Posted in Family

Happy 30 Lee! (My Little Guinea Pig)

July 10 1982 my little guinea pig was born. Lee is my first child, my first son. Lee is the first grandchild, first grandson of my parents. Lee was the first person I knew that was of my DNA.  Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

When I looked in his eyes that day, I had a little bit of me looking back, for the first time. Yes, they were his fathers eyes, my blood coursed through him.  So much so, he was very jaundiced by it. They call it ABO factor, he is A I am O, that don’t ‘factor’.

Lee was born 4 weeks before due date. But he was not ‘that’ early. Actually I believe he was ‘on time’ the test was mistaken four weeks prior, and proof was made 40 weeks later when he made his appearance in this world. I was in labor for 3 hours, it was not a ‘forced’ delivery. He was 6lb 4oz and 21 inches- Kind of a spider monkey, he might have stayed ‘in’ another week and chubbed some. Lee does not wait for anything, still.  

Keith and I were young parents, by many people’s ‘standards’. But not ours. Keith and I were both the babies of our families. Our parents were in their 30’s when they got to us. Our closest siblings in years is 6 years older and our furthest is 11 years older. We were both, actually the LAST’s, instead of the babies. We are a bit independent, and pretty much do things the way we want. It seems like we wanted a baby within hours of saying “I Do”, me 18 and Keith 19, so 3 months later we ‘wanted’ no more.We had insurance, we had jobs, we had a one bedroom apartment, we had a car payment, we had Keith’s 57 ford pickup, we had a marriage license, it was time for a baby. 

Keith wanted ‘him’ to be conceived on a camp out- So he was. I did not want him to be born on my anniversary, so he was not, he was born the day before. ;).

I call Lee our guinea pig, because it sounds better than lab rat. Our being the last’s meant we were clueless on babies or anything younger than we. Our parents neither did a lot of parenting training with us, I am not sure any do. We read a few children raising books, but being the kind that do things pretty much the way we want to, we found a lot of ideas that could be made better, by us.

I chose to breast feed , it made sense to me. Cow and cats do it, why shouldn’t I? Why mess with all those bottles and the sterilizing and buying formula when it is all right there hanging off my chest? Practical.In 1982 breastfeeding was a ‘new’ thing. It seems to skip a generation, you know. The grandmothers were not in full approval of it. Lee loved it, would not take a bottle, EVER. Titty baby. 

We started solids when he was 6 months old and ‘Viola’ he started sleeping through the night….. We were not the organic only healthy no sugar eat completely balanced meal type. Lee ate what we ate, usually. Sometimes he had different ideas, though.

Lee went everywhere with us. Movies, dinner, weddings, parties, grocery store. Very few times did he ever stay with anyone. One reason, was he did not take a bottle and he ate every 2 hours around the clock, till he was 6 months old. Yep, that scheduled feeding thing was something I must have skipped over in my readings. The other reason we had him with us, is because we wanted to. Lee was our kid, he went where we did. We did the same with all of our children. “Us”  does not mean husband and wife, it means family. 

Our guinea pig  introduced us to many things to know as parents, the many uses of appliances

The fun of steps

Who needs a motor boat to go so slow….

Lee gleaned some from us,
And through these thirty years Lee has chosen to wear many different hats,  and looks good in them all.  He has taken many different roles and succeeded in all. 

There are plenty of things we didn’t do by the ‘books’ in our parenting of Lee or Brian or Evan. Most things. These are our kids, not Dr. Spock’s. Our kids are a gift from God, he gave us the instructions of how to raise them. Did we make mistakes? Yes, and most of them were NOT being hard enough, not being tough enough, because we did not want them to suffer the consequences of their decisions. Proverbs 13:2424 He who spares his rod hates his son,

But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.  Today Lee has his own kids, his own wife, his own family, his career, his own home. Lee is a leader in his church. Lee is a Godly man. He does it good, with mistakes.

I do know that no mistake was made 30 years and 9 months ago, by that 18-year-old woman and 19-year-old man.  Happy Birthday Lee!

Proverbs 20:7
The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

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Posted in Exhort Pray Praise..., Rants Raves

Integrity

I am being convicted, by God. He does that often, usually it is a string of circumstances, life experiences, mine and others, sermons, lessons I am doing, TV shows, movies, and some stress or tension is usually involved. By itself none mean much but put it all together, God is teaching me sumthin.

