Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Much Needed Distraction

About a year ago I received word that a childhood friend of mine I have known since 1st grade committed suicide.  I let some of my friends know from Junior High.  A bunch of us got together and went to the Memorial Service.  After the Memorial Service some of us agreed...we should not be reuniting at a funeral or memorial service or High School Reunions.  It was decided then and there that we would get together every time Katie came to town.

Last July was our first get together, it was a small group.  At some point I opened up about Ashley.  I didn't care what any one thought...we were all adults here and this was no longer Junior High and damn it...I refuse to stay swept under a rug!  Their reaction had surprised me.  They weren't negative at all, they wanted to help bring us together!!

Katie was coming to town again for Christmas.  We planned to meet again, this time inviting more people from Junior High...a girls only kind of thing.  I was getting excited, this was my much needed distraction from the painful reminder that my child who was lost to adoption was not with me...again.

The Junior High we went to was small, the other Junior Highs funneling into the High School we went to were much larger.  What makes our gatherings so interesting is that we knew each other because our school was so small, but we all belonged to different groups.  If you would have asked any of us back in '82-'85 if we would ever hang out in the future we would have laughed saying Hell No!  So here we are, years later, gathering together, laughing, sharing we have been close all of these years.  It took a death to make us realize we needed each other.  And so with each gathering we get closer and closer, bonding like sisters.

We met up the other night, added four new people to the gathering.  We had it at Rachel's house, I was glad because it was super close to home since we would be drinking.  We were having a wonderful time, it was like we had all been together all these years.  For a few hours I was able to actually be thoughts of adoption crossing my mind.  After several hours 3 of the girls needed to head home, the rest of us stayed.  We sat around the table in the kitchen still talking.  

Jennifer was sitting next to me.  Jennifer was never shy, she would ask whatever questions she needed to ask and she would say whatever she needed to say.  If she didn't get the answers she wanted she would go dig up the information.  She should have been some Private Investigator or something...she had this unbelievable knack for getting information.  I told Jennifer about Ashley after the Memorial Service the year before.  She was horrified that I went through that.  After 9th grade Jennifer went to a different High School and we never kept in touch.  Jennifer had her son a few months after I had Ashley.  She kept her son, she refused to let anyone talk her out of raising him.  Sometimes...I wish Jennifer and I would have stayed in touch...

Anyways, Jennifer turned to me and asked "What's the latest with Ashley?  Last I heard you were driving down the street behind her Adoptive Mother".  So I filled her in on what has happened lately.  Most of the people at the table know about Ashley.  Jennifer turned and looked behind her shoulder to see Kathy and Lisa with surprised looks on their faces.  Jennifer gave them the super condensed version of what has happened.  Lisa responded with "I gathered that when she said 'July 23, 1988'".

Penny got up to start putting some of the food away.  She asked what a Search Angel was and Jennifer and I explained.  Penny started freaking out.  Penny is an adoptee, she found her First Mother when she was 23 and had managed to balance her relationships with her adoptive and first families.  After about 15 years of having her First family in her life they abruptly cut off contact with no explanations.  Penny and I have been there for each other for the past 4 years, she gives me the Adoptee side and I give her the First Mother side, but I have to remind her that she was born during the BSE and my experiences don't come close to what her First Mother went through.

As we were explaining the Search Angel Penny started to panic.  She said there was no way a search angel could get her info because she was born in 1970.  Jennifer told her it is possible, so Jennifer explained the different ways it can be done.  Seeing the panic in Penny I quickly understood how Ashley could have been completely freaked out when she found out I knew who she was.

After Penny calmed down and understood Kathy asked me "Why are you telling us this now?  Why didn't you tell us before?"  I told her that 1) we weren't in contact, 2) I was told not to talk about it, and 3) I was afraid of y'all judging me.  She gave me a funny look and said "but you are talking about it now" and I told her that I had to get off that adoption kool-aid first, once I did and I started seeing things for what they are and realized how I was manipulated, I couldn't keep quiet anymore.  I refused to let the Adoption Machine win...I jumped out of that closet and I have been talking every since.

Slowly, my fears were going away.  I was in a safe place, with safe people, it was safe to talk about Ashley.

Katie was sitting across from me, on the verge of tears.  Katie wants Ashley and I reunited as much as I do and from the looks on the faces at the table it looked like they wanted the same thing.  Katie asked if it were okay to discuss this with her prayer group when she gets back home and I told her it was okay.  Sometimes I wonder if Katie has a direct line to God, every time her prayer group gets together and prays for any of us it seems to work.

So there you much needed distraction from the painful reminder that Ashley was not with me at Christmas and the much needed support and love from my friends/acquaintances from Junior High.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's A Freakishly Small World

I was hoping with it getting so close to Christmas that things wouldn't throw me off, I was hoping to survive Christmas like I always do...quietly wishing Ashley was with me during the holidays.  But it looks like this year that won't happen because it is a freakishly small world.

I have written before about my former HR Manager who knew Ashley and about seeing the yearbooks from 7th grade to her Senior year and scanning those pictures.  I don't know why fate brought us together, but it did.

There are two blogs whereI wrote about Ashley's friend coming to see me.  She put two and two together.  Needless to say, I was in complete shock when that happened.  After that Spring Break I never heard from that girl again, which is okay I suppose.  There was a reason we were brought together, but I am still not exactly sure...maybe it was so she could tell Ashley she had met me...maybe she was suppose to be there to support Ashley if she decided to make contact, reassure her her it was okay.  I don't know.  I was working in their neighborhood so chances were high that I would run into someone who knew Ashley.

