Heartened

The whole kit & doodle!

Legacy of an adopted child – Part III

I haven’t written on this blog in a very long time.  Adoption burn out, in a major way – I had to walk or lose my sanity, and that sort of sums things up.

I was cleaning out my inbox today and noticed a lot of comments had been generated lately.  Turns out most of them were spam.  But one, in particular, was not – and is probably the most important comment ever left on my blog.  It is the comment left on this post – Legacy of an adopted child – in March of this year.  I’m angry at myself that I did not pay close enough attention to have seen Penny’s comment when she made it.  She has possibly thought to herself, “just great, another person who won’t believe me.”

Well Penny, actually, I do believe you.  I was always a bit uncomfortable with the claim someone named Lisa had written the poem – because while my short-term memory sucks, I was always sure the author’s name had been something like Peggy or Patty.  And “Penny” is like “Peggy” or “Patty.”  Lisa is not.

I’ve written an email to Penny this morning, one I hope she receives.  I’ve offered to help her prove that poem is hers, and damn if I’m not going to do that.  The author of that poem deserves to be acknowledged, she deserves the thanks of millions of adoptees who have identified with her poem.  And to be blunt, she deserves financial remuneration for all the times her words have been used for-profit.

Ladies and gents, you can help with this endeavor.  I’m asking anyone who has access to “TEEN” magazine from the late 1970’s through 1989 to please pour through the “Poetry Corner” pages of the magazine and look for this poem.  It IS in there – I carried the cut-out from the magazine around with me for years.  Maybe there are some “TEEN” magazines in your basement, maybe you work in a library that has them in the archives, or maybe you worked for the publisher and know where archived copies of those magazines remain.

Maybe you lived and worked in the Indianapolis area back then and remember a young teenage girl wining a poetry contest with this poem.  Maybe you remember seeing something about it in the local paper.

Whatever the case, speak up – do some digging – let’s FINALLY put this mystery to rest once and for all.

And let’s make sure the real author of this poem finally gets the recognition due.  This is just too important to let go.

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August 7, 2008 Posted by | Adoption Rants, General, Just For Fun | 9 Comments

Family Reunion

So by this time tomorrow, I’ll be on the road heading to Virginia to meet the rest of my bio family.  The closer I get to departure, the more nervous I get.  My poor husband doesn’t know what to do with all this nervous energy I’m spreading all over the place. LOL  I’ve got most of the suitcases packed or ready to be packed.  I’ve got everything ready for being able to run my laptop (to watch DVD’s) in the car.  I’ve got my CD case jammed packed with music for the trip.  Hubby is finishing up a last bit of laundry, some of which is going with us.  He’s got the litter box cleaned and ready for our friend who will be coming to take care of the cats while we’re gone.  I have blank CD’s and photo paper to go with my laptop and two printers/scanner, so I can make copies of photos my family has.  I’ve even got a little bag packed with crayons, coloring books and sticker books for our Aunt Jo to play with at the reunion.  I’m excited about meeting her!
I have all the water and organic sugar-free, caffeine-free soda ready for the cooler so I don’t have to worry about finding things I can drink on the road.

I don’t think I can be any more “physically” ready for this.

Emotionally, well, that’s something else entirely.  Much love flowing out to my friend Steph who understands some of my fears about next this trip and is just a phone call away if I get overwhelmed.  Thanks, Steph – you’ve no idea what a difference that’s made for me.  Or maybe you do. 🙂

Shortly after we get back (the first weekend of July) we’ll be moving into our new house – so it just seems like there is so much exciting/scary stuff happening all at once.  It’s a little overwhelming and just a bit breathtaking. 

One thing I’m so grateful for is that I’ve already met my sister R a few weeks ago when she and her hubby flew up here to visit.  Knowing her adds a measure of reassurance to this whole thing.  But Sunday, the day of the reunion, is looming kind of large on my horizon.  That’s when I’ll be immersed in dozens of people to whom I am closely related.  It’s a daunting prospect.  I’m not nearly as scared about whether they’ll like me or not as I am scared of the emotions this experience might be stirred up.  I’m questioning whether or not I managed to convince myself that I was “fine” with the whole adoption thing – and will learn instead that I’m not as fine as I thought. 

I’ll try and log on a few evenings during the week and blog about how things are going and anything I may be feeling – but I’m not making any promises.  My niece wanted me to come stay at my sisters’ house and sleep in her room, but I felt more comfortable getting a hotel room – not because I’m worried about being in “a stranger’s” house, that’s not it at all.  It’s totally because I feel like I need to have a safe quiet space available for me to retreat to if I feel the need.  I don’t expect to feel the need, but… -shrug- I want to be prepared.

Wish me luck – this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.  And that’s saying a lot.

