Writing and Feeling Free ….

The more I am able to write and explain facts and feelings about this awful thing we are enveloped in, the more I feel free. It’s a release of love, sadness, confusion, anger, and silence. Once I get it out, I don’t go to sleep with it anymore. My mind becomes a little quieter and my heart gets more space as hate is replaced with love.

I have always been a writer, not professionally, but for myself. I’ve written tons of poetry, short non-fiction stories, essays, personal pieces, reports, observations… My mom said I had a pencil in my hand before I even knew how to write.

Although I do many creative things, I’ve always found that writing is my greatest form of expression. It enables me to get out all the things I would otherwise be holding inside. When I finish writing whatever it is I’m writing about, I feel  amazingly free. My spirit feels lighter not having to carry the burden of unspoken hurts.

When I was ten I was published in Nevada Young Writers and Artists after having won a story contest. I wrote about a new math book that the school bully destroys on the first day. I did a book signing for copies to my friends and family and it remains one of my coolest memories.

I also changed an entire company with an anonymous letter regarding discrimination and unfair treatment of employees at a large company. Barely two weeks after receiving my complaint, the main bosses flew in from around the country, and that company was changed forever. Everyone was treated with respect and consideration instead of worth by rank.

Those are just two examples of many accomplishments made by sitting down and taking the time to express what was on my mind.

I have always thanked God for my gift of writing but now I realize that had He not given me this particular gift, I would never have been able to write this book to my niece. I wouldn’t know where to start or how to get my points across. So much needs to be told and it does take a reasonable amount of talent and determination to get it done.

I believe I was given the gift of writing particularly to be able to survive the agonizing grief of this situation.  I’ve reached strangers on a personal level, I’ve found myself on a private level. I am able to reach out instead of withdrawing inward. I did my share of crawling under the covers, shutting my eyes tight, and wishing the racing thoughts would go away.

I had to write it out to be able to cope. I had to write so I wouldn’t feel so suffocated. I thank God that He has given me the strength and courage to pour out pain to make room for peace.

Writing makes me feel free. It brings comfort out of chaos. It helps me focus and brings a stillness my spirit needs.

Thank God for the written word, it makes me feel so free ….

Letty and Her Bogus Restraining Order

For someone who was only there for ‘moral support’ there is hardly a detail of this adoption that doesn’t include Letty in it.

 

Follow the Tiffany & Co. jewelry, straight to Letty.

 

Follow the plane ticket to the baby shower, straight to Letty.

 

Follow the phone calls to and from the adoption agency, doctor’s office, adoptive couple, straight to and from Letty.
Who went and had dinner with her husband and the couple to make arrangements without my sister even present, Letty.

 

Who kept the newborn items from the hospital yet wrote ‘return to sender’ on outstanding medical bills that arrived at her home in my sister’s name (which remain outstanding), Letty.

 

Who wrote a list of ‘life-to-dos’ for my sister, Letty.

 

Who deliberately ignored my sisters request for our dad at the hospital and promptly called the couple informing them that ‘their’ baby was on the way, Letty.

 

Who used her attorney friend to push this adoption through in 28 days, who set up and was present for the few meetings that took place and helped answer questions, Letty.

 

Who was the interstate compact faxed to at Douglas County Courthouse for my sister to sign, Letty.

 

Who went with her husband to see my niece off for the last time, Letty.

 

Who kicked my sister out of her house immediately after my niece was born and gone, Letty.

 

Who called my sister 34 times in the 28 days it took to set this all up, then not at all after my niece was gone, Letty.

 

Letty. Letty. Letty. Letty. Letty.

 

Obviously she has major involvement in this adoption, yet she and Douglas County act as if she just blends in with no significance.

 

As if our family hadn’t been through enough, here comes Letty and her bogus restraining order. More of her lies and manipulation that would work out in her favor, courtesy of the ‘justice system’ that allowed her and helped her get away with this crime in the first place. Douglas County Courthouses’  involvement in the adoption because of Letty. Lake Tahoe granted a restraining order that should have never been signed off on, lies by Letty.

 

After finding out about her involvement in this adoption, our family was in shock and disbelief. How could this woman we trusted have done such a despicable thing? Our hearts were absolutely broken at the thought of our baby being sold away by Letty and being raised by strangers. We didn’t know where to go, what to do, how to deal with such an extreme disaster. We never came up with a battle plan for such a thing.

