Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anyone Want To Contribute?

My beautiful friend Jen at Always In My Heart: An Adoption Journey emailed me the other day (sorry honey, I still owe you a return suck) and let me know about a great opportunity for us to share our "wonderful" adoption stories.  It's here (click on the farting unicorn):

It'll take a few days for me to figure out how I want to approach the blog post that is brewing, but rest assured, there's one brewing.

Thanks again you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Next Time I'm Hitting Delete Immediately

My amother sends me emails usually every day at work. Mostly forwarded emails…chain emails…prayer emails…blah blah blah.

Normally I skim them and hit delete. Today, I had a second and was reading the one she just sent. I wish I hadn’t.

The email was about this contest that was held to find the most caring child.  The child below didn't win, by the way.
Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were
discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture
had a different hair color than the other members.. One of her
students suggested that he was adopted.
A little girl said, 'I know all about
Adoption, I was adopted..'

'What does it mean to be adopted?', asked
another child.

'It means', said the girl, 'that you grew
in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!'

Thursday, January 27, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Nine

Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

I've been pondering this one for a few days.  I couldn't come up with just one person.  What I came up with is that I didn't let go of anyone.  I let them just drift away.

I have a very hard time making friends.  I'm sure some of the readers of this blog who don't adore me yet would say that it's because I'm angry and bitter and need to be prayed for.  The truth is, I think that people find me awkward in social situations...and therefore, I don't get invited out a lot.  And because I'm afraid that people find me awkward, I don't call anyone up to see if they want to hang out.  Vicious cycle, yes?

My whole thing is, I can't allow myself to get close enough to people because they always leave or hurt me.  It's worked to protect my fragile soul so far...but it definitely isn't conducive to forming long term friendships.  I live behind a wall of my own building and am unsure of how, or even whether it's safe, to knock it down.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day Eight

Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like {poo}.

This was a difficult one for me.  I was going to take the easy way out and choose one of my ex-boyfriends, or one of the mean girls or boys in high school.  But that wouldn't be pushing myself.  And for me, that's what this challenge is all about.  Pushing myself...hard.

That doesn't mean, however, that I'll be able to write much for this post.  I have my limits.  Instead, I'll post a picture and let you draw your own conclusions as to why I chose this person.  If you've been following along on my blog for any length of time, it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Seven

Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.

They have taught me...

how to make the silliest faces.
how to enjoy turning cartwheels in the grass during the summer.
how to snuggle.
how to be patient.
how to find wonder in the smallest things.
how to discipline without being abusive.
how jumping on the bed singing Hannah Montana is actually really fun.
how to laugh at myself.
how to trust another person unconditionally.
how to love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Six

Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.

I have already done something I hoped to never do....suffered a miscarriage. I wasn't very far along in the pregnancy, but it was traumatic nonetheless.  I think about that child to this day, he or she would be fourteen years old now. 

But like many of the other participants, my true answer to this one is a simple one. I hope never to bury a child. 

My amother told me the below story in its entirety while I was pregnant with Madelyn.  I wish she hadn't.

Back in the mid 60's, my a-uncle and a-aunt had a baby...their first child.  She was eight months old and was napping in an upstairs bedroom of my grandparents' house while a family barbecue was going on.  My aunt went inside to check on her and moments later started screaming.  From what my amother said, the screams were the worst she'd ever heard.

Both of my uncles rushed into the house to see what was going on and they found my aunt holding my limp cousin out to my uncle.  He performed CPR (or whatever it was called back in the 60's) on the baby but she was already gone.  Not sure if SIDS was recognized back then, but that is most likely what claimed her life. 

We used to drive past her tiny grave on our way to the family plot for the yearly flower planting and I've often wonder how my a-aunt survived the loss of that baby.  Just horrifying. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"I Love Adoption" ::thud::

I'm taking a one day break from the 30 Days of Truth challenge to rant and rave about a blog I've featured on one of my Blog of Shame posts.

She's disabled comments because of the anti-adoption trolls (muahahahaha) but I wanted to just point out WHY she remains one of the top Blog of Shame authors.

She and her husband are waiting to be put on the wait list with her agency still.  But it looks like that'll happen soon enough.  Want know why she loves adoption?

Here's her most recent post.

