Saturday, May 29, 2010

20 things a burglar wont tell you


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom while I was working in your yard last week. While I was there I unlatched a window to make my return easier.

3. Love those beautiful flowers in your front. Tells me you have good taste..and good taste means nice things inside.

4. All of the great kid toys and bikes out front makes me wonder what type of gaming systems you have inside.

5. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on your driveway, and I might even put a flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to take it off.

6. If it snows and your out of town, have a neighbor make car tracks on your driveway, it's a dead giveaway.

7. Its raining and your fumbling with your keys and umbrella, and you forget to lock your door. We all do it, but I don't take the day of due to weather.

8. I will always knock first. If you answer, I will ask for directions or to clean your gutters. Don't take me up on it.

9. Do you honestly think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, nightstand and medicine cabinets. I almost never go into kids rooms!!

10. I won't have enough time to break into that safe you have, but if it's not bolted down I will just take it with me.

11. A loud TV or radio can be better than an alarm system. If your out of town put your TV on a timer.

12. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never ever look like a crook.

13. I dislike loud dogs and noisy neighbors.

14. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a bit of noise. If your neighbor hears one loud noise, he'll stop what he is doing to see if he hears it again. If he doesn't he"ll go back to what he was doing.

15. Why would you spend all that money for an alarm and not set it?

16. I love to look in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you are home, or a flat screen, or wii, or other things I would like. I'll walk by your house at night before you close your blinds just to pick out what I want.

17. Don't put your vacation plans on facebook, its easy to get your address.

18. To leave a window cracked during the day is a way to get some fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

19. If you don't answer when I knock, I will try the door. I sometimes get lucky and walk right in.

20. I hate wasp spray. It is better than pepper spray, and can shoot up to 20 feet away and is more accurate than pepper spray. You can get me before I get close, and I will be blind until I get to a hospital for an antidote.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Being Adopted - having my own children

Part 2

I found my birthpeople at 24, and met them. Through this emotional journey I discovered I ended up in life right where I belonged. With my amazing mom and dad.

I had always felt that whatever their reason was for giving me up that I gave them credit for giving me up. I always felt that there had to be some dire situation that had to have happened, and they couldn't take care of me. That life was so terrible that you were forced into giving away a child. That your only shot at giving this baby any kind of life was to hand them to strangers.

After meeting them and seeing their way of life this definitely put holes in the emotional reasoning I had built in my psyche for so many years. They could afford me, they were married, they weren't young.

This really didn't bother me that much until I had my first child. I remember that feeling of holding my daughter for the first time. The emotions washing over me. The immediate bond I felt to her. The feeling I couldn't believe this small little perfect person actually came out of my body. And probably, in retrospect, have a true blood connection. I didn't want to ever put her down. Up to this point, this was the most incredible day of my life.

After about a month of having her home. Watching her sleep, feeding her, staring at her for hours, and enjoying ever second with her it started to creep in. I now didn't understand my birthpeople at all. How on gods green earth could you ever give away your own flesh and blood. How could you carry them in your body for 9 months feeling them move, turn, even hiccup, push them out and give them to someone else to take home.

20 months later I had my son, and 2 1/2 years later I had my third son. After 7 years of being a mom this initial wave of emotions I had about my birthpeople only got strong. After all of the nights sitting up with my kids when they are sick, putting band-aids on boo boos that need kisses, and watching their unconditional love in return. Seeing each of them walk around with a piece of my heart. The unexplainable love I feel for them everyday, I do not get them at all.

I do not get a woman who carries 2 babies and gives them both away. And let me make it clear, I do not wish they kept me. I just now think, as an adult, something had to be very wrong with her emotionally to have made her choices in life. And I cannot image if for some reason I had made her choices, and gave away two of my babies, the guilt and worry would haunt me till it probably would've killed me.

Now I know this is probably not the "politically correct" response for an adult adoptee. But I also know that many other adoption stories I hear are far different than mine. There was no rape, she wasn't 16, she wasn't a hooker or a drug addict. When you know nothing your whole life about what happened your mind thinks it has to be one of these scenarios, because why else would someone actually give up a child. To find out they had a good marriage, and weren't young, and had complete financial stability leaves me stumped. The only logic my brain can make of this is they have to be crazy.

