The Obituary Lied

I received a Facebook message in 2010 from my 1/2 biological sister whom hadn’t spoken to me in over 13 years.  Not by my choosing, she shut me out and I still to this day have no idea why she is the way she is. Not only did my birth mother not want anything to do with me, but after I found and was reunited with my birth sister she too shut me out. I never understood because when I first found her, she was ecstatic she had a long lost sister she said she always dreamed of. She invited me to be in her wedding, our children met one another, and it was the first time in my life I felt a true connection with someone with the same blood as me ever in my life. I can’t tell you the sense of joy I had knowing I had a big sister, that I could look up too, get advice from, be close with, and share stories with.

After a few years of meeting her as I would reach out she wouldn’t reach back. Over and over I would try to keep in touch, and she wouldn’t return my calls, letters, emails nothing. This honestly broke my heart a million times, and I never understood WHY. I always thought I did something to offend her, or upset her but I didn’t know what. I was clueless.

Not many years before my birth mother passed away I had basically given up hope that we would ever have the relationship I always dreamed we would have. That dream I had sense I was a little girl, sense the day I found out I was adopted. I knew at this point nothing was going to give, but in the back of my mind I think I always had that sense of “Maybe one day she will come around”. I never stopped thinking about her, or praying for her, or wondering what she was doing, especially around my birthday time.

But my birth sister, I never gave up hope, so when I got this inbox message saying my birth mother passed away, I was not only shocked but I was beyond hurt that I had to find out in a Facebook message. My birth sister hadn’t spoke to me in 13 years! She was acting as if our relationship was where it left off 13 years ago. As if the last 13 years went by and I hadn’t tried to reach out to her a million times, and she shut the door in my face, just like my birth mother did. They have no idea how that has hurt me over the years, and words can’t even describe it. Not only did I feel out of place growing up in a house full of strangers, but the biological roots I dreamed of my whole life didn’t even want me around. They didn’t want to know me, love me or have me in their lives. THIS HURT and still does.

When I got the Facebook message my immediate response was angry. I was so angry that she told me the way she did! After a few hours when my anger subsided a bit, I realized that in true honesty she didn’t have to contact me at all. I had to try to pull something positive out of this. In her facebook message she expressed how she really wanted me to be there, and she didn’t think she could do it without me. I had a decision. I could either go, be there for her, and perhaps find some more information out about my birth father whom I also always dreamed about knowing, I could find out more information about my birth mother, and meet some of her life long friends, and meet some more of my biological family OR I could stay home and wish I had went.

After making some arrangements with my job, and for my kids off to Iowa I go. I started off on a 10 hour drive, all alone. Something about taking road trips are always so refreshing but not this time. I was nervous, sad, anxious, and I surly didn’t know what the next few days were going to hold. I was just praying, and talking to God the whole entire way for him to help shine his light on me because I knew I was going to need it to get through the next few days.

Soon I was to arrive in Iowa at my adopted mothers house. It is no secret to anyone in my life that we have never EVER gotten along. We are like night and day, and there has never been a time in my life where I feel close to her, or have a bond with her a mother and daughter are supposed to have. I just all the way missed out on that in life. She is a very different person, and after being almost 40 years old I have come to the conclusion that she is mentally sick, and she is a very ill person. She should have never been given the right to adopt a child, let alone two. She wasn’t and still isn’t capable of being a mother. I will never understand how a couple ends up adopting two children, divorcing a year later leaving these two adopted children to be raised in a very dysfunctional home, by a woman whom doesn’t have the capabilities, strength, guidance or understanding to raise children!

After being at my adopted mothers for a hour or so, we decided to take a trip to the grocery store. I was going to stay all night at her house, then leave very early the next morning to drive to Waterloo, Iowa where my birth mother lived. This is where her funeral was going to be held. I was really a nervous wreck. While we were at the grocery something in me decided I wanted to search for my birth mothers obituary online via my cell phone. When I start searching for something, or someone Its crazy but I get frantic almost obsessed until I find what I’m looking for! I think character trait has a big part on me searching and finding my biological family all on my own. I was obsessed with finding them, and I was never going to give up until I saw them all, even if it meant getting shot by showing up on my birth fathers property unannounced! I was going to find them.

