Life is What Happens

Seeing people’s year in review posts on Facebook has inspired me to write my own. 2015 sucked. It started out with my husband in the ICU after a suicide attempt, and ended with two of my best friends kissing me and making me feel wonderful.

Horrific and horrible things happened last year, but also I got the best gift that any person could ever ask for; I filled the hole I’d felt my entire life. In April I found my bio mom, and subsequently my bio brothers and sister and family, and those people have absolutely made every shitty moment into a fine, okay, or awesome moment. Finally I have people who love me just because I am part of them. I feel whole, for the first time, despite my recent sadness. And that means a lot.

I lost my husband and eventually my marriage. He didn’t die, but he might as well have, considering the way things turned out. I lost my best friend, who also didn’t die, but simply disappeared from our lives like dust in the wind. I was left with his dog, who I had to rehome, and who is very very happy in her new place with her new owner.

I reconnected with one of my best friends from years ago, and she and her girlfriend are Squeaks’ godmothers. They helped me through the first wave of tough times at the end of my marriage. I successfully started a business from my home, and made enough money to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.

Things didn’t work out with Doc, and though it hurts like hell, I suppose it is for the best. Long distance relationships can be difficult. We’ll still be friends, and we never made things “official”, so that makes it a bit easier. I just hate seeing things crash before they get off the ground. I’m a person who always dwells on what could have been!

We finally got JI’s diagnosis, which has helped immensely in getting treatment. Now that he’s on medication, his behaviour has greatly improved. IF only I could get ahold of someone at the autism center to get this behaviour therapy started…

And, at the end of the year, I received a diagnosis myself – metabolic syndrome. It may be the root of all the mysterious issues I’ve had over the years. I have to switch to a low purine diet, which means no yeast, bread, beer, meat, and other delicious things, but I am allowed to have vegetables, pasta, cheese, and wine! Woo! Unrelated to the diagnosis, I will be having surgery at the end of January for a hernia. Fun times.

Overall, even though 2015 had some terrible moments and had a lost of loss associated with it, last year also had some very excellent and amazing moments.

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Bio Family Update

The past two and a half months have been a whirlwind of emotions for myself, my family, and my bio family. Mostly they have been positive emotions, except on the side of my (adoptive) family. I have continued to build a relationship with my bio family, and I have never been happier in my whole life. I finally feel like I am somewhere I belong naturally, rather than somewhere I am forcing myself to try to fit in.

Back in May, the weekend after Memorial Day, with the help of my siblings, I drove to Akron on a very stormy Sunday afternoon and surprised my bio mom. I met BD, his wife, and Texas at the restaurant around 3pm, and Sissy brought mom once they texted her to say I’d arrived. I could see out the window into the parking lot, and when I saw them walking in, I thought I would faint. Sissy walked over to our table, with bio mom in tow. She stopped, and bio mom kinda looked around like “Why did you stop?” Then she looked over at the table, it took a second for her to realize who I was, and then she put her hand over her mouth and just said “Oh my god oh my god oh my god” over and over. I got up and gave her a hug, and it felt so comfortable, and in the back of my mind I was thinking that the last time she gave me a hug was 33 years ago. I wondered what it felt like for her, and I imagine she must have been thinking the same thing.

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Me and Bio Mom

We had a lovely meal, Mexican of course, and a good time catching up. We were at the restaurant for about three hours! Afterwards we went and visited my bio grandma (Gigi). She was very surprised to see bio mom, and even more surprised to see me. It was an interesting visit, to say the least. Finally we went back to bio mom’s place. We sat and talked with her housemate, talked about everything under the sun, and I finally left around 10:30pm. It was the craziest twelve hours in my recent history! Ranked right up there with Squeaks being born ahead of schedule!

Because they weren’t able to come to the baptism, bio mom arranged for the boys and me to go up to Akron for the 4th of July weekend. She came down and picked us up on Friday afternoon, Poke came up on Sunday afternoon, and we headed home on Monday.

Friday we got delicious authentic pizza, and Sissy brought her girlfriend to the hotel to meet us. JI acted like a maniac after the car ride, and bounced all over the place. After a couple of hours they left, and somehow I got the boys to sleep! Saturday was the big day – meeting ALL the family. Bio mom picked us up in the afternoon, and we headed to my aunt’s house.

