Welcome to the craziness that is my life!

This is my story in pieces. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between. It is messy and flawed...just like it's author. I am not a selfliss person...I am not an angel...I am a loud, opinionated, most of the time crazy, Mom. I write here the things I cannot discuss in my "day to day life". These views are my own, from my own journey. Adoption has changed my life forever, some for good, some not so good. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. It's not your story...it's mine. Consider it a manual on "How Not To Act/What Not To Do When You Are Pregnant and Considering Adoption". If you learn nothing else, learn to educate yourself to the long term affects on yourself, your family, and the child you chose to place.

Oh...and please, don't call me "bitter". I prefer the term "enlightened".

***DISCLAIMER-I don't speak for anyone but me...in this story or in life. It is here as an educational tool if anyone chooses to learn something. I appreciate comments always.***

P.S. Just because I don't actively blog doesn't mean I still don't LOVE comments. Yes, I still check them. I guess I would just rather hear YOUR thoughts, than share mine.

If you missed the story, start reading the "Posts of Some Significance" located directly underneath and to the right of this. That's the story in a nutshell.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for the little things...

The moments of happiness we enjoy most take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”


When I made the mistake of asking for a picture once a month from my AParents, it was quickly denied. My intention was to get on a regular schedule so that I could stop checking my email several times a day, every day (Yes...I was more than a little hopeful...and obsessed...lol), and instead "know" that there was only one opportunity per set time period to receive one. Either it would be there or it wouldn't. It seemed like a reasonable request, at the time.

Apparently, it wasn't. For reasons unknown to me, they decided on only offering a picture three times a year. January 30, May 30, and September 30th. A logical explanation would be that they divided the year into segments of four months. In my bitterness, I was convinced that they chose those three months strictly to prevent me from ever seeing anything "important". No Halloween, No Easter, No Birthday (Mine or Hers), No Christmas, No Thanksgiving, and CERTAINLY no Mother's Day. Who really knows why they chose those months? Who really cares? It is what it is, and three times is better than zero times, especially if they knew they never wanted an open adoption.

Then, surprisingly, on Thanksgiving, there was a beautiful picture of their little one sitting in my email. Completely unexpected...completely unplanned, and one amazing blessing on a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can't share it here, but let's just say...she's so big, so darn cute, and surprisingly, looks more like M* than she does me or Perry...lol. We both got a kick out of that. :)

So now the question....I told them in the middle of the last email exchange to let me know if they wanted me to respond to their emails, and otherwise I wouldn't. They didn't ask, and wished us a good holiday season (which means I probably won't get lucky with cute christmas pictures). Based on those rules, I should take the email and run. But I am really, truly, genuinely surprised and elated that they took time out of their Thanksgiving to think of me. And I don't want them to think anything otherwise. Do I break the rules and say thank you...or just let it go?

Why is this so darn complicated???

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes PAIN is a good thing.

"Tattooing is about personalizing the body, making it a true home and fit temple for the spirit that dwells inside it.... Tattooing therefore, is a way of keeping the spiritual and material needs of my body in balance." ~Michelle Delio

I love tattoos. Not all tattoos, mind you, but most. Especially when they tell a story. I love good stories.

I have used this blog to chronicle my version, of my story for over a year now. I have lived through my story for two years. The good days, the bad days, and the hundreds of in between days. I have met amazing people, and I have learned so much insight into the hearts and minds of others. And learned more than I can even find the time to write about myself. On a few occasions, I have thought that perhaps I had found closure, but a day or two would go by, and the little voices would start nagging at me again, or an email would come through and the emotions would kick back up again.

 Right now, I am supposed to be writing this amazing series of posts on the discovery I have been given on my AParents true feelings and true motives. I have posts 75% done, and every time I sit down to finish them, I think "WHY? It will change nothing!" It is draining. It is pointless. It takes time away from my "real life".  And then I remember...I didn't start writing this blog for them...I started it for me. It is a lesson plan in open adoption. Its blessings, its curses, and I know more than a few of you have learned over the year what NOT to do in certain situations. Anytime an adoptive parent writes me to tell me they learned something valuable, I smile. Anytime a birthmother writes me to say she can relate, or that I have successfully put into words something she can only feel, my heart feels full. But mainly, it is here for me to vent, to learn, and to grow through a journey I never envisioned myself being on. And right, wrong, or indifferent...there has been a lot of pain, and it sucks. No way to sugar coat that. We, as human beings, don't want to feel pain, or suffering, and so we run from it, avoid it, supress it, or ignore it. Especially when that pain is inflicted on us, without our consent, from other individuals.

