Sunday, October 21, 2007

Link to YouTube for Video on Open Records

Created by Mia and her friends. Mia is an adoptee.

This video is a nonprofit effort to raise awareness on the issues regarding opening records.

Powerful change can happen at the grassroots level.

Be a part of this change by posting this link where ever you can in order to raise awareness.

Thank you...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shadow People

October 14, 2007

Dear Ted,
Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday and sending a card my way. You always remember this both for me and for Terry. I’m not sure if you send one to Daniel or not as I have not asked if he receives cards from you in remembrance of the day he was born and in recognition that he is your first born son, but I know how much it has meant in the past to Terry.

I have always shared my process and thoughts with you through the years and so, I share my process now with you. Remember that I love you and this fact will never change.

This will be a difficult letter for me to write and I have spent the past while in tears as I begin. Life asks us to grow up in so many ways as we age and we are forced many times to, as they say in the 12 step programs which my friend always quotes, “to accept life on life’s terms”. For me this means accepting things as they really are without the frosting our imaginings and longings will add to what is.

Last fall when I received the DVD from your brother’s memorial service the truth of things really hit me full force. Two things struck me deeply. The first was the fact that you informed me of your brother’s passing after the funeral and memorial service which left me no option of being part of this family’s loss or gathering in recognition of this loss or to mourn with others the passing of a man who was my uncle. There was also no recognition on your part that I might have felt excluded or that this was a blatant exclusion. The second was that because of that choice that you made of excluding me in this family event… I recognized my true place in the family. I think viewing the group photo on that DVD ranks up in the top 5 most painful things I have experienced in my life as an adult. Looking into all of those faces of people who I am blood related to…who are part of my genealogical history…my clan for lack of a better word…and to know that I will never know them…never be connected to them or embraced by them as one of them…or that I will never be in the hearts of those who I belong to…simply tore the truth into an understanding for me.

I have loved shadow people for far too many years. I have longed for shadow people who will forever be shadows. You are a shadow to me. You flicker into my life as a card or a gift box or a picture on my wall. My pictures of you which I have kept framed and hung in a collection in my bedroom for years are more real to me than you are and this truth is difficult to face. But…in my heart I believe that in the end the truth will be more gracious than flickering shadows that offer false hope.

Shadow people live in the background. They do not come directly into your life nor do they share any part of your real life…like the hard times, the boring times, doing the dishes or having a barbeque…the good times…the births, the deaths, the accomplishments, the failures. Shadow people disappear easily and reappear at night when your heart hurts and you wish that they were more. Shadow people wear cut out clothes like paper dolls that I make for them so that I don’t see what is really underneath…smoke and mirrors…and my own wishes.

I had hoped I would be embraced by you and yours in a real way some day. What I know now that I am stronger of heart is that this simply will never be. When one is loved and embraced by someone’s heart…they do not show up in their life as a shadow person. They show up as the real deal. They show up when it is hard to show up…they show up when things are happy…they show up and spend time…they invest themselves…they show up in person.

I am tired of dancing with shadow people…it is too painful. I am not angry. I am not deeply wounded. I am sad that you could not be more than a shadow person for whatever reason in your life. I am sad that you missed out on me…I would have shared so many joyful things with you and I waited to do this for so long. Time, distance, location and lack of something (not sure what) simply made you a shadow person.

Recently a dear friend of mine said that love is fragile…if you do not invest in it and tend it…it dies. Love dies when it is not tended. Love is a fragile gift. Maybe one day you might want to be in my life as something other than a dancing shadow in my imagination. I won’t hold my breath nor place any bets. Let’s just call it like it is so that we can let go of the past and live in the reality of this moment and what simply is…which is not enough…and that is okay too…growing older allows us tougher skin to recognize the truth of a thing and to stop investing in things that yield no substantial return.

I once saw into the heart of a man…who was my father. It was a heart so tender and yielding. I remember that ferry ride with you. How I saw your vulnerability and loved you for showing its face to me. I saw the depth of your heart and this seeing of you kept my heart ablaze for so long. But there were never any more moments like this…no more real moments where father and daughter meet and see in tenderness the heart of the other…you did show me what it was to feel loved when I was a child and this has been the single thing in my life that has saved me…because I knew that there was love in life and so I could expect more. Oddly enough here I am…knowing that love can be this deep and delicious thing…real…and present…and when it is less than this…then it is something one must let go of if it doesn’t grow under the watering of our efforts and attention. Perhaps this is what a father does…we learn to love beyond our fathers…and to see them as the human beings that they are.

It’s unclear to me now why it has all unfolded the way that it has….but I find that at my age that investing in those relationships that nurture me in return are the most valuable and that shadows simply don’t offer up enough to keep a lively and healthy love present in one’s heart.
I always wish you well in your life. You will forever be the silent talkie projected in my mind’s eye…in flickering lights…the shadow father that I longed for…searched for…found…and learned to become strong enough to let go of and to let you be who you truly are and in that process find my own truth about my life experience and find acceptance and willingness to be honest about it to myself and to you.

I never wanted you to be a shadow person…ever…this was the shape you chose from the beginning. If you ever find that you might want to connect out of the shadows…I am here…but I will not pretend that shadows are the real deal.


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