Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things To Do: Scrapbooks!

The response was sent a couple of days ago...via email.  Now it's time to wait, again.

I'm not a patient person so I have to stay busy to keep myself from climbing the walls so I have created a list of things to do while impatiently waiting...


Things to do: Scrapbooks!  

I'm not talking just one, I'm talking 7 scrapbooks, each one just alike.  I started this little (more like overwhelmingly HUGE) project at the end of August.  These scrapbooks are actually Christmas presents (one of them is mine).  Back in 2009 my Mom, Aunt, Sister and I drove straight through to California to get my Uncle who my Mom and Aunt haven't seen since 1963.  His health was failing and we weren't going to let him be alone so we went out there to pack him up and bring him to Texas.

This road trip was certainly an adventure!  My Aunt handed me a journal and told me I had to write everything down.  Well, I didn't want to do it so I ended up writing about the off the wall stuff...like how my sister and I were wearing matching PJ's while on the road and how we ended up in a field of prairie dogs, giant arrows that I threw myself in front of so it looked like my sister was stabbing me, giant fiberglass dinosaurs that my sister and I were underneath pretending like we were about to be eaten.  I even wrote about the Kamikaze Butterflies that were attacking the truck when we were on the highway.  I wrote about the crazy stuff and I had pictures that went with most of the entries.

We still laugh about some of the crazy things my sister and I did on this trip.  My half Uncle who had been packed up and thrown into a truck with 4 women for 3 days was certainly a good sport.  He passed away 7 months later and during those 7 months he talked about how the trip leaving his home of 35 years and coming to be with his sisters was the best trip ever.

So I thought it was a brilliant distraction for me to put everything together in a scrapbook, for each of us to have.  Why should I be the only one to have the journal and the pictures??

I drew the little picture for the front of the scrapbooks.  It is a little skull with sparkly eyes and a tiara.  The skull sits above a pair of panties and each pair of panties has a different saying (mines says "I miss the internet").  The words in the circle say "Pirate Princesses", that's what my sister and I kept calling ourselves.

When I started the scrapbooks I thought it was a good idea to put in a warning since there are some "colorful" words and references in the journal.  At least this way I can say they were warned!!

Yes, I did mention prairie dogs, small yap yap dogs, naked sheep and fiberglass dinosaurs in the warning.  I thought it was best to cover all of my bases.

Each journal entry was re-written...seven times!!  When I originally wrote the journal I used different colored ink for each entry, why use the same boring color for the adventures that were waiting for us??

Because I am a little OCD I had sharpies to match what I used in the journal.  I also "created" notebook paper out of card stock.  Hey, I want the scrapbook to last and I was trying to stay distracted!!

(that is the picture of me laying spread eagle in front of the arrow and my sister behind the staff pretending to stab me.)

I tried to match up all of the pictures with the journal entries.

The scrapbooks are just about done.  Thanks to this project I have been able to keep myself from obsessing over my email.

Thankfully my Aunt and a Cousin are coming in for Christmas so I don't have to ship these scrapbooks off...that would cost a fortune!!!  

So there you go...something to keep me from climbing the walls while waiting for Ashley to respond to my email.  And it is something that my family would love :-D






Thursday, November 22, 2012

Adoption Kool Aid Strikes Again!

"Good news is that the agency will be there for me if and when I am ready."
 
This sentence, this single sentence is absolutely killing me.  Every time I read it I start crying.  Good news?  How is that good news?  Really?

She has absolutely no idea what happened, not a single clue.  She believes adoption is a beautiful thing.

Damn that effing adoption kool aid!!!

If and when she is ready what is she going to find out?  You can't know a person from a piece of paper and God only knows what kind crap is in that file.  They already told me they can't find the letters, the cards, the little gifts I left for her...they acted like it was no big deal.  These "wonderful" people at the agency threw me away like some piece of crap stuck to the bottom of their shoe.

Good news?

How could it possibly be good news for me?  I'm the one who sat there each week and listen to "The Brainwasher" carry on about what a shame it was that I was pregnant because she could see me dating her son (gross!).

No there was no care or concern coming from her.

Just her telling me if I kept my baby my boyfriend would leave me and the baby and I would be living in a cardboard box under I-20.  Or I would be raising my child in one abusive relationship after another because no decent man would want a tainted woman.  This woman, this one woman managed to destroy every ounce of confidence I had in myself!!


Every time I said "My baby" the woman yelled at me telling me this was not my baby, I had no right to this baby.  (the baby wasn't even born yet)  Once I mentioned I wanted to keep my baby and the woman nearly choked on the handfuls of dry cereal she kept shoving in her mouth...she told me if I kept my baby they could take me to court and get my baby from me because I was an unfit, "loose" woman and I didn't stand a chance in court against them.

Sometimes she would tell me stories of this couple who she thought would be perfect.  They were rich, had a nice, big, beautiful house and so desperately wanted a baby.  They were from Dallas and lived in a very upscale neighborhood.  They had been married for seven years and had tried to get pregnant since they got married and unfortunately the wife was just not capable of conceiving and they have been waiting on "the list" for the last seven years.  There would be no way I would ever cross paths with them.

And the lies go on and on and on and on....

It took 18 years for me to find out about them.  They are not from Dallas.  They were not married for seven years.  The neighborhood was about 10 miles from my neighborhood...not in the area the Brainwasher described.  They were not on "the list" for seven years.  The wife did give birth to her own biological child a few years after they adopted Ashley. And has for crossing paths...well, I think our paths started crossing as early as 1989.

