Chapter Seven

What do I do now?  I have one option open to me but I can not really afford it.  I could get a real court sanctioned confidential intermediary.  There is a part of me that just hates absolutely hates contributing to the system.  This one CI is good.  She is very good.  It is not her.  I think she would do right by me.  I have spoken with her enough times.  In fact, I need to contact her again to let her know that I was recommending her all over the place.   I don’t recommend the agency CI whatsoever.  Heck she is the former agency director.  She is also an adoptive parent. She has reason to keep whatever is so secretive in my file just that secret.

I want to find but I am reluctant to raise the money.  I could use it on so many other things.  I won’t accept money from others to help me find.  I just can’t do that.  I keep hoping against hope itself that Indiana will open the records eventually.  I hope my daughters won’t have to fight this battle years down the road.  I hope that they won’t have health issues coming from my undetermined side of the family.

I read recently in an Indian heritage book.  It takes ten generations in order to correct the rift that adoption causes.  It will take that long before my tree will be rerooted.

Another legislative session begins soon in Indiana.  I will again begin to write letters to legislators.  Hopefully I can get them to listen to me and to the others living adoption.

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Chapter Six

At this point in my life, I don’t know what to think of adoption.  Its corrupt and that is very obvious.  I spoke with the local U. S. Congressman.  The oh we don’t handle adoption problems.  We handle only things on a federal level.  Well by God, investigate the adoption industry.  How many people have to be hurt by the adoption industry in order for you to take action?  Well its a presidential election year.  Both of the candidates are speaking about it.  Yea they are talking about making it easier.  It doesn’t need to be easier.  It needs to stop so that it can be federally investigated. I am tired of children dying.  I am tired of the money behind it.

I can’t hate all adoption and adoptive parents.  I feel that would mean that I have to hate my own adoptive family.  I just can’t do that.  I can’t.  I love my adoptive mother and my adoptive sisters.  I do my best to honor my adoptive father.  He passed away a few years ago.

I can’t hate my first mother either.  Even though she denied contact, I can’t hate her.  I know the typical maternity home story.  I have read Ann Fessler’s book, The Girls Who Went Away.  I know how horribly that she was treated.  Where does it leave me?   How do I move forward when I don’t know my past?  Why is it okay that others know their past but because I am adopted that I can’t?  Something is just wrong with this.

I have written legislators in Indiana repetitively.  They tell me that they want to protect “the birthmothers from their unwanted children.”  Yea I gagged on that one.  Then the first mothers of Indiana tell me that they have written their legislators.  They get told that the adoptee must be protected from them.  We just can’t win.  I think honestly even if the adoptive parents stood up and stated that they wanted the adoptees to have access to those records, the legislators still wouldn’t listen.  So what is it going to take to make them listen?  Would it take adoption agencies that believe in adoptee access?  Somehow I don’t think so either.

Too many Right to Life organizations contribute to these legislators.  Too many legislators are attorneys.  Many of the ACLU attorneys have become adoption agency attorneys as well.  Its sickening that this is about money.  Pure money.

Catholic Charities controls the records in Indiana.  In fact, the CI from St. Elizabeth Coleman is now doing the contacting for the Child Welfare Department.  Instead of the charge that they charge (which is $325) their adoptees and mothers, they are charging for $1,000.  Talk about discouraging people from searching.  These agencies are charging way too much.  They get the mothers, then they get the adoptive parents, and then they get the adoptees or the mothers again.

This kind of crap is ridiculous.  Why don’t the legislators care?  I don’t know.  I will start voting out those that don’t.  Remember I vote.

Unknown Indy Baby Girl

Chapter 4

So I have finally come up to a point where I can afford to search.  I can finally learning my story.  I never thought that I would be dened contact.  It never even crossed my mind.  I send the money, letter and pictures to the agency crone.  I had one natural mother ask me if I was prepared for that possibility.  Looking back, I was no where ready to make contact.  You think you are prepared for all of it. Sadly Indiana adoptees don’t have much choice on how their parents are contacted.  If I had known what I know now, I would not have had the agency contact my mother.

I spent close to a year searching.  Searching rabidly like a wounded animal striving for survival.  I was beyond  desperation.  I was obsessed searching for a clue any clue.  I called all the women in Indiana with the first name used at the home.  I called people across this country.  I had a couple of odd calls.  I couldn’t tell you for sure if it was her or not.  I got to the point where I got physically ill.  I absolutely could not search anymore.

