Wednesday, August 28, 2013



By Lisa Marie
Guest Blogger

I had to write you after reading your blog.  I too had a family member who drank the Kool-Aid and believed the fairy tale promoted by those supporting adoption reforms. 

My cousin, an adoptee, lived an ideal life just like Little Bill.  Her parents wanted her more than anything.  Just like Little Bill she was coddled, not just by her loving parents, but by aunts, uncles and cousins who were 10-15 years older than her.  She was the baby in our family that everyone loved.  She always had her original birth certificate.  It was a private adoption; the biological source sent the original copy to the lawyer who gave it to her parents.  My cousin was never interested.  No need, she had her family.  She married and had children.  It is a family story how much her oldest looks like and acts like his grandma despite no common DNA.  

Several years after my cousin's parents died, she became aware of the adoption reform movement and fell for the fairy tale they promote.  Her mother's sisters (who were very close) kept telling her, we are her family.  Most cousins told her the same thing.  Her elderly aunts warned her about the can of worms she was opening.  My cousin didn't want to hear it.  She believed the fairy tale.  Exactly as you said, she was looking to fill the vast emptiness she was told she was supposed to feel. 

My cousin was very excited to find out that her biological source had married and had children.  My cousin now had siblings!  After spending most of her inheritance traveling back and forth to another state, buying a trailer to be near her biological source for the purposes of convenient visits, while helping the biological stranger out financially, my cousin discovered that there was no warm and fuzzy connection. Though it took her a while to realize it.

Sadly, my cousin would not listen to reason from her family who opposed her choices.  She did everything she could to try and fit in with the biological strangers.  It cost my cousin in the end.  The elderly aunts were deeply hurt and their once-close relationship suffered.  

One aunt helped raise my cousin for her first 5 years while her mom worked.  They were extremely close.  My aunt felt that it was her job to look out for her niece when her parents died and she knew she failed.  My cousin had a new family now.  Those were the people she decided to listen to.  She ignored her real familythe ones who truly loved and cared about her.  

Eventually, my cousin lost the house her parents worked so hard for and most of the money they saved so she could have a good life after they died.  Ultimately my cousin came back to her real family.  It seemed she realized that talking about the stranger grandpa didn't have any meaning, not like reminiscing about her beloved grandpa who used to rock her on his knee and taught her how to drive. 

Hearing about the stranger grandma wasn't the same as remembering her beloved grandma making Easter cookies from the recipe she brought over from Italy

My cousin learned that no matter how blonde haired and blue eyed she is or how much Irish blood runs in her veins, she will always be Italian with all the mannerisms, sayings, and customs of her beloved Italian family.  She learned what family really means.  As far as relationships go, genes are unimportant.  People have many blood relations they don't know, don't need to know, or want to know, or will never know.  

Families are the people who love you, who have been there for you your entire life, for both the good and the bad.  At best, biological strangers are just acquaintances.  It was an expensive lesson for my cousin, drinking that Kool-Aid and wanting the fairy tale. 

Many people are drinking the Kool-Aid and believe the fairy tale that is being promoted by those in adoption reform, especially those in the legislature.  Only 11% of adoptees obtained a birth certificate in Oregon, 2.5% in Illinois, and less than 800 in RI obtained their birth certificates.   

We seldom see those numbers, though the public always hears about "the happy reunions" in the media.  You would think that the legislature would do a little research before voting on a bill to change adoption.  Instead they drink the Kool-Aid being served by those with the loudest voices, those who think they are entitledthe same voices, the same people that go around the country to promote adoption reform. 

I recently wrote to a journalist asking why he only told one side of the "adoption story" which included an Adam Pertman (a militant adoptee) interview, of course.  I gave your website out and a couple of other places where he can get the other side of the story along with the National Council for Adoption, which supports mutual consent.

I told him that it is articles like his that promote the fairy tale.  He did not respond.   

Meanwhile people like my cousin and your uncle are destroying their families based on the lies they are toldthe lies they believe.  It's a sad story. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013



By Kathleen Hoy Foley

Occasionally I think of my uncle, Bill, a "paragon" of decency who founded a soup kitchen to feed the homeless, yet carried such a vast emptiness in his heart that he led himself and others to practice violence against my elderly mother, his invalid sister, and me, his niece.

