Category Archives: drama in cyberland

Oh NO He Didn’t!

This weekend was many important things: a big National event at my work, the release of Tw!l!ght: Break!ng Dawn; Part One, the USC upset over Oregon (WOOHOO!!!) and my baby sisters birthday.

I celebrated most of these events without a hitch.

While it rained a bit through our remembrance ceremony for work, it was a beautiful event and there were no snafus.

While we had to reschedule what time we were going to see my guilty pleasure movie a few times, we eventually settled into our seats at a 10:00am showing on Sunday morning and enjoyed every minute of it.

And there are no caveats to my enjoyment of the USC game. I was braced for a bitter loss but was thrilled beyond compare. It was a good day.

My sister’s birthday on the other hand? Okay, it was actually fine. Great even. We had a not so painful lunch with my parents, a trip to Target (always a pleasure), a successful Costco run, and, of course, that epic football game. So what tainted the day just a wee bit?

F@cebook.

How cliche, right?

But hear me out for just one second.

Why in the world was the FIRST PERSON that wished my Baby Sister a Happy Birthday on FB, none other than……

CUPCAKE’S BIRTH FATHER.

Are you freaking kidding me???? I have heard from you ONCE since April 2006 (if you do the math, you’ll note that’s six months before Cupcake was born) and that was when you sent me some strange request to drive to Vegas together for the weekend. Over Easter. When we hadn’t talked in two years. What is your problem sir?

Oh, and it’s not like he and my sister are friends. Yes, they’re “friends” on FB, but actual friends? No. He doesn’t talk to her either. Which is probably why she called me and said, “You will NEVER guess who was the first person to write on my wall this morning.” “If I’ll never guess, just tell me.” “Loser (name redacted for privacy) – isn’t that SO FREAKING WEIRD?”

Yes, Baby Sister. Yes, it is.

Can I get a ninja?

5 Comments

Filed under a little bit adoption, blah, drama in cyberland, face slapping ninja, things that make my brain hurt

The Argument We’re Not Supposed to Make…

Sometimes I feel like I’m just slamming my head against a wall trying to get some people (okay, mostly adoptive parents – I just hate sounding like I’m picking on one side of the triad, especially when this is NOT to be generalized to mean “all adoptive parents”) to understand the first Mother experience. To understand why some first Mom’s don’t like the term birthmom. To understand the emotions of placing a child. To understand that feelings don’t just shut off with the signing of TPR or some arbitrary timeline elapsing.

Yet I keep coming up short. I keep failing to find the words that give someone their every own lightbulb moment. Despite all of my efforts, I fail.

Repeatedly.

At some point in this masochistic experience, a tiny little thought creeps into my head. I want to say it, but I don’t want to say it. I don’t want to offend. I don’t want to give the low blow. But….maybe, just maybe, there’s something there?

So I’ll hold my breath, squint my eyes shut and prepare myself for the retaliation that might follow…..

Could it be that some people just truly don’t understand because they’ve never carried a child and given birth?

Now that I’ve said it I feel like a total shit again!

I don’t know where else to say these things though….I’d love to be able to have a civil conversation about a topic like this, but I fear that opportunity will never come. It’s just too hot button a topic for me to believe that I could say that publicly and not be completely blasted for it.

I don’t know….I mean, my sister-in-laws get to throw around the fact that I’m not parenting to prove how I don’t understand raising children. I can’t possibly wrap my head around discipline because that’s not something I live with day to day. And it’s not my place to give any kind of feedback, advice, or hell, to even have an opinion to some extent.

So maybe something there goes both ways? Can you truly understand what that must be like? I don’t know….I think some people can….but maybe others can’t? I’m the first to admit that my life changed dramatically after giving birth. In ways that have little to nothing to do with placement. The physical act of carrying another person for nine months, of bringing them into the world, it changed me in more ways than I can articulate.

Just as parenting a child must change you, so too does pregnancy, labor, delivery.

I’m reminded often that I’m not parenting. I get it. I’ve never once felt the need to remind someone else that they were never pregnant. It’s a cruel reminder for too many, and one that I’ve never felt a desire to provide.

That’s not the point.

It’s not about hurting someone else, it’s about understanding our perspectives. Including all of our experiences that got us to where we are.

I’ve never experienced the struggle of trying to get pregnant. I’ve never experienced the heartbreak of losing a child to miscarriage. I try to be there for my friends that have. I want to understand them and be there for them in whatever way it is that they need – and understand that it’s not the same way for every person. But at the end of the day, I can’t understand their experience the way someone else that’s lived it has.

I think that many of us try to understand each other. I think some of us find it so hard to understand that even trying is a struggle. We debate and argue and fight and try to make square pegs fit into round holes. But they don’t. We all need to stop trying to make others lived experiences fit into our preconceptions about what we think there experience should be. We need to understand that my experience is not your experience (and it isn’t necessarily your kid’s first Mom’s experience either!), and vice versa.

