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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First Memories

In this post I talk about the mother figures in my life.  The one I only mentioned as a RS Mentor was Sherri Flake.  She truly was a mom to me, and Clel my other dad.  The both passed away in March of 2014.  I never thought I would forget a single moment with them, but now time is passing and the memories begin to fade.  I'd like to write all I can.

I believe I met Clel first.  He was the 1st counselor in the college ward bishopric.  I think it was the second week of school that he asked me to give a talk in church.  I had plans to go home that weekend, so I said no.  He promised me he would ask again, which he did until I said yes.  I don't think we said anything remarkable, but I knew he knew who I was.

One week I went home, and my whole life fell apart.  I returned to EA feeling overwhelmed and afraid.  I needed to talk to someone, but who did I know there?  I asked to talk to Clel merely because I knew who he was.  I don't remember much of what he said, but I do remember that I went in with him and started sobbing about everything that was wrong.  He got me to laugh, which was the greatest Heaven-send at the time.  He then offered me a blessing.  I was shocked-I thought that was just for people who were about to die or in other serious situations.  Clel told me no, blessings are the most under utilized tool we have in the church.  I do not remember what was said, but I do remember feeling loved and valued.

I don't remember a single moment where I met Sherri.  I think we sat together in RS one day.  It was probably the first day, the one where she introduced herself.  We got talking, and Sherri invited me to dinner that night.  Having a home cooked meal at a family table was literally a gift from heaven.  I felt safe and loved in that home, and I didn't feel much of that my first semester of college.  I would later learn that they invited college students over every week, but I'm so glad it was me that week.

I can't remember what I was upset about the first night I just showed up at their doorstep in tears.  I just remember thinking "it's 8:30.  They aren't going to be too happy with me, but I don't have anywhere else to go."  Clel was the one who opened the door and said "Come on in!" with a smile.  I grinned at him and said "You just can't get rid of me, can you?"  His immediate rejoinder was "We wouldn't want to."  Like I said, I don't remember what the problem was, but I do remember how much better I felt afterwards.  Knowing there's somewhere you can go makes all the difference in the world.  For me, EA could not have been home without the Flakes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Adoption Feelings

I'm not completely sure why I'm posting this in a public space.  Maybe I want some validation, maybe I just want to get out of my own headspace.  My adoption journey is taking some turns

Many of you know I was adopted in infancy.  The adoption was closed and there has been no contact with the birthfamily since then.  In fact, my parents tried to get medical information when I was 5, but were unable to.  I've avoided trying to find her for the past 9 years because she does not know about my birth defects.  Very recently I realized I could seriously regret not looking for her sooner if the notion hits me when I'm 50.  I don't want to chance, so I'm looking now.

There are several forums online where mothers talk about the experience of "surrendering" their child.  Most of these are very negative and they talk about the horrible regret they feel through their entire lives.  They say they wish more than anything that they had kept the baby and raised him/her.  That is just crushing for me.  I've  had a wonderful life.  The video below shows my husband and I growing up (I come in at 1:03) and I hope these pictures prove I have a wonderful life. I hope my happiness didn't destroy her life. (You can just ignore him;)  )

I don't need or want another mother.  I hope that fact makes her happy as well as sad.  I've always known that she loved me more than most people can imagine in order to place me.  I've heard people badmouth her for it, but they have no business doing so unless they have the strength to make the same decision.  I have always been grateful to her, and even if this doesn't go well, I always will be.

I've always figured she thought about me at every birthday and maybe every time she saw someone my age.  I'm sure if she is still praying she prays for me.  In some ways I feel like I've been a source of great pain for her in the past 27 years even though I don't want to be.  I hope reaching out to her might heal some of the pain I imagine she's been through because of me.  Hopefully it won't crush her to know I have Fetal Alcohol Effects and Cerebral Palsy.  Then again, I'm sure she'll have emotional turmoil over the FAE.

This journey has been an emotional rollercoaster the likes of which is somewhat similar to finding out I was sexually abused.  I am so afraid of what this will bring, but also hopeful that it will be a positive experience for both of us.  This is a sticky issue, and I'm sure it wll be hard for her, for me, and I'm not sure what issues it will stir up for my parents.
All my life, this one song has spoken to me as being from my birth mother.  Right now it has me crying pretty big tears.