we are everywhere

Monday, September 13, 2010

Phoebe; are you there?

Looking for Phoebe. We have lost contact. Would love to hear from you...dbannie

Saturday, August 07, 2010

u-tube link

A job well done to the creators of this u-tube video.

All my best,


Sunday, February 21, 2010


My son's birthday is coming, soon. And today is my mother's birthday. My father's and brother's birthdays are coming up, soon. All fall within about a five week period. The season of birthdays.

I was invited yesterday to go along with my mother to meet the of her newest great grandbabies. I declined as I couldn't set myself up for the triggger of seeing my mother holding a new baby so close to my son's birthday. I know that it would take about three days for me to recover emotionally. It was a step in the right direction of self care.

I did accept the invitation to a party this weekend that was in part a birthday celebration for my mother. I decided that I could go for a couple hours with minimum recovery time later on for me.

It was great party with fun people and great food and hospitality. My mother and I even had the chance to talk for a while. My son and his adoption are topics we rarely about. Usually it is a just on the surface and in passing comment. I have learned not to let her in because she just wants me to be OK with it all. And I am not.

While we were sitting down, she pulled out some things she had saved for me; sweet things like baby cards and such. Then, someone came over to us and just started talking about the child that he has adopted. It was the kind of situation I am often in with people's cats. How do they know that I am allergic to them? The cats always gravitate towards me! And this new adoptive father found me, too.

I am not comparing this man to a cat. Please understand that.

This man seems like a kind person and he has adopted a child who really did need a new family. The child's mother had died and was in foster care.

In the middle of him telling his story, I wanted to bolt. I was afraid I could begin to cry and I did not want to be so vulnerable just then in from of my mother nor did I want to embarrass the hosts of the party.

Suddenly, I found my mother and myself having an indirect conversation embedded within this man's conversation about his own recent adoption.

I blurted out that his situation is the only time when adoption is good. ( Mom, the loss of my son to adoption was not adoption as it is meant to be. We shouldn't have let him go!)

The man talked more about his daughter and her loss and his struggle to help her with her feelings.

My mom said a couple of times, " Everything works out in the end." (Daughter, it all worked out alright. Don't you see, it all worked out?)

I wouldn't look her in the eye because I didn't want to even minimally validate her statements.

From the outside looking in, she might believe it all worked out because I do know my son, again.
I can't or perhaps won't tell her that it really didn't all work out so well. She needs to believe it did. And I need to keep my thoughts about adoption from her. I can't really explain clearly the reasons why other than that my relationship with my son is precious and I won't let any of my family interfere with it or damage it again.

Of course it all worked out. Everything works out with some end. Adoption works out to an end but for most of us with a lot of pain and confusion.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Visit

This year, my son's father is going to spend his first Christmas with our son. I am very excited for them. It is their first Christmas together. Ever. Unless you count the Christmas before our son was born. We were all together on that Christmas.

I am so happy for the both of them to finally have a Christmas together and for this chance for healing.

Last year, I was was the one who was able to spend some time over the holidays with our son. It was my first ever. Unless you count the Christmas he grew safely in my womb. There were little moments of healing; like sharing the best-cookies-ever made by his little brother and playing football with at least 3 of my boys. I experienced bits of heaven and moments of pure peace and joy over the last Christmas. However, as good as reunion might be, there is still for me, as the mother, the hovering specter of sorrow for all that was lost.

I just can't shake the loss side. And maybe it is not a personal or moral defect. Maybe it is there because I am his mother and so much WAS lost.

During this past year, my son's father and I have been able to talk to one another after decades of separation and estrangement. Finally!!

Let's just call my son's father "Charlie".

Charlie and I were able to stay together after our son's birth for, ironically, about 9 months...but mortally wounded, we went our separate ways after surrendering our child to the agency in closed adoption and sealed records. Charlie went his direction while grieving openly and I went off in my own direction while in a severe state of shock induced by pain and anger; all buried under my sedative of the adoption fog.

For the past year, when Charlie and I have been finally able to talk, we have compared our memories and are better able to understand what happened to the three of us. Talking with Charlie has helped me heal. We can be amicable. I better trust my gut these days and I do believe my gut when it says that there are healing benefits to our son, as well, when his father and I can be friends.

(I also have the fear that it is painful for our son that Charlie and I are friends still; you know, all the might have beens and even anger that he might feel.....)

During some our our discussions, Charlie and I have broached the subject of:

?What can our relationships "BE" with our son? And we try to put words to our relationships with our son.

