Crap, I missed the whole part about adoption on the previous abortion post

March 16, 2012

For the record (regarding the below post about abortion), I missed the part of the Glenn Beck Newsletter about adoption. Apparently I had to scroll down. I was so caught up in the abortion link and reading that, I didn’t go back to the Glenn Beck page.

Here’s what the delBlazo said about adoption:

If anyone is encouraging you to surrender your baby to adoption, please contact us by phone or email us. Our volunteers have experienced adoption in their own lives, and they can tell you what it feels like to be adopted or surrender your own child. We’ll also help you find the support you need to keep your baby – the best thing for both of you!

Don’t let anyone tell you that adoption is the “right choice” or the “loving option” for your baby. YOU are the only mother or father your baby has, and no one will be able to take your place in his or her life. People who try to convince you to surrender your baby are probably in a position to get something out of the adoption for themselves – either money or your child himself.

Other people may tell you that you’ll be “giving a wonderful gift” to an infertile couple – this is NOT your responsibility. Your only job is to be the best mom or dad you can be for your baby. Your child isn’t going to want or accept any substitute for the real thing!

So obviously I need to re-think what I wrote.

But I can say, it was weird to hear Mitt Romney in a presidential debate bring up the “business of adoption.” I mentioned it in my review.

My parents tell me that they didn’t pay anything for my adoption. Which is great.

But this website says that it’s between $5,000 and $40,000. I have a friend raising money to adopt a Chinese baby, and it’s in the range of $28,000-$30,000, and their doing it under the tax-free protection of their church. So maybe they are saving a buck or two.

So, yeah, there may be a price involved.

One thing is for sure, delBlazo uses incendiary language every chance she gets.

I can’t fault delBlazo for trying to help mothers make the decision to keep their babies if they can.

Gosh, I know my birth mother had a hell of a time making her decision to give me up. And there are times when it was tough growing up and not having a biological connection to my family.

But holy hell, in comparison to where I would be now if I weren’t adopted, there’s no contest. I certainly had more opportunities than I ever would have. My little biological brother went through the wringer with his mom and dad (my birth mom — not birth dad).

It all comes down to this … when there are decisions that are huge, there are ambiguous answers. It’s like having relationship issues. Everybody has relationship issues, but there isn’t a person in the world you’re going to get the same advice from.

There’s no way to predict the future. My situation could have been different.

While I don’t envy my little half-brother’s life, he turned out okay. He’s got a beautiful wife, and a child. He learned from his parents mistakes. He doesn’t drink or do drugs (that I know of). He’s a good kid.

Dealing with these things is hard. And people need all the information that they can find.

So I apologize for missing the part about adoption.

Shame on delBlazo for demonizing adoption. DelBlazo needs a bit of a tongue lashing and to revisit the language she uses.

We all do.

Shame on anyone to make any decision — where people’s emotions and feelings are well on the line — harder.

 


Absolutely Despicable Me

January 22, 2011

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Last night, T-love, T-dog and I watched Despicable Me. I’m a sucker for kid movies and animation.

It’s a good movie and worth a watch (or two).

After watching Despicable Me and talking about it with Tina, I’ve discovered that I have a few issues regarding adoption that I may need to tackle. I’m adopted, in case you didn’t know. And adoption is part of the movie. And apparently, the topic of adoption sends little rain drops down my cheeks if it’s presented in a despicable way.

I need to make a spoiler alert, but it’s kids’ movie and there’s not much you can spoil about a kids’ movie, in my humbla-matic opinion.

The movie is about a villain named Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) who needs to get a bank loan for a sinister plan only to be upstaged by another younger, more advanced villain. It’s the old, there’s someone younger than the aging employee twist.

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“God’s plan”

August 15, 2010

Spend any time with any religious person (no matter what major religion), and they likely believe in a supernatural fatalism.

They might say, it was god’s plan that you made an A on that test. It was god’s plan that someone helped you through a tough time. It was god’s plan that you didn’t get on that plane and it crashed.

I reunited with my little brother Mark during my last trip to North Carolina. I’m adopted. My birth mother Maria had me when she was 16 going on 17 in 1975. She got married several years later and had my little brother Mark in 1985.

When I met Maria for the first time, I met Mark, too. I was 20; he was 10. Now that he’s older, he showed more of an appreciation and psychological appreciation for hooking up with his big brother.

Mark is married. He married a month after Tina and I back in 2008. He and his wife Taya have a little boy on the way. In appearance, he’s got it together. He’s enjoying his current station in life despite his background.

Long story short, Maria — a wandering, free-spirited soul — somewhat raised him. I say “somewhat” because after Maria divorced Mark’s father, Mark split his time between his mom and dad. He told me, “I felt like, instead of them being my parents, I was theirs. I would live with whoever seemed to need me most at the time.”

How heartbreaking is that?

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Finally home

August 5, 2010

Damn if our flight didn’t get canceled last night. We just got home from NC just a little while ago. What a bitch.

