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?

The one year anniversary of meeting my birth parents.

It’s been a year now since I have met my birth parents with the help of a Belgian tv station/show, they heard about my story and suggested to pay for our trip; mine, husband and the kids, to Canada to meet them and of course station would film it.

Since then I’ve been in daily contact with my b-dad over whatapps and on a weekly basis with my b-mom. After we met them in Canada, they flew over to Belgium for my wedding and got to see how we lived, spend time with their grandchildren and got to meet those dearest to me here.

Our meeting falls into that category of significant and life-changing events that I will never forget:  being told that I was adopted, the birth of my children, my moving to Belgium, my wedding day,. All of these events, in fact, were crucial in the timing of my meeting my birthmother. But let me start at the beginning.

I was adopted as a two week old baby in what is called a closed adoption. I was not supposed to meet my birthmother. She was supposed to forget me and get on with her life. We were supposed to ignore the fact that something out of the ordinary had taken place.

What is it like being adopted? Being adopted means being different. Different is not bad, it is just different. To deny my difference would be to deny who I am. I started out in this world differently. My conception, prenatal experience, and birth were different. My birthmother was not joyfully pregnant. No one gave her a baby shower. She never saw the infant she gave birth to. Or at least that’s was what I thought.

Losing the mother who gave you life is traumatic. I wanted to keep a part of her in my soul. I thought about her a lot. My fantasy life about my birthmother was that she was a famous singer. Celine Dion maybe… I didn’t have a lot of facts about her. Only that she too, like myself was a teen mom and I knew her blood type. That’s it. I wondered if she ever thought of me. Did she remember my birthday? I had lots of questions that I wanted to ask her. I wanted to see her. I wondered if I looked like her. I wondered if I looked like anyone.

I was very tall and people would ask me how I got so tall. I didn’t know. They were brunette. I was blonde. People would even say that I looked like my a-dad but I couldn’t help but thinking each time I looked in the mirror; “Whose eyes are those “?

I began to search for my birthmother when I was 18 years old, just shortly after having my second child, my son Jaimy. I was totally a computer illiterate at that time and so I self-educated myself. I created my first e-mail address; I joined support groups, forums and wrote letters to try to obtain information that would help me locate her. I even created groups in Facebook. There were a lot of dead ends and a recurring voice in my head that said I shouldn’t be trying to find her. I would be intruding on her life if I showed up now. It wasn’t fair to her and in the end; I had to admit that she might just not want to be found.

My searching took many routes and I have had many disappointments. I had been searching for thirteen years when I decided to stop. It really consumed me. I let it define my happiness, I let in define who I was and so. At the age of 27 I had given my life back to the Lord and decided to just put it into His hands.  I didn’t want it to take over my life anymore, I wanted to just be happy with who I was.

A couple of months after that, coming home after work and having finished my mumly duties, I sat down in my couch and flipped open my laptop to find an email that would change my life forever. It went something like this:

“Hello Miriam!
My name is Leah . I am responding to a post I just found on the Quebec Query Board.
My mother’s name is Lynn . She had a daughter when she was very young on April 6th 1978. She named her Brenna.
I have been thinking about searching for my possible sister my whole life. Since my mom told me about her when I was 12.
Today..I made the decision to start the search. I sifted through pages and pages online and contacted a company called Batshaw (who was NOT very helpful).
Then..I stumbled upon this page..scrolled down..reading all of posts from people in the adoption world looking to find family and answers. I didn’t think anything would come of it..but I felt compelled to continue reading on..until I saw an entry that made me forget how to breathe for a few moments.
Posted May 14, 2009
Birth daughter looking for birthmother or relatives. I was born on the (date removed), in Montreal, giving name at birth was Brenna.

Is there a chance that this is a coincidence??? I’m not sure. But I would love to speak with you.
You can contact me whenever you like. My fingers are crossed it will be soon!”

What more can I say? I am blessed to have such a caring and wonderful  sister  who finally looked for me. I also now have father, brother and of course birthmother and we are fortunate indeed to all know each other. Even if it did take thirty-one years to meet.

Image

I’m the one in white. Sorry, but the blury is for privacy reason’s. I looked awful.

Gallery

Yes, we made into Glamour Magazine!

 

YES! Our amazing story has made it to one of America’s best selling magazines and I am particularly happy with the end result. It even brought a tear to my eye….ok, I can can be honest with you all, it made me weep. It was embarrassing.

So people, go get the magazine, get something warm and comforting to drink (vanilla latte is my preference) and enjoy.

Thank you to all of whom took an interest in our miracle and have made this story happen. Also a special thank you to my adoptive father who has always helped me in my search and has too welcomed them into his family. It must be hard but he did it and  with grace.

