Thursday, June 30, 2011


I know I do poorly when I sit back and wait. I fare better when I am able to take control and do something. This is true both of my physical and emotional well being.

I was thrilled (and scared) to have to start physical therapy this week. I was mortified to see just how far I will have to go to get back full range of motion and fine motor control of my left hand. I have lots of work and pain ahead. The therapist advised me to dive right in before my tendons get stiff and I lose the ability to bend my thumb altogether. Not a pleasant thought. So I have been tenacious: heating the arm, sweating, crying, and repeating the five pages of homework set by the therapist over and over. I will get there, if not in four weeks, then in six or eight weeks. I have faith in myself. This is something absolutely in my control. It's my body, my comfort, my pain, my time.

I also decided that if I want to do something about connecting with my nfamily, I can do so, advisedly, of course. I texted with my brother a couple of nights this week, and we decided we'd get together this coming weekend. I am flying down to San Diego to hang out with him on Sunday. Yes, it's a bit decadent to go only for the day, but this relationship is never going to go anywhere if we don't get some face time. We'll see what happens. The lonely little girl in me is beside herself with joy, as A is one of the people she loves terribly much. It is odd to me how much this is the case; I never would have predicted it before we'd met in person.

Then today I called C on a whim. She didn't pick up, and of course I didn't leave a message. I went to PT, and I was surprised to see that she'd left a message when I checked my phone after my session. She said, "Hi. This is C. I saw that you called. I will be out the rest of the day until late, so don't call back today. Hope you're feeling better." Nice, but not exactly what you'd expect after almost three months of silence. What do I do with that? I'd like to tell her that my feelings are hurt, but I am afraid to put any pressure on her. Why couldn't she call me back in May, or just call if she knew about my broken arm? Conversely, I cannot write off the weird exhilaration I get from hearing her voice: this is my MOTHER. A year ago I would never have thought she'd EVER leave a message for me. She fights so hard to make me into a nobody in her life, probably because there is some deep feeling there. Damage. Adoption has hurt our family profoundly.

There is always a price to be paid; now I am trying to do the best I can with the choices left open to me.

It is at least good to remember that I am best as a woman of action.

And what is it with people telling other people not to fuck with them after they've already fucked with others? It's a lot like closing the barn door after after the horses have already left. I am so bored by this apparent lack of ability to think outside the box or be able to see how self-righteous declarations about how adoption *is* can affect others. I love Joy's blog post today, tangentially on this topic, and our great conversations about the occasional interest of taking a look at rock collections.

Friday, June 24, 2011

On Paper, or Themes and Variations

I saw my surgeon yesterday and am apparently healing quite well, at least physically. The x-ray showed an intriguing fork-like contraption screwed with tiny worm-like pins to the distal part of the radius and then with larger screws to the proximal end of the radius for leverage. I expected to get a cast, but he instead put me in a removable splint and gave me free rein to begin to rehabilitate my poor left hand. He told me to resume typing with two hands, which I am doing right now, sans splint per instructions.

I can tell I will tire quickly, but it is lovely to be able to type as rapidly as I think, or nearly so. The wound is not as gory as I had expected at all; it's held together by four steri-strips and it looks like he did a very neat suturing job. Good man. He was so solicitous about the clotting and pain management. I am relieved that I am able to find some of the decent doctors out there!

Over the past few days I have been feeling the waves of depression wash over me and hearing the siren call of the damned again (on this subject, I recommend the unsettling film Submarine). It's strange how several months ago I couldn't imagine how I was ever in this place, or how it felt, and now I am here again. The fragility of my position has its ebbs and flows, I suppose, and right now I feel myself imprisoned by solitude.

I have many great and wonderful people who love me, and I love them back. It's just that they can't help me get over pain, and sometimes I am not sure that I can do it. There have been times and places when I've been with people in which it seemed like the cage could crack, but something always happened and I was left again. Sometimes I might be able to blame myself for driving people away, but other times I know it wasn't my fault. I will obsess over those times and watch the light recede through the cracks again.

I have moved on from Bach to Tchaikovsky and Swan Lake, which made me think of Black Swan, which made me think of Vincent Cassel, which made me think of La Haine, which made me think of one of my exes. I remember watching La Haine with him in our living room, resting my head in his lap while he stroked my hair. We had this funny code for when I was despondent; I would tell him that I was feeling fragile, and he would gather me up and make me feel loved and taken care of (including the tiny little girl in me) in such an amazing way. Then again, he also knew, better than anyone else, how to devastate me. That's what got me to thinking about things being good on paper.