I've copied and pasted a list she included in the post.

I love adoption for so many reasons:

*opportunity to be a mom

*opportunity to be a family of 3

*meeting AMAZING people who have or are considering adoption

*the bond adoptive parents is so instant, very similar to the bond I have made with other Army wives

Clearly, in her eyes, adoption is NOT about finding a home for a child for whom there is no other option.  It's about her.  It's about other adoptive parents.

It's not about the child, Folks. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Five

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.

When I was younger, one of my favorite television shows was The Brady Bunch.  I loved the episodes where they'd go on family favorite being their trip to the Grand Canyon.  I've always been fascinated by pictures of the huge expanse of the canyon, stretching out for miles and miles.  Wondering what it'd be like to look over the edge and see the bottom, hundreds of feet below. 

See, I haven't really traveled anywhere in my life.  We never went on faraway vacations when I was younger.  We'd spend a week in Maine every summer and once we went to a family church camp on Cape Cod when I was seven.  The farthest north I've been was Prince Edward Island in Canada when I was pregnant with Chase and the farthest south was Virginia.  Never been to Disney World and have never been on a plane except for a trip to Maryland once. 

Steven is an only child and has traveled to many of the states in the USA.  He's told me about horseback riding in Wyoming...seeing the Giant Sequoias in California..and countless trips to Florida.  He's been to Europe many times and is very nonchalent about his travels.

I have to admit, I'm jealous.  I feel sheltered...and I have made him promise me that we'll get to visit the Grand Canyon someday.  (A trip to meet Mickey Mouse isn't out of the question

Sunday, January 16, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Four

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.

I don't know whether this person's spouse is reading my blog, so I'm going to keep this as brief as possible.  (If she is, I hope she understands why I am writing about the situation on this post...strictly in the name of healing).

I've done things I'm not proud of in my life. And one of those things was sleeping with my son's father on the first date.


Still here?

I've forgiven myself for that. It happened, we were together through my pregnancy and then we broke up (I'm grateful for that because things got VERY messy at the end) when Chase was 3 months old.

What I have to forgive my ex for is his disrespect to me as a person, and as the mother of his son.

He posted a Myspace profile when things were particularly rough between us after he returned from a 3 year fathering hiatus with a new wife and daughter in tow...I was angry at his nonchalent attitude towards our son and he was angry because he believed I had kept him from Chase.

It was bad enough that the url for the page ended in "fuckucw"...but the profile picture he posted made my blood boil.

After things had gotten better and more civil between us, he removed the picture and deleted most of the page's content..but the hurt remains..even all these years later.  I know, I know...just one more thing I should just "get over".  And I'm trying.  But some days the shame just washes over me like a tsunami.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Three


Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.

When I was a teenager, I wrote in a journal.  Stupid stuff usually, nothing too deep because thinking about the deep stuff would have surely driven me crazy.  But I remember a lot of times, just filling up the pages with the words, "I hate myself".  Over and over and over.  I'd look at myself in the mirror and just cry, wondering why I wasn't pretty...wondering why I wasn't good enough for any of the kids in school to be my friend.  Page after page I'd write those words and then I'd read them back outloud.  Sobbing and alone, I built a wall up around myself, locking my scarred soul away like a captive in a dungeon. 

I want to forgive myself for that hate.  I want to fill up a journal with the words, "I love myself".

Hopefully someday that will happen.

I'm not there yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day Two

Yesterday's post...easy peasy.  I could have come up with a gazillion billion things that I dislike about myself..but today's prompt is a gazillion billion times a little harder.

Day 2: Something you love about yourself.

Ummmm...yeah.  ::whistles while staring up at the ceiling::

When I was a child, I was abused.  Emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually.  I survived.

When I was an infant, just six days old, I was given up for adoption.  I survived.

When I was thirteen months old, I contracted Reye's Syndrome and was in a coma for four days and in the hospital for eight days.  I survived.

On the first day of junior high school, my best friend of six years stopped talking to me.  I survived.

Kids in school taunted and teased me mercilessly.  I survived.

When I was pregnant with Chase, Madelyn (eighteen months old at the time) and I were in a car accident that totaled my car.  I survived.

When I was pregnant with Madelyn, I choked on a sandwich and turned blue.  I survived.

