For Gary J. Phillips, Rest in Peace

Gary with Santa 2016

 

So this is how our friendship began…..

Part 1 – Busted!

In the first three months of 2011, I lost my natural father, my daughter’s best friend, and my adoptive mother, in that order one each month. That started the downhill trend of one or two deaths per month after that; my aunt, friends, parents of friends. By the time the summer of 2012 arrived, I was beyond depressed.

To relieve the stress, I re-joined the Y, hoping to firm up the flab while detoxing my mind. As I stared at my thighs in the mirror (why do they put mirrors in front of exercise equipment anyway?) I made a pact with myself to work out two hours a day until I can fit back into my jeans.

But I didn’t want to talk with anyone. At all. I just wanted to block out the world, hide and work my ass off. So I completed circuit training before moving on to a treadmill and an elliptical, saving the stretch mats for last. There were small groups of people chatting with each other, which made me feel even worse. They were happy; I was the one who didn’t fit in. I was afraid that if I interacted with them, then they’d see what a mess I was. Or, I’d prove it by crying. Even the slightest bit of interpersonal interaction frightened me. I managed to keep some sort of false-face with polite eye contact, nodding and smiling as it was unavoidable moving from machine to machine.

In the evenings, I drove around the neighborhood, pulling into parking lots of stores that I’d never been to. In an attempt for distraction, I walked up and down the aisles of colorful household items, looking for something interesting. When boredom set in, I left to find someplace else in which to escape.

A drive along the Niagara River brought me to Old Man River, a popular summer eatery, to watch little kids eat hot dogs and ice cream with their parents. Tears welled up as I remembered that Mom and I sat right over there at that table last summer. And Old Man River was the same place Mom and Dad, my adoptive parents, took me when I was a kid. Dad was gone now for 30 years. Realizing how long ago that was made me think of my natural mother who died when I was an infant 56 years ago. Then I thought of how I screwed up my relationship with my natural father the last few years of his life because I was upset over an insulting comment he said to me. With a little bit more patience, I could have saved our relationship. My thoughts spiraled out of control. All four of my parents were dead. I was alone and had no clue of what to do for the rest of my life. Would I ever be able to enjoy the river again?

What could I do? Drinking did not appeal to me, except for the occasional Guinness, so I turned to my next drug of choice. Hot fudge sundaes. Over a period of about two months, I hit every Dairy Queen in the Town of Tonawanda – Kenmore area, at least twice. I was in denial and grieving.

In complete contradiction, I dutifully held to my schedule at the Y each morning. The same people were there, day in and day out. I was fine as long as no one spoke to me. But we had eye contact. I certainly didn’t want friends. I wanted peace of mind.

One particular evening, I parked my car in the lot of the closest Dairy Queen, the one on Elmwood, and got out to order a hot fudge sundae, feeling guilty. What am I doing? This isn’t helping my thighs any. With the sundae in my hand, I went back to my car, defeated by my own self-sabotaging behavior.

I sat in my car with the windows open, mindlessly glancing in front of my car as the hot fudge and cold ice cream swirled on my tongue. A man got out of his car parked next to mine on the right side, walked up to the trash can directly in front and to the left of me and deposited his trash. He turned around to walk back to his car. Just as I lifted another spoon filled with the intoxicating sweetness to my hungry lips, he looked right at me. In an instant, we recognized each other from the Y! We both laughed. He caught me red handed, gorging on fattening delights at dusk. But he wasn’t innocent, either. I didn’t catch him in the act, but that didn’t matter. Sneaking away from the trash can was evidence enough. We were both parked at the scene of the crime.

He shamed me off of ice cream.

The next morning, I went to the Y, still hiding behind my defensive wall. As I strode on the treadmill, a hand reached out, waving a photo in my face. “This is me and my band in the 60s!”

I’m out of breath, bobbing up and down and this clown wants me to look at a photo? I tilted my head and lifted my eyes to see the guy who spotted me at Dairy Queen the previous evening. That did it. He just had to tell me stories of his band. Crap. Now I have to interact with him. He talked practically non-stop, one funny story after another. He said his name is Bill. Then he introduced me to his friend, Gary. Now I knew the names of two men who had secretly made me laugh inside as I listened to their conversations from my wall of silence. Bill and Gary broke me of my defensive wall. Over time, the two of them helped me realize that there was life after death. Whatever time I had left, I decided to make the best of it.

In the days that followed our initial meeting, we gathered like clockwork in the hallway leading to the exercise equipment room. One morning, as we passed Sam standing behind the staff desk eating his breakfast with a spoon, Bill saw a smooth creamy white substance in the bowl. He pointed at it and asked me, “What’s this?”

I didn’t even have to sniff it. “It’s yogurt!”

“You sure it’s not ice cream?” Bill turned with a grin and bounced off to hit the machines. Sam looked up from his bowl. “What’s that all about?”

I chuckled. “Just a friendly reminder that he caught me eating a hot fudge sundae at Dairy Queen the other day. And I caught him throwing away his empty dish!”

Sam shook his head with a smile. “You are both so busted!”

Part 2 – What’s Phillip’s First Name?

Bill, Gary and I have been hamming it up every day since we met in early 2012. During one particular gaggle of giggles, Bill wryly dubbed us “The Three Musketeers.” In answer, Gary howled, “No, we’re more like The Three Stooges!”

But it wasn’t just fun and games. We had shared interests, talked of our families, and were concerned when one of us had to take care of a hospital visit, or different problem.

Gary’s wife, Sharon, brought in their three year old grandson several times. Bill’s wife, Barb, came in to walk on a treadmill. Barb, Bill and I chatted about our favorite music venue, exchanged some emails, and ran into each other at the Scottish Festival.

But mostly, it pretty much was the three of us, Bill, Gary, and me.

When Bill didn’t show up for weeks at a time, Gary and I wondered if he had gone down South to visit his grandchildren without telling us. Sometimes, it was simply the time of day that we missed each other at the Y. I quickly tired of circuit training, so I joined exercise classes, which left little time together in the Wellness Center’s exercise machine room where we first met. If we didn’t see each other there, we caught up later in the morning in the member’s lounge.

In April 2014, Bill joined pickle ball. Gary took time out to handle medical problems. We didn’t see much of each other for long periods of time.

One day, when Gary was peddling on a bike before having coffee with The Old Farts, Bill stopped by to chat with me as I took a break in the member’s lounge. He poked fun at religious cults, and then prattled on about pickle ball. Usually quick witted, Bill paused as he tried to tell me something about someone. He looked at me with a grin and said, “For the life of me, I can’t remember the guy’s name! You know, what’s his name?”

“Bill, I don’t know the pickle ball people at all. You do!”

“Sure you do! You see him all the time. Oh, come on! I can see his face clear as day! He’s uhh, uhh…Oh Darn! Oh, what’s his name? What’s Phillip’s first name?”

As soon as he asked the question he realized how absurd it sounded. Slapping his forehead and slumping to the tabletop, Bill collapsed in laughter.

“You okay?” I smirked, trying to hold back a snort as I watched Bill’s performance.

“Yeah, yeah. I just figured out Phillip’s first name! It’s Phillip! Phillip is Phil. Phil is Phillip. I got it now! What’s wrong with me? One third of The Three Musketeers is losing his mind! ” Bill got up and laughed all the way down the hall to the gym to continue playing pickle ball.

When Gary showed up, I relayed the entire scene to him.

“Who is this guy Bill’s talking about? Do you know him?” Gary asked.

“Nope, don’t have a clue,” I answered as I looked at my coffee cup.

“It appears that Bill has an imaginary friend. Alright, then. Oh, wait, maybe he means me! My last name is Phillips. See, the name is embroidered on my shirt.”

“Oh, that’s great!” I said. “Here’s what we’ll do. When Bill comes back in here, we’ll sit straight faced and ask him, “Hey Bill, what’s Phillips’ first name?” At the same time, I’ll nod at you, and point, if he still doesn’t get it.”

“And I’ll just sit here. Maybe I’ll wave.” With a squeal of delight, Gary added, “I don’t think I’ll be able to contain myself! I can’t wait to see Bill’s face when it dawns on him that this Phillips’ first name is Gary!”