He and I were excellent on paper. Except for being blond, he is definitely my type: very tall, handsome, extremely well educated, witty, a bit wicked. We met through a mutual friend in graduate school, but we could have met two other ways in real life. His sister was the year ahead of me at Haverford, and he was at May Day at Bryn Mawr when I was there. He is half English, and his cousins went to the same school as one of my English exes. It's uncanny. We had the same taste in many, many things; he is a true polymath: brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. He grew up in an 18th century house on a gorgeous farm on the outskirts of Charlottesville, a descendant of Stonewall Jackson. He and I loved to travel and went to odd places together, like Orkney, where we visited prehistoric burials and Viking churches. We spent Christmas in a  small village in Provence one year, going to midnight mass, eating boudin blanc, and making fun of how every French town has a monument to the Heroes and Martyrs of the Resistance, as if they were ALL in it. We drove around in his sister's 2CV, visited the ruins of the Marquis de Sade's castle, drank in Roman and medieval history and tons of wine, took a train to Monte Carlo, and then I cried my eyes out on New Year's because for all of this, when we weren't together, I was an afterthought. I would be in England doing research, and he wouldn't call or send me e-mail. I just wasn't important enough. Basically, he loved me but he would also abandon me. And when I told him it hurt, he would do what A does: change the subject or ignore it.

I loved this man. Really, really loved him. This went on for about three years. I remember being in the middle of Yellowstone, camping with him, when he said that he didn't see a future with me. That was fair enough, but it was horrible. I was 27, I hadn't begun to look for my first family, but I felt a punch to the gut that must have triggered something primal. I lost it. What was it with me and people not loving me enough to make an effort?

We had a miserable drive back to Berkeley. It was LONG. We broke up. We were still living in the same house, which was hard. He went to Laos to juggle (he is also an expert, world renowned juggler) for Thanksgiving, came back, and said that he had decided he wanted to really try. That he loved me. Problem was, I didn't love HIM anymore. The trust was gone, and even after all that, he said he didn't want to commit to anything. What's the point? You either love someone and want to make time for them, or you don't.

Which brings me back to yesterday. I got home, watched Black Swan again, and could really understand how Nina lost her mind. The pressures to find yourself often lead to dark places. Perfection and love have hefty prices.

Ah, you say, but you have your wonderful husband who loves you now. Yes, I do. He is great. But he is handicapped in his own way, a very traumatic way, that leaves me alone in my fortress as well. He will never leave me, that I know. But he will also never love me the way that I need to be healed, that perhaps HE needs to heal himself. It's a big, big mess.

As my dear friend Nalini said to me the day before yesterday, "You can hold and comfort your younger self, but she needed someone to be there for her then.  That's the tragedy you must live with."

I hate feeling like I have to go through the rest of my life just marking the hours from sunrise to sunset, knowing that I look very good on paper but feeling otherwise very much like an erudite, emotionally empty shell.

Unless you piss me off, that is ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2011


I am named after one of the Valkyries, which is kick ass. In Old Norse, my name means either "the wild, stormy one," or "the curly one," presumably having Odin's curls. So DON'T FUCKING CALL ME "CARE-AH" or I will come slay your sorry self. And not politely.

Yes, I am having one of those days.

I knew it was going to be hard when I instinctively began listening to Bach's work in minor keys. Then I had a great long talk with the smart and supportive Amanda; that went a long way to cheering me up. It is good to feel that I am not alone.

I got home and saw that someone from Osnabrueck in Germany had read my blog and I got to thinking about 20 summers ago when I was haring around Connemara and trying to learn Irish in the company of a wonderful German man named Oliver. I remembered eating delicious fresh salmon and hiking across the Inis Mhor and trying to pack declensions and difficult syntax into my head and despairing. It was great craic, though. I drank way too much Guinness, but I was 22. Who cared?

Oliver was very serious about friendship and what it meant to stick by people. He told me that Germans don't take friendship superficially and build friendships slowly, usually only over years. This being so different from the American veneer of smiles with nothing underneath, it struck me profoundly. It was exactly what a lost young woman wanted to hear: that Freundschaft was real and tangible, and very difficult to rupture if it were true.

I looked around and saw a plethora of falseness, in myself and others. Perhaps it is not such a surprise I married a German after all. Not that I love all the formality and some of the stickier parts of the culture, but German friends really don't let you down. They don't.

I hope Oliver is doing well and enjoying life. I have a very special place in my heart for him.