Ashley has no clue.  She has absolutely no idea that the "Good news" has been my freaking nightmare all these years.

She doesn't know any different, she was taught that this was a "beautiful thing".  She doesn't know about the pain in my heart caused by adoption and she doesn't know that my broken heart also ripples out and touches the people who are connected to me.

I can't come out and throw all that on the table, that would surely scare the daylights out of her and right now it would not be necessary to fill her in on that subject.  And if she is as stubborn as I am then she wouldn't listen anyway, she would have to find out for herself.

Am I getting upset over nothing??  The way she wrote the email I can tell she trying to be stand offish and guarded, that's fine...I understand that.  But the "Good news" part...that is absolutely killing me right now.

And I thought waiting in Limbo for the last 6 years was tough...






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Got An Email!!!

I am so FREAKING excited....and nervous, scared, thrilled...just about every emotion is running through me!!

Yesterday morning I was checking my email and there was an email that caught my attention.  I started shaking and tears started running down my face and I was so scared I was felling nauseous.

Could it be?

Can it really be what I think it is?

I open up the email and OMG!  Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, I just received an email from Ashley!!

I read the email a couple of times, was I dreaming this?  Nope, it's real.

I sent a text to a friend who helped me with the video to let her know and then I called my Mom.  Mom kept saying "read it!  read it!"  I told Mom I wanted to throw up, so Mom kept telling me to breathe, it was going to be okay.  So I read her the email. 

My head was spinning.

In the email she thanked me, thanked me for the video, thanked me for the package.  She said the video had answered some questions she had wondered about and she was pleasantly surprised with what I said I the video and the video left her feeling warmth, calm and a sense of resolution.

I honestly didn't think she would watch the video this soon...hell....I wasn't expecting a response this quick!!!

There are a few things that did send me on the defensive real quick.  Way back when I talked about a friend of hers who came to me one day and the friend figured out who I was and then the friend had come back a few days later.  Well, Ashley is upset with me because her friend had carried this burden on her shoulders.  WHOA!  Hold the phone!!  I didn't search out the friend, the friend was a client who figured out who I was.  When the friend asked me what to do I told her only she knew the answer to that, she is an adult, I can not tell her what to do, she knows Ashley and knows if she should tell her or not.  I did tell her if Ashley was anything like me she would be upset if she ever found out the friend met me and never said anything.  So the friend carrying this burden is my fault, how?

 Then Ashley tells me that adoption is very personal and doesn't like that I talk about it.  What?  Yes, adoption is very personal.  But there is no way in hell I am going to go back into that God Forsaken Birth Mother Closet of Secrecy.  Okay, breathe...she grew up on the kool-aid....in time she will know....she grew up on the kool-aid....she grew up on the kool-aid.

The last thing she mentions that threw me on the defensive was that the Agency will be there for her when she is ready...she will go to the Agency.  Yes, the Agency that coerced, threatened, manipulated me so they could take my child.  The Agency lied to me, if they lied to me then chances are pretty good they lied to Ashley's Adoptive Parents, and if they lied to us they will lie to Ashley.

Okay, I need to stop working this over....

I got an email!!!

She gave a list of her interests...it was like reading a description of me...it was crazy!!  I LOVED it!!

Now the funny thing is...Friday I posted about that feeling I had....looks like this was it!!  YAY!!!

While I was busy freaking out over the email on the phone to Mom my sister sent me a text.  I called my sister and she said she had a feeling something big was happening with me and she wanted to check on me.  I asked her "Big like I got an email?"  My sister was so excited she cried.  She also told me about having weird dreams about strangers being around during the holidays, so I told her about my dream last Thursday night about Ashley being with us at Christmas.  We were both quiet for a moment...who knows, guess we will just have to wait and see...with our fingers crossed.

I wanted to let y'all know I got and email and I'm so excited!!  I haven't responded back yet because I need to get past those few things that threw me on the defensive.  I don't want the response to be defensive or sound bitchy.  Just because I got off the kool-aid doesn't mean that Ashley even knows she has a choice to refuse the kool-aid.

YAY!!!  WOO HOO!!!  I GOT AN EMAIL!!!!





Friday, November 16, 2012

I just felt giddy...for no reason



Today I was quietly reading my Kindle in my facial room at work.  (Don’t judge…it’s a quiet, peaceful perk to working a commission only job on a slow day)  I wasn’t in a social mood to go hang out in the salon area with the Hair Stylists…it was just one of those days.  I was perfectly content reading my mystery.

Trying…

Trying my best…

Trying my best to not notice my package was sent to Ashley two weeks ago.

No response…nothing.

I know, I know, it’s still too early.  Maybe she’s trying to figure out what to say?  Or maybe she’s making a video too?  Maybe she’s afraid to open the box.  Maybe it’s just too early to come to any conclusion.

Still stuck in limbo.  Sucky Adoption Limbo.  Stuck somewhere in the middle of reuniting and “who cares that you are my First Mother”.  Yep, still stuck in that comfortable, never knowing, unsure Limbo.  Just little ol’ me, curled up in my facial room reading my Kindle and sipping my heavenly Pumpkin Spice Latte.

About 1pm a strange feeling came over me.  I was giddy, I felt this overwhelming joy, like I wanted to skip through a field of daisies.  It was strange because I was just in a quiet mood.  I walked out into the salon and looked at one of my friends.  She started laughing and asked why I looked so confused.  I told her why.  

