Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
And no, I still don’t put the apostrophe in the wrong place, for those who’re wondering.
This year’s Mothers’ Day post demonstrated just how little bmom’s kids actually mean to her, given that she told the two of her kids who were visiting her for Mothers’ Day that she’d told her husband not to tell any of us if anything happens to her ’cause none of us go up there to see her. Yup, go figure the logic there – I obviously get my brains from my dad’s side. :p
Fathers’ Day today seems to’ve pulled off similar, too, though.
I’ve been left feeling kinda deflated, if entirely and utterly unsurprised, really.
Not that I know for sure where communications broke down yet, only that I didn’t get communicated with as promised, despite me waiting somewhere until communications were established. I gave up at nine pm -ish and came home.
*runs away back into hide from the world mode*
I’ve started writing this post because while I was reading Vicki-lynn’s post about Why the Unknown will Never be Enough for Adoptees, I felt a massive lurch within my body as the impact of her first couple of paragraphs hit me. Yes, it was physical, and yes, it was jolting, and yes, that’s why I’m here typing this now, based on the theory that if I start typing about it now, I might actually get the post out that I’d want to be getting out later. At least now it’s started I don’t have to write any introductions when I can think of how to word what I’m trying to describe.
Having gone back to the post to look again, it was very definitely the second paragraph that produced the lurch, although I’m not sure whether it would’ve worked the same without the first paragraph being there to set the tone. That being said, this is the second paragraph, because it’s this that gave me the lurch.
To finally touch the ground of your ancestors is healing. To stand before the graves of your great grandparents completes the circle of life. To learn fly fishing from your grandfather whose prominent nose you inherited, and look into the laughing brown eyes of your grandmother is a priceless joy.
Being a Brit. born and bred, I generally have less mileage to cover to do things like touching the ground of my ancestors, however, I am pretty much slap bang in the middle of the two directions. Maternal line is Portsmouth/round these parts (I think, could be Plymouth; definitely one of them two naval places, no pun intended), and paternal line’s Scot. As with all the rest of my life, I’m balancing precariously in the middle, being dragged in both directions.
If I want to do any visiting of maternal side direction, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing it on my own – at least the research part, because while the siblings ‘know’ the history, I’m thinking they’re likely to be far more like the cousin mentioned in Vicki-lynn’s post. It’s not like I can ask me mom, either now, since I walked out on her on Mothers’ Day. As for the rest of the family, I’ve met a couple of cousins, ‘n’ that’s it. One cousin I ‘met’ by virtue of being in the same year at college with her, and it wasn’t until long after I’d partied ’cause the loud-mouth had left that I found out I was related to her. Then again, finding out she was one of us does also explain why I didn’t like her, ’cause there’s not many of us ‘cept me bruv ‘n’ nephews that do seem likeable on the maternal side (which isn’t to say I don’t love my sis very very much, ’cause I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her too – just ask Daughter :p). The other cousin I met when he lived in the place bro moved into after ’cause it’s only up the road from here, however, haven’t seen him in a couple of years since he skanked off to live with his missus ‘n’ new baby. He did say we’d still see him, but we haven’t. I’ve got three maternal aunts, none of which’ve shown any interest in wanting to get to know me.
Paternal side I can probably get far more information easily simply by asking family on FB – which isn’t to imply that many of them seem all that bothered by my existence either though. My sis has declared that I’ll never be one of them to her, which while yes, it does bite, amuses me since her efforts at pretending I don’t exist are obviously not going very well if she’s been posting about me on Twitter. My bro did, eventually, deign to meet me last year, after much nagging, but I’m guessing from his lack of any real contact that I obviously didn’t make much of a very good impression on him (which no doubt our sis will be delighted to read :p). I did, as with the post this one’s based on, get to meet my paternal nan, and would very much like to meet her again too. This is proving difficult though, despite the fact that she only lives around the corner from dad, who doesn’t even live ten miles away. If I’m gonna go to see my nan, then I’m going to need my dad there because unlike all the rest of her grandkids who grew up knowing her, I can’t understand a damn word she says ’cause I have trouble understanding the Scot accent she has. It’s sad really ’cause I’m losing out on all this time when I could be going to get to know her, but I need to go with my dad, and even just turning up and finding him in is a challenge, let alone getting him up ‘n’ out again so’s we can go around the corner. I’ve also met one of my paternal cousins, who only lives five minutes away in the car. Been round there a few times, however, it kind of fell off when I wasn’t sure if I was really welcome there still or not. Yes, I can ask, I know, but that’d involve putting myself in a place to be outrightly rejected, as well as insisting that she say something either positive or negative, when she may be quite happy that I haven’t said anything about not going around there. It is saddening however, when my bro drives half way down the country to visit them, yet doesn’t even text a hello. Yes, I know I could say something about that too, but would you really wanna find out if people’re not interested in you when you’re aching to be around them and learn them and get to know them because you’ve already missed out on knowing them for so long?