I am very much at peace with being given for adoption. I love my family, and I was given the best of everything. I was raised with love and support. So I just think now, thank goodness I was!! Because learning the truth would've really rocked my world if I hadn't had it so good.

One thought resonates with me all the time now. My mom died when I was 20, I still miss her every day, but one thing she always told me through the years. A mother is not someone who just pushes you out. A mother sits up with you all night when your sick, a mother is always there to wipe away your tears, a mother is the person on the side line cheering loudest for you, a mother is that comforting face you always look for when you are unsure. That is what makes me your mother. It doesn't not matter one bit that you didn't come out of my body, you came out of my heart. I love you mom... thank you so much for all that you did.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Being Adopted - the search

I was adopted at birth by a wonderful, loving, and caring family who wanted a baby girl so bad. They raised me with tons of love, and the best of everything. I always knew I was adopted. I was always told all the good things that adoptive parents say. We chose you, the lady who had you couldn't take care of you so she asked us to. As a child and teenager I never care who my birthpeople were. Birthpeople, or birthman and birthwoman, because they do not deserve the title of Mother and father.

The time came when Jeremy and I were thinking about starting a family. I had some other health issue go on, and ob suggested that maybe I should make an effort to obtain my medical records. I knew nothing. I had no history or even what my nationality was, and those poses a problem when the doctor doesn't know what genetic testing she should be doing, or things we should watch out for.

After my appointment I went to my dad and expressed my desire to obtain my medical records, but that I did not want the birthpeople to know who I was. He of course was loving and supportive, and I hope not freaked out inside. If he was he sure hid it! He found a private investigator and we went to meet with him. We had no information but for two things. They were local to the chicagoland area, and a discharge slip from the hospital that my mom wrangled out of a nurse at the hospital, that had my biological last name on it.

Two weeks later my phone rings and it is the investigator called and told me he had found them. They were living in Vancouver, Washington now, and they would love to speak to me. They will give me any information I want, and never bother me again. Ok, this was SO not the plan. This had not even entered my brain. I figured they are local and there was no way I was going to open that can of worms. The investigator urged me to call, what harm could it cause, they were 3,000 miles away. He gives me their names and there number.

I sit there for a minute just staring at this piece of paper with these strangers names and number on it. My gut is telling my brain that it does not like this one bit. I call my dad and deliver the news. We talk for a while and my dad urges me to call them. To let them hear my voice to know I am ok. This honestly did not compute in my emotions the way it does today now that I have my own children.

For two days I sat with that piece of paper leering at me from counter. A million scenarios ran through my head. I had always felt that I gave them credit for giving me up. That if they couldn't care for a child, it is a hard choice to choose a better life for them.

I finally decided to call. I didn't think about it - just picked up the phone and called. Wanda, my biological woman, answered and I told her who it was. She told me to hand and I heard all kinds of commotion. Finally I am put on speaker phone with her and Tom, my biological man. I could hear their emotions in their voices. The weirdest thing is I could hear how emotional they were and I really felt nothing. They were strangers.

We all talked for a long time, and they asked me a ton of questions. Did I have a good life, was I happy, did I have a good childhood. I asked they all about my ancestry and medical history. I also asked them if they would file with the Illinois Registry with me to once and for all have my records unsealed. With Illinois if you have a closed adoption, which mine was, if you file and biological parents or siblings also file they open the records. So, they agreed, and we hung up exchanging email addresses.

We talked via email a bit, and they sent me all the forms for the registry. Thank I get an email they will be in Chicago in two days. They have family here still but wanted to meet me. This definitely freaked me out. Chatting on email was one thing, but being with them was another. Jeremy (my husband) and my dad both urged me to look at it in a positive light.

They arrived and were staying at a hotel down the road from our townhouse. I drove over to see them feeling like I was in some bad lifetime movie. I get to the room and knock on the door. They open it and immediately start crying, and coming to hug and hold me. Ok, this was so out of my comfort zone! I am not a touchy feely person, and they were totally invading my personal and emotional space. I started to back peddle. Wishing I could suddenly transport home like on the enterprise. They sensed this and backed off. They invited me to come and sit. We talked for a bit, and thank goodness jeremy got home from work and I took them by the house to him.