We waited over another cup of coffee. It was fast approaching high noon. Gary had to leave. Bill didn’t come back that day. I headed for the shower.

The very next day, I joined several new hires as Strength Instructors in a four hour job training at the corporate office. This was serious business, but I couldn’t get Bill’s antics out of my mind. As the Director of another local Y went over YMCA history, mission statement, and our function at the Y, I giggled to myself. The Director glanced at me several times in an effort for me to focus, but that just made the stifled giggles continue. I couldn’t get Bill’s question out of my mind. Each time I saw his face, I cracked up laughing.

Driving home that afternoon, I felt humiliated. I made a nuisance out of myself during my first job training. Once I reached home, I called that other branch YMCA to speak to the Director. I apologized and told her that I meant no disrespect, but there was this funny situation that I couldn’t shake from my mind. She understood. “That’s quite alright. We all have moments like that. I admire you for calling to talk with me.”

I was grateful that she wasn’t irritated over my rude giggles. I could have lost the job before it even started.

Back at the Y on Monday morning, Gary and I came up with more scenarios with the question, “What’s Phillip’s first name?” And each one was at Bill’s expense.

Reminiscent of Gary’s time playing the saxophone and clarinet in pit orchestras, he called out, “And that’s it, Ladies and Gentlemen! The evening is almost over. To conclude our show, here’s Bill with his rendition of “What’s Phillip’s First Name?”

It was the perfect set-up. Back in the day, Bill was the lead singer of his Beatles’ band in the 1960s. Now he could sing his own special song.

That image just sent the two of us into hysterics. Missing Bill, the two remaining Musketeers kept on goofing off.

Over time, the joke was lost. Bill disappeared into the netherworld of pickle ball.

Just two weeks ago, nearly three years after the incident, I asked Bill if he remembered that moment. “No, I don’t.”

Sigh.

That was such a good routine.

What is now lost to time is very fresh for me. Whenever I’m feeling down, I ask myself, “What’s Philip’s first name?” and I’m back into the giggles.

The Three Stooges indeed.

Part 3 – This is Good Bye

Gary, we buried you today. Tuesday, August 7, 2018. You died Sat August 4, 2018.

I’m glad I saw you one last time last Thursday. It was brief, just twenty minutes, but we saw each other again. Your eyes sure sparkled when I told you I’m taking up boxing! It was good to hear your soft voice, to hug you, to hold your hand, to tell you how much I love you.

I remember in the winter of 2016-17, when I caught that horrible sinus infection, the one that lasted two straight months. I coughed continuously, feeling as though I was choking to death, and feeling very weak. You kept me alive. It was you, no one else, who texted me all throughout the day, and most of the evening, telling me to breath, to not give up. You gave me encouragement. You cared. When the snow hit and it seemed that the area would be snowed in, you texted me, saying, “Gary’s Bingo Hall is now open.”

Then there was Christmas. “Happy Festivus!” you texted me. Because we are both atheists, Christmas didn’t mean much, but Festivus did.

I felt bad. I missed the holidays, and my birthday in January. But you were right there, cheering me on, keeping me going.

I can’t thank you enough. Even when I went back to work, I coughed for weeks.

But you weren’t there. Your health declined. And on the rare occasion that you came in, it was a treat to see you! Such a bright, warm smile! And when we asked how you were feeling, your answer was always, “So far, so good!”

So, I’ll pretend we’re talking in the member’s lounge…

Oh, hey, Gary, what’s up with that speech pathologist who says that your grandson has to go to speech therapy to unlearn your Providence, Rhode Island accent? Come on! That’s a lovely accent you have! Tell that speech therapist you’ll move Jackson to Providence where everyone talks like that! Then, you watch, Jackson will fail speech classes over there. They’ll send him back to Kenmore because he’ll be speaking with a Ken-moron accent!

Oh, hey, Gaarrreee, I got another one for you! See, this foot surgery I had in January, well, it’s healing up ok, but I walk on the side of my left foot still, which is knocking my right hip out of alignment. Let’s go dancing! I’ll hop around lopsided, and you can keep the beat by shuffling along with me. The two cripples will hold each other up.

By the way, thank you so much for singing Happy Birthday to me this past January. That was so sweet of you. And yes, just like your son said at the service today, I saved that voice message. I think I will email it to myself to listen to each year on my birthday now.

Did I ever explain why I stayed away from visiting you in the nursing home? I thought you didn’t want me there. I thought you were too depressed and didn’t want me to see you sick. I shouldn’t have stayed away. I thought of you every day. I missed texting “Good Morning Garreeee!” I missed your texts to me, “Good morning Dorrissssss!”

So good of us to find a way to keep your Providence, Rhode Island accent going through texting!

Oh, back to today’s Service. Yes, your family was there, Sharon, of course, and your sons, Gary and David. But, your daughter, Amy, wasn’t there. I think I know why. More on this later… Your friends from work were there. And from the Y, all except Bill. Bill hasn’t been the same since Barb died. So the Old Farts – Jim, Don, Guy, and the other Don – and their wives were there. Sandy from Zumba and Buff State, she was there, too. You would have loved the stories we told!

So, this is it.

After the service at Congregation Shir Shalom, we all drove to the cemetery. Everything was so very quick, no time to think. The funeral director ran out of roses, so I bent down and snapped off a small purple flower in the grass. I placed it on your casket, and said through my tears, “I love you, Gary.” Did you hear me?

Then, they lowered your casket.

One by one, we shoveled dirt on top of your casket. One shovel upside down, and then three more, to take responsibility in burying you.

My thoughts swirling in my mind…Gary, I’m sorry we had that falling out in April and May of 2016. That was such a hurtful time for both of us. I couldn’t believe you were so angry with me. You read my memoir and then wouldn’t tell me your thoughts. Why? Because you didn’t like how my life turned out? Because you didn’t understand my adoption? That day you made snarky comments at me in the Wellness Center, around Easter time 2016, you told me that I was too smart for you, that I knew big words, and that I knew more than you did. Gary, you didn’t make sense. Was that the cancer talking? Were you mad at me because you were jealous of me? Because I wrote a book? Because I am taking action against the negativity in my life by being a social change agent – being the social worker I went to college to be? Or, were you angry at me because you and your first wife adopted Amy? You kept saying that she has her original birth certificate, that she doesn’t want to search, and that she’s fine. I wish we could have talked it all out. It was so hard to see you every day in the Wellness Center after that and avoid each other. For six months. Or was it eight? I’m so glad that you timidly came up to me one day and asked if we could put the past behind us and be friends. You don’t know how much that meant to me, to have you back.

But then, I think you can. You once said, “I love you more than you know.”

It’s that rare friend who comes along and changes your life. You are that friend to me. I will love you forever, and, I love you more than you will ever know. I will see you on the other side someday, Garrreeee.

2017 Gary J. Phillips
Gary posing as Keith Richards 2017

Three Identical Strangers – An Experienced Adoptee’s Review – Questions and Insights that Others Have Missed

Three Identical Strangers – An Experienced Adoptee’s Review – Questions and Insights that Others Have Missed

Spoiler Alert: This Review contains some details of the documentary and the lives of Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman, so if you don’t want to know details before you see the movie, please avoid reading this now.

 

Background

The three identical triplets – Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellmanwere intentionally separated at birth in 1961 and raised by three different adoptive families. Louise Wise Adoption Agency not only arranged adoptions for children “in need” and people looking to adopt, the agency went a step further to team up with a psychologist for a study on identical twins who were purposefully separated at birth to determine whether nature or nurture shapes personality. The adoptive parents were not told that the baby they received had an identical sibling, or, in this case, had two other identical brothers. Additionally, the separated twins and triplets were never told the truth. Furthermore, the natural parents who relinquished their twins and triplets at birth were not told that their infants would be split up by adoption (more on this later). When the truth comes out, the devastating effects of this manipulation becomes clear.

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Triggering For Adopted People and Mothers of Adoption Loss

For adopted people, and mothers of adoption loss, this documentary is more than a shock that reveals the truth. It is downright triggering, reminding us of the trauma we survived.

