Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Time

I love this time of year. I really, really do. A lot of people, and I mean a LOT of people, grumble and groan and complain about the holidays but to me it has always been an exciting time, a time I look forward to. Of course I have people I miss this time of year and most of the time my holiday gatherings don't measure up to the Hollywood standard of what a real family Christmas should be, but nevertheless, I just can't help myself. Something about the snow, the twinkly lights, and yes, even shopping for those crappy toys for the kids just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I always had a blast helping my mom set up the fake tree and putting out the chintzy old decorations. Some of these things were ancient...and a few have survived still, to this day, like the sweet little Christmas angel (with almost no hair left on her head) who still graces the top of the tree, instead of some flashing tinselly star.

I remember my brothers carefully peeling the tape on their presents to take a peek, and me getting all scared that we would ALL get in trouble for it. They did a lot of things to get in trouble for, fortunately I was not typically included in the punishment.

I remember one year my mom getting my dad a pair of swimming trunks for Christmas, and upon making him try them on, she laughed and laughed so hard she literally peed. My dad was so stoic and Norwegian, but he endured the humiliation for the woman he loved. (and the amusement of the kids, who didn't know which was in the swimsuit or mom pissing herself?)

And now I am making new memories, that hopefully my kids will carry with them into their adult years. I want this time of year to hold the same magic for them as it does for me. So far, I think I've done a pretty ok job. This year they wanted to strap the christmas tree to the roof of the car (ala Lampoon's Christmas Vacation) because they think that's about the funniest thing in the world, so we did, although it wasn't a station wagon but DH's "Barbie Jeep" Kia, affectionately named the Family Truckster.

And yes I miss my mom and dad this time of year. Yes, I miss what I could have had with my original family. But at least for the next few weeks, it's not going to bring me down. Because for all that I have lost, I have so much more in the faces of two little bratlings and a man who has stuck with me through all my bullshit.

So, if you celebrate it, Merry Christmas. If you don't, then happy-whatever-you-do-celebrate or just wishing you happiness if you don't celebrate anything. All in all, I hope everyone is safe, loved, and at peace.

The Christmas Song

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why do I do this?

I've had an ex boyfriend on my mind for a long, long time now. Well, not just an ex but my first ex, he was my first everything. But he's not on my mind in a way that most people would think; I've been thinking of his lost sister.

Every time a new female member, around the age of 43-46, joins the forum I get a little twinge of excitement. Is this her? Is this the girl his parents gave up before they were married? I have this dream of finding her and reuniting her with the family. A great family, and one that misses her very much.

But why? Why do I care so much? It's been over 20 years since I dated D, and I left him pretty devastated when I broke it off. His parents were, no are, awesome. I miss his mom even to this day, she was just the coolest person I ever met. And she misses her daughter soooooo much. I bring it up to her from time to time, when we happen to bump into one another; I ask if she's started looking yet, offer to help with all my adoptee stalker super powers, and every time the tears start welling up in her eyes. She feels like it's not her place.

So I dream of finding this woman. Hell I wish I WAS her (although, that would be kinda gross because then I would have lost my virginity to my brother) but that is one family that I know would not get all weird on her if they ever do find one another. D would not flake out on her like my nmom did to me; her little brothers would not get all jealous or toddlerish or freakish. They all know she's out there and would love to have her back in the family someday.

So, any adopted women out there, in their early to mid 40's, born in South (or was it North??) Dakota, make yourselves known. Your nparents got married, had 3 more children (all boys, your brothers!), and are still together to this day. Your brothers all have this fantastic wit and sense of humor (the one thing I miss most about D, the humor he found in such random things), they are down to earth and normal, and miss you very much.

Even if I play no part in it, I would love to see this happen. I know it's not even remotely my place, but I feel I at least owe it to D for breaking his heart, and to his mom for just being the mom I always wished I could have.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family Envy

We took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese this weekend. No particular reason, we just haven't been there in ages and the kids love it. And it's nice to just be able to sit back while the kids can run wild, and just be kids for a while.

While we were sitting there, among the hundreds of other parents & families and kids running wild, a family was seated next to us. They were celebrating a birthday for one of the kids, and I found myself completely and totally crushing on this group of people.

