Letting go…and letting it be


As some of you may have read in past posts of mine my grandfather ( the father of my natural mother ) passed away this past July. I had mixed emotions when processing his death as he was a core stone in the decision to place me for adoption. Most of the stories I have heard about my grandfather were unpleasant, he ruled with an iron fist, what he said went, and there wasn’t much laughter between him and the children. My mother came from a very large family, and at the time of my surrender her twin sister was also pregnant, and the 8 children and 2 parents were living in a 3 bedroom house, times couldn’t have been easy. As its been reflected to me my grandfather came to my mother on my 3rd day of life, at the hospital and told her she’d be coming home without me, and that it was time to go, and she did. Taking me home wasn’t an option and the shame he placed upon her thereafter when she got home, has infuriated me for years. When my grandfather passed this past July, I didn’t cry.
I met him once, I remained very quiet, I was unwed and pregnant with my first child when we met ( fitting I know.) He seemed joyous, he seemed good spirited, he told me stories, all of the stories he’d want me to know about him, how he swam around the pier in a contest and won in our town, how he decapitated men in Vietnam and earned the nickname the head hunter, he told me story after story and I just listened. Before I left as I went in for a hug he told me how wise men always listen, and the stupid ones talk forever and then he laughed hysterically and I left.
I woke up early on the day of his funeral and dressed my three daughters. I was nervous. We bought new black dresses for the occasion the day before, and I may have barely slept an hour that night. Not because I was weeping his loss, but because I was seeing all of my family the next day. All of my cousins, aunts, uncles, family I’ve never met, I will be there as my mothers daughter…I’m there known as her daughter. Me, her daughter, being recognized as her daughter. I didn’t have to stand in the back like the fly on the window, in fact I was reserved a seat in the front FOR THE FAMILY of my grandfather. A whole row for my daughters and myself.
We got there and again my step father was waiting outside for us, my mother inside making sure all of the ribbons were fluffed, the flowers were perfect and every last detail was how she wanted. My mother devoted her life to him in his final years and wanted and ensured that every detail to the direction of the Ukulele was perfected. We went in, and there was my family… they hugged and embraced me, they kissed my children and told us how much they missed us. Let me just repeated that part for the sake of my adopted soul wanting to hear it again….they hugged, embraced and kissed my children and me, and told us how much they missed us. Music to my adopted heart and of course my tears gushed from my eyeballs.
We went into the room, upfront was this table that held pictures and items from his life deemed most important by my mother. A picture of him in the military, he was a US Maine whom received 2 purple hearts which lay over his picture. A ukulele in front with leis, a younger picture of him, and one of him near his age just before he’d passed. My aunts, uncles and his friends spoke to him and us about his life and impact on them, I learned so much about my grandfather that day, my favorite part was a short film my mother put together with the help of a local amateur film student ( who ended up being an adoptee from Korea.)  Not only were there pictures of my children and myself, but I saw my grandfathers life. He was so strong, he was so courageous, he actually got sent home from Vietnam in a Body bag, he was presumed dead, and only discovered to be alive after two days in the bag on a ship headed home with a death note. This man, was a hero. Suddenly this transformation in my thoughts and feelings towards him shifted and I couldn’t stop crying and grieving this lifetime we missed. He’s like the top of this pyramid of children, and family that all came from him, and here all I’d had for him was resentment and lack of compassion due to thinking he was the sole reason I was left behind and all I saw of him before me on this day at his funeral was how much he did for the lives of his children and how everything he did was to better their lives.
I think I cried all of my resentment away that afternoon. By the time we arrived to the after party where his sisters and family were singing old traditional Hawaiian songs with spoons and ukulele, dancing together and celebrating life I was home. My kids running around with their cousins laughing and playing card games. Eating, drinking, dancing in every corner we looked at, it was one of the most beautiful days of my life. I have never felt complete on the level I do now and have since that day. I don’t resent him anymore. I don’t know how or exactly when it happened but it’s just gone, gone. It happened. I was let go. It hurt me, he was a pivotal factor in letting me go, but he was amazing. I forgive him.

Denial of loss


10 years ago I wouldn’t have understood this to the depth that I understand it now, and for that I am grateful. Ten years ago this would have hurt me tremendously and I probably would have withdrawn into a wall building adoptee hiding comfort zone and disappeared from my mother for a few months until I felt strong enough to say hello again. Today tho, the only part of it that weakens me is the reality of what she has to do to keep going on, and what a reflection that is of how she has had to do it her entire life after losing me.

