Friday, June 19, 2015

Ex Post Facto Laws

I have this History professor that I have taken twice.  I passed the class the first time around but I made a C because of my absences.  I took him again because I wanted an A.  An A is what I got the second time around.  I always learn stuff from him.  This second time around is where ex post facto laws came into my thinking.  States are prohibited by the Constitution from making these laws.

What are Ex Post Facto Laws?  It is defined as follows:
An Ex Post Facto law is a retroactive law that ultimately changes the legal status or consequences of actions committed or relationships that may have existed prior to the formal enactment of the law.
Prior to the 1930s, birth certificates were public records.  Everyone had access to them.  These records were sealed to protect the adoptive family, not the biological family.  According to Elizabeth Samuels, many of the original members did not want this privacy.  It was forced upon them by the adoption industry and societal mores.  It often came with the threat of arrest and incarceration. 

Many of the sealed adoption record laws are Ex Post Facto laws which are prohibited by Congress and the states.  Neither are allowed to create them.  It is now a violation of our constitutional rights.  We can talk about privacy rights all we want but we are reacting to what they, being the axis of evil, throw at us.  No one has the right to total anonymity.  Absolutely NO ONE.  The right to privacy extends only to prevent governmental interference into the family.  Since sexuality isn't an issue with original birth certificates, the state governments have no right to interfere with the lives of ADULT adoptees and access to their personal papers. 

Still Here

Sorry Folks.  I have been busy with school and kiddos.  I just graduated from Houston Community College with an Associates in Liberal Arts.  I have intentions of attending Prairie View A & M in the pursuit of my Bachelors and further on.

I have led an active life since I divorced my ex-husband.  I moved to Houston, Texas.  I also went back to school because I would never be taken seriously by any state legislature without initials after my last name.  My oldest daughter just graduated from high school in the Katy ISD.  My youngest will be in high school next year.  I met my husband Mark while I was working for Time Warner in Wichita Falls.  We married two years ago and bought our home.  It has been wonderful having a brand new home.

The hardship is of course the Veterans Affairs bull crap.  I have had seven surgeries.  Two were repeats or do overs.  My skin disorder is not going to back down.  I am now worried that other areas of my skin are changing.  Now I have full blown Fibromyalgia.   I am dealing.  Life is good.

A couple of years ago I finally did the DNA testing thing. During the last few years, I stepped away from the adoptee rights movement.  I have been on the sidelines watching.  Two of my heros, Pam Kroskie and Connie Gray, have been stepping up in both Indiana and Texas.  I am proud of their efforts.  Both of these states have a ridiculously high amount of right to lifers.  There is still a mythical belief that adoptee access to their own original birth certificates means higher abortions as well as adoption being the cure for abortion.  In states that have opened access, abortion has declined and adoptions have increased.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Still Here and Kicking A$$

I did not realize that it had been two years since I had last written anything on my Coleman Moms and Babes blog.  Life is so different now.  I would never imagine three years later that I would be getting married, buying a new home, or even going back to college.  Yet here I am. 

I did the DNA testing with Family Tree DNA and now with 23 and Me.  Even though I am very interested in genetics, I can not understand for the life me what the information means.  So as time moves forward and when time allows me, I will get down to the business of searching once again.  I am of the Eve line of V.  I found a few new friends to help me understand much of information concerning that.  At times, it feels like I am spying on my first mother. 

I got another call from a fellow Coleman adoptee.  Sadly she had the same experience as I did with the agency search individual.  I now give sympathy compassion and support for all of us who have been screwed over by this individual.  Its been seven years since I started this journey.  So much of my life has changed.  I am grateful for those changes.  The list of complaints against this woman are growing.  My blog posts reach those new adoptees almost daily.

Well off to take my 23 and Me test kit and mail it.  Stay tune to the new changes that are life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blogger Has Gotten Funky

Its been a while since I have written on this blog.  Now that Blogger has obviously made some changes, I am learning to adjust to this new platform.  I liked being able to look at an enclosed board and typing in a blog post.  Now it is completely different. 

Much has changed for me.  I am in college studying to be a nurse eventually.  I am doing good so far.  I just have to give my health issues just as much energy as my schooling.  It requires that I do surgery.  That isn't fun dealing with skin grafts and wound vacs.  The Veteran Affairs Hospitals just do not like to give any kind of pain medication even if a person is in dire need. 