I have also written about driving home from work one day and being behind the truck that belonged to Ashley's Adoptive Father, then pulling up so I could get a quick look then continue driving off.  I think that was a sign telling me someone was in the way of Ashley and I reconnecting.  I don't know.  I was close to their neighborhood so that was sure to happen, but why then after all of these years?  Anyways...

On Facebook I sent Ashley a message in August.  Told my kept daughter about Ashley.  Sent a follow up message on Facebook in October.  Still no word.  I don't know if she ever read them.  She might of deleted them, I don't know.  Not knowing is driving me up the wall!!

A little over a week ago I wrote about my husband dropping me off at work and seeing the car with the school dance tickets being advertised in the back window and the unrelated high school girl who walked in wearing a letter jacket from the High School Ashley went to.  I took it as fate slapping me in the face, because I was letting go just enough so I could survive the upcoming favorite Holiday...the Holiday I wished every year that Ashley could spend with me.  So that little cruel twist of fate left me asking why I was still being punished.

Yesterday I was fine, I was at work.  I didn't feel like curling my hair or put on any make-up.  I just wanted to hurry and be done with the day so I could get home and start getting ready for my family to invade my house this Saturday.  Until fate decided to step in again....

A new client came to me because of a Living Social deal my Salon/Spa had out there.  With the Living Socials I get people from all over the DFW area and some who live about 3 hours away...they come from all over, no biggie.  This girl had me cracking up, I knew we would get along just fine.  I noticed her address, she is from the same neighborhood has Ashley.  I asked her if she went to P***** High School, she said she did and graduated in '06.  For a brief second I think my heart stopped beating.  This time I asked her if she knew Ashley, after the first friend/client I wasn't going to be caught off guard...nope...I was finally open about Ashley after so many years of hiding that secret.  Adoption wasn't going to control me like that again!

To my surprise she knew her, they have known each other since Junior High.  She looked at me and asked if I were her sister, I told her to look again and then it clicked.  I didn't freak out like the last time.  This time I let the fear and excitement rush through me.  During my time with this client I was able to find the answers to the little questions about Ashley that I had wondered about for so many years.  She asked if it were okay if she told Ashley about meeting me, I told her it was her choice to tell her, not mine.  I did ask her to let her know her half sister knows about her now and she is not a secret in my part of the world.  The client told me it now makes since why Ashley didn't look Jewish, she knew she was adopted because Ashley had always been open about that, but know the client knows it is because I am not Jewish.  I told the client that Christmas and the month of July are always very hard on me because I never wanted to let Ashley go.  This girl pulled up her facebook and showed me pictures.  I didn't freak out, instead I was filled with this warmth.  How I wish Ashley would reach out!!  The client hugged me and told me Ashley and I were built the same, except she was taller.  Ashley is taller than me!  A wish I had since the moment I felt her first kick!!

From the brief time I spent with this girl I was able to find out Ashley and I look almost identical, we are built the same.  Even though she was extremely popular in school she was friends with everyone, not just her crowd.  She was quirky, very smart and talented.  She talks just as fast as me and is always laughing and smiling.  The apple apparently did not fall far from this tree.  This girl said she now believes that personalities are genetic...because Ashley and I are so much alike.

I was told that Ashley was probably scared to reach out to me.  She said "you never know what her parents said".  I understood this and this validated my fear.  It sounded as if the parents are the ones standing in the middle, preventing us from meeting.  I told the friend I understood this and baby steps can be taken, communicating on facebook at first is completely fine.  The last thing I want is for Ashley to get hurt.  The client had left, given me another hug and told me she would tell Ashley.

After the client left, I walked through the back towards the salon side.  One of my co-workers was getting her hair shampooed.  She asked if I was okay, I told her I felt a little nauseous and told her what had just happened.  She jumped up with a big smile on her face and said this was a sign.  I don't know if this was a sign, but I do hope this will give Ashley some reassurance, let her know I am matter what.

After I got home I spoke with a Birth Mother friend of mine who lives close by to me and told her what happened.  She told me she now believes the parents are talking crap about me to keep Ashley away.  I agreed with her.  She told me Ashley would become resentful when she realizes what they said about me wasn't true.  I told her I know.  She reminded me that I was a better person and I told her if and when I ever come face to face with them I was going to give them a big, squishy hug and a kiss on the cheek.  My friend said that would make them uncomfortable and I told her I know, but that is the kind of person I am...I am a bigger person, I am a better person, and just because they may say nasty things about me doesn't mean I will stoop to that level.  I have a heart full of love, and because of my love for Ashley I will stand tall, with my head held high.

Sometimes...this world is just a little too small for my comfort!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Have A Little Dreidel

About four years ago I went to the daycare to pick my kept daughter up.  When I stepped out of my car my foot hit something, I looked down and saw a little wooded dreidel laying on the ground.  I reached down and picked it up.  First thing that came to my mind was "Happy Hanuka Ashley".  Then I remembered my best friend in elementary school who lived across the street from me, she was Jewish.  Her mother would let me come over to help get things ready for their holiday.  I was always amazed by it (like my friend was amazed by Christmas).

I gently squeezed the dreidel in my hand and I could hear:

I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play

Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play
It has a lovely body
With legs so short and thin
And when it is so tired
It drops and then I win!

Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play
My dreidel's always playful
It loves to dance and spin
A happy game of dreidel
Come play now, let's begin!

Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play
I still have the dreidel, I don't know why, but I do.  Yesterday I was rummaging through my desk drawer and I came across the dreidel I found lying in a parking lot many years ago.  I held it in my hand and again, I could hear the Dreidel Song my elementary best friend taught me.