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Clockwise from top left: Texas, Bio Mom, Sissy and Me, Gigi

Have I told you guys yet how big my bio family is?! It is HUGE. My family always consisted of me, Scrod, and my parents. My dad has two brothers, one who was never married, and one who passed away, but his wife still comes to family holidays. I have no cousins. My grandfathers died in 1977 and 1981, and my grandmothers passed in 2001 and 2007. So for the past few years, it’s only been the four of us plus Poke and the kid(s), and occasionally my uncle and aunt. That’s it. My bio family? Completely different! My bio mom has three sisters and a brother, and I have nine cousins. There’s also four spouses/fiances with the cousins, three of bio mom’s siblings are married, and bio mom’s mom is still alive as well. Not everyone was at the 4th of July party, but it was very much a culture shock.

Despite being in a totally new situation with a whole crowd of people I’d never met (except my sibs, bio mom, and Gigi), it was awesome. From the very first minute, I was completely at ease. My bio aunt was worried about JI, the first wee little kid to be around in a while, getting into trouble or in a dangerous situation. They live on a big plot of land with lots of holes and trees and rocks and dog piles, so I got it. JI had a blast though, playing with my youngest cousin, who is twelve. They chased each other around, they chased the dogs, and thankfully they stayed out of trouble! Everyone wanted to hold Squeaks, but he was mostly comfortable in bio mom’s arms. He didn’t even want me! While JI ran around like a crazy man and Squeaks charmed everyone with his flirty faces, us older kids played cornhole, drank beers, and ate tons of delicious picnic food (which just happens to be my favorite food to eat in the summer!). It was the perfect day, culminating in a huge bonfire at the end of the night. So happy!

Sunday Poke came up around 1pm, and we met up with bio mom for some different authentic Italian food…. unfortunately the restaurant was closed due to the holiday, so we ended up at a Chinese buffet. Holy cow, it was great! Poke and I used to take JI to all these different Chinese buffets around Columbus, but most of them have closed or the quality has gone way down. The one at Chapel Hill was so so so good – quality food and lots of variety. I could have stayed another hour! Afterwards bio mom drove us around North Hill, the section of Akron where she and my siblings grew up. I got to see the house where I lived for a month after I was born, the houses where my siblings lived/live currently, and a few other landmarks, including the hospital where I was born. It was really special, knowing that all these spots had a real meaning in my life.

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My brother is the one in all black

When we got back to the hotel, JI and I went in the pool for a little bit, and then we all headed out to watch BD’s volleyball championship games. He is really good! I never thought volleyball was interesting until I watched these amateur (professionals?) play. It was fast paced and really fun. Even JI, who hates sitting still, sat and watched most of it! We went simple and hit up Applebee’s for dinner, which was actually pretty tasty! I don’t think we’ve eaten at Applebee’s for about two years and their menu has changed a lot.

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The boys at the hotel

Monday was checkout day, and I was up by 9:30am to get everything ready to go. Poke loaded up the van while I got the kids ready. Bio mom came by around 10:30am to check us out, and then we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Poke had never been to a Cracker Barrel before! I love it; one of my favorite breakfast places. JI was a bit salty for some reason, and actually broke a plate when he pushed it off the table. I had to draw on all my woo-sah and calmly implement the 1-2-3 Magic system that we’ve been using. After a four minute time out, JI was back in business and ended up being a lot better after that. Kids are so weird sometimes.

I was sad to leave, but I had such an amazing time that I know I will be able to get through the next few weeks until I see my bio family again. JI’s birthday is coming up in mid July, so we will probably head up there to celebrate. I can’t wait!

Stuck in the Middle

This post is post is about my adoptive mom vs me and my bio mom, a situation that I am really not too happy to be in right now.

We are having Squeaks baptized at the end of June, and I wanted to invite my bio family because, well, they’re family. I figured my mom would have an issue if I just did it without consulting her first, so I texted her and I said, “Would you be uncomfortable if I invited my bio family?” From that point on, all hope was lost.