I remember when this story broke in 1980. I had been reunited with my natural family for six years at the time and attended my very first adoption conference that same year. I devoured anything and everything on adoption, so, yes, when these triplets were in the beginning stages of their reunion, and made a splash on TV, I cheered them on. Like most of the country, I saw their successes as a positive in the bleak world of adoption.

Watching this documentary today, some of that joy came back. As the truth unfolds on screen, however, I became uneasy, twitching in my seat, turning away from the screen and curling my legs in a fetal position in the reclining theater seat. As an adoptee, I knew how it feels to be given up, to be raised adopted, to wonder, to reunite, and to face the joys of finding the similarities in my own siblings and our father. I also knew how it feels to be the target of watching eyes.

I was not part of a psychological study, but I was definitely the adopted one who was secretly watched by two families as I grew up. When the secret was revealed, I was devastated to be the unsuspecting target of spies. I had no privacy. Photos and stories of my childhood were passed back and forth between my adoptive family – aunts and uncles and cousins – who socialized with my natural mother’s siblings and their children (my mother died when I was an infant) – my flesh and blood aunts, uncles and cousins, and my own siblings. I was intentionally kept apart from my own blood kin, my own full blood siblings, my own cousins and aunts and uncles related to my deceased natural mother – all because I was adopted. When I found out the truth at age 18, that my siblings and our father and my extended family lived less than 6 miles from where I was raised, I was devastated.

Being adopted in the 1950s and 1960s means that you are never supposed to know the truth, you are never supposed to ask questions, you are there for the sheer entertainment of those who deem themselves more important to study your every move, your every mistake, and your every success. Being adopted means everyone else can scrutinize you, compare how you walk with this relative or that one, compare your physical features with this separated sibling or that one, and then analyze your emotions, your psychology in their own layman’s terms. That means – without the benefit of a real education into psychology.

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Controlled By the Adoption Agency and Psychologist

As viewers will see in “Three Identical Strangers,” even real psychology can turn its ugly head upon unsuspecting adoptees, and in this case, even using adoptive parents. Each couple had been carefully chosen by the agency who had previously arranged adoptions of girls who were the same age, and each was then chosen by the agency to receive one of the three identical triplet boys. The agency then came by year after year, studying the boys as they grew to determine what shaped their personalities, their genes, or their environment. However, no one told the adoptive parents, or the boys, that there were two other identical brothers involved in the secret study. The adoption agency and the psychologist controlled the lives of children and their adoptive parents.

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Experiments by a Jewish Adoption Agency Raises Questions

As the ugly truth unfolded on the screen, I cringed as I realized something else. This experiment was conducted upon Jewish triplets, their Jewish mothers and fathers, and their Jewish adopters, by a Jewish adoption agency (Louise Wise Services) twenty years after the holocaust. What? Jews experimenting upon Jews? Hadn’t we all learned from the horrors of medical and psychological experiments during World War II? Jews were the victims then, so how could they turn around to victimize their own people in the name of a cruel psychological study in adoption?

As often is stated – that was then, this is now. The dark days of the 50s and 60s, and earlier, paved the way for understanding today.

I hope.

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Mild Interest in Finding Their Mother

The triplets said that they had a mild interest in finding their mother, and for them, searching for her was simple. Because they were born in New York City, birth books were available at that time. They found a reference for their births and paid their mother a visit. They “weren’t particularly impressed,” so she was a one-time visit.

Yet, their mother had been following their story in newspapers, magazines, and TV.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, in general, males who were adopted typically were not interested in finding their natural parents. Today, though, both men and women who were adopted as children have a healthy interest in where they came from and who their parents are, as well as the hope of finding siblings.

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Natural Mother and Father

Getting back to the natural mother who relinquished her newborn identical sons to adoption in 1961, I’d like to know how she feels now after seeing this documentary. Did she give her permission to use her high school photo for this production? The father was mentioned as “a prom date knock-up.” Does he know the truth? Showing that high school year book photo could spark gossip and talk between the former students who could recognize the mother from that photo and deduce who the father is. What about the extended families of the two natural parents? Are the triplet brothers interested in knowing any other siblings they may have?

Their mother felt she couldn’t keep them. Why? The mother’s full story needs to be told. And the father’s story need to be told as well. Did the triplet’s grandparents had a hand in their relinquishment?

Since it has been adoption policy to tell young and naïve single mothers that adoption would provide “a better life” for their children than they can provide, if this mother had known that her identical sons would be separated at birth for the purpose of a psychological study on the development of personality, would she have consented to sign surrender papers? If the other mothers and fathers of the twins that were also separated at birth to be subjects in this study were told what would happen to their twins, would they have consented to sign surrender papers?

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Issues Not Covered in This Documentary

Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman have wives and children of their own. There are generational effects of the trauma of separation and adoption.

What about the stress levels of the mother during pregnancy and birth? We know now that stress epigenetically affects unborn babies. Stress impacts gene expression in the developing fetus during pregnancy. The mother’s hormones, emotional state, nutrition, and drug or alcohol use all affect an unborn baby for life and even effect future generations. We now know that nutrition and stress levels in the father also affects sperm quality.

The bond these unborn babies had with their mother is vital to their survival and development. We know now that unborn babies also feel the mother’s emotions. When infants are removed from their mothers immediately after birth, the mother-infant bond is broken. The triplets, too, bonded with each other in utero. No doubt that these triplets suffered profound separation anxiety when they lost their mother, and each other, due to the forces of society that told this mother she could not parent her sons, and the controlling manipulations of the adoption agency as well as the psychiatrist who invented the secret study of identical twins/triplets separated at birth.

We now know that all adoptees suffer from pre-verbal trauma at the separation of our mothers. Even in the face of evidence, adoptees and our mothers are shot down by pro-adoptionists.

Another factor not covered in this documentary is that reunions between adoptees and their blood kin are increasing with the use of DNA testing in Ancestry dot com, 23 and Me, and other websites. The triplets say they have no interest, but their parents may want to connect now. They may have other siblings. Like everyone else, extended family is out there. None of us exists in a vacuum; we are connected to thousands of people through our DNA.

I understand the limitations of time constraints on making a documentary. In keeping with the premise that nothing else matters but their upbringing, and the separate, staged, environments they were deliberately placed into, I can see the necessity of narrowing the focus.

Still, the more I think about this, the more there is to discuss – and to question.

What about the triplet’s microbiomes? Where did they get their microbiomes from? Their mother, of course, as they passed through the birth cannel. Were these triplets born naturally, or by cesarean section? A sterile birth does not provide the infant to pass through the birth canal and therefor, the infant does not pick up the mother’s microbiome. Then where did these triplets receive their microbiome? They picked up microorganisms from the people who handled them – from nurses and doctors to the adoption agency workers and then, finally, each of their adoptive parents and adopted siblings. This created a vastly different microbiome in each of the separated identical brothers.

With what we are now learning, our guts hold microorganisms that influence our physical and mental health. The bio genomes of the gut bacteria growing in the mouths and intestines and bowels of these triplets as little boys, and as adults, play a big role in the physical and mental health of each one of these triplets. Isn’t it interesting that physical environments play a part in biology?

Life itself is a complex mix of biology and environment. Through the psychology of adoption and different parenting styles, and the individual’s inherited predisposition to personality types, it becomes clear that no one can say with certainty which is more important, nature or nurture.

In the end, though, what is medical history? Is medical history our environment or is medical history our biology? Did your parents die of heart disease or cancer? What you eat and drink influences your body. That’s biochemistry. Where does mental illness come from? Environment or heredity? Or both?

We know now that depression, anxiety, panic, and PTSD are due to stresses in home life, abuse, and socio-economic struggles. We also know that certain types of mental illness are inborn, genetically based. Personal choices can influence our mental and physical health; drugs, alcohol, diet, exercise, and clean living.

As I previously stated, for the purposes of time constraints, I see why the important factors in this documentary are the adopters who were deceived, and these triplets – and other identical twins – who were subjects of an unethical psychological study. This psycho-social experiment was cruel and inhumane.

