What I’m Doing This Summer

Nursing homes, hospitals, funerals and memorials, declining health, recovery, inevitable death, fear of the unknown, fear of death, sadness, grief, reconciliation, savor the moments, overwhelming contradictory feelings, and simple joys — these are my summer activities.

This is a time of daily struggle for family and friends. We’re aging. Our parents are dying. Our spouses are dying. Church members are dying.

A phone call tells of an adoptive second cousin’s mother’s death. Reading her death notice tells me of that cousin’s wife’s passing. I did not know. A family gathering after the memorial reveals memories and smiles of cousins not seen in decades. New wonders present themselves. Life’s continuity unfolds.

A phone call from a friend tells of her mother’s hospitalization and dying. The bits of summer sunshine fade as familiar faces dim. Grasping for memories of good times past, we cling to the moments of the present and grapple with the process of death and the aftermath. Still, we plan for the upcoming birthday party of her twin toddler grandchildren.

An email from an adoptive cousin lifts with happiness as he tells of his joys of soon to be married in midlife.

At a church gathering, a mother tells of her son coming home from Afghanistan. We mothers tear up with joy that the one’s son will never see combat again. He returns to his wife and infant son.

My son visits a museum where he sees a new exhibit of a distant blood cousin’s fame as a scientist immortalized. Wonders of adoption reunion pop up unexpectedly. My son calls me excitedly. Coincidentally, that cousin calls out of the blue. His message greets me as I return from a memorial service. I wait till my mood lifts before calling him back.

My daughter and I share daily stresses and concerns.

The occasional gathering of friends for a bit of live music and smiles are small moments of happiness. A walk along the river for a breath of fresh air serves as respite comfort.

Political adoption issues are not on my mind.

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

Email from Lola – An Adoptive Parent Repulsed by This Blog!

Lola writes:

I would be ashamed to post the awful things you have on your blog.  I hope you get flamed constantly!  There are orphans in this world that need homes.  Why don’t you adopt some and stop whining?!  Learn what it’s like from the other side as an adoptive parent!  You make me sick!  You need therapy, not a blog.  Being so anti-adoption may be good for your mind, but it certainly hurts all those kids in foster care.  Don’t they deserve a home away from the abusive people that gave birth to them?  Those kids are taken away FOR A REASON!  Hello! Get a clue!  You may be unthankful for being adopted, but ask a 10 year old in the foster system or in an orphanage if they want a Mom & Dad…ask a kid waiting to come home to the US in Haiti right now where they would rather be!  I think you would be surprised by the answer!

Dear Lola,

Getting flamed is not an issue for me since I am paying for this website and am in constant contact with my webhost tech support.

I lived a life of torture and still am — at the hands of my adoptive family and natural family, too, not all, but enough to cause me considerable pain and anguish. Read my book for full details of the crimes committed against me by my adoptive family and others.

Lola, you are the one who is having an emotional reaction to my life. If you can’t take reading the terrible things done to adoptees (I’m not the only one) you are the one who needs therapy. There are thousands of adoptees and our natural parents who have been organizing since 1955 in America and around the world to expose the disgusting treatment we have received: examples: Adoptive parents who are lawyers have destroyed paperwork on their own adoptee’s birthparents. That’s a crime against that lawyer’s own adopted child! Adoptive parents who treat their adoptees like slaves and sex objects – like the rich couple who imprisoned a girl from a foreign country to do their household chores like Cinderella, and the Russian girl, Masha, was adopted by a pedophile and repeatedly raped and then she was freed and adopted by another woman who gave up on Masha and voided the adoption. So much abuse in adoption.

Lola, criticism from people such as you does not bother me. You only have an opinion of what you read. You do not know me personally and you do not know how this adoption has affected me and my children. They were also abused and mistreated by the relatives who mistreated me. The destruction of adoption lies and discrimination and prejudice scars adoptees and their children for life.