I am working part time as an invoicer for a couple of subcontractors.  That allows me to work from home.  I hope to get a position with the college as clerk for their bookstore.  That will supplement my income a bit to help with other financial situations.  I have come to realize too that I need to concentrate on my two active blogs, Coleman Moms and Babes and Amy's A Day in the Life.  I need to bring up active readership on both of them so maybe I can earn more money via blog ads.   It is not much money but it is enough to help me buy school supplies and textbooks.  

I have been told by my darling boyfriend that it is time for me to get back into the politics of adoptee rights and adoption reform.  I will also be posting my recent mitochondrial DNA testing results. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We are Here

Well I did something new and different. Maybe it is a pathway for me to discover myself slowly without interfering into someone else's life. I sent off for a Family Tree DNA kit and submitted last Friday. I got an email saying that they had received it. At least I can find out what my country of origin might have been, instead of my ex calling me a wetback. When we were married, he called me his little wetback. Yes it bugged me.

This time I have promised myself that I would take it slower and not let anyone push me into a direction where I am not comfortable. I will take this all in my time. Since Family Tree DNA is in Houston, I will probably get the results sooner. I will savor the moment that I receive the information. I will go from there at that point.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Reflections

Where were you on that fateful day when the American life changed? I was on my way to the grocery store after dropping my daughters off at daycare. I initially thought it was just a small airplane. After I got home and unloaded the groceries, I turned on the news. It was around that time that the second plane hit the World Trade towers. I picked up my cell phone and was calling my mother to make sure that she stayed home. My mom then worked for the Austin Airport as security. Then the Pentagon was struck. Then Flight 93 with Tom Burnett went down. Many Americans were heros that day. Just ordinary heros. I found this article particularly heartwrenching. So many people think about birth parents as people not caring about their children. So many people think that they are drug addicts and so forth. They are not. They are special just like the rest of us are. In fact, one in particular helped down an airplane so that it would not hurt more Americans. He lost his life in the process. I know that I am proud of him and hope that others are as well. He is not a selfless hero because he relinquished. He is a selfless hero because he gave his life for his country. He would have been a great father if given the opportunity. I am grateful that his daughter got to know his family. I just wish that they had known each other when he was alive.

