Monday, 31 December 2012

A place of rememberance

Last year, whilst spending my time with the family, I wrote about culture clash and grief and the fact that I was being taken to this beach where my new friend and I could remember our husbands.

Sadly, I have not had the chance to go back there before now but was lucky enough to be able to take Baba and Little Brother with me.   Baba loved the place, it a perfect place for us to remember Radouane when we are not able to go to Algeria, especially as Radouane loved the beach.

Initially, the family could not understand my need for having a symbolic place to remember him, especially as I am unable to visit his grave. I think that Little Brother managed to explain why it was important to me

So it is very fitting that I found a beach to be our place of remembrance for him.  At the same time it is an see Radouane was on his way back from the beach when he died.  As he loved the beach and as Baba said, he would have loved it here, I think I found the perfect spot for our two cultures to come together and remember him.  Hopefully, sometime during the spring the whole family will be able to go least all of the UK family.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Dear Fellow Birthmother

Dear Fellow Birthmother
I hope that you one day get to read this... I consider your daughter a friend and even if I have only got her side of the story of your reunion, I so wish I could speak to you... since that is not likely to happen, I thought I write your this letter on here.

You see, I’m doing the same as you did... I’m leaving the breadcrumbs for my son to find so when he is ready, he can find me.  I’m going into this knowing that if one day we meet, we might not like each other.  The person I hopefully will get to know is an adult not a newborn baby, which is something I suspect you hoped for... so having an adult sitting in front of you must have been a massive shock. However, that does not mean that I am allowed slam the door in his face...I lost that right when I signed the papers for his adoption.   Nor am I allowed to deny him the chance to get to know any of his biological family if that is his wishes...even if I have no interest in having any contact with them.

What I cannot understand how you and your current partner (her birth father) are behaving towards your daughter.

Why would the two of you leave the bread crumbs for her to follow if you didn’t want contact with her, why arrange to meet her, start a relationship with her and then slamming the door in her face... without so much of a simple “Sorry, we cannot handle this, so it is best that we have no further contact”... OK, so I don’t know what happened with your reunion... if there were anything said that hurt your matter how unintentionally it was said?

Most importantly, why is everything damaging your reunion being said and done by your partner?  Your partner seem to have “taken” charge of the reunion and threatening your daughter with legal action, just because she wants answers and the opportunity to meet her biological family is what I cannot understand.

From what your daughter have told me... he is the reason you placed her for adoption in the first place... was getting him back into your life more important to you than making a potential connection to your daughter?

I can understand if you are backing out of the reunion because you suddenly felt a rush of unresolved emotions and that you though you needed some time to process these feeling.  You should read the wonderful post by our fellow birthmother over at Musing of the Lame...she might have described how you feel more than I could ever.  I can only imagine you suddenly found yourself back in the place you where at the time of the must have been scared and possible feeling alone in the to find yourself “back” in that place must be scary... I know that I might feel like that, if I get to meet my son.

Yes, I placed my son for adoption because at the time I thought it was the best thing for him, I did it out of love for him...I’m sure you did the same for your daughter.  My son is a part of me, so no one is allowed into my life without accepting that he is a part of I cannot understand how you can allow your partner to speak for you?  Do you not have your own voice?  Don’t you think your daughter deserves to know why she was placed for adoption.

In my eyes, the only one who can close the door in a reunion is the long as I left the breadcrumbs for my child to find...yes, there might be things about my son I don’t like or even agree with...I have opened the door for a reunion and therefore I cannot close it.

Fair enough, this is only my personal personal journey has let me to this conclusion... I’m not saying I’m right, I don’t even know what would happen if I get to meet my son.

I just hope that one day; you will be able to resolve your issues and start again with your daughter, because from what I know, she is a wonderful person who has so much love for you and does not blame you for placing her for adoption.

I wish you all the best for the future.