I had a fantasy after this search.  I dreamt that I found her.  I compete in rodeo craft shows.  I fantasized that i would meet her there.  We would great each other at the Coliseum.  We both would be crying and holding each other.  Year after year has gone by.  No reunion.  No phone calls.  Just silence over the years.  The longing has become a dull ache that I just try to survive each day.

Seriously how could a mother deny her own child?  I can’t fathom it at all.  Still can’t after three years.  I am a mother to two children.  I could not deny them their truth.  According to Native American culture, it takes ten generations to heal the rift a problem like this can cause.  It takes that long to re establish the roots of what is my family.  When I was denied contact, I called an adoptee friend, my husband, and much later my  adoptive mother.  All three told me to have patience.  That she would change her mind.  Three years later, still no answers.

In the process I have learned many things.  Most natural mothers don’t want to be contacted via the state or agency CI program. Its been statistically proven with both New Hampshire and Oregon statistics.  Its also been proven that there was no proof of “birth mother” confidentiality.  In fact, there is this one woman from the Right to Life side of things that keeps screaming it.  There have been comments from her daughter supposedly.  This person states that she only contacted her once.  It really makes one wonder what the real story behind this woman.  The mothers want the states and the agencies out of their business.

More and more mothers are becoming concerned with pre relinquishment circumstances.  I can understand that.  They want to prevent what happened to them.  Being one of the adopted, I know that this road has not been easy.  Its taken me on a wide range of emotions.  I have been in so deep of depression that I and others didn’t see me coming out of it.   I have been obcessed with finding to the exclusion of my family.  I hate even more now leaving myself bare and available. I have left my heart open only to have it stabbed time and time again.

I have become quietly active in the adoptee rights movement.  I write legislators.  I write newspapers.  Sadly though, Indiana legislators don’t care about either adoptees or their families.  They just care about the income the adoption industry brings into their state.  The adoption industry also spans other industries too.  They also profit off surrogacy and fertility  as well.

I have spoken with several other Indiana adoptees and mothers.   Several Indiana legislators have been playing each group against each other.  The adoption industry in the state of Indiana is intentionally changing our information.  Many of  us are paying the industry for information that is false.  The state doesn’t have the money to pay for the additional staff to adequately monitor the Indiana passive registry.  They changed the laws several years ago.  They have no improved the lives of those living adoption.

Where does it leave me now?  I honestly don’t know.  I am just floating through life.  My adoptee issues are no closer to be resolved.  I don’t even know what to feel about adoption.  I have seen it in different lights, both good and back.

Unknown Indy Baby Girl

Chapter Three

When I was about thirteen or fourteen, a family friend’s daughter, M, got pregnant.  She and I were never really close despite our mothers being friends.  She got involved with a man from a Muslim country.   She got pregnant in the sand dunes of a gorgeous beach.   I remember my adoptive mother coming home with the incredible urge to discuss both sex and adoption.  If I ever wanted to have sex, then I was to promptly tell her.  She would get me some protection.  If I ever wanted to search, I was again promptly told that I was to come to her. I was stunned and honestly terrified.  I have never been a good one to confront my own emotions concerning my adoption.  It scared me to delve that far into my soul.  It still does to go that deep.  It represents too much pain for me.  I know however that it is the last stone that I must uncover to understand me and my daughter.

Years later, I actually dated a fellow adoptee.  He even cheated on me.  He lied to me about his other girlfriend.  I think he has now married her.  Its funny.  I didn’t tell him my story until after we broke up.  I asked him many a question about being found.  It was then that I heard a song by Michelle Wright.  The tears just flowed that night.  The song was called “He would be sixteen.”  The song made me wonder about her.  It was the start of my awakening.  During this time, I also met my first natural mother.  She was a girl that I went to high school with.  She was in an open adoption with the adoptive parents of her son.  What that meant of course was she got pictures every year.  She even showed me a picture.  I had run into her at a Alanon meeting.  My step father was an alcoholic.  I think now that the codependency that I went through during that time was my adoption issues manifesting themselves.

Why are codependency and adoptee issues so similiar?  Here I was in college trying to understand who I was and where I was going.  I stumbled upon Alanon.  Its funny when I was doing my fourth step.  That is when you take a moral inventory of yourself.  My sponsor asked me very pointedly about my adoption.  I shrugged it off.   Looking back and having found the five characteristics of codependency which are:

1) Self- Esteem: either thining they’re less than everybody else or they think they’re better than everyone else. Always examining social situations to see if they are better or worse than those in their midst.

