How Would You Feel?

I am in several groups on facebook, which regularly throw up articles that people have come across on the whole topic of adoption. This one is on the topic of adopting embryos, and tells the story of a baby boy who has been born in Florida after 15 years, yes FIFTEEN YEARS, in the deep freeze! This has so many repercussions for this baby, and I wonder if anyone has given the remotest thought about how he may feel growing up with that history.

Before I go on I feel I should just say that I know that infertility is a big issue for those concerned, but is making another human being to fix someone else’s fertility situation really the thing to do? How is that baby going to feel as he grows up knowing the history around his conception and subsequent suspension for 15 years before his subsequent gestation and birth? How will he feel, wondering whatever happened to all the other embryos that were “conceived” at the same time. They are his siblings 100%. Did anyone stop and think that maybe in 20 years time, this man might fall for an older woman, who turns out to be his sister. Or falls for his brother, yes that’s an option too.

How much of his genetics is he going to know? Because he willl want to know. Despite Amanda and Jeremy insisiting that they are his parents,they will never be his genetics. Love him as much as they say, he will want to know his genetics at some point, and whether or not he has siblings? A few weeks ago I wrote a post about sperm donors, and discovered that there is now a registry in the UK, for people who were conceived via sperm donation to put their name on, and connect with other people, their half-siblings. Is this a thing in embryo adoption? I somehow doubt it. It will take someone like Noah to fight for his rights to know his siblings.

Now let’s look at the words that have been used in the article. Let’s start with the heading shall we?

Hand-Picked Bundle of Joy.

The parents wanted a baby that could pass off as theirs. I wonder who that was for? Themselves or for the child? Fair play for wanting the child to be able to pass off as their own, and not be standing out like a sore thumb in the family, something that trans-country adoptees know only too well. But I can envisage conversations in the future about whose eyes or facial features Noah has, knowing that he has neither of his parents, to lead to angst in Noah. The wanting to pass him off as their own seems to have been swallowed up by going public with his birth and existence. He will be forever known as the child who spent fifteen years in the freezer. You know how cruel children can be.

“He’s just a very easy-going baby”, Jeremy said. Hmm the word “chilled” comes to mind. I hope for his own sake Noah warms to Amanda and Jeremy.

Quote “The embryo adoption program consists of roughly 50 donor couples. The donors have gone through in vitro fertilization (IVF) themselves, and they then give leftover cryopreserved embryos to be used by other couples who are struggling with IVF.”

I seriously have an issue with referring to the embryo that was used as a “leftover”. How is poor Noah going to feel that the most suitable embryos were used by his biological parents to conceive his siblings, but he was leftover, on the side of the palte after they’d finished their meal, sorry family planning, and he was left for the next family to take their scraps. As one commenter on facebook put it “See you in therapy Noah”. They meant that in the most honest of way, as I too see the early years of Noah’s life being problematic for this individual human being. As an adoptee I struggled with being told that I was “chosen”. How much more difficult will it be to know that you were called leftovers?

The penultimate sentence in the article is : “We need to celebrate his anniversary in the freezer, definitely!” Amanda says.

Really!? I wonder what Noah will have to say on the matter? I wonder if Amanda and Jeremy will want to see the funny side and serve ice-cream at this celebration? What sort of thing would you do to celebrate someone having been in a freezer for 15 years? Take them to see the film Frozen perhaps? Ice Age?

I can see this little boy having nightmares over the contents of their freezer. Wondering if there were any other embryos in there, that he is in danger of defrosting at Thanksgiving. Noah if you ever get to read this, then know that there is a whole support group who have your well-being in their thoughts. They will give you a warm welcome when you need it.

What are your thoughts? Have we taken adoption too far? Do you think these parents have considered how this child may feel once he has reached adulthood? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Becoming a Jellyfish

As part of being in the Hay House writer’s community, I have access to a motivational video each month, and this month has been one by Deepak Chopra. It was just over 20 minutes long but it was packed full of useful information on the Principles of the Creative Process.

It was all very interesting, but as an adoptee, what intrigued me the most was his introduction of his own background working on what he called “molecules of emotion”.

He identified chemicals called neuro-peptides, which were released in every emotional state, each emotion having it’s own certain chemical. And the interesting ah-ha moment for me, was when he said that these chemicals are released and have receptors everywhere in the body. “The cells in our body listens to receive our emotions”.

So when the baby is relinquished at birth, it has receptors in every single part of it’s body, that register that emotion! No wonder we adoptees feel our pain in every single part of our body. Our body’s were so awash with the strong emotion it has been written into our cells, and we keep reproducing it. We are programmed from then on for separation, everything is filtered through that experience, and we become dis-connected in our emotions, thoughts and subsequent actions. Separating emotions are; guilt, shame, depression, sorrow

The mind is not in the brain, it is in all the cells of your body

Now that I have had that ah-ha moment, I can now take steps to over-write and change my receptors to one’s of connection. Connecting emotions are: joy, love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness.