I mean, they could have stepped right out of some feel-good family oriented television show, maybe even a sit-com, they were just that perfect. Now I can't be sure of how they were all related but it looked like Grandma was there, three women who were probably her daughters, and a plethora of kids. And the adults were all totally into the kids, everyone was holding the littlest ones, everyone was completely involved in these children, and you couldn't even tell whose kids were whose because everyone expended the same amount of love and attention to them. And there were probably about 10 of them, from the ages of about 1 to probably early teens.

And I just couldn't take my eyes off them. I found myself wishing I could be in that family, that these women could be my sister or aunt, that I could love and be loved the way all those kids were.

It made me sad for what I have lost - my n-family, who are exactly like this, I could have and SHOULD have been raised in this type of close family; and for the adoptive family I was raised in who never gave a hug, never cared about family, who only saw each other at weddings or funerals and even then it was strained, you could tell nobody gave a crap about anybody else.

I'm glad there are families like this out there. I wish more families WERE like this. And I bet, that if one of those ladies had gotten pregnant at 15 or 18 or under any less than favorable circumstance, that that particular family would never, ever let that baby go. Adoption would NEVER be an option.

I guess that's where my n-family got it wrong.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Family? What family?

Have you ever looked at pictures of your family and had the painful realization that you will never BE a part of that family?

Sometimes I just want to un-friend all my n-family members from facebook. They are such a close, happy family who truly enjoy each others company and are always getting together. They are involved in each others lives. And they like to post pictures, which I love to see, but at the same time, it's like a huge kick in the gut.

I never had that with my adoptive family. They all pretty much hated each other, and the ones who didn't hate one another, well, just had a sort of mild tolerance for each other. So needless to say, I saw my 1st cousins about 6 times in my life, usually at a funeral or a wedding. There are countless 2nd- and beyond type cousins and extended family that I have NEVER met. And never will. Well, not that they even consider me a part of this family either, because being adopted I am not blood and therefore subject to suspicion.

I should have been raised with the people who are like me. I needed that. Still do! All I have now are my kids, my in-laws, and two a-brothers who could care less if I was alive. Well okay to be fair, I suppose they'd care if I died, but the simple fact that I am living is enough for them.

And I am really giving up on all my grand illusions about my mother. Perhaps the last of the fog is slipping away, or perhaps I'm moving through the next "stage" so to speak. The ONE person who should care about me and my well-being, the ONE person who is supposed to love you, obviously could care less. She has been abandoning me over and over, and I have let her. Why do I keep setting myself up for this pain and frustration?

I could never do that to my kids. But then again I would never abandon my children to adoption in the first place. No way, no how, you'd have to pry them from my stiff dead arms. And then I'd come back and haunt the adopters.

I guess I'll leave my mother to her beloved anal jerk of a husband, that is where her happiness truly lies, and try to find some sort of contentment. But I really just wish adoption had never happened to me. Oh what it would be like to be normal.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coercion, or not?

My mother gave me away. She chose to do it.

There are many people out there who would say it was cercion, she was brainwashed, she didn't *really* have a choice. Even me, I thought that once, and not so very long ago. But I am really beginning to wonder now. Just where does blaming coercion end and facing responsibility for your own actions begin?

Yes, adoption agencies and "counselors" all have a very powerful and effective marketing strategy. It's business, and if you're to succeed in sales, you must be able to pitch your product and sway the public.

I was unable to sleep one night, a while ago, and well when you are awake at 3-4 a.m. there really isn't much on the television worth watching. I found myself glued to an infomercial, Chalene Johnson was telling us about her amazing Turbo Jam workout, and you know everyone who bought it has lost soooooo much weight it's unbelievable. And I have to admit it was not my finest moment, but I was sucked in to this, swayed by the emotional aspect of hating all this baby weight and feeling like such a loser for having it, and she what she was offering really did seem like the answer to my prayers, the one and only thing that would help me.

I ordered it.

And when it arrived, and I stood looking at these 4 DVD's and an overgrown green rubber band, I thought, what the hell was I thinking? How could I have gotten sucked in and led to think that I needed this?

At the end of the day, I did not place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of Chalene. I was not coerced into buying this. This was purely my fault for allowing myself to believe that what she was pitching was some magical cure to all my ills.

I should have stepped back, and used my brain instead of my emotions, and really thought this through and weighed the pros vs. the cons, the "is this really what I need?" and "is there any other way I can succeed without resorting to spending my hard earned money?"

