Google Search Terms

The writing prompt from Lost Daughters for today asks us talk about being called an “angry adoptee.”

I was doing some research for another blog post I’m writing and I needed to look through some of the Google search terms people have used to arrive at my blog. I’ve glanced through this list of terms before, but never really paid too much attention to it. Today, I took some time to really look at some of these terms, questions and statements, and yes, it makes me realize why so many adoptees are angry, including myself.

As an exercise in entertainment or at the very least, to provide some insight about what people think of adoptees and adoption, I’d like to share some of these things that people say.

A Few Google Search Terms for Sisterwish

My most favorite search term ever.

  • How to be a supportive sister to a teen mom

You’ve obviously arrived at the wrong blog.

wrong-way-167535_640

  • Happy adoptee blog
  • Gotchaday charms
  • Adoptees who support the Cappobiancos

Can anybody help me sort out this birth certificate confusion?

  • How do you know if your birth certificate is an original?
  • My name is smudged on birth certificate
  • My mom lied on my birth certificate
  • What state seals the adoptee birth certificate the state of birth or adoption
  • My birth certificate has my biological last name and I have always gone by my adopted last name how do I get social security card
  • Adoptee denied passport because of amended birth certificate
  • How do you know if your birth certificate is original
  • Passport with amended birth certificate?

My father is an asshole.

  • When your biological father doesn’t want contact
  • My birth father doesn’t want to know me
  • Rejected by natural father
  • My bio father doesn’t want to know me

Why didn’t I think of that?

  • National Unethical Adoption Awareness Month
  • Adoptive parent whistleblower

But I thought open adoption was better!

  • Open adoption sucks
  • Open adoption adoptee wish it was closed
  • Open adoption is bad
  • Adoptive parents feeling uncomfortable and wishing hadn’t done open adoption
  • Adoptees and open adoption
  • Open adoption and teens
  • Half sister from an open adoption
  • Open adoption jealousy

Why are adoptees so awful?

  • Adoptee jealous sibling kept reunion feel replaced
  • Adoptees not able to support others emotionally
  • Why is my adopted sister so jealous of me
  • Blog about adopted sister
  • Bad adoptee blog
  • Adopted sister is trying to divide myself and my biological sister
  • Frustrated adoptive mom
  • Adoptee rage

That’s just so wrong, it didn’t need to be googled.

  • Is it wrong to touch your adopted sister
  • Why are Mexicans dirty

Be angry.

  • Late discovery adoptees
  • Dismissive statements like “she’s a big girl, she can handle it”
  • Amom doesn’t want adult adoptee to meet Bmom

Adoption ethics, original birth certificate issues, second class citizen status, expectations of adoptees, stereotyping, molestation, lies, jealousy, accusations, regret, rejection – yes, I think we can all understand why adoptees might be angry and some even livid, outraged, furious or downright pissed. We’re not here to be dealt with as a Google search term in an attempt to find some simple solution in dealing with us.

We’re here to be loud and bold. We have a voice and we’re using it. I hope it makes you angry. And I hope you join us in our demand for justice and ethics and especially in our efforts to be heard.

Open Adoption Lost and Found

Writing prompt from Lost Daughters for NAM: For those who have searched for birth family, talk about the impetus that lead you to search, the emotions leading up to making contact, and the reactions of those family members you found.
For those who have been found by birth family, talk about your emotions upon being contacted and your response to the person who found you.
For those who have not searched nor have been found, talk about whether or not you feel you ever will search and the reasons for your choice.

These questions aren’t exactly conducive to being answered by an adoptee from open adoption (in my situation anyway), but I want to try to answer the prompt for today.

I was 4 years old when I first remember seeing my mom. I had actually only been separated from my mom 3 years prior when I was just shy of a year old. I’m sure I had prominent memories of her, but sadly, I couldn’t remember them then and I don’t remember them now. I keep focusing on that word, “found.” I guess the implication is that I had been lost during that time we were apart. That doesn’t accurately describe it though.

