Why are college students so immature?

Simple: We enable them.

65 years ago, my grandparents married at the age of 19. It wasn’t against anyone’s will. They weren’t coerced or threatened into the marriage. 65 year later, they are still as in love as they were in their wedding photo. My grandmother didn’t stay with my grandfather because she was financially unstable. Actually, she is a very educated woman with high degrees. She attended university during the time she was married, all the way through graduate school! She married my grandfather because she loved him and saw marriage as a natural step in the relationship. But with marriage comes responsibility, a word today’s generation is not comfortable with.

Centuries ago, college was a privilege. It was a responsibility to be taken seriously, much like marriage is also a responsibility. But, we’ve stripped these away and replaced with with a carefree extended adolescence. Few college students take on actual adult responsibilities, such as working full time or making payments. It’s a paradise for the young and the wild. Professors don’t expect more from their undergraduate students than they would a high school student. There are no serious repercussions to one’s actions, which I find difficult to assimilate. Back in the day, if I decided to skip class, I would not be e-mailed or phoned. I would not be asked not to appear in class again. It would simply effect my grade. But, consider the “real world.” If you decided not to show up to work frequently, you would likely be dismissed from employment. So, what are we teaching students today? We are not preparing them for the workforce. We are not treating colleges and universities like serious institutions that demand respect. “Clients” would be a more appropriate word to replace the term “student” for today’s university attendees.

In South Florida, where I live, many students live with their parents while attending university. In this case, I place a large blame on the parents, as well. Many parents don’t enable their adult children to be independent at this stage in life. They set ridiculous rules and place no adult demands. They continue to pay for their son or daughter’s phone bill, car payments, car insurance, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I realize that an 18 year old will have a hard time finding full employment to sustain themselves AND be able to become successful in college. I don’t condemn assistance from parents. But, many of the college students I know who are living with mom and dad are just perpetual children. Even post-college, I know several of these perpetual children. It’s not to say that moving out of your parent’s home is the essential ingredient to being an adult. There are several reasons why one may be living with parents. But, those who do should be 1) treated as adults and 2) act like adults. They should be doing laundry, picking up after themselves, making their own meals, and assisting with bills, like any other adult member of the household. These parents do their children a huge disservice by continuing to extend childhood. For financial reasons, I lived with my mother and grandparents during my undergraduate years. I did laundry, I cooked meals, and cared for the animals. When I bought my first car, I made the payments on that vehicle. Nobody told me to do those things. But, I wasn’t raised to be an eternal child. From the moment I was born, I was an adult in training. The problem is that today, we are so focused on raising children, that we forget to raise adults.

We’ve traded our books for cheap beer on “college night.” We’ve traded our fine point pens for drugs. We’ve traded courtship for a one night stand… or several one night stands for that matter. While sororities and fraternities use to be a prestigious honor, their now the central headquarters for illegal and racist activities. We’ve traded professional dress attire for the “SLUT WALK” wardrobe. I’m all about what the SLUT WALK stands for. A woman’s dress is not an excuse for a rapist. We are not wild animals. We are made in the image and likeness of HaShem, and we should behave in accordance with His righteous ways. There is no excuse for raping someone. But, why must condemning an offender come at the expense of promoting immodest dress?

Today’s college ideal is simply about living for the flesh. Anything that appeals to the flesh is regarded as an activity one is encouraged to partake in. Neon lights. Loud music. Unhealthy food. Lustful sex. Drugs. What requires discipline is not: spirituality, good eating habits, long-term committed relationships, monogamous relationships, responsible spending. Ironically, these are not things you learn in college. But, these should be in the center of learning as you prepare for life as an adult.

It’s no surprise that we treat 20 something year old mothers as if they were teen moms. We treat 20 something couples as if the woman was a child bride. The other day, I came across some quote about how you should be irresponsible in your twenties. I beg to differ. In your thirties, your fertility decreases by more than 50%. If you are looking for a father for your children, this would be the time to be responsible about your marriage partner. If you are financially irresponsible, your credit can be effected immensely during this time. If you buy a home in your 20’s, you are likely to receive a lower mortgage rate because you have much more time to pay off the mortgage. Everything suggests that this a time to be RESPONSIBLE vs. irresponsible. Most importantly, draw close to God in your youth! He loves you! Learn to listen to His voice NOW so that you can distinguish it from the many voices that try to do the exact opposite of His will. You don’t have to listen to the world’s way of doing things. You can set a path for yourself, apart from the ways of the foolish.