The friend was excited; she said “Maybe you are getting a response”.  I laughed and told her “I wish”.  Another friend joined in on the conversation.  Friend 2 said, “Maybe she’s making a video.”  I laughed again and told friend 2 “That would be awesome, but I doubt it.  I can sense things with my close family members, I doubt I can sense anything with Ashley…I didn’t raise her, remember?”  Friend 3 piped in “You gave birth to her, biologically you are her Mother.  You two bonded when you were pregnant with her and you two sealed that bond when you held her.” 

I mentioned earlier that it was a slow day at work, right?

Several more people joined in on the conversation we were having at the color bar.  I’m trying not to laugh and roll my eyes.  All I did was mention that I felt giddy and this sense of overwhelming joy.  Next thing I know I have about six Hair Stylists coming up with different ways that Ashley would make contact with me and they were all coming up with how much longer I would have to wait.  I love these girls dearly, but they could never truly grasp what I’m going through…I am grateful to have them as my little cheerleaders though.  

*sigh*

I mean really…the giddy, overwhelming joy could honestly be anything!!  

Guess it was a good thing I didn’t mention to them that I had a dream last night that Ashley was celebrating Christmas at my house with my family on Christmas Eve.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Never Ending Waiting Game

Well, it's done.  It is out of my hands.  I have done everything I can do...this is my final attempt. 

I have lived with an empty spot in my heart for a little over 24 years.  I have tried my best to remain positive.  So many things have happened through the years that scream out "Don't give up on Ashley!"

Something, someone, has kept me connected to her, preventing me from shutting the door from the pain I carry in my heart.

Is it an unbreakable bond that happens between Mother and Child?  

Is it something saying we were never suppose to be separated?  

Or is it finally understanding what Domestic Infant Adoption does?  Is it realizing after all these years that the Adoption Machine took advantage of my young, naive, emotional state and used it to lie to me to snatch my baby?

I don't know...I don't have the answers.

Unfortunately, I am now left in a state of limbo.  A piece of my heart was ripped away from me so people who had more money could be the saviors of my child.  Saviors.  My child did not need to be rescued, my child did not need to be saved.  No, my child needed to be raised in her family.  She needed to be with the people who know and understand the little things that make her who she is.

She wasn't a blank slate.  She carries part of me, part of her genetic history in her. 

Yes, I have tried to reach out to her...unsuccessfully.  So this time I tried a different approach.  Since I do not know what she has been told repeatedly through out her life and I do not know for sure if she was threatened to be cut off from the only family she knows if she reaches out.  I do not know the family dynamics she grew up in.  Hell, who knows...maybe she hates me and would spit on me if she ever saw me.  I don't know.  All I have is a gut feeling.

Through the years I have listened to Adoptees and even some Adoptive Moms (not the crazy ones who think it is their God given right to take babies away from their Mothers).  I have tried to keep my heart open and have hope and remain positive.  Thank you to everyone who helped me with my last attempt at reaching out.  And Jenn, big squishy hugs!!!

I created a 6 minute, 28 second video.  I had to re-do this video a thousand time (so it seemed).  I briefly touch on when I was pregnant with her, what it was like, what I craved, her Birth Father, our relationship, when I went into the hospital, our time together, what I named her.  I told her she was wanted.  I also told her I will NOT step in and be Mom.  I know she loves her parents and the woman who raised her earned the title of "Mom"...a title I never earned.  Through out the video I tell her there are other stories, if she ever wants to hear them.

I made the little jewel case cover.  Yes, there are a couple of Alice in Wonderland references in the video, on the cd and on the jewel case.

I know some were concerned about just sending a video and it freaking out Ashley if she just pops it in.  I wrote a little letter letting her know how I tried to write a letter, but the words never came out right, the short video seemed to work best.  I did give her a heads up as to what is on the video so she can choose to watch it when she feels ready.  In the letter I do give her my email address.  The letter was placed on top of the cd in the gift box.

I did make a brief comment about a full blood Swedish woman who welded planes during WWII.  So, I picked up a 2" Swedish Dala Horse.  I did cringe at how expensive the little wooden horse was, but it was hand carved and hand painted in Sweden.  Right now I am hoping she doesn't see it and just throw it away.  I also picked up a Swedish Milk Chocolate Bar and attached a note.  "Just in case you have an insatiable sweet tooth.  It's okay to eat it in one sitting if you want :-)"


I wrapped everything up as perfectly as my nervous little hands could.  (yes, I'm a little OCD)  I am hoping she will see that a lot of love and care went into this.

Last Friday a work friend of mine had asked me "what if she freaks out when she gets the package?"  I told her if Ashley would have responded to my facebook message last year then I wouldn't have done this.  So my friend replies, "Oh, I get it.  Ignore little Miss OCD and she sends you gifts."  I laughed and told her only if I gave birth to you.  My friend hugged me and told me to stay positive and don't obsessively check my email.

Wednesday morning I packed up everything and wrote a little note asking that she have an open heart and an open mind.  Another co-worker friend of mine saw the open box and prayed over it, she said she prayed for a positive response.

The box was shipped, scheduled to arrive Friday morning at her work.  If you read my previous posts it was decided this was the best option since sending it to her home would probably scare the daylights out of her...finding her work address was public information.  I was hoping she received the box before she left work on Friday so she could process, if need be, at home over the weekend.  I felt bad enough shipping this to her work.

The package was received at 11am.  It is now out of my hands.  I have done everything I could possibly do and I know I can't reach out again, this was my final attempt.  I am trying my best to think positive thoughts, I know it may be a while before I get a response.

If she ignores this then I stay in limbo and to be totally honest.  I think staying in limbo is making me a little nuts.

