Wednesday, March 26, 2008


The letter was delivered earlier today at 12:20p.m. At least I don't have to deal with it being returned. But now I am anxiously awaiting for whatever response might be headed my way.

More insanity as it ensues.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Something Different?

I want to post about something other than the letter to my first father. Or at least, I'd like to have some news to post about that. But I've got nothing. The status hasn't changed on-line. At this point, I'm getting worried that they are going to return the letter to me. Then I don't know what to do. I don't know how long they'll keep trying to deliver it. *sigh* The wait is killing me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Adoptee Rights Protest

Cross-posted from Over A Candle:

You probably have noticed the new badge off to the right. In less than four months, adoptees (and their supporters) from around the country (and a few from other countries) will be gathering in New Orleans to protest on behalf of equal rights for adoptees. The protest coincides with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

I don't know how many of you can go. I don't know how many of you are even interested in this. But if you are, click on the badge to go to the official website of the protest, learn more about it, and learn how you can help out, even if you can't go.

Records are still sealed in 44 states. Several states are, as I write, considering legislation to shrink this number. Some of these bills are "clean" bills. Some of them, on the other hand, restore only some rights to some adoptees. But there is movement out there. This protest is a chance to have our voices heard.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Status: Notice Left

From the USPS website:

We attempted to deliver your item at 2:40 PM on March 20, 2008 in XXXXX and a notice was left. It can be redelivered or picked up at the Post Office. If the item is unclaimed, it will be returned to the sender. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.

So the letter is there. Maybe it will be delivered, or picked up, today.

I really hope that he e-mails or writes a letter. I'm not sure I'm ready for a phone call. I did include my phone number, but I don't know if I can manage a phone call at this point. That's perhaps too scary.

This is nerve-wrecking.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It turns out, the US Postal Service doesn't update their website all the frequently.

Either that, or my letter hasn't left the office at which I mailed it.

Ugh. I just want this over.

I'm not good with patience. Indeed, I'm very bad with patience. I am very much an instant gratification sort of person. Waiting is thus very difficult.

But waiting is all I can do right now.

twiddles thumbs

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Letter To My Father

Today I decided to take the universe's signs to heart: I mailed a certified letter to the man who I believe is my first father. It wasn't a very long letter. I gave enough to detail to identify who I was writing to (on the off chance that he isn't actually my father), and I gave a few pieces of general information about myself. I asked to have contact and gave him my e-mail address, my physical address, and my phone number.

Now, it's a waiting game.

I'm not entirely sure what I want from him. I know he may be a very different man than my first mom remembers. So I'm trying to go into this with no expectations about the sort of person I will find.

But I've not been very trusting of men, historically, and I guess I'm afraid that he's going to be disappointed that I'm not more "manly." I am not a stereotypical male. I've always been more emotional, and kind of "artsy." And I worry we'll have nothing in common.

Or worse. That he'll actively dislike me. He joined the Marines to fight in Vietnam. I'm a pacifist and have protested two wars in Iraq. I just don't know that this is going to go well. I hope so, but I'm nervous about it.

Well, all I can do is try to put it out of my mind until I get some news one way or the other. I'll certainly let you know if and when that happens.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Adoption and The Shadow

I've been doing a little rereading on the Jungian concept of the Shadow. I find the Shadow a fascinating concept, one that is incredibly useful for making sense of my mind, my reactions, and the reactions of those around me.

When I first encountered the idea, I was resistant. The notion that things I intensely disliked in others were things I failed to recognize in myself struck me as false on its face. But the more I investigated and explored the idea, the more it began to ring true. We take things we don't like about ourselves, or that we think others don't like about us, and stuff them down, repressing them. When we see other people doing those things, we react negatively. We recognize ourselves, pieces of ourselves that others told us were bad. We tell ourselves that the other person is horrible so that we don't have to reclaim that piece of ourselves which have learned to loathe.

Robert Bly has written a book exploring some aspects of the notion called A Little Book on the Human Shadow. In the second chapter he writes:

Let's talk about the personal shadow first. When we were one or two years old we had what we might vizualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our body and all parts of our psyche. A child running is a living globe of energy. We had a ball of energy, all right; but one day we noticed that our parents didn't like certain parts of that ball. They said things like: "Can't you be still?" Or "It isn't nice to try and kill your brother." Behind us we have an invisible bag, and the part of us our parents don't like, we, to keep our parents' love, put in the bag. By the time we go to school our bag is quite large. Then our teachers have their say: "Good children don't get angry over such little things." So we take our anger and put it in the bag. By the time my brother and I were twelve in Madison, Minnesota we were known as "the nice Bly boys." Our bags were already a mile long.

I was struck as I reread those words today. Bly is describing a phenomenon that happens to everyone. Every human being on the planet does this to a greater or lesser extent.