As I Google searching for the obituary, walking around in circles in the grocery store waiting on my adopted mom to take her time shopping, (One of our many differences, she takes all day to shop! I get in and get out!)  I finally found the obituary. As I started to read it, my heart started racing more and more. I couldn’t even believe what I was reading. SHE DIDN’T LIST ME ANYWHERE! NO WHERE! SHE DOESN’T HAVE JUST ONE CHILD!  SHE WAS A LIER! THIS OBITUARY WAS A LIE! I AM HER DAUGHTER TOO, AND SHE HAS 3 OTHER GRANDKIDS AND WE ARE ALIVE. I DROVE ALL THE WAY TO IOWA TO BE AT HER FUNERAL BUT THEY COULDN’T EVEN LIST ME IN THE OBITUARY OR MY CHILDREN! I WAS SO MAD AND HURT!

I immediately started to cry in the middle of the grocery store. Of course I felt I had to hide it from my adoptive mother, because she just wouldn’t understand. So I kept walking around the store, trying to hide my tears from all the people walking by me. I know that some people might not understand the big deal, or why I was feeling the way I was feeling but when you spend a lifetime fantasizing, dreaming and wishing, and wondering about the very woman that created you, and gave you away to have a “better life” but she doesn’t even list you in her obituary it hurt really bad, and cut like a knife. My mind goes back there, to that time in my life and I still cry thinking about it. I don’t understand how someone can give their child away, and act as if they didn’t even exist. I will never understand it.

After I finally got myself together in the grocery, I would soon see my adoptive mother again. She knew by the tears in my eyes something was wrong. She asked, and I told her. I started to cry again. I just walked away from her and told her I would be in the car. In no way did I want her sappy ass rubbing me on my back making it worse! She always made everything worse!

Soon the very next morning had arrived, and it was time to set out on my hour long drive to the very city where I was born, and given away. To the very city my biological mother, and half of my biological family lived. It was a very bitter sweet drive, and time in my life. Something about discovery of your roots, and where you come from is almost eerie to me, and I have done all this alone and I can look back now and rejoice that I had a relationship (And still do) with God, my higher power for hugging me and holding me the entire way. I’m blessed and thankful for that.

My birth sister and her husband moved from Iowa to Arkansas, so they too had to travel back to Iowa for the funeral.I arrive at the hotel where my birth sister and her husband and kids were staying I was a nervous wreck. I hadn’t seen her in ALONG time! I hadn’t talked to her in 13 years, but I hadn’t seen her in about 16 years. I parked my car, and head in to the hotel. Knock on her hotel door, and see her face, and we gave each other a big hug. It was great to see her, and I realized that I couldn’t focus on the past, and be upset with her that for whatever reason she shut me out for the last 13 years. I was still hurt, but I had to make a decision to not focus on that. She expressed to me how bad she wanted me there, and how thankful she was that I came. I got to hug and see my niece and nephew, one I had never met before. I was very excited about that, but yet I was deep down very sad that so many years had passed and they really didn’t even know me. It’s not my fault and if I had it my way It wouldn’t be like that. I would have never been separated from any of them ever if I had it my way. I would have grown up in the same house as her, and we would have been close sisters growing up. She gave me a card, and we all headed over to the funeral home for my biological mothers visitation.

The card was an apology for her being absent for the last 13 years. She was very nice in the card, and she expressed how she was sorry that this tragic event is what brought us together again. She said in the past, I was the one to reach out and she failed. She hoped this would be a new beginning to our relationship. I was happy about the card, and I was happy I was getting to see her, and spend some time with her. I was deeply saddened that so much time had passed, and I really didn’t know when I was going to see her again. Was it going to be another 13 years?

My birth sister and my birth mother hadn’t spoke in over 3 years. So I wasn’t the only person they didn’t reach out too. They didn’t even reach out for each other. My birth sister said many times that my birth mother was an alcoholic. She said after her and her husband and children left Iowa, they went back for a visit at Christmas time only for my birth mother to not open the door for her, or her children on Christmas morning. I really don’t know the whole story, or my birth mothers reasoning, but I am sure my birth sister had a very good reason for being upset with her. A long drive from Arkansas to Iowa and your own mother doesn’t open the door? Shame on her. I would be furious too. I can’t say what I would do, but she didn’t speak to her for 3 years. When she did have contact with her again, it would be to bury her.