  • I started the Beth Moore Daniel study, got a great price on it at a gun show I went to with Keith.  The theme, thus far, is integrity, standing for what you believe in, not succumbing to the world.
  • I just finished Ephesians study, on this blog, most of my concentration went into the whole armor of God, standing firm, the only way to be victorious is with God.
  • I read Life Lesson ? and answer in Real Simple magazine,  Is it ever appropriate to spill a friends secret?  The answer was no EXCEPT when the secret involves a major ethical breech or could harm someone.
  • I started attending an exercise program with a group of women in my church, it is intense (for me). I have to make myself go and do it.  It is a great workout, I thought I was doing well on my own walking everyday. I am disappointed in myself for not working harder prior to this. I am frustrated that since starting this I have actually gained weight, (I am NOT eating more!!) Not getting instant results is making me very frustrated which makes me feel very shallow and weak.   I want to quit.
  • I adopted a new way of eating months ago, and it was working, I was doing exercise with it.  I lost about 20 lbs. Holidays and cold weather and whatever caused me to lose focus,and gain 10 lbs. At the beginning of all of this get down to business and lose I realized I was not depending on God, but the quick fix of a pill, or starvation or…I blamed my fat on pituitary, thyroid hormones.  I prayed and repented of not trusting that He alone is my strength. I know that is where my strength and perseverance and loss came from. Then I forgot. I have let other ideas, the want for quick fix come in, when the weight came back.  I stopped eating correctly, skip meals, complain about my afternoon snacks, punishing myself for slipping up.
  • My Sunday School lessons are all focused on the sins of man and plan of God to redeem – It spans from creation to resurrection.  We have been in the escaping Egypt and in the desert for the past several weeks, finally reaching the promised land, only to have the doubters bring on 40 more years of misery. I have taught this curriculum for years, and each year I glean more.  This year I am struck by:
  1.  Moses arguing with God that he should not be the one that does the leading, so God adds Aaron
  2. Aaron’s sons just tweaking worship a bit and ‘getting’ killed by God.
  3. God’s tough love BECAUSE the people keep wanting the worldly comforts instead of HIS promised land.- Poiseness snakes
  4. Moses never reaching the promised land because he let his anger override his obedience to God.
  5. Caleb and Joshua standing and speaking up, opposing the world, believing in the promises of God. Not going with the crowd.
  6. Caleb and Joshua being the only ones, in their generation to enter Canaan.
  7. Caleb and Joshua still having to endure 40 years in wilderness, because of the lack of faith of the others. Or lack of integrity of others. And accepting it, with integrity.
  8. God’s follow through- He tells what He wants, what He expects and what will happen if we do not agree. He promises consequences for us, good and bad, the rest is up to us to abide or not. God does not change, ever. That is integrity, that is love.
  • A blog post of a fellow blogger Chief of the Least of a YouTube of Penn being impressed  by a Christian with integrity.
  • Witnessing those in positions of leadership not showing integrity. How very disappointing it is to see someone you trust to protect and teach and be truthful not doing so. To watch leaders lie and omit truths all in order to protect another’s lies and mistakes.
  • Watched the movie “Seven Days in Utopia.”  It is about believing in what you do. Believing in God’s power. Acting on that belief even when the world thinks your crazy. NOT CONFORMING. Integrity.
  • I telling a friend of a wrong they were doing, knowing full well they would be angry with me, willing to accept the rejection ( I HATE REJECTION), they rejecting me and my surviving it. And then they thanking me for being honest and apologizing.

My lesson is: Integrity is standing firm, standing up for truth. Integrity is pushing myself into an unnatural uncomfortable position. Integrity is righteous. Integrity is respected. I must work to have integrity and to keep it. Integrity is knowing when I am wrong and admitting it. Integrity is knowing when I am right and standing for it. Integrity does not hide. Integrity does not lie. Integrity does not fear. Integrity does not run away.

I do not show integrity always. I worry on the rejection of man far too much, though I am growing out of that more everyday.  Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God?…….If I were still trying to please men,  I would not be a servant of Christ.  Gal 1:10    I let my anger, my fear direct me instead of God, at times. I let others convince me that I am not acceptable if I do not conform to the world.   Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I see these times of conviction as God refining me.  Preparing me today, for eternity.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.  Malichi 3:3

Posted in Adoption, Christy's Concepts, Exhort Pray Praise...

We Can All Be Adopted

Keith and I went to the movies last night, we saw October Baby http://octoberbabymovie.net/.  Fantabulous, Christian, pro-life, adoption, soul feeding,life important movie. I teared a bit here and there, so did Keith, though I am sure he won’t admit it. I pretty much sobbed at the end.. a good sob though 🙂

The story,  of course gave me reason to think some more about this being adopted thing. It is hard for me to describe what it is to be adopted. I think that is how it is with a lot of we adoptee’s.  There is just something about not being wanted that effects you. Then, being wanted by someone who does not have to, who makes you their own, when the ones that should have didn’t, is just profound.