She berated me for asking, saying that I never care about her feelings, that having them there is completely inappropriate, that they’re not family and it is nobody’s business that they are in my life. She lambasted me for saying that Texas is a better brother than Scrod (my adopted brother that I grew up with), even though I never said such a thing in person or online. What I did say was that Texas already did more for me on Mother’s Day by wishing me a happy one and saying he loved me than Scrod has done in a while (I didn’t get a Christmas gift or birthday gift or a call or even a card from the kid!). She said that bio mom is making me feel guilty for her giving me up, which is absolutely ridiculous because 1) I don’t feel guilty 2) How could I feel guilty, because I was a baby and 3) Bio mom has been super great about saying that if I need my space she will give me my space, and we have been trying to not overwhelm each other.

After that she launched into how I am a horrible wife, because I can’t get my husband under control (with his depression and mental health issues). I am not a good mother because my son is suffering and confused by everything that is going on (even though she didn’t even believe me that he had any disabilities until about six months ago), and because Poke and I allegedly fight constantly in front of the boys. Sure, JI has seen us fight, but we are definitely not fighting “constantly” because Poke is only here and awake for less than 20 hours a week! We literally don’t even have the time to fight, let alone do it in front of the kids. That’s why we go to counseling!

This afternoon, I received a letter from my mom (in the mail! Even though she came to my house today!) outlining all the ways I’ve made life as an adoptive mother difficult for her, and in the end she said that I am never again to speak to her about the situation. Maybe she was trying to be agreeable, but all the underhanded comments lead me to believe otherwise. I can understand that she may be confused, worried, upset, etc. by this new journey in my life, but I am in no way rubbing it in her face (what there is to rub, exactly, is beyond me) or intentionally making her feel bad. I haven’t even shared everything with her, because I know that some things would hurt her. But because I am a horrible daughter who cares not for her mother’s feelings, I keep some things to myself.

It really sucks that I cannot share my happiness with my mother. She’s seen me struggle with anxiety and some depression my entire life, and one would think that seeing her daughter so happy would be something that makes her happy. Instead she’s making it all about her, and really not looking at it from my point of view. So, I guess from now on I’ll just have to have two separate families. I’m like a kid in an 80s Christmas movie who desperately wants her parents to get along and get together and has attempted all kinds of crazy antics to make it happen. But, in the end, the parents will not get together and life will go on with the new normal.

A Very Happy Mother’s Day

On Saturday, my phone rang at 9:38am, and I knew it was bio mom calling with news regarding the big reveal to her (my) family that I had found her. I had a feeling that she would be calling, and I had a feeling that on the other end would be my brothers and sister, and I was correct! I got to speak with each one of them, which was amazing, and I also got to speak with my sister-in-law. I will be labelling them as such: BD, Texas, and Sissy. So now you know!

wpid-collage_20150513112143505_20150513112341256.jpgI was on the phone with the four of them for almost an hour, and JI even talked to BD for a little bit. I was surprised and happy that the conversation flowed so easily. My mom had always told me that they might not be interested in me because they wouldn’t want to share their mother or would be afraid that I would steal her away from them. Well, reality could not be further from that line of thought. All three siblings have been completely welcoming, totally loving, and absolutely so excited to get to know me. Texas has so far been the most open and in contact, calling me nearly every day and texting me all the time. He even dropped the L-Bomb, as in “I love you”, on me on Mother’s Day!

My whole life, I was nervous that I would be rejected for the reasons mentioned above. I always wanted more siblings, but I never thought I would have them – and I certainly never thought they would be so incredibly awesome right off the bat! I told Texas that it has been so strange for me so far, because I am not used to having so much unconditional love thrown my way. He said “You’re my sister. There’s no other choice.” I cried.

Lola and Lulu came over on Saturday night for pizza and playtime, and it was very nice. JI still struggles with playing with other kids, but he loves Lulu, and we all had a good time. We even took a walk to the park and played at the playground! Lulu helped feed Squeaks, and we very proud of herself for being a good big sister. I love it!

