Another Day, Another Road Trip

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.

Heading to Outlander Country

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.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Rooted in Adoption: A Collection of Adoptee Reflections

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.

I know that this book will bless me.

Flourish Reflections Part ?

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.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

The Support Adoptive Families Really Need

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.

  1. Have you read Nancy Verrier’s book Primal Wound.
  2. Have you watched Paul Sunderland’s youtube video on Addiction and Adoption.
  3. 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.

Earth Day

This time last year we were in the wonderful slow phase of life that I preferred to call Spring retreat @ Home. We slowed right down and took time to listen to the birds sing and watch the trees heave with the weight of the blossoms on the boughs. We enjoyed the pleasures that the Earth had to offer, but we are so often too busy to notice. Today I am still living at a fairly relaxed pace, but it was a hectic 24 hours as we tried to prepare 65,000 leaflets for delivery by the Royal Mail. It is a bit of an oxymoron, on Earth Day, to package up thousands of leaflets, and then travel hundreds of miles in total to move them from A to B. I did enjoy my run down the south coast of Ayrshire, to the small town of Ballantrae, to drop some off to a wonderful man, who is fully commited to the Freedom cause. Let’s hope people read them and take action, to get our lives back to some sense of normality.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

So yesterday was the submission date for the book proposal and it has past. I didn’t submit but I am okay with that, and if you read yesterday’s post you will know why. I now have a countdown for the next one which is on the 30th June 2021 and I will be much more focussed for it. If I am honest I never realised that the book proposal would be such an involved process. There is much more work to do, to submit a proposal to a publishing company than I ever thought, but I am determined to do a good job when it happens and it will. If you have any tips or advice then please leave them in a comment.

For now I am fully focussed on doing all that I can for the Freedom Alliance campaign, leading up to 6th May. When I mentioned to my husband how much I was actually enjoying working with a team of people, he rolled his eyes. He has heard me so many times talk about how people are winding me up. He often says to me “Joy their way is different, it doesn’t make it wrong, just different.” Today he commented that my Flourish group must be doing something good, for me to actually say that I am enjoying working with other people. As an adoptee, I have become so used to working on my own, making my own decisions and sticking by them, or altering the direction I was going, becasue I wanted to, not because it was the whim of another person. Could it be because for the first ten days of my life i lay in the nursery on my own, only having the presence of another person when I was being fed or changed, and left alone for another four hours until the feeding and nappy changing routine was repeated? Who knows but as a result of Flourish I am mellowing as a person, and learning skills that will transfer over onto the book tour circuit.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Reflections on Flourish

Yesterday in my Flourish group we were asked to tell the story of our true north, and what grand gesture would we need to take to solidify this. Here is my response, written in the 15 minutes that we were given:

My true north is wherever and whatever God wants to align me to. I have dreams of writing my story. I have had prophetic words spoken over it. I have had visions given to me that if I don’t write my story, thousands will be denied my wisdom. It is not magic, it is God’s creation. Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall receive.. I set my intention, I visualise my intention, I see my book manifested in physical form. I create it by taking a book and covering it with my book cover, with my title book publisher on the dust jacket. I visualise a famous author writnng the foreword. I cast a spell on my story being a success. I visualise myself at book signings and recitals. I see myself standing up at Adoption UK conferences and at APPG, who have no adoptee on their panel. I become an adoptee advocate and voice to groups who think they have adoption at their heart, but they continue to use language and miss the basics that only fuels the issue with the children of today, who will become the adults of the future, with the same issues that we have in Flourish. Parents need to know how they are adding to our issues. That is my true north. If my true north aligns with God’s will, then it will happen.

My first grand gesture is to hand over my ego, to surrender to God, to stop trying to get it to happen, and relax, safe in the knowledge that God has this. It is not magic, but by the power of the Holy Spirit this shall com to pass. I need to play my part, take the action of taking the time of sitting down and writing my story to send to the publisher.

My practical grand gesture is to take what appears to be a side-step, to stand for a seat in the Scottish parliament, safe in the knowledge that God has this and that each step in my life is a step towards my true north. Skills and experiences will help my development as a person, dealing with things that I have not encountered before, which will prepare me for events that I have not thought about in the book world, for the future. At times when it has been dark and hard, I have struggled to cope with it, and it is only with hindsight that I have come to realize that beautiful gems come as a result of either irritation in the case of a pearl, or intense pressure where diamonds are formed. By going through the furnace and fire of life, I will get to my true north.

Where is your true north and are you sterring towards it?

Blessings and Joy, Joy