Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Is Me!

It's taken me years to discover who I really and this is what I've come up with.

I’m not an actress, although I have been performing in a scriptless play since I was five days old. Adoption, secrets and lies created the impersonator I’ve become.
I am not a singer but my heart cries out in perfect harmony with the chorus of adoptees who choose to moan and hum because words cannot always express the thoughts we share.

I am however a Conceptualist. I think in the abstract. I create ideas based upon my experiences and the struggles of those around me. I see things as ideational structures that can be made into realizations.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Cleaning

After a 10 day vacation, I'm renewed mentally and physically. It's time to get back to the grind. As Tim Gunn would say on Project Runway "make it work people!" That's what I need to do; make it work. I need to get back to the things that matter, the things that will help me in the long run. I need to clean out the old things that hinder my ability to obtain the new, whether it be clothes, shoes, books, kitchen items and whatever else is causing clutter. We often talk about spring cleaning, this year I'm going to do the fall cleaning.

Over the years I've accumulated JUNK! Today is the day to start letting go. If I haven't looked at it in a year or more, it's out! I'm even cleaning out contacts on my email list and my FB friends list. If I haven't heard from you in a year or I haven't contacted you in a year, you've got to go! It may be a good idea for all of us to get rid of the things we don't need.

One of the most important things I'm getting rid of will be my bad habits: overeating, eating bread, eating sweets, and lack of exercise.

Fall is my new spring cleaning time!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Saying Grace

This morning while eating breakfast at the hotel, I noticed two men probably in Atlanta for a work related meeting, convention or conference. As they sat down to eat one man politely bowed his head as the other one ravenously dug into his food as though he hadn't eaten in quite some time. The man stayed with his head bowed for what seemed like hours. It was as though he was having a long long talk with God. Perhaps he was giving thanks for the cook, the chickens that laid the eggs, the plants that had given their lives to provide the herbs and spices used to season the food and the grocery store where the food was purchased. At another table full of people, I witnessed one person close her eyes quickly and open them as though embarrassed to be seen giving thanks for her bounty.

How often do we think about giving thanks but someone interrupts us and we stop praying? How many times are we with someone who doesn't give thanks and we simply start eating because they do? I have to admit there was a time I found myself embarrassed to bow my head in public and say grace, but that was long before I knew how good God is to wake me up every morning and provide me with food to eat. There were times in my life that I didn't have money to buy a meal and had to borrow money I knew I couldn't pay back. There were times the Lord sent somebody to me who asked me and my kids out to dinner just when I was wondering what I could scrape up to eat. The bible says "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1) Regardless of who we eat with or eat in front of, we cannot be ashamed to give thanks.

"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Robert Thompson: When Death Hits Close To Home

Today, I awakened early to put a post on Facebook to give encouragement to a family who tragically and unexpectedly lost one of their loved ones only to find out I had lost a dear friend and relative. I have to admit I was shaken to the core over his untimely passing. And although I hated to receive the news on a Facebook post, I'm thankful because I still haven't heard from any of my family members informing me that he had died.

I was recently hospitalized three times in three months for a devastating and potentially life threatening illness and thought "there but for the grace of God, go I." When i saw the post on FB, I was saddened, then I found myself getting angry over the fact that none of my friends or family members bothered to call me to personally give me the news, then a "peace that passed all understanding" fell over me because what's done is done and I can't change it.

There are five stages of grief we go through: the first is denial. I can't deny the fact that God decided to take my loved one home. Number two is anger. Are we really angry that the person died or are we angry because of the reactions or non reactions of others (in my case, no one contacting me). The third stage is bargaining. I have nothing to bargain with. Would I trade places with the one who God has chosen to take home, probably not. The fourth stage is depression. I can't allow myself to become depressed as it wouldn't serve any purpose. Also it could cause me health problems I'm not prepared to deal with. And the fifth is acceptance. In just a few short hours, I've accepted my cousin's passing because I know he had completed everything God had for him to do on earth. There were more things I wish my cousin and friend could have done but it wasn't up to me.

I pray for his mother, his children and grandchildren. I pray for his friends and loved ones. I pray for the city of Muncie who just lost a valuable asset to their community.

This is another one "gone too soon"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Name Chage

On Sunday I changed the name of my blog site to Puzzle Pieces. I had grown weary of writing in a blog that read Just A Sleigh Ride Away (from finding myself). I was finding myself, I just didn't realize it. I thought by searching for my birth mother, I would find out more about myself. What I learned was that it wasn't the search that allowed me to find me, it was the ability to discuss being adopted openly and without fear of hurting some body's feeling. Keeping quiet only served to hurt me.