My dearest Ashley, I hope one day you can find it in your heart to reach out to me.  There is so much for me to tell you and teach you and there is so much I need to hear and learn from you.  Until then, Happy Hanuka.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why Am I Being Punished?

"The Salem Martyr"by Thomas Slatterwhite Noble, 1869
Why am I still being punished?  Why do I have to continue feeling pain?  Society keeps telling me I was selfless, when in reality I was taken advantage of.  I did everything I was told to do.  So why am I still so empty?

Yes, I was still a teenager, too young to realize that I had the strength to raise a child.  I was still being told what to do, I believed in those who told me this was best.  At the time I knew it was important for my child to have a mother AND a father, but I never knew the damage it would cause having my child removed from her roots, her heritage, her true self.

If this was a “noble”, “selfless” act then why am I still paying for this?  Does society not realize that when a child is lost to adoption it causes a great wound that can never be healed?  Who are these sick people who think they have the right to take a child away from its mother?

Yes, my First Daughter was given everything by the people who the State of Texas calls her parents.  She received a college education from a very exclusive private college.  These people still take care of her, provide for her, still tell her what to do and not do.  These people are treating this 23 year old human being like she is an object, a possession, a pet.  Are they doing this because they paid so much money for her?  Honestly, it doesn’t matter how much you sugar coat it, they paid a lot of money to an Agency for a white infant girl...they bought my daughter.

Why does Society still keep telling me I need to be grateful? 

Yes, I am grateful she was given every opportunity I could not provide.  I am not grateful that my own flesh and blood was raised to not think for herself and was raised to look down on her own heritage.  This child has no clue as to what she is capable of, she has no idea that this apple did not fall far from this tree.  It breaks my heart to know her wings have been clipped; she will never spread them and fly on her own.

I did what they told me to do; I drank their toxic kool-aid for the first 18 years.  In their eyes I was a “Good Birth Mother”…I was silent and hidden away like they told me to be.  They never expected me to reappear years later, with a fire in my eyes.  That primal maternal need to protect and love my child never went away because of some court document.  We bonded when she was in-utero and that bond was sealed the moment I held her.

So why am I still being punished?  Why do I keep getting slapped in the face with signs letting me know she is still out there?  Why won’t my wounds heal?  I try to let go, but something in the very depths of my being refuses to let me do that.

Losing my child to adoption has given me a life sentence.  A life feeling incomplete, a life of longing, a life loving a child who shares my genetic make-up…a life of not hearing her voice, seeing her smile, listening to her laughter…a life of never hearing her call me “Mom”.

All this because some wealthy woman who was trying so hard to get pregnant couldn’t conceive, she finally gave birth to her own child after she had my daughter in her arms.  This woman who treats my First Daughter has a pet and has convinced her that I am nothing but some piece of insignificant trash.  A woman’s need for a child caused me to lose my first born; a woman’s insecurity is keeping us separated.  

Because this woman had an urgent need for an infant has caused me to lose my daughter through manipulation and coercion and I am the one who was given a life sentence of pain, heartache and longing.   

Why must I still be punished?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is it a sign, or is fate messing with me?

My car was in the shop for the last few days, I had been driving my husband's truck to work in the meantime.  Yesterday my husband needed the truck so he had to take me to work.  The Salon I work at is in one of those "outdoor" shopping malls where there are little streets lined with stores and can be a pain driving through them because of all of the shoppers.  It wasn't even 9 am yet, the little roads were still fairly empty.  My husband pulled up front (I usually come in the back way and park in the back).  A jeep got my attention.

I slid out of the truck...staring at the back of that little black jeep.  Interesting...

I get inside and get my room ready then I go to sit up front with our receptionist.  Bored out of my mind I sit there and stare at that jeep.  The back window has "Chan***** 2012, get your tickets" written in the back window. and on the tailgate is a magnetic emblem of Ashley's college mascot.  The stylists who are employed by are salon were not there yet, I'm the only Aesthetician so I knew this vehicle didn't belong to any client of our Salon, this person must be a client of one of the stylists who leases a room...but which one, they were all busy.

The Receptionist laughed and asked "What are you staring at?"  So I told her, the black jeep.  She looked at it asked why was it so interesting....

Ashley drives a dark SUV, a different one, not a least she use to.  She went to P***** HS and they have this dance every spring called Chan***** and there is the emblem for the College she went to.  I know this is not her, or anyone in her family, but this is weird.  I see the mascot emblem everywhere so that's not a big deal.  It is very strange that a dark, small SUV is parked in front of the salon advertising a school dance that is located about 15-20 miles from this Salon.  Ashley went to P***** HS so I'm sure she attended the Chan***** dance and she went to that college.  Is this a sign or something?  Is fate screwing with me?

The receptionist looked at me confused, she asked who Ashley was.  I gave her the "Reader Digest Condensed Version".  All she could say was "Oh my God, how could you forgive your Mother?"  I told her  I have always been able to forgive, I just don't forget.

I am still focusing on this jeep when the front door opens, in walks a high school girl and her Mom.  They were heading towards one of the Independent Stylists.  This High School girl was wearing a P***** letter jacket.  "WHAT THE HELL?"

I sat there shocked.  Now this is getting weird.  The Receptionist's eyes got really big.  She said this was getting weird...we were too far away from that neighborhood for just a haircut. I agreed with her.  The last two places I worked it would be common seeing people from that school because I was over there.  Now I'm working 10 minutes from home, my town is still considered "The Sticks" even though it is growing.  The Receptionist and I agreed that the Mother and Daughter belonged to that Jeep...they had too.

