One adoptees' attempt to explore the conflicting feelings of having been adopted, and the impact this has had on her life, her choices and her experiences. Welcome to "The Adoption Void."
- Name: Heartened
- Location: Northeast, Ohio, United States
I am a female adoptee born in May of 1971. I initially began this journey to explore my feelings about my adoption and to decide if I wanted to seek out my birth family. I have since been happily reunited with my birth siblings! I do have more than one blog on blogger.com - one for adoption, one for everything else. Unless adoption has touched your life, you'll probably find the "everything else" much more fun to read!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Are you bored? Take a stumble!
About 8 months ago, maybe a little more, I discovered this neat little piece of software you can (SAFELY!!! I promise!) install – it is called “Stumble Upon”. What this is, is something called a “browser extension.” Your browser is what you view websites in – you’re probably using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, most people do. If you have any significant amount of computer expertise, you’ve probably thrown Internet Explorer out for the trash it is and installed Firefox as your browser. Guess which one I use?
Stumble Upon is something you install as an add-on to your browser. Fortunately, those of you running Internet Exploiter (my poor, misguided friends, I love you anyway) need not fret. The wonderful programmers at SU have taken pity on you and have created a version which works with Internet Exploiter.
I promise – the Stumble Upon software is 100% safe. It won’t crash your computer, it isn’t spyware, there are no viruses. (But seriously, do yourself a favor – install Firefox and leave Internet Exploiter alone. Internet Exploiter WILL crash your computer, it IS spyware, and it allows more viruses through to your computer than anything else ever will. Internet Explorer SUCKS!!!!!)
Sorry, I can’t help it. Anyway. What is Stumble Upon? Well…I’ll give you the description from their site.
“StumbleUpon is an intelligent browsing tool for sharing and discovering great websites. As you click Stumble!, you'll get high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended (rated I like it) by friends and other SU members with similar interests. Rating these sites shares them with your friends and peers – you will automatically 'stumble upon' each others favorites sites.
StumbleUpon uses / ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers () have liked. Unlike search engines or static directories, this allows for a true "democracy of the web" – all SU members have a say ( or ) as to whether a page should be passed on.
In effect, StumbleUpon's members collectively share the best sites on the web. You can share any site by simply clicking I like it. This passes the page on to friends and like-minded people – letting them "stumble upon" all the great sites you discover.”
Seriously, if you enjoy finding new sites, checking out some of the coolest places on the net, and having endless hours of entertainment handed to you on a silver platter, just by pushing a button – all customized to your own interests, install Stumble Upon.
And no, I don’t “get” anything for telling you about this. You all know what a techie geek I am – this just happens to be one of my favorite toys. I put off mentioning it because I was trying to focus this blog on adoption. If you decide to become a Stumbler, drop me an email and I’ll give you my Stumble Upon user name so we can “be friends.”
If you’re worried, I should mention, I have never ever, not even once, gotten even the tiniest bit of spam as a result of Stumbling.
Ok, real quick – about Firefox – if you want to completely eliminate pop-ups; if you do not want to be subjected to those god-awful “GIVE US YOUR BABY” ads on a “certain commercial adoption-related website;” if you want to avoid those stupid in-line text ads on that same “certain commercial adoption-related website;” if you want most advertising banners, period, to disappear from your view; if you want worry-free browsing; if you want to stop spyware (or viruses) from being installed on your computer while you’re browsing websites; if you want total control over browsing – including only having to open one browser window while being able to view 10+ web pages at the same time; if you just want to enjoy surfing the web and stop worrying about all the bullshit – go install Firefox right this minute. Once it is installed, you can also install AdBlock and the AdBlock Filterset – and be done with banner ads, popups and the rest of that crap. Even if you’re viewing porn sites. -smirk-
Go on, get going – what are you waiting for?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Imagine all the people...
If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:
5 US Americans and Canadians
8 Latin Americans
49 would be female
51 would be male
82 would be non-white
33 would be Christian
67 would be non-Christian
5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth, and all of them would be US citizens
80 would live in sub standard housing
24 would not have any electricity
(And of the 76% that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
67 would be unable to read
1 (only one) would have a college education.