All of us have opinions about everything, they remind me of pieces of a puzzle. But unless those opinions are given a voice the puzzle will never be complete, questions will never be asked and answers will never be discovered. Today while out and riding I saw a church sign that read "Is life a puzzle? Ask God for the missing piece." That was enough confirmation to let me know I had changed my blog site name to the right one.

All we need to do is ask God, He's the answer to every puzzle.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


My blog name has been changed!!! I created this blog in an effort to discuss my feelings about finding my birth mother L. Sleigh. I'm sure you all got as tired of reading about those thoughts as I did writing them! While blogging under the old name of Just A Sleigh Ride Away (from finding myself)I happen to find myself!

So now I will blog about various topics and life in general. Our random thoughts are pieces to a larger puzzle, we all have them. The puzzle will never be complete if we don't give those thoughts a voice. I hope you will find my opinions exciting enough to continue following me. And those who haven't clicked the 'join this site' button, please do, I just may talk about something you want to hold a conversation about. I may even say something you wanted to say but were too shy to do so!

Be blessed and more importantly be a blessing!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Kimberly R. Nelson

Today I'm sad! Residents of Muncie, Indiana (my home town) have been searching for Kimberly R. Nelson, a 40 year old mother of two. This past week they found her body, hanging from a low branch on a tree and on her knees. I just don't believe she would hang herself. She had a great job, a boyfriend who loved her. Her mother and father were still living and more importantly she was the mother of 2 children. I refuse to believe she would decide to take her own life.

Now that her death has been called a suicide there will be no searching for the person or persons who may have had something to do with her death. They claim she walked approximately a mile on a walking trail and then ventured 200 yards into the woods where she met her demise (supposedly).

How often do we hear of women walking along a trail get attacked and possibly murdered. I've seen the FBI get involved for a lot less. Why are the authorities in Muncie so quick to say this was a suicide? Is it because she is a woman of color and missing women of color are treated much differently? I'm angry about this. I wish this had a different ending. I don't know Kimberly R. Nelson but I pray God gives her family the strength to get through this most trying time and a peace that passes all understanding. My heart and prayers go out to them.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lord, Help Me Bite My Tongue

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Psalm 141.3) Lord, I need you to do this for me right now! We claim we do things "out of the goodness of our hearts" but do we really? How many times have you done something and gotten angry because someone else took the credit for it? How long do we stay angry about it? Most importantly, how many times has that anger made us miss out on the blessing God had in store for us during that time? I have to admit that from time to time, it gets to me and it did tonight. But I'm not going to let it take control. I'm moving on. Oh, I'll keep doing what I do, but once I do it, it's done and I go to the next adventure God has for me!

I remember a song that Walter Hawkins used to sing called Whatever It is (It Won't Let Me Hold My Peace). The song says, "whatever it is, it makes me love my enemies."

So Lord, tonight keep the door of my lips and please set a watch before my mouth.

Be blessed and more importantly be a blessing. I'm out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting Older

I had the opportunity to talk to a dear friend this morning about their aging parent. Most of us have been there and those who haven't will be one day. Our parents, if still alive, are getting older. The ability to deal with an aging parent isn't easy and your duties may change from day to day. Some day you may be a caregiver, some days, you may be their child, sometimes, you will be their friend; the dynamics are constantly changing. We have to keep in mind that as our parents age, their health, their attitudes, and their feelings, may change. We are expected to be able to deal with all of those issues and it's hard to keep up with all of the changes.

I worked with a man years ago who made a statement I will never forget. He said that he was afraid of growing old and if he lived passed 75, he would commit suicide. I thought what he said was strange, but as I grow older I understand better what he was trying to convey. Now don't get me wrong, I have no intentions of ever killing myself, but the older I get, the more afraid I become of what my body will or won't do. What he said made me think. As a person ages they can become more and more cantankerous and we don't know from one day to the next what mood they will be in. Keep in mind they too may be afraid of what is happening to them. Their bodies are changing, their eye sight is probably changing. They may not be able to hear as well as they used to. Their words may not come out the way they want them to. They may be afraid of dying. I'm not talking about the fear of going to heaven or hell (that's a different subject) but the actual physicality of not being here. And because we never know when death will come, everyday to them, could be their last.

Most of us can't run out and obtain a college degree in how to deal with the aged, but we can imagine what we will feel like when we get to be our parent's age. Afterall, growing old is right around the corner for a lot of us and for some of us, it's on the same street.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


In January, I lost a friend; a very dear friend. She was older than me. In fact, she was about the same age as my birth mother. She was sick for a while but her dying came so suddenly and so unexpectedly. All these months later, I still hurt at the mention of her. She was the person who made me feel loved like a daughter. She spoke about things I could've never talked to my adoptive mother about. I often wonder what kind of relationship my birth mother and I would have had. Would we have been distant, speaking only when things were good or when things were bad? Would we have laughed with each other or even at each other when appropriate. I didn't get the opportunity to tell her goodbye.

