The facts: I am a rule follower. My mother wears hearing aids. I like to listen to the BBC a few mornings a week to hear world news and opinion. Now, on with my story…
The other morning I was listening to the BBC when I heard the newscaster say, “Blah, blah, blah (some organization, from India maybe?) is planning on releasing cheaters into the wild.”
Isn’t that a little harsh?
What will it be like…maybe a remote area, similar to a leper colony? Or will it be like that reality show “Survivor” and there will be cameras, a neutral host and episodes on trust and how to cheat a cheater?
Didn’t she say India? I never realized their justice system was so harsh. Is a cheater someone who cheats on a spelling test or on their taxes? Or is this for cheating spouses? They’ll banish them from society and make them live with their fellow cheaters. See how they like cheating then! Yep. That’ll teach ‘em.
And then the newscaster spoke of “Chiner.”
Chiner? I’ve never heard of that country….
Oh, wait. China. And cheetahs. Releasing cheetahs into the wild.
I’m an unabashed fan of Ellen DeGeneres. She’s funny. She’s kind. She’s giving. I watch her show often (while folding laundry, of course. I’m nothing if not a great multi-tasker.)
But the other day, she had the artist Sia on her show to re-create her video for her hit song, Chandelier. And I was a bit…….stunned. First, let me say, I enjoy Sia’s music. Have a few of her songs on my iPod, as a matter of fact. I was looking forward to her performance.
Instead of being wowed (in a good way), I sat there, slack-jawed. I was uncomfortable. When they didn’t show any audience reaction, I figured the rest of the audience felt the same way.
Nope. As soon as the performance ended, the audience erupted and the camera revealed a standing ovation.
If you’re not familiar……
(1) Here are a few snippets of the lyrics to Chandelier: “I’m the one “for a good time call” ,” “1-2-3 drink, 1-2-3 drink, throw ‘em back ’til I lose count,” and “Sun is up, I’m a mess, Gotta get out now, gotta run from this. Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.”
(2) Maddie Ziegler (from Dance Moms) is an 11-year old dancer.
(3) And her costume for the performance, a flesh toned bodysuit, looked like this:
I was troubled. I wrongly assumed others would be, too. And when I Googled “Maddie’s performance Sia Chandelier on Ellen” the adjectives in the articles that popped up were “amazing,” “haunting,” “emotional,” and “incredible.”
Call me a prude. Call me self-righteous. Call me old-fashioned.
I don’t care.
I have an issue with prepubescent girls dancing on television in skin-tight, flesh colored leotards, creating the illusion of nudity to songs that describe adult alcoholic beverage (over) drinking behavior.
So sue me.
Post Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my children’s birth-mothers, women I admire beyond measure. It was time for me (and now, you) to re-read Adoption Triangle of Love. Enjoy. And hug your children close.
When I was searching for ideas for my 100th post my friend, LLCoolJoe, asked about my experience with adoption. First of all, I could probably start a whole new blog and have plenty of material on adoption alone. I can go on and on about how adoption has touched my life. Today I’m going to share with you this nifty little piece of jewelry I found years ago.
It’s called the adoption triangle of love. Just after we adopted our daughter my husband had it made for me from a picture he saw in an adoption magazine. The premise is that each person involved (the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the child) are all joined in love. I loved this idea. I loved wearing this symbol of my part in the adoption process. And then, one day, while teaching my incredible students, one of them asked why I was wearing a Star of David. I laughed. Yes, it did look a bit like the Star of David. But I explained what the symbol meant and he scoffed, “There’s no love in adoption!”
I was stunned. He said, “The only person that gains from adoption is the adoptive parent. The birth parent is just a selfish (fill in the blank) who was too lazy to care for her own child and the child is just another piece of unwanted garbage tossed aside.” I was at a loss for words.
Ever since I was a little girl my mother said I’ve wanted to adopt. She said when I was very young I would say, “I’m going to have one on my own first and then adopt the rest.” I pictured a house full of children. All colors. All genders. All abilities. I have no idea how I created this vision for my life. Fast forward twenty years and I received the news that I was infertile. No big deal, I thought. We’ll just adopt. I’ve never been one of those women who needed to experience pregnancy.
Selfishly, I chose to go the route of international adoption. Selfish because I was not willing to take the risk of a failed adoption here in the U.S. I had heard too many stories of birth fathers suddenly coming into the picture, or the birth mother changing her mind after the baby has been placed. Do you remember the Baby Jessica case back in the 90′s? A 2 1/2-year-old girl, ripped from her adoptive parents arms because the birth mother (who a year after choosing adoption for her baby ended up married to the birth father after all) changed her mind. It was heart wrenching. DNA does not determine who the parent is, in my book. It’s who steps up to the plate to take care of the child.
