Adoption—When things go utterly right…

What would your life be like, if things always went the way you wanted?

An adoption plan cannot be created without the birth parents making a life-altering decision. Adoptive parents take full parental and legal custody of the child with no turning back. The adoptee is the tip of the triangle, the highest priority, and the reason the triad was formed.

“Having a positive attitude is all about maintaining a positive mindset, a mental attitude that focuses on the pragmatic brighter side of life; an optimistic mindset that uses the words ‘I can’ and it’s possible.’” –Judith Land

Adoption gives us numerous complex emotional things to think about and talk about. For many adoptees, there seems to be a continuous mildly irritating background hum raising concerns generated by negative thoughts of abandonment, isolation, and deeply held primal fears. The backstory of many adoptions is often complex; resolution of specific issues may become cumulative, ongoing and progressive, with new and unexpected concerns surfacing along the way. Many of the emotions, sentiments, feelings, and confusion generated by adoption are esoteric problems that many outsiders are rarely cognizant of.

If adoption is the reason you are seriously plagued by doubts, fears and perpetual worries, have you ever purposefully tried projecting a better image and outlook? Have you ever noticed that when you expect everything to go well for no discernable reason, they generally do? Coaches, councilors, and parents preach this message tirelessly with the expectation that positive thinking leads to higher achievement, better outcomes, and a more balanced brighter outlook on life. Thinking about what you want and expect to happen in a positive way makes your attractions grow and your aversions shrink and your troubles melt away. The outside world instantly becomes more attractive and less menacing.

Next time you feel frisky, and nobody is looking, try whistling, hopping and skipping, and jumping for joy. Be an everyday adventurer, leisurely shuffling through natural places at your own pace. Take deep breaths of fresh air. Absorb the ambient sounds, smells and sights of nature. Learn to love trees, meadows, and lakes and looking up at the sky. Never be afraid to tell others how you feel. Remind yourself that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

Judith Land

 

 

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Adoption—Chasing a Rainbow

“If you are an adoptive parent, a birth parent or an adoptee viewing the world from a stationary perspective on one side of the adoption triangle, you may be optimistically chasing a rainbow or even a halo on the opposing side of the triad, but don’t be fooled by the illusion that others can also see the rainbow because the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” —Judith Land

“Rainbows have every shade and hue found in a brand new box of crayons. To fully enjoy life, allow yourself to view the world in cinematography in living color with all the colors of the rainbow because rainbows aren’t very inspiring in a black and white photograph, a monochrome image in shades of gray tones where all the color has been removed.” Judith Land

Do you feel like you have been chasing rainbows all your life?

A rainbow is an arc of color in the sky that can be seen when the sun shines through falling rain. The rainbow serves as a symbol of peace and serenity, a sign of hope and promise often seen after a rainstorm when the sun finally breaks through the clouds. The appearance of a rainbow signals an inner spiritual awakening, a process that holds promises of new knowledge and truths. A double rainbow is believed to be a symbol of transformation and a sign of good fortune. Some believe a rainbow is a message that their loved one has made it to heaven and sent the rainbow to let them know, especially when accompanied by converging parallel beams of light, “God rays” radiating outward from the sun’s position.

The best time to see a rainbow is in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky. Sunlight passing through raindrops causes rainbows via a process called refraction, which is the bending of light as it passes from one medium to another. Each color has a meaning, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit.

Chasing a rainbow is viewed as a fruitless quest, constantly pursuing illusionary goals that are unrealistic, fanciful ideas that are impossible or unlikely to happen. Since a rainbow can only be viewed from a distance, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow inspired by popular folklore, is forever illusive. You can never reach the end or find the pot of gold because a rainbow is an optical illusion, no matter how you move, the rainbow will always be the same distance away from you. Some members of the adoption triad are dreamers searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow where all things are perfect, a habit that is fine when you are young but everyone eventually needs to learn to see the world from the other person’s perspective and circumstances to prove that you worthy as an adult. Empathetic people are curious and possess a desire to know and understand others. Empathy is important because it helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation. Empathy reduces stress and fosters resilience, trust, healing, personal growth, creativity, learning and nourishing connections. Empathy also transforms conflict, and supports sustainable collaborative action and positive social change.

