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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Disclaimers…

I understand the need for disclaimers in advertisements.  They are done to clarify so that the company is not accused of misleading the public in their ads.  The disclaimers are little asterisks or other symbols in a less that full disclosure statements in the main part of the ad and at the bottom of the page in small font the disclaimer symbol is first and a description follows. 

Ads from car dealerships, mobile or land line phone companies, health industry ads, special offer ads of all varieties use the disclaimers.  These disclaimers are required by law and help companies avoid lawsuits…

So why must adoptees use disclaimers?   I have come up with a couple of common mild statements made by adoptees that seem to require disclaimers and have included hypothetical reply statements to show the need for the dreaded disclaimer.   

First disclaimer:  This is not aimed at any person and I readily acknowledge that there are many adoptees and parents who regardless of their feelings think adoptees should have the right to know their family and would never make statements like this.

Many adoptees feel a loss of their family by birth

Reply by adoptee:  I don’t feel a loss but I had good parents, can you provide research that backs up your use of MANY ADOPTEES?  I know other adoptees who did not feel loss.

Reply by parent: My child is happy and well adjusted so she/he does not feel a loss, you must have had a bad experience.

Reminder to self – unless I want to use disclaimer detailing out how many MANY is by means of the dictionary definition of MANY, I should always use the term SOME.

I always wanted to search for my family  

(note I changed to singular to avoid the “MANY” comments – self censor works well)

Reply from adoptee:  I never felt the need to search because I had great parents and never felt the need to search because I was loved and made to feel special and chosen. ~ OR ~ I only searched to get medical history before I had children but I had no desire to search for other reasons.

Reply from parent: My child has said she/he has no interest because I am her mommy and we are her family.

Reminder to self – either note ‘for medical history only’ or include disclaimer detailing out how much I love my family and would not ever ever ever wish to replace them. 

And remember that if using the add on ‘for medical history only’ be ready for a parent to state they have two pages of medical history taken from a teenager that obviously is complete and includes knowledge of what has yet to happen to any family members…remember that there is NO NEED to SEARCH FOR MEDICAL REASONS.

I want to know who I look like and who I got my traits and mannerisms from

Reply by adoptee: I don’t need to know who I look like because my parents made sure I developed a strong sense of my own identity.

Reply by parent: Lots of families don’t look or act alike.  My sister looks nothing like me and neither of us resembles our parents.

Reminder to self – whatever…perhaps use the disclaimer I have always been curious if I look like anyone else, not a big deal, just curious.  Better still always include the disclaimer sentence regarding how in both mom and dads families you can tell they are related because they all look ALIKE…that may help…or not…nothing really seems to change some ones mind.

I want to know my roots and where my family comes from, the nationality of my ancestors

Reply by adoptee: My adoptive family is my family and besides I am American – what is the big deal.

Reply by parent: I don’t know anything about my family history – why can’t you be happy with your families history.

Reminder to self – apparently ancestry is not really necessary or important and there are no genealogists or family history websites and no one should create family trees or keep family stories alive – history is not important – what is important is family.  I must be just mal-adjusted and angry and lashing out.  Cannot come up with a disclaimer because it is so obvious that I am not in the minority here but being subjected to a closed minded person.

I want to know my family and who I was supposed to be

Reply by adoptee: I was meant to be with the family I am with now. ~ OR ~  God meant me for me to be placed with my family.

Reply by parent: I am sorry you had a bad experience and must have had bad parents.  What did they do wrong?

Reminder to self – always include the disclaimer that you love your family and cannot imagine a different life than what you had.  And if the parent asks the question of why you wish you were not adopted, regardless of the disclaimer you used – respond with yes and no, and that it is possible to love your family and realize the loss that would be to you, and still desire to have not been adopted and to have lived the life you were born into.

I want to meet my mother and father and know my story 

Reply by adoptee: I have no desire to meet my birthmother or birthfather and my parents told me my story.

Reply by parent: I am sorry you had a bad experience, what did your parents do wrong?

*******

Really – why can’t we simply have the right to feelings of pain, loss of identity, loss of family, grief over what was meant to be but was not.  Why is it so necessary to make adoptees feel that they are mal-adjusted, ungrateful, mean and hateful for wanting a biological connection to them?  Biological connections make us who we are – how can that desire be a bad thing when we did not choose it?  We were born into one family and raised by another but we still are part of the first and by default part of the second so why not acknowledge both are who we are?  Why are we the ones stuck in the middle?  Why is it that our placements were ‘in the best interests of the child’ but once we become adults those ‘best interests’ are denied?  Why?

Why is it that the adoptees who claim no interest or loss or need to know are the most adamant and vocal?  Why is it necessary to repeat over and over that I am not like other adoptees who want to search, etc.  Sometimes I think of that old saying “he doth protest too much” and wonder if they ever feel the need if they will deny that need to save face…

Why is always and either/or – why can’t we have both?

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Labels…dimiss, negate, silence…

“I will not even dignify your comments with an answer. You are very obviously an angry person and no matter what I would say, you would twist it around.”

Commented by an adoptive parent about an adoptee’s words spoken from the heart…I see these comments in one form or the other countering any statement that might deny all is always wonderful and misguided actions or words may have caused pain inside.  Perhaps you need to look deeper beneath the surface to see that while there is obvious love and happiness within your family there may be feelings deep inside, words your child may never voice even if they could find the words or had a voice at all, to you their mom or dad.  

Why, why do some adoptive parents feel the need to dismiss the words spoken by adoptees?  Do you fear your children ‘may’ feel or come to feel many of the same thoughts and feelings spoken so honestly by other adoptees?  Would it be so bad if your children when grown and have found the words to describe their thoughts and feelings for which they had no words for before, do speak honestly about their feelings either good or bad? 