It was all very pleasant, but I, inside, couldn't wait for it to be over. I told Jeremy that night that it was so strange. I felt no connection at all. They felt like total and complete st ranges and I felt no jolt of emotion. The weekend passed and they went home.

Some time passed and one night I received a long email from Wanda. Explaining to me why she gave me up. I never asked, I didn't care why. She went into a long heart wrenching story about how Tom went to Vietnam she found herself pregnant, not knowing if he was going to come back. At this point they also told me there were no other children. They had stayed married all of these years, and were now retired. They were financially very well off.

I said thank you for telling me, but it really made no difference. I than learned they had a son. A brother who was older than me. She was married before Tom, he left her and Tom raised him as his own son. He didn't know that Tom was not his real father, and they were afraid to tell me about him because he didn't know I existed and they didn't know what I would do. They also sent me a ton of pictures. It was cool to finally be filling in the pieces of my heritage.

About a month later I get a fedex package. It is from the Illinois registry. It had tons of paperwork and my original birth certificate, which I had never seen. It also had another match. A sister. Really! They left that little detail out. She was 18 months older than me and also given up for adoption at birth. Her name was Pam and she grew up in Alton, Illinois. Well, wasn't that interesting. It also blew a million holes through Wanda's sob story about why I was given up. She got pregnant had Pam gave her up. Nine months later got pregnant with me and gave me up.

I call my dad and ask him, what was really the deal? Were they selling babies on the black market? How could they have had two babies so close together and give them both up. And mind you, Pam and I are the only natural children of that marriage. My dad informed me that was not the case.

I hang up with him and pick up the phone and call Pam. We talked for a long time, and I filled her in on our birthpeople. She definitely had more baggage than I did. She grew up in a happy home, but had a larger void to fill. She needed to know why she was given up. I told her what Wanda told me but that it couldn't be true. We agreed to meet and I have her our birthpeople's information.

Than night I sit and write a long email to the birthpeople. I tell them I found Pam, that I knew everything they told me frankly BS. I told them I didn't understand the lies because I never asked in the first place. I told them it was nice to have found out about my heritage, and to know who they were, but that I was basically done. I really didn't want any contact with them. That it was now time for all of us to move on.

The answers were frantic and frankly a bit nuts! Emotionally all over the map from sob stories to being angry with me. I ignored them, just forwarding them to my hubby so we could share how nuts they were.

About a month later I met Pam and her husband and her two children. It was nice, but again for me she too was a stranger, and I really didn't have that much in common with her.

After a month or so after of this quieted down I was left with one overwhelming feeling. That I ended up in life where I was supposed to be. That I was meant to be with my mom and dad. It made me even more so appreciate what amazing and wonderful parents I had.

During this time I got pregnant with my first child. Having her defiantly changed how I felt about everything. That I am saving for part 2.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Putting a night-time diaper over a filthy dirty diaper instead of taking the dirty one off first. Really!

Can I really be mush?

I figure skated my entire life, and skated in the Ice Capades. So to say I love hockey is an understatement. This year our beloved Blackhawks are AWESOME!!! But every single game I went to they lost!! Not just lost, didn't show up at all.

Jeremy my husband, is a HUGE fan. He is totally convinced I am mush. We were at the last series of the playoffs and again, the hawks don't show up for the game!! Jeremy just looks at me. Out of 22,000 people how can it be me? I get a text from a friend that he is sending a limo to remove me from the building.

The score is now 5-0, and I go to the bathroom and I hear it! Da Da Da, Da Da Da... Are you kidding me!! The only goal they scored I was in the bathroom!!!

So, tonight Jeremy is at the game and I am watching from home. Banned by my husband and friend's. Really! It can't be me!

Was I really drugged!! Ruffied at 36

I am a mom of three young children. Ages 7, 5, and 2 1/2. The oldest is a girl than two boys. I have an amazing husband and we live in the northwest suburbs of chicago. I have always worked as a graphic designer freelancing out of the house until I found out I was pregnant with my third child. I have taken some time off, only doing small jobs here and there, but starting to go back this summer.

