Friday, March 30, 2007

Countdown Delayed..........

Just received this email from A this morning..............

Hello Possum
Thank you for your email of Monday 26th. Sorry I have not responded earlier but I have been having trouble with my email. You have obviously been very worried and concerned about the email and my delay in responding to you will not have helped you either. I need some time to think and I will get back to you again . Take care
Best wishes

OK - this is a good response so far....YES???

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Angry Adoptee

Friday, March 23, 2007

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)

Mia introduced me to this video.
I can't stop watching it - and I can't stop crying when I watch it!!!
Then head over to Mia's blog for some ideas of an "Open Adoptee Records" type campaign along similar lines.
Poss. xx

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Possum's Poem.

Once there was a time - when I was the HAPPY adoptee,
Clouded by the "magic" of the happy adoption tree.

I would rarely ask those questions, that so hurt my mother dear,
She didn't like me asking, she just didn't want to hear.

The masses think adoption's great, it's one happy theme park ride,
The remarks from people unaffected, just make me want to hide.

They make me feel the thoughts I think, are unworthy for all to hear,
"The stuff that happened in your life, you should be grateful, dear."

Why is it when I find my voice, so many shoot me down,
I'm sure that they just want me, to continue playing clown.

So often have I hidden, behind my adoptee mask,
Sometimes I don't know who I am, I often need to ask.

For years I have been yearning, for absent knowledge deep inside,
That always has me thinking, for which often makes me hide.

Why was I given up from birth, what ever did I do,
To make my mother feel that way, I can’t know - “It wasn’t You”.

No one has ever told me, it's OK to feel such pain,
I fight the feelings deep inside, as I'm unable to explain.

To feel some validation here, it is some kind relief,
To make me feel that I’m not strange, to help me fight the beast.

When will the day arrive at last, for everyone to say,
Perhaps we made a few mistakes, ADOPTION is NOT the way.

Friday, March 16, 2007

As An Adoptee - I NEED TO BE HEARD

Over at 'Mia's Saving Grace' there has been a hot discussion about 'correct' and 'incorrect' adoption practices - see posts "And then I wept" - then "Reply" - and the comments have really got me thinking. (and a little bit heated - I must say!!)

The discussion has also bought up many points which DO need to be discussed in the open - there are things that do need to be set straight - there are real FACTS and MYTHS that need to be spoken about and pulled apart - and the TRUTH does - finally - NEED TO BE HEARD.

There does need to be honest and open discussion - and emotions need to be kept at a reasonable minimum - so very hard when we are talking about an issue with SO many different raw emotions - often lurking just below everyone's skin.

And sometimes we do need to step back - and try - very hard - to step into the other persons shoes - to 'try' to see where they're coming from.

I am trying to see things from others perspectives - and I may be a little stubborn at times (I'm a Taurus - just to warn you now) - but if we can all take a breath and some space at times - maybe we can 'hear' what needs to be heard. Only then we can all try to find some solutions to the very messy way that adoption is carried out to this day.

Anyway - back to Mia's 'discussions'.

Mia was asked -

“Would it really make you feel better about your adoption if your parents adopted you because they primarily were just looking to “provide a needy child with a home?”


"As an adoptee - yes - I think this would help.

I truly believe - that if my first mother had been given the support - had been explicitly told - “YES - you very well could raise this child yourself - AND do a damn good job at it too” - and the means to do it - I think that I would NOT have been a child 'in need' at all.

I would NOT be an adoptee.

Society have placed the banner of ‘child in need’ on so many children’s heads because the parents are deemed to be too young - be in college - be single - not to have ‘enough’ money - pregnant at the ‘wrong’ time in their lives. But if these young mothers/fathers were told the truth about adoption - I believe that most would step up to the plate - and parent the child that has come into their lives.

When infertile parents want to have a child - pressuring - even slightly - these young parents - is the worst thing that can be done. Too many emotions running way too high - decisions being made at inappropriate times.

First mothers are NOT told about the extensive psychological effects that they WILL be subject too, on forever separating from their child - or the extensive psychological effects that the adoption WILL have on the adoptee.

If the child is truly 'IN NEED' - that is - the parent can NOT in fact parent - then another plan needs to be put into place.

I think the term of ‘needy’ needs to be pulled apart - to really get at the crux of what people perceive adoption to be.