I know I’m gobby on most things, but this post’s the closest I’ve got to saying anything about any of this other than in snippets with people close enough to talk about such stuff with. I’ve had to say something somewhere though because I know damn well it’s been eating me up, no matter how much I try to just ignore it and carry on, but it’s like I said in a previous post, Adoption Blogging – It gets complicated.
Actually, from today it could be getting even more complicated too, due on whole to the continued influence of MaggieT. Had she not died today, I wouldn’t be hivering hovering batting around FB not knowing quite which way to turn. Y’see, adad worked for the National Coal Board back before it (the NCB) got shredded by MrsT, and so I’ve spent over quarter of a decade intensely disliking the Lady because that’s the way the crumbs fell. However, dearest darling daddy dear (bdad, iow) was a para, and so was on the other side getting all the sweetness and light from her, and so had I grown up knowing him (either instead or as well) then my whole approach to day could have already been decided and settled, but nope, instead I’m torn. I’m already torn by those friends declaring I should be unfriending them if I’m in either of the above camps (like/hate her), but also because I have no idea which way to turn because I don’t want to be alienating anyone, let alone my dad whom I love very very much (there was a post a while back on one of the adoptee blogs about an adoptee who’s a quivering wreck daddy’s girl at heart, but I haven’t been able to find it again since I read it, but if you know the one I’m on about, that’s the same as I am). Thus far, I’ve played it what I HOPE is at least relatively safe by not particularly openly celebrating, but I have linkied a few ding-dongs in a single post.
See, how complicated adoption makes absolutely everything?!
Of course, compounding absolutely everything else that’s already been delved into is my overly maniacal mind, which likes to tease me with snippets, suggesting things like that not only is pbro ‘n’ cousin apathetic towards me now they’ve met me (which I *think* is supposed to be better than outright rejection, but at least with outright rejection, I know it’s there and I’m not left wondering and pondering like I’ve spent so much of my life doing up until reunion anyway), but that they actively dislike me, and instead of just (for example) unfriending me on FB (with any ensuing drama that such things may create within the family (not that I expect it would, I’m the outsider, after all, not them <sigh>)), they’ve decided to instead be as visibly happy to be around each other (five minutes down the road from me, despite pbro living hundredish miles away) in an effort to rub in just how excluded I am. This actually cropped up as a sort of real issue last year, too. I turned 40 on my birthday last year, and it would’ve been nice had someone said happy birthday to me – especially if it’d been my dad – but no-one did. To be honest, I wasn’t too knocked by it because (a) I don’t do FB happy birthdays or anything like that ’cause I’m crap at dates and would hate to miss someone important’s birthday, so it’s easier to do no-ones; and (b) they hadn’t even known about my existence for a whole three years by then and so can mostly be forgiven for not knowing when my birthday is, especially since I haven’t got it set to show on FB so they don’t even get a reminder from there. It would’ve been nice to at least hear from my dad though, but no. Of course, when one of my (not-as-yet-mentioned-in-this-blog) other cousins had her 40th birthday a few days later, there were tons upon tons of celebratory congratulations from all over the family. At that point, I finally lost it, and decided I’d GOT TO say SOMETHING to my dad. It took a while, not least because he’s not always in when I call over (’cause I do sporadic visits since I’m over that way a fair bit anyway), but eventually we were in the same room at the same time and having previously broached the subject in a PM on FB to him, we got to talk, and he got to tell me how daft I was being and that I’m not excluded. But still there’s all these family functions that I don’t get invited to. But I’m not excluded. And so with the crap my head churns out, today’s post from my cousin sharing a pic of my dad stood cheerfully alongside Thatcher before I’d worked out how to phrase anything similar, and obviously shared by both my bro ‘n’ dad, has again kicked my head into over-drive because it’s already being torn ’cause of growing up in the other extreme.
