Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my first mother's birthday.
I was going to send her a card - but kinda lost the energy to do so.
Since being in e-mail contact with her husband, I asked him if it was OK for me to send her a birthday card - if she would appreciate it - or detest it.
His reply was as follows:

Hi Possum,
This is just a quick note in response to whether you should send P a birthday card.
My original thoughts were no as I don't think she would be appreciative of it. However on second thoughts I believe it is a kind, thoughtful and non threatening gesture. I don't expect her to reply to you. In fact she may not even tell me she has received it.
Please don't let on that I have contacted you.
You certainly are a busy mum with a family and university etc so I won't waffle on.
I hope you are all well.
Take care

So I just kinda lost the energy to do it.
I think I will still send her a card this week - just saying that I was thinking of her today.
It's just a little hard when it feels like it won't really be received for what it really is.
I think of her everyday. And today I especially wish her extra happiness and peace.

In other news, all is well at Possum's Place.
I started back at University last week - so life is now rather chaotic.
Trying to manage full-time study and 3 beautiful daughters can get a little weird - but so far we're all coping really well.
(I just wish I could remember how to do bloody linear and quadratic equations - ouch - it hurts my head!!!)
Mostly I do my study late at night when the kids are tucked into bed - then my mind can work with no distractions.
My husband is a saint - and often delivers dinner to my desk when things get really hectic.
I love him so very much for the unwaivering support he always give me.
He boosts me up when I get so down on myself - and when my results come through - he always looks at me with a glint in his eye that says: "See, I told you you could do it all along".
I love him for that.

So - I'm keeping myself busy; I check in on you all from time to time (when I really should be studying - whoops!!); and I wait for THE DOOR - to hopefully open just a little bit more.

Hugs, Possum. xxx
(handing out chocs and candy to all those wonderful blogging adoptees and mums waiting for their time in the sun to come.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Change Of Name

Hi blogging friends!!!
Have made the decision to change my name to Possum - and this space of mine shall hence forth be known as "Possum's Place".
My newly found sister started calling me Possum soon after I found her - which I think is pretty neat!! (remember - Possums down here are cute and cuddly - NOT a menace to society!!)
Plus I'm just trying to make it a little harder to find ME on the net.
(although, on a personal note - I am making progress on finding ME in the real world!!)
Please could you change your links to show Possum - when you get the chance.
Thanks ever so much.
(hey - my name was changed by strangers at birth anyway - so now I'm taking control!!!! LOL)
Possum. xx

Monday, February 19, 2007

Will The REAL Me Please Stand Up.

Another adoptee I visit regularly here in blog-land - Nina - posted about patterns she is starting to see in the way that she handles different life situations. And she got me thinking!!

Let me tell you a story about my weekend.

We (Family and I) were invited to a BBQ on Sunday for a 5 year old birthday girl.

To begin with, the celebrations were mainly for said 5 year old - and her various friends - then after 2 hours, parents and older children arrived for a more relaxed Sunday afternoon meet, greet and eat - with a few drinks thrown in for good measure.

Now, I have had a close circle of friends here for the last 6 years, but this celebration was with a different group of friends, many I had never met before.

We arrived for the earlier party, with mostly children attending - and I only felt slightly out of my comfort zone, but I kept myself busy helping out with the kids.

My body started to tense though, as at 1:00pm, other adults started to arrive. And there were faces that I did not know.

At that point - I think I was on the brink of scooping up my hubby and my kids - apologizing for having a 'migraine coming on' - and heading on home as fast as the family car would take us.

I didn't - I stayed - I told myself that we would all have a fun afternoon - and my 'happy-pleasing-on show' persona moved into top gear - and a couple of hours eventually seemed to fly by.

It wasn't until late in the afternoon (4-ish) - when we did eventually round up the kids and head home for dinner - that I realised how un-relaxing the whole event was - and how totally exhausted I really felt.

To any unsuspecting pass-by, the view of the afternoon would have looked like - hours of sitting on my butt making lots of conversation, attending to a few minor children scabbles, eating lunch and drinking a few glasses of champagne.

Not a major marathon in anyones books.

BUT - when I got home, after having a quick dinner with hubby and kids - a curled in a ball on the lounge, and fell into a very weird sleep. I could hear bits of conversations around me - and I even heard the phone ring at one stage - but I could not raise myself from the utter exhaustion that I felt.

