4 months down and today was the start of a new topic in the flourish group. We have moved from ownership onto health. Now as a health professional of over 40 years, I understand health, in all it’s guises, and struggled with having it insinuated that as an adoptee I must make poor health choices and that must affect the world and the people around me.
I like to think that I have a fairly balanced healthy lifestyle. I eat relatively healthily. I could exercise more but I do do some. Is it enough? Possibly not. But I don’t feel guilty about not doing more, because if I did I would get up and do some. Now that we are in May, the days are getting longer, and we have had a few games of croquet. After the election on Thursday, I will hopefully have more time to focus on croquet and writing again.
I get enough sleep. I drink social amounts of alcohol, nay I seldom, infrequently, rarely. What is the word for 1 drink a week? Regularly? I regularly have one G&T a week. I don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars, or weed, nor do I vape. I don’t take any recreational or prescibed medications. I have a teaspoon of “Green Magic” most mornings along with Vit C and D. I have researched vaccinations and I make an informed decision not to have them. If I have a symptom of any sort, I try essential oils first. I haven’t seen a doctor for more than 14, since I moved to Scotland. And it was several years before moving, that I saw a doctor.
I decided a long time ago that if I wasn’t happy with my body, then I had a choice. If I could do something about it, then I would. So if I am not happy with my weight, I do something about it, but I don’t spend hours moaning about my weight, that is soul destroying. Neither do I wish I was taller, or had green eyes. There is no point in wasting energy wishing you were something else. I embrace what I have, as God’s creation.
At the moment I am spending more time on a device that I would like, but hopefully after Thurs this may change as I need to be in communication less with people than I am at the moment. Hope I can go back to working, writing and generally taking better care of myself.
I have a saying that I often say to my clients which says “You can’t pour from an empty pot”
On that note I am going to say goodnight as it is 10.30 pm here and I have work in the morning.
Today is the last day of April, and the end of my aim to write 100 posts in 100 days. I started this in an effort to get into a routine of writing every day. My focus has been taken over by the upcoming election campaign and today was no different. Today I drove 30 miles to meet Mandy, another candidate and we ventured out to the source of the River Ayr. We took our banners and posters and staked our claim, in the name of Yahweh and freedom, that the creative force of the Spirit would sweep along the 44 miles of the river, as it flows to the sea, and washes people’s conscience to vote for change and vote for freedom on 6th May. As I drove home, back to Ayr and the mouth of the river I prayed as I went. It was an awesome day, blessed by the grace of Yahweh.
Today I headed out to the small harbour in the village of Dunure on the South Ayrshire coast to do a little photo shoot. For any of my followers who are Outlander fans, Dunure was the setting for part of a story line where a ship sets sail. It is usually a bustling little place but today it was very quiet, with just a handful of people sitting outside the cafe with a beverage and snack, trying to keep warm from the biting chill. The recent lockdown appears to have hit the village hard, although no-one was willing to talk to us about the toll that it had had on their business. In fact they seemed very fearful of us even being there with our smiling faces. Which was a pity because the little gift shop had some lovely things and we were going to spend our hard earned cash there, but they asked us to leave, so we didn’t get to buy a momento of our trip to Dunure. I have to make do with my photos instead.
Tomorrow will be another town, or village, or maybe even the head of the River Ayr, who knows.