My two younger children are still in preschool, and I have discovered that being a "preschool" mom is worse at times than being back in high school. I have been lucky on one hand that I have made a very nice group of friends, and we all help out with the kids. I wouldn't have made it through these years without them. But there is certainly a fair share of drama that goes with it.

This story is one that still amazes me that how could this have happened! There were a group of couples that were friends from our older children that became friends with a group of 4 couples from my middle child's parents. At first it seemed great. All of us got along and had a really good time being together. So we decided to get together once every couple of months at one of our houses. The first few times were really fun.

This last party started just like all of the others. We all get there carrying our appetizers and bottles of alcohol. The guys with their beer of the month, and girls with vodka and martini shakers. One of the husbands of the "newer" group always decides to inappropriately hit on one of the other women at the party. He is one of those guys who is just creepy. Even his own friends don't like him, and he is clueless. Lets call him Ned. So, he decides to target one of my best friends, we can call her Amy. She kindly brushes off his disgusting comments figuring he has had way to much to drink.

I walk by Amy while she is standing with Ned and taste what she is drinking. It was not good! So, I told her,"I will make you a new drink." I go over to where the bar is set up and begin fixing us new drinks. One of the other dads, martin, comes over who I went to high school with and we start chatting. Ned comes over at some point to talk to us and walks away. Some time had passed and I realized I had not given Amy her drink. I pick the two drinks off of the table and Martin looks at me and says, "what's in it." I answer, "vodka and tonic." With his nicest smile he says, "oh that is for me right." I said, "of course it is." I hand him the drink and make Amy a new one. I walk her drink over to her and go back to my conversation with Martin.

All of a sudden, everything goes into slow motion. I remember looking at Martin and saying wow that was weird. After that I do not remember one thing.

I come bounding happily down the stairs the next morning and Jeremy (my husband) is just looking at me. I walk over to make coffee and greet the kids. He says to me, "how are you feeling this morning." I say, "I am fine." He says, "really, because you were a total mess last night, and Martin got so bad we had to carry him out to the car." At this point my phone rings and it's Amy.

She has the same question for me, and I tell her I am fine. She answers me, "REALLY!" and begins to tell me about when I was in the basement rolling on the floor. I said, "the basement, when was I in the basement?" She asks me a few more questions and I now realize I do not remember anything. I hang up with Amy and Jeremy asks me, "what is the last thing you remember?" I tell him, "talking to Martin and than nothing." Jeremy than picks up the phone and calls Martin. He is the same way. He remembers talking to me, than nothing.

I come to learn that Marting was so bad that he could not speak or stand. They sat him at the dining room table and he was falling out of his chair. Jeremy thought we had smoked or taken something. He couldn't figure out why he couldn't function! Martin tells him, I only had a few drinks. Which was exactly what I had told him. Now Martin is a big guy, and I can put away a lot of vodka, and I still wont roll on the floor.

So, Jeremy says, "you two were totally drugged. I thought it last night, and now I am sure of it." The rest of the day we were trying to piece things together on how or my goodness who could've done this. After many hours of piecing the night back togetherwe knew it had to be Ned. He had sent his wife home to let the babysitter go, which always happens, so he was the only one at the party without a spouse. And we also come to realize the drink I gave to Martin was supposed to go to Amy, who was the real target. I was just happenstance.

Come Monday morning, this did not sit well with me. I went to walgreens and told the pharmacist that I thought I was drugged at a party. That I was fine, but was there any test I could take to confirm it. He askes me a bunch of questions and says I can. I guess some prescriptions can cause a false positive. The only thing I take is an advil once in while. I take the test home, and it is positive for Rohypnol or ruffie. REALLY!!

Jeremy than writes an email to Ned that we know he did this, and we do not ever want anything to do with him again. To never talk or come near our family again. After days the only response we get is that if we do not stop "telling stories" he will sue us for slander.

The fall out from all of this is even more amazing than the fact that I was actually drugged in an intimate group of friends. But to this day I still am amazed at what people do.

The rest is to be continued...