3 strikes and you’re out is NOT what happened last Sunday

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Which makes me sad. I went through several different emotions. One was surprise. I was actually surprised that the first thing on Sunday morning that would greet me would be an expulsion from the admin group of a group I cherish and love.

No “good morning,” no “how are you?” No care really.

I woke up Sunday morning to a message that stated that I had carelessly added people to the admin group and this is why I was being removed.

So actually, I get it! If someone were to add people to a private group where we discuss the ins and outs of the day, in order to strengthen the group and make it better for Adoptive parents all around the world, I would be very very pissed off. So I get it.

This is why I would never do something like this on purpose.

This adoption group has treated me well. I have no qualms about it. When I was removed from the Hair to love multicultural Families group, I told an admin member about it and immediately the troops were mobilized. They backed me, they supported me and a prominent member even blogged about it. They called them out on their behavior and subsequently removed the two people who had treated me so poorly. This was so heartwarming. I felt supported. I felt positively engulfed in love. I was surrounded by positivity. But is love conditional? Even among adoptees?

In a way, I think yes; when it comes to protecting what is sacred.

And that is how it should be. Adoptees, supporting one another. Trusting one another. Not giving the white person the benefit of the doubt.

Intent Vs Impact right? We teach this in our groups. We teach White Adoptive Parents and other adoptive parents that their intent does not matter, what matters is the impact. So I guess that is what happened with me. Except, in the real world, adult (especially those who have so much in common) would ask what happened, give a warning, and then remove if the problem persists.

This is not what happened. I wanted to break down the conversation for everyone reading. I wanted you all to know that I did not leave the actual group because I was angry, I left because I felt I had nothing more to offer. In the admin group, I compromised the privacy, and the security, and for that YES, I should be removed-for a period of time, or put on probation. I even suggested the probation component (I don’t believe I did in the personal message) But I got no response.

It is clear that one or two people run the admin group and everyone follows suit. I remember the private admin group, and loved it because we got a chance to share our heart along with crack jokes to make us feel better after a post went wrong. It was where I went to breathe; it was my oasis in the Sahel.

So why did I compromise this sacred place?

Excellent question!

And all I can say is that it was an honest mistake. I had thought I was adding people to my personal group and I had also thought I was adding people to TRA-NEVER to admin. It was around 11pm I believe and I thought I was adding people to my personal group-to grow it a bit. I thought it was strange when I could not add a particular person and I didn’t think twice. I just ignored the fact that facebook would not let me add a particular person but didn’t think twice because the other two were added without a problem. It was not until Sunday morning that I learned (from the message I was sent) that I had added them to the private confidential group.

I feel so much was lost in translation.

Here is the conversation below. I did my best to obscure names as no one needs to know who these people were, because it is enough for them to know.

Conversation and some notes: (click on images and you should see my notes)

One of the biggest things I noticed about this conversation is how many times I went back and forth with what happened. And I understand fully how this can be seen as lying. But, I was truly confused and it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Did I purposely added people to TRA admin? NOPE!! When I did should I have reported it? ABSOLUTELY….except, it didn’t register that I had added them to the ADMIN group. I was a moderator, not an actual admin. So I didn’t have permission to add anyone. But I did have permission to add people to the overall group whom I thought were ready or “trusted”. They would still be vetted, but they would not go through the longer process. At least that is what I understood as a mod. Whenever there was a “Request to Join”, I ignored it and let real admin take care of it. This occurrence is definitely Shitty and I blame myself. But I want you to read the convo so that there is no “confusion”. 

I remember growing up and wanting control over my own life. So I acted out. Adoption is a lack of control over what happens to you, when where and why. But I will not be that person. I will always speak my truth and then leave it at that.

Come what may!

I know I will probably be unfriended by several admin in that group, maybe even blocked, and that is ok. I won’t unfriend, nor will I block as it is not my place to shut out a brother or sister’s voice.

Maybe some APs will remove me from their list. And that too is ok. But I will be speaking my truth and I will continue strong in the group I created about a year ago. The group is called Adoption, Race and its Complexities discussion group. You can find it on facebook and request entry. I will also be deleting my Nooma Consult facebook profile so feel free to request to be in the discussion group. I also have a youtube channel called Honest Adoption Talk  and a podcast.

