Friday, December 24, 2010

Goodbye 2010 - Hello 2011

On Christmas morning I woke up without finding L. Sleigh under my tree. Am I angry? No, not anymore. I'm disappointed however. Will I stop waiting for her? No, I'll continue to sit up on Christmas Eve awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus so I can receive the gift of my roots. But as 2010 draws to an end, I will move on to bigger and better things beside waiting for a mother who doesn't know I exist or refuses to acknowledge me. L. Sleigh will not be who I think about all year long. I will not focus on her.

Instead in 2011 I will meet self imposed deadlines to complete manuscripts I've started. I will lose the same ten to fifteen pounds I've lost and gained several times before. I will make better decisions than I have in the past. I will take better care of my health. I will drink water. I will not commit myself to things I don't want to do. I will be able to say no if it's necessary. I will continue to help others but I will be more focused on Rosa. I won't apologize for things I'm not sorry for. I will stand up for myself when people try to take advantage of my kindness. In other words I'm going to do me. I'm going to find out what God desires from me and walk into my destiny.

So I'm warning everyone 2011, I will be a different person! I'm getting it together for 2011!


Santa and His Sleigh

Tonight little children will anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus. He will supposedly arrive in his gleaming red sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. He will get the credit for all good things that happen between tonight and tomorrow morning. I too, will anxiously await the arrival of a Sleigh. I will wake up early tomorrow with great anticipation that L. Sleigh has remembered that she gave birth to a baby girl named Infant Sleigh and will be sitting in my living room.

I pray the kids will get exactly what they are asking for and won't suffer the same disappointment I've felt every Christmas in the past. I'm watching the movie Holiday Affair where little Timmy thinks the Red Rocket Express train his mother bought for the store where she works is for him. In reality, the mother bought her son a sensible suit. Imagine his disappointment when he opens his gift. That is the kind of letdown that takes your breath away. It's a deep heartfelt sense of loss.

L. Sleigh is probably suffering too and I pray for her healing over the loss of a child. I wonder if she sits by the Christmas tree waiting for Santa Claus to drop me off.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Infant Sleigh

Christmas time is upon us, seemingly with more quickness than in years past. And although I love the season, I don't participate as much as I should. My excuse is because my husband and I give to our children and grandchildren all year long, any gift we would give at Christmas would just be token gifts at best. After spending this year talking about my being adopted to anyone who would listen, I finally feel free enough to take part in some of the festivities. I actually put up a tree and my husband and I are exchanging gifts.

Why didn't I like the Christmas season you are probably asking, could it be that my birth name caused me a certain amount of anxiety during this time of the year. Sleigh...I mean who in the heck has the last name Sleigh? All I think of when I say my birth name is Santa Clause and the reindeer. Well actually that's not all I think of, it takes me back to my birth and subsequent adoption.

I have a picture of myself that appeared in The Chattanooga Observer titled "What's in a Name?" The article was placed in the paper when I as a little girl attended my maternal grandparents anniversary party with my parents. The picture is actually the one you see on my blog. The article was about my being named after both of my grandmothers: Rosa Robinson Thompson and Louise Matthews Elmore. I have worn the names proudly and pray that both grandmothers would be pleased that I brought no disgrace to their names. But I still have to pay homage to my birth name, Sleigh. Afterall that is really who I am.

Have a Merry Merry Christmas! Perhaps the Sleigh ride will end under the Christmas tree this year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We now know that the bonding between a birth mother and the adoptee starts in utero and once the umbilical cord is cut that bonding is severed. It's hard for an adoptee to bond with the adoptive parents: not impossible, but it takes hard work to make it work. Okay, the thought I had is what if the adoptive parents find it hard to bond with the adoptee because of the fear that the child could be removed from their care?

We see television shows where the birth mother has come back at the last possible minute to reclaim the child she just tried to relinquish. Now will that birth mother be a good mother? How can someone who just a few minutes ago didn't want a baby or thought they couldn't take care of it or whatever reason suddenly think keeping the baby will change things. I can see why adoptive parents are a little standoffish with this new family member; fear.

It kind of allows me to see things a little differently. Just random thoughts, but those thoughts are what keeps the Sleigh ride's motor running.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Have I become so accustomed to the disappointment of the unsuccessful search for L. Sleigh of South Carolina that I've lost faith that God's will is actually being done? Perhaps it is not His will that I find my birth mother or maybe He has appointed a specific time for me to find her and that time has not come yet? Great is His faithfulness and mercy toward me and I have to remain faith-filled that if my search is fruitful it will only be if God says so.

If I could trust God for the perfect house and the perfect car, shouldn't I trust Him for everything else? Perhaps my motives for wanting to find my birth mother are the reasons I'm not successful in my search. Do I really want to know her or do I want her to know me so she can see what she's missed by not being in my life? Am I being selfish for wanting to know who gave me life? Is it my right as a human to know where I came from? Am I asking too much by wanting to know who I am?

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for in fact, I've been incredibly blessed but when I start the reflecting process it brings me back to L. Sleigh of South Carolina.

These are just my thoughts as the Sleigh ride continues.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Adoptees are not invisible! Okay, now you're asking yourself "what is she talking about now?" Well, I'll tell you. When I was a little girl, I remember people talking about me in front of me like I wasn't there, like they couldn't see me. Better yet, like I was less than human because of my "circumstances." Through no fault of my own and for reasons I don't understand, I was conceived, born and given away. Everyone who knew about my being adopted would speak to my Mother and Father about me like they had gone to the store and bought a chicken to cook. Although vaguely, I remember phrases like, "where did you get her?" "is she from Muncie?" "how old was she when you got her?" "do you know anything about her?" etc. Can you imagine hearing grown folks who are supposed to know better or at least know how to use tact in front of a child asking questions about me like I didn't exist? I now know why I have feelings of not belonging, no one would allow me to belong. I was an outcast simply because I was born.

I so want to get off of the Sleigh ride, but it keeps going, going, going and won't release me

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rules and Regulations

I'm watching an episode of Dateline and a mother who's daughter was raped and murdered is fighting to have people who have been convicted of a sexual crime give DNA on a regular basis. The reason being, is that the DNA would be on file to check against when a crime has been committed that the police are having trouble solving. Great idea! But let's take it a little further, a mother that chooses to give her baby up for adoption should be required by law to give updated medical information every so many years. Then an adoptee who is having hard to diagnose medical issues could look to the updated medical files to get pertinent information. I'm sure there are other groups of people who need information for different reasons just like I do.

Just think, a mother can make the decision to give up a baby and walk away scott free.. live a life uninterrupted. Sure she has to live with her decision but there are no legal repercussions for her to deal with. Actually, giving up a baby for adoption without leaving some kind of information for later use should be deemed a crime. Yes, I said it and I mean it. It should be a crime to be able to get married, have other children and live happily ever after, while the adoptee goes through a myriad of emotions and feelings created by being given away. Okay, so she thinks about me from time to time, she may even remember my birthday, but she goes on and lives her happy little life after she has me and can reach out to me if she chooses. Something just seems wrong about that concept.

I know there are those of you who will bring up the fact that she may have been forced to give me up or she may have been raped and all that but she is still my birth mother and she owes me something: an explanation, an apology, a hello, a kiss my .... well you know what I'm saying. Okay L. Sleigh from South Carolina it's your turn!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Puzzled Piece

The universe, the earth, the continents, the states, the cities, the residents, you and me are all pieces of a huge puzzle. The pieces all fit together to form a "more perfect union." That's how God works. He put everything together and together everything forms a magnificent picture. And while I would never question what God does I do question where my piece fits in. I am the puzzled piece. I'm the one who doesn't know where I fit in. I know where others want my piece to fit and I know where others have forced my piece to fit but without the whys and the wherefores, I'm clueless as to my part in that bigger picture.

That's what adoption has done to me, it leaves the maddening noise of magnified emptiness. A noise so loud it dominates all of the space around me. I don't want to sound obsessed by my adoption, but I am obsessed. I can think of other things but those thoughts are all squeezed together to make room for the question "who am I?"