My grandparent’s responsible decade of their 20’s brought me great blessings. It brought me aunts and uncles, and later cousins, close in age to me. It’s brought them the joy of seeing their great grandchildren. It’s given my family and myself a paid off home to live in. It’s shown our family that true, genuine love really does exist. Their responsibilities have never stopped them from achieving their goals. On the contrary, it has always enabled them to work harder, and teach us all the work ethic necessary for success. It’s just a sincere shame that this isn’t the mission of our colleges and universities today.

Boston

In April of 2016, I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for the first time. My eagerness to travel was based on several factors. First, I was feeling burnt out at work. Working full time and attending graduate school full time can certainly take a toll on one’s body and mind. While my academic writing skills were up to par, my creative writing skills were lacking. I attributed it to lack of motivation and inspiration. I believed that traveling to Boston would inspire me and I would overcome my writer’s block. It did! I was eager to share my experience upon my return. But, life got in the way. I had other responsibilities to attend to and until this point in time, I had not found the time to sit down and discuss my experience. But, given that I’ve traveled again since Boston, I think this is the right time. I should not delay it any longer.

The day did not start off well. I decided to drive myself to the airport and self-park. Due a delay in the garage, I did not make the flight on time and had to delay my flight to the night. At this point, I figured I would park at the tri-rail station and take an uber back to the airport. A good friend of mine picked me up at the airport so that I would not have to be sitting there for hours. Believe me, we’ve already had a good laugh about this and it was recorded thoroughly via snapchat. So, please hold your laughter and giggling. I debated not taking the trip at all, feeling nothing but apprehension, given the many delays I had already encountered. But, I’ve overcome more difficult fears. I was going to Boston. On a 9:45PM flight.

Boarding the flight, I was filled with tension. I hadn’t been on an airplane since 2008. I was comforted by the fact that the flight was quite short. The majority of those on my flight were traveling back home while I was traveling towards my vacation. Naturally, people who aren’t from Miami just tend to be nicer. I’ve found this to be a fact, rather than just an opinion. Side note: I was flying JetBlue out of Fort Lauderdale Airport. I hadn’t had a chance to have dinner. One girl, waiting to board, about my age, heard my loud and obnoxious stomach growling and offered me her muffin. I was appalled and comforted by the fact that people like this still exist in the world and I was eager to be traveling to a place where many people like this came from: New England. My flight with JetBlue was incredible. The seats were the most comfortable I have been on. There was sufficient legroom. There was wifi. There was dinner! I had my own TV, where I watched a Bernie Sanders rally. By the grace of God, the plane landed and my worries subsided. I felt as though I would be able to enjoy the city the following day if only I offered myself the opportunity of a good night’s rest. As I walked to the area where the taxi cabs waited, the cold air touched my face. It was quite a surprise boarding a plane in a city where the temperature reached 89 degrees and exiting a plane where temperatures were 39 degrees! My eyes took in everything different from what I call home. For one, it was interesting to see Massachusetts license plates, rather than Florida. Driving through tunnels was a rather different experience. The taxi cabs, in and of themselves, were much different looking vehicles than those you would find in Florida. But, the breathtaking moment was when I arrived to the hotel.

I stepped out of the cab and my jaw dropped to the floor. I stayed at a Hilton in downtown, a historical hotel which I was able to get for a wonderful price due to my government employee discount. Thank you state of Florida for letting me be your employee :). It was completely breathtaking. I thought I had entered into the set of Pretty Little Liars. I thought the plane had landed in Rosewood. I can’t quite describe the feeling, but it was like I had been there before, many, many times. This place was familiar and comforting. Regardless of all the hassles, I was so happy to have arrived there. It was nearly 2:00 in the morning. Now, this isn’t Miami. This city does sleep. But, the city itself, has a personality. The city has an energy about itself, like no other. Despite the deep and rich history it holds, it doesn’t bear a haunted vibe. It’s cheerful. It’s beautiful. Up until this point, the phrase “take your breath away” held no real meaning other than a figure of speech. But, seeing the mere street that I was staying on, in Boston, took my breath away. Grant you, this was prior to seeing Malibu, California: that will be my next post!

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I have both bachelors and master’s level education on… well… education. So, I am an academia persona by trait. I am, indeed, a nerd. I love to study. Since I work in the field of higher education, I naturally enjoyed the ambiance of higher level learning institutions around me. I embraced the world of the ivy’s… and I was quite surprised as many of the stereotypes that I proved to myself were false.

Harvard is an amazing place. Perhaps it was the fact that it was the weekend of Easter, but the campus had a far smaller population rate than what I had imagined. It felt that the majority of those on campus were tourists or families taking advantage of the amazing and beautiful campus. In the main courtyard, children played, dogs ran, and students walked across. It looked like a scene straight out of a movie.