Our son is an adult and does not need a daddy or a mommy at this time. Yet, I love my son as I do my others; those grown and not grown. In the best of adult children and parent relationships, I believe there is an element of true friendship and respect. And Charlie and I have been talking about this, together.

However, the other day, Charlie was talking about wanting to continue being open to our son, so that our son will better know him and better know about himself. And so that our son will learn things about himself that he didn't have the chance to learn while growing up because he was, of course, being raised by his adoptive parents.

I am relieved that Charlie has this wisdom. I believe that this self knowledge and validation is some of what our son really needs.

The greater realization that our son needs this kind of self knowledge at the age of his mid 30's!!!!! is a great dagger to the middle of my heart and soul. I didn't know that this would be a repercussion for my son as a result of his surrender and adoption. I really didn't know.


Anyways. Here's to the holidays! A Merry Christmas to you, Charlie. When you travel to be with our son, give him the biggest hug from me, please.... My Christmas wishes are for healing for you and our son.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grocery Cart Kisses

I missed them. The Grocery Cart Kisses.... You know the scene you can see several times at the grocery store on any given afternoon. You stop in to the market on a crowded Saturday for apples, paper towels and hot dog buns; or a make a quick stop in after work for pasta, salad and french bread and you see it.

A mother finishes paying for her food and then scoops her child up from the front of the cart and delivers a kiss to her child's sweet, chubby cheek. I believe that those kisses are part of the daily dose of affection manifesting the love that helps to center a child in his or her sense of being and well being.

I missed giving all of those grocery shopping kisses. So many of them. I am still horrified and angry that I was not deemed worthy enough to raise my own child and that some social worker was allowed to choose who would raise my precious child.

Sometimes it just hits me like a freight train when I allow myself to really, really think about another woman raising my child. A woman about whom I really know very little. My adult child keeps us all very separate. I believe that is the coping mechanism which allows him keep all of his parents in his life.

A few years ago, I was standing in line behind a woman at the grocery store. The woman behind me was talking to her and I was caught in a cross fire of adoption conversation. The woman behind asked of the woman in front of me how her newly adopted child was adjusting.

She actually asked, " Is the child affectionate to you.? " Excuuuuse me, unenlightened woman!!!!???"....I felt like wringing her neck.

This poor baby had just been stripped of her country, heritage, language and family and had been brought across the ocean to her brand new and "better" life to live with complete strangers. And now she was expected to be "affectionate?"

So much wrong is with adoption.......

Having a bad adoption day.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Coming Further Out

Yesterday, I went to my supervisor to ask about the possibility of my first born being added to the list of my children who receive some pretty nice perks.

My voice shook and wavered and I know that I sounded like I might cry. However, I did not cry.
Huge relief! I know that several years ago, I would not have even been able to get the words out of my mouth to a supervisor that I unwillingly surrendered my child to adoption due to lack of support from my family and the family of my child's father.

I asked if my supervisor would entertain my request and guide me to someone who could answer my question. She agreed to take my request to another supervisor.

I struggled beforehand, though. Will I loose my job over this? Is there some morals clause that I didn't notice when I accepted an offer of hire? Some of the old shame came back. My instinct to duck and cover and simply disappear returned.

I think that I have been able to heal, some. I am asking if my oldest child can be added to my list of family with this employer.

I needed to ask for myself and for him. Even if my question gets a "no", I did it for my self and for my son. I want my son to know that I finally stood up for him and claimed him as my son to an "authority".

Yet, if my employer does decline my request, will that be one more hurt for him? One more piece of evidence, a slap in the face that his was given away; that his mother let him go?

I am slightly morose, today with Mother's Day around the corner...another difficult day in adoptoland.

Adoptoland is not a term I coined. It fits though.

Once I was reunited and emerged from the completely dark, "TUNNEL OF if you LOVE your baby, you will surrender him" I was able to see finally see this amusement park of adoption where I live. Some of the rides here are exhilarating..such as finally getting to see the wonderful face of my son. Sometimes, however, I am pulled down by some kind of g force inertia onto a ride that will not stop spinning and makes me naseated... I literally want to throw up and for as long as I struggle, I cannot undo the buckle by myself. This park has a fence I cannot scale. Where is the damned exit??? Oh yeah, it disappeared for me with a timed out period of revocation ( which I believe I was lied to about) and 25 years of time.

