release of identifying information.

WHERE THE INFORMATION CAN BE LOCATED:

Indiana Adoption History Registry.

IOWA

WHO MAY ACCESS THE INFORMATION:

The adoptee, the adult siblings and the birth parents.

ACCESS TO NONIDENTIFYING INFORMATION:

Any information compiled relating to medical history, medical and development history, and social history of the adoptee shall be made available at any time by the clerk of the court, the department, or any agency that made the placement.

The identity of the adoptee’s birthparents shall not be disclosed.

MUTUAL ACCESS TO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION:

Both the adoptee and the birthparents have to file a request and a consent to disclosure of identity. The state registrar must have sufficient information to make the requested match. There is also a passive registry.

ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE:

It is sealed by the court and is not available to be inspected unless by order of the court.

AN ARTICLE FOR MANY ADOPTEES SPECIFICALLY FOR ME AND WRAITH

August 3, 2006

I was bloghopping as usual. I went to my fellow blogger, Mia’s Saving Grace, and saw a link to this article. I thought that I would publish it. Mia always seems to write the right things and find the right things. I know that she has answered, calmed, and soothed the angry rage that I feel. She provides the justification to my emotions and thoughts.

A Birth Mother’s Obligations to a Relinquished Child

By Jan Baker

Some people feel that once a mother relinquishes her child to adoption, she also is relieved of any sense of duty or obligation to that child. Certainly, the responsibility to raise the child falls squarely and exclusively on the adoptive mother. However, once that child becomes an adult, if a reunion occurs, the mother who gave birth now needs to step up to the plate and fulfill certain needs of her child.
There are certain basic items that I feel birth mothers in reunion with their adult children owe them. While these obligations are not complicated – that does not mean that providing these needs to their children is always necessarily easy. I almost dislike using the words “duties” and “obligations” because I feel that a birth mother should offer acceptance and truth to her child as loving gestures, and not out of a sense of duty.
First, I feel that a birth mother in reunion with her child above all else needs to provide her child the unvarnished truth – all of it. Generally, only she knows the first chapter the beginning of her child’s life story. This includes the basics of their conception and the circumstances which led to their relinquishment. These two items are generally not terribly difficult for most birth mothers to provide. When the pregnancy occurs after a rape, however, of course, it may be very painful for a mother to reveal. However, I still feel that her child deserves to know the truth. An even stickier wicket is a situation in which the birth mother may not be certain of the birth father’s identity. That is certainly not a pleasant truth to reveal – but again, the adult adoptee should know this fact as well.
Some birth mothers, however, are somewhat reluctant to divulge the name of the birth father. Many birth mothers were treated poorly by the birth fathers once their pregnancies were revealed. However, I think it wise to keep in mind that many of the birth fathers were quite young at the time that our children were born and should not be judged forever for the errors in judgment that they made so many years ago. Just as we may not have handled our unplanned pregnancies as well as we wish that we had, the same is true for some birth dads. If we birth mothers wish not to be harshly judged, we should accord the same compassion for some birth dads. There are also a whole assortment of other reasons why a woman would not wish to share the father’s identity with her child. However, no matter what negative feelings a woman has about the father of her child, she needs to “fess up” and provide her child with the name of the birth father. I don’t care if he’s a serial killer, a prominent politician, a rapist, a renowned surgeon, a Nobel prize winner or a clown in a circus – the adopted person still has the right to know his identity. No mother is entitled to keep that information secret – it is morally unjust to do so and is blatantly unfair.
Second, birth mothers owe it to their children to finally acknowledge their relinquished children – proudly – and completely. That does not require placing an ad in the local paper and revealing the news to the entire world, but, I think there is a responsibility to at least share the news of your child with friends and family. Not only does your child deserve to be “taken out of the closet” and not considered a secret any longer, but, other family members should have the right to know them.Our children deserve to know that their birth parents openly acknowledge them, love them and are proud of them. It is the least we birth parents can do for our children.
How do we after so many years of cautiously guarding our relinquished children’s existence do we suddenly develop the courage to reveal the truth of their being to the world? As a birth mother who faced that task, I will be the first to admit that it is not easy. However, I will also let you know that finally lifting that burden of holding in a boatload of secrets is immensely freeing. Initially, it will be most likely be very difficult, but ultimately to finally release all the bottled up regret, shame, and grief is lifting an enormous burden from your shoulders. It is the only way to work through the pain, and then the task is to incorporate your adoption experience into your life. “Forgetting” did not work, no matter what you might have been told. We can never forget – we never totally “get over” the experience of losing a child – but we can learn to incorporate it into our lives are – and go on to live a full and genuine life. As long as we hold onto the secrecy and lies though, we will forever be stunted, crippled and not whole.
No one needs to blurt out the details of a relinquished child without some time and adequate preparation, but, it should be done as quickly as possible in reunion. It is cruel and unfair to our children to expect them to remain secrets too far into a reunion.
Certainly there is no guarantee that our all family members will instantly, happily and warmly accept the news of another family. It is unrealistic to expect that they will not need some time to absorb the news. Nevertheless, they should be told. They deserve to know about another family member as much as your adult child deserves to be acknowledged – finally.
There are a myriad of ways for a birth mother to finally come out of the shadows and learn to deal with and heal from her adoption issues. Adoption support groups can be very helpful and are available in many cities. If you live in a smaller or rural locations, there are many on-line support groups to help. In larger cities, there are some excellent adoption therapists who can guide you. Reading about reunion and adoption healing can be of enormous help in your recovery as well. And yes, it is recovery – recovery from a lifetime of buried emotions – grief, regret, shame and denial – to name a few.
Four years have passed since my son found me. I had never told a soul about his existence – including my husband and other children. When I first heard that he was searching for me, I was numb and in profound shock. I was overcome with a whole complicated host of conflicting emotions – joy, fear, shock, happiness, regret and shame. I was thrilled at the opportunity to know him – but terrified about what affect telling people “what I had done” – relinquishing my child – would have on my life. I felt I had committed a grievous sin and was terribly fearful of being rejected and judged harshly. I knew that my son deserved to be acknowledged though – to know me – and I welcomed the opportunity to finally know him.
All our life situations as birth mothers are varied. Whatever your circumstances are though – you owe something to the child that you gave birth to – whether you raised that child or not. Reunion could most likely be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. However, it also has the ability to offer some peace, resolution and a sense of wholeness that nothing else can. I reached out for support and guidance and persevered and you can too. Heal yourself and become a part of helping your adult child to heal as well. They must heal on their own, in their own way – in their own time. However, you can help them by finally loving them, providing pieces of the puzzle of their identities, and acknowledging them fully and accepting them back into your life.
Recovery will not be easy, but, it can eventually improve the quality of your life significantly. Developing a good, healthy relationship with your adult child can also become a source of enormous joy and satisfaction. It all begins with one small step. Reach out – and ask for help. For those of you, not yet in reunion, consider a search. Whatever else the end of your search brings – it will eventually bring some resolution and peace.

Jan Baker