Your fellow birth mother

Saturday, 10 November 2012


On the forum I am on we have been discussion how great it would be to have a symbol for adoption, I know there are some other symbols out there.  The discussion was to find a symbol which could represent Adoption Awareness and be discrete with a lot of mean.  After all, not everyone involved in adoption are as open as my fellow bloggers/posters and myself.

So one of the posters suggested the Forget-me-not flower as symbol of our involvement in adoption, whether we are a birth parent, adoptee or even an adoptive parent.  Something along the lines of a little a lapel pin and we all loved the idea.

The flower after all stands for true love, remembrance and memories... what better way to say that our love for our child (birth family) will always be locked in our heart, that we will always remember our children (birth family) and they are never far from our thoughts.

I found this lovely photo of forget-me-not and think that this would be a lovely symbol for adoption.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Are I doing the right thing?

For the past couple of year my yearning for making contact with my son have mellowed from being something I wanted to do for myself to being something I want to do for him and others.

When my son turned 18, I thought that me making contact with him would be the best for... guess who... me... at the time, I had not considered his feelings at all.

Now three years later and having learnt so much about adoption... it is no longer about me... it is about what is best for him... he will need to be told..and sooner later than later would be better for him, from his  psychological well being I hope... I do not want him to find out by mistake one day that his life have been a lie.

For the past three years I have learnt so much about adoption... and  boy have I learnt a lot... firstly, and mainly, he might not want to know me.. that is fine... as long as he knows he is adopted... OK, that might sound a bit unfair... but I do have to consider that one day he might need my kidney or something... and he needs to know about me for that.

Secondly, I have learnt that even if I'm lucky enough to one day meet him... we might not like each other... and I have to remember that I'm not his mum, I'm his mother... it is two totally different things... I have mentioned this on here before... we will be two total strangers who might be lucky enough to become friends.

The final thing I have learnt is that is I'm not alone... there are others out there like me...and here is where are I doing the right thing comes in to it.  I'm in the position of being able to contact my son directly... it most likely would not work the way I want love it to happen... but I recently found out that if I have the patience of waiting to let bureaucracy run it course, I might be able to help other birth mothers contact their children... so what is my happiness and my wishes weighted up against what is best for my son or other mothers.

So is it right?  Should I let bureaucracy run it's course?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Not a lot to say...or too busy?

I haven't posted anything in a while... it is not because adoption is no longer on my it simply that my "normal" life have had so much going on.  I have learnt a brand new trade...I have been involved in relaunching a business from scratch and which hopefully, one day will be "mine"... but only in that I will be running it one day... at least the new business is something I love and have always wanted to do.

That means that adoption has taken a bit of a back seat for now... although, another reason I have not posted for awhile is that I see and read some of what my adopted related friends are/have been going though and to be honest it is freaking me out a tiny to have something to take my "mind" of adoption has been very good.

I'm hoping that as soon as we have settled into a routine with the new business... I can tackle my new goal... I want to train as an adoption counsellor, it that means that I need to go back to school... so be it... actually, it is something I always wanted to do... when I was younger I wanted to train as a child psycolgist but never did anything about it... so maybe my life finally will start going in the direction I once dreamt off.  

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I could not say it better

I found this quote the other day and just wanted to share it

Friday, 29 June 2012

A Million Tears I Cried

A fellow blogger over at Living in the Shadows shared a beautiful poem today aptly called Beautiful and it made me search other adoption related poems, I found this poem and wanted to share it you all

A million tears I cried,
A thousand deaths I've died.
My baby & I were torn apart,
Now there's emptiness in my heart.

It's best for all they say -
You'll get over it some day.
Your baby will have a mom & a dad,
still - why do I feel so bad?

You & I worked so hard to be born
And at last you greet the early morn.
All I get is that one glance.
Oh baby, if only we had a chance.

The hospital is an empty place
When I can no longer see your face.
A memory to carry me through the years
Thoughts of you to release the tears.