Spiritually I know I have been adopted into the body of Christ. Physically I know I have been adopted into the family that took me in. Mentally I realize none of this. It's not that I don't want to know that I belong somewhere, it's that I feel like a motherless child: a long, long way from home.

An excerpt from Puzzled Piece (projected release date Christmas of 2011)

Copyright©2010 Rosa Elmore Ferguson

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The greatest thing that has happened to me lately is the ability to discuss my feelings about being adopted. Growing up, it was such a secret, everybody knew but me. I love my parents, the parents who adopted me and nurtured me as best they could, but their passing has given me the freedom to finally open up and discuss my feelings. When I finished writing my first two short stories I knew I would have to market them, but never in my life would I have guessed that I would have to expose myself the way I have. It's a different feeling, but a great feeling. I feel free. If I never find my birth mother or anyone in my birth family at least I have found me! I have found my voice! I will continue my discussions about how potential adoptive parents need to discover why they want to adopt before adopting. There needs to be legislation forcing potential adoptive parents to be tested (at least lie detected) to determine the truths about why they want to adopt.

I've said it before and I will say it again, everybody who adopts a child is not doing it for the right reasons. The purest of all reasons would be to give love to a child for whatever reason needs to be loved. But too often, that's not the reason. And the other reasons are plenty: to keep a marriage together, one of the couple can't have children, the martyr syndrome, and the list could go on and on.

I just want people to think before adopting.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are You My Mother?

I've heard women say they've become their mothers. Not surprising since those women had their mothers as role models. So my question is this, is the phenomenon of turning into our mothers an innate action or is it something to be learned? Is the woman I've turned into a replica of my adoptive mother or have I inherited the traits of my biological mother? Or is it possible for me to be a compilation of both women? I remember reading Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, where the baby bird hatched while the mother bird was away and the baby sets out to find her. Along the way, the baby asks a dog, a cow and an airplane "are you my mother?"

These are the types of questions adoptees have to ask and almost never get an answer to. Sometimes it is up to us to choose what we want to become. Our efforts to become that person sometimes go awry. We sometimes get confused about what we are to become and how to become that person. Things don't always work right in the minds of the adoptees.

I've always dreamed of being a successful wife and mother but I couldn't be a good mother because I never learned to be a good daughter. Children are what they learn. What I learned was that I needed to find my roots so I could embrace what I was meant to be.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Thanks to everyone who stopped by ALL THE BUZZ to chat with me. You asked some soul searching questions, but I had fun! Join me tomorrow as I will be on Shelia Goss' blog site!

LOVED TO DEATH Blog Tour Continues!

Join me today at ALL THE BUZZ blog site for the second day of my blog tour! Let's discuss LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story and LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds, writing in general and my quest to find my birth parents! Go to for blog site links and the schedule.

Monday, October 4, 2010



Join me on my 10 day LOVED TO DEATH Blog Tour!!!! See for the blog sites and the schedule!

Let's talk about LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story and LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds! Ask questions about the books, ask questions about my quest to find my biology..

Friday, September 24, 2010


I'm watching a TLC show called Hoarding: Buried Alive and as the psychologists talk to the women buried alive by the clutter in their homes, I now realize my mind is cluttered with too much "stuff." Trying to find my birth mother, trying to finish this third short story, trying to go back to school, trying to stay pain free, trying to lose weight... trying, trying, trying. I now know that the things I've never been able to finish were neglected because my mind and my heart were cluttered with a lot of unnecessary junk.

It is okay for us to say "no." We can't please everyone, a lesson I've yet to learn. If you say "yes" to everything and everyone, you have no time left for yourself. That adds to the unnecessary clutter in our lives. Clutter will overtake you if you allow it. And just in case you don't know if your mind is cluttered, think of it this way..if you think of things you need to get done during the day and you spend more time thinking of how to do them than you do getting them done. You've wasted an entire day doing absolutely nothing: that's too much clutter.

The clutter in our minds also take time away from our loved ones. If you spend more time on the job, at church, in night clubs, social clubs, dating, etc. than you spend with family members who are important to you, you are probably leading a cluttered life.

We have to become more cognizant of whom or what we allow in our lives. I heard someone say "be careful who you let rent space in your mind." Now that I know what's cluttering my life, I'm going to rid myself of those things. Perhaps then, the Sleigh ride will end.

Monday, September 13, 2010


A Facebook friend of mine just asked me if I was at a particular store at a particular time. She told me she had seen someone who looked like me. I wasn't there, but she said the person looked so much like me, she stopped her and asked the woman if her name was Rosa. She said the woman was polite but told her "no." I've always heard we all have a twin somewhere. Somebody somewhere looks just like us.

If I had been at the store and got the chance to see my "stranger twin" I would've asked her if she was born in the month of May and if she was adopted. In my search for my biology, I have come across several people who say they know someone I resemble. I always ask them if they know if that person is adopted. It's a strange conversation to have but it's the kind of nonsensical banter I've carried on since I was 16.

Trying to find out the facts of my adoption has been one of the hardest things for me to go through. It's like going to the doctor with a medical complaint and the doctor doesn't believe you. I know I have another family out there but because of all the secrecy it's like I never existed. I know it's a strange concept and only another adoptee would know what it feels like.

We've heard of the story where a man and woman work together for years only to find out later they are biological brother and sister. Or the two women worked together and find out they are birth mother and daughter. So it can happen: I could walk up on someone and they could actually be part of my birth family.

All of this is part of the Sleigh Ride...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I watched Glee last night for the first time ever and there was a mother on the show trying to make contact with the daughter she had given up for adoption. What a great day it would be if my birth mom decided to look for me! But I think I'm coming to the conclusion that she was told I was stillborn at birth. I just can't imagine that all of these years have gone by and she hasn't tried to reach out to me.

I've given birth to four children and although we don't speak to each other everyday, I cannot imagine my life without them. Of course, there were days that I wanted to give them up for adoption while they were growing up, but it was a passing thought. It was nothing I would ever act on. I realize there are times when adoption is the best option. But once the mother is old enough that those barriers no longer exist, then she should start looking for the son or daughter she felt forced to relinquish.

There are too many search registries, too many television shows, too many headlines to remind a birth mother of that time. Surely, she has had to think about me. If I had ever been forced to give up a baby for adoption, as soon as I knew that child was 18 years of age, I'd be on the hunt of my life. But that's just me. Perhaps my birth mom has a heart of stone.

Maybe I'll never know... so the Sleigh ride continues.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again!

Labor Day has come and gone and after a long overdue vacation, I'm back and ready to get this show back on the road. No, I didn't go anywhere, just took the liberty of doing absolutely nothing.

One of the things I've learned on this journey has been, the more my adoption was kept a secret, the greater my need was to find out everything I could about myself. Now that I am 41 years into the search, I'm finding out that the need to know is not as great. Don't get me wrong, I'm still anxious to learn everything I can about my biology but it's not the first thing I think about in the morning or the last thing I think about at night. That should be a lesson to adoptive parents, the more information you keep from your adoptive child, the more their curiosity will be piqued.

Find a way to discuss their adoption on a regular basis. No, I'm not talking about in every conversation, but make it an open subject. Let your child feel free to ask questions. And be ready with appropriate answers.

That's my thought for today, what are you thinking about?

Let the Sleigh ride begin again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


As you may have noticed, I've been on a hiatus from posting blogs. Simply put, so much is happening right now, I just haven't had time to post anything. Those medical issues that I believe are a result of me not knowing my biology keep creeping up and seems like the older I get the harder those conditions hit me. The longer it takes to find my biology, the chances increase that my birth mother could be deceased, along with the people who know anything about my adoption so my health issues may linger for a while.

But the good news is that God sent an angel who is working tirelessly to find something about my ancestry. Perhaps soon, I'll know something about who I am. Thanks Beth!