About 15 or so minutes later I saw a woman getting into that Jeep.  The Receptionist and I watched her.  It wasn't the Mother and Daughter, it was someone else!  Seriously?  Two random people come in here to get their done and both are from the same area.  What was all this about?

Was this a sign?  What does this mean?  I told the Receptionist that just last night I posted about it being Christmas Time.  I had already accepted the fact that Ashley wants nothing to do with me, why was this being thrown in my face?  Is fate screwing with me?  Is someone sitting there laughing knowing we are two weeks away from Christmas and it will be another Christmas with my heart filled with emptiness?  This is cruel!!
The Receptionist looked at me and asked "Well, what do you want it to be?"  I want it to mean that I will finally have contact soon, but I know this isn't it.  This isn't fair!  I am being punished emotionally again!   A carrot is being dangled in front of me and no matter how patient and understanding I am I will never be able to catch that carrot.  Ashley wants nothing to do with me...her adoptive parents had made sure of that.  I don't blame Ashley, it was never her fault.  They had spent 23 years brainwashing her, filling her with guilt.

I checked facebook real message from her.  I checked her twitter...nothing mentioning this.  I checked her cute little blog...nothing posted that was adoption related.  Nothing...not one single little bit of a hint about adoption.

No, I don't think this a sign...I want it to be, but I don't think it is.  I think it's Fate screwing with me...throwing reminders of Ashley in my face, knowing Ashley won't come time for Christmas.

Or is something telling me to not give up?

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Christmas Time...Does She Know?

Does Ashley know....

Does she know what time of year this is?

Does she know there is a Christmas Tree up decorated with ornaments, some made by my mom when I was a small child, some made by me.  Does she know there's room for ornaments if she chooses to make one?

Does she know what it feels like to be filled with love and excitement from her family on Christmas Eve and morning?  (I'm sure she feels this with her adoptive family during Hanuka...but I'm talking Christmas here)

Does she know I would still whip up a batch of magical reindeer food and we can set it out front on Christmas Eve night?

Does she know she could also join us in making the christmas cookies from scratch and decorate them?  A tradition my Mom started when I was itty bitty.

Does she know I would make her a stocking, with my hands...stitched together with love...for her too?

Does she know what it is like at my house on Christmas Eve when my home is filled with family?  Kids running through the house sock skating, laughter, hugs and the excitement when presents are opened?

Does she know that my sister would tuck her into bed after everyone leaves on Christmas eve and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to her...if she wanted...even though she is 23 now?

Does she know what the Dala Horses on my mantle mean?  Does she know the story behind them?  She'd get a Dala Horse too you know...if she came around.

Does she know what it is like to wake up on Christmas morning to find her stocking filled and presents under the tree from Santa?  (Santa still delivers to adults)

Does she know in my home on Christmas Day we spend the entire day in our pajamas watching movies and grazing on left overs from the night before?

Does she know how much I have missed her every Christmas?  Does she know I wish I was able to give her these special Christmas memories for the last 23 years?

Does she know she would be welcomed with open arms when we celebrate Christmas?

Does she know she has blood relatives who would love to have her around?

Does she know every year I silently wish she was with me at Christmas?  (I also wish for anytime of year)

Does she know how much love I have for her?

Does she know?

Does Ashley know?  

Does she even care?

Oh Ashley...dear, dear Ashley...I'm trying so hard to be patient...but this is tearing me up.  If only you would give me some sort of acknowledgment....  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where Are You Christmas?

Christmas is fast approaching.  For some reason I just can't get into the Christmas mood.  This holiday is a painful reminder of what is missing in my life, my heart.  I just hope one day Ashley will be Christmas...and every other time in my life...

Where Are You Christmas? 
Faith Hill

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love 

Things to do: Wear pointy hats

My 4th Birthday.  Does this picture scream 1974 or what?
Still no word on the message I sent to my First Daughter on August 17th...or the follow up message I sent on October 10th.  I am stubborn enough to not give up hope and I have a quirky enough personality to come up with a random list of things to do to help pass the time.  I know as long as I can keep my sense of humor then I should be able to keep from climbing the walls!!

Things to do while you patiently wait for some sort of response from your First Child...

Wear Pointy Birthday Hats

Why wait for a birthday party?  Wear pointy birthday hats all year round.  Sure, you will get funny looks from people at first, but they would end up smiling!  Those pointy paper hats usually bring up those happy, warm memories of birthdays past...well...maybe for my generation.

So go ahead.  Put that silly pointy birthday hat on, make a random person smile.

***Thank you Jenn for the suggestion.***

Monday, December 5, 2011

Frame By Frame

Yesterday I brought my daughter to Church for her Confirmation Class.  Confirmation is every other Sunday after Church...we have been skipping the Church services, just getting there for her classes.  It is annoying that it is after Church instead of before, but it works better for our new Minister.  Since Confirmation starts at 12:30 I'm stuck with being polite by acknowledging people who are still at "Coffee Hour".  I usually dread this, I know I shouldn't, but I do.  I went in yesterday and gave hugs and kisses to the people I had known my entire life and to my delight there was the Minister I had growing up.  I have always adored him.  He never judged me, never looked down on me, he just let me be me.

We'll call him Steve...

I snuck up behind Steve and gave him a big hug.  He asked if my kept daughter was there and I pointed her out to him.  He couldn't believe how much she had grown since he last saw her.  She came over to say hi and then she went off to her class.  After she walked away Steve asked how I was doing, I told him fine.  He gave me a serious look and asked "Ashley?"  My eyes welled up with tears.  He gave me another hug.  I told him how this emptiness I have carried has sucked, I wanted her to be in my life.  I caught him up to where I was today...where Ashley is today.