I understand why I was not wanted. It was not me, Christy, that she did not want, it was ‘the’ baby.  I don’t think badly of or have any anger towards my bio for not wanting me. I really do love her and care for her, as deeply as I can, for someone I don’t know very well. I appreciate that she wants a relationship with me now. I thank God we were given the opportunity to reunite. Yet, all the nice and good feelings I have for her does not change that I was not wanted.  So, I think I have a bit of issue with rejection. Sometimes I try too hard to ‘make’ rejection not occur, which usually backfires. OR I don’t try at all, so I can avoid imagined rejection.  Non adoptee’s go through this too, so I am not all that screwed up.

The other side of the not wanted thing, is that I was very wanted, by my parents. They wanted me, or at least a baby, which turned out to be me. Once they got me, they kept me, they made me theirs in their hearts. I see that ‘want’ ,that love, that an adoptive parent has, is possibly even more than that of biological parents. Kind of like the scripture Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[ do so?   It is easy to love someone you like and know and are suppose to love.  But to love someone different from you, some child that someone else did not want, that may have some genetic quirks no one expected, as if they are yours is a pretty awesome selfless thing.

During my teen years I was not always so sweet. Mom was not either. We definitely had our moments. If those moments were accentuated because we were of different genetic temperaments, I don’t know.  I do know Mom had a pretty B@#$% streak with all of us.  In rifts I would pull the adoption card on Mom, yelling that she understood nothing because she was not my real mom, and wishing my real mom had kept me etc.  Anything to hurt her, as much as I felt hurt. (I learned that from Mom). I know now, with kids of my own, just the accusation of my being un-understanding, or a ‘bad’ mom cuts me to the core. I can’t imagine the hurt Mom must have felt when I denied her being my ‘real’ mom.  I do know she never denied her love for me. Even at her worst most manipulative, controlling, selfish, moments, she loved me.  Mom and Dad never ever did not want me. Never threatened to kick me out. Never quit speaking to me. Never said I was too much trouble or they did not want to handle my problems. They always wanted me. Always desired me to be their child. It was me that wanted it differently, sometimes. When things got ugly I wanted for happiness and security in an imagined world, away from those that wanted me, because they were not making me happy.  I could have run away to another life, chosen to leave, turned my back on my parents. That would not have changed their wanting me, loving me, it would have changed them having me.

God wants us. He loves us. He desires us to be his children.  John 3:1616 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.    And as Paul says, 1 Timothy 4 (God)who desires all men to be saved and to come to the [c]knowledge of the truth      Even though we are not his from birth–John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [a]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  Instead of us being infants waiting for our father to pluck us up,we are children. We are of age to choose to stay in’ the system’ or agree to be adopted. We are children of the world, an abusive, evi,l manipulate, lying, father, who does not want us, he just want’s to use us for his own gain. We can leave him and choose to be adopted. To become Gods children.God has applied and is approved to take us.  John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  To make us HIS OWN 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

If we choose to stay in the world, to stay children of Satan it,to turn our backs on God, does not change that God wants us, it just keeps us separated from him.   41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” It is our choice. We can choose the world over God. If we choose the world, the analogy roles change a bit here:God gives us up, gives us over to our sin. It is like bio mom, she gave up the baby, not ME. God does not want the sin, but he does want us.  The problem is if we choose the world we become the sin.

What if in one of my rants as a teenager I did leave my home, my parents whom desired me, wanted me? What if I had chosen against the love they offered, in search of what I believed to be better? Would my walking out have caused them to not want me? No, they would have always wanted me. Did their wanting me make me genetically theirs? No, I am forever genetically of another world. If I choose to be of my biological world, and deny my parents want/love I am not their child, my choice.  What if I took the name of my biological family denied my parents name and when they died ,I stood in front of the judge to receive my inheritance?……. He would say   ‘I don’t know you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. ’Matthew 7:23.  I would forever be lost from those who had loved and desired for me to choose them. Eternally separated to suffer the consequence of my sin.

Posted in Ephesians

Ephesians 6:17 Sword of the Spirit

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Take the Sword of the spirit. The spirit has a sword. And it is the word of God, the God Breathed Bible.  Out of all the pieces of armor,the only weapon is the Word of God. The shield, the armor protects, it defends, but the sword is used in a defensive and an offensive way, to attack, to cut, possibly to annihilate , to defend and stop one from attacking. We are to take up the Word of God and use it to defend, to protect, to wield off evil. 

 

To use a sword you must know how. You need to know your sword, know the weight of it in your hand, be able to use it. The sword must be polished, and sharpened, the edges not marred nor changed. If the metal breaks or rusts away it is ruined. We must know Gods Word, hear it, study it. We must take care to not allow His word to become distorted in our hands.  

 

With out a weapon all we can do is just stand, in our armor. Yes, we can raise our shield, our faith, but we can not stop the attacks. We can stop the attack with God’s word, our sword. We could pierce the heart of an unbeliever with God’s word, and they too could take on their armor. 