And own family. I am in this funk in part because I despair of ever having a "normal" relationship with C's family. I spoke with A yesterday, and it was great, sort of. We caught up, I got my endorphin high talking to my little brother, and then I crashed. He is busy with his fellowship applications and was a bit distracted, enough for me to ask if he was upset with me. I hate feeling like I am yet another annoying obligation, which was how I felt afterwards. Will we ever just get to know each other? Is it simply too weird to find a sister in midlife? Do we have too little in common to sustain this? Can he reach out to me, a little? Am I too much of a reminder of a family mistake they'd all like to forget? Can we talk about the awkwardness instead of pretending it's not there?

Hence the lugubrious Bach all morning and me telling Amanda that I don't feel strong enough to deal with this. I am sick of having to feel strong, and then at one point I broke down and felt all the pain of my loss welling up inside me. My little self, the one who feels things most acutely, was crying about all the people she wanted to love and hold her but who couldn't, didn't, or had just failed her. It's a long list, including exes, C herself, etc. I imagined my grown-up self bending down, enfolding her in my arms, and just listening, softly murmuring, "I know, I know." After a minute or two, the pain passed. I couldn't tell if I'd stuffed it down or if it had dissipated because I had acknowledged the child's sense of failure. We'll see. I know I am on the slippery slope to self-loathing/hopelessness/suicidal ideation again, and it's not pretty.

At least there's always Valkyrie Kara as backup.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Not that kind of trolls. The REAL kind. The fairytale kind that my dad loved to tease me about, and that we'd see on our trip through the Norwegian countryside visiting family.

I went to see the Norwegian film Trolljegeren with my parents last night and had a great time, although perhaps the 7:30 pm showing was past all of our bedtimes these days. My dad had seen a review and thought he'd like to see a Norwegian film, a rarity even in the Bay Area, and quite unlikely to show in the corner of the desert where they live.

It was bittersweet to see the landscape where we'd driven with our VW Westfalia nigh on 40 years ago; recognize the hutte where people would stay; know how the road would end and you'd simply drive onto the ferry to cross the fjord; understand the smell and feel of the wool Nordland jackets. I have the jacket in my closet that my dad's relatives made for him in Norway in 1959. It's still going strong with its heavy buttons emblazoned with Viking ships.

I needed the subtitles but could recognize some words from my childhood that my father had used, and knew other cognates from German. I loved the dry wit skewering longstanding enmity between Christians and trolls, and jokes about troll diets. It was really quite enjoyable.

And while I was happy that I understood many cultural references, my Scandinavian identity is borrowed. I'm not like my mom, who married into it. I wasn't born into it, like many of my blond, blue-eyed Olsen cousins. I am not a lick Norwegian, although I once used my Olsen-ness to bag myself a very nice Scandinavian scholar boyfriend. (I did 'fess up and have all forgiven, for the record.)

I love my dad with all my heart, and always will, and I know that my also belonging to the Newmans bothers him some. He took my boys to see Kung Fu Panda 2 yesterday, and when he came home, he told me his favorite part was at the end when Po returns, after finding his first family, to tell his adoptive dad "I am YOUR son."

Yes, Dad, I am your daughter and always will be. I just wish the Newman part of me could be as loved as the part of me that has always been yours.

I know you wish that your love could heal it all, but it cannot. And I love you just the same.

Tusen takk.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not being myself

When is not being myself being myself?

I am feeling more and more lately that when I am put in positions when I cannot be myself as I feel comfortable being myself, I have to change things up. That sometimes means removing myself from situations and sometimes doing things that I have long considered out of character for me. Scary as that is--changing--it's the only way I have to protect myself from what feels like a barrage of very painful dreck lobbed at me or sent carelessly meandering in my direction by others. I have too long been comfortable bearing the weight of others' scorn, derision, disinterest, lack of engagement. Whatever shape their abuse took, from mispronouncing my name, to calling me fat and ugly, to telling me I am nothing special. It is terribly disheartening, and then I realize, as Joy says to me, that I have had expectations of people that they just aren't meeting. Problem is, I am not expecting them to win Nobel Prizes; or be present for me all the time; or do much beyond their human existence other than what they've SAID they would or could do.

I have been noting much lately that people's (friends/acquaintances/colleagues/people in blogland) actions don't match their words. Ah, that old adage about judging by what people do and not what the say is trite but so very constructive. Truth is, humans are a flawed lot, myself included. I am far from perfect, but I will try hard to be there for my friends and let them know how important they are to me.

