Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Little Break

I'm taking a few vacation days to make the long weekend even longer.

Richard and I got away to the movies this afternoon. We saw the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie, "Knight and Day".

Really fun film. Lots of action, some enjoyable laughs, and tiny bit of romance. I know the movie hasn't done very well at the box office, but we really liked it and gave it "Two Thumbs Up".

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Letters from Sea - Sentimental Sunday No. 45

Cleaning out our garage I found the love letters that my father wrote to my mother during World War II, when he was in the Navy. I knew that I had them, but haven’t seen them in 20 years. I had never read all of them – only a couple. After they passed away it was just too difficult for me to go through all of their belongings. I’m so glad that I finally sat down and read them. Priceless. Amazing how deep and strong their love was. There are two years worth of letters from him, and over the course of the next several months I will transcribe some of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. My Dad loved my Mother until the ends of the Earth. He knew he had found “the one” when he met her. They were married until death parted them.
April 15, 1941


Hello Sweetheart. I just finished work so I’ll write to you. We’re off the coast of Santa Barbara and it’s 4pm. Pretty good time don’t you think so? It’s only been but a few hours since I saw you, but it already seems like a year. I’d much rather be in L.A., then I could see you, baby duck.

Honey, I’m so sleepy that I don’t hardly know whether it is night or day. It’s all I can do to keep awake and do my work, no lie. But I’m not too sleepy to remember what I said and asked you last night. And, honey I want you to know that I am sincere in what I said. In fact, after I think it over I like the idea more and more. So you see honey, I’m not handing you any lies, so please don’t mistrust me.

I sure hope there is a letter from you waiting for me in Frisco. And Honey, please don’t forget to make your letters long. I am sure sorry I had to leave this morning, because as you know I would much rather spend my time with you. I already miss you so much that I’m anxious for this trip to end.

Well honey, we just got a guy that was battered up a bit, so I’ll close. Bye Sweet, and answer soon.

Loving you always,

P.S. Ich liebe dich
Dad had asked Mom to marry him the night before he wrote this letter. They had met only two months prior through mutual friends, Betty & Goss.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Update: My Big Decision

Well, the update is that it has been a week I still haven't made a decision. At this point I am inclined to not send the letter. There are just too many unknowns for me. I'm not saying that I won't EVER mail the letter to my birth mother - but for now I am just not ready.

A big part of me really does want her to know that she gave my family the most incredible gift when she allowed me to be adopted. She gave me to the most incredible parents a girl could ever ask for - in a million years. And she made my Mom and Dad the happiest parents in the world. But, there is a part of me that feels it is arrogant for me to assume she wants to know. To assume that it is my right to barge into her life and make her deal with this all these years later. All who gave me advice on writing - I appreciate your words and support. But, we're all making an assumption that she wants to know anything about me. And while I feel that may be true - we may all be wrong.

I worry too that by my trying to do a good thing for her - in the long run I could end up hurting her. If she hasn't shared anything about me to her family, my letter could come as a shock and embarrassment to her. And, if she's thrilled to hear from me and wants to have a meaningful relationship with me - I could hurt her because I'm not sure what type of relationship I want.  There are just too many questions for me right now.

So, no letter or contact... for now. I've been waiting for a sign - waiting for a clear and unwavering decision to be made. It hasn't come yet. Maybe someday soon that will change. But, for now I'm letting it be.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Very Big Decision

I represent two parts of the adoption triad. I am an adoptee and I am an adoptive parent. The part of the triad that I cannot know about – have not a clue how they must feel – is the birthparent. What an agonizing choice that must be to give up your child… their own personal “Sophie’s Choice”.

For some it may be an easier choice. They know that they are unable to raise this child – and they choose adoption. For others, probably most, the choice is agonizing. While their heart may be telling them to keep this precious baby, their heads tell them it is not possible. These parents make the selfless choice to give their child up for adoption, and then they hope for the best. I would imagine for the rest of their life, unless it is an open adoption, they wonder how their baby is. They think about that child on their birthday and pray that they are OK, well loved and cared for and happily adjusted.