A million tears I've cried
A thousand deaths I've died.
Some other mother will be foremost in your heart.
I'll have to go on somehow, Get a fresh start.

But to every child your age I look to see
if there might be some inherited part of me.
And every time a child is lost or dies,
I hope that he's not mine, my heart & soul cries

I hope your parents will love you as much as I do
And that your troubles in life will be few.
And every year on that special day
my heart celebrates in it's own way.

For you are alive & growing
And I take comfort in knowing
that perhaps some day my heart will be free
when your loving face again I see.
By Monica Bunton

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Birth mothers are from Mars, Adoptees are from Venus or is it the other way around?

I'm not really one for reading self help books... and there is one particular book I never had any real interest in reading and I would definitely not go out and buy.  That book is  "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus".  However, when I was visiting a friend I noticed she had the book and I though just for a laugh I would read it.

Reading the book what struck me that although the book is mostly common sense advice, was how appropriate it was to adoption and reunion... or it could be that I currently see adoption in everything.  If the book related to my relationship with my husband and some of the males in my life, I'm the one from Mars and they are from Venus...that is a whole other story.

As for adoption and reunion, it is much more appropriate.  I'm not saying this is the same for all adoption reunions, it is just that I'm a firm believer in that you have to put in some work in all your relationships  In all instances, after the first honeymoon period, unless you put in some work into the relationship, the relationship would not flourish.  

It was one paragraph that totally struck a cord with me and that was:
"Without the awareness that we are supposed to be different, men [birth parents] and women [adoptees] are at odds with each other.  We usually become angry or frustrated with the opposite sex [the birth parents/adoptee] because we have forgotten this important truth.  We expect the opposite sex [the birth parents/adoptee] to be more like ourselves.  We desire them to "want what we want"  and "feel the way we feel".  
We mistakenly assume that if our partners [child/birth parent] love us they will react and behave in a certain ways - the ways we react and behave when we love someone.  This attitude sets us up to be disappointed again and again and prvents us from taking the necessary time to communicate lovingly about of our differences."
What I think this is sometimes forgotten in adoption reunions... OK, this is just my personal opinion.  We spend months and years having romanticized about meeting and having a relationship with our child or birth parents.  I thin we are "in love" with the mental image our child/birth parents.  If we are lucky enough to meet our child or birth parents and the mental image doesn't marry up with the reality, rather than working on the relationship, one or both parties allows the relationship to cool.  This is why I would say "Birth mothers are from Mars, Adoptees are from Venus" sand some to the tips from the book could apply.

So if/when I get a chance to meet my son... I would treat it as  I'm in a new relationship... because that is what is would be, it is a relationship that deserves even more work than I would put in to if it was with a new partner.  

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My life is a lovely cake, to have a partner is the icing on the cake, but I do find icing sickly if I have too much of it

I have been quite on here lately, I had other stuff going on in my life... not adoption related.  Although, adoption affects me a lot... there is another thing which profoundly affected my life, that is the loss of the love of my life, Radouane.

Maybe it is because it is spring and love is supposed to be in the air, I seem to have become an agony aunt to a few people and they come to me for relationship advice... I keep telling them that I'm not the right person to ask, after all I have been single since Radouane died.  They often seem to want to settle for someone for right now, rather than waiting for the right one.  When I tell them this, they ask ever present questions... Don't you want new partner? Wouldn't you be happier with someone to share you life with?  My answers to those questions are.. If I met the right guy and I do not know.

Sometimes, I get accused of being too picky when it comes to men... what is wrong with having expectations?  If I was to meet someone new, I would expect it to be someone who would respect me and respect that there are two men who holds a special place in my heart (especially as I have a tattoo stating this fact) and someone who I would connect intellectuality with... it is not like I have "given up" on love... I always say that you never know what is a round the corner.

Chatting to a lovely elderly customer, Mrs S. the other week confirmed something I firmly believe in... to have a partner should enhance your life but should not define your life.   I even have a little mantra "My life is a lovely cake, to have a partner is the icing on the cake, but I do find icing sickly if I have too much of it". 

