Have you noticed my new profile image?
Rye treated me to a photo session with the AMAZING Tamme Stitt.
I say amazing with good reason. The pics came out great. I will admit it; I look great, but it’s not ME; Tamme does something magical with the camera. Anyway, this was the one pose that I had been thinking about for over a good year now. I wanted a Rosie the Riveter, but for Adoptee Rights. No, ARC tattoo is not real, but I wish it was ( and it might have to be soon.. though I already have a tat on that arm, so that makes it challenging) I dressed up and posed, Tamme took the pictures, we both photoshopped a bit and wala! It’s been making its way around FB and I am happy to report that it has been shared another 20 times off the original. If I was a client of myself, that would be a success! I had to laugh when Carol said that it really should be a poster: I wasn’t ever planning to be a poster child for anything, but I never planned to become a birthmother or an adoption activist either.
Larger than Life Claud Posters? OK
Blog every secret of my life? Sure. Spend my summer vacation lobbying? Yes, I would love to. Be honest and open about everything? No problem. Come to my house? WHAT? WHEN?
Confession time: I am freaking out. I figure the best thing I can do is share how I am freaking out as that is what I have always done. I shared the story of how I lost Max to adoption, how I search and found Max and we all lived through my meeting Max for the first time together. It only makes sense of continuing on sharing.
As I said last week, I was relatively calm and composed when I went to be interviewed by Dan Rather. It was only afterwards that I began to understand that not everyone was actual interviewed by Dan Rather himself that the real freak out began.
Suddenly, the weight of responsibility started cutting into my shoulders as if I was carrying a heavy load. There is a part of me that wants to go; “Why me? Why are they talking to me?” but, as dear Rye has had to remind me, there is no reason to freak out. This is what I have been working for all these years.
It’s almost ironic. For over ten years now I have been writing, blogging, practically screaming on street corners:
“I have a story to tell about adoption! I have a voice! I know what I am talking about! Listen to me tell yu what it is like to be a birthmother!”
Then, the minute someone really begins to listen to me, the self doubt takes hold and I wonder
“Why do they want to talk to ME? What do I have to say?”
So, I put the self doubt away. I filed it next to adoption denial, after trauma. Then I got another email from dear Sean, the oh so very nice producer. ( No, I didn’t just write that because I know he’s been finding his way to read. He really is nice!)
More Dan Rather Filming
He wanted to know if they could arrange some additional filming.
1. Where does your son live? Are you close today? Would he be willing to be interviewed to talk about the power and positives of a reunion?
2. Can I film some footage of you at home or near home carrying out your typical day?
In for a Penny, In for a Pound, I Called Max!
Of course I said yes. No time now to be a shrinking violet. I quickly set out and texted Max to make sure it was OK to send Sean his number. I had already planned on letting him know about the upcoming show and all, but this needed a bigger heads up. After a few texts, and watching my cell phone most anxiously, he called and was thrilled. I think it’s safe to say that he was rather impressed by my big interview and the upcoming piece and was happy to oblige as well.
This was all happening on Wednesday evening, April 11th. They wanted to come on this past Saturday the 14th. I decided that THIS would be a very good time to FREAK OUT and I had good reason to. I have been slowly repainting both my living room and “dining room”. While the better part of the painting was completed, both rooms were still a mess with no art on the walls and over a dozen paint cans, drop clothes and brushes crowding the space. Did I mention that while painting I don’t clean? The dust bunnies had a life of their own and were growing legs. The filth was astounding.
And they were coming to film at my house.
So I did what any woman would do knowing that a film crew would be arriving at their incredibly messy house in slightly over 48 hours; I took the Friday off from work and cleaned it all up! We’re talking non stop frenzy of re-organizing, clutter removal, hang the art, scrub the baseboards, dust and shine, clean up the front porch, arrange the garden and fill the vases
Now maybe this isn’t fair to go so nuts on my house, but little by little, though the comments and support I am understanding that it seems like while Dan Rather reports has spoken to a lot of people, the focus seems to be on Kathy Aderhold and myself. This is only based on the facts that they filmed her at home too. Of course, I am thrilled that they aren’t just looking at adoption through the “this used to happen, but it’s all different now” lense, but no matter how many people can say how proud and impressive it is to speak out; inside I feel the same way. It’s just little old me. If this ends up to be what I suspect, then it’s not just MY house that will be seem, but my house now reelects the home of every other birthmother in the country that has a story to tell. As we joked at work when I explained how I had to stay home to clean; I can’t be representing with old paint rollers on my front porch! No trash here!
Opening My Home for YOUR Inspection
Maybe I have been setting this kind of thing up for a long time. Yes, I have been asking for someone to hear us, but I want you all to know that I have taken this very seriously and I have cleaned with very serious intentions!
By the end of the day on Friday, the undone rooms looked like Martha Stewart herself had come by to plump the pillows. See, I am sharing ( and I will welcome any suggestions on improvements..I can tell you that the end table in the middle picture now has lovely white tulips on it! and there is a LIVE plant on the table in the first image too.AND I repotted my half dead house plants in the kitchen, so they look like I care for them)
Now there was one glitch in the matrix. Kingston has a big race every year called the Kingston Classic and the runners come down my street. They close the whole street for the race. We had a flyer that said the exact times that the street would be closed, but Rye ripped it up into the tiniest pieces of paper imaginable! I had to find the information online which was not easy and hurriedly informed Sean that they needed to get here before or after the race since I couldn’t expect the camera guys to walk three blocks with equipment. Sunday was toyed with and eventually dropped, thank goodness, because In my insanity, I had, however, screwed up one thing; the race was Sunday, not Saturday!
Needless to say, I will have to clean again, though not nearly as much, since we are on again for this Saturday! I’m trying to not be quite as insane, though I did spend the rest of the weekend cleaning even more. My garage looks beautiful and so does the pond; see:
It’s NOT about Me
While I am quite excited, I can only hope that that this all turns out the way we hope and I have managed to adequately speak for post baby scoop era moms. I am REALLY glad that they have spoken to so many of us, so I can share some of the responsibility, but it the absence of dust bunnies say anything.. let it be that I know this is not just about me at all, no matter how much film might be shot here.
This is for every single mother who trusted an adoption agency and listened to their lies. This is for every young mother to be that comes after us who lacks the support. This is for every one of our children who might not understand what it is like. Yeah, filming is exciting. TV is cool. But it is what is important is that our stories are getting heard.
And if this every happens again.. someone send a cleaning crew!