The angry adoptee?

Someone recently asked me how was it that I wasn’t bitter about my whole adoption past.

I asked that person what they meant and they wondered if or why I didn’t feel any resentment about the whole situation.

Just to clarify, my natural parents are still together and they have had two children after me. I have a full blood sister and brother.

I guess, when you think of it, one could feel upset by this. Some adoptees often express such perceptions. Many books, such at The Primal Wound and Journey of the Adopted Self, propose that adoptees not only have these feelings, but that they are correct perceptions, and that the adoptee may never heal from these feelings.

Isn’t this one of the reasons why people were encouraged in the past to keep it from their children, the fact that they were adopted? That it would protect them from a “trauma”?

I’ll be honest, while I had a terrible relationship and experiences with my ado-mom, I kind of felt abandoned. When I had my kids during my teens, I didn’t have a loving mom by my side to help me and guide me on my new journey into motherhood. I didn’t have a role model. I didn’t feel loved, I felt lonely…abandoned maybe.

But after being found and getting to know the story, I think we often forget the “trauma” and the bitterness our birth mothers must have felt. My mother couldn’t forget me, even if she wanted to, because I was born the day after her birthday. I can only imagine how she must have felt, counting year after year. I have at times, delicately tried to pry some info about my birth and I would get pieces here and there, but I can feel her pain and then decide that it’s just better to stop. At least for now.

So, do I feel bitter? NO! If anything, my heart leapt with joy when I found out that they were still together and that I besides having the sister who found me, I too have a brother!

Plus God has proven Himself faithful in every place of brokenness and loss during my life and has blessed me with this reunion. God has convinced me that my life was “meant to be”.

Even if you are not a Christian or you don’t have another religion holding you up and I’m saying this because God has and does keep me up, that life is too short to live it in bitterness, sometimes you just need to see the good things in life and decide to be happy. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be sad, but give it a place. We as individuals can choose our own attitudes at any time.

Oh and on a last note, I really hope that I haven’t offended others by what I said and if it seems like I’m belittling your feelings, this is not my intention and I’m sorry. I don’t know all your stories or pain, but I’m sure there is a lot of it. I do not claim to be an expert on anything but my own experiences and I would like to hear yours as well.

  • The Primal Wound – More Questions Than Answers! (sharonannevanwyk.wordpress.com)

Are we adoptees just mental?

I think one thing we adoptees must have in common is wondering from who we have inherited some of our habits.

If you have kids like me, you must have at one point or another compared your child’s habits and looks to yourself or to that of their other parent. All the good things have come from you of course and all the bad ones from the other person. Hey, at least, that’s what I do. However, now that mine are teens, I do realize that my daughter has many unpleasant habits in common with me, like her stubbornness or being convinced that she is always right and oh “the rolling of the eyes”…arg!

When I was little, my adoptive parents told me that they saw the doctor who delivered me and who was active in the adoption procedure during a trip to Wal-Mart’s. He looked at me and told them that he knew from whom I had inherited my long fingers. And that was it, that was the one and only thing I knew about them at that time and I have always carried that sentence in my heart and would wonder and dream about my natural parents. Huh, I imagined my mother being Céline Dion for some crazy reason.

Then I became a teen and my adoptive parents had divorced and my mother then took me back to her country of origin, Belgium. She had always had severe manic depression, but coming back to Belgium and not finding it the same as she had left it , 30 some years before, well that just put fuel on to her depression and she started to drink and take pills on top of it. I will spare you the details, but my teenage years were horrible, and I’m being mild here.

So as being a young adult, I had put it to the back of my mind, the though of me looking like someone else out there, and replaced those dreams I used to have with fear of becoming like my adoptive mother. Anytime I would have a tad bit too much to drink, I instantly would think of her and be petrified that I would be changing into her, an alcoholic. Or if I would have a couple of days of feeling down, (usually once a month) I would be scared that I was getting into a depression.

Last week I was doing my daily newspaper morning surfing and was reading an article in the Daily mail titled :

“When Cherry adopted these ‘angelic’ sisters she thought a loving home would heal the wounds of their troubled past. How terrifyingly wrong she was.”