Sunday we went to my parents’ house for lunch and to celebrate Mother’s Day. For my mom, mil, and bio mom I had the boys make a flower and butterfly painting with their handprints and footprints, and we got them a card and flowers as well. I got a $25 card to Michael’s! Yay! Craft time! Poke got me a DeWalt drill and professional bit set – don’t worry, it was exactly what I wanted, and I even put it in the Amazon cart so all he had to do was click. I love power tools! I have to admit that I was kinda bummed that I didn’t get a card or anything personal from Poke or the boys, because a little surprise would have been nice, but I guess that’s my own fault for not telling him I wanted that. We had sloppy joes and mac’n’cheese at my parents’, which are two of my favorite foods that my mom makes. We sat around and relaxed, and it was just very nice. We talked a little bit about bio mom/bio family, but I kept it to a minimum because I didn’t want any arguments or negativity on Mother’s Day.

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When we got home, I called bio mom. It was around 8:30pm, and we’d talked for a few minutes before I had to run to the store. Poke took the boys to his mom’s house to drop off her gifts, and so I could have some quiet to talk on the phone. Well, bio mom and I ended up being on the phone for about five hours. We didn’t hang up until about 1:30am! She told me all about herchildhood and growing up, she told me about the circumstances surrounding my conception, birth, and adoption, and confirmed that BD and I are, in fact, full brother and sister! YAY! Fullsies!

I found out a few surprising bits of information, such as bio mom knew my name for years, and had even been following my
old restaurant review blog, Little Plastic Spoons. Bio mom had also been in contact a few times over the years with my mom, which was both comforting and irritating to me. I was comforted because I had always wondered if bio mom knew I was okay, and I never knew if she knew I was okay, and now I knew that she did know. I was irritated because my mom hid it from me, and even though I’m pretty sure I understand why, I don’t think it was fair to me. Why couldn’t she have let me know her earlier? Especially when my health issues started popping up, especially when I needed my health history, which is all I wanted prior to this? I feel like she was being selfish and trying to keep me all to herself.

That did come up between my mom and I on Sunday, and she said, “Well, I’m just happy she (bio mom) doesn’t live here. She’d want to be over all the time and visiting and seeing the kids.” Uh… and? She is my bio mom. She’s not going to take anything away from my mom. I’ve reassured my mom of this fact a million times in my life, and yet she still has to be insecure and almost bitter about it. It really hurts me that she can’t easily let me have a relationship with both of them. She’s my mom, she raised me, she put in the time and effort and pain and tears and everything. I’m not just going to drop her! First of all, I’m not that type of person, to drop one for another. Second, that is probably one of the most hurtful scenarios I can imagine, which makes it even more painful to think that she thinks I would do it to her. As one of my readers commented, why is it okay for parents to love multiple children but not okay for children to love multiple parents?

In the end, Mother’s Day was very happy for me. I can’t wait to meet my bio family, I can’t wait to hug them and kiss them and introduce them to my husband and my sons. I can’t wait for family picnics and BBQs and all that good stuff that comes with a big family. I just can’t wait to see how this all develops.

Nature vs. Nurture

So the time finally came, sooner than I thought it would, that my mom was displeased with my relationship with my bio mom. I mean, I haven’t even (re)met the woman yet, so I don’t even know if it can be called a relationship, but let’s just go with that.

Last week I talked to bio mom on the phone for almost two hours, and in the course of that conversation she said some things that led me to believe that she never wanted to give me up, and may have been forced to do so. I have a few theories on the “forcing”, some involving my bio dad and some involving my bio maternal grandmother. Either way, bio mom said she would tell me my whole story in person. She has a lot of things to tell me in person.

Also we talked about her telling her other kids and some other family members that I have found her, which will be happening at their Mother’s Day celebration. I had asked her in an email a couple of weeks ago when and if she wanted to meet soon, and she never answered that question. I believe she has been waiting for the right time to tell her family that I am “back”, and give them time to digest this information, and then we will go forward from there.