I just can’t believe how lucky we are. I have an amazing, loving ,sweet,  beautiful and talented sister whom I am sooooo proud of ! The future is looking bright. She might be in the spotlight, but behind her are our loving parents who have welcomed me, my children and my husband into their family as if we have always been together. A great mom who acted just like a mom would at our wedding. A father, who I feel like I related to the most and a great brother who my son A-D-O-R-E-S ! I kind of like him too. We even have matching tattoo’s now. We got them in Amsterdam. My wedding present from him. Sweet!

I only hope to be able to see each other more often. Having a sea between us ain’t helping! Can someone give me a job over there? Please ? ^^Ooops, I’m embarrassing myself again.

Love yah sis, mother, father and bro! Dad, I love you too of course!

Thank you God!


25 points of useless information about myself.

Image via Wikipedia

1. I’m Canadian and proud of it. I am however living in Belgium for the moment.

2. I never finish anything. I always leave  the last cookie –  I have endless amounts of chip bags with crumbs in them – I’ve never emptied a glass and I even leave one piece of toilet paper on the roll….

3. I get hyper if you touch my toes.

4. I’m too lazy to pre-read my posts and so I end up making loads of typo’s and constantly going back and forth trying to correct them.

5.  I’ve been pooped on by an eagle.

6. I cried when Spock died in Star Treck 2. R.I.P. Spock!

7. I used to be crazy (read obsessed) of the New Kids on The Block. Aaah, Joey McIntyre…I even had a crush on a guy who worked at Wendy’s. That  was until my dad told him that I though he looked like Joey. (the shame)

8. My sister is an upcoming celebrity. I would like to tell you more, but I’m afraid of making myself look pathetic as in “Look at me, my sister is …” Oeps, almost did it.

10. I’ve been adopted but have been reunited with pretty much my entire birth family. So I now have 2 families!

11. I believe in miracles because I believe in God and have seen what He has done with my life. Really a miracle.

12. I was a teen mom and now my two kids are teens themselves. Thank goodness that they’re smarter than me and that I’m not a granny yet!

13. Just to make things clear : I DO love my teens (adore them) and haven’t once regretted having them. They have made me who I am today (with allot of help from God)

14. I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about Miss Pippa’s butt.

15. When I’m genuinely laughing, I snort. Yes, snort as in a little pig.

16. I used to date Bear Grylls.

17. I lied.

18. No matter how much I deny it, I have a flair for the dramatic. Ask my fiancé.

19. I hate confrontation.

20. I rather text, BBM, chat, skype,Whatsapp then have to talk on the phone and will almost always pass the phone to my fiancé. Unless your my mom, sister or good friend. (I felt like I had to add that)

21. I often speak without thinking and then spend the rest of the time wondering what the fudge was I thinking and cussing at myself. In my thoughts that is. I’m not actually speaking to myself, now that would be weird.

22. Kids used to pick on me in primary school, because 1. I was an Anglophone in a French Canadian School, 2. I was tall + skinny and 3. Because I was an Anglophone in a Canadian French School. It has distorted my way of thinking.

23. When I’m depressed I like to hide in my room with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a Barbara Cartland book. Hey, she’s a good writer.

24. My family situation has become so complicated that I could only explain it by using charts.

25. I wrote this post from work because I was bored.

Ready to start looking for your birth relatives ? Tips to help you on your way.

I decided to start looking for my birth family after the birth of my second child. This will be 15 years ago now. I didn’t really know how to start because I was living in Europe, while I was born in Canada.  

I had NO knowledge of the internet and I didn’t even own an email. I quickly instructed myself in the hows of the web and now I find it pretty inconceivable nowadays trying to find anyone, let alone the birth family you have never met before without the World Wide Web.

After looking for almost 14 years and having done all that I could do to put myself out there, I almost gave up. But because of the grace of God and because of all the basic information I had I was able to be found threw a forum. I was found in November 2009 by my sister who had only spent 30 minutes looking for me before she found me.

We have since then reunited and I’m saving up money to finally meet my parents, brother and the rest of the family. This is a happy ending and miracles do happen.

By starting your search you must prepare yourself for any eventuality. Starting the search for your birth parents is half the battle. The other half is dealing with the outcome. There are many outcomes that can either provide you with disappointment or happiness. It is vital that you prepare yourself for any result. You might never find them, or you will but they will not want to meet.  Whether your search provides no positive results or whether you find your birth parents only to learn that they did not really care for you and gave you up, you must anticipate this and make sure that if it happens, you can deal with it.

But if you are here reading this, you might be an adoptee  like me and I know how you feel. You want to know why, you want to know who and you maybe want to know from whom you inherited some things that you wished you hadn’t. However you remember a reunion is not a magical cure for life’s problems, but it does have many benefits. There may be disappointments and difficulties along the way, but most who wander into reunion territory are glad they did. I am one of them and that’s why I would very much like to share with you what I have found helpful along the way.