My conversation with Mrs S. started with me jokingly saying something along "you never know, you might find you self a lovely toy-boy this weekend"... after all she is only in her late seventies with a spring in her step and a twinkle in her eyes.  Mrs S. replied with a sad smile and said that she lost her soul mate five years ago and when I said I lost mine 17 years ago, she asked if it ever gets easier I had to say "No, but you learn to live with it".  

We then started to chat about our respective soul mates.  So there we was, nearly two generations apart and realising that our husbands were cut out of the same cloth... the little things they did for us, they way they encouraged us - in general, our relationships with our husbands were built on the same foundations of love, respect and trust.

I told her how annoying it is when friends (not my true friends) and family tells you that you will need to find a new partner... how they says it would be good for you and make you more happy.  Believe it or not... Mrs  S. has the same problem.  It is like some people think Mrs S. and I cannot be happy unless we have a new partner that our life.

Mrs S. then said something which resonated with me.... people around us will never understand the way we felt about our husbands... because, no matter if our friends have been in their relationship for two weeks or 60 years, they will never have the same relationship as we had unless they were lucky like us... and found their true soul mate... so if we are picky about potential new partners, it is because we have already experienced the best person for us.

OK, I know people how are in a happy and loving relationship... it is just that from what they tell me... they are missing that little extra thing Mrs S. and I had with our husbands.  Or maybe, you have to have lost your partner to realise that what you had was something so special that nothing can ever touch it again.

So, I have decided to remain "picky" when it comes to men... if, there is another guy out there for me... it will happen when it happens... I'm not going to settle for anyone just to have a new man in my life, my life is fine without one for the moment.  My happiness is not depended on having a man in my life...I'm happy within myself no matter what life have thrown at me... everything else is a bonus.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Reunion. will it be a blessing or curse?

OK... officially, I have no right in talking about adoption reunion... as I'm not in reunion with my son...but technically... I'm in a reunion... with my husband's family.  So, having read what others are going though in their adoption reunions made me think.... I have said it before, it is a dangerous conception.. me thinking ;-).

However, I think my experience in my little reunion might shed some light on what some people might go through in an adoption reunion.

Firstly, the reason I lost touch with Radouane's family was two fold... I'm lousy with calling is Weird  Brother and Middle Brother... as they were the only ones in the UK at that time... secondly, I do not have a bad habit of cutting people off if I'm the one who makes all the effort... I actually have a three call rule... if I leave you three messages and you don't get back to me... I never bother again... awful of me you might say.  Thinking about it... it is, I have not considered if the other person is busy, have other stuff going on etc... what if the reason someone have not called me back because a significant person in their life is dying (extreme thought but must be considered).

By the time, I got back in touch with the Family, I had realized that I'm the person to make the effort... in their eyes, I'm the one who turned my back on them.  A pivotal point was when Yima died... I felt left out of the whole grieving process... I felt like I was not included... which was very hard for me... as it was her I missed the most during life "without" the family.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks...  I had not been in their lives for many years... during those years... the Family had moved on without me (so had I) but my feelings had not... my feelings for them remained the same but I forgot that I had not been there in their lives... so what right did I have do demand that they acknowledge my feelings for them.. they did not know how I felt, I hadn't told them, still haven't actually.  And for the record.. I'm still lousy with calling people... I do like the concept of seeing people when I talk to them.

So, reading about other reunions made me the reasons reunions fail because both parties expect the other party to "feel" the same about their feelings?  Personally, I think this is true, us First/Birth Mother's have overwhelming feelings about our child.. in most cases, it is an unconditional love/bond that cannot be we forget that our child.. when the time of reunion comes, forget that this person has had a life... good or bad, where they might even not know we existed.  As for the adoptee, and from my experience with the family (not the same but it makes me understand the adopees prospective) feels that their place in the "family unit" should have been preserved... what both party forget... our lives have moved on, we have built our lives without each other.. but what we often expect is to slot into each others lives no questions asked...OK, the adoptee have lots of questions they want answered and the birth family wants the hole in their life filled... that is not what we should expect.