I felt as though I had been given responsibility to keep up with something that I had failed to keep sight of. I was a 4 year old wandering through life looking for something.
LostandFound
My lack of ability to keep up with what I had been given wasn’t something that I fully realized. It’s like losing all of your traditions. You just know that something that was everything, the meaning, the importance of life, is now gone. Someone asks, “What is it you’ve lost.” And you try to explain, “Well, it’s this thing that used to occur. It was important because it defined everything about me. It doesn’t happen anymore. But I can’t stop looking for it. I’ve been careless and now it’s gone.”

Except 4 year olds don’t have the language to explain that it wasn’t a thing.

“I wish I had a sister,” was the best I could do.

I’m sure I recalled my sisters. Somewhere in my memory I could see the faint images of us playing or fighting or singing together – that tradition I had lost. I said, “I wish I had a sister” so many times that my adopter finally had enough of it and blurted out that I did have a sister. In fact I had 2.

Something found.

So yes, maybe I had been lost. But more than that, I had lost something. Something important. And when that something important walked into the place where I had been looking for it for 3 years, everything went to shades or orange and red, warmth and sunshine. So that is my memory of seeing my mom for the first time. Sunshine.

She radiated tenderness, calmness, sweetness, softness. It was the first time I ever liked the sound of my own name. In her presence, I felt steady, embraced, loved, accepted – it felt like there would be nothing I could do wrong.

To be young and stupid.

So to answer the question, “my emotions upon contact?” I felt like I could stop looking and stop blaming myself for losing. I found what I had lost.

National Adoption Month – Adoptees Flip The Script

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The Lost Daughters has provided writing prompts each day this month for adoptees. I’d like to respond to their prompt for today.

Talk about what National Adoption Month means to you as an adoptee. What is missing from the traditional narrative promoted during each November? Why is it important that adoptees’ experiences and opinions are heard during NAM? What does it mean to you to Flip The Script on National Adoption Month?
NAM15Flipthescript
I’ve been around the adoption community for about 2 ½ years, so I was only exposed to National Adoption Month (NAM) once previous to the #FlipTheScript campaign. That year (2013), I was so deep in researching adoption issues for myself that I wasn’t really paying a ton of attention to NAM.

But I started paying attention last year and what I see presented in the mainstream media is a completely different story than what I’ve been hearing and speaking about for the last couple of years in the adoption community. For the most part, it seems that the larger understanding of adoption seems to be centered on the “saving” and the “obtaining” of adoptees and adoption as a way of “building a family.” That has nothing to do with what I focus on and talk about.

My passion is helping natural families remain together when possible. My desire is to bring adoptee rights and original birth certificate access for adoptees to the attention of more people, especially legislators. My goal is to raise awareness about ethical issues in adoption to everyone, not just within the adoption community.

In practical ways, all of these things mean that I’m constantly experiencing adoption. I’m involved with Saving Our Sisters. I write and speak to legislators in my own state and in other states when needed. I speak often about Rob Manzanares, Carri Stearns, Kimberly Rossler and other parents who are fighting for their children who have been targeted by unethical adoption tactics.

My experience is living adoptions issues daily and I’ve found that by connecting with other adoptees and hearing what they have to say, I’ve grown as a person and as an adoptee. My own experience of being involved in the #FlipTheScript campaign last year (2014) was a game changer. This was when I found (via #FlipTheScript) other adoptees from open adoption. It was a moment I had been waiting on for years. To find others that had experienced adoption in a similar way as me and to finally know that I wasn’t alone was amazing. Those are connections that I hold close to my heart to this day and those are the types of connections that are there waiting for other adoptees.

National Adoption Month should not simply be about saving an orphan or finding an option to deal with infertility as the media would like to focus on during November. What is missing is an accounting of all of these ethical issues in adoption and the personal experience of adoption that comes from the adoptee point of view. These are the things that the mainstream media hasn’t embraced (yet).

#FlipTheScript has stopped that Saving/Obtaining narrative in its tracks and has brought the focus back where it should be – To the adoptees who have lived this life of being adopted. We are the experts and we are here to say, forget what you think you know and start listening to us. You might just learn something about adoption.

