Posts tagged ‘adoption’

Things Change…But Stay the Same

I’ve been gone so long I doubt anyone still reads this, much less cares at all what I’ve been up to…My last few posts were nearly a year ago! I can’t believe how much my life has changed since I was here last, and yet how much things stay the same. Honestly, I think that’s one of the hardest “coming of age” lessons to learn…that things change but always stay the same.

Anyway, I recently (four Saturdays ago!) married my sweetheart. I won’t get too cliché and go all “he’s the love of my life” or anything, but I will say that it finally feels right to say I was “chosen” by someone. Okay…enough cheese J

I’ve also started a photography business for myself. Over the last summer I became increasingly obsessed with my camera…to the point where I was outside on the patio taking shots of my engagement ring on the wood background so I could learn how to use the macro setting on our point and shoot. Fall came around and the obsession lingered so I bought myself a DSLR as an early Christmas gift. After reading that Katelyn James (a wedding photographer I admire) said her best advice for newbies was to learn to shoot full manual, I set out to teach myself just that.  Well fast forward six months and I’ve booked three wedding photography gigs and a handful of portrait sessions. I feel very honored that people really seem to like my work, but at the same time this can be kind of tough for me because I’m always concerned with what people think, if people will like me, and if I’m really even capable at being good enough. It seems like photography has helped me get out of my shell a little more…having to direct client meetings and pose strangers for portraits will do that to you.

I also said goodbye to my younger sister…she joined the Army and moved away. I spent the spring missing her and have spent a lot of time being depressed about all of the goodbyes we’ve had to say. Just thinking about the goodbyes is so hard it makes my chest hurt. I’m not cut out for it…not in the least bit. I don’t think anyone really is…but I spent the week before my wedding sad because she wasn’t supposed to be able to come. (Spoiler: she made it at the last minute) It’s not healthy and I could feel my old sadness making its way into the pit of me.

So to summarize a crazy year-ish in my life since I’ve been gone…some happiness, a new (ad)venture, and the same old emo me. It’s crazy how things change but always stay the same.

 

June 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

On Grief

I think we should be allowed to grieve.

When I was “in the fog” so to speak, I never thought of it that way. I would have said “Grieve?? I’m so grateful I’m adopted, what is there to be sad about?” But it makes sense to grieve. Think about it. As an infant you pretty much lost the only people you ever knew. If you’re an international adoptee, you also lose the only place you ever knew, the only language you ever heard, and more than likely you lose people around you who look like you.

All in one day.

All in one day you lose your entire extended family, your identity, your culture, genealogy, familiarity. All in one day you lose so many things that other people take for granted. In any other situation, people would rightfully expect you to be devastated. They would not demand you forget about the past, move on from your old family to a new one. They would not tell you to be grateful or chastise you for missing your family. They would tell you to grieve. They would hold you as you cried. They’d bring casseroles and let you wallow for a while.

Why is it different just because I was a baby when I lost my whole life?

I really think we should be allowed to grieve.

August 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

I’m a Coward

Yeah.

I’m a coward because I haven’t sent out for my file again. My bank account has seen its fuller days…planning a wedding and saving up for a car have made sure I have very little disposable income lying around. To be completely honest I’d have to admit that it’s actually a little more than the money thing that’s holding me back. I could have saved up the money I needed. I could have eaten out less or waited to put down a deposit on a wedding gown. The real reason I haven’t done it is because I’m a coward.

See, I’ve spent 23ish years building up a sort of sense that I DO matter and I AM important and I AM worthy of love. I’m afraid of what the truth might do to my somewhat fragile façade. I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve just begun to admit to being Asian and slowly embrace my heritage. I am really not sure just how to go about steeling myself for whatever the truth really is.

How do I know when I’m ready? How do I know what to do when the envelope comes and I find out (or don’t)?

I know I’ve let myself down as well as anyone else following my story. And I’m sorry.

August 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

Poverty and Relinquishing Moms…A Fairy Tale??

Um…NO.

I really don’t know why I bother sometimes. I was visiting this site today and reading a post about how a young woman and her husband are trying to adopt a baby. She states in the article that their combined income is less than 13,000. Can you imagine? I mean, I make double that and with my fiance’s income we are close to three times that. And it can still be a struggle! Especially in a down economy!

I made the simple mistake of asking them how they planned to support their child. I don’t know their situation. Maybe they have a really great support system or whatever. I don’t know! That’s why I asked! I stated that it was ironic to me that they would be trying to adopt in such a similar financial situation that generally causes women to relinquish.

And Grand Meister Douche had this to say:

Jim Upchurch

February 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

Ryan & Noel,

Congratulations and best wishes! Don’t be discouraged by the negative comments. They do have points that need to be considered, but if we’re talking anecdotally, I’ve heard both positive and negative stories (mostly positive) from those who’ve been adopted.

kateiskate,

The irony is your logic, not the situation.

You said, “A lot of children are surrendered to adoption because of money issues.” You state this as something you know, but I’m not sure that’s really even knowable. Do you have research to back this up? It would probably be better to say, “my guess is…” or something like that.