In my case, in anticipation of any potential reunion with my son... I have come to terms with the person I one day hopefully get to meet, is a grown man who I do not have a right to expect anything off... I can hope that he wants a mother/son relationship but the only thing I have the right to expect is a friendship, if he would allow me.

The main thing, is to remember that is that if the day I (hopefully) get to reunite with my son, I'm getting to know a total stranger... yes, the feelings I have for him will be there but he will be a total stranger to me and I to him... and there is where our relationship must start from... not from where I feel he belongs in my life... I also have to consider that if he does not call/text/email within my acceptable time constraints, I will have to make an effort... without being to aggressive... (I respond to texts/emails/phone calls straight away, but  will not normally initiate a texts/emails/phone calls after my thee strike rule) my reunion might be a blessing rather than a curse.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Is there a female version of being emasculated?

I have been holding back on this post but something a set me off today.  You see... I a survivor  and I know I can handled myself.. so after leaving a friends house today and they asking me if I would be "safe" on my journey home, it got me thinking... why do some "friends" think that what they say to "protect" you actually make you feel less of a person.

There is not a word for feeling emasculated for us ladies.. maybe we should call it efeminateing but that does not sound right... tried to find a word cover that and the only thing which came up was belittling us.

OK, to explain this... a couple of weeks ago... a a work colleague's "friend" thought they was going to do a fantastic  prank... now personally I did not think if funny... in essence the prank was to call me claiming that they was looking for my friend as they were a debt collector... and unless my  colleague coughed up a certain amount of money this so called debt collector would come and break my legs.

Because, I am me, I realised about 30 seconds into the call who was calling and that it was a so called joke.... I left it for a while and then told my colleague what their so called "friend" have been up to.

Now here it is getting annoying... as I said to my colleague the joke was bad but and I would would appreciate that their "friend" would stop their stupid prank calls... by the way, this was not the first one (but normally something stupid like do we stock Animal Farm or Deep Throat).  My colleague  then decides to tell their friend off... but in the process tell this idiot that I'm now too scared to work  by myself... HELLO..if my colleague had stopped to think for a minute they would realised that their so called "friend" would have lasted about a second of me telling them off... but in their wisdom they decided that the best way to dealing with the situation was to say that the prank freaked me out and I was in essence a "little" girl who could take care of myself.

Guess what... the prank was less upsetting to me than my colleague telling their "friend" that I am now to scared to work alone.  Seriously... why does your friend's best intention actually end up belittling you that much... the people who should know you should really know should know what situations you can handle.

As I said to to my other friend tonight, I can handle myself... I am comfortable enough walk by though London by myself in the middle of the night... and rightly and wrongly, I would pity anyone who tried anything... firstly I have been told I have a a mean right hook and apparently when I get angry I'm very scary.

So to all my friends, please respect the fact that when I say I will be OK, I will be OK... don't try to "help" me in a way that disrespects me or belittles my feelings...but at the same time sometimes when I do say I'm OK... I'm really not... but I do not need to belittled... I need your support

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

What advice would I give a young expectant mother

I have been thinking a lot about this lately... mostly because where I work I see a lot of young girls who have just had a baby or are expecting soon... the problem, for me, is that some of these girls are 16-19 years old, and have not experienced life yet.    Actually, the funny thing it is the expectant fathers who comes to me for advice... strange that one.  For them, I just tell them that they will need to be there for the child, start putting money aside.. even if there is any do doubt of paternity from the start, when the child is born get a DNA, then make sure that if it is their child, know that they might not be together with the child's mother and no matter what the child comes first and that their new main priority in life is that child (if theirs).

