Monday, February 14, 2011

more like it....

this pace is more my style. now it actually feels like waiting, and i am definitely okay with that. let the wondering continue! i do have a few friends who are slightly less patient and are using phrases like "pins and needles" as they wait to hear about the next step in this process. they will just have to get accustomed to sitting in quiet wonder.

now, those of you who have been paying attention might be thinking that i am preparing for adoption club tonight, but as it turns out, AC is canceled tonight. i think this is a good thing, as i was having a bit of difficulty deciding whether or not i was going to go... it is valentine's day, after all, and i was pretty worried that if i did go to the clubhouse i would be the only one there. it is hardly a club if it is me and a social worker/stranger. that is not a group or a club. that is therapy, and we have already visited my thoughts on that.

it was really nice of the social workers to call me today to tell me that it was canceled. i like a thoughtful helper.

i have to take a nap now. i am very tired. i will be back later to offer some actual thoughts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

zoom zoom

well this is a cyber-quick process. all my life i have imagined the search process as something that begins sloooowly and then slows down some more for months and months until it is nearly forgotten-- or actually forgotten. this is not at all how i imagined it! i received an email from cindy about an hour ago that states: "hi Shel, your letter looks good. i will call you after i contact her."

yes, i recognize that i am the person who is setting the pace so far and that things will likely slow down significantly now, but still... this part is happening crazy fast! i talked to cindy for the first time 15 hours ago and now she is about to call my birthmother.

this is definitely the coolest thing i have ever done. even if the very last chapter is the part where cindy reads the letter to her. at least i will know that she knows how i feel about her and about my adoption. that is very important to me. most important, in fact.

and now... the waiting actually begins, or begins to end... i'm not even sure anymore...

cindy, you've got mail!

i wrote the letter. i wrote it, i read it, i hated it, and i sent it. there is no way for me to write that letter correctly. there is no chance that i can say in a page or two exactly the right things in exactly the right way. so i didn't. i wrote what came to mind as i considered the incredibly bizarre notion that my words would be read to the woman who birthed me and i just sent it right through the cyber-world to my amazing social worker. who will, at some point, place a phone call that will rock that poor woman's world like most of us can't imagine. i hope she is at least a little bit happy to hear from me.

my birthmother named me Julie Hope. i don't think i have included that tidbit of info on this blog yet. but that was my name for about 2 weeks. Julie Hope. i signed the letter Shelly/Julie. is that weird?

dreams, such strange dreams

i woke up startled and disappointed this morning, and not just because i woke up with a major sore throat. i woke up from a dream that could only have been motivated by my support group flub last night. there were a lot of elements-- many of them very family-oriented-- but the part i recall was the part that woke me. i was leaving a restaurant where the server kept bringing me really gross eggs. yolky eggs. gross. but i must have been in the company of someone i didn't know well because i was trying to force myself to eat them. so i had just left the restaurant and was in my bedroom (kind of) and talking to someone who was riding her bicycle through the house when i looked at the clock and realized that i was late for book club. it was 5:57 and in my dream, book club started at 5:30. so i began to tear through my closet to find a shirt to wear. all of the shirts were too small and they all had Peanuts characters on them, but this was apparently normal in my dream. so i put on a tshirt that had Lucy on the front with some kind of witty quote about being smart and dashed out the door for book club. i got on the riding lawn mower, which did NOT move fast enough for a person who is already late for book club. i started to ride my lawn mower towards Kathy's house when i realized that book club is at Beth's house. then i discovered that it is winter, and i wouldn't be going anywhere on my lawn mower. then just as my dream brain started to wonder what any of this has to do with my birthmother, i woke up. startled, upset (about being late) and a bit overwhelmed by the sense that my mother was somewhere in that dream.

then i swallowed and discovered the raging fire in my throat and the dream-state was gone. so now i am here on my couch, taking medicine and blogging. and wondering....

Monday, February 7, 2011

social worker

i just spent the last 90 minutes on the phone with my social worker. i am all done being twitchy about having a social worker; Cindy is very cool. and she's an adult. i am quite sure i would have lost my mind if i had to deal with a social worker who is younger than i am. but Cindy is an adult. this is good. she also has over 20 years of reunion search experience. and it seems like she is really good at it.

i have to write a letter to my birthmother. that is the next step in the process. i write her a letter and send it to Cindy. Cindy calls my birthmother and reads the letter to her over the phone. holy moly.

i am so happy this is the next step-- i was quite worried that i wouldn't get to share some of my own thoughts on this potential reunion. as it turns out, i get to share a whole letter full of thoughts. yippee! then, after she reads the letter to the woman who gave birth to me, that same woman will receive all the same information release documents that i just completed. and according to the "law" she has 60 days to fill them out and return them or to, well, not fill them out and return them. sixty days seems like a very brief amount of time considering what we are asking of this woman. i hope it doesn't totally freak her out. at least not in a way she can't handle.

so tonight i am going to write the letter. i know that i should wait and do it sometime when it is not almost the middle of the night, but i will definitely not be able to sleep if i just lie in my bed and write letter fragments in my head. i will edit it when it is not the middle of the night, but i am for sure going to write it tonight. then i will email it to Cindy. and then it is go time. as soon as i send the letter, she makes contact. seems awfully fast after 35 years of separation. but that is fine by me. i wouldn't be doing this if i wasn't actually ready for my social worker to call my birthmother.