A little while ago, I made the consious decision to look pain straight in the face, and to see who the better man was. I felt the overwhelming need to memorialize my journey in the way of a tattoo. There is a poem, called "The Stolen Child" by William Butler Yeats that has nothing to do with adoption (or does it?) that was written many years ago. It has the following verse in it:

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

For a long time, I thought I would tattoo that verse on me, along with a big fairy holding a human baby. But recently, as I read more and more about adoption...especially the adoptee blogs, it didn't seem like a "right fit" for what I was feeling. Several months ago, I was reintroduced to a talented young lady from high school, who now sells her amazing custom designs. I actually showcased her fantastic work in this post. (Click Here!!!) I asked her permission to tattoo one of her designs on me, and thankfully she said yes. Perr took two of my most favorite designs and turned them into an amazing hybrid of love, pregnancy, and my scarlett letter. I loved it, and into the car we went...off to burn into my skin what was already burning through my heart.

This tattoo experience was amazing. First of all, the guy that did it was huge, and scary as heck. That was good. I needed someone to do it that scared me. And when I told him I wanted it on my foot, and he tried to talk me out of it, due to how badly it would hurt, I KNEW this was right. I told him that anything he could do with that tattoo gun, would only be a tiny bit of pain, compared to the real life experience and overwhelming heartbreak that put me in his chair in the first place. His curiousity peaked...we began.

He started with the stencil, and told me how important it was NOT to move, since I had chosen to not do an outline on the tattoo. I wanted it feminine, delicate, and the black outline would have taken away from the artistic aspect of the design. When the needle came out, I shivered. And then I remembered that I was in control of this experience. I was inflicting the pain on myself (although he was a darn good proxy), and that I needed to focus. He tried, one last time to talk me out of the placement on my foot, saying that my back or my shoulder would hurt much less, and I told him I wanted it where I could see it daily...where it would hurt the most going on, and be the most healing going forward. That the only thing I have to stand on is my own two feet...LOL...and that I was sure that's where I wanted it.

Now, I already have one tattoo. It is ugly, and means nothing, and thankfully sits on my back shoulder where I never have to see it. When I got it, I never even flinched. My pain tolerance is higher than most, I guess. But this one, I've dreamed of...craved, and I wanted to watch the whole thing. When the needle dug into my foot, I jumped at first. As he began to trace it, he told me it wouldn't hurt as bad if I looked away. But me, being the sadist that I am, STARED at every poke and prick of the needle. Tears in my eyes, hand death gripped on my ankle for support, I gritted my teeth and watched. GOD...It hurt. Badly. But something fantastic happened as each pretty turquoise line dug into the flesh. I could finally breathe. Full deep breaths, sucking in the pain and the life and the memory. And as my foot began to sting more and more, my heart began to hurt less and less. This was not me feeling like a victim. This was me, bearing down on the pain, living through it, and being happy for the lesson that I was learning. Not all Pain is bad.

Magical. That's the only word for it. It's funny how something so small can make such a big impact on my life. The thirty minutes I spent, sharing my story, feeling the searing pain....there are no words. There were tears in my eyes, tears in his, and I wound up getting the tattoo done for the price of the tip. AMAZING.

This is it...new, raw, and bleeding still. Right now, it is nasty looking...flaking and peeling. I am learning not to pick at scabs...something Perry has cautioned me about throughout my entire Adoption journey. Sometimes you have to let wounds heal on their own. I'll post another pic once it's healed. But for now, here is my Red Badge of Courage...My Scarlett Letter...My Fantastic Battle Wound...My tattoo.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy National Adoption Day!!! (A day late, but important none the less)

So anyone who runs in these neat little circles of ours, knows that today is National Adoption Day. Of course, everyone has their own meaning of this day, their own agenda to promote, their own story to tell. And hundreds, maybe even thousands of new families were created today. Good luck to each and every one of them.

