There Are Better Moms Than Me


I love to cook but I don't manage to cook dinner every single night. Sometimes we eat PB & J or leftovers.

Photo Credit: Mrsdkrebs, Creative Commons

I get really mad sometimes and yell.  Loudly. Then I have to apologize...again.

I couldn't help the kids with math homework after about the second or third grade. I'm a waste when it comes to math. I failed algebra. Thank God price tags say nothing about "x" or "y" or what they equal. My shopping days would be over. 

I work a lot.  They get peeved at times and ask me to do fun things more. They say, "Mom, you need to learn to chillax..."

Shaking The Adoption Fog Out of Adoptees
(A Conversation With Laura Dennis)


Monday I introduced you to my dear friend Laura Dennis in a guest post and today we’ve decided to publish one of our private talks on both our blogs, the subject of which is dealing with adoption fog. 

Photo Credit: ChristamosMissYouMuchMrRickyRIP
On my blog we’re talking about shaking the fog out of adoptees, and on Laura’s blog the conversation continues as we go in the direction of shaking the fog out of non-adoptees. So once you’re done reading here, click on over to Laura’s place and read the rest of the conversation. We hope you find the subject matter as enlightening as we do! 

Adoptees In the Waiting Room
Guest Post: Laura Dennis



Laura Dennis, Lost Daughters blogger and author of Adopted  Reality,  has become such a dear friend to me. Although we live across the world from one another, we are closely in each other's heart-space. If you don't already know Laura, I can't wait to introduce her to you today in this guest post. She's a prolific writer with a unique voice that motivates scores of adoptees every day, to live our truth. Enjoy these words of wisdom from one who is living the journey. ~Deanna

***

If it weren’t for the Lost Daughters blogging community, the paths of Deanna Doss Shrodes and me, Laura Dennis, would never have crossed, let alone intertwined in such a fulfilling friendship. 

You see, Deanna is a Pentecostal preacher in Florida with three nearly grown children. I, on the other hand, am an East Coast bred, former dancer/non-believer living in Serbia (yes, you read that right) with two crazy small children.

The most obvious thing that we have in common is that we’re both adoptees. Yeah, yeah, you adoptees like to gang up on everyone else, wallow in your pain, and accuse the rest of us of ruining your lives. I can see where this post is going.  

But there’s more to it than that. 

We’ve held cyber-hands through some tough emotional situations. We have helped each other face ongoing, complicated post-adoption issues. Show me a simple adoption issue, and I’ll show you a cold day in hot place. That’s another thing Deanna’s taught me: sanctified cussing.

I Want An Apology!



I am an adoptee from the Baby Scoop Era. (BSE)

Photo Credit: Butupa, Creative Commons

I’m accustomed to getting weird looks when I mention the BSE to people. I have discovered that most people have no idea about this huge event in our nation's history -- and our world history, that affects millions of people.

Notice I said affects.
Not affected.
Affects.  
Present tense.

When my birth mother became pregnant, she was kicked out of the house by her father.

She was forced to move across the state to the Florence Crittenton Maternity Home and live in hiding. 

She was ostracized. Shamed. An outcast of society. 

Adoptees: Why Didn't You Say Something Sooner?



As a kid, I collected words like some collected crayons. 

Photo Credit: _IBelieve_, Creative Commons

My adoptive mother has recounted the story several times of when I was a preschooler and used the word indubitably as I was speaking, and in the correct context!  Placed in accelerated reading and writing from the time I started school, I engaged in both, every day of my life from my earliest recollection. Performing recitations for special occasions, I was unafraid to give a speech, or sing a song. I remember the first time I did so, at four years old, for the entire church.  

Why mention this? It’s not to bring up my since birth Wonder Womanish tendencies.

Horrible Things People Would Never Say
(That Are Said All The Time!)



 

 “I know a girl at church whose mother was killed by a drunk driver  and it was never any different for her, being raised by her Dad's new wife."

“My neighbor had a son who got lost and never came home, but she never talks about it. She must be fine.”

"I kinda wish my parents would have died. I've always envied people whose parents died and were able to get new ones."

"God redeemed you through your parents death. Isn't He amazing?!"

"Friends whose spouses die are lucky. They are extra special because they have the choice to pick new ones. Better ones. Ones with more money who can provide them with a better life."

"My cousin doesn't even want to know how his parents died, or search for their bodies. He has no interest."

“My best friend thanks God every day that her parents disappeared. She knows it was God’s plan and gave her opportunities she would not have had, if her parents stayed in the picture.”  

An Adoptee's Husband Speaks
Guest Post: Larry Shrodes



Note from Deanna: Today I'm featuring the first guest post ever here at Adoptee Restoration.  Being that the topic this week is marriage and adoptees, I thought it would be a great idea to invite the person who has walked beside me for over half of my life's journey to speak to this topic. Thanks babe, for being willing to share today.   

As a pastor, I have provided pre-marital counseling and performed countless weddings. During the counseling I always ask the future bride and groom a lot of questions about their family of origin, particularly their experiences as children and the kind of home they grew up in. Whether positive or negative experiences, their marriage will be affected by their history.  I am not saying they are destined to repeat those family experiences, good or bad. And I’m not saying they are doomed by them. I am just pointing out that it can’t help but affect them. I find that a person will usually decide to be just like their family or not at all like their family, nonetheless, their family has shaped the way they process things.