In the meantime, I'm still praying that the Sleigh ride will lead me to the answers I'm looking for.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clear Your Mind

Although my father went home to Glory almost twenty-five years ago, I find myself thinking more and more about him. Especially now as it is close to what would have been his 96th birthday.

As a child I remember my father walking around with small spiral bound flip style notepads in his shirt pocket. Along with the notepad, he kept his ever present pencils. Now we had hundreds of government issued black ink pens around our house that he got from his job, but for some reason, his notes were always written in pencil. Speaking of his writing, his penmanship was beautiful for a man, although, I thought it was extremely ugly at the time. He wrote with an exaggerated slant reserved for left handed writers even though he was right handed.

His notes didn't make sense to me at the time and clearly being a child, I didn't take the time to read them. But after he died it was a pleasure stumbling across pieces of paper he had written on. It took me back to a time in my childhood where the memories were good. If he could have accomplished everything he'd written about, he would have died a wealthy man. Truly a man before his time, he also typed endless notes on his Royal and Remington typewriters. I sure wish he could have been around for the age of computers. If you saw my father, he had a kind word for everyone and then would go into his spill to sell you whatever he was into that day: BestLine, Amway, Kirby Sweepers, insurance, NAACP memberships, magazine subscriptions, fundraisers or tickets to whatever event was going on at this time.

During the time of the illness that eventually took his life, he would ask the doctors and nurses who assisted in each of his surgeries to buy NAACP memberships before operating on him. Black, white, red and yellow, it didn't matter what color they were, he asked anyway and they all bought them. He won several awards for selling the most memberships in his chapter.

The government honored him on several occasions for his writings. He was also awarded for being the fastest typies in his Army unit. Had he wanted to, he could have been a great author. He was my inspiration. But the thing I remember most is those spiral notepads. How I wish I had paid more attention to them when I younger. Now that I'm in my fifties, I realize now what he was writing in those notepads. Just as I do now, he was writing his thoughts. Sometimes just a word, sometimes a phrase, but something that would jog his memory at an appointed time, just when he needed it.

By writing his thoughts, he didn't have to think of an appropriate phrase or response, it was already written down. Therefore, he was never at a loss for words. Having his notes handy kept him from sounding like a blubbering idiot. He didn't have to use the "um's" and the "you know's" in his conversations that young people today pepper their conversations with. When he wanted to complete a project, he could go back to one of those trusty notepads and find his thoughts or his homeade instructions. He had a note for everything, just as I do now.

Now that we are in an age where the cell phone has become an appendage to our bodies and texting has become the familiar mode of communications, handwritten notes are more and more obsolete. Yes, we make "to do" lists, grocery lists and shopping lists, but making notes about your thoughts clears your mind for the important stuff. Just don't throw the notes away, you kids and grandkids will love reading the things you were thinking!

Random thoughts:

If you talk about doing something and don't do it, it's just talk!

Writing your thoughts can organize you.

Writing your thoughts validates you.

Date everything. Nothing worse than writing it down and having no time frame for its' origin.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Anchor

Recently, a classmate from a long time ago found me and in our conversations, she told me about a basket "that my great, great, great Grandmother took with her when she and her husband went to Kansas from Indiana in a wagon. Her husband died while they were there. She buried him and came back with her kids and she filled that basket with cookies for the kids on the way back." She told me that she was given the basket and it had become an anchor for her when she was tired or scared. The word "anchor" is just what I'm searching for! Something that will keep me grounded in my time of despair.

That's why finding my birth mother is so important to me. The bond that my birth mother and I shared in utero was completely severed with my adoption and so was my anchor. Finding my birth mother will allow me to know that I actually existed. Yes, I'm here so I know I exist but I exist as Rosa Elmore. I want something that will allow me to celebrate Infant Sleigh and something that will allow me to know that Infant Sleigh actually existed. In case L. Sleigh is having emotional problems about giving me up for adoption maybe knowing she is my anchor will sustain her.

The longer it takes for me to find L. Sleigh, the less time I have. She would be 76 now and I pray she's in good health and will be around long enough for me to locate her. If she has already met her demise, I pray she was able to forgive herself. I have forgiven her but I still have hope. For the time being, hope has become my anchor.

I pray the Sleigh ride ends soon

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hoarding: Buried Alive

I'm watching a TLC show called Hoarding: Buried Alive and as the psychologists talk to the women buried alive by the clutter in their homes, I now realize my mind is cluttered with too much "stuff." Trying to find my birth mother, trying to finish this third short story, trying to go back to school, trying to stay pain free, trying to lose weight... trying, trying, trying. I now know that the things I've never been able to finish were neglected because my mind and my heart were cluttered with a lot of unnecessary junk.

It is okay for us to say "no." We can't please everyone, a lesson I've yet to learn. If you say "yes" to everything and everyone, you have no time left for yourself. That adds to the unnecessary clutter in our lives. Clutter will overtake you if you allow it. And just in case you don't know if your mind is cluttered, think of it this way..if you think of things you need to get done during the day and you spend more time thinking of how to do them than you do getting them done. You've wasted an entire day doing absolutely nothing: that's too much clutter.

The clutter in our minds also take time away from our loved ones. If you spend more time on the job, at church, in night clubs, social clubs, dating, etc. than you spend with family members who are important to you, you are probably leading a cluttered life.

We have to become more cognizant of whom or what we allow in our lives. I heard someone say "be careful who you let rent space in your mind." Now that I know what's cluttering my life, I'm going to rid myself of those things. Perhaps then, the Sleigh ride will end.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am Good At Being Me!

"I might not be the most beautiful or the sexiest, nor do I have the perfect body. I might not be a first choice, but I'm a great choice. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, because I am just too good at being me. I might not be proud of some of the things I've done in the past, but I am proud of who I am today! Take... me as I am or watch me as I walk away"

I don't know the original author of this statement, but they hit the nail on the head with this one! I am learning that I'm good at being me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Locator

Okay, yesterday I watched a rerun of The Locator. It's been quite some time since I watched only because it reminds me of my failure to find my birth mother and the fact that she is not looking for me. On this particular episode, the birth mother's newly adopted daughter wanted to find the daughter the birth mother put up for adoption thirty plus years ago. The newly adopted daughter saw the pain her mother was experiencing due to being forced to give her first born up for adoption. She wanted to pay her mother back for taking her in and loving her: finding her first daughter she thought, would help ease her mother's pain. All of that in itself would be a great story and I could stop here, but there is more to it that I want to tell you about.

When Troy Dunn approached the adoptee, she wanted to know "why now?" "What does she want?" "Does she want a kidney or something?" All good questions. So it got me thinking, is that why I'm having so much trouble finding my birth mother? Is she wondering "why now?" "What does she want?" "Does she want a kidney or something?" No L. Sleigh wherever you are, I don't want anything from you: not money, not a kidney: nothing. I just want to see you, hear your back story and more importantly allow you to see me. I want you to see that I've done okay. I don't have to tell you of the disappointment I suffer daily by not knowing who you are. I don't have to tell you that this adoption has affected and effected everyday of my life. I will spare you from all of the pain being adopted has caused me.

Troy Dunn asked the daughter if it was possible her birth mother just wanted to see her? When he asked that question, it was like a light bulb went on in the daughter's head. "Yeah," she said quietly. "Yeah." So you see L. Sleigh, I just want to see you, nothing more and nothing less.

This Sleigh ride is more like a roller coaster ride.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

Now that we've celebrated the birth of our country, I can get back to the business at hand: celebrating me. I have nothing new to report. I haven't heard that anyone is searching for me. And to be quite honest, I haven't given much thought to the search process either. Does that mean I may actually be getting over looking for my biology? I won't go that far, but I find myself thinking less about being adopted and more about discovering my future. Maybe I am finally finding myself.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Asking The Hard Questions(?)