I’m exhausted.

I’ve got phone calls and work to catch up on.

One of many trip highlights was seeing my little brother for the first time in over 13 years. I met him when he was 10 and I was 20 back in 1996 or 1997. He’s since grown up. He got married, has a little one on the way, and he’s an all around cool guy.

Here’s a shot of us together. It’s my birth mom’s second son from a different father.

If you’re curious about the story, I’ll update it more later.


Birth mothers

May 17, 2010

Over the weekend, I spoke to my birth mom, Maria. We go for eons without talking, and then she’ll call out of the blue.

She lives near Branson, MO, and works in a kitchen for one of the dinner shows they have there.

She delivered the news that my little half brother Mark is expecting his first child with his wife. Of course they weren’t trying. He called her up recently and said, “Hey mom, you’re never going to believe this … you’re going to be a grandmother.”

It was nice catching up with her. I felt a little sour about hearing that Mark will make her a grandmother before I will. Whatever. It’s like the story of Jacob and Esau, but not really.

She told me a story about how she blew up at a coworker this weekend. She described him as fat and that he often disappears for long periods of time. She said she had enough, and flipped out on him. “I used the ‘F’ word several times. I feel so bad … I mean what would Jesus do and all.”

I tried to ease her mind, but she lives in her own world.

She also told me that she left work one night to find that her car windows had been bashed in. She’s been driving around in a little Volkswagon Bug that she inherited from her mother. Now it’s got plastic flapping in the wind and there appears to be a plant growing in the rear floor board because of all the moisture.

The other thing that was interesting about the conversation is how I can hear the timbre in her voice that I get my voice from. I have to hear myself talk on recordings quite a bit. And you can hear a definitive similarity in our voices.

When was the last time you heard from your birth mother? What do you have in common with her?


Adoption

August 29, 2009

Adoption Story was featured in the Chicago Tribune

I was adopted, and I’m going to tell you my story. Just like all stories, the details are altered by the storyteller. I realize I’m wrong on some facts, but this is my version …  I can’t figure out why people don’t realize that when reading the bible.

For the sake of the story, My birth mom is Maria. My parents are Pieter and Susan Witteveen. I have a brother and sister named Jon and Kelly. And I have a brother by birth named Mark.

Back in 1974, Pieter and Susan already had two children, Jon and Kelly, before I came along, and due to health complications, the doctor advised that Susan not have more children. Susan was torn; she wanted more kids.

My parents were (are) very religious and they were active in the community and church. They fostered a little boy before they met me, and they prayed for the chance to possibly adopt a child in the future.

One day, Pieter was driving to town, and he saw a cute, young girl hitchhiking. She had big curly black hair, and she stood maybe 5 feet tall. Pieter pulled over to pick the girl up. She was visibly pregnant. They talked a little. Her name was Maria, she was 16 and she was going to a friend’s house. Pieter dropped her off where she needed to go, and gave her Susan’s phone number and explained that the next time Maria needed a ride, please call Susan and she’d take her wherever, no questions asked. “Please don’t hitchhike again, it’s dangerous,” Pieter told Maria.

Pieter and Susan did not hear from Maria for some time.

They did, however, hear of a young girl in the community who was pregnant and needed some help. It appeared her home life had become very difficult. It happened to be the same girl that Pieter picked up hitchhiking. Through a church-affiliated organization, Maria and the Witteveens hooked up and were in contact.

A couple months after I was born, the Witteveens got a phone call from Maria. She told Pieter that she was at a trailer and the people there were putting my health at risk, so she asked if they would come pick me up. As I know the story, she wanted to stay and party and leave me with the Witteveens.

During the next couple years, Maria stayed with the Witteveens, and they acted as a sort of foster guardians for me. They had a social worker on the case.

Part of the deal of being my guardians was that the Witteveens had to sign a contract that said they would not eligible to adopt me. My dad had been reading a religious book about keeping promises and being contractually obligated was a godly virtue.

So despite the fact that Maria was thinking about putting me up for adoption, the couple who were already giving me the most love and affection weren’t going to be considered as possible parents.

In the meantime, Maria was a free spirit. She would disappear from time to time. She would hitchhike to Michigan, to California, all over the place. The social worker would stop by the house, and tell my parents, “If Maria isn’t here by the end of the week, we’re going to have to take Jeremy out of your foster care.”

As my parents tell the story, “Miraculously, Maria would call to check in, and we’d wire her money or a plane ticket to come home,” just in time for me to avoid being taken and thrown into the system.

Susan says things like, “Maria and I would sit out on the front porch, crying, talking about the painful decision whether to give up Jeremy for adoption or not.”

Through the help of a little prayerful mediation with the state, the hand of god swooped down and changed everyone’s mind and let me be adopted by the Witteveens.

Open adoption wasn’t allowed back in the 70s. But Maria lived close to the Witteveens, and she explained that she would run by the house hoping to catch me playing in the yard.