The nightlife in Boston is quite different from that of Miami. As a person who drinks very limited and does no drugs, I often shy away from Miami nightlife completely and totally. But, Boston’s nightlife is inviting to a much more diverse population. Since my visit was short, I visited two pubs. Both are the oldest in America. Sitting near the window at Green Dragon was historically chilling. Looking out the window, I could imagine the horse drawn carriages driving by. The 1776 newspaper article hangs on the wall.

It was more than Boston’s charm and physical beauty. It was that… in 39 degrees, I felt warm on the inside… warmer than I’ve ever felt during 90 degree summers in Florida.

 

 

 

The Truth about being in a Sorority

I don’t have regrets about joining a sorority. In fact, I am very grateful that I went through this experience. I was able to meet women who I formed a life lasting friendship with. I had the chance to engage in leadership opportunities, which I probably would not have had the same chance otherwise. There’s much to say about every experience: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, I’m not here to talk about that. I’m not here to out the drama that happens when 150 woman come together to have a discussion about dramatic events. I’m not here to share personal issues that every chapter experiences individually. I just want to clear the air and tell you what it’s NOT. This is an honest “yelp review” of what it means to be in a sorority.

The marketing for sorority life is filled with women who are happy and whole. Stories are often shared about how joining a sorority changed someone’s life and made them into the person they are today. But, the reality of the situation is that joining a sorority is not finding the Lord, Jesus Christ. It’s not some freeing experience and it’s most certainly not sisterhood of the traveling pants. This is what is advertised. The marketing for sorority life is exceptional and I applaud the marketing crew. They are truly successful and their skills should be rewarded with high financial compensation. They truly are great at what they do. At this point in my life, I found myself wanting to fit in somewhere. I thought that in a sorority, I would find a sisterhood filled with genuine friendships, which I had craved for so long.

I was the perfect sorority candidate. I was bubbly, happy, and stylish. But, this version of me faded as I spiraled into a depression. Like a domino effect, it all happened so fast, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a death in the family that effected me a great deal. During the time that he was ill, the surgery and rehabilitation took place nearly 600 miles away for two reasons: 1) insurance and 2) because we really believed it was the best hospital. Having a close family member in a life or death situation 600 miles away leaves you in a state of heightened fear constantly. The only way you know any information is by calling. Every call was either going to be positive or negative. He was either going to get better or get worse. It was rarely ever the case that he was doing the same. In this state of worry, you’re only way of surviving is by holding up the fort. You don’t let yourself break, no matter how much you’re cracking. The same thing happened when my baby girl, Luna Mia, was poisoned by a toad. I arrived to the animal hospital faster than speeding bullet. I was concerned, but poised. As soon as the vet took her in her arms, that’s when I broke down. I think we intuitively are aware of when we need strength and when we can give into our emotions. His illness was not a time to give into my emotions. It was in my best interest to be a rock to everyone around me.

But after he passed away, that’s when the cracks finally broke. The pain in my chest grew rapidly, but I had no time to care for myself. I dealt with this while working a full time job, a second part-time job, taking a full time load of classes, and meeting the requirements of being in the sorority. I started spiraling slowly, but surely. The bags under my eyes were reaching the floor. My hair was always in a messy bun. I was so incredibly tired. I ran on about 5 hours of sleep a night. I was driving home from my second job around 7pm and I had to pull over because I legitimately thought I was having a heart attack at the age of 22. I opened the car door and started throwing up. My vision was blurred. My fingers were purple. If you would have seen me, you would have thought I was dying. Low and behold the effects of chronic stress (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9527/10-signs-you-have-way-too-much-cortisol.html) . This is what happens when a person has reached their limits. Since that day, I have never been the same. I don’t discourage challenge, but, try to remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. I had quite a few friends stick by me at my worse. People who saw past the messy bun and the dark circles. People who saw my life for what it truly was: a grieving person trying to hold it all together: her job, her school, her life. But, to the chapter as a whole, I was invisible. I only held value when I was the epitome of what was advertised at every recruitment event.

To make matters even more offensive, during recruitment, I was told by someone not to share with the potential new members that I was adopted. The topic came up because someone asked me about heritage. I am no stranger to this occurrence. It happens all the time! People are always asking me if I’m Irish or Russian, especially people who are not from Miami. Then they say… where did you get your accent? I love being the unique individual that I am. I don’t find myself “weird” because I deviate from the “norm” in this respect. It just makes me unique. I can understand how some things are inappropriate to share at an event. You wouldn’t share that you are a recovered drug addict. The point of recruitment is to mimic a professional environment. You become keenly aware of how to  talk to people, how to hold positive conversation. Thus, it’s not the appropriate time to to delve into emotional or controversial topics. But, this is not controversial. This is a fact. This is a legal process that occurred. It is documented and notarized. I am not interested in anyone’s opinions. The purpose of sharing was not to engage in a debate, but rather, to answer the question: where did I get my accent from? What would they have preferred? For me to lie? How convenient that must be, huh? To erase yourself and conform to something that fits into a nice, neat box with a bow and not have to share something about yourself that makes you different. Adoption doesn’t change race or ethnicity. If you can’t accept that, then you should just purchase a doll and save everybody the anguish. Don’t adopt children and raise another generation of people as dumb as you.