It is interesting, too, that we do not need other weapons. God’s Word is enough.  Also the weapon we are to take on is one that is used in close combat. Not one we shoot away from us, like and arrow. A sword is used in close combat, the trial is felt up close and personal. 

 

What is the substance of our sword? 

Hebrews 4:12 the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.– Living Powerful, Discerner,sharper than two-edged sword. God

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path  Lamp, it illuminates, shows THE WAY

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.   Truth

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  Jesus

I think about a knight fighting, holding the shield up, blocking the blows of incoming evil as he swings the sword. The skill used with a sword, standing firm, jabbing into unprotected areas of the opponent. A sword is not just used to deflect, like the shield, it is used to conquer. A soldier does not just knock the opponent down. The warrior does not use the sword to scratch the skin. The sword is used to stop the enemy, in his tracks, so he can not attack again. God’s word can destroy the enemy.

Posted in Adoption, My Adoption Story

Adoption Story 5-We Meet

I don’t think there was anything extraordinary in the way I presented myself to the social worker that she allowed me information to find my bio family. My knowing where to look, in the library, how to put the trail together, was not my brilliance.  The words, the complete sentences, without blubbering,I spoke, first, to my biological mother, were not my own.  My fearless leaps were not from the unsure heart that beat wildly in my throat.The unbridled joy, bio mother and family,felt at the return of me in her life, was not generated on their own.  The extraordinary, the brilliance, the courage, the joy all were God. This desire, the search, the find, the response, all answered prayers, answered before I prayed, answered before I was born, answered before L realized the heartbreak she carried within her. I knew then and even more now, God is the why of everything good and right. My hopes and joys exist because of Him.

I asked Keith what he remembered of my meeting, face to face, with L, 24 years ago. His recollection is of totally different events than mine. Both are limited. Not only time has robbed me of many memories, but also the fear, the nerves from that first meeting turned much into fog.  We had several conversations before meeting, I remember more of those.  For me the actual meeting, was a whirl of questions, thoughts, impressions, fear, joy.  I was looking at her, a total stranger, yet blood of my blood.  I was listening to every word from her, yet not hearing content only sound. Wondering if she liked me? If she was just being polite, but truly just wanted me to leave? If she liked me more before she actually saw me? If she thought I was fat ?(I wish I was that fat now 😉 ) Had she cried for joy, sadness, or regret over me, ever? Would she would want to know me? Would we become family? Did she think my children were gorgeous? Did she want to claim them as grandchildren? How do I explain to them the difference between she and their ‘real grandparents’ my parents?  Why did she have to live across the state? I wondered if this was the right woman. Why did she keep looking at Keith?

When planning to meet L, I did not want to make the trip just about me meeting her, I hated putting the family out for me. I could have flown by myself, but that would have been awkward, the whole purpose being me meeting her, she seeing me. Not to mention the expense of me getting there and leaving all my loved ones at home eating bologna.  If we all went, she gets to meet  the boys, Keith, my everything. I get to meet her, as if she is   someone from the past I am catching up with. Which she actually was.  We were just dropping by on the way to somewhere else, so time constraints get us back on the road.(a reason to run away if need)  We would stay in hotels, do some fun on the way, make it a vacation. We traveled miles and miles and miles with 3 and 5 year old boys. We were on a vacation, the lower middle class kind where you go and blow money on Holiday Inn and be proud because it is not Motel 6, and eat cheap fast food.We are not big ‘savers’, we probably were going on tax return money and my parents gas cards, to pay back later. The stop to meet the bio family was put in the middle of Six Flags and visiting an old friend of Keith’s who lived in Arkansas.  I am a practical traveler, I want to get all the worth of my time and money, if a relative lives in a town, we must visit.  Keith is not a practical traveler. Keith HATES to visit family in a town if the goal is vacation. He thinks if we have doctors appointments or business in town it is NOT the time to visit others or vacation. He is the ultimate one track mind.

I wore my favorite skirt, high waisted, v front panel, khaki, buttoned with brass buttons up the front. A peach knit shirt, with tiny rose buds on it, like the pattern on my baby blanket, Mom saved for me. This was the year of the perm, so my hair was CURLY shoulder length, and still naturally blond. I felt fat. That skirt, though, would not reach around my waist today, even if I sucked in. My boys, gorgeous, cute and adorable. Their golden blond hair in bowl cuts, they almost looked like twins. Keith tall dark and ever so handsome, my rock. I remember knocking on the door of the cute little house, a home L moved in to from her lifetime home town. I looked down at the boys and up at Keith, knowing my blessings. I looked up as the door opened and into the eyes of the woman who gave me birth. I recognized her from her picture, she was much prettier though. I thought, ‘She does not photograph well, either’. Her mother was standing behind her waiting expectantly. We walked in and a mother I do not know and I attempted to hug, awkwardly. Grandmother, I did not know grabbed my hand pulled me toward her and gave me a hug, I felt my grandmother, Mamaw and my caretaker for my first 5 years, Mamie, wrap their arms around me, I stepped back and looked into tear filled eyes of peace and love.