We soon set out to head to the funeral home. I really didn’t know what to expect. I know from the moment I walked in there, to the time I left I felt so out of place. I knew my birth sister wanted me there, but there is no way my birth mother wanted me there. I was her best kept secret. I knew this for certain. We went in for the viewing. I was shocked at what I saw. My birth mother that was in her mid 60’s and looked as if she was much older. She was wearing a blue jean button up Christmas shirt, glasses and had a few rings on her fingers. She was always lean and long. Her fingers looked like my fingers. I wanted so bad to ask if I could have one of her rings on her fingers, but I didn’t dare. After all I felt as if I was a nobody. I really would to have loved it for sentimental reasons. I had nothing of hers, absolutely nothing. Nothing but a broken heart from this woman. Time after time, and year after year I wanted on her calls, mail, only to receive broken promises after broken promises.

As we sat in the front row, I sat right next to my birth sister. I really felt like her husband should be sitting by her but I respect the fact that she let me sit next to her, and that she acknowledged the fact that I was her daughter too, and I had every right to be there just like she did.

My birth mother planned her service out down to the very last minute. She had someone get up and speak about her life, and some of the things she loved. Rod Stewart, Nascar, Elvis, and some other things. He spoke about her daughter, Joanna and her 3 grand kids from Arkansas. I honestly sat there and wept not only because I was deeply saddened, but because she once again didn’t acknowledge that I was her daughter. Some of you might say, “Well DUH Pamela! She gave you away! You were no longer her daughter!”. You would think it wouldn’t be so hard for me to just “GET IT”, or “GET OVER IT”, but I will never forget that time in my life when they clearly made me feel as if I was nothing. I wonder if she knew how much pain she caused me? I wonder if she even cared? People shouldn’t have to go through life being rejected and denied from the very people that created them.

This is the song that she had requested be played at her funeral. I will never in my life forget this song. I cry every time I hear it, and can’t help but wonder what part of her giving me up for adoption had an impact of her and her life, and this song. If you listen to the words, (please do!) you will understand what I’m talking about. Was I one of the many regrets she is speaking about? I stayed around after the service, so I could meet some of her friends, and some biological family. It was really hard to get through this time in my life. I was thankful I had my birth sister there, but yet she was still so far away. I didn’t know any of those people. My birth sister kept introducing me as “This is my sister, my mom gave up for adoption!”. I really didn’t know what to think, but I was thankful she was even introducing me at all. I had to be thankful I was even there at all because she didn’t have to invite me, or tell me if she didn’t want too. As I got to know some of my birth mothers friends, they all expressed to me how stubborn she was, and how she was very strong willed. She was set in her ways, and no matter what in life she did it her way!

I met my birth mothers best friend, and she knew my birth mother the time she was pregnant with me. She said she remembers her giving me up for adoption. No way did anyone at the funeral try to console me, and what I was going through. I don’t think any of them understood my pain at all. I asked her if she knew any information about my biological father, but she declined. I asked her if she drank when she was pregnant with me, and she said, “Honey I never saw her without a drink in her hand”. I guess I’m supposed to be grateful for that just like I am that I’m adopted. I spoke to a few other people, and met a biological aunt. One aunt that I had met the first time I met my birth mother wasn’t there. I asked about her, but everyone said she was sick, and couldn’t come. I asked my birth sister if we could go visit her, because I realized this might be my last chance at finding out more information about my biological father. On the way to her house I asked my birth sister if we could go by my birth mothers house. She said, “Oh you don’t want to go over there!”. I said, “Yes, I do, I really do”. Off we go.