That's where me not being myself comes back into play. I am taking a new position, one in which I give less and also expect less. It's not necessarily a happier place, but it might be a more secure place, and it's certainly much more under MY control. As Katharine Hepburn once said, "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased." I used to find that quotation truly self-centered and insufferable, but she sure as hell had a point! No one will love you like you love yourself, and I am not very worried that my shift signifies a wild tip in the opposite direction towards unstoppable narcissism.

Today I read a first father's account of being passive and ambivalent about his teenage son's existence, and it was like a knife to the gut. True his feelings may be, but I pity his son if he reads those words. No child wants to read about a parent's lukewarm, conditional love. It sucks. The confessional was just one of hundreds like it I've choked over recently. Such messages hurt so much I want to close down even more to protect myself and the remaining shreds of my very sore soul.

I feel like I keep the remains of the me who used to be able to love generously in a tiny box, and the box gets smaller all the time as I encounter more people who proclaim proudly their lack of ability to love their children (or even specifically me) "enough," or say that they love them while obviously hurting them, or who take pleasure in being naysayers of the most silly, cussed sort.

Before the best part of me dies, I need to protect her by letting out that too long dormant inner bitch, who doesn't feel like me. Maybe it's time she did. I am too tattered to settle for crumbs. Enough.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am off to the hospital in a few minutes. It was funny yesterday to be on the patient end of all the admissions questions: any history of...; what medications do you take each day; how do you rate your pain on the scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain imaginable?

I do my own theatrical riff on these with my patients, but you'd have to be my patient to enjoy the fun of it ;-).  I am missing work, actually. I love my patients and the PM team. Eight weeks and I hope to be back with the babies. We'll see. I think I prefer to be the RN in the OR, although the meds are good. The pain afterwards sucks.

I got a text from A this morning, a week after the last, asking if everything is okay because he hadn't heard from me. Which is nice on the one hand, but on the other, why'd it have to be phrased as though it's my job to do all the reaching out, to be all cheeriness and sunshine and light? "Hi! How're you! Yeah, I broke my arm, but that must pale in consequence to anything in your busy, busy life. You can't hurt MY feelings! I am an adoptee! I was born to be a punching bag." I'll text him after and say I am okay.

I am looking forward to my propofol/versed cocktail. See you on the other side, with my new, metal-reinforced left arm.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pieces of Reunion

Before I take my next dose of pain meds, relax into my pillows, and try to forget all that is annoying in this world, I want to announce that my essay about search, reunion, and rejection was accepted for publication in an edited volume of stories told by adoptees, first mothers, and adoptive mothers. It is forthcoming from EMK Press, edited by Claudia D'Arcy, Carrie Kitze, and LewEllen Singley, and titled Pieces of Reunion. My essay, "I'm Not Lost," seems darkly ironic at this moment, but perhaps I can keep that optimistic sentiment in mind. I wrote it at the nadir of things last fall, and I survived that. One never knows.

Check out the preliminary Table of Contents here.

I prefer "Ashes, ashes" myself

As an historian, I don't like prettification or erasures. I love that William Morris created the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, also known as "Anti-Scrape," to fight against people saying that there was one perfect state of a structure (e.g. the medieval in Victorian Britain). Buildings are interesting because they can be reused, added to, repurposed, etc. I loved living in a converted 1920's warehouse in downtown Oakland with my family.

There is truth to history, but there is also attendant pain. Some people are averse to pain and knowledge. They avoid looking back. They deal with their aversion by shoving the object of their discomfort under rugs, bowdlerizing texts or erasing certain racy bits ("Omit the reference to the unspeakable vice of the Greeks," Forster, Maurice), or covering up inconvenient births through adoption, refusing to let others feel something different than what you have experienced, or saying that another person's experience is pure madness. "You wouldn't suffer if you would just be practical and 'scientific.' Like ME!"

I am mad. I am fine with the label and all of its meanings. I would rather be mad than stupid and mediocre and self-righteous. If someone is jim dandy with the reunion they have and can joke about the awkwardness in communicating with nfamily, great! But I am not a child imagining problems where there are none, slights where there are none. Seven unreturned telephone calls in two months? I am not allowed to leave voicemail because her husband doesn't like it? Okay. And this is *my* problem in my childish primal woundie cave? No. It's a mess. As my husband and friends and even my sister-in-law have said, it's definitely not my doing or all in my head.