This is discrimination and unfortunately, discrimination does happen in Greek Life. You recruit based off of your preferences, without any type of real, solid qualifications in place. You’re recruiting people for a clique but sugar-coating it with words such as “sisterhood,” “home,” and “baby *insert mascot here*.” I was enamored during my recruitment process because I would hear girls introduce each other as “my sister.” People’s social media was always filled with cute pictures that usually contained matching shirts and a quote about sisterhood. But, this is part of the marketing process. It’s not to say that you won’t meet genuine people. I did. But, the marketing for sororities portrays that you will find a home away from home, when in reality, that’s not what this is. Being in a sorority can be compared to a part-time job or any other campus involvement. There’s a standards committee in place to hold people accountable. There is no alcohol served at events. In fact, active members cannot be caught drinking alcohol or holding a red cup while wearing sorority memorabilia.  There’s a dress code for chapter meetings, which is strictly outlined in the handbook. If you are not dressed appropriately, which can mean that you’re shirt was sleeveless, for instance, you will not be allowed into the chapter meeting. If for any reason, you’re grades were to drop, you would be suspended. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these standards. I applaud the fact that this is not an open invitation to be wild. The issue is that it is presented as a community of friends who gather together to drink tea and have mixers. It’s advertised as a community where you could let your guard down and be yourself. And this is precisely what it is NOT! If you get too comfortable, if the smile comes off, if you’re falling apart, you will be held accountable and penalized. At the very least, you will be looked at differently. It’s a professional atmosphere cloaked in superficial friendship.

I reiterate that I DO NOT have a problem with this. This is how every organization on campus works. But, sororities primarily do not draw in crowds that are interested in that, because that part of the story is never advertised. People come for the sisterhood, the friendships, and to be part of a “family.” I think that people are vastly disappointed when they discover what it really is… not because it’s “bad,” but because it’s deceiving. I think a lot would be solved if there was honesty in the marketing. If it were presented as an opportunity to grow and develop leadership skills and give back to the community, it would be honest. But then again… just like in adoption… honesty means a great loss of money. If you can gain the same in the Pre-Health Club that you would in a Greek organization, why would you join the one where you have to pay? Trying to turn in the invaluable into a monetary figure has become the trend. If you want to join because you want the experience and you want to break out your shell, by all means! But, join for the honest reason. Don’t be coerced into joining for something that these types of organizations cannot provide you.

Society’s Letter to an Adoptee

Dear Adoptee,

It is our understanding that your mother cannot provide for you, so we will be sure to take full responsibility for placing you in the best home possible. Although no price can be put on a human life, please be advised legal fees will run up to nearly $35,000.

It is our understanding that from the time that you were five months old, you recognized your mother’s voice, scent, language. This is why it is imperative that from the moment you are born, we have to separate you from her immediately. Evidence has shown that you will probably cry day and night because you are afraid that the only person you have ever known is missing. Pretty soon, we’ll be sure to advise you that referring to this person as your “mother” will be deemed highly inappropriate and we will be sure to call you an unappreciative, angry adoptee for showing this type of animosity towards the people who adopted you. You are also discrediting our largest marketing tool, which is that you are a “blank slate” and that genetics play no role outside your looks.

We completely understand that you have way more in common with your biological relatives than just your looks. You likely act a lot like them too. You share plenty of interests. You share talents and research has even shown that there are major patterns in career choices among blood relatives. But, if we were honest with a lot of our prospective adoptive parents, we wouldn’t be making any money, now would we? We are a 14 BILLION dollar industry! That’s not money you see every day!

So, we do what we can to protect that slogan. In 44 states, we will seal your birth certificate. In all honesty, it’s really none of your business where you’re from. When your parents handed us a big hefty check and promised to take care of you, we made sure to do whatever was in our power to ensure them that you were theirs AND ONLY theirs. If you had a name prior to being adopted, we didn’t inform them. So, you will be receiving a brand new name, much like the witness protection program. Be advised that you will be receiving a surname and we cannot ensure that you will have any connection to it. For instance, if you are Asian, you may receive an American last name with your new identity. If you are American, we are likely to supply you with a Hispanic last name. Please be advised that this identity crisis will go on for your entire life. You will spend endless hours explaining why it is that you have the last name you do when you look vastly different from another person that will have this last name. Be prepared to hear inappropriate comments during this time by others who will call your first mother a villain, telling you that she abandoned you. Be prepared for us to tell you that you are endowed to your second parents and referring to them as a savior. We completely understand your frustration, however. But, in this society, these are the rules. You are expected to keep your first boyfriend in your heart forever, but expect different about your first mother.