I know that I proudly wore my "Survivor" necklace today, and my neat little button that reads "Adoption...It's about Love" and talked to quite a few people about the pros and cons of adoption today. I had a blast with it. It is a day to celebrate many things, and also a day to raise awareness.

As there are many things wonderful, there are also many things in adoption that are wrong, and need to be brought to the surface. Giving Adult Adoptees access to their original birth certificates is one injustice that comes to mind. Finding a way to legally enforce open adoption agreements is another. Making legal representation and counseling MANDATORY for birthmothers is another that is close to my heart. I know I sent a well worded letter to the bastards over at MCAO this afternoon. Even if it has no impact on them, it had a tremendous impact on me. What it ethical is ethical, regardless of the law. I cannot fight the big guns alone...and the thousands of us that are fighting (though sometimes it feels like its in vain) are STILL raising awareness, even if progress hasn't quite caught up to it.

That's what I want to talk about...albeit briefly, because its late, I'm tired, and work is going to be calling my name far earlier than I will be awake for.

Aware implies knowledge gained through one's own perceptions or by means of information.

Say for example, you feel and act a certain way, and then read a book, or see a movie, or hear a lecture, and you learn something new. You become AWARE. Or, say you find a friend's diary, or discover their blog, and read all about how they feel about something very important to you both. You can no longer "pretend" that you have no idea how they are feeling. All of a sudden (or as the definition implies "by means of information") you are AWARE of the effect of your actions on another human being.

I know that over the course of my adoption journey, I made many mistakes simply because I knew no better. I wasn't aware. But since having gained that knowledge, I have righted many of my personal wrongs. At least the ones I had control over. I emailed the "other couple" I could have chosen over L* and M* and let them know how sorry I was not to have given them the closure they deserved by telling them I had chosen someone else. I had simply stopped emailing them, but after learning how that affects hopeful adoptive couples, I seized the opportunity, sent an apologetic email a couple of months ago, and actually received a response that was warm, and beautiful, and welcoming. They were great, and we are now FB friends...lol. I have done other things too, but again...it's late. I'm rambly. Way over tired and still fighting off a nasty cold.

My point is...(and of course I have a favorite quote for it!!!)

"You can have a fresh start any moment you want...For this thing called failure is not the falling down...It is the staying down."

Ethics in Adoption start at home. With each of us. And especially in adoptive couples. I won't debate "what is best for the children" or what you may or may not have envisioned in your life with regards to open adoption. There needs to be change. We can stand behind laws, and fears, and insecurities all day long...for years even...but I encourage each of you to look at your adoption situations and ask if you are showing enough compassion, empathy, symathy, and integrity. Miscommunications WILL occur. Relationships will grow, and wither, and grow again. If you know your actions are destroying another human being, reconsider them!!!

 NEVER forget, that adoption looks great on paper, but in reality it affects human beings. Real life, living, breathing people. The children, the parents on both sides...families. Lives are built on promises, and destroyed when our morals are over run by our insecurities. Things will change. Feelings will change. Eventually, Laws will change.

But as humans...as mothers...we should be able to use our "awareness" to make adoption better.At least in my opinion.

And YES. I am talking to you. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

So Much For 30 Days of Blogging....

“Learn to detach...Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent... Detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate fully.

That's how you are able to leave it...

Take any emotion--love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I'm going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached...you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that love entails.

But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say,

"All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.”

~ Mitch Albom Quotes from Tuesdays with Morrie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Covet

So if any of us have figured out anything about the aftermath of Adoption, and all of the craziness that it brings with it, it is that things change. Constantly. Feelings, Emotions, Practices, Procedures, Viewpoints, Comfort Zones, Ignorance levels, and on and on and on. Sometimes it takes a week. Sometimes it takes a month. Sometimes it can change 17 times in one afternoon. Change is the only thing constant in Adoption. (I would say grief is as well, but I like to think that EVENTUALLY I will heal up, so we won't include that...for now.)