When my birth mother died, she passed away from alcoholism, and COPD. She smoked, and was on oxygen, and she was an alcoholic all at the same time. These are the things that killed her. I believe alcoholism is what really killed her. Everyone at her funeral said for the last few years of her life, she wouldn’t let anyone in her house, NO ONE. The neighbors would come to bring her food, or try to help her shovel snow in the winter, or help her with a leaking roof and her response to everyone that came to her door was ” GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!”. I had no idea what to expect when we arrived at her house. I remember walking up to the front door, her house almost looked like a little cottage but you could tell it had some major repairs that needed done, but you didn’t really see it until you walked inside. Her front door had broken glass through the front window, and she had news paper, and duct tape and a piece of plastic over it to keep the cold out. As we walked in I just got such an eerie feeling. This was the house that my birth mother lived in for many many years. It wasn’t the house she was pregnant with me at, but it was the house that my birth sister grew up in. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how dusty everything was. The dust was literally an inch thick. I looked over to the left, and saw another broken window covered just like the other one. Also to the left was about 6 oxygen tanks, all empty. She had papers and clutter all over her dining room table, and hutch. As you walked in further I saw the couch that she was found on. The old dusty mantel, and drapes matched the couch. The whole place looked like a scene from a 1975 movie. NOTHING WAS UPDATED! Everything was so old, and dusty. It was filthy, and the floor was covered with garbage, and junk. The carpet looked like it was 30 years old, and I’m not even kidding. It was so cold in there, and I will never forget the feeling I got when I was in her house. It was so dark, and dingy. Complete filth couldn’t even touch it. I saw a little green paper weight on her coffee table, shaped like a small elephant. I kindly asked my birth sister if she cared if I have it. She said, “Sure take it”. This small paper weight is the only thing I will ever own that was my birth mothers. My birth sister took me through the house, and it’s hard for me to explain the feeling I got. After we noticed no running water, and rat droppings all over, we decided it was time to go. That house should have been condemned in my opinion.

Some people might be saying,”WOW- and you aren’t HAPPY she gave you up for adoption?”. NO, No I’m not. I would have taken my birth mother any way she came. I would have loved to be with my biological roots, even if she made mistakes as a mother, I would have forgiven her. All of her mistakes and errors in life wouldn’t change the fact that she gave birth to me. I will never stop thinking about her, or wishing I knew her. I will always love the woman I never got to know.

After we left my birthmothers house, we headed over to visit my aunt for a few minutes. When we arrived the house was filled with smoke, and we could smell that she had been smoking. Its amazing that the crazy part is she looked at both of us and said “I quit smoking awhile back”.. Even thoe we smelled right through that lie. This was my birthmothers sister. She was also a smoker, and on oxygen suffereing from COPD which is what my birth mother died from. After we visited a few minutes, I got up enough nerve to ask her if she knew who my birth father was. I thought I had nothing to loose. She ended up giving me a name, and told me a little about my birth father. Now I recieved confirmation who he was and where he lived. A month after visiting my biological aunt she passed away from COPD. I look back and I’m in awe the way God set it up. Not that I wanted her to die, but he let me find out my confirming information about my birthfather before she passed away, and it meant so much to me to be able to see her one last time.
Leaving Waterloo, Iowa was a bitter sweet moment for me, but so was my experience after I drove to my birthfathers door step. Leaving Iowa on this trip I made a very brave decision. I could either drive back to Kentucky and never see who my birth father was, or I could drive 3 hours out of the way and show up at his door step and introduce myself.  I was able to receive some confirming information while I was in Waterloo about my birth father. I prayed, and God answered my prayers. I drove 3 hours out of the way to his house, but I only stayed 45 minutes. I left Leon, Iowa and my life would never be the same.

8-13-13 Happy LIFE Day to me!

About a week ago I got some super awesome news, and I am so excited to share it with you all!

If you don’t know by now, I am pretty vocal on my adoption views and have expressed in my blog much of my view point because I finally feel like I have a voice in my world. A voice of an adult adoptee. This voice has been an amazing healing tool for me. Finally I am figuring out who I am, and what I stand for, but this didn’t take place before 37 years of loss of identity and total chaos and confusion took place. Why? Because I’m adopted. Adoption is loss. Adoption is pain. Adoption is hurt. Adoption is lies.

