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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mirror or not…

I enjoy reading the correspondence of so many great men at the On-line Library of LIberty at the Liberty Fund website.  It provides me a better glimpse of what life was like so many years ago, and allows me to hear the words and the reasons behind the words of important men.  Words written in correspondence between friends that was honest and frank. 

I don’t like to get political because I don’t like controversy.  It’s not me and it isn’t good for me to get over stressed.  Today though, I am going to speak about what Rick Santorum said because I believe he is wrong because of what I have read of the Founders own writings.

Please take the time to read the link to this letter – it isn’t in today’s language but it is very clear on what this Founder thought in his letter to the Reverend Samuel Miller in January, 1808. 

Now go see the news clip here from Rick Santorum…

You judge if Santorums views or if President John F Kennedy views most closely mirror those of President Thomas Jefferson.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Read this post by Amanda – it’s important

Open Letter to Jon Stewart from a “Rape Baby”

I do enjoy watching Jon Stewart and I really hope somehow that he reads her post and takes her up on her challenge.

I agree with Amanda and am gladly sharing her post.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Ethics

 

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Something many adoptees never get to see…

Seeing themselves mirrored back.  Absolutely amazing, stunning photography and a few just bizarre but fascinating at the same time.  I am having a hard time trying explain what has been done in these pictures but you can see for yourself.  I can’t stop thinking about it so just had to share.

Portraits Genetic – Research work on photographic genetic similarities between members of same family.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Adoption, biological child

 

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WTH? Plus some great links…

Arizona – Arizona – Arizona…The Sheriff is going to investigate President Obama’s birth certificate and says he is doing the President a favor?  The link says it is Rick Santorum but the video is of the Sheriff

Just imagine if people were worried like this for the adult adoptees who can’t get passports because THEY can’t get their original birth certificate.  Imagine if they cared about adoptees’ birth certificates as much as they care about the Presidents…

A great post on how and when being donor conceived comes up in her life.  Being Donor Conceived…A Definition of Self?

Catholic Bishops Thwart Civil Rights for Adoptees great read – very applicable…

Lying is supposedly a sin – iAdoptee as always provides a great post that is also very relevant this week and to the above post.

WHY I AM A DEMOCRAT…brilliant.

And to complement the above post about education and end with a different President from many years ago…79. A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (1778)

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

Debate…

I haven’t read this written debate yet – but do know it will be very interesting and enlightening.  Once I post this, I will make a fresh cup of coffee and head on over to read the debate.

Elizabeth Bartholet & David Smolin Debate International Adoption

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics

 

Kind of confused…

This news article: California counties get federally-funded teen mail-order condom program seems to me much ado over nothing.  Condoms (with health info) mailed in a non-descript yellow envelope – wow – scary – teenagers might be having sex – heaven forbid they want to do it safely or prevent pregnancy.  No idea what the fuss is…I could go to PP way back when I was a teenager.

But that isn’t what kind of confused me…it was the paragraph below in the above article…

“I would think the overwhelming majority of parents in Kern County wouldn’t think this is a good idea,” said Linda Davis, executive director of the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, which emphasizes abstinence. “And I don’t think their kids would have the nerve to request them.”

I mean isn’t it kind of weird to have a Pregnancy Center commenting on free condoms and then saying they emphasize abstinence to women after they are already pregnant?  Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has left? I would think they would be all for promoting all the ways to prevent of pregnancy not just abstinence – I guess they don’t see things like I do, if a kid is going to do it, they should be protected and not unprotected just because it does not fit with someone elses religious dogmas.  When I searched for Bakersfield Pregnancy Center it appeared at the top of the google page and here is the description provided – not a whisper about abstinence:

Offers pregnancy tests, counseling, adoption support, abortion education and alternatives, and pregnancy and fetal development education.