You've got some serious issues lying just below the surface -- and they might be exerting more influence than you realize. It's a really good time for you to step up and ask some hard questions! This was my horoscope for today. Not that I allow my horoscope to dictate my life but since I starting reading them when I was around 15 or 16, I continue to do so out of habit. This particular horoscope caught my attention because it said I needed "to step up and ask some hard questions" Okay, so what have I been doing all of this time? Haven't I asked the questions I thought would get me the answers I was looking for? Yet still no answers. So maybe the horoscope is telling me I'm not asking the right people the hard questions. But who is left to ask? By now, my birth mom would be 76 years old, most of the people who may have the answers I need are now deceased and those who are left are not talking.

And just like my horoscope said, there are some issues lying just below the surface: not having the answers! And yes, those unanswered questions are exerting more influence on my life (my mind and my body). Okay, so maybe my horoscope is trying to tell me something. But why can't the horoscope come right out and say what it means. Trying to guess the message is tantamount to trying to find the answers to the questions I was trying to get answered in the first place. Since the horoscope thinks it's so smart, maybe they need to also give me the answers I need!

I'm so ready for this Sleigh ride to come to the end.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there. R.I.P. Clay C. Elmore, my "real" father. You were such a great daddy. Happy Father's Day to the man who was the reason for my being conceived. With God, our Father... everyday is Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Not A Visitor!

I am not a visitor... I'm here to stay! I haven't always felt that way. I think the not knowing about my biology has been tantamount to living out of a suitcase and caused those feelings in me. I have always felt like a throw away; someone who could be bought and sold to the highest bidder. I just recently realized I'm here to stay! I'm learning to accept all of my flaws. I'm learning to accept compliments. I am accepting my talents and learning to do new and different things. I'm learning to accept me!

I've always said I like change, but now I know I liked to keep moving so no one could find me just to give me away again. Perhaps my birth mother has been looking for me all along but because I could never stay in one place for a long period of time, she may have missed me. I'm finally at the point where I can stay still. I'm not going anywhere. I still want to find L. Sleigh, but thank God, I'm finding myself!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Who, What, Why, When and Where

Is there ever any such thing as closure? Don't all of us have open ended underlying issues that we have to deal with? When I say I want to find and meet my birth mother and possibly my father, I'm not saying I want anything from them. Not friendship; I have friends, not parents; I had great parents, not money; well now, if you felt the need to pass some moolah along, I wouldn't complain. But we don't expect anything but to know the who, what, why, when, and where of it all.

Are birth parents afraid to come forward because they think we want something from them? Trust me when I say, we've really gotten over you being the mother or the father; we just need some questions answered. Now that's not to say we wouldn't accept friendship or whatever else you have to offer, but that's not the reason we look for you.

We're not trying to spoil your dirty little secret, but remember we've lived our lives as the "secret." If adoptees could get rid of the secrecy factor, reunions wouldn't be necessary, we'd have all of the closure we'd need. L. Sleigh I hope you're reading this so you know I don't want anything but answers.

Maybe I'm just a Sleigh ride away... well, you know the rest.

Mother and Daughter

Okay, I'm watching People's Court and an adoptee is suing her birth mother because of a fist fight! What! I'm used to watching shows where adoptees meet their birth mothers and although we don't know the outcome, what we see is usually amicable.

These two are a mess and both should be on some kind of medication. This birth mother told her daughter's boyfriend that the daugter was cheating on him with her ex boyfriend. What mother does this? The birth mother says that the daughter has problems but clearly both of them should seek some counseling and maybe some medication.

The birth mother is now telling the court that the daughter is on drugs in the same breath as telling how happy she was when they first met. The daughter is showing the court the tee shirt that the BM ripped off of her and left a long scratch. What drama! The BM went into the grandson's room and took back everything she bought the baby! The BM cut up the pictures of the daughter and the grandson. I am sitting in amazement at the behavior these 2 are displaying. But guess what, this is real life. Every reunion is not successful

The birth mother abandoned her daughter at birth and is now abandoning her again as an adult. I want to meet my birth mother but I sure don't want the kind of relationship these two have. It is my prayer that my BM and I can have some sort of relationship but if we can't, at least I hope we can both walk away satisfied that we've at least met. I just want the opportunity to meet her, hopefully sans the drama!

Maybe soon I'll be able to take that Sleigh ride.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

LOVED TO DEATH Short Story Series

I didn't start out to become an author. However, because I was an adoptee with a huge imagination with a passion for reading, I became a writer. I read very few books that dealt with my feelings as an adoptee, so I set out to write the type of stories I could relate to. What resulted was the LOVED TO DEATH Short Story Series.

About LOVED TO DEATH Short Story Series:

Something sinister is happening in Gaston City, Indiana. Will Detective Kenneth Nettles solve the mysteries of the city or is he the cause of the problem?

In LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story, we meet Morosa Denise McKinley, the adoptive daughter of Morrow and Rose McKinley. Was adoption right for this couple or would they have been better off remaining childless?

In the sequel, LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds, Detective Kenneth Nettles who helped solve a 2 year long missing person's case in book #1, has more murders on his hands than he cares to deal with.

In the 3rd and final installment of this series, LOVED TO DEATH: The City Speaks, Detective Kenneth Nettles has to face his own fears in order to protect and serve the people of Gaston City, Indiana as he has been sworn to do.

Purchase your copies today where online books are sold:,, You can also purchase autographed copies from me

Monday, May 31, 2010

R.I.P. Daddy!

Today, as we celebrate Memorial Day, I pause to give thanks to my father, Clay C. Elmore. He was a retired civilian employee in the Army Reserve as well as a reservist. I remember all of the late nights he put in but was still able to attend all of our school events. I remember going to the Army Reserve Center and riding my bike around the big open space and Daddy's big booming voice telling me to be careful. I can still remember Daddy typing 50-60 words a minute to get out reports and payroll for his fellow reservist. I remember after leaving home, still picking up the phone everyday to talk to him or Mama to tell them about my day and about the antics of their grandchildren.

I just wanted to take this time to thank all of the men and women who served to make us safer and to thank my father for doing his part. I love you Daddy.

Happy Memorial Day

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Change of Plans

Every year, my husband and I squeeze in as many short road trips as possible. This weekend was no different, as we just got back from Savannah Georgia. We used to try to get to Charleston South Carolina a couple times a year. Because my birth mother is from South Carolina, I always imagine that if I sit in one place for a while, someone will walk by and recognize me. "Oh, you look just like..." are the words I'm longing to hear. Okay, so it hasn't happened yet and I'm tired of raising my expectations. So this weekend, we changed our plans and drove to Atlanta to see some old friends in from Virginia and then on to Savannah to walk along the river and eat some good seafood (before the oil spill damages all of our bodies of water).

Being with friends we hadn't seen in 12 years made me think of how a reunion with my birth mother will be. To hug each other and share experiences with each other: to cry, to laugh, and probably cry some more is how I imagine our first meeting.

We'll go back to Charleston one day, but in the meantime, we'll keep looking for other places to go to enjoy our weekends. Soon, I'll be a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Remember our fallen. Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Said It, I Did It!

This post is going to be short and sweet.... I did it!!!! I start school June 28th! I'm so excited.

Maybe I am finding myself finally. I've haven't been this excited about something in a long long time. L. Sleigh better come on and get on the bandwagon or she's going to miss out on some amazing things that I feel are bound to happen. Today my motto is "her loss"

That Sleigh ride just took a turn for a great place!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Somebody Knows!

Somebody out there knows something about my biology. Perhaps one day they will have the courage to step up and tell me what they know. Maybe someone heard their parents talking about my adoption. Any tidbit would help me in my search. Lord knows, I've chased several wild geese following up on those kinds of leads.

When I see an adoptee on television, speaking of their experience or a birth mother telling us how miserable she has been since giving her baby up for adoption and occasionally even the birth father who knew nothing about the baby until much too late to do anything, I wonder if my birth mother is seeing the same show and thinking about me.