Madelyn's biological father left me when I was three months pregnant because he wasn't ready to be a father.  I survived.

Chase's biological father abused me emotionally and took advantage of my fragile heart.  I survived.

I got the shock of my life on July 11, 2008 when I was found by my natural mother on Myspace.  I survived.

I began experiencing flashbacks of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my afather in August of 2009.  I survived.

I found out that a close relative has a chronic illness that will one day take their life.  I survived.

I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to write this post.  I survived.

I am a survivor.  I love that about myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day One

I know that I gave her a Blog of Shame award...but I'm actually turning my thinking around about Laura of "The Lola Letters" fame.  I honestly think it's admirable that she was able to acknowledge that maybe her words had hurt, rather than helped...something I work on figuring out every day.

Laura is doing the "30 Days of Truth" challenge.  I think it was supposed to be 30 weeks, but honestly, I sometimes forget to put on you really think I'd be able to stick to 30 weeks of posting???

And so, I'm starting today, with Day One.

Day 1: Something you dislike about yourself.

I dislike the fact that I stutter.  Haven't talked about that in awhile, but I'm bringing it to the forefront right now.  I haven't answered the house phone in years, unless I know who it is.  Truthfully, I have some sort of "block" on the word "Hello".  A simple word really.  And one that I can say in normal conversation, but call me on the phone and I block. 

Blocking means that I pick up the phone and cannot physically say the word "Hello".  Weird?  Yep.  I know.  That's what frustrates me the most.  It's just so random and awkward.  9 times out of 10 I let the call go to voicemail.  The tenth time, I switch it up and say, "Hi, this is Christina" instead. 

Speaking of "Christina", I can't say that either.  If I'm in a group of people and we're all introducing ourselves, the logical thing would be to just say your name while shaking the person's hand.  Nope, not me.  I have to say, "My name is Christina".  Drives me batshit.  I hate social situations in which I'm trapped into speaking.  That's when my anxiety is at its highest. 

Why does this happen to me?  Why does my heart start to race when the phone rings or when I have to say my name?  No clue.  But again, it drives me crazy and just adds to my feeling of self-loathing.

Have you cringed yet?  I hope not.  I'm learning that it's just something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my's part of what makes me, well, ME.  I can't change it, might as well learn to live with it. 

In A Nutshell

I was going to give this natural mother a Blog of Shame award, but I just couldn’t bring myself to bother. I’ve commented on her blog before and have always been struck by the angry way she discusses adoptees and their feelings. She’s a first mother…and from what I recall, her daughter doesn’t speak to her any longer. This is going to come out sounding bitter, but really, I can’t really blame her daughter for cutting ties if this is how her mother feels and expresses herself.

“People, I am just going to say it, being angry is ok. Yep, definitely. Being silly about hiding how you feel is ok. Being hurt is ok. These are honest emotions. But good grief! You are not babies anymore! If you are hurt, angry, feeling less than, take a look in the mirror. Ask yourself honestly if the words you are saying are not part of the problem. Ask yourself if telling someone who may or may not have been waiting for over 20 years to meet you that you are happy to have been adopted, that you don't care if their families don't know, that you hate them, ask yourself exactly how you would feel.”

So we should lie? We should deny our anger and just get over it? While I don’t understand the mindset of adoptees who are happy they were adopted, I’d never discount their feelings. One of my best friends is adopted…her adoptive parents went on to have a biological daughter four years later. She has never once, in the two and a half years since my reunion, said that she wished she could find her mother. She is content with her afamily and glad that she was adopted into a loving household. I’d never tell her she was wrong for being happy, but neither would she tell me that I’m wrong for my feelings of anger and pain.

In the words of my former therapist, you can’t take other people’s feelings personally. Those adoptees that Lori is ranting against aren’t ranting and raving against Lori. They are ranting against their own particular situation. One that only they have walked through. To tell them that they are part of the problem is just horribly presumptive.

Until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes and all that jazz…in fact, Lori says that adoptees should put themselves in their natural parents’ shoes…

“The fact is that you aren't in her/his head and you can't possibly know exactly what your words are doing to them. You can't possibly know if the person is being hammered down yet again, by YOU. You can't know.”

