adoptedwriter: (Default)
 

 

Most likely readers here already know that I am adopted, ( see DW/LJ handle). Most people on my Facebook also know unless they never see some of my news feed posts. I was painfully ashamed of being adopted for years; decades actually. I lied through my teeth to friends, colleagues and anyone else because I detested people’s responses like:

 

“You’re so lucky.”

“It was God’s plan.”

“You’re special because you were chosen.”

and my personal favorite, “You should thank your lucky stars!”

 

Those sayings only made me feel conflicted, ashamed for being under par and infantile. Since I wanted to avoid those conversations, I kept my mouth shut and faked it till I made it. That plan worked for a long time. 

 

Then I found a support group and I found my biological family. I wasn’t ashamed of my family, so I decided I shouldn’t keep hiding. Still, I had to learn how to do that, and part of learning how to “come out” would mean I’d have to learn how to deal with those less-aware societal comments I detested. 

 

Now my adoption is no secret. It’s not a source of shame, and

I have a rebuttal or a way to debunk each one of these one-sided remarks. For me to be lucky, at least one other person had to be unlucky and pay a helluva price. What kind of luck is that?  What if I don’t believe in a traditional G-d?  Puppies get chosen from a litter. Who should I thank?  My parents who adopted me?  Do you thank your parents who didn’t have to adopt you but still raised you? How much more thankful than you am I supposed to be?

 

Not only can I express these feelings in writing to my online friends and communities. If necessary, I can express these thoughts in real life. What I’ve discovered more often than not is that most people then reply with:

 

“I never thought about it that way before.”

“I can see how you think that way.”

and “That makes sense.”

 

This day and age is a lot “safer” for adopted people to not just come out but also speak up about their situation. We don’t agree with 100% closed adoptions, hidden truths, adoption for major profit, gaslighting or demeaning of anyone’s personal feelings regarding being adopted. We do agree with first-family support first, providing honest medical and heritage information and professional training that is specific to the adoptee experience for counselors, therapists and clergy. 

 

DNA testing is bringing more scientific evidence of how nature and nurture both have a place as well as the fact that missing and secret family members who were born out of wedlock years ago can’t be kept in a closet any longer. DNA = Do Not Argue. Adoptees are coming out, and we are outing the secret keepers one by one, agency by agency, state by state and country by country. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

adoptedwriter: (Default)
Some wicked, evil storms are headed our way this evening. Guess it's coming from out west. The worst so far is to the south, but not that far south of my 'hood. Northern KY is getting hit.  
adoptedwriter: (Default)
 Inspired by my husband's dietary restrictions post by pass surgery:

Enjoy Every Sandwich:

 

Whole wheat, pumpernickel, sourdough rye?

Which bread type will I try?

The least in carbs, the highest in grain 

high fructose corn syrup … bad for the brain. 

 

Ham, turkey, roast beef, chicken?

Tuna, salami, in the kitchen

Processed meat is not good eaten’ 

Limited choices. I feel beaten. 

 

Provolone, mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss?

Special sauces brought pure bliss. 

Cheese has fat and sodium

Too much queso and I’ll need Imodium. 

 

Can’t eat this. Shouldn’t have that. 

Too many grams of saturated fat. 

All those carbs and all that salt

Lousy genetics, no one’s fault.

 

All I want is to like my eats

And to not have to analyze every treat

Or feel like a zero because I ate a gyro

or a ne’er do well because of my HDL.

 

So if you have more luck than me

and can enjoy a BLT

or a Reuben or something else from the deli

or even just a peanut butter and jelly

 

savor and appreciate

every sandwich that you ate!


adoptedwriter: (Default)
 The Never-Ending Story of being Adopted

 

This weekend on Ancestry DNA, I found a first cousin match! ( or did my new 1st cousin find me?) 🤔 At any rate, it’s delightful. This time in the adoption story I’m on the other side of the fence. I’m his bio cousin. I’m the one holding a bunch of answers to his over 50 years of questions. 

 

Will I help a cousin out? You bet I will!  I’m excited to “do my job” as both a fellow adoptee who gets it and as a family member, willing to be open and accepting to the new guy. I’m excited and he is ecstatic! 

 

We are related in that our birth fathers were brothers. My bio father had more in common with his big brother then just being in the Navy. It’s possible my uncle, this new cousin’s dad never had a clue as to what resulted from probably a brief, in-the-moment “fling”. We’ll never know how that part would be handled since everyone who could have known from that generation has passed. 

