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Sooooooo, biologically speaking…..

Seems most other adoptee blogs have one post or another about adoption language. So I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

The really honest (and hurt) side of me just wants to say a big FU to anyone who tells me what terms I should be using – that goes to adoption “professionals”, APs and first parents – all of you. I didn’t ask for any of this so who are you to tell me how I should refer to certain members of this arena? Especially when most of what adoptees say are ignored and oftentimes we are still treated and viewed as children.

And then the empathetic side of me says “okay, what term doesn’t hurt you?” and I’ll refer to you as that because I don’t like hurting so I certainly wouldn’t ever want to purposely hurt someone else. I really do understand why certain terms bother people – I can see the meaning behind the language. In real life I just use the term mother – for either one. When writing, as we all know, to make the reader aware of which mother we are referring to, we need to use some sort of descriptor. Obviously “adoptive” is okay and correct for my amom. So that leaves the other mother…….

I’ve used many terms over my life and moreso the past few years. Lately I tend to use “first” more often than any other one as it is deemed acceptable and in essence, it is true. But I’d like to discuss the word “biological.” I’ve heard a lot of people say that biological reduces her to only that. This bothers me. Why? Because to me, and this is MY opinion only (I hate having to feel I need to preface stuff with that but), biology is not a reduction in any sense. Biology to me would be at the top of the life pyramid. Biology to me means creation. She created me biologically – there was no other way. I am flesh of her flesh – her blood pumps through my heart – her DNA is inside of me – I am her feet and her hands and her walk and her hips and so much more. I have personality traits that are biological. I am of German and French ancestry due to biology. My eye color, my hair color, my freckles are all from biology – there is no nurturing involved in what I look like.

And then I add my son to the mix. My son, who was created by me and his father, in only one way – biologically. I love that he is genetically linked to me. I love that he has my red hair and fair skin and even my three dimples – two on one side and one on the other. I gave that to him. I love that I look at him and see his mommy in miniature. He really lucked out too – he got the best parts of both of us and is absolutely beautiful. I see no reduction there and I am proud beyond belief that he is my biological son and I am his biological mother – and of course, just mom in real life.

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March 13, 2007 at 2:08 pm 19 comments

The Date Is Set

May 23, 2007 will be the birthdate of my second son if all goes as planned. Meaning if I don’t go into labor prior to that. Please please please don’t go into labor. It sucks that I have to pick my sons birthday and have a c-section but due to a prior extensive surgery I am at high risk for uterine rupture so this baby, just like my 1st baby, will be born through a hole in my stomach three weeks early. The doctor actually wanted to go four weeks early this time and I said NO. Three weeks was hard enough on my last little guy – his sucking reflex wasn’t there yet and breastfeeding was a nightmare. But with perseverance and two months working at it we finally got it down. I hope it goes better this time around. For some reason I actually feel positive about it which is an unusual feeling for me to have.

However, I just don’t feel “ready” yet. I’m nervous and a little scared. Having a toddler who keeps me very busy and exhausted makes me wonder how on earth we will adjust. How will my son adjust? I worry about him feeling like he’s not getting his quality mommy time. I worry about the sleepless nights. I don’t do well on no sleep. Last time around I had a few meltdowns where I turned into some crazy person that I didn’t recognize.

Ironic that it took us 8 years to conceive E and this new little guy came along as a complete surprise. We were actually in complete disbelief, scratching our heads trying to figure out how it happened – I said my toddler keeps me busy and exhausted. Eight long years of tears and frustration, eight long years of this adoptee yearning for some biological connection. E happened after we put trying (and the thought of adoption) on hold to search for my first family. E happened right after I met my first mother – no trying, no timing and a picture perfect pregnancy. To me it’s just so obvious that something was healed immediately, something that allowed my genes a future now that I found my genes of the past. And now, this second time around, with it happening so effortlessly, especially at my *cough cough* advanced age and prior history of infertility just assures me yet again that finding my roots allowed me to finally breathe.

March 8, 2007 at 2:31 pm 7 comments

Can I Just Get Through A Week?

I wonder, if I were not to visit any adoption forums, keep my TV turned off, not open the newspaper and eliminate myself entirely from the internet how many days could pass with there not being any reference made to adoption in my presence? Lately it seems like not many and it’s wearing me down. I come online when I’m ready to read and write about adoption – it is my choice at that moment. But I don’t like being ambushed with the topic when it’s not my choice. It ruins my day.

