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Monthly Archives: May 2010

He was “Dad” to me and “Doc” to all…

Dad was simply “Doc” to many people in our community.  He was “Doc” 24/7 literally.  He did not have days or nights off except for 2-3 weeks in the summer when another doctor took his care of his patients and then dad took care of his patients in return so each could take a well-earned rest or the odd long-weekend to go visit family. 
Dads day (generally) started with breakfast with the family and sometimes we were able to get through the meal without a phone call or two from a patient.  After breakfast dad would grab his doctors bag and head off to the hospital for morning rounds and some mornings he would visit both hospitals or stop by a nursing home as well, seldom did he not have at least one patient to visit.  After the hospital, hospitals, and/or nursing home he would return in time to be in the office by 9 or 9:30 am and the steady stream of patients (and performing the lab tests as well) he would see that day (some scheduled / some not) and his day (in the office) ended when the last patient had been seen and we thought 6 pm was an early day for dad.  Dad would climb the stairs, wash up and we would then have our second meal of the day together as a family, each describing their day, what they did, what they learned, and that included dads day (minus identifying info of course).  Dinner together was mandatory but it was also shared with dads patients, and if we got through a meal maybe only 3 or 4 phone calls from patients it was amazing. 
After dinner dad would watch the news and read the paper for maybe a half hour and then if he did not have any home calls to go on and it was summer time, he was out tending the yard, flower beds, or his precious vegetable garden until it was too dark to see what he was doing.  Dad produced the majority of the food we consumed which mom preserved for the long winter months.  But dad loved gardening and provided him with his only real chance to get excercise and reduce his stress and to refresh his soul from a world filled with sorrow and sickness.  Too often though that world intruded and the phone would ring, mom would call for him out the window and he would come up from the garden to take the call.  Sometimes those calls were just calls for advice but other times it turned into someone arriving to be seen after hours in the office or dad grabbing his bag hurrying out on an emergency home call. 
Some nights dad got to go to bed and sleep till morning, other nights he would get a phone call and would either get up and in head off to the office to patch up whoever had been in an accident, head out to the patients home usually to deliver a baby or head into the hospital to deliver a baby.  Dad did not practice medicine 8 hours a day, he practiced medicine 24 hours a day – and that included weekends – people don’t get sick or have babies on a schedule.  It was normal for dad to be seen sleeping in church, especially if he had delivered a baby the night before.  Dad was his patients “Doc” and people relied on him to be there for them when they needed him, regardless if they could pay their bills, paid with cash or what they had to trade. 
Todays Doctors (heaven help you if you use Doc instead of Doctor) just don’t seem to measure up to dad, a shallow comparison at best. 
Dad also managed to always be there for us kids and if we needed to talk to him during the day he took the time between seeing his patients.  On weekends I would go with him on his hospital rounds, depending on who the patient was and why they were in hospital I would either go with him into the room or waited for him in the waiting room but those trips to the hospital was ‘our time’.  Nursing home visits were also part of our routine if he had not managed to squeeze them in his rounds during the week.  Once his doctoring duties were taken care of we returned home and I could usually be found playing near where dad would be digging, planting, weeding, tilling, mowing, trimming, harvesting, pruning and at the same time teaching me, being my dad, schooling me in the wisdom of just being the best human being you possibly can and that included helping people when they needed help – not just when it was convenient…
Doctors and Dads of today could learn a lot just by trying to follow in the footsteps of this man I knew only as Dad…
I miss you dad.
 
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Posted by on May 12, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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imagine if being adopted was the norm…

The thoughts below have been rambling in my head for quite some time and center around the disconnect of how some people always deem adoption to be win-win-win…but if they were to really walk in the other sides shoes they would see the pain and loss from a completely different perspective…just my rambling thoughts…some will get it, others won’t…
Have you ever thought that in a different reality with different social norms what would happen if…
All babies were placed at birth regardless.
A baby was given to a married couple who were proven deserving to be parents as noted below.
1.  All potential parents needed to qualify they met the standards deemed necessary (insert married and of good ‘moral’ character) before they could parent, and undergo rigorous schooling, screening and profiling to be deemed acceptable. 
2.  A couple only became parents when all other couples before them in the queue became parents. 
Where biological parents who refused to follow societies dictates were shamed for being too selfish for not placing their child so others – who were already proven to be the better person and/or ahead of them in the queue could parent.  Where they were treated as the dregs of society and cast off and dismissed.
Where being a biological child who was not placed was deemed less than, teased and taunted with cruel words about not being good enough to be placed, or be accepted by societies perfect parents because they were flawed.
What would that norm look like?  In our reality I think it mirrors the people who actively manipulate single pregnant women that they should place rather than parent for any of the standard reasons used for more than 50 years…
 
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Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Mothers day…

A day when we are supposed to honor our mother or all mothers.  A day that fills me with conflicted feelings and yet I am also left feeling empty.  I have no words explain this apparent disconnect.  Perhaps part of it stems from my dislike of being told what I should do, like, watch, play, eat, look for, strive for, accomplish, create, support…versus what I want, need, crave and desire.  For the same reason I find myself shunning the products of actors and authors that win the biggest praise, from musicians everyone else raves about.  The religions that narrowly define the do’s and don’ts with no shades of grey.  It seems sometimes that I actively do the exact opposite of what society tells me I am expected to do. 
Christmas and birthdays also don’t get me terribly excited.  They are just days like any other day with a couple of perks.  I enjoy the Christmas decorations and carols, the getting together.  I don’t enjoy gifts and the commercialism, the expected parts of celebrating either Christmas or a birthday.  Because it is expected…
I think the main reason for why I don’t like doing what is expected is because it parallels the expected relinquishment of the child by mothers from the Baby Scoop Era.  They were expected to comply and so many did because society gave them no other choice.  So many lives scarred so deeply because it was expected that they do the right thing.
My wish this mothers day is that the USA and Canada will stand up and apologize to all the Mothers in North America that complied and did what society expected them to do.  That they recognise the society was wrong in forcing their expectations on single mothers.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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50 years ago…

On May 9, 1960 the USA FDA approved Enovid 10 mg for contraceptive use.  Canada approved the pill in 1960 as well. 
Please take the time to view the various interviews the CBC did on the pill…(especially the ones in the 1960).. 
http://archives.cbc.ca/health/reproductive_issues/topics/572-2956/
Some of my favorite clips
It Means The Women Could“, various people on the street answer questions about the pill – a flashback to the 1964 attitudes.
Longer interview with Dr. John Rock on the pill and the church” = 1964. 
The pill sparks religious furor” = 1968, this one is priceless.
And remember the attitudes of society back then.  Even though the pill was approved it did not mean an unmarried woman would be able to get a prescription or even a married woman.
 And this year – Mothers Day falls on MAY 9  –  50 Years to the DAY the pill was approved…