The lesson learned here is one I hope psychologists and social workers will never repeat. Deceiving people is unethical. Separating identical siblings for the purpose of an unethical study is cruel. This should never happen again. Taking this further, separating a sibling group is unethical – something that is not routinely done in adoption today. Why, then, do we still consider separating newborns from their mothers at birth so the infants can have a “better life” in adoption?

Childhood trauma (Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACE) is now known to be the cause of varying degrees of emotional trauma responses in adoptees – and in our mothers and fathers. Separation from mother at birth is the single most detrimental aspect of relinquishment and adoption. Babies need their mothers – their real mothers. Nothing was said about the trauma these triplets suffered due to separation from their mother at birth.

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Birth Certificates

Something else was not discussed. Their birth certificates. This point can never be brought up too much. In fact, it must be brought up in every single discussion of adoption. Why? Because it is part of the entire scope of lies, manipulations, and intentional deceit that continues in every single adoption – then and now.

New York State revoked and sealed and replaced Robert Shafran’s, Edward Galland’s, and David Kellman’s accurate birth certificates – the ones that were signed by the attending physician who verified their births.

On their accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate) is a line with the question, “Is this birth a single birth, a twin, or a triplet?” and a check box “Single,” “Twin,” or “Triplet.” On each triplet’s birth certificate, is the question, “If Twin or Triplet, is this child born, “1st, 2nd or 3rd”? A check is placed for the corresponding answer.

This is a detail close up of my accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate):

There is also a line with the question, “Children previously born to this mother – How many OTHER children are now living?”

This is a detail close up of my accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate):

On my amended birth certificate, it is easy to answer simply, “This is a single birth” (Ignoring that fact that I was not born in my adoptive name to my adoptive parents. It is all a lie. All except my birth date, time, and place.)

This is a detail close up of my falsified birth certificate (Amended Birth Certificate):

Did the New York State Department of Health’s Vital Statistics Bureau in Albany intentionally check the “Single Birth” box for each of these triplets on their new, amended birth certificates created after they were adopted?

I can guess that the State did not want to indicate their true birth order, so the adoption agency lied and so did New York State by stating that each birth was a single birth. I’m speculating, of course, but remember, amended birth certificates issued after an adoption contain false-facts, so information is made up to suit the facts of the adoption, with the toss-in of the date and place of birth. Yes, for some, even the birth date and place are falsified. Add all of this up and the end result is a sea of disaster.

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Suicide

I am very sad to hear about Eddy Galland’s suicide in June of 1995. He’s another adoptee statistic.

In this article, Eddy’s “wife says that he was never able to get over the separation and the loss. … Nineteen years that he didn’t have with his brothers.”

As an adoptee who was separated from my four older siblings (not identical) for eighteen years, I can attest to the pain of that loss.

This article states that sometime in 1995, Texas Pulitzer-prize winning writer Lawrence Wright began writing an article on twins when he came upon an article on twins separated at birth. He eventually found that Doctor Peter Neubauer, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, started this study. An assistant, not the doctor himself, told Wright of the “size and complexity [of the study], and told him there was a set of triplets, which lead him to Kellman, Shafran and Galland.”

Another article (which I cannot find now – I know, a big mistake to lose information on source material) stated “At the time of his death, Eddy Galland was not aware that the three brothers were intentionally separated as part of a psychological study to determine how personalities are formed.”

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Identical Quadruplets

Just when this story can’t get any worse, it gets worse. In this snippet from Edward “Eddy” Galland’s obituary published online at Find a Grave, a 1980 New York Times article revealed that the “Louise Wise Adoption Services reportedly confirmed that David Kellman, adopted by another family, is 3d sibling, 4th identical boy reportedly died at birth. (S) S 23, III.10:1.”

The documentary Three Identical Strangers did not mention this sad fact. They were four identical brothers – quadruplets – a natural miracle of conception in which one egg splits into four separate embryos. This unique wonder of nature would have been celebrated had these identical quadruplets been born to married parents. Tragically, they were born to a high school girl who was under society’s pressure to relinquish them to a closed and secret adoption. Her grief must have been overwhelming, particularly since one of them died at birth.

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Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

One more not-so-tiny detail that certainly stuck out was Billy Joel’s 1977 song, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” that highlighted a fictitious story about “Brenda and Eddy.” The documentary suggests that Billy Joel wrote that song about the real Brenda and Eddy, but the names, in fact, were coincidental. A quick check on the Internet proves that the song was released in 1977. The identical brothers did not meet until 1980.

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No One Should Be Faced With Integrating Nature vs. Nurture

Non-adopted people can walk away from this documentary; they’ll recover in a few hours. But it didn’t happen to them. This particular situation didn’t happen to me, either, but adoption did. The effects of adoption on adoptees is life-long. No one should be faced with the daunting task of integrating two identities – the one of nature and the one of nurture. The one in which you have a name and one set of parents and could have been raised with your siblings – and the other in which you have a new name and a new set of parents who were hand-picked by agency workers according to their wishes and the luck of the draw.

None of this is a feel good story.

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Will society ever learn not to let this happen again?

Nope. Not a chance.

The same thing will happen again, and again, and again.

The Dionne Quintuplets – five identical girls – were born to married parents on May 28, 1934 in a small village in Ontario, Canada. The Canadian government took the five girls away from their parents and made a spectacle of them for show and tell, speculative and comparative analysis of their appearance and personalities, and circus-side-show gawking profit. What happened to them should never have happened. The parents and siblings left behind suffered. The quintuplets suffered; all for greed, profit, and curiosity of what these five identical girls would grow up to be. Yes, the world watched, like in the movie “The Truman Show.”

It happened to Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman, their parents, and their adoptive parents.

It happened to the sets of identical twins who were also subjects of this study.

We now have children being ripped away from their parents at our USA/Mexican border as punishment for their parents entering our country illegally.

But what of their humanity?

Every day, infants are stolen at birth from their mothers because of coercive tactics used by adoption agencies and adoptive parent wanna-bees who gloat as they wear T-shirts proclaiming “I’m paper pregnant” or “My son is in Nepal” (a slogan for gays who buy the rent-a-womb services of poor women in Nepal as surrogate mothers to bear their children).

Stupid people will come along again, and again, and decide what is best for parents and their children who are seen as lesser-than. It happened before, and it will happen again.

Damn it.

 

 

My Take on Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

I’ll let the title and opening paragraphs of this story give you your first impressions:

Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

Laura Castillo, 33, left, was sentenced to 33 years in prison for forcing her adopted daughter to carry husband Eusebio Castillo’s children. Eusebio is awaiting trial in Bexar County. (Bexar County Jail)

A Texas woman arrested with her husband for subjecting their adopted daughter to more than decade of sexual and emotional abuse has been sentenced to 33 years behind bars.

And this

Alvarado, now 28, told police the couple had been abusing her since she 9 years old. Around that time, she’d been taken away form her alcoholic mother to live with her relatives on an Army base in Hawaii. The Castillos would go on to legally adopt her.

In an interview with San Antonio-Express News, Alvarado recalled how Eusebio would climb into her bed and molest her in the middle of the night. When she turned 13, he started to rape her, she said.

Castillo initially dismissed the girl’s abuse allegations and would go to participate in forced threesomes with Alvarado and her husband, the victim recalled. The ongoing assaults resulted in three children, all of who were raised to believe Alvarado was their older sister, not their mother.

 

You can read the full article for the other details.

Now for what’s missing.

How were the births handled? Did Abigail Alvarado go in to the hospital alone to give birth? Did she name the father? Did she insist that the father is unknown? Was the young mother threatened by her adopters, Laura and Eusebio Castillo, to tell lies to the doctors as she gave birth, and on the children’s birth certificates?

The birth certificates of these three children should state the truth, if not naming the father, then the mother – the real birthing mother. If those children continued to believe the story that the older woman was their mother, by the time they become young adults and their birth certificates become known to them, they would discover the truth of who is their real mother.

And then there is DNA and medical necessity.