What about what your words are doing to adoptees who read your blog? Reading how immature we are for having feelings different from what you think we should have…

“You are, supposedly, mature, adult people. Yet you know you have issues with abandonment (in the very least) and that you should work them out and you don't. No, you don't. You would much rather beat the crap out of the person that you found/were found by, than face the fact that your problems are yours. After about 18 - 20 you can't blame your parents, none of them, for your problems. You can say they caused them, truly, but you are choosing not to deal with the problems in an honest fashion.”

I’d really like to know whose blogs she’s been reading…I think I’d like to add them to my blogroll if they aren’t already there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where'd It Go??? And An Update On Me

I received an email the other day, I think from one of my readers..Tina (??)..that I looked at on my phone and then promptly did something that either deleted or otherwise banished to the great unknown.  I can't find it and am hoping that Tina is reading this post and will resend the email.  ::blushes with embarassment::  Sorry!

Things are going really well with P.  We're trading almost daily emails and I'm just taking it one step at a time.  He's excited to finally have a daughter of his own and is happy to get to know me and to exchange stories about our lives thus far.  It's just so strange to say that I have a father, after my afather has been dead for seven years.  My family orchard (can't say I have a tree...haha) has grown exponentially in the past month and I'm getting used to the idea of having two more brothers to add to the branches.  I haven't asked him if they know about me yet...I figure I'll broach that subject eventually.

I'm stopping therapy for now.  I know, GASP!  Honestly, it's not because I want to, or because I think I'm "done".  One of the drawbacks of getting hired full time at my work is that I had to switch health insurances and the therapist's office I was going to doesn't take the new insurance.  I'm frustrated and can't even bring myself to start looking for another therapist because it's overwhelming to think about telling all of my crap to someone else.  Guess that means I'll be blogging more frequently to get my feelings out.  Aren't YOU all the lucky ones? 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coffee Talk with Christina : Part Three

Remember back in August when I asked for questions because I was having writer's block?  Well, I kind of am at the same place again...and am going to answer Lee's question now to jumpstart my creative juices.

Thanks Lee!

"What I might ask if we chatted over coffee would be how has your childhood informed how you parent your children today? I would ask this because although I am not adopted I had a very um odd family dynamic and found myself doing lots of sifting and casting out of things when I wanted to be a parent."

My childhood sucked. I was afraid of my aparents and felt lost and alone 99.99% of the time. I’d spend hours upon hours either in my room or outside in the woods by myself, inventing fairytale scenarios that I’d make up in my head. Often they’d involve a dramatic rescue…white horse, damsel in distress, the whole nine yards. My favorite book as a child was “A Little Princess” because for all intents and purposes, I WAS her.

As a mother, I’ve allowed my kids the freedom to be themselves. If that means that my son dresses up like Hannah Montana and prances around the house singing at the top of his lungs, then that’s okay with me. If that means that my daughter dresses in jeans and t-shirts all the time and rolls her eyes at me when it’s time to brush her teeth, then so be it. There are boundaries, of course, but I am bound and determined that my children will NEVER be afraid of me. The hugs and the kisses and the snuggles are given freely and without any fear of a slap across the face in the next moment.

I always make sure to let the kids know that I’m proud of them…that no matter how Maddie sings, or how Chase does on his spelling test, I’m proud. I never quite was able to obtain my aparents’ approval. My asister was the smart one…the one who made it farther with our piano lessons than I did…the one who got accepted into a better college than I did…the one who made straight A’s every time. Now I know that she did all those things to prove to our aparents that she was worthy enough of their love, but maybe a part of me was rebelling against them. And getting a B on my report card, while not really rebel worthy, was the best (or worst) I could do.

While I know that I need to make sure my kids are safe, I will not suffocate them. I know that they need to have their own lives and experience things that I never got to experience. I had to beg…literally beg…to be allowed to go out with my friends in high school. And when I’d get home I’d get the silent treatment for a good day and a half because I surely hadn’t deserved to be allowed to go, but they’d relented and now I was going to pay for it. I just wanted to have a little fun in an otherwise dreary existence…not too much to ask for…and it WON’T be too much for my kids to ask for. Ever.

By the way, this is Chase, dressed up like Hannah Montana...