If you left any siblings behind in your first family, you are likely to long for their presence growing up. After all, siblings are your closest genetic mirror. Unlike your parents, they contain DNA from both your parents, just like you! It’s quite common that you find you have more in common with them than you think. You will have similar personalities and temperaments. However, once again, we advise you to keep all emotions to yourself so that you don’t make the rest of society feel uncomfortable.

Please make an effort to conform to the culture you were given. To make your personality more similar to those around you. To not burden us with how you’re different and how your family is different from those children who are born to their families naturally. Make an effort to fit in. Put your interests on the back burner. You owe it to your saviors to keep that old identity sealed and conform to the new one we gave you. After all, it cost $35,000.

Sincerely,

Society

 

Why I’m fed up completely with FIU

Not too long ago, I would have signed up to be a crusader for my school. But, as a student, I feel completely and totally cheated out of my graduate school experience due to lack of advising. I was accepted as a full time graduate degree seeking student in October of 2015, although, at this point, I was already taking courses. However, it has been since this time that I have tried to get in touch with an adviser. It was only yesterday that someone bothered to tell me that I needed to fill out a particular form in order to ensure that the classes I took, at this same institution, would be counted towards my program. I have to ask myself, why didn’t anyone tell me this earlier?

I am working towards this career because I have significantly been disheartened regarding working with children, parents, and administration. The field of education is a “height-ist” industry, but I will get into that in another post. I am really satisfied with my current career. For the first time in my life, I am being valued for my credentials and my job performance, rather than judged by how far off the floor my head is or by my youthful complexion. But, I’m regressing. So, I decided to take a course, “Educational Psychology,” thinking that it’s principles would apply across the board of education. I was so wrong! Without any voice, I was placed a group whose assigned project was on sixth grade reading comprehension. I work with people primarily between the ages of 18-25. I help people decipher on a career of choice. I am heavily involved in running university operations daily. Please tell me about how the thousands of dollars that were paid towards this course are relevant to my job? The disservice wasn’t just done to me, but also to the office human resources, who are so generously waiving my tuition under the presumption that my school work ties into my job.

I feel that being accepted into this program was a huge accomplishment on my part. From the time that I started my undergraduate career, I has been a dream of mine to graduate with my master’s degree. But, I’m disappointed in the unprofessional manner with which students are being handled in the program.

Additionally, choosing courses has been quite a challenge, being it that all of the classes fill up so quickly. I am saddened, particularly because I was interested in attempting to graduate by December in order to fulfill my dream of moving from this city and beginning a new chapter in my life in a two-story house with my fur children. But, due to lack of class availability, it doesn’t seem that this will even be an option. Being it that I am in graduate school I’m not sure why I have to share that same burden with an undergraduate student. Graduate students should be assured a spot in the courses they would like to be taking the following semester. Aside from that, I am also an employee at the university, which, I believe, should guarantee me some sort of priority in picking classes, since I donate 40 hours of my week to this institution. Since my schedule can be verified by a simple click, I should be able to chose a schedule without running into any issues.

While for many people, careers are chosen because it is related to a fabulous experience, I can attest that for me, it has been the opposite. Lack of advising and common sense on the part of this institution has led me to encourage reform. Why do I want to advise? Why do I want to help students? Well, the way I see it, I do many things because it is what I wish I would have had differently in my life. I went to a school all of my life where I was severely psychologically and emotionally abused. Rather than running off and never looking back, I attempted to become a teacher to ensure that never happened to another child. In some regards, I’m grateful for this experience, because it prompts me to do better, to treat students better, and be the person that I never had the chance to encounter.

 

 

 

“Protecting the birthmother” conspiracy

As for my last post, I have received questions as to why the adoptees should know the identity of the birthmother. What if she had an affair and didn’t want anyone to know? What if it was a secret, etc. etc. This seems to be one of the biggest fears towards opening up adoption records and original birth certificates for adult adoptees. However, I think that what we fail to realize is that this document already exists and cannot, under any circumstances be altered. That is why an amended one is issued. The document documenting adopted person’s birth already exists somewhere, in some vault. Our very own birth records and medical records, prior to being adopted already exist with our birth parent’s names, birth names, birth locations, dates, etc. Every person has the right to know who gave birth to them, and this includes situations regarding surrogacy as well. Birth certificates, in these situations, should reflect that a surrogate carried the child and the biological parents are so and so— and so and so. No person… let me repeat that… NO PERSON should EVER be lied to about who gave birth to them.