Maybe that’s something we just need to accept….

Maybe at some point we need to stop trying so hard to understand someone else’s experience, to make it fit into that box, but rather just accept it.

Lord, I think this community could benefit from a whole lot more acceptance….

And as usual, I’ve veered wildly off course. What started as a desire to have an open and honest and not violent conversation about the unique experience of pregnancy and birth turned into a big picture about acceptance. I think both are important, but as I mentioned before, I fear we’re along ways away from being able to have either.

18 Comments

Filed under all things adoption, blah, brutal honesty, deep thoughts with TG, drama in cyberland, totally taboo

Disclaimers

Can I just say – that I am so freaking tired of feeling like I have to make disclaimers all the time. Disclaimers to make sure I’m not generalizing. Disclaimers to reassure. Disclaimers to explain sarcasm or my poor attempts at comedy. God forbid I use hyperbole and not clarify that it is, in fact, hyperbole!

I was just writing my post for this week’s “Wedding Wednesday” and I couldn’t even get past the title without realizing that it alone would create a contentious situation out there in cyberland. Unless, of course, I start the post off with a nice little disclaimer. And that doesn’t always work. Because if there’s a CHANCE that I’ll be “misunderstood” (I tend to think that I’m pretty clear but that folks can choose – and do! – to misunderstand at will) I know that it will happen somewhere. So I figure I should at least do my due diligence to prove that I made the effort to not be wildly offensive in the name of being a wee bit funny.

Now that I’ve written this, I thought about removing the disclaimer to the Wedding Wednesday post – but I think I’ll leave it so y’all can see what I’m talking about… Stay tuned*

*DISCLAIMER : Stay tuned is in reference to a post coming on Wednesday. Please do not hold me accountable for a post tomorrow as I cannot commit to that at this time. Thank you.**

**See? That’s what I mean by poor attempts at comedy!

4 Comments

Filed under blah, drama in cyberland, short and sweet

Open Adoption Roundtable:”Nope, Never, Everything’s Fine!”

I’ve been a less than consistent responder these days to the Open Adoption Roundtables, but I really enjoy having the prompts, so hopefully this is the first of many consecutive offerings! The question of the day is:

Has open adoption ever felt like too much? Have you ever wanted to walk away?

Ever since I read this topic yesterday, I’ve been battling with how to answer. If I should answer. Because the truth is, this often feels like one of those baiting questions that a first parent will never answer “correctly.” Admitting to those kinds of feelings may just prove that I’m everything they say I am. Answering honestly may provide naysayers all the ammunition that they need to slay us.

This probably sounds dramatic.

It might be.

But it feels very real.

It probably feels real because I’ve often been accused – or more accurately TOLD that I don’t “really” love my daughter. Actions that I’ve taken and things that I’ve said have been torn apart and analyzed by people that have never met me and have never tried to get to know me. Those things have been used as evidence that I’m a horrible person. So in the wake of those experiences, this question….just feels like a trap.

I’ve had a post quasi-written – that I’m too nervous to complete/publish – for quite some time titled “Things We’re Not Allowed to Say.” This conversation falls into that category.

How dare I say it’s “too” hard, when so many think that the decision to be in an open adoption is selfish? That it’s more than I deserve? Who am I to consider walking away? What does that add to the narrative that first parents are flaky, selfish, uncaring? Even if the concrete action of walking away never occurred, to say it was a thought, to consider it – that would be going too far. It would be an indictment. The extension of woman that says she’s “considering adoption” and is immediately labeled a birthmother…the first Mom that’s struggling with open adoption that justifies every parent that ever closed an adoption because they “thought it would be too hard on our birthmom.”

I don’t know if it’s that way across the board, or if this thought process is specific to my experience. I DO think that anyone that puts their stake in the ground saying “open adoption is GOOD, I want to be in one, I’m an advocate for them” opens up the possibility criticism when they speak about what’s hard. If they say that it feels like it’s too much. They run the risk of getting the old, “Well, you asked for it!”

The ironic thing is that many parents get frustrated by that mindset when they try for so long to have children, adopt, etc., and complain about any little thing and someone says, “Well, you asked for it!” I would think because of this shared experience, folks would be more open to being empathetic, but I’m not sure that’s always true.

So there’s my non-answer-answer. Or at least the explanation of why I feel that I can’t answer the question. I’m eager to see if/how other first parents answered this question. If they were braver than I. What in their story led them to the safe place of being able to answer honestly? Perhaps one day I’ll get there….or perhaps, get BACK there…because I feel like I WAS there once. And I feel like I learned my lesson.

7 Comments

Filed under brutal honesty, deep thoughts with TG, drama in cyberland, open adoption roundtable

No Time! There’s Never Any Time!