So recently, when "THE EMAIL" showed up...things changed yet again. I'm not really interested in getting into that at this point, because I really want to showcase all of the things that happened between when it was sent, and when I finally made up my mind on what I thought of it. "At this time", let's just say that there was a HUGE evolution of thought processes and personal growth, and over the course of the month, you'll get to learn all about it.  There was an awful lot of emotion behind receiving it, and hearing what those that sent it truly thought. But let's be honest (especially to those of you who know me in "real" life)...I was initially pissed. And even pissed is an understatement.

So into my "secret support group" I went, tears streaming, cheeks red, hands shaking, and I shared it's contents with those closest to me. Initially, almost everyone I love most was pissed with me. And then when the anger wore off, as it always does, some really neat perspectives began to pop up. I will write about the others this month, but here is one of the most interesting...actually sent from another birthmother who has been in a similar situation as I am in now. Here's what she wrote....

"Don't be offended... but I was just wondering... when was the last time you read this?

What changed since then, to you not being happy and at peace with the relationship anymore?
  • Learning about how open other adoptions are?
  • Comparing L and M to others like your 'fab 5'?
  • Getting told over and over how 'If you had placed with me i would treat you blah blah blah/give you blah blah blah'?
  • Coveting that which you dont have in comparison to other birthmom stories?
  • Have you convinced yourself that THIS wasn't enough after all?
Love you..."

So I sat there and thought about it for a long time. And I reread the post. And I reread the comments. And I rethought the day of the visit...especially on Saturday, when we could have been visiting again...all of the awkward pauses, and how weird the whole setting was, and about how pissed I was the Perr had refused to go with me, and most of all about how it took everything in my power that day not to lean across the table and punch her in the face as hard as I could when she asked me if I was surprised that they had brought the baby.

But instead of reflecting on how I felt about something the year before, I simply focused on the questions in front of me. And thought about if for many days. And thanked her for saying it to me. And above all realized that in between all of the other labels I bestow upon myself, and others bestow upon me...I am now, in addition...a COVETER.

So what are the answers to these tough questions.....lol???

and YES.

Learning about how open other adoptions are? I walked into adoption uneducated, and managed to find people who were not educated enough either. It is easy to wipe the blame, and say that they knew EXACTLY what they were doing, that they took advantage of my lack of education, that they are horrible monsters....but really? They're just normal people. And they are going to do what feels right to them. But here's where the rub lies for me...I have read the research on the benefits of open adoption. I have read the blogs, listened to some adoptees views on open adoption (both the positive and the negative). I have read the myths...seen the myths dispelled. I have read, and researched, and learned enough to know that we (the four of us) are doing an injustice to her by not offering this to her. And that bothers me. It is perfectly OK in this life to make mistakes...it is not OK (to me) to continue to make them, when there is research or evidence that shows what we are doing by having no relationship is wrong. Old fashioned adoptions are out of date for a reason. I worry a lot about how she is going to take it when she realizes that while lots of other adoptions are happy and healthy, hers is stunted. That fear, or insecurity, or just blinding ignorance is preventing her from having everything that could be available to her.

Comparing L* and M* to Others Like Your Fab 5? I wonder, why intelligent, decent human beings like them cannot take the time to learn about the benefits of open adoption. The people on my Fab 5 are there for a reason. I think each and every one of them is extraordinary in their own way. (Once upon a time it was a Super 7, but two amazing little families have already been made) I don't want to share the reasons why they are on that list right now, because I plan to do a post on each one later this month. But what they all share in common is simple...they all realize Adoption is a long, hard process...and above all else, a journey, not a destination. And they each have taken the time to learn all they can about it, and all of them continue to allow other's viewpoints to help shape their experience.

Getting told over and over how 'If you had placed with me i would treat you blah blah blah/give you blah blah blah'? Surprisingly, this was the only NO answer I could give on her list of questions. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I have now truly seen what desperation will do to a person and their moral standards, and rarely, if ever, will I ever take someone for face value again. I could care less what others would have done...I only care about what mine won't. Even though, that makes it about me...not Lauren, right now. Which is yet another point that she brought up in another conversation...and was a very valid point. And something that I am working on as we speak. (Did I mention adoption is a LONG process of self discovery....)

