Friday, December 7, 2012

Final I-Search Draft

                                                  ADOPTION  THEN  AND  NOW

                                                         English 101,College Composition
                                                                    December 7, 2012
                                                                      John  Goldfine


                  When I started to think of what subject I may write about for this paper I knew it had to be something close to my heart. I quickly started to consider the subject of adoption. I was adopted in the state of Missouri in 1976.As one might imagine a million questions arise for adopted children. As a youngster I wondered who I may look like act like or where I may have lived if I'd not been adopted. In 1992 I was in high school and discovered I was pregnant. Although; it broke my heart and I cried daily about my decision I knew I must place this beautiful unborn child up for adoption. I wanted this baby to have all I had been given and offered. I knew that I at the age of seventeen with no job and not yet a high school diploma I could never give my birth child what was deserved of her. So I chose this subject of adoption because I am on both sides of the coin because I have a lot of questions still and because I love my birth family (although I don't know them) and I love my birth daughter with all my heart and soul. To learn more for myself and for her and to maybe just maybe open other people's eyes to a view of adoption they may not know about.


                   My story of adoption began in Harrisonville, Missouri in December of 1973.I was a newly born baby and at three days old was placed in a foster family. It was the home of Ann and John Lozano. They had a biological son named Alex and had fostered many babies before. At the age of three they had officially adopted me and I was there for good. I noticed from a very young age, I believe I was about 4, that I looked and acted differently than the rest of my adopted family. I  was blond with pale skin and green eyes and a huge open personality. In contrast my biological father was 100% blooded Mexican with black hair brown eyes and darker skin. I even asked him at four years old what a black guy like him was doing  in a white family like ours. Lucky, I suppose for me, he thought this was hysterical and laughed wildly. My adoptive mother is tall thin with brown  hair and big brown eyes. So even at a very young age the physical differences were noticed by me. The personalities were noticeably just as different. I was very open talkative and optimistic. My adoptive mother was very reserved and quiet always choosing words carefully. My adoptive brother was also quiet and reserved but seemed to enjoy his little sister's big look at life. All these differences made me very curious about my birth parents early on. From around pre-school I remember asking questions about who they were where I came from and how I ended up here. My adoptive mother was very open and honest but being that adoptions in that day were closed there was not much she could tell me. Being that I was a happy well loved kid this was okay when I was that young. As I  grew though the questions nagged at me more.


                   "Curiosity killed the cat." I use this saying because I think it's more curiosity than anything else that makes me research and write about this topic. Curiosity about who I am on a deeper biological level. Where I truly began before the adoption.
  1. If I looked at a photo of my birth family who would I resemble?
  2. Would I laugh like one of my birth grand parents or sound like a birth parent?
  3. Where they all hushed adoptions closed to everyone?
  4. How were the birth mothers of 1973 treated compared to now?
  5. What were the ramifications for young unwed mothers in the 1970's? And have they change?
  6. Did the legalization of abortion affect adoption rates?
  7. Was it at all common for birth mothers to leave letters for their babies for when they grew up?
  8. Are open adoptions more common today compared to the 1970's?
There are plenty of questions for such a subject as this. Some are pure legal questions and may have more clear cut answers. Where as some questions are more emotional ones and the answers may be less clear cut and more personal based on who is doing the asking and answering. Either way and which either side you're on the subject is one of depth and care. I suspect all questions may not be answered. Sometimes the cat just doesn't get the satisfaction to bring him all the way back.

                                            WHAT  I  KNOW:

  1. I know that adoptions in the state of Missouri in the 1970's were very closed deals. Even in the case of serious medical issues it was near to impossible to get a judge to grant opening the sealed records.
  2. I  know that emotions ran and still run high not matter what side you're on.
  3. I know that years ago orphanages were common practice, over crowed and the children were often not loved the way they deserved to be.(Babe Ruth grew up in one)
  4. I know that there was much desperation on both sides of the fence.
  5. I know that love is such a complicated and needed feeling that people do not always think clearly.

