Bijou’s Odyssey-Not Quite There Yet

April 4, 2007

Warning Label’s for Adoptees

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 10:33 pm

hazard

Im starting to think that with all this talk of adoptees “wreaking havoc” (see Julie) on other’s lives by the mere fact of existing, perhaps we should all petition our congress people to pass a law requiring us to wear warning labels. Biohazard is definitely fitting for most adoptees since our existence puts a new spin on bio-terror. Comparable to germs, mutant bacteria and super viruses, we are no longer the simple chicken pox you thought would never return, oh no, we apparently have the power to destroy entire families by simply existing.

In fact, I was personally told by someone quite close to me this week, that I would destroy my mother’s life if I were to pursue contact with my aunt or my sister’s. I fell apart after hearing this. (ok, not only a biohazard, but explosively combustible as well). I try to give people the benefit of the doubt: after all the public only gets fed the happy friggin prozac-ed up version of the adoption story, and well my friends, partner, and relatives are not immune to this. Somehow, this must change! I’m fed up with this bullshit thinking, and hopefully I will be able to enlighten someone. Perhaps I’m ranting, but right now I feel like the ‘bad’ guest on a talk show, the one that no one wishes to understand, the one which sits there for all to yell at and undermine- the “how could you???? guest” How could you hurt your amom- she loved you and now you destroy her life? How could you destroy your b-moms life, be grateful she gave you life and move on. Oh your sisters, well just don’t go and destroy their lives either? Again, adoption is convenient, so long as the adoptee just shut’s up and complies. The minute we start to think rationally, to process what has happened to us, to search for our identities, to demand basic right’s which most human beings have, we are no longer those lovable baskets of joy — we are destructive, angry, and wreaking havoc on other’s lives.

That’s right, if I keep playing along diplomatically, everyone will be ok with me! This type of thinking has landed me straight into abusive situations and relationships my entire life. I suck it up, so as to not explode when I speak to my sometimes toxic amom. Too afraid to stand up for myself because I don’t want to offend anyone or destroy another relationship, I have stayed way too long with verbally abusive partners, complete losers, and way too long in a job in which I was being used abused and harrassed. I’m happy to say I’m trying to move beyond this. I will not let my feelings be invalidated any longer.

Would you tell a child who is screaming for his mom after hurting himself to shut the hell up? Probably not. That would be considered abuse. Please stop telling us adoptees to shut up, inside we are still just children screaming for our moms. We do not seek to disrupt or destroy anyone’s lives.

March 28, 2007

Wednesday’s Child (Aww how cute)

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 8:08 pm

knut1.jpg

Meet our newest famed child sans family: Knut

Awww, you say, how adorable. Well in case you have not heard the controversy which stemmed from Berlin a few weeks back, Knut has caused quite a stir over here, gracing the cover of every newspaper. Like myself, Knut was abandoned at birth by his polar bear mom. Yup, that’s right, the poor little bastard was left to fend for himself in the wild (the Berliner Zoo). I guess living in the confines of a zoo f’d up Knut’s Polar B-Mom pretty bad. And after all those infertility treatments she just wanted nothing to do with it anymore.

Anyhow, the kicker is that animal rights activists have called for Knut to be euthanized. Since Knut has been quasi-adopted by humans, i.e. bottle fed, the claim is that this is truly unnatural and Knut will never adjust. (As if living in a zoo is natural). Sound familiar? Feel you relate, well then you must be adopted.

Fortunately for Knut, the little bastard is pretty darn cute, so he gets to live- albeit as an adoptee, that we can eww and aww at and watch him entertain us by doing cute baby polar bear things. Until, of course, Knut, grows up and gets angry, real angry and his polar bear genes kick in– to partially quote Mr. T “I pity the Fool” who then messes with Knut.

March 18, 2007

In Vino Veritas….