June 8, 2006 Posted by | General | 18 Comments

Well it has certainly been awhile :(

So I realized today that it had been a long while since I’d put up a new entry.  I can only say that I’ve been very busy launching the Soul of Adoption discussion forum.  In two months time, we’ve grown to nearly 1,000 members with more signing on every day.  It’s a pretty amazing community and I’m really proud of how well the different members are communicating with each other.

I’ve also been busy spending time getting to know my sister.  She posts on SoA as Punkin, incidentally.  She and her husband flew up two weekends ago for our first meeting, and it was amazing.  Better than I dreamed.  Next weekend, we’re heading to Virginia to spend the week with her and the rest of my family, and to attend a family reunion where I’ll get to meet everyone else for the first time.  It’s a little scary and exciting – I hope this week goes by fast!

I’ve more to write, but I’m pretty wiped out.  I added a new extension to my Firefox browser which allows me to blog directly from my browser – I like that – and it will hopefully get me blogging more. LOL

June 2, 2006 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Looking for the SoA Forums?

Edited to add: If you are still unable to reach the forums, there are a few steps you should take.

1.  Make sure you are adding the www in between http:// and soulofadoption – When a change like this is made, it sometimes takes a while for it to catch up.  Making sure the www is present can help your computer and ISP and the site all "synch" together. 

2. Reboot your computer. Do a complete shut down. Wait 5 seconds. Turn it back on. This helps clear your computer and reset your connection to your ISP.

3. Try going to the website, holding down your shift key and clicking refresh/reload.

4. Be patient, it may actually still take YOUR ISP (internet service provider – like AOL, SBC, YahooDSL, etc.) up to 12 hours to refresh their DNS. If you still cannot access the site by tomorrow morning after AGAIN repeating steps one, two and three, call your ISP and ask the tech "How often do you refresh your DNS?" Ask them to do a refresh while on the phone with you. When they've done it, reboot your computer (again) and try getting to the forum.

5. If none of that works and you're still going insane, leave me a message here on my blog and I'll try and help you troubleshoot it.

They'll be back in a few hours – promise! Our host (jbservers.net) was transferring us to a new server – the fastest, best one they have. It was supposed to be done during the middle of the night, when traffic is lowest, but it seems someone made a boo-boo and scheduled the transfer for the wrong time of day.

I'm sorry I didn't post about this earlier – I'm a night owl, I was sleeping. LOL

But "this" is the 9 hour outage I posted the announcement about last night. It just happened at the wrong time of day, unfortunately.

We won't have to go through this again, promise. And honestly, jbservers was giving us a very nice "gift" by moving us to another server.

Here's a trick that's good to know – if ever you're getting a weird message when you try to go to the forums (I know most of you have bookmarked the forums rather than the site) – just visit http://www.soulofadoption.com

That's going to give you the most accurate "error message," letting you know if something big is being fixed.

Also, bookmark my blog. I'll try to post information here if anything like this ever happens again.

Don't forget, you can always email me through my blog – heartened1 at gmail d0t c0m

April 10, 2006 Posted by | General | 8 Comments

Discrimination

There is a certain adoption-related website which I have not only supported in the past but I actually volunteered my time and energy to serve as a forum host for them.  Since I refuse to link to them from here on out, let me say that their website address contains a www then a dot then the word adoption and a dot and then the com.

Today, in the owner’s “infinite wisdom” a decision was made to delete the “non-traditional families” forum.  What is a non-traditional family, you might innocently ask?  A GLBT family, of course. 

I’ll write more about how I feel about this in a moment – in the meantime – I offer soulofadoption.com as an alternative.

The discussion forum is here – http://www.soulofadoption.com/forum/index.php

There is a thread specifically devoted to this topic here – http://soulofadoption.com/forum/index.php?topic=16.0

You do need to register, but I promise, I won’t spam you.

 

April 4, 2006 Posted by | General | 8 Comments

Are you bored? Take a stumble!

About 8 months ago, maybe a little more, I discovered this neat little piece of software you can (SAFELY!!! I promise!) install – it is called “Stumble Upon”. What this is, is something called a “browser extension.” Your browser is what you view websites in – you’re probably using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, most people do. If you have any significant amount of computer expertise, you’ve probably thrown Internet Explorer out for the trash it is and installed Firefox as your browser. Guess which one I use?

Stumble Upon is something you install as an add-on to your browser. Fortunately, those of you running Internet Exploiter (my poor, misguided friends, I love you anyway) need not fret. The wonderful programmers at SU have taken pity on you and have created a version which works with Internet Exploiter.

I promise – the Stumble Upon software is 100% safe. It won’t crash your computer, it isn’t spyware, there are no viruses. (But seriously, do yourself a favor – install Firefox and leave Internet Exploiter alone. Internet Exploiter WILL crash your computer, it IS spyware, and it allows more viruses through to your computer than anything else ever will. Internet Explorer SUCKS!!!!!)

Sorry, I can’t help it. Anyway. What is Stumble Upon? Well…I’ll give you the description from their site.