I later woke at 10pm - looking around rather dazed - realized that hubby had bathed the kids, put them all in bed and prepared things for the day ahead - and I had slept the evening away.

After reading Nina's post, I realised how much work I really had been doing all afternoon - and the reason why I was so exhausted from a seemingly 'relaxing' afternoon.

I was so busy putting on my adoptee-mask - making people smile - making people like me - trying to fit in - that I put on a show worthy of an Academy Award - a genuine one-woman show.

It's got me thinking - WHO AM I?? - WHO IS THE REAL ME??

Is this the real ME who I present to new people in my life - or that I present to even my very close friends??? Am I always trying to please everyone - so that I won't be rejected - so that I will be loved??? Am I so busy working on this outward persona - that I never truly have time for whoever the real me is - somewhere deep deep down inside of me???

I hope I can find her.

I'm sure she's a loveable person.

I'm sure I want to give her a hug.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Today I Can Breath

Another email from A (mother's husband) received at last.
Today - I can breath once more.......................

Dear C,

You are probably wondering why I made contact with you by email about a week or so ago but I feel some contact should be made with you so that at least there is a channel of communication with you and hopefully this may alleviate a lot of the frustration and heartache you have experienced the last year or so.

P does not know I have contacted you and she would be very angry and very upset if she found out that I have betrayed her and made contact with you. I wanted to contact you again before Christmas but P got very upset when I suggested that I would contact you so I let it go until now. She has her own email address and I have my own email address so we are both independent of each other as far as emails are concerned. After a lot of deep thought I have decided to take the course of action I have, and communicate with you without telling her.

P has said to me she will write to you but I have been worried that you may become overly frustrated with the delay in communication and I don't believe that is fair for you.

P is not overly well and I have noticed that she is slipping physically, mentally and emotionally these last few years so I hope you can try to understand the difficulty she is having in finding the courage to write to you. I have been trying to help her with her issues but she is a very determined person and at times I feel I am not much help to her at all.

I am happy to continue to communicate with you by email C if that is suitable to you. Unfortunately it may not be what you had hoped for but in the short to medium term it is the best option I can think of.

I am still optimistic and hopeful that you can both get a happy outcome even if it is more protracted than you would have hoped.

I hope you and your family are all well. No doubt the children are back at school by now so perhaps mum can get a bit of personal time to herself.

We have had a bit of rain here in T (town) this last week and the lawns have again greened up. It did not rain in the catchment area of our dams and we are still on high water restrictions.

Take Care

Best wishes


SO - communication is opening up - and hope reigns supreme once more!!!
I feel very sad that P can't find the strength she needs - and I'm sad that A has to email me behind her back - but I have to take anything I can get at this stage - so this is how it will have to be.
I also suspect that A perhaps did not receive the letter I wrote him in November - see this post - and I will question him on this in the near future.
For now though - I will keep it light and chatty - I will talk about what's happening in 'House Chez' - and I will try to get to know A for the wonderful person that he appears to be. (thankyou to my amazing friend D for suggesting this course of action!!)
I feel that P has been holding on to so many secrets for so very long - that she just can't cope with everything falling down around her. I suspect also that A doesn't know that their are two of us (daughters of P - adoptees) but that is not up to me to tell. This journey I'm on is about me - and I shall not upset the already delicate balance that I now find myself in.
I'm thanking my angels - and all you amazing blogging friends - for just being able to breath again today.
And now I'm off to do a little happy dance - just for me!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Recommendations For Adoptive Parents - by Wraith

Just wanted to share a great post by another adoptee, Wraith, titled "Recommendations For Adoptive Parents".
Just 23 points on how to help your adoptive child become a more grounded and validated person.
If only my adoptive family had been shown this list.
They certainly loved me with all of their hearts - and still do to this day - but it would have helped them be more prepared for questions and feelings that all adoptees deal with, in various degrees, sometime during their lives.
Questions and feelings that I certainly had - and many that still cause me grief to this day.
It may have meant that I would have been happier in my own skin.
It may have meant that I would have been spared those days of depression that I have dealt with throughout my whole life.
I may have meant that I could just be happy being ME.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Letters Needed For Young Korean Mothers

I often visit a forum at Origins Australia.

Today - a request was received by a Korean American adoptee - currently in Korea.

Please read - and help out if you can.