<takes a deep breath>
I’d write more, I think, if I carried on, but I think I should probably stop now ’cause at least this post works as just the one topic; adoption reunion, and how it carries on the tearing us apart that adoption did to us in the first place.
And no, I don’t put the apostrophe in the wrong place, for those who’re wondering.
And now the post.
Yes, I walked out on her. (Shuddup with the psychobabble babble, I’m sitting amused at the predictability of it all, in a wry way; it’s what comes of being Lokean. :p). I walked out of the room from my mom having gone up to see her to say “happy mothers’ day”. The reason I walked out of the room and said no more was because she’d just said she’d told her husband (none of ours’ dads) not to tell any of us (older msis, me, younger mbro) if anything happened to her. So I got up, said “no more”, and walked out. And yes, throughout it all I knew I was living the stereotypical life, serving as the textbook example of why we shouldn’t reunite with our bfams, so I want to make sure NO-ONE goes away from this post thinking that, because IT’S NOT TRUE!
We absolutely *should* meet with our families, no matter how scary they are, because in them we find us. Until we see someone with our own eyes, we’re *never* basing that judgement on our own knowledge. We *need* to know our own, on a cellular level, before we can truly relax into the world. It’s why genealogical reflection is so important, no matter how much some people seem to want to deny its importance. It makes you who you are.
I was 3 years, 6 months, 3 days (thank you God for http://www.timeanddate.com/ ;)) into reunion when *I* called it off. But I had to have the chance to find out and do that for myself. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life living with unconfirmable tales. To expect anyone to do that is cruelty beyond belief, yet that’s what’s being forced through at an increasingly faster rate by our delightful government.
Yet they don’t want to give us support through any of this. Instead they perpetuate the myth that never learning who we are is the smartest idea an adoptee can have, because look at how horrible it always goes.
But it’s not.
Even when it’s as horrific a tale as Elaine’s (I’ll link if she says I can, but many readers will know who I’m on about anyway), it’s still far far more psychologically healthy if we can learn this for ourselves.
The pain living with not knowing is far worse. And if things get out of hand, we just have to learn to step back to protect ourselves. Elaine’s one of those who taught me how (thank you! :}).
But yeah, regardless that it’s over in such a (relatively) short space of time (considering I’d been 37 almost a month before I contacted her on FB), I don’t regret doing it because it helped me learn who me was.
Doesn’t matter whether I like her or not, at least I know now who she is.
 Lol. Adoption can’t not have influenced my life because I have to be able to grow up conceiving plurals of everything. It’s no wonder adoptees get lost just trying to figure out how to be in the world. And yes, I know non-adoptees go through similar things too, but non-adoptees are understood to be traumatised by it, while adoptees are expected to show our gratitude for it.
Edited to add:
This post has been included on week 8 of …
In an attempt to bolster my own capabilities, as well as to help shed light on the plight of adoptees, I decided today to undertake a sociological inquest into adoption. The research will examine publicly available data, using content analysis to examine the perspectives of the messages delivered.
So how am I hoping that my work as an un-yet ‘qualified’ sociologist will help shed light on the plight of adoptees?
Simples (thank you Aleksandr).
I am hoping that my research will demonstrate several things – both the positivist language used when discussing adoption, and the fact that adult adoptees are one of the least catered-for (for want of a better short-phrase) minority groups.