In short it’s about a couple who have adopted two sisters. The eldest was 3 years old and the youngest 6 months. Their natural mother was a troubled person and couldn’t care for them anymore and so they moved from foster home to foster home, until this couple adopted them.

Picture isn’t me, but I was however delivered in a laundry basket.

According to the article , this couple was a stable family and having all the means necessary to raise these children happily and comfortably. Unfortunately after having adopted these children , they noticed some behavioral problems that caused much stress. In the end, the couple divorced, the wife ended up having to care for these children on a minimal income and the girls, now in their twenties are behind bars in jail. “‘Ironically they have followed exactly the same pattern as their mother,’ says Cherry.”

Again, this is a short sum up and to get the whole picture you should read the article yourself.

Then one paragraph really caught my attention :

Quite understandably, adopted children often suffer emotional difficulties. A U.S. study found that being adopted approximately doubles the odds of an adolescent being diagnosed with an emotional or behavioural problem. While these issues can usually be overcome, they often have a massive impact on the child’s adoptive family. 

My question to you dear readers is do you think that adopted children do have more problems? And I’m not talking about the many kids given up for adoption that have come from high-risk pregnancies, exposing them to potential for developmental delays, impulsive choices, poor choices, attention deficit, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders.

I do think that we might be more emotional than others and therefore I think that it is highly important for adopted children and their families to have enough support and that they have an adequate mental health support system at reach.

I also believe that God in His sovereignty, places orphaned or abandoned children with families on purpose, even if it doesn’t seem so at that moment. And what I have discovered is that conflicts that arise from adoption issues, whether on the side of parents or of the adopted child, can be overcome.  God has a way of taking conflict and using it for our own good.  God doesn’t give up on us.

So what do you think? Are we mental? Do we inherit traits ? I would really like to hear your thoughts or story, so please do share!

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.

Invasion of Cats – Sleeping with cats

Can you spot the teen?

Our cats are attracted to our our beds like I am pulled to a newly bought tub of  Ben & Jerry’s (embarrassing). It’s crazy, we usually don’t let the cats sleep with us in our beds, but my son is sick at home and wanted the company, so within the minute of leaving his bedroom door open, this is was the result.

I would like to think that it’s because our cats love us so much, but I’m more inclined to think that it’s because we ‘re a pretty efficient source of heating instead.

After about five minutes later my son yelled from his room : “Mom, can you please get the stupid cats out of here, I can’t sleep.” 

Hey, at least they weren’t lying on him, or up on his face like they usually do.

Sleeping with cats?

Motivationals for teens

Motivation

“Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals.” – Wikipedia

And because I want to achieve the goal of a tidy house I try to grab the attention of my teens by trying to be funny. But however funny I tend to find myself, my kids can’t even crack a smile.

I LOVE motivational posters and have used one already to express the fury that I was feeling inside. It helped so I tried to be original and make 3D ones . I was proud of myself for coming up with such a wonderful , witty idea that I started to scour the net, just to make sure that I was the only witty one on the web. But no, I found out I wasn’t the only one with this “brilliant” idea. Some wittier student was before me, using self-made motivational posters to try to get threw to his very very very messy roommate.

Oh well!

I’ll let you know how it worked when I get back home tonight.

Try and make one yourself on The Motivator

Always feel free to share your original parenting ideas. I can always use some help.^^

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!


The pooped out parents prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my mind.

 

I pray I find a little quiet
Far from the daily family riot
May I lie back — not have to think
about what they’re stuffing down the sink,
or who they’re with, or where they’re at
and what they’re doing to the cat.

 

I pray for time all to myself
(did something just fall off a shelf?)

 

To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
(Oh no, another goldfish — dead!)

 

Some silent moments for goodness sake
(Did I just hear a window break?)

 

And that I need not cook or clean —
(well heck, I’ve got the right to dream)

 

Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know —
I must have lost them long ago!

 

 

source : Berkeley Parents Network

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.

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