If she tells me to go to hell then I can try to figure out how to deal with it, maybe then I can figure out how to let go...but leave my door open.

If she tells me she's not ready then that's okay too...at least I know I am not being ignored.

If she opens the door then of course I would be ecstatic!!

So now all I can do is wait...that never ending waiting game.








Thursday, November 1, 2012

What happened to my patience?

I will write later, but I wanted to let y'all know the video is done and the package I created is being shipped to my First Daughter Ashley.

I do have a tracking number and the package should arrive Friday morning at her office.  I am hoping she gets it before she leaves work.  

Like I said before, I will write later about the package and video I ended up pulling together for Ashley.  I hope and pray that I have somehow touched her and she will make positive contact.

I am trying my best to remain positive and hopeful!!!







Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 - 2 - 1 Action!

The "draft script" for my video to Ashley is written...in pencil.

I took the questions and used them to write everything out.  For some of the questions I did not want to go into a full story, I am letting her know it is another story, for another time...if she is interested.

I'm trying to keep the video about 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops.

All that is left for me to do now is write out my note cards so I stay on track and Monday I will begin recording.  I'm going to include a handwritten note letting her know I tried to write, but it was nearly impossible so I created the video (something along those lines) and I will list the questions I answered.  I will close the note with a "please let me know if you received this and if you are the right person or not" and I will leave just my email address.

Since I am making reference to a Swedish Great Grandmother who welded planes during WWII in the video I'm going to include a small gift wrapped dala horse with its Swedish story.

So hopefully with the note card attached to the video Ashley will know what it is (and what it is about) so she won't be completely freaked out and she'll be curious enough to play it.  I'm also hoping the small dala horse will help warm her up to the idea of wanting to get to know me.

I also hope with the video Ashley will see the similarities...I hope she has a lot of "I do that!" and maybe, just maybe, it will be enough for her to send an email. 

Thank you everyone who helped me figure out what to say!!!

And big squishy hugs for the one who let me use her as my "sound board" and for your wonderful advice.








Monday, September 3, 2012

The First Draft...

Writing, erasing, writing more, erasing again.

Ripped up sheets of notebook paper.

The brand new pencil I was using is now just a nub and the eraser completely gone.

Sending a letter through the agency, or sending one on facebook was never this hard.  I needed to write something that was going to get her attention.  I needed a response...good or bad, I need something so I am no longer in limbo.

My girlfriend Jennifer sent me a text, "how are you doing?"  I responded back with "I need to get drunk, pour my heart out into a 40 page draft.  When I sober up I can condense it to no more that 2 pages".  Jennifer replies "LOL"

Putting myself on paper is extremely difficult.  Even writing here is very, very hard.  It's just not possible for me to put me in writing...I'm way too animated to be on paper.  So this draft letter is tough.

I came up with writing a story in third person, the story was about the circumstances surrounding Ashley's birth and how I wanted to keep her.  I was going to write it on a piece of vellum and draw a picture to go underneath the vellum.  I emailed Jennifer the draft story (I was going to write the rest as a regular letter).

Jennifer replied later.  "I hate it!!  This story should have a happy ending and YOU did NOT have a happy ending.  This is not you."

A was a little relieved to hear that...this is so not me!!  So it was back to the drawing board, a new pencil, new eraser and even more paper.

Jennifer tells me I'm thinking too hard on this.  It appears Ashley is into her Leo sign so Jennifer suggests writing to her sign.

Her sign...

Why didn't I think about this before??

I'm an Aquarius to a T, all I need to do is research the Leo a little.

After studying up a little I send Jennifer a text.  "A letter will not get a Leo's attention and writing a letter is not an Aquarian's style".  Jennifer replies "Any ideas because not knowing is killing you".  I reply back "how about a video.  That will get her attention and she will see the similarities and that should get her curiosity really going".  Jennifer responds "LOVE IT! I have a camera".

So, my approach will be different.  Ashley will have something that not only tells her what she means to me, but she will have something where she can see that we look ALOT alike, she will hear my voice and hear my laughter.  If she watches the video then she should respond.

****  Adoptees, I need your help!!  ****
What questions did you have for your First Mother before making any kind of contact?  I would like to address this the a video.






Thursday, August 30, 2012

The What If's ARE Killing Me!!!

The what if's ARE killing me!!

I lost my daughter to adoption 24 years ago and I can't stand by quietly and allow it to keep us separated.

Yes, a friend of mine reached out to her when she was 18.  It freaked her out and I still feel guilty about that, but the silver lining...she knew about the MySpace I had once just for here.

She (and her friends) visited the MySpace page often before I had to shut it down.  Ashley once posted about reading my stories and she really liked them...and she really liked me!!

People she knew would cross my path over the years.  I'm not talking about one friend, I'm talking about several people!!  One of them use to be my HR Manager when I worked in Corporate America.  The HR Manager had told me about how open Ashley was about being adopted and then she would tell me the Adoptive Mom's reaction.  The Adoptive Mom would say mean, nasty things about Ashley's Birth Mother...Me.

I sent Ashley a message on facebook, no response.  I sent a follow up a couple of months later, no response.  I can deal with her saying "piss off" or "I'm not ready", but it is being ignored that is killing me!!  My personality is a little too big to be ignored, which is probably why my friends and family are shocked that I haven't done anything more.

Until yesterday...

I had decided I was going to send her a handwritten letter.  I got a hold of my girlfriend Jennifer who plays my devil's advocate when it comes to Ashley.  I wanted to use a legitimate search company online to provide me the mailing address for Ashley in California.  Jennifer told me to give her a couple of hours, she was going to check the databases she has subscriptions for.  So I waited...