“StumbleUpon is an intelligent browsing tool for sharing and discovering great websites. As you click Stumble!, you'll get high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended (rated I like it) by friends and other SU members with similar interests. Rating these sites shares them with your friends and peers – you will automatically 'stumble upon' each others favorites sites.

StumbleUpon uses / ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers () have liked. Unlike search engines or static directories, this allows for a true "democracy of the web" – all SU members have a say ( or ) as to whether a page should be passed on.

In effect, StumbleUpon's members collectively share the best sites on the web. You can share any site by simply clicking I like it. This passes the page on to friends and like-minded people – letting them "stumble upon" all the great sites you discover.”

Seriously, if you enjoy finding new sites, checking out some of the coolest places on the net, and having endless hours of entertainment handed to you on a silver platter, just by pushing a button – all customized to your own interests, install Stumble Upon.

And no, I don’t “get” anything for telling you about this. You all know what a techie geek I am – this just happens to be one of my favorite toys. I put off mentioning it because I was trying to focus this blog on adoption. If you decide to become a Stumbler, drop me an email and I’ll give you my Stumble Upon user name so we can “be friends.”

If you’re worried, I should mention, I have never ever, not even once, gotten even the tiniest bit of spam as a result of Stumbling.

Ok, real quick – about Firefox – if you want to completely eliminate pop-ups; if you do not want to be subjected to those god-awful “GIVE US YOUR BABY” ads on a “certain commercial adoption-related website;” if you want to avoid those stupid in-line text ads on that same “certain commercial adoption-related website;” if you want most advertising banners, period, to disappear from your view; if you want worry-free browsing; if you want to stop spyware (or viruses) from being installed on your computer while you’re browsing websites; if you want total control over browsing – including only having to open one browser window while being able to view 10+ web pages at the same time; if you just want to enjoy surfing the web and stop worrying about all the bullshit – go install Firefox right this minute. Once it is installed, you can also install AdBlock and the AdBlock Filterset – and be done with banner ads, popups and the rest of that crap. Even if you’re viewing porn sites. -smirk-

Go on, get going – what are you waiting for?

April 2, 2006 Posted by | Geek Stuff, General | 1 Comment

Imagine all the people…

If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

60 Asians Music3
12 Europeans Music3
5 US Americans and Canadians Music3
8 Latin Americans Music3
14 Africans Music3
49 would be female Mffemale
51 would be male Mfmale
82 would be non-white Color
18 white Triplets
89 heterosexual Love6
11 homosexual Love3
33 would be Christian Pray
67 would be non-Christian Namaste
5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth, and all of them would be US citizens 2cents
80 would live in sub standard housing BangHead
24 would not have any electricity Tv
(And of the 76% that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
67 would be unable to read Read2
1 (only one) would have a college education. Homework
50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation Cry
33 would be without access to a safe water supply Fishing
1 would have HIV Sad4
1 near death Thud
2 would be near birth A_binkybaby
7 people would have access to the Internet Googley

If you have a bank account,
money in your purse
and there is some trifle in your coin box,
you belong to 8% of well-provided people in this world. Smiley

If there is a meal in your refrigerator,
if you are dressed and have got shoes,
if you have a bed and a roof above your head,
you are better off, than 75% of people in this world. Smiley

If you have never experienced a war,
the loneliness of an imprisonment,
an agony of tortures, or a famine,
You are happier, than 500 million persons in this world. Smiley

If you woke up this morning with more health than sickness,
you are luckier than the million that will not survive this week. Smiley

If you are able to go to church, mosque or synagogue
without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death,
you are happier, than 3 billion persons in this world. Smiley

If you take a look at the world from this condensed perspective,
the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes evident. Grouphug

March 29, 2006 Posted by | General, Just For Fun | 6 Comments

For Kim Kim, for me, and for anyone else who needs to hear this.

This is probably the longest post you’ll ever read from me.  Sit back, grab a cuppa joe, and get ready – I’m going to go out on a major limb, here.  I’m going to discuss my spiritual beliefs within the context of my adoption and my life.  I’m doing this because Kim Kim asked on her blog, “What have you humans done for your adoption healing work?”

I hate not being “in control.”  I hate the idea that my life, my experiences, are somehow left to the whims of fate.  I hate the idea that I am somehow at the mercy of other people’s choices.  Those ideas have never rung true for me.

About 10 years ago, I picked up a book.  I read it, thought about it, liked what it had to say – but quickly forgot about it.  It came back into my life about 4 years ago.  By this time, the author had written more books, and I eagerly devoured them.  It spoke to me so deeply that I ended up working for the global non-profit organization this author had started and for 2 years, I gave freely some 80 hours a week of my time.  I’m still involved with that organization, though I’ve been on a leave of absence while I “dealt with” all this “adoption stuff.” 