My bio grandmother died a year after I met her, from the ovarian cancer. Years later, I was attending my sisters wedding ,a sister in law of my bio grandmother told me what peace it had brought Bio Grandmother to have met me. She said Bio Grandmother had worried and prayed for me always. Bio Grandmother had considered keeping me and raising me, but knew that would be hard for L. But she still regretted and worried. The aunt thought that having known I was safe is what allowed bio grandmother to have peace from that the last year of cancer. I thank God I listened when he called.

Introductions of boys and Keith were made as we stood in the doorway. The oddest thing to me was their attention to Keith. I wanted more to me, to the boys, I wanted for them to see family members in my boys faces, and they would not quit peering at Keith, who was no relation to them. Keith is attractive, but seriously, not all that, and these are older women, and this was about ME not him. They went to the kitchen together to get drinks for us as we settled in the living room, I felt they were talking of us, impressions etc, or course they would. When they returned L asked a bit about Keith and where he was from. I then thought, maybe this is the wrong person, maybe she had a son instead of a daughter. Or maybe Keith looks like some other family member  of theirs and I am married to a cousin or something. It was odd. Then L began to explain her curiosity, attentions to Keith, she said that he looked amazingly similar to my biological father. What she remembered of him, 24 years ago. Bio Grandmother agreed.   Wow!

 

I met 2 of my three half siblings. The oldest boy did not make the move, he was not living in the home any longer, so I did not meet him. I met the girl, my sister, in passing, she was leaving with friends to go back to her recently left home for a visit. It was a very quick, too quick, introduction. Polite, explained well by her and L that she had plans to visit left friends, she had been busy when I arrived, and would not return until after I left.  The small talk made with her was very nice, she was very kind. I knew, then, it had to be at least weird to be meeting the illegitimate child of your mother.  Sister explained later that she had some issue with all the finding out of me, some sorting out to do.  I can only imagine.  The youngest, a boy was about 13, he was quiet, yet talkative when we spoke alone in the backyard. He had recently lost his dad, moved, his brother did not move with him, his grandmother was dying of cancer, and his mom just came up with another kid, I am surprised he was normal. My impression of him was he might be a bit geeky, if video games existed then he would have been a gamer. I loved talking with him, we talked about nothing and everything while the boys ran around in the backyard, his move, his new school, what he liked. He said he thought it was neat I found his mom. He figured it must have made her really sad to have not known about me all those years.

On first contact with L she explained she had not told her children of me. Her husband had advised her to tell them, as well as search for me, but she never could bring herself to do either. My finding her forced her to tell. Telling them was not as bad as she had anticipated, again one of those obvious God interventions.  A surprise for L was the response from the two older, #1 son said “ I wondered when you would tell us about her.” and daughter said “ I always thought there was another one.”  Sister told me later that as a young child #1 son would tell her that they had a big sister that would take care of them, kind of like an invisible friend.  She said he also would use this ‘big sister’ to scare her into doing whatever he wanted,also, saying the big sis would hurt her if she did not.  No wonder she had to work through things before she got to know me. #1 son does not know how he knew but he said he always knew there was another, a big sister. Did he sense it? Had he overheard his parents talking of me? No one knows.

Keith remembers eating dinner with them in their house, and Lee talking a lot, both boys entertaining, and keeping the mood light. I don’t remember the meal at all. I remember eating at Schlotsky’s and L and I both ordering turkey with mustard, and L noticing and saying how her family thinks it so weird not to eat turkey with mayonnaise. I remember getting in L’s car scooting across the seat, and finding a picture stuck in the crack. It was a black and white, of a girl sitting in the grass, hair in a headband, she looked just like me when I was in high school. I was showing it to Keith and L got in the car, asked where I found it, I explained and she said it probably fell out in the move, and tossed it on the dash. At the same time she said she did not like the way she looked in the picture, I told her it looked a lot like I did.   I wish I had that picture. I remember going to the antique/flea market with her, Keith does not.

I remember conversations with L.  I told L of my wonder over her not remembering my birthday, I explained my romantic fantasy of our thinking of each other then.  I remember us sitting in her kitchen when she explained that in order for her to survive, for her to live with herself she had to make herself forget for the last 24 years. I know today I feel guilt and sadness a sense of failure over not finding lost pets. I wonder on their feeling abandoned, if they died, were hurt, starved, if they are taken by others.  L felt that, and more, for a child, her child. She had to make her self not dwell on these things, she had a family other children who needed her to focus on them, to love them, and she did.