Tomorrow is the day I celebrate the day of my birth and it is always around this time that feelings of deja vu come abounding. I keep seeing things or hearing phrases that remind me of something from a long time ago. Are those my ancestors speaking to me? Are they telling me that it won't be long now before I find out about my biology or are they telling me to move on and just forget about it? I almost feel like putting posters up in every city in America with L. Sleigh's information on it. But wait, I forgot, I don't have L. Sleigh's information. I wonder if she saw a "lost mother" or a "wanted" poster hanging on a telephone pole would she ignore it, be embarassed about it or even recognize herself.

The Lord has blessed me tremendously and continues to shower me with His love, grace and mercy. I'm sure He will reveal my birth information in His time. But note to birthmom, tomorrow is the day you gave birth to me. Will you please scream Happy Birthday to me as loud as you can so I can hear it? Just introduce yourself. I don't want anything from you. I just want to see you, hear your voice, ask a couple questions about your health. But if you were to open up to me... I'd like to have a friendship with you, learn all I could about you. Come on L. Sleigh, you're out there somewhere. How about it?

The best birthday present I could have would be the gift of my birth mom! Maybe my Sleigh ride will end tomorrow! It could happen!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Underlying Issues

Like I've said before, I think adoptees have more medical issues than "normal" people. And because we have no way to verify conditions that could be inherited, we end up going from doctor to doctor trying to find out what is wrong. I have suffered from Fibromyalgia for about 20 years. At first no one knew what it was. Some doctors wanted to call it Chronic Pain Syndrome, others wanted to call it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and finally one of my doctors diagnosed it as Fibromyalgia. The medication designed to help with the pain causes me swelling and suicidal thoughts (find out about the side effects of the medications you take). So I'm in a catch 22 so to speak.

Cold weather and rain are two of the things that cause my Fibromyalgia to flair up. Stress is another one of those things that causes major flair ups. You've heard people say that they can tell when it's going to rain because their arthritis rears its' ugly head, Fibromyalgia does the same thing. The stress of trying to find my biology has increased the time I have to spend fighting the pain of Fibromyalgia.

I also have Vitiligo (loss of pigment). Yes, the same thing Michael Jackson had. My skin is void of color. Information about Vitiligo is slowly being learned. Stress, digestive issues and heredity are some of the causes of Vitiligo. There again, because I don't have any information about my biology, I have to blame it on stress or digestive issues. It basically boils down to the stress of finding my birth mother.

Being adopted affects more than your heart and your head, it has an effect on your body. The not knowing takes its' toll on the adoptee in a lot of different ways.

Dear Lord, let me be just a Sleigh ride away from getting the answers I need

Monday, May 17, 2010

Unfinished Business

I have been threatening for years to go back to school and complete my degree to no avail. I keep going back to school and for one reason or another, and I never finish. That's been the story of my life. Unfinished business. I start something, I stop. I start something else, I stop. This has gone on and on and on forever. I think it has something to do with me being adopted. Because I can't find my genealogy, I think I have a mental block about the rest of my life.

Of course, no one but me cares if I back to school or not, so when I say I've been threatening, it's only myself I'm hurting. How do I equate my unfinished business with being adopted? First of all, I blame everything on my being adopted. But I think it's because my life has been such a lie I'm afraid of finality.

Now I have been able to complete some things. For instance, I raised 2 sets of twins. I wrote and published two short stories. And I guess if I thought long and hard enough about it, I'd find some other accomplishments I've achieved. Yet those accomplishments have never been enough to sustain me. Finding myself is what will keep me going, moving toward a goal.

Okay, now I've decided to go back to school! I've said it publicly. I'm committed. Perhaps I am finding myself now. Maybe it won't take finding my birth mother for me to move forward. Maybe I am now just a Sleigh ride from finding me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yesterday Part of My Dream Died

I spent part of my childhood praying that one day I would find out that the incredible Lena Horne was my birth mother. Once I got my non-identifying information from the state of Indiana, I was able to rule that possibility out as my birth mother was about 20 years younger than Ms. Horne. But that didn't stop me from praying that a miracle would occur and Lena Horne would come bursting through my front door and declare her undying love for me and beg for my forgiveness for abandoning me.

Lena Horne once said "After I got over the terrible pain of having something of mine taken from me, I began to think how bad everybody else must be feeling. It wasn't a nice time." When I read that statement, I just knew she was talking about me. Maybe I was taken from her. Maybe she lost me through no fault of her own. She gave me hope that my birth mother would find me some day, some way, some how.

As we just celebrated Mother's Day, I grieved for the 2 mothers I had lost; my birth mom and my adoptive mother. And upon waking Monday morning, I found out that I had lost my 3rd mother, my pretend mother. R.I.P. Lena Horne. You still give me hope, the hope that I'm just a Sleigh ride from finding myself.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to take this time to wish all of the mothers including single fathers, aunts, and everyone who has had a hand in raising someone a Happy Mother's Day. This is an emotional time for me as I have now lost two mothers. So Happy Mother's Day L. Sleigh where ever you are. And Happy Mother's Day to Irene Thompson Elmore who loved me unconditionally.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Motherless Child

"Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.. a long way from home." (J. W. Johnson, J. R. Johnson) Since my adoptive mother died 5 years ago, the words from the song Motherless Child describe how I feel. I've now been abandoned by 2 mothers. Whew! That's a lot to digest. One mother, maybe by choice and the other mother by God's choosing. As we approach Mother's Day, the words to the song ring louder and louder in my ears. No time for pity though, I have to continue to be the best mother I can be to my children.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there.

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Reaction

I wake up every morning thinking today is the day my birth mother and I will find each other. Then I think about what my reaction will be when the reunion actually happens. Will I be angry? Will I run into her arms praying that the hole in my heart will automatically be healed? Will we talk non stop about how our lives have been without each other?

What if she's deceased? What will I do then? Will I be angry at all of the people who held the keys to my search and told me too late to get to know my mother? I hate to be consumed with my finding myself but this friends, is what a lot of adoptees go through on a day to day basis. Just thought you'd like to know.

Maybe I'm just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Word Adoption (Adult Content)

When we look at someone we view them simply by what we see. How pretty or handsome they are, how they dress, the expression on their faces, where they live, what they drive and the list goes on and on. How a person looks however, gives no clue as to what or who the person really is. It's when we can sit and hold a conversation with people we really gain insight into what makes them who or what they are.

I'm adopted. You wouldn't know it by looking at me, but sit and talk with me for more than a half hour and I will tell you that I'm adopted and looking for my birth family. I tell everyone I can because I never know when someone may have the information I'm looking for. I remember coming out of surgery years ago, and the nurse responsible for getting me up and making me walk gasped when she saw me. She stated I looked exactly like someone she knew. I was still suffering from the affects of anesthesia but I remember distinctly saying in one breath, I'm adopted.. I was born on (I gave her the date)... I was born in Indianapolis and my name was Infant Sleigh. I prayed she would come back into the room once I gained my good senses so she could tell me who it was I looked like. But of course, it was her long weekend to be off and I would never see her again. This is the way I live my life, praying and hoping someone will recognize me or have the information I need to move forward in finding myself.

But now remember there is a downside to telling people you are adopted. It becomes your title. It labels you and the word doesn't always feel so good. The word adoption can sometimes have the same connotation to a child as bitches and whores to a woman or boy or nigger to an African American man. It's been said that we are what we learn and when you grow up with titles placed on you, you find yourself limited in what you can become. Most adoptees have been able to shake off the title and move forward. Some however stay paralyed and can't focus on anything but finding their biology.

I'm still praying and hoping that I'm just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Disappointed Daily

Okay, you're a small child and it's Christmas Eve. You can hardly sleep in anticipation of what Santa Claus is going to bring. Even if your parents have warned you that things are tight this year and there may not be much under the tree, you just can't imagine that God, Santa Claus, your parents, somebody, anybody will disappoint you. You run for the tree early Christmas morning and much to your chagrin, there are a few clothing items, mainly socks and underwear along with a couple small toys. You were warned but just could not believe that all involved were derelict in their duty to you.