and Cindy already has a phone number for my birthmother. double holy moly.

here we go......

a different kind of support

i guess what i really need is an idiot recovery support group. this is february 7, making it mathematically impossible for this to also be the second monday of the month. i don't have to go to adoption club until next monday. this is good. it felt kind of early to be joining adoption club. i received a letter from LSS today asking me to call the social worker who will be handling my case, at which point we will discuss the next step in my search. i did call her, but there was no answer. i left a message. i think it will be good for me to have had at least an initial conversation with my social worker before i sign up for the adoption clubhouse.

i've never had a social worker before. well, not that i remember at least. i guess i did at the beginning of this whole thing, but i don't really remember that. i was, after all, 2 1/2 weeks old. but now i have a social worker again. and it's weird. i DO things that are social-worky. and i facilitate support groups. now i have to go to a support group and i have to talk to someone about things that i really don't want to talk about with someone i have never met before. if she isn't willing to at least pretend we are real friends and, like, go out for a couple glasses of wine, that will surely be a deal-breaker.

T-minus one week until adoption cult.

sooo not a support group person....

i am going to a support group tonight. i can't believe this is true even as i type it. the agency that handled my adoption offers a group meeting for all members of the triad who are in various stages of the reunion (attempt) process. i have no idea how i will walk into that room. i don't exactly do things like this. support group. i wonder if we can change the name of it. like, Adoption Social Club. that's what i'll call it. i would be so much more willing to speak and discuss things at a social club.

wish me luck. at the adoption clubhouse.

Friday, February 4, 2011

wires are crossing

this is going to sound ridiculous.

that was your warning. now i am free to say whatever i want and you can't judge or mock because you have been fairly warned. this is ridiculous. but....

you know how when you have something really cool and really big going on in your life... like you are waiting for something big or planning something big... and it is constantly in the back of your mind and random things throughout the day trigger your excitement for it. no? ok, i'll try harder. let's say you are planning a wedding. you have to continue to complete everyday tasks, like, your job, for example. but the fact that you are planning a wedding is ever-present in your mind and even, i think, in your body. it's just there. being triggered. so you know that you have to clean your house and do your job, but at every turn you are drawn to and distracted by, say, that cute up-do on the cover of a magazine... you see it and you have to pause for a second to picture your veil with that hairstyle. or a particular shade of pink looks just right for the table decorations... ok, i never have and never will plan a wedding, but it seems to me these types of things would happen. every cool life event brings this kind of preoccupation, right?

well, it is no different with this situation. it is constantly present in my head, and i remember about 1000 times a day that i am doing this crazy, scary, fun thing. but something is getting mixed up in the symbolism or imagery of the reunion fantasy. i do not get distracted by strangers who may or may not look like my family. i don't see adult women with their mothers and think of my own biological mother. adoption reunion doesn't really have its own imagery. so i am distracted and triggered by baby stuff. (i told you it was weird.) it is not a crystal clear association, it's more of a nagging attraction. i don't look at baby stuff and think of my reunion attempt. i look at baby stuff and i feel drawn to it because of a sense that i have something happening in my life that is related to baby stuff. but i don't. i am not now nor do i intend to become pregnant. but today i walked past a baby section in a store and something in my head struck a tone of familiarity and said, 'hey! you have a reason to wander on over there!' so i start to wander on over there, head cocked to the side, wondering: huh? why should i be looking at baby stuff? and then i remember. i don't have to look at baby stuff, i have to wait for a phone call. there is no baby coming into my life; quite the opposite is potentially happening. i don't get to have a baby, i am the baby. i was the baby. now i might get to have a grown up. i am attempting a reunion, but reunions don't have imagery.

p.s. i am not drunk or high. this really happens, i just don't know how to explain it. and, you were warned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


last night i had difficulty falling asleep because i could not stop trying to picture what my birth mom looks like-- something i have specifically and completely avoided doing all these years. the closest i have ever come to considering her physical appearance has been to wonder if i look like her at all. i do not, have not, can not allow myself to try to invent an image in my head. mostly because it would be impossible to do so with any degree of accuracy. partly because if i were to start it would be difficult to stop. thus the sleepless night.

it went sort of like this: ...her hair is probably lighter than mine, as the 1/4 German heritage comes from my father's side... she is quite petite, assuming she didn't grow considerably and magically taller in adulthood... she is 55 years old-- quite young, so i tried to think of my friends who are 55-ish, and i have to tell you that translating these dear friends into 'mom-age' was not an easy task. so she is short, young, blonde; does her face look anything like mine? does she smile like me? does she laugh like me? does she laugh a lot--as i do? what do her hands look like? will we have the same hands--probably not. i wonder what her voice sounds like, what will that first moment of contact be like when i see her face and hear her voice for the very first time? how will she dress? her haircut? her career?...... and then the inner voice of reason fires up again: stop. let this go. be realistic. i can't spend my time imagining this moment of contact when i do not know that there will be a moment of contact. i can't have rehearsed conversations, imagined her laugh, pictured how her face moves when she talks only to be told that i will, in fact, never get to witness these things. on this nonsense, i cannot spend my time. especially time that is meant to be spent sleeping.