Lola, you can attack me all you want, but remember: in my book, I have published proof that our government has defrauded millions of adoptees by the practice of seizing our birth certificates, sealing them permanently, issuing materially false statements on a new, amended Certificate of Live Birth in the new adoptive name and naming the adoptive parents as parents of birth. This is fraud and perjury. If that happened to you, you might feel a tad bit offended, pissed off, and disgusted.

I was 18 years old when I had the shock of my life, and then my adoptive parents yelled at me, threw pots and pans at me, and acted as if I had done something horrific. No, I was found by siblings that they knew I had and they prevented me from a continued and meaningful relationship with them because my adoptive parents wanted me all to themselves. Any parents who would do that today would be up on child abuse charges. The only reason they got away with that is because my father signed relinquishment papers.

Do not blame my natural father for it, either. He was used, first by the good old Catholic Church and then by a child-stealer who was procuring a baby for her brother. No one helped my father in his grief that he lost his wife to an early death. No one helped my father keep his kids together. And all you, Lola, can think about are the so-called orphans in orphanages.

I have said this before but it needs repeating: Children who need homes can very easily have those homes through legal Guardianship and not adoption. Guardianship provides a legal guardian (a single person or a couple) who provide a safe, loving, and permanent home for children who need a home. If children cannot be raised by their natural parents, this is a far better alternative than total and complete adoption. Even “open” adoption is not a safe alternative due to the sealing of the child’s birth certificate and a replacement, “new” birth certificate in the child’s new adoptive name and adoptive parents named as parents by birth. Adoptive parents cop an attitude of ownership over the child and see the parents of birth as inferior.

With Guardianship, a child’s legal birth name, legal birth certificate, and status as the child of one and only one set of parents is protected. The legal guardian is under legal obligation to act legally and lovingly for the child as a parent would, as foster parents do, and as adoptive parents do, but they do not have the “advantage” of the law sealing the child’s birth certificate, replacing it with a new one with the guardians’ names on it and changing the child’s name and identity for all eternity.

In situations where the safety of the child is concerned, better to remove a child from the danger, but retain the child’s identity and relationships with that parent or parents. Adoption erases the existing problem as to why removal of children seems necessary, but, the adoptee faces lifelong harm from adoption and must face those issues later in life.

Yes, I am completely anti adoption. No adoption under any circumstances. Not even to save the Haitian children from starving to death after the earthquake. Good grief I hear that refrain already…Family Preservation at all costs, even if their parents are dead, there are other relatives who would be lost to them in adoption by foreigners.

I am not ashamed for anything I write. The only people who are flaming me are my own stupid family members who do not want me to write about my life. Foreign governments and Social Service Agencies throughout America and other countries are reading my website: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, to name a few. Why? Because there are active adoption reform movements in those countries who have achieved what America needs: drastic reform in adoption.

I worked in foster care and in homeless shelters where I have seen kids removed from their parents solely due to poverty, not abuse. Even in the cases of abuse, those parents are still parents and those kids were born of those parents. By your way of thinking, Lola, adoption should totally erase the past and give these poor kids a new and better life. Wrong. Kids do not forget what has happened and they must cope with it all. Subjecting kids to the total identity change of adoption and forbidding them any knowledge of or contact with their own blood kin is child abuse. I’ve been at this adoption reform activism and advocacy for very near 36 years. I’ve worked in and around foster care, troubled youth, homeless families, crisis centers and disadvantaged families for my entire adult life. I went to court with an 18 year old that aged-out of the foster care system and went out on his own because he had no family. He bought me a rose from a street vendor because I cared enough to see him through that last year. He faced the reality of his life and was a strong young man. I did the same for an 18 year old young woman. She was all alone at the end of the court proceeding. Both of these kids went through foster care with their parents in what-ever state that left them incapable of taking care of their children, but both of these young adults had their birth identities intact, had their personal histories, had the rough experiences of foster care, but they also had a determination to press forward and do something with their lives. They also were free to establish some type of relationship with their parents, which they said was important for them to figure out. And they both thanked me for being at their sides when they stepped out of that court room to face the world. Adoption would have stripped them of their names, their birth certificates, and their families. Guardianship would have provided a home and loving family while giving them the right to their own birth identities. Guardianship conveys freedom, adoption conveys possession.