What I found in those books was not a belief system.  What I found, instead, was a confirmation of things I already believed.  I found that someone had taken my core beliefs and expanded on them, explored them further and, biggest surprise of all, that there are literally millions of people who believe the same.

These, then, are my core beliefs:

  • We are all one with each other and with God.
  • There is enough.
  • There is nothing we have to do.
  • Ours is not a better way; ours is merely another way.
  • None of us is better than any other of us.
  • Freedom is the essence of life, not something we earn.
  • Love knows no condition or limitation.
  • Joy is our natural state of being.
  • Life is our most sacred trust and our highest value.
  • There is one more which is not spelled out explicitly above, and that is this:  I believe with every fibre of my being that we choose every moment, every experience, every breath of our lives.  I believe this on such a fundamental level, it permeates every aspect of my life. 

    This is a hard belief for most people to accept.  The immediate reaction is, “Who would choose to be raped?  Abused?  Adopted?  Murdered?  Sick with cancer?  Suffering of any kind?  WHO WOULD CHOOSE THIS???”

    The answer is, “I would.” 

    But it is more than that.  The “I” that I refer to does not consciously exist in my head.  It is not an “I” which I can point to and say, “that is the ME who chose this.”  The “I” that I refer to is a piece of ourselves which science doesn’t acknowledge exists, which has no physical space in our bodies we can point to.  The “I” is the Soul. 

    I can’t tell you where my Soul dwells.  I can’t point to a place in my body, a spot on a map.  I can’t draw you a picture.  But I know it exists.  Just as I know that the air I breathe exists, though I cannot see it.  Science can show me how they’ve measured “air,” they can show me their experiments demonstrating “air,” but I am not a scientist.  I cannot measure or demonstrate “air” in all its fullness, all its perfection.  I take it on faith that the next time I expand my lungs to breathe, there will be air there to fill them.  On this I base my trust that air exists. 

    For me, my Soul is equally real.  I trust it exists based on what I’ve observed.  I have observed what I believe to be the moment the Soul leaves the body of loved-ones.  I have even observed what I believe to be a functional human body moving, talking, existing, without the slightest spark of a Soul.  My Soul, like God, may not be visible or measurable by any instruments we know of – but I do not doubt the existence of either.

    I just have a slightly different take on what my Soul (and God) are up to than most of the world does.

    See, I believe that my Soul and the Souls of those I come into contact with during this “life,” have made some agreements.  I believe we agreed to share certain experiences.  Most of those are pretty awesome, fun experiences.  Woo Hoo!  Party time!

    Some of them are not so fun.

    I believe that my Soul chose to experience the thing called “adoption,” the thing called “abuse,” the thing called “rape.”

    I equally believe that my Soul chose to experience the thing called “reunion,” the thing called “motherhood,” and the thing called “true love.”

    I’m just not the type to take credit for the good and shove off blame for the bad.  I “own” both, equally.

    So now the question – why on earth would anyone choose those things??

    Good question.  I have an answer.  (One which works for me, anyway)

    Let me give you a scenario – I want you to consider it for a while:

    You go to the store.  You find a cool video game.  You decide to take it home and play it.  It is a fantasy game filled with sorcerers, monsters, buried treasure, a cool quest, neat characters, pretty scenery and some rather interesting music.  So you pop it into your computer, boot it up, and the game asks you to build a character.  You consider the options – tall or short; black, brown or white; green eyes or blue; sorcerer or rogue; male or female – you get the idea.  The game asks you to assign this character a name.  You call her “Heart.”  The game asks you to give Heart a few skills – you pick fire ball, ice orb, lightning bolt.  The game asks you to pick a quest – you decide that Heart is going to go kill the “big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell.”  Your character is ready, the stage is set, the game has built up the scenery, put the monsters in place and you click “start.”

    You send Heart out of the safety of the encampment and off into the big bad world of the big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell.  Right outside the gate, she finds a pile of gold.  Cool!  She tucks it away to use towards the purchase of better skills.  She walks a few more feet and encounters “minor badassed demon from the 1st level of hell.”  She easily blasts right through him, getting just the tiniest bit banged up in the process.  That’s ok, she stops by the healer and is raring to go.  Meanwhile, you’re sitting in your comfortable lounge chair, sipping a coke, munching on a bag of chips, moving her around this “dangerous world” you’ve created.  Heart goes a few more steps – oops, another badassed demon.  WHUMP!  Heart is killed.  “Damn damn damn” you cuss.  “Shit.  Fuck.  Crap!” you exclaim.  A window pops up on the screen, “GAME OVER – Would you like to play again?”  You click “Yes” and Heart is reborn. 

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Finally, after about a dozen attempts, Heart makes it to the “big badassed demon from the 4th level of hell.”  In her previous attempts, she has been burned, beaten, blown up, bitten and otherwise made very very dead.  She has also found some very cool treasure, met some rather interesting people, and generally had a pretty interesting time of it.  You’ve completely enjoyed yourself, too, quickly getting over the disappointment each time Heart “died,” because you know she’s not really dead – it’s just a matter of clicking “Play Again.”