The mountain of paper work is daunting. The hoops you have to jump through (psychological tests, physical exams, letters of recommendation, fingerprints filed, financial records verified, parenting classes) are many. The expense is a fair amount. And I mean that in every sense of the word. No one gets rich off of adoption – unless, of course, you’re dealing with unscrupulous people. But that can happen in any financial transaction. Once everything is all said and done, the expense (in our experience anyway) was about the amount we’d need for a biological birth. I wasn’t able to be covered for insurance for a birth anyway because of my infertility – so the cost would be the same if I got pregnant. (Which actually happened years later but that’s for another post)
It took a little over a year for us to complete the process. And during that time I’d sit at the OB/GYN for my annual exam and see teenagers complaining about how uncomfortable they were, being 8 months pregnant. Unmarried. Planning on keeping their child – with grandma’s help, that is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that choice, as long it provides a strong, stable home for the child. But many times, it doesn’t. I would sit there remembering that line from the movie Parenthood; “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.” Or mother, for that matter.
Having been raised Catholic, I struggle with the issue of abortion. For me, hopefully for my daughter, abortion is not an option. But when I see all those protestors lining the streets with their signs outside Planned Parenthood clinics I want to shout, “How many children have you adopted?” It’s easy for me to tell someone else you shouldn’t abort. I have a job. A home. Supportive family and friends. But do I have a plan for her if she chooses to give birth? I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes. I have no idea what her personal struggle is.
But choosing adoption for your child when you know you can’t provide the life your baby deserves? Heroic. Amazing. A decision – especially now that I’ve been able to experience the miracle of birth – that is made completely and totally with love. Absolutely. Without any doubt in my mind.
I have two children through adoption. Two birth mothers that made the most difficult, yet loving decision for their child. I am incredibly honored that they touched my life by entrusting the care of their biological child with me. They could have chosen an easier route. But they didn’t. They chose the difficult path because that was in the best interest of their child. I believe that God entrusts us, as parents, with children to raise. He loans them to us -through biology or adoption - to care for their needs as only we can do in the physical world. Biological or not, they are children that need shelter and guidance until they are on their own.
But maybe my former student was right. Maybe I am the only one who “gained” anything from the process. From my perspective I have gained so much. I have two beautiful children through adoption that I cherish and love. I’d like to think that they gained something too, having a stable, loving home to be nurtured in until they are ready to take charge of their own lives. And the birth parents of my children dug deep in their hearts to make the most difficult, best choice for their child.
An adoption triangle. Complicated. Complex. But definitely connected in love.
No doubt in my mind.
What is it? Is it my thyroid? Blood sugar? Hormonal? Or is it just my freaking mind running away without my body?
My body. Struggling to seem normal. Struggling to appear normal. I fake it. I try to fake it. I don’t know if I’m successful.
Desperate for this dizziness not to tail spin into a panic attack I try to distract myself.
So, I fold some laundry. And unload the dishwasher. And let the dog out. And check email. But because I’m dizzy, and my heart is fluttering and my mind is over in the next room, I don’t finish anything.
The damp laundry, taking on a familiar mildew-y perfume, is sitting in the dryer with the door open. I forgot to turn it on.
The bottom rack is emptied. The top is full. And forgetting that I hadn’t emptied the entire thing, dirty dishes are now mingling with clean.
The dog is quietly whimpering on the porch. Forgotten.
Emails left unanswered. I can’t form my thoughts. They float in and out of me. Waves of words. Sinking into the sand and out of reach. Gone. Until a new wave washes up. I try to grasp at some of the letters. Some stick. Others disappear.
Normal, I think. I just want to be normal again. Please, God. Make me normal again.
Louise Hay tells me I can control my health with my thoughts. So I think harder. “I am healthy.” “I am calm.” “I am balanced.”
My husband tells me it’s physical, so I take more herbs.
My doctor agrees with my husband and encourages me to wait it out. Menopause is a tricky thing, she says.
But I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of struggling.
And I’m tired of faking normal.
The above post is an exercise of Just Write by the wonderful Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary blog. Please visit her blog to read more or participate yourself!
Took the boys hiking – practically in our backyard. Gotta love our spring break stay-cation.
Oh, how I love where I live.
Me and my honey. (Before the bangs frizzed up.)
And me and my boys. (After the bangs frizzed up.)
The yellow tape? Where beavers chewed through to grab the bars for their lodge. Pesky little beavers!
My youngest son is a big chess fan. He’s just turned 10 and can beat all of us at a game of chess.
All of us.
He has this uncanny knack for seeing moves 10 moves ahead. None of us enjoy getting beat by him all the time so we bought him an electronic chess board. He’s challenged by the computer’s moves. He leaves us alone now. (His choice.)
It’s a win-win.
I remember seeing a movie, a long time ago, called “Searching For Bobby Fischer.” I knew he would like it so I reserved it on Netflix. “A very long wait” is what it says under expected availability. We’re tired of waiting.
So I looked on Amazon.
There are quite a few purchasing options, ranging anywhere from $11.97 to ……..
Plus $3.99 in shipping.
You’re selling a DVD for two thousand dollars and you can’t throw in shipping?
Gotta love free enterprise!