My thanks to Deborah for this post. I alerted her to it and as I am rather busy on the campaign trail at the moment, a quick reblog is my post for today. I have missed one day out of my 100 posts in 100 days, but seeing as I have managed two or even three on some days, I am still on track even if there is a wee cheat every now and again. Blessings and Joy, Joy
An adoptee friend of mine alerted me to this article that is an interview of Scott Simon. It touches upon an interesting tangential or is it potential argument for adopting based upon the environment. The title of the article is NPR’s Scott Simon on Adoption and Environmentalism. Before I go any further, I’ll quickly answer that part – the interviewer mentions reading the book and coming across this passage: “Adopting a child to prove something is not a healthy motivation. I would seriously consider alerting the authorities if I heard a prospective parent say, ‘We want to adopt because it’s the most environmentally responsible thing to do. Don’t want to increase our carbon footprint, after all!’ ”
I give Simon and his wife some credit for trying assisted reproduction first. I don’t know how far that went with that effort beyond the most traditional and conventional method of invitro…
Several weeks ago I was approached and asked if I wanted to contribute to a book that someone was considering writing. Or taking our stories and making into a book, would be a more exact way of putting it. Not having any experience in collaborating on a book of adoptee contributions, I thought I would do some research and see if anyone had done it already. And so I discovered the collection of adoptee reflections “Rooted in Adoption” by Veronica Breaux and Shelby Kilgore.
I have only read a few pages of it, but I was hooked from the very first words written in the foreword, which was written by Jules Alvarado MA LPC, a healing expert in the field of trauma. She sums up my grief that I wrote about in How does an adoptee start grieving?
“The experience of the adopted child is often overlooked. We celebrate completing families. We have big adoption parties that fail to realize the devastation, suffering, longing and primal loss of the child at the centre of attention”
I think I am going to enjoy as well as be challenged to read this small book. It has less than 100 pages, but each page holds a nugget of wisdom, of honesty and of pain. Written by adoptees who have their unique story to tell of relinquishment, adoption, pain and healing, as they explore what the whole process has done to them as individual people.
The very first sentence in the book, even before we got to the foreword says:
“To adoptees, some of the strongest people with the most beautiful souls. We lost so much, yet we continue to give. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the world.
OK I’ll start with an admission. I don’t actually know how many weeks there have been of flourish, but we have reached the end of four months together, or a third of the way through the year. Some weeks have been very tough going, but today we had a lighter session. We were asked about “Living the Dream”.
Q Imagine you are in full ownership of your life, at the wheel, in the driver’s seat. What car are you driving? Who’s in the car with you? What three things do you throw out the window as you drive into your best life? Where do you go first? What song is playing?
Well the first thought was that my car is actually a chariot, like Boudicca’s, fighting for the freedoms of the people, from the oppressors. It was more like a past life regression, but it is what came to mind, so I went with it. I am alone in my chariot, but I am surrounded by like-minded people, all who want common law reinstated. The freedom to chose who you see, what you do and understand that you body is your body and only you get to chose which risks you take with it, who you allow to penetrate it, and what with. We do not judge those who prefer to stay at home in the farms, we cannot all be warriors. There is nothing to throw away that has already gone, warriors take little into battle, all things in the chariot are necessary. Any un-necessary item would go flying, in the heat of the battle, but to be unprepared is equally folly. Preparation is key to ensure that the load in the chariot is what is needed to take up the mantle. Nothing more, nothing less. The best life is one where freedom is not a dream but a reality. Free to wander, freedom of speech, freedom in bodily autonomy . First I go to the troops, to plan and communicate the plan, forewarned is forearmed. To inspire confidence that this is a battle worth fighting for, that some will die for the cause, but without it, we are all dead, even if we survive. The song is a rallying cry, Flower of Scotland, Scotland’s National Anthem, which will get the blood surging through the veins of all those who accompany me on this journey.
This post has little to do with adoption and I am not quite sure of it’s relevance, but it has great parallels for where I am in life right now. We have a fight on in our country, and embracing the courage of Boudicca is certainly something that I would encourage to all who have taken on the fight to support our freedoms in this country. Our Party Election Broadcast can be seen here.
Maybe my next post will be a reflection on this post and I will allow my imagination to run riot, as I jump into the car of my dreams and drive into the sunset.
The election campaign has taken over my writing for the time being, but I feel compelled to write this, after coming across an article, orginally published in The Independent on 27th September 2017. It had the headline “Adoptive parents say “extraordinary lack of support has driven their families to crisis point” written by their social affairs correspondent at the time, May Bulman. As I read the article, I thought that the heading would have read better if it had said “Adoptive parents totally mis-handle the children they have taken in” as the article showed no understanding, of how to deal with the trauma that relinquishment instils!