50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation
33 would be without access to a safe water supply
1 would have HIV
1 near death
2 would be near birth
7 people would have access to the Internet
If you have a bank account,
money in your purse
and there is some trifle in your coin box,
you belong to 8% of well-provided people in this world.
If there is a meal in your refrigerator,
if you are dressed and have got shoes,
if you have a bed and a roof above your head,
you are better off, than 75% of people in this world.
If you have never experienced a war,
the loneliness of an imprisonment,
an agony of tortures, or a famine,
You are happier, than 500 million persons in this world.
If you woke up this morning with more health than sickness,
you are luckier than the million that will not survive this week.
If you are able to go to church, mosque or synagogue
without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death,
you are happier, than 3 billion persons in this world.
If you take a look at the world from this condensed perspective,
the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes evident.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
DNA Testing - A change in plans
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I asked my sisters to do DNA testing with me. This is best, I believe, for all our sakes. I want us to KNOW. I don’t want there to be doubts floating around in our heads, impacting our relationships down the road. This is too important for there to be any mistakes. My one sister (J) told my other sister (R) that she is afraid to become emotionally invested in a relationship with me without knowing for sure. I GET that so completely, and fortunately, R told her that I get it. I guess J was worried that I’d think I was unwanted because she isn’t calling me everyday. R reassured her that I’m not thinking that at all and again stressed that I truly understand the need to protect her heart. I’m the same way. And quite frankly, if the tables were turned, I’d be reacting exactly as J is!
I care about this too much to leave it to chance. (A note to mom who can read this from “The Everafter”: Mom, this all would have been easier if you had told the kids about me before you died. I love you, I hope you don’t let fear be your guiding star your next time through life!)
Anyway, so I had been looking online for “home siblingship” DNA tests. Found a bunch with prices all over the place. Cheapest was $180 for two siblings to be tested. I began doing research. An “absolute must” when choosing a DNA lab is to ensure they are accredited by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks). Guess what the $180 testing company doesn’t have?
Now, I’m no geneticist, but let me try and explain the DNA of siblings in very layman terms. A child gets half their DNA from one parent, half from another. But multiple children don’t automatically get the same 50% from each parent, equalling 100%. So in reality, two siblings are only likely to have 50% of their DNA match one another. This is in the case of FULL siblings (same mother and same father). I don’t have the same father as my sisters. J & R don’t have the same father, either. Which means we only have 25% of our DNA in common. We have the added complication of not having our mother alive to be tested as well. So our sibship study has to be pretty intensive in order to give us accurate results.
I’m not leaving this up to chance or to a potentially flybynight company. So I went to the best. Orchid Cellmark. This is the company that did DNA testing for the OJ Simpson trial, the Jon Benet Ramsey case, etc. It’s going to cost me $900 for me, J & R to all be tested. (Accuracy is higher with three children to compare.) I’m thinking that is $900 well spent, especially considering I was willing to spend that much (and more) just to find them. Since I didn’t have to spend that kind of money on the search, I have it to spend on the test.
I’ve already been told that I’m insane for doing this – twice in the last 24 hours.
I disagree. I think it is worth every dime.
Orchid Cellmark has already opened a “case file” for us. My sister R and I called them together last night so she could give them hers and J’s contact info. Once I pay the fee (sending it in Monday), the lab will call each of us and schedule a time for us to go to the nearest lab they have a contract with. There is one near all of us. We will each go in, on our own, and get our cheeks swabbed. It takes them about two weeks to do the study and give us our results. I can live with that.
I truly believe these women are my sisters. R and I both “allowed ourselves” to become emotionally involved with each other. We took the risk because our instincts both say it is safe to. Honestly, I couldn’t help myself – she and I are so much alike. Plus, I’ve no doubt that under other circumstances, R and I would have been the best of friends anyway. She said, “at the very least, I’ve made a new good friend.” Exactly. But I know in my heart it is more. My heart knows these are my sisters even as my mind says “Hold up there, girl, don’t go jumping feet first!” It’s this weird dichotomy I’ve got going on in my head and heart.