Coveting that which you dont have in comparison to other birthmom stories? I have a whole list of bloggers I covet. Among them, Rebekkah at Heart Cries. I don't always agree with everything she writes (though I LOVE most of it!) but seeing the first birthday pictures of her son was enough to piss me off enough to wish that I had put "Ability to take fantastic pictures" on my list of traits I was seeking in Adoptive parents. LOL. And she's not even a birthmom...she's an Adoptive Momma who feels torn at times between the joy she lives, and the grief that it has caused in her son's birthmomma. She actually cares. And writes about it. And I covet the heck out of her for that. There are many, many others that have more openess than I could ever dream of, and there are others who will never know half of what I know about Lauren. It's a double edged sword of sorts...I am thankful for the little bit I have, and hateful for the whole lot I dont. But yes, the more stories I learn, the more I wish I had a similar situation, and the more angry I get. The trick is working through the anger, and then finding peace and clarity from it. Accepting the things you have, and the things you cannot change. And realizing when to step back from things so that you don't become bitter.

Have you convinced yourself that THIS wasn't enough after all? At the end of my July post regarding would I do it over again I wrote this..."And knowing what I know now (referring to all I now know about open adoptions and the benefits for everyone involved)...if they truly wanted me to disappear, and not be a part of their lives, then I would have chosen differently. There are many healthy, productive open adoptions out there. I wish I had known about them when I was making my adoption plan. If I had, I would have insisted on nothing less, and if L & M were not on board, then no amount of love for them would have made them the right choice for me."

Imagine how heartbreaking it was when the words came through the computer that simply read..."When we first looked into adoption, long before we met you...we never envisioned having a relationship with the birth family."

But that my friends, is another post.....

In the meantime, I gotta work on the simple commandment...
Thou shalt not covet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have I Mentioned how much I LOVE Kelsey?

This isn't today's "official post" (unless I never make it back....) but I wanted to share an AMAZING post from one of my favorite birthmoms. Kelsey Stewart, over at A Birth Mother Voice.

Click Here, and share as she discusses why SHE advocates. Very powerful post, full of very good information. I am so thankful to her for showing that Adoption won't kill you...it just makes you stronger.

Oh, and no Kelsey post would be complete without a shameless plug for her FANTASTIC BOOK.

Before she left, she took the time to personalize two books, one for Tyler and one for Hailey. Both kids loved the book. It was the tool we used to open our kids minds to adoption, and our situation. They both took it very well, and were happy that we made "such a brave choice". This is a required "MUST HAVE" for anyone touched by adoption.

(And as a funny side note, when we were at the FSA Conference, this wonderful book was featured at one of the tables, lying flat at the base of the propped up Jamie Lee Curtis' book "Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born." Since that book kind of annoyed me, I totally switched spots with Kelsey's Book. HAHAHAH!!!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thank You!!! An Unexpected Aide in My Journey To Advocate....

I get asked A LOT how it is that I can advocate positively for adoption when my own adoption is not anything like what I would like. The answer is simple...

"Those who can't...TEACH"

I don't advocate for how to have a successful open adoption. I don't have one. I may never have one. I didn't take the proper precautions needed in order to have one, and I chose a couple whom recently shared with me that they never wanted one. (More on that later this month) The reason I advocate is simple...I advocate for education.

I write my views on my story because I want people to know what can happen if you do not take the proper steps to EDUCATE yourself on your options, and the cause and effect of a very big decision. I write so that expectant moms considering adoption will have a "What-not-to-do" manual on making decisions in a very stressful time in their lives. I write so that even if an expectant mom is "iffy" about the motives of adoption agencies, she will still take the time to find a professional to speak with so that she can receive counseling, and legal direction. NO ONE can do this alone, and there is NEVER a reason not to have legal representation. I assure you, that once the signature goes onto the paper, and you find yourself on the wrong side of the law...you'll wish you had....but I digress.

I write so that anyone who runs across my blog in Arizona will AVOID the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and all of the bullshit that comes with them. I write so that current and future adoptive parents will realize that Birthmothers are people, not incubators, and that sometimes feelings will change, and we as humans should be willing to change as well.

