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From 2012: Long rambling post about life and dealing with ambiguous loss…

(this post is not about adoption, other than I’m adopted – Judy’s us)

Judy Miller has an interesting post on ambiguous loss and some good points regarding adoption and how the ambiguous loss can be felt at different times (ebbs and flows) over an adoptee’s lifetime.  I have heard the term but had never taken the time to understand the parameters of what was included in the term. It was interesting to read and one of the links goes to a book by Pauline Boss.  I may put it on my list of books to read. The Amazon page has this to say about the book:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 21, 2018 in Adoption

 

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Best post I’ve read in a long time…

By TAO

It’s true…

It made me laugh out loud…

It’s advice for every type of adoptive family…

In short, just brilliant…

Confusion

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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Father’s Day…

By TAO

This is a post I wrote three years ago, about a time before how medicine is practiced today, when people relied on their family doctor for just about everything.  I figured it was worth reposting today.  Now it’s time to head out and pull a few weeds and get some fresh air. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Adoption

 

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Link to a post that brings back fond memories for me…

By TAO

From Light of Day Stories Heritage and Culture Camps: Why Do They Matter? 

“One is surely the opportunity for an adopted child or teenager to be surrounded by other kids like them. Not having to explain about being adopted, or about why they look different from their parents–it’s a relief to be among others who understand.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Adoption

 

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Links worth sharing…

By TAO

I followed a link off twitter that came to this post by Religious News.  Now, I need to confess I tend to stay away from this type of website simply because some tend to raise my blood pressure, especially if they speak of adoption.  This time is different and is worth sharing.  I will share the last paragraph that made me smile because the hypocrisy is so very clear to me and many others – so read the post.

If I’m against SSM do I have to be against adoption?

If it’s SSM that they’re arguing against, the non-religion reason is biology. If its adoption they pushing for, it’s selfless surrender for the good of the child. The non-religious reasons are simply rationalizations for the religious results they want.

The last post linked below is completely different and is from Adopto-Snark that had me giggling right through to the end.  Adoptee humor at it’s finest, but is also something “some” non-adopted should think about before they open their mouth and insert foot.  I wish I had her gift.

Questions I’ve Always Wanted to Ask

Hope you enjoy them…

Updated…

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics

 

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A post about one dog that I can’t stop thinking about…

By TAO

All my friends know I am a huge animal lover. I support rescue groups where I live – one large, one small, and over the years others who give a hand up to animals. My home has been a refuge for dogs and cats who needed someone to care.  Right now I have Little Puppy who lived in a shelter for most of her first year of life – the last seven with me and is sleeping curled up on her bed next to me. Where I am – is where she is, yesterday it was out chasing the ball in the misty rain, while I tried to prune the apple tree in between being barked at to throw the ball – yet again. Big puppy has been on borrowed time for the last year and it will be hard to see him go, and I think my Little Puppy knows it is almost time. Last week when he went to the vet she was inconsolable – until he returned home. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Not really much to say…

A Belated Merry Christmas to everyone – I meant to do a post and then forgot.  Hoping your celebrations were the way you wanted them.  Mine were perfect, low key and with the people I wanted to see and spend time with.  Of course, I would have loved to meet up with people who I only know on-line but…

Having said that – the weather sucked.  We had snow a week before Christmas and I had my fingers crossed, and then rain, rain, and more rain.  The picture at the end of the post, while not the best, shows what one of the squirrels thought of it too.

Now to add the adoption bit into the post.  I was reading the NCFA documents that are part of their “birthparent” counselling package.  Many of them disturbed me, but this made me scratch my head.  Below is the blurb at the top of the formerly called “Positive Adoption Language” now called “Accurate Adoption Language“…who can keep up with all these changes – hey?

Words not only convey facts, they also evoke feelings. For example, when a TV show or movie contains language about a “custody battle” between “real parents” and “other parents,” this reinforces the inaccurate notion that only birth parents are real parents and that adoptive parents aren’t real parents. Members of society may also wrongly conclude that all adoptions are “battles.”

Accurate adoption language can stop the spread of misconceptions such as these. By using accurate language, we educate others about adoption. We choose emotionally “correct” words over emotionally laden words. We speak and write in appropriate adoption language with the hope of influencing others so that this language will someday become the norm.