Yes, for the second time in my blogging career, I’m channeling Jesse Spano and wishing that I had the time to tackle all of the things that I want to write about. And for the first time in a long time, they’re nearly all adoption related. Sometimes you just need one experience to push everything over the line and leave you questioning so many things. Things within myself, things about the adoption community, and things about our cross-triad relationships. I’ve got the first paragraph written for at least a handful of these kinds of posts. Whether I’ll summon up the courage to actually post some of them is another matter which remains to be seen…..

But today, I’m just really exhausted.

Some of it is because of this glorious time change. (Seriously, when is someone going to develop the standard ‘sarcasm’ font so that I can be more clear?)

Some of it is because Long Board and I completely over scheduled ourselves this weekend. I’m talking we literally went surfing, to an aquarium, and skiing in one day, and took three of my nephews to Disneyland on the other. What were we thinking??? On a weekend when we actually lose time?? I know that we were just trying to make up for last weekend – which I haven’t talked about yet here, but probably will eventually.

And some of it’s because my mind is trapped in adoption land. I tried to get out of it as much as possible. I stopped following a forum thread that I started, I didn’t go on the blog even though I really wanted to post, and I tried my darndest to not spend the whole weekend thinking about the move.

I’m physically exhausted.

I’m emotionally exhausted.

Bu the physical part I can get over with a couple early nights this week.

The emotional part? I wish it was that simple. My biggest frustration with the emotional exhaustion is that it seems to feed itself….For instance – I’m upset at something someone says, and being the stubborn person that I am, I feel the need to respond. Especially if/when they say something incorrect or make assumptions or twist my words. But I respond and I just fuel the fire. Provide more words to be twisted, feed into more assumptions, and end up feeling more misunderstood than when I began. If I don’t respond I feel like I’m letting untruths sit out there, and it drives me crazy.

And so round and round it goes…..Which, coincidentally, is the name of a draft of another post I’ve started, which means I’m traveling too far off course and into another topic, so I will take my own clue and sign off for now.

At least The Final Rose should prove a strong distraction from everything tonight…..

 

ETA: I said it in the comments, but just in case: I didn’t mean for this to be as bleak as it reads. I’m actually in a really good mood today! I’m a bit on the fiesty side, but overall pretty good. Just really tired! Like can’t stay awake and focused long enough to write tired. Not depressed and sad tired. 🙂

7 Comments

Filed under all things adoption, blah, brutal honesty, drama in cyberland, life with long board

Bleh

I’m in a funk.

By all accounts, things are going fairly well. My weekend was productive, work is going okay, and I heard from Dee last week. Yet I’m just….annoyed.

I think it’s because I feel pretty misunderstood right now on some adoption stuff.

I think it’s because I feel that the first parent voice is dwindling in some respects. (Being shut down in some instances?)

I think it’s because I feel that there are quite a few people that either don’t notice or don’t care.

And it all makes me sad.

Some of those voices got me to where I am today….I’d hate to think the next generation of first parents will have to navigate without that.

Part of what’s really been on my mind lately is a constant reminder that birth parents are not parenting. It seems as though some people don’t think we understand this, like it’s not evident in our day to day lives.

For the record: there has not been one day since I placed Cupcake for adoption that I ever thought I was the parenting parent.

Not one.

Yet I feel like there are all kinds of warnings out there, like if we’re given too much leeway we might start forgetting that we aren’t parenting and try to take over our children’s lives. Whether it’s visits too soon, a high number of visits, a bonding experience, or simply having natural feelings that any parent would have for or about their child – these things are suspect.

Every single first parent I know has wishes and dreams for their children. Some of those were shared prior to placement and it’s only now on faith that they continue to hope that they come true. Some of those weren’t shared, and are instead private hopes.

All of them are ours to have.

Signing papers doesn’t just eliminate feelings; instincts.

I think some people think it does. Other perhaps think it should. I don’t know…(Apparently it’s going to be a ramble-y type of day…)

“Whoa, watch out for those birth parents that have opinions! They’re the dangerous ones!”

It doesn’t even make me angry or upset anymore. Just sad.

Sometimes I feel like we can’t “win.”

And then I feel like I can’t say that without following up with an explanation that I know adoption isn’t about winning. Like I need to follow up with all sorts of clarifying statements for fear that I’ll be misunderstood once more.

I feel like we’re expected to not just care about our children, but to do so preferably in the way that their aparents deem appropriate, or we’re heartless.

Watch out though – care too much, or in the wrong way, and we’re trying to take over.

It’s a fine line, and one that sometimes just takes so much damn energy.

And I think the most frustrating part, is that I don’t feel like this happens in my relationship with Dee. I’m mostly relieved by that. But there’s this weird feeling that even though I’m okay with our relationship, and Dee’s okay with our relationship, that it’s still “wrong” by someone else’s standards. I should just be able to suck it up and not be affected by it…..but it’s not working real well.