OK.. because my advice would be coloured  by my life experience  and because I sometimes know their parents (I know this is really an awful thing to say) they think that having a child will be the "solution" to their problems... In the UK it is a misconception that if you are a young single mother you will be given social housing, that you will earn more on being on welfare that working (which unfortunately in some cases is true) but taking this into account, I thought I say what I would to any of them if they came to me for advices, so it made me think, as I have always said that if a young pregnant girl came to me for advice I would tell them about adoption being one of the options they have.

Of course the first thing I would make sure of is that they are pregnant... or maybe I should use a English term... preggers, I would make sure that they have gone to their GP and got their pregnancy confirmed.

There is four options, the fourth option is abortion... and personally for me, it is not something I agree with (for me), so I could not advice someone about that, if they want to consider this I would refer them to the Mary Stopes Clinic or somewhere like that.

So on to my so called advice... I call it "so called" because what ever advice I would give is based upon my experiences and I cannot tell anyone that what I say would be right for them.

So let's pretend that someone called Isabella has come to me for advice so roughly here is what I would say, I'm actually basing Isabella on a couple of girls I know, so the advice is based on their situation:

As I see it, Isabella has three options:
  1. Keeping the baby
  2. Placing the child into temporary foster care
  3. Adoption
Option 1: Keeping the child:

My first question would of course be about the baby's father... are you still together, would he support you, and to remember that even if the two of you don't work out... you cannot let your feeling for each other affect the child.

Then I would tell Isabella that having a child means that her life will be forever changed... her priority is no longer which new Paul's Boutique's bag she can buy, her nights out with friends is no longer an option, but it is all worth it.  This little child would be the be all and end all for her... there are no stronger love she will ever feel.

If you are worried, believe it or not there are more help out there than you think... your family, your friends and even the State... but please know that if you decide upon keeping your baby your life is no longer your own.

For one, you need to tell the baby's father and your family.... You might no longer be together with the baby's father and that should not affect the child.  If the relationship is not working, it will not work just because you have baby.  Whatever happens next, the baby's father needs to be a part of the options and you have to think about him as the baby's father and not your boyfriend (or even ex).  As for your family, OK sometimes they might not "approve" and you will quickly find out who your real friends are.... they are not the ones who will say they will be happy to babysit... but the ones who says something stupid like...."OK... I'm more than willing to babysit... but if you need private medical care... I can only afford £xxx" .  I'm not saying this to be horrible but a real friend will understand that you have a difficult choice to make and want you to make the right choice for you and your baby.  Raising a baby is harder than you think but worth it in the long run.

Option 2: Placing the child in temporary foster care

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but in the UK, you will have the option of asking Social Services for help... and as horrible as it sounds, to place your child in temporarily foster care might be good... yes it is a risk, but it will give you a chance to get your own place, get some help in making sure that you fully understand that the baby will be your main priority from now on.  Since I do not know about all the ins and outs you will need to speak someone in the know.

Option 3: Adoption

Ok, this is what I can tell you about...

Firstly, it is important to remember what ever decision you make now will affect you for the rest of your life... no matter what you decide you will always have"what ifs" many years down the line.

If you decide upon this option, you should know that it will always be with you.. you will always wonder if you made the right decision.  Your decision would impact on ever aspect in you life.  All your future relationships will be affected by this...and it might even impact on your ability to have more children.  You see, some women who give their child up will suffer something called secondary infertility, so there is no guarantee that you can have another child in the future.

Some people think that you can "forget" about your child... it will be impossible... over the next months when this child grows inside you, the bond you forms is unique and impossible to break... from your side.  The important thing to remember is that YOU will have an unique bond with this child but again is no guarantee that in the future, your child will have the same feelings for you.   Even though you think of yourself as the mother of the child you will never be their mum, they will have grown up and (hopefully) had a mum and dad who have been there for them through thick and thin.   Just don't think that 20+ years you can suddenly appear in their life and be MUM.   The adoptive parents will possible see you as a treat to their role in your (you are all the child's parents) child's life.  Please remember that they will have been told some lies about you and your reasons for relinquishing your child.