 

Too many secrets. So much information. Our stories continue to unfold, one adoptee at a time. 

 

One thing my new cousin and I can agree on. We’re not alone. We’re glad there are others out there just like us. We are glad to now have each other. 

adoptedwriter: (Default)
 Dear BB2.0,

 

Where are you? We’ve been waiting for a year now. When BB1 suddenly left last year we thought you’d appear soon, but no such luck. What’s going on?

 

What can I do to encourage you out of the shadows? We pray; we wish; we live well; we work to create good Karma. 

 

We’ve been trying to tell you for months how much you will be loved and cared for in this family. I know the world must look kinda scary and ridiculous right now between politics, acts of hate and climate changes,  but we, your family, are good people. We’re resilient, nurturing and ready for you.

 

For now, your cousin, HoneyB is taking the limelight. She’s the center of our world. She’s a great joy, but also ready to grow up and share life with her first cousin, you

 

Your future mom, most of all, is ready for you now to baby-step, (literally), out from the shade and join your future parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great grandparents in the light which is your big, fun, welcoming and forever grateful gathering of family and friends

 

I get it.  The shade equals protection. Shade shields us from worry and challenges. Shade can grant security, but know that your parents will also be able to provide safety and stability for nurturing your young spirit. You will be fine. You will be raised to meet and exceed the demands of life. You will learn that life is good, and you will always have support. You, BB2.0 will learn how to bring positive energy to everything and everyone around you. You will be kind, mindful, brave. You’ll be a hard worker, a life long learner, at times a misfit but also a survivor, but most of all, you will be one of us. 

 

adoptedwriter: (Default)
When I met my birth father, I must’ve scared him off. Over the phone, during our initial conversation in the fall of 1987, we agreed to meet at a Denny’s Restaurant. I told him I’d be wearing a purple sweater and jeans so he would know who I was. He told me he’d have his Cincinnati Bengals jacket. Everything was a go. I knew that one of his daughters, (my half-sister) was a cosmetologist, so I made sure my hair, makeup, and nails were perfect.

It was an almost 80-degree day in October, too hot for a purple, wool sweater with snowflakes, but I wanted to keep to my word in spite of perspiration beads sliding down my back. My husband and I arrived at Denny’s ahead of time and ordered our dinners, figuring we could eat on our own and focus on conversation later, but I couldn’t touch my fish platter. I was afraid of getting broccoli in my teeth.

When my birth father did arrive, right on time, he was wearing a blue t-shirt, clutching his black and orange Bengals jacket in one hand. I recognized him right away even though I’d never seen him before, not even in a photo. I would have known it was him even without the NFL team Jacket. He looked like me if I’d been a man.

His haircut was stylish and youthful, his jeans and gym shoes were cool, and he reminded me more of a big kid than someone who was a dad; especially an older dad of grown children. It was obvious he liked to have fun. He came as he was, simple, casual and curious. I liked his relaxed style. He gave off a vibe of having wisdom that comes with maturity, but also a sense of playfulness. He wasn’t highly educated, but he knew things. He knew about life. He’d been in the U.S. Navy and had traveled the world. He knew how stuff worked, loved fishing, football, and other sports.

I let him ramble on and share his life. Besides, being a good listener was supposed to impress people. I was truly interested in getting to know him, and I hung on to every amusing tale he told about his intoxicated Irish neighbors across the street to the time he babysat his daughter’s yappy poodle puppy. Any question of mine that he could answer naturally without me having to probe would feel less like an interrogation I figured. (One thing I learned early on in my searching for biological family members was to let other people talk. You’ll get facts and stories you might not dream about asking, but those musings will be rich and detailed.)

Every vignette he shared about his life, brought more questions, and I had to walk a fine line between queries that moved our conversation along and appearing too nosey for a first meeting.

My birth father and my husband shared about work. We chatted about owning a home and yard care. I felt like we’d reached some common bonds about living life. I had the impression that he would think of us as a nice, responsible young yuppie couple who had our $h!t together and wanted nothing more than to get to know him as a human being in the here and now.

We arranged to meet again two weeks later on a Saturday night at a nice Italian restaurant called Sorrento’s. However, my birth father never showed. He had the decency at least to call Sorrento’s and tell them that if we were there, that he had to cancel because one of his kids had been in a car accident, and he had to go to the hospital. The maitre d’ summoned me to the phone, and I spoke with my birth father. He seemed very concerned that I believe him. I told him that of course, I did, and I totally understood, ( although inside I was totally crushed). His last words to me were, “I’ll call you.”

