Eight Year Anniversary

Today is the eight year anniversary of finding the daughter I surrendered to a closed stranger adoption in 1986.  I am nostalgic. Reflecting on who I was eight years ago, all that I hoped for, dreamed about versus what really happened.  I won’t do a lengthy post as I believe my six year post still says it all. Read it here.

I will say this. I still think of her every day. I still savor the crumbs of her life she leaves strewn across the internet. I still smile when she colors her hair a new color or writes a new provocative article. I hope she is well and happy and foolish as it may be to hold on, I do hope someday she grants me the honor of an in person reunion.

A Circle Journey

Two friends here, Gail and Susie, each reminded me (separately, in totally different ways) of the value of snail mail.  I will admit. I love it. As a writer, a lover of words, paper, pens, communication, and written expression, personal snail mail is more valuable to me than any expensive gift.  I love stationery, wax seals, calligraphy, the lost art of cursive hand writing or even better, calligraphy. To further support this, I offer that I am a huge fan of Nick Bantock and his epistolary series of books known as The Griffin and Sabine trilogy. (If you have not read, you simply must).

Susie’s reference to snail mail and Gail’s real snail mail (thank you Gail!) reminded me how badly, in early reunion, I wanted my daughter to mail me something. I wanted to touch something she touched. I wanted to see her writing. I wanted a physical object, no matter how small in value from her.

It never came.  She once alluded to considering sending me her senior high school portrait, but alas, she never did.  I still find myself musing over the dream of getting something from her in the mail.

The term snail mail is a dysphemistic retronym. For the less word nerdy among you I will say it is a term that is used somewhat negatively to refer to the old form of mail or communication (versus the quicker more electronic versions of email, Facebook, etc.).  You know, the United States Postal Service?

While I fully embrace modern technology, there is something huge to be said for the good old tangible stuff you can feel, smell, touch and inspect (and maybe even spray with perfume and kiss with your own lipstick).  In pondering snail mail as it relates to adoption reunion, I found myself reflecting on an unrealized dream I had in early reunion…sharing a circle journey book with my daughter. If I couldn’t meet her, oh how I would have welcomed something that came from her, had touched her.

A circle journey book or journal is a book that is created and maintained for a variety of reasons. Families may pass one back and forth to each member who writes something on each page. Good friends may do so to build on their friendships with each other. The book goes back and forth between two people, or it may be sent around to members of a community or family. In my case, I envisioned it being sent back and forth between my daughter and me in lieu of meeting. Since she is a writer and a collage artist, I thought it would be a wonderful fun way to share with each other.  Similar to scrapbook, the parties can write words, paste stickers, photos, personal mementos, or illustrate the book. You fill out your page or two and send it to the other party. They do the same and return it to you. The cycle (or circle) continues until the book is full.

I am sharing this here as I still believe it is a wonderful idea. Perhaps someone else, yet to be reunited (or maybe currently in reunion but struggling through things) might want to consider a circle journal.  Sometimes pictures, drawings, cutouts from a magazine can say far more than an email or letter.  Imagine the valuable artifact you have upon completion!  What a piece of your history!

Below are a few links I found that explain the books and process in a bit more detail.

Circle Journey Books

Amazon: Circle Journey Correspondence Kit

In closing, if any of my readers are fans of snail mail, send me a message with your address. I would love to mail you a surprise gift, card, quote or paper smile, just like my friend Gail mailed me this week.

Happy 26th

Wishing my daughter a happy 26th birthday.  I hope she has a wonderful day. Will be thinking of her more than usual today.

I hope her girlfriend and other friends and family take her out for a wonderful dinner in Brooklyn and shower her with all the love she so rightly deserves.

I made two donations in honor of her. Whereas years past, I would send her gifts or donate to causes she would support, her request for no contact and gifts has changed my approach. I now donate to causes that work to change adoption or prevent it all together.

This year I was happy to make a small donation to the Adoptee Rights Coalition and a Young Mothers Dream.

Happy birthday to all.