2) Reality: not being able to identify who you are in the moment, which includes not knowing one or all of these at a given time:
a) your body: what your body is doing
b) your thoughts: what you are thinking
c) your behavior: what you are doing or not doing
d) your feelings: what you are feeling

3) Moderation: all of these can be seen in early childhood. A co-dependant person is either needy or needless/wantless (which she also clarified happens when a child parents the parent, they become the needless/wantless).

It’s harder to get rid of the needless/wantless version of co-dependancy because they are getting their needs met by themselves and they have to risk not having a need met by asking and trusting someone else to meet that need.

4) Adult needs & wants: not being able to distinguish between a need & want, and not being able to understand what an adult need is, since they were stunted in childhood due to abuse/abandonment/neglect

5) boundaries: external AND internal
external…well, pretty self explanatory…i decide who/what/when i will be touched or touched sexually

After reading over these, I realize that codependency has some very similiar characteristics of adoption issues.  For years I couldn’t distinguish between a need and want.  I had no boundaries.  I didn’t know how to create them let alone have them.  Being a closed era adoptee, I don’t know who I am.  How can I know?  I am told to be happy and grateful that I was adopted.  Every other non adopted person knows the heritage.  They know their path thus they can forge ahead.  I have always felt that I was stuck in my life.  That I can’t move on.  If I have an issue with someone or something, I chew and chew on it.  Its hard for me to get past things.  If someone has hurt me, I become obsessed.  I want to hurt them as they have hurt me.  I think that does stem from being abused by my step father.  I find myself in this situation now.  It has taken all my restraint, determination, and discipline to keep my calm and not just flame the crap out of this individual.

What is really bad is if I don’t defend myself then I turn it on myself.  I find that if I can’t express myself in a healthy manner then I attack myself.  Adoptees walk a fine line.  Some can walk far away from that edge and they are okay.  Others can’t.  Its a constant battle for us.  I think this is when we abandon people around us.  We are the walking wounded sometimes.  I feel this way about once sometimes twice a month.  I have heard that there is an increased rate of suicide amongst adoptees.  I can see that honestly.    I have walked around with this huge guilt complex.   I just can’t shake it now matter how hard I try.  Is it because I feel guilty that I am alive?  Is it because I caused this heartache with my natural motherIs it my fault that my mother had to relinquish me?  It will always be that question for me.  I can’t ever ask that question because of the sealed laws in Indiana.

My relationships were always turbulent.  I was always walking out.  I had met friends who were adopted.  I always asked questions about their reunion.  I was lucky enough to meet the man I would marry.  Our marriage has been rocky especially in the beginning.  My mother and sisters controlled me pretty good.  For years I was treated like I could not make a proper decision.  That I couldn’t be trusted with my decisions.  My mother was not happy with my choice.  Looking back and wondering about my own natural father, I wonder what he was like.  Was he a cowboy?  Was he a hard working blue collar worker?  What was his story?

We got married  when I was three months pregnant.  I was dragging my feet on getting married.  Marriage scared the hell out of me.  I couldn’t run away as I had done in the past.  Part of it was his past.  Part of it was mine with what I did know and didn’t know.  Well my daughter was born at the end of that year.

It was then that I met my first “baby scoop era” mother.  I worked for a city secretary.  Our department was in charge of death and birth certificates.  I began poking around the laws concerning those little pieces of paper.  The city treasurer knew of my interest in the law.  She also knew that I was adopted.  I was not adopted in that state though.   I eventually left that office.  I was only a temporary clerk.  She wanted to be kept advised of my due date.  Well I went into labor on that cool morning in December.  I called her after I had my daughter.  She came the next day.  She held my daughter as if she were her own grandbaby.  She was oohing and ahhing over her.  She asked me a question that led to the topic of adoption.  I mentioned that I was adopted.  She asked me if I had ever searched.  I said no but I would eventually.  She tells me quietly that she is a birthmother.  I asked her the same question back.  If she had ever searched.  In a pain wrenching voice, she felt like she didn’t have the right to search.  In that quiet moment, I was her lost child and she was my lost natural mother.  It was one of the many baby steps to the defogging.  I always think of her.  Always.  She who is now lost is always in my heart.   Two weeks after the birth of my daughter, I found out the first doctor that I had had been arrested for black market baby dealing and drugs.  I honestly think that night he was high on cocaine (that was his drug of choice).   We had to use forceps to ease my daughter out.  I thank God every day that he didn’t deliver her.