The last time someone used the words, “I’ll call you” on me, it was after a date with a guy I never heard from again. My birth father probably said the same thing to my birth mother back in 1961. I’m pretty sure I relived that moment my birth mother’s life in one evening. I was kindly dumped. At least that’s how it felt.

I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t cool or witty enough. He must’ve felt that I wouldn’t fit in with his family. No matter how perfectly I presented, I did not qualify. Maybe I scared him away by being too smart, too well dressed, too uppity or too dumb about sports. Maybe I smelled bad. Emotionally, I beat myself up for failing for years.

Or maybe it was him. Maybe he was the one who regarded himself as unworthy. Maybe he felt he had nothing to offer to our relationship. Perhaps he felt guilty. Could he have felt awkward about the little “affair” he’d had 26 years before? Maybe he was hiding a dark side he did not want me to witness. I’ll never know what went through his mind in the fall of 1987, but I moved on in life and worked hard, raised my kids and tried to be a good friend and neighbor every day.

I had to finally make peace and know that it was his loss. I had lost as well, but this rejection was all on him. In spite of all that, I also knew that should he or anyone in his family reemerge to connect with me, I would be here, anxiously waiting and never giving up hope for a reunion and more answers revealed about my biological family.

Busy Day

Dec. 22nd, 2018 10:47 pm
adoptedwriter: (Default)
Chest tube is out. O2 is good. BP is low...like lower than normal, but that might be the drugs...He sat in a chair for a while, He is eating "real" food...He's getting potassium, magnesium, serotonin and a few other supplements but pain is low (relatively) and water retention is not that bad. (Some is expected. Lasix takes care o that.) Hub is responding well. He prob is not pleased that I chose to come home tonight instead of stay at the hospital, but I needed a break, a shower, and consistent sleep. I also just needed time to myself. I'm thankful he's doing OK. I'm thankful he is so responsive and not snippy, critical and cranky like my mom gets. Hope it stays that way. Overall, today was a "Good Day". Fuzzy1 and MX got moved and I was able to spare 2 hours to go help them as well. A baby gift arrived on our porch today...Giver is unknown for now. Hub also received a nice book from someone via Amazon. Giver is not known. Hmmm...
adoptedwriter: (Default)
I’m in! I had two byes before I was eliminated. Do I get those back or do I roll bye-less?
adoptedwriter: (Default)
I miss my father-in-law. He was the most reliable, honest and unwavering person I have ever known. He was the embodiment of the American Dream, (as were many men of his era). Steve was born into middle class, rural Ohio, raised by his mother and adoring grandparents on a farm. Steve’s dad was aloof, boisterous and not around much, (off carousing and being a stunt pilot-turned-WWI and II Air Force hero). His father, “The Colonel”, as even his children knew him, insisted that his son would never be able to run a business successfully.

My father-in-law proved his father wrong by working his way up, first by working under others for larger companies, learning everything he could. Steve had good attention to detail, enjoyed his education, made a few very close friends and patiently waited for his time to shine. In the 1960s, he started up his own company and did very well until he retired in the early 1990s. It was not always easy because when you own your own business, you pretty much have to be more married to your work than you are to your spouse if you want your job and the jobs you’ve created for others to continue. Somehow he managed both work and marriage, (52 years), successfully and with style.

His life wasn’t as easy as he made it look, but he never gave up and never lost focus of what mattered to him; basically doing better in all the ways that his revered war hero father said would never come to pass. Steve always managed to do the right thing.

As a dad and husband, the man was Ward Cleaver, of Leave It To Beaver fame. Steve seemed to always have a solution for everything. He was not arrogant or a know-it-all. He was just that wise and level-headed. His role in life, it seemed, was to make other people’s lives less complicated and less worrisome. He was the ideal Boy Scout; always prepared, respectful to all, filled with integrity and incredibly helpful. He was a good dad who never enabled his kids but instead masterfully, quietly and calmly taught his sons about self-sufficiency and kindness.

He gave everyone the feeling that all issues could be dealt with. All questions had an answer. There was a tool for fixing anything broken and the best way to handle any conflict was with patience, perseverance, research and humor.

Steve had the best advice. He was stable and seemed god-like leading his family with a calming and loving hand.