I went to Bakersfield Pregnancy Center website where they clearly identify they are a Care Net affiliate – good for them.  So I looked into Care Net which just happens to allow a pregnancy center with an adoption agency as part of its organization to be an affiliate – at least they have taken some thought to creating a few written standards about that though. (link below)

https://www.care-net.org/uploads/affiliation_docs/2pgs-Standards-Adoption-Color.pdf

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Adoption

 

Who does Keith Ablow think he is…

I am talking about his comments on Fox News…and frankly the employee of Fox News talking to Keith Ablow for allowing it to stand, what’s his name?  Doocy?  Something like that anyway, isn’t the role of Doocy to challenge things that sound wrong?  Or ask for facts to back up statements like that?  Other news stations do that…not Doocy on Fox News, apparently he must agree that Keith Ablow has a crystal ball that he can gaze into and determine that Brock is not a good person and it solely because he is an adopted boy who craves power.  Really scratching my head on this. 

Today Ablow posted a commentary on Fox News site and apparently has chosen to flip-flop and say he does not know why Brock is the way he is.  Sorry – far too late to un-ring the bell.  And even if he is contrite over what he said a Full Retraction on the same segment of the Fox News TV show is the only way you get credibility from me.

Others have talked about this in a much more concise manner than I can, so go read their thoughts.

Not from the adoption community…

Fox News Peers into Its Media Matters Foe’s Head Love the last line of the post where you can also view the interview this furor is over…”They’re also likely to be met with more than a little anger from people who were adopted or have adopted children.”

Fox News ‘Expert’ Keith Ablow: Media Matters Founder Is ‘Dangerous’ Because He Was Adopted “Fox News’ infamous psychiatrist Keith Ablow has today joined the network’s personal attacks on Media Matters’ David Brock, suggesting Brock is “dangerous” because he “is an adopted boy”:”

And just because I cannot resist from The Huffington Post…Keith Ablow, Fox News Psychiatrist: Newt Gingrich’s Infidelity Might Make Him A Better President…funny – doesn’t Ablow know that Gingrich was adopted by his step-father? That his is an “adopted boy”.

From the adoption community…

From Amanda at The Declassified Adoptee: Keith Ablow’s Adultist, Adoptist, Disablist Slam on Adult Adoptees on Fox News…are you Kidding me?!  No one can write like Amanda can – go read her post.

From Malinda at Adoption Talk: Name-Calling: “You Dangerous Adopted Boy!” Malinda always has a way to get her point across.

From Dawn at Creating a Family shows how upset she is by doing two posts on it two days in a row: Fox News Called Someone “Adopted” to Attack Their Politics and Demand an Apology from Fox News for Defaming Adoptees

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child

 

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That “Need To Know”

OH, that damned “need to know”. What it can do to we, adoptees, and our psyche. Putting it into words is something so many of us have tried to do, and still, getting those, who are not adopted, and some who are, to understand is simply an impossibility a lot of the time. Some, non-adopted, people might be able to empathize, understand why an adoptee might “want” to know, but when an adoptee “needs” to know, when they are driven to know, well how can anyone, who is not adopted, truly understand, or grasp, that need in we adoptees.

When I think back to that day I made that call to D, my first father, I’m still astonished at the intensity of my emotions, my fear. I hope you enjoy the next installment of my reunion story with D.

Part 1: The Call – when I made the call

A Smack in the Nose – an analogy that played out in life of how I felt right after the call

The Buffalo Jump – the emotions and fears after I called

I Am A Buffalo – when he called me back

Next up the actual reunion.

Shadow

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

Who do you think you are an other stuff

Int’l Adoption News from Ireland…

The article link Adopt Change is from the Irish Examiner on International Adoption asks the some hard questions, does pulls not punches and really begs the following questions. When was the last time you saw a big main-stream news media outlet in the US question adoption this broadly or specifically? Or stand up and say the Hague must be followed? Is the media afraid to speak fearing outrage by certain groups?

Question to mull on: If a country ratifies the Hague Treaty on Inter-country Adoption – should the country also be mandated to ensure the domestic adoption laws in their country meet or exceed Hague rules and standards

I think they should, and I find it amusing that people from Ireland wishing to adopt in the US must specify a state to get a permit because Ireland does not believe all states in the US are Hague compliant…you know those pesky requirements like no payments to *birth* parents, length of time between birth and relinquishment…etc. etc. 

Completely amazed…

Post from Hellokpop regarding Korea’s Got Talent Show – yes very late on this one but you have to listen to him sing, I had tears and that isn’t me. There are subtitles in English for understanding of the judges and contestant on the video link.