Getting all metaphysical on you, here, but I really believe our mom has had a hand in making this reunion possible. I can’t really go into details because I don’t want to betray a friend but let me just say that I truly believe that there was some serious “divine mom guidance” going on, particularly in the early days of my information seeking. Too many “perfect circumstances” showed up through which I was able to glean information. I don’t believe things happen like that by chance. I believe they are deliberate.
(Yes, Mia, Abe-Hicks and ACIM too! LOL)
I’m excited about finishing the DNA studies. I think we all feel like we are sort of in limbo right now until they’re complete. I think we all need these questions answered before we can move on and start building a sibling relationship, making plans together, etc. I’m hoping it is done by Easter – we would like to drive down there for the long Easter weekend. I’m not sure we “should” unless the results are back. But we’ll see. My mind says, “be careful.” My heart says, “Wheeeeeeeeee!!”
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Were you there?
When I had that dream, him sitting on the bench, wearing that hat, in the towering halls – were you there, showing me what would be?
On the day I first met him, when I couldn’t help but think how cute he was – were you there, smiling, waiting to see if I would remember?
When one arm went left and the other went forward before impact – were you there, keeping me safe, protecting me as I protected them?
When they stopped and took me with them – were you there, calming my fears, keeping me steady?
When I got on the bus – were you there, knowing where it would lead?
When I pretended I was in pain so he wouldn’t touch me - were you there, helping him believe my lie, keeping me safe?
When she talked me into moving – were you there, guiding my steps, calling me home to where you began life?
When I saw him again and thought “this will never be” – were you there, knowing some day she would stand beside me at our wedding?
When we talked about why it would never work – were you there, chuckling silently, knowing what we did not yet know?
When I went home with him – were you there, knowing as Linda knew where this would lead?
When he knelt on the bed and asked me to share my life with him – were you there, smiling your approval?
When he brought out “that hat” – were you there, giggling about the beautiful trick you had played with my dreams and his reality?
When the towers fell – did you help me stay asleep just a few minutes more, trying to spare me the fear and pain I would find on the phone and TV?
When I married him among family and friends – were you there, hidden in a beam of sunlight, knowing why we were giggling after he raised my veil?
When he danced with his mom to (click to hear the song)“Its your song” – were you there, wishing you could dance, too?
When I finally wrote (again) for my non-id and sent in my registry information – were you there, waiting anxiously to see if I could put it all together?
When I sat here all those endless nights, pouring through databases – were you there, trying to point me to the missing link?
When I went to the library and felt such disappointment about the marriage records - were you there, encouraging me to keep going?
When I was almost hopeless, sitting here late last Wednesday night, plugging your name into every site I could find – were you there, nudging me to click the link for C’s
When I was so nervous on Thursday, trying to work up the courage to call J – were you there, giving me strength?
When I stumbled at the beginning of the call - were you there, urging patience on J?
As J and I talked, sharing and comparing notes – were you there, listening, saying “that’s my girls, keep going”?
When R called for the first time, and each time after – have you been there, listening, smiling that your daughter has come home, celebrating the friendship R and I share beyond our siblingship?
Are you with us, mom? Are you smiling? Are you happy to see your daughters all coming together so well? Are you hopeful? Are you pleased? Did you dream this could happen? Did you hope?
I want to believe you’ve been with me and with us, mom. I want to believe that you have stood beside me, watching and waiting. I want to believe you had a hand in my search.
I wish you had been there for all of this and so much more. I choose to believe that you have been here all along.
Like the song says:
It was your life that shined
Guiding my heart to find
This place where I belonged
It was your song
I found it, mom. Thanks for helping me find my way home.
Monday, March 20, 2006
For Kim Kim, for me, and for anyone else who needs to hear this.
This is probably the longest post you’ll ever read from me. Sit back, grab a cuppa joe, and get ready – I’m going to go out on a major limb, here. I’m going to discuss my spiritual beliefs within the context of my adoption and my life. I’m doing this because Kim Kim asked on her blog, “What have you humans done for your adoption healing work?”
I hate not being “in control.” I hate the idea that my life, my experiences, are somehow left to the whims of fate. I hate the idea that I am somehow at the mercy of other people’s choices. Those ideas have never rung true for me.