 

In July my grandfather passed away. My mother has been taking care of him for the last 5 years of his life. I get mixed feelings from his passing, he was a crucial influence in me being left behind at the hospital 3 days after my birth and its hard for me to let go of that. I did meet him once however and it was a nice comforting visit. He was a very strong man, remembered for decapitating men in Vietnam war and eating raw liver, one of the last things I remember him telling me is the wise men say the least and listen most. He said this to me after I sat around him very quiet observing his every move.

 

Now that he has passed away my mother has come out to my area to plan his services and is here for a few weeks to make sure it all goes smoothly and to visit my children and me. We sat around the table at our visit that I blogged about yesterday and I noticed more than once my mother made reference to never experiencing a pain like that of losing her father since her brother died and then her…. and each time she got to “her” her eyes would meet mine and I “know” she was going to say “her daughter” but she would catch herself and stop. She doesn’t speak of her loss of me.

 

Ten years ago I would have felt like that meant my loss wasn’t significant enough to mention. That it didn’t impact her life in the way these other two deaths had, and that I wasn’t a big “loss” when we parted ways on my third day of life. Today however, I know that means something very different. I know that society doesn’t recognize a mother surrendering her child and continuing on with life as a painful experience. I know that that loss, when spoken of is often met with “what a selfless act, what a wonderful thing you’ve done, how incredible of you to have done that” which in return suppresses that pain even deeper.

 

I can relate to this. I did it for years when faced with adoption related topics or topics of loss, because my mother did all of that FOR me to have a better life, what a selfless thing for her to do and I must be so very grateful for that opportunity at a better life. It FEELS BETTER for outsiders to believe that. Hell it feels better for insiders to believe it until the truth finds its way out and eventually it always does. I mean that’s really the core of being in the Koolaid drinking happy adoptee land, you’re believing the happy myths…. that surrendering you was wonderful, well you might not be “believing them” because your soul doesn’t lie to you, deep down you know it hurts, but you’re saying them, maybe even convincing yourself of them or trying very hard to, because should you realize that reality isn’t reality at all, suddenly “reality” becomes very scary and vulnerable.

 

What would have happened if instead of pausing when my mother wanted to tell the waiter that she hasn’t experienced a loss like this since she lost her daughter, how would he have reacted? Would he have assumed I was dead? Would he have empathized with her? Would he have recognized it as a loss and told her how sorry he was for her loss? I believe these to be viable outcomes had this happened. Humor me for a moment and imagine what would have happened if she had then told him, she hasn’t felt a loss like this since she loss her daughter to adoption. Would she have been met with the same empathy? Maybe from you or me, because we’re reading adoption blogs and up to “par” on adoption loss but the average stranger… no, no I don’t believe she would have found that sympathy. Instead the suppressive rhetoric begins doesn’t it? Oh you gave a daughter up for adoption? How wonderful of you!! OMG you’re a birthmom how selfless!!!! What a heroic act of kindness you did!!! Immediately invalidating the tremendous loss that would follow a mother losing her child to adoption regardless of how that “choice” came to be…. pain is what it is.

 

It reminds me of growing up…often I would get depressed thinking about why my parents gave me up and I’d almost be ready to reach out to someone about it and as soon as I’d say how I was adopted i’d hear ” oh you’re so lucky I always wanted to be adopted! ” “how nice of your mom to give you a better life” “you must be so grateful you weren’t aborted” its the same kind of suppressive “support” I spoke of in reference to my mother above. It has to be societies way of not understanding this in-depth reality we find in adoption and their poor attempt to “get it.” I don’t feel like they have bad intentions in saying these things but they just do… because it’s all over the media, its in all the magazines, its in the adoption agencies this false propaganda of happiness following separation and loss its polluting reality.

 

I see it happening with people who have had miscarriages or found out they’re living a life with infertility. I personally have never been in that shoe, I have 3 natural children of my own, but I watch it happen to them. It happened to my adoptive parents, as SOON as infertility was discovered ADOPTION was pushed. Why? Adoption doesn’t cure infertility. Adoptees don’t “fix” the loss of not having children of your own. The two aren’t connected and yet society just doesn’t get it or want to hear it because they haven’t before and its easier to make all that “ugly” “uncomfy” “icky” feelings be portrayed as minor problems that can be fixed with adoption….and yet….they can’t be.

