Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

A picture of 7rinness

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Once upon a time, long long(ish) ago, Daughter created a chibi avatar of me for me at my request.

Despite me being artistically retarded, I actually really really like the picture that she created and’ve been using it for my 子rin page pretty much since the day she created it.

I’ve had my Trinity Gravatar that I’ve been using around for almost as long as that picture’s been available as an image. It’s a picture that’s stood me in good stead, but has slowly been creeping beyond its sell-by date for a little while now.

Today I had an(other) epiphany. Thus I printed out an A4 copy of the original chibi that Daughter had created (that actually printed pretty nicely), then tore it in half like I did to create the Adoptee Awareness picture, and then stuck it back together with a single strip of Sellotape ‘n’ scanned it back in.

7rin adoption reunion chib

I am extremely pleased with the resulting image which demonstrates that once torn apart, no matter how carefully adoptees are stuck back together, we’ll never quite be as whole as we once were.

Written by 7rin

Mon, 26 August, 2013 at 8:40 pm

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An update, of sorts

with 2 comments

My reply to a question in an adoptee group about our love for animals (or not, as the case may be) garnered the following response from me:

“I’m not a great lover of much of anything tbh.”

It’s true, I’m not. I’m not exactly enthralled by kids, animals’re just like people, I’m fine not having to live with them. Some of the are nice enough, but there’s not many I particularly enjoy spending my days around, too often.

I’ve been reflecting on that initial reply since I wrote it, and it’s true. While I do love my daughter, I do so by default because that’s what moms’re meant to do. It’s certainly not the fawning adoration that some moms inflict on their kids. Yes, I’d probably kill and/or die for her if needed, but that’s because it’s what I as a mom am s’posed to do.

The only person I do think I really love is mbro, with whom seems to be the only person on the planet I can truly really relax with. It’s horrific that I was 37 before I even knew he existed.

Anyway, yes, Life(tm) has been taking it’s usual twists and turns. Remember the Happy mothers’ day post where I said “oh woe, it’s all over”? Well, as predicted by The Reunion Textbook, it wasn’t really all over.

Me ‘n’ bro went round after she replied to my poking on my Happy fathers’ day post, and I wound up pointing out to her exactly where her reactions make the rest of us think she doesn’t care, ‘n’ so we go into don’t give a fuck mode too. So she’s taken note that the levels of contact aren’t as extremely horrific as she thinks, and has agreed to get counselling too (trauma counselling, not bmom counselling). Oh yeah, ‘n’ she wants me to go along to the counselling with her.

I am gonna have to make sure it’s not too close to my own counselling though.

Yes, I’m having counselling. Not, as I am so desperately in need of, adoptee specific counselling, though. Counselling this time is just about trying to find tools to help me manage the stress of it all, rather than dealing with the stressors. My counsellor’s willingly taken Primal Wound to read, though has cautioned he only plans to skim some ‘n’ not get engrossed. It’s an easy read though (unless you’re an adoptee, then you have to keep going to get new boxes of tissues every few pages), and so I’m hoping he might start to be able to help with some of the stuff at some stage in the future. Even if he doesn’t get there for me, he might be more aware for someone else in future.

Dad’s still confussling me some though. I *know* he loves me, and that he loves all his kids (perhaps in the same way I mentioned ^up there, who knows), and that like the rest of us, he does have a life to live. But … <sigh> … some contact ‘d be nice. Yes, I know I can go over, but … … … *waves hands around ineffectually* I was waiting until my birthday to see whether I’d hear from him before I started this post that I knew was coming at some stage to see if I’d get any contact. I did. I had a brief call (’cause I was about to drive or summat) so he could ask me to send our address so he could send a card, and I’ve had a card. Of course, now I’m left pondering if that’s ’cause Mrs Dad got it of the calendar, or whether Dad actually remembered ‘n’ thought of doing it himself.

No wonder amom says I think too much. She’s fine, if tired, ‘n’ still lovely, btw. :}

Written by 7rin

Sat, 24 August, 2013 at 1:49 am

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Adoption teaches

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Adoption is what you do when you can’t have kids.
Fostering is what you do when you want to help kids.

Those are two of the things I “learned” growing up as an adoptee.

I also picked up many other things too, but I’m writing about these things because they came up in my answer on one of the FB groups I’m in. The OP itself was about whether adoptees have their own kids (IF they can have their own kids) whilst still young, or whether they wait until they are older.

The following two quotes are the answers I gave within that group, and I’m sharing them here as an example of how the socialisation of adoptees happens.

{quote}
Caught at 17, had Daughter at 18. Then again, that was only ’cause me and her dad did an experiment based on the fact that I knew a’rents couldn’t have kids (which is why they had me). We went without sex for one whole month (a bloody miracle for 17 year olds ;)), had it once at an optimumly calculated time in the next month, and went without for the next month too. Mainly based on the premise that there’re people like my a’rents, and people who can (almost, it seems) get up the duff just from looking at each other across the dancefloor. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether Daughter resulting means the experiment or a failure though, since as a far more learned (at the time) friend pointed out, we didn’t have a null hypothesis.

Only had the one though, and that was only because we tried. Of course, it’s far more by luck than judgement that I never wound up pregnant again, ’cause really, I come from a whole stream of moms that really should never’ve had kids.