My parents never hid that I was adopted from me. I knew from an early age. They explained that I was chosen, and that made me special. They told me I was Puerto Rican, but that meant that it was why I didn’t look like the rest of the Witteveens, with their light complexions and fair hair. I was always singled out in public with my family, but it was okay.

When I was 18, my parents sat me down and told me parts of the story that they had left out. They told me it was my decision as an adult, if I wanted to start communicating with Maria. I did. We started a letter correspondence.

When I was 20, I drove to Florida to meet her and her son Mark. It was amazing. When you don’t know who you got your genes from, and then you finally find out, it’s like the best Christmas present you’ve ever opened. I met Maria and my grandmother and my step grandfather during that trip. My grandmother was incredible. She made me my first Puerto Rican meal and coddled me like I was 2, and she just changed my diaper and needed a nice hug.

After I met Maria, her son Mark, my grandmother and step grandfather, I was introduced to other family. I have four (I think) uncles and one aunt by birth. Maria’s youngest brother is Anthony, and he invited me to his wedding back in 1996 or 1997. There I met Bob and Dwight (I think) and Teresa. Uncle Mark and I met on Facebook recently.

I’ve also met cousins that I never knew about. It’s a long tangled story.

My parents think it was a miracle that they got me. Not to devalue their views, but I don’t think it’s any more a miracle than Glenn Beck getting awarded a $50 Million contract from FOX news to be a complete douchebag on television. People get lucky. I got really lucky. I may not win the State Lottery, but I won a life lottery when I was adopted by the Witteveens.


Reform Your Thoughts

August 13, 2009

Image taken while visiting a loved one in the hospital.

Image taken while visiting a loved one in the hospital.

I was befriended on facebook by a minister after standing up for the liberal point of view on a “friend’s” wall a couple weeks ago. The minster has a world-wide ministry and approaches the world as a liberal. I admire that in him. He posted yesterday that he voted yes to healthcare reform and wrote this after the giant green check mark:

“Scott voted ‘Yes ‘ in the poll! Seems like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage have started to incite the people who follow them and they are marching to their orders in dysfunctional manners. They believe the dishonesty of these talk-show hosts who are making their billions off of their radio station programs, and have completely great health-care plans of their own … Read Morethat they can afford. They don’t even think about the millions of Americans who don’t and cannot afford the current health care programs that make both the Insurance Companies, the Medical and Pharmaceutical companies worth billions more. This whole Health Care business is simply that …. a wealthy business that people are invested in at the expense of our middle-class, lower-middle (like us), and lower class citizens’ backs. They have no shame and they are acting like they will fight to the death to protect, or at least shout to death in protecting these greed-mongers!”

There was a guy who responded — that some time after I responded deleted his comment. He made some comment like, “Sorry, brother. I can’t agree with you. I guess I’m part of the dysfunctional part of your family.” While I’m glad the guy spoke up, he completely misunderstood Scott’s intent.

My response to Scott was:

I wholeheartedly support your affirmative position and support the words you used to criticize the demonizers of this plan. The thought leaders should be ashamed of what they are promoting. If people realized how much money pours into production of the shows they listen to and watch, they’d be appalled. There are those who don’t want government peddling healthcare. Who then is going to sell all they have and give it to the poor, to the disabled, to the handicapped and to the sick? Who? I don’t understand a nation of voices so bent on declaring it “Christian” yet so adamantly opposed to acting like Christ.

Thank you for your expressing this in a sober voice despite the cacophony of chaos.

I feel a little guilty for not admitting to anyone my godlessness, but at the same time, that’s exactly how I feel about the whole shenanigan. A woman responded to me and said that she works in an office that counsels women on pregnancy, but it is not absent of offering abortions. She said that if women could get the $1600 necessary to have the child, they would more often than not, go ahead and have the child and give it up for adoption.

As an adoptee, I know first hand that the decision of a mother affects the fate of a little critter. I’m sincerely grateful for those in my little 17-year old mother’s life who counseled her to have me and give me up for adoption.

This was my response to the nice lady who mentioned her role in the pregnancy counseling:

“Yes, Kathi! I think what you said is a microcosm example of the variety of issues that could be alleviated if those in need just had the money. What a difference it would make if money wasn’t the factor for getting healthcare and health advice.

I extend a warm and sincere thank you to for what you do day to day. I was adopted (31 years ago). And heaven knows my 17 year old mother dealt with all kinds of heartache when she got pregnant. It’s people like you who helped her decide-essentially-my fate.

As a liberal, I’m devastated that we’re thought of as baby-killin’ sinners without morals or ethics. Has the right really cornered the market on what’s moral? Who is throwing the 1st stone? It really is time to stop demonizing the other party without fully understanding the motivation behind the efforts. It’s also time to send money addicts to greed anonymous and work together for the common good on a human level.”

Right now, I think those moments are the only reason I look at my account. I could care less that you picked up your children and are going to the park.


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