If you still think about adoption, make sure that you get an "open adoption"... even if it is only letterbox contact.  Make sure your yearly, monthly or weekly letters is never missed, if your child or their adoptive parents do not respond, carry on with your letters.  Then if you are finally lucky enough to be reunited.... no matter the amount of bad stuff throw at you by your child's adoptive parents (if any) you have to turn the other cheek... you will have to rise above it and be the bigger person. Your child might even try to play you against their adoptive parents.

Also, you child will be deeply affected by your decision... even if they will not admit it... they might be angry with you... but remember they did not have a choice in your decision.

After your child is born, make sure that you hold your child and spend some time with your child, before making your final decision and PLEASE REMEMBER YOU STILL CAN DECIDE TO KEEP YOUR CHILD.

The  final thing I could tell Isabella, is that if she made this choice and she signs the papers, it is a decision she will have to live with all her life... there are no going back, she will have to learn to live with it... hindsight is a wonderful thing but it is just that... no matter what you decide you will have "what if" moments, but if it feels right at the tine it is right under the circumstance... no matter what others tells you.

Some of you might not like my "so called" advice and think it is rubbish or bad, especially because I have not said see a counsellor,  but at least I can say it is honest and from my heart.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Adoption Kool-Aid.. an American phenomenon or true for us all?

The other day I read a wonderfully written post over at Musings of the Lame about why the Kool-Aid of adoption "taste" so good... I must admit... I'm not sure if I am still sipping the Kool-Aid or ever did.

You see, since starting this blog and following other adoption related blogs, I have learnt much about adoption and the effects it has on people.  I have also found that there are many angry adoptees and birth mothers and not forgetting ignorant adopters  There is currently a massive spat on a couple of FB pages about adoption between adoptees, birth mothers and adopters.  Wow, some of the comments are truly vile and I cannot understand why people cannot accept and embrace the fact that there is both good and bad adoption stories, just there are good and bad in every walk of life.

I'm the first to admit I don't know how others feel about their adoption experience and I can only ever comment on my personal feelings and experiences about adoption.. The times few I have commented on stuff, I have only ever expressed my personal views and never assumed that I knew the another person was feeling about  the subject.  I empathise with others, but since I have not walked in their shoes, I cannot say how they should feel... and believe it or not, I do learn from them all.  It makes me wonder if I'm either drinking too much Kool-Aid or if there is a major difference in how people from different countries sees adoption. To me, it seems that many of the angry adoptees and birth mothers and not forgetting ignorant adopters are American, sorry I do not mean to offend anyone, but I have yet to come across other nationalities as angry about adoption as the Americans are.

Personally I think that and the way you have been exposed to adoption throughout your life reflects the way you view adoption.

I can only go by my personal experience, from a young age, I had only heard good things about adoption.  I grew up believing that adoption was something to benefit the adoptee.  I knew kids who where adopted from China, foster care adoptees and orphaned adoptees, these kids all was brought up knowing they was adopted.  Their adopted families were open about the adoptions to their kid's friends, so I think I had early exposure to adoption .  I even used to dream about being an adoptee myself and found myself jealous of some of the adoptees I knew growing up.  I was jealous of them because they all seemed to have a mum and dad who seemed to love each other and them (the amateur shrink in me know this stems from being a child of divorce).

OK, as a child I was naive and did not see what really went on behind closed doors.. and my secret fantasy of being Dennis Hopper's kid didn't pan out.. I also knew from a young age that giving a child love was not enough. Being emotionally and financially stable was very important.  Nor did I understand and comprehend the long term impact adoption have on people.  Other friends (the closest connection some of them have to adoption is me)  have also told me that they too have been brought up with adoption being something that is positive and a part of life.... maybe this is an European thing or it could be just the people in my life.