I wish he were still here. He would be proud of how our kids and their spouses have turned out. He’d delight in his two great grandchildren and be proud of how his son, my husband looked after both his mother and aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s for years. Steve would be impressed at how my husband, has become the next problem solver in both his career and in his home life.

Sadly, sometimes there’s one quandary that can’t always be solved: a serious medical diagnosis. Steve couldn’t escape it, and now my husband is facing a similar predicament. We don’t have an older, well informed, reassuring parent figure to guide us and pave the way this time. We’re on our own, and that’s scary as hell.

Adulting is hard. Adulting with no guidance is harder. Adulting with a serious diagnosis is terrifying. I’m not sure what to do…
adoptedwriter: (Default)
Dear HoneyB, I’m not a super religious person, however I know I am spiritual. In your life, you will be raised to understand there are many ways to worship and praise. Therefore you will also be spiritual. At midnight I said a mental prayer that all the workers in the hospital who were taking care of all of us would use sound judgement and best practices if faced with challenging decisions and duties, especially while we attempted sleep with our guard slightly down. Later at 1 AM, when your mom’s contractions weren’t progressing, I found spirituality and asked the Universe to keep your mom comfortable but also to make the medicine work. At 2:00 when your monitor showed a de-cell in your heart rate I prayed to my ancestors for direction and strength. Five nurses came dashing in to check on you. You were fine. I prayed you would stay fine. At 3:00, while your dad dozed, your mom labored quietly and your aunt fretted while never taking her eyes off the monitor, I asked for protection and wisdom. At 3:30, when the doctor determined it was time to start pushing, your aunt held your mom’s hand. I held one leg. A nurse held her other. Your dad and a student in residency looked on. Deep cleansing breath... 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 We helped your mom push, and during that time I used yoga breathing and prayed to all the major Bible “heroes” like Moses, Abraham, Jesus and Mary for their blessings and kindness. I even prayed to the picture on the birthing room wall showing two nuns holding babies in a field of flowers. Maybe one of those nuns was Mother Teresa. She’d have some power. And finally your little head crowned. Big breath, and 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10... Your mom gave three final pushes, and you slipped forth into our little part of the world. The cord encircled your neck, but your heart beat steadily. The doctor quickly unfurled you, and you grunted. Then you gave a short cry. Best sound ever! And we are incredibly thankful that everything we asked for and then some came true. We have beautiful you. Miraculous you. Precious, delicate and strong you. They weighed and measured and took your temperature. Your apgar score was fine. You’re a healthy newborn. We love you. My G-d How we love you! Thanks be to every power in this universe who contributed to this adored child’s arrival into life from the skilled medical providers to those who developed all the amazing technology. I am in awe of this day, and I am forever grateful to have experienced this.
adoptedwriter: (Xmas Angel)
I need votes! If I end up in a tie / write off situation I would prob have to sacrifice because the Baby is coming in 1-3 days! (Thank you medical induction process) Here's the link: https://therealljidol.dreamwidth.org/1013689.html I will most likely take a bye next week unless some sort of masterpiece in perfect form just spills forth lickety-split. Last day o work before Thanksgiving Break. Gotta make it count! Thanks for any help you can offer! (by voting)
adoptedwriter: (Default)
Dear HoneyB,

Your mom is about to become an actual mother for the first time. (Seriously, we are into “any day now” mode.) When she and your dad announced the blessed news to the world, they posted a photo of three sets of western boots: a man’s set, a woman’s set and a tiny pair of red child-sized boots. Your future first boots, perhaps for your first rodeo.

It was charming being how your parents are into the trendy, country, rustic imagery these days. (Plus your mom is a total shoe queen!)

You may know that your mommy is an RN and had experience working in an L&D ward during part of her internship. Still, now it’s her own body and baby; the tables are turned. It wouldn’t matter how much education and life experience she’s had with other people’s babies, this time it’s all new and personal.

Here I am an experienced educator since 1983 who has worked with all sorts of kids from newborns to college age. My job in all this excitement both now and post-your birth is to avoid helicoptering and too much pontificating while letting you and your parents ease through the wonder, magic, and challenges of young familyhood. However, I pledge to always be here if you need me.

It's like, I am having a baby vicariously. I’ve redecorated a room for you at our house. I refurbished the old dollhouse your mom and aunt played with. I have bought so...many...clothes, LOL. Now I am nesting by doing extra laundry, shampooing carpets, organizing papers, pitching what I don’t need and basically making my home and automobile baby-ready. At work I’ve prepped ahead just in case I get “that” phone call and have to leave fast or not come in the next day. I even have my own to-go bag packed with toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and spare underwear, in case we’re in for a long stretch of time at the hospital. My backpack is on the rear seat of my car beside the base for your state-of-the-art  Chicco  ™  car seat.