A Letter Never To Be Sent

My mom tells a story of a letter she received from me when I was young. I’d requested to play 20 questions with her only I wanted it to be 100 questions. In my letter I proceeded to ask all the questions that crowded my small mind. Like always, I wanted too much. I expected too much. I was asking for too much.

She never replied. Now she wonders if not answering was a catalyst for me cutting off our contact for so many years. (It wasn’t)

I want to play 100 questions again. I can’t know if my questions today are the same as those I asked all those years ago, but these are the ones in my letter today. A letter that will never be sent.

Dear Mom,

I love you so much and I have so many questions. I fear that asking you to answer these things will take you on a journey back to a time you’d rather forget for many reasons. Regardless, these are the things that weigh on my mind.

What was it like when you were pregnant with me? Was it a similar pregnancy to those of my older sisters? Every time I see a woman who is pregnant, my mind wonders what it may have been like for you. I don’t know if there was a portion of your pregnancy that was ever celebrated. Did you stay inside as much as possible to avoid questions from strangers? When did you first feel me moving in your belly? Was each movement a reminder of our impending separation? Or were you still considering keeping me at that point? Did anyone give you any gifts when you were expecting me? Did anyone offer to help you keep me?

What was it like on the day I was born? How did you know you were in labor? Who took you to the hospital? Did labor last (what felt like) forever? Were the nurses nice to you? What was it like when I was born? Did I cry? Was I silent? Did you hold me? Did you cry? Or did you fall asleep? I know I’m asking you to remember so much and it’s hard to remember small details when a person is in crisis mode, but I’m asking, was it a sunny day? How much hair did I have? Did we stare at each other? Did you sing to me? Where were my sisters when I was born? Did I get to see them? Did anyone take any pictures? Did anyone bring you anything? Flowers? A blanket for me? Did anyone offer to help you keep me? Anyone at all?
baby-holding-hand-847820_640
Did you nurse me? Did you feed me formula? I don’t mind either way. I was just wondering. I know you changed your mind about giving me away while we were still at the hospital. I saw it in the social worker’s report. At that moment you changed your mind, did you feel at peace? Scared? Did you feel like you could hold me more after that? Did you feel more bonded to me? Like you could let yourself go? Was I a happy baby? My little girl only cried when she needed something like a bottle or to be changed. Was I like that? Was I a calm baby? Or did I demand too much?

Between the social worker’s report, what you’ve told me and what others have told me, I’m a little fuzzy on where I spent my first few months, but I know that you and I were reunited when I was about 5 months old and we stayed together until I was 11 months. Can you tell me, exactly what happened that made you decide you couldn’t do it anymore, you know, mother me? Was it anything about me that was too much work? (Most likely you are going to say no, but I ask that question honestly wanting an answer. Some kids are difficult.) Or was it just too much to mother 3 kids? Who was helping you at the time besides your mom? Was anyone making it easier?

The day we were separated permanently … the day I was taken, what was it like? Sunny? Rainy? Cold? It was December. Was it snowing? Did you have a Christmas tree? I know you probably didn’t.

Did you get me dressed to leave? Were you crying? Was I? Were my sisters? Did they even understand what was happening? What was the last thing you said to me? Did you give me something to hang on to that smelled like you? Did you send any of my toys with me? Did I have any toys? Did anyone take a picture of us? Did you watch us drive away? Did anyone in your family or any neighbors at the motel or your work or church offer to help you keep me? If they did, did you think you couldn’t ask for the help? Did people make you feel ashamed?

After I was gone, what did you and my sisters do? Did you try to get your mind off it (me)? Did you feel like your heart had been ripped to shreds or did you feel at peace that one more problem had been solved? Did you wonder the same about me? Did you think having my physical needs met or having more things would make up for the loss of you and my sisters? Did you know that on that day, I lost my world? Did you know that it is a loss that I will never recover from? Did you know that I will forever carry that loss and that it impacts me daily? Did you know that I will forever be obsessed with your love? Did you know that simply being in your presence makes me feel anxious like a school girl with a crush, but not secure as to whether the other person feels the same? Each time I see you, I’m not sure if it’s butterflies in my stomach or if it’s my heart breaking once again.

I’m sorry that I’ve asked too many questions and once again wanted too much.