Then there is the age factor. Laura Castillo is 33 years old. Her adopted niece is now 28. That’s a close age range for someone so young to adopt a 9 year old child. That would have made Laura Castillo 15 years old when she and her older husband, Eusebio, adopted the niece of one of them. Which one is the biological aunt or uncle – Laura or Eusebio? How old is Eusebio?

But back to DNA. This case proves my idea that DNA testing of an infant at birth should become mandatory law – not mere hospital policy – but State and Federal law. If mandatory DNA testing is done on every infant born, then the identities of the mother, and father, will be confirmed.

But hold on. As I wrote this blog post earlier this morning, a friend in adoption reform called me about something else. I brought this situation to her attention. She told me that pharmaceutical companies own the DNA people willing give to online companies to trace DNA to provide information on from where a person’s ancestors originated, and to provide connections to close genetic relatives.

I did not know that our private DNA is not our own. I did not know that Big Pharma claims they own the DNA of individuals.

While I’m trying to settle that shock, I’d like to know the rest of this story.

Is the mother still the mother of her children, or did the State remove these children into foster care?

Are the victims (Abigail Alvarado and her three children) of these two master-minds of depravity (Laura and Eusebio Castillo) provided with therapy free of charge? Are the therapists competent?

The young mother, Abigail Alvarado, certainly needs help to cope, but her three children do as well. They will have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

This will affect future generations, too – medically, socially, psychologically, emotionally and perhaps financially.

Another thought: Gotta love the role religion played in this. How ignorant people must be to believe such ridiculous crap as the dribble coming from the mouths of two people who started a church in their back yard? Who would believe that the first-born child is a healer? And who would be stupid enough to donate thousands of dollars to this church who uses a child in this way?

The family moved to Texas in 2001 before settling in San Antonio, where they established the St. Peregrine Chapel behind their home. They solicited thousands in donations from those who believed Alvarado’s first-born was a healer. … They duped dozens of people into believing the little girl was a “Miracle Child” with the power to cure cancer.

Obviously not much education, or common sense, in this community at all.

Is this entire situation the result of uneducated people, and/or the result of mental illness?

To me, this tragic situation is more evidence that adoption distorts people’s already twisted minds. If their niece at age 9 needed a home to be safe from her alcoholic mother, then there should have been safeguards to allow only temporary legal custodial guardianship. This would also include visitation with and knowledge of her mother.

It is unclear from the scant details if 28 year old Abigail Alvarado’s mother was able to become sober from alcohol and if she is in contact with her now adult daughter and her three grandchildren.

The whole thing is a sham from the start.

On that note, I’m wondering about the now-28 year old adopted daughter’s real birth certificate. Her name appears to not have been changed upon adoption. This is unusual. Was her birth certificate confiscated and revoked, sealed, and then replaced to name her adopters as if they actually conceived and birthed her? This is what happens, by law, in adoption. Did the adopters allow her to keep her own name while the State carried out the law to replace her birth certificate with a false one? That is what happens in adoption. The new, amended – falsified – birth certificate is proof that these court-appointed guardians are assigned as legal parents. But you wouldn’t know they were legally signed because the falsified birth certificate names them as parents by birth.

What does this lie do to the minds of people who adopt – especially ones with already twisted minds? These lies on a false-fact amended birth certificate perpetuates the belief that someone else’s daughter magically became their own child. The adopted niece not only has a false identity as the biological daughter of her adopters, this was an in-family adoption, so this means that her three children also have false identities as well. This is  because their mother’s identity was officially falsified. If she were allowed to keep her full original name (and that seems to be the case), her parents’ names are falsified on the amended birth certificate issued after adoption. Therefore, the father of the children is factually Eusebio Castillo, but legally he is their grandfather. And, depending on who is the blood relative (Laura or Eusebio, the aunt or uncle by blood, one of the pair is the biological aunt or biological uncle of the adopted daughter/niece. This makes one of them the biological great aunt and uncle of the three young children.

If you are having trouble following this, so am I. If I somehow have managed to incorrectly map-out the relationships, will someone from my readership correct me?

I think you can see my point. Adoption distorted this family’s perception as to who is who in their rightful place on the family tree. A therapist will need to help them diagram this out on paper.

Problems started in this extended family long before this adoption and before its twisted forced rape and surrogacy occurred. Treatment for alcoholism in the 28 year old’s mother, temporary separation of mother and child may or may not have been warranted (not enough information here), but certainly, family reunification should have been the first priority.

The second priority should have been to prevent compounding the problem by allowing this adoption.

Then, if legal custodial guardianship was, in fact, needed, then safeguards should have been put into place to protect the now-28 year old niece from further harm. Did anyone conduct a home study on these two adopters before finalizing this adoption?

There is no remedy here. Prison time will only remedy the crimes. The victims will be addressing these issues imposed upon them for the rest of their lives.

The situation provides more evidence that Adoption Must Be Prevented.

Father’s Day Remembrance of 2 Fathers and an ignorant, arrogant ass of an adoptive cousin

My adoptive father died in Roswell Park Cancer Hospital in 1982. At age 67. At that point, I was in a reunion with my natural father, 4 older siblings, 2 step brothers, 2 step sisters, a younger half brother, lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. The reunion began in 1974, when I was 18 and still in high school. By the time Dad died, we had 8 years of reunion behind us. Unlike most of his family, Dad was not only apologetic for lying to me, but he readily accepted my natural family back into my life. He spoke with my natural father with joy in his eyes and voice and a smile on his face. My two fathers had mutual respect for one another.

I had been worn thin, not much time to devote to all of those people, plus, resolving my internal identity struggles, plus coping with anger and rage I felt at the entire adoption system, not to mention the constant bickering I faced from relatives and strangers who didn’t approve of my reunion or my activism. I barely scratched the surface to develop relationships with the key people in my life and reshape relationships with my adoptive parents. I was just a kid myself. I had no guidance, no real support systems to carry me through the adoption stress. I sent away for ALMA (Adoptees Liberty Movement Association) newsletters, joined a local adoption support group in 1976, attended my first adoption conference in 1980, and began writing about adoption in 1975 in newspapers.

When my adoptive father died of brain cancer in 1982, I lost my Daddy. I was raised an only child. I wasn’t living at home when he died, so Mom drove by herself to the funeral home. I drove myself there on the day we buried him.

As I stepped out of my car in the funeral home’s parking lot, I was dry-heaving, choking at saying goodbye to Daddy.

One of my adoptive cousins, DA, waddled her fat body up to me and snorted, “You OPENLY declare you have two fathers, therefore, you must not love this father. Your other cousins and I don’t want you here.”

I don’t recall if I said anything to her. All I remember is feeling shocked that this fat thing I shared a childhood with could be so cruel to me. And,who were those other cousins who hated me so much? They never identified themselves.

I sat next to my adoptive mother, feeling unwanted.

My natural father stayed away as he held in his own grief; funerals were tough for him. He buried his wife of 10 years, my mother, three months after she gave birth to me in 1956. He died in 2011. Three months later, my adoptive mother died.

And, for the record – my natural father IS/WAS my father, and my adoptive father IS/WAS my father, too. Just because certain people can’t understand my reality, does not give them power over me. Go to hell DA!

My hope for all adoptees is that you can feel love for two mothers and for two fathers, and step parents, too, if you have them. Don’t listen to the cruel remarks of ignorant souls who don’t know your feelings, your life, or your truths.

My Response to Marci Auld Glass’s “Adopting a Child Mirrors God’s Adoption of Us All”

Dear Marci Auld Glass,

As promised, since you have deleted my posts that point to your faulty logic in your article published at The Presbyterian Outlook, I have turned my deleted posts into a blog post for all the world to see.

As usual, religious people boast their beliefs without backing up their statements. It is highly irresponsible of you to continue blathering on. It is my intent to show you, and others like you, how utterly ridiculous your beliefs truly are.

There is so much wrong here, in your essay, that I do not know where to begin.

Skipping through most of your religious gibberish, which is meaningless because it is all made-up nonsense, I will caution you to set aside religion to see the very real history of some of the words of adoption.

You said:

“Most people likely hear “gave him up” in reference to salvation. There is also a resonance with adoption. “Giving up” is adoption language. Children are given up for adoption. Adoption is not unrelated to God and God’s saving work in the world through the person of Jesus.”

Correction:

Most people who believe in the same religion as you do will see this in reference to salvation, and bla, bla, bla.

Again, put religion aside to pay attention to reality.

The history of adoption in America is plainly rooted in slavery. Slaves were PUT UP on the auction block. In the mid-1800s, when slavery ended, adoption began in America. Homeless children were swept out of New York City (at the beginning of my profession of Social Work – a sad, disgusting start) and put on Orphan Trains. These trains stopped in major cities heading West to farmland where the children were PUT UP FOR ADOPTION by being raised up on stages, platforms, auction blocks so that prospective adopters (purchasers) could better see the children and pick through them for the desired child of their liking. Adoption back then meant that the child was a helping hand, an indentured servant, not considered family, and some worked instead of going to school. Some were treated fairly well. Most weren’t.

This is history. Look it up.

My adoptive mother was born in 1916. Her mother died in 1918 of the Spanish Flu. My two year old future adoptive mother, along with her brothers, went to live in an orphanage. They stood on stages and platforms and sang for prospective adoptive parents who stared at the children. My mother was never adopted, and neither were her brothers, because their father paid for their room and board while he worked. The orphanage was torn down in the mid-1970s and the last residents were sent to foster care.

As for your comparing modern adoption to your religious beliefs, please don’t. This is going down a slippery slope. You are placing meaning where it doesn’t belong. Again, pay attention to reality.

So you see yourself (as an adoptee) as the solution to your mother’s unplanned pregnancy? Do you not see how hurtful (to your mother) that is? Your mother had to go through her pain in order for you to be adopted. It’s your god’s plan.

I see you begin to address your pain:

“The wound of my rejection exists alongside the gift of my adoption, and with my gratitude for my birth mother’s gift of releasing me to live my life. The many blessings in my life do not erase my wound.”

But you hide behind your religion without actually dealing with anything. You sing the praises of your god, say you are grateful for being a gift, but there is no substance to your words.

If I were to follow your logic, I should be grateful that: God knit me in my mother’s womb so she could die and leave behind 5 children – me being 3 months at the time – so that my adopters could adopt me, ending their 18-year dry spell of childlessness? Praise the Lord!

FUCK THAT SHIT!

My adopters continued to be childless – adopting me didn’t cure their infertility.

I lost my entire family because of adoption. I lost my name, my birth certificate, in order to gain a new name, a new birth certificate, and a new family.

According to your beliefs, those losses – and the converse (my father lost his newborn, my siblings lost their baby sister) – is perfectly okay because it was your god’s will.

Let me back up. My parents – NOT BIRTHPARENTS – were married for 10 years and had four children. Our mother was pregnant with me, her 5th child, when she became ill with cancer. She was x-rayed and the tumor was a big as me. I was born two weeks later at 32 weeks gestation. A preemie. My mother died three months later. That was in 1956.

Your loving god told a priest to tell my father to give me up for adoption. Instead of being helpful, like enlisting Catholic Charities to come over to help my father to take care of his children, maybe give some diapers and clothes, maybe arrange babysitters and people to prepare food, at least for a year or so until a more stable arrangement could have been made. But no. Stupid Catholic priest told my father to give me away.

I am not mad at my father. I detest the priest.

And then, a woman came up to my father to say, “I know someone who will take your baby.”

Both of these conversations took place at my mother’s funeral – in front of her corpse.

Yes, this woman arranged for her brother to adopt me. Right in front of my dead mother’s body.

I was raised an only child. Eighteen years of naïve love for the parents who loved me dearly. But their love was conditional. I was theirs, as long as I didn’t know the truth, but they knew the truth and did not tell me. They betrayed my trust.

I was found at age 18 while still in high school by my older siblings. My full blood siblings.

Don’t think we had a lovely reunion. It’s not about a happy, or sad, or traumatic, reunion. It’s not about Jesus placing me in this family to be found later (according to you). It’s about the injustices I suffered, the injustices my siblings suffered, and the pain our father felt. It’s about being needlessly, and permanently, separated from my own family.

You said:

“Ultimately, the wound of rejection is a wound for which I am grateful. My adoption has been a blessing. I’ve always experienced my birth mother’s decision to place me for adoption as an act of love, a recognition that in the difficult situation in which she found herself, this was the best she could do for me. I feel like she released me to live the life I was meant to live. I am so grateful to have been adopted, and the wound that comes with it is one I gratefully bear for the gift of my life, the gift of joining my family.”

How do you know for sure your mother chose to give you away? That she rejected you? Maybe you were stolen from her at birth? Ripped from her body with force?

This being grateful for your perceived rejection borders on mental illness. You want to be a glutton for punishment?

And you are grateful that you gave away your own child to adoption? Geesh, lady, get yourself to an adoption conference to be de-programed. Look up American Adoption Congress for starters.

You said:

“…illegitimate” is not a word to describe a human life…”

Well now. Are you aware that it was the Victorian thought process that resulted in the adoption and birth certificate laws we have today? Yes, illegitimate bastards were considered to be scum of the earth back in Victorian days. Religious zealots had to dispose of the slutty mothers and find a way to humanize the bastards so the invention of modern adoption began in the 1920s. Slutty mothers could be discarded, fathers not held accountable, and the bastards would be reborn to a mother who was married – the bastard child had a legal father through adoption! The child’s actual medical record of live birth – the birth certificate – was rescinded, annulled, canceled and then sealed, and then replaced by an amended birth certificate with the names of the adoptive parents as if they gave birth to the renamed child.

Does any of this sound logical to you? Is this truthful? Do you enjoy living lies? Does your religion condone this? Isn’t lying a sin?

As for the definition of REAL PARENTS is concerned, I suggest you study biology. DNA proves who your parents are. If that were not true, then millions of people wouldn’t be spitting into cups and sending their DNA off to labs to get back their genetic family trees.

As for being raised by loving parents. Well, they were assigned as parents, you loved them as such, as I did mine, but the truth is, there is a split when someone is adopted. Nature vs. nurture. The social parents do all the social and psychological parenting, and that is where the confusion sets in. Foster parents and custodial guardians can do the same thing – love a child and provide a stable home – without forcing identity theft on a child and without forcing permanent cut-off from family. With foster parents and legal custodial guardians, the care givers know they do not replace the biological parents. In adoption, it is expected that all who live this lie play the game of delusional denial of the facts.

I speak here as a social worker and a mental health worker. Adoption sets people up to believe in false facts. When people believe in false facts, they are delusional, not grounded in reality. When people are not grounded in reality, they are mentally ill.

Get your head out of religion and into reality. For your own good.

Oh wait, you said:

“A few years ago, I got my birth certificate and started meeting my birth family. It’s astonishing, really, to consider. Members of my birth family answered a phone call from a total stranger – -me – and from that call, managed to expand their definition of who was included as a part of their family. …”

It’s as simple as that? Really?

How did you get your Original Birth Certificate? Was it god’s will? It just magically appeared, or you had to go through some legal channels? Join a search group?

You gloss over your reasoning for getting your OBC and searching for your natural blood kin.

Why is it important for you to have your OBC, to search for and reunite with, your natural mother and extended blood kin when it was your god’s will that you were given up and adopted? I thought you were grateful to be adopted? If so, then you have no reason to want to own your OBC, to reunite with your mother, because the one answer in your religion is, as the title of your article states, “Adopting a child mirrors god’s adoption of us all”.

If adoption is so wonderful, and you are grateful to be relinquished and adopted, and happy to have given away your own infant conceived out of marriage, then why on earth did you want your Original Birth Certificate and to be reunited with your mother?

Seems very hypocritical to me.

Your essay glosses over the agony of adoption, and the real hard work that goes into the lives of activists like me who pave the way for other adoptees, like you and your son, to be free.

That should have a mention in your essay, but the glory goes to your god who saved you and your son via adoption.

You have done a great disservice and injustice to adoptees and our natural parents by focusing on your god and not reality.

Adoptee Activists Revolt Against Adoption in USA and Globally

The following article was published online at Huffington Post on October 29, 2017. Written by Angela Barra co-authored by Dr Hannele Nupponen, Why #Adoptee Activists Are Reclaiming National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM 2017) #AdopteeRightsAwareness!” states that “Adoptee issues and rights are often ignoredaddresses the points lost by most people.

It’s true. Society clings onto the praise and glorification of adopters who are seen as “saving children” from poverty, crime, or abusive parents. At the same time, society ignores the rights of the very children who are adopted. These children grow into adults who have no recourse to gain back their lost human and civil rights.

The article reads, in part:

“It’s that time of year again, National Adoption Awareness Month, where you will hear emotive catch cries via glossy marketing campaigns in the mainstream media by lobbyists. You will see celebrities spruiking the word permanency which appears to be the new euphemism for adoption. You will hear dire accounts of children being shifted around foster care and how permanency (including adoption), will be the panacea.

Further, and inexplicably, what you may not hear throughout this month is the voice of adult adoptee activists who speak about a range of issues including but not limited to:

  1. How adoptee issues and rights are ignored. What are these? According to the Australian Adoptee Rights Action Group (note that some American Activists are also members) these rights include:”

Follow this link to read the full article.

Private Message from Jennifer Marsh about Jeremy and Jenny Advertising to Adopt in Yard Sales and Trades

Tucked inside my Private Messages on Facebook was a comment left on May 1, 2017 by Jennifer Marsh, a woman who was upset over my blog post about wanna-be-adopters, Jeremy and Jenny. Too bad I didn’t see this sooner as I would have published Jennifer’s comment back when she messaged me. Jennifer felt compelled to find my Facebook profile so she could write to me in a private message (we aren’t connected on Facebook, so she had to leave the message in my “Message Request” folder). However, Jennifer lacked personal conviction to comment on the blog post itself. So I will publish her comment here. Her words are in quotes; my responses are written after her words.

 

May 1st, 11:08pm

“Hey Doris, I understand you have had a bad experience regarding your adoption,”

No, Jennifer, you don’t understand my life at all. “A bad experience” implies only one such experience, yet, my life, just as yours, has been full of many experiences, happy and sad, easy and hard, traumatic and terrifying, wondrous and loving, and many ordinary experiences of daily life.

Are you referring to my reunion as a bad experience? My reunion has had many upsetting events, but also many positive experiences as well, including ones that are occurring right now and will be in the future. I’m still in reunion, still experiencing adoption, with a variety of relatives and friends. These experiences range from positive, negative and neutral. Just as your life experiences are to you.

First and foremost, if you read my original blog post at all, you would have read that my mother died when I was an infant. That is a tragedy, for me, for my four older siblings, for our father, and for my mother’s siblings and their spouses and their children. You did not acknowledge my mother’s death as a profound loss for me and my family. Instead, you lumped all of my life experiences into one big category: “I understand you have had a bad experience regarding your adoption.”

My mother’s death was, and still is, a major loss affecting me even now, 61 years later. Her death was not “a bad experience” equal to that of an argument, a bad day at work, or missing the bus.

Adoption itself is a traumatic event that permanently separates a baby (or older child) from her family, replacing family with strangers. Adoption changes the child’s identity, revoking and sealing her true birth certificate with a legally false one. Adoption is an irrevocable contract made over a minor child who has no say in the matter.

My life experiences of being found by siblings I never knew I had, facing cruel mistreatment by extended adopted family and natural family because of their misinterpretations of adoption and what they believe I should and should not do, led me to join thousands of adoptees and mothers of adoption loss in the adoptee rights movement. Adoptees and parents of adoption loss are leaders in educating the general public and trying to prevent yet another unnecessary permanent separation.

You, Jennifer, need to re-read my blog post to see the impact of adoption on the world’s adoptees, and the world’s mothers and fathers. We all have had “bad experiences” due to adoption. Our lives have been ruined because of adoption. That is why we work to end adoption as we know it.

If adoption is so wonderful, Jennifer, why don’t you give up your children for a stranger to adopt? Oh wait; you adopted “your” children. So what, that doesn’t’ matter. They need to be re-homed so someone else can raise them. You don’t need these children. Come on; give them up so that another waiting couple could raise them better than you can. And these kids don’t need your name as mother on their birth certificate. Re-home them so that another mother can be named on a new birth certificate. Who cares about facts when you have your lord and savior, money, and love.

 

“however this blog post is very harmful and threatening.”

My original blog post about Jeremy and Jenny Advertising to Adopt is harmful only because you claim it is. It is not threatening at all. It is, however, an educational tool for fools who will see it as harmful and threatening.

To those of us within the adoption reform movement (also known as the adoptee rights movement), see my blog post as a necessity that counteracts the stupidity, vulgarity, and ignorance of the two people who advertised in “Tri-Cities, TN, Yard Sales, Trades & Wanted” looking for someone’s baby to adopt.

 

“You are completely unaware and of the situation of these people, what they have gone through or what they will go through.”

Yeah? Really? From what they post on their websites

http://www.meetjeremyandjenny.com/

and

https://www.facebook.com/JeremyandJenny/

and online in this news article

http://wlos.com/news/local/state-forest-ranger-and-wife-set-up-easter-egg-hunts-to-raise-money-for-adoption?fref=gc&dti=10484382277

Jeremy and Jenny Graves do not seem to be suffering much at all. They have everything; the only thing missing is their dream child. (Look closely – Jeremy and Jenny are so desperate to adopt someone else’s child that published their own full names and address and phone number online, as well as publicize the adoption agency. But you, Jennifer, claim that I caused them harm by writing my blog post to educate them?

Jeremy and Jenny, and others like them, need to accept reality: they are infertile. Grabbing up someone else’s child will not cure them of their infertility.

“Not everyone has had a bad adoption experience. I can point you in the direction of many who have beautiful stories as well as sad ones.”

Yes, oh yes, I’ve heard these wonderfully happy adoption stories. For every adoptee who is blissfully happy, I can point to an adoptee who is living in denial, who buys into the legal lie, who is detached from acknowledging the truth  – that the unknown is a part of them, whether they admit it or not.

Keep in mind, for each and every adoption – including open adoption – there is a mother and a father who are legally stripped of their parentage as if they never gave birth nor sired their child. Their names are stricken off of their child’s medical record of live birth – the long form birth certificate verifying that the birth of their child took place. Removing the validity of this document and replacing it with a false-fact birth certificate is not something to be celebrated.

 

“It is not your place to judge someone else when you don’t know the whole situation.”

Judge Jeremy and Jenny? My dear Jennifer, I wrote my blog post based upon their own words and actions – advertising to adopt someone else’s baby in a classified ad for “Yard Sales, Trades & Wanted” and on their own website and Facebook page and online in a news article.

These people, and others like them, including you, are trolling the Internet, looking for pregnant girls and women for the sole purpose of taking their baby from them to fulfill their own selfish need of parenting someone else’s baby, and/or additional children. There is nothing holy, or kind, or humane about Jeremy and Jenny’s actions. They want to remove a baby from her or his mother for their own benefit.

Does Jesus condone this?

I don’t know, I’m asking you. And, I’m asking Jeremy and Jenny. And I’m asking all other wanna-be adopters. How do you justify begging for a pregnant girl or woman to give up her baby so that you can reap the benefits of parenting her child?

As an atheist, I’m repulsed by religious people claiming that Jesus calls them to adopt.

 

“Nor is it appropriate to assume that anyone who can get pregnant should raise their own child.”

Oh, there you go, telling me, a social worker, that there are women who shouldn’t raise their own children. I know perfectly well that there are women and men who are unfit to parent the children they gave birth to and sired. That does not change the fact that they are parents deserving of respect and caring. They are the parents.

Family Preservation and Adoption Prevention should be the first priority. All steps should be taken to help a family overcome poverty, and the other situations you imply: drug addiction, crime, etc.

Jennifer, you speak of stereotypes; and yet, Jeremy and Jenny’s website and Facebook page clearly do not mention unfit parents whose children are in danger. Jeremy and Jenny are looking for a pregnant girl or woman so that they can convince her to give up her newborn to them to adopt.