  1. Talk to your adoption parents. First of all, they should know. You wouldn’t want them to find out from someone else, that would hurt them much more I think then just telling them that you would like to know more about your birth relatives. Plus, they might even be able to help you. With which agency have adopted you,? Where? Which hospital. Anything that could help!
  2. Search the web for some good adoption forumsor/and a Adoption reunion registry. Register and put as much info on it as possible, without giving out too much information about your current situation. Make a nickname that you find describes yourself the best. Like “boyToronto89” to describe that you’re male, born in 1989 and in Toronto. I do suggest you making a special email address for this purpose only and to never disclose online your real name, residence or stuff like that. You have mean people out there who would do anything for a bit of money.
  3. Join or make a group on Facebook. You have many groups on there. Just type adoption in the search space and maybe the town you were born in and voilà! Choose a couple and start posting your info.
  4. Contact the adoption agency. Personally, this hasn’t helped me. I first of all had to fill in forms, and then I received a letter asking me for what I considered a silly amount of money. Plus they couldn’t give me any guarantees. In the end, I think it’s best to just do it all yourself. I have though heard others whom agencies have helped.
  5. Google. It’s your best friend at times like these. Ok, I’ve spent hours typing my birth date, birthplace, birth name for hours without any result besides coming across all the forums where I posted my birth info on and that’s not bad thing. If I can find me, they can too.

 

These are all things that I have done and so I feel safe to post them here and obviously, it has helped but it all depends on where you live and where you were born.

Here are some helpful sites:

–          Adoption.com : This is a very helpful site. It’s for adoptees, adopting parents, birthmother, birth family, foster family! This site provides you with forums for everyone’s needs, information, blogs, reunion registers. This is a great way to start. And I found it a great way to find others like me to share our stories and find comfort.

–          CANADIAN ADOPTEES REGISTRY INC.: The name says it for itself. It’s a free searchable registry for anybody looking for anybody concerning adoption.

 

 

–         Find my Family: Another searchable registry but only for in United States.

–          Origins Canada : There is no register here, but you can find a lot of useful information helping you prepare the search and to guide you threw it.

–         The International Soundex Reunion Registry: It’s a reunion registry. The ISRR uses the Soundex Coding System which takes the information off of the applications and translates it into a single line of code. This line of code enables the registrar to check over 1000 entries in approximately 5 minutes. Matches are confirmed by human registrars who are capable of comparing the fine details of an application, which a computer might miss or misinterpret. ISRR does not perform adoption searches, but will notify you if a match has been made from your application, so remember to keep your information current with ISRR’s change of information form.

 

I hope that this will help anyone who wants to start the search. There are no guarantees for finding someone and it could take a very long time if or when you will. Don’t despair and have a lot of patience.  In the end, you have done all you could and if someone out there is really looking for you, they will! Once they decide to start, it might even take them just 30 minutes.

I would love to pray for you if you would like, just send me a note. Good luck!

 

 

10 differences between Canadians and Americans

No, I’m not American!!! And I’m so tired of having to say that sentence over and over again.

When people here in Belgium,  hear me speak English, they always ask me if I’m American. Like the Americans are the only ones to speak English in the world. I NEVER ever had anyone ask me if I was Canadian. I even got someone who asked me if  I was British, go figure!

So I’m just going to point out 10 differences between us Canadians and Americans. I’ll be nice.

  • Canadians will say “eh” pronounced “ay” after every freakin sentence (I’m guilty) , Americans start every sentence with “like” and end it with “whatever“.
  • Canadians pronounce the letter “Z” –zee, Americans –zed.
  • Canada has a Prime Minister, America a President.
  • Canada has a “highway”, Americans a “freeway”.
  • We call our 1$ a loonie and our 2$ a toonie. Americans just call them dollars or bucks.
  • We have public health care insurance for everyone, gun control, and  almost no history of slavery . America …well…
  • Canada has provinces and territories, America has states.
  • Canada produced Céline Dion. America ,Barbara Streisand.
  • Summer starts for us when it stops snowing, in the States it’s in July.
  • It is ILLEGAL in Canada to use the letter “O” without putting a “U” after it! (As in “Colour” or “Poutine“)

Ok, some of that wasn’t very nice, but  it’s really hard “eh”, definitely after the Americans made the South Park movie ” Bigger, longer & uncut“. Oh yes, I’ve had to listen to people singing “Blame Canada many times. Thank you very,very much Mister Trey Parker.

 

Does anybody have any other differences?

Who am I you say?

Hello curious readers and thank you for visiting my blog!

My name is Miriam Christina and I’ve always wanted to share a bit of my life, for therapeutically reasons, for wanting to give some hope to those in similar situations or just for the selfish reason of putting myself out there !

This blog is all about life ! Life as an adoptee, life as a teenage mum, life as a struggling young adult, life far away from home, spiritual life, lonely life and now a somewhat content life. Oh yes and a very exciting , life changing moment : the being found life !

To some people, those who will be doing me the honor of taking some time out of their busy lives to read a bit of mine, well it will maybe seem a bit much, a bit unimaginable, but I’m promising you that all that I will be writing here, will be the truth and I thank you in advance, for taking some interest in what I have to say.

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

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