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 10:55 pm

Friday evening I enjoyed a great dinner with a friend along with a great bottle of Shiraz. I tend to not imbibe- or at least I generally have a 2 drink max. because unfortunately I’m not a happy drunk. But the wine was quite fine, so I continued. It was on the train ride home that I emotionally (in my head) began to fall apart. I was overcome with this feeling of hopelessness, this what’s the point feeling? I never understood how one could drink to forget, unless of one consumes an entire bottle of something which leads to loss of consciousness. Personally, I have a couple drinks and am flooded with thoughts, the most poignant: how could you have abandoned me mom, I want my mom back, and the most recent addition how could you love my siblings and not me?

Are women aware of the power they have as mothers? Do they realize how important that bond is? If I look at the most screwed up friends of mine- (non-adoptees included)- the core of their problems lie in the fact that they were somehow ‘rejected’ by their mothers. (This does not excuse fathers either- absentee fathers also have screwed up many lives) As a adoptees we begin our lives with this wound, period. If we do not confront us, it will find us, or manifest itself in some form, depression, insecurities, the inability to bring anything to closure, fear of rejection, etc. The mother child bond is so simple, so natural, why do we try to screw it up? Why must we always think of factors which do not matter in the long run- image, age, money etc. to deny babies the basic right to be nurtured by their natural mothers?

I guess I’m just an existential thinker in the land of adoption– the one in which God chose me to be in (according to the U.S. adoption industry). Again the relationship between god and adoption makes no sense to me. Biblical References?? Oh yeah, the Jews were the God’s chosen people and uh as adoptees we are always told we are chosen, there’s the connection. Anyhow, why would God, or gods, or godesses, create a natural order only to choose to have us destroy it? Not so logical. If we justify destroying a simple natural bond, anything is possible. Hell, today everything is for sale: babies, organs. Next trip to China, get a baby and a kidney to boot- so what if it is from a dead political prisoner, just forget where it came from, use it as your own, save it from a life of living inside some political prisoner, you deserve it, God wants you to have it….

My last thought this evening: If we continue to mess with mother nature, she will kick all of our asses!

Somehow I have not had the energy to be a good little blogger this week and acknowledge comments. Honestly, I feel the energy has just been sucked out of me by the end of the day. Work consumes most of my time- I truly enjoy my work – its also has an emotionally numbing effect- in a good way. I’m trying to fight this consant depression related to my failed adoption reunion whilst balancing work and maintaining a healthy relationship. The emotional depression has started to manifest itself in true physical pain. In my case lower back pain. Sitting for longer periods of time is uncomfortable. I now know I need to find a time slot for yoga and sports, as I cannot put them off any longer. I’ve learned in yoga that this type of emotional stress is held in the lower back and hips, and amazingly I feel them becoming tighter and my back cramping up if I have no means to release the anger and depression.

March 4, 2007

On overachieverness and horse poop

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 3:44 pm

I admit, I’m an overachiever perfectionist. I feel I could use a few pounds, work harder, have studied harder, go to the gym more, etc. (Clean my apartment is not on that list, unfortunately for my partner). Anyhow I’m behind on my blog. And while I do have more crazy adoption stuff to write about (another secret family member discovered, stay tuned to my next post), today I cannot bare to write about it. So on a related topic, I will write about horse shit. Yes, as adoptees we are figuratively fed loads of shit our entire life, but should I be forced to physically step in it? Switzerland, the land of chocolate, and watches, and beautiful mountains, is literally full of shit (of the cow and horse variety). If you role down your car windows in summer driving through the country side, you can get a good wiff of some manure… Last summer I was hiking in the beautiful region of Heidiland where I literally slipped on a hidden pile of cow poop, landed on my ass, and was covered in it. Ive since determined I’m a city person.
Anyhow, I live in a boring Swiss suburb (complete with farms and farm animals), and today is bright, sunny, and abnormally warm. People ride horses openly here, because you can do that. It really irks me however, that you are obliged to clean up dog poop from the pavement, but horse poop (which is a higher quantity and density) can sit and fester. And there is this one particular horse– we shall call him Mr. Ed — who justs poops all around the neighborhood. So I’m walking back from the bus (yes we use public transport here), listening to some ipod tunes, and I just missed another pile of Mr. Ed’s droppings by a centimeter. So please, if you are in Switzerland, and you ride a horse, and you read this blog: Clean up your shit!