It is my hope that this research, as well as getting my brain into gear ready for going back to university in Autumn, will help begin a flood of research that – rather than looking at the issues from a childhood perspective – recognise that an adult perspective upon the issue is just as valid, given that adults who were formerly adopted as children are more likely to have developed the necessary linguistic skills that will enable them to elucidate more clearly upon an issue than the child version of the same adoptee is unlikely to be capable of articulating.
Necessarily, the information being used, as well as all the tools being used (e.g. for data compilation) I either already own, can borrow (e.g. from friends or the university), or are freely available for download via some portion of the Internet or another. This should hinder neither the validity of the final research, nor the conclusions reached however – as it all comes down to the ways its mixed up, after watching the cookie crumble, who knows where things could wind up.
And with that rather weird turn of phrase, I take myself AFK, or, at least, AFWP posting.
In an effort to reinvigorate my brain, I am going to – yet again – attempt to blog.
As this particular post is winding up in my adoption blog, obviously the subject is to do with adoption – however, as of yet, this post is unformed, and thus may travel in any direction from here.
An obvious starting point could be the first -gate fiasco I’ve heard of this year – that of the Circle of Moms Adoption Blog Award controversy. Real Daughter encapsulated the drama, whilst poor Declassified Adoptee tries hard not to rage in hurt over it all. Other notable posts encountered today can be found by Joy’s Division, Life As Eri Knows It, and iAdoptee.
In other adoption-related stuff, I have spent some of the week pouring over UK adoption legislation in an effort to understand how I need to word what it is I am fighting for. Of course, to be able to do this, I also need it clear in my head what parts of which fight are included where. I started trying to do sort things out August 2010, which I know because the post is still sat in my drafts’ folder. The title was “separating the issues”, and the opening sentence asks:
When it comes to discussing adoption, just how many individual issues are there?
Following that is a link to a discussion on gay adoption – followed by a list: ‘pre-adoption’, ‘post-adoption’ and ‘birth certificate – to amend or not?’
The list described is significantly different to the latest lists I’ve been compiling. Now my lists bear titles such as ‘problems & proposals’, and begin with:
1. Bring in law let adoptees overthrow adoption
2. Change law that covers adoptee rights to seek help from suitably qualified
… and further includes lists like:
Points to pull out
1. Annul adoption / adopting back = adult adoption
now possible to have a new birth certificate issued in a different gender, and despite the fact that it is possible to marry and then divorce, the fact remains that once an adoptee, always an adoptee
2. Lack of support – gmt guide only insist up until 18, why
Staff’snot provide when others do
a) If abused = ok to be ‘troubled’ – if adopted = gratefulness required
lack of appropriate support for adults who were adopted as children
While yes, we were once adopted children, we are now adopted adults.
I think the most clarifying explanation comes from my response to Aidan Burley, M.P. however, where I explain that he is:
conflating issues. It is not essential – nor even important – to legally severe a child from its heritage in order for that child to be raised in love, and with care and concern. That adoption is deemed the only choice to be encouraged – even above non-destructive methods such as “legal guardianship” or “parental responsibility” (perhaps the laws governing PR could be widened to provide such permanence, for example) indicates grossly this Government’s intent on destroying families.
Adoption is a cruel and unnecessary legalised lie that enforces gross socialisations on the developing adoptee. Legally annihilating our history is nothing more than punishment of the child for the sins of the parent.
Theses describe – pretty accurately – how I feel about adoption. I recognise that children need permanence, but severing the history of the person who is the one already losing everything else is nothing short of barbaric.
For those interested, my Adoption Mania blog has an entry quoting some of Jenny Keating’s works. The quotes remind the reader that legal annihilation of someone’s past did not begin until the 1920s in England, and were begun to protect the adopting parents from the evil biological families. All this separation does however, is stupefy the child, leaving it left to work out the world with nothing familiar about it. Daniel’s post, while seeming far from the history of adoption in England, does have some commonalities, and also links back well with the kinds of proposals I would like to see (such as greater care within the extended family for a child with parents that won’t/don’t/can’t parent, and a lack of legal annihilation).
And that, I think, is enough for you for now. I appreciate the attention of anyone who has managed to make it this far through the post, and congratulate you on your ability to withstand reading such waffley shit. ;)