Adoption Awareness: Stealing Fathers’ Children and the Gladney Machine (once again)

In honor of the month, I have decided to bring awareness. The Awareness I’m bringing will violate some privacy but I don’t concern myself with the privacy of those who seek out to defraud fathers of their rights or build barriers for them that are impossible to go over in order to sever their God-given right to parent their child. 

Welcome to Adoption Awareness Month. Today I’m going to make everyone aware about the class of birth mothers/wanna-be birth mothers who intentionally do everything in their power to end any rights a father has to his child. Who work hand in hand with agencies and their powerful lawyers to create injustices. I could go on and on about how these moms are brainwashed and look how good the agency coerced them, but I won’t make any excuses for them. They don’t deserve that from me. 

The following screen shots were sent to me anonymously. And they infuriated me so much that I decided to come out of “blog retirement.” 

Welcome to National Adoption Awareness Month! Are you AWARE how fathers are crapped on when they don’t want to give up these babies??

And the comments of “support.”
I seriously hope the ex of Jodi Rose Marie (or her legal name: Jodi Ouellette) living in a Gladney’s maternity home in Fort Worth, Texas sees this and hands THIS to his attorney. 

Shame on YOU Gladney for abusing your power and money to steal a father’s child. And shame on YOU girls for being co-conspirators. 

***Edit to add: Father is most likely in the Reno, Nevada area and his first name is Chris, according to Jodi’s profile. She was also engaged to him as of January 28, 2017. Adoption isn’t mentioned until after that break up.***


For the Fathers

For the fathers who were never made aware they had a child, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who fought like hell to keep their children but the adoption industry won out, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who felt they had no other choice, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who were tricked, coerced, or lied to, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who were accused of horrible things so that the industry could obtain your child, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who are still fighting a David & Goliath battle, this one’s for you.

For the fathers who are about to embark down the path of hell but don’t know it yet, this one’s for you.

To the overlooked, under-represented, swept under the rug fathers out there, I see you. I hear you. Happy Father’s Day. This one’s for you.

Life in Limbo

My last personal update was in the middle of January so I figured it was time to write again. I’ve been struggling a bit more with things, in regards to adoption, and I think that getting it all out would be helpful. I am almost finished writing a memoir novella about the time of my pregnancy, birth and the following weeks. I know this has taken its toll on my emotional health as revisiting that time period is always difficult, let alone writing about it. At the same time, it is healing to get it all out. I plan to self publish on Kindle with the majority of the proceeds going to our new organization “Saving Our Sisters” for family preservation efforts.

So where am I now? I feel as though my life is in a perpetual state of limbo. I am always waiting for the next communication, the next picture, the next update. As of lately my thoughts have obsessively gone to everything adoption. I play out endless amounts of scenarios in my head. In some scenarios IKL comes to visit with her adoptive parents and we all have a great time and continue to grow closer and closer over time and are just one big happy family. In another, IKL decides she doesn’t like the intrusion of her privacy and tells her adoptive parents to stop giving us updates. In yet another scenario, IKL hasn’t said anything at all but we have overstepped boundaries by writing and sending pictures every three months and they have decided to cut off contact altogether.

These are all extreme possibilities. I know that, rationally. I still can’t keep my mind from going there and to countless other places that are similar. I feel as if I am living in this fantasy world that I cannot escape. My parented children have surely suffered for it, as my attention is not 100% on them, as well as my friends and family.

If you may recall, from my last personal update, my husband had received our first direct communication, ever, from IKL. We were, and continue to be, overjoyed. She had asked him to please write to her, as he never had before, and he did. We all did. I emailed IKL’s adoptive mother and let her know we had sent the letters off. She responded that IKL would be happy to know J would be writing this time. I tracked our letter and it was delivered. And I haven’t heard anything since.

No email, no letters, no nothing. For all I know that package is still sitting in the special PO Box that is set up for us to send things. I hate wondering, questioning, not knowing. Did we cross the line? Did we say something wrong? Did she get the letters? Is everything okay? I don’t think its purposeful. I doubt that IKL’s family obsesses about this adoption stuff like I do. But still, it hurts to wait for crumbs.

Easter is just around the corner so today I sent off another “package.” It included lighthearted letters from myself, J, and our youngest daughter. I also made a DVD compilation of our home videos over the years for IKL to “see us in action” so to speak. Since she has no memory or recollection of seeing us in person, or hearing our voices, I thought it would be nice to further complete her picture of who we are. I am wondering if that, in and of itself, will be enough to cross the imaginary line that may or may not exist within our adoption relationship. Will her adoptive parents be upset about this? Will they let her watch it? Will they feel like we are communicating TOO much? I’m sure I’ll fret over this package being mailed until I hear a response, if that’s any time soon. I will probably torture myself with more outlandish (yet possible) scenarios. I don’t know what to do to escape it. I can’t stop writing and sending things to IKL. She enjoys it, needs it, wants it. I have to keep doing it.

I need to learn to relax. I need to trust that if I’ve stepped over the line that I will be politely told with no hard feelings.

Easier said than done. I am powerless. Really, IKL is powerless. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know our last names and I would bet that her adoptive parents determine when she can look at pictures we’ve sent and which things she is to have now versus later. I remember, at the beginning, sending a letter along with her right after TPR. I told her all the reasons I was doing what I was doing. I’m sure there was a lot of “adoption positive” speak. I have no copy of the letter but I remember the general gist of it. I poured my heart out with love. I also gave pictures of my other children and family members to her parents-to-be and the first letter they ever wrote talked about her “birth family box” and how things were being stored in there for her. I wonder if she’s ever seen any of this or if they don’t feel it’s the right time yet.