As always, you have my continued love and adoration.

Your daughter,

Kat

What Is a Crisis Pregnancy?

Kimberly Rossler is a name that we can now add to a list of many names of women taken advantage of during a time of vulnerability. I include my own natural mother in that list of names. So often, as was the case of Kimberly and my mom, women become pregnant and in moments of susceptibility, they are preyed upon by those who will take advantage of the situation.

Who Is Kimberly Rossler?

Kimberly’s story has gained a lot of media attention over the last week. During her pregnancy, it appears that Kimberly contacted what she thought was an adoption agency called Adoption Rocks. That call actually placed Kimberly in touch with an adoption attorney named Donna Ames. Ames handles private infant adoptions. Ames met with Kimberly very quickly after that call and paired Kimberly with a woman, Kate Sharp, who wanted to adopt an infant. Soon afterwards, while still pregnant, Kimberly changed her mind about the adoption, but Sharp pursued the adoption and she was able to gain custody of Kimberly’s baby, Elliot three weeks after he was born. You can read more about the timeline and details of these events HERE, but please note, Kimberly was and is a loving and fit mother. She did NOT lose custody of him for any reason other than another woman wanted Elliot for herself.

What is Adoption Rocks?

In a released statement, Donna Ames, the attorney, who sits on the board of directors of Adoption Rocks, says that Adoption Rocks is not an adoption agency. In her words:

“Adoption Rocks is a non-profit organization which simply provides a venue (an office) where birth mothers who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy, can gain awareness of the adoption process and review profiles of families wishing to adopt.”

You can read her statement in full HERE.

While it isn’t quite clear what exactly Adoption Rocks is (aside from being a nonprofit), one thing is clear: If a woman lands on the Adoption Rocks website during a time when she is feeling vulnerable and/or is questioning her options, Adoption Rocks WILL escalate the situation to a full blown “crisis.”

When we label a situation as a crisis, how might a vulnerable person respond?

  • She may panic.
  • She may not think clearly.
  • She may feel pressured.
  • She may make critical decisions in haste.

Any of the above reactions are completely understandable with someone standing over her saying she is facing a “crisis.” In fact, Donna Ames uses the term twice in her statement.

It makes me wonder, what exactly qualifies one as being in a crisis pregnancy.

We can find the answer on the Adoption Rocks website where Donna Ames, the attorney handling the attempted adoption of Kimberly’s baby, sits on the Board of Directors.

“Adoption Rocks was founded by a group of civic leaders, adoptive parents, and professionals who each had a strong concern about babies being born to single mothers…”

“Adoption Rocks is also trying to educate the general public about adoption as an option for crisis pregnancies in the state of Alabama.”

You can read the full ‘About Us’ description on the Adoption Rocks website HERE.

Apparently, Donna Ames and a fellow group of people have decided that a single woman being pregnant is … you guessed it … a “crisis pregnancy.”
What is most interesting about that statement is that, Kate Sharp, the woman trying to adopt Kimberly’s baby is … you guessed it … a single woman.

So apparently, being a single woman to whom a child is born is a big no, no in the world of Adoption Rocks. However, being a single woman (with money) that wants to adopt a child is perfectly fine.

When Will Adoptive Parents Face a Crisis

I disagree with the statement that a single woman who is pregnant is in crisis. It’s the judgement of others and the man-made rules and morals that turn a pregnancy into a crisis.

The true “crisis in pregnancy” is being preyed upon while pregnant.
The crisis is the numerous names added to this list continues to grow each day.
The crisis is rampant lies, coercion and forcefully taking an infant from its loving mother’s arms to give to another.
The crisis is the number of natural mothers and fathers that must fight in the courts for their children due to predatory tactics.

And the actual crisis will be for the woman who has taken the infant from his loving, fit mother. It will be the day she must explain to child or young adult that is beginning to understand what was done to his mother. That woman will be in crisis when saying, “Your mother loved and wanted you, but I … I stood in the way.
Now THAT is a crisis.