Your mom probably thinks I’m ridiculous.

Regardless, it’s my way of being ready at a moment’s notice. I’ve been through this experience. Twice. It was beautiful, passionate, overwhelming, a little scary and exhausting.

The newness for me is that I will now fill the esteemed role once held my mother and mother-in-law. I’ll be the grandma! Am I up to it? You bet your sweet baby booties I am!

Seeing a baby live in person, (not via ultrasound) for the first time is not easy to describe because most adjectives are clichés, but when we, (as a collective family), finally hold our long-awaited, beloved new infant daughter/granddaughter/niece in our arms it will bring much appreciation for the magical awesomeness of life full circle. It will take our souls to another level, and it will be all good. So very good. I’m looking forward to witnessing this from the perspective of one generation up.

I want all the best for you and your family, Baby HoneyB. I'm looking forward to sharing holiday traditions, maybe going on trips, enjoying songs, stories, movies, and family events for many years. In some ways, you’ve been a part of our lives spiritually for ages, but we also know that your physical arrival will change our lives for the better and make our world an amazing and positive place. I can’t wait to meet you, HoneyB! You’ll be here before we know it!

baby announcement  https://stricklandp.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/something-im-looking-forward-to/
adoptedwriter: (Default)
I have an original birth certificate and a fabricated (aka “amended”) birth certificate. This happens a lot with adopted people. You might think it’s kinda cool and noteworthy to have two birth documents but it’s actually complicated. After 57 years, I’ve learned to deal with it, but It’s taken some soul-searching.

When I was very small and my (adoptive) parents explained that I was adopted they showed me my birth certificate. The only one they had was the changed one, but it was theirs, and it was mine. It bonded us as a family. It was the piece of identity on paper that I used for obtaining a social security number, a driver’s license, a passport, and a job. That paper was me. Only it wasn’t all me. It was legal, and it was real, but it also made part of me unreal.

My amended birth document contains my adoptive parents’ names as if they’d been the ones who conceived and birthed me. It lists my hospital of birth and my birth date. However, it does not list my time of birth nor my birth length/weight. Everyone I know has these tidbits of information. I often felt disturbed that my paperwork was lacking, (especially when people would talk about how big someone’s baby was and at what time they entered this world). You wouldn’t think those little-bitty details would matter that much, but they did to me. Honestly, until my mid-20s I hated, (yes literally), hated my birth certificate because it wasn’t real enough and it was not inclusive. Instead, I had a societally expected text to follow, and it was bullcrap because I did not have what other “normal” (in my young mind) people had.

My so-called script was to acknowledge that I was an adopted “child” and I was “chosen” by my adoptive parents, so that made me “ special” and “grateful”.

News flash: “Normal” people don’t use scripts; not for their birth story.

It took years for me to find the words to explain why this parlance was no good. For one thing, a child grows up. I’m not a child now, nor do I want to be. Adopted people do not want to be regarded as a perpetual child, but in many states, this is how adoption law works. We can smoke, drink, buy lottery tickets and serve in the military, but many of us cannot access our first birth certificate that has detailed information about our true start in life.

I’ve always associated the word, “chosen” with picking out a puppy from a litter or the old TV commercial slogan, “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” Being chosen implies that the adoptee has had no control. This verbiage potentially sets someone up to be hesitant and less inclined to seek leadership. Being chosen also implies hoping that other people out there deem you worthy enough to be selected. I refuse to believe that a child or baby in an orphanage who happened to never be adopted is in any way less worthy.

“Grateful”. Again this is a highly charged word. I’m grateful for a lot of things, but should I be more grateful than anyone else? How do you measure gratefulness anyway?

I found out from watching a TV talk show that adopted people in Ohio could actually acquire their original birth certificate, (referred to as an OBC in Adoption-land), so I sent Vital Statistics a twenty dollar check, and six weeks later the paper-pushers in Columbus sent me a big, fat envelope with copies of my real identity. My OBC even had listed the first, middle and last names of my birth parents, my pre-adoption name and a notation showing that I was not a first birth for my biological mother. I had a sibling out there!