Adoption is about the child, not the parents. Adoption is not an answer to your secrets. Six different states already issue a consent form where the biological parents can decide whether or not they would like the adult child to initiate contact. This is the ultimate solution, as you can hide it from the spouse you’ve been cheating in, if that’s your biggest fear. If you gave your child up in secret, you must realize that your secrets will follow you, regardless of whether or not that child initiates contact. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But, one day, it will. It takes two to tango. You didn’t make that baby on your own. What would happen if the biological father initiates contact, and outs you as the biological mother? What if the court opens up the birth certificate because of a medical emergency? Secrets have a way of finding you. Your secrets don’t come at the expense of another person’s rights.

Some people think that this would prompt the above person to have an abortion. However, I disagree and remind you that abortions also have a way of haunting you. Many abortions cause medical conditions down the line. If you are ever hospitalized, you would have to advise medical personnel. It doesn’t disappear into thin air. The moment that you conceive a child in your womb, you will carry that child with you forever. Even if you miscarry. Also consider… people who consider adoption in a world where abortion is so accessible, is far less likely to be considering abortion at all. So, this argument is not valid.

In conclusion, hidden identity is painful. No one should subject an entire population to it based off of your perceptions.

 

 

 

 

The truth about being adopted

Deception- The Truth

At the age of eighteen, I discovered that I was adopted. Those words changed my life forever. Not because it took away from everything that my family had ever done for me. But, because I felt deception. The first person I heard it from was my mom. Granted, it didn’t seem like too big a deal coming from her. We naturally assume that our parents know information about us that we don’t necessarily have access to. After all, who remembers the day they were born? Who remembers the first two or three years of their life? Psychologists argue that we have access to these memories, but not in the same way we do other memories. These memories are likely lacking in the visual and language department. But, are typically high in that which is auditory and emotional. Yet, it’s not uncommon for parents to fill in pieces of the puzzle that are missing. When everything settled, I came to the realization that the entire family knew. It wasn’t as if my parents left to a foreign country to fake a pregnancy. Everyone played an active role in the adoption. My grandparents clearly knew. In fact, my grandfather played a huge role in making final arrangements. My aunt and uncle knew, providing my parents with encouragement and advice. My older cousins knew. These were people that I trusted with my life. And the highlight… my best friend’s parents knew! If that isn’t enough for you, I found out that I had teachers who knew! And if that’s still not enough, I found out that even my ex-boyfriend’s mom knew! That is the deception. It’s not being adopted. It’s not the fact that my mother wasn’t the person who gave birth to me. It wasn’t about my genealogy or heritage. It wasn’t about my DNA or the blood that flowed through my veins. The deception came from the fact that everybody found out before I did! When that hit me, that was the day I stopped trusting ANYONE.

Now, before you go blaming my family for pathologically lying, you should realize something about my childhood. By the time I was four months old, my father got another woman pregnant. This was a huge deal (obviously) to my mom and the rest of my family. Shortly after, they divorced. The therapist that my mom was seeing after the divorce encouraged her to LIE because she felt that I would see it as two abandonments. This person should lose her license… yesterday! My parents telling me that they are my parents is not a lie. Under every single piece of the law, they were completely and totally responsible for me! They did all the work that parents do. So, it’s not a lie to say that they are my parents. It is a lie, however, to tell me that we are related through biology. If you think it’s not a big deal, consider the fact that I was sharing inaccurate medical history with physicians. Consider the fact that I dealt with severe gastric issues as an adolescent, landing me in the hospital several times, and continuing to issue inaccurate medical history. Deep dark secrets are only dark because they are just that… secrets. I knew from an early age that my father had an affair. That’s actually something bad. But, it didn’t haunt me for life or cause me collateral damage because I knew from so young, that by the time I could actually understand what it meant, it was just a part of ordinary life. Being adopted should be the same. If you just know for your entire life, then yes, you will have curiosities, you will have questions, no doubt! But, it’s not a deep dark secret. It’s an opportunity to have questions answered.