I felt I needed to thank L for giving me a better way, for sacrificing herself, for taking the harder road. Not that she did it for ME, she did not know me, I just happened to be the baby. I wanted to reassure her that I appreciated her, that I sympathized with her. I thanked L for not having an abortion,  and giving me for adoption. L’s answer is something I think all should hear, and know.

L said, she really did not deserve a great deal of thanks. She said she was a good person, she followed the rules,she was church going, she always did what was right, law abiding. Getting pregnant was not following the rules, having sex unwed, was a wrong choice. It would have been much easier to have an abortion and not endure the physical and emotional pain, to not shame the family, except at that time abortions were illegal. Had abortions been legal she would have had one. She had already broken the rules and became pregnant, breaking another and having an abortion would just make it worse. She said she did not want to hurt me, she was being honest. I was not hurt, I understood. So often, too often, we let man be what governs our decisions, define for us what is moral.  We justify our actions, our choices, even if they go against obedience to God, because our government says it is all ok.  I thank God abortions were not legal, then. I pray that abortions would go against all societies moral standards . I pray for  abortions to be illegal just as murder is. If abortion had been legal 48 years ago not only would I not exist, but 3 men and 6 children would not either.   How many lives have been lost,how many purposes destroyed by abortions?

Bio grandmother was an amazing woman. L is a product of her. L is an amazing woman. I am a product of her. I hope it is genetic.

 

Posted in Adoption, My Adoption Story

Adoption Story 4- Contact

I am calling my biological mother at her sisters home, because my sister who does not know I am actually her sister,  gave me the number and told me to call her mom, mine too. ” …because it would do her good to hear from someone from her past .”.

I sat in my bedroom, on my bed. Tethered to the wall with a phone. I hear my two boys, (third is not a twinkle yet)  playing in the other room with their dad.  I hear the ring tone in the earpiece. I pray that I  know what to say. I pray that she be there. I pray she want to hear from me. I pray that God give me the courage to …  The ringing stops, a child’s voice says “Hello” , I ask if L is there.  My heart is pounding.

“Aunt L, it is for you.” I hear voices in the back ground, women talking.

Hello?

“Hi, I’m Christy Petty.  You don’t know me…. “ I really do not know verbatim what I said, I only have snippets my words, – My mind was a whirl ,my heart was pounding, my soul was leaping and jumping for joy.  I was talking to my biological mother, I was hearing her voice for the first time. I was trying to picture her. I was wondering if she would want to know me. I was praying she would. I hoped I would not hurt her, cause her any more turmoil in life. What if she hung up? What if she is angry? How do I explain my understanding of her not wanting me in her life, when all I do want is her in my life.  What if this is somehow not the right person? Like the Gann name being wrong?

I have to be clever and romantic and hint who I am.I tell her I know she has had a lot of things happen recently and that if she does not have the time for me right now, I will understand. And then I ask if my birthdate means anything to her?

She says “Go on.”

I think, ‘OH CRAP, this is not her, how can that not mean anything to her. For as long as I can remember I knew that on my birthday my biological mother would be remembering me on that one day of the year, the time that we would both be thinking of each other.I say “ I was born in San Antonio, in the Mission Home, I was put up for adoption… by you.”  The last more a question than statement.

What I heard next I will always always remember. Two words, spoken by L, actually  to the women in the room with her, her mother- my grandmother, her sister- my aunt.

L said. “It’s her.”

I hear a woman respond with “What?” in the background.

L repeats “It’s her.”  emphasizing HER.

Screaming, laughing repeating “It’s her.” “She called.” She found us.”  goes on for minutes from female voices in the room with L

Just those two words, the reaction to the two words, removed all doubt, all fear for me.  These women, a mother of a daughter who gave up a child, a grandmother of a lost grandchild, a mother who gave a child away, a daughter who disappointed, a sister who watched her sister struggle and cry,, they all thought of, desired to know, wanted for, HER,-me.

They quieted down, I could hear sounds through the phone, others asking what was going on, women’s voices explaining.  L began to talk again. She says, her mother and sister are with her, they have always wondered about me always wanted to know about me. She says she always wanted to find me.

She asks, “ Do you hate me?”

I am a bit stunned, saddened,  that obviously, this was a burden L has carried.

I answer “ No definitely not. I love her. Mom and Dad explained to me the sacrifice you made, how your love is why you were able to give me up for adoption, to give me a better life.”

She answers with praise to my parents. She asks about them, about my family. She says you have brothers right?  She knew and remembered things they told of the family who adopted me. They were teachers or something right? She treasured things in her heart for me.

L wants to know how I found her, I explain. I hope, to her, she is not angry with the social worker, she is not.  She explains she wanted to look for me, her husband, who by the way is NOT my father, had tried to convince her to do so, all the years past. She never did because she was afraid I would not want to meet her.   I tell her of calling her daughter, she tells me her name. I told her I did not tell her who I was.  L explains her children do not know about me. She will need to explain to them, before I meet them of course.  Well of course, and she wants to meet me.

I ask about her children. The oldest son is just a couple of years younger than I, L married her husband just after high school and had first child with in the year after.  Just like me. Daughter is next, about 4 years younger than I, then the youngest another boy, about 9 years younger

Everything L tells me generates about 50 more questions.  Names of half siblings, ages., What school did you go to. How did husband die? When are you moving? Who was my father? L had questions of her own, of my parents, were they good to me? My brothers ages.  Married to whom? When did I marry? Where did I grow up?

What we don’t talk about is the ‘how’ of my conception, the whys, the what for’s.  We basically knew what we knew. It was not necessary to get into the details, this time, that was for later.

When I asked of my biological father, she says, “You know he is dead don’t you?” I did not, but I for some reason had a feeling he was, for years.  I figured with his age he would have served in Vietnam, and for some reason believed him to be dead.  I told her this, she explained he died by a tragic shooting accident about a year after I was born.  She did not see him at that time, she would explain more later.

L is the one who brought the phone call to a close, she said she had to go and talk to her mother and sister. She had to gather her thoughts.  She was going to call her daughter at home she thought, and explain to her, or maybe wait till she went home.  She had to gather her thoughts. We had been on the phone for over an hour, this would cost too much. (pre long distance was affordable time) She would call me soon or I her, we would figure out a time to get together, to meet. She would be moving within the week and the kids would be moving, starting new schools.Leaving home they always knew, where their father had recently died. L. had a lot of explainin to do.

We exchanged numbers, addresses. I asked for pictures and she did the same.  I don’t remember sending her any, I hope I did. I received from her, a few days later, maybe weeks. Prompt response and correspondence skills or lack of turns out to be genetic.

I still have my stack of pictures from L. Picture of Grandmother, Aunt, Cousins, Sister, Brothers. Polaroid shot of L. All very random shots, someone sitting on couch, two standing in kitchen in some house. This was pre digital days, pre internet– we are so spoiled now.

L was packing to move,her husband had recently died, mother in last stages of ovarian cancer. L went through memories, tragic memories at a time she was having to start over, to find glimpses of a her life to share with someone, though genetically hers was a total stranger. It seems small, I suppose, but I think it great. I can not imagine what she was looking for me to see, for me not to see. I do not know how many pictures of her husband she passed over as she searched. How do you choose a picture of yourself to give to someone you thought hated you for 24 years?

My first reaction when I saw her picture? She is thin, skinny, petite, just like Mom, so now what is my excuse?!!

Posted in Adoption, My Adoption Story

Adoption Story 3 -The Find

I had not lost hope in finding my biological family. Actually I knew I would sometime, I had that peace-that -passeth ‘feeling’, about it. Mom and Dad were supportive, in that they would ask occasionally, if anything had turned up. They were interested in information I received. They even offered to help out financially with the legal fees, if it came to that.

Once I sent the letter to the home to state my searching, waiting for my bio to do the same, I basically quit actively searching. I would pray often, probably daily, that God would let me find my mother. I recall one of my ‘intense’ prayers on this, I was out driving alone, probably mad at Keith, pulled off the road in the country and was praying and listening to the radio. The song Somewhere Out There came on, that is one Fivel sang when he was searching his family, I had loved this song, because it so matched my, find-mother thoughts. ‘“Somewhere out there someone(my biological mother who will understand me like no other) is thinking of me”….  I prayed and sang and cried and pleaded with God. You could say the Spirit moved within me, it was a sitting on my Fathers knee and laying my head on His chest moment. I did not know then, but God was working some miracles up then, and got me involved.

Keith and the boys and I had attended  my cousin’s wedding, near San Antonio. It was a great family reunion. I saw my brothers, parents, all the clan. God blessed me with an amazing family. There were 10 of we cousins, 4 boys 6 girls. And we were adding more with weddings and babies at a good steady pace. After the wedding and celebrations, Keith, the boys and I  came through San Antonio and met Keith’s parents for a couple of days of more vacation. Vacation is not something we did very often. At this time of our life, we were usually broke. I think this was my first time to San Antonio since being married, and having kids. I told Keith I really wanted to see the adoption home. It is like  driving past the house you were born in, even if you don’t remember it , you want to see it. Keith agreed and I called the home to see if I needed an appointment.  The social worker first started with not having any more info, I interrupted and explained I was coming to see the place and if she were there I would like to meet her. She said she very much would like to meet me and set up time she would be there. I was not expecting anything but a tour of the campus.