Oh yes, and lets all go over to Haiti to adopt all those poor orphans! That will solve these black kids’ problems, right? No it won’t! Being adopted by foreigners of a different race is an inner struggle for Transracial Abductees: go see their website under my Links page and here. They will face prejudice in this lily-white biased country of ours who hates Obama for being a “light-skinned black man”. You prospective adoptive parents who think it is the loving thing to do to go to Haiti and adopt their children — do you know what emotional damage that will do to these children who have lived through the trauma of an earthquake? They have seen their parents and other relatives die and you want to put a band aid on that by taking them away from that devastation? Do you not see that taking care of them in their own country is the best solution? I suggest you read some other blogs about taking kids for adoption out of Haiti. The Daily Bastdardette: HAITI: OPERATION PIERRE PAN POSTPONED; POLITICIANS PANDER. In that blog post alone, Bastardette has many links to a wealth of information.   You will be shocked by what you read. World organizations are advising against adopting kids out of Haiti for the very reasons I have just stated, and more.

Lola, be thankful that you have led a most comfortable life. Do not suggest that I adopt! I wouldn’t do such a horrible thing to a child! My life was ruined because of adoption.

My goal is to change adoption laws and social policy so that what happened to me will never happen to another child, ever. To be lied to, to be prevented from knowing my own siblings, to be forbidden to grieve the death of my mother, to not ever be taken to her graveside — those are crimes of child abuse perpetrated upon me by my own adoptive parents. That is sick perversion and possession of a human being.

My adoptive mother is dying in a nursing home right now. She has not once acknowledged the damage she caused me. But she is happy that I used a photograph her brother took of me as an infant for my book’s cover. She gets tears in her eyes because she is happy that I have reached my goal of publication. Maybe she cannot accept the horror of the crimes she and others committed against me, but she is happy for me to be published and encourages me to attend the next AAC Adoption Conference. Mom has realized the importance of the falsified birth certificate as being fraudulent. She has realized that her actions and that of other adoptive relatives and my dead mother’s relatives “were cruel” to my natural father, she said so this past summer. My mother now knows the destructive words said to me by my loving adoptive cousins: “Joan, you OPENLY declare you have two fathers, so you must not love this father. We don’t want you here…” at my adoptive father’s funeral in 1982. I had been in a reunion with my natural father and many other relatives for nearly 9 years at that point. The hate directed at me from prejudicial relatives was their inability to let me live my own life.

My adoptive Mom has also lived the destructiveness and spiteful hate from my own full-blood sisters who not only attacked me because they (like you) did not want me to write anything about my adoption (see my horrible articles in the Buffalo News in MY ARCHIVES page) that they repeatedly abused my mother and my kids and my ex-husband by hate phone calls and hate mail and false child abuse charges. Normal people will let go and let the other person live free from contact. Continued harassment because I am an adoption reformer is completely out of line. There is no reason for my sisters to attack my adoptive mother, but they have. My mother is dying. We need to resolve what we can and live in peace, yet, my sisters are still out there harassing me. I have no contact with them for a number of years into our reunion, and do not want contact from them because of their destructive behavior to me, my children, my adoptive mother, and my ex-husband. Why would I want to build relationships with people who have mocked me for decades and now want in on the action because my book is published? Or because they now want to be a part of adoption reform when they mocked me for being in adoption reform since I was 18? They are filled with nothing but malicious slander and defamation toward me. Every word I write is the truth. Even my ex-husband and my young adult children will attest to the hateful behavior of my relatives toward me and to them. Even my adoptive mother deserves respect as my mother, instead, she was mistreated by my blood sisters by false child abuse charges claiming she was sexually abusing her own grandchildren! Adoption and its aftermath has negatively-affected entire family systems — but you, Lola, want to sing adoption’s praises!

Adoption, in its present form, has been and is, a destructive social and legal device that splits up families.