It's about my feelings and MY take on what they mean to ME. I am sad. I am deeply sad that my nfamily are not more like me in temperament and more open to me. I see warm flickers of sameness, and then it's dark again--the light extinguished at the behest of the Matriarch or another player. I don't merit the same courtesies as others (although I have to wonder what those courtesies might truly be). Perhaps I would be a fish out of water in that milieu. I don't get to find out. But it is still my experience to mourn, and I am NOT childish or stunted for doing so, or for feeling a connection to my family. I am doing the work that's right for me. My education and madness and wonderful aparents have taught me not to presume to tell anyone else what their path should be or call them infantile by juxtaposing the primal wound AGAIN to a children's rhyme and the refrain "husha, husha." This was unintentional? Really? I'm not buying your cookies or that perfect adoptee potion that makes it all "just fine."

I'll stick with mad; madness gives me interesting, lovely, batty, fantastic friends.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Collateral Damage

I had all these wonderful ideas for posts this past week but I was derailed by a convergence of misfortune.

Last Friday I saw X-Men: First Class and despite its many cliches, I was galvanized by its charaterization of adoptees mutants and how easy it is for the powers-that-be to talk over them, dismiss them, or even order their destruction for the "good" of others. I found myself identifying closely with Magneto, who drew his strength from anger and pain. Although I didn't wear my anger and pain on my sleeve, those two emotions were always driving me towards success so that I could have power over the assholes making my life difficult. When at one point Professor X, the chirpy James McAvoy, warns that revenge doesn't bring peace, Magneto says, "Peace was never an option." I so understand that. There is no peace to be had, just living with the pieces we have. There's a difference. Those who want the high road can have it.

Then Saturday was the big family reunion in Indiana to which I wasn't invited. Again, I get it, but the rejected baby inside...not so much. Mark and the boys were on a mission to cheer me up and took me rollerblading. Which was great until I fell spectacularly, heard a sickening crunch, looked at my left arm, and knew immediately it was broken. I enjoyed an ambulance ride to the ER with two handsome firefighters who gave me some much needed morphine and zofran. I wish that the orthopedic surgeon had been as kind as the paramedics. I ended up with a splint and will have surgery this coming Wednesday (curiously, the same surgery I observed as a nursing student) to pin my radius back in place. Fun! It sucks having one hand to type with, especially for a grammar and spelling Nazi like myself. Luckily, oral Dilaudid makes me care rather less.

Then I was hurt that when I told A about all this, he seemed very superficial about it. "Oh, sorry to hear about that, get well soon!" Is that really what you say to someone who's more than an acquaintance? Barely two lines? That's what I say when I hardly know you or if I am really enforcing distant boundaries (read: I don't like you very much). I called him out on it, and also on his telling me that he went to Indiana to spend time with his wife--really?!? I know he was trying to protect my feelings, but the lies hurt so much more. I know he and I have very different coping mechanisms (stuffing vs. expressing) and that neither of us knows how to be a sibling. I do love him, but all of this is incredibly raw. I told him how C is ignoring me, and he told me to keep trying to reach out. I said that I cannot. He offered to intervene; I don't want that. I know that I am testing him and that I am ready to run at the drop of a text. I struggle between thinking I am better off with my fucked up life such as it is without family triggers and knowing that I would be miserable without A. It's a Hobson's Choice. Is this a wound I continue to reopen, or do I suture it and pretend it's sterile, knowing full well that it's contaminated with flesh-eating S. pyogenes?

I hate being collateral damage to my "family." Such "nice" people. No one in that small town would guess I exist; better keep this well educated woman hidden. Such an embarrassment to the family name! It must be my foreign husband, or my accent, or...NOTHING RATIONAL AT ALL.

I know I am not powerless in all this, but I wish I could erase my attachment, DNA or otherwise, to people who care so little for me (A excepted: he is at least trying). If only the adoption lies were true! How lovely it would be if nurture were all that mattered. I hate that as the adoptee I had no choice in that original clusterfuck of lies. I do have the choice to walk away from them now, but it's bone-achingly sad to contemplate doing so. I still hold that abortion would have been the kindest option in my situation, and I find it ridiculous that they hide behind "God" and religion while treating one of their own so abominably. A dash of hypocrisy with that drink? Best served cold? Like cheap beer?

Where the hell is my superpower, by the way? You'd think we'd at least be given something like that for what we endure.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Having just returned from my 20-year college reunion, I feel rather marinated in my own past. I had a wonderful time, no complaints. I love my alma mater. The sourness I felt back then has been magically ameliorated by time. What did I know back then? I was pampered and spoiled. I had access to wonderful faculty, and I was surrounded by brilliant women. It wasn't always fabulous, but it was pretty good.