I write so that people may realize that unless you have lived it, you cannot even begin to fathom all of the things that adoption, and relinquishment, and all that comes with it, will bring.

And above all, I write so that when the time comes (be it many years from now), a certain young lady will be able to know that while I couldn't fix the mistakes I made, and that I couldn't make any forward progress with her parents, I made sure that I did everything in my power so that others in the situation I was in, would be able to have the relationship that has been shown time and time again to be healthiest and happiest for someone in her position.

But those are just my views. My point was, and is, that I feel education is important.VERY IMPORTANT. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Dawn Davenport of http://www.creatingafamily.org and she asked if she could use one of my posts on her site's blog. If you've never checked out the site, it is pretty incredible. And pretty huge when it comes to popularity. I was shocked at how popular it was. And beyond honored, once I realized what a big site it was, and that she wanted to share MY crazy ramblings on it. So I waited a few weeks, and she recently emailed me to tell me she had featured it. You can find it by clicking here, but you have to click "Read the full Post" and then click the link to read the actual post on my blog.

It is not a new post. It was written in July of this year, shortly after my dear friend Meg (who is featured on the Fab 5 section of my blog) tried to reach out to L* and M*, as an adoptive Momma who is living a successful open adoption, offering support and answers to any questions that they may have. Meg's offer was politely declined, but if it achieved anything, it did give me the five best pictures I have ever seen of that amazing little girl. BEAUTIFUL..but again...I have lost focus.

The best part of being featured at that wonderful site is simple. Over the last two days, my blog has been clicked on over 875 times. Usually, I get ten clicks a day. Now of course, that totally strokes my little ego and makes me feel important. But the real epiphany of those clicks is this...There are a heck of a lot of people looking at my blog. Which means there are a whole lot of people who will get to be introduced to my version of my story. Which means there is an awfully good chance that someone, somewhere, from some post, might learn something. And all of the pain, the suffering, the mistakes, the learning from those mistakes, the epiphanys, the clarity, and the good, bad, and ugly...ALL OF IT, will be there...just waiting to educate people.

I will never be able to go back and right my wrongs. I will never be able to convince the only set of people that matter that adoption is meant to be a journey, not a destination. But guess what....somewhere down the road, someone in my position will know better than to try and do it on their own...and for now, that's all that matters.

Thank you Dawn!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Was He Reading My Mind???

   I have all of these really neat posts ALMOST finished, but I can feel the clock ticking, and I don't want to fail out of the challenge on Day Two. So instead of my crazy ramblings on my crazy life, I am going to share another great post from Sally Bacchetta over at The Adoptive Parent. You can read this amazing account of the mixed feelings adoption causes by clicking here...


   What a powerful way to lay out the whole picture. The good and the bad...side by side. I couldn't have described this better myself. I have my, "I hate Adoption and wish I never knew about it!" days, and I have my "Thank God for the healing powers of Adoption!" days, and sometimes I have both days in one day.
   I especially liked this part..."I heard that during the pregnancy he never considered raising his daughter and that he believes he made the right decision, except when he worries that he made a mistake."

   That's me in a nutshell. She NEVER felt like my child. I loved her with my whole heart. I still do. I love her with the little pieces that are left. I wanted the best for her. I still do. I have no doubt she is living it as we speak. I knew that given the circumstances, we weren't it. I never doubted that. I felt drawn to adoption from the minute I realized I couldn't afford an abortion, and that was it. Even though I sometimes regret my current relationship with her Aparents (or I guess more correctly...my choice in parents for her that don't want a relationship with me), I knew she was never mine to keep. She was mine to love, mine to grow, mine to cherish, but not mine to keep. I have never regretted choosing Adoption...except when I do. Somedays, more so than others. Not on the days when the kids are complaining that they are squooshed in the back seat. Never on the days when I have worked 12 hours and have a migraine the size of Texas. But all the other times...when I realize there is an empty chair at my dinner table, when asked how many kids I have...when I am alone in my thoughts...when I am drawn to the adoption forums...when not a day goes by that I can simply focus on my family without feeling like something is missing. She is ALWAYS there. ALWAYS on my mind. My heart aches constantly for a child I don't consider mine. How does that work?
I also liked this..."I heard that he is grateful to adoption for giving him an out and grateful to her adoptive parents for giving her a better life. I heard that he resents adoption for giving him an out and resents her adoptive parents for being able to give her a better life."
Could I have done it? I ask myself that daily. Should I have done it? Parented, chosen adoption, found the $425 and just been done with it. Such hard questions, without easy answers. I am pretty sure that I have turned anti-abortion after meeting so many people who would die for a child, while so many others snuff out the choice of life. So that makes me another walking contradiction. I have graduated to a "pro-choice" person who doesn't believe in 98% of abortions. I couldn't have parented either. Not enough money, no matter how we sliced it.  Adoption was the best choice, and as much as I hate it is as much as I love it.