Jennifer asked for a few more pieces of info.  I gave it to her along with the parents, their biological daughter's name and their address.  So again, I wait...

A couple of hours later I get a text from Jennifer to call her, so I did.

We decided it would be best to send a letter FedEx (with a paid return FedEx envelope) to Ashley's work.  Since everything leads to the Adoptive Parents home address it would be less "creepy" to send it to her work, if I were to send it to her home she will probably freak out since her Adoptive Parents have gone to great lengths to show that Ashley "still lives" in her childhood home.  Ashley's work info was super easy to locate, and the info is publicly available, so after the initial shock wears off then she would see how she got the letter at her work.

Jennifer found the Adoptive Dad on facebook.  I went through his very public page and found tons of pictures of Ashley, even her college graduation pictures.  I started to get concerned, everything was about Ashley.  To any unknown person it would look like she was a true Daddy's Girl, but to me it looks like she was a great piece of property he had purchased.  It made my stomach turn.  Is she some piece of property they own?  I wanted to hurl!!!

I have been told by the people who have crossed my path that Ashley and I were so much alike, right down to our speech and personality.  If this is true then I really am concerned.  If we are so much alike then how is she handling not being her true self?  Or have they been conditioning her since the "gotcha day" that they own her and any thoughts of being who she really is won't be allowed.  These thoughts made me sick.  I can't think about that right now...I need to focus on the letter.  That concern can be pushed aside until that bridge has been crossed.  No need to put the cart in front of the horse.

Jennifer also found the Adoptive Mom on facebook, her profile was somewhat private so there wasn't much info on Ashley to get.  I told Jennifer I wasn't going to focus on what the Adoptive Mom had said to me, I was going to go forward telling myself that she is afraid I will try to take her place...which I am not.  She raised Ashley, the title of Mom belongs to her.  Jennifer said the woman appears crazy, and not a fun crazy either.  Yes, from the things I have heard about the Adoptive Mom I am led to believe that something might be off with her.  I told Jennifer that before I ever crossed paths with HR Manager I held Ashley's parents in my heart.  I will still hold them in my heart, I will embrace them...because that's just how I am.  If the Adoptive Mom really is "off" then I will corner her and give her a big squishy hug.  If she is insecure then that is not my fault, I will be the bigger person.

Jennifer agrees with my gut feeling on all of this.  The Adoptive Parents are my roadblocks.  It is a huge possibility that the Adoptive Mom is placing ginormous "Jewish Mom" guilt trips on her.  I will proceed, I will go around the roadblocks.  I will not be the one to make Ashley feel guilty, I will not make her feel like she has to choose.  Ashley has a right to know her history, know where she came from, she has a right to know her true self.

No, guilt trips are not my style. 

After searching all of the social media and internet search engines I was able to get enough information for my next step.

What leaves me feeling sad is Ashley's Adoptive Parent's biological daughter.  It looks like she grew up in Ashley's shadow.  Almost like the parents view her as "not as good" as Ashley.  I hope I am wrong with this one, no one deserves to be compared to someone else.  Their daughter is her own person and she should be loved for who she is.

I can not think about the Adoptive Parents right now, or the sister, or anything else that will cloud my thoughts with sadness and heartache.  I will only focus on reaching out one more time, showing nothing but love, acceptance, understanding, and respect.

So now I must start writing out my draft letter...






Friday, August 17, 2012

Tempted...

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon
After reading all of the comments from "Ignored" I'm starting to wonder...

Was sending the message too impersonal?  I know she shouldn't have any doubts as to who I am if she looked at my profile picture, we look to much alike for there to be any denial.

Is it possible her Adoptive Parents still have access to her facebook account?  Did they go in and delete it to prevent her from ever finding out the real reason why she was lost to adoption?

I thought about sending her a friend request, but the things I have heard about her adoptive parents I know it would be a bad idea...a very bad idea.  The last thing I want is for Ashley to be put into a position to where she feels guilty or where she feels she has to choose.  No Adoptee should ever have to have that kind of guilt placed on them and I would never risk putting her that position.

Will a hand written letter get her to respond to me?  This "not knowing" is driving me absolutely batty!!

I've searched and searched for an address for her.  I came across her resume last summer with her address listed, but she moved to California a few days before I found it.  Any other address that comes up belongs to her Adoptive Parents.  It appears her parents are still providing for her, and it looks like they are only leaving a trail to their house.  I know sending something to the parents house will not work, it will be intercepted, possibly destroyed...like every little token, letter, card I sent through the Agency.

A part of me wants to leave it as it is...

Another part of me wants to actually utilize intelius or peoplefinder to locate a physical address for her in California.  I'm hesitant because I don't know if it will be a waste of money.

Yes, Ashley rejecting me terrifies me, but would I be pushing too much?  She's only 24 years old now, she's still young.

Or has she been told so many lies about me that she has washed her hands of any possible communication?

I really don't like all of this waiting and not knowing...

I am tempted to send a letter FedEx, signature required, if I can only locate a physical address.  I'd also include a returned paid FedEx envelope for her to make it easier. 

So tempted, so, so tempted...








Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ignored

It has been about a year since I "jumped the roadblock".

August of last year I sent Ashley a message on facebook.  As terrified of her rejection as I am I went ahead, bit the bullet and reached out.