Ancestry Stuff…

In my mail-box a week or so ago I received an announcement that Ancestry has a new contest in conjunction with “Who do you think you are?” TV series coming back. My email from Ancestry.com said this:

“The Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes”.

You could win the trip of a lifetime to your family’s homeland. Enter for a chance to win a $10,000 journey to explore your family roots from Ancestry.com.

My first question is where would an adoptee go if they won the contest?  Do a round-the-world trip to cover all bases? 

I like “Who do you think you are” because they do a good job of showing the process and the emotions from people who always knew their family. At the same time it also reminds me just how many adoptees will never have this knowledge, or be able to explore and feel those same emotions and that makes me sad. Perhaps Ancestry should start donating to Adoptee Rights Groups…hint hintI guess not because I don’t think the owners would like that…

And this section would not be complete without a hypocritical moment:

Ancestry Easier to Discover Thanks to Worldwide Genealogy Volunteers which article would not be complete without a quote and comment about how they fill this yearning:

Roots author Alex Haley once said: “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning…emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.”

FamilySearch indexers fill this yearning by collectively enabling others to pinpoint their ancestors from among billions of online records.

“Because of indexing, more people are discovering their ancestors more quickly than at any time in history,” said Mike Judson, who manages the indexing volunteer efforts for FamilySearch “This ease of discovery is helping thousands of people every day to better understand who they are and where they came from. This sounds trite, but for the person making the discovery the result can be intensely personal and emotional.”

Funny they forgot to add the disclaimer – *unless you are an adoptee

And finally must include a laughs and giggles to end the week…

This you-tube video for animal lovers – especially those who love dogs.  I was watching the news that day and it made me laugh so hard – perhaps because this is the channel I watch and I know what these segments are usually like – not this time.  Too funny on live TV. 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics

 

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Do adoptees deserve the same rights as non-adopted?

When I walk down the street or talk to someone in the grocery checkout people see me as just a person. The same goes when I meet someone, I am treated as an individual, an equal if you will. But over time when they find out I am adopted that adds a new bias to their view of me. For some it isn’t anything more than a fact that makes me different than they are. For others it becomes more than just a difference, to greater or lesser degrees. People have prejudices based on stereotypes and societal biases. 

When talking about rights for adoptees you are guaranteed the gamut of outright prejudicial feelings to ignorance of the fight for adoptee rights which for the uneducated doesn’t phase me.

Yet the lack of awareness of adoptee rights seems to be widespread in those hoping to adopt and even in some of those who have adopted. As far as some are concerned “open” adoptions are the solution. The child “knows” where they came from unlike those of us from “closed” adoption, so what more is there to talk about. As far as they are concerned the problem has been solved by having an “open” adoption, or even just if they know the names of the child’s *birth* parents. That isn’t what the fight for adoptee rights is about. They haven’t taken the time to understand that their child still has no legal right to a true record of their birth with all the privileges that provides, and without that access that their child is less than, just like any other adoptee in a closed state with no knowledge.

Some of those above who will actually listen, will still choose not get it. What does that piece of paper actually matter is their response. To me it’s the principle that a minority segment of the population is denied the same right of the majority has. Amanda over at The Declassified Adoptee has this post that explains it better than I ever could “Why my [amended] birth certificate is a lie” which I hope you will read. 

I also wish to talk about the adoptees who are now being denied the right to get a passport.  Adoptees who were born in this country but because they are adopted, and their amended birth certificate is dated more than a year after their birth, they are denied the freedom to travel outside of the country. With the ever tightening security requirements I have the concerns about what other things they will be denied in the future.  The current problem is the requirements for a passport is that your birth certificate cannot be dated more than a year after your birth to be considered primary evidence of US Citizenship.  That in itself pretty scary.

