Monthly Archives: February 2011

Apparently I have lots to say lately…

I remember being a spectator in court one day.  Case after case called and excuses given by one side or the other about people not showing up, lawyers fired, continuance asked for the 5th time, etc.  And then a man’s case is called.  He gets up and walks to the front and the judge questions him if he has a lawyer and he replies no.  The judge asks if he wants a continuance to retain a lawyer and he answers no. The judge asks if he wants to enter his plea and he says yes.  So the charges are read and he is asked for his plea and he answers GUILTY. 
Personally I have never seen as many jaws drop at the same time in my entire life.  Well the judge and the prosecutor are both obviously flustered, and the judge finally tells the man that he really should not plead guilty without first having talked with legal counsel, and they can arrange for him to talk to a legal aid lawyer and he calls a short recess.  The man is talked to by both the prosecutor and another lawyer who was there about the need for him to have a professional tell him if he has done something wrong and what plea to give and have him represent him in court.  That the prosecutor has to prove their case and if any part was done wrong that it can mean the court cannot find him guilty and the smallest thing can have a bearing on the outcome.  He is told that people hire professionals to testify on their behalf to refute the evidence, etc, etc.  He listens but doesn’t say anything. 
So after this short delay the judge calls his case again and asks him if he wants a continuance to seek professional legal counsel.  The man says no he does not need to hire a lawyer because he knows he is guilty and he doesn’t want to waste the courts time or money.  To say that both the judge, prosecutors, and spectators were dumbfounded is an understatement, but the judge made a point of saying he admired him for his honesty and ability to own up to his own truth as he saw it, and accept the consequences of his actions.  That it was something he saw too little of. 
So where am I going with this post?  Since I have been on the internet adoption circles I have seen people refuting or defending the theory written about in the book titled The Primal Wound.  It seems to be so heated that no one will let it go, ever.  It is rehashed and debated and words picked apart and dismissed because other professionals say this or that others feel this they are wrong.
The side that refutes pick sentences apart from the book instead of listening for the intent behind the words over the context of the entire book.  They focus on studies and talk about observable reactions in infants.  Anything that even comes close to negating their words is picked apart and misconstrued, refuted, invalidated.  They talk about other professionals that refute the theory as well.  They say the theory isn’t so because it cannot be proven, but they leave out the key word YET.  They forget that we have not yet reached a complete understanding of everything in our realm.  That we are still young in our understanding of humans.  That new discoveries are happening even as I write this.  
And on the other side are who connect with some or all of the words written in the book.  They relate because it transforms a bunch of different conflicting feelings they have had for years, and puts it into something that makes sense, to them.  Someone had the ability to write down and try to explain what had been in their soul for years.  It is their truth and honest feelings about how adoption has impacted them.  Everyone’s truth about how they feel will be slightly to widely different from someone elses truth – yet no ones truth about how they feel is wrong.  But they are told they are wrong, over and over and over again because it cannot be observed… 
For what it is worth, I connected with the book and saw parts that spoke of my truth and feelings about being adopted and the impact it had on my life.  I don’t need science or professionals to prove my truth is, well, my truth.  But in case you are wondering, my dad observed my truth for over 6 months after I came home and compared how it was different from each of my siblings when they come home.  Same environment, different starting points, different individuals, different outcomes.     
So why can’t we all just stop telling others that their truth is wrong?  Why does it matter to others if some adoptees feel a connection or validation to the theory?  Why does it matter if other adoptees feel no connection to the theory?  I think it is ego driven myself… 
Think of it this way, you can tell me that you “think” I am a bitch, but you can’t tell me I “am” a bitch, because I know I am not a female canine…

Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Adoption




The only time I ever remember my dad telling me I was lucky happened when he was in his 9th decade of life, yes, he was in his 90’s and it’s not what you think…
I have written many posts referring to my dad.  To this day dad was and is my hero…he lived his life based on his principles of ethics, morals, and fair play and never deviated from his beliefs, regardless of the cost to him.
When I started getting sick I was misdiagnosed because I had always been exceptionally healthy and I was outside of the normal age range for heart problems and lacked the normal risk factors.  That misdiagnosis kept me from going to the hospital when I had my heart attack.  Not surprisingly less than a week later a large blood clot had developed in my heart and a piece broke off, went to my head and I had a stroke.  That sent me to the hospital for 11 days and countless doctors coming to see me while they tried to figure out WHY I had a heart attack to begin with because I had none of the usual risk factors, no road map of my family history to follow, plus they needed to get me stable enough to have an angio which finally gave them the rare disease diagnosis…(side note it is amazing how many times I am listed as “ADOPTED” at the top of the various hospital documents and NO FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY is stated)…
Mom came to see me in the hospital and when I got home, but dad could not come because mom could not transport him by herself and I lived in another country, so all dad could do was hear how I was from her.  It was really tough on him to not be able to see me and assess the level of damage as a physician, and only have a non-medical person telling him how I seemed.  Very frustrating compounded by my inability to speak very much so that meant phone calls were limited to how are you feeling today type discussion.
After I got home I could barely function.  I was still struggling to put two words together, let alone a sentence.  If I took a shower I had to take a nap.  If I did anything I had to nap.  It was ridiculous how weak I was.  Gradually week by week I could do more but I still could not drive until the neurologist said I was okay.  It took time, months, before I was strong enough to consider going to see dad, and then I had to wait until I had been out of the hospital for 3 months to have medical coverage in a different country.  Finally I was approved and my friend came up to get me because I was still not allowed to drive.  
I will never forget that day, almost 4 months after I had my heart attack.  I walked into the house and dad looked at me from his chair by the window and carefully assessed me as I walked over to him his first words were YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY GIRL to have survived a heart attack and a stroke, most people don’t…and I said I know, and handed him all the consult letters, test results, and a published article on my rare disease.  Dad sat quietly reading and re-reading all the details and then asked me a few questions about my health and what the doctors would do to take care of me, and only then was he satisfied and you could see he visibly relaxed. 
I cannot imagine what he went through not being able to be there for me as he had always been, simply because his body had finally let him down.  He has passed on now and I miss him every day.  But also realize he was ready to go before I got sick, and that it was his sheer determination to survive that he stayed longer than he should have, just to make sure I was going to be okay. 
I also realize I am very lucky to have had him as my dad…  

Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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I just do not know what to say…

Each time I read a damning report on corruption in international adoption I keep hoping that people will say enough, no more.  We watch country after country close because of corruption but it seems like the bad players just look for a new country.  Yes, there are orphans needing homes but people have to stop and ask – how many bad adoptions are okay?  1, 10, 100?  When does it end?
What do you as a parent do when you find out your child did not need a home and already had a home?  You don’t get a do-over, instead you have to live with the guilt, the pain and try to do the best you can.  What do you say to your child?  What do you do?    How is that right for the parent or the child or the childs family back home?  How long and how many countries and families have to go through this before people say enough is enough?  What will it take for people to say No More, we will not switch countries and join the next country to adopt from creating the demand that fuels the supply when corruption is rampant.  When are people going to listen? 
There has to be a solution…and the solution will start with people accepting that corruption in international adoption and not pretending that it is only rare.  Remember they do not close countries to adoption for the rare case of corruption, they just don’t. 
Do you want to be part of the solution or part of the problem – it really is your choice.  Read this report from the Schuster Institute and read the other reports they have done and tell me I am wrong.
Orphaned or Stolen? The U.S. State Department investigates adoption from Nepal, 2006-2008

Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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What being a family means…