    You had fun experiencing Heart’s journey.  Her quest.  Even when she was getting bitten and blown up – slightly annoying but no big deal in the big scheme of things.  “Play Again.”  And you certainly haven’t been hurt by her being blown up or beheaded. 

    It’s just a game.  You, the player, can’t REALLY be hurt by what goes on inside the game.  You’re controlling it, directing the general path.  The game has some randomness thrown in – assorted monsters where you least expect them, hidden treasure you didn’t know existed.

    It’s just a game – and when you’re done playing, you shut it off and go on with your “real” life.

    It’s just a game.

    Now imagine, for a moment, that you could put yourself in Heart’s shoes.  In her head.  In her mind.

    How might the world look to you?

    “Why in the FUCK are there monsters every time I turn around?”
    “God DAMN that bastard cut off my arm and it fucking HURTS!”
    “Fuck, I don’t want to die…”
    “Damnit, it’s raining – again.”
    “Ooooooo – pretty!  -grabs the treasure, gets arm blown off by hidden spell– Ah FUCK!”
    “Why does this always happen to me?”

    You, meanwhile, are off talking with friends about the game.  “And then I went up against the 6th romoton demon from the 40th anchors of Samalay, and I KICKED HIS ASS!”

    “You” of course, physically did no such thing.  Heart did it, at your behest, not even consciously knowing you exist or that she is a part of you.  She is you, she just doesn’t know it.  You are her, and love to lay claim to that identity.  “I KICKED HIS ASS!”

    Yes, you did – while you were playing the character you created called “Heart.”

    This is, I believe, the relationship between our Soul (the player) and our conscious selves (Heart).  We are one and the same, but only one of “Us” is aware of that.  Me, as the player, does not see the monsters (rapists, abusers, etc.) as scary.  Me, as the player, sees them as all part of the game.  Perhaps a bit annoying when they “win,” but of no lasting consequence.  Just a bump in the game to be won through.

    For me, these beliefs are extremely empowering.  Because the more I am aware of the relationship between me (Heart) and Me (Soul), the more control I’m able to exert – and Me (Soul) is perfectly willing to give me that control because Soul knows there is no real difference between Us.

    The more control I exert, the better my life (from my perspective WITHIN ‘the game’) becomes.  A lot of fear goes away.  A lot of hurt becomes less long-lasting.  Because I know that eventually, I’ll decide to stop playing this game and go back to my “real” life.  Some people call that place heaven – I don’t know what to call it beyond “the Oneness.”  Oneness with everything.  A piece of God, perhaps. 

    You and I are the same.  At the molecular level, we are identical.  We are atoms and the space between the atoms.  Our “difference” lies only in how those atoms come together.  This batch comes together to look like me, that batch comes together to look like you, another batch comes together to look like a computer, a dog, a can of soda.

    On the molecular level, we are the same.

    The book I mentioned is Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch.  Take a risk – buy it and read it.  Even if what I’ve written here doesn’t make sense to you – take a chance.  Read it.  I dare you.

    Neale and I have had some fabulous arguments about some of the things he says in later books.  I love him, I don’t always agree with him.  We’re both ok with that.  Thankfully, he’s not interested in being anyone’s guru, or in having all the answers.  If he was, I’d run away far and fast.  Neale Donald Walsch is more of a “just suppose…” kind of guy.  I can deal with that.

    I’m going to leave you with a story.  This is a children’s book Neale wrote called “The Little Soul and the Sun.”  It is copyrighted, obviously – fortunately Neale is ok with his stuff being shared.  If you read nothing else, read this story.  This is what I believe, and THIS is how I “deal” with my adoption, my rape, my abuse – and with my joy, my love, my happiness.

    Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, “I know who I am.”

    And God said, “That’s wonderful! Who are you?”

    And the Little Soul shouted, “I’m the Light!”

    God smiled a big smile. “That’s right!” God exclaimed. “You are the Light.”

    The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.

    “Wow,” said the Little Soul, “this is really cool!”

    But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said,

    “Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?”

    And God said, “You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?”

    “Well,” replied the Little Soul,” it’s one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it’s like to be the Light!”

    “But you already are the Light,” God repeated, smiling again.
    “Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!” cried the Little Soul.

    “Well,” said God with a chuckle, “I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one.”

    Then God’s expression changed. “There’s only one thing…”

    “What?” asked the Little Soul.

    “Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not.”

    “Huh?” said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.

    “Think of it this way,” said God. “You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you’re there all right. Along with a million, gazillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles…and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light -that is the question.”

    “Well,” the Little Soul perked up, “you’re God. Think of something!”

    Once more God smiled. “I already have,” God said. “Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we’ll surround you with darkness.”

    “What’s darkness?” the Little Soul asked.

    God replied, “It is that which you are not.”

