Dreaming, missing and hoping

I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream I was having. You know the kind where you actually regret waking up because it was so good.

I was dreaming that I was shopping with my sister, we shopped, we walked, we went for lunch in down town Toronto to her favourite vegan place. We were having some quality sister time.

Then I woke up just before I was going to have a bite out of my sandwich. Typical, food wakes me up.

I went to the bathroom and quickly jumped back into the warm bed next to my husband, but I couldn’t fall asleep  All I could think about was my birth family.

We spent the summer with them, three weeks, but we had to divide our time between my a-dad (and his family) and my birth parents. This didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped for, but that is expected when two families have to share one. Plus, the fact that my husband and three children where sharing a home with my birth family of four, came with it’s own struggles. We all like our private space and it was a challenge sharing it I must say.

But two weeks ago, when I watched a film montage that my daughter had put together of our time in Ontario, all I could feel was sadness. Sadness because I missed them so much and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one. When my sister and b-father saw the movie, they too said that they missed us and that we had such a great time. It’s weird, you don’t remember the ‘not so good times’ when you are missing someone, you only remember the good.

Even though I find myself to be blessed because I found my birth family, when so many haven’t, I still feel a bit bitter at times because of the fact that we live so far away from each other. A big Atlantic pool between us. I often find myself checking plane ticket fares hoping to find a good deal, but there is never a good deal when your family consists of 5 people on one pay check.

I guess I’ll just keep on dreaming…a whatsapp’ing.

“The scariest thing about distance is that you don’t know whether they will miss you, or forget you. “

If you have found birth relatives, do you see them much? Do you live far apart? If so, how do you build up a relationship?

Paradox by Lynn Grubb

As an adoptee I find it hard to explain exactly how I feel about adoption. Even though I think adoption is necessary in our disposable world…and I understand the sentiment of couples having difficulties conceiving, I still struggle with my own situation. I usually answer people’s questions on adoption with “yes, I agree that there are too many unwanted children out there, but….” And then I shut down.
I have a semi happy ending, being found a few years ago and since have reunited with my birth family, yet, although one wound closed…it seemed like another one opened.(more on that later)
Anyway, I still count myself blessed, but still at a loss of words on the matter, until I found a voice over at The lost daughters website.

I just wanted to share this with you all and suggest you visit their wonderful website.

Adoption is

a concept, a belief and an action
A lack of choice and being chosen
A legal solution to a spiritual problem
A spiritual solution to a legal problem
A loving choice and a thrusting upon
A nurturing touch yet a stealing away

it saved me; yet damaged me
Provided for me, yet took away from me
Blessed me yet cursed me
Gave me a name and took a name
It creates a chance for love to grow and a door for misunderstanding
It creates a family out of strangers and strangers out of family
It inspires and teaches and it wounds and damages

Adoption is

My friend and my enemy
A thorn in my side and my shining light
A rainbow and a gravestone
Acceptance and rejection
Truth and lies
Known and unknown
Love and hatred
a casting away and returning

Adoption is

Not my friend nor my enemy
Not the excuse or the cause
Not perfect or evil
Not the reason or the scapegoat
Not who I am or who I am not
Everything and nothing

(copyright Lynn Grubb; may reproduce with permission)

My kids and me (1996)

God loves the pregnant teen

Wow, your little brother is so cute” …said a couple of elderly ladies while peeping into the baby the carriage that I was pushing around during a shopping trip. I took a deep breath like many times before and said;

“Well thank you, but he’s actually my second child”.

And there it was. The expression of stupor upon these ladies faces. I’ve come to anticipate this reaction and have grown used to it.

Still to this day, 18 years after my eldest child was born, I still notice the ill concealed shocked faces when telling people the ages of my children.

By the age of 17, I was a mother to two children. Having had my eldest at 15 years old and 11 months. Her brother quickly followed 22 months after.

In those days, I’ve always seemed to be an oddity. Nowadays you will regularly hear about teenage pregnancies, they even make shows about them as if it has become normal and as if it’s a glamorous life. But when I was a young mom 18 years ago, it still was pretty much the scandal. I had people staring at my belly while waiting in line in the grocery store and I had kids yelling foul names at me in the street. It left me feeling ashamed, yet, I couldn’t wait to meet the little girl growing inside of me.

I’ve had many people come up to me and ask the same questions over and over and you can see that people stereotype teen parents. They usually think of us as stupid, irresponsible, selfish, promiscuous and more, regardless the situation we are in and without knowing us.