This is a long, rambling, circling post that I am sure will be mis-interpreted.  It comes from reading a story written by a Christian father whose daughter chose adoption.  I cannot understand the mindset and this is my response.
I read a really sad article written by a Christian whose “unwed” daughter made the decision to place her child for adoption and they all thought it was the right decision, after much family discussion. Note she was a teenager but not a young teen. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t the right choice but my point is families do not give their family members away, not without a fight. Or they aren’t really a family.
Perhaps I am just noticing this but it seems like there is a growing trend among Christian families that if their “unwed” daughter gets pregnant, the baby should be placed for adoption. That the parents will not help their daughter start on her road to be a parent. That they raised their kids and are not willing to help raise another generation, their needs come before family. How can anyone think this way? Yes, she will have to grow up quickly. Yes, she will have bumps along the way. We all have to grow up at some point. So how is it is okay to watch your child place her baby for adoption and recognise the life-long grief that she will live with daily, rather than help her grow up and become responsible? And yet instead they talk about that it will be hard to consider adoption but that the mother must consider the baby and what is best for the baby. Telling her how hard it is to be a single mother. Yes, she will be a single mother but what about her parents and other family members? She is not on the streets, alone and living in poverty or abusing drugs, she has a family.
And yet the underlying message is that the baby should be placed for adoption and the mother will be redeemed of her sin. That the parents will then not have to feel shame that they raised a child who became a single mother. That they can hold their heads up in their church and say their daughter (or son) did the right thing and chose adoption. By their words and actions they have basically told their daughter she is not good enough to be a parent and her child is not worth fighting for. That there are families out there that would be better than she. That it is the right thing to do…
Sorry, that is not my definition of family. Family is family. Families help each other and do whatever it takes, however long is required. Families are not selfish. Families are not cruel. Families don’t give away other family members unless there is no choice. Before you make the decision to parent you need to realize parenting does not end at 18, that quite likely you will be called on to help the next generation, that it is part of being a parent. That yes, you may be needed more for the first couple of years. And that help is for your grandchild!!!
Perhaps my attitude can be blamed on the values, ethics, morals and actions of my parents. They cherish, value, take care of, step up to the plate and do whatever is required for family. Family is family. The first six months I was home the majority of the day my grandma rocked me. Day in and day out until I stopped crying and got used to my new home. Mom could not do it all the time because she had two other toddlers and many many chores. Grandma did not turn her back on us, family is family, you do what you have to do. As a youngster growing up, I cannot count how many trips we made to visit family and it wasn’t just visiting. It was helping get things done. Trips were timed to ensure we were there when they needed a hand. It was a family committment. It did not matter if you weren’t a close relative, one of my grandma’s was in reality my dad’s sister’s husbands mother – but that did not matter – she was family. And if you are a parent you are a parent for life. You don’t stop being a parent when your child reaches 18, you are still their parent when they reach 50 and beyond. It works both ways and is the right way.
And if you are an adoptive parent who tells their “unwed” daughter to consider adoption. What is that phrase that is so popular these days? Forever family? Consider what your words say about your definition of “forever family”…
I hope adoption never again becomes the only solution like it was when I was surrendered, but some days it seems like the past is rising up again. I hope adoption never becomes a mainstream way to create a family and adoption only happens when there is no other choice. Families need to get back to being REAL families, and learn to thrive in the good times and survive the bad times together, as a family.

Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Monty Python…not adoption related…

I like British Humor and John Cleese is one of my favorites, you just never know what you can find on youtube. 

The clip is particularly funny to me…simply because I hate to fly…the clip starts with John Cleese as a commentator and then suddenly switches to him in a skit as a pilot with a co-pilot…


Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


Last nights episode of Who do you think you are…

I just watched last nights episode that showcased Rosie O’Donnell’s search of her mother’s side of the family.  When I first heard she was doing the show I was horrified because of her prior statement about what she told her kids about why they are adopted. 
Watching the show I could see her emotions and throughout the episode I kept hoping the penny would drop and she would become an advocate for changing the laws for adult adoptees… is all about her…
She traced back to her maternal family back to great-great grandparents in an Ireland work house…
And she ended with I can’t wait to tell my kids what I found
Now they may think it is great.  They may enjoy her ancestry.  They will ‘get’ that is part of who she is and where she came from…it may be great for all time…and at the same time, consider what they will think if when they get to her age (48) (or any age for that matter) and want to know where ‘they’ come from, what makes them, ‘them’.  All the while knowing their mom went on a journey to discover where ‘she’ came from that made ‘her’ who ‘she’ is…and find out she has done nothing to help ‘them and perhaps even hindered ‘them’ to have the ‘same’ right she has, and used that right on national tv…to discover who ‘she’ is…sad she cannot see exactly what that may do to them.  Kind of like pouring salt on a wound if you ask me. 
I would not want to be in her shoes if that day ever comes…
We all deserve to know where we came from.  Who we are…What paths our ancestors followed, what challenges they faced, what tragedies they bore, what made them who they were and contributed to who we are today…I want to know all 4 of my family trees in-depth as far back as I can, with as much detail as I can find…they are all important…every single one of them…




Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Real parents…

The term adoptive parents shy from for some reason.  Yes, I know the reason…
They dread the day their child tells them they aren’t their real parents.  I doubt any adoptive parent has escaped hearing these words at some point in time, or any adoptee has not done this to their parents they just don’t always remember.  Just assume it is going to happen and celebrate if it happens when your little one is young, it means they are getting it, learning is good right?  If it happens when they are teenagers, well, they are teenagers, enough said.
Adoptees have 4 real parents (assuming the AP home is two-parent home for ease of writing).  In order to comprehend, we have to make it real to us.  We have 2 parents who aren’t raising us and we have 2 parents who are.  Actually I think it should be taken as a compliment that you have done things right.  YOU told them young enough that they needed time to get to the point of making it make sense in their head so it was gradual acceptance, PLUS, they are open to telling you where they are with the whole adoption thing, that means a lot.  Even if they say it when they are mad, especially when they say it mad, they trust YOU.  So therefore YOU are real to them too.
So if both sets of parents are now real do you need a qualifier for one set?  Think about it.  If you are called mom, mommy, mama, and you say “do you want to go see your mother this weekend” or “do you think about your mother sometimes” – don’t you think if they have got the real part down they won’t be confused – so doesn’t that mean they don’t need a qualifier anymore?  Because you are all real now?  Mom, dad, mother, father…each a real person, each an important person, each unique and not confusing?
And if you stop and think about the real reason you don’t like the term natural mother because of the opposite terms, stop and think about the opposite term for birth mother…that has to be enough to get you to drop the qualifier…

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Walking the Walk

True Colours: The Lanier Phillips Story
You really need to watch the video – if you can’t access the video the story is below the video, but listening to Mr. Phillips tell the story in his own words cannot be replicated and much will be lost.
Humanity – that is what we should all strive for every single day.  My dad walked the walk, I try but am sure I fail much more than dad ever did.  But I keep trying.  I try to understand the divisions in the triad.  I try to use language that does not inflame.  I try not to tear down.  I fail sometimes when nothing seems to change and I can see the inequities still happening over and over again.  A kinder gentler world is possible but we all have to try. 

Posted by on February 12, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


Adoption is such a touchy subject…

And when someone reads an article they should only read the article, not create rebuttals in their mind based on their life while also trying to read.  It saddens me just how touchy people are about hearing anything less than the perfect story.  But people need to hear the bad stories and the good stories.  Especially in adoption there always has to be open minds to see what is broken and fix it for the future.  To acknowledge past and current mistakes and ensure they never happen again.  Why don’t people understand that is the reason why the hard stories are shared?  Why can’t people just accept the story and stop picking it apart?  Trying to find something to dismiss, negate, refute, silence and shut down?  And yes, I am, talking about a specific article.
Abducted Versus Adopted: For 1.5 Million of U.S. Adoptees, What’s the Difference?
And article that speaks about the feeling of difference an adoptee might feel in their family is exactly the feeling Carlina White spoke of.  She does not state being adopted is the same as being abducted, she states the feeling of difference Carlina had, is the same feeling she always felt.  That is doesn’t matter if the child is adopted or abducted, the feeling of difference is the same.
She speaks of the way mothers were treated in the 50’s and 60’s and the role the agencies played.  She speaks of tragedy of her parents dying and her book speaks more in-depth on the situation it put her in as a young child.  It speaks to the fact that the agency noted her parents died in her file but did not think to contact her mother, which I am not sure on my feelings about except if they knew there were serious health concerns at the time of the adoption, did they have an obligation to step in to ensure her safety.  I personally would hope they would and if there was no one to care for her to consider all possible avenues, including contacting her mother. 
She does not say adoption is bad.  She says how things can happen that can be bad. 
And yet, the people commenting clearly read the story differently than I did.  About how all adoptions are not bad to how mothers are druggies or abusers, not manipulated or have no rights, the entire gamut of reasons why adoption is pure and good and how dare she tell say otherwise.  And some commented that all adoptions are bad.  There are some genuine responses related to her story that are sprinkled throughout the comments, thankfully.  But if you take the time to read the story honestly without your own bias, and then read the comments you will see how we fail as a society in reading comprehension and compassion.  Or perhaps I read the story wrong.  What do you think?

Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Adoption


Very interesting…

Even with genetic tests the value of the in-depth family history is still crucial…
The entire article is fascinating an definitely important to understand the limitations and the benefits genetic tests have.
Although Murphy’s surroundings may be old-fashioned, his practice is not. Murphy, a board-certified internist who writes a blog called The Gene Sherpa, is one of a small minority of doctors who use genetic tests to help manage their patients’ care.
“The majority of people we see have a very strong family history of X, Y or Z disease,” says Murphy, who’ll be 34 this week. He doesn’t bring up genetic testing until after taking a detailed personal and family medical history and assessing such risk factors as cholesterol and blood pressure. “I tell them there are lots of ways to dig deeper. Then I also tell them the limitations.”
“We have way more data than we have knowledge,” says Clay Marsh, a lung and critical-care doctor who directs the Center for Personalized Health Care at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. “The biology is struggling to keep up with the technology.
“Though some diseases, such as sickle cell and cystic fibrosis, are caused by mutations in a single gene, many common conditions arise from the interplay of a variety of genes and lifestyle and environmental factors, not all of which have been identified.
“Having a family history of heart disease increases your risk of heart disease more than some of these (genetic) markers they test for,” Murphy says. “Then, just because you have that marker doesn’t mean that’s what caused the heart disease in your family. That’s one thing I teach residents: No gene is an island.”


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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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How to solve a life-long procrastination habit

Hubby asks me to drop off his prescription TODAY.
I reply but you don’t need it until next week, right? in an attempt to determine if I really need to make a special trip today, seeing as how he could have dropped it off himself in the last 7 days he has had the script in his wallet.
He replies: Yes but “I” don’t want to wait until the last-minute and be in a panic to get it filled.
Me: So really you just want “Me” to do it for you so “You” don’t put it off until the last-minute and get in a panic.
Him: Exactly…
Solution to having a life-long habit of procrastination – make someone else responsible.
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Uncategorized



Attempting to satisfy all on birth records in New Jersey
Access to original birth records for adopted individuals is an issue that has been facing New Jersey lawmakers for years. And it is one that inspires a passionate response from many New Jersey residents.
The National Council for Adoption works daily to protect the rights of the entire adoption triad — individuals who were adopted, birth parents and adoptive parents. Very occasionally, the interests of these parties are competing. In those moments, we want to encourage resolutions that protect and satisfy everyone; so this is an important issue to us as well.
(note this is just the first two paragraphs…they are trying to exchange the current bill in NJ with “their version”…sigh)
Yet when you go to the NCFA’s website it really does not appear to “work daily to protect the rights of the entire triad”…especially not in the courts…
We represent the concerns and interests of our member agencies and the cause of adoption in the halls of power and the courts of public opinion. We enable our member agencies to speak with one powerful voice on matters of common interest, and we assist them individually with policy issues in their states and specific-case problems they encounter with government agencies.
If you go back to the front page under the “who are we” on the front page, you can also check out like I did their board of directors and I found zero adoptees, lots of people with agency experience or other totally unrelated work experience.  I also checked out their staff list and zero stated being an adoptee. 
I even did do a search for “adoptees” in their search box and found one document that pertains to adult adoptees.  It was a pdf titled “Mutual Consent: Balancing the Birthparent’s Right to Privacy with the Adopted Person’s Desire to Know” which is just a rebuttal argument for The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute’s widely disseminated report, “For the Records: Restoring a Legal Right for Adult Adoptees” that although I admit I just skimmed the rebuttal, it just seemed to pull out all the same old rhetoric about birthparents privacy. 
I just have to shake my head at the entire argument because they can quote study after study about how grand adoption is and how great we turn out, we have no problems, we know who we are, etc. etc.  But watch out – something mysterious must happen once we become adults because suddenly, we obviously turn into crazy stalkers out to harm our mother and father and force a relationship that is not wanted.  Another magic wand concept in adoption I guess that expires when we reach the age of majority.
And just for laughs and chuckles – check out the questions and answers about the open records debate back in 1997.  I guarantee you will be laughing by the time you finish reading “Joyce’s question” and then scroll down to “Bill Pierce’s” (NCFA) answer.


sorry for the links – wordpress seems to be having problems again. 

Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics