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.

.
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.

.
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.

.
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.

.

I lived a sheltered life as an only child.

.

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

 

Bless My Homeland Forever

This song,  Edelweiss, has many meanings for me. First, it is a bittersweet memory from my childhood. My adoptive parents frequently took me to local theater performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical plays. This song is from The Sound of Music. As a child, yes, this song made me sad.

But now, decades later, I am struck with sentimental feelings of longing to go back into time, a time when I loved my parents with the innocence of the child I was, long before I knew the level of betrayal that my adoptive parents – and most of my adoptive family – inflicted upon me. They knew the truth of my origins and willfully kept it all a secret.

I am also feeling nostalgic for the Homeland (one of many) of my German-Swiss ancestors, places I have never seen, and may never get the chance to see. I am homesick to know where my blood feels at home.

And finally, I want to send this song out to my many adopted friends who were taken from their homelands and brought here to America. I have grown up: Edelweiss now is a symbol of oppression of adopted people.

‪#‎NationalAdoptionMonth2015‬ ‪#‎NationalAbductionMonth2015‬ ‪#‎FlipTheScript‬ ‪#‎Adoption‬

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.

.
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.

.
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.

.

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

.
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

Link to Blog Post on Adoptive-Parent-Wanna-bees on Crowd Funding

 

Do I even have to say I think it would be a better use of money to “crowdfund” a woman’s keeping her baby? I hope I don’t.

Here’s yet another article that might as well have been written with the sole purpose of showing how little adoption is about the best interests of the child and how much it is about the desires of adults.

http://snarkurchin.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/crowdfunding/

 

Another Dead Mother as Proof that Adoption is God’s Will and Destiny

This post is written as a response to an article in The New York Times in which the writer addresses adoptive parents who think adoption is God’s Will, part of God’s Plan, and their adoptee came to them by destiny and that “it was meant to be”.

After reading the article and a few comments, I dug out a photo, and wanted to write, but left the house for other obligations.

Turns out, while I was away, kostvollmersblog on Land Of Gazillion Adoptees, wrote his own blog post, Dear People Who Believe Placing Children For Adoption and Adopting Children Into Your Families is Destiny and part of God’s Plan. He posted a photo of his mother’s grave.

He had the same idea as I did.

And so, I have been moved to write my own answer to those adoptive parents who believe that adoption is God’s Will and destiny.

Yes, it is God’s will that my mother died, too.

This is my mother:

Mother's Grave, taken 1974-9-1

It was God’s will and His Plan for my widowed father that he relinquish me, his fifth child, born in January of 1956, to be raised the only child of my adoptive parents. Yes, it is destiny that my mother was dying while pregnant with me and her only purpose was to stay alive long enough for me to be born. But she lingered for three more months.

I was two months premature, almost died at birth and was placed in an incubator for two months. Then, I was taken to my dying mother’s bedside where my godparents, a priest, and my mother witnessed the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. I was Baptized under my legal and religious name, recognized by Jesus Christ himself, while my father was at home with his four older children. Three weeks later, his wife, and our mother, died.

The priest said to our father, “The baby needs two parents.”  At the funeral parlor, a woman came up to my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” So, my father, being the obedient Catholic that he was, took the priest’s words to heart. A woman who knew his deceased wife came to pay her respects. It must surely be God’s will, it must surely be destiny, that this woman appeared to my father at the exact moment that his newborn daughter needed a new family because, after all, the priest said that the baby needed two parents. And so it came to pass that my father handed me over to my pre-adoptive parents nearly one month after my mother’s death.

Praise the Lord, Alleluia!

My adoption became final one year and one week after my birth. Within the following three months, the government confiscated my birth certificate and placed it under seal, never to be opened, forever. Paperwork was sent 400 miles away from Surrogate’s Court in the city of my birth to the State Capital where all birth certificates created for NYS adoptees are made and filed. One year and three months after I was born, the Registrar of Vital Statistics set forth a new birth certificate in my  new adoptive name, naming my new parents as my parents by birth, naming my hospital of birth, the time of my birth, and stating that I was a “single” birth and not a twin or a triplet. The Registrar then signed his name and affixed the raised State seal to this new birth certificate certifying that the facts stated were true. He lied. He knowingly created a false government document. He committed fraud and perjury as lying under oath is a crime. But, it was God’s will. It was destiny. He just had to do it since it was God’s Plan.

Three and a half years later, when my adoptive parents wanted a new baptismal certificate for me in the name they had given me, they asked their lawyer to do something. He did. He requested that the parish that performed my baptism in 1956 issue a new, amended, baptismal certificate in my adoptive name so that I could go to Catholic Schools and receive the rest of the Catholic sacraments. The parish pastor created a new baptismal certificate that stated that I, in my legal adopted name, was baptized on the date of my actual baptism in 1956, he named my adoptive parents, named my godparents who were my deceased mother’s brother and his wife, and then issued the new baptismal certificate in May of 1959. This Pastor knowingly issued a falsified baptismal certificate, yet he, being a representative of God, committed a sin by signing his name in witness and testimony that all the information was true as taken from Official Records of that parish church.

Yes, it is all God’s will. It is all destiny. Praise the Lord! I am Saved!

No, it is manipulation, magical thinking, and delusion. My mother’s cancer was not a gift. My father’s grief was not God’s Plan. My living a life devoid of my four older siblings, and they of me, was not destiny. The Lord did not save me.

The woman who told my father she knew of “someone who will take your baby” was the sister of the man who became my adoptive father.

The priest who said that the baby needed two parents was not concerned that the other four children needed two parents, too, he was only thinking that the newborn needed more immediate care. The immediate care could have been found by some charitable ladies coming into our home while our father was at work so that his family could have been kept together.

The only ones to have benefited out of this arrangement were my adoptive parents, Surrogate Court, the Registrar, and the lawyers.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I was raised a spoiled brat, got everything I ever wanted, lived in a house in the suburbs, went to private schools, had a bedroom all to myself, and my Mom made me dresses. Got “everything I ever wanted”? Except for my siblings and my father, except for my name at birth and baptism, except for peace of mind.

Because of this, I left the Church many, many years ago.

Now, all of my parents are dead. I spent part of the day visiting their graves, all of them, because of this magical thinking.

As for the government…

Season of Sadness

With the recent passing of my adoptive mother and my natural father now four of my five parents are dead. Only my step mother survives.

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the death of my natural mother.

So I sadly mark their memories:

Genevieve Herr Sippel (natural mother) died March 28, 1956 at age 30.

Edward Wheeler (adoptive father) died February 15, 1982 at age 67.

Leonard Sippel (natural father) died January 11, 2011 at age 86.

Doloris Cannell Wheeler (adoptive mother) died March 12, 2011 at age 95.

The pain of loss is real. All four parents are real. All adoptees have two sets of real parents.

Rest in Peace, Mom

My adoptive mother, Doloris T. Wheeler, passed away early in the morning of March 12, 2011 after a long battle with leukemia.

I love you, Mom.

 

To My Mother

by H. Phelps Clawson, 1923

 

Death! Is there some wild terror in your name

That causes mortal men to tremble so?

Your scythe spares neither poverty nor fame,

Nor saint nor sinner, yes, they all must go.

And I, who stood beside my Mother’s bier,

 Felt you cold fingers clutching at my heart,

Trying to force a cry, some sign of fear,

 To show I’d play for you the common part.

 But Death! You are a fool; you could not see

 With your dull eyes that it was I who won,

That from above she had sent down to me

A wondrous Mother-message to her son;

A glorious light of peace, eternal rest,

And happiness that she had never known.

I saw her smile, and to my tortured breast

Came the great knowledge—I was not alone

But nearer her dear self than I had been,

And she was more my Mother than before.

Oh! All the mighty vision I have seen

Since she flung wide that sacred golden door,

And showed to me the fullness of her love,

A staff to guide my footsteps through the night,

And though she’s with the brilliant stars above

She’s nearer me to help me towards the right.

Again, a little child close by her side

I seem to walk and look into her face,

For she is still and ever was my guide,

And I with manhood’s wisdom now can trace

Each act of Mother-love, and all she gave

To me to carry onward through the years—

A courage that makes beautiful her grave,

And robs our earthly parting of its fears.

 

 

 

 

Truth in Adoption: How I Petitioned for My Adoption Files

I was reunited with my natural family in 1974. By 1981, I had petitioned Surrogate’s Court for my Final Order of Adoption, even though I already had a copy (see yesterday’s post).

In 1985, I petitioned Surrogate’s Court of Erie County, New York for all of my sealed adoption files. I wanted every piece of paper they had on my adoption: the signed relinquishment papers, petition to adopt, and any other paperwork. I wanted permission to seek my birth certificate, too, but was told that petitioning for the birth record was a separate process.

Being politically correct for the time period, I used the terms “birthparents” and “birth mother” and “birth father”. Today, I would use the terms “natural parents” and “natural mother” and “natural father” because those words accurately describe the relationship. Also, these are legal terms used to designate between the natural parents, foster parents, and adoptive parents of an adoptee, although, as you will see tomorrow, the term used in legal documents to describe my natural father is “father”. That’s because he is my father and was my legal father until after he signed relinquishment papers.

So, I began with the simple petition to the court:

With the help of a law student who gave me specific statements to use and a form to follow, I typed up the following (reproduced here minus specific identifiers and other information not releveant to the general public):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My request for sealed reports and documents from Vital Statistics Office, Catholic Charities of Buffalo, and Millard Fillmore Hospital were denied. With my natural father’s permission, I obtained my medical records and my mother’s medical records from her admittance to the hospital while pregnant with me until her death three months after my birth. Because the records that were released to me from Surrogate’s Court contained most of the information I sought, I did not pursue further petitioning to Catholic Charities. Dialogue between my natural father and I filled in the blanks of where I was from birth until placed in the custody of my pre-adoptive parents, a four month period not covered by documents held by Surrogate’s Court.

Tomorrow I will present the papers I received from Surrogate’s Court.

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, born Doris M Sippel, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.