"Frame by frame."  That's what he said.  I was confused.  Steve had to explain.

Frame one:  You find her, contact was attempted.  She now knows who you are.  Once all of the information is gathered you wait patiently while she goes off to College.  You process Frame One.

Frame Two:  She talks about you, her friends check you out.  You randomly meet one of her childhood friends.  She processes Frame Two.

Frame Three:  You start to understand what happened.  You realized they played on your fears.  You now know what I wanted to tell you back then, the Agency lied to you, they took advantage of you.  You are now seeing what kind of people they are.  You process Frame Three.

Frame Four:  She spreads her wings, she graduates College and moves away.  She is finding her path.  She is processing Frame Four.

Frame Five:  You no longer keep the secret.  You don't hide the pain you carry.  You realize you have nothing to fear so you speak out, you speak your truth.  You are still processing Frame Five.

This is God's plan. (I shot him a dirty look)  God never wanted you separated from your child.  God is helping you two find your way back to one another.  God knows what they did to the two of you was wrong, so God is giving you frames to process, to help you grow, help keep you from being overwhelmed.  This is God's plan, to bring Mother and Child back together.  God wants for the two of you to have a healthy relationship and this is his way of making it happen.  Be patient, it is in God's hands.

All I could do was look at Steve and say "Damn it!  When am I going to get to the final frame?  This crap is making me crazy!"  He hugged me again, kissed me on the forehead and said, "Have faith, your time will come".

This still does not help me feel any better about not having Ashley around for Christmas this year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Lost

Turkey Whisperer - 2009

Now that Thanksgiving is over I can breath...for a moment before I dive into the Christmas holiday madness.

This was the first Thanksgiving since my Step Daddy passed away, his presence was certainly missed.  His spot was set at the table...empty.  I took my usual seat, next to his.  I never thought I would say this, but I really missed him stealing food off of my plate and I missed stealing the black olives off of his.  We survived the day, we still managed to laugh and carry on, my husband continued Step Daddy's tradition of frying the turkey.  To our surprise Step Daddy's oldest son and daughter in law came over...for the first time EVER!  It was wonderful having them there.  In time Thanksgiving will get easier with Step Daddy gone...


there's that one thing....

that one little thing that rips me apart...

tears my heart to pieces...

and it doesn't get easier with each Thanksgiving...

With each Thanksgiving I am reminded of the Thankgivings Ashley has missed.  23 years my heart breaks, a painful empty void takes over.  No matter how much I hide it from my family it still hurts.  Ashley has missed out on traditions and crazy ass antics and she has missed out on the love from the people she shares DNA with.

She will never experience her Gran'pa's fried turkey and telling her Gran'ma that her turkey is better and then whispering in Gran'pa's ear that his turkey is freaking awesome.  She has missed out on watching my sister, cousins and I fight over the black olives with a disgusted look on her face.  (I guess the black olive thing skipped a generation).  She has missed the table set with too much food and her Aunt and I explaining to her Gran'ma that we prefer our cranberries with know the kind...slides out of can and jiggles.

Ashley doesn't know that it is okay to save room for desert, because the desert table is filled with yummy goodness.  We have an incredible sweet tooth and the desert table shows it.  Mom has to make two pumpkin pies every year because my sister claims one and refuses to share it...she will share it with her son and my kept daughter and chances are she would share with Ashley too.  She has missed out on my sweet potato pie and my to die for triple chocolate cake.  

No matter how wonderful the food is, or how full we are, or how much laughter we shared, I am still reminded that my First Daughter was lost to adoption and this is just another Thanksgiving lost.


For several weeks now I have had these dreams.  Each one is slightly different.  I try to pay attention to my dreams, but sometimes they are forgotten by the time I have my first cup of coffee.  Most people think dreams don't mean anything, but for me, my Mom and my sister, our dreams mean something...sometimes, rarely they are actual snippets of the future.  It has been a couple of years since I have had one of these snippets and right now I am wishing this was a snippet...

The dreams I have been having are about Ashley.

One of the dreams she calls me, there is a dream where it is a first conversation and other dreams where we are talking like we have a close relationship.  The conversations are positive, there is a lot of laughter.

Another dream we meet for the first time.  I can't remember where we are at or when it is...just someplace in the present.  We hug, we laugh, we act like we were never separated.

I have also dreamed that she was with me on Christmas Eve, with the rest of my family.  We interact like she has always been with us.  She would be with me on Christmas would be my husband, kept daughter, Ashley and I.  The pure joy could be felt.

There are so many variations, but they all represent the same thing.  We are together, we are happy and there is love.

I have been so busy with other things lately that Ashley has not consumed my every waking moment.  I wish I knew if this was wishful dreaming or if she was thinking of me or if she will finally reach out soon.

Silly dreams...silly, wishful dreams...


Friday, November 11, 2011

White & Nerdy

This song doesn't remind me of adoption, it doesn't make me think of Ashley, and it doesn't interpret my feelings about my two facebook messages being ignored by Ashley.

This is just a song that makes me laugh.  I hope it makes you laugh a little too...

White & Nerdy
Weird Al Yankovic

They see me mowin'
My front lawn
I know they're all thinking
I'm so White N' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!
I wanna roll with-
The gangsters
But so far they all think
I'm too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
Really, really white n' nerdy

First in my class here at M.I.T.
Got skills, I'm a Champion of DND
MC Escher that's my favorite MC
Keep your 40
I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin to the contrary
You'll find they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Steven Hawkings in my library
My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
I got people begging for my top 8 spaces
Yo I know Pi to a thousand places
Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
I'm a whiz at minesweeper I can play for days
Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed,
my fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze
There's no killer app I haven't run
At Pascal, well, I'm number 1
Do vector calculus just for fun
I ain't got a gat but I gotta soldering gun
Happy days is my favourite theme song
I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
I'm fluent in Java Script as well as Klingon
Here's the part I sing on

They see me roll on, my Segway!
I know in my heart they think I'm
white n' nerdy!
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy
I'd like to roll with-
The gangsters
Although it's apparent I'm too
White n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
How'd I get so white n' nerdy?