Now in defense of the people who refer to it in my presence, most don’t know I’m adopted and I usually don’t bring it up during said conversation.

Let’s see, this past week alone – Sunday before last at a 6-yr-olds birthday party. Sitting at the dinner table with hubby, hubby’s uncle and two people I just met. They were trying to make pleasant conversation by asking where we moved from. When I told them, I got the “my son lives there – oh, him and his wife just adopted a Russian girl” – then the ohhhh’s and ahhhh’s went around. “Yes, they are adopting another one.”

Friday – our sitter shows up – we go out every other Friday evening. She preceeds to tell us how she spent the past week caring for a 10-month old who was just adopted from Guatemala. The mom just got back with her and works so she is interviewing nannies and the kids is being passed around to different nannies all week. Oh, and she’s adopting another one next month who is two months older.

Saturday – at an indoor toddler playground with hubby and son. Run into cousin’s husband and child who explains cousin isn’t there because she had to drive in the snowstorm late last night to pick up her friends so-and-so who just returned from Guatemala with two children under the age of one.

I just don’t know how to react to these little adoption stories. I swear it’s almost as if people tell you these things and then take a long pause because they are so used to the “ohhhhhh, isn’t that special” speech that immediately follows. The only thing I manage to spill from my lips is a “hmm” – not even a long “hmmmmm” – just a “hmm” with a half smile. I can’t say what I really want to say. How on earth would they understand that the mere mention of a child being “saved” from a 3rd world country makes me sad?

February 20, 2007 at 11:06 pm 12 comments

1st Support Group Meeting

So it turns out that there is a triad support group right down the street from where I live – literally – 7 blocks away. I found out about it because someone on a forum I belong to attends meetings there – an AP. I went last night and it was really nice – approx. 12 people, 3 first moms, maybe 8 adoptees and the one AP. I know it must be hard for her to hear the stuff that is talked about but she eagerly listened, really gets it and I’m glad she’s doing it for her kids. It really is refreshing and somewhat healing to know some APs who are open to what we experience and open their hearts in order to help their kids. I know some adoptees who just hate all APs and I told my hubby yesterday that it’s good for me to have some friends who are APs because otherwise it would be all to easy for me to lump them together and hate them all. It seems for every one I meet online that understands, there are 10 that don’t – I don’t care what they think of me – but I do feel concern and sadness for what their children could potentially have to deal with – I know it all to well.

All of the adoptees are in reunion except one – she used an intermediary to contact both parents and both turned her down. How incredibly sad. I tried to prepare myself for that as an inevitable outcome but how can you? I think logically we all know it can happen but you are really really hoping for that warm fuzzy reunion – and then to have BOTH doors slammed in your face? Where does one go after that? Do you continue regardless? It took my first mother six months to want to meet me. I knew her address and remember fantasizing about staking out in front of her house just to catch a glimpse of her – not to barge into her life – but just to see her in person. I’m glad it never came to that and that she eventually found the strength to meet me.

The stories at the group were all fascinating – everyone was wonderful and welcoming. It’s so invigorating to be in a room full of people that you know understand you. I told my story – which really – when I step back and hear it like it’s not my own – is also pretty damn fascinating. I surprised myself by getting teary when asked if my APs were supportive of me. I really thought I could talk about what happened matter-of-factly. But no – I had to hold back the tears. That caught me a little off guard and makes me aware that I’m more hurt than I allowed myself to believe.

We live these bizarre lives, uprooted completely and replanted elsewhere – sometimes where we DON’T belong, filled with identity issues, loss, fear, the unknown, loyalty issues, trust issues, relationship problems, fear of rejection and abandonment, playing the “good child” at our own expense because we feel we have to in order to emotionally survive – we live it – and we make it through – we survive it – somehow. I’ve realized lately that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. This strength will get me through, yet again, one more issue.

January 19, 2007 at 2:38 pm 9 comments

I’m Free

About a year ago I sent a post in response to someone who had lived with an abusive parent and that parent had recently died. I can’t remember if I sent it to her privately or to the whole list I belonged to. More than likely, privately. My question was, to me, so utterly taboo that I felt like the lowest creature on the planet for even asking it. Basically it was:

Upon the death of your mother did you feel a great loss or did you finally feel free?

I’ve known all my life to never butt heads with my mother, never tell her she’s wrong, never tell her she’s hurt me, never try to communicate issues because they will always be perceived as me calling her a horrible mother and never EVER EVER talk about adoption. I’ve had to walk on eggshells in silence my whole life.

