Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I've been reading a lot of blogs lately. I confess that, for the most part, these blogs are focused on adoption, specifically adult adoptees.

I believe it's important for adoptees to be open about their adoption experiences. Legislation currently is not on our side. We have no rights to our own information. Perhaps, if we're more open with our stories, we'll be able to educate the general public about adoption--and the importance of giving adoptees rights. Personally, I won't consider donating to the ACLU until they decide to support the rights of adoptees. Currently, their stance is to make sure that birth mothers' privacy is protected--forget about the person who was given away to strangers and has no medical information--and that many birth mothers would like to find their relinquished sons and daughters.

Personally, I have very mixed feelings about adoption. My concern is that a number of adoptive parents shouldn't actually be parents. However, I hate to tar all a-parents with the same brush, because I know some a-parents are fantastic parents.

I am adopted. I have always known. I can't remember not knowing. I have always been very open about--even when I was a little kid. I've always announced it to people. I think it drives my mom nuts.

My parents had four kids the... standard way. Then my mother had twins who died at birth. The doctors felt that my mom shouldn't have any more babies because there would be a very strong chance that any future babies would die at birth as well. This was in the 60's and my mom has a rare, negative blood type. After four years--and I'm not sure when they decided to adopt--they got me. In my opinion, I really scored (well... for the most part) in the family department. I have four older brothers and sisters who absolutely adore me. Suckers. My personality, even as a baby, was (and is) completely different. Rather than the shy, nervous babies who cried when people looked at them, she had this appalling good natured baby who loved everyone. I still hear stories about what an adorable kid I was. I would puke over the cuteness of it all, but I am a Leo.

I absolutely love my mom and my brothers and sisters. They're fantastic! I remember my brother taking me with him on dates and when he was out stealing cars. I remember intentionally sticking my disgusting smelly sneakers under my sisters bed to drive her insane. My sisters used to force me out of bed in the morning to french braid their hair when they were in high school (closest thing to slave labor--I didn't even know how to do laundry until I was 19).

So, I have a wonderful, perfect family. Really. It's weird. Every sibling is now married with children. Everyone has a degree and a decent job. We're total WASPs. Well, I don't have kids--and I'm only getting married now--when I'm on the far side of 30.

The only real negative of my childhood was my a-dad. He left when I was one. Because my adoption wasn't finalized at that point, the adoption agency tried to take me away. My grandfather (one of the last decent lawyers--known as "honest Bob" fought the agency to keep me. Luckily they won. My mom had full custody and my brothers and sisters and I saw my a-dad every Sunday.

My a-dad ended up getting in a spot of trouble (thank heavens--our family was just too normal). He ended up embezzling about a million bucks. I guess it was to support his two families. He was disbarred and eventually he went to jail for writing bad checks. I remember the last time I called him for his birthday. It was like pulling teeth to get him to speak. But, he has always been like that. My mom said it was horrible when they were married--she was home with kids all day and he would never speak when he got home. So, I stopped calling him. I decided I was done trying to cultivate a relationship with him. I mean, it's not like I'm even his real daughter. He left when I was one. Should I really feel bad about it? Well, I've been trying to talk myself out of feeling bad for about 20 years. Isn't that a laugh? He's not just a bad father to me, he's also a bad father to his homegrown kids too. He's a recovered alcoholic who still plays the "nothing is my fault" game.

So, I'm getting married in... ARGH... less than 3 weeks. I didn't invite my a-dad. Have I mentioned that his wife is the shining incarnation of pure evil? She's the meanest. I didn't invite them. I barely feel like he's my dad. My dad is my stepfather--who I didn't meet til I was 18. So, I'm trying really hard not to feel guilty about not inviting him. But, it's not like I'll ever hear from him, so why worry?

Anyway, enough about me. Adoption is weird. In spite of the one (BIG) negative of my situation, my adoption story is pretty nice. I'm not ashamed of being adopted, it's more like a badge of honor. I wish Bastard Nation gave out cards to members so I could tell people I was a "card carrying member of Bastard Nation," rather than just being a member. But I don't think my feelings are standard. And I think it's important that people know that many stories aren't all sweet and rosy.