Monday, July 30, 2012

One Perfect Moment: An Adoption Reunion Story

This seems like the perfect time for me to participate in Write Mind / Open Heart's Perfect Moment Monday.

Lori writes, "Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between." Mine was momentous. And it was ordinary. It was as ordinary as a hug. In fact, it was a hug. A simple hug between two close relatives. But it was momentous because it was an embrace between two people who never expected to meet.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five for Friday: Five Things I Did on my Vacation

Is it Friday already? I'll be back to blogging more regularly soon. This week I'm on vacation, visiting my adoptive family home in Maine. Here are five things I did this week:

1) I saw the ocean
2) I hiked some trails
3) I ate a lot of lobster
4) I slept late
5) I read the book my biological father recommended

Yep, you just knew I was gong to slip in something about adoption reunion, didn't you? If things go according to plan (and there's a possibility they won't because a few pieces need to fall into place exactly in order for this to work out) I'll be meeting him in person in two days. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five For Friday: 5 People I Spoke to on the Phone Yesterday

1) My biological father
2) My biological mother
3) My  husband
4) My adoptive father
5) My biological daughter

There's obviously a lot more I could write about what's going on in my life at the moment, but I'm still processing it all internally. I'm also rushing around trying to make sure I get everything that needs to be done taken care of before I leave for vacation tonight. By tomorrow at this time I'll be at my adoptive family home (and I'll see my daughter, Mackenzie, who's been visiting there for several weeks). On my way there, I'll pass by the exit that leads to my biological father's town. On my way back home a little over a week from now, I'll take that exit for my first ever face-to-face meeting with the man who gave me half of my genetic makeup.

Image copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Post in Which I Try to Explain the Importance of the Biological Connection and Urge You to Support Adoptee Rights

One of the hardest things for me to encounter is an account by an adult adoptee who desires contact with the biological family but has been unable to access the necessary information or who successfully located the biological parent only to be met with rejection. The frustration, pain, confusion, and, yes, anger in such accounts cuts me to the core. It's personal for me, because it could so easily have been my story. Where would I be now, mentally and emotionally, were it not for my reunion?

I am one of the lucky ones. Finding my biological mother was ridiculously easy, once I finally got up the nerve to start the search. My adoptive mother had all the information I needed. She knew my original mother's name and was able to hand me a newspaper clipping of her wedding announcement, which included the biographical information that helped me find her. I did it on my lunch break. It took about 5 minutes to get a hold of her current address. I wrote her a letter, sent it, left town for a long weekend, and returned to find her voice -- her voice! -- on my answering machine.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five for Friday: 5 Days with Brothers

Ashley has been attending a day camp at a local community center, and this past week two of her her biological brothers attended the same camp! These boys reside with their paternal grandmother, who unfortunately has not been open to visitation, so the siblings haven't seen each other in several years. The camp thing wasn't planned, but neither was it a huge surprise -- we live in neighboring towns. We got some advanced notice that the boys were going to be at camp that week. Ashley went to camp on Monday knowing that her brothers would be there, but the brothers didn't know they would be seeing her.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Double Vision" at Adoption Voices Magazine

I have another piece up at Adoption Voices Magazine:

"I sometimes wish I knew what it would be like to not be adopted. If you are not adopted, please think about that for a moment. Think about the things that you take for granted. Think about the simple, natural connection between you and the people to whom you are related. Even if your relationship with your family is not 100% positive, there is a quality of your connection to them that you have probably never questioned; they simply ARE your family. They didn’t choose you; you didn’t choose them. You are connected to them by the interwoven threads of shared experience and biology."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Five for Friday: Five Snapshots of Reunion

I was going to write a Five for Friday post called "Five Potential Pitfalls of Reunion," but I just don't have it in me to do that today. Instead, I've decided to go in a completely different direction with these five photos from my 15+ year reunion with my original mother's family. I could have picked any number of photos, but here are five that both came to mind and could be found (I'm really terrible at keeping photos organized). I'm so glad to be in a situation that allows such pictures to be taken, and my heart aches for all of those adoptees who can't even get started on the reunion path because of lack of access to information and for those who start but are met with rejection. It is my deepest wish that all adoptees could experience the healing of "coming home."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Risk of Reunion

I have something rare in the adoption world: a very successful reunion with my biological mother. I also have something that else that goes along with this. I call it “successful reunion guilt syndrome.” What I mean by this is that when I encounter any of the many variations of reunions that did not go so well, I feel a twinge of guilt and unworthiness. Why me? Why was I so lucky when this other person was not?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You Do Not Have to Be Good

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
-- From "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
Can we please just end one thing right now: the whole idea of the "good adoptee" versus the "bad adoptee." How many of us have struggled with this?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vulnerable

I'm feeling vulnerable today. That's not a bad thing. I'm just aware that I'm soft and raw; I've let my guard down. Adoption reunion requires this of me. That may seem counterintuitive. It might seem to some that this would be at time, more than any other, when I should protect myself and shield my emotions. But if both people do that, there can be no connection. Imagine two knights in full armor trying to embrace each other.

I cherish each communication from my biological father. Each one -- even if it's just a short email … a line or two of text and a photo -- tells me something about him. And that's what I asked for. I wanted, quite simply, to know this person who is partially responsible for my existence and my "composition," my particular genetic makeup. The flip side of the coin is the desire to be known. To know one's biological parents and to be known by them. Such a simple desire. Such a basic human urge. It is so surprising to me at times that adoptees have to fight so hard to make people understand why this is something that we (or many of us, at least) need.
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