I will remove myself from TRA as I have nothing left to offer. All my videos and pictures will also be deleted from the group and those that can’t be deleted by me, I would hope that admin does the right thing and removes them for me.

If anyone needs some consulting, you know where to find me. You know how to find me. And I will be there for your adoptees. I promise!

After my mistake, I went and removed myself from about 7 other groups. I knew that being in so many groups is what caused this honest mistake in the first place. I was careless. It is too much. I also never want to make that mistake again or hurt another group of my own people.

You can choose to believe whichever side you would like to. Because you know there is more than one side to every story. But I figured it was only fair that I put my voice out there. It is my right as the rightfully accused. This way you know both sides of the story.

There are no hurt feelings anymore. On Sunday I did cry because I was more confused as to how this could actually happen. And though it was said that “admin decided”, I received messages from some admin saying “I did not choose to remove you” so I knew that there was more to the expulsion and that only a few people (or two) decided.

One admin approached me and said they were out of the loop and did not know what went down. But then I was told by another admin that yes, they in fact did know what went down. So I don’t know what the truth is; but instead of speculating, I sit with maybe both options being true.

Another admin messaged me asking if I wanted them to speak on my behalf. I turned this person down because I knew it was no use and it would be only wasted breath. I just made sure I shared my thoughts and that this does not happen to anyone else who pours their life into being a crutch for others.

Did I speak to facebook friends about the situation? Yes! These sorts of things are not meant for one to deal with on their own. Were some of the people I spoke to WAPs…..and APs….yes…because I have friends who are WAPs and APs. I have no shame. Most of the people I spoke to about this unfortunate situation were adoptees, people who could somehow relate to how I felt.

I think what saddens me the most is that even though none of us have met in real life, we all had a connection. I had spoken with several admin over the phone and some even speak to me frequently-non adoption related. I felt like I was part of a family. One that could not be taken away.

I was also saddened to hear that I was being spoken about as if I was some horrible person. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion about me and who I am as a person. But I can be sure that the last thing I am, and ever will be is fake or a bad person. So if my voice is really important, or valued…..hear this clearly!

This small occurrence will not keep me down. I will Rise!

 

Posted in Adoption

This Woman-a horrible memory

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This is my adoptive mother that I went No Contact with back in 2010, a few months after I wrote my first Children’s book. I went No Contact with her because of her untreated NPD and her “I saved you” complex. I also went No Contact with her because she never wanted to hear or get to know me. She loved the idea of me, but she never wanted to get to know me.
The more I grow and mature, the more I realized that I made the best decision in the world. I am learning more and more about how much my biological family tried to get me back. I was their baby. I am now their adult relative.
I also learned last year of how both this woman and her husband/doormat paid someone to fake documents to get me out of my country of birth. As I look at the adoption papers, I see so many errors, so many inconsistencies, so many lies.
I’m done with lies.
I’m done with mistakes that could have been prevented.
I’m done with them.
Some reading this will say “your parents were great, you are just ungreatful”. My question to you would be how would you feel if they did this to you and your birth family? How would you feel if they took your child and fought to keep you away.
I must remind everyone here. YES! I was in an orphanage. But you must understand that orphanages are not created to adopt children out. The purpose of an orphanage is to house children and feed them and educate them until their REAL parents can return.
Unfortunately my story is not unique. For those who are thinking of adopting, please look for the RED FLAGs. If you do not think about the signs, your children who become adults will suffer.
1. Inconsistencies in the paper work
2. The “I didn’t know” claim-most, not all are false because in adoption, the adoptive parent will go to any length to make YOU theirs.
3. The cost of your child
4. If you KNOW the parents are alive…..FIND THEM. Don’t invent new ones.
There are so many more red flags. Keep your eyes open!
To top it off, this woman also paid a mother for her twin babies. This woman claims they were ill, and poor, but conversations with older siblings prove otherwise.
This woman also adopted a special needs kid. Can’t see, Talk, or walk. This woman lives in guatemala with her lover. Why is she not loving on the special needs kid? Because it was all for show. I never saw her change his diaper (she hired people to do that-or me when i got grounded, that was my punishment), I never saw her really love him. and he was NOT a part of the family…..EVER! But when people who were going to give money to her cause showed up at the home, there he was, all dressed nicely sitting in a wheel chair.
This woman is the perfect example of intent vs impact. She may have had “good” intentions but the impact was scaring many forever. She didn’t just hurt me, she hurt so many people. Her lover was also insanely abusive, he tried to take the place of my adoptive father.
So, why am i smiling in this picture? Because as an adoptee, you have to. You have to make it look like you are happy. I was in my 20s there and I remember fighting with her about my pink shirt. She told me it was too slutty because my bra was showing. I was 20 for Christ sake.
Does she love me? No! She loves the idea of me. She hates that I have thrived in spite of her. I had to fight for a green card. Something they should have provided upon my adoption. Yes, you heard it right. No US Citizenship?
That is correct. According to my adoptive father “you were not a priority back then”….back when? When I was 3 years old and you ripped me out of my real mom’s hands so that you could parent me better than she could? You went to all that length just to not make me a priority?
Am I angry? Yes. Will I forgive this? No! Because forgiveness is like a band-aid that backfires-some wounds need to breathe.
So where do I go from here? I begin slowly to love on the new family I have found-the new family that should have been old. The family that spent 20+ years looking for me after these horrible people took me away.
Wealth, Religion, or the Color of your skin should NEVER be a good enough reason to adopt.
Poverty, lack of education, or the Color of your skin should NEVER be a good enough reason to lose a child.
Follow me on my journey of new discovery!
Thank you facebook for this memory. Instead of tucking it away as I’ve done for years each time it pops up….i’m letting it be a reminder of what I never ever want to be.
Posted in Adoption