My uncle was adopted as a little guy.  The story was pretty straight up.  An orphanage.  A kid.  And a family that wanted him.  And was he ever loved!  He was coddled, pampered, and as the youngest in his family, revered.  You know the saying: the sun rises and sets.  It was all there for Little Bill.  Too close to my age to call him uncle, to me he was just Little Bill, and I was taken with him.  Every time he said my name and pronounced it in that Evans’ way—Kath-ah-leen—I swooned.  Did I mention how much I loved him? 

He doesn’t sound like a guy who would ever practice violence.  Practicing violence sounds like swagger and fist fights—a gang on the street corner looking for trouble.  It conveys the ring of guns and blood, and bodies sprawled across the pavement.  That's the television version.  In reality, most violence is much more subtle.  In real life, practicing violence is an established art form so quiet, so acceptable it goes unnoticed except by those who are its target.

Somewhere between college, marriage, kids, carrying on the family business as a baker extraordinaire, and founding that soup kitchen for Ohio’s homeless, Bill decided that as an adopted person he was entitled to more.  He drank the cultural Kool-Aid, attracted a lot of destructive people who practice a lot of violence, and before long, Little Bill succumbed to practicing violence himself shrouding it in his sorrow and need and entitlement.

It is no surprise then that Bill attracted a predator—an experienced stalker well versed in practicing violence while pulling on heartstrings: the predator adoptee that had been stalking me and creating havoc in my life for years.  Bill knew this, but invited violence in anyway.  Which would have been fine if he’d kept all the aggression and cruelty they instigated together confined to his family, to his life. 

Except that’s not how violence works.  The rallying cry of violence is YOU OWE ME!  Violence feeds on anger and frustration and gains feverish strength and whirlwind power as it justifies its own destructive deeds.  It out-shouts internal alarm systems that point to dangerous and deplorable wrongdoings.  It plows through moral and civil boundaries fiercely defending its actions all the while producing terrible damage. 

Soon Bill and the predator adoptee were making plans to ambush my mother and trick her into a meeting with the adoptee—violent deception hidden beneath an “innocent family gathering.”  But who would ever admit that?  Anyway, what would it matter?  Thanks to dementia, his sister’s brain was gone anyway.  And how much fight could a frail old lady muster?  As it turned out, Little Bill and the predator adoptee were right.  My mother’s capability for decision making and energy to put up a fight had vanished.  Besides, she thought she was just being taken out for a ride.
Founding a charity does nothing to erase the practice of violence or repair its aftermath of destruction.  Adoption offers no excuse.  Heart pain grants no defense.  Practicing violence—dismissing, creating, and escalating others' agony for your own benefit—is an undertaking that unleashes powerful, destructive energy that ultimately returns to its source.  Practicing violence is like throwing a contaminated boomerang.  Don’t waste your time ducking, it won’t work.  It’s coming smack back at you. 

Whether you volunteer at a battered women’s shelter while planning an ambush, or run a website advocating the invasion of another's life under the lie of justice, or in any way promote coercing someone to bend to the will of another, you are practicing violence.  You may be loud.  You may be able to convince others with your arguments about entitlement.  You may be able to gain public sympathy with your sad story punctuated by a flood of tears.  But nothing can hide the underlying truth: you are promoting violence.  You are smart enough to know that.  But it takes tremendous courage to admit it.  And it takes even more courage and a dedicated commitment to self-respect to stop doing it.                     

Back to old Little Bill.  Maybe you think I hate him.  I don't.  Actually I have compassion for him—for anyone consumed by the delusion of vast emptiness, a phantom pain that insists the resolution to its obsession can only be gained through the practice of violence, by persistent stalking and the relentless pursuit of the very thing they already possess—the love that is right in front of them.

Little Bill was loved more than he recognized.  And he destroyed more than he knows.

Thursday, August 1, 2013




Woman In Hiding, A True Tale of Backdoor Abuse, Dark Secrets & Other Evil Deeds

By Kathleen Hoy Foley

Recently Phil and I went to see a psychic medium.  In the world of concrete thinking this sounds like a nutty thing to do, especially when you’re serious about it.  It’s right up there with seeking out snake charmers, sun worshipers, and an assorted array of belly-button contemplators in search of yourself, The Divine, and the path to wholeness, peace and happiness, which somehow always includes permanent weight loss for me.  The fact that I’ve already pulled off permanent weight loss somehow totally eludes me.  That I’ve achieved wholeness also escapes me when this quest to obtain what I clearly already have descends on me like a blinding snowstorm and propels me into the blizzard searching for shadows dancing on snowdrifts.  

