About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Uncle Ian's Sales Pitch

We had an appointment the other week. We decided to see a financial advisor. This guy was recommended by several folks. One of them was a former landscape client of mine. She mentioned that he helped them outline a plan so that they'd be able to reach their goals in the future. We all went to the same church. Although I didn't know him on a personal level, I would easily recognize him and his family. The hubby and I don't have a lot of definite goals for the future / retirement. I'm not a big traveler so that's not on the horizon. But I think we both would like to make sure we're able to stay in our home with a modest lifestyle similar to where it is now, and so we're seeking advice/guidance. We both meet after work that night with our pile of paperwork. We were a little chatty as we head into the office building. The office is on the 7th floor and as we’re riding the elevator I'm reminiscing to my husband about the company I had interviewed with in this building more than 10 years ago. The elevator doors open and we're greeted by Uncle Ian. (No, that is not actually his name. I was trying to think of something clever or a nifty acronym to use in this post. Then I remembered Uncle Ian from the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie, and so "Uncle Ian" it is.) We followed to the conference room, put our stack of papers on the table and we all sat down. Uncle Ian asked us to tell him a little about ourselves. General stuff, such as where we work, what we do at our jobs, where we live, how long we’ve been together. Then of course the conversation leads to his asking about our current financial situation and what our financial future plans involve. Most of our plans right now involve our home. It's a beat up old house - neglected for many years before we bought it almost 3 summers ago. There are several structural issues that need attention. Some of you may know how expensive structural repairs can be. I mentioned the other financial possibility that would affect our future plans would be a child. I mentioned that we are going to try for another year and see what happens. I didn't make a big deal of it and moved along to the next topic. Or so I thought we moved on. Uncle Ian gets this certain glowing look to his face as he leans back and pulls his hands together as he twists his pen and says, "Well, after a year, if nothing happens we can always talk about adoption if you want to." Now, I was not totally caught off guard by this statement. I do know Uncle Ian has two daughters who are both adopted. Even if I had not heard the story he has shared about 'bringing them home’, I would still know they are adopted. It is very apparent. After all Uncle Ian and his wife are white. Very very white. They do not a trace of Asian heritage whatsoever. Since I was not entirely blindsided (although a bit surprised - I admit), before he could continue to his second sentence, I was able to abruptly respond with "No, we don't want to talk about it." I was somewhat amazed at myself at how calmly I responded without lunging across the table to shake the poor guy. Inside I was simmering a bit, but I understand this fellow did not know MY story, and I tried to just let it roll off. And so we move on. I was grateful “that” was over. I was glad it didn’t get ugly either. When we were wrapping things up for the evening, Uncle Ian hands us a business card. He repeats his plan to gather some info for us and run some numbers. He brought up confidentiality - that although we all go to the same church his wife does not know who he meets with. During the final notes as he's about to send us out the door he says, ”And keep an open mind about adoption. It is a subject that I am very passionate about and I could talk with people about adoption for hours.” GAAA!!! The first time I could let it go, but now it's a SALES PITCH! A stinking Adoption Sales Pitch!?!? Un be lievable! I just looked him in the eye and said "I have very strong opinions about it already. I don't want to discuss it." Although I could not actually see the expression on my face, I think I looked calm and collected on the outside, but now I really WAS wanting to lunge at him and start banging his head on the table. I'm not sure if he could read what was really going on in my mind as I smiled, waved and said "good night".
As we are 'safely' outside and walking back to the truck, I was feeling strong by being firm, by standing my ground, and by not being reduced to tears or a sniveling little ball of snot. And so I ask my hubby (who indeed is a treasure and an unbelievable source of strength for me in the really dark times), “So, do you think my answers were pointed enough to keep Uncle Ian from ever bringing up the subject again?” I wish he were wrong, but my shoulders slumped a little from the reality and my heart fell when my husband gave his honest answer, “No. I don’t think that was enough.” Uncle Ian is determined and I guess I need to be better prepared for Uncle Ian’s Next Adoption Sales Pitch.
Adoption Sales Pitch