My Letter To A - Nov2006

I'm filling in time - and filling in the gaps to my adoption story.

(yep - still no news...and still I wait.....)

This is my reply letter to my mother's husband - A.

See this 'Letter From My Mother's Husband' post for details of his letter sent to me in November 2006, after I wrote to my siblings - see this 'Letter to My Siblings' post about them.

Dear A,

Thankyou so much for your letter dated 20th November. I appreciate greatly that you have taken the time to write to me.

I am very sad and sorry that P is not coping well with all of this – and I am sorry that she feels that I am the apparent cause of so much of her pain. I hope that you can understand that I am also in a great deal of pain, and that this last 18 months has caused me a great deal of heartache. Unfortunately adoption appears to cause all involved much heartache and sadness – a consequence of all the secrets that are held, and of a situation where no one talks of the effects that separation of mother and child truly has on those involved.

When I was young, I was always told by my adoptive mother that I was “special” and that I was “chosen” – something that most adoptive children are told throughout their lives. I told myself that I believed this for so many, many years, also trying perhaps to put behind me a very deep wound and trying to “get on with my life”. You see, although I was told I was “special” – this label somehow did not gel with me – as I asked myself – if I am so special – why then did my own mother give me up for adoption?? So during the last 10 years, I have, as you have seen from my letters to P, tried to understand the era in which I was born, and work hard to overcome my very deep feelings of rejection. I have joined support groups for mother’s and adoptee’s, I have read countless books to try to understand what I felt and what P may have felt, and I have seen a counselor to try to come to terms with what has effected me throughout my life. What I have had to face, though, in the past 18 months is something that has hurt me even more.

Up until recently I tried my hardest to contact P in a discreet manner – thinking mostly of her feelings throughout this. In her one and only letter to me (dated 28th April 2005) she asked for “6 months or so” to work through things. I gave her that – times 3 – over 18 months. I know I wrote in other letters that there should be no time limit – but in that time, I have received no other correspondence from P, and at times I wondered whether she had even received or read any of my later letters. I have written a total of 6 letters during this time, often baring my soul, and allowing P to get a glimpse of the person I am and sharing photos of myself and my family. In return I have received next to nothing, and I know no more of my mother, other than the documents which the NSW Department of Community Services (DOCS) have supplied to me. I do not know if she detested my writing to her, or if she appreciated my words. It has been so very hard to understand her “situation” as she has not let me in, nor allowed me any knowledge of how she is or is not coping with this current situation. At no time have I ever prejudged her for that which happened to her so many years ago, but now I find myself having to confront the real truth that P may never find the strength to ever tell me that which I need to know, or to share some of herself so that I can understand the person that she is. I very much appreciate you taking the time to finally let me know how P is, and I am truly saddened by the lack of “good days” which she is having.

The last straw, for me, was when I dug up every ounce of courage within me to call her recently. The first time I found myself listening to your answering machine – and I heard, what I presume was, P’s voice asking the caller to leave a message, which I did. On hearing her voice for the very first time, in which she spoke in a voice like mine, and in a message similar to my own, I was a little overwhelmed. I left quite a vague message for P to return my call. The following day I called to leave a more coherent message – to only have you, A, hang up on me. It may have been an accident on your part – I don’t know – but it crushed my soul. I spent many weeks deliberating on whether I should try to re-call, or even to write once more – but I concluded that I had no more strength to keep trying to go to a place that I did not feel welcome. I felt that I would never again hear from P, and that I must look at other avenues to try to reach out to my family of origin. Please know that it has always been P that I have longed to know – and that I am so very scared of never having that opportunity.

P gave me a small glimmer of hope in her only letter to me, but sadly there has been only silence ever since. Your letter, A, has given me another small glimpse of hope, but I am scared to put trust in this, as I feel I will be let down yet again by false promises. Please understand that I am not trying to call you or P liars by any means, but if P can not face her demons from the past, straight on, I fear that she will never be able to move forward into anything which resembles peace for her, or for me. Throughout, I have tried to give her my hand, trying to help her move forward, and trying to help us both heal together. She has to want to take up the offer, and want to move forward. In the meantime I can only shed more tears for us both.