About 10 years ago, I picked up a book. I read it, thought about it, liked what it had to say – but quickly forgot about it. It came back into my life about 4 years ago. By this time, the author had written more books, and I eagerly devoured them. It spoke to me so deeply that I ended up working for the global non-profit organization this author had started and for 2 years, I gave freely some 80 hours a week of my time. I’m still involved with that organization, though I’ve been on a leave of absence while I “dealt with” all this “adoption stuff.”
What I found in those books was not a belief system. What I found, instead, was a confirmation of things I already believed. I found that someone had taken my core beliefs and expanded on them, explored them further and, biggest surprise of all, that there are literally millions of people who believe the same.
These, then, are my core beliefs:
There is one more which is not spelled out explicitly above, and that is this: I believe with every fibre of my being that we choose every moment, every experience, every breath of our lives. I believe this on such a fundamental level, it permeates every aspect of my life.
This is a hard belief for most people to accept. The immediate reaction is, “Who would choose to be raped? Abused? Adopted? Murdered? Sick with cancer? Suffering of any kind? WHO WOULD CHOOSE THIS???”
The answer is, “I would.”
But it is more than that. The “I” that I refer to does not consciously exist in my head. It is not an “I” which I can point to and say, “that is the ME who chose this.” The “I” that I refer to is a piece of ourselves which science doesn’t acknowledge exists, which has no physical space in our bodies we can point to. The “I” is the Soul.
I can’t tell you where my Soul dwells. I can’t point to a place in my body, a spot on a map. I can’t draw you a picture. But I know it exists. Just as I know that the air I breathe exists, though I cannot see it. Science can show me how they’ve measured “air,” they can show me their experiments demonstrating “air,” but I am not a scientist. I cannot measure or demonstrate “air” in all its fullness, all its perfection. I take it on faith that the next time I expand my lungs to breathe, there will be air there to fill them. On this I base my trust that air exists.
For me, my Soul is equally real. I trust it exists based on what I’ve observed. I have observed what I believe to be the moment the Soul leaves the body of loved-ones. I have even observed what I believe to be a functional human body moving, talking, existing, without the slightest spark of a Soul. My Soul, like God, may not be visible or measurable by any instruments we know of – but I do not doubt the existence of either.
I just have a slightly different take on what my Soul (and God) are up to than most of the world does.
See, I believe that my Soul and the Souls of those I come into contact with during this “life,” have made some agreements. I believe we agreed to share certain experiences. Most of those are pretty awesome, fun experiences. Woo Hoo! Party time!
Some of them are not so fun.
I believe that my Soul chose to experience the thing called “adoption,” the thing called “abuse,” the thing called “rape.”
I equally believe that my Soul chose to experience the thing called “reunion,” the thing called “motherhood,” and the thing called “true love.”
I’m just not the type to take credit for the good and shove off blame for the bad. I “own” both, equally.
So now the question – why on earth would anyone choose those things??
Good question. I have an answer. (One which works for me, anyway)
Let me give you a scenario – I want you to consider it for a while:
You go to the store. You find a cool video game. You decide to take it home and play it. It is a fantasy game filled with sorcerers, monsters, buried treasure, a cool quest, neat characters, pretty scenery and some rather interesting music. So you pop it into your computer, boot it up, and the game asks you to build a character. You consider the options - tall or short; black, brown or white; green eyes or blue; sorcerer or rogue; male or female – you get the idea. The game asks you to assign this character a name. You call her “Heart.” The game asks you to give Heart a few skills – you pick fire ball, ice orb, lightning bolt. The game asks you to pick a quest – you decide that Heart is going to go kill the “big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell.” Your character is ready, the stage is set, the game has built up the scenery, put the monsters in place and you click “start.”