    “Will I be afraid of the dark?” cried the Little Soul.

    “Only if you choose to be,” God answered. “There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending.”

    “Oh,” said the Little Soul, and felt better already.

    Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. “It is a great gift,” God said, “because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then.”

    “And so,” God concluded, “when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don’t be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!”

    “You mean it’s okay to let others see how special I am?” asked the Little Soul.

    “Of course!” God chuckled. “It’s very okay! But remember,’special’ does not mean ‘better.’ Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special.”

    “Wow,” said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. “I can be as special as I want to be!”

    “Yes, and you can start right now,” said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.

    “What part of special do you want to be?”

    “What part of special?” the Little Soul repeated. “I don’t understand.”

    “Well,” God explained, “being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?”

    The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. “I can think of lots of ways to be special!” the Little Soul then exclaimed. “It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!”

    “Yes!” God agreed, “and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That’s what it means to be the Light.”

    “I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!” the Little Soul announced with great excitement. “I want to be the part of special called ‘forgiving’. Isn’t it special to be forgiving?”

    “Oh, yes,” God assured the Little Soul. “That is very special.”

    “Okay,” said the Little Soul. “That’s what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that.”

    “Good,” said God, “but there’s one thing you should know.”

    The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.

    “What is it?” the Little Soul sighed.

    “There is no one to forgive.”
    “No one?” The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.

    “No one!” God repeated. “Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you.”

    It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.

    “Who, then, to forgive?” asked God.

    “Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!” grumbled the Little Soul. “I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like.”

    And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.

    “Not to worry, Little Soul,” the Friendly Soul said, “I will help you.”

    “You will?” the Little Soul brightened. “But what can you do?”

    “Why, I can give you someone to forgive!”

    “You can?”

    “Certainly!” chirped the Friendly Soul. “I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive.”

    “But why? Why would you do that?” the Little Soul asked. “You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought–to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?”

    “Simple,” the Friendly Soul said. “I would do it because I love you.”

    The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.

    “Don’t be so amazed,” said the Friendly Soul, “you have done the same thing for me. Don’t you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don’t remember.”

    “We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it.”

    “Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so,” the Friendly Soul explained further, “I will come into your next lifetime and be the ‘bad one’ this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.

    “But what will you do?” the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, “that will be so terrible?”

    “Oh,” replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, “we’ll think of something.”
    Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, “You are right about one thing, you know.”

    “What is that?” the Little Soul wanted to know.

    “I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favour to ask of you in return.”

    “Oh, anything, anything!” cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, “I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!”

    Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.
    “What is it?” the Little Soul asked. “What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!”

    “Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!” God interrupted. “Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels.”

    And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul’s request. “What can I do for you?” the Little Soul asked again.

    “In the moment that I strike you and smite you,” the Friendly Soul replied, “in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment…”

    “Yes?” the Little Soul interrupted, “yes…?””Remember Who I Really Am.”

    “Oh, I will!” cried the Little Soul, “I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!”

    “Good,” said the Friendly Soul, “because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are.”

    “No, we won’t!” the Little Soul promised again. “I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.

    ” And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.

    And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness–and especially if it brought sadness–the Little Soul thought of what God had said.

    “Always remember,” God had smiled, “I have sent you nothing but angels.”

    March 20, 2006 Posted by | General | 11 Comments

    Warning: This one might gross you out

    This entry is about medical issues.  Specifically, medical issues I’m dealing with.  This post is NOT for the “faint at heart.”  I’m going to be talking about some gross stuff here.  What is important is that if I’d had access to my birth family right from the start, it would not have taken me over 10 years to find out what is happening with my body, why I have to suffer with pain all the time, why my body seems filled with poison and why it won’t go away – ever.

    I have a rare chronic disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa.  Say that three times fast.  I can’t even pronounce it despite a pretty extensive medical background.  It is also known as Acne Inversa.  Wait, before you go “oh, acne, big deal” and click off the page.  Believe me, I wouldn’t be bitching if we were talking about a couple of zits or pimples.

    Want to know what Hidradenitis Suppurativa looks like, and why it is not “oh, acne, big deal”?

    Go ahead – click here – I dare you.  Or here.  Or here.  How about this?

    Does that look like a couple of zits or pimples?  Nor is this just a cosmetic issue – if it was, I’d ignore it.  I’m just not that wrapped up in my appearance. 

    What it all boils down to (pun intended) is multiple boil-like inflammations on the breasts, underarms, abdomen, back, thighs, buttocks and pubis which become so inflamed, swollen and filled with poison (pus) they can literally pose a life-threatening risk.  I had one so bad last year it had to be cut out of me.  I spiked a fever to 104.  I had a massive infection flowing through my body, poisoning me slowly, and antibiotics weren’t touching it.  Not to mention the fact that the ER gave me MORPHINE and that didn’t even begin to alleviate the pain.  It wasn’t until they administered a local anesthetic that I was able to be even remotely comfortable.

