Bullies are Cowards

Believe it or not… I have been heavily criticized by certain people for my decision to write on sensitive topics by relatives and so called friends alike. People have said things like:

“How can you criticize a system that led you to where you are today?”

“Aren’t your parents enough for you? That’s how I would feel if my adopted children had a relationship with their biological parents” (grant you, this was a 24 year old girl who has no children and with the grace of God, she will never ever adopt children)

“What about us?, Aren’t we your family?”… said by people who have probably seen me twice in my life.

So, this is a direct response to these allegations, I would like to dedicate this post to answering each of these one by one.

How can I criticize a system that led me to where I am today? Easy. I’m not against where I am, just how I got here. Let me ask you a question… how would you feel if you knew that you were bought at a price? That the government allowed a legal agency to put a price tag on you? That the social workers, which were suppose to be the emotional support system for all parents were making a commission off of your adoption? And that once they made that commission, the government sealed your initial identity and essentially gave your family “copywrite laws” to you?… to be allowed to keep your identity a secret. And that even as an ADULT, you have absolutely no right to your birth records, adoption records, or medical history… because that was included in the hefty price tag. And then society, instead of supporting your rights as an individual… in an era where UNTHINKABLE crimes, like the murder of infants is being supported… people chalk you up as an ungrateful brat. One thing I’m not is ungrateful.But, my gratitude doesn’t always have to reflect on this ONE event that happened in my life.

I would be upset… Simple. Don’t adopt children. Don’t be friends with people who are adopted. Because the most natural thing in the world is wanting to know who you are and where you come from. Watch this video and then we’ll talk. If a parent can love more than one child… why is it so hard to comprehend that a child could love more than one parent? Sadly… when I found this video, on an adoptee support Facebook page, someone commented “Why is this on an adoption Facebook page?” Ummm…. because the fact that we came for A WOMB isn’t secret information…

What about us?… I have to love these judgers because these “relatives” have probably seen me twice in my life. Before you even THINK about making this comment to me… think and answer these questions honestly in your heart:

  • When is my birthday? Did you call me on my birthday?
  • Have you ever been inside my house?
  • Do you know where I work?
  • Can you name any of my hopes? Dreams? Goals?
  • What are my hobbies?
  • What is my ethnicity?
  • What is my dog’s name?

You can get off your high hypocrite horse now. Most of the time… bullies are cowards. Ladies and gentlemen… these are the people that are against restoring access to our records… bullies and cowards who have absolutely no relationship with adoptees.



8 Times I Suspected Spencer was Adopted

As a true PLL fan, I too love to look up theories and analyze the antics of the show. I’ve already seen several theories about Spencer being Mary Drake’s daughter. You can find a plethora of those theories all over the internet with quotes and pictures to support the claims. I’ve become convinced that Spencer  was the baby we saw last week being taken out of Radley Sanitarium. Upon doing some research, I saw this comment:

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The reality is that this “massive secret” is not limited to TV production. It’s happening all across America and other areas of the world. However, America particularly, because they have failed to reform adoption laws, perpetuating secrets and lies to the fullest. Spencer may not have consciously known that she was adopted by the Hastings. But, if I’m right about Spencer being that baby… I think that on a subconscious level, she always knew something was different. Maybe she didn’t attribute that to adoption. But, if she is, this is a very realistic portrayal of what many adoptees go through. As I’ve said previously, there’s nothing wrong with being different. But, those differences need to be embraced. God created differences for our entertainment and pleasure. How boring it would be if we all looked the same, acted the same, and had the same interests. We would all be fighting over the same man! lol. We would all have the same careers. The world wouldn’t function if we were all the same. Differences are for our benefit, not for our discouragement. But, when we treat people as if they are suppose to fit in somewhere, when it just doesn’t come naturally, the scenes shown below are very realistic. If you are reading this, and you have an adopted person in your family… embrace that they are different. Let them be who they are. Let love unite your family, not uniformity. Don’t be a Hastings.

In this scene, we clearly see that Peter and Melissa thrive on success. While everyone wants to be successful, this drive just doesn’t come naturally to Spencer. She may be intelligent, but she isn’t driven by being better than anyone else. Notice how Melissa feels like she needs to reel her in back “into her place.” The message is clear: It’s not okay to be different.