As an adult, my husband and I give each other gifts all year long. We have chosen not to wait for Christmas, we've decided to celebrate God's blessings to us all year long. However, I still have to admit, I'm always a little disappointed to wake up on Christmas morning and there is no surprise awaiting me. In fact, it isn't until we go to sleep Christmas night that it actually dawns on me that I won't be getting anything.

That is the same feeling I have as an adoptee. I awaken every morning thinking today may be the day my birth mother will find me or I will find her.

Maybe I'm just a Sleigh ride away from having my Christmas.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Adoption is Different

Just as every birth is different, every adoption is different. You should never attempt to tell me how I feel or should feel about being adopted. You have no idea. Especially since day to day my feelings change. I have had people tell me that I shouldn't look for my biology because I was so loved by my adoptive parents. I know they loved me but like Tina Turner sang "what's love got to do with it?" I love them too and appreciate all they did for me. But those feelings were reserved for them. Those are not the same feelings I have for my birth mother. Loving my adoptive parents cannot measure to the bond I shared for 9 months in utero with my birth mother.

There is no politically correct way to discuss adoption; you have your opinions and I have mine. You can listen to me, you can even give a few pearls of wisdom. I don't mind hearing about how great your adoption was, how great your adoptive parents were, how great you turned out but excuse me if I listen to those discussions with a deaf ear.

You will always find adoptees who just love everything about life and think being adopted was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you will also hear from those who need to know more, want to know more, deserve to know more. Maybe L. Sleigh will come forth to give me the information I'm seeking.

Just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost Soldiers

We've been losing our greatest by the handfuls! But the recent deaths of Rev. Benjamin Hooks and Dorothy Height have hit me the hardest. My parents were lifetime members of the NAACP and I can remember them speaking about Rev. Hooks. My father who was diagnosed with cancer after he retired, had to have at least 20 major surgeries to try to get rid of the disease that was robbing him of his life. When we went to the hospital, the doctors and nurses could not wait to tell us about how Daddy was forever trying to recruit them to become members of the NAACP. When they wheeled Daddy into the operating room for each one of his surgeries, he would tell the attendees: doctors, nurses, surgical techs, etc that they couldn't work on him until they signed up to join the NAACP. He thought so much about the organization, he wanted everyone to belong.

My mother and I were both members of the National Council of Negro Women. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height were two of my mother's role models. She in turn became the role model for hundreds of young women in and around the state of Indiana.

Both of these soldiers were instrumental in our home. They will be missed. R.I.P. Rev. Hooks and Dorothy Height.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Word "Real"

There is no politically correct way to talk when you are an adoptee or when you talk to an adoptee. Everyday language does not always apply. "Real" is one of those words that seems to pop up quite often. Are those your "real" parents? Are you their "real" daughter? Do you know your "real" mother/father? I even got the question, is that your "real" hair? What's up with that?

I don't like it, but I understand it. However, the fact that people would ask those questions of a little girl who really hadn't grasped the whole adoption idea and obviously would not have had answers, now makes me shudder. Now of course, if they asked me those questions now, I would know how to respond. I once worked with a woman who had adopted a son. She and her husband didn't want the son to know that he was adopted. That would've been okay until the fellow started being asked those questions and at the same time was being told that he looked just like someone who lived close by. Totally unprepared for the the questions or the feelings those questions brought, he had a major breakdown and for years didn't have anything to do with the parents who gave him their last name. By the way, the person everyone said he looked like happened to be his identical twin brother! Imagine that.

What I want adoptive parents to understand is that you have to arm an adoptee with all the tools necessary to protect their feelings. People in the city where you live know you adopted because they never saw you pregnant. But you want the adoptee to act like everything is normal. Teach your adopted child about the words they will hear, especially the word "real"

Was Popeye an Adoptive Father?

I loved the cartoon Popeye! I loved it that once the bumbling Popeye ate his spinach, he could conquer almost any and everything. His relationship with girlfriend Olive Oyl was so sweet and he was so protective of her against his arch rival Bluto. I can remember almost to the day when baby Swee'Pea came onto the scene.

Now, I have the following questions: Did Olive Oyl get pregnant by Bluto and Popeye protected her and her reputation by raising Swee'Pea as his own son? Did Olive Oyl get pregnant by Popeye? Was Swee'Pea actually Olive Oyl's son or was he adopted even by her? I wonder if the creator of Popeye, Elzie Crisler (E.C.) Segar understood the relevence of his message back in 1919.

Once Swee'Pea grew up, I'm sure he had lots of questions about his biology. I can hear it now as Popeye explained to him "You yam what you yam."

So the message today is, simply put, I yam what I yam! Have a great day!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My True Feelings

I write in the hopes that my birth mother and birth father will find me! I want to become a well known author so that my face appears on magazines and on television so someone in my birth family will recognize me. They will contact me and welcome me back into the fold with open arms. My birth mother and I will be the best of friends. We will visit each other often and speak on the telephone two or three times a day. My siblings will invite me to their children's events and celebrations. My birth father will apologize profusely for not knowing about my birth. He would have raised me himself. I would have been his princess. He would have been my king. My children will benefit greatly from this newfound relationship with my birth family.

There I've done it! On the most primitive level possible, I've just revealed my deepest and truest feelings.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Birth Fathers

Usually when an adoptee is searching for their biology, they search for the birth mother. We have to remember there is also a birth father out there somewhere. Hopefully the birth mother will be able to reveal that information once she is found.

I often wonder if this is the reason birth mothers sometimes don't want to be found; they don't want to, can't or won't reveal who the birth father is. Again, there is that element of secrecy. As Troy Dunn says at the beginning of his show The Locator; "you can't find peace until you find all of the pieces."

Just as I think birth mothers should be more active in locating the children they give up for adoption, I also think birth fathers (who are aware of the child) should come forth as well.

Step up birth fathers. Reveal Yourselves.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Does She Remember?

My birthday is coming up soon and I wonder now as I do every year: does my mother remember my birthday? I've watched The Locator with Troy Dunn since its' inception. It never ceases to amaze me the number of mothers looking for children they gave up for adoption and they can't give the actual birth date. What! One of the most important days and perhaps the most traumatic incident in your life and you can't remember what day it was? I don't understand, but some days I don't even understand the whole concept of adoption. How a mother can just give her baby away to strangers. People she knows nothing about. Thank God we now have open adoptions. But even with that, how much can the birth mother really learn about the family she is giving her baby to. The adoptive parents have put on their best game faces in order to get that baby. What's behind the mask?

My adoptive parents used to always say "you were chosen." I guess that was supposed to make me feel better. But as I grew older, the visual it gave me was tantamount to looking for an animal in a pet store window. Not exactly an image I like to think about. And what I learned later during my research about adoption was that when a birth mother tells the authorities she wants to relinquish her baby, that baby is then placed in a separate room away from the other babies in the hospital nursery. Isolated. And that about sums up how adoption can make you feel some days. Isolated. A secret. Something to be hidden. Unseen.

So does my mother remember? Does she remember my birth date? Has she tried to find me? Did she love me enough to give me away hoping for a better life for me? Or was she selfish in her decision? Would I have been a burden to her? Would I have ruined her image? I have so many questions. I wonder if I will find her while she can still answer.

Maybe I'm just a sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Adoption: A Cure or A Curse - Part 2

Adoptive children have lived inside their birth mothers for a period of nine months and have become quite accustomed to the smell, touch and sound of the mother. Once born, they are prepared biologically to be taken care of by the mother who gave them life. Once that has been taken from them, they are put into a world for which they are unprepared. According to Nancy Verrier,

"..the connection established during the nine months in utero is a profound connection, and that the severing of that connection in the original separation of the adopted child from the birth mother causes a primal or narcissistic wound which effects the adoptees' sense of self. It manifests itself in a sense of loss, basic mistrust, anxiety and depression, emotional and/or behavioral problems." (Statistics 13).