Dee doesn’t need to remind me that I’m not parenting Cupcake, so why would another person take on that responsibility? And, for the record, I’m not referencing any particular person or moment where this happened…it’s a multi-year experience that can’t be contained in one conversation, blog post, forum comment. Perhaps that’s the heart of the matter: If it were one person, one time, I could ignore it. But it seems to be so much larger than that…

And if it wasn’t just me feeling this way I think I could let it go too…But it’s definitely larger than that.

22 Comments

Filed under all things adoption, blah, brutal honesty, drama in cyberland

Thank You Ricky Gervais!

Ricky Gervais was a guest on Piers Morgan’s new show last week, and while I didn’t catch the whole interview, I did hear one clip that gripped me immediately. Gervais was explaining his motivation for making some of the jokes at the Golden Globe’s that people deemed inappropriate. He said,

“Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re in the right.”

When I heard this quote, I sat back and had a “whoa” moment.

I was taken aback by how incredibly right he was. I was pleased with how incredibly concise he was. I immediately began applying that statement to a million different scenarios. I was excited to use that quote in my own life!

I have offended people.

People have offended me.

That’s the way the world works. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time and it’s just not worth it to die trying. Now I don’t think that we can take this statement and use it as an excuse for bad behavior or for intentionally offending folks, but I think it’s important to remember that just because you offend someone doesn’t mean that you aren’t making a valid point. Or that just because you’re offended doesn’t mean that to which you took offense isn’t valid!

Can you tell that this concept still makes my head spin???

It’s just so incredibly simple! And TRUE!

In many ways, it’s made me reflect on things that have offended me. Take for instance, my recent post about the whole adoptive fundraising thing. It’s something that I find a little offensive. And in future posts about something offensive, it’s helpful to keep the reminder that it doesn’t mean I’m in the right in my back pocket. I don’t think that I used the post to say that adoptive fundraising is WRONG or that no one SHOULD do it, just that it’s not for me. But if it works for you, then by all means go for it! (Okay, maybe I didn’t emphasize that last part so much, but I’m working on this!) That doesn’t mean that I can’t (or won’t) ask questions about it, either to myself or to others. It doesn’t mean that it’s an off limits topic because someone was offended. So if that, or another topic, offended you – I apologize. But that’s the nature of the beast. And it’s why I used to have a category called “brutal honesty.” (And why I started that category here as well!) It might be a little brutal, but it’s honest.

The reverse side of that is that if you were offended by my blog post, doesn’t mean that YOU’RE right! I don’t say that pointedly at anyone, just in general – and the caps were not yelling, just emphasis. 🙂 Adoptive fundraising might be for you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything I said was total rubbish either.

It’s kind of awesome that way….two opinions, two people offended by different things, and it’s OKAY!!

Now, in other ways, this quote has allowed me a freedom that I’d taken away from myself in a way. Look, I don’t WANT to offend people, but dang it, sometimes that’s what happens when you speak honestly! And I’m getting to the point where I’m tired of being nervous that I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings by speaking honestly about my experiences or opinions. I will absolutely continue to be respectful in posting about my opinions, but I think my confidence in that area has been dwindling significantly. And really? That doesn’t serve anyone. All it does is stop conversations, sometimes before they even begin.

I can tell that I’ve been feeling self-censored recently because I’m a little afraid to even post this topic. I don’t *think* that this topic if offensive, but I am a little nervous that the next time I’m offended someone will say, “BUT just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right!” (Or, in other words, “shut your pie hole, you asked for this”.) But I guess that’s a risk that I’m willing to take…I’m ready to be an adult about this concept, and I can only hope that others are too. 🙂

Okay, I think I’m going a little round and round in circles here and getting to be repetetive….so I’ll wrap this up with these final thoughts.

What does this all mean? Well, here’s what I take away from it:

1.       If you’re offended, think about the “why” – AND still consider the statement that offended you.

2.       If you offend someone, know that it doesn’t ALWAYS mean that you’re in the wrong.

3.       If you offend someone, think about the “why” – maybe you ARE in the wrong.

4.       Do NOT use this as a defense in purposefully offending others. As if to throw at them, “Hey, just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right, so there!” This is NOT a hall pass for bad behavior.

5.       Someone being offended doesn’t need to be the END of a conversation. As in, “I’m offended, so stop talking about that.” Maybe it can be the beginning of a conversation.

6.       Even when dealing with “offensive” topics, we can still be civil, respectful, and even productive!

Okay, that’s my piece for the day. Off I go, trying not to offend, but realizing it’s not the end of the world – or hopefully the conversation – if I do!

3 Comments

Filed under brutal honesty, drama in cyberland, totally taboo