Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Skull Man

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Sometimes when we get caught up in a cause we forget to keep first things first. As Christians, regardless of how happy or sad, how busy or non-busy, how involved with other things or not involved with other things we find ourselves, the Great Commission remains the same...Be fishers of men.

I guess Father God was reminding me of that the other day when I got the nudge to 'make a sign.'

I was meeting with a couple of gals from The Adoptee Heart for coffee. A few hours before we met, I texted them asking their opinions on putting a sign at our table..."Ask Us About The Adoptee Heart". They were fine with the idea. My printer was on the fritz so rather than print out a sign, I found an old frame, put white paper inside it, and used a marker to write the message on the glass.

When we got together, I propped the sign-picture up against the window we sat beside. We talked and enjoyed our time and I actually forgot about the sign. Well, there was a man we'd seen at this location before and he was there with a younger girl. Actually, I'd seen him there on several occasions and had watched him from the corner of my eye.

This man wears a large skull around his neck and every knuckle is graced with a large silver-colored skull. His hair is cut. He is clean shaven and portly. He has a computer and he and his friend use the WI-FI at the establishment where we were. They travel by bike...bicycles, actually.

After we'd been there chatting for an hour or maybe more, the man stands and starts packing his backpack. He looks at the sign, catches my eye, and says, "Ask Us About the Adoptee Heart, huh?" Then he chuckled a little as he turned away, still getting his gear together.

We all smiled back at and chuckled with him and when he turned back around I asked..."So, did you want to ask us something about the Adoptee Heart?"

And you know what? He did.

He wanted to talk to us about the girl he had with him...has had with him over four years that he treats like a daughter and very quickly assures us there is "no incest or other stuff like that" going on. I have observed them often and she doesn't shirk away from him or act fearful, nor does she hang all over him...I believe he was telling the truth. He wanted to talk about her past abuse and his. He wanted us to know they are both going to college on line and that's why they go to this particular place every evening...because they 'behave' themselves and are welcomed there. He wanted us to know they are homeless and such experts at camping that they post camping tips on YouTube. He wanted us to know why he wears skulls, too...to scare the bad guys away. The bad guys jumped him some time ago and dislocated his ankle. It wasn't the first time he'd been attacked. He wanted us to know he has a problem with anger and doesn't like to be touched. He has been touched in hurtful ways in both childhood and adulthood.

But every single time I've seen him, he's treated this girl kindly. His conversation to us is filled with the desire for her to have the best of life, unlike his personal life story.

We talked about Jesus, and he told us where he went to church years ago, a place we were all well acquainted with in Virginia Beach. But right now, he wanted us to know, he's mad at God. None of us blinked twice at that 'confession'. Nor were we dissuaded in our conversation. We told him God could take his anger. We talked a little more and he seemed to show some willingness to work things out with God. We talked about understanding abuse. We told him he'd be WELCOME in our church any time, and later we determined to watch for them just in case they accepted the invite. You know, to help with that 'I-feel-like-an-outsider-here' factor.

Now, listen. As much as I love my sisters, they are as ordinary as you and I. (Even though they are extraordinary in my heart.) We were just three women of the 'older' generation having coffee, listening to the whisper of God and putting up a sign to see what might happen.

Once upon a time and not so very long ago, I saw an empty church resurrected to a place greater than it's former self because 3 women got together to pray. So, I believe anything can happen when we gather together single-mindedly and God's in it. Anything.

You know, our new friends didn't ask us for or elude to a need for money once. Not once.

After a while, they left to meet another friend and we ladies just sort of looked at each other a few seconds. Then our wheels started turning and we got excited about what God might have been doing and what we could do in the future, especially for the young lady.

FAST FORWARD...Wednesday evening and our pastor is talking about just this sort of thing...diversity that certainly includes but also goes well beyond the idea of racism. Diversity God's way...inclusive of ALL who walk into our lives and through our church door.

You know, that doesn't mean that we pray for our church to grow, get new people in, make them comfortable as we get to know them a little and then decide we don't like they way they look, think, act, talk or smell after all. No. We make the decision to love every new and different person who enters and we stick to it and we stick to it by showing that love with more than a polite Sunday smile. And don't think for one second that people don't know when we're just being polite.

So, as we were lingering talking to folks after church, and as my hubby and I hadn't eaten, we mentioned we were going to this same place to get a bite. One of the other ladies and her hubby decided to join us and another friend who's wife was busy at another event. So, we all met there and I know you already know who was there. Our new friends! We talked to him a little while outside, then went inside and said hello to her.

You know what he told us then? Again, how he wanted this girl to have a better life and that he was doing the best he could but if there was a better life waiting for her, (and he indicated that he meant among women like us and our church), he was all for it. Then he said if we would want to meet with her on a regular basis there, he'd be all for that, too.

HOW COOL IS THAT?

So, if any of you other local ladies involved with The Adoptee Heart want to meet with us as we meet with this girl in the very near future, the opportunity is open. As she seems a little shy and maybe even a little overwhelmed by our attention, I'd really like to get her used to us in the next week or two and then maybe add more to the equation. And if you have friends who you believe God would work through to love this young lady, they'd be welcome, too. Let me know!

I don't know if our new friend will ever want to walk through our church doors. He's badly bruised. But maybe if some of our men would rub shoulders with him a bit and show genuine friendship towards him...maybe he'd become more receptive. He did speak of visiting another church sometimes. And the truth is, I'm not so interested in him having to come to 'my' church. I'm much, much more interested in his having a way to work through some of the things he talked to us about. I do believe men of true Godly integrity are a part of his answer and I happen to know several men like that attend the same church I attend. But I know men in several area churches that would extend heartfelt greeting to him as well. Let God decide all that...our job is merely to fish.

Jesus said He'd make us fishers of men. He's given us the heart. He's given us the opportunity. He's given us plenty of bait, found in His Word and our sincere care...So there's only one thing left...