If you fall into that category it appears you must provide a combination of the following information, preferably created within the first five years of birth. The following are deemed “Early Public Records” according to travel.state.gov website.  Words in italics are direct quotes… 

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted with a birth record or Letter of No Record. Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:

  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate
  • Census record
  • Early school record
  • Family bible record
  • Doctor’s record of post-natal care

Problems in providing the above evidence:

  • Not everyone is baptised, and even if baptised they prefer it to have happened within the first five years of birth;
  • The hospital won’t release their records to you for obvious reasons like your name does not match the name they have, and you don’t have your mother’s permission to her records;
  • The census you are on is not released for 72 years, and to get it released is more hoops to traverse, if you even succeed;
  • Early school records (before you were five?) – okay you might be lucky enough to access that depending on many different variables that are obvious after an extended period of time;
  • A Family Bible? – how many families actually do this anymore?
  • The doctor you had as a baby years ago is a possibility, but is also just as likely to be retired or worse yet dead and the files destroyed long ago if you are older.

So even if you can provide a “combination” of the above, it seems like you still have more hoops to jump through below as well that will be almost impossible as an adoptee to provide. Even if you only have to do the above or below neither seems like something an adoptee could do.  Per the above link:

“If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. The birth affidavit:

  • Must be notarized
  • Must be submitted in person with Form DS-11
  • Must be submitted together with early public records
  • Must be completed by an affiant who has personal knowledge of birth in the U.S.
  • Must state briefly how the affiant’s knowledge was acquired
  • Should be completed by an older blood relative

NOTE: If no older blood relative is available, it may be completed by the attending physician or any other person who has personal knowledge of your birth.”

Jumping down to the fourth item the people who have personal knowledge of your birth – well the doctor is gone from that list even if he is alive and you know his name from your birth certificate, because while he might have delivered you – he delivered a baby who was born someone else. As to other staff at your delivery well the same applies to them as it did to the doctor, and you can’t get access to your hospital records to know who they are anyway. As to the only possible others left that have direct knowledge of your birth – you don’t even know their names, let alone if they are alive, dead, living in the US, or not, so that stops both items 4 and 5.

Last hope with  the sixth item – note the “blood” relative requirement and you don’t have that because you are not genetically related to your mom and dad, then it circles you back to the fourth item which is not possible for reasons already explained – that is what an adoptee with a delayed birth certificate faces.

I always shy away from doing posts on adoptee rights because I cannot participate and don’t want to confuse the message with my take on it / say the wrong thing.  If I had not got sick, I would still be denied my OBC as I was born in a closed state.  My amended birth certificate was not delayed, it was back dated.  If it was delayed and I hadn’t gotten sick I would not be able to obtain any of the required information.  As it stands because I got sick, I could now get my passport because the courts ordered my records to be unsealed and I have a certified copy of my original birth certificate that has the same birth certificate number as my amended birth certificate and notes that it is not the legal version currently on file – that would connect the dots as to why the amended is delayed.  I am one of the “lucky” ones to have my original birth certificate – I am one of the very small number of adoptees with my rights restored.  I want every other adoptee to have that same right I have, and you have, and every other person has…if you want adoption to considered as a valid, then fight to restore the rights taken from the adoptee at the time of adoption – until then – adoptees don’t have the same rights as the non-adopted so how is adoption as good as? 

Stand up and be counted as an ally to the Adoptee Rights Coalition  – if you can’t attend this years rally – how about donating to help defray the costs?  These protests are held at “National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit” AND they have a booth inside the conference center which is key to getting legislators around the country educated on adoptee rights and why laws need to be changed.  Manning a booth all day long is draining, preparing for the conference and ensuring everything is ready, packed, shipped and arrives on time is a huge undertaking not to mention expensive to just have a booth at a conference.  What else can you do?  You can buy Adoptee Rights Merchandise that goes to defray costs and gives you the perfect opening to educate others that adoptees are discriminated against.  Do you know if your state representative going?  Ask them to stop at the booth and get educated – your voice to your representative holds him/her accountable to his constituency.  Please be a part of the solution.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child

 

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Never Ending Emotions

From Shadow: If you have read my posts, or followed as I’ve told my story of reunion, you know that I have talked mainly about the emotions I felt as I traveled my reunion journey. The road to reunion began with a diagnosis of a hereditary eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I stopped with the last letter I had written to E, my birthmother, “A Cry from the Heart”.