I've been browsing, inspectin'
X-men comics you know I collect 'em
The pens in my pocket
I must protect 'em
my ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
Shopping online for deals on some writable media
I edit Wikipedia
I memorized Holy Grail really well
I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL
I got a business doing websites
When my friends need some code who do they call?
I do HTML for them all
Even made a homepage for my dog!
Yo! Got myself a fanny pack
they were having a sale down at the GAP
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
POP POP! Hope no one sees me gettin' freaky!

I'm nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour creme
I was in AV club and Glee club and even the chess team!
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?
I spend every weekend
at the renaissance fair
I got my name on my under wear!

They see me strollin'
They laughin'
And rollin' their eyes 'cause
I'm so white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
All because I'm white n' nerdy
Holy cow I'm white n' nerdy
I wanna bowl with-
the gangsters
but oh well it's obvious I'm
white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Damn Chickens

For the past month we have been going out to Mom's property on Sundays to help out since my super awesome, kick ass Step Daddy passed away.  My Mom isn't one to ask for help, she was planning on taking care of the 10 acres and the animals herself.  Darling Husband had to tell her we were coming out to work on the fencing.  Mom felt bad about this, but she appreciated it.

As we were replacing the top rails of the fence Darling Husband noticed the posts that had to be replaced.  The rails were attached to the good posts and now it was a matter of getting the smaller tractor to start so he could use the auger on it.  The last two Sundays were spent on just the small tractor.  I couldn't really help with this so Mom gave me a project inside the house.  She wanted to put my obsessive attention to detail and organizing talents to work.  

My kept daughter refers to me as the Family Paparazzi, but what she doesn't realize is that her Gran'ma was the same way (still kind of is).  My kept daughters life is completely documented with pictures, maybe this comes from losing my First Daughter to adoption, or maybe I learned this from my Mother, or maybe I'm just a crazy Mom who carries a camera in her purse.

My project inside the house was to pull out all of the pictures from their albums in put them in photo boxes.  The albums were big and bulky and were taking up too much space.  I have spent the last three Sundays (we are taking off today) gathering and organizing pictures.  Photographic documentation dating back to the 1930's.

Going through all of these pictures has been tedious work.  I had piles scattered all over the living room, piles of pictures for each decade.  Every once in a while I would have to stop and take a break. I would step out onto the driveway and watch the turkeys in their pens, the peacocks running with the guinea hens, the horses wandering through the their pastures and the chickens running around the house like they were children.

Two weeks ago Mom came home from Church.  I was standing on the driveway talking to her as my kept daughter was petting a chicken.  These damn chickens think they are pets!!  I had a unlit cigarette in one hand and my lighter in the other.  

Yes, I smoke...don't give me crap about it, just be glad it's cigarettes and not drugs or alcohol.  I think I'm doing pretty good if smoking is the only bad habit I have picked up.

Anyways...I'm standing there talking to Mom.  Next thing I knew my unlit cigarette was ripped out of my hand.  I was shocked!  I looked down and one of those damn chickens was running off with it!!  Mom was cracking up.  The chicken had jumped up and snatched my cigarette and ran off with it!!!

Turns out a couple of days after my super awesome, kick ass Step-Daddy's funeral my Mom's friend came into town.  The friend and my Aunt were feeding the chickens broccoli, dipped in Ranch Dressing.  The chickens went nuts over the Ranch Dressing so they were able to train the chickens to jump and get the broccoli.  They were training these chickens like they were dogs!!

Now when I take my breaks and I stand out there on the driveway I hold my cigarette up so the chickens can't jump for it.  Damn chickens!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I won't be around much this week...

I won't be around much this week...

Yesterday my husband and I helped repair part of the fence in one of mom's pastures.  It took us a little while to figure out where Daddy kept everything.  Later in the afternoon mom came home from church and told my husband "why don't you just use the tractor to haul everything around?"  My husband who grew up in a farm quickly remembered how to drive a tractor (it was a blast sitting on the fender while he was driving!).  It made quick work of dragging 16' boards around...especially when the horses were busy "supervising" us.  So my body is sore...and sunburned.  I know, I'm an Esthetician, I should be one of those people slathering on the spf and reminding everyone to do the same...but I did not.

The seasons are starting to change here in North Texas.  Yes, we actually have seasons, they aren't the picture perfect seasons that the other states get to have, but they are Texas seasons.  Now that we are heading in fall with a bad drought there is all kinds of crap floating in the air.  So, I am currently battling a sinus infection...happy, happy, joy, joy.

Nice...a sore body, a sunburn, and a sinus infection....

Last week an acquaintance got a hold of me.  She told me about the Salon/MedSpa she is working at.  She said enough to get me interested, she was glad I was interested because she had already told the owner about me and she was wanting to hire me.  After playing phone tag for a few days I was able to interview with her.  All I can say is Hot Damn!  This place is 10 minutes from my house, 15 minutes in traffic!  That would mean no more driving 45-60 minutes going to work!  Sweet!  This place has more opportunities for me, plus I can eventually lease my own place when I am ready.  The only negative is that it will be straight commission, but the positives certainly out weigh that.  She wants me...sore body, sunburn and all, but she needs to see how quickly she can get the "drama filled" Esthetician out the door.  I did tell her I was giving my current employers 2 weeks notice, I adore them and I'm not burning that bridge.  (Beauty world is completely different than Corporate world.)  So now I am just waiting for a phone call letting me know when this other girl is leaving so I can start there.