Anyway, I told my mom my thought about bio mom not wanting/being forced to give me up. I told her that I felt bad, thinking about how she was missing me and wanting me and waiting for me all these years. I said this not because I regret not finding her earlier, but because I have two children of my own and I am a very empathetic person. If I was forced to give up JI or Squeaks, I don’t know if I could make it without knowing I would one day see them again. It is too difficult to even think about. Well, my mom was none too happy with my feelings, and made it very clear. She said that my bio mom shouldn’t be putting these feelings onto me (she’s not), it’s not my responsibility to feel this way because I was a baby and had no say in the matter, and a few choice words about my bio mom’s life choices after she gave me up (which neither myself nor my mom truly know for a fact, but I have a couple of theories about my one brother and his father and whether or not we are full blood instead of half siblings). She also took the opportunity to bring up something from the past, which was completely inappropriate and not related to the conversation. Instead of arguing, however, I simply said “Don’t worry, okay, you are my mom.”

I have been trying to keep my mom in the loop this entire time, because as I mentioned before, she is terrified of me “leaving her” for my bio mom. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to shut the communication lines down to a trickle for a while, at least until I figure out what my real back story is and what really happened and so forth. I don’t want my relationship with either one of them to be affected by negativity, or anything really, coming from the other one. I don’t even really like talking about my mom to my bio mom, because for some reason I feel like a traitor to my mom. It is very strange. I’m in a strange place with this situation right now.

So, after this weekend, we will see where things go. More updates will happen, fear not!

In the meantime, bio mom texts me nearly every day. I send her pictures of the boys, she sends me pictures of my siblings. Today she sent a collage of photos they’d had done with the three kids, and wow – I always wanted someone who looked like me, and now I have them! It is really super awesome to see my expressions on someone else’s face. I mean, I get that with JI and Squeaks sometimes, but it is just different when it is my brothers or sister. It is just so amazing! I’m excited and nervous about what my brothers will think about my return. My sister already knows, and seems pretty interested in getting to know me. I have not talked to her, or any of my aunts/uncle (bio mom has three sisters and a brother!), or anyone in the family other than bio mom. I’m quite intrigued thinking about getting to know them, just based off of what bio mom has said about everyone. They really sound like my kind of people. ❤

Bar Fight

I have barely posted this week, because I have been so busy and just completely out of sorts, and this weekend was cut short by a really fun stomach bug. So, I’m sorry that I have left you all hanging! I promised a post about the drama from karaoke, and then I just disappeared.

Warning: Adult Language

Okay, so here’s what happened on Sunday night that ruined about 90 minutes of the evening.

I had been talking to my bio mom that day, and told her we were going to karaoke and I would make a video to send her. Well, I had Poke take one, but I wasn’t sure of the quality and how I sang, so I wanted to take another just in case.wpid-collage_20150503204716461_20150503204810717.jpg Unfortunately, when it was my turn, Poke and Seanatello were out getting pizza and not around to take my video. There was a table with three women, a nice older black one, a manly looking young one, and a 75 yr former diva in a bad wig. I had had a bit of chit chat with the diva, so I asked her if she would take a video for my bio mom, as she had never heard me sing before. Apparently that was the wrong thing to ask, because this bitch went off on me.

Me: “Hi, my husband and friend are out getting pizza, and I wondered if you could take a video of me singing for my bio mom, because we just connected and she’s never heard me sing before.”

Diva: “You mean your real mom.”

Me: “No, I’m adopted, I mean my biological mother.”

Diva: “Your birth mother IS your real mother. She gave birth to you. Your adoptive mom is not your real mom.”

Me: “My adoptive mom is my real mom because she raised me. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Are you going to take this video or not?” {getting visibly irritated}

Manly Woman: “How much have you had to drink, honey? Are you sure you want her to see you like this?”

Me: “I am not drunk, and even if I was, I can still sing. It is my choice what I show her. Are any of you going to take this video?”

Diva: “Are you going to admit that your birth mother is your real mother?”

Me: “You know what, forget it. I’ll just skip my turn and wait for my husband to come back and do it.” {walks away}

Diva: “Honey, if you would just accept the truth, you’d feel better! Come back, I’ll take the video now!”

Me: “Fuck you and fuck your damn manly daughter!”