Lola, are you under 36? If so, I have lived more trauma since 1974 than you have as a non-adopted person. You sound like a young kid who does not know beans about adoption reform. Keep reading. Visit other adoption reform blogs. See the kinks on the side bars. These links will lead you to other links in adoption reform. Better yet, show up to our Conferences and really learn what it is like to be adopted and to lose your child to adoption:

American Adoption Congress

Adoption Crossroads:  Adoption Healing, Baby Scoop Era Research Initiative, Origins Inc. Australia, Origins Canada are proud to announce: Shedding Light on the Adoption Experience VI an Educational Conference About Realities: The Lifelong Effects of Adoption and the Need for Family Preservation.

Lola, you are living in a fantasy world. You need to wake up and smell the coffee. It is people like you who make me sick.

Happy Adoption Day 53 Years Ago Today

Happy Adoption Day, my eyeball. The only ones happy were my adoptive parents.

Fifty three years ago, today, at age 1 year, I lost my legal right to be a part of the family I was born into. I lost my legal right to have the birth certificate that documents my birth. I won the legal right to own a birth certificate that says I was born to a woman who factually adopted me: that is misrepresentation of material facts, which is fraud.

Fifty three years ago, today, my dead mother lost her right to be my legal mother. Bad enough she faced dying knowing that she’d leave behind five children, one of whom was a newborn, but she did not know that adoption would not  only take away that newborn, but adoption would prevent her from forever being named on her child’s legal birth certificate.

Fifty three years ago, today, my father walked away from Surrogate’s Court in Erie County Hall, Buffalo, New York, a defeated man. He did what was told to him. He gave away his newborn because a Catholic priest said these words to him at his wife’s funeral ten months previously: “The baby needs two parents.” On top of that, a woman whom he did not know came up to him at his wife’s funeral and said, “I know a couple who will take your baby.”

And to this day, there are members of my dead mother’s family who believe that my father “didn’t want” me.

My father gave me up because he believed I would have a better life with two parents. At the time he relinquished me, he was a single father of five children. There was no help to keep his family together, only vultures swarming to descend and take away the children. “I’ll take the boy”, said one brother of my dead mother. But my father said no. My mother’s brothers got mad at him. My father was an only child. He had his sickly aging parents to help him. His own cousins had children of their own and did not help him keep his family together. Relinquishing me, letting me go, was his only option to save the rest of his family, and himself.

To expect a man in deep, profound grief to make life-altering decisions for his child and himself at a point of personal crisis is cruel. If he had been told the truth: that his dead wife’s family would hold this against him for eternity, that they would spread filthy rumors about him, that the adoptive family into which he relinquished his child would continue ongoing relationships with select members of his dead wife’s family and continue the gossipy rumors, all the while HE was told to stay away, he would never had agreed to relinquish his child to such an adoption. If my father were told that relinquishing his daughter to this permanent adoption would result in the utter destruction of his daughter’s personal papers, personal identity, emotional and psychological well-being, and that adoption would destroy her birth certificate, he would never have agreed to relinquishment and the adoption of his child. My father does not understand the true depth of destruction that adoption has caused me: he does not want to know because the pain is too deep.

That pain is what the adoptee experiences. That pain is not worth the benefits of Happy Adoption Day.

I am a defeated person, a shell of what I could have been. To live my life each day knowing that the very people who professed their love for me, who devoted their lives to me as my adoptive parents, loved me so much that they willfully and knowingly kept me apart from my own father and my own sisters and brother, kept me apart from my own cousins and from even knowing where my dead mother was buried, just so that they could have the luxury of raising a child “of their own”, knowing that my adoptive parents told so many lies to me for the first 18 years of my life, to know all of this was done “for my benefit” makes me so sick I want to vomit.

My adoption wasn’t love. It was possession.

I am supposed to feel grateful. I am supposed to feel happy that I wasn’t raised with my father and my siblings because “what kind of life would you have had with them?” This is the indoctrination said to me, the adoptee, by my adoptive parents and believed by extended adoptive family and the general public’s accumlated “knowledge” of adoption.