So I'm going to go grab my box of kleenex, sinus medicine and go curl up in bed...hopefully I will be back to normal soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Losing a child to a closed adoption is certainly no picnic.  There are some days that are just fine, then there are other days when it is painful.  Sometimes, the words used to coerce me come flashing back, leaving me feeling lost and insecure.  There is an emptiness left inside of me, a void that will never be filled, nothing can take that emptiness away.  A piece of me was taken away, leaving my puzzle undone.

23 years later I am able to finally say...actually quote Christina Aguilar's song..."We are beautiful no matter what they say.  Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no We are beautiful in every single way.  Yes, words can't bring us down"

Christina Aguilera

Don't look at me

Every day is so wonderful
And suddenly, I saw debris
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I'm so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today

To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The piece is gone left the puzzle undone
That's the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down
Don't you bring me down today...

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what they say
(no matter what they say)
When the sun is shining through
Then the clouds won't stay

And everywhere we go
(everywhere we go)
The sun won't always shine
(sun won't always shine)
But tomorrow will find a way
All the other times

'cause we are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today

Don't you bring me down today
Don't you bring me down today

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Adopters make me nervous too

When people talk adoption around me it gets my attention.  What makes me uncomfortable is when the person gets excited for a couple for adopting.  It makes me cringe, all kinds of scenarios go through my mind.  When I meet Adoptive parents I tend to crawl back into myself, waiting for some nasty remark about how they are so much better than the First Mother.  I usually get a sick, uneasy feeling when I come across Adopters, but I know not all adoptive parents are the same...

Last July when I had to go testify for that Murder Trial that ended in a hung jury (retrial begins Nov. 14th) one of the witnesses was all excited, she said the reason the trial was postponed in June was so the Judge and his wife could adopt their newborn baby.  I remember feeling sick to my stomach...and not because I was about to go on the stand.  When the Judge swore me in I remember looking up at him with disgust.  What right does he have to sit on a bench and decide the fate of the accused when he participated in destroying a young woman's life by taking her baby.  After I was sworn in I couldn't look at his face.

A while back I posted about my HR Manager telling me she remembered Ashley's Adoptive Mom saying nasty things about me.  According to HR Manager Ashley was very vocal about being adopted, it seemed like she was excited about telling the world about it.  The Adopter had no problem telling everyone what she thought of me.  She would tell people I was trash, I was a worthless whore, she hoped I was dead, she wished I didn't exist, etc, etc, etc.  Now, I took what HR Manager said with a grain of salt, she has the tendency to exaggerate...A LOT!

When I was told this I did get upset, who wouldn't.  I had spent all of these years being positive about Ashley's Adoptive parents, my heart was filled with love for them, partly because of the adoption kool-aid and partly because it is my love.  What right did this woman have to publicly bash me when she had no clue as to who I am and the kind of person I am.  I have been kind and considerate of them all of these years and this is what I get in return?  I was angry.  HR Manager apologized to me for telling me this bit of information, I told her it was okay, I needed to know so I have an idea of what I will be dealing with.  This was the Adoptive Mother's insecurity, not mine.

I was very upset about this information.  How dare she say these things about me!  The rage I felt was unbelievable.  I told my friends in my "Super Secret Sisterhood", they were angry with me, except one.  This one friend was not a First Mother like us, she was an Adoptive Mother.  The love and understanding she had for us was the reason we brought her into the fold.  Mrs.Cali is an amazing woman.  She was upset about the nasty things Ashley's Adoptive Mother said about me, but she reminded me of something.

Mrs.Cali reminded me of how I carried these people in my heart, it didn't matter who they were, they were in my heart because they were caring for my Ashley.  She reminded me to not stoop to her level and I was the bigger person, and most important, she reminded me not all Adoptive Mothers are like that...and she was right!

***Mrs.Cali - I know you read this sometimes, you know who you are.  Thank you, thank you for everything, thank you for being my "Sista".

MotherHen, the one who gave me permission to contact Ashley, is another one I can bring into the fold.  I have known MotherHen since I was about 13 or 14 years old.  When we spoke about Ashley at Daddy's Memorial Service it took me off guard.  I was mourning the loss of a wonderful man and MotherHen was trying to let me know she was on my side.  MotherHen does not think highly of this Domestic/International Adoption that our society praises.  She can't comprehend why it is acceptable to remove a child from their mother and hand the child over to someone else who is "worthier".  There are so many children lost in our Foster Care system that deserve to be loved too, this is why she adopted a child she was Fostering.

She believes every child has the right to know who they are and where they come from and she's not talking about the adopted roots, she's talking about the biological roots!  Knowing MotherHen she has already researched her adopted daughters family so when her daughter turns 18 (after she graduates high school) she'll hand everything over.  MotherHen is the kind of person that will be her adopted daughter's biggest cheerleader when it comes to making contact

Why can't Ashley's Adoptive Mom be like Mrs.Cali or MotherHen?

In cyber world, there is an Adoptive Mom's blog I read, Rebecca at Love Is Not Pie, She doesn't make me nervous or give me that uneasy feeling.  One day I will venture out and read other Adoptive Mom blogs, but for right now, I can handle Rebecca's...and Malinda at adoptiontalk.