I too have dealt with depression throughout many periods of my life, especially in this last 18 months, so I do know the horrid place that P finds herself in. I am not an ogre. But I do not wish to be a secret for the remainder of my life. Your children have the knowledge of who their parents both are, what they look like, what family trait each holds, and they have full knowledge of their family trees. My history starts with me – and until I looked upon my own children, knew no others that looked anything like me. My kids can at least look at me and my husband, and know where most of their genetics come from – but I do not have that privilege.

It is true, I am from a younger generation than you both – as too are your children. In a way, I was hoping that by their knowing of me, perhaps more support could come for P, as secrets tend to be the cause of so much pain and heartache. You state in your letter that my contacting them could cause some further friction within your family. I am sorry if there has been friction in the past, and I hope instead for understanding to be all that you receive from them in the future.

I have enclosed documents which I have received from DOCS, which include social worker notes from the time before my birth. I am not allowed to know the full details of my father, as he is not identified on my original birth certificate, but these documents now give me more information about him and about his family and background. They point to my father being an “A” of age 25 around the year of my birth, 1969. I have since discovered that P and yourself actually got married only 6 months after my birth. The question I must ask you - are you my father?? I have asked P this in my last letter to her, but again, I received only silence. If you are not, then a simple reply of no will suffice. I will then perhaps have to wait to see if P can ever pluck up the courage to tell me who my father really is.

I had never contacted you in the past, as I was very mindful of P’s own privacy. I was trying to give her the right of reply, as I did feel that this truly was something that first and foremost was something just between the two of us. My letters to your kids were my act of somewhat desperation, to appeal to those in the family that are of a similar age to myself, to try to possibly get a glimpse of the family which I do belong, for now just in blood-ties, but hoping that someone would open their heart to me. It was not an easy decision to make, but after so many failed attempts of getting noticed by P, I felt I had to look elsewhere. I am not completely sorry that I eventually chose that path, as for now you have at last contacted me, and I can once more hold on to a small piece of hope. I am very sorry though that P feels so betrayed from my actions, and I hope that she can try to understand my motives. Hurting her was never something that I have set out to do.

I do sincerely thank you again for writing to me. Silence from your end truly saddens my heart. Please know that it has not been frustration with the lack of speed that things are happening – but instead the total lack of knowing if my letters are actually being received and read, and the lack of being acknowledged as a person. I’m not trying to win a “I’m suffering more than you” competition here. I am trying, above all, to be honest with my intentions, and with my feelings, and I do hope that P can one day do the same with me.

I do look forward to hearing from you or P in the future. And I truly hope that P can find the strength within herself, and from you, to again have happier days to enjoy that which life has given her. Please, if she will allow it, give her a big hug from me – I care about her deeply. My very best wishes I send to both of you, and my kindest regards.

Love from Possum.

I'm kinda guessing it wasn't received too badly - as last week I received an email from A. (very short - but contact none the less - and the door is now slightly left ajar.....)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Still Waiting...

Just wanted to give you all an update - as I'm sure many of you are sitting on the edge of your seat - like me!!!
Sadly - no more emails or contact as yet.
Still waiting patiently once more.
But amazingly I feel a lot calmer now - more so than ever before.
I do believe that it is a VERY good sign that A has emailed me - finally.
Contact is slowly opening up.
It's as if the oyster shell has been slightly left ajar - not completely snapped shut. There is a tiny hint of the good stuff inside - it's just hidden from view for the moment!!
I still check my emails often - but I'm breathing just a little easier this week.
Remember to shake out those crossed fingers and arms every now and then - or blood circulation may cease!!!!! But do please keep me in your thoughts - I can feel support over the airways - and I thank you all - from the bottom of my heart.
Hugs, C.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


OK - all my friends in Blogging-Land - please - OH - please........keep your fingers crossed for me tonight - and send loads and loads of THE happiest thoughts down the line.

I have just returned from down the coast seeing my wonderful newly found sister again - (here's a pic & a blurb about her and I here ) - and I decided to check my wee emails. (OK - I usually check them a THOUSAND times a day when I'm home - plus the letter box - in the HOPE that I'll receive the words that I long to hear.......)

I GOT AN EMAIL TONIGHT FROM MY FIRST-MUM'S HUSBAND (who may or may-not be my father.................) SAYING................

Subject: Hello from T______ (town where they both live)
From: A

Hello C,
Is this still your email address.


I can't stop shaking......................

Have emailed back confirming that I received the email - and saying HI - and that I'm looking forward to hearing from them.