The article starts “We always felt that our love and commitment would prevail.” How many times have I read that? “We love them, that is all it will take” mentality. It goes on – more than a quarter of adoptive families are in crisis, parents with adopted children tell the Independent, they are overwhelmed. Around 5,500 children are adopted each year in the UK, they tell us at the very end of the article – so 1250 families, if we assume that some siblings are adopteed together, are in crisis because of how they do not understand how the child feels.
We read about Sarah and Dave, who adopted a baby boy when he was ten months old. We are told that Ollie* not his real name, was adopted when he was ten months old. We are not told how many times Ollie was relinquished in those ten months, but my guess would be twice, but more is a distinct possibility. He may have been relinquished by his mother who gave birth to him, very close to his birth, and then taken to a foster family whilst the adoption process was being finalised, before arriving at Sarah and Dave’s home. In the early days his development followed a normal course, but issues soon started to emerge. Again we are not told of the parenting style of Sarah and Dave, but I can’t help wondering if Ollie was ever put on the naughty step as a way of managing his behaviour, because I can tell you, as an adoptee, he would feel abandoned again, triggering his emotions that he probably couldn’t verbalise, so he would have a tantrum. Rather than investigate why he was showing signs of ADHD and autism, it was put down to his birth mother’s use of heroin during the pregnancy.
Sarah says he had terrible issues making friends. Darling Sarah, do you have any idea how it feels to be a child who has been abandoned and rejected by your mother? You take that experience into life – if your mother didn’t want you, no-one wants you to be their friend either. In our tiny tramuatised minds, we crave friendships and relationships and yet we push people away, because it is easier for us to reject you, than wait for you to reject us. We hold the cards that way.
At secondary school he sounded like he was in his own little war zone in his head, struggling to deal with the social elements. Sarah had eighteen months going between services, being bandied about. “It took an extraordinary amount of resilience to fight with all the services” she said. I have three questions to ask her, or any other person who is struggling to deal with their child’s behaviour.
Have you spoken to an adoptee? One who has come out of the fog, as an expert on how your child may be feeling and why they are acting the way they are, at any given time.
Let’s take birthdays as an example. In general we adoptees don’t like our birthdays. It is nothing to do with the heroin our mother’s may or may not have taken whilst they were pregnant with us. We don’t like them for the very reason that we see them as the day that our mother abandoned us, whilst you, dear adoptive parent, see us as the answer to your infertility problem. So while we want to grieve the loss of our mother, you want to celebrate. Grief and celebration really don’t mix too well in our tiny minds.
I am so sorry Ollie, that Sarah and Dave had absolutely no idea how you would feel being sent away to boarding school. They promised to love you, and instead of trying to understand you, they did the most hurtful thing imaginable, they rejected you and sent you away and went to the newspapers to say we did everything right, but social services didn’t support them.
“In order to maintain his place in the family” you sent him away. Please don’t be surprised Sarah and Dave if he never comes back to take his place in your family again. You sent him away, why on earth would he want to come back to take his place? He doesn’t have a place in his eyes.
I couldn’t bear to read much further as Sarah went on to say how she made 20-30 phone calls, and goes on to say “parents already going through such trauma”. Not one mention about the trauma that Ollie went through prior to arrival at their home.
I have reached out to Adoption UK and offered to speak at thie conference, they haven’t replied to my reply. I have also reached out to the journalist and The Independent, offering to write an article about how society can help adoptees. They too have failed to respond. Until the adoption fraternity start to engage with adoptees, I fear that more and more “Ollies” are going to be let down. Please engage with us, we want to help you stop causing children more issues than they already have, because adoptive parents and the adoption world beleive that all you need is love. It is what we need, but we also need you to understand us. Reach out to us, if you are serious about the mental health of 1250 children a year.