When I hear people talk about about Adoption I listen closely.  I am protective of other First Mothers, Adoptees, and the handful of extraordinary Adoptive Mothers.  As for the other Adopters...they make me nervous...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Things to do: Knit a sweater for your Koi Fish

Still no word on the message I sent to my First Daughter on August 17th...or the follow up message I sent on October 10th.  I am stubborn enough to not give up hope and I have a quirky enough personality to come up with a random list of things to do to help pass the time.  I know as long as I can keep my sense of humor then I should be able to keep from climbing the walls!!

Things to do while you patiently wait for some sort of response from your First Child...

Knit a sweater for your Koi Fish

Okay, I know, this is completely ridiculous.  If you think about it the fish remain outdoors, they don't get the luxury of staying nice and cozy indoors during the winter.  They are stuck outside in the cold water hibernating.  So why not help them out a bit by knitting sweaters for them?

To be totally honest, I have never seen a Koi Fish swimming around wearing a cozy little sweater and this certainly would be an odd sight to see...especially when I can not knit to save my life.

**This "thing to do" was suggested by my Japanese co-worker.  The thought of knitting a sweater for Japanese Koi Fish had her cracking up...silly girl!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Follow up to "Jumping the roadblock"

Last August I finally sent Ashley a message on facebook.  I never received a response from her yet.  Since then she has moved to California.

With encouragement from several of you and with the help of a certain special someone I have sent a follow up message on facebook.

I did let her know in this follow up that I am here for her whenever she is ready and I would like to have contact to get to know her...snail mail, email, texting or messaging is best at first so I do not come across as a babbling nut on the phone.  I also told her I would love to answer any questions she may have.

I don't know if I will get a response.  I really hope she replies with something, even a "leave me the hell alone" will be fine...I do hope it is something positive.

So there you go...I wait again for something, anything, just some kind of response!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Quest for the hypoallergenic cat

Back in 2006 I had a MySpace profile.  This profile was set up for Ashley, it was a non-threatening way for her to know what kind of person I am.  A girlfriend of mine recommended I only post about current things happening with me and leave out anything adoption related and anything with my kept daughter.  While I was looking for something on my computer I ran across this post I published originally on MySpace the summer of 2006.

This story is funnier when I tell it in person, I'm a very animated person, what can I say? 

The Quest for the hypoallergenic cat

A few summers back, before DH and I got married, we were looking for a cat that I wasn’t allergic too.  I have always loved cats.  I used to have this orange tabby named Carnegie.  I loved Carnegie, he was the best cat!!  Unfortunately, I would sit there and pet him and slowly my arm would start to get covered with hives.  I wouldn’t stop petting him so the hives would spread and I would start having asthma attacks.  It finally got to the point that I had to give Carnegie away.

I missed having a cat terribly.  The dogs couldn’t exactly take the place of a cat.  My husband started researching “hypoallergenic” cats.  He found a couple of breeds so we went to the Fort Worth cat show to check them out.  I was armed with my Children’s Liquid Benedryl…just in case.  Well, I was okay, no problems.

The following Saturday we drove out to this little town to this Cat Breeders house.  My hair was a lot longer back then, I had it pulled back.  I was wearing a tank top with spaghetti straps and shorts.  If I was going to get a reaction it would be noticed.  Anyway, we get out there.  We get a little nervous when we see the place, we decided to continue on.  We are taken into this room where all of the cats are.  The smell of ammonia just about knocked us over.  The cats would scatter when the breeder would try to pick one up, not a good sign.  He had claw marks all over him!!  Another bad sign.  He picked up this one cat and handed it to me.  He was a sweet cat; he would let me rub his belly.  I was loving it!!  I noticed this poor sweet cat had watering eyes, he was drooling and sneezing.  Poor thing had a respiratory infection, another bad sign.  As I am petting this cat he would throw his head into my jaw, purring.  Well, DH gave me a funny look and told me we needed to get going.  Sadly, I give the cat back and we left.

We get into the truck.  I’m guessing the poor cat had mites because I was itching…like bug bite itching.  When we got on the highway DH asked if I had a mirror.  I pulled one out and OMG!!!  My face was swollen, big puffy bumps all over my face and neck.  I looked over at DH and he was trying not to laugh.  I looked again and told him “Hey Look!  I have lips for the first time ever!!”  Turns out I forgot to bring the benedryl and we were at least an hour away from the house.  We get off the highway to find a Walgreen’s. 

We get into Walgreen’s and I head straight for the pharmacy.  There was a Pharmacist on duty.  I leaned over and asked him if these bumps were hives or bug bites.  He gets a terrified look on his face and starts backing up.  He asked where have I been and I told him that didn’t matter, I wanted to know if these were hives or bug bites.  He backs up more and asked if I was around cats.  Again, I ask are these hives or bug bites!  He starts hollering “I’m deathly allergic to cats”, I looked at him a bit irritated now and yelled back “Well DUH!  So am I, that’s why I’m asking!!”  This man was acting like I had some horrible disfiguring disease.  He ran out of the pharmacy. I found my DH and told him where the benedryl was.  That man was absolutely no help!!  He never answered my question!!

DH tosses the bottle at me cracking up and told me to start drinking it.  I had half of the bottle down by the time we checked out.  We leave and get back into the truck.  We looked over and the pharmacist had scurried out.  He stopped in his tracks when he saw us; I thought he was going to scream!  DH and I were cracking up all the way home…I think that Pharmacist has lost his mind!!  
Buster in 2008.  My chunky monkey.

We ended up at the Richardson Animal Shelter and picked up a 6 week old Seal Point Siamese for $3.  I’ve never really had a reaction to Siamese so we knew I was good to go!!  And we saved about $797.00 getting our female cat that I named Buster.