Monthly Archives: May 2008

Plans/Reality

I am all aquiver, planning a trip with both daughters, planning a physical adventure I’m not sure I can pull off. I’ve been ‘training’ a little. Not enough. That’s one of the things I’m learning just now. I want to hike this tremendous mountain, but I haven’t set aside the time to train, get in shape, so that I can. Physical training takes TIME. It takes my attention. Everything that I want to do takes time and attention.

Blogging takes time and attention. I am astounded at some of the blogger heroes around. They must have secret techniques for notifying themselves of new blog posts. And they must be speed readers.

Anyway, we three are going to the mountains together! I’m looking up rest stops and directions and making packing lists and figuring out how to meet up with each other and oboyoboyoboyoboy I’m excited. I’m not leaving for three more days. There are still 3 more days of ‘normal’ life ahead.

Well I’m thinking of writing more often. Not every day for a month like NaBlPomo or whatever. Maybe every week for 6 months. I can do that, for me. Just write. Great goal when I know I can’t do it next week. Unless I do it before I leave! So close. Oh, that feels similar to planning to hike this tremendous mountain and then not training for it. OK. Maybe I’ll be back before we go to the mountains. Inshallah…

Getting to know me

    “Wow, I’ve been tagged!!”

Me too! Except I only know because I was reading Jenn’s blog and she said tagged me and wants to get to know me. That’s the encouragement I love.

    Favorite person (outside family)? My best friend from HS. These many years later, she listens the BEST

    Favorite food? Oh there’s so many. Home grown is best.

    Quirks about you? I tend to ‘telegraph speak’, just blurt out a few words and expect others to automatically get the subtext. Or else I’ll just choose a song to explain a mood or situation. It’s expecting others to really listen to me, even past the words sometimes.

    How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? Loving, willing and flexible with good humor

    Any regrets in life? Every time I contract for other people’s approval instead of expanding into who I am. It still happens but I’m watching it and learning to switch out quicker.

    Favorite Charity/ Cause? My ‘church’. I tithe and volunteer 3-5 days a month

    Favorite Blog recently? Joy’s Division is the one I check every day, because she’s my daughter. My other favorite is hard to pick, but I’ll say Nicole’s Paragraphein.

    Something you can’t get enough of? Dark Chocolate

    Worst job you’ve ever had? Oh that would be piece work for the Catalina Swimwear Co. I thought I would go crazy fast. But I quit fast instead.

    What job would you pay NOT to have? Combat.

    Favorite Bible verse right now? Luke 17:21 “nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

    Guilty Pleasure? Nope. I just want to have fun.
    Got any confessions? I’ve been procrastinating about redirecting my blog. The first purpose, of uncovering my emotions and explaining how I came to this place, is served. There is more to share.

    If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? dance classes

    Favorite thing about your house? The location and the yard I love to watch my garden grow.

    Least favorite thing about your house? The rooms are tiny and I want to have people over and dance.’re good at? Being diplomatic. (Maybe I should run for office!!)

    If you could change something about your circumstances, what? I All three of my kids would have bullet trains between where they live and where I live.

    Who would you like to meet someday? IDK. I’m stumped.

    What makes you feel sexy? love and honesty.

    Who is your real life hero? Both my daughters have demonstrated courage and tenacity that I am grateful for.

    Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? I haven’t read the article. It sounds silly.

    Why do you blog? To discover what I have to say and to share with others that may be going through similar experiences.

    Who are you tagging? YOU

    Anyone that wants to play.