Can I understand the anger in adoption, of course I can.  Before reading other blogs and forums I had never heard about BSE.  I'm still learning about the impact this has had on people. I think watching the Magdalene Sisters, was the first time I came across someone being forced to relinquish their child.   Being forced, coerced or bullied into relinquishing your child it horrible and that gives you the right to be angry...  but does it give you the right to tell another birth mother that her reason relinquish their child is wrong?

Being placed into an adopted family who mentally, physically and sexually abuse you is definitely wrong (abuse is wrong full stop), these abusers should be locked away for good... I better not say exactly what I think should happen to people like that in public... and yes you have the absolute right to be furious..but it does not give you the right to tell others that all adoptions are bad.

That you cannot get access to your original birth certificate, I cannot imagine how it feels to be denied this important information. I support you fully in is part of your identity and you have the right to that.  In the UK, an adoptee has the right to obtain their original birth certificate and from what I understand, this has been their right since 1927.  In Greece, (despite their black market adoptions, btw my son's adoption was 100% legal and above board) an adoptee adult have the right to all information about their birth parents held by their adoptive parents and public offices and organisations, if and when they wants it.

So, yes I can understand the anger from some of you and accept your right to be angry...that doesn't mean that we all should feel the same.

As a birth mother, I don't have the right to be angry with an adoptee for disagreeing with my personal view on adoption, nor should an adoptee have the right to be angry with birth mothers that express their views on adoption.  If fact, none of us has the right to be angry with each other, because our experiences are all different.  We can sympathises and disagree with each other  The only person I have the right to be angry with is myself... my son has the right to be angry with me... but that's it.

Being a birth mother is hard enough, and here is where I like the Kool-Aid thing, because it is a good way to describe the party line, I sometimes get the impression I'm expected to toe.   Apparently, we should all feel similar about our adoption experiences... my views are my views and my experiences is my experiences... I don't expect anyone else to feel like I do or agree with my views... Of course it is nice when you read that some one had similar experience to you... you don't feel so alone then, as long as you do remember that their experience is their unique experience.  You can learn from others, but your feeling and experience will never be exactly the same.

I said here before, the choice I made back then was right at the time and under the circumstances.  I have learnt to accepted the impact it has had on my life, I have even come to terms with the fact that my son never want to have anything to do with me.  OK, the not knowing is killing me and I will not have peace until I know if he wants me in his life or not.

My choice back then made me into the person I am today, and my son into who he is.  I still believe in adoption and would never try to talk someone out of relinquishing their child if that is what they truly wanted. Of course, I would let them know the full impact it has had on me over the years and make sure that they went into it with their eyes wide open with.  What I don't agree online touting of children who needs adopted families or the agencies earns billions in the adoption industry.  There needs to be a proper system put in place so all adoptions are treated equally and to ensure that the people who adopts are adopting a child for the right reasons.  Again, I do not know about how the adoption industry works, I can only explain what happened in my case...but that is another story.

Does this mean that I'm still drinking the Kool-Aid?  Or did I ever drink it?  The only thing I know for sure, I learn more about adoption each and every day and I will never be able to fully appreciated the impact adopting has on peoples lives.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The bravest girl I know

Today on This Morning a beautiful young lady appear to spread the word about  neurofibromatosis... unfortunately the show did mistakenly refer to it at the same condintion as the Elephant Man had and referred it to as NR1... The short name for the condition is NF... Katie's condition is Type 1 so the shorten name should be NF1.  Still they did a fantastic job with the interview and made sure that the presenters were corrected.

I have had the pleasure of knowing this young lady for years.. with bit of a gap in there...but even during this time she was always an inspiration to me.  

You see... because of her... I do not allow myself to feel sorry for me... she says it so well "I have Neurofibromatosis but Neurofibromatosis does not have me".   So thank you, Katie for teaching me that don't let the negatives rule you life... make the best of what you taught me that when you were five years old.

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