You send Heart out of the safety of the encampment and off into the big bad world of the big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell. Right outside the gate, she finds a pile of gold. Cool! She tucks it away to use towards the purchase of better skills. She walks a few more feet and encounters “minor badassed demon from the 1st level of hell.” She easily blasts right through him, getting just the tiniest bit banged up in the process. That’s ok, she stops by the healer and is raring to go. Meanwhile, you’re sitting in your comfortable lounge chair, sipping a coke, munching on a bag of chips, moving her around this “dangerous world” you’ve created. Heart goes a few more steps – oops, another badassed demon. WHUMP! Heart is killed. “Damn damn damn” you cuss. “Shit. Fuck. Crap!” you exclaim. A window pops up on the screen, “GAME OVER – Would you like to play again?” You click “Yes” and Heart is reborn.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Finally, after about a dozen attempts, Heart makes it to the “big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell.” In her previous attempts, she has been burned, beaten, blown up, bitten and otherwise made very very dead. She has also found some very cool treasure, met some rather interesting people, and generally had a pretty interesting time of it. You’ve completely enjoyed yourself, too, quickly getting over the disappointment each time Heart “died,” because you know she’s not really dead – it’s just a matter of clicking “Play Again.”
You had fun experiencing Heart’s journey. Her quest. Even when she was getting bitten and blown up – slightly annoying but no big deal in the big scheme of things. “Play Again.” And you certainly haven’t been hurt by her being blown up or beheaded.
It’s just a game. You, the player, can’t REALLY be hurt by what goes on inside the game. You’re controlling it, directing the general path. The game has some randomness thrown in – assorted monsters where you least expect them, hidden treasure you didn’t know existed.
It’s just a game – and when you’re done playing, you shut it off and go on with your “real” life.
It’s just a game.
Now imagine, for a moment, that you could put yourself in Heart’s shoes. In her head. In her mind.
How might the world look to you?
“Why in the FUCK are there monsters every time I turn around?”
“God DAMN that bastard cut off my arm and it fucking HURTS!”
“Fuck, I don’t want to die…”
“Damnit, it’s raining – again.”
“Ooooooo – pretty! -grabs the treasure, gets arm blown off by hidden spell– Ah FUCK!”
“Why does this always happen to me?”
You, meanwhile, are off talking with friends about the game. “And then I went up against the 6th romoton demon from the 40th anchors of Samalay, and I KICKED HIS ASS!”
“You” of course, physically did no such thing. Heart did it, at your behest, not even consciously knowing you exist or that she is a part of you. She is you, she just doesn’t know it. You are her, and love to lay claim to that identity. “I KICKED HIS ASS!”
Yes, you did – while you were playing the character you created called “Heart.”
This is, I believe, the relationship between our Soul (the player) and our conscious selves (Heart). We are one and the same, but only one of “Us” is aware of that. Me, as the player, does not see the monsters (rapists, abusers, etc.) as scary. Me, as the player, sees them as all part of the game. Perhaps a bit annoying when they “win,” but of no lasting consequence. Just a bump in the game to be won through.
For me, these beliefs are extremely empowering. Because the more I am aware of the relationship between me (Heart) and Me (Soul), the more control I’m able to exert – and Me (Soul) is perfectly willing to give me that control because Soul knows there is no real difference between Us.
The more control I exert, the better my life (from my perspective WITHIN ‘the game’) becomes. A lot of fear goes away. A lot of hurt becomes less long-lasting. Because I know that eventually, I’ll decide to stop playing this game and go back to my “real” life. Some people call that place heaven – I don’t know what to call it beyond “the Oneness.” Oneness with everything. A piece of God, perhaps.
You and I are the same. At the molecular level, we are identical. We are atoms and the space between the atoms. Our “difference” lies only in how those atoms come together. This batch comes together to look like me, that batch comes together to look like you, another batch comes together to look like a computer, a dog, a can of soda.
On the molecular level, we are the same.
Neale and I have had some fabulous arguments about some of the things he says in later books. I love him, I don’t always agree with him. We’re both ok with that. Thankfully, he’s not interested in being anyone’s guru, or in having all the answers. If he was, I’d run away far and fast. Neale Donald Walsch is more of a “just suppose…” kind of guy. I can deal with that.
I’m going to leave you with a story. This is a children’s book Neale wrote called “The Little Soul and the Sun.” It is copyrighted, obviously – fortunately Neale is ok with his stuff being shared. If you read nothing else, read this story. This is what I believe, and THIS is how I “deal” with my adoption, my rape, my abuse – and with my joy, my love, my happiness.
Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, “I know who I am.”