Once we found out I was pregnant, the choice to not abort came far more from the part where I was finally gonna have someone I was related to in my life. However, whilst amom was adamant that I should’ve got an abortion (and in 20/20 hindsight I agree with her BECAUSE I love my daughter), not once was adoption ever put on the table as an option.
{/quote}

{quote}
Reading [A.N.Other Poster]’s comment reminded me of another part I missed in the decision making of whether to continue the pregnancy that resulted in Daughter.The thought I had once we found out I was pregnant was along the lines of “oh well, I’m gonna have to have one at some stage, so I may as well go with this one now it’s happening.” That perspective was based on the fact that I’d “picked up” that if we can’t have our own kids, we have to adopt if you can’t have our own (presumably picked up from a’rents having picked adoption as their second option, after all, why would anyone want someone else’s kid?) I didn’t really want/wasn’t all that interested in having kids, but had “learned” that it’s just something we do. IF ONLY I’d heard of childfree a decade earlier… <wry g>

Then came the “yay, my first relative tha I’ll know.” :)

It’s a sheer miracle I never fell pregnant again.
{/quote}

I know from discussions since with amom that she has absolutely no idea where or how I picked up the idea that if we can’t have kids then we have to adopt, and despite me trying to explain it, I still don’t think she really understands how I “learned” some of the things I came away from childhood “knowing”.

I stand by my two sentences that began this post however.

Adoption is what you do when you can’t have kids because it means you get to take someone else’s kid on “as if born unto” yourself. It means you get to pretend that you’ve got a kid of your own, who you can try to mould into some resemblance of yourself, and who you can pretend will take after you.

Fostering is what you do when you want to help kids because it means you get to give kids a solidity and stability that they may not otherwise attain. It means that you are there for them for as long as they need you, and you treasure that person as their own entity, refraining from trying to make them into copies of yourself, or pretending that there is anything other than love and care between you.

Adoption means that the kid is beholden to you for the rest of their life, no matter how your relationship goes. Fostering means that your help forge an independent spirit who comes back to see you in their happiness at having your aid during their start in life.

The fostering part is how it should be done, the adoption part is just what happens to many of us.

So beware, adopters. Despite thinking that you’re teaching the child you’ve taken on the best things in life, you have no idea what they’re really picking up – not just from you, but from the rest of the world around them.

Written by 7rin

Fri, 23 August, 2013 at 6:13 pm

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Is child abuse natural?

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The following post was originally started {quote}5 months ago (8 March, 2013 @ 13:15:06){/quote}

I’m releasing it into the wild now – unfinished – after seeing Cheryl Bell’s Twitter post that linked to The Telegraph article, Head of children’s services chiefs accused of ‘defeatism’ after he says ‘we will never prevent all child deaths’.

It will, for the immediate future, remain in this unfinished state as I am still in recovery from my latest adoption-induced breakdown. However, I don’t think he’s wrong, and have been wanting to look into this in greater detail, hence the post being started.

{{ – – Everything below this line was in the draft that I’d saved – – }}

I was hunting for a post I remember reading recently on animals in the wild being abandonded by their moms to put in the “Taking newborns” post.

Mother’s Day Mayhem: “Worst” Animal Moms?

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/attachment/2013/04/for-the-health-of-our-society-normal-child-abuse-prevention/

{quote}
This 2010 UK study is among many that show that the brain doesn’t reach maturity as once theorized until people are at least age 30. Executive functioning, such as planning and decision-making, social awareness and behavior, empathy and other personality traits, are the last bits of cognitive functions to fully develop.
{/quote}

Written by 7rin

Fri, 2 August, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Stop trashing adoption

with 9 comments

Yet again I’m being accused of being all manner of awfulnesses for daring to be a voice against the sanctified glorification of adoption that is common in discourse around the subject. I’m not linking anything ’cause I don’t want to be reading such stuff tonight to find it, as I’m currently on hiatus from adoption for as much as I can manage because I have been sent over the metaphorical edge by some of the stuff I’ve encountered of late. In order to retain my sanity, I’ve been minimising my time around the subject, but I am the only admin. in some of the FB groups I run and so at least occasionally I have to go in to at least check for spam and such like.

I’m sick though, of being asked things like “when are you going to stop trashing adoption?”

This post then, is the answer to “when will 7rin stop trashing adoption?”

I’ll stop trashing adoption when just two very very simple things happen.

1. I’ll stop trashing adoption when http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38120 has been passed into law, thus giving the ADOPTEE the right to make THEIR OWN choice.

2. I’ll stop trashing adoption when https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/tag/post-adoption-support/ is available to ALL ADOPTEES from professionals fully conversant with the devastating impact that the process of adoption can have upon the psyche of the adoptee.

That’s it.

Nothing more.

That’s all that’s needed to be done to get me to stop trashing adoption.

And now I’m going to go to bed, and may be AFK for a while as I am still trying to get my head back together and stop myself collapsing massively, since I can’t get any post-adoption support, and can’t currently keep fighting to get it ’cause I’m utterly exhausted from so many years of it. There are so many of you out there who I miss ’cause of my self-imposed exile, but I really need to be strict with myself ’cause I’m >.< that close to a meltdown, which I don’t have time for.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 26 June, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Happy fathers’ day

with one comment

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.

Deflated.

*runs away back into hide from the world mode*

Written by 7rin

Sun, 16 June, 2013 at 11:26 pm

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Lurching around

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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.

Written by 7rin

Mon, 8 April, 2013 at 8:11 pm

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