Veronica can’t even fathom that Spencer is telling the truth! Apparently, the idea of not going to U Penn is so unfathomable to her. Even Melissa feels like she needs to step in and “fix it.” Why does this have to be fixed? Spencer is clearly very smart. She can go to whichever other college she wants. What if she wanted to go to another Ivy? Spence doesn’t feel like it needs to be “fixed.” But once again, difference has been shamed. Even if different just means a different school, a different path to reach the same goal. Sadly, this happens quite a bit. We project our dreams and goals onto our children. With biological children, there is a genetic predisposition to pursue certain goals. For instance, I really love school. I’m an elementary school teacher. I am getting my master’s degree. I plan on pursuing more education afterward. I enjoy school. I will likely pass those traits of being studious and loving to read to my children, particularly if their father is the same way. It’s not set in stone. But, the chances of him/her liking school are higher. But, if we adopt, we cannot expect those same chances. We’d have to be prepared that senior year of high school, we might hear “I want to be an artist.” Of course, you can expect this from biological children too. But, the chances are much slimmer. You have to be aware that parenting an adopted child means that there are apparent differences. Adopted children are not blank slates waiting to be written on. They came from somewhere. They didn’t hatch from an egg. They came with interests, personality traits, temperament, and minds that may work very differently from yours. After conducting the color personality theory test to several people, I discovered that there is  HUGE genetic component. Try it yourself! Ask your family and friends to take it… and their families too! Don’t take my word for it. Just google it and hand it out to friends and family. My mom is an orange and I am a blue: polar opposites. But, I don’t try to make her into a blue and she doesn’t try to make me into an orange. We just accept that we have different results and pursue goals that are in line with the way God made us. My mom doesn’t LOVE school. She looks at all I have to do and wonders why I would give myself such a burden. But, she would never try to convince me to leave school. She admires my endurance. I admire her persistence and ability to get things done quickly.

I grew up in a family where nearly everyone showed interest in some type of health profession. I was always inclined towards working in education and counseling fields. But, I was never made to feel stupid or less than because of it. Sure, there have been people that wondered why I didn’t opt to study a career that would make me rich. But, that’s not the area that God blessed me with talent in. I have quite a weak stomach. And I’m terrified of needles. Instead of focusing on what someone’s goals are not… why not congratulate and celebrate their strengths? Why is this so difficult for some people?

Why not… sorry you didn’t get into U Penn… but it’s their loss! You’ll get into an even better school.

You’re a great teacher. The kids are lucky to have you. Maybe you can give me some advice on how my kids would learn best. 

Acceptance and embracing one another is key to happiness in adoption.

I laugh at this scene because it reminds me of myself. I always want answers. I don’t take what people tell me at face value. I want to understand people’s intentions. I don’t just “accept” things that people do when I know they are wrong. Melissa reminds me of someone in my family… always accepting injustice and repeating the injustice to others, rather than being determined to break the cycle. Melissa has a classical “sheep-like” mentality. But, only when it comes to following Veronica. She won’t listen to Spencer. She doesn’t listen to both sides of a story. The answer is always simple: her mom is right. Spencer grows frustrated with this. I mean… how can you not? When you’ve seen that grass on a particular side really IS greener and someone just doesn’t want to listen to you and is determined at blocking you out at all costs… how is this not frustrating? Now, things like this happen every day in many families, adopted or not. But, a lot of times, being adopted can feel like your a daisy in the midst of a field of roses. You’re all flowers and you’re all beautiful. But, you grow differently. You look differently. And you have different purposes/goals. I thought this scene was very depicting of this. Lift people up in their accomplishments, their desires, their pursuits… even if their not your own. Melissa and her mother don’t even show respect towards Spencer’s feelings. Veronica clearly has the right to support Garret Reynolds if she wants to. And Melissa has the right to support her. But, they shouldn’t have shunned Spencer for feeling the way she did. They should have respected her feelings, even if theirs were different. This is a classic issue adoption within families. Be the change. Be the difference. Raise adults… not puppets.