Over the past month in the Flourish group we have been looking at the subject of embodiment. How do we feel in our bodies. This week, I kept getting images of jelly-fish, and tried to visualise and embody that ease of movement, effortless, gliding, within my own body’s movement, as I move. Jellyfish are invertebrates, that is they don’t have a back-bone. I was reminded of the phrase “get a back-bone”. To tell someone that they need to “get a back-bone” is to insinuate that they can’t stand up to people, allow themself to be walked over by other people, but what if what is actually needed is to float through life more like a jelly fish, which has no back-bone. My intention from now on is to glide and flow through life.

I have spent many hours watching this youtube clip of jellyfish doing just that. Whilst you watch it I am just going to glide off, down the stairs and get myself a large G&T, and will probably float off to bed and the land of nod.

Tomorrow I will share more of what Deepak shared about the principles of the creative process.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Hopeful Email

Several weeks ago now, the Adoption Uk facebook group said that they were making plans for their confernce in October and were looking for suggestions as to who people wanted to hear speak.

I commented offering my services, as an adoptee, and sent them an email, as I feel it is important that the adoption community get to hear adoptee’s stories.

Well today I received an email asking for more information. So I am busy visualising that I get the opportunity to speak in Bristol on 10th Oct at the Adoption UK annual conference.

Wish me luck and prayers and visualisations welcome.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

New Skills

Flexing my writing skills and trying my hand at writing a limerick today.

There was a young thief from Devizes

Who was due at the court of assizes

Stuffing goods down the top

From their favourite shop

Made their breasts look like two different sizes.

Escape

My thanks to Lance Greenfield of Write to Inspire , who has introduced me to the blog Carrot Ranch. This is my first attempt at writing from their flash fiction, a story in 99 words.

ESCAPE

Trapped within the confines of her cell, the muffled sounds of Christmas songs came through the walls. She was head over heels in love with her captor unfortunately. They provided her with food and took away the remains and her waste. They soothed her with music and soft words and played with her mind. They spoke in a foreign language, they said it was best for her.

On a cold January day, she was prepared to make her escape. One short journey with twists and turns down a tightly packed tunnel, head first, landing between her mothers’ straddled legs.

How did you enjoy that? Made a change. Back to writing about my journey with Flourish tomorrow, with my refelctions of what we did in our most recent meeting. We reach the end of the first quarter with the last meeting in March.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Book Outline is Shaping Up

My blog posts have been a bit short recently on the whole adoption topic. That is because I have been spending a lot of time on my book outline and chapter development. This is how well it is going!

I have started to expand those chapters, add the details of my story under the chapter headings, and the therapy that helped me to heal as I went. Still work in progress. It’s taking longer than I thought, but it will be worth it.

So for now my posts are going to be short and sweet. I have a deadline of 19th April to get a book proposal in.

Have a great weekend. If you are in the UK, remember that the clocks spring forward tonight. 1 less hour in bed 😦

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Night 5 Word Friday

The lovely Esther Chilton over at Esther Chilton’s blog sets a challenge every Thursday, to tell a story in 5 words. I share my offerings with you in 5 Word Friday. This week’s word was “Night”. Here they are:

I run marathons at night.
Night-time creativity. Best sellers.
Sweaty night – menopause or TB?
Full moon night, werewolves howl.
Starry starry night. Hear that?
Menopausal sleepless night, sheets drenched.
Night duty – peace – no visitors.
Night shift over. Porridge, sleep.
Dark night settles, aromatherapy rules.
Night sedation lingers, sleepy days.
Night time conversations with Australasia.
Tennis watching nights, Aussie Open
Night night. Sleep tight. Bitten!

Do you have a favourite 5 word story? Please share in the comment section.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Writing My Story

For the past few months I have been working with a business coach/mentor and she has been helpng me to focus on my goals. I was telling her today about the book proposal that has a deadline for 19th April 2021 with Hay House publishing house and what I need to do to submit. I told her some of my story, and she is excited to read my book. Her face lit up as she thought of holding my story in her hand and reading more about what I was telling her. I was glad to see that she was excited for me, as excitement is something I don’t really do. If I do, the expectation rarely meets the reality. Like expecting to be put into my mothers’ arms at birth.

I was reminded of this Brene Brown quote:

So over the next few days I have set several goals.

1 To finalise the chapter outline for my book and write summaries for each chapter.

2 To locate the proposal guideline

3 To write my cover letter and bio in preparation to submit in 3 weeks.

1 & 2 are goals for this weekend, and 3 is to be done before we meet again next Thursday.

Do you set yourself goals?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Reflection on the Past Year

A year ago today, I had plans to be on an aeroplane, en route to Brighton to do the second part of my Upledger CranioSacral course, part two of five, CST 2, having already done CST 1 in November 2019. I had brought this one forward from June 2020 to March. Well we all know what happened don’t we? On 23rd March 2020 BoJo put the country into lockdown, despite the SARS Cov2 virus having been downgraded by the WHO to a level of a lesser significance on 19th March 2020. You work that logic out?