And I'm just talking about 30 bucks for some unwatched DVD's. This isn't even nearly as monumental as giving away your own freaking child.

So - how is an adoption worker pitching adoption any different? They know how to play on our emotions, they know how to hook you and pull you in. But what you DO with this is up to you. It was up to my mother. SHE, like me and Chalene, allowed her heart to rule her mind.

So when does it stop being coercion and start being a choice, albeit a bad one, that ultimately is her own fault? She could have sought out other opions, she SHOULD have stepped back and thought logically about it. Just as we all do when we are faced with any type of decision in our lives...but I don't think it does anyone any good to cry victim and claim coercion.

Because at the end of the day, Chalene didn't call the number and order the DVD's for me, I did it myself. And the adoption agency didn't give birth to me and sign away their rights, my mother did.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nmom's letter and WTF

This has been a strange weekend. Bot the kids were sick, I mean really really puking in a bucket all night and day sick, and it ended up being strep. WTF?

But anyway. I stayed home with them on Monday and while they were watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs over and over and over, I got myself down and busy cleaning. Cleaning out the mud room, cleaning out the desk, going through piles of old papers and letters and finally pitching some shit that needed to go. Ahhhh that feels so good, now I have room to stash more shit.

In the midst of my cleaning and pitching, I cam across a letter that I thought had been lost. It was the letter my mother wrote to me right after the social wrecker contacted her to let her know I was searching for her.

I haven't opened it up until this morning.

One thing really stands out to me, in the very first paragraph...

...All of the mixed emotions that I had made the decision of adopting you out very difficult. I had to think beyond the love I had for you and concentrate on your future life. The adoption agency counseled me as I had many questions regarding adoption. I and your father then made our decision that this was the right thing to do....

The Agency counseled her, all right. For almost 4 months, while I was hidden away in some foster home, probably being ignored and drugged up on phenobarbitol, the agency "counseled" her. And of course, with me being out of sight, out of mind and the undoubtedly constant pressure on her to "do the right thing" I became another statistic. Another boost to their profit margin.

I feel like swearing.

And to this day she holds on to the belief that she did the right thing, even in not naming me because she "felt that she would be giving my aparents a great gift by letting them be the ones to name me." Guess she wasn't told about sealed records and amended birth certificates, because they would have just renamed me anyway.

And I wonder what my foster carers called me for almost 4 months. I mean, jesus, the had to call me something.

This is all just completely fucked up. My foundations are of abandonment, isolation, neglect. No wonder I have felt like such an outcast all my life.

But on a happier note, my nbro has joined FB, I am so happy. Now maybe we can finally "talk" more and start a decent, real relationship. We have missed out on so much of each others lives, I don't want to waste any more time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Relating to the APs

I have been doing it again. Reading the blogs of APs and PAPs and finding myself getting all annoyed and wondering, just what the hell is this world coming to?


I was reading one particular blog post by a woman who is adamant that her infertility pain entitles her to adopt a child, and to hell with the "haters" (as she calls us, lol) because HER adoption will be open and wonderful and everyone will feast on jellybeans for breakfast under their bright red with white polkadotted toadstools. Because adoption is a fairytale wonderland like that, dontcha know.

And it got me to thinking, wow, this woman is going to be in for a very rude awakening someday. Maybe not until her adopted child hits puberty, or turns 18, or is 34 and giving birth to her third child...but it will hit home eventually.

I can't think of a single adopted person, that I know personally, who hasn't thought (if not said) to their ap's, "You're not my REAL mother." I never said it, but boy did I think it. Lots.

And nobody can say I didn't love my amom. She was the best, the best of the best, but there was always that part of me that kept that distance real. I don't know how else to describe it...I mean my amom and I were close and I loved her soooo much, but deep inside, I always had that....knowledge? Understanding? that she wasn't my REAL mother.

I remember getting my first period. I didn't know wtf was going on; I mean I knew what periods were and all that, but you know, it was kind of a surprise and I was a little bit scared. I went to my amom of course, and she was all understanding and told me what to do, but all I kept thinking was, "I want my mother. I want my REAL mother." As great as my amom was, I was just convinced that she had absolutely NO understanding of this sort of thing. I mean, she adopted me, right? So that probably meant she didn't even HAVE periods.

Yeah yeah corny I know. But it just goes to show that even in the best of adoption relationships, there will be that tension...that separation...that, shit, I don't know how to describe it. But it's there.

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