The thought of making direct contact like that scared the daylights out of me.  For so many years I wished, dreamed, and hoped for a reunion.  I have spent her entire life trying to convince myself she is in a better place.  Even though I never wanted to lose her to adoption I tried my best to look ahead in a positive light.  In my heart I was (am) willing to embrace those she loves.  

Deep down inside, even though I was (am) hopeful of a positive outcome I was beside myself with fear...fear of Ashley's rejection.

My heart was screaming "send the message", but my head was screaming "No!  She'll reject you".  I was conflicted.  A friend of mine, who I found in that super secret First Mother closet, encouraged me to send that message.  After I sent it I felt nauseous.  It was too late, the message is out there.  My heart was exposed to Ashley to do as she wished.

For those who are not First Mothers probably don't understand the depth of fear I felt.  The emotions I felt when I was pregnant with her, delivering her, the emotions from holding her in the hospital and losing her to adoption hit me like a tsunami.  As the days moved on after sending the message I started to realize that I was being ignored.

Ignored.

Not necessarily a rejection, and not really an acceptance.

Ignored.

Frustrated at the lack of communication I tried my best to push it aside and continue on with life.  To be totally honest, it makes me sad knowing what Ashley had missed out on in the last year here in her First Family world.

Her half sister started Middle School and had survived 7th grade.  She missed her track meets, missed a first boyfriend, missed out on the heart to heart talks a little sister would have about figuring out how do deal with being a 7th grader.  She missed out on a little half sister officially turning into a teenager.

Ashley missed out on her super awesome kick ass step-grandfather.  We lost him last September, so she will never experience the constant laughter he brought into our lives.

Of course, she missed out on the holidays and family gatherings.

I had changed jobs since I sent her that message, I am now working closer to home...trying to patiently rebuild my clientele.  She also missed out on the crazy, random client I had...a former classmate of hers.

I never received a response from Ashley.  Maybe she deleted it?  Maybe she is still waiting to figure what to say in a response?  Maybe she has a overbearing Adoptive Mother (God I hope not!) who is making her feel guilty about even considering responding?

Who knows what happened to my message.

What I do know is that I laid my heart out there, left myself vulnerable to her, and I have never received a response.

Instead, I am ignored.

The woman who conceived her, carried her in her womb, protected her, love her unconditionally.  The woman whose heart has been ripped to shreds because she lost her to adoption is ignored.

Ignored.

Like I am some random telemarketer.

Ignored.







Monday, August 13, 2012

High School Sweetheart

1985, it was the beginning of my Sophomore year in High School.  I was already pretty much in shock, trying to get use to walking through halls where we were packed in like sardines.  The junior high I came from was tiny compared to the other two junior highs that were also funneled into this High School. 

My best friend Paige grabbed my arm after first period when she saw me in the hall.  "I want you to meet someone".  I told her "I have no interest in a boyfriend since Brad ripped my heart out last year".  Paige rolls her eyes at me and literally drags me through the hall.

When Paige has her mind made up to do something she does it...

I keep protesting.  Paige tells me "Trust me, this is your Prince Charming.  You two will be perfect for each other".  Well, that's Paige for you, the hopeless romantic.

She drags me around the corner, stops, grabs my shoulders to straighten me.  I look back at her, I'm pissed, I told her this was crazy, I have no interest in guys since Brad broke up with me.  She grabs my head and turns it so I am looking at him.  Paige whispered in my ear, "What about Brad?" and I whisper back "Who?"

Standing before me was him, I melted, he was tall, blonde, had the most beautiful crystal blue eyes and when our eyes met he had a goofy half smile.  He had broad shoulders, like he was a football player...I wanted to touch his shoulders.  I came to his shoulders, more like his armpits, I guess that not unusual when you are barely over 5'1".  He had a short friend on one side of him who reminded me of Booger from Revenge of the Nerds.  He had another friend on the other side of him who I didn't really notice.  All I could see was him.

Paige was talking, I don't know what she said, I didn't hear her...or anyone else in the crowded hall.  I was mesmerized.  The only thing I heard was his name, Mike and Mike asking me for my phone number.  Paige grabbed my arm and told me we had to go, the break was over and we needed to get to class.  My body felt like jello, but Paige dragged me off.

I spent the rest of the school day in a daze.  Mike, Mike asked me for my phone number, Mike.

Mike and I were officially dating, we were a typical couple, nothing exciting.  We would break up every once in a while and when Mike heard I was dating he would always show back up and we would once again become a couple.

By the time our Junior year rolled around Mike and his friends started using drugs (and alcohol) a little more, almost to a point to where it was becoming a problem.  Mike would always try to pressure me into smoking pot, dropping acid or using X (which was legal at the time).  I always refused, I was vain, I would tell him I didn't want to age dramatically, loose my hair and teeth by the time I was 30.  (This really did happen to a family member of mine, so thank God for my vanity!!)

When we got to our Senior year my whole world revolved around Mike.  Mike was my everything, we were planning on going to the same college and getting married after we graduated.  We had plans for the future and our future included us growing old together.  I loved him, I fell hopelessly in love with him the day my friend Paige dragged me to meet him and it was obvious he loved me too.

The spring semester in our Senior year started.  Mike asked me one night why I was starting to get fat, I told him I was pregnant and I was scared to death.  He said "I suppose you expect me to marry you now?" I told him I didn't want him to marry me because of the baby, I would only marry him if he wanted to marry me.  Of course he started freaking out, like any teenage boy, he was carrying on about him, what his family would think, about his life, his future.  He kept going on and on and on.  I wanted to slap him and ask, "What about me?"