The adoptive cousins with whom I have had meaningful relationships in childhood have been what I cling to. Though we are not blood, we know each other as cousins. There are blood cousins with whom  I share closeness also.

But there is also this pervasive undertow of deception, rumor and gossip. What was it that my adoptive mother said to me just a few weeks ago as she lay in her nursing room bed? “Oh, by the way, there are people who believe that you had affairs with two of your adoptive cousins.” What? Who the hell is spreading this filth around? Again? Still? Many people in my extended adoptive family and natural mother’s family, that’s who. They are the ones who are sick. Manipulative. I want no part of perverted minds. I am tired of being the brunt of their jokes.

While Jaycee Duggard has had the unfortunate experience of having been raped repeatedly by her abductor, having two children by him, she is not alone in her captivity. How can I possibly cope with the misinformation and gossip that is said for decades among family members because they “think” or “believe” something is true?

I was raised in a beautiful middle class home in the suburbs of Buffalo, an only child, with all the attention my adoptive parents could give me. It was conditional love: I was never supposed to know my own siblings and certainly not my own father and I should never know about the truth of how my mother died. My happy childhood memories come with a price: no childhood with my own siblings. Yet my adoptive parents had theirs. I loved my parents. I loved my extended adoptive family. Only to find out at age 18 that my life was one lie built upon another. After my Reunion, a shock that sent me into oblivion for years, I was expected to bounce back, to recover, to build my life as an adult as if this shock did not “bother” me. I was accused of “living in the past” and “being obsessed with adoption” and “pulling that stunt” and “knowing my siblings all along”. The ones who “pulled that stunt” were my adoptive parents and extended adoptive family. The ones who were mad that I “was living in the past” had the luxury of knowing their own personal histories while growing up. The ones who accused me of “knowing my siblings all along” were guilty of preventing me from knowing my own flesh and blood: my adoptive parents and all who backed them in their secrecy and deception.

What is it that the psychologists say that Jaycee Dugard must undo? Is it called “Stockholm Syndrome”? Perhaps other adoptees have not had a life so entrenched with turmoil as I have had, but other adoptees sure do have sealed and falsified birth certificates. Many adoptees and adoptive parents will be screaming: “What? She can’t be comparing adoption to what Jaycee Dugard experienced!”

Oh, yes, I can.

I was held prisoner in my sheltered home for 18 years in an idyllic life away from the “crappy” life my siblings lived on the opposite side of the city. (again, indoctination from my adoptive parents against my own family of birth). I should feel grateful I didn’t live with them because they had rags for clothes, or so I was told by my adoptive mother after I was found by siblings she so intensely did not want to me ever know.  Who gets to torture an adoptee like that? I feel very much that Stockholm Syndrome fits my life, too. I was abducted from my own family by adoptive parents who selfishly kept me to themselves, knowingly and willfully depriving me of relationships with my own siblings. That is nothing less than child abuse. Beyond the mixed feelings of love for adoptive parents who “took care of me”, there are a myriad of conflicts I must cope with on a daily basis: the circulating rumors of sexual misconduct, feelings of being tricked by so many people whom I am supposed to love, feelings of wondering what other misconceptions people built up around me because they knew my blood family and I did not, feelings of shame and guilt because other relatives do not approve of my life.

There was a definite rift in my life when I was found by siblings I never knew. Certain members of my adoptive family sank away from me as if I were a leper. I am one person, people. If I am as bad as my relatives say I am, then I surely do deserve the hate mail and the obscene phone calls that have permeated my life since 1974 because I dared to accept a reunion with my father and my siblings. Form my point of view, this is gang-mentality against one adoptee.