Here are some recurring questions (and answers) that people would ask me.

  • “How old are you?”

People usually ask first how old my children are and then ask me how old I am…then you quickly see them making the calculations in their mind. So I quickly tell them, yes, I was almost 16 with my first and 17 with my second —SHOCK!

  • “Do they have the same father?”

This question really baffled me at the start. What does that have anything to do with anything? Or how could someone actually ask it, it seemed really rude to me and still does. The answer is yes, they do have the same father and someone actually responded “Oh thank God”…I’m still trying to figure out why, I guess it’s the assumption that we are all promiscuous.

  • “Did you want to have the baby or was it an accident?”
I didn’t plan my first baby. I was on birth control, but apparently not taking it properly. I’ll save you the details. Our second baby came naturally, I wasn’t on birth control so I knew that I could get pregnant again. We (the parents) were by that time living together and the baby was welcome.
  • “Where you scared when you found out?”

YES! Plain and simple.
  • “Did you ever consider abortion?”

Others considered it for me. Being an adoptee and not having the best of experiences while growing up with my adopted divorcee mother, adoption was out of the question. Not an option I had to fight my mother allot , but in the end, it was my choice to keep my baby and no one could force me otherwise.
  • How did the father react?”

I rather not talk about him out of respect for my children. He has always been a part of their lives but we separated around the time of the birth our second child.
  • “Don’t you feel like you missed out during your teen years?”

Missed out on what? The road that would/could have been mine, didn’t look that great. I was living with my adoptive mother who is an alcoholic and was very abusive. I needed to take care of myself since my parents divorced when I was thirteen. I had to take care of myself because ‘the mother’ was constantly in and out of psychiatric wards and when she was home, she was either in the local pub or passed out in the couch. I was planning on ending my life before finding out that I was pregnant and still to this day, I see my teen pregnancy as a blessing. I see it as an event that has saved and changed my life.
Because of my daughter, I had a reason to live. I had a reason to fight in life and that’s what I did. I didn’t feel alone any more because I had someone who was actually a part of me, my blood and whom I knew really loved me.

My kids and me (1996)

I am in no way, advertising teenage pregnancy because it’s not glamorous, it’s not easy it’s not something you should plan. I’m just trying to share with you, how I experienced it. I was scared, ashamed and emotional and unfortunately didn’t have the support I needed from my parents at that time. My father living across the ocean and my mother was just not capable and still isn’t. I felt like God hated me and that I would never be close to Him again, because there was no one around to explain to me that this is NOT how God works. Instead, people chose to judged me.
What I really needed to know then and what I would like share with other girls now is that no matter what, God loves you! It’s not because you made a mistake that God will leave you, He will be there on your new journey into motherhood, if you will just let Him. There is nothing that you can do that will make God stop loving you. Nothing. All children are blessings from God and He has a plan for each one (Psalm 139:13-18). Even if the circumstances in which they come may be less than ideal, that child is as precious and loved by God as any other.
And the pregnant girl is just as precious to God.
To you parents dealing with a pregnant teen, I want to let you know that God does give the best direction to follow. He can show you how to respond and flourish in spite of the less than ideal situations. He will guide you to make good decisions, He will work miracles that open up hope where none existed and through it all He will be a constant companion who will bring peace in your heart. I know this because He has done it for me and He made us a promise in the Old Testament : “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you’” ~ Hebrews 13:5
Put your faith in God. You will never be disappointed!
God is a powerful God and He can even make a blessing out of our sin. The biggest blessing in my life are my children, He has made me how I am today, through them.
“and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28 (ESV)

I AM an Adoptee and I am NOT offended by the Avengers movie

Ok, I’m probably going to step on some toes here, but I am going to share with you, my personal feelings towards this topic. When it first came to my attention I was thinking, oh boy, what now. I didn’t really feel like getting into it and just ignored it at the start. However, I have installed a daily Google alert about adoption,  sending me an email with a list of adoption topics and wow, it is FULL of articles and posts about the Avengers movie, so I cannot ignore it anymore and I’m going to give you my two cents.

I am an adoptee and I am not offended. I love anything “Marvel” and do know quite a bit about all of these characters, I guess that makes me a bit of a nerd, oeps, sorry, didn’t want to offend all the nerds out there.

So this is the exchange in the film:

The Black Widow character says, “[Loki] killed 80 people in two days.” Then Thor, Loki’s brother, replies, “He’s adopted.”