But even if a lot of children are surrendered because of money issues, you don’t know if this is true of the child the Cordles will welcome into their family. They’re just beginning. They don’t even know the situation of the “possible” adoption yet, so how could you?

This is what really grates on me regarding those who say “adoption is always evil.” To say that means that you think you know everything about every situation anywhere. I grant that sometimes adoption is wrong and there are terrible abuses and mistakes. But that doesn’t mean all adoption is evil. If you have a beef with how your situation turned out, then warn people of the specifics of your situation. But don’t pretend that you know everything about every situation

Okay, um first of all, if you scroll back through the comments, I definitely didn’t say “adoption is always evil”. I didn’t really say anything bad about it at all. Epic fail, dude.

What bothers me here is the total lack of education that people have about adoption. Of course poverty is one of the main causes of relinquishment. Agencies hound women and make them feel like crap because they can’t afford diapers or formula. Babies are expensive! Over the course of a child’s life it can cost around 184,320 to raise a child.

184,320!!!!!!!

Here are some articles I found on poverty in relinquishing moms just in a quick five minute google search. I’m sure if I looked a little more I could find hundreds of links just like these!

This study by the University of Queensland found that relinquishing mothers were “predominantly in the lowest income group”.

http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:7920

 This article says that “The decision to relinquish a baby appears to be a consequence of an unwanted pregnancy experienced by an economically deprived single mother”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2208982

 This article talks about the coercive tactics agencies use on pregnant women. Including, guess what? Using poverty to convince women they aren’t worthy of their babies.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090914/joyce

 This one says “Poverty is the leading cause of relinquishment”.

http://www.birthmothers.info/infant.pdf

 Poverty IS one of the leading reasons that women relinquish. I hate that there are uneducated people out there trying to convince people there aren’t.

Women are constantly told they are not good enough and should give their child to a family who can give their baby the pony, the pool, and the house in the cul de sac. If all of these things fall through and your child will be poor anyway, what is the point of giving your child away to be poor with someone else? There really is none. At that point it becomes about being honest and stripping away the facade.

Personally I’d be surprised if this couple qualifies to adopt based on their income. If they do, I hope they do some very valuable research into some of the deeper, darker parts of adoption no one really likes to talk about it. And take it from me, you can’t get information about adoption from people who haven’t been there. That’s like telling people who’ve had cancer that you know what it’s like. You can’t. It just doesn’t work that way.

February 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm 14 comments

I Have No Story

I was reading a story this afternoon about a Korean adoptee who found his mother after 37 years by going on a Korean talk show and sharing his story. Tears welled up in my eyes when I realized I don’t even have a story that I could tell on the show.

My history is shrouded in secrecy. How can I ever know who I am until I can figure out who I was?

May 21, 2009 at 11:16 am 1 comment

How I Relate to Wolverine

hj-wolverine-big

I saw Wolverine last night. As much as I hate Hugh Jackman for being an adoptive parent pod person who inhales adoption rainbow farts, I love X-Men more. Out of all the comics and cartoons I saw when I was growing up, X-Men always made an impression on me.

I think the beginning of my fascination with X-Men was due to the camaraderie found between all of the mutants. Most other comics feature superheroes that go it alone or with a sidekick ala Batman and Robin, but the X-Men are a group of similar people connected to one another by their differences. Yes they may be freaks that don’t fit in within normal society, but they share a common bond and a mission. I always craved that mutual understanding from others like me. I wished and longed to feel as though I was not just a freak, that I was not alone. There is a part of all of us that needs to feel we are not alone, a need to share, and the desire to be understood.

While I liked most of the characters in X-Men, Wolverine was always my favorite character. I loved him long before Hugh Jackman brought him to the silver screen. Brooding and mysterious men have always been my crushes. Even when they are cartoon characters there is something that draws me to that characteristic. Rather than a type a character like Cyclops who is preppy, has the pretty girlfriend, and the hot car, I’d go for Wolverine with his motorcycle, shaggy hair, and brooding stare any day. I wonder if this again has anything to do with my desire to fit in with someone who understands what it’s like to feel like an outcast.

Towards the ending of Wolverine, Wolverine/Logan has been shot about six times (including two shots to the head) and his body starts to repair the wounds it has endured. He recovers easily but when he stands, he does not know who is or remember how he got there. He is completely alone as the love of his life lay dead a few feet from where he rose, however he does not remember her. The only piece of his past he has available to him are the dog tags slung around his neck with his name embedded upon them. He grasps the tags and wonders who he is.

It was sad to me that his memory was taken away, but I think I may have found it markedly sadder than others in the theater because I related to that, to him having to go and make his way on his own, his identity unknown to him. With his identity unclear and no memories of his past he is forced to choose who he is rather than just being who he was supposed to be. Just as he went his own way, I go mine with no memories of my past, no history to mold me.

May 7, 2009 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

The Soundtrack to My Life

There was a great thread on the adoption forum I visit about songs that are significant to us about adoption. I was looking to add to that thread Our Lady Peace’s “Somewhere Out There” as a song that struck me as pertaining to adoption and I stumbled across this song from “American Tale” which came out the same year that I was born. Cue the tears.

January 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment


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