Check out the Page on this blog “My Archives” to see the “dreadful” adoption reform newspaper articles I wrote. These articles are my way of defending the rights of adoptees, the rights of the donor-conceived, and the rights of our natural parents. I stuck up for Mary Beth Whitehead, the infamous surrogate mother, and her daughter. I got hell for that from my family members, people who are not in my direct social circle. I wrote against sperm donation. I got hell for that, too, again from family members who did not approve of my public statements against procedures that harm the chidlren created by these means. The general public’s stupidity is to be expected, but to be mistreated by my own families in the form of hate mail and hate phone calls and whispers behind my back and dirty looks and snide comments — all from my own families because I did what was right for me. This is the life of an adoptee well hated for being who she is: an adoptee advocating for humane change in the restrictive, discriminatory and de-humanizing adoption practices in America.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for all the hate and disrespect I have been given because I was born to a woman who died and then relinquished to adoption, was found by siblings I never knew and was hated for that, endured criticism because I was slow to recover or did not do what other people wanted me to do: get over being adopted, I would have rather been born a bastard. Bastards get more respect than this adopted half orphan has ever received.

Happy Adoption Day — Fifty-three years of hell.

Are you catching the drift as to why I am anti-adoption?

Search Info As Requested – Guest Post

Well, maybe I should start a Guest Post Regular Feature!

The following came in via email. I normally don’t do Search Info because there is so much out there and my passions are Reunions and Civil Rights for adoptees and our natural parents, but this is important to post:

Thank you to Archie Hyde for this information.

Joan,

Here is something that you might want to put out for the ones that do searches.

Archie Hyde, a_hyde007@comcast.net

the Georgia rep.

27 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: New obituary collections at GenealogyBuff

Please forward

 From GenealogyBuff.com

Hi all,

GenealogyBuff.com http://www.genealogybuff.com has recently placed
several considerable data collections online.

Here’s the list:

ALABAMA – Madison County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/al/madison/webbbs_config.pl

ARKANSAS – Clark County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ar/clark/webbbs_config.pl

ARKANSAS – Lafayette County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ar/lafayette/webbbs_config.pl

FLORIDA – Manatee County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/fl/manatee/webbbs_config.pl

GEORGIA – Cherokee County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ga/cherokee/webbbs_config.pl

KANSAS – Johnson County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ks/johnson/webbbs_config.pl

MISSOURI – McDonald County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/mo/mcdonald/webbbs_config.pl

NEBRASKA – Dawson County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ne/dawson/webbbs_config.pl

NEBRASKA – Nuckolls County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ne/nuckolls/webbbs_config.pl

NEW YORK – Chautauqua County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/ny/chautauqua/webbbs_config.pl

NORTH CAROLINA – Lee County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/nc/lee/webbbs_config.pl

PENNSYLVANIA – Cumberland County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/pa/cumberland/webbbs_config.pl

PENNSYLVANIA – Lycoming County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/pa/lycoming/webbbs_config.pl

VIRGINIA – Smyth County Obituary Collection
http://www.genealogybuff.com/va/smyth/webbbs_config.pl

Each of these data sets are searchable from the upper part of each
page.  The Manatee County, Florida collection is great because many
“snowbirds” from the northern and New England states are represented
there.

Hope this helps,
Bill Cribbs
_______________________________________________
genealib mailing list
genealib@mailman.acomp.usf.edu
http://mailman.acomp.usf.edu/mailman/listinfo/genealib


Laura W. Carter
Heritage Room Librarian
Athens-Clarke County Library
2025 Baxter Street
Athens, Georgia 30606

Voice – 706 613-3650 Ext. 350
FAX –        706 613-3660

Poll Started by Mara – Should Kids Given Up for Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court?

WOW! Best Birthday Present EVER! Thanks, Mara!

First, take the poll:

Should Kids Given Up For Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court? (CASA)

Then, leave a comment.

I was the first to do so on my BIRTHDAY, thanks to Mara!

Here’s my answer: YES!!!