My advice is to be inspired by rainbows but avoid chasing illusionary goals that are unrealistic. To build truly effective relationships, practice facing in the same direction as the other person to fully understand their perspective, situation, and points of view. It is far more exhilarating and delightful to view a rainbow when sharing the experience with someone you care about.

Judith Land

 

 

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Adoption—Time Waits for no One…

“Hours are like diamonds, never waste them. Make every day a joy filled with anticipation. Radiate some personality flair that fulfills your purpose and provide what the world lacks. Be alert. Show support for your inner self. Drink in the sunshine before the day passes away because you will never experience this moment again.” Judith Land

Judith Land

“Statues immortalize the flavor and essence of people we care deeply about and want to be remembered by future generations for their personality, innate characteristics, and quality and substance of thoughts and actions; people who create an unwavering guide that help us discover moral truth, and understand the difference between and right and wrong.” Judith Land

Don’t be afraid of growing old, be afraid of standing still. Never procrastinate or delay because time won’t wait for anyone. Human events and concerns cannot stop the passage of time or the ebb and flow of the tides. Some things are inevitable, such as birth, death, the sun rising and the passage of time, so chose a path and get on with accomplishing whatever you’re supposed to do because the river continues to flow on past, regardless of what we do.

Sometimes we forget why we are here on earth. We forget that there is a reason for all the pain and struggles. If you are determined to do something, find a way to accomplish it, regardless of the number of obstacles in your path. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Build your own rising tide of enthusiasm. Learn to do the right thing based on moral truths, traditionally held beliefs, right conduct, and knowledge derived from common sense and experience. A common person is not concerned with the calendar or the passing of time, but the individual on a mission is driven by it.

We build monuments of stone to someone’s passing, for fame everlasting. Nobody wants to be remembered for all the tidy little things they didn’t do, rather than the things they did do. If someone is curiously absent from your life, make a plan to reconnect with the missing soul before it’s too late, to make both of your lives complete.

Judith Land

 

 

Judith Land

Adoption Detective

 

 

 

 

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Adults bamboozled me into believing in Santa Claus

“You don’t have to be a child to be a victim of Santa Claus syndrome. Anyone who has ever been intentionally lied to, is aware of the hurtful feelings of deceit. Santa Claus syndrome is the intentional deception of others with the rationalized idea that lying, tarradiddles, falsehoods, untruths, fairy tales and perjury are acceptable behavior.” Judith Land

“There are things in this life related to adoption that we must come to terms with at some point in our lives. Some childhood awakenings are quite simple, while others are troubling and overtly traumatic.” Judith Land

Adoptees have many more things to think about. Uncovering the truth is often difficult for them. Awareness that adults were lying to me about the existence of  Santa Claus and the North Pole were equally troubling as the made up reasons for my adoption.

The threat of being judged and intentionally exiled from biological family members has a strong effect on the human soul and the fragile psyche and the spirit of an adoptee. “Santa Claus only brings presents to good little boys and girls. If your behavior doesn’t improve, we’ll send you back where you came from.” I know these feelings from firsthand experience. I had never had an honest or open conversation with my adoptive mother about my birth parents because any mention of them aroused jealousy and suspicion. Even in adulthood, my adoptive mother possessively clung to me as her only child.

The fear of imminent death by cancer eventually motivated my adoptive mother to unburden her most cumbersome secrets before she died. I was startled when she unexpectedly breached the topic of adoption. “As an adoptee, there are some unique things you are entitled to know. Some organizations provide false identities to adoptees to prevent them from locating their biological parents. Sealed adoption records protect birth parents wishing to live a secret lifestyle, unwilling to have their lives disrupted by unwanted children they previously rejected. At the time when you were born, fake baptismal and birth certificates were routinely issued to deceive adoptees by some organizations,” she calmly divulged while quietly sipping her tea. “Public policy may seem cold and uncivilized to you, but that was the law. Your baptism certificate states that you were baptized at Holy Angels Catholic Church, but that is simply not true. The document is a fake. You should write to Saint Lawrence Catholic Church to request a copy of your original baptismal certificate,” she suggested matter-of-factly.