I have the same feeling about losing her as I do my birth mother. I never got to say goodbye. I never had the chance to say godbye to the woman whose womb I developed in. I never got to experience the essence of my mother's fragrance; the scent I became accustomed to while growing in the dark space of her being. I never got to behold her face or feel the warmth of being rocked in the cradle of her arms. All of those factors were the influences on my wellspring that made me what I've become. But what would I have been had I grown up with my birth mother? What could I have been? Am I the best that I could be? I've heard it said we can never be 100% of anything if we don't know the percentage we started with. Without having the information about my biology, I may never know the portion of the amount I'm dealing with.

As a child, we didn't talk about me being adopted so I didn't know how to process the feelings that I'm now dealing with. I couldn't truly appreciate the love my adoptive parents had for me and I'm sure they loved me, but the love my older friend showed me allowed me to finally feel what every daughter should feel. Thank you Mama Janet.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another Beautiful Sonday/Learning to Listen

I have to admit, I haven't gotten a lot done today but sometimes the body and the mind just need to rest. We clutter our lives with so many things we don't give ourselves the time we need to heal and rejuvenate. There are times we need to sit back, relax, drink a cup of hot tea, play some soothing music and listen to our own thoughts. God will speak to us in the midst of our thoughts. He may be ready to tell you something you need to hear; a blessing you've been blocking, a break through, maybe even a set up for a come back! I'm a list writer, in fact, just this morning I discovered that my list writing has become an obsession because I found lists in three or four different places in my house. Some of the lists were duplicates of other lists. I bring up the lists because they prove my mind is too cluttered; so filled with "junk" I have to write things down to keep from forgetting. Who has time to do that much thinking. The lists showed me my mind needs to rest. Simply rest!

I noticed too that I keep several televisions on everyday as though I'm afraid of missing something. I have missed something; me! Perhaps we need to turn off the distractions such as television and digital games so we can hear our thoughts. We need to "fix" ourselves so we can be a blessing to others. If it's not meant for us to hep others, we can at least be open to listening to them. By putting yourselves out there for others, we open the doors to our acts of favor from God. I'm amazed daily at how God has truly had mercy on me, even through times of tribulation, He was blessing me.

So big ups to another beautiful Sonday! Thanks again God for another day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I will never, I repeat, I will never apologize for the life God has blessed me with. And I will not give anyone permission to try to steal my joy. I celebrate everyday the blessings I have been entrusted with. I celebrate Him for those things that would normally bring me to my knees. Jeremiah 1:5 tells me He knew me before He formed me in my mother's womb and He and only He knew what I could handle. And just when it seems the load is too heavy to bear and I've gone as far as I could, He steps in and gives me the strength to keep on going. I praise Him for my setbacks because those are the setups for comebacks. I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).

I will apologize only to God for not taking time to thank Him oten enough for continually blessing me. According to John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What father would do that? No human father that I know of; only God. I don't want to sound preachy but He's brought me from a mighty long way.

To my birth father, I love you. I wish we could've known each other. I often wonder if you ever knew about me. I've been a secret on so many levels. But to God I was no secret nor was I a mistake.

And for all of that I thank Him!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Great Sonday!

There's something about Sunday that's so peaceful and so relaxing. It's a day of praise and worship, a day of replenishing and refreshing. It's a time to talk to God and more importantly it's time to listen to what He has to say to you. Other days of the week are so hectic, it's hard to take time to listen.

A good Christian friend of mine used to complain about not finding a job, a man, her health, a life and anything else she could find to complain about. I had to remind her that not having those things was God's way of speaking to her; telling her there was something else she should be doing. Recently she moved to help her elderly parent who had health issues and although she has complaints about that, it was what God was telling her to do. So much time is wasted when we ignore God's word.

We have to listen, we have to be obedient and we have to freely give to those who have less than we have. Remember Matthew 25:40 tells us "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

God speaks on Sunday morning but He is talking to us all of the time, we just have to listen.

Be blessed today and more importantly, be a blessing. Have a great Sonday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Change of Plans

Much to your delight and my (I think) my post on this blog will not just be about adoption, finding my birth mother, being angry etc. Since my recent illness, I have decided that life if much too short to dwell on those things you have no control over. I have opinions about everything and knowledge about a lot of things. So I'm expanding my horizons and talking about other things that are on my mind.