I am not tainted by adoption...I am simply different because of it. It remade my personality make up. It made me see more, and feel more, and love more. I debate with myself all the time if I prefer the "pre" or the "post" Michelle. Truth be told, I don't know. I had only known sadness a few times prior to the adoption. I waltzed through my insignifigant life and was happy in my little bubble. I did not know grief, compassion, or sympathy, or god forbid empathy...yet I know them all now.

Sometimes coming to terms with our own contradictions can be a good thing. Rarely, if ever, are things in life simply black and white. It is learning to navigate the "grey areas" that helps to shape who we truly are.

Any thoughts?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting Down and Dirty for the R House Challenge!

I love writing about adoption. Even on the days I think I hate adoption. Even in months like October of 2010, when I thought adoption was the worst thing that ever happened to my life. But guess what....? October is over, and November is here, and with it comes National Adoption Month!

This year, I am totally taking the r house challenge! 30 Days of blogging adoption!!! What could be better?

Click here, and you too can learn all about it and participate. Even if you're not a blogger, grab a notebook or a journal, and just do it! Write your feelings. Take notes. Dare to tread where you had never envisioned going in your life. Then at the end of the 30 days, see what you've learned. Maybe it will be ugly myths that you have believed aren't true. Maybe you will learn that fear and insecurity destroy so many lives daily, and for nothing. Maybe you will find (and this happens to me ALL THE TIME), that what you believe to be "a right" isn't "right" at all.

For me, blogging is theraputic and a great way to educate myself and others. The things I learn from reading other blogs always gives me hope, wisdom, perspective, and courage...even when they are the blogs that are hard to read, or filled with thoughts I don't believe. Learning from others experiences is never a bad thing, as long as you don't lose sight of your own.

It's been a bittersweet month for me. Sometimes things don't go as you planned. I gained some great clarity. Learned a whole new perspective on life from people I care about very deeply. Met some of the neatest people EVER at the FSA Conference. Had a mini meltdown. And rose from the ashes full of thoughts, views, and feelings that are really new and scary, but exciting at the same time.

So while this is not truly a "blog post", it is my mini-kickoff speech. I will post daily, all month long, and encourage each of you to do the same.

Here's a sneek peek of some of the posts I've got coming....
  • "If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it...does it still make a sound?" (On learning effective communication skills so that everyone gets the most from their adoption experience. Based on an amazing article I read about "thinking" versus "saying" versus "hearing".)
  • "Of Course Hindsight is 20/20...Watching Life Over..." (An interesting parallel to movies like "Sixth Sense", "The Others", or "Fight Club" where everything makes so much more sense once you already know the ending...)
  • "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree" (A post not really related to adoption, but more on the wonders of how genes carry over whether we want them to or not. Inspired by the lovely Taryn, and this super cool customer I had a few days ago.)
  • "Through the Looking Glass...Seeing things from the other side" (Inspired by an AMAZING email sent to me by two very close friends about how things might be on the other side of the fence)
  • "Ignorance is Bliss...Also known as "Thou Shalt Not Covet" (Inspired by yet another AMAZING email sent by an amazing birthmother as she reminds me that sometimes wanting what others have can create more problems than you expected.

Ok....that's all you get. But there will be 30 days of crazy ramblings. So get in, sit back, and HOLD ON......