A friend from high school reached out to tell me that her biological mother had died. She told me that the whole thing had been a nightmare and that I should write about it.
Here is Cheryl’s story, part of November’s #flipthescript series in which adoptees take over the microphone.
Image: Tracy Hammond
How I Got Informally Adopted
Cheryl: My memories start at age 5. My mom, Connie, had four more children after me: Viki, twins Mark and Mike, and Richard.
Connie was a partier and was gone most nights. My siblings and I were hungry, we were dirty and we were neglected. I once almost killed my little sister Viki by giving her a bottle of baby aspirin because Connie was out lookin’ for love.
Eventually social services stepped in. Connie kept Viki but gave up the twins and Richard to Colorado Christian Home. As for me? A couple who eventually became my parents had seen me at their church, where Connie would send me to beg for money, food, whatever. This couple informally adopted me with Connie’s blessing. Connie kept trying to get money from them for years. Eventually my adoptive parents got a lawyer and fought for me.
Continue reading #flipthescript 12: A 1970s Adoption Story
Anne Heffron is a highly gifted writer. In fact, she’s spent decades teaching writing to others, amid her own struggles around identity, brokenness, self-destructive habits, and conflicting emotions about her own mother (it’s mere coincidence that my last post was on the Happy/Sad of adoption). Her memoir and first book, You Don’t Look Adopted, was published four months ago (though Anne is already an accomplished screenwriter), and I have just recently begun reading it.
Writing her memoir — finally — about the things most pressing but most difficult to talk about is but one of the therapies Anne has pursued in her quest for wholeness and self-worth.
Continue reading “You Don’t Look Adopted”
I wonder if you might consider outsourcing responses to questions you get about adoption. It’s evident from your previous misguided advice that you are sometimes out of your element adoption-wise. Let me get readers up to speed on this latest request for adoption advice.
Dear Abby: Should We Let Birth Grandparents In?
Uncertain Down South said that she and her husband met their daughter’s birth parents briefly in the hospital at the time of her birth, but the birth parents wanted no further contact. Continue reading More Mucked Up Adoption Advice from Dear Abby
Question: Lori, I am trying to wrap my head around this. How do we live out Both/And from a foster care adoption perspective? Our kids were taken from their birth parents for good reason. We have all the info, the original birth certificates, case files, all of that. But no contact with birth parents. And we have been advised not to for safety reasons (the caseworker made a point of me seeing one of the parents via a one way mirror so I would know if I ever ran into him to run the other way).
I want to give our kids this wholeness. The best we have been able to do is some contact with a paternal grandmother for one child. And we know the adoptive parents of the other child’s older siblings, but we have no control over contact. So far the other adoptive parents shy away from it because it is so upsetting for their kids. No matter what we do these folks will not be a part of their lives in the every day.
How can we have openness in our situation and not split our babies? —Jenny
Continue reading Trying to Wrap My Head Around This