When I was a little girl, I used to think that adopted babies were kept in a little room on shelves where their new mommies and daddies would come pick them out. Choose them. The beautiful thing is that there’s something to that the idea of choice, and soul connections of course and all that jazz that also bring you together with your parents.
I dedicate my story to all of those who have been adopted. And I may come back and add more later. This is a story that wanted to be shared now…
I have always known I was adopted. The Chosen Baby was a book my parents read to me from when I was a baby. That is how I learned I was adopted. They said they picked me, that I was chosen.
The Chosen Baby is an amazing book about a loving couple the Browns who adopt a little boy named Peter and then they adopt his baby sister Mary. Quite lovely. My parents told me from the beginning, and it was a beautiful thing. There never was a time that I did not know that I was adopted.
I still have this book.
And don’t get me started on how incredibly lucky I was to find my parents, or that they found me. They are the two people in this world that I love and respect more than anyone. They are strong, smart, giving, caring, supportive, loving and the most beautiful souls. I am truly blessed. And yes, they are always right…well, almost always. 😉 Especially when it comes to being a good judge of character.
When you grow up being adopted, kids may tease you. It did not happen very often to me as I got along very well with the other kids in my neighborhood and at school, and I had lots of friends. Every now and then someone might tease “your mommy and daddy gave you away!” My reply was always the same – “my parents picked *me*!” That usually did the trick. And I believed it. I grew up surrounded in love. Still am.
The other thing is that, being adopted results in several things. It makes you more independent. You find and make friends easier and they become important to you – like your brothers or sisters of choice. You are a loyal friend. My friends are my adopted siblings in a way, yet without all that sibling drama that I hear about – no fighting. Yeah, I don’t have drama in my circle of friends. Never have. I just release that from my life. Life is too short!
I remember when I was a little girl, and Mom asked me if I wanted a little brother or sister. I said no. She doesn’t remember that now, but I always have remembered it. We did not have much money either, so I think between the two things that made the decision for my parents. They wanted to give me the life they never had, and having more children would have stretched their resources.
My parents sacrificed for me, my college education in particular at American University in DC. Grandma, the one who I helped cross over about two years ago, she used to buy Mom clothes so Mom would have something nice and new when I was in college. We were that short on money. But I got my education.
Gods, my parents have always been – and are – the hardest working folks you will ever meet! This is where I learned the value of hard work, determination, not asking for things to be given to you, earning your way, taking care of yourself, having responsibility. My Dad also taught me that you can do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it. But most important? This is where I learned about character. Character. Integrity. Love.
The other thing that happens when you are adopted and even more so as an only child, is you learn to communicate with folks of all ages. I was never scooted out of the room. I was always part of the adult conversations, my entire life. The adults around me listened to me, respected me and taught me how to respect myself. They taught me right from wrong. They taught me to be who I am – to be me. This is where I learned to communicate, which has served me so well in all areas of my life.
Folks used to ask me through the years, and still do, “don’t you want to meet your real parents?” My reply was “no, of course not – I already know my real parents.”
The one thing I did want to know, which is random, but it was what color was my biological mother’s hair? I got that answer.
As so many things in life and on this spiritual path, health issues can drive you to the most beautiful experiences. In 1989, after I graduated from college, I sought out the non-identifying information from the adoption agency where I was adopted. I was seeking more information on my health related background. They sent me a three page letter, telling me the story of my birth and adoption.
There were no pictures, but my biological mother was described as 5’2”, 110 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes. Yep…just like me.
There were two interesting things I learned.
First, she was adopted! Now remember that back then, this was not as common or as discussed. That was a huge surprise. It was a closed adoption, and they knew nothing of her heritage. My parents were told I was German. This letter mentioned being at least part Polish. On my biological father’s side, the second interesting thing was that my biological grandmother was described as being 5’ tall and had a darker, olive complexion. Hmm. I used to joke that when I got married and if I ever had a biological child, that my husband might wonder if it was his, lol.
I kept the letter in my Bible, and it is still there.
And then I started to travel.
As I traveled throughout Europe, I was interested to see who might look like me. When you grow up around your parents, even if you are adopted, you take on similar mannerisms and it makes you look alike. Though really, I grew up around folks that did not look like me exactly. When I got to Poland, I realized that there were blonde Polish folks that had the same facial shape as I did. I have a great picture of me with one of our tour guides, and it is amazing. But I knew there was much more to the story than that.