Adoptees are placed in homes where they have to make several adjustments. There is so much secrecy involved in the act of adoption, the adoptee has to play the game of "don't talk about it". Everyone who knows the family is aware that the child is adopted, but the child still has to pretend that this is "mommy and daddy". Then the child "acts out" by being promiscuous, rebellious, may perform poorly in school, troubled or disturbed, provoking feelings of misunderstanding and helplessness in the parents. Therefore creating an "unloving" environment in the home, which cannot be corrected because the adoptee cannot articulate their feelings and the parent cannot react appropriately. Adoptees seem to always have to "test" the adoptive parents' love for them.

When we look at secrecy in adoption, the adoptees' original birth certicate is altered to name the adoptive parents instead of the birth parent. Secrecy is so pervasive that adoption records are exempt from the Freedom of Information law, (Landsberg, sec. 3). A fact I found out trying to obtain my own records. While the agencies that assist in the relinquishing of the child, promise the mothers confidentiality, there is no promise or protection for the cild. Not having your own unaltered birth records is an extreme form of denying who the adoptee is.

Adoption has become so socially acceptable, that no one thinks twice about families who adopt children or even about the child who is adopted, no one except the adoptees themselves. And everything that the adoptee is thinking is not positive. Some adopted people think all of their problems are related to being adopted. Others think adoption has not interfered with the ability to live a happy and fulfilling life. Some people feel very positive about their adoption, but they do realize that adoption brings with it certain issues. (Clearinghouse, 4).

When exploring the feelings of adoption, the same feelings are echoed by most adoptees. Every paper written could have the same information; identity and self-esteem problems, feelings of abandonment and an interest in genetic history. My cousin expressed her feelings of being afraid of being abandoned again. She also stated that she felt being adopted prevented her from becoming emotionally attached to people, therefore making it difficult to have friends or intimate relationships. Another adoptee expressed exactly the same feelings when I spoke to her in 1998.

It is easy to ascertain that stress related illnesses in the older adoptee may have been brought on by the simple act of being adopted. The situation is made more stressful when the adoptee decides to try to get information about their birth mother. Gina Stronum, who was interviewed by People Magazine said it best when she said, "It was like everyone who was adopted was turned into a vicious animal out to stalk their birth mothers." (People, 104).

The climate for adoptees may change as the make up of the parents who adopt are now more willing to seek professional help for the adopted child with problems. In an early study of nearly five hundred privately arranged adoptions, nine to fifteen years later, the children were only marginally behind in social adjustment, where the family relationships were good. (Humphrey, 74).

When potential parents first think of the idea of adoption, the usual fear is that they know little or nothing about the childs' background. The parent(s) also do not know the full ramifications of the long term effects of adoption. Unbeknownst to the parent, is that the adoptee has problems based on their hidden background. It is the responsibility of the adoptive parent to obtain as much biological information as possible to share with the adoptee. So much more information needs to be revealed and more research needs to be done to bridge the gap of the unknown for the parent and the child.

Adoption: A Cure or A Curse - Part 1

For years I have wondered who I was. Since I was adopted as an infant, I had no familial background and could not focus on anything but who I was. I needed to know who my birthmother was. I wanted to know facts about myself. I had several medical problems that I felt were inherited and I needed to blame somebody.

Recently, I was home from work early enough to watch an episode of Oprah. Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, was the guest. He was describing an "ah ha" moment. That is the moent when something becomes clear to you. I guess it was at that moment I had my "ah ha" moment. It finally dawned on me maybe it was not my birthmother I needed to find, but perhaps it was me that I should begin to look for. Maybe all I needed to look at was the dynamics of adoption to understand more fully what I had gone through for too many of my previous years. I began to wonder if there were more people out there who felt like I did and had the same issues that I had. Certainly, when the bond is broken between the mother and child, some damage has to be done. And certainly some of that damage could have long term effects.

So when you examine the motives of why mothers give their children up for adoption and why parents adopt, it is not surprising that the event of adoption is stressful for the child in the middle. When we look at the medical problems that are exacerbated by stress, then we can look at adoption as being the root cause.

We will look at two adoptees in particular; myself and an adopted cousin (name removed to maintain privacy). I have vitiligo (loss of pigment) and fibromyalgia, which is described by Dr. Shankland as a chronic, painful muscle condition. (Shankland, sec. 1). My cousin suffers from the effects of lupus, an autoimmune disorder. These conditions are known in the medical field as being stress related illnesses. And although, both of us were adopted by a loving family, "being wanted by our adoptive families did not make up for not being wanted by our birth mother(s)." (Verrier, sec. 21).

There are many reasons that a mother may decide to relinquish or surrender her child for adoption; too young to cope with having a baby, conceived out of wedlock, conceived outside of a marriage, rape, health issues of the mother and health issues of the child. All of these reasons are stressful to the mother who must make the decision to give the baby up for adoption. That stress certainly has to be passed on to the baby while still in utero.

Now let us examine the make up of the adoptive parents. According to M.E. Humphrey;

They are usually well educated with middle class standards. The adoptive
parents may have waited rather late to adopt children and the family usually has no more than two children. Couples who have waited a significant amount of time before adopting, have grown dependant upon each other and do not realize until too late that the prospect of being childless because of marital disharmony or sexual inadequacy, the couple may be ill suited for parenthood. Reproductive failure may cause depression and that could be a factor for inadequacies in adopting a child. The couple may have biological children before or after the adoption which may also affect their ability to parent an adopted child. (Humphrey, 73).

We have looked at why people should not adopt, now we need to look at why some people choose adoption. Some parents may have girls and want a boy, but do not want to leave it to chance that they would conceive one. Many parents may think adoption is better than bringing another child into this mixed up crazy world we live in. In some families, a child of a relative is adopted by other family members. Some people want to adopt because of the inability to conceive a child. And there are people that simply want to adopt for all of the right reasons.

With the aforementioned in mind, you now have to look at how the adopted child is the beneficiary. Adoptees make up a large percentage of the residential treatment facilities according to Dr. Claude L. Coleman, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He advised that it is a well known fact that a large percentage of the patients seen by mental health professionals are adopted. (Coleman). Also, according to the Statistics on the Effects of Adoption, adopted 'children' are disproportionately represented with learning disabilities and organic brain syndrome. Adoptees are more likely to have difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, infertility, untimely pregnancies and suicide. Adoptess are also more likely to choose alternate lifestyles. (Ginni, sec. 2).

Copyright©2000 Rosa Ferguson

Friday, April 9, 2010

Those Who Do and Those Who Don't

In my research over the years as an adoptee, the one thing I've noticed is that the adoptee who is privileged enough to have their birth information is usually the one who doesn't want to know anything more about their birth. Those of us who have no information about our biology are the one's who want to know. Why is that? Is it because our curiosity is piqued by the unknown? Would having the information be enough for me or if I got the information would I want to reach out to my birth family? Perhaps that is why the Confidential Intermediary held back just enough information to keep me from trying to find my birth mother on my own.

Several years ago, when I sent letters regularly to Montel Williams, Sally Jesse Raphael, Jenny Jones, Phil Donohue, Oprah and all of the talk show hosts who periodically featured reunions on their show, I was home from work one day and I still swear to this day Montel was speaking directly to me. He said "if you've been writing to us about finding someone from your past and you don't hear back from us, it's not because we haven't looked. If we find who you are looking for and they tell us they don't want contact, we have to stop the search and pretend like it never happened." He apologized and went on to introduce the adoptee and her birth mother who were the guests on his show that day, leaving me in tears because once again, it wasn't me who had been found.

Does my birth mother think about me? Does she miss me? Does she remember what it was like to give birth to me? Does she remember my birthday? Has she ever tried to find me? These are the questions that I would like to ask her. Of course, I would love to have a relationship with her and maybe that's what she's afraid of. But I would settle for answers to the questions above.