Today my thoughts are on the people who use "I've got plenty of nothin' and nothin's plenty for me" as their theme song. They have nothing and they want nothing. That's not the song I want in my head all day, I hope it's not the song you're listening to.

That's it for today.

(Maybe L. Sleigh will start looking for me)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Productive Day!

Thank God for feeling better. I've gotten so much done in the last few days. Maybe it's because I'm not doing Facebook! There's something to be said about a social network that is so addictive you find yourself on it most of the day. Life is too short for that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Been Awhile!

Sorry I haven't posted anything lately but I've been in and out of the hospital during the past three months. Happy to say I'm feeling much better but have a long long way to go to get back to normal. Pray for me. I will start posting my thoughts again soon. I promise!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Your Turn

This post will be short and sweet but straight to the point; L. Sleigh I'm tired of looking for you. It's your turn. Your turn to spend restless nights wondering who you are. Your turn to to search databases and court records to find me. Your turn to spend thousands of dollars to try to find me. Your turn to wonder if I think about you. Your turn to make cold calls to people who may know me or something about me. Your turn to have doors slammed in your face. Your turn to suffer illnesses caused by the "not knowing" Your turn to wonder how I'm doing without you. Your turn to think how I may have done if you had been in my life. Your turn to feel the pain of having a hole in your heart.

It's your turn L. Sleigh.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Untitled (On Purpose)

Today's thoughts are not about anything in particular just some random thoughts I wanted to share with you.

I went to Atlanta over the weekend and as we rode through Birmingham AL we were able to see some of the destruction from the recent tornado. Devastating to say the least. My prayers go out to those who lost loved ones and suffered unspeakable damage.

Today I've decided to give in to the power of "right now" I'm going to quit dwelling on the past and stressing the future.

I have plans to start walking and drinking water.

I'm going to clean out my closet and get rid of stuff I just don't wear anymore.

Venus Williams looked like her old self this morning!

I am going to finish LOVED TO DEATH: The City Awakens

I'm going to finish reading THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett

Okay that's all for now, but I may have to add to my random thoughts

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Health As Related To Adoption

We've all heard about the "twin thing" where identical twins feel each other's pains and emotions. We've even heard about it happening with mothers and daughters and fathers and sons. So my question is this: does my birth mother feel my emotions and my pain? Could the times I've been at my lowest ebb been as a result of me feeling my birth mother's pain or my birth father's emotions. I've given a lot of thought to feelings and pains in the last few weeks because of some medical issues I'm dealing with. If only I could be made aware of the medical history of my birth mother or father, perhaps some of my issues could be prevented.

I saw a television show the other day where the baby was taken from the birth mom because the mother was sixteen years old. That I can understand but my birth mother was 19 when she had me. An adult. Someone who could've made decisions for herself. Had she wanted me she could've kept me and raised me on her own. These thoughts are the ones that cause me the most pain. Pain and negative emotions affect and effect our health. The altered state that is created by removing a child from its' biological root causes negativity and negativity causes our bodies to react in ways our minds can't comprehend and vice versa: our minds can't always identify what the body is telling it and thus, illnesses are formed.

My prayer is that the next birth mom who gets pregnant and decides that for whatever reason that she doesn't want, can't keep or shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place, decides to give her child away to possible complete strangers, she will think about the effect she has had on her child's future health.

Think about it L. Sleigh as I go to surgery next week.

Perhaps I'm a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Before this Mother's Day comes to an end, I need to give love to my mother, the late Irene Thompson Elmore. I love you for adopting me, molding me, and nurturing me into the woman I am. I also have to give thanks to L. Sleigh for putting me up for adoption. I'm prayerful that L. Sleigh gave me up out of love and I pray Irene Elmore (and Clay Elmore) adopted me out of love. Though I may never know their reasons, on this day I feel blessed that the whatevers and the why fors fell in place the way they did. None of this could have happened if God were not involved and since God doesn't make mistakes, I know that everything was done properly.

There are several other women that were part of my life and I feel this is a great time to give them honor:

Janet Stovall Kemp (now deceased)
Imogene Pugh
Evelyn Wilson

There were many many more, and the fact I can't remember them all, blame that on my head and not my heart.

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, April 22, 2011


For years finding my birth mother or any other information about my biology has been uppermost in my mind. I've wanted the information more out of curiosity than anything else. But as I get older and health problems are starting to plague my life, I need the information to find out if any of my issues are inherited and can possibly be passed on to my children and/or grandchildren. After taking some tests the other day which have the potential to have devasting results suddenly it's not so important to know my biology but living my best life ever.