As long as society has such little respect for the mother/child bond - adoption will always be deemed as the ‘next best thing’ - when that judgment is often taken far too swiftly - without proper disclosure of ALL the facts.

And I also strongly believe that if adoption was not a commercialized venture - there would NOT be as many adoptions taking place as there are to this day.

JMHO - from an adoptee who has felt the pain from being absent from her first mother - every single day of her life.

Especially when it didn’t really need to happen.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tis ME

Sunday, March 11, 2007

How To Make A 'Happy Adoptee'

From reading around the blogs of late - I have come to realize a couple of key 'ingredients' to make a more well adjusted, happy-within-oneself, more-love-for everyone, type of adoptee.

There are always going to be variations to the recipe - and not every adoptee will 'come out' looking and feeling the same (that's the fun of being 'unique') - but in my observations, there are a few important 'how to' instructions that should come with every adoptee ever handed out.

STEP 1. It must always be remembered, no matter how selfish you really want to be, that it is ALWAYS - and MUST ALWAYS - BE ABOUT THE ADOPTEE. This really is the big one people - or the recipe will fail from the outset - and you will end up with one of those 'ungrateful' adoptees no matter which way you look at it.

STEP 2. ALL information about the adoptees biological family must be kept and passed on to said adoptee - at birth. It would be advantageous to acquire as much information as possible about the adoptees first family including photos - AND if some open communication can occur between both families - the rate of success for a 'happy adoptee' is infinitely greater in the long run. The adoptee should not have to 'ask' for said information. It is part of their being - it is WHO THEY ARE. If you feel the need to keep said information from the adoptee you are heading for disaster. This is information about WHO the adoptee is. It does not 'belong' to you - it 'belongs' to the adoptee. If you do not honour the adoptees first family - you do not honour who your adoptee is. If the adoptee doesn't have to actually 'search' - much pain and heartache - and FEAR OF REJECTION - is kept to an absolute minimum. Please, if you question this point, always refer back to STEP 1.

STEP 3. Remember at all times that adoption is an UNNATURAL ACT. As such, there are dramatic and painful reasons behind that adoption. First/biological/birth mothers and fathers need to have counselling to work through the loss that they feel from losing their child. And adoptive mothers and fathers need to have counselling to work through the loss that they feel from not being able to parent a biological child of their own. (which more often than not - is the reason behind most adoptions) If this counselling does occur on both sides - the likelihood of said adoptee needing years and years of HEAVY & INTENSE counselling will be kept to a minimum - and the saved money can be used for more exciting things! Again, if you feel the need to question this point - refer to STEP 1.

STEP 4. VALIDATION of the adoptees many losses must be at the forefront of your mind. The adoptee has lost the mother that he/she grew inside of; the adoptee has lost those that look exactly like him/her (mirroring from the same gene pool is so very important); the adoptee has possibly lost future brothers and sisters who share the same genetic make-up; the adoptee has lost their entire genetic heritage; the adoptee has lost the part of themselves that makes up who they really are. AND THE ADOPTEE NEEDS TO TALK ABOUT SUCH LOSSES WHENEVER THE NEED ARISES. Sure, we could argue all day about the whole 'Nature Versus Nurture' debate - but if you really have an issue with this - please refer back to STEP 1. Validation for an adoptees losses and feelings means that they can grow into caring adults who will then be able to validate other people's feelings of pain. Parents need to practice what they preach - or they are all just hypocrite's at the end of the day. Acknowledge the adoptees losses - instead of just trying to 'shield' them from the pain. We all are going to encounter pain. Let's be able to work through it, feel it - and then have the know-how to move on from it. We don't forget it - it's always there - but we can move in a forward direction if it is validated all along. If you have a problem with this - refer to STEP 1.

STEP 5. Allow adoptees to have the opportunity to love ALL their parents - without questions - and not feel guilt for any of the love they want to give. This isn't a competition here people. Let them love who they want to love. Let them feel that they can talk about that love - and allow the adoptee to grow. Forcing your views on them will only make them close-down and then you will only see the adoptee that YOU want to see. Adoptees become very clever at showing you what only YOU want to see. Allow the adoptee to be true to his/her self - and their true love for you will show through. This in turn will allow the adoptee to have real relationships with everyone in their lives. The adoptee will then ultimately have far more respect for who you are - and thus strengthen your relationship for all time. If you wish to question this point - please refer to STEP 1.