I still have to believe I'm only a sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It Has To Be Talked About

This is a hard subject to talk about because you don't want to step on anyone's toes or hurt people's feelings, but why people adopt is a question that must be answered. If you were to ask an adoptive family why they chose adoption the most common answer would be "we couldn't have children and wanted a child to love." Okay, that's a good answer and for the most part it's an honest one. But let's look at the other reasons people choose adoption.

There is the couple who has had trouble getting pregnant. They adopt because they really and truly want a child to love. But what happens when they become pregnant? Some love both children equally. Others... well, they don't. They sometimes treat the biological child better and differently than the adopted child.

Then there is the couple who can't have children of their own. They want a baby by any means necessary. That's commendable and to those parents I take my hat off to.

You have the person(s) who adopt to imitate someone else who has adopted. They see the other person as a martyr and want the accolades that person has enjoyed. Imitation is a form of flattery but perhaps adopting a child to be like someone else goes a bit overboard.

There are couples who want to adopt because their marriage is in trouble and one or both of them think a baby will be the glue to hold the marriage together.

Some potential adoptive parents think their community or society in general will look at them in a new, different and better light. That probably goes back to the martyr issue.

Then you have those who want to adopt to make up for a lack of relationship with their own parent(s). They want to treat their "child" better than they feel they were treated.

And please don't get me started on the parents who pick out a child to adopt simply because of how the child looks. Agencies used to try hard to pick children who matched the potential adoptive family (white children with white parents, light children with light parents, dark children with dark parents). I don't know if they still do that or not. And it certainly wasn't done in my adoption.

There are some parents who pick out a child because they remind them of someone else. Then they dislike the child because they remind them of that same person.

I know I've only touched on a fraction of reasons why people adopt and I haven't started trying to tell you the affects and the effects that these reasons have on the adoptee. Parents, please understand the adoptee feels whatever you put into their adoption. If you love them they love you back it's that simple. But if you had ulterior motives for adopting, the child feels that as well. Think about why you chose adoption and if your motives weren't pure, you can turn that around.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Love My Parents

It amazes me that when I tell people I am searching for my biology, the number one concern people have is about my love for my adoptive parents. They actually question whether or not I love my parents. Well, let me set the record straight. Yes, I love the people who wanted me enough to adopt me when I was five days old and raised me into the woman I am today. However, that does not preclude me from wanting to pursue the search for the woman who actually gave me life.

I'm excited there are more open adoptions now than ever before. Every child has the right to know about their birth family. People don't understand that the bonding process begins in utero. When a newborn baby is handed over to a "stranger" that bond is broken. It sometimes takes years for a connection to occur between the adoptive parent(s) and the adoptee and on occasion it may never happen. The book that explained this phenomena to me is The Primal Wound written by Nancy Verrier. Mrs. Verrier is a psychotherapist and an adoptive parent.

The primal wound is described as follows "The core premise of the "primal wound" theory is that a child separated from its mother at the beginning of life, when still in the primal relationship to her, experiences what she calls the primal wound. This wound, occurring before the child has begun to separate his own identity from that of the mother, is experienced not only as a loss of the mother, but as a loss of the Self, that core-being of oneself which is the center of goodness and wholeness. The child may be left with a sense that part of oneself has disappeared, a feeling of incompleteness, a lack of wholeness. In addition to the genealogical sense of being cut off from one's roots, this incompleteness is often experienced in a physical sense of bodily incompleteness, a hurt from something missing." (Wikipedia) I often think adoptees suffer from more health issues and emotional issues than people who have been raised with their biological families, quite simply it is a primal wound and should be treated as such.

So when I tell you that I am continuing the search for myself, don't question my love for my parents. Just know that I love me enough to want to know everything about me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Image in the Mirror

Can you imagine what it's like to pass a mirror and not see anything but a blur? Okay, well that's the story of my life. When you see your reflection it's easy to see Aunt Bertha's eyes, Grandma Joan's nose, Uncle Bernie's mouth.. you get the point. You see the collective you are a part of; a family. I don't see that. I do see something but without the family parts to put it all together it leaves too many blanks to try to fill in. The only collective I feel like a part of when I see myself is the fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek series known as the Borg.

Troy Dunn, The Locator says in the opening of his show "you can't have peace until you have all the pieces," Without my biological history I will never have all the pieces. When I was in elementary school, classmates would tell me that I had no mother or father because I was adopted. So it is obvious that someone out there knows who I am and where I came from.

Recently I hired a Confidential Intermediary to find the information about my birth. She did find out that my birth mother's name is/was L. Sleigh. She was 19 years old when she had me. She was from South Carolina but lived in Muncie Indiana while pregnant with me. She even found out that my birth mother stayed at a local church parsonage in the Muncie area. I think that should be enough information to put the pieces together. But I'm still searching. Who knows, maybe I'm only a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Different But Similar

I just finished reading The Women Who Raised Me by Victoria Rowell. Ordinarily I wouldn't give my opinions on a book simply because I'm not a book reviewer. However, I have to say something about this work of art. It was amazing and although Victoria's story is different than mine, they are so similar that I could've written this book myself.

I have to admit when I first started reading I struggled with all of the details. Then as I read on, I struggled with all of the details. No, I’m not crazy...I think I’m jealous! First of all Victoria Rowell either has an incredible memory, she’s a heck of a researcher or she has a great research team to have all of the information about not only her life but the lives of those she was surrounded by.

In the beginning I found it hard to read the book because it was chocked so full of background information it got convoluted, but as I continued reading I realized I wish I had the same kind of information she had about my own biology. This book affected me deeply. As an adoptee, I have searched for my birth mother or anything I could find about my past and all I have is L. Sleigh. Yeah, L. Sleigh is my birth mother. She was 19 when she had me and was from South Carolina. I need Victoria’s people to do some research for me. Had I been a “foster” instead of an “adoptee” perhaps I would have had all of the information I needed to establish who I was.

As of now, I’m an “adoptee” That is who I am, what I am. It consumes me. And not that I didn’t love my adoptive parents, but once they both passed on, I felt free; emancipated, I could finally embrace who and what I was. While they were alive, we weren’t supposed to talk about it. Who wants to be a secret all of their life?

There were several parts of Victoria’s story that I could have written. I guess clich├ęs apply to fosters and adoptees. I only wish I had all of those women in my life to nourish and nurture me. This was a great story. My only complaint was that by the time, I began to get a sense of one of the women in her story, she had moved on to the next one and I felt like a stranger to the person I was just reading about.

But after all that is said and done, I realize that Victoria, just like other fosters and adoptees, led a chaotic and constantly changing life. I felt that confusion in the book.

This is a story worth reading.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Introducing Myself

I'm adopted. There I've said it. That's who I am and what I am. It defines me. In my home, adoption was not to be discussed. In fact, my adoptive father, God rest his soul, didn't want me to know I was adopted so he cut the ankle band from my leg and threw it into a fire. Most parents save those kinds of mementoes. Everything about me may have been contained on that one piece of paper encased in plastic and attached to me after my birth. All of the information about my birth mother may have been within my reach but was destroyed by a fire in a wood burning stove. Who needs a fire in the month of May? Or was the fire started purposely as a means to get rid of information?

Instead, I've spent the last 41 years, countless hours and thousands of dollars searching and researching my biology... to no avail. Now don't get me wrong, I love my adoptive parents and appreciate the fact that they allowed me to know what a family was all about. But what I needed more than anything was to know ME. I'm glad open adoptions are available now. Every adoptee has a right to know where they came from.

Perhaps speaking about my feelings in this format will allow me to learn more about myself. Discovering me has become more important than finding out about my biology although the two go hand in hand. I don't want anyone reading this to think I'm against adoption or adoptive parents; I'm not. I want to explore the feelings adoption brings. Maybe there are adoptees out there who want to share their feelings or adoptive parents who can add their thoughts or maybe, just maybe, there are potential adoptive parents out there that need to hear about the different feelings and emotions adoptees experience.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I know I'm just a Sleigh Ride away from finding ME!