In just a few days, I've learned that I need to live my life with an urgency I've never felt before. It's now important to get those books written, sing the songs I want to sing, dance the dances and other literal and figurative goals I want to accomplish. I can't worry about anything that I can't solve and those things i think I can solve, I will do so only if I choose to. I now understand that everyone's problems are not mine to fix. There was a plaque on a relative's wall that will forever be ingrained in my mind: "The failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." So there will be times I will tell people I can't help them period or I can't help them at that particular time. I may even say I don't want to help them at all. I will be more selective about how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. I will spend more time being positive, reading my bible and in prayer.

I am going to have to take of me first! I am going to live to live.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Undying Love/Undying Gratitude

There was a time that talking about being adopted was taboo. Now that my adoptive mother and father are deceased I talk about being adopted to whatever audience I can find. An older lady who knew my mother and father, upon hearing that I was looking for my birth mother, called me and told me "your mother and father loved you much". Okay, and???? Was that supposed to mean that I had no rights to my past? Searching for my biology doesn't repudiate their love for me nor mine for them. It simply means I am one of those who wants to know where I came from.

I understand those who don't want to know and wholeheartedly applaude them. I pray for the time when knowing my birth mother no longer matters to me. But right now, I have the need to know. When I talk to you about finding my biology please don't give me reasons why I shouldn't. You can tell me you don't want to have that conversation with me but don't nullify my feelings by trying to explain them away. The one thing that sticks in my crawl and just won't seem to let go is somebody trying to clarify (to me) what I'm saying. I don't need you to rationalize, analyze, or translate anything. If you can help me resolve the need by giving me information about my biology then please feel free to do so. But I will no longer stay silent, closemouthed or unheard about my feelings.

Yes I am grateful to Clay C. and Irene (Thompson) Elmore for adopting me. I love them and I felt the love they had for me. I owe them a debt of gratitude for adopting me and giving me the best life they knew how to give. However, that love and gratitude won't let me forgive them for not getting more information about how I came to be in order to enlighten me if/when the time came.

Adoptive parents, yes and that includes those who think they will never have issues with their children, get the information for your child(ren). If you never need it..fine but if/when you do, you'll have it handy and may be able to save yourselves the heartache of having a child who may never be able to forgive you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Real Truths Revealed

Up until now I've tried to be as politically correct as I can be in sharing my feelings. But in order to tell how I have been impacted by adoption, I have to dig deep. Some people who read my feelings won't agree with me, but please remember these are MY thoughts.

Let's get started. If my adoptive mother had her way, everyone she knew would have adopted a baby. And just about everyone she knew did indeed adopt. She had a friend in Indianapolis who kept her up to date on babies that had been relinquished. Now I don't know how my mother knew so many people who wanted to adopt or if she was browbeating her friends into taking this "unwanted" children. But everywhere I turned in Muncie, someone had been adopted by one of my mother and father's friends.

If we take a look at the dynamics of the above paragraph, wouldn't it stand to reason that my mother would have/should have known more about where I came from. I have to think she did know. But when she died whatever information she had, she took it with her. Am I angry? Heck to the yeah I'm fact, I'm downright mad!

Come on adoptive parents, tell the truth. Tell the children you vowed to take care of the truth. Their future depends on it.

Dead Secrets

I think it is so sad when people die with the information that may set someone free. What would it hurt to tell someone where they came from? I accept the fact they may not have known what was needed but if they did I wish they would have told it. So many people go to their graves with secrets that hold the key to open up a whole new and different world for someone. This is true not only in the world of adoption but happens on a regular basis. Why all the secrecy in the first place? I'm so surprised that no one has come forward to tell me something they may have heard years ago about my biology. They talk about everything else but no one, I mean absolutely no one has given me a snippit of information. Well I take that back a person assigned to me by the state who had my information in her hands could only give me the information I already knew! I could have guessed and guessed until I was blue in the face but she wasn't releasing what I was hoping for.

Perhaps the people that are holding on to the whys and wherefores never thought technology would catch up to some of that information. Technology has caught up with information that is entered by humans. So if no humans have the information, then it can't be loaded. It's a cruel and vicious cycle and it has to be broken.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interview With Adult Adoptee Male/50

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Current Age: 50

Gender: Male

1. What age were you when you were adopted?

At Birth

2. In what State were you adopted?


3. Was your adoption open or closed?


4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?


5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?


6. Did you inform your adoptive parents of your plans to search?

Both deceased

7. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?


8. Have you actually started your search?


9. Do you know any member of your birth family?


10. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)


The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

The Interviewee answered NO to all of the medical conditions:

Autoimmune Diseases
Hair Loss
Heart Health
Lung Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Reproductive Health

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

Fine, I would just like to know my true blood line and if there are any hidden medical conditions out there I should know about.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poignant Quote!