Daughter, in search for birth parents, finds 9-11 hero Associated Press ST. PAUL - Mariah Mills thought she knew who her birth father might be after finding out he had probably died, even without immediately learning his name.Years earlier, after hearing that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center while she was a high school student here, she felt she had lost someone. Now, Mills was even more sure after talking briefly on the phone with her mother, who had seen Mills' parents' names on her daughter's birth certificate, only saying they would talk about it later."I remember her saying, 'I think my birth dad is dead," her friend Margaret Nevins recalled in an article published in the Sunday's edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "She said, `I think it's that guy who died in 9/11.' I thought she was jumping to conclusions. She was pretty sure about it, though."And she was right.Mills' father, who had given Mills up for adoption when he and his girlfriend were in college, was Tom Burnett, a leader of a group that fought back on Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.Her father, Walter Mills, shakes his head in disbelief as he recollects her words back on 9/11. "That - what's the word? Premonition? Yes, premonition. That's nothing science could ever explain."Mills learned about her birth father in 2004 - after she turned 19, the legal age in Minnesota for requesting a birth certificate with names of birth parents - and subsequent DNA tests confirmed that Burnett was her father.Today, Mills has developed a relationship with Burnett's widow, Deena, her three daughters, husband and stepson, and other members of Burnett's family. She celebrated her birthday with her birth mother, who lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children and asked not to be named for this story.But learning about her father's death on that infamous day without never having had the chance to meet him was difficult, Mills and her family recalled in the Pioneer Press story."The information just hit us like an explosion," said Mills' mother, Cathy. "It was like that plane crashed into our house. The trauma, the shock, the sadness. Everything changed."Mills and her parents visited Jefferson High School in Bloomington during the spring of 2004 after Mariah found out about her birth parents. Mariah wanted to look up Tom Burnett in his senior yearbook. She found his photo and one of her birth mother, too."It was weird to finally look like somebody," Mills said. "I have her eyes, but mostly I look like a Burnett."She also visited Tom Burnett's grave at Fort Snelling National Cemetery and left flowers there. She spent most of the rest of spring break crying. She locked herself in her bedroom and scarcely ate or slept. Her parents encouraged her to take a leave from DePaul University in Chicago, but she refused."It was painful to watch," Cathy Mills said. "She was just traumatized. She would never meet him. And the way he died - such a public death - yet she had no way of knowing about it at the time. A girl she knew at DePaul told her she went to his funeral. Of course, Mariah wasn't there."Mills didn't go out much after she returned to DePaul to finish her freshman year."I felt just numb," she said. "I slept a lot, stared at the wall. I would wake up in the morning and look at myself and see him. His face, his nose and my eyes set like his. I'd waited so long to meet him, and I was two and half years too late. College is about figuring out what you want to do and who you are and, for me, finding out who my parents were was a last missing part of the puzzle."Deena Burnett was one of the few people who knew Tom had fathered a child given up for adoption. She and Tom met in Atlanta in July 1989 during an afternoon happy hour when she was a Delta Air Lines flight attendant and he was a regional sales manager.About six weeks into their relationship, Tom told her his girlfriend in college had gotten pregnant, that the two had talked about getting married and had finally decided to give the baby up for adoption.Deena Burnett was shocked and angry. "Here was my new boyfriend, the one I had been sure I would marry, and I just didn't understand," she said. "I came from southeast Arkansas, where if you had a child out of wedlock, you kept that child."But she could see that he felt regret and "was still struggling with the fact he had given this child up," she said. Tom made it clear "he hoped to have a relationship with that child at some point, and I would need to be willing to accept that child into our family."After Mills was given up for adoption, Burnett's family didn't talk about the baby.But during the last several years of his life, Burnett talked about the baby with his younger sister Mary Jurgens, telling her more than once, "My children and I will meet that child when the time is right."When it came time for Mariah to meet Burnett's family, she barely slept the night before."I've never been so scared," she said. "I wanted to look conservative but nice for my grandparents. Nothing tight or low-cut. I wanted them to be proud I was their relative."She brought along photographs of herself, family and friends and a bouquet to give them. "I wanted to be Miss Personality - funny, articulate and charismatic," she said. "I wanted to be perfect for them."The Burnetts invited Mariah to the house of Martha Burnett - Tom Burnett's older sister - for brunch on a spring day in 2004. Jurgens met her at the door, instantly feeling a deep connection to the tall, blond teen with a lovely smile, neatly attired in light blue capris, a black tank top and cardigan, and black flip-flops."When I opened the door, it was like looking at my little nieces - but grown up. I was so excited to meet her and yet there was this deep sorrow my brother couldn't be there," Jurgens said. "When I opened the door it was like, 'I know you. You are part of us.'"The family looked at Mariah's photos and showed her their family pictures and mementos, contained in a big box. The brunch stretched to three hours."If only Tommy were still alive," Jurgens said. "I have this vision of what it would have been like for her to meet him, and it just breaks my heart. He was so calm and collected, and it would have been so comfortable to him, meeting her. I pictured my brother flying to Chicago and picking her up for dinner, making it really special. They would have had this fabulous time."Mills transferred to the University of Minnesota and is entering her senior year. She will spend her first semester studying abroad. Her dream job, she said, would be writing about baseball and covering the Minnesota Twins."Before I was even born, my birth dad made a brave decision - to give me a life," Mills said. "It was a selfless act, just like his actions on Flight 93. And, as awful as it was that he died, and I never got to know him, there is good that came out of this. We each sort of get part of Tom back. I get all of them and they get me, his daughter

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back from the Unknown

I didn't realize that I still had commenters writing about the agency. I have to gag on the way both some adoptive parents and birth parents call their adopted/relinquished child "this child." Neither acknowledge that loving bond between parent and child. This is where many adoptees get mad at both groups. We are not "its", "this or thats", or any other term that deems us as objects to be cast aside.

It is absolutely horrifying that people actually view children in these terms. I may not have custody of my girls but they are still MY girls just as much as they are their father's girls. It is not one or the other. We love our daughters. We fight each other viciously at times over issues concerning our girls. We also support each other when it comes to our girls. Our girls would never be any of these terms. How others can do this just blows my mind. We are all responsible for our children all adopted, relinquished, and kept. As such, we owe our children truth, kindness, compassion and love. If you can't give that to a child, you have no business raising any child. You have to respect both sides of the parental abyss. Neither would have a child without the other one. If you can't put a child's needs above your own, you should not even try to parent your child or anyone else's for that matter.

Just thoughts on commentary by both adoptive parents and birth parents.