***To raise awareness for Kimberly’s fight for her son to be returned to her, please like and/or share the following pages.***
Bring Baby Elliot Home Facebook Page – to obtain updates on Kimberly and her infant son, Elliot.
GoFundMe Bring Baby Elliot Home – to assist with Kimberly and Elliot’s legal fees to be reunited.

Adoptees, Never Discount a Potential Source

Today we are fortunate to have a second guest post from adoptee, Pavel Kurecka. Pavel previously shared his experience and difficulty in obtaining his passport due to the closed records system we currently have. Today he shares a potential source of information that many adoptees may be able to use to find answers. I’m grateful to Pavel for sharing. Please kindly comment and share any thoughts or additional suggestions for adoptees.

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Adoptees, Never Discount a Potential Source – Pavel Kurecka

Information about adoptees has been a secret for many of us.  In fact, those of us in the baby boomer generation – as adults – are legally prevented from obtaining information about ourselves in the same way that a non-adoptee can. (And I am not referring to registries – they may work for some, but they require both the adoptee and a birth parent to register; that level of luck [both knowing about the registry and consenting] is rare and it is insulting that government and “charities” tell adult adoptees that, absent such luck, you are SOL.)  However, there are other, legal ways that information can be found. Here is one example; required a bit of luck, but maybe others, knowing of it, may also find that luck.

December 1980.

It was a cold, bitter winter.  The night before that day, I think it was a Wednesday, but it was a week day, there had been a substantial snow storm – and for Michigan, that means something. There was over a foot of new snow and that added to the over two feet already on the ground (reminiscent of January 1968). But the weather did not bother me as it usually would.  I was home from university for an end-of-year break. It was a chance to see my family and, most important, my then fiancée.
(I was over 800 miles away for my studies, and this was well before Skype™).

This fiancée, whose first name was Lynette, and I had planned for a wedding ceremony in the upcoming September; that would give all friends and family a chance to plan ahead if they chose to attend and give her and I the summer for some vacationing. This, of course, meant doing much of the wedding planning during that break.

Adoptee Search – Details Make the Difference

Bit of background. Lynette was Roman Catholic (you would have to ask her if she still is) and she wanted a wedding done according to the customs of that church. My adoptive parents raised me as Roman Catholic, but that had worn off.  I point this out only because the Roman Catholic church will only marry a man and woman if both are “never yet married” or widowed. And they require proof.  This is generally done with baptismal certificates. Not only does the church keep records of its parishioners’ “sacraments” in its ledgers, these records are also copied onto the baptismal certificate. No marriage listed on the back of the certificate meant that, in the eyes of the church, one had not been married and was eligible to be married.

We were planning the marriage at the church where my fiancée was a parishioner. Besides the fact that I was not a parishioner anywhere, that was the tradition.  So, my fiancée’s baptismal certificate was already on file, but I needed to obtain my baptismal certificate from the parish where that was done.  That I did – on that snowy day when the roads were quite a challenge and I felt lucky that the parish office was open.

After I returned home with it, I wanted to see what it looked like (earlier that year I had seen my grandfather Friedrich’s from 1886 and I was wondering if mine was as ornate (it wasn’t). But here is where the good luck entered in. In the spot for Mother’s Name, was listed my birth Mother; the spot for Father’s Name was blank. On the reverse, where other “sacraments” were listed, were my adoptive Parents, noted as Foster Parents. (Legally, that was their status when the baptism was done.)

My adoptive Mother did not take this well.  She immediately insisted on looking at it and, before I could ask to have it back, she jammed it in her purse, got on a coat, and drove to the parish office where she demanded that 1. the certificate be updated and 2. a very good explanation of why this happened be presented. The reason was the official church ledger listed my birth mother by name (it still does).  My adoptive Mother had to be satisfied with a redone certificate with her and my adoptive Father listed as the parents on the front and no parents mentioned on the reverse.

Adoptees Searching and the Baptismal Certificate

I know of no other instance where this has happened, but I am sure I am not unique.  I am told, by those who would know, that the church’s proper procedure to keep denying adoptees their biological heritage is to place a note in the ledger directing all inquiries to the local diocesan office where at a letter under official seal will attest to the baptism post-facto (and probably affirm no prior “blessed” marriages).  Yet for others, it may be a place to look.