“He’s adopted” isn’t saying that he is evil because of the adoption, but stating that he comes from a different lineage, so technically he isn’t part of the Odinson bloodline…

I can understand that some of you who have children through adoption find this heart breaking, but try to explain it like that and you need to understand the story behind it. If you haven’t seen the movie Thor yet, then maybe you should. I mean, there have been worse things said about adoptees on TV that children have seen. I’m thinking of “South Park” . I try to not let me kids watch it, but you don’t always know what they are watching over at their friends houses and when you aren’t at home, so you can’t always protect them from things like that.

And if adopted children are asking that if one bad adoptee means that they too are bad, their parents need to IMMEDIATELY start having a conversation about prejudice and discrimination of  individuals and groups. Are all Italians mobsters? All all women lousy parkers? That gingers don’t have a soul? I could go on. Plus, all of these topics are regularly seen on television or in movies.

I would also like to just share with you an article from The Washington Times. I’m sorry, but I’m thinking that Mrs or Miss Poe  could have left some things out. I respect and can agree on some things but not this part for example:

Want proof of just how bad that line is?

I like to do something I call “the substitution game,” whereby if I want to check whether or not a line is acceptable I simple swap out whatever word I have questions about with either the words “Jewish” or “African American.”  If the line sits well using both of these, the line passes the test.

So let’s try that here to find out if people would think the line was so funny if these words were used instead of  “adopted.”

So here we go:

The Black Widow character says, “[Loki] killed 80 people in two days.” Then Thor, Loki’s brother, replies, “He’s Jewish.”

Ugh…awkward, isn’t it? Doesn’t seem quite so funny.

OK, let’s try again:

The Black Widow character says, “[Loki] killed 80 people in two days.” Then Thor, Loki’s brother, replies, “He’s African American.”

Really? Really? You need to insert  Jewish or African-American to know if it’s an acceptable line? Like my husband said, “ Why don’t you just insert serial killer instead?”  –>sarcasm

I find that a bit racist to be honest, thinking of those two words … If I was Jewish or African-American, THEN I would be offended.

I am now going to end this post by saying that I am only speaking about my personal feelings on the matter and in NO WAY saying that other adoptees or parents shouldn’t be offended or can’t feel hurt, just that I am not. I am who God has created me to be and I’m not letting the fact that I am an adoptee define me, it’s just a small part of me and frankly, I can laugh about myself too at times.

Feel free to let me know how and why you feel like you do about the topic.

 

 

www.faithfulladoptee.com

Mom, momma, mommy, mama, mother, mmmmmmm?

Mother

A mother (or mum/mom) is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that united with a sperm which grew into a child. —Wikipedia

I hope you all had a great mother’s day yesterday.

On the topic of mom, I was wondering , how do you call yours? Or what do your kids call you? If you are like me, you have an adoptive mom and a natural mom. So how and why do you call them what you do?

mother's day gift

My mother’s day gift from my Step-Daughter. She calls me “Mim”

 

I don’t see my adoptive mother any more due to some very unhappy events when I was a teenager, making me have to leave home out of necessity. When I met my natural mother, I asked her if I could call her mom. I never say “birth mother” unless I’m using it on my blog, just to help you understand about who I’m talking about. When my sister and I talk about her, we say “La momma”.
It was uneasy at first, calling her mom, not sure if she really felt comfortable with me calling her that and I would avoid saying it at the beginning, even though I longed so much to call her that. But now, it seems natural.
With my biological dad, it’s so different, I’m still in good contact with my adoption dad. I call him dad or daddy but I’m finding it hard to find what I want to call my natural dad. We get along so well, I actually get on on the best with him. We are pretty close ,so I’m trying to find something comfortable for us. My kids call him Grandpa-T and he used to act irritated when he heard it…but I think he actually likes it. He’s just being a bit silly.

So, what do you call your mom and why?

And if you are looking for some inspiration, take a look at the following link of Mother’s Day Celebration website. You can see how people call their mothers in other countries.

How do you feel about mother’s day?

Mother's Day card

Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Why I Hate Mothers Day

It celebrates the great lie about women: That those with children are more important than those without…

by author Anne Lamott

How do you feel about mother’s day? Does the upcoming mothers day raise your blood pressure a bit? Is it a day you look forward too or a day that you apprehend? Walking around you see all these advertisements for gift ideas to get your mom. Even your email can’t hide from all that publicity. “Treat your mom to a luxurious spa” —Hmm, spa…

Maybe you lost a child, maybe you grew up without a mom or perhaps your mama died and the though of her is still just to painful.