And I walked out, crying, and smoked a cigarette while furiously texting Seanatello and Poke to see where the hell they were in my time of crisis. They showed up a few minutes later, just as the Diva came outside to “apologize”. Really she was just trying to further justify her point of view, even though I specifically told her that it was not my point of view and that I didn’t honestly care what her p.o.v. was, I just thought it was fucking rude that she decided to give me a lecture on who my real mom is or is not when it is not even her business. I told my friends and Poke that we needed to leave. Unfortunately, I was yelling at her outside the bar, so the bartender was like “Dude, you can’t actually do that, you probably should leave.” That made me feel kind of embarrassed, but then he told me he was about to shut down anyway because if we were leaving, he had no reason to stay open, because those three women had only spent $6.00 total and didn’t even tip at all! So the five of us (me, Poke, Seanatello, the bartender, and the KJ) stood outside finishing the pizza, ate a few tacos from the taco truck, and then we left for another bar. Seanatello and the KJ were supposed to meet up with us there, but they decided to stay back at Seanatello’s place instead.

Anyway, we get to the next bar, and I’m so happy because a bunch of people I haven’t seen in forever are there and everyone is having a great time. Then I look across the bar, and who do I see? That damn Diva. Well, I decide to be the bigger person, and just completely ignore her. She tried to catch my eye, but I literally looked right past her. Then, about a wpid-20150427_014911_20150503205350010.jpghalf hour later, when I’m outside talking to my friends, and the KJ (a different one) comes out with the Diva. I don’t say a word, until I overhear my name and the words adoption and bio mom. I totally lost my shit on her, because she was making it her business to tell the KJ my business! What the hell?! I told her to keep my name and my situation out of her mouth, because, as I told her just a bit earlier, it was not her place to lecture me or anybody else. If she didn’t want to take the video, she could have politely declined and been on her merry way. But no, she had to make it a big deal to make me say that my bio mom is my real mom. Well fuck that.

She ended up leaving shortly thereafter, likely because nearly everyone at the bar is a friend or acquaintance of mine, and she couldn’t find anybody to cry to about how mean I was. But really? Whatever. I don’t even care. I could not believe the nerve of this woman, trying to tell me who is who and what I should feel like. I even tried to reason with her, and explain that it was a very sensitive situation, that it was all new and fresh and exciting for me, but she still persisted and would not listen to anything I had to say.

But I didn’t let it ruin my night! She can go take a long walk off a short pier. Hopefully her bad wig will keep her afloat.

Square Peg

As it turns out, I’m not a weirdo. Well, I am, if you know me *wink*

But let me explain.

I have always been the odd one out in my family. Nobody likes the things I like, nobody understands me, nobody gets me. I have always felt so alone and lost and “filled with the angst”. My mom and I have had a tumultuous relationship because I never lived up to her expectations or desires as a daughter, and I never will, and that makes her sad. She can’t help the way she feels, and neither can I. I’m the square peg in this round hole called my family.

Well, as I told you guys on Sunday, I just connected with my bio mom, and WOW. Never have I ever felt so close to someone that I have not known and do not remember and only spent a month with when I was freshly out of her womb. (I don’t really want to say “never met” LOL) We have been emailing back and forth a couple times every day, long intense emails with questions and answers, and I have spent so much time laughing and smiling and crying out of happiness and relief. I honestly cannot explain to you in the right words how amazing it feels to know that there is someone out there who is just like me. She called me her carbon copy! And it is true! At least on paper – I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, but it is practically impossible.

I cried for about an hour earlier, just thinking about all the strife I have been through trying to force a mother-daughter relationship with my mom, and how relieved I am to know that all the things I have always been told made me the weird one, the things that made me the wrong and different one, all those things are normal to my bio mom. I feel so great right now.

wpid-collage_20150419161449026_20150419161532232_20150423220914465.jpgI want to go on, I want to talk more about this, and I will. Right now, I am so exhausted in so many ways that I can’t even get my thoughts together properly. I just wanted to give you all an update, because the last I left it, I had no clue what was going to happen after I reached out to her. I am so happy and thankful that it has been a positive experience so far, and second only to the births of JI and Squeaks, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The coolest part is that I had no expectations! Ever! I never even fantasized about my bio parents as a child, and now that she’s been in my life for four days, I don’t want her to leave.