Melissa and Spencer have never gotten along, that’s no secret. But, I have to say that I side with Spencer most of the time. Melissa is just an impossible person. In this video, she’s acting accusatory towards Spencer, when SHE was the one on the Halloween train dressed in a suspicious costume. This is the way we act when we have secrets. We are always on the defense. Then, when the truth does come out… how can you possibly have good feelings towards people like Melissa? Secrets will haunt you and they will eat you up alive. An easy solution to not becoming a defensive and scared person is… don’t keep secrets :). Be honest with people. Even if the truth behind their story didn’t start off so great, lies only become dark when they are kept in dark attics. Let people own their stories and decide for themselves what they want to carry with them. It’s not your story. Sorry Melissa… but you should have been honest with your sister from the start… the masks, the train, and the fact that you may have known she came from Radley… which is further discussed a few videos down.

Why would YOU keep this kind of secret? What about YOU? What about the secrets YOU’RE keeping?! Notice the difference in handling situations. You would think that Veronica would be SO relieved that the girls were found after having been missing for hours… that she would  allow Spencer to relax and get some sleep before she dropped a  bunch of questions. Had this been Melissa, I think Melissa would have WANTED to stay up all night, chatting. The temperament and the personality between her and Melissa is perfectly aligned. The fact that Spencer wants to handle the situation different is the real cause of conflict here… not Veronica’s inquisitiveness or worry. Once again, we have a classic case of difference=conflict.

Veronica is afraid. If she was defending Garret Reynolds because she believed him to be innocent… why is she afraid? Because she has secrets of her own, which she is afraid will be revealed. I know that fear. I’ve seen it in the eyes of so many people. Tell the truth the best possible way… with loving and kindness… or it will come out in ways that you wish it wouldn’t have.

The way we handle crisis is a biological/genetic phenomenon. We can learn to adjust our behaviors at any point in time. We can learn techniques on how to handle issues. But, we always come into the world with an innate way of handling things. The way we naturally conform to if no one would intervene to change it. This video shows that Melissa and Spencer have a completely different way of handing issues when they arise. Spencer is much more “go with the flow.” Melissa wants to get things done immediately… and she wants to sweep them under the rug. The Hastings family is naturally inclined to sweep secrets under the rug. It’s the way that they handle crisis. This is what Spencer has been taught. It’s the environment she grew up in. But, genetics prevails in this situation. She may have grown up being taught that this was the way to handle issues. But, her instincts tell her otherwise. She doesn’t handle crisis in the same way. How should this be handled? Spencer should be glad that her sister and her mother “get things done.” But, the Hastings should respect Spencer’s openness and honesty to handling situations.

Those of you who have had the privilege of meeting my sister know we have pretty much the same basic personality. She’s very soft-spoken and she goes out of her way to make people feel better. Do you know anybody like this? If i was institutionalized at Radley, this conversation that Spencer had with Melissa would never happen. We’re just too much alike. It’s not so much that people who are related are always so much alike. But, the illustration here is that regardless of upbringing, there’s just personality traits that we don’t shake off. People who are related, I think, have a more accurate notion of where their relative is coming from. They have a clearer picture of what goes on inside their minds. We are hormonally, biologically, and genetically in tune with people’s characteristics and why they do what they do. I was shocked that my sister had the same habit of making knots in the ends of her hair. We both have the same habit, even though we were raised in different places. We both loved backstreet boys and hated n’sync. We both order the same things at McDonalds (plain cheeseburger… emphasis on the plain)! We both hate onions. We’re both just naturally good at the same things. If she makes a certain gesture, with certainty, I can probably tell you what she’s thinking… because I do the same thing. Just because we have that natural synchrony doesn’t mean that you can’t establish that with other people who aren’t related to you. But, it does take work. My grandparents have been married for over 60 years. They have that synchrony. But, it took work! In families who have chosen adoption, this takes work too. You don’t naturally recognize facial expressions and habits. You have to observe. You have to take time. And you have to be interested. Melissa, sadly, doesn’t show interest. She’s too busy fighting the fact that Spencer is just naturally different.

And so is Veronica…

The longer you keep a secret… the more chance you have of it coming out at the worse time possible. When we make people feel like being different is bad, we’re the ones losing out on everything God has given them to offer us. Celebrate people for who they are as individuals. Realize that there ARE genetic predispositions that WILL enable people handle things differently and react differently. But, be grateful for that. Because if we were all the same, as I said, we would get nowhere. Appreciate that you have people in your family with different approaches and different talents. Consider that people who have been adopted have a story. That’s their story, as an individual. It’s their right. Where they came from and who they were before they came to be a part of your family is a part of who they are today. They are different. But, they are also beautiful.