In the last year, I have met many other adult adoptees via the Internet, and made some very special friends in the process. We share a bond that no one else can share. It has helped me in so many ways. I am not alone in feeling the way I feel. Sense discovering this, I have also discovered the Adoptee Rights Coalition. They are a group of amazing adopted individuals that stand for adoptees having equal rights like non adopted people. The meet each year at a certain destination and protest in a peaceful demonstration that Adoptees deserve to have access to their original birth certificates. It’s unfair treatment and laws that are taking place when a small handful of states allow this, and the rest don’t. Only very few states in the U.S. allow adoptees to gain access to their original birth certificates, the rest aren’t so fortunate. For an adult adoptee, this is a critical piece of our lives to find out who we REALLY are, and where we REALLY come from. If you aren’t adopted it might never cross your mind that almost all adopted individuals have a falsified birth certificate which makes us feel like our lives are based on lies. These falsified birth certificates are not real, they are not really who we are, and this is a huge injustice to us because we can’t truly know WHO WE ARE, until we know the TRUTH. Some adult adoptees go to their grave with never knowing who they really are. They never piece together their puzzle, for whatever reason. Some scared of rejection, or some because of lack of identifying information to complete the search. Whatever the reason, and there are a million. We all deserve to know where we come from, and to see our original birth certificates.

This realization taking place in my life has helped me understand a few things. I need to get active with The Adoptee Rights Coalition. I need to be there for the 2013 Demonstration because for me, this means so much! If you haven’t read my previous post about my falsified birth certificate, please check it out. But my birth certificate is falsified, and it is nothing more than a piece of lies to me. The dates don’t match up, and I have been told lies over the years but I do feel I deserve to see my original birth certificate because WE as adoptees deserve equal rights!

After deciding that no matter what happens I am going to be at the ARC -Adoptee Rights Coalition for the 2013 Demonstration I also decided a few other things in my life. One is that I am no longer celebrating my “birth” day. It is such a hard time and month in my life. I experience heart wrenching grief from all the thoughts that come with my “birth” day, and me being given away on that day. I have another post titled “Blue August Birthday” if you want to learn more about these feelings of grief. So deciding I’m not celebrating my birthday is one thing, but I know in my heart of hearts I must replace this day with another day, but I will call it my “HAPPY LIFE DAY”. I just hadn’t figured out when this day would be. I have done a lot of praying about all these things, and asking God to show me the way.

Another thing that has changed is me deciding I am no longer going to drink alcohol, and I have joined a 12 step program and Celebrate Recovery to help me do this. Sense finding my biological parents, and them both being alcoholics, I feel very strong that if I don’t stop drinking all the way, I am going to die like my birth mother. In a house that should have been condemned, all alone. She was a horrible alcoholic, and she smoked, had COPD, and was on oxygen. Her house was in horrific conditions. I know that if I don’t stop drinking I am going to end up like her. So I have made the decision to seek help, and guidance from Alcoholics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery. Today is 23 days sober. I can’t wait until I get to 30 days. Then 60..

My whole life has revolved around drinking. I started drinking alcohol sense I was 12. Stopped drinking the day before my 38th birthday. August 12, 2012 was my last drink of alcohol. For me to stop drinking is so much more to me than just “STOPPING DRINKING”. You see, to me it’s the beginning of my LIFE. The life that God intended for me to live. I sit and look over my life, and how many terrible choices I made where alcohol was related, and I just get sick with myself. I know that growing up with a total loss of “SELF” not knowing who I was, or where I came from caused me great grief from the time I found out I was adopted. Alcohol mad the pain go away, but only until I got sober, and then I would have to drink again. Alcohol distorted my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to tell you. But one thing I know now, TODAY is alcohol is no longer in my life. I can say I couldn’t do it alone. I need support from other alcoholics that can give me guidance, support and advice when I need it. Abusive relationships have been the head of my life, along with alcohol from the ages of 13-31. At 31 I was brave enough to get out of the last relationship, and it has taken me years to get to where I am today.The root of my issues with alcohol partly stem to my step brother molesting me when I was little, I would drink to numb the memories I have from him when I was intimate with whatever boyfriend I had at the time. This has gone on my entire life. I am sure I need consoling for this, but at this time I am working through these things with God as my guide, and other support from those who are close to me, and healing through writing of course. The abusive relationships play over and over in my head, like flashes of the memories. They never seem to go away, but I am not going to let those things define me anymore. I cant be the VICTIM and live in VICTORY. It’s impossible. I am so ready to live in victory it’s insane. As long as alcohol is in my life, it will take me back to being the victim, and block my blessings, and halt me from being the person God wants me to be.