The day I sat at my kitchen table and finally absorbed the realities reflected on these papers I changed from a functional but incomplete person to someone who felt whole and authentic. I no longer had to rely on a fabricated narrative about when, where and how I was born. My shame for not being grateful enough lifted from my soul, replaced by empowerment.

As I researched and uncovered more truths about my birth family for the rest of that year, I learned all I needed to know. I had to accept that due to my birth mother’s early-in-life death, I would never know all tidbits, but I had more than ever before. I had enough. I became the real me.

These days I happily share my birth story and I no longer hate it or find my natal facts lacking except in one way.
After all that time wishing and searching, my birth time and size were still omitted. Some things will always remain a mystery…
adoptedwriter: (Me Halloween)
Ghosted

Billie is a ghost.
She saw me once, but I can’t remember seeing her.
Doctors sent me to the nursery, and then I went to foster care.
Billie went to the OR for surgery and then home to recover.
She appears in many photos, so I know she was real.
People talk about her, but I’ve never heard her voice.
She worked in restaurants and bakeries most of her life.
She never fed me.
She enjoyed country tunes, the old style.
I never heard her sing.
She danced and swayed to the music.
She never rocked me.
She argued fiercely with her boyfriend.
She and I never had a mother-daughter fight.
She wanted to find me and had carbon copies of papers.
I had a new name and a changed birth certificate.
She moved away to California, to start a new life.
I moved to Florida to start college.
Her heart valves gave out, and she died feeling broken.
I fell in love and returned to Ohio. My heart grew when my babies were born.
I’ve never felt Billie’s touch, but I have felt her presence in the room and in my daughters’ eyes.
Billie is a ghost.
adoptedwriter: (Default)
A belief among educators is that first you learn to read. Then you read to learn.

When my younger daughter, Fuzzy1, was in early elementary school, I suspected that she had some sort of learning struggle beyond just “math sucks, reading is boring”, etc. I knew better than to compare her to her older sister who was a “keen, lean, reading machine” by mid kindergarten. The intelligence was clearly there in my Fuzzy1; it was the wiring between her eyes and her brain that was not standard issue. Her speech was advanced. Her memory and observation skills were in some ways better than mine. She was a smart, spirited little girl, and it broke my heart when she felt misunderstood and frustrated while struggling to work out sounds, blends and digraphs in even simple words. It was heart breaking because I loved reading books, and I wanted the same for my girl.

Books were my escape as a kid. Books were like a socially acceptable TV in my head when I was grounded from regular TV or needed a brain break while struggling with my own school work or unpleasant kids at school. Books were heaven.

I feared my youngest daughter would never have the beloved sanity-saving outlet from which I benefited and self-soothed. I grieved how we might not ever share a love for reading together. One of her teachers described her as “at risk” which both frightened and angered me.

My kid was not like that.

We invested in the “Hooked on Phonics” System to the tune of almost $400 including shipping and handling. We received hundreds of cute paper back, short stories with lovely, bright illustrations and easy to read vocabulary. Fuzzy1 wanted nothing to do with the overwhelming pile of more books she could not read. She used them as target practice, flinging them at the wall.

We began the process of having her tested for special services at school. As I suspected, the testing showed her to be dyslexic. To what extent couldn’t be determined because she was so little, but the school admins recognized her skills at socializing, art, and using her visual, auditory, and tactile memory effectively. She recognized symbols and logos for cars, clothing and restaurants, so literacy at some level was there. She had so much potential.

It took time, but we spent as many opportunities as we could reading together. I wanted her to love literature. We purchased and checked out audio books when possible, and this saved time and reduced her anxiety and frustration. We took shopping trips to the local Barnes and Noble and libraries. Bringing home books was never something I said no to. I wanted both my kids to always know that reading was a positive thing.

The LRC teachers and aides at school worked their magic, and as a fellow professional, I knew how to work WITH them and trust them instead of being “that mom” at every conference and on report card day. I’m trained to teach kids Spanish. Mrs. H. was trained to teach kids reading and how to manage organization, time and stress management as it pertains to learning. (I learned a few teaching tips myself from dear Mrs. H. which I’ve passed on to my tutoring kids. )

Fuzzy1 did learn to love story books in time. She grew up as educational software became more available for in-home purchase, and my husband researched what was best to buy and which games and activities our kids could enjoy together. One of their favorites was about taking a tour of the Titanic. They also explored math blaster and Mario typing. However, diskettes and DVDs never have outnumbered all the physical books at various reading levels which gradually filled our house.