Forgiveness is like a band-aid that can backfire. Some wounds need to breathe

People at the border said no….so my adoptive parents smuggled me out.

Last night I was laying in bed thinking about how sad and frustrated my real mother must have felt after my adoptive mother brought me to visit her. Once the illegal/fake paper work was done, my captor decided it was “safe” to let me visit my own flesh and blood.

I cried a bit last night. I cried because I can’t imagine the pain my mother must have been put through. I was not meant to be adopted. But after all was said and done, it could not be undone.

I grew up knowing in my heart that I was loved by my birth family. I don’t know how I knew, maybe The Primal Wound explains it all. But I knew that the lies my adoptive parents told were just that-lies.

Fast forward years later when I actually have contact with my birth family. I see them now. I’ve met several cousins, two of my amazing siblings. My aunt. And have recently had a short chat with my grandfather.

And they are all well. Which is a huge surprise since my adoptive parents kept me believing they were not.

We didn’t talk much about adoption when I was growing up. And when we did, it was all rainbows and unicorns.

We didn’t talk much about race, or racism and how I was the target of evil deeds all because of the color of my skin. “Just forgive them.” They would say. “They are just jealous. ” But forgiving them didn’t change how they behaved towards me, it just created more anger. Because we were not dealing with the issue.

Forgiveness is like a band-aid that can backfire. Some things need air to breath.

As I lay in bed, tears softly hit the pillow. And I kept asking myself why was everyone so sorry? My aunt is sorry, my siblings are sorry, my grandfather is sorry. Everyone is sorry and yet somehow, that does not change what happened.

Does sorry help to assuage the guilt? What Guilt?

That they didn’t fight for me?

That by law they couldn’t get me back?

That maybe I was not meant to be adopted in the first place?

Everyone seems to know my story except for me.

As I learn more about who I am, my dreams confirm my worst fears: I was trafficked.

When I was around 10ish (years for an adoptee are often fuzzy) we had gone to Haiti to visit my family. I remember my brother, my mom and my sister there. Part of this I remember, and the other part I see in pictures. But we spent some time together. I could not communicate with them. I didn’t speak creole. Creole was discouraged in my home and was only spoken when the “help” was around. So I lost much of my creole though I know today science says that the birth language can be retrieved at any given point. It is imprinted on the brain.