                                            THE  SEARCH:

                      The true search of this began many years ago in my bedroom growing up in Missouri. Back then all I had were questions and imagination. Never did I  think that over thirty years later I would be writing about this in a paper for an English class. Once I started the search for this paper it lead me down many a road. Some of the search was very emotional on a personal level. And some was more than a little infuriating. I began by looking into the laws of Missouri adoption in 1973 up to 1992 while staying within Missouri law only.(Kansas City Adoption Law FAQ) I found it to be very helpful with laws of that time for that area. I really needed to find something that was more informative about the personal issues from both birth sides and adoptive ones. For this I found a very helpful website.(Adoption Network Law Center) The name of the site is a bit deceiving because it makes it sound like a  center for laws. And although it did have some it was mainly personal stories from both birth parents and adoptive parents as well as adopted children. It was heart wrenching and over whelming at times but very helpful. I had intended to get some personal view from my own birth daughter however when researching and writing this she was going through some personal issues and wasn't very keen on speaking to me so I didn't ask. My adoptive mother was very kind and helpful. She had more of an emotional input of course. I was in need of more general factual information also so I could get a broader over view of adoption as a whole.(Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia) All these references combined made for good information and a open paper.

                                            WHAT   I  LEARNED:

                    I think I could write and endless paper on just what I  learned alone. I began this search believing that the internet and people were going to be my prime sources. And they were for the majority. Emotion and people played a greater role in the shape than even I had expected. I  found invaluable information and more than one heart breaking story. I learned that even in the 1970's it was still "unbecoming" for and un married pregnant woman to be seen in public. And in the case of adoption she often was sent to "homes for unwed mother's."(I thought those were way back not in the 70's for sure!) Thankfully in today's society they have done away with this.( In other country's women can still be killed for un married pregnancies and adoption's are still only within families) I really thought when I started this search that I would find that abortion rates would be lower later in the decades such as 1980's and 1990's just due to the fact  that adoption was by that time more accepted. I found that I was wrong in my thought. Abortion rates actually sky rocketed in the early 1990's. I found this shocking. I'm not a na├»ve woman but I truly thought that because there wasn't so much judgement on adoption that more young people would choose this over abortion. I found it really came more down to emotions and what people considered easier.(I don't see that either would be easy but?) Also I found what I thought was an interesting fact : I n Missouri in 1973  a family was only allowed to adopt one child per family. My adoptive mother informed me that in fact yes that was true. For after she adopted me she had wanted to adopt a baby boy she had cared for as a foster child in our home for three years and was denied. Denied because my parents had adopted me already. I remember him. His name was Brian. The day he was adopted and left my mother cried her eyes out and wailed on our front lawn. And then Brian cried. It was really really awful. I firmly believe that is why my mother never fostered another child. I was six years old and even I knew my mommy's heart was broken. So much of what I found related to my own adoption. The fact that there was no information on my own adoption was a direct result of the laws of that time. The fact that you could only adopt one child directly affected my own adopted family. As the years went on and the laws changed  it affected my own adoption as a birth mother. I believe I was fortunate during my adoption process with my own birth daughter. I was able to have an open adoption choose the adoptive parents and keep in contact without over burdening my birth daughters life. I wanted  her to have open access to me whenever she was ready for that, while still letting her live her own life. Adoption is complicated and ever changing and ever in the name of love.

                                             THE  FUTURE:

                  For adoption as a whole I  hope the future holds even more openness and care. I hope that society continues to become more accepting and helpful for the people that are in a difficult position. I also hope that for the sake of all medical records will be a given at every adoption both open and closed. The medical side of adoption is very important and would certainly help with the raising of a child for the adoptive parents. On a personal note I  hope that my birth daughter comes back around and wants to continue a relationship. We have always had a relationship and I want that to grow and continue. I  want her to feel always loved and accepted by me. I will be here when she's ready.For adoptive parent's including my own mother I hope they realize more and more what a huge impact they make. How very much people like them are needed for children that just need love. Adoptive parents are brave people. They dare to love deeply for children they have no biological connection to because they have the good since to realize that blood does not make a family- love does. I hope I have made it very clear to my own adoptive mother throughout my life- I so appreciate her unconditional love for me and all she's done for me. From being a ward of the state to a loved child there really is no greater un-selfish gift. Thank you to all adoptive parents you have made a positive impact to the world that will last forever. And for birth parents you're heart breaking decision changed the lives of more than one- you are never forgotten.


Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia- website-  11/13/2012
         The site gives in depth history from middle ages to contemporary times on many forms of adoption.
Kansas City Adoption Law FAQ- PA Kenney W; - website-    11/13/2012
       This site has lists of the most asked questions concerning all forms of adoption
Adoption Network Law Center-  11/13/2012
       This site is mostly a site leaned towards birth parents and the emotional impact of adoption
Ann Lozano-adopted mother and foster mother to many-personal interview- over several days and times
         Had great personal insight and information concerning feelings of adopted parents. Also insight into the children's point of view. And with much love I say my deepest thanks and forever all my love.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Graff #21 Course Evaluation

                                Wow did this course go super fast.I know some people might disagree with me but wow to me it did.I really liked the way this course was set up.The syllabus was clear and helpful and you were easy to get with when needed.I really liked the whole thing being blogged.I found that easier than some other ways teachers do these on line courses.I liked how you commented on everything we wrote.For the most part I agreed with you on all you wrote to me.There were a couple of times I read a comment or two and thought what in the hell  John?But only once or twice and none were a big deal.I thought you're comments were honest,direct and on point.Some might find all the comments to be critical but I'm not one of em.I knew it wasn't personal and it was for the writing so it was okay with me.I really appreciated you're patience with me since my computer trouble started.Of course it all has to blow up during finals!Awww...well I 'll get through as best I can and before next semester get a new damn computer!!!I really have no suggestions or complaints for you or you're set up.I'd be happy to have you again if I ever have to take another one of you're classes.Thanks for all you taught me and rest assured you really did teach me and I really did learn!!

Graff #20 Reaction to my own graffs/essays

                         My own reactions to my graffs/essays.Wow that's kinda loaded!I feel they have gotten better over the class.I think I struggled with some more than others.Lets not forget the cause essay!I thought I'd give myself a bloody concussion with that one.It was so hard for me to grasp and really I'm still not sure why.That must have been one you read as a teacher and thought a few choice things too!Haha...I think my process essay was really good.I did much better when I choice things that meant a lot to me.Like my cats,kids and the decorating for Christmas.Although I think I started this class as a pretty good basic writer that enjoyed writing I now feel expanded.I feel I use more and better detail and know ways of writing that I never knew before.Hell I'd never even heard of a graff!! Yup you can laugh.Before writing for me was just a nice story on anything that popped into my mind.The ideas still are but now there more organized.I understand better about detail,description,process and so on.Overall my writing got better,which I believe was the point from a class  and  teacher,student dynamic.So, I'm happy I had to take this class,glad I gave it my all and wouldn't even mind if I ever had to take another writing class similar to this.