Ironically 2020 was the first year in my 59 years of life that I had my whole year planned out, with two of the five courses in my diary interspersed with holidays. I was expecting by the end of 2020 to have three parts done, with only parts 4 & 5 to go. But as my daughter would say “It is what it is”. So on the anniversary of me not getting to do my CST course, I will reflect back on the past year.

I spent the first 40 days doing an online dessert soul retreat with the Community of Mystic Healers. I preferred to call the enforced house arrest as a Spring Retreat @Home. We had regular zoom calls throughout the day, and deepened our spiritual life, immersing ourselves completely in a way that only lockdown could have allowed us. Life took on a much slower pace. It was peaeful around us as there was no traffic to drown out the birdsong, and we could hear the babbling brook which runs at the bottom of the garden. We took daily walks through the park and noticed the huge amount of blossom that was so heavy that the boughs touched the ground. My husband and I started the day with coffee in bed, then elevenses together, lunch, mid-afternoon tea, in-between meditation, contemplation and yoga. My left frozen shoulder got more attention than my right one did years ago.

At the beginning of the year I must admit to having been a teensy bit scared and a little paranoid. I wasn’t scared of catching Covie, I have a God created immune system that would take care of it, but I was concerned about isolating for ten days and not being able to get to the shops to purchase food, if either my husband or I were ill, so we cooked batches of curry and froze them. I even made a Christmas cake in March as I was convinced that the shelves would be bare later in the year when I usually make it. We could and we did. I made a second cake, as the first one was split between my husband’s birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary.

In July I took part in the Hay House 7 day writer’s challenge. I have been planning to write my life story for a very long time, but really didn’t know where to start. This hour a day for 7 days taught me so much. It asked questions like “Which 2 books would you like to see your book sandwiched between on the shelf at the bookshop?” Wow I had never even thought of what books were already out there. So I researched books on adoption, books on psychology and memoirs. I bought many books to read.

I discovered that my birth father went back to his wife, and was living with her even after I was born. I applied for a copy of their marriage certificate and I discovered that they got married just a few days after Chrismas in 1956.

I discovered Anne Heffron’s book “You Don’t Look Adopted”. I bought the book, I connected with Anne, I joined the Flourish Family and found 25 other adoptees that I could commune with and be understood. I joined facebook groups and had my eyes opened wide to the whole world of adoption. I learnt that there is an adoption symbol, which I have my own thoughts about. I heard about adoption disruption groups (which I didn’t investigate, they sounded far too angry) I watched DNA Family Secrets and identified with some of the people on the programme. I asked same sex couples if they’d thought about the possibilty that a baby might need more than just love? That loving a baby doesn’t answer the question it may have about it’s roots, it’s culture and it’s heritiage. I have set up a facebook group, Finding Joy Community, to help other adoptees heal.

I celebrated my 60th birthday with the news from Nicola Sturgeon that we were to go into another lockdown at midnight on 4th/5th January. So I went from planning a cruise for my 60th, to three nights at Gleneagles, to a dinner reservation, to not even being able to go out and buy a fish supper! I never liked celebrating my birthday anyway. It’s an adoptee thing!

And inbetween all this I continued to sign up for CST courses only to have them cancelled on me. The most recent was at the beginning of March this year. I did manage to get onto a virtual CST2 course, but I do need to repeat it in person when I can. I have received an email to say that it is happening in July in Brighton, fingers crossed.

So reflecting over the past year, I must be grateful for all the lessons. I have learnt so much about myself, my history. I have met so many amazing creative people through zoom. I have discovered the creative release of writing and I have posted for 60 days continuosly therefore setting a habit of writing daily that I now feel able to start the process of writing my story. I have the chapter outline written.

Today I discovered that I can leave the UK for studying purposes, which is welcome news as it may mean that I can continue my CST training faster than previously hoped as I can travel abroad to courses that are being held in English. All in all a succesful ending to an eventful year.

How has yours been?

Pressure is a Priviledge

I went to bed last night hopeful that we would get out holiday in Portugal this year, as Portugal are happy for Brits to go there this summer. I woke up this morning to read that our government is planning on fining us £5000 if we leave the country. My emotions were on a roller coaster. Expectations were high only to be dashed low again. I really needed to give myself a reality check. I live in a lovely part of the world, I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, the love of an attentive husband and a wonderful relationship with my daughter. What more could I ask for? If I couldn’t get on holiday to Portugal, it will be no big deal

And then the words “Pressure is a Privilege” popped into my head, the title of Billie-Jean King’s book. I am not quite sure why, but here’s a thought. What if we adoptees are here to channel the pressure of the world. Reading Julia’s book “Life In Between” she describes how her wife Teresa, would cry on her behalf. It was as if Teresa processed Julia’s grief, and it led me to think that maybe adoptees process the pressusre in the world, because we are strong people, stronger than so many other people, due to what we have been put through. The pressure of being adopted is a privilege. In all the driest, hardest places on earth, we can always find beauty, and some plant will always manage to flower.

I’ll leave that one with you to get your head around.

Blessings and Joy, Joy