None of this ever bothered me. And it still doesn’t. There never was any crisis. I built a solid identity for myself. I had a solid life foundation. I was loved by my parents. I was loved by those who had to place me for adoption. It was all love, all the time. So I didn’t really think about it that much over the years, just when someone would ask me about it.
Fast forward about 18 years. But first let me set the stage for the rest of this story…
I was a lobbyist for the home building industry with a successful big time gig as Senior Staff Vice President for Government Affairs during that 18 years, and all my time and energy went there. I was the youngest to ever run my department, and I was the only woman to have ever done it. It was a man’s world. I broke all the boundaries. I exceeded all the goals. I thrived and was wildly successful.
At the same time, I had been on my spiritual path for a long time, yet my work did not leave much time for it, so I finally chose to slow down in that last year. I quit playing the internal politics game. I was tired of the politics. Boy, if you think girls can gossip and backstab? You’ve seen nothing until you’ve been in an organization dominated and run by men!
So in 2008, I did the unthinkable. I left this job. Quit. I just quit. I quit it without having another gig. I knew that as long as I stayed there, I would never leave – I would never look for another job.
So I quit.
Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do, with anything. I have learned to embrace change in life and through my spiritual path, and it always brings such blessings, as you are about to see in my story here. So I learned the beautiful lesson of quitting.
I’m reminded of my favorite quote from the movie Risky Business – Take your chance. Make your move. Freedom gives you opportunity. Opportunity is what makes your future. So that’s what I did. I made my move. I took my chance. I was free. A pattern I was to intentionally repeat, with more blessings every time I did it.
I ended up in one of the most amazing experiences of my life, well, so many amazing experiences! First, I met everyone in business in the St. Louis region. And I mean *everyone*. I met with everyone. For many years later, and still to this day, I was used as an example of how to do it. I was asked to help others, which I did. I helped them learn to talk to people, ask for meetings, meet with them. I do not like the word networking because those I met with are much more than a contact to me. They are a friend, and we have helped each other many times since then. And this is what I helped others to do.
During this time, I also had the most amazing interview process with a Fortune 500 company. I was the only candidate they flew to DC. Another male dominated industry. And when I met with their leadership, it was an incredible experience – I will never forget it. Such a gift! They ended up having a merger, so I did not get the gig as they had to hire someone from the other company. But that was best too. But man oh man wasn’t that fun!
And then it led me to the Presidential campaign. It was the 2008 cycle, and I was looking for something to do with my time and keep me busy while I looked for the next gig. So I called the campaign to volunteer, and low and behold, they asked to hire me and the Political Director asked if I could “start tomorrow.” Wow.
I was a Field Director, and we won our state. Those huge rallies that I worked on were incredible! Such high energy. Long hours. Friends for life. Amazing stories and times. That political director just had her second baby yesterday – such a beautiful little girl! We are all still dear friends. Oh, and I got to meet Hank Williams, Jr. and Miranda Lambert before she was popular. That was so fun! Hard work always pays off in so many beautiful ways.
Then I got my next gig. I lobbied for a cutting edge $4.5 billion power plant and coal mine that was being built in our region. It had all the environmental bells and whistles that were available at the time.
This gig was the key turning point of this story, and it has nothing to do with the details of that gig.
I set up a legislative day for our owners – rural electric coops and municipalities – in the Illinois State Capitol. I think I might remember the date, but need to check – it was April 23 I believe – and the year was 2010. We happened, as I like to say “for some reason,” to be there in the building the very day they passed the adoption law!
This was why I was meant to work there.
What was this adoption law? Well, it said that if the birth parents did not object by November 2010 that you could request your unredacted *original* birth certificate from the State of Illinois for closed adoptions. Wow. The piece of paper. I had never really thought about it before. The original birth certificate. Opening the vaults of the state justice system. Really? Wow.
So I waited. Come the deadline in November 2010, I filled out my form and I sent it to the State of Illinois. And I waited again.
By this point, I was a lobbyist in Jefferson City for education reform, telecommunications, tax reform and some health care work. Come February of 2011, I got the letter.
I was on the phone with a friend and went to my mailbox. I wondered why in the world I had something from the Illinois Dept. of Health. Then it occurred to me.
This is THE letter!
That’s all I could say, over and over again while I opened the envelope.
This is THE letter! THE letter!
And there it was… The un-redacted birth certificate.
My birthmother’s name. No mention of my birthfather. The address of her parents’ house.
And the biggest discovery?
She named me…after her.
