Searches and Memories

I am working on a new search right now.  Last names “may be” Avenel and/or Streeter. Also may be from upstate Rochester, NY area.

In discussing options, search indices with the adoptee, I was reminded of the first photo of my daughter I saw since I left her at three days old. Have I told this story? It is rather amusing.

My ex-husband (rather tired with my obsession over finding her) took it upon himself one day to drive the 100+ miles to the town she was raised in.  He convinced the janitor of her high school to let him in after hours and allow him to view the yearbooks in the library.  He got in (remember I always knew her last name) and searched her likely year of graduation and found a girl with that last name and according to him (and others) my smile. He made a copy and brought it home. He insisted the picture was of my daughter. At the time, with that photo, I did not see it.  But that photo lead me to another photo online and when I saw that photo I fell off my chair at work and nearly passed out.

The memory of him doing that, arriving at home all pleased with himself, made me smile.  It may seem amazing that he was able to convince the janitor but you would have to know my ex husband. He has this was of being very charming and yet intimidating and authoritative. He once walked right into a State Police Barracks and was able to purchased issue only items without ever being asked for an ID.

So, yes, while the internet, google, online sites are most fruitful these days when it comes to searches, I urge all searching not to rule out the old school ways.  Sometimes visiting a school, library, etc. and searching can be just as good – if not better.



Pick A Topic Day

Two things happened recently that have me befuddled.  Writing to think more about them perhaps dialogue here as I would be curious to know your thoughts as well.

Topic 1 – That Football Guy and His Mother
First Mother Forum has a post about Colin Kaepernick and his first mother being in the news again. Go read it at FMF and come back if you wish.  I will admit this dudes situation has annoyed me since he became news.  I wrote a post months back that I never published for upon reading it out loud it felt like more of a bitchy venting rant than anything useful for this blog. I opted not to post.  Yet here he is again on my reader and I am pondering him and his mother(s).

I feel for these people (first mother and son) and wish the media would leave them alone.  Such a very painful personal matter dragged through media makes me feel ill largely because I could be, and in some ways I am, Hiedi.  I think how I would feel if I that were me and I know I would feel pretty sick and confused and angry and want to tell people to feck off and mind their own business.   I know (on a much smaller scale) what it is like to have outsiders interfere in your adoption reunion.  I am quite confident (though I have no proof) that certain adoption online “friends” have stalked and harassed my daughter.   I take ownership of that. I made the mistake of friending people (online only) and trusting them with personal details of my daughter. I shared her name and online sites with select friends BEFORE she told me I was not allowed to share her existence or our connection. These people later turned out to be, well, not what I thought they were and I distanced myself. Distancing came too late and likely at the expense of my reunion (or whatever chances there were for one in the future). I never outright called these peeps on their suspected behavior as I did not have the luxury of tracking data, etc. but something in my gut tells me I am spot on. Others also agree with me.

My mistake. I get that. I trusted people I shouldn’t have. This may be a lesson Colin’s first mom is now learning – thinking people are kind and want good things for you and your child when in fact all they want is to either a) punish you for being a dumb stupid barftmother or b) to exploit your situation for their own selfish means (and that includes projection and transference and all that other psycho shit that happens in adoption circles.)

Yet she says (at least the FMF article says she said this) that she is speaking out for others.  I agree with that sentiment.  I agree with sharing her story so that others may benefit from it (and by benefit I mean benefit from the knowledge and be prevented from making the same mistake OR if they make that choice benefit from the knowledge of what MIGHT be in their future). Those who don’t learn frm the past are condemned to repeat it or something like that, you know?

How can we have activism and change things if we are not able/willing to share our very real stories?  I have pondered this before.  Guess I am doing so again.  Is it enough just to leave the other person’s NAME out of it when the media and others can track that down even without our sharing it? One of my blog trolls/harassers sent me an email once claiming that while I never shared my daughter’s name on the blog they were able to figure out who she was due to other information I shared. Really?

Topic 2 – Zip It Conundrum

So I run a registry for individuals separated via the Kurtz network of adoption “agencies”. No news there.  Have reunited over 200 people. Don’t know real count. I stopped counting as it seems like a data point rooted in vanity. I don’t care how many I help. I am simply glad I can.  Here is the conundrum.

Mom registers details with me. Some months later I am contacted by adoptee. Adoptee says “I think that’s me”.  I check what info she has against what I have and it appears to be a match.  I don’t contact Mother at all during this. I was not sure. I later learn adoptee had already confirmed this on her own (through other postings the mother has made elsewhere).  Adoptee asks me never to tell her mother as she is not sure she wants to deal with this particularly since she found out some not so nice info about the mother.  I say “Okay, it is your info.  You know who she is and how to find her if you wish.  Good luck.”

You see any problem here?  The adoptee strictly said (in her own words of course) “you do not have permission to give her my information even though I have hers.”

I agreed and yet I feel like I am being sneaky or disloyal or morally/ethically corrupt somehow because I now know where this mothers adults child is but I am not going to tell her because the adult has not given me permission to do so. I believe in allowing adults, most importantly adoptees, to hold the cards but I have never been asked to be a silent partner in the transaction.  I feel like one of those dirty confidential intermediaries that I so dislike.  Mind you, the mother has no idea I know this.  So the point may be mute, sort of.  At least until she pops up again and says “Hey, I want to actively search. Will you help?” Or “Do you have any more information?”

Right now I am hoping the information overwhelms the adoptee in question and she chooses to make contact on her own.

Tell me I am right. Or tell me I am wrong if you think so. Or tell me I think too much.  Befuddled because I have never had this situation before. I don’t like secrets and lies and yet I feel like I am complicit in one somehow since the adoptee has asked me not tell the mother their info and yet it was the mother who registered with me first.  Over thinking?  Doing the right thing? Over identifying with a mother whose daughter is keeping her at bay?



Help Wanted: Connecting a Friend

Looking for male adoptees, preferably in reunion, to talk with a friend of mine.

Friend is recently reunited and it is going well but he is struggling a bit (with what I would call “integration”)  and would welcome connecting with other adoptees. He is also, technically, a transnational adoptee.  Born in the States but adopted by foreigners and raised over seas. He is now discovering his family and country of origin.

If you would be willing to chat with my friend, please leave me a comment and I will contact you with details.

Thank you for your consideration.