I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that anyone would create false documents to protect birth parents from their own children. Hearing this information was an emotional low. When I was a child, adults had bamboozled me into believing that Santa Claus existed—and I had believed them. My reaction was the same now as it had been then. Childish stories about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and a dozen other fairy tale characters living in pumpkins and tree houses in Never Land seemed harmless at the time, but these stories offered conclusive proof that adults lied to children to intentionally deceive them. I had been deliberately given false birth and baptismal certificates to prevent me from discovering my true self-identity—the names of my parents, my medical and cultural history and the exact location where I was born. The actions of the authorities were premeditated, deliberate, calculated and cold-blooded. My adoption was part of a formal conspiracy to appease birth parents living in the fear of coming face-to-face with their own children. The legal practice of falsifying birth and baptismal certificates was a tidy and convenient solution for everyone except the poor, helpless, abandoned child.

I went straight to my safety deposit box to retrieve my baptismal certificate. I immediately recognized that something was glaringly wrong. My mother was right. The information was incorrect. The document was a forgery because it had been falsely issued a year before I was adopted and fourteen months before my name was legally changed to the surname of my adopted parents. Exposure of the fraud that had been perpetrated on me provided a new challenge, sparked my curiosity, and reignited my enthusiasm for continuing my adoption quest. I tried to appear outwardly calm because it was easier to rationalize my thoughts and behavior from a secular, detached perspective than the inner spiritual, existential, and emotional base from which my innermost thoughts derived. It was difficult to constrain my fears as I wondered if the early part of my life was a dark place with evil people that I shouldn’t go. Was I naively engaging in an activity that I shouldn’t be doing? Was I unwisely about to uncover something tragic, misfortunate, and undisturbed? Would my actions generate complications and unforeseen problems?

Perhaps, I would be safer and happier—if I returned to Never Land and continued my perpetual childhood belief in Santa Claus along with everyone else in the world who was ever lied to about something they were steered into with immense emotional attachment.

Judith Land

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Adoption in Winter Wonderland

“I grew up with an idealistic spirit with a widespread belief in an amazing future that was just around the corner, much like the image in a winter scene captured by painter Thomas Kinkade, an idealized version of humanity depicting a futuristic utopia, where everyone is educated and thoughtful and kind, working together to improve life for everyone—a world where everyone is virtuous, fair-minded, and kind.” Judith Land 

“I grew up with an idealistic spirit with a widespread belief in an amazing future that was just around the corner, much like the image in a winter scene captured by painter Thomas Kinkade, an idealized version of humanity depicting a futuristic utopia, where everyone is educated and thoughtful and kind, working together to improve life for everyone—a world where everyone is virtuous, fair-minded, and kind.” Judith Land 

Being adopted and relocated to the heart of the Rocky Mountains during the winter season is the equivalent of living inside a snow globe—an idyllic setting depicting a time and place filled with joyful memories captured and frozen in time—a snapshot of a romanticized world during a previous epoch when life was very good. People are happy and free from want and separated from the negative influences of the outside world. Kids are playing and laughing and everyone is perpetually smiling. The statue maker’s creative magic shows sensitivity and imagination, triggering long held happy memories of a glorious time gone by and feelings of being free from want that spans generations.

Growing up is not an option. Progressing toward psychological maturity means coming to the realization that saying farewell to the poetic dreams of youth and images of a perfect life inside a snow globe are melancholic. Beliefs in a utopian setting idealized by the slow dreamy rhythms of the seasons in a world of the imagination, largely devoid of moral and ethical deliberations, are my refuge, sanctuary, and place of safety. The lionized memories of winter that I celebrated in my youth as an only child and an adoptee will never leave me, as long as I have my snow globe close beside me.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to every child and parent on the space globe we call planet earth. My wish is for every adoptee whose life’s trajectory has been radically altered through no fault of their own to be able to attain peace of mind in the coming year, if only in our dreams.

Judith Land

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Adoption—Paternal Bonding

“Mother-infant bonding is a common theme in parenting research but infants can and do also create bonds with their fathers. Less is known about paternal bonding that tends to be based on physical and highly stimulating interaction, reflecting an exhilarating and fun-loving experience, different from a protective mother-infant bond. An infant’s facial expressions and emotions towards their father tends to be significantly different from their emotions towards their mothers, even at a very young age. Men are conducive to bonding but don’t like to sit face to face and talk about their feelings.” Judith Land

“There are not many relationships more sacred than that between a father and his son and no relationship will have a bigger impact on what kind of man a boy develops into than his relationship with his father.” Judith Land

This blog is an open invitation to male adoptees and fathers willing to share their opinions, feelings, personal stories and emotions about paternal bonding and what it means to be adopted, open verses closed adoptions, and the value of reunions with biological family members. 