The Issue with Equal Rights Legislation

In the state of Florida, when a person is adopted, their birth certificate is sealed and a new certificate is issued claiming that your adoptive parents are the people who birthed you. While I do agree that the government can make decisions to protect children, it is not their job to protect me or to tell me who I am as an adult. I’m a 25 year old woman with a full time job, pursuing a master’s degree. I live in my own house. Although I’m not rich, I’m financially independent. I travel alone. I pay my bills. I pay taxes. But, the state of Florida denies me access to my fundamental birthright, a piece of paper stating who I was when I was born and where I factually come from. The reason for this is to “protect birthmothers.” This is a lie. I know my birthmother and I have a fabulous relationship with her. If the interest was simply protection, then it would not matter, because we already know each other. My birth parents, adoptive parents, and myself, consent to me having this piece of paper. Yet, the government will not issue it to us. In their eyes, my parents gave birth to me. In fact, the certificate even says “born to.” There are several issues with this legislation, and I will touch upon each one as best as I can.

First and foremost, I am an adult. There is no reason for me to be dependent on other adults to acquire government information about myself! The government treats me like a perpetual child, but expects me to abide by the same rules as an adult. Secondly, the state has stripped me of my identity without my consent. For as much as socialization plays a role in a person’s life, so does biology. It’s obvious that I got physical traits from my biological genes. We accept that with no issue. But, I got so much more than that. I got my personality. I got my temperament. I got my spunk. I got my talent in that which I excel at. I got an inclination towards particular interests, and not so much others. I got my handwriting. I got my writing style. I got my ability to dance. I got a preference towards a certain type of music and a certain type of food. I got my style. State of Florida, you can issue all the amended birth certificates you want… but I still hate salsa music and my radio is locked on 99.9 kiss country. There is nothing wrong with being different from family and friends. In fact, that’s why they say opposites attract. People who are married may have many things in common, but they also have differences to compliment each other. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. So, being different from my family members in some respects, is not a bad thing! It’s just part of living on G-d’s green earth. If I can be different from my friends, husband, co-workers, classmates, etc., there’s nothing odd about being different from members of my family. It only becomes an issue when parents are making their child feel bad about it because it threatens their validity as the child’s parents. But, this is exactly what the State of Florida is perpetuating by hiding birth certificates and sealing individual’s identities. It opens up adoption to narcissistic people who want to adopt children to pretend they are their biological children, and continue keeping it a secret. The State of Florida essentially leaves the responsibility ONLY to parents to tell their children “the secret.” No human being should EVER be someone else’s dirty little secret. Thirdly, by “protecting the birthmother,” as the state so likely claims, you are stigmatizing an ENTIRE group of people as stalkers and harassers. You are claiming that you can find us peeking through our birthmothers windows in the middle of the night. This is not the case pretty much… EVER! There are anti-stalking and anti-harassment laws in place to protect the country at large. Therefore, there is no need to stigmatize and ostracize a group of people by making them feel like they are a group of criminals. By 2016, we’ve had our first bi-racial president and the LGBTQ community won the right to get married. Adult adoptees are still unable to access to original birth certificate or medical records that exist prior to being adopted. They erase you. They kill you. That person didn’t exist. The idea that is perpetuated through this piece of legislation is that you either conform and change who you are completely, or you are just an ungrateful brat. Really? Tell that to black people who fought for centuries to end slavery. Tell that the the LGBTQ community who fought for years for the right to get married in this country. We applaud these groups for standing up for their rights to be treated as human beings. Yet, we look down on adoptees for being curious about themselves.

Like every family, I have a few rotten apples in mine. I have a family member who spoke ill of me because I didn’t know what career path to choose all my life. Did he ever stop to think to that I was a natural born educator growing up in a family of scientists? Again, nothing wrong with that! But, there’s things we, as adoptees, don’t know about ourselves. We haven’t always had someone to compare ourselves too the way you did! But, I bring this up because secrecy encourages this! In his eyes, he likely thought, “well, she thinks she’s our biological (insert relation here), she should have already applied to nursing school by now.”

I’ve had literal fights with people who tell me “You are Cuban.” First of all, nobody can tell me who I am. NOBODY. I grew up in a Cuban household, yes. But, in regards to nationality, that is a biological component of yourself, not an emotional one. Your genealogy and your heritage are irrevocable. Like I said earlier, issue all the amended birth certificate’s you want… I’m still not Cuban. Do I hate Cuban people? No. Do I hate my family because the blood that runs through my veins is of another nationality? No. This type of thinking is childish and stupid. Imagine growing up in America as the son or daughter of Italian immigrants. You eat pasta every night. You love your bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Because of this, you have people telling you that it’s a slippery slope from this to revoking your American citizen and being exiled out of the country. That’s ridiculous! You can be happy to live in the United States, salute the flag, say the pledge of allegiance, and love your heritage.This is much like being adopted. I’m an expert at Cuban culture. I’ve lived and breathed it my entire life. I speak perfect Spanish and I ate black beans every day of my life up till I was 16 years old. It would be an error to deny that I have a connection to it. But, it would also be fallacious to deny that if I took a blood test tomorrow, not one ounce of Cuban would appear in the results. So, the next time I tell you how I identify, don’t tell me I’m incorrect. You are nobody to tell me who I am or what I am.