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

jumbled thoughts…

These thoughts have been rambling around in my head and I have been trying to define them but have a hard time because the descriptive words and terms don’t seem to fit or seem inherently wrong to use.  If there are better descriptors than I would like to be told.  Note I never was great at finding the right word but since the stroke it had become a nightmare to find the right words for what I want to say…so please bear with me. 
There are many different categories of adoptees and sub-types within each category, let alone personalities and experiences mixed in. 
…closed era domestic adoptee…open domestic adoptee….semi-open adoptee, adoptee from foster care who was removed from their family for abuse, drugs etc…foster care orphan…intercountry adoptee…intercountry transracial adoptee and then you have the different generations and societal differences each generation has lived, reasons for relinquishment or abandonment, as unique sub-types within each the category plus more I have not thought of. 
I find myself confused and not even sure if I have the terminology correct (feel free to correct me).  What I do know is that each category comes with unique characteristics and even different elements of loss, in addition to the fundamental universal element of being an adoptee – the fact that we grow up in a family we are not biologically part of.  What feelings I can easily identify with will be different than what someone else can.  Those differences are to be expected and should be accepted and acknowledged.  I can try to walk in their shoes in my mind, but that is the best I can do because I have not lived it, so at best it is only a superficial understanding.  But what we have in common should allow for common ground understanding between us, but I am feeling more of a division than a coming together and supporting each adoptee, regardless of category or feeling.
I support all adoptees and try not be part of a specific category, just an adoptee.  I want to expand my world by knowing how others feel, what challenges them and how they faced them and still face them.  I need to understand so I can listen better, so I can comprehend.  I want to expand my world of understanding.
But deep down at the end of the day - I am still angry that in my lifetime a better solution has not been found to diminish the need for any of to be relinquished, abandoned, orphaned and have to deal with the fall out of being an adoptee and that it is a life-long sentence.  That when I am a senior citizen I will still be an adoptee – that when I die I will still be an adoptee.  That I have been labelled my entire life and it has been like having a tattoo of a Big LetterA” on my forehead.   That the demand fuels the supply side to take further actions and when the demand grew too much - they broadened their hunting ground.  That there are people in this world who willingly coerce, shame and pursue mothers to place their children to meet that demand.  That the people who want to be parents are too willing to overlook all the downright unethical actions staring them in their face when they go through the adoption process.  That their need to have a family usually outweighs the rights of those most vulnerable.  That they refuse to take off their rose-colored glasses and see the reality of the injustices and the harm to the ones at the core of adoption – the mothers and adoptees – and how their need to create a family feeds into the actions those on the supply side take.  Some days I can tolerate the ignorance and try to educate gently.  Other days I get too mad.  But I do know that I will continue to voice my opinions and tell how it feels to me to be an adoptee…but I can still dream of the day when adoption ends…even if it is only a dream.
 
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Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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Adoption Laws: Know Your Rights

Have you ever read your states adoption laws? Frankly, finding them is not that much fun. Reading through them, though a bit mind numbing, was interesting, and, yes; I learned a few things I did not know. Because I’ve gone to the trouble to find them to satisfy my own curiosity, I’m going to post them for anyone interested. These are laws and bills for the state of Texas. If you are an adoptee, adoptive parent, or birthparent in Texas, or any other state for that matter, you should know the adoption laws of your state, for your own protection and knowledge.

As long as I’m posting them, feel free, if you are so inclined, or just really bored, to read through them, and comment.

First, Family Code Chapter 162, which includes laws about adoptive parents access, and adoptee access to non-identifying information.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/DocViewer.aspx?K2DocKey=odbc%3a%2f%2fSOTW%2fASUPUBLIC.dbo.vwSOTW%2fFA%2fS%2fFA.162%40SOTW&QueryText=162&HighlightType=1

Second, Health and Safety Code 192, which pertains to birth certificates. Adoptees will find information on access to original birth certificates at 192.008 F, or maybe I should say lack of access. (Sorry, little bit of sarcasm there)

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/DocViewer.aspx?K2DocKey=odbc%3a%2f%2fSOTW%2fASUPUBLIC.dbo.vwSOTW%2fHS%2fS%2fHS.192%40SOTW&QueryText=192.008&HighlightType=1

I am also posting a link for SB 499, a bill passed in the Texas senate last year and forwarded to the Texas house. Fortunately, the session ended before the house could pass HB 4470, which I am also posting here.

SB 499 and HB 4470 seem to me to be far from accomplishing their initial purpose of finding a balance between meeting the needs of adoptees, and protecting the privacy of birthparents, but I will save my thoughts and opinions on the bills for another post. Oh, heck, I can’t resist just one comment. It seems to me that these bills really, sort of, screw not only adoptees, but birthparents as well. I’d like to know where exactly they see the balance?

For now, feel free to read these bills, and give your opinion, or comment on them. I will request you be somewhat mature, responsible, and civil in manner if you respond, however, tasteful, humorous sarcasm is welcome. I could always use a good laugh.

Enjoy.

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/analysis/html/SB00499S.htm

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/html/HB04470I.htm

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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