I have learned that adoption is not just about what happened in my wife’s life as a baby, but what takes place in her life in continued relationship with her family members. Family affects our lives - even the ones we don’t live with and sometimes the ones we don’t even know. 

My wife is the strongest woman I know. She's an outstanding wife, mother, minister and human being. I believe she can do anything, and yet I have seen how adoption issues have the ability to cause grief and heartache, the depth of which are hard to describe. The hardest thing for me is the inability to fix it.

Marriage and Surprises and Adoptees, Oh My!



My husband changed his initial engagement plan, otherwise we may not have ended up getting married.
 
Photo Credit: auberirdische sind gesund, FlickR

Once engaged, Larry told me of another idea he almost went through with.  He planned to get a ladder, lean it against the outside of my college dorm room, climb up and knock on the window. When I opened the window he was going to ask me to marry him while holding out a helium balloon with what I would think was the engagement ring tied to the balloon string. Just as I reached for it, he was going act as if he lost control of the balloon and let it go off into the sky. The plan was to let me freak out --believing my engagement ring was irretrievably gone. After a few moments, he was going to pull the real ring from out of his pocket and say, “Gotcha! Surprise!" and propose for real.

Two things never, never, never to say to an adoptee: "Gotcha!" or "Surprise!"

Needless to say, it's likely I would have slammed the window shut and walked away, I would have been so upset.

Can You Be Adopted AND (Happily) Married?

Mail is landing in my inbox from adoptees asking me if I'll write on the subject of how being an adoptee can affect one's marriage. And specifically, how to make marriage work if you are an adoptee, or married to one. If you have no idea why this would be necessary to talk about, all I have to say is, do not put your high beams on.

 I've tried to figure out why people are asking me to write about this and I have come to the conclusion:

 A lot of adoptees that I know personally do seem to have a struggle with marriage or romantic relationships. Then again, marriage is not easy to begin with!

Some have said they are on second and third marriages (or beyond) and others have given up completely.

 People notice I've been married 25 years and think I must know something.

I didn't jump on this topic suggestion right away. Part of my hesitancy was that I have to live this out every day. And, some days I fail. My husband and I are a work in progress. But we do know how to persevere in arduous times . With that said, join me this week as we talk about adoptee marriage issues! **Happy Dance**

When Larry and I speak at marriage conferences, he always starts by saying, "My wife and I have been happily married for 23 wonderful years! That's not bad for 25 years altogether..."  

Big Announcement Today!




I don’t normally post here at AR on the weekends. But today is a super exciting day. This morning at Celebration we announced that Adoptee Restoration Tampa Bay is officially launching on Saturday, April 13!  This group will meet at the church, however you do not have to be a person of faith to attend. This group is for all adult adoptees.

I’ve had this in mind from the very beginning  of starting the blog and even included the link at the top to provide monthly information, but have been waiting for a few things to come together to get started. A few local readers have been emailing me saying, “When? When? When?”

It’s here!

I know, I know. All of you don’t live in Tampa. Or anywhere near. Most of you, in fact.  But here are three reasons you can be excited. 

What Do Adoptees Talk About?



Every day I talk to adoptees, many of whom have become my close friends.  One of my dearest friends is Amanda Woolston, the DeclassifiedAdoptee, and founder/editor of Lost Daughters. We chat regularly, sometimes just about life and lots of times about adoption. Our talks have been so meaningful to us, we recently said, “You know, we should publish some of these chats…”

Photo Credit: Search Engine People Blog, FlickR
So, here we go. Today we're publishing one of our actual online chats, the subject of which is frustration surrounding speaking our truth and encountering non-adoptees who just don't understand, and some that don't want to understand.

5 Amazing Things About Being An Adoptee!


I’ve blogged about eating disorders and foot shuffling and nail biting and bed wetting and pain and heartache. Some of you are waiting to see if I blog about swallowing razor blades or attempting to jump off the Empire State Building.



Today I’m going to share five amazing things about being an adoptee.

Adoptees & Dogs...
Why They Make a Great Combination

 
"The more I know about people, the better I like my dog."

-- Mark Twain


Clearly the world is crazy about dogs. Well, the normal people are, anyway.  And, the adoration is deserved.


When I was a little girl I had a dog named Kelly, a golden retriever. This is one of my favorite photos of us together, and friends who have seen this photo have remarked that my "style" is still the same. I have boots I wear, exactly like this, still today. And plenty of dresses just like that one in my closet that I wear now. I just don't let them hike that high up on my thighs today. Nobody wants to see that much cellulite.

Kelly has long gone on to be with Jesus, but now I have two huge but gentle dog-a-sauruses named Max and Maddie.


Many people whether adopted or not speak of a very special relationship with their dogs. The strength of character dogs display is particularly appreciated by me, as an adoptee who has a long track record of problems trusting human beings. And not for nothing, I might add! 

The Wonder Years


For adoptees, all the years are the wonder years. Unless they've been given access to all the information about themselves.  

Did you ever think of what a strange world adoptee-land can be, where a human being does not readily have knowledge of their own personal history? I can't think of many things much more bizarre than that, not to mention, potentially dangerous when it comes to medical history.

I am hard pressed to think of any adoptee I personally know who has told me that knowing their full history, even in what some would term "worse case scenarios" was worse than not knowing. 

Photo Credit: Luz Adriana Villa A, FlickR

A counselor once advised me that secrets are some of the most destructive things in the world. I know that full well.  It's often been said, "You're only as sick as your secrets."