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers' names. -Alice Walker

How interesting this quote is to one who is trying to find their roots. L. Sleigh is the only name I know. I sure wish she'd try to find me!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Interview With Adult Adoptee Male/61

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Age: 61

Gender: Male

1. What age were you when you were adopted?

15 months

2. In what State were you adopted?


3. Was your adoption open or closed?


4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?


5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?

Already Have

6. Did you inform your adoptive parents of your plans to search?

All 4 Are Deceased

7. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?


8. Have you actually started your search

Have Done That & Continue to search my birth family tree

9. Do you know any member of your birth family? -


10. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)

No – But I have a female sibling that was adopted

The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

Autoimmune Diseases - yes
Cancer - no
Diabetes - yes
Hair Loss - no
Heart Health - no
Lung Health - yes
Menopause - no
Mental Health - no
Multiple Sclerosis - no
Reproductive Health - no
Sarcoidosis - no

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

My parents (Mom & Dad) were both infamous heroin dealers and users on the West and South sides of Chicago from the 1940’s until the 1970’s – My mother had me at age 16 and I don’t know how old my father was – I do know that they both loved me even though they could not take care of me - because I’m told I had a lot of health issues – They didn’t want me to go into the system – so they had a big family meeting and my great uncle and aunt stepped up and agreed to adopt me at age 15 months - as long as my folks signed over full rights to me – They agreed and they all went to court and it was done in a friendly manner – When I was six years old and in the first grade, they sat me down and explained the whole situation to me and answered all my questions – They took me from Chicago , to Gary, Indiana - where I grew up – as I got older and healthier – they allowed me to spend more and more time with my birth mom at my grandfather’s house in Chicago – Even to this day I’m thankful and grateful to them for that opportunity – because of that – I am the person I am today – able to love, and be loved – My birth father died when I was 7 and my mother when I was 21 – the last thing she said to me was; “ Son, I have always loved You “ – I never talked to her or saw her alive again – she died while we were on our way back to Gary.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Interview with Adult Adoptee 32/F

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Age: 32

Gender: Female

1. What Age Were You When You Were Adopted?

4 years old
but I had been with my adoptive father from age 2

2. In What State Were You Adopted?


3. Was Your Adoption Open or Closed

My adoption was complicated. It was either the very first times, or among the first times, a single father adopted a child in the state of Oregon. My mother's name had to be left on the birth certificate, even though she signed over all her rights, because there was no other mother to take her place on the paperwork. My original father was removed and replaced with my adoptive father, and my name was changed.

4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?

I knew about the adoption process because I had been 2 when I went to live with my adoptive dad, and then at age 4 I was put into foster care as the state studied him and his ability to provide for me. I had also met many of my siblings, both older and younger, so I knew from the age of 2... except I don't know if I really understood it until I was older.

5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?

I found my birth mother when I was 17. I met many of my older siblings. Three of my younger siblings have been located (they were all adopted into the same home), but have no interest in reunion. I don't know enough about my birth father to search, just his name. My birth mother assures me that his family are probably all dead.

6. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?

My adoptive father knew I wanted to search. He never says much about it. We don't really talk about it. I think it makes him sad. I can't complain about it to him, either. He won't tolerate any complaints about my birth mother or her family - he expects me to be kind to them. That has worked in my favor in some ways, because I haven't been able to draw my adoptive family into the drama. It's healthier.

7. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)

no, I was raised as a singleton. I am number 6 in 10 siblings, with the older 5 staying in the family and the younger 5 adopted away. 3 of my siblings are half-Chinese, and the state placed them together. By the time they went up for adoption, I had already been adopted away.

8. Do you know any member of your birth family?

My adoptive father had limited contact with them and their caretakers for a short time.

The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

Autoimmune Diseases- Yes (throidectomy and fibromyalgia)
Cancer- No (benign cancerous growths and tumors)
Hair Loss-No
Heart Health-No
Lung Health-no
Mental Health-Yes (anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders synesthesia)
Multiple Sclerosis-No
Reproductive Health-No