 

My dad, like the rest of us, was in such a state of despair, overcome by grief. Since we own the home across the street from Letty’s, or shall I now say, Letty’s former home, my dad had to get out what he felt. He stood in our driveway, screaming between tears, all the things he wanted to say. He never threatened her, he just spoke from his heart. Hurt and anger, which any father would feel, came out.  After all, she did not only facilitate the adoption, she profited from it. My niece was worth nothing to her, which is why she was capable of selling her off for the things she got in exchange for her. Accepting anything in exchange for a child is baby-selling, just to be clear.

 

Letty calls the police, not wanting to hear the truth being told about her, then here comes Douglas County Police. They have the audacity to haul my dad away for ‘disturbing the peace’ which I still cannot believe.

Not long after that, we get papers saying that Letty was filing a restraining order for her ‘safety.’

 Letty, you sold our baby away and we can’t even shout the pain out of our broken hearts?

There were no threats, and it took every amount of restraint we had to not do something that would make everything worse.

She even added another neighbor’s name on the restraining order that we didn’t even know who she was, we thought she was someone related to Letty, until we put it together that the woman was another neighbor and just so happened to be Letty’s ‘witness.’ SHE LIED.

My dad was ordered to stay away from OUR house, and couldn’t have any contact with Letty. We were in the middle of trying to get our baby back home, there was no way we going to do anything to jeopardize that.  Then one night out of the blue as my dad was trying to book me a trip online, Douglas County sheriff’s came to arrest my dad because Letty called and said he was at our house. SHE LIED.

 

As God as my witness, my dad was nowhere near our own house. My uncle, who is practically my dad’s twin was actually living there at the time. So this lying, manipulating, baby-seller named Letty, had the nerve to call the police and have  my dad arrested. So my dad was cuffed like a criminal, in front of my little brother, who was 11 at the time, and taken away.

 

I called the judge, who already knew what was going on, and he had my dad released immediately. I was so upset that I didn’t even care about the trip he was about to book for me at the time, and I didn’t end up going anywhere until years later.

 

We had to get the case transferred from Douglas County to Lake Tahoe, knowing my dad and our family would never get a fair trial there. Well turns out, there was no justice in Lake Tahoe either. The judge saw Letty and said, ‘ I know you, you’re a nice person. ‘ Case closed. Our family was so certain my dad was no where even near our street that we filed a countersuit for the distress. But once again, Letty and her connections made her invincible. But what goes around, comes around, and Letty ended up selling her home recently and now lives in a mobile home park, without her husband. Ironic that she now stays away.

 

We are still dumbfounded that she could do anything like this and still be able to sleep at night. Immoral, unethical, and just plain wrong. She was a disaster that we have had to survive. Douglas County refuses to investigate, in my opinion, because they know she’s wrong and they would be held liable. But you reap what you sow and I believe she is not exempt from God’s judgment. Every time I start to feel upset about it, I just think ‘vengeance is Mine says the Lord’ and I know He will deal with her accordingly.

 

All that being said, I am defending my dad because I know he was telling the truth. As a family, we were trying to do everything by the book, the right way so we could bring our baby home. He doesn’t deserve to have his name tarnished because of a malicious lie. I don’t want my niece, to think her grandfather was in the wrong. He was so overwhelmed with grief that yes, he had to shout it out. Can you blame him? What would you do if you were faced with such an ordeal?

This restraining order was just something to distract attention from the real issue at hand: Letty’s involvement in this secret adoption. My dad never threatened her and he never violated any restraining order. This is just another way our family was victimized. My dad was innocent.

 

 

 

Until Right is Right

Several people have asked me how am I able to get through this, how can I keep going.

I stop and think, because I have to. I need to. I can’t imagine not doing what I’m doing.

Do you ever stop looking for a missing child?

Does the need for justice ever dissipate?

Only when the pieces are put back together can anything again become whole.

Sometimes you have to push through pain by not just sitting still and taking it. You have to express it, you have to get it out.

I guess I just want our side of the story to be told and I know as God as  my witness, that I am writing the truth. Nothing is fabricated or exaggerated, I’m telling the story accurately because my niece deserves the truth and I would never lie to her. I want her to know exactly how things happened through precise details that she is entitled to know.

Our hands have been tied in so many ways so I’m going to make sure that I do what I can, which is write and wait. No one can stop me from speaking my mind and sharing my feelings about this situation. What happened to us was personal so I choose to handle it in a personal way. I speak from the heart, I write from the heart. I wouldn’t take the time to make up details when I don’t need to.

The loving comfort and support I have been shown though this madness has been vital. The bottom line is, this beautiful little girl is my niece. I will fight for her, I will wait for her, I will pray for her, I will never give up on her. When we are finally able to have a relationship free of restrictions and ridiculous demands, it will all be worth it.