Under the Acceptable column is: Person / Individual who was adopted

Under the Less Acceptable column is: Adoptee

And of course “was adopted” is Acceptable, and “is adopted” is Less Acceptable.

So using the term “Person / Individual who was adopted” for myself, will stop the spread of misconceptions such as what?  That I am an adopted?  I am.

I’m missing the connection between my identifying as an “Adoptee” and emotionally laden words.  It’s a term. I do know that writing out “Person / Individual who was adopted” will not be on my list of New Year’s Resolutions.  Adoptees should be free to use whatever terminology suits them.  Not what some group of “People / Individuals who were not adopted” want us to use.

And what’s with the use of three different “A Words”: Accurate, Acceptable, Appropriate?  Couldn’t get a consensus on which was the right – less emotionally laden term?

Anyway – have a Safe & Happy New Year – if I don’t talk to you before then…

Now the picture of the wet squirrel – and don’t judge the picture quality – it was taken from inside the kitchen with a flash it was such a dreary grey and rainy day.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Adoption, Uncategorized

 

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Letter to my mother…

By TAO

Dear Mother,

Writing Dear Mother seems so formal, yet I never met you, you so I can’t call you mom, or even know if you would have wanted to me to call you – mom.  Let alone if I would have been comfortable with that either.  How strange all of this is, and to think that at my age, I am writing you a letter for the very first time.  All in all, this seems to be a harder letter to write than I thought it would be, and seems without purpose, or reason, but yet I think it is still something that I need to do.  Perhaps it is just part of the journey, this need to talk to you, and write down my thoughts, so here goes…

One of my greatest wishes – is that you could have known all the times throughout my life, that I thought about you, longed to know who you were, desired just to know you. Looking back, I can’t remember a single time in my life when I didn’t want that. Every year on my birthday, would find me looking for a message from you to me in the paper, never found one, but it didn’t stop me dreaming of the day you would look for me, find me. That day never came and when I found you –  it was already too late. I never heard your voice, at least not that I remember, neither do I know if you ever saw me, held me, or even said goodbye. That hurts – not knowing anything about what happened when I was born.  I can never ask you the questions that haunt me, questions like: Did you see me, hold me?  Did they take me away and not let you see me? Did you want to see me? Did you try? Did you name me?  I wasn’t named on my birth certificate, so I will never know if you named me, or they just didn’t put my name on my birth certificate, as I was just a baby for adoption. In my heart I think you did, but that too, is just another missing piece. I do know you thought I had a family to go too, but I didn’t, and spent a few months “somewhere”. I don’t know where, or if it was just one person, or many people, who cared for me. No one knows, no one thought to ask, no one documented it. All I know, is that I was somewhere, because I am still here. I did get wonderful parents who were loving, and supportive, and did the best they could in all things.

There are many missing pieces to my story that can never be answered, just like I can never get to know you, see you, talk to you. Those missing pieces haunt me.  I need all the pieces to make sense of anything, regardless of what it is, but this is the big one, the one that dramatically altered my life in such a profound way. At the heart of who I am – I am a puzzle solver – I have to solve it, understand it, know it. Yet the event that forever changed the course of my life, is a puzzle to me, it will always have missing pieces, incomplete and unsolved.

There are so many things I wish could have been different. That you had reached out while you were still alive – while that one small link between us was still partly open. Perhaps you did try to reach out, but “others” thought you shouldn’t, perhaps you didn’t reach out for any number of reasons, it’s the not knowing that hurts, that can never be answered now. I wanted to know you in whatever form that relationship took. To know if we would have connected and talked for hours on end, finished each other’s sentences, understood each other, or be totally disconnected from each other, and distant, or something in between. There is comfort in knowing we shared similar interests, flower gardening and that you loved roses too, that reading was a passion we both shared, crafts. I also know that you married and had children, but that’s pretty much all I know, and it seems so little. That despite the willingness of others to share with me their knowledge about you, they can’t provide the knowledge that I crave, that can only be known when you know someone personally. I am grateful to know as much as I do, and am sorry that I didn’t push harder, but I was unsure if I should, and worried it would cause you pain, perhaps that is what happened on your end too. I would have liked a different ending, regardless of what the outcome was, that I might have been able to share with you my journey, and hear your journey. To have been able to tell you about things that happened in my life that seemed random at the time, but now strike me as perhaps what is called synchronicity. When I work on the family tree, I think of you, and wish you could tell me stories to give me a better sense of who our ancestors were. Above all, just the chance to spend some time getting to know you, and hear our story, would have been the best.