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

adoption is difficult to put into words. It means being part of two (sometimes more) families, but not being a full member of any one family. There is always that missing history, or missing DNA, or missing level of understanding that limits your ability to fit in. It's a struggle and it doesn't always seem worthwhile. It can be very demoralizing, confusing, and heartbreaking. Reunion isn't always what it's cracked up to be. My older siblings sometimes still refer to themselves as a family of 5 siblings, but I am number 6. I feel like a nuisance, a bother, a bore. They already have that connection with each other, and it was effortless because they had each other the whole time - creating a relationship out of thin air (or blood) takes more work than many people are willing to put into it. I don't have any support network because my reality affects so many of the people who would normally be supportive in an intimate way. How do I complain about the antics of my birthmother to her other daughters, or to my adoptive dad who doesn't want to hear about the difficult nature of my adoption and reunion? I can't. I can't explain to the family how betrayed I feel, how abandoned I feel, even by the older siblings. I can't explain how important it was for me to find my heritage, my blood, my people. I was raised by people who looked completely different from me, and I felt outcast and strange. I needed to know where I came from, who I looked like. I couldn't ever get that through to people - people who take their connections for granted. In many ways, adoption creates more ties to more people, but the ties themselves are weakened. In many ways, I feel like an only child and an orphan, despite having as many family members as I do (on both sides). I wish I knew my fathers lineage, but I never will. I wish my birth family would take the time and make the effort to get to know me, but they never will. I am always being compared to an ideal they had in their mind, and I will never measure up to the younger siblings who were removed by the state and not simply signed away. It's complicated, it's messy, it's a drag.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Wednesday night I watched America's Next Top Model. To teach the girls they selected for the season about rejection, they made them think they were going home. The girls who weren't picked for the new season were actually made to believe they had made it to the next round. They showed the emotional reactions of the girls who were actually staying and while it was amazing to see their excitement, they didn't show the girls who were actually going home.

Now I understand that in that world, models are rejected daily just as most of us have been or will be. I'm sure many of us (if not all of us) have suffered the feeling of rejection. We have interviewed for jobs that we didn't get, we have applied for loans that we didn't get, we have wanted to be on a team and weren't selected, etc. And with those rejections we have endured the feelings of momentary low self esteem and lack of confidence. For the most part, we get over those feelings and move on.

Imagine the feelings of rejection for an adoptee, especially an adoptee who is searching for a parent. Each day we can't find our family members we have to acknowledge that rejection on a regular basis. I really wish that a birth mother who decides to relinquish their child would take the time to think about the rejection that child will feel later in life.

With all of the rejection people go through why would someone purposely inflict that kind of pain? Tyra Banks who had been rejected several times at the beginning of her journey should be the last person to deliberately inflict that kind of pain on anyone. Tyra, I have to tell you, you missed the boat on this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with Adult Adoptee 37/F

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Age: 37

Gender: Female

1. What age were you when you were adopted?

8 yrs old

2. In what State were you adopted?


3. Was your adoption open or closed?


4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?

Always knew

5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?


6. Did you inform your adoptive parents of your plans to search?


7. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?


8. Have you actually started your search?

Completed my search

9. Do you know any member of your birth family?


10. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)

There were two of us put up for adoption. Both were adopted by different families based on race. He is white and was an infant, and I am black (biracial) and was 6 years old.

The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

Autoimmune Diseases-no
Hair Loss-yes
Heart Health-yes
Lung Health-no
Mental Health-no
Multiple Sclerosis-no
Reproductive Health-no

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

Now that I’m grown, and have met the paternal family, I am glad I was adopted. I see that I would not have had as many opportunities had I been raised by them. Had my maternal grandparents kept me, I may have had an identity crisis at a later age than I did, and therefore have been put at a disadvantage by not understanding my African American heritage. I feel that being exposed to my heritage at an early age prevented me from being blindsided by racism, when it occurred.

Of course there are several aspects of the adoption I wish would have gone better. The bond that an adopted child and adoptive mother/father have is almost non-existent if compared to that which biological children and parents have. Of course I am speaking of healthy biological bonds. As you grow older you learn to make allowances for behavior based on the adoptive circumstances. The allowances may be bad or good, however the need to make them exists.

When I was a child however, I was very confused, and often felt unwanted or used. Maybe this was because I was adopted at the age of 8, and not as an infant. Or maybe it was because I was thrust into a foster parenting system and abused by many prior to finding a good home. It was very hard to trust. I was exposed to things children should know nothing about. You arrive as damaged goods. If you, as a first time foster parent, are not informed of the issues that may accompany the child, then you are going to have problems raising the child to have a healthy self-esteem, rather than finding fault in ALL that they do. I was considered the BAD kid. The black sheep, and all was blamed on me whether I had a part in it or not.

Because I knew my biological mother and grandparents, I felt abandoned by them. I always wanted them to take me back. I am sure this was very hard for my adopted mother to deal with. Again, I was damaged goods, a bi-racially confused and spoiled kid benefiting from financial advantages of white society, only to be adopted by a less financially advantaged black family. I see now why I needed to be with a black family, however, back then I just saw it as being marked, which then was what it was. God had a bigger plan, and knew that’s where I needed to be.