Thanks, Bijou

February 23, 2007

Complete Cluelessness in Adoption Award

Filed under: Awards — bijousodyssey @ 2:15 pm

Today, and periodically in the future I will present the totally bastardized version of those angels in adoption pieces. I realize that this may be offensive to some, however deal with it. Im highlighting the realities of adoption. The selection criteria for this award are quite stringent, as there are many qualified candidates from which to choose. Way too many! To enter into the Cluelessness hall of fame, requires a harvard like admissions process– how do we select 1 from 100,000 candidates? But, since adoption is all about selection, finally, I, one of the “Chosen” gets to choose. I can finally hand pick, select, tell you how special you are..

This week, it was truly hard to narrow it down. Runner’s up include: those who use adoption and GOD (or jesus, biblical references, etc.) in the same sentence. Examples include: God led me to this child, God wants us to adopt, but he only wants us to have a healthy infant, etc. Please spare us that adoption is part of God’s master plan. Christian compassion, which I personally do not claim to display, and as I recall from catholic theology classes, involves caring for the sick and pariahs of the world, not selectively choosing babies based on specialized characteristics. ohh those chinese ones are such little dolls aren’t they? can I have one too?

Other contenders for this award include the couple who were inspired to adopt by watching an Oprah special on abused children in South Africa, which led them to want to “save” children, in turn they chose to adopt a Korean baby boy, and have a paypal link on their website, so you too, can help them fund their huminatarian act of “saving” this child from a life of…. being a poor Korean in Korea?? Anyway, God led them to the child, and I should admire their heroism and courage.

And as I write this it appears the Jolie-Pitts are looking to adopt another child from Vietnam, because this will somehow help all the “third world” children of the world obtain food, water, education and medical care…..and yes, once again, the media can show how ‘wonderful’ it is to adopt…

But this weeks winner goes to all of the couples pimping themselves out online in “Dear Birthmother” profiles. To some extent I pity the cluelessness of these people, and perhaps I should show even a bit of compassion that they are infertile, bla bla bla. However, these profiles are offensive, disgusting and should be banned! And 95% of them use God and Adoption in the same sentence! For those who are unfamiliar with these profiles, they can be found on many major adoption web pages. Usually, they include some unfortunate couple who cannot conceive on their own claiming to admire the strength and courage of a single mother making the right choice to relinquish her child. They include pictures of houses, facts about how happily married they are, how they spend every Christmas at Aunt Lil’s, and how they live on a quiet cul-de-sac. (this is of utmost importance, we all know how bad it is to grow up living on a busy main street, im sure its detrimental to a childs well being). Often they claim to offer mothers openness in adoption (sure), and have links to call their lawyer directly. Basically, what they say is:
Dear Birthmother,

you, as a screwed up sinner, have made the right decision to give us your child forever. Clearly, the fact that we are married, have more money than you, live in the suburbs in a house, and are of some religious persuasion proves that we will raise your child better than you, and thus entitles us to your kid. Look at these happy pictures! Come on, don’t you want your kid to be smilin’, happy, and god fearin’? We promise, it will never ever turn out like any of those “other” angry adoptees! We’re not like that, and they are just ingrates.

We believe in open adoption, we may even send you a picture of the kid once in a while! We will continously remind them of how you loved them so much, that you gave them to us to save them!

So, congratulations, to those “dear birthmother” couples, you are this weeks winners!

This weeks prize is a dump-truck full of sand for you to bury your heads in! Use it when your kid starts to ask those dreaded questions…..

February 21, 2007

My Search…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 4:31 pm

Essentially my blog begins where my search ends, in fact two weeks ago.  Its truly amazing how difficult it is to write or speak about– even with some degree of anonymity.  The entire process is wrought with emotion, and at any moment I felt as though I could explode, scream, cry, so I tend to just clam up, and say nothing– I think again, this is the overachieving, people-pleaser in me, I need to have everything held together at all times.  And quite honestly, I don’t want to hurt those close to me, especially my partner with whom I share my life, and for whom it is hard for him to grasp this whole thing, as he has had so little exposure to the topic.  Even friends try to be supportive but often say the wrong things– it is obvious that their only exposure to the subject of adoption, is that which is in the media or from adopted parents.  Bastard Nation or even the American Adoption Congress are foreign terms.  But I digress.

I passively searched for my mother since my early 20’s, so about 8 years.  I never felt secure enough to give up my career, or move back to southern New England for a longer period of time, to do the search on my own.  My initial search was prompted by finding my non-identifying info in a safe deposit box at my mom’s.  I nearly had a heart attack finding this, as things just jumped out at me- 1. my mother- 17 yrs. old, intelligent, attractive, buxom (i love this one, big boobs are def. a seller), wants to be a veterinerean, shows dogs, in university, 5’6, brown hair, plays softball and swims.  Ok, the university thing was probably a lie, as I would later find out she was 16- unless she was Doogie Houser DVM.  Dogs, true.  I find this and think, shit, I’m 5’6, was a good swimmer and softball player, too many things matched my life.  The information stated my grandfather was an engineer, father wore glasses.  So, even bits of this paper (aside from the marketing content) were beginning to fill in some gaps in my life, like, where the hell do I come from, I often felt I was living in a parallel universe to my adopted family (no I dont hate them, or have a bad relationship with them– that may be a topic for another day, since my adopted life was far from the pretty two parent white picket fenced home on a cul-de-sac promise, there were def. some Joan Crawford moments, but in retrospect could have been worse).

So 8 years later, after trying to make connections with all of this information, and the info my parents were given verbally from the agency (which led me to all the wrong places), relying upon university alumni stuff, yearbooks, military records, library birth indices, I realized I was not going to succeed by myself.  Unless, one is a trained expert, you may end up digging yourself into a deep hole, as I did.  Also I think I kidded myself into believing that it would be easier.  Since, I was born in such a small hospital, I thought, I’ll just ring them and get my birth records, I mean I was the only baby born that day.  Surely, the hospital will help me.  (right, uhhh.) So I decided finally to hire a professional, and bought some books to try to come to terms with this search thing.  I did not get to experience the catharsis of completing the search myself, but, whatever, everyone needs to do this their own way.

Literally I read 2 pages of the book before my search was unexpectedly completed, which left me no time to read the how to cope with this bla, bla, bla, because now I had a name of my birthmom, and some obituaries of my deceased grandparents, which indicated I have younger siblings and they have children. The hospital did indicate that my father was named XXXXXXX (not very WASP-y sounding). 

So what do we all do in this technologically modern world when we want to find someone, we google them.  seek and ye shall find- within one day of having a name, i have websites containing pictures of my siblings and my mother.  And then it just becomes way to surreal for me.  I find these, and I could not move out of my chair for  2 days.  I was a wreck.  My resemblence to my siblings is striking, and to my mother.  I did not want to move out of my chair for fear that I would once again lose the webpage or pictures, as they are my only link to them. 

After 2 days I faced the decision of what to do-call, email, fly over there and show up–  first, I took a shower (I seriously did not move from the chair for 2 days).  Then I spoke with a very helpful birthmom from the AAC who offered to make contact with her for me.  She has acted as an intermediary before, and since she was also a compassionate birthmom, my mother may be more inclined to open up. Honestly, I thought this was probably my best option- quite frankly, im really bad on the phone, and often say things which i letter wish to rescind.  We also thought that my mother may be more open to meet with me since she has younger children who have children and they are not married, in other words, she did not convince them to relinquish. 

Last week my first mother was contacted, and responded that she is not interested in contact with me at this point.  My younger siblings and her husband are unaware of my existence.  I have digested this, and now need to make a decision as to whether live with this and hope she decides differently, or further pursue contact.  Either way, I’m not completely without hope, though I do feel rather numb about it. 

Adoptee Civil Rights recognized in “Old Europe”

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 12:10 am

Very simply, in Switzerland, Art. 268 c of the Swiss Civil Code states that an adoptee at the age of 18 is entitled at all times to personal data of the blood parents, and perhaps before the age of 18 in special circumstances.  I believe the laws in most European countries are similar.  Why is it that we in the U.S., who are adults, often have to spend years and our life savings for information that the rest of the world is entitled to in the first place?    

Adoption is less of a “phenomenon” here, it seems to be handled more pragmatically and not influenced by religious fundamentalists- The system is not perfect but light years ahead in terms of protecting the rights of children.  There is open discussion about sex, sex education, how to avoid unplanned pregnancies taught from early on in public schools.  Birth control is readily available.  (wow, how basic, go figure)  Yes, it is everything that would make a right wing wack-o cringe. 

February 19, 2007

Another Ungrateful Bastard….

Filed under: Uncategorized — bijousodyssey @ 11:24 pm

Does the world truly need another ungrateful bastard?  The number of us who have opted to share our experiences with the world through written word has grown substantially.  Why do I, Bijou, an adoptee who has searched and is still hopeful for a reunion despite a disinterested response from b-mom choose to write about my adoption experience, which I’m sure is not so unique from many of the other bastard bloggers already out there?  3 Reasons: 

1.  Free Therapy- this is apparent to any adoptee who has paid a substantial amount to therapists over the years only to be stared at with glazed over eyes and given general pieces of advice such as, well we are all humans and no one has a perfect relationship with their parents.  Even our friends and partners (who are truly well intentioned, but unfortunately lack understanding) when we speak of our desires to search, and perhaps even reunite constantly remind us of how lucky we are, how we should not open cans of worms, how we should look forward etc.  I have tried to cope at different points in my life using alcohol, work, over-achieverness, etc., but the issue will not die.  This blog is an outlet:  the public can choose to read it or not, I can choose to discard useless comments.

2.  Enlightenment.  Strength comes in numbers.  If we out ourselves, we can demonstrate that adoption is not a fairy tale. That there are true issues we as adoptees face regarding grief, loss, rejection, etc., that these issues affect not only ourselves but also our spouses, friends, families, etc.  I somehow feel I have the responsibility to work toward change in the adoption realm, it seems to be getting even more out of control– especially in the international realm.    I’m not anti-adoption, I don’t claim to have all the answers, however I do feel that adoption should not fulfill the needs of infertile couples, rather the child without a family, and that open records/open adoption (in other words TRUTH) is the way. Abducting children from poorer countries is not the answer either.  I respect adoptive families who truthfully acknowledge these issues, unfortunately most live in denial.  

Again, the public’s opinion on adoption is bolstered by fairy-tale stories perpetuated by the media and industry.  It is truly no wonder we receive no compassion or understanding, often from those close to us. 

3.  Support:  The written word of blogging adoptees and parents who relinquished children continue to keep me going through the perplexity of search, reunion etc.  It is nice to know I’m not the only people pleasing, diplomatic reject-ee out there. 

So here it is…. Bijou’s Bastardized Odyssey

Coming themes:

“As an HWI, I would go for about $35000 on todays market.  Even discounting back and counting for inflation my parents should be the grateful ones that they got me at a deep discount to my true market value”

“Job Interviews, Dating, and the Adoptee: Rejection takes on a new meaning”

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