From all accounts – loosing me changed you, but I don’t think anyone truly understood why, how could they when they never went through anything like that. Little things said about your choices or actions – things that made perfect sense to me, seem to just not make any sense to them, why you would do something, or at least they never connected the two together. I believe I know why, because of similar reactions I had, after my son, your first grandchild, passed. I don’t know if that makes us alike, or just aligned, because we both lost our first child. My hope is that your husband understood, and from has been said, he was a good man, and I hope he was there for you when you needed him.

Finally, I have been told – you said, when asked, that you thought of me every day, and that makes me both happy, and sad, at the same time, because I always hoped you were okay and had a good life, while still thinking of me from time to time. Knowing that though, does provides me with a level of certainty, that you would have been open to knowing me as well, yet instead we both failed to act, and that allowed the wall of secrecy between us to stay for life. Secrecy that wasn’t right then, and still isn’t right now. I don’t believe that adoption was ever meant to be done this way, and they are slowly learning from the impact on so many, from this closed era social experiment. It’s just sad we had to be a part of that, bad timing I suppose, but at the end of the day, we can’t change the past, and just had to live the life that was dealt, I hope you did, and that you found the peace you needed, and the ability to have joy and happiness in your life too.

Your first child…

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Adoption, biological child

 

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Bird baths aren’t used just for baths…

Stellar Jay landing on the railing with bird bath to the right

Seeing a bird bath brings back warm memories of watching the birds play in the one outside the kitchen window as a child.  It seemed like there were always a couple of birds dunking themselves and the flapping their wings sending sprays of water everywhere, repeating it time after time – until they flew away to a branch where they would finish their grooming.

Once I had my own home, I always intended to get a bird bath, one just the right height so that the cats could not just grab a bird off the rim.  I never got one for the old place and now I feel bad about that, because I didn’t understand why bird baths are important.

Fast forward to my new home and on the list again was a bird bath.  Several years ago I did find just the right one that attached to the deck railing by a clamp, and in reality, is just a circular band that holds a shallow plastic saucer that is about 1-2 inches deep – so that is easy to lift off and clean.  I had to have it!

Bird Bath view from kitchen window

That bird bath is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  At first I was kind of disappointed because it didn’t seem that many were entertaining me by playing in the water but then I realized – this bird bath is perhaps the only source of clean drinking water for the birds in my area.

Perhaps the only source of water close by for the birds when the hot weather happens.  That realization made me feel incredibly shallow, I never thought about birds needing to drink to survive, just like any other species.  I felt bad, and then worse, when I started trying to figure out exactly where birds in the city could find clean drinking water.  Sure, there are some creeks, and even a river, but there are none close to where I live.  They would have to drink out of the muddy puddles on the side of the road – which also disappear when the sun comes out.  I provided food, but nowhere to drink.  It makes sense now, why dad had the bird bath next to the bird feeder, and every time he watered, he washed out the bird bath and filled it back up.

Last night while doing the dishes I watched three Stellar Jays (like the bird in first picture) sitting together on the rim drinking water – dipping their beaks down into the water – tipping their heads way back and gulping down the clean fresh cool water.  Later I watched several Chickadees stop by and take several sips and fly away – including my little one with only one leg.  Then a couple of Crows stopped by and finally a Squirrel come over to get a drink.  I see all the birds in my garden except the humming birds use the bird bath to drink from every day – starting with the large Norther Flicker Wood Peckers down to the tiny, little, Bush T*ts, and perhaps the hummingbirds do too, and I just miss seeing them.

Have you ever asked yourself where the birds in your neighborhood find water to drink?

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Great post and video

It’s my day for posting links apparently.

From Rilelys in UgandaOut of Here – the video brought tears to my eyes…take the time – it is so worth it…

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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Four Inconvenient Truths: Circle of Moms – Adoption Contest 2012

I do my utmost to try to learn life lessons from history – I talk about this constantly and perhaps too often, but what happened this past week or so, drives home this point again. 