    I get several of these a month – painful, gross, disgusting, poison-filled bumps on my body.  They leak, ruining clothing, sheets, towels, etc.  They sometimes smell – it’s like my body is rotting.  Would you want to have sex with your husband when you had a few of these near some of your “intimate areas”? 

    For years, I was too embarrassed to mention them to my doctor.  I thought it had to be a hygiene issue.  Something I was doing “wrong.”  That somehow, I was causing this to happen.  The few times I was forced to seek medical treatment for one which was so severely infected I couldn’t get it to go away, I felt immense shame.  As if I was somehow failing to take care of my body.  That was usually reinforced by the doctors – “bathe more,” or “change your soap,” or “lose weight,” or other comments which laid the entire fault for this at my feet.

    Well guess what?  It’s not my fault.  It’s not that I don’t bathe enough, or that I don’t use the right soap, or that I need to lose weight (though that might help reduce occurances because these pop up wherever skin rubs skin, so the fewer places of skin on skin, the better), or anything of the sort.  I will continue to get these my entire life and there’s not a damn thing  I can do about it except finally start treating them pro actively when they do happen – which will hopefully keep it from killing me as a result of an infection raging unchecked through my body.  And maybe I can stop having chunks of skin surgically removed, but with some of these, that is going to be the only option available.

    There has been almost NO research done into Hidradenitis Suppurativa in the United States.  Most of the research has been in Europe.  It does seem to be more common in those suffering from hashimotos thyroiditis.  Guess what I was diagnosed with at 18?  However, since there are only a handful of doctors in the US who have become educated about Hidradenitis Suppurativa, finding a doctor who actually knows what they are looking at and knows how to treat it is rare.  Fortunately, there’s a doctor about 35 miles from me who knows all about it. 

    Did I mention that these little bastards like to build tunnels (“sinus tracts”) between them, thus spreading them even more?  Yup, invasive fucking disease.

    10 years of pain, guilt, shame, fear, ruined clothing and sheets, useless medical treatments, thousands of dollars wasted on useless medicines and soaps.

    All of which could possibly have been avoided if I’d been allowed to know my birth family.  Oh, did I mention this is genetic?  Yup, which means it’s a near certainty that others in my family have had to deal with this.  But then, the law says I’m not entitled to know about that.  No, no, better that I die because most doctors don’t know shit about this disease than -gasp– actually consider giving me access to my records and, through them, to those who might have experience and answers for me.

    As far as I’m concerned, adoption has proven to be dangerous to my health.  Fuck that shit.  I’m really leaning towards the “outlaw closed adoptions entirely” camp.  I am coming to believe that a closed adoption is entirely rooted in selfishness – whether that be the selfishness of an adoptive family who doesn’t want to have a “spooky first mother intruding” in their lives or the selfishness of a first mother who wants to “do away with a problem.”  Fuck both groups as far as I’m concerned.  And fuck the agencies and legislators who allow this to continue, who fail to encourage openness, who fail to make sure all parties are fully informed.  Your crap is now endangering MY life – unacceptable.   I don’t want to hear arguments about crack-addicted sluts.  (Anyone catch the episode of “Desperate Housewives” where that stereotype was used as a joke?  Not much outcry, was there?) You can maintain a semi-open relationship with them or their family, even if it just means keeping informed about where they are in case your child – you know, the one who is supposed to come FIRST in all of this? – needs information from them.  Quite frankly, I don’t care if it is a hassle for you – tough shit.  You made a choice, now take responsibility for it and move heaven and earth to keep the lines of communication open.  Don’t fuck your child over because of your issues.

    Right now I’m sitting here in pain.  It is difficult to type.  I use a laptop.  My hands have to be fairly close together to type.  That means my upper arms press against the sides of my breasts which pushes my breasts against one another which causes pressure on one of the six poison-filled sacks I’m currently trying to battle off.  Since these come up several times a month, I have two options:  deal with the constant pain or risk becoming addicted to something like percocets to kill the pain. 

    Lucky me.

     

     

     

     

     

    March 15, 2006 Posted by | General | 4 Comments

    One sentence per year of my life

    AfrIndie Mum had this meme on her blog, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