Between the dedicated educators she had from second grade through her senior year of high school, combined with non stop family support and enrichment, Fuzzy1 indeed learned how to read and appreciate anything she set her mind to. Due to time constraints, more of her reading has been for school and professional needs, and she can do it accurately and in a timely way. Dyslexia can’t be “cured”, but it can be managed. It did not stop her from realizing her dream of becoming a nurse. If anything it’s made her a better advocate for people of need. She’s one of the most dedicated and compassionate people you’ll ever meet.

Two weeks ago we had a baby shower for Fuzzy1 and her own baby, who is due in November. Fuzzy1 isn’t much into baby trends or assigning themes, but when you get a bunch of teachers and librarians together for a shindig, the main idea for the party before the blessed event was obvious: Bring A Book!

How 20 people managed to bring 20 different pieces of written work, (no duplicate purchases), is amazing. MX’s grandma gave them the collection of MX’s dad’s Little Golden Books she’d saved for 55 years and she signed each book for her future granddaughter.

I have a bookcase vacuum-packed with my girls’ books too; everything from Maggie Simpson’s Counting Book to Everybody Poops, the Curious George and Madeline tales plus good ole Dr. Seuss. My new favorite kid books are the Pete The Cat series by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean. Will we ever have time to read them all? You bet your Wonky Donkey we will! This kid is going to have a lot of reading material. One way or another, this grandchild, and hopefully a few others, will never lack literary luxuries.

There’s no such thing as having too many books!
adoptedwriter: (Default)
If you drive about 45 minutes north of my city you will see an iconic landmark of sorts. It's the Solid Rock Church, and it was founded in 1978 in Lebanon, OH, originally, but the mighty Middletown "North Campus" is probably the most well-known branch. It's a massive and sprawling piece of real estate between Cincinnati and Dayton, OH which gives tribute to the Lord, the King of Kings, the Big J.C., Savior, the Almighty, Buddy Christ, Jesús or whatever name you recognize The Boss on the Cross as.
 
In front of the structure is a man-made pond where there used to be a colossal statue of a massive Messiah rising from the water. He was fondly known to passers-by as "Quicksand Jesus" and also "Touch Down Jesus". 
 
In June of 2010, the area suffered from intense storm damage due to wind and lightning. Jesus caught fire and burned. Here are some of our beloved local TV news reporters explaining the demise of this iconic image: 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CHcR7_c630 
 
Local citizens viewed this freak accident of nature as both tragic and ironic. Many saw it as a sign of doom because if the Big Guy in the Sky couldn't survive a lightning strike, well, what does that say about our future as a society?  Some folks thought the stature was an eyesore along the interstate and gave the Solid Rock Church, who was responsible for building it, a reputation for being opulent and only wanting attention. 
 
Fear not. This faith-filled mega church quickly came up with a plan B as in Bible. Now, travelers motoring north or south in Middletown, OH can view an updated representation of the risen-again Redeemer in all His glory.
 
He is now known widely and fondly as "Hug Me Jesus" and or "Big Butter Jesus" or my personal favorite, "Five Dollar Footlong Jesus".  The icon measures 52 feet tall and  weighs 3000 pounds. Another new and improved feature: He is now Fire-Proof Jesus!
 
This video clip at the 1/2 way point  shows the new scripture, um I mean sculpture:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezpcddHchIM
adoptedwriter: (Default)
I am non-stop as a teacher, tutor, group exercise instructor, and school aide. I’m a wife, (34 years in October), mom of two daughters and caring pet mom to four kitties. I’m an author of two memoir books about being adopted. I’m a daughter to my 88-year-old mother and a sister to seven siblings between birth and adoption. I teach Zumba (TM) three days a week, love working in my garden, travel, reading, and creative writing. I describe myself as “non-stop” because this is the way I live every day. I have very little downtime. Usually, I don’t mind the hustle and bustle. It keeps me engaged, generating money, plus I’m active physically and mentally. It’s my choice to live this way. I will not give any of it up.

I love dinner out on Friday nights with my sisters or my friends. (Clinks margarita glasses with you) I love spending time with my adult daughters because being a mom never ends. I bundle up and bunker down during winter and patiently wait for more daylight and warmer days to return. During summer I lavish in light and warmth, like a tropical plant. I love all sorts of comedy and can embrace both the humorous and pride-filled parts of my life. Sometimes I cuss, ( not at work😊). I can’t read a note of music and I hate math, ( except for money💰) and love learning about history, art, foreign languages and cultures.