What better place to go than the internet to dig up a psychic capable of divining my path as if I’d lost it, which I hadn’t, but occasionally my brain falls out of my head and I forget stuff.   

It didn’t take long to find Mrs. Psychic who, via a heartfelt post on her website, promised that I had connected with her not by coincidence, but had been drawn to her psychically and spiritually because there was something I needed to learn.  SOLD!  Did I bother to consider that ‘Mrs. Psychic From The Internet’ was not speaking personally and directly to me but to every Googler landing at her site?  No, of course not.  I simply anointed her an authority because she said nice things and I like to hear nice things.  Mrs. Psychic made me feel good. 

So there I was, arranging a reading at an hourly rate that should’ve included tickets to a Broadway play, but how could I concern myself with the material when I was going to interact with The Divine and everybody knows that interacting with The Divine is priceless? 

Never did I question the possibility that Mrs. Psychic who knew nothing about me other than what she would be able to glean from the air, would not be able to glean bupkis from the air.  Unless you count what I was blabbing on about from across the great divide of her massive desk with the NO HUGS sign glaring up at me from beneath the plate glass protecting its mahogany top, lest I should fall into a hypnotic trance and inadvertently try to pull her into a sweaty embrace.   

Never mind about ‘no hugs’ warnings.  I’d already stuffed the air with comments about our indie press, breaking the cardinal rule for visiting a psychic: DO NOT BE A BLABBERMOUTH.  Still I waited in great anticipation for Mrs. Psychic to unleash the storm of her paranormal gifts.  I waited for colossal woo-woo—a powwow with a consortium of master spirit guides; clairvoyant direction; paranormal confirmation of my karmic path; not to mention, a coherent, encouraging shout-out from a passed relative who’s since gained serious spirit status in the great beyond…Greetings Kathleen, you’re doing a fine job. 

After that I wanted Phil and I to go out to lunch and celebrate all that wacky woo-woo, because that’s what connecting with spirits is: wacky and woo-woo…   

Okay.  Admission time.  I know wacky and woo-woo…intimately.  As Phil says, why is it that the only relatives that talk to you are the dead ones?  Ahhh...because they want to tell their stories is my only answer.  And I just happen to be a story teller.  Certainly Mrs. Psychic would intuit this. 

Half an hour into the session I would’ve settled for being alerted that an evil spell had been cast upon my sorry self and I needed to grind up chicken bones and toss the dust over my left shoulder at midnight under the shine of a full moon.

Fifty seven minutes into the longest hour ever recorded, I was practically begging for any shred of woo-woo.  How about a prediction for tomorrow’s weather?  July in New Jersey is notoriously hot and humid.  Mrs. Psychic had fate on her side.   

There was no woo-woo.  Instead we got a dry, long-winded business plan that could’ve been typed up by a robot in a cubicle and delivered “To Occupant” by means of third class mail.  But there’s a good side to this saga.  There would be none of that emotional overload that accompanies woo-woo.  Whew.  I would escape this reading-turned-lecture without any mention of the dastardly abuses of the Woman In Hiding variety.  

Two minutes to go.  I’m reaching for my handbag watching the clock on the wall slog away the last seconds.  One minute and I’m out of here.   

“There’s something about births that’s not making sense,” Mrs. Psychic utters.   

Is she kidding?  She brings this up now; just as I’m about to execute my getaway?   

And so it is that the rush of tears that live always in the truth of Woman In Hiding surface instantly as I tell my story.  When Mrs. Psychic divulges that she too is a rape victim, the NO HUGS warning suddenly seems more like a heartbreaking symptom.   

As for the strange woo-woo.  Mrs. Psychic reveals that her very close friend is also a ‘woman in hiding’.  Her life devastated by being impregnated by rape.  By being hunted down and stalked by the predator adoptee when ‘no contact’ fell on deaf, arrogant ears. 

And there was Woman In Hiding, A True Tale of Backdoor Abuse, Dark Secrets & Other Evil Deeds reaching out its numinous hand in its unforeseen and inexplicable way to two women victimized by sexual violence. 

Woo. Woo. Woo.