Yeah..I am not a happy guest in adoptoland. Happy to be reunited; but not happy to be here in the first place.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thoughts After a Break

What a long break in time since I have posted. It is also my spring break from school so this week I got out of here for a very short trip to NYC. I got way from the suburbs and went to Manhattan. I cannot at all picture myself living in my 60's, 70's (and hopefully beyond that!) in the suburbs. When the children I had/have the great privilege of raising were babies, my neighborhood was a morgue and it is still with no humans seen on the street during the daytime. Only at night are humans spotted. So, as soon as my "baby" is out of the nest; I. Am. Outta here.

I feel absolutely trapped in the burbs. I need people around; a coffee shop on the corner, a church a couple of blocks away in which to take a short respite during the day, and lots of children, teenagers and many, many voices and lovely, lively chatter around me as I listen out my window or climb up onto a city bus.

And I have been preparing the husband by my not so subtle hints. He is slow to change and I think that he needs the idea spoon fed to him over the next 7 years or so. That is all assuming that we can afford to live anywhere else with our mortgage nearly paid off!

Yesterday, I focused on getting to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I spent a few hours there wandering though rooms filled with Roman and Greek statues and medieval art; not particularly inspiring to me; at least not yesterday. However, the display of pieces from New Guinea were amazing. The ancestor totem poles were unlike anything I have ever seen; detailed human forms stacked two high; foot upon shoulders. And I saw musical gongs that were carved from tree trunks which were 12 to 15 feet high! Astounding. I took pictures with my dumb little phone to try to send to my oldest son, a musician. I wonder if he has ever seen anything like these giant percussion instruments with faces carved at the top. They certainly have personality.

And in that particular gallery, a placard described how among one of these peoples, all deaths were believed to be caused by an enemy and were to be avenged. Quite a thought. (However, this does fit in oddly with my own theology in that all death is caused by an enemy. And does fit into Holy Week. I will, however, spare any reader my further thoughts on this and an ensuing pseudo sermon.)

Later on, I had a bowl of golden squash soup dotted with caraway seeds and prosciutto. Certainly, it was the most expensive bowl of soup I have ever had at $10; however the atmosphere was part of the bill. To hear the melodies of many languages all around me and to see a little patch of Central Park just out the glass wall was all worth the price of the soup.

Poor Jose the barristo; he just couldn't keep the cappuccinos flowing quickly enough. The waiters always to the counter, " Josito, Paco; dos cappuccinos y un platito." "Josito, tres cappuccinos." And he was serving all the counter customers, too. Pobrecito Jose. He needed more help at the counter, yesterday.

I think I went to Manhattan, in part, to take a break from the business and distractions I put into my life order to run away on a daily basis from the reality and the consequences of the surrender and the adoption of my son.

My trip worked for a while. Until I sat at the lunch counter and wondered what kind of day, my son, Paco, was having while working at his cafe 3000 miles away. Until, I waited on the street corner for a bus and thought that he grew up seeing NY license plates on the upstate roads and streets he traveled.

Central Park was domed yesterday by slate clouds and dotted by the sweet rows of white daffodils and glowing gold forsythia shrubs all swaying under cold, gray winds. Children played on soccer teams in little ravines and mothers pushed strollers along paths edged by bright spring green grass.

And again, I was stunned by the fact that it was another woman who pushed my son in stroller when he was little. And it was another mother who stopped to give him a snack and wipe his nose on chilly, windy spring days. And that it was another woman who had the enormous privilege of teaching him how to think about life and death and enemies and friends and most importantly about love. And another woman who had the privilege of teaching him how to view the beautiful being that he is and how to view the whole wondrous and stunningly beautiful world around him.

Three decades later and this shocks me. It is absurd that my family and my son's father's family thought it was acceptable that our son be handed over to complete strangers. And that my son's father and I were never to know what had become of him. Never to know if he were dead or alive.

Oh...that is right. I always forget. I never will make it be a rational sequence of events. Silly me.
I think it is human nature to try to make sense of it, though.

And it is human nature to want to run from that which gives us pain. It is sheer survival that a mother goes into denial when her child is gone and she is powerless to know or do anything about it.

I tried to take a break from surrender and adoption, yesterday. Well, sort of a break.

Today it is back to the suburbs for me. Back to the realities of adoption and reunion. Back to trying to love my son as best as I can with the real consequences of surrender and adoption in the mix. Back to living my life with the disabling consequences of surrender and adoption.

I would not wish being a surrendering mother on anyone; not upon even upon an enemy.

Mommas, I hope you do all you can to keep your babies with you. Fight now, while you can.