"You get a line an' I'll get a pole, Honey!
 You get a line an' I'll get a pole, Babe!
 You get a line an' I'll get a pole,
 We'll go down to the fishin' hole,
 Honey, Sugar-Baby, Mine!"

~Cindy <3


Friday, August 19, 2016

Holding the Trigger Finger at Bay

Pet peeves are those little things that get our goat. Things that often don't mean a hill of beans to the next guy but can keep us up at night thinking about it. Truth is, if my peeve is that big, it would be better labeled as a trigger.

Triggers make our guns fire. Sometimes we aim at others, often we aim at ourselves and that translates into something horrific like a night of tossing and turning, overeating, or chewing our nails to the quick. Or worse...drinking until drunk, over-medicating from the medicine cabinet or outright getting high from illegal drugs. Cutting. Fighting. Closing ourselves off. Even sleeping around.

And then there's the not sleeping at all thing. Torture.

Except for the last item, which is a result of an overly wound up nervous system, all of these reactions are an attempt to numb pain so we need to understand the difference between a peeve and a trigger. Peeves aggravate, triggers activate. Sometimes a peeve can turn into a trigger. I think most, if not all the time, we have some say in whether or not that happens.

A few days ago, I was peeved. It could have become a trigger, but because I knew I was close to letting it become a trigger, I countered to keep from over-reacting to the imbecile who isn't adopted, isn't a first-mother and isn't an adoptive mother, talking to me as if she knew what she was talking about when it was clear to me at word five that she was...well, as I said, an imbecile.  

We were speaking of my recent illness, (which she announced before the entire produce section of the grocery store). I ignored her rudeness and figured since we were going public, I'd use the opportunity to get in a plug for the need of adoptees to have access to their history. I told her I had just recently discovered via my birth dad that I have a genetic predisposition for the particular illness I'd suffered. 

Think, whiny voice:
Her: "Oh...thaaaat's riiiiighhht...I forgoooot you are adoooooooooopted." (In the sense she is speaking, I am not adopted; I WAS adopted. See my former post on the importance of this semantic.)
Me: Smiling nicely for all the grocery store people: "Yes, and it's really important that access to records..."
Her: "Well, I can see that access to meeedical history could be necessary..."
Me: "Yes. It IS necessary...for more reasons than medical...Oh, look at the time! Did you see those Cotton Candy grapes they're selling? Gotta go get me some of that! -See ya!"

A quick wave and 25 deep breaths later, I'm fine.
Except for now because I'm hashing it all up again. I guess I better forgiiiiiiiive her. (Really, I promise to...In fact, I'm already there.)

My pseudo friend honestly didn't have a clue and was really only concerned with pulling off the facade of being wise and get her worthless two cents worth in. My counter? To smile, politely nod and quickly end the conversation so I could continue my shopping without losing any more precious energy.

I've been learning a lot about expending emotional energy and gauging whether or not I'm up for it, and more importantly, whether God would have me engage. See, if I left it up to me, myself and I, I'd always be engaging...hotly, most likely. But He gave us these fearfully and wonderfully made bodies that He programmed in such a way as to recognize stress...if we'll listen...and avoid when necessary. 

That day, avoidance was necessary. In fact, I'm finding most days, it's necessary. 

So, yes... a peeve for me is a person spouting off about adoption when they've never experienced anything to do with it. Or maybe they've dabbled on the fringes without actually diving in to see what it's all about. They have all the conventional answers and the conventional answers that peeve me the most are those that come from white-washed walls painting a white-washed picture of the truth and then spreading the tall-tale to others. 

And when these energy-suckers clash with my daily day, I have to choose not to engage in battle. Sometimes, depending on the person, their mood and mine, I'll tell them about Adoptee Heart. Other times, when I know they won't listen because they already know all they want to know, I just smile and go buy the Cotton Candy Grapes for $4.99/lb. Expensive yes, but it held my trigger finger at bay, kept my blood pressure down, and I've rationed the grapes daily, so I still have a few more left for tomorrow. (OMGranny, they are some kind of good!!)

Here's to you, my friends...Keep those triggers tamed! <3

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Adopted I was. Adopted I am.

I have decided to make a conscious effort to speak about my own 'state of adoption' differently. Yes, I will always be an 'adoptee' in one sense or another. Even if I weren't adopted by flesh and blood people, I am adopted by God.

But there is this little difference... Here's the thing...

I can live in a constant state of, "I am adopted" or I can live in a constant state of, "I was adopted".

The words, "I am" implies identity.

My human adoption is not where my identity lies. It is not who I am.

My identity lies in Jesus Christ. He is in me and I am in Him. I am because He is.

And so, my current and future efforts are to speak of my adoption(s) in this way:

In speaking of my human adoption, I will say, "I was adopted." Yes, this is most appropriate, I think, because when we speak of human adoption, it is an act that took place in the past. Yes, it is a legality that expands into the emotions and intellect, but still...it is an act that took place in my past. It is not definitive of who I am and so I need to speak accordingly.

In speaking of my relationship with God, my Father, I will say, "I am adopted!" And this, too, is most appropriate because this is my eternal state of being. This adoption is not a legality, created by man's frail efforts, it is an absolute created by God's love.Man can try to imitate it, man to man, but only God is the author of the true adoption that can only take place between God and man through Jesus.

I was adopted by my adoptive parents.
I am adopted by God.

"I was adopted."
"I am adopted."

If Yoda were humanly adopted, he might say it this way:

"adopted, I was; Adopted, I am."  (Think about those capitals.) ;)

To the average American Bear, this is nothing. A play on words. Possibly even nonsensical. But to those humanly adopted, I believe it's one of those little thing that counts.

So in keeping with my new manner of speaking, let me re-introduce myself according to my human adoption...