birthdays

I am still learning how to have birthdays. Last month was mine, and a couple weeks later, my daughter Joy’s; making 18 birthdays in reunion. My family of origin didn’t seem to make much of birthdays. In my first year of marriage discounting my new husband’s birthday was an awakening. I spent the evening in what I thought was a crucial community meeting dealing with a ‘crisis’ that I can’t even remember now. The next day a friend explained that my husband’s birthday was MUCH more important than a fleeting community crisis. But I didn’t believe her. I thought my husband was making a big deal out of nothing, a birthday (!?), a number on the calendar? To this day (29 years later) I am still living that down in my own mind. How do I do this right? This year he encouraged me to go ahead and go to my weekly dance class instead of taking him out to dinner on his birthday. So I did. When I got home, Joy called me and I talked to her for well over an hour and used up the remaining free time for that birthday night. Why didn’t I tell her it wasn’t a good time to talk? Well cuz she is so busy and she doesn’t call very often and she might not call me back tomorrow and… And next year I’m going to set the whole day aside, way ahead of time. I’m going to get it right for once, maybe.
Our first year in reunion I was was pleased that my birthday is just a couple weeks before Joy’s. Since she ‘didn’t want a mother’, just wanted to get to know me, medical info etc. I still feel the disconnect inside remembering that she wasn’t looking for a mother and thinking, but I am her mother. Ok, how can I not be her mother? I was desperate to keep her in my life, not to lose her again. I thought I should treat her birthday the way she treated mine and simply copy whatever she did.
Not very mothering, eh? Because mothers make a fuss over their children’s birthdays, at least the first 21 or so, right? And I was (in a sense) a new mother, because our relationship was new, without tradition or shared stories.
Now that I know adoptee birthdays tend to trigger a variety of events. I approached her birthday with some anxiety. Emotions could erupt. Last year was the first time since birth that we shared her birthday and it was terrific — a landmark. This year I had a workshop to attend the weekend of her day and so arrived a week late. I worried that she might feel slighted, but we talked about it. We acknowledged and honored the event, the day, her birth. When we got together, we just let ourselves be and it was just right, gifting each other and ourselves and settling in.
I’m learning to be her mother all the time because I’m still learning to be me.

Fit for a Queen

I’m recently returned from a fabulous weekend with my daughter, Joy. We celebrated our birthdays, sharing our loves and opening up our hearts a little more, truly breaking new ground. Each experience we share, whether silly, painful, mundane, sweet or revealing is a blessing to me and adds to my awareness, adds to me, adds to my awareness of God in me and in her.

We were mulling over another family’s adoption experience. Thinking of a woman I don’t know, but I’m putting myself in her place, trying to figure out how life works. Due to unknown, private circumstances, this woman relinquished her first born to an infertile, Jesus loving couple. It’s an ‘open adoption’– an ‘ethical adoption’. So for the past couple years, this woman has been living in what I imagine as a form of hell. I can only try to imagine. I only know the devastation of relinquishment. I don’t know how one copes with the continuing relinquishing — watching someone else ‘better suited’ mothering my own child.

So I try to imagine what could possibly justify this action? Perhaps she’s really only a princess, maybe just fifteen or sixteen at the birth of her second child? Maybe she’s a princess in a tower, with keepers who beat her on a regular basis and would surely beat her infant? (Maybe we should call CPS.) Maybe it’s incest? (Again with the social services.) Or perhaps she’s so strung out on drugs that she couldn’t possibly give adequate care to an infant? Maybe her family, which is ‘better off’ than the adopting family is doing all that they can to assist her. Maybe she’s seriously mentally ill and not able to care for herself or her children? Maybe she’s living in an abusive and/or neglectful home? What are the ‘few valid reasons for a woman to place her baby for adoption’?

The really crappy thing is what does giving her children away do? How does it help her children? How could it improve her situation? I guess you can say it’s private and really ‘ethical’ (whatever ethical means), but whatever it is, it’s got to be pretty FU.

I know what the message that I wasn’t good enough to raise my daughter meant to me. It’s a hard one to overcome. How does one deal with a world in which one isn’t ‘good enough’ for one’s own flesh and blood? Who is telling her that? I know I rejected the world that judged me unworthy.

This woman who was so disadvantaged in the first place, that she was unable to keep and care for her firstborn child, has been further wounded by the ongoing loss of this child. Now she is facing a doubling of that loss. How will this equip her to ‘explain’ to these children as they grow up, how they were rejected by their original family?  Where is she to gain the strength to overcome this message of unworthiness, of rejection, of betrayal that is so important it is being repeated?

How does someone stand by this mother and say, ‘Here, I’ll help. Let me take these children from you. I’ll care for them and keep them safe, over on the other side of the continent, because I REALLY like babies. And these two match! Even though I’m angry that you got in the same situation again and angry you didn’t take better care of yourself after your first loss; I really respect you and your ability to survive this kind of trauma. We’ll tell the kids it was the best we could do. It is surely someone else’s fault.’?

All things come from God. All things. This is a tough one for me.