For me, mother’s day used to be right up there with the other days  you “must” celebrate, especially Christmas. I’m not going to get into Christmas just as yet, that might be a post for the next holidays but what I am focussing on now, is mother’s day now or how it should be called:  “Hail me for cooking your dinner and doing your laundry day” Now that’s a day I wouldn’t mind getting celebrated for.

However, mother’s day was one of those days that would remind me that I was all alone at some point in my life. Living in a foreign country, raising my teenagers on my own, without any love or support from my a-mother or any family for that matter. My a-dad lived far far away.

And how is it possible anyways for all the other moms out there to be happy and served on mother’s day? My mother-in-law lost her mom last year and the pain is still fresh because it would have been her birthday around this time. They were very close. I have friends who wish they could be mothers but it hasn’t happened or at least not yet. This is a sad day for my friends. How about the single mothers? Who’s cooking for their kids tonight? How about all the mothers who work in restaurants today, serving other mothers? Or in the shops? It’s a recipe for discontentment.

Now don’t me wrong, I don’t hate mother’s day,I used to but I’ve hated it less and less over the years. Not only because my situation has changed: a new loving husband and being found by my birth family, but because of the grace of God. He quieted my heart, He helped me see that I wasn’t alone and that He had great plans in store for me. We are never alone you see:

• We are loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

• We are the apple of His eye. (Proverbs 7:2)

• Our name is engraved in the palm of His hands. (Isaiah 49:16)

• We are carried through every storm. (Mark 4:35-41)

• We are wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

• We are watched over day and night. (Psalm 121:1-8)

• We are forgiven. (1 John 1:9)

• We are rejoiced over with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I should say though that I am not condemning anyone for celebrating this day but what I do think is that you don’t have to buy expensive gifts to show your love. There are many many other ways to do so. Be creative. I will be giving my birth momma a small gift for the first time, because I want her to know that I care about her, I love her and that mother’s day must have been as painful for her as it was for me and now we can celebrate!

So friends, this year, I won’t be moody if my kids forget me. Over the years they have blessed me with many, many, many sorts of artwork that will last me a lifetime. Heck, even though two of them are teens now, their art still garnishes the walls of our home, more beautiful than any Monet will do. I will remember that I’m not only a blessing to them, but they are a blessing to me too and that is remembered each and everyday in our home.

Try to turn the pain of mother’s day into joy. Enjoy this weekend and remember that you are loved!

Please don’t hesitate to share how you feel about mother’s day. I am not claiming to be a specialist on this matter. My views come from what I’ve learned, what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve perceived as an adult adoptee and so I really would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Have a great weekend!

The adoptee family tree?

Do you have a family tree? Who made it? Do you appreciate it or you don’t really care? Did you have to make one during primary school? How did that make you feel?

So many questions, I know, but this is kind of tricky, isn’t it? Weather you are a traditional family, foster family, adoption family, reconstituted family or any other kind of family, making a genealogies tree isn’t simple and can be a very delicate topic at times. While some people insist that genealogies are only meant to be genetic, most agree that the purpose of a family tree is to represent the family – whatever that family might be.

A family Tree

A family Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember as a child, my adopted maternal grand-father (what a mouthful, let’s call him Opa). So, my Opa , had one. I’ve been a history buff as long as I can remember and when I found out that he had a super-duper old family tree, that he kept up to date, I just couldn’t wait to see it and ask all kind of questions. Oh, how I wanted in on the the family scandals. But when he proudly showed me the old document with a great big tree on it, I remember frantically looking for my name, to only be disappointed by not seeing it. My mom was on it, so was my dad and my cousins, but I was not.

But that was many years ago and now having been found and welcomed into the arms of my birth family, one of the first questions I had,  “What’s my heritage? Where are my ancestors from?” I am only now getting into the whole family tree thing again and pretty excited I must say. But where to start? How to do it? Should I make a double one? My family situation is so incredibly confusing that I wont only need a family tree to explain it, but a Power Point documentation and some pie charts, hey I’ll make the Power Point with a pie chart included. “Euh this one right here is my cousin from my adoptive father we are 0% related, however this cousin from my birth mother’s side is related to me for about , hmm, 25 % …I think”…Help!

My husband and I form a reconstituted family, his side of the family are pretty traditional people, I’m the weird one. I have my adoptive family side and my birth family side. I almost broke out in a sweat at my wedding trying to explain who was who. That’s my dad, oh, he’s my dad too.

Anyway, tell me about your family tree, give me some advice, I beg you ….help, please?

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