I imagine my niece one day going through tons of paperwork and documents, and finally figuring out that the people who have her put their needs before hers. They found a quick fix for their fertility issues. How do you take a child from a family that wants and loves them? Why couldn’t they find a child in the foster care system? What a dream that they would get a brand new baby in exchange for buying Letty gifts, and treating her to jewelry, a trip to the baby shower, dinner, and who knows what else. They came like vultures, smiling while making promises and once the baby was in their possession, all deals were off. They turned into selfish, cold-hearted, out-for-themselves, manipulative monsters. They were and are so difficult to deal with. They make it hard because they want to and because they can. They have been ruthless and they have laughed every step of the way. I’m sorry for their infertility, but you just don’t take a child under such circumstances and try to justify it. Point blank, this was an adoption for profit and one day, that will be clear to my niece. You don’t take a child that has a home and family and try to make her your own little toy and puppet.

I’m digging my feet in to go right up the middle of this all-consuming crusade and my love and hope will be my driving force. No one can take hope from you if you don’t let them and I will stand firm until right is right.

 

Life After Loss

” Taking time to live life will only inspire your work. “

~ Author Unknown

 

 

It took me a lifetime to learn that life after disaster is worth living.

When the news broke that life as we knew it was a thing of the past, it felt like the wind was knocked out of me. I couldn’t breathe, I fell to the floor, I became sick. I heard my heart thumping in my ears.

I hurt from within so badly, that I didn’t want to live to go through it.

Day after day, my sanity and survival hung in the balance.

I had to rearrange, reevaluate, and redesign my whole life.

It has taken many years for me to comprehend  that although I feel like I died inside, on the outside I am still alive.

I realized I shouldn’t feel guilty if I smiled, if I laughed. God knows the pain is still there no matter how much make-up I wear or how high my heels are.

It hit me that I owed it to my children to make their lives as wonderful as possible. I looked into their eyes, and they were searching for me. They needed me and I began to really feel that.

I made it a point to want to not only live life, but to live it in unique and fulfilling ways. I begged God for His mercy as I placed all of my heartache and paralyzing pain at His feet.

I had to learn to live again, and it wasn’t something that came easily. For a long time, I had to force a smile. But gradually as I prayed my anguish away, I started to dream again.

Life is a gift, and I am worth being alive. I deserve to live in peace instead of pain. God can take something awful and turn it into something beautiful, and that is the light at the end of the tunnel ….

 

 

 

IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD ….

” I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of the child.”

I’ll never forget those words Judge Gamble said.

And I’ll never forget how fast another judge was requested by the adoptive couple’s attorney the moment he finished that statement.

To me, that clearly means that the attorney and the ‘adoptive father’  knew full well that ” in the best interest of the child ” meant that the child would be returned to her rightful family. It was obvious that the best interest of the child meant that the child should stay with her family. It is absolutely in the best interest of a child to remain with the people they belong with, the family they are a part of. If a child is in foster care, if there is no option of a family member to take care of the child, then yes, adoption is an option.

Adoption, the severing of a family, the permanent alternator of a family’s life and future, should be the very last option, acceptable only when there is no other alternative. A child should be kept within their family and all other options should be exhausted before that child is taken away, given a ” new identity ” and a ” new history .” People aren’t to be bought and sold, bargained, or guilted away by people who unfortunately can’t have children of their own; people willing to do  anything to get what they want. They had no problem putting their needs in front of my niece’s needs. You don’t take a child from a family to play house.

I’ve said it a million times ” Adoption is for children without homes, not homes without children.”

You don’t step into someone else’s family and secretly take one of them just because someone was afraid and didn’t know how to tell those that loved them. My sister had a support system, the safety net of her family to fall upon. It would’ve taken us less than two minutes to not only embrace the news but to become completely overjoyed by it. We never got the chance.

Those words, ” in the best interest of the child ” have played over and over again in my mind. I know in my heart what those words meant and what they still mean.

I’ll always trust and believe that WE, our family, is and always will be THE best for my niece. Blood is thicker than water no matter how you drain it. No family is perfect and every family has trials and triumphs, but keeping the family together to love and support each other is vital. You need your family to help get you through tough times, and you need your family to fully enjoy times of celebration.

The moral of the story: family was designed by God; not lawyers, baby-buyers or baby-sellers. Family is sacred, think twice before you barge in and destroy one.

Tragedy Makes the Intimate, Public.

This morning, I was woken up by my broken heart. After another night of bad dreams, it took me a moment to sit up in bed and realize that I was safe and that it was ‘just’ a dream.

The nightmare was awful.