Hello, I'm Cindy and I was adopted.
<3




Scholarships for Adoptees and Foster Children

They say, "There's an app for everything." Well, it looks like there may be a scholarship for everything as well. Wish I'd known about this AGES ago!

Yes, it's true. There are scholarships for adoptees. I haven't checked these out yet, but am on my way now...I would love to finish my degree and this just might be the ticket...?

 So, just click this link and explore:   SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADOPTEES!

I just had to share this, even though I'm just about ready to write a completely different post...

Some things just can't wait.

Blessings and love,
Cindylee

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pretty Pretty Package

Credit: www.surfnetkids.com

Pretty, Pretty Package

Oh, pretty, pretty package
Mysterious to me
I ask today with trembling,
"From whence came ye?"

I know you hold my secrets, 
Perhaps some horrid truths,
At least that's what is whispered
From lips that are less loose.

When asked, my momma tells me, 
And Daddy tells me, too,
"Just leave those secrets in there,
That's what is best for you."

But I'm older now, and wiser
With Jesus at my side
And I'm opening my package...

Why
Can't 
Get
Inside?

Your paper oh, so pretty, 
Your bow so lovely, too!
But why are you so tightly sealed
In red tape and Gorilla Glue?

I know you want revealing;
You want your wrappings off!
But there are those who will not talk
While others only scoff.

But wait, I'll find some scissors,
And sharpen them and cut
Through screws and nails and anything
They use to keep you shut.
Because you see, I'm 'special'
And I can do great things
(At least they say things like that 
    When I trade my horns for wings.)

Just watch...I'll claim my package!
Just watch me tear inside!
Just watch me turn from wood to flesh, 
Before their very eyes!

I'll find my real beginning
Beyond the Sea of Lies
I hardly give a flying squirrel
About the questions why.

Oh, pretty, pretty package,
Wait just a moment more
The new day dawns and soon will come
When you're an open door!

The gift that you hold patiently, 
That gift that I know waits for me,
That gift of truth the world will see
Is what I've waited for.
Yes, what I've waited for.

My 
Whole
Entire
Life.

Have You Been Shredded? (Or, Another reason Why I Love Compost)

credit: www.248landscape.com
Of course you have. We all have been left in a heap after someone runs us through the shredder for the sake of their own relief. That's the kind of shredding I'm talking about...and anyone, (not just those involved in the adoption triad), who has ever had to deal with the 'Big R', (Rejection), is doubly susceptible to the the wounds shredding leaves.

How do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again?

Picture this: A pile of shredded wood lies beneath the wood shredder. The shredder, relieved of  it's dreadful deed, now stands still and silent. The pieces of wood beneath try to gather themselves back into what they were before the shredding, but they don't even have the energy to move. They are still alive, but in different form.

All the kings horses and all the kings men can't return this pile into the tree it once was.

As the pieces lie there confused and wounded in thousands of places, they begin to break down. They were created to be able to heal and so they focus their energy towards that, but to the naked eye, no healing can be seen. The pieces panic inwardly, fearing their final death.

But it is not death that awaits.

It's transformation.

This is the kind of transformation that can only come of being shredded. Of breaking down from one form and becoming a new form. I believe this transformation begins best and most truly when we invite Jesus to be our Savior. He's not a king with king's horses...He's THE KING with HIS HORSES, and there's a universe of difference between the two.

A lot of people think when we ask Jesus in, everything just...BOOM!...changes overnight. But anyone who's walked through depression and anger and the host of other negative emotions as a Christian, knows there's some kind of wrong thinking in that thinking. While our spirit does change immediately, our problems, or others that come to take their place, will always be in our world as long as we're a part of this world. And if we choose to leave this world of our own accord, there will be no relief...SO, we are left with this mind-numbing problem... We have to deal with being shredded. (UGH!)

What? Someone else maliciously shredded me and I have to deal with it?
Uh...Yeah. Bummer, right?

But you see, our Maker made us in such a way, that He can work in us even while we're lying in what we think is a 'useless heap', torn into thousands of tiny bits and pieces. And if we just sit still and trust Him, some amazing things will happen organically, because with Him in our lives, we can reform into what He intended from the beginning...way back before He placed this spirit He created that I call 'me' to be in that womb... (Because you see, He knew us BEFORE He put us in the womb. ~Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...")

Let's go back to our shredded wood pile...

At first there seems to be no real difference, but give it a few days, then plunge a hand into the middle of it. What do you feel? (If you're a gardener, you already know.) You feel heat. This 'dead' wood is producing living heat. With time, the heat grows in intensity. If the shreds could talk, they'd probably scream out in pain...and yet, they don't move. They stay there, they allow the heat. If they could think, maybe the self-conversation would go something like this: "I have to stay here until the process is done. I have to stay here through this nearly unbearable heat. It won't consume me, even though it feels like it will. If I want to become what I am to become, I have to let the heat do its work in me."

credit: deepgreenpermaculture.com
After a while, the heat grows so intense that there IS outward evidence of something taking place within...Ah! There is life, after all! Walk by the pile on a cool day and the evidence permeates the very air around it as visible steam rises from its midst. Yes, the evidence is there...something is happening on the inside. And the ironic thing is that we can pull such hope from that understanding, yet the reason for that visible sign is the breaking down of what's beneath the surface of that pile.

Knowing this, we maybe take a second look. Maybe all that steam isn't so great after all, especially if what it signifies is something becoming less. Isn't that what breaking down does to us...makes us less?

Yes, it does.

So, do we rethink our views on the greatness of the visible steam or do we rethink our views about breaking down? We are at the cusp of something important here. The choice we make in our thinking matters. Immensely.

If we choose to believe that the steam is not evidence of something good; if we choose to believe that breakdown is bad, then that shredded wood is indeed, useless. Might as well burn it, right?

But if we stand on our belief that the steam is evidence of breakdown and breakdown is good because it produces something of value in the end, the whole picture changes, doesn't it?

Did you know that the same thing going on with this shredded wood pile happens with cast out and piled up manure? In time, the heat produced by this 'useless' product turns it into something else...SO MUCH SO, that when the process is completely finished, the manure has a pleasing aroma. (If the smell is bad, the product is not finished, so don't gauge the accuracy of this analogy by the stinky stuff you may have bought in bag from a source that's in a hurry to make money.) The truth is, you can't hurry perfection.

So how long does it take, this process of becoming something useful from something discarded? In nature, we call the process 'composting'. Composting shredded wood takes a minimum of three months, but that's when we're pushing the hurry button. Six months is better, and a year is better, still.

I don't know that as humans, we're ever completely done 'composting'. But with patience, our shreds will be transformed into something useful for the nourishment of others. Of this, I am certain. And when the time is right for this to begin, there will be signs and others will recognize the signs as a confirmation to us of what God's Spirit is speaking to our spirit.

Back to the pile...
What happens in all this heat? Oh, the amazing things that take place!!
Bugs that were in the wood when it was in its former form as a tree, die.
Viruses that plagued the tree, causing it to turn its energies toward the same problem over and over and over again, die.
This 'slow fermentation' intensifies the mineral properties of the wood, bringing out the best of its DNA.

It becomes something it never could have become if it had stayed a tree...if it had never been shredded.

NOW, after going through the heat, it has become a product of great value. People will come in groves and pay good money for just a little bit of it. Why? Because now, it has special properties it didn't have before...

~It protects the precious plants in gardens from...get this...heat. And yes, cold, too.
~It helps keeps water in during dry spells and absorbs excess water during wet spells. (Protects against excess.)
~It imparts nutrients into the soil.
~It builds the soil.
~Eventually, it breaks down so completely that it is what we commonly call, 'dirt'. But everyone who gardens has a different name for this particular type of dirt.... To us, it is so valuable that we call it 'Black Gold'.
~By the time it's life truly is spent, it isn't really spent because it has become a part of the soil it has enhanced, the plants it has enhanced, maybe even another tree that will one day go through the shredder and face the heat.

But that new 'tree-shredded-to-chips' will make it through the heat because it has good DNA.

Just like me. Just like you.

Because no matter what our roots, (and I'm not in any way undermining the importance of knowing our roots), whether we know our roots or not, whether we discover them to be 'good' or 'bad', we all have, at our root of roots, the best DNA known to man...and that's the DNA of our Maker.

As we journey through the sawing-downs of life... some call it 'carrying our cross'...we have to face shredding in one way or another, we have to face heat in one way or another...to become who we are to be. It's a necessary thing, but we don't have to do it alone. In fact, it's in the trying to go it alone that we may make that awful choice to burn our chips rather than have them become 'black gold'.

My last 'shredding' took place in March. It was awful. I cried out to God in a way I haven't in a loooong time. I haven't had to. But someone I love dearly had, out of their own pain, thrown me into their high-powered shredder. I found myself in a thousand pieces on the ground as that person, like the shredder that had done it's job, walked away seemingly unscathed. (I say 'seemingly' because no matter how much we want to believe we can, we cannot bring harm to others without also harming ourselves.)

Funny thing, my pastor had told me just weeks before that I needed to be ready for battle because the enemy (satan) would hate and try to keep "The Adoptee Heart" from 'becoming'. [<My word.] And funnier thing, the attack had come as a direct result of my following Jesus into a place I didn't want to go in regard to my own adoption story. It took every last ounce of courage God gave me and I still nearly balked. Then, as He walked me through obedience, the hail came...baseball-sized!

But my Savior saves me all the time. He saved me from despair through His Word during that phase of my composting. The heat was so intense, I was tempted to give it all up. The hope and dream of helping others through the rip-tides of this 'adoption thing', the reality of what the truths of adoption mean to me and millions of others, the desire to bring awareness to the world and the Christian world in particular.  I KNOW there's more heat ahead, but He will be faithful to bring me...and you...through to that place where we turn into gold.
credit: blogs.ei.columbia.edu

I printed and carried the words God gave me that day,( through my open Bible that I did not remember opening to that page), in my purse for over a month. Every time the temptation to fear and lament over the words that had shredded my core rose up, I pulled out those words and read them. Initially, God gave those words in comfort to the Israelite nation in speaking to them of their beloved Jerusalem, but that day, the words and comfort were for me. Today, I feel strongly led to share them with you. I pray as I write this that your heart will see the meaning God saved for your understanding TODAY through His words :

Isaiah 66: 9 and 11-14a

:9 "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord.
"Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
:11 "For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
:12 For this is what the Lord says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted..."
:14 "When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants..."

Credit: www.upi.com

So, how do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again? We don't. We let THE KING re-form Humpty into something greater...like maybe, scrambled eggs and cheese...minus the hard outer shell.
credit: www.foodnetwork.com



May His peace be your peace today!

Love,
Cindylee<3



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Runaway Adoptees

Credit: www.glogster.com
Another adoptee run-away. Another adoptee attempted suicide. Another adoptee 'generational curse' trying to manifest its ugly head. Another adoptee in a mental institution.
Right in my my own neighborhood.
Right among my own friends.

Today, (again), is another down-pouring day. It can make one feel melancholy. Especially after receiving news like this just yesterday. But then, there's a part of me grateful for the rain, as if God is crying for these poor souls who have either lost their way, are trying to regain it or even find it for the first time. But I don't just feel for the adoptees...I hurt for their bewildered parents and children, too. Do they have Jesus as their Safety Net? Do they know where to go to get the kind of help that understands the root cause of the 'primal wound symptoms' displayed by so many adoptees?

As I talked to one mom yesterday, we spoke of her child's need to have therapists that understand the adoptee heart. We cannot assume that because one is a therapist, they automatically 'get it'. My resources repeatedly state there is an amazing lack of training in this area and often the ones who pursue deeper understanding of adoption and post-adoption related issues are in some way connected to the adoption world themselves. I hope to give my friend more info on what to seek in a therapist today. I love her so much and hate to see her pain as we speak of her adopted child.

I also had coffee with another adoption-connected lady yesterday and then (!) ran into her again later in the day. (Meeting these two women in a single day, and one of them twice is not something to be ignored, folks...THIS is what we call a 'Divine Appointment'!) The 'coffee lady' has a history of serious struggles and the more we talked the more I wondered if she were adopted. With some gentle probing she revealed that her mother was adopted. My new friend's descriptions of some of her mother's actions over the years were 'textbook' adoptee heart manifestations. As she spoke, I was reminded of the son of another friend who was adopted and how his mother's difficulties had reached past herself to her own children. In the (so far) end, he was addicted to drugs and lost his wife and children. Today I believe his addiction to be the result of his attempts to deal with the sad and angry emotions caused by  his mother's frequent abandonments. She had never healed from her own perceptions of abandonment as an infant adoptee. As an adoptee myself, I was a little shaken to make these correlations. How much of this was me? How much were my children affected by my post-adoption reactions?

Don't think I haven't gone there before. I have, and I've had to walk close to Jesus in those times so as not to allow satan a way to pull me into his abyss of guilt and shame.

One thing adoptees are 'famous for' is running away. I ran away once as a teenager and once as an adult. In my case, neither incident lasted more than an hour. (No, really, I'm such a sap!) However, I did learn how to run away mentally and emotionally. I remember how I would read, read, read as a child and then how my mother would yell at me, "You're hiding! You're hiding! WHY are you hiding!?" Well, for one thing, she was a fearful woman and I was scared of her and when you're scared, you freaking hide. But she was right...my 'hiding' in books was more than a love for books, it was a form of escape. We all do it. I just did it more than the average bear.

I could be tempted, in the past, into believing myself weird, but actually, it was my God-smart mind working for me where I was incapable of working for myself. It was a coping mechanism that as far as I knew, didn't hurt anyone...It seemed to be a safe place for everyone concerned.and as an adoptee who vacillated between complacency and rebellion, (sitting on the outside, standing with fist raised on the inside), this was a good choice, even though my awareness of my reasoning went no further than, "I just like to read!"

Unlike other adult adoptees who would leave their children for hours, days, months or even years, I didn't run away from my children. They were the only DNA of me that I knew of in the whole world! I couldn't...at least not physically. I was conditioned to a certain standard of performance and running away didn't fall within my particular boundaries. (I broke my boundaries in other ways.) But I'm pretty sure there were times when I 'disconnected' from them emotionally and mentally. I realize I'm being extremely vulnerable in sharing this, but the truth is, my relationship between myself and my children could be better. It's good, but it could be better and although I'm still sorting through this, I believe at the root is maybe this thing of my heart running away when times got tough.

Once I followed Jesus, I followed to the best of my ability but I didn't understand my own woundedness and spent a lot of time trying to perfect my outer shell in order to cover the hole in my heart...a hole I didn't really know I had. I just knew I often felt 'off'...incomplete... Well, as many adoptees will tell you, it's a hard thing to explain. Not having full revelation of truth in my life...truth of heritage, truth of why I react to stressors in a certain way and how that is connected to the 'primal wound' of an infant-mother or child-mother separation, I made mistakes. Some of them were pretty big, too. I still make them, but not as many, certainly not as big and I believe that is God's plan for everyone associated with adoption in one way or another...Progressive healing. But part of the reason for The Adoptee Heart...part of it... is the hope that adoptees younger, far younger, than I (I am a grandmother, after all), will start their progressive healing earlier than I did.

Actually, it's God's plan for all of mankind, isn't it? That we get better from the many and varied stumblers satan has set before us, planning for our demise? That we have patience with ourselves and with each other as we hold on to Him -our life raft- and make that long swim toward shore?

So, what's all this have to do with the stories I began today's post with, I wonder? Well, from what I've learned, running away is a very, very typical adoptee trait. Some run away physically, some fantasize about it, some do it via books, internet games, fantasy worlds, addictions...It's escape, people. We need to recognize this truth because there's more to it. When we need to escape it means there's something we need to escape from.  Yes, the stresses of everyday living can make anyone feel the need to escape, but wouldn't that mean the scarred heart is even more susceptible? Could this scarring be what makes so many adoptees take running away to a deeper, more serious level...even to the level of attempting to permanently run away through suicide? (Remember, the suicide rate among adoptees is 4 times that of non-adoptees.)

It is true that no man is an island. What affects us DOES affect the world around us, no matter how private we think we are able to keep our 'stuff'.

Maybe we can just chew on that a while. Ask God what HE thinks. Look at some of the materials put out by Deanna Shrodes at Adoptee Restoration and maybe take a gander at the resources Sherrie Eldridge has to offer on her website. But let's not ignore pain...Pain is a symptom presented by something in need of healing. Let's not run away from the painful truth, hiding behind the skirts of Jesus as we say, "Well, I have Jesus and that's all I need." Yes, He IS all we need, but part of being in Him is following Him and He leads us where we need to go! The Third Person of God, Holy Spirit, is our flashlight...searching the darkest corners of our hearts. Not only does He bring to light those places we don't want others to see, most importantly, He brings to light those places WE don't want to see!

Because.
It.
Hurts.

Try not to let these truths bring despair today. God shows us truth to set us FREE. Despair is the last thing I want for anyone reading this! Remember that Jesus truly is there for us. ALWAYS. But He's not a sugar-coater. He majors in reality and if we want to see the suicide numbers, institutionalized numbers and a huge number of other negative adoptee statistics go down, we need to face the truth of the this one fact: Adoption IS trauma. Some may heal from it without much help. Most don't. Can we just say "Okay, I get it?", join hands and let the healing begin?

I love you,
Cindylee

P.S. 

There is also the the possibility of adoptees running TO rather than FROM something when they run away. Here is an important excerpt from "Journey of the Adopted Self" by adoption author, Betty Jean Lifton (adoptee, adoptive mother and Ph.D.):

Running away has been called the "roaming phenomenon" and a "symbolic search" for the parents. We could say that the adopted adolescent is not running from but to something. One man remembers that he would head toward Denver, where he was born, with the thought that his birth mother might be there. It didn't matter that he didn't know her name and had no way of looking her up. 
Some adoptees go to live in a friend's house, as if wanting to try another family out for size. This substitute family can satisfy their fantasy of what it would have been like to grow up with their real family. Others run for the sake of running, as if they can somehow escape themselves or their fate. "Running away from yourself is the hardest thing to do," according to one woman, who ended up a ward of the state at thirteen."


Monday, May 2, 2016

There's This Guy...

I will often point to Deanna Shrodes' site and others because their words bring added or new light to adoption issues I'm already contemplating.

Well, there's this guy I found today over at Origins, Inc. I read his article, "Adoption and The Bible" and it said a few things God had already been speaking to me about...(But this article is several years old, so God's been speaking to others before I was even considering such things!) I liked what I read because so much of it resounded with my spirit, and I believe most importantly, God's.

This man's pseudonym is Rohan McEnor. At this article's writing, he was protecting his daughter, but apparently there is no longer a need for that, because I found his book, Rebecca's Law (FREE download!), which relates his own story, at another site in which he uses his true name, Cameron Horn.

This evening I read another of his articles which showed how adoption in the modern sense violates every one of the Ten Commandments. This father of a relinquished infant who never wanted her to be relinquished shows his anger, boiling just beneath the surface in this article. Apparently, some accused him of blasphemy after it was published. I suspect it was more because of his approach than his reasoning.

I too, felt his anger, but I do not believe he wrote blasphemy. It seems to me he kept a very rational mind while writing in spite of his anger. Jesus got angry about injustices placed upon God's children when he overturned tables, right? He didn't like it that man was taking such advantage of man under the guise of doing service to God. Well, of course, I know this guy isn't Jesus and I'm NOT making that kind of comparison, but if it's okay for Jesus to have the temporary appearance of a madman because of injustice, I would think it okay for Mr. Horn to write with anger about people who hurt people while hiding their real motives behind the skirts of Jesus Christ. That kind of stuff makes me mad enough to spit. But the truth is, it doesn't matter whether or not it makes me angry. It doesn't matter if I can get thousands of people to 'side' with me.

What matters is what God thinks.

I am not a Bible scholar with a degree in theology. I cannot and do not want to argue over Scripture. I lean, probably to a fault, to the heart of what God speaks to us and I believe this guy is speaking God's heart on the matter of completely unnecessary adoptions. I am a pretty good listener, however, and if my understanding is skewed, I want God to show me. Still, I'm thinking this guy has it pretty much right.

I hope you'll take a look at "Adoption and the Bible". It contains some amazing tidbits and 'truth bombs'. Mr. McEnor/Horn didn't just write opinions, his work is well-documented and I do hope he writes "Father to the Fatherless: What the Bible really says about adoption", the book he spoke of in the first section of the article. I think I'd find his insights valuable.

I am several chapters into Rebecca's Law now and can hardly wait to finish here so I can go back there and see what happened next. I am a little afraid of what I'm going to find...



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Saving from Abortion; Losing to Suicide?


Yeah, I know. Heavy Title. But if you read it and decided to read this far past it, you're more committed to truth than the average ostrich. This is an article for anyone, but it is addressed mainly to my fellow Christians.

Adoptee Suicides, at FOUR TIMES the rate of non-adoptee suicides, (and among those, the female average is higher than the male) need to be acknowledged.

We all know who's behind it. It's that Jesus-hater, satan. (I won't give him the honor of a capitalized name.) He can't stand the thought of Christians OR potential Christians and therefore, he loves suicide. Loves it. I don't know when the first suicide occurred but I know it was his idea. It's been his idea ever since.

But we don't get off free of blame just because we know who's behind the pain. Once we know truth, we know. It is our job to do something and if we do not, we shoulder at least a part of the blame. At the least level, our first responsibility is acknowledgement.

Acknowledgement that the suicide rate among adoptees is four times higher than among non-adoptees?
No, acknowledgement of the reasons why.

I believe our irresponsibility is compounded when we know truth, ignore it and then convince others to ignore it as well. How would one do that, you might ask? 

The people who most often blow the whistle in regard to adoptee life are none other than adoptees, themselves.  Stigmas over adoption, (ironically in direct opposition to the lovely pictures painted of adoption), place the adoptee at an immediate credibility disadvantage. Have you ever seen the movie, "Anne of Green Gables"? There is a scene where Marilla's best friend is attempting to talk her out of taking in an orphan. (In those days, people didn't 'adopt' the way they do today.) Her argument? "Mark my words! Those are the ones that put strychnine in the well!" If that one doesn't resonate, what about this one, spoken teasingly from one biological sibling to another and very often the punch-line in family sitcoms: "You're adopted!"  The underlying translation for this is, "You don't belong to us!" And of course, now that it's been pointed out, you'll think of more, or catch it more quickly when another one pops up. So, yes, there is a stigma already in place whether we like to admit it or not in today's politically correct world. 

With this kind of stigma in place, it's easy for a person of influence to do the work of ignoring the truth and cause others to do the same. How piously can such a person do this by shaking the head as if in pity while saying words such as, "Oh, well, she's just sorting through some things", or, "He's just not happy w/his/her own adoptive parents so he thought he'd go find some he liked better", or, "He's just one of those who was abused by his adoptive parents", or here's a good one.... "She's just reacting to his/her own unforgiveness toward her own adoptive parents". 

This isn't made up.

Know this...the word "JUST" can be demeaning and devaluing if used in the right context...or perhaps I should say, the wrong context.

Another way to ignore a problem is to...ignore it. Pretend there is no problem by not acknowledging anything to do with the problem or perhaps worse, smiling and 'bobble-heading' when a person speaks of the problem and then purposefully dismissing the painful truth from thought. 

Life goes on...or does it?

There are still sad adoptees out there taking their own lives.

This pretending things are not what they are and are what they are not and hiding behind the skirt of Jesus, spouting self-righteous excuses while doing so... 

(But we save so many with adoption! But the child would have lived in poverty! But the mother wasn't married!)

...This. Is. WRONG.

Don't get me wrong. There is a place for adoption. A huge place. Adoption is not 'bad'. But there ARE bad things involved in adoption. We need to see the truth of those things and do something to make them better...not bandaged, but better. The biggest 'bad' I see in adoption is this blindfolded approach we take towards it. But with this many suicides, the blindfold needs to be dropped.

SOMETHING IS WRONG.
ADOPTEES ARE SAD.
Let's find out why.
Let's help make it better.
WE have Jesus! If anyone has THE tools for making things better, it's Christians.
But we have to STOP PRETENDING!!!

It's time Christians access the courage granted by the Holy Spirit and admit to the truth...adoption is traumatic to the adoptee even in the best of circumstances because it removes the baby, who has been proven to comprehend far more than previously supposed, from it 'first mother'. And let's not omit older children from the equation. I have foster-parented children coming from terrible situations at home. It doesn't matter...they mourn and grieve the loss of their home and the parents we know are unhealthy for children to be among. Today, I am happy to say, the foster parent system is learning the better way of temporarily placing children while parents that can be are rehabilitated and trained. It's not foolproof or fail-safe, but it is at least an honest effort that many times works for the best of all concerned.

Movies tell us that the main thing the homeless/neglected child wants is a home with any parents, but the real dream is to have a home with their own parents loving them and caring for them as they should. And even when this is impossible and the child knows it, the wish is there. The sadness is there. The mourning is there.

We should never expect gratefulness from them and we should stop expecting them to be overjoyed at the prospect of leaving their family to live with strangers. That's a word to the wise on the behalf of fostered/adopted children, teens and yes, even infants.

And regarding infants, lets remember the other truth no one wants to acknowledge...Many, many adopt because they cannot conceive. I know I'm walking in the thorns in writing of this, but I must. In such cases, the baby is filling a void. Whether or not that's the only reason they are adopting, adoptive parents should strongly rebuke anyone who makes them out to be a hero. In this case, particularly, the infant/child is actually the one doing the emotional saving. Whether the adoption is public or private, extensive counseling should take place in such placements. These parents need to heal rather than try to bandage their hearts with a baby. If they don't, it's a Pandora's Box just waiting for the lid to come off.

And the lid will come off.

First things first, oh world of Fix-Me-Quicks!

Certainly, separation from one's birth parents is not always an avoidable trauma. It is a wonderful thing that there are people ready and willing to care for children as if they are their own. But we get off track when we ignore the 'as if' of the previous sentence and more importantly, any adoptee's woundedness. Remember it simply does not matter what they came from. It also doesn't even matter how much their new parents and family wants and loves them. The hole in their heart is primal. It was there before these new parents came on scene. It is there, regardless. It must be acknowledged, not ignored. It must be understood, not swept beneath a carpet of fear.

The psyche forced to pretend cheer in the midst of such severe loss often splits, hence the reports of so many adoptees of feeling as if they were"living a double life". Most adoptees learn to perfect the game of pretend. They learn, even in infancy, what is expected and what pleases. If pretending is what is expected, they will comply, sometimes for years, sometimes until a point in adulthood and sometimes, forever. But parents who encourage this game of pretend play a dangerous game of roulette. Adoptees make up some of the world's greatest pretenders...until they decide they're tired of playing. Until they, as Deanna Shrodes calls it, 'come out of the fog' in a desperate attempt to find healing for their torn self.

I know. It happened to me. It was like swimming under water and finally finding my way to the surface. Just beyond the surface was truth. Breaking through, I had the sudden joy of knowing I'd live...but then I saw how far I'd have to swim to reach the shore. I survived because I had Jesus. He was my life raft.

Why is it, in every other situation involving loss, we show such understanding of the need to heal, while in adoption, the child so recently separated from it's mother is expected to rejoice? Placing such expectations on the emotions of a child creates a myriad of problems stemming from hidden, unprocessed grief.

I didn't say that right. Not just hidden GRIEF. Repressed isn't even a proper adjective. This is smashed-down GRIEF. This is GRIEF so many adoptees are expected or have been expected to stomp into a bucket until it can be stomped down no more. Ignore it and it will just go away.

NOT. 


Christians, this is a call to truth in adoption. There's so much more. Get involved. Stop saying everything's okay as it is. It is not okay. It is horrendously not okay. It is SO not okay that adoptees are dying by their own hands four times more often than the rest of the sad population.

Which makes adoptees the saddest of the sad.

Were they saved from abortion only to be lost to suicide?
I think not.
Surely we can do better than this.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Adoptee Heart Group Launching Soon!

We are just about ready for the launch of Adoptee Heart, a local gathering of Adult Adoptees! Hello. I'm Cindy Hailey, a facilitator of Adoptee Heart. Christ is our center and we strongly believe he is the central component of all healing.

We are open to all adult adoptees.

To some the need for such a gathering seems...well, needless. And there we've stumbled upon it already, without even trying..."The Adoptee Dilemma". 

Because of a righteous stand for life, Christians have become blinded to the truths affecting the hearts of a huge part of the world's population. Let's narrow that down to America's population to help the average mind comprehend the extent of the problem. Here are some stats:

DID YOU KNOW there are 6-7 million ADULT adoptees in America? There are. This computes to 12-14 million birth parents and 12-14 million more adoptive parents and then siblings from maternal, paternal and adoptive sides of the adoptee's family. (Let's go way low and say only 2 siblings in each set.) 
That would come to a conservative total of 6 siblings per adoptee which gives us about 36-42 million siblings! And what does that give us for the Grand Total in the adult adoptee 'family mosaic'? (Remember, this is only including adult adoptees.)
66-70 Million Americans.
And by the way, that's not even beginning to count the children, grandchildren or extended family members of those 6-7 million adult adoptees.
At Adoptee Heart we acknowledge the truth of the adoptee's adoption experience, whatever those experiences may be. They are as varied as the seeds in a packet of wildflowers. At its core the purpose of this group is the healing of the adoptee heart, so whether or not others agree with the need is really moot. Healing for many adoptees begins with acknowledgement of the truth they've lived, regardless of how unpopular that truth is, even within the Christian community.

Sometimes true healing...and prevention of future harm...can only come when we knock over sacred cows - crush them, actually. Culture can create idols that God never set in place and unfortunately, there are things about the 5 billion dollar per year adoption industry that have become nearly untouchable idols. Adoption is, in concept, good. But the fallen nature of man has a tendency to taint good and the adoption industry has not been immune. It really is high time that we see past the shine of adoption's 'golden cows'. Is it all bad? Of course not...the enemy works best by mixing arsenic into the honey.

The risk of suicide among adoptees is four times higher than any other group. Four TIMES higher. There are wounded adoptees out there and they are not only those who have suffered various forms of abuse in their adoptive homes. Common sense tells us that if that were all there is to it (as if that's not enough) the suicide risk wouldn't be that much higher than in other groups where abuse also occurs. Secrecy, stigmas, lies and injustice are all a part of the hidden adoption story.

The short and skinny of it is that Christians need to get their heads out of the sand and shift into how-can-we-help? mode. We should be the first on board, but we are not because we believe the lie that if we tell the truth about adoption, more young mothers will abort their babies. However, in states where law has been reversed and records unsealed for adopted adults, the abortion rate has not increased. Hello. Is ANYbody listening?

Here is an excerpt from Adoptee Rights:

"There are myriad factors that influence and determine abortion rates in various states and countries, and as such, it would be irresponsible to claim a causal relationship between open records and lower abortion rates. It can be clearly shown, however, that abortion rates are not higher in states with open records nor do abortion rates increase in countries with open records."
:
One of the greatest, healing gifts we can give the adoptee is to erase the injustice of not allowing them adult access to their biological roots. It's been proven that this can be done without harm. And just in case someone wants to pop up with the, "But, what about the protection of the birth parent?" question... There is no verbiage guaranteeing anonymity to birth parents in any state and never has been. It's a verbal ploy. A rumor created to be spread and believed by the general public. It worked, too, didn't it?

Here's a wonderful truth...96% of birth parents say they would be happy to reunite or in some way communicate with, their relinquished children. That's a far cry from the story so many adoptees believe. What is also believed about relinquishment is that it was a completely voluntary decision when in fact, (especially from the 40's -70's), relinquishment came after heavy-duty shaming and coercion.

Most adoptees have come to believe, and society as well as scared adoptive parents have allowed the belief, that they weren't wanted, were a shameful reminder of a shameful act and at the very least, weren't lovable enough not to be 'gotten rid of'. What sad, and almost completely untrue concepts to carry through life! Adoptees are expected to lie silent, (and so many do) regarding access to biological heritage. So many adoptees believe the lie that they don't 'deserve' to know their ancestry. Many self-protectively proclaim they don't want to know. ("If they didn't want me, why should I want them?") Many adoptees eventually realize that this kind of thinking is put upon them from their earliest years by a misguided society. When the understanding comes that the adoptee is actually being punished (even if unintentional) by laws that withhold documents that are specifically about them, documents that should be specifically their own to have and hold, while the rest of the world, even those imprisoned for true crimes, have access to theirs ... anger surfaces.

In truth, birth parents of relinquished children, mothers in particular, have sadly always been the last on the list of those with any rights, with their relinquished children following close behind. (Another wrong that needs righting even today when what is spoken aloud is often far different from what is acted out in time.) In truth, the ones with all the rights are the ones with all the money. Closed adoption parents have the right to rename their children, lie to their children about where they were born and who they were born to...In fact, they are completely supported by the government of their state as they are given falsified records with the lies written in the blanks for them. This 'birth certificate' can be obtained by the adoptee and unless the adoptive parents have 'fessed up', the adoptee can continue through their entire life believing this biggest of lies told to them by those they should be able to trust the most. Why? Because in a sealed state, records are sealed away from the adoptee forever.

Supposing the adoptive parents tell the truth. Then the child can ask for their original birth certificate, right? Wrong. In in most states (closed record states), they will ONLY be allowed to have the fake one...again, forever. A social worker sitting on the opposite side of the table from them, however, can study the adoptee's original birth certificate until the cows come home...see everything there ever was to know about the adoptee's heritage...but the adoptee cannot see it or be told the truths within the document.

There are lobbyists and groups out there fighting for these various human rights and we support them, but that is not our main focus. Our focus is helping the heart of the adopted adult. We know the frustrations that can come with some of the dilemmas mentioned above and so many more and that's where Adoptee Heart comes in. We are not professional counselors, but we have resources that can lead adoptees there, if that's where they want to go. We are not a church, but are all connected to a solid church body. We offer ears. We offer hearts. We offer our own stories and guidance to the Healer of healers as well as to tangible resources that can help in biological searches, emotional support and more.

And we're all very, very excited to see what God is going to do next.