Again, having unequal protection under the law perpetuates the stigma that we have to identify with what the amended one says. I wasn’t born to my parents. They chose me. They loved me. They cared for me. They fed me. They clothed me. For that, I am grateful. My birth mother also loved me, cared for me, and nurtured me from the moment of conception. She knew her situation in life wouldn’t allow her to keep this child. But, she did something very brave. Instead of being a cowardly murderer and walking into the nearest abortion clinic, she placed me in a home with people she knew would love me. That is the heart of a mother. That is complete selflessness. A child needs two things from her mother to survive: biology and environment. You CANNOT discount one because the truth is that you NEED BOTH TO SURVIVE. By sealing my original birth certificate, you are denying the fact that this role was divided in two parts. The role of mother in my life was a two person job! And that should NEVER be discounted. Not by the government and not by everyone else.

Your Parents are Heros!

My parents didn’t rescue me from inside a well or a burning building. They decided to start a family. In my dad’s case, he decided to start two families (at the same time). But, in today’s day and age, there is a plethora of ways to do this. You can have biological children. You can get a sperm doner, an egg doner, a surrogate mother, a test tube, a clone (lol). They started a family through adoption. It’s that plain and simple.

My mom may be a hero because she spent sleepless nights caring for her sick baby girl. She’s my hero because she packs a suitcase like nobody else in a matter of minutes! She’s a hero because she stayed up all night with me crying over a 16 year old boy in high school. She’s a hero because she works hard. But, she’s not a hero because she adopted me. This thought process of “she didn’t HAVE to take care of you” is incorrect on so many levels. Of course she did! There are laws in place to protect children, REGARDLESS of the circumstances surrounding their birth.By taking it upon herself to be legally responsible for me and taking it upon herself to be a mom, through any venue she chose to do that, she also took on the responsibility to care for the child. So, once again, this is an incredibly stupid train of thought.

Adoptees are not “poor little orphans,” “unwanted,” or “leftovers.” People who adopt are not taking people’s leftovers. They are just regular people who wanted to be parents and chose a specific avenue to meet that goal. It’s one and the same with every other avenue that I listed above. Adoptees are people who happen to be raised by people who don’t share the same DNA. That’s the only difference between a biological child and one who is adopted. The love is the same. The care is the same. The arguing is the same. Regular family feuds are the same. Family’s have good times and bad times. They have troubles and tribulations. This stigma of “you can never get mad at your parents because they took in a poor little orphan” is incorrect and offensive.

But you’re parents gave you everything… aren’t they enough. The most offensive words to ever touch my ears. If this is the type of person you are and this is how you see things, than please do the entire world a favor and DON’T adopt a child. You could grow up in a palace and you would STILL be curious as to where you came from. This line of thinking is offensive. You are equating questions with respect to your biology with love. You are implying that because I have my mother’s eyes and personality, I am insulting the woman who raised me. The fact of the matter is that my birth status wasn’t changed when my family adopted me. I never stopped being my birth mother’s daughter anymore than I am my parent’s daughter. As I said before, exploring your parent’s Italian heritage isn’t a threat to your American citizenship. Asking your parents the list of names they were considering for you doesn’t imply that you’re running down the courthouse to change your name. You likely have some attachment to your name. This is the same case. Quite often, I wish I could tell people: “since you’re not adopted, shut the fuck up, you know nothing ignoramus son of a bitch.” But, I bite my tongue. Because, I realize that this should be an opportunity to educate rather than dismiss. This brings me to my last point. If you think that insulting someone’s biological family in front of an adoptee is okay, think again. You have no idea who these people are. You are not making an educated assumption based off of people’s personality and actions. You are basing your assumptions off of the only thing you do know… that she couldn’t raise me. So, you do what suits you. You turn her into a villain and my mom into a hero. Sorry honey, but life isn’t that simple. Insult anyone of my family members, from either side, and in the words of CeCe Drake… “I will scratch your eyes out.”

The Pity Party

G-d knew I was that much trouble, that one mom just wasn’t enough! 🙂 So, I got doubles of everything! I got four parents, eight grandparents, 16 great grandparents. What a blessing! My cup is overflowed every day because I have more than anybody else. So, if you ever feel sorry for me, don’t. I have more than you! I have two mothers who love me unconditionally. From the time I was born, I knew unconditional and selfless love. I knew two women who would do just about anything for me. So, save the pity party for someone else… maybe for yourself… because you don’t have two momma’s.. you only have one 🙂