I hid the pregnancy the best I could, he would take me out to places where we would not run into anyone from school, he kept me away from his parents and I requested to spend the last month in ISS (In School
Suspension) so I could hide the pregnancy better.  Mike was starting to act differently, more distant.  My Principal kept begging me to transfer to this other high school in our district that had a pregnancy program, the program also offered free daycare so the Mothers could continue their education.  (years later my First Daughter would attend this high school...as a regular student, not a expectant mother)

Transferring schools wasn't an option.  My adoption counselor would tell me that program was bad, they would encourage me to keep my baby where I would be destined to live off of government assistance and I would never find a decent man to marry me, etc, etc, etc.  The adoption counselor also told me if I transferred schools then I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on Mike, he would cheat on me and leave me behind.  The counselor planted that paranoia in me and Mike's strange behavior didn't help.

Graduation...because I missed so much school due to my pregnancy I was not able to graduate with my class, with the people I had known my whole life, the people who slowly started dropping out of my life because I wouldn't have an abortion.  I wanted to go, but Mike told me not to, he didn't want to run a chance of his family finding out about the baby.  So I stayed home, curled up in my bed...crying.

July 23, 1988 my water broke.  I mentioned in a post titled "July 23, 1988 - Dear Diary part II" about not getting a hold of Mike.  Then in "July 23, 1988 - Dear Diary part III" I mention how Mike was MIA.  Then in "Sunday, July 24, 1988" I mention how he never came to see me.  And in "Monday, July 25, 1988" I talked about how Mike broke up with me...the day I come home from the hospital, two days after I give birth to our daughter.  I found out a few weeks later that he was dating someone else while I was pregnant.

It was bad enough that I was dealing with post partum depression, then losing my daughter to adoption, and the one person I loved with all my heart breaks up with me.

I was accepted into the art program at our District School.  I needed to focus on completing my Senior year, a fresh start at a new school, new people, new adventures.  Unfortunately by the time school started I was lost...completely empty...I was numb...I was putting myself in dangerous situations, because I wanted this pain to finally end.

There was a boy I was dating, he was sweet enough and was actually trustworthy...but I was a bitch, a complete cold hearted bitch...I didn't care about anyone, or myself.  I broke up after a couple of months when he started to get "too close" to my heart.

In January 1989 Mike shows back up, out of the blue.  We ended up back together...as usual.  This time was different...I had changed.  He was wanting to marry me, I was doubtful, but I went along...because a piece of me still loved him.  A month later I found a roll of film in my room, I got it developed and I had the pictures in my purse.  The pictures were taking at a party I was at last fall with the guy I was dating.  I didn't think anything of it, I left the pictures in my purse.

Mike's parents were out of town one weekend.  We went to their house, just the two of us.  Mike was getting high and we were getting drunk.  For some reason he went through my purse and found the pictures.  He was angry, I kept telling him they were taken when we were broken up, he didn't care.  I suddenly got scared.  I ran up the stairs to the bathroom and as I was trying to lock the door he kicked it in.  The edge of the door hit me in the face, I was thrown into a wall, bounced off and went flying into the bathtub, as I was falling I grabbed the shower curtain...everything went black.

When I came to I found myself laying in a puddle of blood, Mike was sitting there screaming at me.  I got up and went to the mirror.  The blood was coming from where the edge of the door hit my teeth and sliced my mouth open, it looked like I had a hair lip that was never sewn together.  I wasn't sure if my teeth were still intact.  I looked over at Mike and told him I was going to the hospital.  He told me he wasn't taking me, I told him fine I would walk there.  I went downstairs, put on my coat, grabbed my purse and he showed up and told me he would drive me.  I wouldn't talk to him or look at him...how dare he do this to me, when was it going to end?

9 stitches later my lip was sewn back together, I had a minor cut on my brow and cheek from the door and thankfully my teeth were still intact, except one did receive some damage (that wouldn't become an issue until years later).  Mike took me home.  The next day, I dumped him.

I may be on the path of self-destruction but there was one thing I was sure of, I was not a punching bag!

Mike and I still run into each other every few years.  I'm not afraid or angry when I see him, a part of me does pity him a little...his heart is so full of anger, and guilt over what happened with us.  And yes, a small part of me does still love him.  I have forgiven him, but I will never forget. 