And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?"
And the Little Soul shouted, "I'm the Light!"
God smiled a big smile. "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."
The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.
"Wow," said the Little Soul, "this is really cool!"
But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said,
"Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?"
And God said, "You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?"
"Well," replied the Little Soul," it's one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it's like to be the Light!"
"But you already are the Light," God repeated, smiling again.
"Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!" cried the Little Soul.
"Well," said God with a chuckle, "I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one."
Then God's expression changed. "There's only one thing..."
"What?" asked the Little Soul.
"Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not."
"Huh?" said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.
"Think of it this way," said God. "You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you're there all right. Along with a million, gazillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles...and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light -that is the question."
"Well," the Little Soul perked up, "you're God. Think of something!"
Once more God smiled. "I already have," God said. "Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness."
"What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked.
God replied, "It is that which you are not."
"Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul.
"Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending."
"Oh," said the Little Soul, and felt better already.
Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. "It is a great gift," God said, "because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then."
"And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"
"You mean it's okay to let others see how special I am?" asked the Little Soul.
"Of course!" God chuckled. "It's very okay! But remember,'special' does not mean 'better.' Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special."
"Wow," said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. "I can be as special as I want to be!"
"Yes, and you can start right now," said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.
"What part of special do you want to be?"
"What part of special?" the Little Soul repeated. "I don't understand."
"Well," God explained, "being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?"
The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. "I can think of lots of ways to be special!" the Little Soul then exclaimed. "It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!"
"Yes!" God agreed, "and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That's what it means to be the Light."
"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?"
"Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special."
"Okay," said the Little Soul. "That's what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that."
"Good," said God, "but there's one thing you should know."
The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.
"What is it?" the Little Soul sighed.
"There is no one to forgive."
"No one?" The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.
"No one!" God repeated. "Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you."
It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.
"Who, then, to forgive?" asked God.
"Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!" grumbled the Little Soul. "I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like."
And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.
"Not to worry, Little Soul," the Friendly Soul said, "I will help you."
"You will?" the Little Soul brightened. "But what can you do?"
"Why, I can give you someone to forgive!"
"Certainly!" chirped the Friendly Soul. "I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive."
"But why? Why would you do that?" the Little Soul asked. "You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought--to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?"
"Simple," the Friendly Soul said. "I would do it because I love you."
The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.
"Don't be so amazed," said the Friendly Soul, "you have done the same thing for me. Don't you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don't remember."
"We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it."
"Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so," the Friendly Soul explained further, "I will come into your next lifetime and be the 'bad one' this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.
"But what will you do?" the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, "that will be so terrible?"
"Oh," replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, "we'll think of something."
Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, "You are right about one thing, you know."
"What is that?" the Little Soul wanted to know.
"I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favour to ask of you in return."
"Oh, anything, anything!" cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, "I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!"
Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.
"What is it?" the Little Soul asked. "What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!"
"Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!" God interrupted. "Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels."
And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul's request. "What can I do for you?" the Little Soul asked again.
"In the moment that I strike you and smite you," the Friendly Soul replied, "in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment..."
"Yes?" the Little Soul interrupted, "yes...?""Remember Who I Really Am."
"Oh, I will!" cried the Little Soul, "I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!"
"Good," said the Friendly Soul, "because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are."
"No, we won't!" the Little Soul promised again. "I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.
" And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.
And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness--and especially if it brought sadness--the Little Soul thought of what God had said.
"Always remember," God had smiled, "I have sent you nothing but angels."
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Give me your links
Friday, March 17, 2006
It has been a rather short journey, all things considered
“Sometime” 1993: Requested non-id from agency
“Sometime” 1993: Attended a few adoptee support meetings
“Sometime” 1993: Was convinced (read: manipulated, guilted, etc.) to not search for birth family and stupidly, I went along with it
“Sometime” between 1993 and 1998: Lost copy of non-id from agency
December 6th, 2005: Joined adoption.com
December 7th, 2005: Made my first blog entry
January 3rd, 2006: Sent in new request for non-id
January 10th, 2006: Sent in registration to IARMIE and ISRR
January 25th, 2006: Received info from IARMIE
February 16th, 2006: Received a copy of my non-id
March 16th, 2006: For the first time in my life, I spoke to not one, but TWO people who share my DNA!!!