When I found my birthfamily I can’t even begin to describe the fear that entered me on the thought of having to tell my mother. I KNEW I would be disowned. It was not something that might happen, it was something that would happen. So I never told them and I lived a double life that I hated. I knew at some point the truth would have to come out. My son has a relationship with his grandparents and when he would be old enough to understand everything I could not expect him to lie for me and pretend these people do not exist. Secrets and lies in adoption destroy everyone who participates in them.

My husband used to tell me that I should tell them for my own needs – to be truthful with myself and for myself. But I knew what would happen. I knew. He didn’t know and he didn’t believe me. But I knew.

And now, with everything that has happened, from something far less monumental as finding long lost family – he believes me. He knows now that I do know my parents and how they would react.

They chose, by their actions to my xmas present, to cut me out of their lives. They may still be alive but I have been freed.

January 7, 2007 at 5:52 pm 14 comments

Wrap your own presents

I thought it would be apropos to chose this time of year to start my blog because it was during this time, 25 years ago, that one of my worst childhood memories was established. It’s the one memory that has bothered me most and been the hardest to shake. Ironically enough, when it happened I just let it slide and filed it away in a drawer to sit and gather cobwebs until my son was born.

It was xmas eve. My father always waited until the last minute to buy presents and then the very last minute to wrap them, or to ask me to wrap them as was usually the case. I think my mother did most of the xmas shopping so really, the only person he had to buy for was his wife. This usually involved me going along to help him pick out something, which really, what does a young teenage girl know about what her mother would like — especially when you have very opposite tastes? This particular night I was probably feeling my teenage angst in full force. I had not been getting along well with my family for a couple of years, I was withdrawn and mostly just wanted to be left alone. There was no point in ever trying to communicate with them what I was feeling because if I was doing anything other than being the “good” daughter then I was called angry and defiant. There was something I wanted to do that night, probably something stupid like call my boyfriend or watch a movie. My father comes to me at the last minute on xmas eve and tells me to go wrap his presents for him. My response flew out of my mouth, sharp tongued and without thinking “wrap your own presents.” Well holy xmas eve hell Batman, you would have thought I spit on him when I said it. His face turned bright red, he pushed me against the wall, looked me straight in the eyes and said “You little bitch, I’d kill you if I thought I could get away with it.”

At the time I blew it off as my dad being an ass. He rarely blew up but when he did, look out. I’ll never forget the evening he freaked out over who knows what during dinner. We were having steak and potatoes. I was just a little kid and he waving a steak knife at all of us, red faced and screaming something. That’s all I can remember of that episode which is probably for the best.

I’m sure I had not completely blocked out the xmas eve incident but I just never really gave it much though. Maybe to some people they might think “what’s the big deal.” When my son was born I was met with a ton of feelings regarding both my first family and my adoptive family. Most of these feelings, not being of a pleasant category, still bother me because a moment in my life that should have been filled with nothing but bliss, holding my newborn, was clouded over by feelings of resentment and alienation. By thoughts of abandonment, parental taunting and abuse.

How could any parent look into their childs eyes and say they’d like to kill them? Kill. Not just beat me. Not kick me out of the house. Not ground for the rest of their life. Kill. How far does someone need to be pushed before they feel like committing such a horrible deed? Before they WANT to do it? Does being told to wrap their own xmas presents qualify as a crime worthy of such a threat?

I hold my son and I love him with a love that is immeasurable. I cannot fathom being the parent that my parents were. When among groups of women who start talking about their parents and things their parents said to them as children I used to always pipe up and say “I won’t say those same things to my son that were said to me.” Most of these women laugh, oh you just wait, you’ll hear it come out of your mouth — it just happens. No, you don’t understand – I WON’T.

My presents were purchased and wrapped a week ago. Happy Holidays to everyone and to those with children, whatever age they are, give them a hug and a kiss and tell them you love them.

December 23, 2006 at 5:21 pm 2 comments

So I’ve started a blog…

I swore I’d never do this, you know, start a blog and be just another one of the millions who feel a need to spout off what they’re thinking. And shhhhh, don’t tell anyone because nobody IRL knows about this. Why? At the moment, I’m not sure. I just wanted to do this for me. Since I already spend way to much time behind the computer and we all know it is cathertic to journal our feelings, I felt I was much more likely to journal while sitting here instead of on the sofa in a book.

December 23, 2006 at 4:31 pm 1 comment


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