U is for U, U, U! Why Is It Always About U?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaBloPoMo Blog#432 Day 12

adoption, reUnion, reform, reality**

Here are nine of my favourite Unsigned Masterpiece posts on various aspects of adoption.

They range from the political, Who’s Your Daddy? or That’s One Big Powerful Mother, Dude! to the extremely personal such as Last Suppers or The Day I Met My Son (It still makes me smile.) or the somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Betty Friedan Made Me Give Up My Baby.




** For new readers, I am working through the letters in these words as my writing prompts during NaBloPoMo 2011.

BETTY FRIEDAN MADE ME GIVE UP MY BABY    http://wp.me/pgdfz-if

I saw Kate Winslet on TV the other day talking about the film she made with Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road.  She said that in preparing for her role she read a lot of early feminist writing including The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. (Dec. 13, 2009)

LAST SUPPERS      http://wp.me/pgdfz-c1

There is a meal that I have always thought of as my last supper. It was served to me, ironically, by my boyfriend’s mother who ran a diner and did not know I was pregnant by her son at the time.  (Sept. 29, 2008)

THE DAY I MET MY SON …   http://wp.me/pgdfz-nF

He took the bus to Toronto and one cold raining April morning I drove down to the bus station to meet him.   He got off the bus and said “I only have to look at those eyes and I know you’re my mother.  (April 10, 2010)

ANGRY BIRDS (and Adoption)    http://wp.me/pgdfz-yh

Sometimes you hit the sweet spot and with that one hit everything collapses like an adoption reunion on a bad day. (Sept. 21, 2011)

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?      http://wp.me/pgdfz-5N

Matthew Hays is a gay man who had been de-selected as a prospective father for a lesbian couple’s child in favour of a sperm bank. He writes quite poignantly about his loss of something he had never had nor contemplated until it was proposed to him by the couple. (August 10, 2008)

THAT’S ONE BIG POWERFUL MOTHER DUDE!    http://wp.me/pgdfz-4n

I want to know who she is and where she is, that big powerful mother who keeps convincing the legislators of this continent that we first mothers want to hide from our children …  (Aug. 3, 2008)

ROOM (The Bestselling Book) AND ADOPTION   http://wp.me/pgdfz-vO

I keep thinking ROOM rhymes with WOMB. I don’t know. Is this whole book an allegory? Am I reading in too much? I hate when people do that with books. But maybe, just maybe, I am right.  (Aug. 21, 2011)

LOOK DEEPLY INTO THE PALM OF YOUR HAND   http://wp.me/pgdfz-r1

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk, activist and writer (May 28, 2010)

NIETZSCHE GETS IT…       http://wp.me/pgdfz-vJ

[A]ccording to Joanna Ravenna in The New Yorker, Nietzsche said that the best way to enrage people is to force them to change their mind about you.  (July 29, 2011)


Adoption and NaBloPoMo – Day One

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blogger#432 NaBloPoMo

There have been a few times in my life when I have asked myself “How do I get myself into these things?” and this dear readers is one of those times.

This is post #1 for NaBloPoMo.  For those who don’t know or who are not familiar that means I have committed to try and post every day for a month. There’s a NaBloPoMo badge you can put up but I can’t get it to work yet.

The folks at NaBloPoMo help out by setting out daily writing prompts. I looked at the one for last Friday. It was “Have you ever been between a rock and a hard place?”

Oh NaBloPoMo! You are making me laugh.

Are you kidding? Have you read my blog?   Have I ever been between a rock and a hard place?

Oh yes – I have.  In fact, if I hadn’t been between a rock etc. I probably wouldn’t be blogging at all.

I lay the blame for my participation  in NaBloPoMo  squarely at the feet of Amanda over at http://www.declassifiedadoptee.com/ .  She writes a very excellent blog that you should read if you have not yet had the pleasure.

Declassified Amanda is taking part in NaBloPoMo for November because November is Adoption Awareness Month or as she calls it “Adoptember”.  I thought it was an excellent idea. November started as National Adoption Month but some how got turned into Adoption Awareness Month which to some people means In Praise of Adoption Month. But that is not the case here and on many other blogs.

We want to raise awareness of the reality that so many of us who have had an adoption experience live with every day. That includes the impact of adoption on mothers and children, the stereotypes of adoption, the myths of adoption, the fight for open records, etc.

So NaBloPoMo I hope you don’t mind me writing about Friday’s prompt four days late.  I have been been “between a rock and a hard place” and I will be writing about it all adoption awareness month long.