I got to thinking that I was sure that the Circle of Moms – Adoption Parent Contest 2011 had both Adult Adoptees (parents) and First Mothers (parents) and Adoptive Mothers (parents) – so I googled it and came up with this final 2011 vote tally page here.  That is the basis for this post – feel free to correct me if this post contains inaccuracies – but it certainly paints a totally different picture than what is being written on some blogs this week.   

You cannot rewrite history to suit your narrative today…

Inconvenient Truth #1: The furor that was kicked up in this contest this year has nothing whatsoever to do with the Contest or How It Was Being Run or Who was included this year – that weren’t also included last year.

Inconvenient Truth #2: Last year only Adoptive Parent Blogs made it into the Top 25 so being inclusive was just fine and dandy and likely included some pointing out the inclusiveness factor of all voices being heard.

Inconvenient Truth #3: This year Adult Adoptees and First Mothers made it to the Top Tier of the Top 25 during the contest so being inclusive suddenly became an issue to some.

Inconvenient Truth #4: Last year’s contest was inclusive of Adult Adoptees and First Mothers, even if one or more(?) asked not to be voted for – including:

#27 The Declassified Adoptee

#32 Musings of the Lame

#46 The Chronicles of Munchkin Land

#48 My Birth Name is Allison

#50 Once Was Von

#58 Chris’s blog (adult adoptee)

#60 Endure for a Night

#64 Neither Here Nor There

#69 Assembling Self

http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/adoption?trk=t25_adoption

These parents not only have big hearts, but have done their best to create loving homes for their children who have come to them from all corners of the world.

Voting ended on Jun 21, 2011 at 4pm PT. Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents is now closed.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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Learning how to really listen…

Dad was a great listener. A long-time friend told me this story about his first real experience with dad’s listening skills. I am changing job titles but not the story. A new manager timidly asked the board to consider making some changes to the presentation schedule. All the board members except dad debated back and forth and huffed and puffed and the new manager kept looking over at dad thinking he was sleeping, or not listening, as his eyes were closed, his body relaxed, and then after about an hour dad opened his eyes and spoke. Dad said: let him do it, we go through this each time and each of you have the same arguments and finally we let them do it, and it always turns out okay. Apparently that finished the meeting.

Dad had few words but he could listen – perhaps a skill learned listening to his patients to get to the diagnosis – perhaps just his personality, but he listened to everything. He also asked probing question when necessary.  He would then consider the answers and say his piece without molly coddling, in as few words as possible to get his point across. When I first started taking music lessons and played whatever song I had just learned for him, his response was usually “not bad, you need to keep practicing” and then the next night “you are getting better, so keep practicing” and finally “that was good, keep practicing, I love to hear you play”. He didn’t molly coddle but he never spoke meanly either, just truthful without all the fluff.

I was taught the Suzuki Method of music created by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. I took lessons when it was a brand new method – way back in the early 60’s with teachers from Japan. We first had to learn how to listen to each note, and really listen to all the different parts of the song, which notes to whisper, when to shout them, when vibrato was needed, when to make the music dance, or when to make it sad, and then memorize all the parts that made the song, the song. Then we had to play it for the teacher, be shown where we did it wrong, and practice it, and practice it, until we had it perfect before we could go to the next song. We had to learn how to do that before we were allowed to learn how to read music. I loved my music teachers who were all young Japanese nationals who barely spoke English, who would come for a year or two and return home and another would take her place. Now I think the lack of a common language between us, assisted the whole process because words weren’t available, only showing and listening.

Despite the grumbling of having to practice each day, I now wish it was possible for all children to learn an instrument before they are old enough to go to school.  I also believe my early music training played a large part in how my brain rewired to speak on the right side of my brain instead of the left side. This article explains how musicians especially those trained early, have different brains and the plasticity that comes from it. Parts of the article are a bit technical but continue to the discussion part where it is easier to understand.

Whether I learned how to listen from dad, or from my music lessons/teachers, or both – learning how to actively pursue understanding is a lesson that has helped me tremendously, plus the memorization I had to do before I was old enough to learn to read music, were two important lessons that have helped me both professionally and personally every single day of my life.

Music aside, if you are interested in tools to help you become an active listener in daily life, this short article is worth reading.  I found the quote below in the comment section of the article (he didn’t know the author of the quote).

Ordinary listeners only listen until they have an opinion about what they are hearing or until they validate what they already know. Great listeners listen until they learn something they did not know before.”

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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