After, and today, sometimes during the pain of it all I can’t help but to see how much worse it could have been. This is not to make light of the situation, it is just to point out that in my situation, and in several others, God knew what he was doing. I also believe that God helped me use the pain to appreciate the struggle and have a testimony. Through me He is able to bless others by allowing me to tell my story so that it can be a mentoring opportunity for those He sends my way. It is important under any circumstances to know that you are NOT alone. The pain will never completely subside. I am not sure if it is suppose to.

Puzzled Piece and Rosa Elmore Ferguson would like to thank this participant for her candid answers about being adopted. It is my desire that these interviews will give voice to adult adoptees who were silenced for so long!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interview with an Adult Adoptee 61/F

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Age : 61

Gender: F

1. What age were you when you were adopted?

age 6

2. In what State were you adopted?

North Carolina

3. Was your adoption open or closed?


4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?

age 4. I met my adopted parents then, and they took me home with them for a “trial”.

5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?

I have searched for years.

6. Did you inform your adoptive parents of your plans to search?

No. My adopted mother had already hired a private detective when I was a child to look for my birth parents because, as she said, I looked too much like my adopted family not to have some roots there (my foster mother was her aunt – there were many secrets & skeletons in their closets).

7. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?

They died before I began my search.

8. Have you actually started your search?

I began when I was 27.

9. Do you know any member of your birth family?

Not that I know of (see question #6).

10. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)


The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

Autoimmune Diseases: No
Cancer: No
Diabetes: No
Hair Loss: A little
Heart Health: Rheumatic fever at age 6 months. Heart murmur. High blood pressure. Angina
Lung Health: Pleurisy
Menopause: Of course!
Mental Health: Diagnosed as manic-depressive at age 13
Multiple Sclerosis: No
Reproductive Health: I have 4 kids!
Sarcoidosis: Not that I know of.

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

"I feel cheated. I wanted to stay with my foster parents (and they wanted me to, (but it was not allowed in those days). I thought that, since they were related to my adoptive parents, I would be allowed to see them but, after they had visited only once, I was told that they couldn’t come any more. I cried inconsolably for a very long time. After my adoptive parents died, I visited my foster parents often and took my children to meet them & play at their farm.

When I read your book Loved to Death, except for the fact that I am alive, I felt that you had been the fly on my wall all of my adopted life. My mother reminded me often that she had never wanted children and showed me her hysterectomy scar whenever she was angry with me to prove it (my foster parents wanted to keep me but couldn’t, according to law, so they begged my mother & father to adopt me to keep me in the family), My daddy loved me to pieces, but wasn’t allowed to touch, hold or kiss me because “all men are only after one thing”, according to my adoptive mother. Therefore, I don’t remember ever being kissed or hugged, or told that I was loved during my entire childhood. My mother passed away first, and it was after that that my daddy then lavished all the love he had wanted to, all those years, on me. But by then I was grown and it was awkward and though I tried, I just didn’t know how. I am only just these past 2 or 3 years learning how to say “I love you” to my children & grandchildren as well as to hug them and outwardly express love & emotion.

I still think of my birth mother & father almost every day and wonder if they are still alive and think of me sometimes. After my adoptive parents died, my foster mom told me all she remembered about them, but she had never learned their names, as it was forbidden for her to talk to them. But she did hear them talking to me, even as a baby, and knew they both loved me, especially my father, who wanted to keep me and raise me, but my mother’s family (who were very wealthy), filed some sort of court document stating that he was not my father and demanding that he give up all rights ( my mother was only around 17, and my father was a soldier). It was even forbidden that they come to visit me, but after the courts found out that they were and demanded that they stop, my mother’s sister still came to see me until I was old enough to remember her visits (around 2 or 3).

Yes, I feel like a big, important, chunk of my life was denied to me, and there is a hole where there should have been sweet memories."

Puzzled Piece and Rosa Elmore Ferguson would like to thank this participant for her candid answers about being adopted. It is my desire that these interviews will give voice to adult adoptees who were silenced for so long!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


By now I'm sure you're tired of hearing my "woe is me" tales. So what's coming up you ask? Well I'll tell you..Soon I will feature "interviews" of other adult adoptees so you can feel the pain and/or the joy we all share.

Coming Soon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Adult Adoptees Needed

I'm looking for adult adoptees who were adopted as infants or young children to be interviewed for this blog! Email me at if you are interested in taking part.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Puzzled Piece Adult Adoptee Questionnaire

We are looking for adult adoptees willing to answer a confidential questionnaire. Your answers will be featured as an interview on Just A Sleigh Ride Away blog. Email me if interested And thanks in advance for your help with this project!