Yes, dear readers, I spent yesterday evening on the phone with my sisters J and R. (Since we haven’t talked about blogging, etc. yet, I don’t want to share names until I have their permission – sorry!)
I’m sorry I made you wait almost 24 hours to hear about it, but I really needed time to process everything I learned. I still haven’t done that, but I’m at least a whole lot calmer and less prone to fits of bouncing off the walls in excitement. LOL
So first – it was good. No rejection, no “nightmare come true,” no “we don’t want you,” none of that. Second, and equally important, I learned that our mother died in 1998. I still haven’t figured out quite how I feel about that beyond a very selfish sadness that I won’t ever have the chance to know her, to talk to her, to share our lives, our history, our secrets. I feel the loss of the answers she could have provided. I guess I don’t yet “know” her enough through my sisters and brothers to feel the loss of who she was quite yet. I expect that to change. J & R are very “sharing” people, willing to talk about anything it seems, so I don’t doubt that I’ll get to know our mother through their eyes and experiences. I am very much looking forward to that. I also learned that the man whose name my mother listed as my father passed in 1995. However, the physical/social background listed on my non-id doesn’t match him at all. My sister R has a different father from the rest of our siblings – she doesn’t know enough about him to be able to “recognize” him in my non-id. But R and I look the most alike one another, so it is possible that we share the same father. If that’s the case, he is alive – but totally denied any contact with R when she was in her 20’s. R and I joked on the phone about showing up on his doorstep together some day in the future and saying “Hi dad, we’re your daughters.” LOL
The truth is, I don’t much care about my paternity. It also seems unimportant to J & R. The fact that we share a mother seems to be enough. I did, however, suggest to both of them that a siblingship DNA test might be in order since our mother didn’t tell anyone about me. I don’t want there to be any doubt in their mind or in mine about our kinship. So I told them I’d gladly pay for the testing and suggested that R and I be the ones to be tested. That will definitely establish maternity and let us know if she and I have the same father. If we do, cool. If not, that’s cool, too – if need be, J and I can have our DNA done for paternity as well, if we get curious. But like I said, paternity doesn’t seem to be particularly important to any of us.
R and I are “dead ringers” for each other. I also look a lot like my mom. And there’s a picture of one of the nieces from when she was about 12 I think – it looks so much like me at that age, it’s scary. I can also see myself in my sisters J and S.
I should probably tell you about “the players”:
S is my oldest sister – she is going to be 47 in two days. (Aren’t I a neat birthday present? LOL)
J is the next oldest – she is 45 and her birthday is just 11 days after mine!
C is my oldest brother – he is 44
R would be my next oldest brother – he would be 43 but he died in, I think, 1986.
T would be the next oldest brother – he would be 40 but he died in 1972
R is my next oldest sister – she is 37 and her birthday is just 5 days before mine!
E is my next oldest brother – he is 35 and was actually adopted by an aunt in the family
Then there’s me.
In addition to all of us, there are assorted spouses, children, aunts and uncles, etc. HUGE family! HUGE! I told R she needed to draw me a map at some point. LOL She was very excited because they have a family reunion in July and wants me to be there. She was kind of complaining we live too far apart – they’re in VA, but I told her I have NO problem traveling. I plan on making as many trips down there as I can and will happily fly them up here whenever possible.
I spent almost 2 hours on the phone with J and then another 2 hours with R. Calling J was a bit awkward. I initially told her I was trying to do genealogical research and wanted to speak with JL (our mom). She said something that I didn’t hear because my phone kind of cut out, so I’m rambling and she says, “I said, ‘she’s dead!’” Ooops. “Uh…er…um…er…” Fortunately, she asked me something like, “what type of genealogical research are you trying to do?” Time to fish or cut bait, I realized, so I blurted it all out. I don’t even know exactly what I said. She really seemed to take it all in stride. We started comparing notes, talking about what I knew, medical stuff, etc. She asked if I had a picture, so I sent her a bunch. She told me I looked a lot like our sister R. Near the end of the conversation she said that they have an “Aunt D” (mom’s best friend) who, if there is anyone in the world mom would have told about me, it would be “Aunt D.” So she was going to try and reach her after she called her other sisters. She told me to expect more calls. LOL J sent me 4 pictures – some of her, R, S and of our mother. Wow. People who look like me. Wow!