So my reason for expressing all of these things is to get to some AMAZING SUPER AWESOME NEWS! As I stated before I am going replace my “birth”date with a different very special day called My Happy “Life” Day. I have made the decision to make this day on August 12, 2013 because that is the one year sobriety birthday and it will honestly be the one year celebration of me living the life God intended for me to live. August 12, 2013 is one day before the day I was born into this world which for me is a very tragic day. (Aug 13, 1974).
I am so excited about this I can’t even express how much this is going to mean to me, and this is why I say drinking alcohol is “LIFE OR DEATH” to me. If I drink, I can’t celebrate my one year sobriety birthday at all. It will not count. It will be disqualified to nothing. I won’t have a “birth” day, or a “Life” day or a sobriety “birth”day.. I will have nothing. So AUGUST 12, 2013 is HUGE for me.. But wait until you hear the rest!!!!!!!!!!!
I found out about a week ago that The Adoptee Rights Coalitions demonstration is in Atlanta next year and GUESS WHAT DAY IT’S ON?????????????????????????????????????????
AUGUST 12, 2013!!!!!!!!!!
I honestly don’t know when I have been so excited in my life!!! This is going to be HUGE for me,and you honestly can’t tell me GOD isn’t doing his thing with this one! I am in complete AWE at the amazing work he is doing in my life. He knows how important this date is to me. He knows how bad I wanted to be at The Adoptee Rights Coalition Demonstration in 2013! He knows how important my sobriety is to me. THIS DATE IS HUGE!!! Aside from the births of my kids, at this point in my life this is going to be the most important thing to date in my life’s history. I have such a passion for adoptees and the right for us to be able to obtain our original birth certificates. Now I will have a whole new focus on my depressing, sad, and horrific “birth”date. I will have a whole new day to celebrate.!
LIFE—SOBRIETY—ADOPTEE RIGHTS
CHEERS TO AUGUST 12, 2013!! 
GOD GETS THE GLORY!!!
If anyone in my area is interested in attending or getting to know a fellow adoptee contact me! Lexington, Ky

When I look in the mirror who do I see…

I think its safe to say that my whole life I never knew who I was, so when I looked in the mirror all I saw was someone that was lost, and didn’t have an identity because I didn’t have any idea who I looked like or who I was. This had some lifelong affects for me.

Now that I’m 37 years old, and I have completed my search and found my biological family I can tell you who I see when I look in the mirror. My birth father. We have some major similarities. When I see myself he is who I see. Everyday when I look in the mirror I think of him. Crazy how that works!

Now that my biological father has rejected me, it makes me sad to know that my own blood wants nothing to do with me. I don’t know if that’s something that I will just “Get over”.  But one thing I can rejoice on is now I know who I look like. I got to meet my biological father face to face two times. Some people go a lifetime never knowing, and never seeing the faces of those who created them. I don’t know what I would do if I never completed my puzzle. I know how I felt all those years not knowing, and now that I know who I am I feel at peace with that area. I’m so beyond thankful that God has made it all possible.

Now being able to talk about my feelings with being an adoptee I find it a healing tool and I feel like I have to share my adoption journey with others. God put these things in our lives for a reason, and we must share our experiences because I feel that’s what God intends for us all.

Of all the things I have been through, I am now learning that being given away at birth has had the most lifelong effects on me than anything else. When I started the healing process, I started working on feelings that went along with childhood sexual abuse brought on by a step brother. Then it went into being in abusive relationships my whole life, until I was 31.. Then I started working on my adoption and the issues I have had with being adopted. In the last 6-8 months I have been working on the root of some emotional issues I have carried around an entire lifetime, and I can honestly say I have never felt more FREE than I do today.  Who gets the credit? God. It’s as simple as that. He has given me the strength and courage to conquer each thing one by one. God has put certain people in my life to help me realize my true worth as well. Some situations harder than others, but each and every one I have learned so much from.

So now when I look in the mirror I know who I see. I love the person I am, and I know that no matter what happens in my life that my past is just that, my past. God doesn’t judge us by our past, so why should we judge ourselves or worry about what others think of us?

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?