Fingers all crossed PLEASE.

Love you all.
From a smiling, crying, feeling love from you guys, Possum. xxxxxx

Letter From My Mother's Husband

One month after I posted my letters to my siblings - I received a letter in the mail.
But it was not what I was expecting.
It was a letter from my mother's (P) husband (A).
I stared at the envelope for a whole 2 minutes before opening it.
This was not part of my plan.
I went to a quiet room - and with shaking hands - started to open the letter.

In summary A wrote:

* I feel I should write to you so that at least you know that some communication is being made with you.
* P is suffering badly from depression and not emotionally up to communicating with you at this time.
* She has bad days and good days - more bad in recent times.
* P has only 'reluctantly' shown me all you letters when I offered to write to you on her behalf.
* P feels very betrayed by you that you wrote to our children after she asked you not to.
* P has a great deal of trouble trusting you now.
* She has said to me that when she feels better she will contact you.
* This has all really opened some old wounds for her and she is having a lot of trouble working through it.
* I can understand that you are becoming frustrated at the speed that things are happening but this is a traumatic experience for P and she needs time to work trough it at her pace.
* P or I will communicate with you over time - but be patient.
* Over time I hope that you both get a win-win situation.

I had to read it 3 times to really understand what was being said.
When the letter arrived - I thought that it would be blasting me for the letters I wrote - and telling me to go away and to never contact them again.
This was not part of my plan.

But - it was good.

There is still some glimmer of hope.

And so I wait some more.........................................

p.s. I replied to A thanking him / apologising to P / trying to explain why I took the path that I did / asking him directly if he is my father.........I'll write what I said in another post.

Letter To My Siblings

I waited for a reply for over 18 months.
I waited.......and waited.......and waited.
I had given up.
I had written to my first-mother (P) more than 6 times.
My last letter was informing her that I had at last found her first daughter - my sister J - letting her know that J was gorgeous - she had 3 beautiful children - we had met - and that - MOST IMPORTANTLY - J was not going to "pop" into her life as I had - OUT OF THE BLUE - as I felt that she must have been dreading that event in light of my "sudden" appearance.
(I also enclosed a small copy of the photo found at the above mentioned post - and of our 6 kids sitting so comfortably together)
J had - like myself - always wondered about "birth" family etc etc etc - but although older than I - both of J's a-parents are still alive - and VERY worried about me being in her life - let alone her mother - and with other personal life events taking precedence at present - J is not on the same page of her adoption as I am - if you know what I mean. (I just know other adoptee's will know EXACTLY what I mean - but I can't explain it more than that - sorry)
Still not a word from P was to be heard.
So I waited some more......................

One day I woke from another unsettled sleep......................

I HAD HAD ENOUGH - and I could wait for her no more.
I seriously felt that I was just banging my head against a big brick wall - and I could take the punishment no more.
YES - I had aggreed that I would not contact any of her family - her request to me intitially - BUT - she never held up her end of the bargain - she never contacted me after 6 months - and now it was over 18 months since I had first heard from her - and I could not go down that avenue another time.

I decided to contact my 3 younger siblings directly myself. (2 brothers & 1 sister - all now in their 30's - grown up, with perhaps families of their own, and quite possible of making decisions on their own - I suspect)

I had their full names from the family tree I found - I had my sister's married name from a school reunion internet site - and I had their current addresses thanks to the Australian Electoral Rolls - open to all - on computer - at the Australian Electoral office near you.
(voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens over the age of 18 years - for those that aren't aware - hence - almost EVERYONE is on the electoral roll here)

I then spent more than 3 weeks getting THE letter just right.

There were many drafts - and I had help from many dear friends to edit where needed - but at last I printed out the final draft to send on 16th October 2006. One letter - addressed to all three. There would be no secrets between them all - they would all learn of my existence as one.

(I originally was going to include details of sister J in the letter - but a very close friend said to me - "Who is searching - you or J???". She suggested that if the letter mentioned both of us in one foul swoop - I would scare them off for good - and perhaps lose all hope of any further contact ever being made. This letter was to be about me and my wish for contact. At first this didn't feel right - and I discussed this at length with J herself - but finally I decided that I would just talk about me - as it was my letter - and deal with the rest when the time came - IF it ever came.)

So - I had "outed" myself as the unknown sister - and waited for the sky to fall................................