If you’re a homeless or hurt animal, I will heal you, (if I can), and give you a home forever. If you’re a child, I will teach you anything and give you love, guidance, and opportunities. If you’re a new neighbor, I’ll introduce you around and welcome your kids and dogs in my yard. If you can help me with technology, I’ll be forever grateful for your services. If you’re my colleague I will respect you and try to learn from your experience. If you’re my medical professional, I will cooperate, be in awe of what you know and your ability to explain and problem solve. If situations look bleak, I will not quit or give up. If you’re a friend to me, I will always be a friend to you.

I am non-stop, and I never give up.
adoptedwriter: (Default)
Yes to the best!
adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
July sun, frayed denim cut-off shorts and short-sleeved rugby shirts:
one with blue stripes, one with yellow stripes, but my favorite is the one with red stripes,
and my t-shirt with the graphic of an alligator wearing a person shirt.
Everyone thinks that's the best top ever.
I'm ready for camp.

A commissary stand selling stamps, post cards and candy bars, plus a soda machine right next door.
old pull-taps dropped in haste on the ground by the window. Remember to always wear shoes when you walk around here.
Mom takes photos of me by the gate before my parents drive away down the gravel road
which leads back to the AAA Highway.
The days will fly by.

A chlorinated pool, wide, blue and beckoning. My team won the relay on Olympics Night.
A softball field with red dirt and freshly-drawn base lines.
I caught my first fly ball in front of everybody one day.
Grilled cheese, tomato soup and "bug juice"in the dining lodge,
where the counselors do mail call at lunch.
Mom and Grandma write every day.

Racing down paths in my new blue Adidas,
a gift from my grandma before I left home.
I miss her.
Making necklaces with strips of leather.
Finding fossils in the creek.
Playing Oh-Wha-Tay-Goo-Siam with the littler kids,
and going to the campfires every night with the bigger kids.

Red sparks twirl upward above orange flames, and the smoke smells woodsy.
We sing Kumbaya.
A super-tall boy who looks like a track star wants to sit by me.
His hair is dark; I think his eyes are blue, but I can't be sure in the fire light.
His name is Patrick.
He says he is Irish, and it's cool to be Irish,
but I am adopted, so I wouldn't know about that,
but I fake it to fit in. "I'm Irish on my mom's side," I tell him.
I want Patrick to like me.
I've never seen such a handsome young man in my life except for pictures of teen stars like Robbie Benson and David Cassidy on the pages of Tiger Beat Magazine.

Every evening Patrick and I sit together at the campfire
except for the one night it rains, and everyone goes to the lodge,
and he seeks me out and we talk some more.
He's in drama club at school and got good grades in Spanish 1.
Our little brothers are the same age, and they are annoying and immature.
He likes my alligator-wearing-a-person-shirt t-shirt.
His grandma died last year.
He shares his roll of Lifesavers with me. Strawberry flavor is now my favorite candy.

He walks me back to the area where the girls' cabins are, but he does not cross the line.
He's good about the rules,
so he holds me close and kisses me secretly, and I think I'm in love
because Patrick the tall, blue-eyed, brown haired Irish guy who runs track and acts in school plays likes me more than any other girl,
and that's never happened before.
And we taste like strawberry candy...

Summer Camp is my Heaven, and I never want to go home.
adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
Rita and Martin were sitting side by side at the bar.
They were total strangers with very little in common.
Martin liked to think he was stronger than he really was.
She was very sweet, but at times there was a sour side to her character.

Both Martin and Rita were feeling quite empty this evening. Neither one spoke.
And they stared across the counter, she with a glassy expression, he with his one green eye.
That green eye annoyed Rita.
She felt as though he was ogling her in an inappropriate way.

Martin made her feel uneasy and awkward just sitting there while beads of sweat dripped slowly down his side.
Rita wanted desperately to leave, but she could not. Suddenly she was frozen.
She shifted uncomfortably in her foam-green skirt and tried to look away from the offensive verdant eye,
But not before giving Martin one last salty look.

That’s when she noticed Bart in his white shirt and black bow tie.
Bart was Tender, charming and elegant. He could have entertaining discussions for hours, and she adored listening to him chat about sports, describe travel destinations and tell jokes with everyone.

Bart always looked on the bright side and saw the glass as half-full. A nice guy like Bart would serve Rita well!

All of a sudden Bart reached across the bar and carefully cupped his hand around her,
and Rita began to melt a little…
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