Dear readers wish me luck. I have a writing plan. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.



Look deeply into the palm of your hand…

Friday, May 28, 2010

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk, activist and writer

I have been communicating of late with my cousin’s daughter. The subject of our communication is family history. She is travelling to Ireland and hopes to connect with some long lost family members. Through her I have found out about people I did not know existed. I have found other names that have some claim on my own. The whole process is very exciting and I have been helping her as best I can.

Family Tree

She is scanning documents as she finds them and sending them to me. As these birth certificates and marriage licences arrive, I stare at them and think about these people who have a connection to me. These people who I do not know, who I never met but whose genes I carry and whose genes I have perpetuated. These people whose blood flows through my veins.

I wonder if they ever thought about me, their future great, great, great grandaughter. I wonder if they can see me. I hope they can. I wonder if they laugh at the things we share, the little hints of themselves that they see in me. Having experienced an adoption reunion, I am certain they have written on me in the same way I have written on my son.

I miss these people that I never knew. I found out during this search of my cousins that my mother never met her grandparents. They lived in England and you just didn’t travel that easily back then. The same with my father. His father was also an immigrant whose name was anglicized when he joined the British Army to fight in World War I. No one in the family is even sure what the original name was. My father too had no extended family around when he was growing up.

It makes you wonder about the threads that are their between people who share the same blood. When I first met my son, I would have sworn I could actually see strings of light, bonds knitting, flowing between the two of us.

Graveyard Wolfe Island

I have hesitated to do a post about all this because I know so many people are fighting hard just to get access to Step 1 in this process, their own birth certificates.

I have the documents my cousin sent me on my itouch so I can look at them whenever and wherever I want. It just occurs to me I am holding them, the birth and death and marriage certificates – in the palm of my hand.

I hope the same for everyone someday.



I took the picture of the house with the red tree in front on my way to the adoption conference in Boston. It’s in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Wolfe Island is situated where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario very close to the US/Canada border.

Who’s Your Daddy II

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There are two parts to this post. The first is this item from the Family Preservation Blog. The second is a reaction to this news story that I read on a local newspaper’s website.

First, Part One from the Family Preservation Blog on Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ontario Disallowed Father’s Names

An issue of great concern for my colleagues at the Canadian Council of Natural Mothers (CCNM) is that when mothers relinquished, and gave the father’s name, wrote it in on the forms for the birth certificate – it was deleted, whited out, expunged.

Now that the records have been opened, adoptees are finding their mothers but not [their] fathers.

Karen Lynn of CCNM says they went to great extent with photo copying secions of the forms that were whited out so that the dotted line she KNOWS she wrot eon appears to be in tact!

Apparently, the law, up until 1986, forbade listing the father’s name on birth registries or adoption papers for children of unmarried mothers unless both mother and father demanded it. So only some 10% of those documents identify a father.

Part Two:

I originally read the report of this story on the on-line version of the local newspaper. Because it is on-line there is the opportunity to comment. The first comment tells adoptees not to worry about finding their fathers because children who are given up for adoption are rarely the products of long and loving relationships. (This person needs to watch the first episode of Find My Family or check out my post, The 40 year Secret.)

Excuse me?

All you mothers out there – How long had you been going out with your child’s father?

For me – it was 4 years when I got pregnant.

These old myths about us die a hard death?

And what makes me saddest of all is some people don’t even know how much they have been brainwashed into believing what people would like them to believe.



I had a dream too Susan….

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I am so glad to hear the news about Susan Boyle. After breaking first day sales records with her CD now she has been offered a TV special. I like all this because it turns all the demographic theorists on their heads. Can they still make money predicting who will buy what? Who will look at what? What kind of person will become a star?

Susan Boyle has proved them all wrong. Susan has guts. She must have believed in herself.

And that, of course, got me thinking about guess what – adoption. Or more particularly adoptees and birth parents.

People told us for many years how we were supposed to think and act. But we, like Susan Boyle, said – you aren’t going to tell us who we are. We have a dream and that dream is that we have a right to be and know who we are and who our children are.

There was no Britains Got Talent for us to go on but there was the internet and boy did we hit it. Saying wait a minute, we don’t care what you think about us, we deserve to be heard.

And I don’t know about the rest of you but I think our voices are beautiful. As beautiful as Susan’s. And maybe as surprising to some people.

I can’t get the link to Susan’s triumph to work but do yourself a favour – go on YouTube, listen, watch and get yourself uplifted.

Yep – we had a dream. No small coincidence a song from Les Miserables.