I spent an hour with my dear friend in the trenches Amanda: too short! too short! And during the weekend, I found myself (unsurprisingly) surrounded by many classmates who are adoptive parents and their children. I didn't talk much about my adoption, but when I did, as usual, conversations ended up being superficial. There's no need to burden people with my own Gordian Knot, and when I do try, it's usually misunderstood. As it stands right now, I am hovering on the razor's edge between thinking that I really benefitted from it, but there's always the loss, the dark, dark loss. I don't like it when people brush the loss away and say, "Oh, it all worked out for the best!" I may think that myself, although I feel guilty when I do because I love my natural family and I wish I were welcomed and that the situation weren't all that crazy. And that I didn't have the loss in the first place. It's not a zero sum equation. Moreover, it's not like my afamily isn't without its fair share of Midwestern crazy. It's just a different kind of crazy. Upper Midwestern crazy as opposed to Midwestern-Southern crazy. (Can you imagine a Southern version of me?)

It's also about coping mechanisms.

I saw a friend today, a wonderful artist friend who is very complicated himself. He does a thousand things brilliantly, and one of those thousand things happens to be cutting hair. I was sitting in his apartment having a cut and color, recounting the events of the past few months, while he was sharing some things in his own life (quite exciting things, like having his sculpture published in a scholarly journal article and becoming an uncle). He has watched me search for my family, enter into reunion, be welcomed, be rejected (I saw him the day I got the brutal e-mail from A), and struggle back to sanity. His own family is riddled with substance abuse, and he told me that he is trying to be cognizant of his role as caretaker, having been told from childhood that his job was to "bring sunshine." I told him about adoptees often feeling they have to shoulder their trouble and everyone else's, and he said he could identify with that. He recently started going to Al Anon and told me that he thought I could benefit from the three things Al Anon teaches family members of alcoholics: You didn't cause it. You can't cure it. You can't control it.

It does sound a hell of a lot like reunion and the havoc and capriciousness it seems to bring to our relationships with our natural families. There's no predicting what will happen, is there? Our families have their coping mechanisms in place, and then we turn up, as Emmett said, like shiny coins. We confound whatever rusty mechanisms they have, which might have been working very well if not touched or scrutinized closely. We upset the balance and can be neatly scapegoated for the chaos that ensues; why didn't we just stay gone? Before we know it, we're in crazytown with no directions.

We look for rational answers. It would be nice to get some, but often there aren't any because we have walked into something that is nowhere close to rational. We have no hope of understanding it unless given a great deal of time and some sympathetic individuals somewhere in the mix.

I know that some reunions are not at all like this, but more often that not, we're dropped into plays that are more than half over and we have no scripts. People frequently don't want to communicate with us, when they do sometimes they lie, and feelings get hurt more reliably than the sun rises in the morning. Many adoptees will walk for miles and live on crumbs for months. We will endure emotional cruelty for a few words of endearment.

I am no exception.

I live for those times when my natural family acknowledges who I am to them. It shouldn't be all that big a deal, but because I am insecure it has become huge. I am insecure because I do not trust that they will be in my life tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Past experience haunts me. It hurts to say that, but that's the truth.

So when A texted me last week at the end of a conversation and said, "Will do, big sis" I just about melted into the floor of the hotel. That's exactly who I am to him, and who I want to be. Who I always should have been.

This is why I hate the crazytown of my reunion and why I hate the crazytown of non-discussion among different parts of the "constellation."

This is why I hate that talk happens ABOUT adoptees, not with us. I don't like it when adoptees are exploited or pushed aside, especially when they're still children. I don't like it when some aparents and nparents see it as appropriate to "school" adult adoptees as though they're children. We are all adults. Where the hell is the respect? Can you put your feelings aside and be a parent? Can you think about how your child feels for a moment? Really? No? Okay, I should have known better than to ask that question.

Several different people have posted recently that there are more important things in life than adoption. Three or four of them were natural mothers, and one was an adoptee. All of them were privileged. How fortunate for them to have better things to worry about. As a privileged person, I suppose that I can worry about better things, as well, although I believe that there is still a long way to go before adoption reform can be declared a done deal. Aren't we still lacking our OBCs?

In the spirit of thinking about things that are more important to me than whiny, self-righteous people in the blogosphere, here is a happy Tobey. How fortunate he is that he will never have to wonder who his parents are, although his life will always be torched touched by adoption. He inherited a clotting disorder from an unknown grandfather, lucky him!