Thursday, August 9, 2012

Someone Is Trying To Tell Me Something - Part I

For several years after I left the hospital with empty arms in 1988 I would wake up suddenly, swearing I heard a baby crying.  The first year or so it was constant, but as time went on it would happen less and less.  I am a heavy sleeper, my alarm clock barely wakes me up.  So I could never understand why the sound of a baby crying, later a small child, would wake me up...especially when there were never any small children around. 
  • Maybe, just maybe, it was a mother's intuition.  I will never know the answer to this mystery.
In 1989 I worked for this lady making hairbows.  There were about 10 of us who worked there.  I started working there when Ashley was about 7 months old, I was already starting down a path of self-destruction.  The owner was Jewish, I kept asking her questions about her faith.  The lady finally asked me one day why I was so curious, so I told her about Ashley.  Before I told her about Ashley she would talk about her family and about this precious new baby that came into her family, after I told her she acted different, she wouldn't talk about her family around me, she started to look like the "cat at that the canary", and she started to "mother" me.  The owner was a fun and sweet woman, I really liked her.  Unfortunately, I was starting down my self destructive path.  I wish we could have met during a better time in my life.
  • 19 years later I started getting a very strong feeling about the sweet Jewish woman I use to work for, making hair bows.  Something inside me was screaming...she's Ashley's adopted Aunt!!!  (If Ashley and I ever get acquainted I'll have to ask her if she has an Aunt who use to own a place making hairbows)
In 1990 the Adoption "Counselor" wanted to meet with me.  Not sure why, but looking back I'm sure it was to keep force feeding me the Kool Aid.  The "Counselor" told me she was at Target a couple of weekends before and she saw this child.  She saw the child smile and and noticed her eyes.  The child was Ashley, there was no doubt in her mind, then seeing the parents confirmed it.  The "Counselor" almost slipped, she was about to say Ashley's adopted name...she managed to get out the sound of the first two letters before she caught herself.  That's okay, the sound could only be one of two names.  I pretended like I didn't hear it, so she went on to tell me how this child looked so much like me, she said it was like looking at a miniature version of me, except the hair and eye color were different from mine, but she had that same smile and light in her eyes like mine. 
  • I was angry when I left there.  I knew the neighborhood where the "Counselor" lived, I knew which Target she was talking about.  She told me these people didn't live anywhere near me, there was no way Ashley and I would ever cross paths.  She lied to me, but I know knew Ashley's adopted name could be one of two names...there is a third name that it could also be, but that was doubtful, I never heard of a Jewish girl having that third name.  In 2006 my guess was correct, her name was one of the two names I figured it would be!
From 1990 - 1992 I use to work at Mervyn's located at Prestonwood Mall, I started out in the Children's Department then eventually was put on the newly formed "Operations Impact Team".  Since losing Ashley I always stayed away from small children and babies, especially if they were girls who were about Ashley's age.  One day in 1992 I was marking items down in the Children's Department.  The store was going through a remodel so everything was a bit chaotic.  I had my clipboard in hand, with my red pen and inventory scanning gun strapped to my hip.  There was a woman trying to find a certain size in something, she had a girl who about 4 years old and a little one in a stroller.  I was drawn to this 4 year old, I don't know why since I avoided children like the plague.  I helped the woman locate whatever it was she was looking for, but I could not keep my eyes off of the child.  I remember being filled with love when I looked at her.  It freaked me out, I clocked out and ran to my car and cried. 
  • I never understood what the hell happened that day.  I never felt that kind of connection and love that strong until I had my second daughter.  Was that 4 year old Ashley, her Adopted Mother and her adopted parents natural child?  Could be.  In 2006 I found out Ashley lived close to that mall and her adopted parents had their first and only natural child when Ashley was about 3 or 4...so the ages of the children added up.
1995 I moved to San Antonio.  I lived there for 13 months.  I was absolutely miserable!!  All I wanted to do was move back home.  It could be the slow pace of San Antonio, at the time it was a little too slow for a North Dallas Native, or it could be my family was still in the North Dallas area.  All I knew was I had to get back to Dallas, so in 1996 I moved back.
  • At the time I couldn't explain what was pulling me back to Dallas.  After I found out where Ashley grew up I realized that had to be it.  We ended up moving about 5 miles from her neighborhood.  I had always lived within 10 miles of her neighborhood.
1999 I had my second daughter, Ashley was 11 at the time.
  • Ashley's neighborhood was about two miles (if that) down the road from the hospital where I gave birth to my second child.
2004 I went to a Walmart one Saturday morning that was closer to the area where I later found out Ashley lived.  (The walmart closer to me was scary)  I parked and walked through the parking lot.  I saw a small dark SUV parked and in the back window was a High School Cheerleader sticker with a name on it.  The name was one of the two names I was guessing to be Ashley's.  I stood there and stared for some reason...Ashley didn't cross my mind at the time.  I found myself making sure my shirt was straightened and my hair wasn't going crazy, then I went in.  When I walked back to my car I noticed the small SUV was gone, not sure what it was, but something was telling me that WAS Ashley.
  • In 2006 I found out Ashley was a cheerleader and went to the high school named on that sticker.  Shortly after receiving that information I did stumble across a picture (that was posted for the public to see).  The picture was Ashley and a small dark SUV...the same SUV I saw two years before.
2005 a junior high friend of mine was having a baby.  There was a baby shower at her parents home.  Her parents no longer lived in the neighborhood where we grew up, they moved across town into this hoity toity neighborhood.  I had the directions I was following.  For some reason I took a left too soon, ended up in a cul-de-sac.  After driving through the neighborhood for a few minutes I was finally back on track.
  • In 2006 I received the information on Ashley and her adoptive family.  I looked up the address, the neighborhood looked familiar.  I called up my junior high friend and told her she wasn't going to believe this.  I asked her if she remembered me telling her about how I got lost in her parents neighborhood.  The cul-de-sac I turned around in was Ashley's.  Since then I refused to go to my friend's parents house, I didn't want to run the risk of Ashley's adoptive family accusing me of being up to no good.
It wasn't until I began my search in July of 2006 that these strange little things were starting to make sense.  Most of these little things would have been forgotten, they are normal everyday run-ins...not worth being filed away in my memory.   But for some reason the dots were quickly being connected when a wonderful Search Angel provided me with the information on Ashley, my First Daughter lost to adoption...

Someone, or something, has been trying to tell me something all of these years.







Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy 24th Birthday


Happy 24th Birthday Sweetheart.

The door will always be open for you and I will always be waiting with open arms.  I have and will always love you unconditionally.

Just to warn you though...when and if we see each other again I will probably re-count all of your fingers and toes and try to wrap you up in a blanket and hold you tightly in my arms.  And if I accidentally do this it is only because I missed out on so much with your life.

With all my heart,

Your Birth Mother