 The public record on adoption is dominated by female voices expressing a variety of emotions that are different from those of male adoptees. Public discourse is dominated with first-hand accounts of reunions between mothers and daughters. Library shelves are filled with research data discussing the importance of maternal bonding and the negative consequences that occur when the primal bonds with the mother are broken or denied. The majority of adoptees that openly express a desire to connect with biological family members are female.

Please provide some of your own thoughts and observations on the differences and similarities between the emotional feelings, responses, and experiences of adoptees interacting with paternal family members and what may happen when this interaction is missing, intentionally withheld, or recovered later in life.

Included below are three examples from my files to stimulate discussion:

  1. Richard was adopted by a plain and uninspiring older couple. He knew nothing about his biological parents. He loved rich food attractively presented on elaborate table settings and candlelight, an experience that contrasted sharply with his domestic situation and lower economic upbringing. His eyes grew as big as saucers whenever he smelled or tasted exceptional recipes. He was overtly animated and inherently creative in the kitchen at an early age. His enthusiasm for well-prepared meals was highly contagious. When the name of his biological father was revealed to him, he learned that his father was a restaurant owner and a famous chef—like father like son.
  1. Robert’s adoptive parents died at an early age when he was a high school senior. He knew absolutely nothing about his biological parents. After his adoptive parents died he received a university scholarship from an unknown source. Robert was athletic and raced on the college ski team for four years. When he walked off the stage following his college graduation ceremony, a stranger extended his hand offering his congratulations, “Hello! I’m proud of you—I’m your father.” Robert stood there motionless, slack-jawed, and frozen in time as the man abruptly turned around and disappeared into the crowd, never to be seen again. 
  1. James was six years old, born in a foreign country, and living in an orphanage when he was adopted. He was naturally outgoing and happy. His adoptive parents were attracted to his beautiful smile and friendly disposition. He loved playing baseball with the other children, and later in life, using the same exceptional hand eye coordination, he evolved into an excellent golfer. After retirement from a career as a police officer, he was contacted by an adult male claiming to be his son. James was caught completely off guard because his former girlfriend had never told him that he had fathered her child. 

What advice do you have for James, Robert and Richard? All three individuals have concerns and questions about what steps to take next? 

Judith Land

 

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Adoption—Fighting for your Destiny

“The day we give up on small fights and start focusing on our destiny is the day we start becoming successful and content with the way things are,” Judith Land 

Life is an awkward frustrating toffee pull for many adoptees. Their lives are complicated and their relationships more complex than they often need to be. They have many more things to think about and more family issues to deal with that lead to confusion and disagreements. The more muddled the situation becomes, the harder it is for them to calm down, adjust to circumstances, and concede other points of view. 

Adoption Detective | Judith Land

“Many adoptees find themselves in difficult situations that naturally lead to disagreements, conflict, and strife. They struggle for autonomy, privacy, equality, self-determination, and freedom. They are goaded into bickering and feuding with other family members and peers, often over trivial issues. Disagreements are a way of life, but they don’t have to cause havoc. There are many books on how to deal with disagreements effectively and they should be available when needed.” Judith Land

What adoptees eventually must learn is that one of the greatest turning points in life is when you come to the realization that it isn’t worth spending a lifetime consumed by negative thoughts triggered by resentment, feeling sorry for yourself, self-pity, and regret—knowing that it’s fruitless to blindly resist reality and continue to pick fights with everyone who disagrees with you. 

To be successful in life, learn to choose what you fight for wisely and know that small fights are for small fighters. Stop fighting against the gossipers and the trouble makers. Stop fighting public expectations of how you should live and behave. Stop fighting in laws, colleagues and friends who aren’t true. Stop fighting to change the opinions of stupid people with small minds. Stop resisting and give up on fighting for small things—insignificant things of little consequence—things that aren’t worth your time. Stop fighting for attention, fighting with family, fighting with inconsiderate people, fighting for your rights, fighting to please everyone, fighting to prove others are wrong about you. 

Use common sense and fight for important things that are attainable. Take responsibility for your life and career to determine which direction your life will go. Know that you can change your destiny by defining your goals and focusing on your vision for the future, based on who you are and what you do. Power your dreams with hope to alter future outcomes to ensure your destiny. This is the path to happiness.

Judith Land

 

 

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