Thinking back to this day, I do not remember anything at all about the home. I don’t remember the social workers face. I don’t remember her name.  What I do remember, changed my life.  We were in the office of the social worker, Keith and I . I suppose we had left the boys with Keith’s parents. The social worker was making small talk, about the home, my parents, my kids. We all must have said something about my searching. She made the statement that she thought I was very well-adjusted and seemed to have a healthy attitude about the possibility bio would not want me to contact her. Not knowing how to respond, I thanked her. After a bit of conversation she stood and said

“ I have something I have to do, and I want you to stay here in my office,I will be back in a few minutes.”

She left. I stood up immediately and seemed to know what to do. God took me and moved me to her desk, showed me, sitting on her desk was an open folder and a piece of paper was sitting there on top with handwritten names. A girl name, first and last underneath that was “Father:” and then his name, last name the same as the girl name, and a town. I grabbed a piece of paper of my own and wrote these three names down. That is all I needed. Keith at first had gone towards the file cabinets, and when I went to the desk and saw this, I must have said “here it is.” I don’t know if Keith knew, being the unadopted ;), that this was all of it. But I did.  I put my note in my purse and moved over to my chair and we waited a few more minutes for the social worker to return. I explained in hushed tones to Keith what I could do with just these three names. Having a real name and a town WAS everything.  I wanted to run out the room right then and start.  The social worker, the angel disguised in human form, returned walked to the desk, closed the file, apologizing for having to leave. She then spoke of hoping my search would go well and she enjoyed meeting us.  We shook hands and held on a bit longer than necessary and left. Nothing else, no hints, winks, or raised eyebrows.  The sun was a bit brighter, the air clear and the sultry Texas heat wrapped it’s arms around me and gave me a hug as I walked out of that building. I do recall that envelope of love. God is an awesome God.

I wanted to go to the library right there in San Antonio. And find what I could find. It was closed. It was Saturday on 4th of July weekend. Bother! Then when we arrived home I was not able to get in the library on Monday, it was Monday July 4th. ARGGGGH.

Tuesday, I was there, I asked the librarian where the phone books, land books were kept, she pointed the way, to the basement. She also explained that there were cross-reference listings, these showed people associated to addresses once you had an address. I did not think that would pertain to my search, but thanked her anyway. My search started a search for the father’s name in the  current phone book for the town. It was not there. Then I looked for the same in the year I was born.  I found it pretty quickly. My heart leapt.   Then I thought, what do I do with this, obviously they have moved, or died. I remembered the cross-reference and had an ‘Aha’ moment (God). I went to the cross-reference and found the name, then all the names of the people who were neighbors of.

I then went to the present phone book and found a couple of people who still lived in the neighborhood and now I had a plan.  Remember, this is pre computer, pre cell phone, so all of this is flipping pages and taking notes and going back home to get to a phone to make an expensive long distance call.

I thought up my story. I was a friend from high school of L and I was trying to track her down. Very simple, and not quite a lie. I called one of the neighbors, they recalled the family, but they did not know them as well as the So and So’s, the other name I had, and suggested I call them. I did, and received all the information I needed. The father (my grandfather had died) L, such a sweet girl, had married just out of high school to Mr. Right.  (Was Mr Right my father? )  They had 3 children. Such a sad thing had recently happened, Mr Right had died a few months ago. (Was this my father?) Now L’s mother (my grandmother) was now battling cancer and they were all going to move to another town to be closer to L’s sister. My heart ached for this mother I never knew. They had a number for L, because my grandmother had given it to them.  WOW. I was given the phone number to call L.  BUT, I had to consider, L. was going through a pretty rough time of her life, this may not be the best time to step up and say “ Hey ‘Mom, remember me?”  I thought on it, prayed on it, called Mom and Dad and talked to them about it, discussed it with Keith.  WE all knew I had to follow through.Look at all the doors God had flung open. I had to prepare myself to her not wanting or being able to do this right now.

A couple of days later, that is all I could wait, I called the number. A female answered, I asked for L. Female explained L, her mother,  is not there and had gone out-of-town to move some things to new home for them, mother, grandmother, herself and brothers. Could she take a message?  My mind is spinning, my heart is thudding, I am speaking to my sister, half, at least, I say No, I would call later, what would be a good time?  My little sister, then asks who I am. I come up with my friend from high school story. Sis then proceeds to give me her Aunts phone number, saying her mom (OUR mom) does not have many friends in her life anymore and how hard it has been with the death of husband/sisters father etc, it would do her good to hear from an old friend.  I took the number and hung up. I pondered. I thought, No, I should not call her , not now, not knowing all the turmoil in her life.”  Then a still small voice told me I should. What better time than when she was with those that definitely ‘knew’. I dialed the number.