STEP 6. Forgiveness - to yourself, to each other, to all. Everyone makes mistakes - or errors in judgment - especially when sometimes not all the facts are on the table. It takes a strong character to admit to a mistake - and an even stronger one to forgive. Understanding that views and feelings change is also vital. But with forgiveness - healing can then occur. If you can adhere to this step - the adoptee will then learn the true meaning of forgiveness - a lesson worth learning. Any probs - refer to Step 1.

STEP 7. LOVE - UNCONDITIONALLY. No matter what. The adoptee had no choice in his/her conception. The adoptee had no choice in his/her adoption. The adoptee needs to be loved - just for being who they are. This in turn gives the adoptee the choice to love themselves - unconditionally - and in turn this will help them to grow. Just in case you've forgotten - always refer to Step 1.

This list is by no means exhaustive. But for now I am exhausted from compiling it - and living without it - EVERYDAY.

If you can try to live by these steps - as often as is humanly possible - you have a very good chance of helping a young adoptee grow into the man/woman you had always hoped them to be.
For ultimately - this should be your soul purpose in child-rearing - to raise a child that you will be proud to have in your life, and be proud to call your son or your daughter - with NO prefixes* anywhere to be seen.

* adoptive / birth / biological etc.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Another Adoptee and Mother (almost) Reunited

Today I received THE bestest news!!!

I have been involved with an adoption support group, for adoptee and birth/first mums, here in Canberra for the last two and a half years.

When I went along for my first meeting, a lovely lady in her 80's was also joining in for the first time. Let's call her 'Mary'. (all names have been know the drill..................)

She looked rather dazed, but was so very sweet, and she introduced herself to the group with the words:
"Hi, my name is Mary, and I think I'm one of those 'birth mother' people, and this is all quite overwhelming and new to me!"

You see, Mary had just come back from a trip overseas to the US to see her son, his wife and her new grand-son, and on the flight home she suffered from a severe panic attack - which later was attributed to the loss of losing her first child, a son, to adoption, when she was only 19.

Back then, in the UK, she was young; she was unmarried; she was pregnant.
She was told by her family, her church, by her teachers at her nursing school - by everyone - that she couldn't possibly raise this child on her own - so when the time came - she labored for hours, alone, in an out-of-the-way room, and later when she at last gave birth, only a single nurse was there to 'help' her (I use that word rather lightly) - then her child was whisked away to another room.

A couple of weeks later she signed the adoption papers. Mary then went on to finish her nursing studies, and eventually moved far far away to Australia - and to another life.

She married, had another son, and told no one of the events which took place all those years ago.

Fast forward to recent times - and having to say goodbye to her son and newly born grandchild in the US set off emotions and feelings of such loss, that she really didn't know what was wrong.
Panic set in - and on returning to Australia - a very kind doctor finally managed to talk through things with Mary, and find out what previous event in Mary's life lay at the root of this shocking breakdown.

Since that time, Mary joined our support group; found that she certainly wasn't alone in her loss and with her feelings; and she slowly went through the process of searching for her lost son.

Thankfully, within this time, UK laws changed for mother's to gain access to their records etc - but it is an extremely long and drawn out process - especially when Mary was living so far away from the UK - she had to fill out endless amounts of paperwork - and even had to see a UK approved psychologist 3 times, to completely talk through exactly the events when she was 19 years of age - and answer to why she now wanted to find her child. (yeah - this part made me so very angry - but that's for another day........) Poor Mary had to literally jump through hoops to find her lost son - but she slowly and quietly went through the process hoping that she would find her son a) still alive and b) hoping to also have the possibility of reuniting with him after so many many years.

Time dragged on, and every time I saw her, she would say in her very quiet voice, "No - still no word" - as the wait dragged on.

Today - I received a phone call from the convener of our group.

Mary's son has at last been found.

Mary's letters have been passed on through the local department and her son has asked for Mary's email address so that he could have direct contact with his lost mum.

Today I am so very very happy for my dear friend Mary, and for her son.

Today another mother and child are finally linked back to each other.

It shouldn't have to be this hard for them to find each other.

But today I am so very very happy.