Division Essay Timed Graff

                     I have traveled many different roads in my life.Some were long and even,some were windy and bumpy.Some were just plain boring with no particular direction.But the hardest road traveled is more obtuse and more like a mirror reflection of ones inner self and one we all must face on nearly a daily basis.This is the road of "morals."The moral road.Good vs. evil.Be good?Be bad?Do the right thing?Yes, of course most of us are taught right or wrong from the time we are small.But if we are all truly honest with ourselves how many times on any given day has that "moral road" been tested or weighed?
                     There are some among us that have no issue with the "moral road."They are the ones that we all have seen and dealt with.They have no problem lying about everything from their homework to their bills being paid.No issue with not paying for something when the cashier had over looked it.They seem to other people to get freely by just playing by their own rules.Doing what suits them regardless of  right or wrong.As if the universe owes them something.Meanwhile pissing a lot of other hard working, honest people off and not caring about that either.The most annoying thing about these types of people is that there seems to be no outward punishment for their disregard.And in the severe cases the "moral" people have to hold back with all their "moral" goodness not to smack the hell right out of em!
                      Then their are the "moral" high road people that always seem to try so hard to do the right thing.They always tell the cashier,"I'm sorry you didn't ring this up."Or let the bank teller know they've given you to much money.These are the people you see that you think wow, now that person has a great moral compass.(or road)Even though they seem to get knocked down more than the others with not such a good "moral road."They seem satisfied with knowing in their soul they are doing whats right,whats decent.They are also the people you want to hug and grab to show the others and scream,"See!The world would be a better place if you could be more like them!"
                      There are also a majority of people that for the most part try very hard to have a high moral road.They pay their bills the best they can,treat their kids well,respect their spouses and are law abiding.But they are the tested ones.When the cashier forgets to ring up a fifty dollar item they think for a moment.....I could really use that extra was their mistake...and in that 30 seconds they are  in-between roads.They usually come quickly back to the good "moral road" and fess up.Maybe it's because their kid has noticed and is waiting to see what mommy will do or maybe its their inner voice screaming at them that their gonna feel like shit for it.Either way they do the right thing and in the process make the world a better place.
                     In the end there are a lot of "moral" roads.And I would say most of us fall somewhere in the middle.Try like we may the world is harder and harder these days and loose morals  are something not so frowned upon as they once were.Its really rather sad.But I still believe.Believe that doing the right thing and passing it on to the next generations is the "right thing" and that the world will be a better place for it.And so if that bank teller ever gives me to much money again I will take it back to her again.Not because I'm better than any one else but because my "moral road" is sitting in my back seat, watching me, learning how to be in this crazy, hard, world and I want her to know that being honest and good are not just a "moral road" they are  a human dignity that I believe in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Draft for I- Search Paper

                                                      ADOPTION THEN AND NOW

                                                           Eng.101,College Composition
                                                              November 13,2012
                                                                  John Goldfine



   I chose the subject of adoption because it is a very personal one for me.I am adopted and am also a birth-parent.With this in mind I thought I had a lot to offer this subject.As I researched I discovered I also; had a lot to learn about my chosen topic.


   I  was a well loved child with adoptive parents and a brother who was a biological child to my adoptive parents.My relationship with my adoptive mother was very open and I always knew I was adopted.She told me she loved me often and was very good to me.Still I always was very much aware how different I was.I didn't look like anyone in my family.My personality was completely opposite from theirs.When you're blond with green eyes,fair skin  and a huge personality its hard to miss how different that is compared to black hair,medium skins and very quiet, reserved personalities.


    "Curiosity killed the cat."I use that saying because curiosity is what really has brought me to i-search this topic.I leave the other half of the saying out because I'm not sure if there will be any "satisfaction."As any adopted child I have always wondered certain things about my birth family.Mainly I suppose my birth mother.Deeper than that however; I wonder what  the process was then and how it has evolved to today's standards of adoption.I search this for perhaps a deeper understanding of myself,my adopted family,my birth family and both my roles as adopted daughter and birth mother to a young woman.

                                                       WHAT I KNOW:

  1.  I know that in the days of my own adoption (1973) they were closed private matters with little to no information given to any of the parties involved.
  2.  I know that orphanages were huge and used often.
  3.  I know in most cases birth mothers were not even permitted to see or say goodbye to their babies.
  4.  I know it was very hush,hush even the lawyers involved spoke very little of their cases.
  5.  I know there was often much desperation on both sides.
                                                    WHAT I DON'T KNOW:

  1. What were the laws for adoption between 1973 and 2002 in Missouri?
  2. What were the ramifications  for young,unwed mothers wanting to put their babies up for adoption before it was "acceptable" to even be unmarried and pregnant?
  3. When did we move  from hush,hush closed adoptions to open acceptable adoptions?
  4. How did the legalization of abortion changed the views on adoption?(both in society and for pregnant women)
  5. How many woman were forced to give up their babies when in fact that's not what they wanted to do?
                                                     THE SEARCH:

        I began this search believing that my two best sources were going to be the internet and people.The internet certainly did have a lot to offer.It was actually more of a task to figure out what to use from the internet and what to let go.I found invaluable information and more than one heart breaking story.Using people for my search proved to be much more difficult than I thought it would be.My adoptive mother was helpful and understanding to what I was doing.She gave me the information of her experience in adopting me and also; caring for so many foster babies and being rejected to adopt one of them.His name was Brian and he was three years old when he left our family to be adopted.I was six and I will never forget that day.But hearing my mother tell it from her perspective broke my heart.I actually cried.She was so heart broken.In the 1970's in the state of Missouri  a family was only allowed to adopt one child and they had already adopted me.She wanted to keep Brian so much, it was  soon after that my mother stopped fostering children.I think it hurt her to much.
         I was planning on using information from my own birth daughter and her adoptive parents also.This plan did not work out for me.We have always had an open adoption and relationship.Attending weddings together,traveling to see my birth daughter perform in dance recitals,showing them around when they came to Maine,spending an entire week when my daughter Grace was a baby just so my birth daughter,Madeline and Grace could bond.These relationships have continued all these years.(Madeline is 20 years old)Until October when out of the blue she informs me I never wanted her and she wants nothing to do with me.Needless to say I was more than a little dumbfounded and hurt.She acted as if we'd never met.Her adoptive mother,Maryanne, did offer the words that Madeline was very stressed out right now with school and "going through some growing."These words weren't very helpful for me but she's very young and I have hope she'll come back around.

                                                   WHAT I LEARNED:

  1. What were the laws for adoption in Missouri between 1973 and 2002? I learned that the laws for adoption in the state of Missouri were once some of the strictest in the nation.They allowed birth mothers no time with their newborns.Basically just ripping them away once birthed.(Cruel if you ask me!)Also the birth mothers could name their child,first name only,but were not allowed to ask anything about where they were going or to whom.Some left written notes that they hoped would one day be read by their birth child.They never really knew if they received the notes.
  2. What were the ramifications for young,unmarried mothers wanting to put their babies up for adoption?The ramifications were more emotional than legal.They in a sense were shunned.Made to keep the adoption and in several cases the pregnancy also,secret.They often were sent away to finish their pregnancies and give birth.Then appearing back home as if they had been away to school or on vacation.Avery isolating situation and leaving empty,lonely feelings that some never fully recovered from.
  3. When did our society move from closed hush,hush adoptions to more of an open acceptance of adoptions?Although; my search was really for 1973 to 2002 I found that many years before that adoptions occurred between families as common practice.It was a way to keep the child still within it's "rightful" family.It was very common for the actual birth mother to live within the same house and the child to believe they were their sibling or aunt.More into the time frame I was looking at they were done to strangers.Although they never met each other,large amounts of money exchanged hands and it was common for letters to be sent from the birth mothers.It was also; more trusted by this time that the letters would reach the child when they came of age.
  4. How did the legalization of abortion change adoption views?It had an impact in the sense that women now could choose not to go through the "ordeal" of adoption.For some they believed abortion would be easier and they had no moral issues forbidding  it so to many women abortion actually became the "better" choice.They thought it avoided all the social and law issues of adoption and the commitment they felt they'd have if they chose adoption.Therefore; initial adoption rates went way down.As time went on adoption rates evened back out and even went back up to pre- abortion days.I think women realized there were plenty of issues with abortion also.
  5. Were woman forced to give up babies when that's not what they wanted to do?I did find some horrifying stories of women having their babies  ripped away from them.What I did't expect was that in more than a dozen cases it was husbands forcing these adoptions and not allowing their wives to keep the baby.In most of these cases it was due to MR or illness of the child.And in that time they took the babies away and put the in institutions for their entire lives.(I can not imagine doing such a thing!)
                                                         THE FUTURE:

            I hope that in the future that adoption becomes even more acceptable and open.I don't believe the people that are involved in adoptions get the understanding from the outside world even in society today that they deserve.The people that are in a position to need to put a child up for adoption are not all drugged out worthless high school drop outs with no future and it's time people lay off of that stereotype.For the most part they are often scared,young people that don't want to have an abortion and know they can't be a parent right now.They love their unborn child and are grateful to the people that support them.
              The people that adopt these children should be applauded.Applauded for putting aside trivial things like hair color and height to see whats really of value.For opening their minds,hearts and homes to children that only need to be loved and in  return will love them unconditionally.
              And for the biggest part of the future I hope I look at a family photo and see the blond hair,green eyed girl with the big personality standing next to the the dark haired,brown eyed,quiet woman and proudly think-Nope mom we look nothing alike and our voices sound totally different.Thanks for raising me and loving me because I love you so much and I wouldn't want it any other way!


Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia - website-  11/13/2012
   The site gives in depth history from middle ages to contemporary times on many forms of adoption.

Kansas City Adoption Law FAQ- PA Kenney W.,-website - 11/13/2012
       This site has lists of the most asked questions concerning all forms of adoption

Adoption Network Law Center- 11/13/2012
       This site is mostly a site leaned towards birth parents and the emotional impact of adoption

Ann Lozano- adopteed mother and foster mother to many-personal interview -over several days and times 
          Had great insight to adopted parents feelings and process during and after






Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Process Essay

              I could hear the crying in the dark,cold night.Where the heck was it coming from though?As I walk further I see several large,wild looking cats up high on a tin roof looking down.As I get closer the crying becomes louder.As I look down I see where the crying is coming from.It was a shaking,shivering, crying kitten not nearly old  enough to be on its own.I swoop down and pick up this poor creature.I put the kitten inside my coat and glare up at the bigger cats. It  won't be left here for their enjoyment now I think.As I walk with this pitifull kitten in my coat back to my house I wonder how I will care for it.
             By the time I get back to my house with this little creature she's wailing to beat hell.For a being thats no bigger than a cell phone it certainly could wake up an entire town with its crying.Oh boy what do I do now? friend Gayle.Perfect.She rescues cats for a living.She will know what to do.So,I give her a call.
             Once Gayle gets my call she heads over.She brings with her all the necessary "supplies."A very tiny bottle and nipple,evaporated milk,some sweet syurp to add, a blanket and a special soap.Good Lord its like bringing a baby home from the hospital!First trying to feed her.(By now we'd figured out shes a girl)It took a bit to get the hang of feeding this wild,fierce little baby.She grabbed the bottle ,fiercly scrapping at the bottle with her very sharp little claws and sucking for all she was worth.She sucked the bottle down in nothin flat and snoozed off to sleep.Aww...silence.
             Once the pint sized wailer woke up it was time for a bath.Gayle had said when their very young like this they don't normally mind the water.God how I was hopping that was true.Okay,baby luke warm water,special shampoo gently get her wet.Oh boy and here starts the wailing.She really doesn't seem to mind the bath,rather she seems to like it.I wrap her in a towel and get her all fluffy cute.
             Now Gayle informs me I need to "stimulate" this little girl to get her to do her bussiness.Oh great this gets better and better.Usually she says mother cats would lick them to do this but seein how she has no feline mother....So, I did it.Over the sink of course!Kitten pee running down my hand,crying in my ear I think what in Gods name have I gotten myself into?
             My family and I continued all these routines for several weeks.Feeding our new kitten three times a day,bathing at least twice a day and "stimulating every three to four hours.Several weeks into it she was still no bigger than a peanut.Hence our youngest daughter named her Peanut.This tiny crying kitten has grown into a warm, lovely,Maine Coon with a great temperment.She also seems to have an understanding with me,as if she knows I saved her.Always laying with me and purring.I'm so glad I searched  out that sound that cold night and learned and did all I had to, to care for her.I couldn't imagine my life or my familys home without her. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Process Essay Intro

                        I could hear the crying in the dark,cold night.Where was it coming from though?As I walk further I see several large,wild looking cats up high on a tin roof looking down.As I get closer the crying gets much louder.As I look down I see where the crying was coming from.It was a shaking,tiny kitten not nearly old enough to be on its own.I swoop down and pick up this poor,sad creature.I put the kitten in my coat and glare up at the bigger cats.This baby animal will no longer be here for you're amusement,I think to myself as I stare at the hungry looking cats on the roof.As I start to walk with this kitten I wonder how I will care for her.