    1. 1. Born at Swedish Covenant hospital in Chicago, placed with Lake Bluff Homes for Children.  Lucky me, I was adopted. 
    2. 2. My grandmother died, which still makes me sad because she was the only other redhead in my adoptive family.  I wish I’d known her.
    3. 3. We moved into the house I’d live in until I was 17
    4. 4. I was still sleeping in a crib.  My brothers came in with bottles of bubble bath which looked like super hero’s from our grandparents.  One of them told me I was adopted, but I remember knowing I already knew that.
    5. 5. I started kindergarten.  I had a teacher who I can still picture in my mind.  She was one of the first people I ever remember treated me with kindness.
    6. 6. I got my finger caught in a door at school and lost my fingernail.  The doctor and nurse sang “Jingle  Bells” with me while they sewed my finger back together.  When we got home, my mother watched General Hospital while I laid there.  That same year, a girl in my class wet her pants.  I walked home with her to change them.  We stayed friends for many years.  My parents didn’t like me hanging around with her – she was poor.
    7. 7. Our class was having a valentines day party.  I only got a valentine from the girl I’d walked home the previous year.  I gave a valentine to every kid in the class.  I was crushed.  One of my brothers started molesting me this year.  I now know this is also the year one of his teachers began molesting him.
    8. 8. My uncle died, right before Christmas.  I knew something had happened before I got home from school.  No idea how, I just knew.  It was horrible.  He was my favorite in all the world.  I still miss him almost 30 years later.
    9. 9. I was extremely intelligent, part of the “gifted” program.  As a result, I was put in a split class.  The smartest 4th graders and the “dumbest” 5th graders.  I was in 4th grade, obviously.  The teacher always made you say, “May I…” instead of “Can I…”  Guess which grade caught on to this early and which grade did not?  Played piano in Grant Park in Chicago.  My father was too busy watching a Cubs game to show up.
    10. 10. I had a teacher who was OCD about germs.  If you sneezed, someone else had to pull out your chair, open the door, etc. so you could go to the bathroom and wash your hands.  This was also the year I joined band.  I’d been reading music for years so was way ahead of the other kids my age.  I took some sort of test and for the next few years, all I got to hear was how intelligent I was and asked why was I wasting it?
    11. 11. I was really good in band and got to go to the Junior High every morning to have band practice with the older band.  Another kid in the band used to bring in articles he cut from the newspaper about my brother being arrested…again and again and again. 
    12. 12. I started 7th Grade and found that my 6th grade teacher had moved to the Jr. High – I was horrified, I hated her.  I learned all about “Advanced” classes since I was placed in every one of them.
    13. 13. I ended up taking Industrial Arts and though I had absolutely no talent at the time, I really enjoyed it.  The summer after 8th grade, one of the kids in my class blew off a bunch of his fingers trying to build a giant firecracker.  Stupid.  Won first place at the solo competition playing Carnival of Venice, the easy version.
    14. 14. Freshman year.  Still in band.  Immediately bumped into Concert band for the older kids instead of Varsity.  Won first place at the solo competition playing Carnival of Venice – again – but this time, I did the full version.  Told my mother what my brother had been doing to me – she chose to decide I was lying.  That kind of thing couldn’t possibly happen in her house.  Wrong answer.
    15. 15. Discovered theatre at the end of Freshman year, got fully involved Sophomore year.  I did props for the non-musicals, orchestra for the musicals.  Was accepted into Jazz Band as well.  I really was damn good. 
    16. 16. Got raped, got an abortion, got my drivers license and first job – ‘nuff said.
    17. 17. Got thrown out of the house.  Started learning how to survive.
    18. 18. Graduated, enlisted in the Navy. 
    19. 19. Met my (then) future (now) ex husband.  Started having sex with him. 
    20. 20. Pregnant with my oldest.  Got married a few months after he was born.
    21. 21. Pregnant with my middle.  God only knows why I was still married.  Had a startling revelation while looking at a picture of my oldest and a picture of me at the same age – we were almost identical.  First time I ever saw someone who looked like me.  Wow.
    22. 22. Pregnant with my youngest.  Still married, still stupid.  But very much in love with my kids.  Went through hell getting my youngest through his first few months of life. 
    23. 23. Generally making a mess of things and realizing that getting married was really incredibly stupid but at least I had three miracles to show for it. 
    24. 24. Trying to put my life in order, working as a medic, trying to keep my head above water.
    25. 25. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    26. 26. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    27. 27. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    28. 28. Met a really great guy.  Liked him.  Thought I’d never see him again.  Moved to Michigan.  Met same really great guy again.  Started dating him.  Stopped speaking to adoptive family.
    29. 29. Really in love with guy now.  Accept his proposal.  Adopt cats together.  Move to our new house.  Father died – good riddance.
    30. 30. Lost too many friends on September 11th.  Alternated between wanting to crawl in a hole and hide and wanting to change the world for the better.
    31. 31. Married that really great guy – one of the absolute best decisions I’ve ever made. 
    32. 32. Still unbelievably happily married – traveling with hubby for his work – working for non-profit organization doing IT/Web design and support.
    33. 33. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    34. 34. Tired of being on the road, hubby takes job back in Michigan in a lovely rural area – now we’re house hunting and putting down roots again.  Searching for birth family, finally.  Wish I hadn’t put it off so long but realize I’d have had no chance of finding them until now.
    35. 35. Still to come in two months and only getting better!

    So what about you?  Share yours, either here or on your own blog!

     

     

     

    March 2, 2006 Posted by | General | 2 Comments