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

nutty journal hugger

As I was driving home,
I was contemplating my son's next Christmas gift. And, yes. I realize that it is only February.
Christmas 2008 I sent him a journal with the intent of sending a new one each year. It was hard for me to pick out that first one. I ended up buying a blue spiral bound journal with robots on the cover. I thought robots would be cool since I've sent him “assemble yourself” Robot Kits the past few years for his birthday.
I keep thinking about the journal for sale on the Adoptee Rights Demonstration cafepress store. http://www.cafepress.com/AdopteeRightsPA.349212525 With my unexplainable paper fetish, on my first visit to their store, I of course scoured the entire on-line store highly doubtful they would even sell a journal. I quietly squealed with delight when I saw they actually had one! Yay! I guess there is room for nutty journal hugging people like me. Although I'd like one of the journals for myself, I really want to send one to my son next Christmas. So, as I'm driving along, in my mind, I'm going over the arguments -- back and forth --trying to evaluate all the possible risks of sending him such a journal.
Now, here is a (will be by then) 15 year old boy, who is the younger of two adopted sons. I have sent letters and gifts to him from the beginning. I got updates and pictures from the aparents at first. When he started school is also when the communication became a one-way street. The aparents "weren't interested" in sending anything to me anymore.
Back when they did send me pictures, they always included pictures of him opening the gift I sent, or of him reading the card/letter. I hold to this thought and believe he still gets the gifts and letters. I might be wrong, but I'm going to just keep hoping, and keep on sending.
I only mention this 'one way street' scenario, because I don't hear from my son - EVER. Once when he was a few years old, his amom sent me a letter where he wrote his name at the bottom of the page. That is it. Period. End of chapter. Nothing else in the box. What are you still standing in line for?! there is NO MORE!
Which all boils down to the reality that I have no idea where he is (or his older abrother, or his aparents are) regarding the 'A' word. [The 'A' word, meaning adoption.]
I want to send him this journal because I want him to think about adoptees’ rights - about his rights. Maybe at 15 he isn't too concerned about his rights. But by next Christmas if his brother isn't 18 yet, that 18th birthday won't be too far away.
Maybe this tiny little journal might spark something in his mind to start thinking about his rights, his needs, and his feelings too. Things that he may have been told he "should not" think or feel, but if he were honest, he'd admit that it’s still there, even if it's hidden very deep. As I am reading more of what adoptees share, it totally dumbfounds me that non adopted people simply don't care about the unique 'burden' that an adoptee carries.
I read over and over again that adoptees are basically told what NOT to feel or think, and and how they SHOULD feel or think instead. And, well, I guess I'm hoping that maybe a journal to my son, highlighting Adoptee Rights ... well, that maybe it would cause him to consider that I don't want to do that. I'm hoping that by showing that I'm already thinking about adoptee rights, my focus would be on him and his "needs".
If I sent him this journal, maybe he would Google Adoptee Rights Demonstration, and there he might find other adoptees that he could connect with.
What a guessing game it is too of how his aparents would feel about a journal with ARD logo on it? How do they feel about adoption records being open? about them being sealed? If they haven't thought about it - it wouldn't hurt for them to give it some thought.
I'm driving and pondering it all.
Then it dawns on me ... he'll be 15 years old next Christmas.
I have only 3 more Christmases! After that, he’ll BE 18!?!?
I've survived this long - I will survive the following years also.
I still hesitate. It's kind of risky - his aparents don't communicate with me at all. Hmmmm, "as an old wise man once said, 'It's better to ask forgiveness than permission.'" [Do you recognize what movie this quote is from? I’m working on a post about this movie & hope to have it up on my blog soon.]
nutty journal hugger

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a light feeling

I wrote this last week, and although it is not adoption related I am posting it here. I'm just busting at the seams and want to share with someone ... Last month I posted breifly about two nephews who have been missing for 10 years. And early January we finally found one of them. Although they are brothers they were separated & we haven't 'found' the younger or made contact with him yet. The older one is 19 now. I vividly remember the last day I saw them both. He was still 8 at the time, but went missing just before his 9th birthday. That first conversation with him on Skype, it was so cool and yet weird at the sametime. My nephew, sister, mom and I all have Skype on our computers now. We talk at least once a week - sometimes more. I'm tearing up just to hear his voice in my head. It's so amazing. I am so blown away by it all. He didn't even realize he was 'missing' and that we've been searching for them. I don't feel comfortable asking him questions about those 10 years. I know he and my sister talk and occasionally I learn some things from her. I figure that when he's comfortable bringing things up, then I'll talk / listen. So, anyway, the other night my husband and I were online w/ him for about an hour. As a kid he was over at our house one or more weekend each month for a span of time. During our conversation that night he mentioned somethings he remembered about being at our house. He remembers pancakes.
That made me laugh so hard.
I'd nearly forgotten all about it.
I loved the supper fluffy pancakes and made them almost every saturday he was over.
But that was back when I still cooked and baked!
Now it's like a prison sentence to be in the kitchen.
He said he also remembers there being "a lot of Ovaltine." That made me laugh even more than thinking about the pancakes. I laughed about that too, and had to confess to him that I still like the stuff. The only reason there is none in the house now is because I'm too cheap to spend the extra $2 to buy it! I think he was amused to learn that Ovaltine was occasionally a gift to his youner brother (who is here with us, and whom I've also blogged about a time or two). Ovaltine as a stocking stuffer or other miscelaneous gift item throughout the years. During that talk I asked when we get to see him "eyeball to eyebal" - "face to face in person?" I just cannot wait to see him in person! I don't know when that will be - but he knows we'd drop anything to see him when he's ready. I'm sooo excited about finding him. I am so hopeful and excited. And I'm sure I won't be able to hold it in when there is actually a visit scheduled. I was also very happy to hear him say "I talked to my Mom yesterday..." Which tells me he is accepting us (well, at least her) as his family. And laugh!?!? I can't describe how I feel each time I hear him laugh! So that night after we 'hung up', I was putzin around the house getting ready for bed when I realized- -I - had a smile on my face!?!!! I then realized that I also felt light and happy (which isn't always the case).
After so many years of missing him and hoping, and wondering, and being worried,
it was nice to just sit and enjoy the good feeling.
"Thank you, God" was all I could say, "just Thank YOU."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My child is breathing ...

My only child, a son, was lot to adoption when he was three days old. People who learn of my son often try to comfort me by saying "at least he is alive". I know they mean it to assure me, but the words are hollow. There is no way they could ever know how hard it is to have a child - alive, and out there somewhere, but not be able to see, hear, or touch him.
Their words are meant to comfort, but they mock me and they sting. These are the thougths such words bring ...
My child is breathing, but I cannot hear it
My child is breathing, but I cannot see rhythmic movement of his chest
My child is laughing, but I cannot hear the sound
My child is laughing, but I cannot see the smile
My child is sleeping, but I cannot hear the sweet silence
My child is sleeping, but I cannot see the angelic look on his face
My child is learning, but I cannot hear what subject is his favorite
My child is learning, but I cannot see teacher comments or his grades
My child is eating, but I cannot hear the crunching and munching
My child is eating, but I cannot see how much food he crams in with just one bite
My child is singing, but I cannot hear the music
My child is singing, but I cannot see if his foot's tapping to the beat
My child is running, but I cannot hear the cheers of the crowd
My child is running, but I cannot see the strength and determination in each stride
My child is building, but I cannot hear if he talks to himself while he does
My child is building, but I cannot see if he likes the finished robot in the end
My child is writing, but I cannot hear if he shares his written words aloud
My child is writing, but I cannot see the stories through a pen he has told
My child is growing, but I cannot hear the change in his voice
My child is growing, but I cannot see each year for myself just how much
My child is maturing, but I cannot hear if there is a rage with in
My child is maturing, but I cannot see - just how much harm I may have done to him.
My child is ‘out there.' He is somewhere, and yes he is alive.
But this being separated; oh, how every day my heart just cries!

my child is breathing

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Starfish Story

Cheerio has a whirlwind of topics and posts I want to write. I think I would need a week off work to get it all out. That is not really an option for me right now. So I'll start by copying something I posted in a private First Moms group May of last year.
Don't skip this post ... one of my future posts, currently one of the nine at the drawing board, will relate to this story. So here it is ahead of time.
 Don't forget it, and be sure to look next week for a new post referencing this one.
 This just feels like the ideal time to just say to all my followers and people who visit my blog often - Thank You! Some of you comment, some of you don't. I'm grateful to everyone. Thank you for the feedback and encouragement. To my quiet non-commenting friends Thank You for the support you show when simply stopping by. We really do need each other. I do believe that together we can and do 'make a difference.' 
I was on the phone with a friend. She is a woman who lost her first son to adoption, as I did. I could tell she was discouraged in this battle fighting against the myths of adoption. And so I asked her a question. It’s a question I ask myself often. I’ll ask you the same question.

“Can you make a difference? Really? Can you make a difference?”

Her response had much of the same doubt I fight off myself. And then I remember this story.
I call it The Starfish Story. You may have read it somewhere, and I apologize for not getting all the details right. My pastor shared this story as part of a sermon a long time ago.

Many of us in this group are in some way speaking out to fight the wrongs of adoption. Sometimes you may get weary or feel like you’re not being heard. And so, I’d like to share this story with you.
One morning following a storm, a little boy is walking along the beach, ahead of his family.
Before him, as far as he could possible see was a devastating site.
Thousands and thousands of starfishes had been beached by the storm. 
Some did not make it, but as the little boy is walking along, he could see that many are still alive and struggling to survive.

It’s such a beautiful morning, the sky is blue with puffy white clouds floating high, seagulls swooping and squawking, and the morning sunrays feel warm.

It is a beautiful day; yes, a perfect day for playing at the beach, making sandcastles and running along the edge of the water. But the little boy notices none of that. His heart seems to be breaking as he realizes the fate of these starfishes strewn all over the shore.

What could he do?
He couldn’t just walk on by and let them all out here to die in the rising sun!
There were so many starfishes. He must do something! .

He bends down, gently picking one up.
 As he is holding it in his tiny hand, it’s as if instincts take over. And like a boy with a stone, he tosses the starfish as far as he possibly could out into the ocean, into the water where the starfish will be able to recover and survive.

It dawns on him that this is the answer. Now he is on a mission. He is moving as quickly as possible, picking up a starfish and tossing it into the water. He picks up another starfish and tosses it into the water. This goes on for quite some time, the little boy working his way down the beach rescuing starfishes.

The little boy did not realize he was being watched by an older gentleman sitting on the beach.
At his age, he’s witnessed this scene many times, of so many starfishes that were stranded and he could not even begin to count them. It’s just what happens when there is a storm like that. Nature will take its course and they will die.

Engrossed in his task, the boy does not even notice the older man sitting in his chair watching.
The boy was somewhat startled when the man called out to him. “Hey, son! What are you doing there?” Then the man lifts himself from the chair and approaches the boy.

Tossing the  starfish into the sea the boy proudly declares, "I'm rescuing starfish!"

The man leans his head back and lets out a mocking laugh.

He is genuinely amused. “Son,” the man says. “So you are rescuing starfish, huh?”
The man chuckles again. Then he reaches out his hand and motions a broad sweeping gesture the length of the beach. “Son, there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of starfish out here, and there is only one of you. There is just no way that you can rescue all these starfish. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this son, but they’re going to die. You should just go have fun with your family instead. What you are doing is insignificant, and it doesn’t matter.”

 Undaunted, the boy bends over and picks up another starfish.
Still following the pattern he had all morning, he tosses it back into the ocean.
Without even turning to look at the man, he says

 “It matters to this one.”
it matters
this one

Monday, February 9, 2009

"There was a scam...looking for children to sell."

from Georgia state - Can you Help Her??? children separated & sold black market adoption ring http://www.walb.com/Global/story.asp?s=9789662 Woman needs your help finding brothers (Feb 4, 2009)COFFEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Deborah Latham thumbs through 28 files full of information about her biological family members. Information she began collecting after her mother died. "After all of the family that you know is gone, you start to think I have no more family, but I do somewhere. And I wonder if they've been looking for me." And they were. A week before Christmas she got a call about her sister and later connected with her brother Gary. "My original name Doris Hill was the name he was looking for," said Latham. That was also when she learned about the illegal adoptions. "There was a scam going around looking for children to sell. The judge was involved and a nurse. Deborah's mother was targeted because she was a poor single mother with nine children. "They took us to the state patrol station to the back room, and the parents were there and they took us right than," said Latham. "Who got what money or who started it I don't know?" The original birth records of all five children involved were destroyed, and their names changed to hide the illegal exchanges. This is also making it harder for Deborah to find her biological brothers Earl and Elroy."We are still trying to find them, but we don't know what names to look for." >>for rest of story, see article below. I will leave it posted for some time & I hope there will be updates to this family's story<<
But in the story did you catch the following words:
"illegal adoption"
"children to sell"
"judge was involved"
If you didn't catch all those words, I hope you'll take just a moment and go back to the story and read it again. My dear friends . . . adoption is not 'new'. The core reason for adoption is not 'new'. Buying babies is not 'new'. Separating siblings so infertile couples can have a family is not 'new'. Targeting poor families to sell their children is not 'new'.
When will you stop believing how wonderful adoption is - and start seeing it for what it really is?
"scam" "children to sell" "targeted" "money"
STOP the baby selling !
updated to include following links for additional reading...
Georgia Tann - read an ecxcerpt from the book: http://www.babythief.com/Excerpt.html
Or read more about her here ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Tann
stop the baby selling

Sunday, February 1, 2009

pg # 13

I am not planning a long post. Instead I foresee short post spurts happening as I am reading thru the book "The Primal Wound." I don't have it all planned out. So I don't know if you should expect commentary or opinion and thoughts? or to not expect them? Tonight (tehcnically this morning) I am stopping a few pages shy of the end of chapter #1. I am stopping at page #13. For now I will merely quote Nancy Vierra from today's stopping point.
" ... what if
the most abusive thing
which can happen to a child
that he is taken from his mother?"
abusive ... taken ... his mother