I remember after the visit we headed to the airport. My memory is fuzzy but I remember the airport personnel not letting me out of the country. I was so confused. I was being raised by these white people who were my “parents” legally, but I didn’t look like them. I don’t know if my parents had the proper paper work. I didn’t know anything. All I recollect hearing was the word Kidnapping. I didn’t know what that meant. I was clueless.

I had an experience similar to this one as an adult.

With me was my white blonde-haired sister. I had been living with them for about 5 years now so I knew her as my sibling. I didn’t see my blood as my siblings. Because in order to survive, in order to not cry yourself to sleep each night, you have to force yourself to believe a lie…..a story that goes against your heart. Just like with Stockholm syndrome, one is forced to bond with their captors in order to survive.

Now as an adult, my only thought was that this could have been my mothers final attempt to keep me. Even 5 years later, she still wanted me. I could have fit back in. I would have thrived. I was loved. Love causes you to thrive in ways you never could imagine.

Was this her attempt to keep me with her?- Her now 10 year old Haitian daughter that was adopted without her permission? Was this her attempt to keep the family together? She didn’t sign the adoption papers. She didn’t sign any papers. She just had me in the orphanage so that my illness would get better.

Was this her final attempt to make sure I knew I was loved by her and that she was sorry? Did she alert the authorities when my adoptive mother took me to the border?

People at the border said no….so my adoptive parents smuggled me out.

When border patrol at the airport denied my exit under the suspicion of kidnapping, my adoptive mother paid a motorcyclist to smuggle me and my white sister out of the country. I remember the motorcycle ride. We went over the Hills, around the banks. He drove fast. I think she took the plane.

I was being abducted all over again. But legally I was theirs…..they didn’t want me taken from them. I was their prized possession. They went through great lengths to get me, even though I was not available. They paid a lot of money for me. According to them, I opened their spiritual womb…..but I didn’t choose them.

Everything else is blurry. And I cry as I type this. Why can’t I remember? Has my memory suppressed things in order to protect me?

I remember talking to my adoptive parents later. It was a stressful ordeal. But were they running from something? We never returned to visit my family and when I turned 12, my mother died.

To know my mother died looking for me makes me super sad. It makes me angry that she could not keep me. It makes me teary when I think about her not being able to afford a lawyer to get me back. It makes me sad that she was forced to call me by my adoptive name and not the name she lovingly bestowed upon me. My eyes water each time I think about her struggle.

Her struggle to get me back.

So what was that smuggling all about? I’m in my 30s now and would love to ask my adoptive father but unfortunately we are no contact. I can’t deal with him. Forgiveness is not flowing in his direction. Forgiveness will NEVER flow in my adoptive mother’s direction.

Why do I not forgive two people who raised me?

I won’t forgive people I do not love.

I can’t forgive someone who knew that what they were doing was wrong.

I will never forgive someone who uses God to justify their evil deeds.

Was I loved in my adoptive family? Maybe. But not real love. My adoptive family loved the idea of me, but they did not love me. They could not love me fully because I believe they knew my family fought for me. And their anger at how the family fought was projected on me.

I never felt real love from them. I only felt love that came with a checklist-conditional love. Maybe my psyche knows that the incident at the border was my mother fighting for me.

Till Death DO US Part.

It took death to bring the rest of us together. And with this new found family, this different love. This love that feels unconditional, I can begin to live.

Forgiveness is like a band-aid that can backfire. Some wounds need to breathe.

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Posted in Adoption

Honest Adoption Talk

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Reunion

Posted in Adoption

Did you know series # 7

Children of color who encounter someone who mirrors them, (every day) grow up to be proud of their race and are able to more effectively become members of society.

Kids who grow up not knowing or embracing have their adoptive parents to blame.

What little things are you doing as an adoptive parent that helps them embrace their color and also race?

Remember that color is different from race so make sure you are always using the proper terms for their color as society has already labeled them.

Race is real. Color is real.

Talk about it.

Embrace it.

Point it out.

And show that you love their race, and color by embracing others who match their race and color.

Make sure you have friends of color on a regular basis. This way they will see that they are beautiful.

Your kids of color will already have obstacles in their lives. Don’t be one of them!

Posted in Adoption