And my Comments, spelling mistakes and all:

If my rights had been defended in court by an independant attorney who was looking out for my true “best interest of the child”, my adoption might have been handled diffeerently. One solution to my pre-adoptive parents’ petition to adopt me could have been to totally negate their petition on the grounds that it would be illegal and immoral to remove an infant from an existing sibling group and change her name and her identity to conform to what the adoptive parents want for “their” adopted child. Another solution could have been was to modify the petition to adopt by restricting the pre-adoptive parents to Legal Guardians. That would have kept my legal and my birth name one and the same (thereby preserving my Birth Certificate), and at the same time, given my Guardians the joy of raising a child with the knowledge of and visitation with that child’s one remaining parent (mother died) and visitation with her older siblings. The third option — which is what actually happened — to sever the ties completely with the father and siblings of the adoptee and raise the child 100% as the “only child” of the adopting parents which completely cut off my ties to my natural father, wiped out my chance for a timely and appropriate grieving of my MOTHER’s death, and wiped out any relationship that could have developed with my full blood siblings. It is a crime what happened to me! NO CHILD SHOULD BE PERMENTENTLY SEPARATED BY ADOPTION. This is cruel and is child abuse!!!! I blame the adoptive parents and the adotpive family for lying, manipulating the system and lying to the relinquishing natural father who was vulnerable at age 31 because he was grieiving the loss of his 30 year old wife who was the mother of five children.

Oh, yes, another solution would have been to compelety restore my father AS my father, restore my siblings AS my siblings, negate 100% the Petition to Adopt by my pre-adotpive parents and provide emotional and financial support for this FAMILY to stay together.

Still another solution would have been to give me back to my father, but, since my pre-adoptive parents had taken care of me for 10 months prior to the Final Court Date securing my closed and sealed adoption, that would have been cruel to them. This last option would have validated those legal guardians’ rights to have contact with the child they had grown to love.

These situations happen all the time. Played out quite well in extended family within my adoptive family: my adoptive parents took care of a number of sinling groups who did not have a father (he ran off). But, my adoptive parents (years before I was born and adopted) had respect for the remaining parent, knew their own boundaries and limitations as Parent Figures, and loved the children anyway.

Love is best when it is honest and respectful. Closed and sealed adoption destroys family relationships for generations.

Children who are Relinquised for adoption and who are being Petioned to be be Adopted, SHOULD have legal cousel to prertect their best interests.

Had my legal rights been protected from the very beginning, I would have had a happier life.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Joan M Wheeler of http://forbiddenfamily.com .

………

Now, all you good little adoptees, go raise some hell on this fabulous poll started by MARA!!!!

Cancer Christmas Memories

In watching a rerun of an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” the other day with my daughter, we watched a man suffer the symptoms of a brain tumor called gleoblastoma. Perhaps I misspelled it here. My daughter knew that my adoptive father died of that particular type of brain  cancer about four years before she was born. I told her how he died, and that what we saw on the TV show was not exactly how the disease manifested in her grandfather.

My adoptive father came home for Christmas 1981 with his head bandaged from brain surgery. His personality had been compromised and he could not tell us how much pain he was in. He died several months later in 1982.

My natural mother was very pregnant with me at Christmas 1955. She went into the hospital two days after Christmas and never came home again. Neither did I. Mom died several months later in March of 1956.

My adoptive mother was diagnosed with a type of leukemia two weeks before Christmas in 2004. She lived at home until 8 weeks ago when she fell. She is in a nursing home, waiting for me to bring her some items from home.

I read about sad Christmases from my adoption reform friends.

Somehow, may you find love and comfort.

Coping With Grief After Death of A Spouse or Parent

A few times over the past 10 years, I have met fathers who were raising their children after the death of their wife and the mother of their children. I was the outsider looking in at both of these families. As their stories unfolded, the loss of my mother so soon in my life was a shadow. Because of my adoption, I was not ever allowed to grieve for her loss in any way, so to hear and see these families cope with the death of a mother and spouse was painful for me, yet enlightening.

In both situations, the husband/father was clearly still in grief over the loss of his wife. Evidence of her was everywhere in the home: photographs, home decorations, crafts that she made, clothes still hung, shoes and boots still neatly arranged along with other family members’ footwear. Both of these men had lost their wives between 2 and 10 years in the past. Their grief, and their love for the wife who had died, showed clearly in their conversations, their wistful facial expressions, and their concern for their children who had lost their mother. In the one family, the children were older when their mother died and coped with her death by throwing themselves into schoolwork. They became achievers, goal-oriented, never-wavering in their path to success from high school to college and employment. In the other family, the youngest child never outgrew her mother’s loss, grieving to the point of near-suicide, over and over and over. Her wish to become a child psychologist to help other children cope with the death of a parent may never be realized until she goes through her grief and emerges on the other side, still in grief, but with strength to move forward with better coping skills. Falling back into grief is inevitable. It is how a person handles that grief — and rage — is what is important.

