Kilter Annie's…

thoughts, musings and the like

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On Black, White, and the space in between…

Nine months later and here I am.  So much has happened that I wouldn’t even know where to start.  And I don’t know if it impacts anyone else if speak on this forum or not.  I do know that I “should” be cleaning my kitchen, and I “should” be reading.  I begin my second semester of nursing school in a few days and I’m already behind on reading assignments!  I also know that I have a birth mom and paternal birth aunt who are very excited and supportive of my nursing education.  It goes without saying that my mom and dad are proud of me, of course.  I’m so blessed to have parents who have been consistently loving and supportive of me throughout my life.

But, why am I here…now?  I read an article today that tried to say that an adoptive parent couldn’t love their adopted child equally or the same as a biological child.  While the author included quotes from an adoptive parent or two who stated that this was clearly not the case, the article had other leanings.  And I thought, “What a terrible disservice.  To speak in absolutes.”

Honestly, why do people feel the need to house things within the realms of all or nothing, black or white, yes or no?  Is it REALLY so difficult to accept the grey areas?  As I read the comments from fellow adoptees, whose sentiments were a resounding, “No, I’m living proof that this isn’t possible.”, I understood how they could say such things.  It’s terrible that they grew up feeling unloved, different, but for individuals who were supposedly trained and educated in psycho-social sciences to say such a thing?  For shame.  How can one NOT take into account the diverse nature of each situation?  Everyone’s experiences are so varied; there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter” adoptive situation.  We, as humans, are the sums of our natures as well as our nurturing.  We all have backstories, experiences that have shaped who we are and what we’ve become.  These very experiences and the ways in which we’ve handled or overcome them speak to our ability to love and the ways in which we are able to display that love.

And what about perception?  Again, how we perceive things speaks volumes for any differences we may or may not feel about our situations.  While I appreciate the guts it took for those people who spoke honestly about their feelings, I’m disappointed by the notion that they, somehow, are the ones who can speak for all others.  As if THEY are the scholars on this subject?

So, why am I back here on this page, after nine months of being away?  Because these are the kinds of thoughts that roll around in my head as I’m doing dishes, or any of the other mundane chores I do on a daily basis…but this time, I took the time to stop.  Too often, I tell myself that I’ll come back to it later, but that moment is always lost.  This thing, this article, it just makes me too angry.  Too disappointed.  Too sad.

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Now, Then, and Yet to Come….

It’s been over a year since I’ve been here on the blog and for that, I apologize.  I realize that you’ve not lost much sleep over it, and that’s okay with me, but I also know that I’VE needed it.  It’s been a period of all kinds shifts and hermitudes.  I know that’s not a word, but see how I’ve kept typing?  This is me letting go.

In this past more than a year, I’ve learned more new things about myself than I can impart, and the process is ongoing.  I’m here now to put down my thoughts on how gains and losses can happen so very quickly.  I’ve been researching the effects adoption has had on my life for the past few years.  There have been many “a-ha!” moments in which I realized that many of my traits were less about me being a screw up and more about me being a part of a larger group of people who have such similar experiences.  So many shared traits.  I have seen the support of my family and friends in doing what they can to push for legislation that will FINALLY allow me access to my original Ohio birth certificate.  There are so many of us who will have the information that many of our countrymen have had at any time they wanted, yet we have been denied.  I thought this day would never come, but it will be here on March 20, 2015 and I will never forget this day.

As I’ve been waiting this past year out, from the time the law was passed to the future date of March 20th, I’ve been riddled with anxiety and excitement all at once.  I can’t say it’s been an easy ride for my family, bless them.  For Christmas, The Colonel put together some lovely “De-funk the Funk” themed gifts.  He’s the best gift-giver I’ve known, but he outdid himself with one of them.  It still brings tears to my eyes as I type this.  Even knowing what it was for a month, because the company does nothing to hide it’s name on packages (even when marked as a gift) and I was the one to get the mail, I was speechless upon opening that present Christmas Day.  I had received a DNA kit from  I’m not joking, I cried and couldn’t speak for at least 10 minutes.  I took the test and mailed it in.  And then I waited.  I knew it said it wasn’t likely to come back with any results for 6-8 weeks, but it didn’t stop me from checking in weekly.  At some point, I found out it had been received and they had begun the process.  Again, please wait.  One morning I checked the site.  Nothing.  That afternoon I checked my email…and there was a message from Ancestry.  My test results were in.  I briefly considered waiting for The Colonel to get home to open it together, and quickly knew he’d understand.

Wait, I’m SCANDINAVIAN?  And Irish?  Okay, I’d have never guessed!  In learning about this kit, I had decided that, should it not come up with relatives, I’d at least be happy to know my ethnicity.  I mean, knowing I’m German, Polish, and African was great, but I knew there was more to the story and I surely wanted to know it!  But…I had cousin matches.  A LOT of them.  Hold up.  A second cousin?  That’s pretty close!  And she’s brown?  That meant we were (most likely) related on my birth dad’s side.  I know a little bit about birth mom’s side of the family (and I mean very little), but bDad has been a complete mystery!  I’m leaving a fair amount out now, but the quick story is that I contacted a handful of matches and then had to wait to hear from them.  Would they be willing to talk to me?  To help me learn about who I am?

Then, late in the evening, the night before Valentine’s Day, I received an Ancestry message that said something to the effect of, “…your description of your birth father sounds like my brother…”  Are you flipping kidding me?!  No.  Way.  Emails have flown back and forth and I have found family that I never thought I’d know.  In the same day that I found my birth father, I also lost him.  He had passed away some years ago.  But his sister, my aunt, and I share so much in common!  I also found and lost a sister, another aunt, and a grandmother.  There is still the unknown of my bdad’s father, but so much has been filled in for me.  I still have so many questions yet to be answered, but I’m also learning so much.  I’ve seen someone, other than my kids, who looks like me.  I’ve spoken to someone so like me in interests and personality that I feel as though someone is spying on me and is catering their interests to mine, yet I know that’s not the case.

It’s all so surreal and, in the end, it makes me appreciate the loving support of my family even more.  I’ve not been made to feel guilt about wanting to know more about myself, like so many others have.  My family has been excited right along with me as I’ve shared what I’ve learned.  I’m sad that I’ll never get to speak to my father.  I’m glad that I now have even more of a legacy to share with my kids, one that comes from those who raised me and another that is based in genetics.  I now have a history that extends beyond the day I came home to my (adoptive) family.  There is just so much….