Wow, what a gift, what a blessing, what a send off of love! Just beautiful!
Now, folks still ask me, don’t you want to meet her? Don’t you want to find them? My answer is, not really. I do have an interest in knowing if she is alive and what happened to her. I am interested in more about my biological father’s mother’s heritage. I also know that I had a biological brother or half brother that was a year or two older than me that she had put up for adoption before me, which I’d known since 1989. So brothers and sisters are an interest of mine, down the road some day. I will know when the time is right.
In journey I have seen her in the hospital after she gave birth to me. In journey I have met many of my biological ancestors. I have received healings. I have given healings. In journey I have had messages about my heritage.
The most striking message is that I also know I have six years to find her before she dies. That message came about because in spring 2013, I decided to shift the focus of my spiritual studies to my love of shamanism and instead began my studies with the Michael Harner Foundation for Shamanic Studies. I had wanted to study for many years with the Foundation, and I finally had my opportunity. Yet another example of the beauty in making changes on one’s path.
So I had my first weekend intensive with the Foundation that spring, and in that weekend, there was a massive journey related to my biological ancestors and my adoption. That is where I received this message about my biological mother. And that never would have happened, as we say in the legislative arena, “if not..but for” making that change in my life. And then this message. Same with when I took the gig in Illinois.
It always reminds me of the idea of “just in time arrival” from my MBA program. Synchronicities never cease to amaze me, and that journey was just…wow. Awesome! But more on that for another time!
So I had this paper, this record of my birth. At that point, I started doing shamanic journeys and meeting my biological ancestors. I started making offerings to them, just like I already did to my adoptive ancestors. Just incredible!
I eventually left the lobbying gig to take a gig in 2012 with a U.S. Senate campaign, which was fun. About the time that it ended in fall of 2012, I was in the midst of my year long womb journey. You can read about it in several of my blog posts here.
As a part of this, there first was a significant shamanic journey in a large Samhain ritual in October 2012 that tied into this story of birth, rebirth and adoption. The same happened in a journey during the next night’s Full Moon ritual with a major ancestral journey. (More to share at another time.) Then I had my first of three surgeries in December of 2012. I hemorrhaged for a long time.
This experience of my womb journey was about a huge rebirth on my spiritual path and the birth of Spirit’s Edge and the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Tradition. But it also was about me and my journey with my ancestors.
I always know when it’s time to consult someone – another practioner, an elder – for advice or to help me with my personal work and development. This time was no different. In January 2013, a year ago, I undertook a major akashic records working with her.
I always knew I would never bear a physical child, and I always knew I would adopt. When I read Silvania’s Plant Spirit Journey back in August of 2010, and she talked of miasmas, I knew that my adoption story was part of that, and it was why I was not going to physically bear my own child. And here I was in the middle of my womb journey, leading up to what was to be a hysterectomy, but that was two surgeries away at this point in time.
In this working, the biggest part was about my ancestors. As we went through my akashic records, it became clear that every child in my line was put up for adoption or otherwise farmed out through the ages. She said that she never likes to use the word curse, but for her it was the best word she could come up with. She said she sees it more often than you would expect.
My biological ancestor was raped by her grandfather. Her grandmother then cursed her. And she died in child birth. Her child was farmed out. I saw all of it in this working. I heard, I saw and I felt it. All of the children were farmed out or adopted out through time. This pattern of my ancestors had continued, unabated…until that moment.
In doing this work, we healed my entire female ancestral line. They all got their full akashic records healed, a full healing. My biological mother was included in this healing of course. I wrote pages and pages about this working, and I may share more later, but suffice it to say that this was one of the most powerful and beautiful experiences of my life. This was a reclamation of power for my female ancestors. Then, it healed the male line as well.
The power of my biological line was now whole.
And none of this would have happened if not for my womb journey and the changes I made in my life. Every choice, every decision, led me to that beautiful and powerful moment.
Back to Risky Business again – take a chance, make your move. Those lines struck me as a teen, because there is wisdom to be found there.
This is a small snippet of the power and beauty of going within and embracing my womanhood this past year in the midst of these surgeries.
I did not lose my womanhood. I did not lose my power. Quite to the contrary…I got it all back! As I helped heal them, I healed myself.
Since then there have been more ancestral journeys, more messages of heritage and biological ancestors, and I have some other things on the list to do in this regard. Yet, as of this month at the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Shamanism, Dying & Beyond weekend intensive, this part of my journey is substantially complete.
I can’t wait to see what happens next!