As for the fathers, the father in the first family is alive and well, and employed. The father in the second family is slowly dying from an autoimmune condition. His daughter sees this. She is imploding. As a child of ten, she witnessed her mother die, slowly, and, for the last several years, this now 20 year old has been watching her father slip away. She needs help, fast.

The process of death and dying is not easy. Family members react in different ways. Some block their feelings and funnel the energy into work. Others succumb to the grief and sink into deep, profound sadness, unable to climb back up to find a place for themselves. Others react in anger and rage and misdirect those negative feelings toward others.

Finding a place for oneself after the death of a spouse or parent can be done.

Twenty-five years ago, a father I knew as a friend had two teenagers, a boy and a girl. We were members of a community social dance troupe, studying Native American culture, song and dance. The teens fit right in and the girl and I grew close. We danced in my living room – Native dance beat on cassette tapes from our group’s singer/drummer, or even in rock music. (Led Zeppelin’s D’yer Maker, 1973, Reggae Rock)  We held my toddler son, swung him around, as we danced. I was in my late twenties at the time. I did not think of this friendship as the profound friendship that it actually was: this fifteen year old looked up to me as a mother figure. I look back now to realize this, for she had lost her mother when she was two years old. It happened fast. Mother was dead in a flash in a car crash. The father, somehow, kept his children with him. He was a hard worker. And he loved the Native beat, so when he joined the Buffalo Indian Dancers, his teens loved the beat, too. We were whites who joined with Natives in mutual admiration and respect for a rich culture.

But what struck me most of this family was that the very essence of their grief in the death of the husband’s wife and the mother of his children was not stated outright. The story was told matter-of-factly, then, the kids joined the adults in social interaction. Not one person uttered the words “half orphan”.

Not one. Including me.

But then, one horrible night, the father fell asleep holding a lighted cigarette. I awoke that morning listening to the news on the radio. What a way to learn that my friend had died and his body was carried away in the freezing cold of a winter night, on a stretcher, with his teens watching in the street after they escaped that burning Riverside Buffalo apartment. Those kids were now full orphans.

That morning, I raced to the scene, but all was quiet. The fire was out, the apartment was vacant. The kids were taken to the Red Cross. Extended family took them in. The funeral was a shocker. I reached out as best I could to maintain a friendship with those teens, but they left Buffalo soon after high school graduation. Sue and Chris, if you read this, I am looking for you. Sue: you went to school with my younger brother and neither you nor I knew that at the time.

At the time of Sue and Chris’s father’s death in 1985, I had been reunited with my natural family for 11 years. I identified myself as a “found adoptee” or, put in other words, “an adoptee found by my natural family”. That point being emphasized: I did not search for my natural family: they found me. Not that I did not want to know them; I was at that time in 1974, beginning my search when they found me.

But I had no time in eleven years of reunion to focus on the loss of my mother to an early death. I did not identify myself as a “half orphan” until years later. The impact of those words did not have clear meaning for me. I would hear my adoptive mother talk about her life in the orphanage, or when we’d visit with her aging friends who were orphaned as children, I would listen to their stories, but did not understand how orphanhood affected me.

I had claimed the words “half orphan” to describe myself only within the last two years.

When you open your eyes and ears to really see and hear other people’s stories, the grief of losing a spouse to an early death, the grief of losing a mother or a father to an early death, is there. All one has to do is look and listen.

Compound that loss with adoption loss, and that spells traumatic psychological and emotional injury to the self. Trauma therapy helps; grounding, meditation, activities, schoolwork, working hard, playing hard, focusing on life goals, helps. The grief does not leave, but the person left behind after the death of a spouse or a parent must find a way to go through the pain.