Would it shatter your world so completely to know you raised honest, thoughtful, ethical human beings that want to tell the next generation of adoptive parents what they felt and may still feel?  Would you not be proud to know you raised your children to stand up and say when something needs changing?

Or would you rather be like the ostrich burying your head in the sand?

You have a choice – chose to listen, learn and support or chose to bury your head in the sand…two choices…one that is honest and can help change the future or one that will ensure others stay stuck in their never-never-land.  Your choice – which will it be?  Dig deeper and let those who have found their voice tell our story and be open – or chose to negate, dismiss and silence adoptees – your choice…

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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Who ever thought…

I love all the birds that come to backyard and feed at the feeders or take a peanut or two…all birds are welcome here.  At least that was my motto – crows and ravens, bush tits and hummingbirds, black cap and mountain chickadees, sparrows and finches, stellar jays, downy woodpeckers, northern flickers and even the big classic woody woodpecker too…until today.

Early in the spring I found the perfect bird bath, simple just a ring of hammered aluminum with a screwtype clamp that allows me to attach it to my railing, with a plastic saucer insert just the right depth PLUS safe from cats on the prey.  Perfect, it works like a charm attached to the railing outside my kitchen window.  The birds appear to love it and its easy to keep clean…

Today is garbage day pickup…I went out this morning to check the bird bath and found bits of pork chop bones soaking in water.  Not a big deal I took it inside to wash and looking out the window a crow is staring inside perched on the ring.  I refilled the bath and put it back and then watched as birds came, drank and went, squirrels came, drank and went…just perfect.  I just went out to check and other bits and pieces of who knows what had been left to ? wash ? soak ? can there be such a thing as a picky crow?

Life in my backyard world…right now I know its safe because big puppy is sunning himself on the porch…

Big puppy is inside and guess what…the crow is back and seriously he has food and is washing each piece before he eats it…OCD?

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Choices made…

July 1st = Canada Day    ~    July 4th = Independence Day for the US

It was noted on the news the difference in how each country severed or changed their ties to England.  The US chose war and Canada followed the peaceful route seeking compromise, keeping the link instead of severing the link, just adjusting the rules and roles along the way.  Of course, there are obvious differences between the two choices which include the time frame of seeking independence - the US 234 years ago as a fledging country much like a child trying to spread their wings and leave the nest, Canada only 143 years ago, perhaps more settled and secure.  Each choice was made in different eras, different monarchs, opposite choices were made, different times – different countries, different people.  Thinking it over each country seems to have followed the path they initially forged in the choice each made so long ago. 
Last week the Queen toured Canada and crowds gathered every place she went for the chance to see The Queen, Our Queen.  The Queen went to the US to address the UN and crowds gathered to see The Queen but not Their Queen anymore.  Choices…
♦   ♦   ♦
As I wander the path of an adoptee and see the differences between what was and what still is, the similarities and differences remind me of the choices each country made so long ago.  One choice the winner takes all the other choice is one of peace and compromise.  Adoption seems to be this way today in many, many ways.  The major players make choices on which game and rules they want to play and what process guides them along the way…but at the end of the day which choices they make, will follow them all days.
♦ Closed/Open
♦ Semi-Open/Open
♦ Adoptive Parents/Birth Parents
♦ My Pain/Your Pain
♦ My Grief/Your Grief
♦ My Title/Your Title
What I see are different inherent differences in how each views the world and lives their life, war or peace, winners and losers, or winners both through compromise.  They say you need to understand history to succeed in this world, I agree.
 
 
 
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Posted by on July 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

My backyard world…

Edited to fix and add… 

The last couple of days I have sat quietly outside trying to get pictures of the older baby Stellar Jays but they are proving elusive and stay in the shadows just far enough away to not get the great shots in the full light of day, those pictures that would really show off their beautiful hues of blue in their feathers and the downy fluff they have yet to lose. 

The baby Stellar Jays each have a way of showing who they are…

Picky who tests each peanut until the perfect one is found.  She picks one up and puts it down and then another and another as if to say ‘no - not this one’, ‘maybe this one’, ‘no -that one’, ‘this one’, ‘that one’ until finally she finds ‘the one’… 

Gangly seldom lands on the railing with grace but rather skids to a stop toppling peanuts one by one or crashing into another baby Stellar Jay.  Gangly also seems to have issues with take offs by the way…I hope one day he truly finds his wings.  

Selfish chases the others away and first finds a small peanut and then a larger one too, before he flies away. 

Grumpy flies in screaming at all the others as if to say ‘go away’ ‘go away’ and stalks back and forth with his feathers all fluffed, pacing back and forth pecking at those who dare to stay. 

Silent tries so hard to lend her voice but from inside my kitchen I hear nothing, only see her try repeatedly to sing, opening and shutting her beak, I wonder what she is trying to say.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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TV

“Heroes”

We watched the first season and then things happened and we simply set the PVR to record subsequent seasons.  With our regular shows ended for the season and a less than brilliant spring and start to summer we dived in.  I connect to this show in a way I have not known in the past and in part because of the storyline, but that is not the real reason, not really.  This show touches a chord deep inside of my soul as an adoptee.  I am different from bio’s.  I have friends who are bio’s but I have always felt an instant connection to adoptees, some of them I end up liking a lot and some not so much – but they are my people, my kind.  The good and the bad – I am are still an ‘adoptee’ – for better for worse – whatever choices I make – I am still an adoptee.  I see a collective of unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses but at the end of the day we are the same.  I think we identify with each other on a deeper level of been-there-done-that and survived and continued on.  I also feel we lead a different life than bio’s but still strive to fit in, be like them but at the end of the day we want to be accepted for who we are and what our individual truth is. How many adoptees do you know that refuse to label themselves as an adoptee?
 
 
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Posted by on July 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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