Yes, we have no control. Neither does IKL. Even as a teenager.

My oldest daughter, M, did not write this time. When I informed everyone we were sending off another package in time for the Easter holiday she said, “Do I have to write her?” My heart broke. I asked her why she wouldn’t want to and she replied, “I don’t know what to say. She never writes back.” I think the withholding of a letter (the first time for M) is a way for her to have some control over things. She is hurt that IKL has never written back and is upset that J received the first letter when he had never written at all. Her reasoning is probably, “Dad didn’t write at all and she wrote him. If I don’t write then maybe she’ll write me.”

How do I help her understand? I feel like the limbo of my life also extends to my children and juggling doing what is best for them and protecting them. But what is protecting one child may be hurting the other. I cannot force M to write to her sister but this means that IKL may get her feelings hurt with the absence of a letter from M for the first time. And I am powerless to get IKL to write to M. Even if I wasn’t, I would never want to force her to do something she wasn’t comfortable with either.

These are all the things I wasn’t told about. A successful reunion, in the future, relies on more than just me and IKL. There are so many outside factors to be included that could make or break it. My other parented children, my husband, IKL’s family. I worry that M not writing to IKL may hurt our chances of building a relationship in the future.

This all sounds so very self-centered, and maybe it is. I want nothing more in the world than to have a part, any part – even a tiny part, in IKL and her family’s life. My heart has been hurting for so many years.

This isn’t what I signed up for. I had no idea. I really didn’t know.

The DNA Test

For Christmas I got myself a 23andMe DNA test. Some people wondered why. Most people who utilize these tests are extreme genealogy buffs or are in search of biological family. Because of my experiences working as a search angel in various different groups I have been able to develop a deep appreciation for tests such as these. Furthermore, a deep appreciation for the fact that these tests mean nothing unless more people like me, who are not adopted, submit our DNA.

Yes, I am a birthmother, but DNA will play no role in the life of the daughter I relinquished in regards to her quest to find me. She will never need to search. Her adoptive parents hold all the answers to my location. And if, for some reason, she is unable to obtain that information from them, she will only need to look to the courts in the state she was born in. My notarized signature is on file. She has permission to have her original birth certificate. The fact that I needed to give permission for her to have it, in the first place, is sickening but, nevertheless, it was the only way. In addition to that, my address and phone number is also there. I have updated it every time information has changed over the past 14 years. I hope she never has to use this as a means to find me and only as a means to have her birth certificate. But, if it turns out that way, I have peace knowing it is all there.

Unfortunately, for the majority of adoptees in this country, that is not the case. Outdated and archaic laws and informal social institutions have dictated that adoptees are somehow not deserving of the basic human right to know who created them. So until these laws and social attitudes are changed, many adoptees have only one hope of finding any birth family. Genetic testing.

There are a few big players in the DNA testing market. I am by no means an expert at this stuff at all. I chose the company I did because, overall, to me, it seemed to serve the main purpose I was using it for the best. It had a large database of people and is well known for matching birth relatives. I don’t know that there is anyone sharing my DNA that may be searching for family, but I don’t know that there isn’t. In a show of solidarity for all those people still searching for answers, I jumped in the pool, as one of my fellow adoptee friends pointed out. If my DNA could help only one person solve their puzzle it would be worth it.

Of course I did get some other perks of the test. It’s neat to see where my ancestors came from and what genes could be potentially ticking time bombs. I found out I’m not nearly as white as I look and that I have the best longevity gene one could hope for. Great! Since all I really have is raw data I can’t do too much in regards to my main purpose for testing. In a few days the program should start matching me with relatives. Distant cousins, Maybe close cousins? In the meantime I am trying to make my family tree as accurate as possible. I have transformed all the data I worked on for years from my ancestry account and it now resides in my 23andMe family tree via MyHeritage. Maybe the secrets of my genes can help someone uncover secrets of their own.

Why am I blogging about this? Really it’s quite simple. If EVERYONE paid the $99 and did one of these tests imagine how many adoptees could find their answers sooner than these laws are starting to change. What do you say? Are you ready to jump in the pool with us?

Nightmares & Dreamscapes

The last I have heard from IKL’s mother was back in July and the suspense is absolutely killing me.  I suspect that is why I have taken to having nightmares that involve IKL.  This most recent nightmare involved her suicide and I don’t care to go into details about it.  I know its because I’m worried and my brain is trying to work out a resolution.  Top that off with the fact that her birthday was this past November (literally 2 1/2 weeks ago) and it’s the perfect storm for horrendous nightmares. I didn’t mention the nightmare to my husband.  It’s been my experience, in the past, that he doesn’t care to talk about IKL too much or our thoughts and feelings surrounding the adoption.  I’m not sure how it all came about, but I did mention it to him one night after the kids were in bed.  He was a little surprised that I didn’t talk to him about it and let me pour my heart out to him.  All my fears, doubts, hopes and dreams in regards to IKL.  I must say, since then I’m feeling much better. It still would be nice for an update in regards to how she is doing, but I’m thankful for my husband for being there for me.  It isn’t that he doesn’t love or care about IKL. I think its too hard for him to talk about.  He thinks I dwell too much and I think he dwells too little.  Because there is literally nothing we can do about anything, to him I’m sure he thinks its better to just keep quiet about everything.

So I’ll send it on out there into the worldwide dreamscape of the internet.  Dear IKL, I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing that you are happy and safe.

Dear IKL’s parents, I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing that your worries are minimal and things are getting better for the whole family.