That letter was published in a book titled, “Adoption: Charms and Rituals for Healing”, written by Randolph Severson. He had asked to include my letter in his book, and I, obviously agreed, not sure why he felt it was worthy. At the time, to me, it was nothing more than my spilling out my frustration with the “need to know” answers to my questions, and E’s delays in responding to me. The title, Dr. Severson gave my letter had always confused me: a cry from my heart?

I hadn’t looked at the letter since the day I received my copy of the book, found my letter in it, and saw the title for the first time. At approximately 24 years of age, I read the title, reread my letter, closed the book, and to this day, I have never read any of the book. Now that I have lost my sight, and cannot read the book for myself, I wish I had. I hear it is a book worth reading. As the saying goes, hindsight, no pun intended.

I suppose, and hope, that with age comes wisdom. Here I sit, almost 25 years after writing that letter, and talking about all the emotions I felt back then. I get it now. Dr. Severson was right. That letter was truly a cry from my heart. As I’ve reread E’s letters to me, knowing what I know now, I can see the cry from her heart as well.

My reunion journey has not been easy; not for anyone. Talking about the emotions involved in reunion has not been easy, either. It would be easier to just shut them down, put the past in the past, and stop talking about it. However, this isn’t a made-for-T.V. movie, where all is resolved at the end. The story didn’t, does not, end after the first contact. The story, the emotions, and all that entails, have continued for almost 25 years now. It’s that continuation that no one seems to like to talk about. Like adoption, reunion is not a one-time event where we have contact, or not, and that is it. The emotions, the grief, the struggle with our feelings, do not just go away when our original simple curiosity about our biology is satisfied with answers to our questions; if our questions, even get answered. Like the impact of adoption, we have to live with the impact of reunion for the rest of our lives.

Due to some recent issues with E, and the emotional drain it has taken on me, I hope anyone following my story, will forgive me for taking a break from continuing my story of reunion with E, at least until I can find the words to keep going. I’m not a big believer in fate, but sometimes I have to wonder. The events that followed my writing of that letter, well, who am I to say it wasn’t fate? What happened to that letter changed everything, so stay tuned. For now, I hope you won’t mind if I skip ahead in my story, approximately 16 years later to my reunion with D, my birth father.

Even under the best of circumstances, reunion is an extremely emotional event, but, then again, with adoption, what exactly would be considered “the best of circumstances”?

If you thought emotions ran high in my reunion with E, wait until you read about my initiated reunion with D. You aint seen nothing yet. lol

Posting the link from Aug 26, 2010 Part 1: The Call the next post from me will continue that story. Edit – link fixed…

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

Ted Talk: Mistaken Expectations

Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.

***

The talk lasts approximately 22 minutes, with a further 10 minute expanded interactive discussion.  The majority of the talk can be listened to, although in a few spots the visual aids assist in getting his point across.

I found the talk to be relevant, interesting, and enlightening.  I was also intrigued by the way people make value comparisons, and it’s true in most areas of life – our perceptions are skewed by media sound bytes, what visual or verbal message comparisons are given to aid in our value comparisons.  Overall how we humans determine value and use value comparisons is a very sad commentary on our lack of depth, and how willing we are to get the instant gratification today instead of seeing how manipulated we are (by others and ourselves) in the choices we make.

Growing up with parents who were born before the depression and now living in the “I want it now” society of instant gratification, the differences between mom and dad and how they lived their lives, and how we as society live our life today is stunning.  We need the reward – they needed the knowledge that each little bit helped the bigger long-term picture whether it was their future or helping others less fortunate.  Through research of those organizations they supported, and a commitment to regular support they helped many, many children and their families and communities around the world to have a better future.  Knowing they helped was their reward. 

I try to live like my parents did understanding how each bit helps and the need to do my part regularly, ensuring that money does the most good, by putting it in the right hands, while also working for my long-term financial stability. Yet at times also wanting it now, like when TV died and we rushed right out to replace it. I try to stop and think about everything and not be swayed by the sound bites, the value comparison marketing ploys, overcome the need to have it now – sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but I am getting better at it the older I get.

The talk was about more than the above and is a good refresher in recognising what we do without realizing it.  Hope you enjoy it.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized