Bijou’s Odyssey-Not Quite There Yet

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…..

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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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