J gave me tons of information about their lives growing up, the family, medical, all kinds of stuff. It was wonderful! Her husband and kids were swarming around her saying, “Ask her this…tell her that…” It was pretty funny! She seemed only marginally surprised that there was an “unknown sister” out there in the world. I think most of her surprise stemmed from the fact that our mother knew she was dying for several months and still didn’t tell any of them about me. However, knowing what I know now about the messages adoption agencies put in these women’s heads back then, I can’t say I’m particularly surprised. I doubt our mom ever thought I’d show up. I’m guessing she assumed that if I hadn’t found her by the time I was 28, I probably wasn’t going to find her at all. I’m sorry it took me another 8 years.
J said she was going to call our other sisters and “Aunt D” and we got off the phone.
About an hour later, maybe less, the phone rang again – it was my sister R. You know how you hear about birth family members just sort of “clicking”? That was R and I. I felt it with J as well, but it was more of a process over the two hour call – mostly because of how the call started, I think. With R, it seemed almost instant. Within a few minutes we were both laughing over the “weirdness” of the whole thing. We had a great conversation. We’re very much alike. Similar sense of humor, too! What was so great about talking to R was that, because she had an “unknown” father, she understood so much of what I’ve gone through as an adoptee. Finding siblings I could get along with was wonderful, finding siblings who “get it” was something I never even dared to hope for! It felt so good talking to her, it was so encouraging. I mean, we didn’t just talk about adoption stuff – we compared notes about what our pregnancies were like, labor, talked about our kids, husbands and ex-husbands, etc. It was like suddenly meeting a new friend who you knew you could share every single secret with.
One of the best things, though, was the way she kept using words like “sister” and “our”. Do you know what I mean? Inclusive family terms, including me in them. Wow.
By the end of the call we were laughing about the awkward “what next” question hanging in the air. Like, how do you hang up with someone in this situation? The usual “talk to you later” seems so NOT fitting. We both felt it, and both laughed about it – and both knew WHY we were laughing. So our solution was to share our “personal communication styles.” She noted that she’s bad about making phone calls, I said I’m the same way. We both said we like emailing, though I don’t think she has a computer at home, only at work. She gave me both her home and cell numbers and we both said “call anytime.” It was cool, very very cool.
I’m not sure what comes next. I sent J & R a link to the site that sells siblingship kits so they could look it over. Once I hear back, I’ll order a kit for R and I. It’s pretty quick – once you submit your kit, it only takes them 5 days to produce results. I think J was surprised I suggested doing this, but I explained about the scammers in the world and I really feel this is best for everyone’s peace of mind, especially since our mother isn’t alive to confirm everything for us. I was just glad they weren’t offended by the idea. R thought it was a great idea, too!
So that’s where I am today. One day into reunion with what I’m sure is my family. About the only way they are NOT my family is if someone totally posed as JL, used her name, her details, all her information and gave birth to me. Believe me, that is highly doubtful. The only way that would be even remotely possible was if it was one of JL’s sisters – we all look way too much alike. Very unlikely.
In any event, we’ll know soon enough!
I’m feeling very happy, very excited, very eager. Still processing everything I learned, but there is plenty of time for that now!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Damn those pins and needles
I found them.
Yes, you read that right. I found them. Last night, middle of the night, through sheer happenstance and coincidence, I found them. I found her, her new husband, her ex-husband and all her kids. It even looks like she had a baby boy about a year and a half after I was born with her new husband. Cool, a baby brother!
There are six older siblings. So if her new husband’s son is also hers, she had 8 kids, total. I think two of them died at birth or shortly thereafter. I can’t find any record of them after they were born, anywhere.
I have a phone number for one of my sisters. I’ve tried it a few times but only gotten an answering machine. I’ll keep calling until I get a real person and then try to get my mother’s phone number from her.
In the meantime, I’m sitting here on pins and needles. God, this is scary.