My love was driving, my eldest son in the front seat, my eldest daughter next to me in the backseat, I was sitting behind my son. We were driving across the San Mateo bridge, and although I’m from the Bay Area and frequently cross the bridges, I’m nervous and uncomfortable every time. One thing that makes the San Mateo bridge extra creepy is that for a good length of it, you’re so close to the surface of the water that it looks like you’re riding on top of it.

All of a sudden, the water started rising around the car, then we crashed head on into the rail and the car slammed into the water. It felt so real in the dream that I remember feeling the impact as we hit the water. All of our windows were open and each of them started swimming out of the windows. But I didn’t immediately escape.

Water was rushing through the back of the car and I frantically felt through the water with my right hand looking for a journal that I write to my niece. Even in a dream, I couldn’t leave without it. Once I felt it, I held onto it and then began to try to get out of the car which was rapidly filling with water….
One thing that really bothers me about this whole situation is that telling a story about something so personal such as this, requires very personal information to be put out there. In order to tell the story accurately, I have to include all the gut-wrenching hurtful details that this has all caused. Although I want to crawl in a hole and never make a sound, I have no choice but to lay it all out. Personal life isn’t so personal anymore. Things I never wanted to think about in the first place are now all on the table for the world to know and judge. It bothers me so much to put my/our pain and struggle all out in the open, but I know I have to if I want to really help the reader understand where I’m coming from and what I’m talking about.

I have had a few  too many extremely traumatizing things happen to me in my life and talking about them is something I don’t do. I have my life written in 7 or so journals, simply so I can maintain a certain sense of security. It’s hard to keep track of entries and events when they’re so spread out and in no particular order.

I value my privacy, and I keep so much of my life to myself. You don’t really know about my life unless you were there to personally experience it with me. I’m a private person and I like to keep things tucked away in my heart. The intimacies of my being should be safely kept in that hidden place that no one is allowed to go, and now writing it out, seemingly in neon colors, is extremely difficult for me.

I don’t want to tell anyone how much pain I’m in. I don’t want to say why I’m broken-hearted. I don’t want to say out loud that because of this, I have to adjust my daily life and remember that everything else is beautiful and wonderful. I don’t want to share that I cry in the middle of the night when I’m writing. I don’t want anyone to see me because when it’s over I feel embarrassed that I can’t control it. Losing a child the way we have brings out emotions I never even knew existed. I don’t want to say that it hurts so bad, that sometimes I feel like I need to be held and comforted like a small child. I’ve had more than a few people I’ve met after this ordeal tell me ‘there’s something behind your eyes’  , and I feel like I have to explain because it’s apparent it’s something.

It’s no fun putting my heart on display, I’m still so vulnerable. For being so strong, I feel so fragile. As much as I want  lock my feelings up in a storage trunk and hide it in the attic, it’s just the opposite. You have to talk out tragic things. You have to be able to express what don’t want to otherwise it will weigh you completely down.

I don’t like giving up my privacy but I will to tell our story, to possibly help someone who feels alone and afraid. I write it all out, holding nothing back, despite the fact I want to keep my personal feelings personal.

What should be kept to oneself is now being discussed around the dinner table and being gossiped about over the phone. But the message is important. It isn’t easy to share, but it is necessary. It’s vital that our experience is not hidden away like the ‘dirty little secret’ it was intended to be. 

Smile Through the Storm ….

No longer do I take anything for granted. Never have I been so thankful or aware of the blessings I’ve been given. I wake up with purpose, I look forward to the day ahead. Although much is gone, all is not lost. I’m making the best out of this post-adoption alternate life. I look into my babies’ eyes and feel truly alive. My heart fills full and I just want to pour my love out onto them.

I believe God wants me to be joyful while I wait on Him to act, I should not be waiting in misery. He knows my heart and my plight. He knows what happened but more importantly, how it happened.

I will be what I call ‘anxiously patient’ and I will trust that when it comes time to be reunited with my beloved niece, God will carry us through, heal our battle wounds, and help us put the past behind and give us a bright future to look toward.

At this point, I’m just happy and proud that I have survived this up to this point because it has been so very difficult. It’s hard to balance a happy daily life with a sadness that never goes away. You’re happy at the surface, but down deep lies an ache that weighs your heart down.

God’s love and healing makes my heart feel like it has fluttery-little- wings, a sign that He will never leave me and will always take care of me.

He eases the pain, He shines light in the darkness, and I’m never alone because He is always with me.

I’m blessed, I’m thankful, and I always remember it.

Praise God for His mercy and infinite love …. He heals the broken-hearted, and gives rest to the weary ….