My adoption was in 1959. There was no such thing as “open adoption” back then. In fact, in many cases the child might not have even been told they were adopted. I was a very lucky baby. I was sent to the most perfect parents. I have always felt that I was born to be with the family that raised me. I am very artistic like my Mom and have her sense of humor. I have my Dad’s work ethic and sense of right and wrong. They did an amazing job of raising me and making me feel special and loved and very very wanted.

Many adoptees choose to seek out their birth family. It may be out of curiosity. It may be that they want to know more about their medical history. Perhaps, although they were loved and happy in their adoptive family, they have always felt there was something missing and they need answers to questions they have always had. This has not been my personal experience. I’ve never desired to seek my birth parents out. I’ve always said that I love them for making the choice they made and I thank them for that choice. However, if I was ever contacted by one of them I would welcome them and thank them in person.

Last year, while doing genealogy on my adoptive family I discovered the maiden name of my birth mother. My husband has played off and on through Google to see if he could find her. This week Richard found my birth mother. At least we’re pretty sure, probably about 99% sure. It seems I have a half sister, a couple of nieces and some uncles.

When I talk about my Mom and Dad, they are John and Sylvia Porter. The people that raised me, cried when I was hurt, laughed when I was happy and loved me unconditionally. They made sure I was taken care of and enjoyed some of the better experiences in life. They were my real parents.  Our family was made out of love, rather than by blood.

I am faced with a serious a choice of my own. Do I contact the woman that gave birth to me and chose my happiness and well-being over her own? She is 70 now. There may not be too many years left for me to get in touch with her. Does her family know about me? The last thing I would ever want to do is disrupt her life and force her to explain an event that happened almost 51 years ago. If I do contact her, what do I hope to gain from this connection? Or maybe I’m being selfish in wondering “what’s in it for me”? Perhaps I should be looking at this from a different angle. What can I do for her? Has she wondered about me all these years? Does she hope and pray that she made the right decision? Should I let her know how much I appreciate the choice she made all those years ago?

After writing all of this, you probably think I’ve already made up my mind. One minute I say I am going to write her a letter; the next I say I am going to leave it alone. I wish there was a clear cut path and I had a guarantee that I was making the right choice. But, instead I waffle back and forth.

So, here I sit with my own “Sophie’s Choice”; a momentous decision.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The "Delicious Dishes" Reunion

About 12 years ago my friend Tracey and I started a group called "The Delicious Dishes". There were 16 of us at one time, and eventually there were 20. Quarterly we planned really extravagant and special evenings. We stayed together for about 3 years. Since then we've had one reunion, and tonight we had another. Most of us are still friends - but we don't see each other often. So, the reunion potluck we had tonight was a blast! Great food and drink - but more importantly LOTS of laughter. I am SO lucky to have such great girlfriends.
Lorraine & Adrienne
Adrienne & Me
Peggy & Mary Louise
Tracey & Tammy
Kathleen & Teri
Lorraine, Adrienne & Peggy
Laura & Me
Unfortunately some of our friends have moved away - but we stay in touch with them. And, some of our group couldn't make it tonight. But, there may be another reunion in the works for autumn. I would totally be up for that! We had a FANTASTIC time tonight.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


On Wednesday night I gave a 40th birthday party for two of my Ya Ya sisters. Laura and Kathy will both be 40 in a few days. All of the Ya Ya's were here to celebrate in 1970 style.

Brenda & Adrienne enjoying the fun.

Jamie & Me

The table was decorated in 1970's chic! We played 1970 Trivia, as well as other fun games about our favorite TV shows and Movies! I asked everyone for their favorite songs from their favorite decade of their lifetime, and made an awesome playlist out of them on my iPod. The Ya Ya's make up a pretty fantastic playlist!

The birthday girls asked me to make my Strawberry & Whip Cream cake. (Click here if you'd like the recipe from my Gumbo YaYa blog.) But the highlight of the evening had to be "cheese in a can". We made foods that were popular in the '70s. I'm not saying that we had a little too much fun with the Cheez Wiz... but, you can be the judge!

Wishing two of my very best friends a spectacular birthday! I had fun planning it for you and wish you all the best during your new decade!

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