And given the focus of my mind in the past many months, it quickly made the leap: If everyone stuffs things because of fear that they could lose the love of their parents, how much must this play on the adoptee, who already has (in the adoptee's mind) lost the love of a set of parents? How much easier is it for the adoptee to find reasons to stuff the bag?

And, I feel somewhat badly about this, I thought of those people who reject the notion that something traumatic happened to adoptees. I thought, everyone has had this happen, it's a universal experience. Why must they deny it about adoptees? And why would it be so hard to recognize that adoptees would struggle mightily with this? How does this threaten them? And the answer lies in the notion of the Shadow itself. Those who are threatened by adoptees discussing their trauma, don't want to face up to their own trauma. They are made uncomfortable by the very suggestion of the existence of their own bag.

I suppose that gives me a little empathy for them. But I have done for others so much throughout my life, and I have begun to reclaim just a small measure of selfishness from my own bag, that it's hard to have a lot of empathy for them. After all, they are dismissing me and my feelings. How much empathy should I have for that?

I do not mean to imply that every adoptee experiences the same thing. But given how the Shadow forms, how our own rejected self comes to be, it is of little surprise to me that adoptees have much we struggle with. Our search is a very literal search. But it also is a very physical manifestation of a metaphorical reclamation of the self that every human being should strive for. Not every human being comes to terms with his or her Shadow. But the adoptee must search for and reclaim the Shadow, as well as the self that was lost at relinquishment. We already start off with less than a 360-degree personality. There is much to recover.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Synchronicity

Today, I walked to the Post Office to mail the form to the Ohio Vital Records office. This is the form, signed by my first mom, allowing them to give me a copy of my records, primarily my original birth certificate. I was told to wait a month or two before sending in the petition because it takes awhile to get the permission form on file. Still, one more step down, and I'm that much closer to seeing my original birth certificate. It's going to be a long couple of months, I think.

On the way to the Post Office, I noticed something. There is a small park near my house. A very small park sandwiched between two houses on the street. I've passed it hundreds of times. I knew it was there. I had seen the sign announcing the park's name. But I hadn't thought about it much. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it earlier, but the park's name is my biological father's last name.

I just stopped dead in my tracks, staring at this sign, this odd link to my biological father. The name is certainly common enough that there is no reason to think it's even a distant relative, but it was there, in big letters, just staring at me. While I was on the way to mail the form that would open my records.

The more I find out about my parents, the more I feel like they have been around me my entire life, and I just couldn't see the signs because I didn't know what to look for. Now that I do, it's impossible not to see them every time I turn around.

It's been a little difficult getting back into my life here. We had such a good visit with my first mom and my brothers. But I have loads of pictures, and lots of memories (and not a few Girl Scout Cookies) to tide me over until our next visit. I don't know when that will be, but I hope not too long.

Meanwhile, I think I need to think more about sending my biological father a letter of introduction. The universe seems to be sending me messages.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Goodbye Sucks

I want to say that I'm back home after visiting with my first mom. But while I was visiting, that's when it felt like I was home. Now I'm at my other home. But I certainly felt at home on my visit.

I met all four of my brothers. I think I look like three of them, and I share some of the personality of the fourth. After getting to hang out with them for a good chunk of time, I'm definitely one of them.

My youngest brother, my first mom, and I are all loud in the same kind of way. We get louder as we tell stories. We're boisterous. That's probably the best word for it. And we like to tell stories. These are my people.

That's a weird feeling. Knowing that these people are my family. Seeing myself in their faces. Hearing myself in their voices. I've never had this experience before. But now I have. I wonder how many people take that experience for granted. I know I never can. Not now.

I got to see a lot of pictures, hear a lot of stories, and just enjoy their company. I felt completely comfortable with all of them.

The only hard part was the leaving. And because of problems at the airport, we actually had to say goodbye three times yesterday. (If you want that whole story, you can read it on my other blog. Here's the link: Airline Heck.) That was a lot of crying.

I'm feeling better now. I still miss them all. But at least I've found them. And they have accepted me. The only thing tempering my exhilaration is how far away they are. I guess I just have to look forward to the next visit.

It was a very good weekend.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Coming Home

I'm on a visit with my first mom. We got delayed during our layover, but we made it in just after midnight early Saturday morning. We've already gotten to sit and talk for about an hour (after she dropped me off at our hotel). She and my youngest brother sat and talked. We probably could have talked all night, but I wanted to get a little sleep to be ready for tomorrow.

My brother looks a little like me (as did the other brother I met the first time we got to visit). It's weird seeing people who look like me. Weird in a good way.

Right now, I'm just happy. I was very anxious before coming down. But right now, I'm just happy.

Bed for now. More later.