 

It’s okay to feel pain from loss, in fact it’s very healthy to, and it’s just as okay to own those feelings, talk about those feelings and correct people when they misinterpret those feelings, they are YOUR feelings. I know that for a long time I tried to drink that kooliad, I wanted that bullshit fake “omg you were so lucky to be adopted” to be true, I wanted to be lucky…but when you spend a lifetime trying to convince yourself that pain = happiness destructive patterns are bound to happen and that can be very dangerous. If you are one of these people who are having to hide your pain from the average Joe because you’d rather not “go there” with the ignorant…I get it…and I feel you. If you’re living a life where people are continually telling you to be grateful about something that hurts so bad you could scream in frustration from the highest mountain…I get it…I feel you…and I’m sorry. I’m here for you. Don’t be afraid to own your truth. Its yours and nobody can take it from you. The more you speak out about it, the more we can fix this broken part of the industry, the more we can make the road smoother for those who walk down it after us and the more we can help each other heal….god willing…we might even prevent it one day ❤

Today I was with my mother…


Her husband was outside in the parking lot waiting for us as we pulled in. I recognized him immediately and waved and honked so he knew we’d arrived. We were about 15 minutes late due to a marathon in our area that slowed traffic. He came over and greeted us and helped us out of the truck and walked me to my mom. I saw her before she knew we were there. Her hair was perfect, her back was to me but I’d have found her from anywhere, it’s almost as if the heavens shut down the world when she’s within a 50 yd radius to me and all of the sunlight just blankets her body….nothing else moves, nothing else matters, all sounds tune out and I become fixated on my mother. She hears us coming and turns around from the table she’s waiting for us at, hair perfect, make up flawless, and she smiles that painful “I miss you” smile and in an almost vampire fast movement like fashion I was instantly in her arms. When I’m in my mothers arms…. and she in mine, its hard for us to let go. It isn’t awkward, it isn’t uncomfortable, it just ‘is.’ She pulled back away from my face enough to see me and still keep her arms around me and just bawled. It is those moments that the rejected adoptee disappears, those feelings on my post from a few days ago become insignificant, she grabbed my face and told me how much she loved me and how sorry she was that she upset me and how she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she doesn’t make me feel that way again, and we’ll move forward together. We ate, we laughed, we took pictures, she held my children, talked with them and laughed with them. There are no words that can describe the peace I feel when I am with my mother. I can be me. FINALLY. just me. I couldn’t believe how much my children resemble her, the similarities are mind-boggling. Everything seems so easy, and just natural. I noticed some adoption related things pop out today in our visit, but right now I just want to soak in this feeling and let it be with me. I feel so good, whole and at ease today, I’ll elaborate on the other things in a different post later on but right now I’m going to just go watch a movie and keep this feeling as long as I possibly can. ❤

I see my mother tomorrow


My natural, gave birth to me, has the same eyes, smile and mannerisms as me mother. She meets my youngest daughter for the first time, and I get to hug, hold her hand, smell her perfume, study her face, take pictures with her, make her smile and just be with MY MOTHER. I get to see my mother tomorrow. I get to see my mother tomorrow. My mother and I will be face to face and I get to see my mother tomorrow. MY mother. I see her…tomorrow.
#igettoseemymothertomorrow

A Mother’s Day plea to stop equating adoption with abandonment


Wow…there is SO much I see wrong in this article…I honestly cannot believe I’m reading it. Well that’s a lie, I can, because I know how utterly fucked up the adoption industry is but seeing it right now before my eyes at its best is stomach turning and humorous combined. I just came across this article: A Mother’s Day plea to stop equating adoption with abandonment written by Nina Easton. Click the link, read it…and then continue here ( if you dare. ) I’m about to dissect it. o.o

The first opening paragraph is already twisted and you can tell how the general feel of the entire article is going to go. This is an adoption industry article. Notice the last part of the final sentence of the first paragraph  “— even as the number of parents desperate for a baby grows.” This article is coming from the approach that the adoption is not about the adoptee…the adoption is about the adoptive parents and their desperation. This opening paragraph is blaming the social stigma of abandonment in adoption for the decline in adoptions. This article, should be CELEBRATING the fact that women are parenting more, but instead, its assuming they’re having more abortions.

Onto the next paragraph…so help me God.