With my daughter’s birth, I first began poking around into my own adoption.  I had a cancer scare.  My own adoptive mother began pushing me into searching.  I got my first non identifying paperwork.  Back then it was more information.  Now they don’t give that kind of information.   Its just the basics.  It was 275.00 dollars to have the agency contact.  I didn’t have that kind of money.   Besides we were still moving from ranch to ranch. We were just floating through life until we moved to our current address.  I resigned from a high paying job.  That is where the fun began.

Chapter four later

Unknown Indy Baby Girl

Chapter Two

This is Chapter Two.  It presents my preteen and teen years.  I don’t ever remember being told that I was adopted.  I just knew.  My adoptive parents never made a big deal about it.  My world would soon change again.  You see, I am not just an adoptee (adopted as an infant) but I am also an adoptee lite.  That means I was later adopted by my step father.   I am however getting ahead of myself.  My adoptive mother and step father married each other in  when I was in fourth grade.  My first adoptive father pretty much had stopped paying child support as I went into junior high.  Life was no different for me.  I lead a pretty active life.  I hung out with my friends.  I went swimming at the local pool.  I jumped on my trampoline.  After my parents had been married for a few years, things started to change.  Heck my own body was changing.  My step father’s attitude began changing.  He began working for a large package delivery company.  Having been in that industry before, its the kind of job that makes you sacrifice your family life for a career.  My step father really wanted a career.  He needed to get out of the waste water department.  During this time frame, my friends never treated me any different.  My first encounter of adoptionism was some family friends.  My step father worked with a hispanic family.  I remember being angry at them because I wasn’t good enough to date their sons.  It wasn’t that I want to date them but I wanted to good enough.  I remember feeling extreme guilt during that time.  I felt like I didn’t deserve to have anything.  Its within the last few years that I realized that was a typical adoptee thing.

With my father’s new job, came drinking.  Yes he was an alcoholic.  With that came his personality changes.  I always felt like he was attracted to me.  It creeped me out.  My father had a hair cutting fetish.  He got turned on by haircuts.  My mother got sick of it after years and years of it.  We now understand it better.  He changed towards me.  I remember him telling my adoptive mother that I would be pregnant before I got out of high school.  I don’t know if he knew that I overheard him or not. I wonder now if adoption had any play in that.  He always treated me differently.  He treated me more harshly.

I remember one particular situation.  I had taken up the hobby of stamp collecting.  Yes I was a geek and sometimes acted like it.  I had them across my bed.  I went to the bathroom.  I came back and they were scattered all over the floor.  This was one of the few times that I ever stood up against him.  I was hot and pissed off.  I confronted him.  He proceeded to attempt to spank me.  I fought him tooth and nail.  He picked me up by my leg and arm.  He slammed me onto the floor.  My youngest sister was screaming in the corner.   I don’t remember much else but he soon left the room.

During that time we all had to be on our toes with him.  We never knew when he would explode.  He even took my bedroom door down because he said that I had to earn my privacy.  He did a great deal to humiliate me.

The only adoption discussion that I ever remember was when a family friend ‘s daughter got pregnant.   After we found out, my mother came rushing into the kitchenette area of our home.  She gave both talks at the same time.  You know the ones.  Sex and adoption.  I wonder if my adoptive mother was ever worried that I too would follow into my natural mother’s shoes.  I am pretty sure that my step father thought that.  After I heard that converstation between my parents, I took a celibacy vow.

My adoptive mother told me that if I ever wanted to have sex,that I was to come to her.  If I ever wanted to search, again I was to come to her.   I did have fantasies of an older brother coming to rescue me.  In fact, I thought Shaun Cassidy was that brother.  I know.  Very corny.  I thought that.  I wanted to escape my life at that time.  Yes it was that bad for a while.  I remember our neighbor telling us that she thought about calling the law on us because she could hear us screaming.

I also remember being treated like I could not be trusted.  My sisters have subsequently done this as well.  I have had to prove myself over and over.  It wore me out back in those days.  I hated it.  It still happens now.  I fight consistently with one sister over that very issue.

I also kept my promise too.  I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 19.  I dated only one guy for most of my high school years.   I was never allowed any real alone time with boys.  I always had a parental figure around.  I broke up with him the beginning of my senior year.  I didn’t like always having to deal with his wanting to be better than me.  He had lied to me about his grades and many other issues.  Plus he was Mormon.  I don’t think he is still one now.   My senior year was the year of heartbreak for me.

Chapter Three

Unknown Indy Baby Girl

First Chapter

I was born on a hot summer day in Indianapolis, Indiana in the wee hours of the morning.  I was brought into this world listening to the screaming sirens of an ambulance.  It was the mark of my separation from my natural mother.  It was a memory that will forever haunt my very soul.  I was born to a single unwed mother. 

On this day in the history of 1965, the Social Security Act of 1965 was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson which established the nation’s Medicare and Medicaid programs, financed by higher social security tax premiums.  William Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, was buried on this day.

I have been told by other mothers at this home were not allowed any pain relief.  Many were tied to the bed to prevent the mother from touching her child.  Many were not even told the sex of their child.  Many were not allowed to hold  their children.  Within twenty four hours after giving birth at the hospital, the girls were sent back to the maternity home to recover for nine more days.  The babies were either in foster care or in the nursery. 

I was placed with a dentist and his wife.  We spent six months in Indiana.  My first adoptive father was then drafted into the Vietnam War. He was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana.  We spent two and a half years there.   When the Army   my first adoptive father, we went to another state.  It was in the southern most tip of that state where I would spend my growing up years. I remember looking up at huge shelf of books and sitting in my high chair.  I remember the time that we went to pick up my first cat.  His name was Midnight.  Black as coal.  We didn’t have him 24 hours before he died.  I remember my father carrying his stiff body out the front door.  I remember when a massive hurricane hitting the area.  My sister and I slipped and fell on the white marble floors of our home.  The window in the den and bedroom was broken.  I remember sitting in the bathroom eating orea cookies, drinking milk, and chatting with my family.  My youngest sister sitting on the lap of my mother.  My other sister and I sitting quietly on chairs.  The tub was filled with water.  I remember my father telling about a neighbor’s roof flying off. 

Fast forward a couple of years later, I remember the day of the separation.  I remember standing outside with my mother and sisters as my father drove away.  In the weeks ahead, my father begins dating a younger woman.  She too has a daughter with the same first name.  They got married two weeks after the divorce was finalized.  He then adopted her daughter.  Now there were two girls with the same name.  There are also began a battle of custody over my sisters and me.  They didn’t separate children from their mothers back in those days.  I have to wonder why.  They stripped my natural mother of her rights as a mother yet my adoptive mother could continue to be a mother.  I would not have been better off with my adoptive father but I am just noting a fact for that time frame.  It was only six years after my adoption. 

I remember the visits.  They were harsh.  My sisters and I were treated as second best.  We always got the lesser of things.  I remember for years that he wouldn’t pay child support consistently.  My mother had to fight to keep the lights on in the house.  She still always made it the best for us.  We always had ample toys and barbie dolls. 

He finally moved out of state in order to avoid paying child support.  He later went off to create laminate veneer for teeth.  He even had the patent for the process.  His second wife would become his exwife.  We were later told that the adoption of the  other daughter was annulled.  Alas, that was a lie.  The second wife fought hard to get some of the profits.  She got some but he and his family spent the rest.  I later heard that he filed bankruptcy at that time.  He borrowed money against his mother’s home.  That debt was never repaid.  Whether or not this is truthful, that is an unknown.  My sisters and I never saw the documents.

The last time that I saw him was in sixth grade.  He pulled up in a brand new 280Z.  My step father was outside working on an old Volkswagon Beetle.  It was Christmas time.  I remember him shaking his head.   The Christmas tree we had was on its last legs.  It had no back on it.  We had to keep the lights off.  It would otherwise burn down the house.  He had brought money to my mother.  He had brought us a few gifts. 

Chapter Two next.

Unknown Indy Baby Girl

Hello World!

I am Unknown Indy Baby Girl.  I am an Indiana adoptee.  This blog will reflect my life story as an adoptee.  My experiences will always reflect those of an adoptee living in the United States.  I am fourty three years old.  I was born in the heat of the summer.  I have all of my non identifying information.  I have also utilized all of the available resources that Indiana has to offer.  The process has left me angry, wornout, and hurt. 

I will join the rank and file of adoptees around the country in fighting for access to my original birth certificate.  This blog reflects my personal thoughts, emotions, and reactions to adoption.  So sit back.  I will tell you the story that I have been told. 

Unknown Indy Baby Girl