Infant adoption is child snatching. So is adopting an older from foster care.

In every single situation, adoption is not necessary. Legal guardianship can provide for a loving home to a child in need of care without destroying family in the process and without destroying the child’s identity.

And let’s face it, a newborn needs the mother she was born to, and suffers when removed from her mother.  But you, Jennifer, and Jeremy and Jenny, do not comprehend simple biology, psychology and human development.

 

“There are such things as open adoptions, ones where adoptive and biological mom’s parent together.”

Oh please, I know more about open adoptions than you do. Open adoption does not solve anything. In fact, open adoption results in: the child’s birth certificate revoked and sealed by the state government and a replacement birth certificate issued naming the adoptive parents as parents of birth. The child’s natural parents are relegated to legal strangers. No open adoption is legally enforceable. Adoptive parents can, and do, close the adoption and prevent any contact between child and their natural parents.

 

“My own family is like this.”

If you are satisfied in lying to yourself and to your adopted children, then I feel sorry for you. You can love a child without demanding that the child loses everything – family, name, birth certificate. But you want adoption to erase the truth. You want to live in your delusions.

 

“My kids biological mother is welcome in our home and is considered a part of the family.”

How very kind of you! But she must go home when it is time for her to leave. You are definitely in control of her child. Nice. How do you think she really feels? What about the father? Is he welcome, too?

I know all about advertising to adopt, not only by talking with mothers who have lost their children to open adoption, but my own research. I sat in on a workshop held by a lawyer here in Buffalo, New York who instructed couples how to put an 800-number phone in their home (this was in the early 90s when there were no cell phones). She said, “Don’t talk about the father, he’s not important anyway.”

Yeah? The father is not important to wanna-be-adopters, but the father is the child’s father. Like it or not, facts are facts.

Adoption – even open adoption – is nothing more that child trafficking. Adoption is a multi-billion dollar industry that lines the pockets of baby brokers by providing the product – a baby – to be bought and sold.

 

“What has this done for my kids, well they have more people who love them! They are spoiled with attention, love, and affection.”

Well, if it is only love you are concerned about, have at it! The more the merrier! Just wait until your little adoptlings grow up. They will ask questions. They will not feel loved when they develop their own brains. They will see the charade you invented for them. They will question the meaning of a false birth certificate and false family created by your greed and they will resent you.

 

“We do not keep secrets.”

Haa haa haaa! What do you think adoption is? Adoption is based upon lies – lots of them! Trickery to obtain the child, false identity for the adoptee, false hope and confusion instilled as the child grows up, and much, much more. Everyone believing in the falsehoods continues the game.

 

adoption schizophrenia - by Origins Inc

 

“I am sorry you had a bad experience but not everyone has had or will have the same bad experience.”

Jennifer Marsh, you are not sorry for anything. You left a Private Message in my Facebook Message Box. You didn’t even have the courage to stand up and claim your own message in the public comment section, so I made it public for you.

Yes, every adoptee has totally different life experiences than I have had. And all of us have come together to form organizations around the world to stand up against this glorification of adoption.

 

“Please consider removing this blog post, you have done so much damage to two people you do not know, and who do not deserve it.”

No, I will not remove my blog post. I have not done any damage.

Yes, Jeremy and Jenny do deserve to be told that advertising to adopt someone else’s child is morally and ethically wrong. They deserve to be told the negative consequences of adoption on the infant who is removed from mother for no other reason but the selfish motives of the adopters, and the negative consequences of adoption on the mother who then becomes a “birthmother” who is not her child’s legal mother. Let’s not leave out the fathers who may or may not be told that their infant has been given up for adoption.

If I can save just one infant from being adopted, if I can save one mother from falling victim to rich white people coveting her unborn baby, that is a good outcome.

And you, Jennifer, left a link in that Private Message to me to a YouTube video about a young mother who surrendered her son to adoption?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBraT8F4mQ0&feature=youtu.be

As if I need to be persuaded to your point of view?

Honey, I’ve been involved in the adoption reform movement since 1974. I see the light of hypocrisy and of religion used to justify “the will of god”. In reality, your religion is used as a weapon to guilt mothers into believing that surrendering to their god means surrendering their child to adoption.

As an adoptee who was given away, and from what other adoptees feel, I can tell you that there is nothing that can erase those feelings of not being wanted by your parents.

Yes, my father did want me, but a stupid Catholic priest convinced him, at my mother’s funeral, that giving me away was the best choice he could do.

No, the best course of action would have been for the Catholic Church, for Catholic Charities, to find a way to help my father through the rough times so that he could have kept his newborn after his wife died.

Go crawl back into your hole, Jennifer Marsh. If you feel the need to comment, do not hunt me down on Facebook to leave a cowardly comment. Stand up and be public in your convictions.

Daniel, Ibn Bahija.

https://danielibnzayd.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/daniel-ibn-bahija/

“To those who arrogantly propose the “win-win” of adoption, I ask you now: Do you feel no duty, no compulsion, to take on this, the grief of a mother for the child she hardly knew? Now compounded by that of her son, grieving the one he never met? I will visit her grave on Friday, inch’allah, and I will place this crime on your shoulders as I place flowers at her resting place. Will you, at long last, include us in your horrid calculus of valid humanity? Do you imagine, after all this, I will continue to suffer gladly your sidewise glances, your sneers, your judgments, your backstabbings, your underminings, your euthanizing musings? “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers”: a succinct condemnation of your arrogance and disdain.”

 

 

Source: Daniel, Ibn Bahija.

The First Two Christmases of My Life

Today, two days after Christmas 60 years ago, my pregnant mother was taken by bus (my parents did not own a car) to the hospital. She was so sick that she was admitted. Tests were done and, though the doctors knew she was pregnant, they x-rayed her abdomen (so I received a full body dose of x-ray radiation). There, next to me, was a massive tumor. Mom gave birth to me on January 7, 1956, two months prematurely. Mom died on March 28, 1956.

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The following year, just a few weeks before Christmas 1956 and just before my adoption became final, the husband and wife who had custody of me since that April (and who would become my adoptive “parents”) felt sorry for my father and for my four older siblings. “We bought a Christmas tree and presents and drove them over to your father’s house when the kids were asleep, so they would not see us. We wanted them to have a Christmas,” my 89 year old adoptive mother said to me in 2005.

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When I heard this story for the first time in my life, I was seething with rage. While my adoptive “parents” thought they were being kind by giving these charity gifts to a family who was “less fortunate,” what they actually did was give gifts to ease the pain of taking away the baby to keep for their very own.

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Yes, my father relinquished me to adoption, but no one ever offered him help. No one ever thought that the baby might miss her family, or that the siblings might miss their baby sister. Just give the baby a new home and new name and be done with it. What counted most was to provide me with two parents, a new home, and a new life. And to provide a child for a childless married couple who desperately wanted a baby.

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I lived a sheltered life as an only child.

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To say that I felt betrayed when the truth was revealed, is an understatement.

Joan Mary Wheeler

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

 

Announcing the Kindle World Release of FORBIDDEN FAMILY: My Life as an Adoptee Duped By Adoption

I am thrilled to announce the Kindle edition world release of my memoir, Forbidden Family: My Life as an Adoptee Duped by Adoption on Saturday July 18, 2015.

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Raised as an only child of my adoptive parents, when I turned 18 in 1974, I was found by full-blood siblings I was never supposed to know. Less than a year later, I joined Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association and began researching and writing about adoption. All the while, my adoptive family and natural family opposed my activism.

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Please join me in my journey by picking up your copy of Forbidden Family: My Life as an Adoptee Duped by Adoption today at one of the Kindle online stores listed below.

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Thank you,

Joan Mary Wheeler
Born as
Doris Michol Sippel

“The death of my married mother when I was an infant led to my closed adoption. Eighteen years later, I was found by family I was never supposed to know.”

2015-4-24 Kindle Book Cover.

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

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Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

The Netherlands: http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Brazil: http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Mexico: http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Spain: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

France: http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Germany: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Italy: http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

India: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Japan: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20