“Birth mothers choose life, and a family, for their child. But this choice is rarely celebrated.” Does she want to know why the choice is rarely celebrated by the adoptee or natural family? Because it hurt. Do you celebrate losing your mother or child? EVER? Is this article really suggesting that we CELEBRATE losing our families? Does the author know how utterly stupid that sounds? I can’t believe anyone would attach their name as the author to this shit. The next sentence is a positive one, but not from the authors perspective…”Women routinely face family, friends and even health-care providers who think that adoption equals abandonment,” nice work people, we are finally spreading the word. Looks like more people are ‘getting it’ and boo hoo its upset the baby sellers. How dare we speak out about our truths right?

The following sentence, she quotes a Utah adoption agency worker Kathy Kunkel who has also received the 2004 National Angels in Adoption award by the US Congress. For those of you who don’t know what that is, lets reference one of our enemies definitions of it…from adoption.com: Every year since 1999, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI)
has been promoting adoption awareness at the top levels of the U.S. government, and each year, the CCAI has honored those who make extraordinary contributions to the welfare of children by presenting Angel in Adoption awards at a gala celebration in Washington, DC. This year, over 170 “Angel in Adoption” awards were presented at a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, September 23rd, at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.” That was posted in 2004. My translation goes more along the lines of :  Workers who sold the most children for adoption. Much more clear, concise and to the point ( in my opinion.)

Lets skip to paragraph 4. My favorite. The NCFA has longtime been seen by me, as the enemy. They claim to be “for” adoptees, however they are for adoption and not adoptee centric in any way shape or form. They are more anti-adoptee from this adoptees perspective and having my name affiliated with them in any way other then exposing their sickness would not happen, ever. Notice in paragraphs 3 and 4 they use terminology that insinuates that we should indeed have more “birthmothers.” We only get a few thousand of them a year, and only 1% of pregnant women are getting adoption referrals. The pro-adoption lot must really have their panties in a twist. My favorite part of the entire article however is this:  And as council President Charles Johnson ( of the NCFA) told me in an interview: “Your decision is only as good as the information you’re given.”

Well at least he’s honest. I guess to Charles the information doesn’t have to be true and doesn’t have to be accurate if it doesn’t help the bank account get bigger. How dare these people use mothers day as a crutch to speak out to the world that abandonment isn’t happening in adoption. They’ve already tried to strip parents of their title by insulting them with birth terms. They try and celebrate “birth mothers day” the day BEFORE mothers day separating that motherhood bond just a little bit more. Now they want to scream out that there is no abandonment in adoption too. Just ignore all of the truths that are going on because its effecting our bank accounts and we’re only getting a few thousand birth mothers a year.

I can’t believe I have the stomach to even continue.

“A woman’s decision to carry a baby to term knowing that she will not reap the fruits of motherhood should be treated as an act of bravery and selflessness — the ultimate standards of good motherhood. How did it come to be considered an act of shame?” The ultimate standards of good motherhood is now giving your child away. This is how they sell adoption to scared pregnant women and this right here quiets my frustration and turns it into sadness. I ache for the girl who is alone, scared , and is told this. She is told its not abandonment, that its brave, selflessness, she’s a hero and exactly what a good mother should do. This is what they want you to believe, because it makes them money. This is how they lure you in. This is industry talk.

Did Johnson from the NCFA really just quote Moses as being a biblical inspirational adoptee in DEFENSE of adoption? I’m so curious if Mr. Johnson has even READ the bible and story of Moses or if he needs my translation on that as well…hence the name Gershom who is the first born son of Moses who’s name means I have been a stranger in a foreign land. Do they realize Moses left, and came back to the pharaoh and demanded he let his people go 7 times and all 7 were rejected so God cursed them with horrible plagues’ killing almost all of them. Ending in the death of the Pharaoh after he changed his mind after setting them free and chasing them to the red sea where Moses parted the waters and as the pharaoh follows God closed the seas on him ending in his death. That’s no adoptive father I’d like to be. They did get the forced surrender part right tho, the pharaoh ordered all boys in the kingdom to be killed, she had no choice but to send Moses away on a basket, it was that chance, or his death. That’s not exactly a relinquishment type scenario they should be advertising… imo.

Well its been fun, that’s about all I can take of this piece of work. Can’t believe an editor approved this mess for publishing. Hope you guys all have a great night and a Happy Mothers day…<3